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September, 2010:

9 Ideas of About the Internet

The Internet is one of those things that we take for granted. We do not even consider how this apparently limitless supply of information and distractions reaches our computers. Fifteen years ago a dial-up was a marvel, now we have broadband and wireless internet; and we expect it.

A funny thing happened to us on the way to the future. The internet went from being something exotic to being boring utility, like mains electricity or running water – and we never really noticed.
John Naughton: “The internet: Everything you ever need to know[^]

John Naughton in The Observer explains 9 key things about the internet that everyone should know. From the difference between web and the net, to the internet’s ability to disrupt technology, existing business models, and even laws, and the long-term effects of any revolution. This should be compulsory reading for anyone who expresses an opinion about the internet.

Internet things to know

…Tuesdays with Morrie

These brief reviews never seem to happen as often as they could. But then along comes a stand-out like Mich Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie is one of those books. I must admit that I approached the novel with some trepidation as I had seen and enjoyed the movie quite some time ago, and was not sure if this could match that experience.

As it happens, I should not have worried. This could easily have been a depressing downward spiral as Morrie gradually loses control of his body to Lou Gehrig’s disease [^], a form of motor neurone disease. Instead this is a celebration of a life and if anything a tale of defiant survival. This comes through a series of lessons taught by Morrie and reminiscences by Mitch that we can all learn from, told against a background of the OJ Simpson murder trial.

“In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? … But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.”

Thankfully the novel more than lived-up to my expectations, and it will stay in my book collection. There are so many pearls of wisdom packed into such a small volume, and it is so easy to just pick-up and read.

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom - Affiliate Link

Ginger Persons

As if we needed any proof that the political correctness movement had gone a little bit overboard, I bring you “ginger persons”.

Ginger persons

Mind you, I’m surprised that anyone is allowed to discriminate against red-headed people like this!

Photo Credit: Life in Dubai blog [^]

Monty – One Month On

Monty Garden - Sept 2010

One month after Monty arrived home. Both ears are up, and he is busy finding things to chew in the garden. We’ve had such a rainy spell and the ground is that wet that the lawn hasn’t been mowed for a few weeks. The lawn is all squelchy but at least we don’t have any flooding [^] to deal with.

Balance in Copyright

Copyright is the right to control the copying or the exploitation of a creative work. This right is designed to ensure that the creator is compensated the effort they put into creating a piece of music, literature or other ‘creative’ work. It is right that they are able to protect this right under the law, so that they have an incentive to create; a benefit to society.

Dave Post on the Volokh Conspiracy looks at the downside of extending the length of time that authors rights are protected. In The High Cost of Copyright he looks at why recently discovered jazz recordings [^] from the 1930s and 40s may never be heard. While Walter Olson at Overlawyered talks about the murky area where the creator can no longer be traced [^]. The threat of massive fines means that rather than being reproduced, or reused, and saved these items may be lost to society.

And there’s your copyright balance; what we seek is a way to give creators enough of an incentive to create, but not too much, because too much gives us, the public, too much of an impediment to actually enjoying the works that have already been created. – 18-Aug-2010 – The High Cost of Copyright

In other words, there is no point protecting something so much that you end up suffocating the very thing that you are trying to save. We need to find a balance between protecting the creator and ensuring that society has the access to material that it requires.