Saturday, December 18, 2004

Making Music

In the new TEKKA, Ed Ward writes about the confrontation between the music industry, the downloaders, and the people who make the music.

This whole file-sharing fracas has been in the news, ever since I got back, and it's good to see someone who doesn't just assume that music is something they make and you buy. It's good, too, that someone understands the world is bigger than the nearest shopping mall.

I especially like his point distinction between kids and connoisseurs. People act as if the everything turns on what Japanese preteens think is kawaii, because all those preteens shop the same way. But it's a big world: even in the village, we used to get CDs and videos. We'd all gather in Kestrel's house and watch Tom Cruise together. And yes, there are a lot of Japanese preteens, but there are a lot of villages in this big old world.

And, however far I went, I never got beyond video night.

That's one big difference, though: we'd watch and listen together. Not many iPods and personal videos in the village.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Pardon Me

Very slowly, haltingly, a white highlighted block of text scans through a dictionary for the right word. It reaches the letter p, and soon enough, two letters appeared as a sentence on the top of the screen, "Pardon Me."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The End of Men 2!

The news at NPR are really amusing these days. Here is another End of Men article - Making Sperm, No Men Necessary. This study is a gem!

(By the way.... notice that this study is lead by men.... talk about being self destructive!)

Monday, December 13, 2004

End of Men?

Take a look at this article: As Y Chromosome Shrinks, End of Men Pondered. One can only hope, I suppose? The very last thing I'd want in my life right now is a guy. Antonia invited me over to do this online dating thing a few days ago, but... even 20 minutes of that was more than enough for me to validate my impression of men: they're a bunch of needy, impossible, self-important puddles of flesh.

Their profiles all sound the same. They want a woman who would look just as great in a black, sexy little dress as she would in jeans and sneakers. Would Coco Chanel see a contradiction here?

This study is a sign from God.... Check it out!

Some geneticists think the Y chromosome is now little more than a genetic wasteland that will eventually just disappear. If that were to happen, it would certainly spell the end of sexual reproduction.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Peter Pan

Peter Pan is a popular character these days. The new movie "Finding Neverland" has received great reviews.

In TEKKA's Here be Matches, Elin Sjursen uses Peter Pan as a metaphor for her experiences in online dating:

In the beginning, looking for love online felt a little like entering Peter Pan's Never Never Land, where dreams are born and time is unplanned. Tapping the keyboard lightly, my fingertips brought a seemingly endless number of tall, dark, smiling knights to the brim of my screen. Here were my matches: compatible males of all shapes, sizes and colors. At first sight, utopia came to mind, but online daters quickly realize that this is where their searches begin, not end.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Digital Libraries

JoDi's Volume 5, Issue 3 is all about Digital Libraries and User Needs.

Sunday, December 5, 2004


TEKKA 7 is nearly out! Ed Ward writes about the music record industry:

Cliché Number Three states that the record companies have now suffered so much financial damage at the hands of file-sharing that their future is imperiled. Plummeting sales, caused by Internet piracy, have made the major record labels trim their rosters, putting artists out of work, causing tours to be abandoned, and making it necessary for them to lay off huge quantities of staff.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Simple Bits

Mike Cederholm's new book, Web Standards Solutions, has arrived in bookstores. Check out Cederholm's weblog, Simple Bits -- especially the nifty, tiny icons.

Icons are a favorite topic over at Widgetopia, too. For example, here's a comparative study of 300 images from 1800 sites, And here are 50 ideograms from AIGA.

Sunday, November 7, 2004


This morning, enjoying a coffee at a cafe, a father with two kids sat down at the table next to me. The boys began running around with much ado and sound, fetching coffee bags from the shelves to "buy", chatting loudly and tripping in people's computer wires. At one point, a student with an expensive laptop politely asked the father if he would mind swopping tables with him, so that his wire would be out of the way for the kids. "Well! I am not sure if having wires around here with the kids is a very smart thing to do," the father said, not wanting to swop tables, adding that the student could just unplug instead. Or pack away the computer entirely.

The student stared at him with his mouth open and people turned their heads to see what was happening. One of the kids seized the opportunity of his father being distracted and ran out the door. "HEY!" the father screamed, running after to catch this little body of mischief, but now kid #2 saw his opportunity, climbing up the barrista's desk, helping himself to 5 paper cups. Someone next to me leaned over and whispered: "Don't you feel as if you're watching an episode from the Simpsons, too?"

The kids were cute and innocent enough, but it occurred to me, having spent some time away from this country, that parents here have become very liberal in their child rearing. Were kids this wild in the past? I read a very interesting article, written by a "liberal parent" on this.

We good liberal parents have brought up a generation whose members think of themselves as outside or beyond the social fabric. They have never had to worry about anyone other than themselves, and Voilà! they don't.

Now, this has me worried. What about my own daughter. How was she raised? What was she like at this age? What would I have been like as a father? Would I have enjoyed being a parent?

This feeling of being something I have never experienced is incredibly confusing.