Saturday, January 03, 2015

Friendly Ghosts: The Future of the Cold River

“The more personal you are willing to be and the more intimate you are willing to be about the details of your own life, the more universal you are.”

When you recognize that pain — and response to pain — is a universal thing, it helps explain so many things about others, just as it explains so much about yourself. It teaches you forbearance. It teaches you a moderation in your responses to other people’s behavior. It teaches you a sort of understanding. It essentially tells you what everybody needs. You know what everybody needs? You want to put it in a single word?
Everybody needs to be understood.

Gollum is a pretty vulnerable guy the electron and the bit of MEdia Dragon's Praha

Reading and eating are natural companions, and they’ve got a lot in common. Reading is consumption. Eating is consumption. Both are comforting, nourishing, restorative, relaxing, and mostly enjoyable. They can energize you or put you to sleep. Heavy books and heavy meals both require a period of intense digestion. Just as reading great novels can transport you to another time and place, meals — good and bad ones alike — can conjure scenes very far away from your kitchen table. Some of my favorite meals convey stories of origin and tradition; as a voracious reader, I devour my favorite books.My Cook Mum Maria Could not agree more ;-)

A peculiar medical condition caused one woman to see images of dragons everywhere she looked. 
Mystery over woman who saw 'dragons'


Coma patient wakes up speaking French

A car accident also left barber Rory Curtis believing that he was Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey.

We Need Your Help BradBlog. BradBlog is the go-to blog for e-voting and its discontents.

The Cold Wet Mackerel of Reality The Archdruid Report

The Economist – From Papyrus to Pixels: “Books like de Officiis have not merely weathered history; they have helped shape it. The ability they offer to preserve, transmit and develop ideas was taken to another level by Gutenberg and his colleagues. Being able to study printed material at the same time as others studied it and to exchange ideas about it sparked the Reformation; it was central to the Enlightenment and the rise of science. No army has accomplished more than printed textbooks have; no prince or priest has mattered as much as “On the Origin of Species”; no coercion has changed the hearts and minds of men and women as much as the first folio of Shakespeare’s plays. Books read in electronic form will boast the same power and some new ones to boot. The printed book is an excellent means of channelling information from writer to reader; the e-book can send information back as well. Teachers will be able to learn of a pupil’s progress and questions; publishers will be able to see which books are gulped down, which sipped slowly. Already readers can see what other readers have thought worthy of note, and seek out like-minded people for further discussion of what they have read. The private joys of the book will remain; new public pleasures are there to be added. What is the future of the book? It is much brighter than people think.”

Notes from the Fight Against Surveillance and Censorship: 2014 in Review
“In recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic, global surge in attempts to censor and surveil users worldwide. Nevertheless, in the face of such threats, I find myself energized and awed by our growing movement. In the past year, we’ve seen the whole community become more organized, resourceful, and more creative than ever before. While these are long fights, we’re in them for the long run. And right now, I think we’re bringing some of the very best to the protection of digital civil liberties.
See all of our 2014 year in review blog articles. Thanks to EFF members, friends, and allies, we fought—and are on the brink of winning—the most significant battle for net neutrality in a decade. Working with partners across the country and the globe, we helped galvanize over 3 million people to speak out in defense of an open Internet. We also saw global outrage turn to action in our efforts rein in NSA surveillance abuses. Our legal challenges to mass surveillance are garnering increased worldwide attention and seeing movement in the courts, while Congress considered multiple reform bills and is poised to address one of the most controversial sections of the Patriot Act in 2015. We kept the pressure up through activism campaigns at home and abroad, including our first-ever aerial activism campaign—an airship over the NSA data center.”

New York Times: “Four years ago, the Federal Trade Commission announced, with fanfare, a plan to let American consumers decide whether to let companies track their online browsing and buying habits. The plan would let users opt out of the collection of data about their habits through a setting in their web browsers, without having to decide on a site-by-site basis. The idea, known as “Do Not Track,” and modeled on the popular “Do Not Call” rule that protects consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, is simple. But the details are anything but. Although many digital advertising companies agreed to the idea in principle, the debate over the definition, scope and application of “Do Not Track” has been raging for several years. Now, finally, an industry working group is expected to propose detailed rules governing how the privacy switch should work. The group includes experts but is dominated by Internet giants like Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google and Yahoo. It is poised to recommend a carve-out that would effectively free them from honoring “Do Not Track” requests. If regulators go along, the rules would allow the largest Internet giants to continue scooping up data about users on their own sites and on other sites that include their plug-ins, such as Facebook’s “Like” button or an embedded YouTube video. This giant loophole would make “Do Not Track” meaningless.”