MediaLens reflection – The BBC Paxman Brand Revolution

MediaLens, in an article about the Paxman/Brand beardery on Newsnight last week, asks: “How likely is it that the BBC would really provide a launchpad for a revolution?”

Well, in some regards and with Iran in 1953 as a case in point, highly-likely indeed, by the BBC’s own admission.

NEWSNIGHT: Paxman vs Brand – full interview

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin – Hello Unity

I’ve taken the plunge and installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin). If nothing else, the OS was easier to install on a dual-boot Windows 7 machine than it was to type its full name!

Prior to this I’d been running Ubuntu 9.04/9.10, then 10.04/10.10, all of which coexisted alongside Windows XP and Windows 7. Since switching to a newer dual-boot machine that’s never had the time dedicated to it to facilitate the almost seamless switching between OSes that operated on the older box, I haven’t been using Ubuntu as heavily as before shifting machines. So, installing Precise Pangolin was as much as a incentive to get the dual-boot working environments working smoothly as it was a desire to see what all the fuss was about.

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Quick Pidgin Theming for Windows

Version 2.10.4 of the Pidgin instant messaging client was released last weekend, which means now is about as good a time as any to throw together a quick how-to for anyone that wants to theme their Pidgin differently from the default. This how-to presumes that you have Pidgin for Windows installed already.

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Why old software versions matter

In a recent post on the blog attention was drawn to a comment left on the site’s Facebook page by a user who said:

“I am using your resource to restore some really low resource computers to give to people who have no money to buy a computer for themselves or their children.”

What a fantastic use of the service!

If ever there was an argument for maintaining freely available archives of old versions of software, then this has to be one of the better ones. Why should access to computers and the Internet be the sole preserve of those privileged enough to afford it?

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Copying Writing, Music, Video

Earlier this week, via Twitter:

Cory Doctorow (@doctorow)
That time again: Need to come up with a Guardian column idea. I’ll RT the best /most interesting for next 15 mins. GO!

My reply:

Once you choose to place words/pictures/audio/video/media in the public domain, in whatever form, it then remains public domain. @doctorow

Which, in the confines of the ongoing copyright and intellectual property debate (as if even the notion of the ownership of ideas could tangibly exist in a reasonably sane world) might seem a bit left-field.  But there other ways to consider the situation.

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MegaUpload, DMCA, ACTA, SOPA, etc

Comedian Dave Gorman recently posted an update on his brush with the DMCA, courtesy of a spurious organisation called Degban. I left a comment there, but seeing as it fleshes out the background to some articles in the pipeline for this blog, here’s a copy of that comment.

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Browser musings #1

I’m just about old enough to remember the browsers known as Mosaic and Netscape Navigator and Communicator. Back in the latter’s heyday Internet Explorer was even more horrific than it is now, so having a fairly robust alternative available was a welcome thing indeed.

The web itself was a very different place to the so-called web 2.0 on which you’re reading this.

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