grasshoppers – ning v. facebook?

Chris Brogan has been experimenting with a new social network called ‘grasshoppers’ – people helping people. He has created it in two places: Ning and Facebook (although it did seem to migrate through Google groups quite quickly on the way to Ning).

It will be interesting to see which one is preferred. I like Ning better as I’ve been participating in other groups on that platform and it is very easy to use.

US ruling makes server RAM a ‘document’?

Sometimes I think that judges have not quite joined the 21st century! Suspect this one does not know what RAM actually is and how it is used? Talk about things that make you go hmmm … here is an interesting ruling that was recently reported on ZDNET by Greg Sandoval, CNET on 15 June 2007 10:15 AM:

news analysis: A federal judge in Los Angeles last week ruled (PDF) that a computer server’s RAM, or random-access memory, is a tangible document that can be stored and must be turned over in a lawsuit.

If allowed to stand, the groundbreaking ruling may mean that anyone defending themselves in a civil suit could be required to turn over information in their computer’s RAM hardware, which could force companies and individuals to store vast amounts of data, say technology experts. Roaming the Web anonymously was already nearly impossible. This ruling, which brings up serious privacy issues, could make it a lot harder.” read more

The Great Global Warming Swindle

The BBC documentary the Great Global Warming Swindle went to air on the ABC TV in Australia last week and it gave rise to some vigorous debates in our office. It led to an interesting discussion about relativism and scientificity. Some people argued that, since the majority of the scientists agree that global warming is a problem we should listen to them. Others argued that the majority of scientists might be wrong. As I see it, even if the majority of scientists are wrong but we reduce our emissions and carbon footprint anyway there is no harm to the planet, only benefit. This is very similar to Y2K, we all fixed up our computer systems, which was a good thing, and the world was not made worse by doing so.

Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

The World Society for the Protection of Animals is one of many animal care organisations that is campaigning for a universal declaration on animal welfare. Why is it important? Because recognized principles of animal welfare could help achieve:

  • Recognition of the importance of the welfare of sentient animals;
  • Improved practices for sustainable agriculture;
  • Lessened risk of transmissible diseases such as BSE, rabies, bird flu;
  • More productive relationships between people and the animals under their control including companion animals, working animals, and farm animals;
  • A more compassionate global attitude to animals and their welfare, including attitudes towards their needs and habitats;
  • Promote biodiversity and acknowledge the risks to animals caused by climate change, habitat loss, pollution and other environmental factors;
  • Provide a benchmark for those countries with little or no animal welfare standards.

Sign the petition for the declaration on animal welfare .