December 2009 Archives
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
The cute subtitle “Zombie Kitten Apocalypse” of this superb short video belies the video’s troubling vision of violence, dying, and reanimation. Since George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living dead, zombies have largely been represented as vulnerable only to cerebrocranial trauma. The kitten zombies of Meow are not so easily destroyed, and the video’s serial depiction of suicide-and-reanimation illustrates the despair and sublimity of perfect mortality giving way to flawed immortality.
Friday, 18 December 2009
The decision favors the La Martiniere group and fines Google €300,00. The primary complaint of La Martiniere is that the scanning of copyrighted works should be compenstated since Google makes money from those scanned works by selling advertising. The New York Times explains
As electronic readers gain popularity and online libraries expand, companies and governments are keen to learn from the mistakes that the film and music businesses made when their content moved online.
I fear that the lesson publishers think they are learning is how to keep their content locked up rather than how to make digital versions of their content available to their customers.
Customers want digital versions and would likely pay for the privilege. Book publishers have a natural barrier between their products and digital distribution in that the market has not yet developed a widely-accepted digital standard for books. Ebooks of all types are still niche products whereas the Compact Disc format developed by Philips and the DVD format developed by Toshiba became standards overnight.
Google offers a bridge to such a digital standard but like the music and movie publishers before them, book publishers seem to want to stop the distribution of digital versions of their works. Book publishers don’t seem to care if Google exposure increases customer awareness of their products and drives non-digital book sales. They seem only interested in preserving things as they were before 1998. This decision in France shows the failure of (French) book publishers to even recognize, let alone grasp, the opportunities presented by digital distribution.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Useful as it is, StretchText is surprisingly unpopular. At the time of this writing, the English language Wikipedia entry for StretchText devotes fewer than two hundred words to explaining what it is, which is basically this:
That bit of stretchtext» above is at the heart of the zombie bibliography I began last year. On that page, stretchtext's ability to facilitate information discovery without disrupting orientation is apparent.
Stretchtext has the ability to introduce supplemental information to readers while enabling them to hold their places, an important feature for text that requires long attention spans. But if stretchtext is potentially useful for electronic academic reading, one of the things delaying/preventing its adoption may be the aggressively homely and obstinately idiosyncratic implementations of stretchtext.»
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Compiled from publicly-available Internet-accessible data to simulate what it’s like for people trying to learn about climate change online. Finds that sourcing counterarguments to climate change skepetics is appalingly difficult.
The resulting infographic and data sets may help “the casual, curious reader” make better sense of it all.