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Monthly Archives: August 2008

Satanism Lessons In Schools

An East Rand school made Satanism part of their life orientation classes. Parents fear a repeat of the Krugersdorp sword killing.
I didn’t write about the Krugersdorp killing, because I thought it obvious that Satanism, heavy metal, and drugs are just scapegoats. All that is misdirection.
My personal opinion is that the school is at fault, and [...]

Big Business Wants To Dictate Your Morality

It’s not enough getting morality from religion, philosophy, peer pressure and law. Now business also wants to take the moral high ground.
Random House contractually requires young adult writers to behave. Cory Doctorow points out that they didn’t ask him to sign such a contract for Little Brother. This is probably because they realize just how [...]

Why Are We Still Paying For SMS?

Twitter is ending SMS support in the UK, because it’s costing them too much.
This got me thinking. Most cellphones these days have internet connectivity. The data cost of an SMS is negligible. (You want to do the math? Think R 2.00 / 1,048,576 bytes * 200 chars). Yes, I know about IM, but it’s still [...]

MIT Students Silenced About Subway Vulnerabilities

A restraining order was issued against three MIT students who were to make a presentation at Defcon. They were about to reveal security vulnerabilities that they discovered in the Massachusetts train fare system.
The EFF is appealing the decision on the grounds that the restraining order is a violation of the student’s free speech rights.
Ironically, the [...]

23 Free Social Media eBooks

I believe in open content, but I’d settle for open access until the collective consciousness catches up. This is why I love searching the net for free textbooks and ebooks.
I’ve found a couple of classics like the Cluetrain Manifesto, and New Rules for the New Economy, and by now everybody knows about Quirk’s eMarketing Textbook. [...]

Snowl - Experimental Universal Aggregator Of Tomorrow

Someone finally understood that communication can be abstracted to streams. Obviously RSS and microblogs, but Email, IM and even SMS can fit into the stream model. If Google ever buys a cellphone service provider, you can bet on adding recorded voice and IP calls to the mix.
A couple of days ago, Mozilla announced Snowl, the [...]

Pirating Is OK, But Plagiarism Is Truly Evil

Danny O’Brien made the point that copying isn’t such a big deal any more, but that plagiarism is almost universally condemned.
One reason for this could be the environment that originated the open content ethos. In an academic environment, using someone else’s work to support your own conclusions is encouraged, but using it without [...]

You Should Host Your Own Exocortex

I remember a time when it was widely believed that Internet shopping would never happen, because people were too afraid that their credit card details will be stolen. People were paranoid about their personal data.
Yet today we put our personal details on Facebook, our creative work on Blogger and send our most intimate messages through [...]

Internet No Good, We’re Starting Over

The Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) project is a research project that investigates alternative network infrastructure designs.
This is not Internet2. This is a more radical departure from established network designs, a bold experiment in seeing what is possible.
Some people might wonder what the point is. Sure, we’re about to run out of IP addresses, [...]

Steampunk from 150BC: The Antikythera Mechanism

The mechanism was salvaged off the coast of the island of Antikythera in 1900. Ever since then, people have been wondering what the heck it was for. I mean, here’s a device made in 150 BC, of a complexity that wouldn’t be seen again for a thousand years.
Early speculation on the device’s nature thought it [...]