Hard News by Russell Brown


Go Webstock

Webstock 08 is official, and the lineup looks very interesting, and perhaps wider-ranging than the last one. The great thing about Webstock is that it brings an infusion of ideas without it ever seeming like an invasion of overseas experts.

I'm particularly pleased that Tom Coates (ex-BBC, notoriously so, and now with Yahoo's ideas incubator) will be there. For a flavour of Tom, try this spot-on post about Andrew 'Cult of the Amateur' Keen.

I'll be speaking about something again -- guess I'd better start on those slides -- and I'm described on the site as "Hard-hitting and authoritative, yet gentle and cuddly," which is quite funny. But can I be both at the same time?

Further to this week's story on government cyber-hacking, reader James pointed me to a Register story that, as is the way of El Reg, pokes a few holes in the evil Asian hacker stories being peddled by The Times and others.

The Fundy Post has been debating the definition of art with various local wingnut blogs and their audiences. Actually, one should not call PC a wingnut, even if he has some odd friends.

Speaking of which, big nasty socialist meanies have been having fun with Redbaiter in a Kiwiblog thread about (ostensibly) the party pills legislation.

From the comments in this thread at One Good Move, a link to this useful build-your-own-God website. The philosophers will even assess your designer God for internal consistency, and if that's not the humanities reaching out I don't know what is.

And, as mentioned in today's edition of Some Foreign Field, I went along to the New Zealand Music Awards finalists announcement last night. The Mint Chicks featured heavily, along with OpShop and Evermore, but perhaps the most notable element of this year's awards is the return of Vodafone as naming sponsor, after a nervous year off. The interesting thing is that Vodafone first came to the awards simply because it was a good brand fit, but comes back as an industry stakeholder -- and the country's biggest retailer of music singles. The shape of things to come, one would think.

PS: A link burgled from Tom Coates. As he explains it: "Martin Klimas gets porcelain figures in total darkness and then drops them on the ground. The sound of them touching the floor triggers a light allowing a nearby camera to capture their 'moment of transformation'." The captured images are extraordinary.

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