Friday, February 25, 2005

Don't scare the horses

Insty points to an instructive commentary by Michael Gorman, who is the Dean of Library Services, Madden College, CalState, Fresno. Mr. Gorman doesn't like a.) Google or b.) "Blog People" -- not necessarily in that order.

On PlanetGorman, Google is a "notoriously inefficient search engine" that "is a wonderfully modern manifestation of the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality." Google's problem is it "gives you thousands of "hits" (which may or may not be relevant) in no very useful order." Of course this says more about Mr. Gorman's Googling skills than the technology, but nevermind, let's move on.

Digitizing books is a bad thing, too. It's "fast food" for the mind, etc.

And those "Blog people?" Puleeeze. They actually disagree, but of course, that's because they can only read in paragraphs -- not full books, like us smarty library folk.

Oh, and check this out. Here's Gorman's conclusion:

My sin against bloggery is that I do not believe this particular project will give us anything that comes anywhere near access to the world's knowledge.
Hmmm, I wonder if libraries are knowledge, or merely access to knowledge. Too deep for this paragraph-thinker.

Bottom line? Give us libraries types the money you were going to spend on this foolhardy digitizing scheme.

The whole tone of the article sounds like a trapped animal, desperate for an escape route, and could have been written a hundred years ago by the President of the Harriers and Blacksmith Association.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Dell Support

In the end they were very helpful and my computer now hosts a new -- well, refurbished -- video card so that I may continue Gordon Freeman's Half-Life 2 adventure, but 2 hours is just too long a wait time to hold for support. By the time he/she arrives to the rescue you are too surly to really be of any help.

Oh -- and this has happened to me, twice now:

After the frustrating wait, and mid-troubleshoot, we are disconnected and the service rep NEVER calls back. All that time for naught. Back to the end of the line. Arrrgh.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Gates

I'll leave the aesthetics to Artforum, but meantime does the math. (via Fimoculous)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Jordan Resigns

So much for predictions.

Eason Jordan has resigned from CNN following some pretty intense scrutiny from the blogosphere this week. The Main Stream Media, while not missing, certainly was not on top of this story.

Why is he gone?

Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine speculates that either the (as yet unreleased) tape is so damning that he couldn't survive, or CNN, having already been burned earlier by him, said enough is enough.

Either way, I'm amazed at the speed with which all of this developed and also see it as another step in the transformative relationship we all have with the news media.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Day with Warren

Darren Johnson went to Omaha, spent 6 hours with Warren Buffett and learned... well, lottsa stuff. But here are the Top 5.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Babies, Bathwater and Big Entertainment

Mark Cuban has some thoughts about the MGM vs. Grogster case before the Supreme Court and looks at the whole P2P issue here and here.

The case is about whether Peer to Peer software that enables the P2P networks most of us read about and few of us use, should be illegal or not. The big entertainment companies are pushing the argument that because some of their content gets stolen through the use of this software, that all uses of the software should be illegal.

The are NOT arguing that there aren’t legitimate reasons to use the software. They acknowledge that businesses and individuals are using the software for purposes other than those that impact their music or movie businesses. They just feel that because it impacts their business (they still don’t know if its a postiive or negative impact), in a way they can’t control, it’s better to make it illegal rather than adapt to the new technology.
This over-reaching by the entertainment industry which I've touched on before is really frightening. As Mark outlines, there are many more uses for the emerging technologies than just distributing the latest Pauly Shore epic. For example:
The ability for emergency relief workers to distribute videos of instructions on how to deal with a situation will be an invaluable application. In a car wreck and need instructions on how to apply a bandage or worse? Over the next 10 years 911 will be able to distribute a video with instructions to you and those around you and talk you through it. P2P is the most bandwidth effective distribution solution.

Technology advances are challenging the entertainment industry's old economic model, but rather than seeking innovative ways to deal with it, they just seeking protection.

Mark asks:
Do we want to kill off applications that could change our lives for the better to give the music and movie industries control over the technology?

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Well, my first DOPS prediction is in deep peril, as its two conditions are about to be met.

First, Sisyphean Musings has been promised a copy of the video tape from Mark Adams, head of media at the World Economic Forum. Why CNN doesn't come out with the tape first is beyond me, if for no other reason than to avoid the "cover-up" chatter. Next, Easongate goes live, hoping to be a clearinghouse of information. Occam's Razor is alive and well.

Watching Easongate gather steam all weekend is reminicent of the Kerry campaign paralysis when the Swift Boat ads first came out. This is a story that cannot be contained or managed when surrounded by curious, pajama-clad bloggers.

To all those professional PR folks in Atlanta: Get out in front of the story. Be clear. Answer questions and get it behind you.

You're welcome. No charge.

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis says CNN did not tape the Davos panel, therefore there is no CNN tape to release. Sisyphean Musings has more. As do Rebecca MacKinnon (keep scrolling) and Michelle Malkin, who's scored some great interviews today.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

R.I.P at the R.I.A.A

Music Industry Sues 83-Year-Old Dead Woman

No, that's not a headline on Scrappleface or the Onion. It's an AP story at ABC News.

Someone get to Orrin Hatch's office and make sure that the DP2DP (Deceased Peer to Deceased Peer) language isn't left out of any future copyright legislation.

(via -The World Wide Rant) ...and smittenedkitten? Turn over those Glenn Miller bootlegs, too.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Bold predictions from the Department of Pure Speculation:

  • The Eason Jordan Targeted Journalist Speech story will fade away despite valiant blogger-efforts to keep it alive. So far, it's missing two critical elements:
      - a video/audio tape of the Davos speech
      - a decent "-gate name".
    If either of those elements surface -- then it's game on!

  • An unhappy Yankee clubhouse will keep the New York sportswriters busy all summer.

  • Democrats will panic as the President's Social Security campaign starts to pay off. Bush is a great campaigner, loves it and has shown he can really connect. The Democrats have no spokesman right now. Dean's busy trying to wrest the party from the Clintonistas, Kerry is licking his wounds, Gore is silent (which is better then incoherent, I guess), and Pelosi and Kennedy are just too moon-batty to be taken seriously. This void has forced them to send out Charlie Rangel to fight the good fight. They need some fast-track training for Obama.

  • Michael Jackson (moon) walks.

  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's combination of smarts and charm will transform how America is perceived throughout the world, setting her up for an abundant political future. (2008-New York Governor, 2012-Potus)

By the way, Dr. Rice's wiki should make underachievers everywhere despair.

UPDATE: Go here

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hug at the SOTU

Here's Wonkette live-blogging the moment:

"10:02 Mother of dead soldier and Iraqi voter got tangled up.... sort of perfect metaphor for the war, except that it wasn't fatal."

Here's Slate's Dana Stevens take:
"It's a tiny moment, of course, a piece of political ephemera, this chance encounter of a button and a chain. But it struck me as I rewound and re-watched that hug that there couldn't be a better metaphor for our country's current position in Iraq; we want the best for the Iraqi people, really we do, but we're afraid of getting more tangled up than we intended, and we're wary of just how much we're willing to give away."

Gotta love those shared metaphors.