Most interesting stuff from 2008

I read a lot of stuff, mostly using google reader to follow a fairly large number of feeds efficiently.  Google reader allows you to share some articles in a individual re-feed, and I do this for stuff that really tickles my fancy, or I want to find again in the future (you can see the most recent 10 in the sidebar on this blog, or via the URL here).

I find that I’ve flagged over 300 items this year, so I thought it might be interesting to look back and find the top 10 or so.

There was lots of heat and light over ODF vx.OOXML.  the latter is Microsoft’s stab at an open format that allows its use where retrieval of documents is important.  The sheer bad behaviour as Microsoft tried to use FUD (here’s an example dispelling various mis-truths about ODF) and to get OOXML approved as an ISO standard (e.g. see here) damaged Microsofts reputation as well as tarnishing the ISO processes.  A great example of how corporate muscle does not equate to the greater good.

It was one of several legal challenge situations that I followed with interest.  Another was on copyright, and the tension between fair use, authors getting credit and payment, crippling silly DRM systems, and straight theft. Another was an silly End User Licence Agreements such as the ones Disney uses.

I also love to look into cases of mental biases and lack of rigour in reporting of science.  This was a great example of how evolution really works, and how some deny it.  Then there’s bad science which is always top value – e.g. this on the MMR scare.

There was the double baralled rubber band minigun that shoots 40 bands per second and has a 288 band magazine.  Loading must be tedious, but it looks great.  Silly but great.  And, a little less dangerous than the autonomous paintball sentry gun. If you like your silly gadgets a little more harmless, try this.

A Tom Cruise video espousing Scientology was pretty worrying, but entertaining that the Scientologists tried to have it removed from most places, but Gawker refused, so it is kept for posterity.  Enjoy (!)

I like the creation of new ‘realities’ in things like Second life.  Two the best were ‘New Babbage’ which is an entire Steampunk town created by its residents, and a cool self-assembling property the ‘Bogon flux’.

And hundreds of others.  I’ve quite enjoyed looking back at them, but must stop as teh greenhouse needs sorting for next years’ assault on hydroponics and chillis.

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One Response to Most interesting stuff from 2008

  1. Pingback: What was worth reading? | Greg Pyes blog

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