I just can’t resist posting this balanced overview of Net Neutrality, which I realize I’ve been writing about for years now. I still want as many people as possible to be well informed, though, so I’m plugging ahead.
Do you think the future of the Internet is crucial to our country? If so, it’s important to know each side of the Net Neutrality debate, to help get the word out, and to decide for yourself. Lifehacker, once again, provides a perfect way to do each of these things.
Rob Beschizza gives us some important perspective on the current fight between reporters at Wired and Salon regarding the Wikileaks whistle-blower chat logs.
It’s turned into quite a saga, and I’m transfixed at each step. Here’s a balanced introduction to the intrigue, which has admittedly featured bad form on both sides.
An incontrovertible question for Wired remains, however, about why they won’t confirm or deny contradictory claims by a person who is central to the story. It certainly seems as though it’s in their power to do so.
Good reading, all of it. I have the feeling that something new is taking place here, with the web and Twitter becoming the 21st Century’s journalistic battleground.
I just watched POV’s The Most Dangerous Man in America, about Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. What an amazing story to watch with all of this Wikileaks stuff going on! The contrast between the media climate of the early 70’s and today is stark indeed.
Wired Magazine features Patton Oswalt’s take on geek culture, and it’s right on the money.
I feel lucky that when I grew up and found my little islands of geekdom — sci-fi/fantasy books, comics, obscure music, RPG’s, Japanese pop culture, zines, computers — the heart of them wasn’t instantly available in full to anyone with a search engine, or already appropriated by some part of mainstream media.
The thrill of discovery, the time spent searching, and the joy in finding others who shared their own islands became an important part of who I am, and is largely gone today.
Where do we go from here? Mr. Oswalt has a solution.
I enjoy highlighting particularly exceptional or relevant articles I’ve read here in the blog, but I definitely read a lot more than I post.
After I’ve read an article or story in Instapaper that I REALLY like, I “star” it. Instapaper then creates an RSS feed of these favorites that anyone can follow. Just click the link above, or check out the sidebar on the blog page, just under my Twitter feed.
I love finding out what my friends and colleagues are reading, and hope that you find something to enjoy in the things I’ve starred.
Get in on the “ground floor” of a wonderful new webcomic by James Anderson. It’s a very funny, quirky, and quick read with a distinctive style (love the color palette), released regularly several times a week.
[via Wired, where you can get a bunch of other new webcomic recommendations, too…]
Prize-Linked Savings Plans (PLS’s) are a fantastic idea to help increase the pathetic rate of savings in the United States. The idea is simple: use our love of gambling as an incentive to save money. In Wisconsin, for example, if you put at least $25 into a Credit Union’s savings account, you can win $100,000.
How can this not be a slam-dunk? Well, it seems that PLS’s are illegal almost everywhere because the government has a monopoly on lotteries, and it has lots of incentive to be the only one to benefit from this revenue stream.
Check out what they have to say about the topic on the Freakonomics Podcast (player and print article linked above, your choice). The team provides good insight into this awesome idea (and why it isn’t being implemented). Be sure to listen to the interviews with state lottery regulators and the Treasury Department…
I predict the time will come when the wild, wooly days of the Internet’s infancy will transition into a mellower, more mature network.
There will be a layer of content floating through the usual noise, advertising, and general crap that dominates today’s online experience in which trust and truth are most valued. To add content to this layer people will be required to use their real names, and services will need to have established a name for themselves as trusted, reliable sources of information.
I’m hoping that FindTheBest.com is a step in this direction — at the very least, it’s promising. This site aggregates information from around the web on hundreds of topics that they call “apps” and presents it in a way that’s easy to use, synthesize, and evaluate. They aren’t owned by any of the places they provide information on, either (to my knowledge).
Next time you’re looking to find the best college, snowboard, eBook reader, motorcyle, etc., check this one out.
I’m always a sucker for a good free software list, and once again, Lifehacker delivers the goods with these 50 applications.
Every one of these that I’ve used is top-notch, so I imagine that the ones I haven’t used are of similarly high quality and worth checking out.
In case you’re wondering, my favorites include Dropbox, VLC, Chrome, Firefox, Google Apps, CCleaner, Transmission, 7Zip, Microsoft Security Essentials, TrueCrypt, Handbrake, Launchy, Quicksilver, Instapaper, Cyberduck, and Perian.