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October 31, 2010

Free or Fee?

I found enjoyable TotalFinder’s explanation of who can get a free license and who can’t. In fact, I enjoyed the tone there overall. (I also like the product — it does some of the fixes to the Finder that Apple should have done in about, oh, 1995. And, yes, I paid for my copy.)

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October 30, 2010

[2b2k] Draft finished

I finished the book today, in some sense. I read through the last two chapters, filled in most of the TK’s (the “to come” placeholders I’d left) throughout the manuscript, poured all of the chapters into one large file, formatted it, got the page numbers centered at the bottom of the page, and am ready to sent it in to my publisher.

“Done” is such a relative word. The publisher will undoubtedly want changes. I have to compile the bibliography, write the acknowledgements (thank you all), format the footnotes properly, go through some copy-editing passes, come up with a subtitle (or say yes to the publisher’s), and worry about the world changing too much between now and when the book is printed.

But tomorrow for the first time in maybe two years, I’m not going to get up and work on my book.

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Taking the integrity out of leadership

Harvard Business Review yesterday posted my piece on why American business leaders (and those who write about them) so often claim integrity as the most important property of leadership. (Blog posts at HBR are free to access.)

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October 29, 2010

[2b2k] Count down

Three days to finish. Two, depending on how you count. Two chapters to read and fix. Compile it into one large file, turn the footnotes into endnotes, email it in.

Well, at least I know what I’m doing this weekend.

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Berkman Buzz

Here’s the weekly Berkman Buzz, as compiled by Seth Young.

  • Ethan Zuckerman reflects on “narrative audio content,” via the Internet link

  • Christian Sandvig tries to recall the race to ISDN link

  • Jonathan Zittrain considers the “awful” SMS replicator app link

  • Dan Gillmor assesses the new Nook tablet link

  • Joseph Reagle shares some gems from the history of reference work adverts link

  • Herdict on Net filtering in Uzbekistan link

  • OpenNet Initiative on Australia’s ongoing filtering debate link

  • Weekly Global Voices: “Russia: Online Activism Success Stories” link

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October 28, 2010

Have you heard the one about the bees and the traveling salesman?

This is just too cool.

The Traveling Salesman Problem is a problem famous for being unintuitively difficult. The question is how you find the most efficient path among multiple geometric points. Sounds easy? With not too many destinations, it becomes outrageously difficult.

Except for bees.

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MediaBugs go national

MediaBugs is now available in 50 states. So, if you see something wrong in a report by the media (print, broadcast, online), you can report it there and the site will try to get a response.

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October 27, 2010

[2b2k] Possible tag line?

I’m liking this as a tag line for “Too Big to Know”:

Skulls don’t scale.
Networks do.

But I’ve gotten some reactions saying that “skull” sounds too “Spinal Tap”-ish. I like it because skulls are so bony, and thus you can see why they don’t scale. But I’m open to improvements….

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O failure, where is thy sting?

The Twitter hashtag #FailShare is accumulating instances of failed library projects, so that we can learn from them, and also, I imagine, to take the sting out of failure (on the grounds that sting-y failure makes for stingy ideas).

And, a brand new wiki page has gone up on the same topic.

(BTW, while on the topic of bad/good puns Frank Nugent once dismissed a disappointing play by the American playwright Clifford Odets with the line, “Odets, where is thy sting?”)

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Myanmar rebrands

Mong Palatino at Global Voices reports onMyanmar’s new flag and new name.

Here’s the old flag:

Myanmar's old flag

Here’s the new flag:

Myanmar's new flag

Hard not to agree with the anonymous comment that the new one looks like it was done with Microsoft Paint. And it’s very hard to know (especially from my safe vantage point far removed from Myanmar’s repressive regime) why they think the new one is better than the old one, although one of the comments cited at Global Voices points out that the old flag used the U.S. colors.

According to a Reuter’s article quoted by James Bow, “The order stipulated that the old flag had to be lowered by someone born on a Tuesday and the new flag had to be raised by someone born on a Wednesday, he said.” Ah, when astrolgers run countries.

Equally puzzling, at least to me, is the military junta’s decision to change the country’s name from Union of Myanmar to Republic of the Union of Myanmar in advance of the November 7 Parliamentary elections (which will keep the military in power). Why not just go whole hog and rename the place The Free Democratic Republic Union of Myanmar and Picayune-Times Express?

Except that Myanmar is no laughing matter.

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