Want to know what's really happening in Iraq? Well you won't find out on CNN - or on Fox - but you will if you read bloggers like Michael Yon; check out The Battle for Mosul. Great reporting, pictures, and insight. Excellent. [ via Gerard Vanderleun ]
Dave Winer, four years ago: "The notion that independent publications could challenge established media concern because it costs very little to publish online has fallen on hard times along with the rest of the Web's early illusions." He must be chortling all the way to the bank.
Mark Steyn with the definitive take on the Guantanamo Bay Koran tempest: Piss and Wind. These people are POWs, remember? [ via Powerline ]
Am I allowed to link Mark Stern twice? Here he is again, with a fascinating take on China. "The internal contradictions of Commie-capitalism will, in the end, scupper the present arrangements in Beijing... China won't advance to the First World with its present borders intact. In a billion-strong state with an 80 per cent rural population cut off from the coastal boom and prevented from participating in it, 'One country, two systems' will lead to two or three countries, three or four systems." Great stuff! [ via Glenn Reynolds ]
The Financial Times: Microsoft bans 'democracy' for China web users. Not sure whether this reflects worse on China or Microsoft, but it doesn't say much for either one.
Wired notes Toll Roads Tackle Traffic. "The new system combines the latest technologies with good, old capitalism -- putting a price tag on a bit of uncongested roadway. The concept is known variously as value pricing, managed lanes or HOT lanes, short for high occupancy tolls." Let the market decide.
Apropos, I've been reading Market Forces, a new book by Richard Morgan. Or should I say "trying to read", because I just can't do it; I keep hoping it will get better, but so far, no. I loved Morgan's previous books Altered Carbon and Broken Angels, but this one is terrible. It takes place in the same future - or maybe I should say a future with the same feel - but this time out all the people are unsympathetic. When you don't like any of the characters, you can't like the story, right?
Gerald Vanderleun rants, in a positive review of The Doctor is In: "There are a lot of really bad writers out there and most of them do not get published, but a lot of them get published again and again for reasons that have little to do with their talent and a lot to do with the vast publishing suckupathon that grows more intense as traditional publishing dies."
Man, did you see the Spurs dominate the Pistons tonight? If it was a fight, they would have stopped it. Robert Horry was awesome, and the Spurs have to be the best team I've watched this year. Admittedly, I haven't watched much. Has basketball lost some of its following, or is it just me?
ESPN is one of those sites - unfortunately one of many - where you must have Firefox with Adblock, or you'll be inundated with ads. And not just static graphics, all sorts of movies and animations and crap. What are these people thinking? (I doubt they're thinking, "oh well, everyone will have Adblock anyway" :)
Oh, and another annoyance; why open windows with a fixed size? What does that do for you? Invariably fixed-size windows are the wrong size, so you have to find the URL and open it in a normal window anyway. Sigh.
Do you use Wikipedia? I've found it to be a simply awesome resource, especially for techie subjects or things which have come along recently. (For example, this reference on the various acroynms for screen resolution...) If you didn't know, anyone can edit any Wikipedia page - add, change, or delete information - and so this is the strength and the weakness. Earlier Dave Winer noted his name had been removed from the page on Podcasting, and now Jon Udell comments on how the editing process works...
In some ways Wikipedia is to encyclopedias as blogs are to mainstream media...
This is cool; an IPTV site called Systm has Bittorrent videos of do-it-yourself projects. Like how to make your own MythTV box (essentially, an open-source Tivo). Very cool. [ via PVRBlog ]
Now they just need an RSS feed with enclosures, and they're all set...
Engadget reports Antor Media sues everybody. "If you ever needed a better example of why patents for obviousness shouldn't be granted, a company called Antor Media is suing a variety of cellphone makers for violating their patent on a 'Method and apparatus for transmitting information recorded on information storage means from a central server to subscribers via a high data rate digital telecommunications network.'" Argh!
Well this is cool: spell with Flickr. Again we note that the web is unbelievable.