Amazon, leading the way…back to the 19th Century!

Check out Simon Head's "Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers"  on Salon.com. It's  chilling and eye-opening. It's an expose of truly revolting labor practices at Amazon that deserves to be discussed widely. And not merely because people ought to know what this iconic and powerful corporation subjects its employees to, but also because that brutish treatment is quite likely a taste of things to come elsewhere in the economy. … [Read more...]

Why is Apple denying Americans information about their governnment’s drone attacks?

If you care about the health of American democracy and/or the large numbers of civilians being regularly killed through drone attacks in South Asia, please spread the word about the outrageous decision by Apple, Inc. to block an app mapping drone attacks from the AppStore. Please use to the action alert on Roots Action to let Apple know that this is unacceptable. And get the word out. "Apple Censors Drone War"  (Roots Action): Apple Inc., which has received over $9 million in Pentagon … [Read more...]

Tips for Internet-based scholarship

I write painfully little these days, but I save huge amounts of online references for future reference--I'm an Internet equivalent of a paranoid backwoods survivalist, except that I'm compulsively hoarding stuff for academic articles one day (I keep telling myself) as opposed to preparing for race war or some pulp fiction Armageddon. Here's how I archive online references: I use the free Evernote and its Firefox plug-in for saving individual quotes from articles I'm reading … [Read more...]

Local activism from abroad

This is quite random (not to mention old, as it's dated Nov 3, 2008), but having a background in ICT4D I found this report on a technology blog intriguing. It goes without saying that the Internet allows people to keep in touch in radically new ways while on the go and Skype is so widespread that its very name has become a handy verb for millions of Internet users, but who would've thought you could use the Internet to volunteer in a political campaign back home while sitting on another … [Read more...]

Report on the Arabic Blogosphere

Dustin over at His Peace Upon Us, a thoughtful and recommended new Christian blog dedicated to dialogue between Christians and Muslims, reports on  a very interesting study of the Arabic-language Blogosphere.  Its title is "Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere: Politics, Culture, and Dissent" and its authors are Bruce Etling, John Kelly, Robert Faris, and John Palfrey. Dustin writes: The Berkman Center for Internet Study and Security did a massive study on the … [Read more...]

Latest pseudo-science inspired by this blog’s title

I see it more of a quirk of the unexpected workings of Internet media than anything else, but as I've mentioned before, despite my blog's quite modest traffic every now and again a contributor to an online forum will refer in all seriousness to the famous philosophical principle of, ahem, "Akram's Razor." The actual precept is called, of course, Occam's Razor. (I explained the reasoning behind my pretentious neologism when I set up the blog in 2005.)Here are the two latest examples I've come … [Read more...]

The case of the purloined curly quotes.

I'm making final revisions to a masters thesis that's had stuff pasted in from many sources. What I generally do is choose to Paste Special and choose Unformatted Unicode to avoid importing any formatting that will clash with my doc and require cleanup later. For example, if you find a great reference on somebody's personal website:Ephrat, Daphna. “In Quest of an Ideal Type of Saint: Some Observations on the First Generation of Moroccan Awliya' Allah in ‘Kitab … [Read more...]

Ignore messages from FanBox

Judging by my inbox over the last few days, a lot of people I know seem to have been taken in by the spammongers at FanBox, one of the more disreputable sites out there that masquerade as legitimate social networking services.If you get an email involving FanBox, just delete it. Don't click on any of its links (least of all, one for unsubscribing, which merely lets them know your email works and will ensure yet more emails coming your way). It's most likely not an attempt by a real … [Read more...]

Sometimes you DON’T get the best deal online

I've found this rather counterintuitive, so I thought I'd share for bargain hunting posterity.Since I spilled a cup of coffee on my laptop (a Lenovo 3000 N100) recently, a few of my keys either stopped working completely or began to stick something fierce. As a result, I've been living without easy access to the '-' key in most programs (exception: MS Word, where I was able to map an autoreplace shortcut to get it; for others I've either gone without or pasted in … [Read more...]

The power of HTML: The Synoptic Gospels Primer

It's rare that I see web page that so perfectly captures the power of HTML to make complex ideas accessible as this wonderful website exploring the Two Documents Hypothesis in New Testament studies. Take a look at the Synoptic Gospels Primer's color-coded analysis the Synoptic Gospels' various renderings of the Parable of the Mustard Seed in the Gospels to see what I mean. The power of strategic use of color and smart hyper links. … [Read more...]