Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forMay, 2003 | back to home

31 May 2003

As the BBC reports, The Countryside Agency’s latest survey indicates while 95% of urban households have access to affordable broadband internet services, only 7% of rural villages are connected. In remote rural areas, this figure is just 1%.

I would be surprised however if this included some of the newest potential approaches to cracking this problem, like wireless broadband mesh networks or broadband via balloon.

30 May 2003
Filed under:Weblogs at2:20 pm

And a multitude of other household uses. Register with Voicemonkey and by calling an American number you can automatically leave a voice message on your weblog, add voice messages to your email, add voice messages to personal ads etc. Of course it’s quite possible to do something similar if you have an Internet connected PC, microphone and suitable web setup and knowledge but the creator of this service aims to make it very easy to integrate and of course being able to use it from anywhere as long as you have a mobile makes it rather more versatile. Best of all, at the moment it is free of charge to use at the moment. Later there will be a phone number you can call free in the US and a sliding scale of charges to use the service.

Just for fun I thought I would do a bit of manual audblogging myself (launch recording application, convert file to MP3, upload, create and test link) to see how long it took. Of course I have broadband which helped but altogether it took me just a little over six minutes including testing the link – and three of those minutes were used in practicing to make it sound OK. Have a listen!

I wrote about another such service, Audblog (which charges) back in February.loan unsecured after bankruptcypay 24 day loan hour2 loan unsecured personal 25loan plan 401kpayday 9 payday loan simple loancredit loan equity bad home acash las loan advance vegasadvance loan cash cash paydaypayday loan check advance15 payday 10 loan and

28 May 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (World) at1:05 pm

I don’t claim to know the underlying science but if we could get away with having that much sugar in our diets, I would be surprised. It seems the big sugar companies have been putting pressure on the World Health Organization not to preach that sugar should be no more than 10% of one’s diet. Mind you, I can’t see how an ordinary person can tell just what percentage sugar is in anything you eat – apparently this means “don’t eat sugar more than four times a day” – but what about fizzy drinks? What about food that contains some sugar but isn’t sweet per se?

Anyway, it seems from the subsequent WHO press release they were not intimidated.

27 May 2003
Filed under:Spam at6:18 pm

Earthlink, the US’ third biggest ISP won $16.4m damages and a permanent injunction against someone who sent 850 million unsolicited e-mails via its service. It’s not the first time either – they won $25m in a similar case last year. Sadly, it’s like stepping on ants trying to get these people wiped out…15000 signature loancash advance washington dc loanloans $40000 student2006 student loan interest deduction taxhome loans accentcash loan ambassadorcredit a loan ok vacation badloan 20-year home equity$400 deposit loancapital disadvantages loan advantages of and

26 May 2003

Here’s a fascinating transcript of an interview on Fox TV’s The O’Reilly Factor with a man whose father was killed on 9/11 but who signed an anti-war ad. According to Harpers where I first read it, after the interview O’Reilly said to Glick “get out of my studio before I tear you to f*cking pieces.”fu movies kungstrapon lesbian moviemature lesbian moviesthemes mp3 moviefree movies nudemovie porn forummovies scuba quicktime divingpreviews movie sexmovies scenes in hollywood sexhollow movie sleepy

25 May 2003
Filed under:Personal,Weblogs at10:11 pm

The first lengthy review of my weblog I have seen has appeared on The Weblog Review. I am pleased to hear that the reviewer, Wendy, says “David’s a good writer and typically knows his facts” but a little chagrined that she “was expecting something huge, something that would just jump out at and scream. I didn’t really find that here.”

Oh well – keeping this updated daily takes me a surprisingly long time even though individual entries are often quite short, and the time I spend on it is (at least in theory) at the expense of other work so I guess I’m resigned to having a weblog that is not quite as useful or interesting as I would like it to be. I suspect if it was more personal and perhaps more strongly opinionated I could get more readers, but I was burned once before years ago by some over-frank remarks that were read by the wrong people so I will stick to being informative and/or entertaining in the areas I cover and you will only get the occaisional innocuous glimpse of my personal life.

24 May 2003

I really enjoyed the original film and am just about to go see the sequel. Here’s:

LaterI just saw it and didn’t think much of it I have to say. It’s hard to get excited about fight scenes no matter how virtuosic if the hero is never in any real danger and you can only get a frisson of excitement from having your head messed like The Matrix did once – now that the pattern is established it has become dull.

Jesse Walker wrote a review on his weblog that hit the nail on the head, ending with this amusing riff:

My fantasy for how the trilogy should conclude: After learning that absolutely every level of reality is just another matrix, The One shrugs his shoulders and walks off the film set. A digital camera follows him across the street to a lecture hall, where a professor is denouncing metafiction and declaring postmodernism a literary dead end. Keanu’s cell phone rings: It’s his agent. We hear them chatting about how much they’re making from all that Matrix tie-in merchandising. Then the wall collapses and the cast of Blazing Saddles falls into the lecture room, throwing pies.

23 May 2003
Filed under:Academia,Old media,Personal at1:39 pm

If all goes according to plan, in three years or so I will likely become a lecturer in that much-maligned subject, media studies. An article in The Times does not fill me with hope of bringing enlightenment to keen young minds, however. A correspondent who taught a journalism course at Thames Valley University (an ex-polytechnic, I believe) found standards not high:

Of nearly 60 students, only a couple had ever picked up a broadsheet. A handful occasionally bought the Daily Mail and Evening Standard. About a dozen read The Sun and Daily Mirror — and the news pages were invariably skipped through in favour of showbiz and sport. The most popular daily newspaper turned out to be the freebie Metro…

…One student thought that Scotland’s biggest city was Newcastle. Another reckoned Russia’s currency is the dollar.

There is a small upside, however – “Over the past six years, the number of British students accepted on to media studies university courses has risen by nearly 50 per cent”. So there should be plenty of room for advancement!

Filed under:Security and encryption at1:31 pm

An experiment by a security company reported by The Register revealed, “Nine in ten (90 per cent) of office workers at London’s Waterloo Station gave away their computer password for a cheap pen” – or at least they gave away what they claimed was their password.

One interviewee said, “I am the CEO, I will not give you my password it could compromise my company’s information”.

A good start, but then the company boss blew it. He later said that his password was his daughter’s name.

‘What is your daughters name?’ the interviewer cheekily asked.

He replied without thinking: “Tasmin”.

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21 May 2003

Still going strong after 20 years. I didn’t realise that while it has declined somewhat it is still quite healthy – “At its peak, around 1997, there were more than six million terminals in use, and payments worth about $750m passed through the system – roughly equivalent in size to the entire US e-commerce market at the time…” and 4.8m of the original terminals are still in use generating $500m of business. But that doesn’t count the 4m people who have downloaded an Internet-based emulator. And it has a future as well – by the end of the year Minitel will run on GPRS-enabled mobile phones. Ironically its low tech interface will make it ideal for phones and (though they don’t mention it) digital television.

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