Joho the Blog » 2008 » January

January 31, 2008

Debate chat (not any more)

Wanna chat about the debate, realtime style? irc://irc.freenode.net/debatefest …

LATER: We had a good time. Maybe next time I’ll post about this before the event. In any case, the chat room is now an ex-chat room, gone to meet its maker, joined the heavenly choir, having a kip, etc.

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Berkman shames and invites

The Berkman Centers StopBadware.org today listed RealPlayer 10.5 as badware.

And in almost the same breath, the Center today announced its 10th anniversary conference, May 15-16, at Harvard. It’ll be a splendid, wide-ranging conference followed by a gala party. You’re all invited.

But not you, RealPlayer! You should go to your room and think about what you’ve done!

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Also at the busy, busy Berkman Center: The first installment of a guide to the law for citizen media creators. Why, you’ll learn enough to be able to sue yourself … and win!

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TSA blogs, and the populace, disarmed of their 2″ Swiss Army knives, responds

Kudos to the TSA — the airport security folks — for opening up a lively blog.

As the first poster, Kip Hawley, says (and you can read about all the bloggers here):

One of my major goals of 2008 is to get TSA and passengers back on the same side, working together. We need your help to get the checkpoint to be a better environment for us to do our security job and for you to get through quickly and onto your flight. Seems like the way to get that going is for us to open up and hear your feedback…

And if there’s any evidence required that the public wants to engage, that very first post — a mere welcome message — has gotten over 300 comments so far.

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Who’s Gore For?

Why hasn’t Al Gore endorsed one of the candidates yet? Is he holding back because he thinks there’s still room in the race for him?

PS: Ralph Nader Who? [Tags: ]

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That’s a ton of video

Says a Center for Media Research Brief:

According to a recently published market report from AccuStream iMedia Research, user Generated Video (UGV) scored 22.4 billion views in 2007, up 70% over 2006.

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Free Public Wifi explained

David Pogue points to a TechBlog post that explains why we keep seeing “Free Public Wifi” listed on available wifi networks. No, it’s not a fraud. No, it’s not a hoax. Yes, it is maybe the stupidest Windows thing ever. As TechBlog says, it’s viral without being a virus. Or, maybe it’s a virus that is all symptom.

In any case, I’m glad to have this clarified at last.

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January 30, 2008

Thank you, John Edwards. (Go Obama!)

CNN reports John Edwards is out. I’m saddened by this because I liked Edwards on the issues and themes — we need to be talking about class and poverty. The Democratic race was better for having him in it. And I’m proud that I had a chance to contribute a tiny, tiny bit towards his Internet policy.

And I could tell you what my issues with Obama are — mainly about the inevitable collapse of a policy process that thinks it’s going to find shared “great American values” among people who really, really disagree. Between pro- and anti-Iraq war folks, the only shared American value is the belief that Britney Spears needs to take a rest.

Nevertheless, I feel a sense of liberation now, because Obama touches me in a way that Edwards did not, and, btw, in way that Howard Dean did not. (It’s a different story when it comes to (1) Elizabeth Edwards, who I find truly charismatic and hope-giving, and (2) the Dean campaign, which was amazing.)

I have to look back to being a high school kid handing out leaflets for Bobby Kennedy to find the same sense of hope that Obama inspires in me. In part, I think, it’s the pure youth of the candidate. My generation had its chance and produced Bill Clinton and He Who Needs Forgetting. Time for us to pass on the baton, as quickly as possibly. And, in part it’s the sense of common cause, common enthusiasm, and common hope across this country’s class and race lines. It’s awe-inspiring and oh so best-of-America to be out in streets dappled with so many colors.

Then there’s this: With McCain the likely Republican candidate, it’ll be character vs. character. And in that matchup, Obama is by far the Democrats’ best choice.

Go, Obama! And thank you so much, John and Elizabeth. [Tags: ]

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January 29, 2008

Accidental journalism

As we we’ve continued to talk about citizen journalism and citizen media, I’ve come to think there may be a class of citizen journalism that could be an important part of the new ecosystem: Accidental journalism. Or possibly it should be called incidental journalism. Or may be accidental/incidental coverage. Anyway, the idea is that journalism may come to rely on coverage of events by citizens who are writing them up not to provide coverage but for their own more personal reasons.

This has already happened at times. Will it become an important and semi-reliable part of the ecosystem? I dunno. Maybe.

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Course begins

I’m too nervous to be able to blog about the course I’m co-teaching with John Palfrey, beyond saying that we had our first session yesterday, and there’s a course blog open to the students as posters and to anyone as a reader. (We didn’t have time yesterday to tell the students the URL, so none have posted there yet.) Well, I will say a couple more things: The title of the course is “The Web Difference,” and it’s about whether and how the Web is different, and what that means for law and policy. Also, JP is an awesome teacher. OMG.

What the heck. Yesterday, after going through preliminaries and intros, JP led the class for half an hour in a discussion of a case in which awful things were said on a discussion board, yet the discussion board owner was not held liable. If those things had been said in a newspaper, the paper could have been sued. What’s the difference in the two situations and why might the law be different in them? I led a similarly-themed discussion, far more awkwardly, about whether friendship on the Web is “real” and how it differs from real world friendship. [Tags: ]

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Ads I didn’t get past the first independent clause of

From Computer Gaming World:

Engineered for professional Counter-Strike gamers…


Say, Razer Piranha, care to define your market any more narrowly?


(Yes, I know I’m being totally unreasonable and that the ad’s point is that if it’s good enough for the pro’s, it’s good enough for you. I just enjoy the nano-marketing feel of the thing.) [Tags: ]

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