Famous drummer to do anything fans want for $75,000

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Feb 26, 2009

Here’s one of the more bizarre prosumer stories that I’ve seen of late. Upon releasing his second solo album, drummer Josh Freese (of Nine Inch Nails and Devo fame) has offered his fans a sliding scale of “limited edition” offers. For $7 you get a conventional digital download, including three videos. But check out the $75,000 package: T-shirt Go on tour with Josh for a few days. Have Josh write, record and release a 5 […]

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Facebook is ‘infantilising’ the human mind

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Feb 24, 2009

Here’s one for my co-author Don and the Net Generation team to chew on or chew up. Baronness Susan Greenfield, a professor of Synaptic Pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford, and Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, has warned that the experience of growing up immersed in hyper-stimulating digital technologies will result in human minds characterized by “short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity.” The remarks were made to the House of Lords and written […]

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Stimulus Watch

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Feb 20, 2009

There’s something else missing from recovery.gov altogether (see below):  the ability for citizens to have input into which projects get funded in their jurisdictions. Stimuluswatch.org, evidently a work in progress, provides an interesting (albeit imperfect) example of how this might work. Launched by team led by Jerry Brito at George Mason University, the site encourages citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed “shovel-ready” projects in their city to find, discuss and rate those projects. The list […]

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Recovery.gov: Off to a slow start

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Feb 20, 2009

Although recovery.gov was launched on the same day Obama signed the stimulus bill, I’ve been holding back on posting until there was a bit more substance to report on. There’s still no meat unfortunately (the graphic below is about as detailed as the information currently gets), but I’ll provide my 2 cents anyways. Obama has promised that the spending authorized by the stimulus bill will be subject to unprecedented transparency and accountability. Although there is […]

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Born Digital — will children grow up to regret their parent’s actions

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Feb 18, 2009

Caught an interesting editorial in the Guardian about the propensity of new parents to post birth announcements and  images of their newborns on social networking sites, often within minutes of an actual birth. My five-week-old son has had over 1,400 individual visitors to his website. Within two hours of his birth, he was Twittered because a friend got a text message announcing his birth. In a matter of days his name was indexed in Google. […]

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Upgrading the Grid: Pacific Coast collaborative set up to create shared green energy market

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Feb 18, 2009

Not sure if you caught Obama’s speech today as he signed the new stimulus bill, but he talked at length about the emphasis his administration is placing on modernizing the country’s electrical grid, which he pointed out is simply too antiquated to handle needs of an economy based on renewable energy.  “[It’s like] using 19th century and 20th century technologies to battle 21st century problems, like climate change and energy security,” he said. Well, a colleague […]

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Galaxy Zoo enters new phase

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Feb 17, 2009

After posting on Galaxy Zoo last week and then catching up with one of the project leaders today I learned that the next generation of this phenomenal citizen science project was just launched last night. In the original Galaxy Zoo nearly 150,000 citizen scientists helped astronomers at Oxford and Yale classify roughly 1 million galaxies imaged by the robotic telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With so many galaxies, the researchers anticipated that it […]

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GlaxoSmithKlein pledges patent pool for neglected diseases

Category: Business & Economics | Health, Science & Education
Published on Feb 16, 2009

Some time ago, I reported that Novartis had adopted a wikinomics approach to its diabetes research. After investing millions of dollars trying to unlock the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes, the company released all of its raw data on the Internet, for free. Hardly typical behavior for a pharmaceutical company. After all, pinpointing their precise genetic origins of diabetes could unlock a treasure trove of new medicines and result in a major windfall for […]

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Protecting natural resources with participatory regulation

Category: Environment & Sustainability | NGOs & Government
Published on Feb 13, 2009

In the past, natural resource conservation came down to the capacity of an authoritative, centralized body in a geographic territory to monitor and control the exploitation of a given resource, whether forests, minerals or fisheries. Said regulators would issue permits for exploitation, often acting from a distance and on the basis of very sparse and intermittent data about the sustainability of those resource stocks (see study on Canada’s failure to regulate cod stocks on the […]

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Participatory regulation and anti-corruption efforts

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Feb 13, 2009

Participatory regulation is arguably the best way to surface and defeat corruption in government and industry. I’ve highlighted a range of impressive efforts below. They range from Transparency International’s more top-down survey and index approach to the bottom-up Wikileaks site where anybody can post documents that uncover instances of corruption. You can add your examples in the comments. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), first released in 1995, is the best […]

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