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Weekly Link Roundup 12.04

From last week roundup: One in five American does not use the internet, Breivik’s trial started a week ago, dirty love letters by famous writers, Nicholas Cage silent performance, America’s relation to guns, the growing presence of Amazon’s servers in our lives, and more.

Also since last week, I started to add images to some links. It isn’t only to please the eyes. They have a very simple function: each of them is actually an hyperlink to the item it represents. I thought it could make browsing through the roundup easier.

• • •

  • Pew Internet: “Digital differences” a report by by Kathryn Zickuhr and Aaron Smith, April 13, 2012. PDF.

    One in five American adults does not use the internet. Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have internet access.

  • The New York Times: “Social Networks, Small and Smaller” by Randall Stross, April 14, 2012.

    All of this has created an opportunity for start-ups to offer sharing that is intimate by design.

    Newer social networks, like Path, FamilyLeaf and Pair, offer a range of constraints. A Path network, available only on smartphones, has a maximum of 150 friends. FamilyLeaf is restricted to family members. And Pair, which like Path is for smartphones only, is as small as a social network can be: just one other person.

    The article make no mention of Glassboard. That’s definitively a networking application I would like to try. See also Minigroup.

  • Al Jazeera: “Norway mass killer denies terror charges” April 16, 2012. I linked to this article, but really during the past week there were articles about Breivik’s trial published in all major media every single day. At least two things worth mentioning:
    • The trial began on the very same day as the fifth anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre;
    • To my knowledge, this is an exceptional trial in that sense that the perpetrator of one of the largest “mass murder” of the past two centuries is still alive to be prosecuted (by “mass murder” I mean more than three murders which a single individual personally perpetrated at a single location over a period of less than 24 hours).


  • Flavowire: “Dirty Literary Love Letters Written by Famous Authors” by Emily Temple, February 14, 2012. Be warned: it may not be adequate for everyone’s sensibility. I send an excerpt from the letter James Joyce wrote to Nora Barnacle (1909) to a friend of mine who answered back with those words: “Well, it’s easier to read than Ulysses.”


  • Adam Lucas: “Nicolas Cage performs John Cage’s 4’33”.” by Adam Lucas, April 2012. 4’33” is a famous composition by experimental composer John Cage. The composition actually asks every performers not to play their their instruments for four minutes and thirty three seconds. Ask John Cage to stay quite for the same periode and you get yourself “Nicolas Cage performs John Cage’s 4’33”.”. Adam Lucas is “currently pursuing an MFA in Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design”. Read more about him at his official website. First spotted via @tbimusic.

  • The Guardian: “America’s deadly devotion to guns” by Gary Younge, April 16, 2012.

    But America’s relationship with guns is as deep and complex at home as it is perplexing abroad. The fact that most British police are not armed confounds even the most liberal here. And even though the nation is evenly split on whether there should be more gun control, every time there is a gun-related tragedy, whether it is the shootings in Arizona, Virgina Tech or any number of schools, the issue has been effectively removed from the electoral conversation. And at the centre of these apparent contradictions stands the NRA, once an organisation that represented the rights of hunters and sportsmen and now a major political player closely linked to the gun industry.

    Girls Gun

  • Al Jazeera: “Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists” by Dahr Jamail, April 20, 2012. Follow up to the Deepwater Horizon disater:

    “The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.” Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.

  • Film Society of Lincoln Center: “Bélà Tarr: ‘I’m not a filmmaker anymore.’” by Eugene Hernandez, November 10, 2012.

    “For me it is more colorful than color,” Béla Tarr told the Furman audience on Sunday of his reasons for working primarily in black and white.

    Bela Tarr

  • Wired: “Amazon’s Secretive Cloud Carries 1 Percent of the Internet” by Robert McMillian, April 18, 2012.

    Most people still think of Amazon as the internet’s giant shopping mall — a purveyor of gadgets, books and movies — but it’s quietly become “a massive utility” that is either on the sending or receiving end of 1 percent of all of the internet traffic in North America, says Craig Labovitz, a well-known internet researcher and co-founder of DeepField. […] “The number of websites that would now break if Amazon were to go down, and the growing pervasiveness of Amazon behind the scenes, is really quite impressive.”

    The images you see on this website are served through CloudFront, Amazon’s content delivery system (or CDN for short). If images are not displayed properly (as it happened for a brief period over the past week-end) it’s most likely because something is wrong with the CDN (to be clear: using a Amazon’s CDN is a choice, not an obligation). Another example? All media displayed on Tumblr’s million of blogs are hosted on Amazon’s servers.Amazon servers

  • The New Republic: “The War on [Insert Noun]: The Uses and Misuses of Martial Rhetoric” by Nick Robins-Early, Perry Stein and Eric Wen, April 19, 2012.

    In case you weren’t convinced that we’ve reached the campaign’s silly season, the War on Dogs has arrived to erase all doubt. It started with Democrats poking fun at Mitt Romney’s dog-on-car incident. The Daily Caller retaliated earlier this week with a post “uncovering” the “shocking” “news” that Barack Obama once ate dog meat as a child (an event he had mentioned in his memoir). The battle moved to a new front when Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom alluded on Twitter to Obama’s dog-eating. And thus began the War on Dogs, just the latest of the innumerable wars waged this election cycle. We decided to look back at rhetorical wars of the past, from Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty to Rick Santorum’s war on pornography.