I don't know if you got around to reading yesterday's Commuter Click but it's pretty good. The best quote comes from Clay Shirky:
Pidgin is what gets spoken when people patch things together from different languages, so it serves well enough to communicate. But Creole is what the children speak, the children of pidgin speakers. They impose rules and structure, which makes the Creole language completely coherent and expressive, on par with any language. What we are witnessing is the Creolization of media.
I found that particularly satisfying because lately I've been thinking about the characteristics of online culture and how traceable its lineage is to West Coast tech and East Coast style. While the Internet has not turned out to be the great unifier early idealists expected, online culture is unquestionably a creolization.
Not all of my questions were answered by the article, but the one other revelation that stuck with me was the idea that fear of strangers ("stranger danger") is overblown and naive. The understanding that strangers are all pervert kidnappers probably doesn't even have much basis in fact since I imagine most of the bad things that happen to kids are committed by people they know, but that lesson is so ingrained in my psyche I don't think I could ever unlearn it. The new generation of MySpace kids do not harbor that fear/paranoia.
Without question, the biggest link online for the past two days is this Steve Jobs essay about Apple's position on DRM. The money quote:
If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.
The part of his argument I found most convincing came in pointing out that most music is purchased on CDs that are not protected (no DRM). So there are no restrictions on songs purchased from record companies (we remember what happened last time they tried), but there are restrictions on songs purchased from iTunes and other online music stores, but only because the record companies have made it that way. It's not hard to see how that can be interpreted as a contradiction.
Speaking of big companies taking non-proprietary positions on things, a lot of people online are excited to learn that Microsoft will OpenID. Luckily I found Thomas Hawk's entry to explain what that means and why it matters. Basically, OpenID is like a universal login. This item would have gone well with yesterday's piece about social network overload.
The City Cook - "The ultimate guide for pathetically busy, space-compromised urban dwellers who prefer to cook at home."
The Best Place To Hide Money: Conversation With A Burglar - "Your best strategy, then, is to actually leave some money in obvious places for the burglar to quickly find..." I hate this strategy. The idea of hiding it in a kid's toy is pretty good. This also recommends keeping a fake, easy to find safe deposit box receipt/list so it looks like you have all your stuff in a bank. I was once robbed by the neighbor who lived across the hall from me. I made so many mistakes in that case I almost deserved it. He said his phone was out and could he use mine. Sure. But of course, he was really checking out my apartment. At the time I was a bartender (robber translation: lots of cash on hand) and was foolish enough to tell him so. Perhaps the biggest mistake: he said he'd come down to the bar to visit and what shifts did I work? Like a fool I told him my whole schedule. I might as well have given him the key and told him to drop by and rob me on Friday night between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m. (For what it's worth, he got in by climbing up the side of the building and into my window, which wasn't locked.)
I know I regularly criticize those "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC" ads, but I have to admit this one with the security guy who asks for confirmation on every little thing has a real ring of truth. IE7 seems like it pops up a warning for everything, even pasting!
TechCrunch has been doing these overviews lately. This one on social music sites mentioned a few I wasn't familiar with.
IMified: Use Instant Messages for More than Just Chat - The idea is for this app to send what you type in IM to your blog or elsewhere. I think IM is an under-celebrated technology. I use it like crazy. I prefer it to e-mail and at work I use it more than I use my phone.
Speaking of using IM for more than chat, Emoticoncert reminds me a little of the sign language dancing in Napoleon Dynamite.
The Interstate highway system as straight lines looks kind of like a subway map. What's interesting to me is to see the numbering system.
"If a woman consents to having sex with a man but then during intercourse says no, and the man continues, is it rape?"
Hoiryeong Incident: Next Phase of Regime Collapse? I have no idea how reliable information can come from North Korea, but this report that "a platoon of border guards in Hoiryeong district committed a mass defection" is interesting - particularly considering the new talks going on there.
"Wow. Check out the corporate jets leaving Miami after the Super Bowl." I'm having trouble believing this one.
The impact of Katrina as reflected in the area white pages. UPDATE: Thanks to Doug in comments for point out this link is dead. I think it's because this guy doesn't have a pro account so his bandwidth is capped. He reposted a few versions here and here and here so try those or his main page.