1.31.2001

QUICKTIME FILMS TO SEE ON THE NET:

From AdCritic.com - Superbowl Commercial: Pepsi: Kasparov - Man Versus Machine

http://63.210.62.157/qt/content/pepsi-kasparov-man-vs-machine.html


Star Wars - The Lego Edition (quicktime Star Wars trailer parody) from Brickfilms

http://www.truedimensions.com/timesage/swlego.mov

1.30.2001

SLAVES TO AN IDEA

Cyber-Serfdom By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN (From the New York Times, 1/30/01). Full text of the article may be
available at nytimes.com, registration or a fee may be required.


  ... If Davos is any indicator, there is a backlash brewing against the proliferation of
  technology in our lives...


  ...I heard a lot of new phrases this week: "device creep," "Machines don't serve us,
   we serve them," and "My identity is now less important than the data that is
  stored about me." Have a nice day...


1.29.2001

AMERICAN CYBER-PICARESQUE:

From Outlaw to Consultant By JOHN MARKOFF (New York Times, Monday, 1/29/01). Full text of the article may be available at nytimes.com, registration or a fee may be required.

  ...there may be no tale so poignant as that of John T. Draper, the mythical
  "phone phreak" who became a national figure in 1971 after being one of the
  first to discover that a toy whistle in the Cap'n Crunch cereal box could
  trick the telephone network into giving free telephone calls...


NOTED (For the hip coffee table...):

The New Yorker Book of Technology Cartoons by Robert Mankoff (Editor)

On the Internet, no one knows you are a dog, etc....126 cartoons. As an added bonus,
the book comes with a bound-in CD-ROM, so that readers can e-mail their favorite
cartoons via their computers (PC or Macintosh).

1.26.2001

NEW AND NOTED

Genometry
by Jack Dann (Editor), Gardner Dozois (Editor)

Paperback - 288 pages (January 2, 2001); Ace Books; ISBN: 044100797X

  In this thought-provoking anthology, eleven cutting-edge science fiction writers
  explore both the promise and peril of genetic engineering.

1.25.2001

NO IFS, ANDROIDS, or BOTS ABOUT IT...

Intelligent Machines Threaten Humankind
(ZDnet UK News) Tue, 23 Jan 2001 14:12:00 GMT
Will Knight

  Dystopia or utopia: There may be a calamitous menace hidden behind the glorious   possibilities of artificial intelligence.

  Science fiction has portrayed machines capable of thinking and acting for themselves with a mixture
  of anticipation and dread, but what was once the realm of fiction has now become the subject of
  serious debate for researchers and writers...

1.24.2001

NEXT? THE ANCHOVY TEST!

From Nature.com Science Update:

Mechanical taster passes cheese test


  The automatic taster being developed by Flavia Gasper at
  the Instituto Agrario di San Michele in Italy and his
  colleagues is not intended to replace human judgement
  entirely. But the team hopes it will reduce the need for
  repeatedly hiring expensive tasting panels...

1.23.2001

NEW AND NOTED:


A Brief History of Tomorrow: The Future, Past and Present
by Jonathan Margolis

  What will the future be like? Throughout history, many have tried to answer the question, but few
  have had much success. Now, with journalistic clarity and wit, Jonathan Margolis in A Brief History
  of Tomorrow analyzes the few successes and numerous failures of past futurologists, then
  explores whether modern-day predictions about the future are any more likely to be correct.

1.19.2001

From MoJo Wire - GET REAL...


It's a Real, Real, Real, Real, Real World

  Forget 'Temptation Island' and 'Survivor II.' What if reality TV were based on, well, reality?
  We unearthed one network's internal memorandum outlining some of the hottest new ideas
  for gripping television based on real life.



By Anthony Jaffee
Jan 13, 2001

1.18.2001

And we'll call it the "Brake Light," -- no! "The Stop Light!"

Scientists Bring Light to Full Stop, Hold It, Then Send It on Its Way
By JAMES GLANZ (New York Times, 1-18-01)

  Researchers say they have slowed light to a dead stop, stored it and
  then released it as if it were an ordinary material particle...


The article does not mention whether the name of love was used as a
stopping element...

1.17.2001

A funny song from NPR's Morning Edition (1-16-01):

Economy Song -- Tom Chapin and John Forster put their view of the recent trends
in the U.S. economy to music. (2:44)

1.13.2001

GM Killer Mouse Virus Sparks Bioweapon Fears-Magazine
LONDON (Reuters) - Australian scientists have inadvertently created a killer mouse
virus using technology that could be applied to biological warfare, New Scientist
magazine
said on Wednesday...
Choking on that ham sandwich - from NetFutures #116
One letter writer compliments NetFutures as a "a half-a-pound counterweight to a
five-hundred million ton machine." Too true.

A comment on ham-handed education from this issue:

   If an abstracting, purely technological mind-set treats sentient creatures
   as nothing but mechanistic "units of production" (as factory-farmed animals
   are often called), it should come as no surprise to find that same mindset treating
   its own children, for example, more and more in the same way -- with
   increased, standardized testing to ensure a standardized product; the
   elimination of literature, music, and the other arts in favor of ever-
   earlier academics in a misconceived effort to ensure a more
   technologically proficient population; and the doing-away with recess and
   playgrounds, as is now occurring in many states and cities, to make room
   for more intensive, high-confinement, academic hot-housing of children,
   themselves viewed increasingly as future "units of production."


    - Douglas Sloan, FACTORY-FARMED PIGS: FURTHER THOUGHTS

1.10.2001

Luddite Gift Guide (Net LuGG): from Flying Pig, the perfect gift for luddites:
human-powered, animated paper sculptures. Go to their website if only to see the
animated gifs. Models include:

      Surfin' the Web
      Mexican Peck
      Flying Pig
      Ruminations
      Impatience
      Exercising Fool

"A quirky range of unique card and paper moving models. Our animated automata make unusual gifts
for all the family and with free shipping anywhere in the world..."

1.08.2001

Bigfoot? Calculate Your Ecological Footprint
A very basic questionnaire to calculate a quick and relatively accurate Ecological Footprint for an
individual living in the US. There are 13 questions divided into 3 sections (food, transportation, and housing).
How many acres of the earth are required to support your lifestyle? Is that your fair share?

A quiet little lesson from Redefining Progress.
Because progress is more than money changing hands. That's why...

1.07.2001

Good Luddites (and Neo-luddites) buy their books at independent bookstores.
To find an independent bookstore near where you live or wherever you travel, go to BookSense.com
and use their nifty zip code store search. And while you are at it, check out the latest BookSense 76,
a list of recommendations from independent bookstores.

These people read books, they don't just push them out the door.