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

Archive forFebruary, 2005 | back to home

28 February 2005

I have mostly been blogging over at the Media@LSE group weblog – tonight I am blogging from the LSE itself where I am at an event about The Fall and Fall of Journalism – featuring one of my supervisors, Prof Robin Mansell.

25 February 2005
Filed under:Humour & Entertainment at9:46 am

Remember “Life”:http://abc.net.au/science/holo/lablife.htm – one of the only game-like things you could do with early computers? Someone has updated the idea and come up with a Zombie Infection Simulation. Silly but amusing…

23 February 2005
Filed under:Positive uses of technology at12:49 pm

“Wired”:http://www.wired.com/ provocatively suggests that if we are going to crack global warming we need to go Nuclear Now! I’m inclined to agree – we should be investing in better energy saving practices first, working to improve the economic viability of renewables second but given the projected growth in energy demand – primarily in the developing world – I can’t see an alternative to working on better, safer and more efficient nuclear power plants. There are problems with them of course but the known problems with conventional coal powered plants are much worse…

18 February 2005

Aaron Swartz pointed out that the “isnoop.net gmail invite spooler”:http://isnoop.net/gmail/ has over 1.5 million invitations to distribute. Just visit it and get your own. It’s really useful!

15 February 2005

The BBC helps Shropshire-based Andy Close to propose (on streaming video) to the New Yorker who he met on the Internet. Several of my friends met this way and so far it has worked out well for all of them. Hope it does for Andy too!

8 February 2005

I just installed more iBook RAM (bought it from the US for half the Apple preinstall price) and managed not to break the machine (thanks to Apple’s commendably detailed instructions).

P.S. If you don’t know what 31337 meant check out “The Jargon Lexicon”:http://jargon.watson-net.com/jargon.asp?w=elite and browse around…

6 February 2005
Filed under:Academia,Best of blog.org,Personal,Weblogs at12:21 pm

If you are an academic – particularly one in my field – please check out the Media @ LSE Group Weblog, follow the link to my thesis proposal then return to the groupblog and let me know your thoughts.

2 February 2005
Filed under:Gadgets,Personal,Software reviews at10:53 am
  • On the good side – it looks lovely (both the hardware and the OS) and was really straightforward to set up – particularly the networking bits. However…
  • Providing the iBook with a base 256Mb of RAM is ridiculous – it isn’t enough to do any real multitasking. Running Firefox, Fire (for instant messaging), OpenOffice and “Blinkx”:http://www.blinkx.com/content/mac.php (a new hard disk indexing program) slows the machine to a crawl. It surely wouldn’t have added that much to the cost to ship with 512Mb as standard, especially since there is only one spare memory slot.
  • OpenOffice for the Mac is a dog – and to be fair the OO team almost admit as much. Unfortunately progress towards a proper OSX version appears to have “slowed dramatically”:http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/.
  • AppleWorks is similarly irritating. It is at least MacOS look and feel compliant but if you want to use it to work with Office files you have to open AppleWorks, change the open file dialogue to allow you to open non-Appleworks files, then work on the file and “save as” back into the file’s original format – every single time. And I don’t trust it not to mess up my formatting.
  • If I can mount an FTP server and I give myself full rights why does the Apple network software insist that the server be read-only? Is there any way around this? For some reason I can’t mount my Windows PC using the normal Windows file and print sharing.
  • Whose bright idea was it not to include a “forward” delete key on Mac notebooks?

I don’t want to leave things on a sour note – I am pretty hopeful that once I receive the additional 512Mb of RAM I ordered and I get ahold of MS Office my user experience will improve dramatically…