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April 2007

09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

THE MPAA is trying to ban the fairly public HD-DVD processing key from the internet. That would be the number 09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0 that has helped me in mashing up DVD content. The hex number also appears in song lyrics, on coffee mugs and on t-shirts. The MPAA is trying to suppress the dissemination of this number, which is causing a Streisand effect. The number was mistakingly published on the internet by the Advanced Access Content System. If lawyers needed any reminding, sending a cease and desist letter under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act often guarantees an eternal flame to the material in question. But we knew that already.

Brad Stone -- "In Web Uproar, Antipiracy Code Spreads Wildly"

Should earbuds be banned

IN SOME EXAM settings, I have seen students insert earbuds to block road noise. When those earbuds are attached to an MP3 device, something more might be happening. Those students might be listening to snippets of our educational podcasts while taking an exam and that might not be a good thing. Our educasts often answer exam questions, point-by-point. In effect, the earbuds could provide an easy way to write answers to exam questions. It's a trend in many schools worldwide.

Continue reading "Should earbuds be banned" »



Friends, The state of Discipline of Children in the Western World is in CRISIS! We all see it every time we go to a restaurant, ride a plane, or go into a convenience store: Young people totally out of Control! And who's to Blame? Certainly not the immature Youth, unready for unbridled freedom with no experience to guide him.

No, the Blame lies squarely with today's Mothers and Fathers who abdicate their Duty to Police the behaviour of their very own children!

Order Now! Operators are standing by!


Blogging Guidelines

DURING 10 YEARS of reading blogs and through 5m page views on blogs and discussion boards I've edited or moderated, I've been asked for pointers about best practise for organisational blogging. Managers want to read effective blogging guidelines. At the outset, two problems often emerge. First, some people erroneously assume that companies can effectively impose a top-down blogging mentality on staff. It's as though they cannot trust their staff so management decides what needs to be said at the top and those at the bottom say it. That won't happen in the blogging world. Blogs rarely carry pipes of the same information. Blogs offer the plumbing for memes to percolate and ideas to emerge on the back of the process. Second, some people believe they can roll out a blogging solution and that everyone will jump aboard. Not likely--if my attempts at imposing blogging as a third level continuous assessment task are an indicator. Some people will only read blogs and they will never write them. Others will thumb through posts and make occasional comments. Still others will discount a paragraph of mainstream press if it's sourced on a blogger's opinion.

And there's more to consider.

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Flickrblockr Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Image from Web Archive

UNNERVED BY happy snapping tourists who shoot your image and then publish it to Flickr without your permission? Does everyone you know have a cameraphone? Are you sick of finding pictures of yourself on the internet? Are you annoyed by the way your eyes look? Are you awkward in front of the digital lens? Then get yourself a set of Flickrblockrs and stride around public spaces impervious to CCTV and citizens with snappy cameras. A durable set of Flickrblockrs includes sturdy horn-rimmed glasses with rigid black construction paper affixed to the front. All for $9.99.

Order now: via Cool Hunting.

Part of Bernie Goldbach's censorship link collection.

Yahoo Local Delivers Results

Very Bailey ChristmasSEVERAL TRIPS to European cities have shown me good results delivered by Yahoo! onto my mobile phone screens. I've searched for bistros in Paris, museum operating hours in Berlin and watertaxi timetables in Venice. Yahoo! delivered all those results better than any other mobile search service and Yahoo! often provides a very relevant image near the top of the text results. The relevant images, when delivered near the top of the search results, help identify shops from across the street or offer clues for unfamiliar taxi drivers. Recent "real user" search engine studies suggest my experience is not an isolated example. PC World tested 55 services in six categories: general (text info), video, mobile/local, news, images, and blogs. The goal was to simulate how "real people" searched, so no special commands or modifiers were used. Yahoo's index performed better than Google in many cases. And consider something the search engine optimisers already know--Yahoo mines local information through its cross-indexing of Flickr images. You can push up local content by accurately tagging images or deliberately skew results by misidentifying photos by name or geographic location.

Jeff Bertolucci -- "Search Engine Shootout"
Chris Sherman -- "Google Bested in Search Shootout"
Image of Bailey Hotel in Cashel that you find when asking for "Cashel Bailey" on Yahoo! Google does not return the venue's web site at the top of its results.


Playing Loose with the Numbers

I DON'T BELIEVE Ireland's first city-wide hotspot is Carlow, mainly because it's not really city-wide. Many Irish towns like Carlow have rings of fibre under their pavements so it's good to find a use for that fibre.  On national news and through several industry mailing lists, Carlow announced that it's wifi all around. Not yet. Carlow's Wi-Fi network covers only half of all businesses and no more than 10% of homes in Carlow town.

John Kennedy has the facts on the roll-out.
Damien Mulley -- "Enet are bigger than Jesus"
Michele Neylon -- "Carlow Goes WiFi"