Charlie's Diary

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Fri, 28 Feb 2003

Open arse surgery and Lovecraftian horrors

From the whimsy department -- Feorag's been at it again: this time, a demonstration of open arse surgery on Great Cthulhu. If your horror from beyond spacetime breaks his wing-bone, here's how to make him better again.

[ Link ] [ Discuss pomo ]

posted at: 11:46 | path: /toys | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 27 Feb 2003

I'll take mine with milk, no sugar, thanks

This is just too bizarre to be a joke: a USB-powered electric teacup from the Dreams Come True Co., Ltd, of Japan.

(No, I don't want one. Apart from being a great way to drain a laptop battery in about five milliseconds and probably burn out your powered USB hub transformer, it's far too small -- and says nothing about Linux compatability, either. And now whenever someone says their PC's cup-holder is broken we'll have to check the USB bus as well as the CDROM drive ...)

[ Link ] [ Discuss toys ]

posted at: 15:07 | path: /toys | permanent link to this entry

Three-line whip

Looks like nearly a third of the parliamentary labour party rebelled against Blair's three-line whip on policy over Iraq. (I'm pleased to note that my MP, Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith), was one of the rebels.) It's worth noting -- for non-UK readers -- that under a three-line whip party officials tell MPs how to vote, on pain of punishments up to and including suspension from the party.Blair won, but largely because the entire Conservative party voted with him -- which probably signifies something important about the state of British politics today, if I wasn't too depressed to think about it.

The shooting hasn't even (officially -- if you ignore the bombing raids the UK and USA have been carrying out for the past decade) started yet. If this is a reflection of the situation before the start of hostilities, then if it goes pear-shaped I really think there'll be a new face at 10 Downing Street within a month or so.

[ Link ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 00:27 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Tue, 25 Feb 2003

More signs of the panopticon singularity ...

From today's Guardian:

Schoolchildren in Manchester may be filmed during lessons in an attempt to curb unruly behaviour in the classroom.

Cameras could be installed in up to five schools in the city by Easter under the scheme proposed by education officials.

The city's chief education officer, Mick Waters, said he had approached the Department for Education to fund what the council describes as discreet webcams. The department launched a behaviour improvement programme last summer, working with 34 local education authorities.

I barely know where to begin on this one. It's over twenty years since I was in school, and I do not have children of my own, so I'm not well-informed on the subject; but I've got a distinct impression that the way educational institutions are run has changed just a little bit in the past decade. (Teachers forbidden from touching pupils under any circumstances, for fear of a lawsuit alleging sexual molestation? Security guards and police cameras? What the hell is going on?) However, I can't help wondering ...

Ivan Illich came up with some interesting and challenging observations on education (as well as some outright rubbish). One of his points that struck me as probably valid was that the social structure imposed by a school (circa 1960-1980) was designed to habituate the inmates to the conditions of working life in an industrial society for the majority of the population. That is, it resembled an abstraction of a factory: you had to be there at a set time, follow meaningless and arbitrary rules, perform tasks set by a supervisor, divide your time by the ringing of a bell, clock in and clock out to order, and so on. The system in this form dates to the 19th century, and after a few years in a school run along these lines the environment of an industrial age factory wouldn't seem so strange.

If we apply Illich's concept to what Manchester City is doing to its classrooms, we get a rather scary picture: unintentionally or otherwise, they are habituating their children to a regime of omnipresent surveillance. Children in the modern classroom may have internet access, but it's censored (by filters that are as good at blocking access to reference sources on biology as they are at blocking access to porn). Physical contact is policed with inappropriate rigour and the full weight of law imposed, so that on occasion children as young as eight have been suspended from school or even prosecuted for "sexual assault" -- playing in the playground with members of the opposite sex. Running and other forms of energetic activity which might result in injury (and a lawsuit) are forbidden. In a heightened atmosphere of social fear over child abductions, the vast majority of parents won't even let a 14-year-old travel across their home town to go to school on their own; they're chaperoned everywhere except among their schoolmates. And now we're adding universal omnipresent surveillance.

What kind of workplace -- or life -- are we socializing these kids to expect?

[ Link ] [ Discuss Big Brother ]

posted at: 12:12 | path: /politics | permanent link to this entry

Sun, 23 Feb 2003

More news from Iraq

The human cost of external pressure for "regime change" is enormous; this article in The Independent puts it in perspective. And if there was any justice, certain politicians in the west would hang for it.

"I had been instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults. We all know that the regime -- Saddam Hussein -- is not paying the price for economic sanctions; on the contrary, he has been strengthened by them. It is the little people who are losing their children or their parents for lack of untreated water. What is clear is that the Security Council is now out of control, for its actions here undermine its own Charter, and the Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention." (Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq, explaining why he resigned from the post in 1998.)

[ Link ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 19:13 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 22 Feb 2003

The sound of silence

Sorry for the silence yesterday -- my new laptop arrived, and I was a wee bit preoccupied with moving my work environment over onto it. (For the technovoyeuristically inclined, it's an Apple titanium Powerbook G4, 15" screen, 1GHz processor, 1Gb of RAM, 60Gb disk, DVD-R/CD-RW, running MacOS/X 10.2.4 and a shedload of UNIXy powertools that I had to install on it. The video card alone has roughly 96 times as much memory as my first PC. It chewed a fat hole in my wallet, even though I didn't pay list price for it, and I think I'm going to have to ensure I keep running it for a couple of years.)

Meanwhile, normal service will be resumed after I get through with listening my way round the museum of Soviet synthesizers. Seems the USSR was big on electronic music machines, and there are loads of samples of their output all over this website.

[ Link ] [ Discuss toys ]

posted at: 13:29 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 20 Feb 2003

Rumsfeld Lies

Donald Rumsfeld says it's just "old Europe" (France, Germany, and Belgium) who aren't on board his little bombing campaign in the Middle East. And last week a bunch of nations -- notably the UK (prop, Tony Blair), Italy (prop, Silvio Berlusconi), and various Eastern European EU-candidate states -- published a letter of support for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. But how significant is that letter, really?

Here in the UK only a couple of million people came out on the streets to protest their opposition to the war -- but for every person who goes on a demonstration, there are ten who watch it on TV from home thinking "I should be there". (I was one of them, on account of the fact that I was a couple of thousand miles away at the time: otherwise I'd have been on the march in Glasgow.)

Meanwhile, a fun Gallup poll shows just how illusory the support offered by the governments of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Poland really is. It turns out that of the governments who signed that letter of support, only the UK is actually sending troops to the region. (Talk, as they say, is cheap.) Meanwhile, the governments who aren't have something to gain -- economic aid from the US, for the most part. And the war is wildly unpopular in eastern Europe -- even more so than in France and Germany, according to the poll figures.

So Rumsfeld's "New Europe" boils down to a bunch of opportunist politicians hoping to land some foreign aid packages, plus Tony Blair. Go figure.

[ Link ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 15:40 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Wed, 19 Feb 2003

Trans-Atlantic schadenfreude

Having spent a week or so in the States, I still don't have much to contribute about the current mid-east situation. However, two things did strike me as noteworthy.

Firstly, the newspapers. I was aghast at the lack of discrimination between editorial and news coverage (ex, USA Today, and others -- the NY Times was a notable exception) on front page items, where raw editorial opinion was mingled indiscriminately with news. This was at its worst in the New York Post which succumbed to a bout of rabid Francophobic nationalism that was at best distasteful, using photoshopped images of a UN Security Council session (with the French and German diplomats' heads replaced by those of weasels, and a caption dripping with vitriol that even Goebbels would have balked at), and at worst libelous. But there were elements of it everywhere -- opinion and hot-blooded nationalism replacing cool consideration and analysis. If this is what passes for news coverage in the USA today, it's no surprise that xenophobia and militarism seem to be on the increase there.

Happily, it is largely a media illusion, rather than reality. Maybe I self-select for liberal-minded friends, but their general mood was one of disbelief in the actions of their own government. It struck a strong chord with me, until I realised I'd seen it before -- in the UK, during the first couple of years of the Thatcher period, before the reality of the situation had quite sunk in. The Bush administration displays exactly the same high-handed autocracy, radical policies pursued without reference to public opinion or political consensus, secretiveness, pursuit of goals that are not publicly announced by means which are, and the same mood of "there is no alternative" -- it's deja vu, all over again. (Except that Thatcher had at least the minor mitigating virtue of intelligence, which is something nobody has accused the Shrub of recently.)

Bush is America's Thatcher. (And to those of you who wondered why us Brits were always whining about the Iron Lady, here's your chance to experience it at first hand.)

[ Discuss politics ]

posted at: 21:00 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Future Shock, Unlimited

I'm back, although I'm still a bit startled to still be alive after the flight. For those of you who haven't been following the news, the eastern seaboard of the US has been hit by a rather severe blizard. Feorag and I were on what was probably the last Airbus out of Logan -- all the domestic outgoing flights had been cancelled some hours before Lufhansa decided to pitchfork all the passengers who'd made it to the airport for their flights to Germany onto a single Airbus and attempt to make it through the snowdrifts. Feorag's photographs (on Livejournal) should give you a feel for what it was like -- what they don't show is the horizontal sheets of snow driving across the terminal windows!

While I was gone I got up to quite a lot of things; meetings with my agent and David Hartwell of Tor about the new books, visits to the Boston Museum of Science, a weekend at Boskone, and of course a guided tour of the MIT Media Lab ...

Which triggered complete future shock, thuswise:

Imagine you step out of an elevator on the third floor of a university building. You're in a beige carpeted corridor, with whitewashed walls on one side. On the other side, a glass wall separates you from the Disruptive Technology Laboratory. Open the door and look inside. The lab is about thirty feet square, with small offices off to either side. It's cluttered with open plan desks; at one corner a cluster of black sofas sit in a circle around a big television set with a stack of video equipment and an Xbox. At the opposite corner, there's a bench with oscilloscopes, soldering irons, and the other detritus of electronic prototyping. In this room, a bunch of students are trying to reinvent the car steering wheel. The intelligent steering wheel. Approaching a busy roundabout your hands tense and your pulse rate soars; it's a bad time for your cellphone to ring, and this steering wheel knows it -- so it switches the incoming call to voice mail until you're calm enough to talk. You look around the back of the room. Under a sign identifying it as an experiment in Borgables you see the waistcoat that ate Silicon Valley -- the unlikely offspring of a mating between a sewing machine and a laptop computer, bristling with memory, sensors, and i/o devices. (It runs Linux, of course.)

Go down a floor. Walk through another glass door beneath a sign proclaiming the Opera of the Future; you're in a room full of brightly coloured baloon-shaped musical instruments plugged into a rackful of experimental electronics and controlling computers. It's the children's Symphony, and the object of the project isn't to reinvent the Stradivarius but to change the way toddlers learn to make music -- by giving them brightly coloured toys that provide immediate feedback, letting them explore the shape of sounds for themselves rather than struggling for years to master the piano keyboard or the guitar fretboard. Against one wall there's a table covered in gadgets that look like oversized computer mice. They're percussion instruments -- toys that you can teach a beat to, then beam the sound to your neighbour.

Take the down elevator again and you're in the quantum computing lab, next to a two-metre high dewar flask full of liquid nitrogen. This is where they're trying to build a quantum computer -- exploiting the eldritch physical phenomenon of quantum decoherence to solve complex iterative problems in linear time. (It's a bit of a culture shock after the children's symphony and the sympathetic steering wheel, but you're beginning to get a feel for how off-balance a tour of this building can make you -- if you expect a random surprise around every corner you won't go wrong.)

Round the bend you come into a huge open-plan room where Seymour Papert (inventor of Logo and pioneer of computer education for pre-teens) and his research students came up with Lego MindStorms. (At the other side of it there's a comfy sofa in front of a webcam and a video projection screen -- one of the ongoing six-way teleconferences that knit the Media Lab campus together. Just plonk yourself down, pick up the trackball to select a window, and wave "hello" to someone, somewhere -- a far cry from the stiff formality of a pre-arranged video conference.) On a bench at one side of the room there's a stack of Lego bricks and some microcontrollers. At the other side of the room they're working on personal media -- the convergence between weblogs and video, or collaborative tools designed to let classrooms of children build their own newspapers: thee's another group building a software environment that lets you compose music by painting in broad swatches of colour (and turns the resultant picture into conventional musical notation, as well as playing it).

Fleeing the open plan environment full of brightly coloured Lego parts and video cameras, you find yourself in a machine shop full of robots, laser cutters, and prototype inkjet printers that print integrated circuits instead of pictures. There's a hard engineering back-end behind the brightly coloured toys -- you're slowly realising that most of the experimental gadgets surrounding you were built right here in this building by research students and engineers.

Welcome to the future. Welcome to the Media Lab. (And just as soon as I get my head screwed back on I'll go and write the trip up in detail for my column in Shopper.)

[ Discuss new art forms ]

posted at: 19:42 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Tue, 11 Feb 2003

Good news

I'm in Boston right now; not much blogging, but I felt the need to announce that Lobsters has made the final shortlist for the Nebula award.


I'm currently in the basement of the MIT Media Lab; when I get back to the hotel and finish catching up on my sleep deficit (and finish off with visiting the Free Software foundation) I'll try to write up a coherent report. Let's just say, this place is giving me profound future shock right now. (When you walk through a door labelled "Centre for Bits and Atoms" then catch an elevator upstairs into the Disruptive Technologies Lab, and realise that these signs are descriptive, you tend to get a little bit dizzy and need to sit down.)

[ Link ] [ Discuss shameless self-promotion ]

posted at: 19:40 | path: /promo | permanent link to this entry

Fri, 07 Feb 2003

Going quiet ...

I'm off to Boston on Sunday at zero-dark o'clock, and not back for over a week. This means that blogging will be occasional at best. While I'm not writing here I'll be holing up with my agent and editor to discuss books in progress, getting a guided tour of the MIT Media Lab, and interviewing the folks at the Free Software Foundation -- all that and visiting friends and enjoying Boskone (the Boston SF con that's held next weekend). Just so you know why I'm slacking ...

posted at: 18:22 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 06 Feb 2003

Government plagiarised Iraq allegations from student essay

A rather interesting press release from CASI, the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq, is circulating in the UK today and really bears reading. In particular, it looks as if the British government's dossier on Iraq, "Iraq - Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation", cites as "intelligence material" -- and indeed uses for the bulk of its contents -- text copied (without permission) from a paper in last September's Middle East Review of International Affairs entitled "Iraq's Security and Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis" written by Ibrahim al-Marashi, a postgraduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Even his typos and grammatical errors found their way into the Downing Street dossier.

It gets better: CASI alleges that the two other main sources in the paper were plagiarised from Jane's Intelligence Review by Downing Street: Ken Gause "Can the Iraqi Security Apparatus save Saddam" (November 2002), pp.8-13, and Sean Boyne, "Inside Iraq's Security Network", in 2 parts during 1997.

As CASI remark in their press release, "None of the sources are acknowledged, leading the reader to believe that the information is a result of direct investigative work, rather than simply copied from pre-existing internet sources. The fact that the texts of these three authors are copied directly results in a proliferation of different transliterations (eg different spellings of Ba'th, depending on which author is being copied)."

CASI continue in their report: "There are two types of changes incorporated into the British document. Firstly, numbers are increased or are rounded up. So, for example, the section on "Fedayeen Saddam" (pp.15-16) is directly copied from Boyne, almost word for word. The only substantive difference is that Boyne estimates the personnel of the organisation to be 18,000-40,000 (Gause similarly estimates 10-40,000). The British dossier instead writes "30,000 to 40,000". A similar bumping up of figures occurs with the description of the Directorate of Military Intelligence. The second type of change in the British dossier is that it replaces particular words to make the claim sound stronger. So, for example, most of p.9 on the functions of the Mukhabarat is copied directly from Marashi's article, except that when Marashi writes of its role in: 'monitoring foreign embassies in Iraq' this becomes in the British dossier: 'spying on foreign embassies in Iraq'. Similarly, on that same page, whilst Marashi writes of the Mukhabarat: 'aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes' - the British dossier renders this as: 'supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes'."

NOTE: The government says this is an accurate reflection of the current situation in Iraq. But Marashi used as his primary source documents captured in 1991 for the Iraq Research and Documentation Project, and his own research focus is Iraqi intelligence agencies in Kuwait, August 1990 to January 1991. Thus, information presented in the government dossier as relevant is actually twelve years out of date and refers to the situation in another country -- besides being plagiarized and, arguably, done so in criminal violation of the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act (1988).

[ Link (CASI Thanks, Chris!) ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 11:27 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Tue, 04 Feb 2003

The camel of parliaments

I confess, I'm baffled.

Way back in the mists of time, England -- it hadn't conquered Scotland, or even Wales -- was governed by a monarch. The king was attended by his nobility, who sat in the House of Lords to advise him. A little later, as the feudal model devolved towards modernity, the great and the good of the non-nobility were delegated to go and sit in the house of Commons, therein to advice their king on such sensitive matters as the raising of revenue for the exchequer.

Mostly this system worked. I say "mostly" -- when it broken down, in the 1630's and 1640's, the consequences were spectacular (and fatal for the king). The outcome was one of the first truly modern governments in Europe -- a monarchy in form, but one where an elected House of Commons held the reins and in extremis had the ability to chop off the king's head or chase him into exile if he overstepped his authority.

With the ascendancy of the House of Commons complete -- as it has been since the passage of the Parliament Act (1945), which formalised the Commons' ability to override any grumbling by the House of Lords, you might think that such a customary system was stable. But no: in 1997, New Labour came to power with a mandate to reform the House of Lords, to turn it into a relevant second chamber of the legislature, one able to meet the needs of a modern revising chamber without the clutter and deadwood of cobwebby hereditary Lordships who had acquired their seats through genetics rather than energetic good works.

Well, they just screwed the pooch.

There is no set constitutional mechanism in the UK for installing a new gearbox in the engine of national politics. Playing it by ear, the Blair government first legislated away the right of the hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords. That left a bunch of life peers -- appointed by the Crown at the nod and wink of the Government of the day, incumbent for life, chosen from the ranks of the great and the good. Many of the life peers are highly competent politicians -- many of them are former prime ministers and cabinet ministers, given the job as a sort of sinecure to while away their twilight years -- but with the will to reform it became glaringly clear that the whole concept of appointing the House of Lords as an act of political patronage had no place in a modern democracy.

Today, the MPs in the House of Commons just exercised a free vote -- one where no party whip applied, to tell them what line to toe -- on the way they thought the House of Lords should be constituted. A motion to make it a 100% elected upper house failed by 17 votes. A motion to make it 80% elected and 20% appointed failed by 3 votes. Very few MPs voted to abolish the house completely, or (Tony Blair's control-freak favourite) make it 100% appointed. In fact, in the end none of the options for reform passed the house.

Here's my alternative suggestion:

Make it a jury. Using a lottery based on the electoral register, every year select a group of citizens equal to 20% of the population of the chamber. Give them a year of training in basic constitutional law, and the support of a non-political civil service department, then stick them in the house for five years. (Give them a salary and a pension at least as good as whatever they were earning before being selected for parliament -- we don't want the best and the brightest to have a motive for actively avoiding service in the House of Jurors.) Their job is not to originate law, but to act much as the House of Lords did in the late 19th century -- as a brake on the professional politicians sitting in the House of Commons.

Give the people a direct role in government.

Today, about 80% of MPs are lawyers or professional managers. They are not representative of the public at large, nor are their concerns those of ordinary citizens. They probably wouldn't like the idea of having to explain their policies and legislation to a house of citizens -- but it might help keep them in better touch with the people they are supposed to represent, and in extremis prevent or delay blunders such as the Poll Tax.

And wouldn't politics be a bit more interesting if every 18 year old left school knowing that there was a one in a thousand chance that during their lifetime they would be required to sit in judgement over the proceedings of parliament -- and that almost certainly someone they knew would end up in such a position?

[ Link ] [ Discuss politics ]

posted at: 21:19 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

Sun, 02 Feb 2003

On the economic consequences of war

Extremely long detailed survey on the possible economic impact of a western invasion of Iraq, by Dr Vincent Cable. Cable is a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and was formerly Chief Economist for Shell and director of the International Economics Programme at Chatham House. The survey is long and exhaustive; let's just skip to his conclusions:

Those in Washington and London planning an invasion of Iraq probably envisage a scenario much like 1991: a quick, successful campaign which leads at most to a very short oil shock and only limited extra spending.

The longer the war goes on, however, the greater the risk of a more serious shock and greater costs. These would widen the US twin deficits on fiscal and current accounts and probably precipitate a sharp fall in the dollar and painful adjustment, including a recession. This downturn would be transmitted to the rest of the world, including Britain.

There is a plausible scenario in which a successful war, and the prospect of very low oil prices in the wake of rapidly expanding Iraqi production, brings about a weakening or even collapse of the Saudi regime and a threat to its production. This would then bring us back to something like the conditions in 1979-80, with the consequence of a world recession.

(His arguments sound plausible to me; and the former Chief Economist for Shell is probably someone worth listening to when he talks about the economic effects of changes in oil pricing resulting from war. Anyone want to pick any holes in this reasoning?)

[ Link ] [ Discuss Iraq invasion ]

posted at: 14:49 | path: /wartime | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 01 Feb 2003

Oh fuck.

Space shuttle explosion.

My sympathy to everyone affected by it ...

Update: Just turned on the TV and saw NASA have declared an emergency. Contact lost with Columbia over Texas, during re-entry for a landing at KSC. Live TV footage showing multiple re-entry trails ... what looked like an explosion or puff of vapour from the largest one ...

I guess that's going to be the end of the road for the Shuttle program.

[ Discuss space ]

posted at: 14:48 | path: /misc | permanent link to this entry

More news from the wonderful world of our sponsors ...

Turns out that the BSFA Award final ballot has been announced, and "Router" is on it!

This means I'll probably end up at the Eastercon this year (where the results are revealed). It also means that an e-text copy of "Router" will probably turn up on the web sooner rather than later (either on Asimov's SF magazine's website or on my fiction site).

[ Discuss writing ]

posted at: 13:41 | path: /promo | permanent link to this entry

Cat psychology 101

Meet Mafdet. Mafdet is a roughly eight year old tabby cat: female, neutered, and friendly. She's one of the two cats we adopted from the Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home when Sekhmet died in December. (The other, Frigg, is an enormous -- and enormously overwight -- black panther with a rather odd, stubby tail and a combination of immense patience and feline reserve.) Mafdet is friendly, but anxious. Periodically she'll rush around the house meeping for human company until she finds some attention. She's not a lap cat or shoulder cat, but she likes being stroked and tickled. And when she's found a human being, she'll walk in circles around their ankles. Or around their head, if they happen to be in bed.

Yesterday afternoon, Mafdet did her meeping thing and rushed up to me while I was standing in the door of Feorag's study. She did the walking in circles thing. Mildly annoyed, I shifted out of the way, and she continued to orbit. So I began to follow her. After a moment, she paused, confused. I continued to walk around her. She got up and began to walk in circles until we were both traipsing through a circle about a metre in diameter. She kept looking over her shoulder at me anxiously. Finally Feorag and I were in stitches with laughter when Feorag pointed out that I really ought to stop -- Mafdet's tail was bushing up with alarm and she was looking distinctly panicky.

Apparently cats are allowed to walk in circles around humans, but there is something deeply wrong with the universe when a human walks in circles around the cat. (An hour later she was still watching me anxiously whenever out paths crossed. Poor thing ...)

[ Discuss cats ]

posted at: 13:09 | path: /cats | permanent link to this entry


Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex

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Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
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Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]

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July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)

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