About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

19 April 2007

Lessig and Free Development

The SA chapter of the Internet Society hosted a talk by Lawrence Lessig (wikipedia link). As the person who invented Creative Commons, Lessig is definitely an interesting speaker, and an interesting mix to Stallman and Co. The talk was more evangelising than anything else - I have come across most of the ideas before, both for my PhD work and other areas. Looking at the network stack, Lessig wants to promote the freeing up of the other stacks (TCP/IP is already free) to cater for commons, non profit usage.

His proposals have merit - the market space of the operating system and network providers, is often dominated by monopolies; and the monopolies have a direct say in what is available and supported by the operating systems and networks.

It is evident in UCT itself for example - ICTS as the sole provider of network access at UCT has the authority to decide what type of traffic is acceptable and not acceptable. It can dictate that certain applications should not be used; and thus block it. It can decide to throttle speeds etc etc. The argument is, that this type of operation, while probably fine for a company or even a community is not suitable for a country and even the world at large.

The problem is changing the mindset - after all; most IT guys don't want to talk the law. And most lawyers and legislators don't talk code. Maybe if we all did, it would be much better?

Movie: 300

There are two ways to review this movie. It is visually stunning, over the top, a simple, straight forward plot line - all hallmarks of a great adaptation of a graphic novel. It is highly entertaining and enjoyable.

But it can also be seen as political and historical commentary - esp as it is a fictionalised account of a real event. The real event: a war between Sparta and Persia, where the Spartans were out numbered, but eventually won. But, it was nothing in the scale proposed by 300. In a a modern setting, it is like saying 300 men first went into D-Day, and paved the way for the latter onslaught. Most people, whether literate or not, get their history through visual means; ;not by reading. How many people learnt a bit of the history of Scotland through Braveheart for example? Surely, there should be a motivation to get the history fundamentally correct?

And lastly, it is a political comment - that a well trained army will always defeat a massive army of lesser talent; and we should never reference any help that is actually offered on the way. It is a war between the east and the west - it is a war about defending freedom (aparently). I am not sure, if the bloodshed potrayed is really good propaganda ...

16 April 2007

Just Sarah and Fevertree

A bunch of us were thinking of going out to see live bands, and after much deliberation, we settled on going to Zula Sound Bar on Long Street. We didn't know too much about the bands, except that I had heard of Fevertree and the other bands on offer (at other venues) were either not liked or too expensive.

Just Sarah, fronted by Sarah I assume, describe themselves as a Indie/Pop rock band. And while there were one or two interested lyrics, on the whole they were not that great. Too much teen angst etc etc.

Fevertree on the other hand, are a great band to watch, great music, great stage acts, and just on a different level really, when compared to Just Sarah. It is no wonder - they are a SAMA nominated band! What was really disappointing was the crowd - they just did not seem to be interested; and there were just a few of us who seemed to really appreciate the music. And this is not a new thing; I have seen many bands suffer the same problem ... and they suffer despite their music being quite good ...