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 .

The good and bad Of Web 2.0 tools has an article discussing The good and bad Of Web 2.0 tools

Worth noting that there is more buzz about Enterprise 2.0 now. All this leads to the need to think about how IT departments will deal with user communities (who often have better tools at home than at work) and their desires for more easy to use functionality like that available online in web 2.0.

IT departments are focused on stability and order, while the user community just wants to get on with things.

“How not to suck at socializing”

Good piece over at Life Hack on ‘how not to suck at socializing’ – I am often lost for conversation at functions.

I especially liked their most important point:

“Don’t feel like you have to do anything. You’re out for your own reasons and want to do your own thing. Different things work for different people. For instance, you might never feel comfortable approaching strangers. Find your own groove and be yourself.”

Social Networking Generation Gap?

At dinner with some gen x and baby boomer friends the other night it became clear that there is a generation gap between gen x, baby boomers and gen y et al. This generation gap is different to that which existed between my parents and my grandparents. The old generation gap was revealed via music – that is, my parents listened to rock and roll while my grandparents listened to Bing Crosby and other crooners.

The generation gap is now revealed via use of technology. Everyone from grandparents to toddlers listens to a wide variety of modern music – eclectica reigns. However, it is in attitudes to technology and social networking that the modern generation gap is revealed.

While gen x is happy to use LinkedIn to keep track of contacts, they are must less interested in Twittering with their friends, and the baby boomers were utterly horrified by very notion of Twitter and other tumblelogs.

Several of the male baby boomers had only recently acquired mobile phones (2G not 3G) and only turned them on to make an outbound call (to the endless frustration of their gen x & y mates). Their gen x partners could not conceive of life without a mobile phone, but drew the line at text based communications like SMS and IM.

On the other hand my gen y friends (who did not attend this dinner) would have been bemused to discover that there were people who did not live by text & instant messaging.

As for me, in my usual eclectic way, I do all of the above depending on how I feel.