Long bets

Reading Martin Rees’s book Our Final Century — an analysis of a range of natural and man-made risks that may threaten our existence in the next hundred years — led me to discover the Long Bets web site. The foundation that runs this site aims to use long bets to encourage long-term thinking (see this […]

Lists, lists of lists and meta-lists

The list industry goes into overdrive at this time of year, and Rex Sorgatz has compiled nearly 500 lists, covering everything from architecture to photographs, video games, wine, law and different categories of people. At least a third of the lists are of ‘cultural product’ — books, films, DVDs and music albums — that you […]

What’s on my iPod

For my last posting before Christmas, here’s my entry in the online parlour game of sharing what crops up if you shuffle the whole of your computer’s music library: Release yourself — Graham Central Station Suikinkutsu Water Chime — nature recording by David Toop Free Culture, Chapter 11: Chimera — Lawrence Lessig, read by Dave […]

Using social spaces to seed sales

Interesting to see how this Guardian report of a record label recruiting school-children to help promote its artists in schools (requires free registration) led almost immediately to the label, Universal, suspending its scheme. Clearly it crossed some taboos about commercial and possibly cynical ‘exploitation’ of children, even though the children were clearly happy participants. This […]

Where broadcasting blurs into downloading

The coverage of this press release on the positive response to the BBC’s podcasting experiment — see my November posting mentioning the experiment — shows that podcasting is still making the ‘novelty’ news, but some continue to confuse its implications. This Digital-Lifestyles feature concludes, “The impact of this form of distribution will be significant. The […]

Latest on the BBC Creative Archive

Here are my notes from a talk given by Paul Gerhardt, Strategic Director of the BBC Creative Archive, at Tate Modern this afternoon. The current BBC Charter (due to expire in 02006) apparently provides for public access to the BBC archive, but ‘access’ means going in person to BBC premises to view or listen there. […]

21st Century library services

Yesterday was a big day for announcements about online access to the resources and services you would normally get in a library. The one that has got most attention is Google’s press release that they will be providing searchable access to the full text of library books old enough to be no longer under copyright […]