Friday, January 16, 2004

Google logo museum

Marsarific Google!.

I love how Google changes their logo, and I just noticed that today's has the Spirit rover and Martians!! I saved a copy of the image here in case it's gone by the time you go look. So good.

Update: reader Chris T. writes to point out Google's holiday logo museum, which I wasn't aware of. The rover logo isn't in there yet, but I imagine it will be added.

[megnut]

So simple, just 6 letters, and yet they do such neat things with them. I especially like how they did the 50 years of DNA logo although my favourite is Einsteins birthday.

16/01/2004 08:01 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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The Corporation

The Corporation. Several people have mentioned the new documentary "The Corporation". It was screened at the 2003 Vancouver International Film Festival. It is premiering in a few theatres in Candada around now. Read the review, it is very cool.
A lot of documentaries get a rise out of their audience. Some even invoke social change, or at the least some serious reflection upon our place in the world. But I can safely say I've never seen an audience so moved, en masse, to explore actual social activism on a grand scale as the audience who watched this three hour masterwork. The first standing ovation I've seen delivered at the Vancouver Film Festival was not only deserved, but also very long, and what followed the screening overshadowed even that outpouring of emotion.

The Corporation could never have been made in the USA. It took a Canadian team to put this work together, and it'll take far more than legal threats and intimidation to kill it. An almost three hour look at the past, present and future of corporations as a business entity, you'd be forgiven for rolling your eyes and giving the thing a miss if you only had a loose synopsis to go on.

But where this documentary matters is in the details - the nasty, disgusting, gory details of what the corporation has done to this world, what it's doing today, and what we can expect it to do tomorrow if we don't get our freaking act together.

The extreme right 'love it or leave it' crowd are no doubt already starting to yell "Lefty propaganda," but this isn't an Anti-Bush attack on all things capitalist. This isn't hippy rhetoric or new age spin or a call to the communes. It isn't hoity toity technospeak or boring talking-head PBS filler. What The Corporation is, is a healthy dose of well-researched, deeply explored, stunning information that can not possibly leave you, as an audience member, in any condition but stunned, dismayed, and outraged.

Maybe you know it all already. If you're like me, you read the papers, you know who's buying who and that the unstoppable bulldozer of globalization is hurting a lot of people. If you're like me, you're disgusted that TV news has become a wrestling match to decide which party has the best 'spin', and you might have even learned enough about global politics to be sick to death of what you're seeing in the world today.

But The Corporation will teach you things you never dreamed of. it will change you. It will ruin your day, but give you reason to get up in the morning - determined to make change.
I can't wait to see it, and I hope it somehow manages to get wide distribution, even in the U.S. I have no doubt it will play in the theatres here in France. Even Noam Chomsky shows in regular theatres here.

And for the record, I think corporations should be banned ASAP. Not business, not free enterprise, not groups of people doing things together, but the corporation as an artificial legal person. [Ming the Mechanic]

I'm with Fleming on this. Corporations should not have the legal status of people. They especially shouldn't have the protections without the responsibilities. If a corporations conscience is it's shareholders then, as we have learned, we are all in big trouble.

After watching a number of long mass market pics over the last few years I have made a pact with myself not to go watch over long films (i.e. longer than about 1hr40m). I broke it to go see LOTR III and heartily regreted it. So few films are worth the discomfort and fewer yet justify 3 hours of my time. But I think i'd go see this.

16/01/2004 08:18 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:

Operational mess? or Strategic blunder?

"The yellow light is flashing". Matt Drudge says Wesley Clark's statements to Congress in September 2002 made the case for war in Iraq, but the transcript proves otherwise. [Salon.com]

I went to the congress site and read some of the transcript, statements made by Richard Perle and also the Wesley Clark. I think what I read is very interesting. Clark not only doesn't make the justification for Bush's Persian distraction II, he argues cogently against it. Here is the relevant part of the transcript:

But, the problem of Iraq is only one element of the broader security challenges facing our country. We have an unfinished worldwide war against al Qaeda, a war that has to be won in conjunction with friends and allies, and that ultimately will be won as much by persuasion as by the use of force. We have got to turn off the al Qaeda recruiting machine. Now some 3,000 deaths on September 11 testified to the real danger from al Qaeda. And, I think everyone acknowledges that al Qaeda has not yet been defeated. As far as I know, I haven't seen any substantial evidence linking Saddam's regime to the al Qaeda network, though such evidence may emerge. But nevertheless, winning the war against al Qaeda and taking actions against the weapons program in Iraq, those are two different problems that may require two different sets of solutions. In other words, to put it back in the military parlance, Iraq—they are an operational-level problem. We have got other operational-level problems in the Middle East, like the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Al Qaeda and the foundation of radical extremist fundamentalist Islam, that is the strategic problem. We have got to make sure that in addressing the operational problem, we are effective in going after the larger strategic problem.

I think his key points are:

  1. We have got to turn off the al Qaeda recruiting machine.
  2. Winning the war against al Qaeda and taking actions against the weapons program in Iraq, those are two different problems that may require two different sets of solutions.
  3. We have got to make sure that in addressing the operational problem, we are effective in going after the larger strategic problem.
It seems to me that what is happening in Iraq is a complete reversal of these points, and not for the better.

16/01/2004 08:51 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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ETCon'04 - We won't be there

ETECH is coming up..... O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference....

O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference…

Posted Jan 15, 2004, 6:54 PM ET by Judith Meskill

O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference — taking place at the Westin Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA, Feb. 9-12, 2004 — will have a Social Software track. This promises to be an excellent event with a broad spectrum of notable speakers that includes (but is certainly not limited to): Helen Greiner - iRobot Corp., Cory Doctorow - EFF, Lili Cheng - Microsoft Research, Gilman Louie - In-Q-Tel, David Sifry - Technorati, Joichi Ito - Neoteny, Elizabeth Lawley - Rochester Institute of Technology, and, of course, Tim O’Reilly - O’Reilly & Associates. [The Social Software Weblog]

This is the key event of the year.  We're gonna party like is USED to be 1999.

I'll be there - sponsored by Laszlo Systems and I'll be giving a :05 minute talk on FOAF and the PeopleAggregator.

But clearly the most exciting event will be the field trip to TJ and the House of Mole.  Something not to be missed.

[Marc's Voice]

Anyone out there want to sponsor three Europeans with a kick-ass new RSS based collaborative knowledge organisation tool to go to ET'04?

16/01/2004 08:57 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:

Curiouser & curiouser re-design

I was getting tired of the look of my weblog so I decided, on a whim, to change it. I'm using a customised version of one of Bryan Bell's older themes Movable Radio: Blue.

I like the clean lines of this design, and with a little fiddling have got most of my customisations in without breaking them. I actually think many things work better in this design and I like the fact that I have somewhere to put my blogroll.

16/01/2004 16:30 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:

Feedster top-100

Feedster's top 100 list.

Feedster is keeping a separate list of "top 100 feeds." Weird, I'm #4 on that one too. I'm very honored that so many people subscribe to me.

[The Scobleizer -- Geek Aggregator]

I'm somewhat shocked at how few subscribers any of these blogs have. I'm assuming this must be from a limited subset of data.

16/01/2004 18:38 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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C#.NET soap call

Can anyone point me at a page which will teach me how to use Visual Studio .NET 2003 and C# to make a simple SOAP call?

16/01/2004 19:42 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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What's $6.9 trillion between friends?

Interesting article about the US national debt. Interesting because it explains some of the economics of, and differences between, private and public debt which I did not previously understand.

16/01/2004 20:14 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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The generic Dog

Not wild enough. Although Generics already introduce more flexibility when referring to type there are times when you "want to leave the type parameter unbound". [java.net java.net Daily Update]

Is List a subclass of Collection - all this and more!

16/01/2004 20:36 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Beyond discipline

Rewards and punishments teach selfish manipulation: "Whats in it for me?" "Can I avoid being caught?" In Beyond Discipline (p. 22), Alfie Kohn quotes eighteenth-century philosopher Immanuel Kant:

"If you punish a child for being naughty and reward him for being good, he will do right merely for the sake of the reward; and when he goes out into the world and discovers that goodness is not always rewarded, nor wickedness always punished, he will grow into a man who only thinks about how he may get on in the world, and does right or wrong according as he finds advantage to himself."

[Ming the Mechanic]

Another great find by Fleming

16/01/2004 21:00 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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