Webometric Thoughts

December 10, 2007

TechCrunch v. Lessing: I’m with Lessing

Filed under: Doris Lessing,techcrunch — admin @ 10:15 am

According to Technorati, TechCrunch is the 3rd ranked blog on the web, but if all its posts meet the standards of its recent attack on the Nobel prize winning Doris Lessing, then it will quickly be falling down the ranking. This is not a quality piece of citizen journalism, a good reflection the democratisation of communication, it is dishonest technological-jingoism relying on quotes taken out of context and pointless insults.

Whilst the post at least has the decency to reference Lessing’s speech in its entirety, how many visitors to the TechCrunch post will bother reading the original text?

Rather than asking us to do away with computers and the internet or claiming they make us ignorant, in fact she describes them as ‘amazing’, she is merely asking us to think more about the effects of a fragmenting culture and increased specialisation. The ‘ditherings of an ignorant old woman’ as TechCrunch’s Duncan Riley would have us believe, or just crap journalism?

Eee PC: I never had this much trouble with Windows

Filed under: Eee PC,RM minibook — admin @ 9:37 am

Whilst everyone else seems to be doing really exciting things with their RM Minibooks and Eee PCs, I somehow managed to completely crash mine at the weekend with it refusing to restart properly. I must, however, admit that the problems only occured after I had played around with the settings and messed about with downloading millions of bits of software.

Luckily I didn’t lose any work, and on the brightside:
-The Eee PC’s factory reset is brilliantly quick and simple, a couple of minutes and it was as good as new.
-I now have a much better idea of how to use Linux.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend that people deliberately crash their RM minibooks, I must say that the minibooks are a great opportunity to mess about with Linux with few problems with resetting the system.

December 7, 2007

Fascism: When does education become propaganda?

Filed under: Wikipedia,fascism,free speech — admin @ 9:59 am

A German politician, Katrina Schubert, has filed charges against the German Wikipedia site over use of Nazi symbols. Whilst Nazi symbols are allowed for educational and artistic purposes in Germany, they are otherwise illegal. Whilst the politician has been criticised for failing to grasp the “self-regulating mechanisms that work in Wikipedia”, it is far better to question these mechanisms than blindly trust in the so-called wisdom of the crowd. In my experience too often the web 2.0 crowd includes a disproportionately large group of, for want of a better term, geek-survivalists.

When the geek-survivalists provide wikipedia with the specifications on every computer there has ever been, it can be useful. However, every single episode of Star Trek is sad, every gun there has ever been is concerning, and every intricate detail of an evil regime can be ghoulish. Whilst we can accept the pathetic excessive details of the Star Trek pages, and may even put up with the love affair with guns, if wikipedia does find itself straying into the realms of ghoulish fasination with an evil regime then it needs to be brought to account.

Whilst Schubert’s colleague’s criticism that “Right-wing extremism on the World Wide Web cannot be tackled via national criminal proceedings”, it is nonetheless a good place to start and encourage a wider debate.

December 5, 2007

Not everyone is happy with "Comes with Music"

Filed under: DRM,Nokia,comes with music — admin @ 9:33 am

Whilst I am personally looking forward to Nokia’s “Comes with Music” (although I’m not sure why as I never listen to that much music), not everyone is so happy. They seem to be having a right old whinge over at Engadget:

-Obviously ‘free to user’ is not the same as free, otherwise the record labels wouldn’t make any money, but the $5 “monthly tithe” on all handsets will be barely noticeable to the average end user.
-Of course the stuff will be “slathered in DRM”, what do you expect for $5?? Unlike the majority of bloggers I have no problem with DRM, as long as the limitations are CLEARLY STATED before purchase.

December 4, 2007

Nokia’s Music Explosion

Filed under: Nokia,comes with music,internet radio — admin @ 9:22 am

Over the last couple of day’s Nokia have gone a bit music mad. Yesterday saw the release of Nokia’s Internet Radio application, whilst today sees news of a “comes with music” program that enables people to buy a Nokia device with a year of unlimited access to millions of tracks (currently Universal music group but talks ongoing with other labels). Whilst the iPhone has been grabbing the headlines as (supposedly) THE multimedia device of the year, these moves make it clear that Nokia isn’t going down without a fight.

Whilst I am personally thrilled by the simplicity in now getting internet radio on the move (and very grateful for getting an unlimited data package), and wouldn’t be adverse to the prospect of unlimited access to songs of my choice, I must admit to being slightly apprehensive about the increased use in public places by those with little thought to others. Already the public arena seems to be filled with people playing their music for everyone to hear, and if people have more they can listen to, it seems logical that they will play more.

What I would really like to see rolled out with these music packages is the rolling out of a campaign to get people to be more thoughtful of others when playing their music/mobile tvs.

December 3, 2007

In defence of the second-level domain name

Filed under: PhD,Triple Helix,domain names — admin @ 10:07 am

In Stephen Fry’s latest blog post he argue’s against the use of the second-level domain name in the UK (e.g., co.uk, gov.uk, plc.uk…), but whilst he may write elloquently on numerous geeky subjects, on this point he is talking absolute rubbish. It should also be noted that whilst he supports his arguement with reference to other domains which don’t utilise second-level domain names, he simply chooses to ignore those others that do (e.g., New Zealand).

The utilisation of second-level domains has many benefits:
- It allows for a far larger number of meaningful URLs.
- It provides an indication of the type of site.
- It can provide an indication of the trustworthiness of a site’s information, and the legitimacy of the site.

Most importantly it also formed the backbone of my PhD research into Triple Helix relationships…without which the world would be a much poorer place!

December 1, 2007

Wii Fit out in Japan

Filed under: wii fit — admin @ 10:42 am

Wii Fit is out in Japan, but the rest of us will have to continue the long wait. By the look of wii fit I would expect it to continue the wii’s appeal amongst the traditional non-gamers (myself included).

Who would have guessed that gameplay would win out over better graphics and sound?

Can we blame the fast-food companies for the West’s delay in getting Wii Fit? …and possibly sue McDonald’s if we get rubbish Christmas presents instead?

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