Thursday, July 24, 2008

stray bullets

8 things Chinese people shouldn't ask Olympic tourists Posters displayed on bulletin boards in the neighborhood which includes tourist magnet the Forbidden City, and which will host Olympics boxing events, counsel locals against a wide range of potentially awkward conversation topics with foreigners. (via)

How to Frame the Internet: Attention and the New News Cycle The challenge is designing a news website that encourage immediate and full attention. The Washington Post’s web chats with authors and public figures is a good example of this. The opportunity to communicate directly with a person of prominence cannot be done later, nor can one participate in a chat with only half his attention. I would also point to the book readings and events staged in Second Life, if Second Life didn’t seem so pet rock to me. A smart website would start using video conferencing software to have its writers interact with readers. The trick is not to archive the footage immediately. Make viewers mark in their calendars for it. Make them miss it if they miss it. Some interesting points in this post. However, what often seems to be missing in the internet news cycle is the follow-up. Posts are archived and we can go back to what was missed, but as we all know, with the blivets of stories that keep popping up, we as the internet audience tend to drift off and not come back. I often hope for follow-ups to many items I find, but they rarely materialize. I think many bloggers fear being the one that beats a story to death and therefore don't give it the proper earthing out. I'm sure we could have learned more about George Carlin apart from the hundreds of YouTube videos and quotes from his comedy routines, but after a while, no one will touch the story because everyone has moved on. Our hyper-awareness seems to lead to hyper-abandonment.

Printer Toner and Contemplative Prayer: Interview with Monasteries all over the world have been self-supporting for centuries, and the practice of monks running a small business is nothing new. Most of them, however, don’t end up experiencing 700% annual sales growth, selling 30,000 products, and competing with Fortune 500 companies. Instead of baking fruitcakes for the occasional visitor, the monks from Our Lady of Spring Bank Cistercian Abbey sell laser toner and business supplies throughout the United States. They’ve creatively branded themselves as LaserMonks, but they offer more than just a great story. They also help businesses save an average of 40% off printer ink and toner, and in turn, the monks donate all of their profits to charity. Laser Monks website

China Miéville's top 10 weird fiction books Telling.
How to Read a Book (via)
Literature Map Very interesting, but based on what readers read, rather than what writers write. (via)
Portuguese team makes first paper based transistor (via)
MoocherHunter - Detect & Track Rogue Wifi Users
Couple choose to live off the government grid Some things you might not have known about your SSN. (via)
Cyber Clean Sanitize your filthy keyboard and peripherals.
You Are Beautiful Spread the word. (via)

Peter Gabriel Video on the state of the music industry Not completely boring, like this sort of stuff can be.
The future of knife crime A knife that is also a gun.
Flashback: The KLF Burn A Million Quid
Camera-equipped micro air vehicle weighs only three grams

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