Digital Culture

Pirate Bay

Pirate Bay vs Hollywood

Just to recap the last week or so for The Pirate Bay, the largest bittorrent engine in the world,

They were raided by the police, evidently under pressure from the United States and the MPAA. Keep in mind, of course, that this is in Sweden. You know, one of the places that isn’t the US. Their servers (along with other sites servers, which just happened to be in the same room) are seized.

Three days later:

Pirate Bay is back up, and now operating (evidently) as a distributed site in multiple countries with redundency. Ah, the beauty of Gilmore’s Law in action.

Their own take on it:

Just some stats…
… here are some reasons why TPB is down sometimes – and how long it usually takes to fix:

Tiamo gets *very* drunk and then something crashes: 4 days

Anakata gets a really bad cold and noone is around: 7 days

The US and Swedish gov. forces the police to steal our servers: 3 days

.. yawn.

And finally, an absolutely brilliant speech from some of the people responsible for Pirate Bay, given at the Reboot conference.

The attack on Pirate Bay is an attack on that grey zone. Rather than securing their own copyrights, the movie industry are attacking an infrastructure that is needed for many kinds of independent production. They are not attacking piracy in general, as the sharing of digital files can always take its physical routes. They are attacking the very possibility to interconnect metadata of private archives. But while intellectual property will surely continue to be a battleground for major clampdowns in our society, there will always be enumerable lots of open ways.

How cool are these dudes? They have their own political party. Seriously. How much is a one way ticket to Sweden these days?

Digital Culture Personal

Valleyschwag 2

ValleySchwag 2 unwrapped

I recieved my first Valleyschwag package yesterday…I must say, I’m impressed. From the detail put into the packaging to the schwag itself, a cool once a month surprise. It’s like having a birthday every month!


It was, as you can see, wrapped in painted burlap. After you peeled away the burlap, the goodies inside were:

ValleySchwag 2 contents

All in all, not bad for $14.95. The Rubyred T-shirt and the Goatse stickers will be worth that much in conversation at least, and the PerplexCity cards are just cool.

Library Issues Personal

It can be revealed…

While I hesitated to talk about this before it became official and was announced, but I’m going to take over as webmaster for the UTC Library. I won’t be leaving my position in Reference/Instruction, and will still be teaching and being a reference librarian. This is just an additional duty that I’ll balance by doing less desk time overall. My skillset is probably atypical for a reference/instruction librarian overall, so this is an opportunity to leverage my technology skills to the benefit of the library.

This is an interesting thing for me to move into, since I effectively left a webmaster position to move into what I really wanted, Reference and Instruction. But this is a direction that I find interesting in librarianship, the taking of something that has for years been considered the domain of systems, and moving it to reference/instruction. A month or so ago there was a Blended Librarian webcast about these sorts of new positions in libraries…a sort of Instructional Technology librarian, who bridges the ability to do web design, instructional design, and other issues relating technology and the patron.

So my summer project: to redesign the library website, with usability in mind. We’ll almost certainly be moving to a CMS as well, and are evaluating those now. If anybody out there has tips/thoughts about open source CMS’s as far as pros/cons, let me know. As well, if you’ve got favorite library sites/must haves/other tips, I’m open as well. I know what I want, but it’s always good to hear what others find valuable.

Digital Culture


A while back I blogged about what to call a certain type of image found often in Internet disscussion boards. Typically containing text and a picture that are humorous or insulting, they often act as a tool with which to comment on the thread.

I didn’t get any responses, really, so I’ve thought a bit more and decided that I’m going to call them “disspics”…this refers to both the fact that they are found on Disscussion boards, and that they often diss or insult.

It’s not great, but I needed something to call this flickr set I put together of them. So I created a flickr group as well, and would love for people to join and add their own discoveries.

Digital Culture


I had heard the name before, but not until it was featured on BoingBoing did I actually see what an amazing idea Valleyschwag is. In their own words:

Out here in the Valley (Silicon Valley, that is) we’re well known for cookin’ up a mean tech company. But our real legacy is our schwag–the t-shirts, ballcaps, notepads, stickers, keychains, and other booty blaring the slogans that create new industries (and sometimes landfill, sorry to say). Until now, these world-class collectibles have only been available to the elite few who make it to conventions and insider parties. Now you can have a little piece of the valley without the $3000 rent and two hour commute.

I’m so doing this.

Digital Culture

Stop the Madness

If for any reason you missed this on BoingBoing, below is possibly the single most “80’s” video in the history of the world.

We’re talking Nancy Reagan (in her first rock video!), Tootie, and Whitney Houston singing about the evils of drugs. So bad it’s amazing.

Digital Culture

Best. Lightsaber. Duel. Ever.

Digital Culture

Laugh of the day: Web 2.1

For all you old fashioned Web 2.0 peeps: we’re so over that.

Web 2.1 is here, and it supports a server side BLINK tag. In your face Web 2.0.

Digital Culture

Web 2.0 opportunity

Here’s another Web 2.0 opportunity for someone out there: We’ve got an online word processor (several, actually), like Writely, and a ton of other online productivity software.

Well, I want an online spreadsheet. Betsy and I are trying to do a budget for some things we’re interested in doing this spring, and having one online would be SO much easier. We could both update, etc.

Anyone know of the sort of thing I’m looking for?