my web site facelift
New features are centering the whole page, adding background images, a transparency roll over effect on the menu and alternate style sheets (to see the alternate style sheets using Firefox do View > Page Style).
"to understand is to invent" Piaget
... the old maxim of ‘the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it’ applies: meaning that if one pipe imposed filters upon content or pulled out altogether, information would simply do what the Internet does best and find another route to travel.So, the internet is a stupid network, a World of Ends, the middle is transport and nothing else. This combined with the fact that nobody owns it accounts for the success of the internet.
- Internet ownership
The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation. This has led to an explosion of offerings – from VOIP to 802.11x wi-fi to blogging – that might never have evolved had central control of the network been required by design.This had generated a lot of discussion. I am studying the links at the end of Vint's statement and will post on this topic again.
My fear is that, as written, this bill would do great damage to the Internet as we know it. Enshrining a rule that broadly permits network operators to discriminate in favor of certain kinds of services and to potentially interfere with others would place broadband operators in control of online activity. Allowing broadband providers to segment their IP offerings and reserve huge amounts of bandwidth for their own services will not give consumers the broadband Internet our country and economy need. Many people will have little or no choice among broadband operators for the foreseeable future, implying that such operators will have the power to exercise a great deal of control over any applications placed on the network.
As we move to a broadband environment and eliminate century-old non-discrimination requirements, a lightweight but enforceable neutrality rule is needed to ensure that the Internet continues to thrive. Telephone companies cannot tell consumers who they can call; network operators should not dictate what people can do online.
I am confident that we can build a broadband system that allows users to decide what websites they want to see and what applications they want to use – and that also guarantees high quality service and network security. That network model has and can continue to provide economic benefits to innovators and consumers -- and to the broadband operators who will reap the rewards for providing access to such a valued network.
A particularly poignant example of the rapidity with which the digital revolution has undermined a hitherto financially and culturally valuable business is the story of the latest (and, possibly, the last) decade of Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB).In 1991, the company sold about 400,000 printed sets, and in 1997 about 10,000. (Tellingly, my source for this information is a quotation from the Managing Director of EB International, only available to subscribers to a for-fee service, E-Commerce Today). The collapse was triggered by the success of Microsoft Encarta and other CD-ROM versions of lower-quality but approximately equivalent collections sold in a convenient and inexpensive form. Since then, web-based information services have mushroomed. Despite its brand reputation, and the apparent quality and presumed value of the content the company owned, and even after scrambling to survive, revenue has halved, losses have accumulated, the company has changed hands several times, and survival remains uncertain
- Roger Clarke. Freedom of Information? The Internet as Harbinger of the New Dark Ages
9. In a great feature, Johan has also used this script to add a "post to del.icio.us" link to the publish notification page on blogger, which will pop-up a del.icio.us window auto-populated with permalink, title, timestamp & tags. Just hit "bookmark" over there & you're all set!!My URL for this link has an undefined? in it and the link produces a 404. The URL is something like this:
- step 9, Freshblog
Another problem is that we don't have a very good concept of the future itself. McLuhan's line--one of my favorites--is, "We're driving faster and faster into the future, trying to steer by using only the rear-view mirror." ....For students it makes school seem more irrelevant, out of touch and restrictive. A PEW Report in the USA in 2002 has already found that there was "... a widening gap between internet savvy students and their schools."
But McLuhan was saying something else, that when change changes, you can't predict the future in the same way anymore; you have some second order or third order effects. So the biggest thing we need to invent ... is the invention of the future itself. In other words, to think of the concept of future not as a thing that comes from the past--although it has come from the past in a way--but to realize that the forces that are bringing about change right now are so great that it's very difficult to sit down and make simple extrapolations.
Concerns about child safety are important. By using web based social software we can proactively train students in safe usage. By not using it we play safe but do not protect students in what they might do outside of school hours. By not using it schools may be minimising their chance of being sued by a parent when something goes wrong but this may still not be in the longer term best interests of children, especially those who are naive internet users and need advice from teachers about safe practice.
These savers are free software. Feel free to give them to anyone and everyone. Some of them demand a lot of performance from your CPU and graphics card, so I hope you have a fast computer. These savers use OpenGL for graphics and will perform poorly without OpenGL hardware acceleration. All modern PCs being sold have decent OpenGL support, but the high-end gaming PCs will work the best.
MARSEILLES, France -- Skirt-chasing playboy Daniel Anceneaux spent weeks talking with a sensual woman on the Internet before arranging a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach -- and discovering that his on-line sweetie of six months was his own mother!
- full story
At this time I suddenly had access to all the student blogs. This really opened my eyes. The students really want to express themselves in this environment. Students want to spell things correctly, they want to be considered important enough that people read their blogs and they want to be interesting. (My blog has already been classified as REALLY boring, guess I've got some work to do ;-) )
Of most interest however was that I had access to pictures of students hanging around at school (taken on mobile phones) and a complete set of camp photos from
... Michael Twidale, an information scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says that Wikipedia's strongest suit is the speed at which it can updated, a factor not considered by Nature's reviewers.
"People will find it shocking to see how many errors there are in Britannica," Twidale adds. "Print encyclopaedias are often set up as the gold standards of information quality against which the failings of faster or cheaper resources can be compared. These findings remind us that we have an 18-carat standard, not a 24-carat one."
Furthermore, there is a great commentary on the whole Seigenthaler issue and implications by Danah Boyd, who amongst other things calls on academics to contribute more:
I am worried about how academics are treating Wikipedia and i think that it comes from a point of naivety. Wikipedia should never be the sole source for information. It will never have the depth of original sources. It will also always contain bias because society is inherently biased, although its efforts towards neutrality are commendable. These are just realizations we must acknowledge and support. But what it does have is a huge repository of information that is the most accessible for most people. Most of the information is more accurate than found in a typical encyclopedia and yet, we value encyclopedias as a initial point of information gathering. It is also more updated, more inclusive and more in-depth. Plus, it's searchable and in the hands of everyone with digital access (a much larger population than those with encyclopedias in their homes). It also exists in hundreds of languages and is available to populations who can't even imagine what a library looks like. Yes, it is open. This means that people can contribute what they do know and that others who know something about that area will try to improve it. Over time, articles with a lot of attention begin to be inclusive and approximating neutral. The more people who contribute, the stronger and more valuable the resource. Boycotting Wikipedia doesn't make it go away, but it doesn't make it any better either.
A report published in the British journal Nature said it gave independent reviewers 42 pairs of articles from both encyclopaedias, covering subjects that ranged from Archimedes' Principle and Dolly the Sheep to field-effect transistors and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The reviewers were not told which article came from where, and were asked to check the entries for accuracy.
"Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopaedia," Nature reports.
"But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively."
Nature says "Britannica's advantage (over Wikipedia) may not be great" when it comes to science, and comments that this result is "surprising" given the eclectic way that Wikipedia's articles are written.
I think that responsibility is the heart of this issue, and is why so many people get worked up about it. It's about who is to be assigned blame if wikipedia is inaccurate.
The author of the register article obviously wants the administrators of wikipedia to be held responsible, as if it was a top-down heirarchy. But it's not: it's more of a sort of p2p encyclopedia. It's not useful to blame wikipedia for being irresponsible any more than it is to blame gnutella for having illegal media on its network.
And the problem with attacking wikipedia and saying its not only useless, but it is harmful, is that it is not only attacking those people who spread disinformation. It is also attacking smart people who have a lot of worthwhile knowledge, and have carefully attempted to transfer this knowledge to an online medium that they knew people would use.
Despite some inaccuracies the Wikipedia is a veritable goldmine of useful information. What do the people who complain about it expect? An editor to peer review every single article? Wikipedia is probably the best model for a free encyclopedia that anyone has come up with and it's an amazing use of technology almost undreamt of a couple of decades ago. As long as we bear in mind how the entries are created (and it's not exactly a tough concept to grasp) how can it not be providing great benefit for people? The nay-sayers would put us back into the dark ages where we have to pay money for out-of-date information when there are people out there with the up-do-date facts who want to share them now for nothing. By all means don't keep the innacuracies a secret (because, among other things, that'll help to get them fixed), but there's no need for moral lectures unless you have a better alternative to propose. So I think your question is the right one to ask.Would we somehow be better off if Wikipedia didn't exist at all?
Unlike the Register itself Wikipedia is subject to a thousand year old form of analysis: Peer Review. If peer review is good enough for the scientific community (they put a man on the moon, the register has yet to accomplish that) and the medical community (they have done heart transplants, the Register has not) and the Linux Kernel, as any open source project, is subject to peer review (they have a very good perating system, the Register has yet to boot a machine) why would we not subject our historical data to such a process? Why not subject our media to such processes. Sadly it seems that the Register has the disease many younger Internet-generation kids have, a lack of patience. Peer review is slower, but as history moves on, faster
The real problem here is that the Wikipedia puports to be peer-reviewed, but each article has its subscribers, and it isn't clear whether an article has been tacitly approved by innumerable readers, or quietly corrupted out of salutary neglect. This ambiguity is the real failing of the Wikipedia, but it should be easily corrected by applying something similar to Slashdot Karma--just to show whether any editorial attention has affected any given article or not. ...
In the end, I think the Wikipedians are right. "The price of liberty is vigilance." The Register is also right. This is one thing that will happen if we're asleep at the wheel. However fiery the iconoclasty makes you feel, do we throw the baby out with the bathwater? No. We take what we have and make it better.
Historically, the video game market has been predominantly male. However, the percentage of women playing games has steadily increased over the past decade. Women now slightly outnumber men playing Web-based games. Spurred by the belief that games were an important gateway into other kinds of digital literacy, efforts were made in the mid-90s to build games that appealed to girls. More recent games such as The Sims were huge crossover successes that attracted many women who had never played games before. Given the historic imbalance in the game market (and among people working inside the game industry), the presence of sexist stereotyping in games is hardly surprising. Yet it's also important to note that female game characters are often portrayed as powerful and independent. In his book Killing Monsters, Gerard Jones argues that young girls often build upon these representations of strong women warriors as a means of building up their self confidence in confronting challenges in their everyday lives.And I like the way he responds to the position that video games are too violent:
... Judge Richard Posner noted: "Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low. It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware." Posner adds, "To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it." Many early games were little more than shooting galleries where players were encouraged to blast everything that moved. Many current games are designed to be ethical testing grounds. They allow players to navigate an expansive and open-ended world, make their own choices and witness their consequences. The Sims designer Will Wright argues that games are perhaps the only medium that allows us to experience guilt over the actions of fictional characters. In a movie, one can always pull back and condemn the character or the artist when they cross certain social boundaries. But in playing a game, we choose what happens to the characters. In the right circumstances, we can be encouraged to examine our own values by seeing how we behave within virtual space.
"I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,How good is that?
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans. ...
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'"
- a Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
As Dylan demonstrated, a good protest song is not simply political, nor is it narrowly confined to the issue that it's protesting. The best protest songs provide historical and artistic context for an alternative worldview and, in doing so, give legitimacy and a powerful sense of inevitability to the protest; even if the target of the protest never hears the actual song, he's ultimately unable to ignore its message and the followers that message inspires. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"--which Dylan wrote during the Cuban missile crisis--never specifically mentions war. Instead, it uses apocalyptic imagery--"I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests, I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans. ... I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin', I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'"--to convey the horrors of war and, in the process, transcends its topic. As David Hajdu wrote in his book Positively Fourth Street, the song "provoke[s] feeling and thought as well as action."