Thank you Larry, Thank you Matt, Thank you Google

This is kind of a follow up to my 2007 post, Thank You Cory, Thank You Google. Recently Larry Lessig spoke to Google employees as part of their Talks at Google. He spoke about his recent book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It. I think the title is self explanatory as to the topic of Lessig’s talk.

Thank you Google, for giving Larry the opportunity to talk to the Googlers, for giving the Google a change to hear Larry Lessig and for sharing his talk with the rest of the internet.

I discovered the talk online via Matt Cutts’ blog, so Thank you Matt for you part in introducing Larry at Google and for spreading the video of the talk across the web.

Watching the talk I felt somewhat proud to be Australian, particularly the first question of the audience. In Australia we are lucky enough to have parenteral voting systems, where I can vote for the candidate who I most agree with without the possibility that my vote will be “wasted”. The technical aspects of voting systems, like this, are often something that interest geeks.

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Clay Shirky — Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

This my SOPA post. In this 14 min TED talk Clay Shirky fantastically explains why SOPA is a BAD IDEA. SOPA is a proposed US law and I am an Australian, but I felt I should make a post about it. In the global interconnected world we all live in, it is not only great ideas, like those found in TED talks, that spread quickly, but also BAD IDEAS and BAD LAWS.

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Queensland Floods and the Web

Floods have devastated Queensland and other parts of Australia. The area underwater is greater than France and Germany. At times like these I am always amazed at the great and positive ways how Web 2.0 technologies are used; whether social networking to match people needing accommodation with people who are offering space to stay or how people have used the twitter hash tags such as #qldfloods to follow breaking news.

NearMap, an Australian based map/aerial photography company, was remarkable quite in updating their site with very recent aerial photography showing the extent floods. The ABC, who regularly make excellent use of the web, have used the NearMap images before and after the flooding to created an excellent infographics of the devastation.

I also think it is worth noting that the inactive infographics are made using HTML and JavaScript not Flash.

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Contemporary and war time photos of St Petersburg merged

via Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing

Sergei Larenkov has photoshopped together modern images of St Petersburg with photos taken during the brutal Siege of Leningrad during WWII.

Sergei Larenkov’s images.

Very powerful and amazing images.

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Broadband for Arnhem Land

From the ABC’s 7:30 report, a good news story about the Broadband Revolution coming to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. A fibre optic cable has be laid into Arnhem Land. This is great story in so many ways:

  • The technical hurdles that needed to be over come in laying cable in a harsh environment including under a crocodile infected river.
  • The positive social impact for education and health resulting from broadband.
  • How culturally  sensitively the whole project was managed, with traditional owners from the local Aboriginal communities being consulted and involved in the project.

Telecom revolution for Arnhem Land (video from

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Garrett Lisi: A beautiful new theory of everything

via Mickipedia

Garrett Lisi: A beautiful new theory of everything

Garrett Lisi discuses his theory of how the fundamental forces can be described via the E8 group.

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