Friday, December 14, 2007

Steroid Baseball and Jackass 2.5

Wikipedia asserts...

"There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase often credited to P.T. Barnum (1810 – 1891), an American showman. It is generally taken to mean that there are (and always will be) a lot of gullible people in the world.
However, when Barnum's biographer tried to track down when Barnum had uttered this phrase, all of Barnum's friends and acquaintances told him it was out of character. Barnum's credo was more along the lines of "there's a customer born every minute" — he wanted to find ways to draw new customers in all the time because competition was fierce and people bored easily.
Emphasis mine...

Whether you characterize them as 'suckers' or 'customers' H. L. Mencken hit the proverbial nail on the head... "
No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Just as sure as Paramount Studios is releasing Jackass 2.5 somebody will get the bright idea to sanction Steroid Baseball. Just look at what the entertainment industry has done with rasslin'.

Coming soon to a television stadium near you... Step right up ladies and gentlemen, see the mighty Slugger with the 42" biceps... He can hit that pill a country mile, step right up!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Open w00t

December 12, 2007
'w00t' Crowned Word of Year by U.S. Dictionary


"w00t," an expression of joy coined by online gamers, was crowned word of the year on Tuesday by the publisher of a leading U.S. dictionary.

Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster said "w00t" -- typically spelled with two zeros -- reflects a new direction in the American language led by a generation raised on video games and cell phone text-messaging.

It's like saying "yay," the dictionary said.

"It could be after a triumph or for no reason at all," Merriam-Webster said.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Enough!

Open Bemoaning

I followed Boyd back through Scoble all the way to Gates (sorta)...
to hear the moaning and bemoaning of corporate software initiatives and the relative 'sexiness' of them... SHEEEEESH!!! Give us a break! Can't you guys hear the paradigm shifting? It is not corporate software or the individual as a group or even sexiness!

People have just begun to wake up to what their real computing needs are.

The personal computing revolution will not be televised, streamed, meme'd, podcast or blogged... the PC revolution will be live ... lead by little children carrying OLPCs. People are waking up to the fact that they do not need HUGE personal computers running BLOATED software.

People are realizing the Google's Documents & Spreadsheets are all they really need. Businesses large and small are beginning to understand that we are not headed for a paper-less environment. We are headed for a paper-paradigm-less environment. As long as applications and programs were/are designed to render a final product on paper we are stuck in the paper-paradigm.

There are two great examples of this paradigm shift. The first of course are web browsers. Their final 'product' is not designed to be rendered (printed) on paper. So web browsers and by association web sites do not have to conform to the paper-paradigm.

Lotus Notes in my opinion is another great example of the paper-paradigm-less computing environment. Very early on criticism was leveled at Lotus Notes that its e-mail interface was built on a poor word processor. I argued then as I do today that Lotus Notes was never designed to be printed on paper. I found that if I left my e-mail messages inside Lotus Notes they formated perfectly. It was only when I tried to print them on paper that the formating appeared to change. I attribute this concern about format change to a deep seated paper-paradigm expectation. As soon as I moved away from that expectation I was able to accept Lotus Notes formating as it is. As it should be - in its native digital form.

Now I realize that I have dragged you the long way around the barn to get to this point but... people are beginning to realize that they don't need paper-paradigm computing applications or platforms. I am confident that we will see a new PC revolution, albiet a very small form revolution, with the advent of the small-form laptops.

Coming up next: In my next post I will offer up the paper-paradigm-less challenge.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Human Rights Day (Reprint)

From Global Voices Online...

Happy Human Rights Day

Today, is International Human Rights Day and while this is good cause for reflection (and depression) about the terrible state of affairs in the world, there are also some remarkable victories to celebrate. Activists around the world are finding new, innovative ways to use technology to tell their stories, and fight back against censorship and oppression.

Yesterday, six Global Voices bloggers on different continents participated in a conference call with Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, and Gra├ža Machel. You can listen to an audio recording of the conversation here (thanks to Preetam Rai).

These heroes of human right have recenltly joined forces with Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and eight others in a new group called The Elders. And they are asking the world's bloggers and citizen media activists to help them in their campaign to make human rights more relavant to individuals around the world.

A new campaign

The Elders new online campaign, Every Human has Rights is aiming to get as many signatures as possible on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On openDemocracy's women's rights blog, 5050, I wrote:

… Desmond Tutu said he would like to see “a billion” signatures on it. I wonder how many have even read it? Considering the enormous mailing lists of organizations like Amnesty International, UNICEF, Action Aid, and other who are partnering in the effort, it shouldn’t take too long to reach the first million signatures. But 1 billion signatures? Has that even been done before?

Open Headlines

From Datamation

Headlines I Never Expected to Read

Warning sounded over 'flirting robots'

Microsoft pulls plug on potty-mouth Santa

How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook

Your Computer Thinks You're Lazy

Cops: More Smoke Toad Venom to Get High

White House Mum On Destroyed CIA Tapes*

* Just kidding. This one's no surprise at all.

Posted by Chris Nerney at December 10, 2007 01:47 PM

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Open Silence

Silence should be put on the endangered list.

We live out in the county. That is a way of saying 'out in the country' or 'out in the sticks' or 'out in the boonies'. Sure the road out front is two-lane blacktop. And yes, the "highway" that is half a mile away is two-lane blacktop as well but out here at the 12 Mile marker we are about as far away from things as a body can get. Why, any farther away and ya'll start gettin' closer to somethin' else. If you get my meaning, if ya'll catch my drift...

So I made a point of pausing the most excellent work of The James Quintet. That leaves only the chiclet clicking of this laptop's keyboard and the rhythmic ticking of the two battery driven clocks that are in audible range. If you open your mouth slightly (improves the acoustic resonance - lets you hear better) you can make out the low rain slick whisper of the occasional car on on the highway.

Returning from town this morning after dropping my eldest off early I absentmindedly reached to turn on the car radio. I thought to myself how comforting it would be to hear the familiar NPR Weekend Edition. Then I stopped (not the car) and asked just why is it so comforting?

Certainly it is familiar - like hearing from an old friend. It is part of my vehicular ritual - listening to NPR during my regular morning and afternoon commutes. I also noted that the sound of the radio covers a multitude of niggling little 'road' noises - those little audio reminders that I am driving a 10 year old car that really wants a little more TLC than it is receiving.

I occurs to me there is one other reason, one personal pressing reason that I want something on the radio, something comforting. I really don't want to be left in my own personal silence. I don't want to have to listen to myself. I don't want to hear what I truly have to say.

If sound were a drug I would be the worst kind of junkie. Jonesing when the music isn't playing. Getting the shakes and the delerium tremins when the TV isn't on and blaring. (How about those odd moments when the TV is on but the volume is off?) Heck fire, I've even taken to talking to myself just to fill up the silent spots.

Now I am curious. Just what would I say if I would just shut up and listen.

Say "Yes!" to the James Quintet

Sometimes it is so few words

Thank you Betsy Devine ...

Our mother’s belief system, summed up in four lines: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.”

. . .