Daily Archives: November 30, 2008

More great uses of tumblr: 1001 rules for my unborn son

Over at the tumblr.com is a great tumble log called 1001 rules for my unborn son. Go see. I like this one:

276. Surround yourself with smart people.

That’s why I have my blog: because I am surrounded by smart people.

After you read it, you might want to start a similar log of your own life lessons. Hey, the world needs your wisdom.

(Tip to Cup of Jo).

Google problems: free speech

There is so much that is great about Google that it is easy to overlook the problems that they have and the problems that they might cause. A very good exploration of that, with regards to free speech and censorship, can be found in this NYTimes.com article: Google’s Gatekeepers.

The article explores how Google –the corporation and the people that work there — deal with the demands around the world to censor or block material provided by Google and YouTube. As for article shows, it is a very demanding job.

I think the article is fair in showing all the sides of the issue. If anything, it gives Google and it’s employees the benefit of the doubt. And that’s the part I have a problem with.

Things I would have liked to seen is an exploration of whether or not there should be an American law for free speech similar to the antiboycott laws in place since the 1970s. If it can be illegal for U.S. companies and citizen to particate in a boycott, a similar law could be put in place to uphold free speech.

Another thing that should be explored is whether or not the approach Google current has in untenable. I believe it is untenable for three reasons. First, I believe that their current piecemeal approach is eventually going to collapse or be unmaintainable as exceptions and contradictions are exposed. Second, I believe that Google as a corporation should not have that much control over what I can see and do.Third, Google as a corporation has a conflict of interest between supporting free speech and growing business is countries that want to restrict it.

Now Google is not the State. I still have freedom of association and the press. If I want to post videos or blog things or search for things, I don’t need to use Google. In fact, I don’t use Google for a number of those things. However, most people do. And that really is the root of the problem.

P.S. There is a semi-hagiographic quality to the article. I am not sure why. I think Google can stand for less of that, not more.

The world’s first digital camera

This, believe it or not, is the world’s first digital camera.

According to Oddee.com, it was invented by Steve Sasson from Kodak in 1975. And since it was 1975, the recording device for digital media was a cassette tape. What is surprising is that some of the technology used then is still used in digital cameras now (though thankfully not the tape). For more on this and other interesting firsts, see Oddee.