Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fox mantra

Since my car's CD player died I've been reduced to grubbing through dusty boxes of old cassette tapes for my entertainment on the move. In the player now is a C-90 I ripped (yeah, yeah, we didn't call it that back then, did we?) a couple of Depeche Mode albums to. Side A "Some Great Reward", Side B "Black Celebration". So I get to the end of the second side, and there's the closing track, New Dress, from 1986.

The whole song is as relevant now as it was twenty years ago, but the chorus could serve as Rupert Murdoch's mission statement:
You can't change the world
But you can change the facts
And when you change the facts
You change points of view
If you change points of view
You may change a vote
And when you change a vote
You may change the world

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Preach it, Bertie!

Bertrand Russell: "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

Shorter Bertrand Russell: "We are so screwed."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Speaking as an IT professional...

[The correct pronunciation of the ellipsis above is "derisory snort".]

...I subscribe to various online newsletters from Computerworld which link to articles on their website, where I see today that Experts debate: Is DRM good or bad for consumers?
DRM, which allows copyright holders to control how customers access content, could lead to new pricing models favorable to consumers, said James DeLong, a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF), a conservative think tank. For example, instead of paying $30 for a new book, consumers may soon be able to pay $3 for a digital copy that lets them read it once, he said.
That would be the book that I can get from my public library for, uh, nothing? And read anywhere over the next three weeks? (Though if it's a new release I might have to pay, say, three dollars to have it for a week.)

Then there's the question of what "read it once" means. Can you flick back a couple of pages to refresh your memory of what Myrtle Knibb said to the butler when she found the razor blades in the guacamole? Silliness.

There was a time when booksellers tried to shut down libraries, in the 18th Century. We haven't come far at all.

P.S. When I cut-and-pasted the quote about, I didn't actually note the words "conservative think tank". Imagine my surprise.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Say Cheese

Digital cameras are nigh universal now. You can shoot video with sound for a pittance. Cellphones and PDAs have megapixel and better resolution.

Carry one at all times. If anything happens at the polling station - record it. There is absolutely no excuse for any shenanigans not to be recorded for posterity from half a dozen angles.

And while you're there, don't forget to vote.

Addendum-diddle-um-diddle-um-dum-dum: Well fancy that.