Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The looting of the US.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. Now, as regulators commit far more money while refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return, some Congress members are calling for the Fed to be reined in.

WTF? (My emphasis)

More ...
I wonder what *exactly* is the purpose of "retro-roleplaying" when you can pick up originals on ebay for like two quid.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What is RjDj?
Mr. Tweet is social network analysis bot you access via Twitter. Simply follow it and it searches your network for influential people.


Though it's not necessarily obvious that just because a lot of people I follow are following someone else, I also need to be.
Back in 2003 or something I predicted a tele-presence teddy. Now MIT seem to be making one.
OK ... prompted by Kaunda, I succumbed. My LastFM radio station.
Awesome Facebook visualization : Project Palantir

Sunday, November 23, 2008

OrangeCone's UI advice for the device-swarm.
This is incredibly nice. A weird mix of post-dubstep sensibility substituting reggae heavy bass for a laid-back G-Funk vibe. (It's got a hell of a lot of bleeps and glitchy abstract rewinds but also R'n'B flava.) Rekordah provides lots of squeezed synths and chip-tune riffs over the crunky beats.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tim O'Reilly :
This is the future of mobile: to invent interfaces that throw away the assumptions of the previous generation. Point and click was a breakthrough for PCs, but it's a trap for mobile interface design. Right now, the iPhone (and other similar smartphones) have an array of sensors: the microphone, the camera, the touchscreen, the accelerometer, the location sensor (GPS or cell triangulation), and yes, on many, the keyboard and pointing device. Future applications will surprise us by using them in new ways, and in new combinations; future devices will provide richer and richer arrays of senses (yes, senses, not just sensors) for paying attention to what we want.
Note the new poll in the right gutter.

Genuine question. What do you think?
Shamefully, the right-wing media continues to blame unionization and high-wages for the problems of the car industry. (As opposed to, say, economic crisis, oil, entanglement with finance industry, over-specialization on gas-guzzlers etc.)

Here's a good debunking.
Jean-Francois Nobel is organizing a The Future of Money conference in Mexico City.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Record breaking data
iPhone occarina
After thinking a bit, I support the UK government's new proposal to prosecute men using "forced" prostitutes.

Yeah, it's hard to prove one way or the other whether someone is "forced" eg. by circumstance such as drug addiction. And it raises interesting questions about responsibility and agency (ie. if a prostitute can't consent to sex if she's motivated to pay off her addiction, why is a burgler responsible for a robbery if he's motivated to pay off his addiction?)

But nevertheless "forced" is where you'd like to draw the line. All the cases where prostitution is justified will fall on the "unforced" side. Ignorance is already no defence if, say, you're receiving stolen goods, so why should it be different if you're having sex with enslaved women?

Of course, I think that the corollary is that brothels where women are "unforced" should be legal. (Which would further protect sex-workers.) This shouldn't be seen as a step towards the total ban on prostitution.

And personally, as with other currently criminal activities (such as supplying heroin) I believe that brothels should be legalized but only as non-profit organizations or workers' co-operatives. In other words they should be legal and allowed to provide income for their workers but not provide profits to non-participating shareholders or include too much structural incentive to "grow" the market.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TopThoughts is a kind of (IMHO) "best of" my writing in various places over the last 5 or 6 years or so.

It's not finished yet.
The influence of Robert Peston (BBC's financial guy) in the market.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I wonder if I can import my StackOverflow rating into my CollabFinder profile.
Dave Winer bothers to think about Detroit.
What kind of excuse is this for someone handing out legal advice?

Lord Goldsmith said his critic was "entitled to his own legal perspective".

"But at the time and since then many nations other than ours took part in the action and did so believing that they were acting lawfully," he said.

It either *was* legal or it wasn't. But "everyone else was doing it too" is wholly irrelevant!

Update : by coincidence, the Captcha for this blogpost is "fangs".

Monday, November 17, 2008

Victor Keegan in the Observer :

If there are any doubts about the seriousness of the internet moving into three dimensions, then look to China, which is planning a series of different virtual worlds able to host not tens but hundreds of millions of avatars. The idea is to attract people (as avatars) from around the world to come and buy Chinese goods more cheaply from source. In this way they plan to capture the value added to a shirt that leaves a Chinese factory for a dollar but is sold in London for $20. Since the West is virtually - sorry, actually - living off this 'value-added' revenue at the moment, our manufacturing base already having emigrated to China, the economic implications are ominous.
Oh .... yeah ... I'm in the UK

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gets worse ... less than 24 hours to go we're back to square one for taking our stuff to UK. :-(
Just a note. It's amazingly problematic and expensive to fly a couple of hundred Kg of "your stuff" around the world.