25 April 2003
I think I finally know what my problem is. I'm always trying to boil the ocean in my Times columns...
10:53:52 PM  #   your two cents []
On the other hand, people could just learn a new language and see all the pleasures and cultural insights that can bring... IBM hopes to break through the babel. Researchers at Big Blue are working on technology that would let travelers and others talk into a handheld that would translate and speak aloud their comments. [CNET News.com]
8:01:21 PM  #   your two cents []
Dyke strikes out at US media. The BBC director general warns the government not to allow the "Americanisation" of the British media. [Guardian Unlimited]
7:57:07 PM  #   your two cents []
Journalists grilled over theft of Iraqi treasuresUS questions journalists and soldiers returning from Iraq after Fox News worker was charged with smuggling paintings out. [Guardian Unlimited]
7:54:08 PM  #   your two cents []
Ballmer: No sleep lost over Linux. Microsoft's CEO talks about the software maker's bid to gain a stronger foothold in corporate data centers, and he discounts the threat presented by the Penguinistas. [CNET News.com]
7:53:03 PM  #   your two cents []
See, blogging IS good for something!! Bank's response 'down to weblog', says customerAbbey National customer credits weblogging for the satisfactory response he received in his dispute with the bank. [Guardian Unlimited]
7:52:17 PM  #   your two cents []
Today's silliness, from Boing Boing Blog: Two SWA pilots have been canned for getting nekkid in the cockpit.
The pilots involved are appealing their termination, sources say. They contend that one of them removed his uniform after coffee was spilled. A flight attendant saw them after being summoned to the cockpit to bring paper towels and soda water.

Southwest is treating the episode as a prank that went too far.

While the incident occurred on a Boeing 737 in flight, there's no implication that safety was breeched. And a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says there's no specific prohibition against flying naked.

7:49:19 PM  #   your two cents []
Judge says file-swapping is legal. A federal judge in Los Angeles hands a stunning court victory to file-swapping services Streamcast and Grokster, dismissing much of the studios' lawsuits against them. [CNET News.com]
7:47:17 PM  #   your two cents []

 The William Gibson interview. As promised, click away for the full interview [free] or here, for the Times [sub only], from my meeting with Gibson on Tuesday. If you buy the Irish Times, you'll get a nice big picture as well! Here's a taster. Hope you enjoy:

Does he write with a techie readership in mind? "No, not at all. I'm actually frightened of those people because they'll see through my thin skin of techie stuff," he laughs. "The tech stuff is actually easier to do if you know less about what's going on."

He sees the technology bits as "the shabbier parts of the narrative because the technology is bullshit. I write it as elegantly as possible so that the reader gets the sense that they're in the hands of an author that knows. But I actually know little." He chortles. "Enough though, that I can see the forest for the trees."

He recalls a favourite anecdote of how, in the early 1980s, he showed the Neuromancer manuscript to someone he knew in the computer industry: "He said: 'This is impossible.' I asked why and he said: 'Because there couldn't possibly be enough bandwidth for this to exist.' Well, I didn't know what bandwidth was, so I thought, I'm doing it anyway."

However, he does acknowledge that he likes to gratify the technolust of a certain kind of reader.

"Bits of it are for a certain techie person. Bits of Pattern Recognition are almost. . . pornographic. Actually, they're suggestive, highly suggestive. But you never really know what's going on."

9:59:47 AM  #   your two cents []
Linux founder opens door to DRM. Linus Torvalds posts a message saying nothing in the basic rules for Linux should block developers from using digital rights management technology. [CNET News.com]
9:46:38 AM  #   your two cents []
Generation gap. Economic dispatch: Excitement about 'third generation' mobile phones is ebbing away, says Victor Keegan. [Guardian Unlimited]
9:45:19 AM  #   your two cents []
Orange prize shortlist goes for the big names. Books: Three literary big-hitters dominate the Orange Prize for Fiction shortlist, announced today. [Guardian Unlimited]
9:44:42 AM  #   your two cents []

From Jamie Smyth in the Irish Times [sub required]: "Eircom signed up more than 1,000 new high-speed internet customers in the first week following the launch of its consumer digital subscriber line (DSL) product. The firm also handled 5,000 calls inquiring about its new service, suggesting there is strong pent-up demand for consumer DSL products in the Republic."

9:43:09 AM  #   your two cents []