31 December 2004

30 December 2004

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami: "The SEA-EAT blog for short. News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts."

Dina Mehta has been tracking the situation on her blog Conversations with Dina and helped set up the SEA-EAT blog. She reported that they should have set it up as a wiki. As it is, they have over 28 bloggers contributing.

Bloggers' Code of Ethics

Jonathan Dube at CyberJournalist.net has posted A Bloggers' Code of Ethics.

CyberJournalist.net has modified the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics for the Weblog world.


Be Honest and Fair
Bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Bloggers should:
• Never plagiarize.
• Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
• Make certain that Weblog entries, quotations, headlines, photos and all other content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
• Never distort the content of photos without disclosing what has been changed. Image enhancement is only acceptable for for technical clarity. Label montages and photo illustrations.
• Never publish information they know is inaccurate -- and if publishing questionable information, make it clear it's in doubt.
• Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.
• Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

Minimize Harm
Ethical bloggers treat sources and subjects as human beings deserving of respect.
Bloggers should:
• Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
• Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
• Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.
• Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy.
• Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects, victims of sex crimes and criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

Be Accountable
Bloggers should:
• Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
• Explain each Weblog's mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers' conduct.
• Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas.
• Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence content. When exceptions are made, disclose them fully to readers.
• Be wary of sources offering information for favors. When accepting such information, disclose the favors.
• Expose unethical practices of other bloggers.
• Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

Netherlands issues first fines to spammers

MacCentral reports Netherlands issues first fines to spammers.

By John Blau, IDG News Service

Dutch authorities have issued their first fines for spam originating in the country.

The largest fine, €42,500 (US$58,000), was slapped on an individual who was involved in four spam runs, according to the spokesman.

A second fine, amounting €25,000, was issued to a one-man printing company, called Gorenendaal, which was soliciting orders for the book Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler. "Apart from the fact that the company was sending spam, this publication is banned," the spokesman said.

The third fine for €20,000 was issued to a group called Yellow Monday, which sent spam to mobile phones via SMS (Short Message Service). "This spam was the nastiest of all because consumers who opened the spam were automatically billed €1.10," the spokesman said.

Read more

29 December 2004

UPDATE! 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake - Wikipedia

There is now a link to a growing, interactive list of organizations accepting donations to assist victims of the earthquake and tsunami..

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is covering the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

It is live and completely explains the the quake charateristics and countries involved with continually updated casualities, damage impact and relevant information listed per country.

28 December 2004

Crossroads Dispatches about Tsunami

Evelyn Rodriguez is recovering and blogging from Thailand through her Crossroads Dispatches

Her personal experience with the situation touches your heart.

PhysicsWeb - Highlights 2004

As the physics community gets ready to celebrate the centenary of Einstein's papers on relativity, the quantum theory of light and Brownian motion, many of PhysicsWeb's highlights of 2004 can be traced back to what Einstein did in 1905.

Other highlights include evidence for ancient water on Mars, advances in low-temperature physics and the world's smallest atomic clock.

1. Pure and applied quantum physics
2. Putting general relativity to the test
3. Good year for planets
4. Supersolid helium
5. Ultracold Fermi gases
6. Physicists target viruses
7. Electrons in a spin
8. Liquids go against the flow
9. Smallest atomic clock
10. Particles and prizes

Click here to read PhysicsWeb - News - Highlights of the year (December 2004)

You might be surprised just how interesting this is!

26 December 2004

FT.com Quiz 2004 - Room at the inn?

Take the quiz at FT.com - - Quiz 2004 - Room at the inn?

It's fun! Who knows what might happen.

The first prize is three nights accommodation and breakfast for two people plus one dinner for two at your choice of one of four exclusive Orient-Express Hotels. Choose from the following hotels that have been selected from the Orient-Express’ magical collection of luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants:
• Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy
• Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa
• La Residence d’Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia

25 December 2004

It's a Wonderful Life (Bunny Version)

Just click and wander into It's a Wonderful Life
re-enacted by bunnies in 30 seconds.

(click the bunny silhouettes at the end for bonus scenes!)

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season...
and a safe, Happy New Year.

23 December 2004

Homesick for Santa Fe

I really enjoy living in Amsterdam. It is one of those amazing cities that caters to a creative personality.

What happens around this time of year is that people from home - New Mexico - start sending photos...of snow and, of course, the unique way we decorate the pathways, walls and roofs with luminarias and farolitos.

Several years ago I decided not to travel home in the winter - the snow storms in NM can ground you for weeks! The downside is...no biscochitos, no posole, no farolitos and no family.

Merry Kisses to my very wonderful family - and, oh, by the way, Happy 81st birthday, Dad. (Go play your sax for me!)

22 December 2004

Amsterdam at Night

Thanks to Jonathan Marks - a friend playing with his new camera - we have an amazing photo of Amsterdam at night headed from the center toward KNMS Island.

Amsterdam is one of the best places on Earth to celebrate New Year's Eve. We have fireworks that seem to last forever and the streets and canals are filled with people celebrating amidst the foreworks.

Christmas Moon

From NASA:
December 22, 2004: No Rudolph? No problem. This year there's going to be a full moon to light up the nights around Christmas. The smallest full moon of 2004 will brighten the nights around Christmas.

So... to those of you who don't believe in Santa, here's the proof:
Look out the window Christmas Eve at the moonlight on your roof.

The apparent size of the moon at perigee
(top) and apogee (bottom).

Rudolph coughed and sneezed.
Ahh-choo! His nose was really red.
The doctor nodded ruefully.
"He has to stay in bed."

Rudolph had a cold,
a bad one, plain to see.
He wasn't going anywhere
with Santa Christmas Eve.

Rooftops dark and tricky.
(Hey ... where'd the chimney go?)
That's what Santa has to deal with
absent Rudolph's rosy glow.

But Santa is a cheery soul
and a smart one, too.
He quickly had a bright idea:
"I know what to do!"

Using special Santa-magic,
he conjured up a moon,
a full one, round and shiny.
Who needs Rudolph? That old prune!

So... to those of you who don't believe
in Santa, here's the proof:
Look out the window Christmas Eve
at the moonlight on your roof.

It's a special full moon, too: the smallest of 2004. Soaring high in the sky, it might remind you of a shiny white Christmas ball for your tree. Don't bother reaching for it... it's 406,700 km away!

20 December 2004

Google Inventions of the Future

Some things need no further explanation. Click and read!
Google Inventions of the Future (4 of 10)

Number 4. Google AdWalls. Inspired by a scene in Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451," a Google engineer in 2028 creates Google AdWalls. Like a living poster on the wall, they display a variety of items to shop for. The spin here is that AdWalls listen to what people in the room are talking about, managing to display context-relevant information only. If they hear a "Honey, where's the toothpaste?" in the morning, they will instantly display the fitting spot advertising toothpaste and talk the viewer into buying it.

What went right: Lonely people realized they could talk to their walls to suppress boredom. While not exactly intelligent, the algorithm always managed to stay on topic.

What went wrong: Landlords installing AdWalls could lower the rent because they'd get a commission for items bought. The idea was this way everybody would benefit. However after the first wave of suicide attempts caused by annoying, ever-talking AdWalls, Google felt forced to shut down the program.

19 December 2004

Drupal Handbook Now Online

Drupal handbook | drupal.org

Thanks to Creative Commons license, you can now access the Drupal Handbook for all the info you need about web content management.

18 December 2004

A Gift - Stretch Your Mind

BENTLEY RALLY 2002 PT - 001, originally uploaded by Colby.

Are you willing to listen to others to gain a fresh perspective on life? Can you offer other people the space to think the way they want to? Can you give someone else the experience of changing their mind much in the way you would give yourself the same experience?

Perhaps there is one path, one way, one truth. Or...maybe, truth is the sum of all parts. Perhaps each of us can only see a small part of the whole. Without each of our individual truths, the whole as we know it would not exist.

This is a good time of the year to expand your thinking, your beliefs and your horizons.

Stretch your mind to make way for your heart.

14 December 2004

Clued In: How to create customer experiences so that they come back again and again

There's a new book out with an inspiring review at FC - Clued In : How to Create Customer Experiences so They Will Come Back Again and Again by Lou Carbone.

First thought - Balancing What Customers Value With What Businesses Value
"In recent years, many businesses - many entire industries, in fact - seem to have lost their sense of balance in this regard. In trying to maximize the value of customers to their businesses, they appear to have lost sight of the need for their organizations to create value for their customers. "

Second thought - Reorienting Priorities
"The question of how to balance the value of the experience to the customer and the value of the customer to the company leads to an opportunity to "value engineer" the relationship between organizations and their customers, thereby making any market segment profitable. "

I could not find it for sale on any of the usual sites. If anyone knows where to buy it, please let me know.

Settled life speeds social and religious evolution

Particularly interesting article in the New Scientist - Settled life speeds social and religious evolution.

22:00 13 December 04

NewScientist.com news service

" The shift from nomadic life to settled village life can lead to a rapid development of religious and social complexity and hierarchy, according to a detailed chronology of the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico. Only about 1300 years separate its oldest ritual buildings - simple ‘men’s huts’ - and the first standardised temples of the Zapotec state, an archaeological study suggests.

“This is the first study to show how the co-evolution of social and religious complexity occurred, and what steps were involved,” says Joyce Marcus at the University of Michigan, US, who led the work."

9 December 2004

Euromed, Marseille & Cassis

I spent last week leading a seminar at Euromed Ecole de Management in Marseille, France, with a wild collection of other professors and teachers from distant places on the planet. We taught our fascinations to students in the Masters of Business program - mine was "Complexity, Creativity & Branding". What I found so very intriguing was the school's management and their interest in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary learning focused on complexity, innovation and knowledge management.

A captivating speaker from the Edward de Bono Foundation on Malta led one of the groups in lateral thinking. A warm-hearted Professor from Mumbai, India gave another group insights into HR. A retired specialist from the Space Agency in Bremen, Germany offered a working platform about private space travel as business. Two wise and charming Parisians opened the minds of another group and gathered their collaborative contributions for the U.N. An Armenian yoga instructor from Los Angeles opened the minds of another group to the wonders of wholeness through eating and meditation practices. A dedicated British economist shared his accounting tools with a different group. An enterprising Netherlander took a group of young entrepreneurs through the rigors of a start up company.

I made my group of 46 students crazy! They had to grasp concepts larger than life, understand how they impact the dynamic network structures of organizations, realize that the brand identity - and ultimately, the reputation of the company - is created through the behavior of the people in the business delivering the promise of the brand. That's a lot to ask from people without little or no management experience.

By the end of the week, they amazed me. We struggled with cultural differences, different maturity and respect levels, and language difficulties. What they delivered through presentation of self-created brands integrated with these concepts demonstrated to me that they got it.

I am not even sure if they realize yet that they did get it. But, one day they will.

By the way, they selected a theme themselves - Sex & Humor. From that they had to develop a brand out of their own human content. That required identifying their vision on how to deliver this, the values they would stand for and mean, what performance differences would set them apart and establish their mission to deliver, and what would endorse them as proof of this. While doing this, they also had to identify the alignments and the dependencies necessary to make this come alive. So, you can see that this was a lot to absorb in 5 days.

They taught me a lot, too.