Microlog entries posted in January 2012

A response to Sean Sherlock’s Drivetime interview on Ireland’s SOPA
Someone needs to be challenging Minister Sherlock (and the rest of the Dáil) on these matters directly. That Radio 1 interview made a hames of it, IMHO: he simply wasn’t confronted with all the facts. #   ·

Ireland’s SOPA to permit three strikes; TDs asked to debate something they haven’t seen
Incidentally, adds TJ McIntyre, the move contradicts the minister’s own Programme for Government which states that “The situation can no longer be tolerated where Irish Ministers enact EU legislation by statutory instrument. The checks and balances of parliamentary democracy are by-passed.” And they say trust in government is rising? Not with me it isn’t. #   ·

Ireland and EU to sign controversial ACTA treaty
This is what happens when politicians think they know what they’re signing, but don’t understand its wider implications. #   ·

Marco Ament on ‘the next SOPA’
The web censorship bills might be shelved for now, but will no doubt return in this or some other form — unless there is an aggressive push for campaign finance reform, and a recognition that unless we stop giving money to the MPAA et al, they will keep coming back. #   ·

Why SOPA and PIPA Must Die
Waxy.org’s Andy Baio on his personal reasons for opposing the web censorship bills. Also: Matt Haughey outlines how they could be used to silence important web resources such as MetaFilter with a chilling story. #   ·

Dan Gillmor: Stop Sopa or the web really will go dark
The journalist and author of We the Media fame makes the case in The Guardian for net neutrality and electronic freedom (be sure also to check The Guardian’s SOPA page). #   ·

A SOPA/PIPA Blackout Explainer
Wired’s Threat Level blog lays it all out in point-by-point form. #   ·

You Say You Want a Devolution?
“Since 1992, as the technological miracles and wonders have propagated and the political economy has transformed, the world has become radically and profoundly new. (And then there’s the miraculous drop in violent crime in the United States, by half.) Here is what’s odd: during these same 20 years, the appearance of the world (computers, TVs, telephones, and music players aside) has changed hardly at all, less than it did during any 20-year period for at least a century. The past is a foreign country, but the recent past—the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s—looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History.” I’ve been saying this for years! Finally the world is catching on [c/o Fimoculous]. #   ·

AV Club primer on autobiographical comics
Love this. I dig Joe Sacco’s style in particular; those who criticise him for being biased obviously don’t understand the concept of activist journalism or reportage. #   ·

What Editors Think of Writers
The biggest surprise for any new writer/journalist/whatever is when an editor corrects their work. It’s not about ‘taking away their voice’; it’s always about bringing out the best in the writer, and polishing it up nice for the reader. In my own experience, the most precious about their writing were the worst writers. #   ·

No Copyright Intended
“Remix culture is the new Prohibition, with massive media companies as the lone voices calling for temperance. You can criminalize commonplace activities from law-abiding people, but eventually, something has to give.” I half agree with this; remix culture (fan edits, supercuts, etc) is one thing — and a good thing at that — but the apparent misapprehension of copyright among young people (that it’s just a means of attribution, not of protection of artists’ livelihoods) is another matter entirely. #   ·

What Good Is Google+ If My Friends Don’t Use It?
I’m still figuring it out. The free Picasa photo storage is a very nice addition, though. #   ·

Umberto Eco: ‘People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged’
Remind me to read more Eco please. I’ve only read Baudolino, and that was years ago. #   ·

The Complicated Ethics of the Unborn
“Human cloning… has proven especially troubling, ethically. The bans are fascinating, because they are effectively saying ‘we don’t know how to unravel the ethics of human cloning, so please don’t confront us with the problem.’” #   ·

One thousand diners: Britain’s biggest restaurant opens
Say what you want about gluttony, poor quality, etc: what the farmers’ market/street foodie crowd doesn’t get is that it’s about bang for your buck. I love the richer textures and flavours of superior produce, but it doesn’t half cost a bomb. Give me a cheap all-you-can-eat buffet with a gazillion choices any day. #   ·

Visualising Ireland’s public data. I wish they would make more of an effort to advertise these things; it would educate the public better as to how Census information is applied and for what purposes. #   ·

Irish Palates, Enticed by Other Carbs, Are Losing Their Taste for a Signature Starch
I don’t know why people are so hung up over spuds. Get baby potatoes and steam them and they’re ready in no time, and you don’t lose as much of the nutrients either. #   ·

Compute it yourself
“The only way to get the sense of a fully hackable world is to dive in.” Great primer on getting started with the tangible internet (Arduino, etc). #   ·

Hugh Grant’s 10 myths of tabloid journalism
Following his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry. He’s right, too. #   ·

A boilerplate framework for web projects. They could do with a better description, as who the hell knows what ‘production code’ is supposed to mean? Is ‘web’ a dirty word now? #   ·

The Sketchbook of Susan Kare, the Artist Who Gave Computing a Human Face
Shame this piece doesn’t reflect on the devolution of icons in the iPhone/iPad age: there’s so little consideration of semantics anymore, how do you know what you’re clicking on or touching? #   ·

“Sometimes the stories are the science…”
On the importance of video prototyping. They’re on to something here; people want/need to see how new things are used. #   ·

In Brief: Who Rules the Rules?
On how game rules (and laws of the land, for that matter) that lack contextualisation often result in a diminished experience. #   ·

What’s on Leonardo Da Vinci’s “To-Do” list?
Dude was a multitasker, that’s for sure. #   ·

A Guide to the Occupy Wall Street API, Or Why the Nerdiest Way to Think About OWS Is So Useful
An interesting way to look at it. #   ·

The Manhattan Grid extended to every point on Earth. I’m at 59,233rd and 9,160th. #   ·

.net’s top 25 books for web designers and developers
I like the broad selection; it’s not all hardcore technical nonsense. #   ·

Simple Comic
A neat comic reader for the Mac. Best one I’ve used, actually. #   ·

A movie camera that shoots on any 35mm photographic film (if you can get it). #   ·

Jim Romenesko: How I Ended Up Leaving Poynter
The man himself puts the criticisms of the site and of his recent contributions to it in perspective. #   ·

We know who [Johnny] Depp is, thank you
On the overuse of square brackets when editing verbatim quotes. #   ·

This page is a reverse chronology of Microlog entries by MacDara Conroy published in January 2012. You will find many more in the Archives.