Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

A community of the enslaved

April 6, 2009

You’re never going to get together with any of these people for coffee. They’re too busy, and you’re too busy, and the miles are too vast. You probably want to Friend them because you want to rake or shovel or eat alongside them. Instead you have to rake or shovel alongside the cantankerous guy who bought the house next door and who does not give out Halloween candy. Facebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends and family, provided you do so by sending short wisecracks to one another through a digital hole in the fence.

And not to be a downer, but with Facebook about to become our chosen portal through which the marketplace defines and communicates to us as consumers and ultimately citizens, that metaphor could only darken. We could all end up feeling like cellmates passing each other notes through a crack in the prison wall. If we keep retreating to more screen time as an answer to our disconnectedness, and if the civic glue of commerce keeps moving toward organizing us by our virtual networks, Facebook is at risk of becoming little more than a community of the enslaved. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Paul Scott

(Hat Tip: Journey Something)

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Online overkill – week of March 30

April 4, 2009

Good, bad, annoying or overhyped, these are the items that set my RSS reader on fire this week.

John Calipari. Living in Kentucky, you’d think a different JC had shown up this week to replace the Messiah from two years ago who was tarred, feathered and run out of town by the most obnoxious college basketball fans in America.

Lance Stephenson. Haven’t you heard? He’s born ready. For way too much media hype. This New Republic article cuts through a lot of the crap.

Glenn Beck admits he’s wrong. Whatever. What are Rush and Sean up to these days?

C Me Dance trailer. Boy, does this movie look awesome or what? I stayed away the first five times it popped up in my RSS feed, but I sure am glad I finally took the time to watch it.

Sarah Palin calling for a Senate re-election. As annoying as the liberal hatred of her can be, she deserves it for advocating that a guy she previously said should drop out of the race get a do-over in a race he lost fair and square.  An Economist.com blog appropriately called the move a “new frontier in sore loserdom.”

The hug heard round the world. The first-lady hugged the Queen of England.  Awesome. I hug my wife every day when I get home from work.

Understanding Twitter

April 2, 2009

Twitter seems to be, first and foremost, an online haven where teenagers making drugs can telegraph secret code words to arrange gang fights and orgies. It also functions as a vehicle for teasing peers until they commit suicide.

Dan Kennedy, writing at McSweeney’s

Happy Fake News Day

April 1, 2009

This being my mom’s birthday and the first of April, there is plenty of fake news popping up around the Web that shouldn’t be taken as Gospel. Not to mention fake blogs like one I presume to be false that a Mac-loving friend posted about his conversion to Windows.

You won’t find any elaborate April Fool’s Day schemes here, but have you heard the Guardian newspaper is switching over entirely to Twitter? Or that a guy in England has come up with a way to make his car invisible?

6-year-old cell phone hater

March 31, 2009

“Get off your f**kin’ cell phone…Get off your f**king cell phone NOW!!!!”

-A 6-year-old girl I encountered walking and talking on my cell phone on Bardstown Road in Louisville yesterday.

Online overkill – week of March 23

March 28, 2009

Good, bad, annoying or shady, these were the items that made frequent appearances in my RSS reader this week.

Obama’s Teleprompter. The right-wing teleprompter meme has been played up so much lately, the electronic note card machine has its own blog. The blog is kind of funny, even if making fun of a president for having prepared remarks seems a bit strange.  If the great communicator Ronald Reagan used a teleprompter, why can’t Obama?

Where The Wild Things Are trailer. Part movie tease. Part Arcade Fire music video. Spike Jonze’s worlds colliding, the video was everywhere this week for good reason.

UConn in hot water. A Yahoo! Sports story Jim Calhoun flippantly dismissed as a blog entry couldn’t have hit at a better time – for maximum exposure’s sake. It’s not something you wouldn’t actually want to read in a RSS feed though – way too long for that.

John 3:16 sign snagged.  The original Bannerman, Rollen Stewart is in jail for doing for holding a maid hostage in a hotel room, but his famed John 3:16 sign antics live on. Not if this security guard has anything to say about it though.

The death of Culture11. Culture11 was a short-lived conservative Web site modeled off of Slate Magazine. It received a thoughtful eulogy in the Washington Monthly recently and sparked some interesting conversation about conservative media in places like Patrol Magazine.

Mass media’s end

March 26, 2009

Mass media reaches its natural end-state when we broadcast our lives rather than live them.

Nicholas Carr

Twouble With Twitters

March 24, 2009

Twitter, in a nutshell.

Laughably inefficient newsprint

March 23, 2009

Not that it’s anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead.

Nicholas Carlson

(Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan)

DVD Fail

March 20, 2009

Unlike some of the haters, I happen to think a cache of 25 of the most revered American films is a fitting gift for a visiting prime minister.

But if buying the top 25 films on the American Film Institute list wasn’t lazy enough, we now get the news from over the pond that President Obama’s people didn’t even bother to get DVDs that would actually play in British PM Gordon Brown’s DVD player.

How embarrassing.