TED: How creativity is being strangled by the law by Larry Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is a Stanford law professor, and one the leading authorities on the issue of copyright. He is a founding board member of Creative Commons, an organization (and a license name) devoted to making creative works such as images or video available for others to build upon and share. This wonderful TED presentation, in “Lessig Method” style, is about how our culture has been changed (and is changing) by Internet, and why the existing copyright laws are inadequate any more.

Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

Lessig has been extremely politically active and is widely recognized by the Internet community as having greatly contributed to the freedom of expression. Here’s a “Tribute to Larry Lessig” from Brave New Films, the guys who brought you The Real McCain, FOX Attacks! and Meet the Bloggers:

TED: Will videogames become better than life? by David Perry

Videogame designer David Perry talks about the future of video games, and shows a super-cool video mix of how computer graphics has been evolving over the last decade. Since I quit playing videogames long time ago, I found the early stages shown in this mix much more emotionally stimulating. 🙂


Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

TED: How a ragtag band created Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales, who at least co-founded Wikipedia, talks on its origins, history and organization. Wikipedia is probably the most successful collaborative project to date, the largest general reference resource on the net, counting over 2.5 million articles, and #8 popular website in the world reaching almost 10% of Internet users daily. And most amazingly, it costs very little to run – the whole Wikimedia Foundation took just $3.5m to run in 2007/2008. It’s one of those landscape-changing projects that excite me so much. What will the future bring next?

Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

Microsoft Re-Designs the iPod packaging

On the topic of simple interfaces, here’s a neat parody on Microsoft vs. Apple I came across. Actually, I learned of its existence from the latest book by Andy Hunt which I’m reading now – Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware. I’m just one chapter into it, but it seems to be a great book. And if you like this video, make sure you watch the Simplicity Sells techtalk by David Pogue – it’s just as funny.

And here’s another short Microsoft vs. Apple parody, now the iPhone:

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BOFH video – “The Website Is Down”

This is just a gorgeous BOFH video. BOFH stands for The Bastard Operator from Hell, the main character of stories by Simon Travaglia that first appeared in 1992 on Usenet. I was already doing computers in 1992, and I remember Russian translation of these stories appearing on local BBS and FidoNet. The stories are about a rogue system administrator taking out on the users. These stories grew into a saga, which was later published as a book, and then another, and then another. There’s also an WWW edition of the stories, and here’s a little taste of it:

“What can I do for you?” I ask pleasantly – (one of the key warning signs)
“Um, I want to know if we have a particular software package..”
“Which package is that?”
“Uh, B-A-S-I-C it’s called.”
>clickety clickety d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e<
“Um no, we don’t have that. We used to though..”

🙂 Now this video takes it all to a whole new level:

Since the video contains Russian subtitles, I’m bound to provide a Russian translation of this post:

[Russian translation]

Офигенное видео в стилистике BOFH. BOFH = Bastard Operator From Hell (в переводе “Ублюдок-оператор из ада”, а иногда ЧМО – Чертов Мерзавец-Оператор) – главный персонаж кототких рассказов Саймона Траваглия, впервые опубликованных в 1992 году в сети Usenet. В 1992 году я уже был компьютерным маньяком, и помню русские переводы этих рассказов на Питерских BBS и в Фидошных эхах. Рассказы эти – о злобном сисадмине, отрывающемся на невинных пользователях. Из этих рассказов вырасла целая сага, по которой потом напечатали книгу, а затем еще несколько. А в сети есть WWW-редакция этого добра, и 11 оригинальных частей переведены на русский язык. Вот небольшой отрывок оттуда для примера:

“Чем я могу вам помочь” – спросил я вежливым тоном. Это один из основных признаков опасности.
“Я хотел бы знать, есть ли у нас одна программка…”
“Называется B-A-S-I-C”.
>клик-клик-стук d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e<
“Мне очень жаль, но у нас ее нет. Была когда-то…”

🙂 Ну а это видео поднимает тему на новую высоту.

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