The landline

When you’ve forgotten your door keys, and the batteries in the doorbell are flat, and your teenage son can’t hear the door knocker, and he keeps his mobile on silent when he’s asleep, then a good, old-fashioned, landline phone is essential.   Photo on Foter.com

Sad news: John Perry Barlow

Awoke today to read that John Perry Barlow has died. He was remarkable Renaissance Man: a cattle rancher, song-writing partner of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and a pioneer of the internet, co-founding the Electronic Frontier Foundation. See the BBC’s obituary, here. And, the EFF’s announcement, here. Here’s Barlow talking about one of his Barlow-Weir […]

Wind turbines are neither clean nor green – @mattwridley

Some powerful data on the wrongheadedness of the pursuit of wind power: “…we can see that wind provided 0.46 per cent of global energy consumption in 2014, … world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years… If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth […]

burning pine - planner

Slice Planner: a daily planner that merges paper and digital

Via The Cramped, is news of a fantastic concept currently on Kickstarter. It’s a diary / planning solution that combines the visceral delight of real paper and pencil with the sheer and shareable convenience of digital. What a great idea! You can plan your day on paper, then use your phone’s camera to synch it […]

Social media, politics and narrative – @roughtype

Here’s a great essay from Nicholas Carr on social media’s effect on the US presidential campaign, and much more.  It explores how social media is different from previous media – not necessarily better or worse, but different – and how that requires a different approach: “The message, as always, has to fit the medium.” Reflecting […]

Thoughts on Ad-blockers

Ad-blocking software has been big news over the last couple of weeks.  This week, even The Times devoted a leader to it (Ad Armageddon, firewalled, though it should be accessible via my Tweet). That increasing numbers of people now choose to avoid intrusive, irrelevant and increasingly annoying ads is no surprise.  I research a wide […]

London's geospatial data – @BBCNewsMagazine

A great article on the BBC News site based on a new book, London: The Information Capital  by Dr James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti. The book presents a new collection of data maps of London that demonstrate the power of spatial data.  Some, like the map showing daily commutes, are new great surprise (though beautifully […]

London’s geospatial data – @BBCNewsMagazine

A great article on the BBC News site based on a new book, London: The Information Capital  by Dr James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti. The book presents a new collection of data maps of London that demonstrate the power of spatial data.  Some, like the map showing daily commutes, are new great surprise (though beautifully […]

I, Roomba – Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr on the moral code of automatic vacuum cleaners. It seems that the Roomba automatic vacuum (made by a company called iRobot) suffers a similar dilemma to the automatons conceived in Asimov‘s classic, “I, Robot“.  

On tech startups and the Economist – Daniel Isenberg

The Economist’s Schumpeter column, online, publishes this critical comment on its recent special report. Isenberg’s considered and well-reasoned critique argues that the Economist overstates any distinction between “tech startups” and other forms – “Today, every business venture, entrepreneurial or otherwise, requires technology to be competitive, whether it is diamond trading, transportation, construction, or energy.” He […]

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