22 April 2003
I really need this for my next dinner party (even if 'pneumatics' are giving these guys a few problems)... And geez, I never knew there was such a market sector as the Dark Amusement Industry. My life is clearly too sheltered.
11:25:37 PM  #   your two cents []
Forget the Pulitzer. Dan Gillmor wants to introduce the Murdoch.
11:07:23 PM  #   your two cents []
Will code for food. If you want to know just how grim the scene is for the unemployed information technology worker, attend a tech job fair in Silicon Valley. [CNET News.com]
11:05:48 PM  #   your two cents []
From the Big Music Still Don't Geddit Dept: Record labels sue Napster investor. Universal Music Group and EMI Recorded Music file suit against venture capitalist Hummer Winblad, saying the company facilitated copyright infringement for financial gain. [CNET News.com]... If they put a fraction of the amount of money they spend on lawyers and suing college students on paying some innovative, smart people to come up with new, net-based music models, they'd have moved way oh way beyond such stupidities as this long ago (and saved their greasy bacon as well).
11:03:45 PM  #   your two cents []
Recycling not easy for PC makers. Companies like HP and Dell are becoming more involved with recycling their machines. And they're seeing how hard it is to deal with the products Silicon Valley produces. [CNET News.com]
11:02:25 PM  #   your two cents []
Apple tunes up for April 28. That's the date CNet is tipping for the launch of an Apple music service and new versions of the iPod. [onlineblog.com]
11:01:50 PM  #   your two cents []

 Just back from a lovely hour and 45 minutes with one of my favourite writers, William Gibson. With the sun streaming in through a window behind a mushy sofa, we talked everything from writing novels to September 11th to tech to utopias/dystopias and of course, his blog, http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/blog.asp. The resultant article will run in Friday's Irish Times and I will post it here as well.

I hate to say it but it looks like one of the reasons a reading didn't happen in Dublin is because of the Irish Times limiting the events it supports these days. I'm not sure why a sponsor wasn't sought elsewhere. Gibson clearly likes getting out to meet readers and to do readings, and is genuinely disappointed not to have been able to do that here. Since he didn't come through Dublin on the tour for his previous novel, All Tomorrow's Parties, it's been a good few years since readers have had a chance to Meet Da Man.

He's a delightful person to talk to, and I think Pattern Recognition is one of his best works, maybe his best. My favourites are Idoru and Neuromancer and it's right up there with those. But Pattern Recognition pushes into new places and is doing new things. It's utterly Gibsonesque -- smart without being glib, wry without being jaded, hip, funny, gritty, totally unpatronising of its characters and readers. But, as he says himself somewhere on his blog, it stretched and stretches him. We're in the present, not the future, and that's in some ways a harder place to write about. He does it in a way no other writer does it, out on the edge of things.

And Pattern Recognition is, in all the best possible ways (excuse me, but I must be blunt here) jacking-off material for geeks. Steganography, Echelon, crypto, Mac iBooks and Cubes, the NSA, digital watermarking, Curta calculators, obsessive net bulletin board communities. It will elicit little gasps of quiet pleasure all the way through. Highly recommended. And by the way -- boy, is William Gibson tall! I am 5'8" and was wearing 3" heeled boots, and when we stood to shake hands before I left, he unfolded out of the couch to still stand well above me. A tall soul to keep tethered, too, as he wanders the globe (hint -- if that sounds weirdly Californian: read the book!).

2:57:23 PM  #   your two cents []
No news to anybody with an email address -- I am now averaging more spam than email and I get a fair amount of email, in between press releases and correspondence. Argh: Internet Is Losing Ground in Battle Against Spam. In the cat-and-mouse game of e-mail marketers and those trying to stop them, the spammers are still winning.  [New York Times: Technology]
10:03:17 AM  #   your two cents []
Web Survivors Seek Wall St. Interest. Can the dot-coms still standing reclaim the attention of analysts still employed? Stay tuned.  [New York Times: Technology]
10:01:42 AM  #   your two cents []

Danny O'Brien. Hee hee!...:Don't preach: Madonna floods the P2P networks with an MP3 of her saying "What the fuck do you think you're doing?". To quote the Wombles, making good use of the things that we find. [Oblomovka]

10:00:56 AM  #   your two cents []
From Boing Boing: A Stanford student does a gender analysis of the Silicon Valley bar scene. Time to move, gals!
Although ratios varied widely from one bar to the other, I found that on average, in the cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View, the male to female ratio was about 5 to 3. More precisely, I found that the ratio was about 62% men to 38% women (95% confidence interval for men = [59.46%, 64.54%]). These ratios differed widely depending on the type of bar that was surveyed, and were sometimes as high as 3-to-1.
Link [Boing Boing Blog]
9:59:29 AM  #   your two cents []
 A vertical keyboard -- reviewed here!
9:56:22 AM  #   your two cents []
Useit.Com: Low-End Media for User Empowerment. "Almost every Web usability study we've ever conducted found that low-end media forms are superior to high-end media forms. Even the few exceptions to these findings confirm the phenomenon underlying low-end media's superiority: users want to be in control." [Tomalak's Realm]
9:52:18 AM  #   your two cents []
Propaganda or journalism?. Congress believes a U.S. government-run TV network can deliver independent news to an Arab audience -- and make them like us, too. [Salon.com]
9:49:52 AM  #   your two cents []
The Napster backlash. When Savenapster.com founder Chad Paulson decided that the file-trading pioneer cared more about money than artists, he stunned the company by changing sides. An excerpt from "All the Rave." [Salon.com]
9:48:46 AM  #   your two cents []