Links for 9th February 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…


    "A global depression, in and of itself, isn't the end of the world. However, it can set in motion unexpected events (black swans) — as in how the last depression catalyzed WW2. The revisionist effort to this economic collapse isn't likely to be a surge in ideology or nationalism. Instead, we can expect an organic realignment as small groups of people form new primary loyalties (either to violent manufactured tribes or resilient communities), slot themselves into open source movements, and challenge a wheezing group of incumbent nation-states. This is a global guerrilla century." Ouch.

    Tagged with: guerillawarfare4th-generationculturesocietycommunitynation-stateseconomicsanarchismnew-southsea

  2. Have Car, Need Briefs? In Russia, Barter Is Back

    "Sergei Ryazanov, 30, a businessman from the Siberian city of Surgut, took out an advertisement a month ago offering to barter excess metal piping. So far, he has not been impressed by the offers he has received; he said people were not desperate enough to drop prices. He is looking for a truly liquid commodity, something universal, like gasoline. Even underwear, which, he said, “is much more liquid than automobiles.”" Looks like Sterling could be right; money really is dying on its arse right now.

    Tagged with: RussiaeconomicsbusinessmoneyfinancebarterDepression

  3. 100 Beautiful Free Textures

    Smashing Magazine on the case, as always.

    Tagged with: webdevdesignimagesresourcesbackgroundtexturepatterns

  4. DRM That Actually Benefits Readers? It Could Happen

    "There's even a further step that might not be workable, but that's very tantalizing: transferrable, account-based DRM. With such a system, every eReader would need to be able to check in regularly with the network, perhaps every time it opened a DRM-enabled book, or perhaps just every time they connected for another purpose, like to download a new book." Some interesting ideas from Luc Reid here, but the more ungainly the system the more hackable points you create in the process.

    Tagged with: ebookreadingDRMlicensingcopyrightmanagementtechnology

  5. Welcome to the Imaginary Gadgets Project

    "I believe that the Internet, by mashing-together so many inventive and forward-thinking disciplines, is enabling a "Speculative Culture." I see a lot of this transpiring today. I seem to be doing more and more work in that arena myself — creative work quite hard to describe in terms from 20 years ago. If you are on this list, you may be involved in speculative-culture already. You are likely getting useful, provocative insights from people who were never your colleagues in the past. These are people with thought-processes somewhat orthogonal to your own, who nevertheless show up repeatedly on your search engines as you perform your own work. […] I think this situation is a fact-on-the-ground for a densely-networked, digitized society. I also think the pace of this phenomenon is accelerating. I don't believe we will get a choice about it. If it's inevitable, then we should exploit the inevitability." Bruce Sterling

    Tagged with: speculativecultureimaginary-gadgetswritingcreativitycross-disciplinedesignfuturism

  6. Yet another transparency PNG fix for IE6

    Does what it says on the tin.

    Tagged with: IE6PNGtransparencyhackwebdev

  7. Primitive whales gave birth on land

    "… like sea lions, Maicatetus gave birth on land. The fossilised calf's head faces outward from the uterus, which is how all land mammals give birth. Whales and dolphins, on the other hand, deliver their calves tail first – possibly so they don't drown before the end of labour."

    Tagged with: scienceevolutionwhalesmammals

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