Monday, May 28, 2007

Plunge in CD Sales Shakes Up Big Labels

From today's NYT:

"Aram Sinnreich, a media industry consultant at Radar Research in Los Angeles, said the CD format, introduced in the United States 24 years ago, is in its death throes. 'Everyone in the industry thinks of this Christmas as the last big holiday season for CD sales,' Mr. Sinnreich said, 'and then everything goes kaput.'”

Monday, May 21, 2007

Open-source museums, open-source art

In April I attended the super fun opening of OSMOSA -- the Open-Source Museum of Open-Source Art -- in Second Life. I'm glad I went back a month later to see how far SL residents had pushed the concept of free, fully editable art in a free, fully editable museum. Check it out.

(Thanks to Kenny Hubble for the party invite.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

Clive Thompson at collision detection finds this amazing interview with Peter Howell, the arranger of the 1980s Doctor Who theme. Howell explains how all of the sound effects were generated, with Dalek and TARDIS effects thrown in to boot.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Disabilities in Second Life

A great article on how people with real-world disabilities are walking, flying, and becoming leading innovators in Second Life. The article also covers some of the attempts to re-create the experience of cerebral palsy, blindness, schizophrenia, and other disabilities in SL, as a way of building empathy for those conditions.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The wounds of commitment

Trust is on my mind a lot these days, as a driver for new business innovation, and as a more fruitful starting place for thinking about customer relationships than "brand love."

Vernor Vinge has espoused the idea recently that "in the modern world, success [will come] from having the largest possible educated population and providing those hundreds of millions of creative people with credible freedom." As Vinge notes, in an increasingly transparent society, that verisimilitude of freedom could approach the real thing closer than ever before.

With these ideas on my mind, I was happy to stumble across Elizabeth Doty's insightful article in this week's strategy+business, showing exactly how breaches of trust within an organization extinguish innovation and individual commitment. Good reading for any leaders looking to build trust internally, or struggling with the ethical grey areas that inevitably come with success and increasing complexity.

San Paolo kicks out billboards

An inspiring, if temporary, step forward for more human urban environments, as reported in BoingBoing and elsewhere.

This news item reminds me of the scene in Before Sunset where Julie Delpy talks about visiting Warsaw as a teenager:

"After a couple of weeks, something changed in me. The city was quite gloomy and gray... but, after a while, my brain seemed clearer... It took me a while to figure out why... My brain felt like it was at rest, free from the consuming frenzy. And I have to say, it was almost like a natural high. I felt so peaceful inside, no... strange urge to be somewhere else, to shop... Maybe it could have seemed like boredom at first, but it quickly became very, very soulful."

A greener Apple

Steve Jobs responds to environmental groups who have criticized the sustainability of Apple's products.