One hundred people.

Do you imagine that the world is just like the city you live in, or the street you live on?

If you reduced the world proportionally to 100 people:

Fifty-seven of those one hundred people would be from Asia. Twenty-one would be from Europe, fourteen from North and South America, and eight from Africa.

Fifty-one would be women, and forty-nine would be men.

Sixty-eight of those people would not be able to read and write.

Six of those one hundred people would own and control more than 50 percent of the world’s wealth. All of those six people would be U.S. citizens. Three of those six people would live on the north shore of Long Island…on the same street.

Thirty would be Christian, seventy would be non-Christian.

One of those one hundred people would be just about to die, one would have just been born, and only one of those hundred people would have been to college.

A little bit of perspective for the Christmas season from The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly.

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Yet another data format.

I don’t always agree with Dave Winer, but he certainly has a point today. Given the plethora of protocols like XML-RPC, SOAP, and the like, do we really need yet another data format?

JavaScript Object Notation, or JSON, may be easy to use from JavaScript within a browser, but are we going to start creating specific usage APIs? Will we have one API for JavaScript use and another for Java or C++ use?

There are already enough development problems with the standards we currently have, without going around and creating new ones.

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Twisting words.

According to the UN World Mereorological Organization, 2006 is the "sixth warmest year since records began 150 years ago". What they don’t mention is that except for a deviation in 2005, each year is actually colder than the previous one.

Lubos Motl notes that there actually seems to be a cooling trend:

According to the most recent data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the year 2006 is set to be

  • colder than 2005
  • colder than 2004
  • colder than 2003
  • colder than 2002
  • … and, most obviously, …
  • colder than 1998,

despite the new El Nino that has been warming the Earth again for a couple of months at the end of 2006 and that will probably continue in 2007. Yes, right now it seems that 2006 will become the coldest year among the most recent five years, and it will belong to the colder half of the years in the last decade.

The phrase "sixth warmest year" creates an impression. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. Wouldn’t more information be useful in making educated decisions?

Tip of the hat to small dead animals.

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Shhh. I have a stock tip.

Based on the number of emails I have received about this, it must be a hot stock:

Physicians Adult Daycare, Inc.
Symbol: PHYA
Current Price: $2.23
Short-Term Projected Price: $4.25
Long-Term Target Price: $10.20

So I’m hoping that these folks will realize that I know about it and stop sending me hundreds of emails every day.

Remember though, you didn’t hear it from me. And if you are stupid enough to actually buy this stock you’re part of the problem too.

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If it ain’t broke: Comics version.

According to Wired, Archie Comics are getting a new look. While it certainly looks more modern, it also looks just like everything else. There was something so retro about the look of Betty and Veronica; especially the economy of the artwork.

I grew up reading Archie Comics and I occasionally still read them.But the new items look a lot more like Mary Worth than Archie. Given the likely demographic reading Archie Comics, was a redesign really necessary?

Via Digg.

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Spam explosion.

It seems that in the past month the volume of spam email I receive that gets past the spam filters in Thunderbird has increased tenfold. And virtually all of that increase consists of penny stock scams.

I can only guess what kind of drain this is on the internet as a whole. And what a complete waste of time.

Update: According to SiliconBeat, there is a service called Boxbe that lets you create an inbox and then marketers will pay you to let them spam you. As noted, they don’t explain how that will stop everyone else from spamming your existing inbox.

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Fair use? Bah humbug.

Boing Boing notes an Australian copyright ruling that linking to copyrighted content constitutes infringement:

Ms Sabiene Heindl, general manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), said similar action could be taken against individuals who, like mp3s4free, used the internet to link to copyright-protected material.

[...]

Ms Heindl’s message to Australians is clear: "If you are linking to copyrighted material in an unauthorised fashion, then you can be held liable for copyright infringement."

So it all comes down to intent I guess.I suppose that you could link to music on a record company site, but not to anything else. I guess that means all search engines infringe unless they examine all of the content they index for copyright.

But how exactly do you link to something "in an unauthorised fashion"?

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Skype wants to keep my money.

Several months ago I bought some SkypeOut credits. I still had $12.27 left when Skype announced free calling within the US and Canada. So I was unable to use the credit, by their website said that wasn’t a problem; the credit would remain.

Now that they have announced their Unlimited Calling plan, I figured I would just apply that credit to the plan. Apparently not though. It appears that there is no way to do that. And now my acount says that the credit will expire on March 18, 2007.

So Skype assumes that their existing customers – the folks who got them where they are – are just out of luck. That doesn’t seem like a very good attitude.

I’ve sent an email to their billing department, though they haven’t responded to previous inquiries. We’ll see what happens.

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