As the popularity of Qana as a search term on Technorati indicates, the deaths there represent a significant turning point for a lot of people in their assessment of the situation. If you pick through the list you'll also find some conspiracy theories developing about "what really happened" there. Some are based on the timing of the bombing versus the collapse. Others are based on the condition of the bodies in the photos from the scene (too terrible to link to). For some, the events at Qana were clarifying. For others, they only made matters murkier.
Speaking of links to the Jawa Report, we had a good watercooler buzz here at the cube farm this morning about the difference between an act of terrorism, a hate crime, and a deranged crazy person. Some bloggers are advocating the position that the Muslim guy who shot up the Jewish center in Seattle should be called a terrorist. Since surely terrorism is a subset of hate crime, what does it take to move a shooting like this from one category to the other? Is it the pressure of political correctness that keeps out the terrorism label or the political stakes of the war on terror? (Or is there a technical legal definition that I don't know and we need to get a lawyer to hang around our water cooler?) UPDATE: I see the shooter had recently converted to Christianity, but the overall question stands. Do you agree that MSNBC.com should have filed its story in the Crime and Punishement section or does it belong in the U.S. Security section with the terror related stories?
Speaking of terrorism, The Man Who Put Al-Qaeda on the Web — Interesting but pretty long. It always surprises me that we don't hear more about the cyber side of the war on terror.
I don't know if I've ever seen as much positive link frenzy over a Microsoft product as there is for Photosynth. It's a photo stitching software that figures out where your pictures overlap and puts them together into a navigable 3-D image. It reminds me a little of the AutoStitch software I mentioned last week. One really cool application that Adam Shepard mentions in this video is that they could use the photo recognition feature along with search such that you could take a picture of something and submit it to their database and get back information on what it is you're looking at. The video on the official page talks about moving through the world as everyone contributes images that are woven together. I also watched some of the Channel 9 video. (They're always too long for me to watch the whole thing.)
Speaking of new Microsoft stuff, contrary to the disastrous live presentation of Microsoft's new voice recognition software, I've heard it works pretty well (in a relative, the-old-version-was-way-worse kind of way). P.S. Look for "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all" to enter common geek parlance along with phrases like "All your base are belong to us."
Man lifts car off pinned cyclist — A quick scan of comments found one mention of Superman and strangely no mention of the Hulk.
Can you imagine the sheer awe when the skaters first found this rail?
I cheated and used Scoble's Blogher notes to find good stuff from the conference including Christine.net, the Technorati tag category, and the official conference blog. I'm less interested in marketing than Scoble is, but was still struck by his points about the broader interests represented at this conference.
Movies whose copyright has expired and are therefore free to download. Nice if you like old movies.
Speaking of free downloads, How the Pirate Bay raid changed Sweden — To answer the headline's question, according to this piece it raised sympathy for filesharing to the point of creating an influential political movement. I'm having a hard time imaging how a "Piracy Party" could have enough issue-depth to draw a following, but I guess it's an important cause in Sweden. (The Pirate Bay is a hugely popular BitTorrent filetrading site that was recently raided by police as the result of pressure from groups like the MPAA.
Malaysia outlaws unsuitable names — Given the examples, I thought they were talking about online screen names, but apparently there's a tradition in some Malaysian cultures to give children unusual names. The Freakonomics blog pointed out the funny list of related stories at that link, which list all the things Malaysia has been banning lately.
Transponder car keys are billed as making the car unstealable, which looks like a false assertion. However, because everyone believes that's the case, insurers are using it as the basis to deny claims when the car actually is stolen. (An unstealable car can't be stolen and therefore you stole it yourself and are attempting to commit insurance fraud.) This article is also an indictment of the security of RFID tags. **The piece is actually two articles or else it's written backward because the cool part is page three and has nothing to do with transponder keys or insurance. It's about a cheat code hidden in his car's emergency brake. I know motorcycles have similar cheat codes to disable security systems without using the key fob.
The new Knitty, online knitting magazine, is out.
Speaking of cars, photos of a suspended Honda F-1. By "suspended" they mean all of its parts are hanging from the ceiling by threads, so it looks like an exploded maintenance diagram.
The televised footage of the original moon landing was apparently actually a camera pointing at a screen that was playing the real footage. This means there's a much clearer copy in existence somewhere. The question is where. I'm imagining the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I'm not sure what has brought it to the fore now, but the Flying Spaghetti Monster hate mail blog is sheer hilarity.
Congress again demonstrates its poor understanding of the Internet. They might as well ban kids from using the phone because a pedophile might call them. That last paragraph is funny.
Jeff Jarvis reinvents the publishing industry in a single blog entry.
Speaking of publishing, a publishing tycoon apparently has a book out about how to get rich. The review, however, seems to be more about how to be rich. Favorite line: "If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it — it's cheaper in the long run." Steal that and the screenplay writes itself.
The popularity dialer — Funny but also kind of creepy. Not only can you schedule it to call you so it looks like your popular enough for someone to actually bother to ring your phone, but it plays half of a pre-recorded conversation. So you could answer on speaker phone and use a memorized script to pretend to have a conversation with someone who likes you.
Since we saw fruit-ripeness stickers the other day, why not egg boiling indicator ink? It changes color depending on how hard boiled the egg is. Again, I see the utility in this but I'm reluctant to give up on simply learning how to do it. You can use the magic ink, but aren't you cooler if you just know (by learning) how to make the perfect egg?
Commuter Click: Amateur hour; Journalism without journalists — Looks like he throws some cold water on the enthusiasm for collaborative public journalism.