Karl Schroeder, the author of many fantastic sf novels (most recently the swashbuckling space-pirates post-Singularity book Sun of Suns
) has written an excellent vingnette for the WorldChanging series on sustainability in Canada, CanadaChanging
. In it, Karl writes about the way that Inuit communities in Nunavut might find the Internet to be a force for independence and a threat to their identity all at once. This is a heartbreaking, bittersweet and visionary piece -- pure Schroeder.
Under the rose-and-peach of a northern sunrise, the town's mountie found Amaruq looting his own library of its books.
Ross watched as Amaruq defiantly heaved another heavy cardboard box into the back of his truck. Then he sauntered over to peer through the door. "Enlarging your collection?"
Amaruq scowled at him. "They're throwing out the books today. After the legislature voted to close the place I did a book sale. Nobody wanted to buy them. I couldn't just sit there and let it happen. Couldn't sleep."
Ross stared at the canary-yellow band of light on the horizon. Then he grinned at Amaruq. "I could say, 'everything's on-line now' so what's the loss?"
Amaruq just shook his head. "We were the only library for two hundred kilometers. Where will the community meet? --And don't say, 'on-line.'"
Ross shook his head and walked up the wooden steps. "I said I could say that. But I won't. What I was going to say was, need some help?"
Amaruq grinned at him. By the light of a canary-yellow band of sky they emptied the contents of the little library of Bell's Lake.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]