Via Boingboing, don't buy into the revisionism

"Both kiwis and bananas are shipped long-distance. But what is being grown—and the inputs (fertilizer, pesticide, heat) needed to grow it—often matters as much as where the growing happens. The point: Carbon footprints for food are, unfortunately, not terribly intuitive. To me, this is why we need some standardized system of carbon labeling. Right now, it's all but impossible for individuals to make decisions about the carbon footprint of the things they buy. You shouldn't have to be an expert, or tote a calculator and the proper formulas around with you."

Clearly the patent holder is unclear about the entire patent system

Fred von Lohmann, senior copyright attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has just posted a review of Adrian John's monumental, 500-page Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates, a thoroughgoing and well-researched history that draws compelling conclusions about the need to view piracy as a business-model crisis, not a moral one

How do you think the psychogeography of the city might be affecting identity and tribalism? Do you suspect the trend is more towards collaboration or fragmentation?

That word "psychogeography" probably means something, but guys who use it go out on Situationist drifts and look for urban ley-lines. I do a lot of similar activity, but I don't like to dignify it too much.

Modern large cities are the engines of globalization in the way that New York used to be an engine of Americanization. You look at New York back in the 1800s, obviously collaboration and fragmentation were going on there at the same time. Little Italy, Little Ukraine, whatever... but those sharp distinctions tended to melt with time. Cities that segregate their citizens into ghettos tend to go broke.

Sign languages tend to spontaneously emerge when the deaf people of a country or region first start coming together to form a community, usually based around a school. It's happening right now in Nicaragua, where special education schools opened in the 1970s. Over the past 30 years, Nicaraguan Sign Language has evolved from simple gestures between friends, to a full and complete language. That recent evolution makes Nicaraguan Sign Language the enticing blue bug zapper to linguists' and cognitive scientists' curious moths. Case in point: The study of the way language and learning interact. The structure and composition of the language you speak has a big impact on how you think and perceive the world.

At a California State University, Fresno lecture on veganism, six of the 60 in attendance were undercover officers from the local and campus police. The Oakland Police Department in California had infiltrated a police-brutality demonstration, and its undercover officers selected "the route of the march."
A vegetarian activist in Georgia was arrested for jotting down the license plate of a Department of Homeland Security agent who was snapping photos of a protest outside a Honey Baked Ham store. A Joint Terrorism Task Force in Illinois went on a three-day manhunt in Chicago searching for a Muslim man for his suspicious activity of using a hand counter on a bus. As it turned out, the man was counting his daily prayers.

The 9th edition of the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report (WTDR 2010) focuses on Monitoring the WSIS Targets. The year 2010 marks the midpoint between the 2005 Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and 2015, the deadline for achieving the ten targets that governments agreed upon at the WSIS. The Report is a mid-term review, and provides policy makers with a comprehensive assessment of what has been achieved so far, and what remains to be done.

Who owns the Gulf of Mexico? That's a question you have to ask while perusing Offshore magazine's 2010 poster of the Gulf—downloadable here as a large PDF, but well worth checking out. Where most people look at the Gulf, they see a vast marine ecosystem, wetlands, and, until recently, gorgeous beaches.

What energy executives see is a massive grid, tangled with scores of oil and gas pipelines and rival fields with macho names that sound like heavy metal bands, black-diamond ski runs, and weapons systems. (See "Quiz: What Do BP and Kurt Cobain Have in Common?") Here's a small detail, slightly blurry, but you get the point. (Red lines are gas pipelines and pink are gas fields, green lines are oil pipelines and green blurbs are oil fields.)

"This is the final proof-of-concept video from 2009, made to illustrate True Reverse Perspective. The scene was modelled and rendered in a camera-hacked version of AoI [ ], Peter Eastman's open source, java-based 3D package.

In Reverse Perspective the expected visual rules are inverted, so close objects are small and far objects are big. This is not only true for whole objects, but their structure as well. So the near points of an object are closer together, relative to its far points, which gives the flared-out look of the buildings, and the scene as a whole."

Dan Gillmor on the future of journalism: "First, direct subsidies for journalism are the wrong way to go, even dangerous. But we absolutely could use the kind of indirect help -- taxpayer-funded deployment of high-capacity, wide-open broadband networks -- that would be an analogue to the early American postal subsidies, and then some. This would be essential infrastructure, aimed at beefing up all 21st Century commerce and communications, including but not limited to journalism."

The WikiLeaks advised proposal to build an international "new media haven" in Iceland, with the world's strongest press and whistleblower protection laws, and a "Nobel" prize for for Freedom of Expression, has unaminously passed the Icelandic Parliament.

Drezner’s main explanation is that great powers have proud civilizational identities (and thus their own sports) while lesser powers presumably do not. I don’t buy it. Most countries have their own proud cultures and their own sports (korfbal anyone?). ... Soccer success is all about prestige. Superpowers have no incentive to put their prestige on the line by putting 11 men on a field against 11 other men, arbitrated by a neutral referee. As Schelling would remind us, if you invest strongly in soccer, you put your reputation on the line. Why do that with so few opportunities to rig the result? If you sit on top, you organize a tournament, invite a few hapless Canadians, and call the winners World Champions. Or, you do what China does: invest heavily in those sports with many Olympic medals and relatively little competition. If you are a middle power, however, winning the World Cup is the closest thing to being on top of the world.

Salim sez, "Photoblogger Dark Roasted Blend has found some excellent footage (Cantonese with English Subtitles) of the (now bulldozed) 'Walled City of Kowloon'. You might remember, that this was a quirk of history - a small region of land which for political reasons could not be policed by the British when they managed Hong Kong. It proliferated for years without any building regulation or law-enforcement. It became a vast chaotic 3D maze."

In one recent episode, the AV Club helps cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester film a near-exact copy of Madonna's Vogue music video (the real-life fine for copying Madonna's original? up to $150,000). Just a few episodes later, a video of Sue dancing to Olivia Newton-John's 1981 hit Physical is posted online (damages for recording the entirety of Physical on Sue's camcorder: up to $300,000). And let's not forget the glee club's many mash-ups -- songs created by mixing together two other musical pieces. Each mash-up is a "preparation of a derivative work" of the original two songs' compositions - an action for which there is no compulsory license available, meaning (in plain English) that if the Glee kids were a real group of teenagers, they could not feasibly ask for -- or hope to get -- the copyright permissions they would need to make their songs, and their actions, legal under copyright law. Punishment for making each mash-up? Up to another $150,000 -- times two.

Cory Doctorow reviews Ubuntu's latest: "Since then, it's Just Worked. When I need to do something new -- edit audio, say -- I go to the software center and look at what apps exist for that purpose, select some highly rated ones, download them, try them, keep the one I like (all the software is free, so this is easy). Migrating to new machines? Easy. Just take my list of installed apps to the new machine as a text-file on a USB key and ask Software Center to download them and configure them. Backups? Easy: external generic USB drive and rsync (exactly what I used with my Mac)."

"If he really had access to these cables, we've got a terrible situation on our hands," said an American diplomat. "We're still trying to figure out what he had access to. A lot of my colleagues overseas are sweating this out, given what those cables may contain."