Ethical questions raised from the advent of the internet

Jason Calcanis (founder of Weblogs, and the man who relaunched Netscape as a Digg) is posing ethical questions that arise in the age of the internet. Here's an interesting question he poses: Now that it's so easy to read newspapers via pocket pc's, computers, blackberry's, cell phones, and anything else high speed, do we have an obligation to stop reading print copies for the sake of nature preservation? Jason estimates that in 15 years he's read 5,475 newspapers, and wonders how many trees did that come from, how much fuel was used to produce everything. So the question is, "is it wrong to subscribe to the print edition of New York Times if I have high-speed web access all day long?"


Free education online

Here's a great article revealing a large amount of free educational resources provided on the web from universities around the country. Free content such as lectures from the University of Washington on Greek Mythology, American Revolution, and Heroic Fantasy.

Also the University of Berkeley California has created an entire catalog of lectures directly on Google Video. everything from Physics to Journalism to Biology is available directly on Google Video.

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Every episode of The Simpsons free online

This can't last long, but someone is streaming every episode from the first 18 seasons of The Simpsons for free online. You have to wade through hoards of ads, but on the up-side, you can watch any episode you want without dropping a dime.

Also, if you're looking for some Jon Stewart clips, here' s a collection of interviews etc that he did NOT on the the Daily Show itself.

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Free cup of coffee on Yahoo

This is relatively insignificant, but if you're dying for a free cup of coffee, on Friday Yahoo will be buying you one from Dunkin Donuts if you set your homepage to Yahoo.com that day.

I moved into Manhattan this weekend, and will be without Cable/Internet for a while, so posts will be limited. You can walk around my neighborhood here.

Google Videos are going strong - 2263 views and 25 downloads.

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Preview the entire first episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on AOL

AOL is offering a free preview of Studio 60 on Sunset Strip - the entire first epside - for one week leading up to the series premiere Monday, September 18th. I haven't decided if I want to watch it ahead of time, but if you do, it's here.


More apple rumors - video ipod finally here?

Loving the rumors based on 'investigation'
- Apple announced their updated iMacs early last week, to possibly pave the way for bigger, more interesting announcements at tomorrow's press conference
- There were no iPod ads in this weekend's circulars, which rarely happens
- there is a picture floating around of a banner set up early at the conference room
There's almost 100% certainty that a video download service will be launched tomorrow, but will a true video iPod be joining it?

Tracking the Facebook buzz

The above chart displays the amount of blog postings about "facebook" over the last 90 days (this is a dynamic chart, so if you are reading this months from now, it will look different). Take a look at how many people posted in the first few days about the new "news feeds" feature that displays a river of news about your friends - up to 1600 a day! This is a perfect example of tracking buzz online. Hopefully the heads of facebook are paying attention to this too, reading everyone's feedback, and responding to them to create a discussion about their new features. You can probably tie every spike on this graph back to a feature role out, and it shows the level of interest people in the community have about them, good or bad. Personally I like the ne features, and I hope everyone doesn't turn them off. But privacy options are there now, and hopefully the community works with Facebook to get everything to a level they're comfortable with, and doesn't just disband and find another social site to use.


ClaimID to manage your identity

It's pretty common these days for anyone who wants to know something about you to use Google paint a picture of who you are.  Getting a job sometimes can come down to what comes up in a web search, regardless of your resume.  Given its importance, services such as claimID are now giving you ways to "claim" the sources that you want to represent you.  Ultimately all it does is let you aggregate which sources you'd like on the web to reflect you, pull them into one place as a picture of you, and then use the collective of links to optimize in search engines so that claimID is the highest ranking source revealed when someone searches for you.
Check out my profile here.  My claimID is now 7th ranking for "skobac" and 6th for "kevin skobac" on Google.  On Yahoo it's 8th for "skobac" and 3rd for "kevin skobac."

Simpsons season premiere on MySpace

The season premiere of Simpsons is being previewed on MySpace - the first seven minutes.  It also includes a behind the scenes look at the drawing of the show.

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Google Video and crazy butterfly phenomenom in idaho

Did I ever draw attention this? When I was in Idaho backpacking the Seven Devils Mountains this summer, there was some etremely bizarre butterfly phenomenom that caused thousands upon thousands of identical looking orange and black butterflies to surround the mountains. It's hard to describe how everywhere you looked there were these butterflies swarming, but this video from the top of he-devil mountain might help. We were at a slight indent in a mountain peak here, which presumably caused a wind tunnel effect that forced all of the butterflies into a path right over us. The video quality is bad but if you look closely you can see thousands of butterflies swarming around and shooting overhead. We have no idea what was going on!

Also a note about Google Video. Search for 'kskobac' and you'll get my growing video collection, which right now includes videos from Wildwood Ultimate Frisbee Tournament 2006, Idaho, and Ireland. So far I have over 1400 views and 17 downloads (if you download video using Google Video Player, it looks clearer, and you can frame-by-frame viewing).

Family Guy and Studio 60 on Sunset Strip season premier

The new TV season is rolling around - the season premiere of Family Guy is Sunday Sept 10, 9PM on Fox; i'm also anxiously awaiting Aaron Sorkin's new show - Studio 60 on Sunset Strip - featuring Matthew Perry in his return to TV after Friends. Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night was easily one of the best shows to never make it on TV, so hopefully this one fairs better.


Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) joins Apple's Board of Directors

IT makes sense, considering both companies have to see Microsoft as by far and away their biggest threat and competitor; Google CEO Eric Schmidt is now on Apple's Board of Directors, which in itself is worth intense speculation for what this now extremely synergistic cooperative can bring to market.


Amazon beats Apple to the punch with movie downloads

Amazon unleashed Unbox today, their movie download service. As with iTunes, you can also buy tv episodes for $1.99, but through Amazon you have the option to download movies for rent or purchase. There's no burning to DVD for playback, but there is for back-up, and you can move the file to a portable video player. Additionally, you can download video in both DVD quality and lesser for when such quality (and file size) isn't necessary. The playback starts quickly after download innitiation, and finishes while you watch.
The most important part of Amazon's Unbox offering is that it beats Apple to the punch. It's widely believe that Tuesday September 12th Apple will unvail their movie download service, with perhaps a revolutionary new video-centric iPod. Whether this is true or not, Apple is still the most mainstream name to come to the table with this type of offering (though there are several competitors, including Vongo), and that is its best chance at building some market share in the face of a scary competitor.


Facebook remixed with News Feed

Anyone who uses Facebook noticed yesterday that sweeping changes were made to your pages, adding news feeds to your intro screen and min-feeds to your personal page. Largely the reaction has been negative, with petitions and groups against the news feeds popping up in and around facebook. The group "Students Against Facebook News Feed" is said to be reaching 100,000 members within a day.
Personally, I think that the new features are compelling, and worth paying more attention to. Facebook was always leading this way - moving towards being able to tell a story about your friends. When you add contacts now you have the option of describing where they fit in your life, to see everyone on a timeline; in my experience that's been somewhat underused (including by myself). The news feeds, though, bring the story to live without any work - showing comments, pictures, and connections in a whole new way. The format should be cleaner, less invasive on the several pages, more concise, but it's worth the time and energy to figure out - it makes facebook something much more than the hundreds of other social networks out there. There privacy concerns are inflated because you have no more information now than you had before, but rather it is displayed instead of requiring you to click on every friend. You still have no access to people outside of your network.
If you have a problem with the site, voice your feedback, and make sure to read the Facebook Blog to keep up on their vision.
My facebook profile, which includes a feed of this blog.


Rare Bill Watterson Comics (the author of Calvin and Hobbes)

A great collection of rare Bill Watterson art, usually accompanying articles about Calvin and Hobbes, but also a few political comics and commentary.