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June 29, 2009

A twist on the espresso and books combo

Espresso machines can also access thousands of titles that are in the public domain and available on the Internet.

The quote is from D. C. Denison writing for The Boston Globe. Imagine if my espresso machine* could also provide me with literary classics. The espresso machine in question, however, is the Espresso Book Machine. And while that invention isn't news to me, this particular article made me consider how great an EBM at one of my local bookstores would be.

Because I love bookstores, and I love Amazon, and I don't want to have to choose. Being able to spend time, lots of time, staring at the shelves of a physical bookstore and then deciding that in addition to the stack of paperbacks I'm buying, I'd like to get some "out of print" titles too... ah, that would be something.


*It works now, btw. The problem turned out to be so simple that I was a bit embarrased when one of my espresso machine guys pointed it to me. But I did write "I will gladly humiliate myself online for good coffee," so I won't complain.


Oh, and by the way:

Posted by Julie at 9:30 PM | TrackBack

June 25, 2009

We're all correspondents

Cartoon by Dan Wasserman in The Boston Globe

The Onion News Network has another funny way of putting this: "After examining the evidence from the 25 iPhones, 15 Blackberries, 10 video cameras and 40 digital cameras obtained from the students who attended the party, we were able to reconstruct every second of the event."

Posted by Julie at 7:31 PM | TrackBack

Now I'm really living

"Do you know what it's like to fall on the floor and cry your guts out 'til you got no more? Hey man, now you're really living. Well, I just saw the sun rise over a hill. It never used to give me much of a thrill, but hey, man, now I'm really living."

Listen to The Eels' "Now You're Really Living" (via Elisabeth)

Posted by Julie at 5:35 PM | TrackBack

June 24, 2009

Water color photography


Oslo by rain.

Photo taken from the top floor bar of the Oslo Plaza, where I retreated after an unsuccessful attempt to celebrate Moose Cap on the Opera House roof.

Posted by Julie at 9:39 PM | TrackBack

June 22, 2009

Piratjakten eller Hvordan jeg har det i praksis

Et litt utfyllende svar til de som spør "Hvordan har du det i Teknisk Ukeblad, Julie"?

Skal vi tro Twitter er det en merkedag for rettsstaten i dag. Delvis pga. meg.

I praksistiden hos Teknisk Ukeblad har jeg blant annet fulgt en sak om etterforskning av fildeling. I Teknisk Ukeblad har vi kalt den "piratjakten", men noen andre har oppkalt saken etter Max Manus, og Twitter bruker #krevsvar.

Piratjakten er en komplisert sak fordi den omhandler jus, IT, politikk (eller manglende politikk, egentlig) og tilsvarende ingredienser som gir nyheter "tyngde" (og dermed gjør dem "tunge").

Den kan likevel bli en viktig prinsippsak, og den har engasjert mange. Ikke minst nettsjefen her i Teknisk Ukeblad, Anders Brenna.

Kort oppsummert dreier det seg om advokatfirmaet Simonsen som etterforsker nett-pirater. Simonsen driver privat etterforskning, og det betyr at de ikke er regulert av lover slik politiet eller vaktselskaper er hvis de etterforsker noen. De har frem til i dag blitt regulert av en midlertidig konsesjon fra Datatilsynet.

Simonsen har bedt om å få utlevert ip-adresser der de mener det er grunn til mistanke om piratvirksomhet. Post- og teletilsynet åpnet for privat utlevering ved rettslig kjennelse i et enkeltvedtak 19. april 2009.

Nettleverandøren Lyse Tele nektet å utlevere kundeinformasjon. Stavanger Tingrett kom med midlertidig kjennelse om hvorvidt ip-adressene skulle ut. Det skjedde 5. mai, men kjennelsen er fortsatt hemmelig.

I dag har Datatilsynet bestemt at konsesjonen ikke fornyes. Piratjakten stanses, med andre ord. Og begrunnelsen er at saken ikke har fått nok politisk oppmerksomhet.

Simonsen skal klage. Saken fortsetter.

Jeg har skrevet flere artikler om piratjakten og laget
en oversikt over hele saken her.
Og en dag, etter at hele saken er avsluttet, kommer jeg til å legge ut en "bak kulissene"-bloggpost om denne prosessen.

Posted by Julie at 3:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 19, 2009

Happy Moose Cap Friday!

It's Friday... Don't forget your moose cap!

I probably won't be wearing one, because I will be celebrating here:

Paris 2008e 003

Posted by Julie at 5:05 PM | TrackBack

Thoughts after a fashion show

Despite not feeling all that well, I couldn't miss the fashion show from the graduating class of Esmod Oslo on Wednesday. And I'm glad I was there, since my friend Eivind B. Hackett won three awards, including an internship, money and the opportunity to sell his collection at the Oslo department store Steen&Strøm.

Slideshow from backstage and the runway

After attending a catwalk show in ballerina flats, I understand why catwalk models need to be tall. And wear incredible platform heels. Because catwalks are not always easy to see, unless you arrive early or have some good reason for being in the front row.

Speaking of heels, people who walk in them should know how. I won't judge the models at this particular show, because I know some of them were friends of the designers, and had never walked a runway before. But if you're a Top Model contestant for example, meaning you want to be a model, shouldn't you know how to put one foot in front of the other, even if those feet are on platform heels? It's just a matter of practicing.

Anyway, judging from my very, very limited experience, fashion shows work the way "exclusive" clubs do: It seems the inconvenience of the whole experience is supposed to add to the feeling of luxury and exclusivity. It's so incredibly cool that there isn't anywhere to sit, or even stand comfortably, and that the music is too loud to allow for any form of communication. You feel lucky if you're actually able to see the show over taller peoples' heads and shoulders. And it's really hot - actually, maybe they really do that on purpose so people will wear less clothing.

But despite all that, I loved it! Especially the fact that Eivind won a bunch of awards, which I've already blogged about in Norwegian.

Shoes from Prada, top photos from Fashionising, where you can also see catwalk models fall.

Posted by Julie at 4:06 PM | TrackBack

Hurra for Eivind!

Eivind B. Hackett vant Gullnålen-prisen, VOICE-prisen og Steen & Strøms Magasinpris på Esmods Diplomvisning på onsdag.

Det betyr at han nå er ferdig med moteskole og har vunnet jobb. Han fikk praktikantplass i ett år av Voice, og 10 000 kr av Steen & Strøm. I tillegg skal hans kolleksjon, "Villainwear", selges på Steen & Strøm.

Se bildeserie fra motevisningen og artikkel skrevet av min klassevenninne og Oslostudenten-kollega Linn Husby.

P.S. En liten gratulasjon til modell Melina også, siden hun er min tidligere kollega på LaDanse og siden hun var over gjennomsnittet flink til å gå med høye hæler.

Posted by Julie at 9:02 AM | TrackBack

June 14, 2009

The year the media died

"I was a lonely Mad Ave creative type, with some good ideas and a lot of hype, but I knew the picking was ripe the year the media died."

Digital media from the point of view of a mad man.

"As I watched users generate without ad support to carry the freight, no content like MTV could break consumers' love of free."

Posted by Julie at 9:31 PM | TrackBack

June 13, 2009

Rant on technology and manners – the sequel


Part one of this rant was written way back in November 2007, when I was a college student, part-time receptionist and student government representative. I combined these duties with "a combination of secretary, therapist, event planner, student guidance counselor, tutor, mediator and research assistant to everyone I know", and to say that I checked my e-mail "like it was my job" would be an understatement. After ranting, I set up some ground rules for communicating with me, and they actually seemed to work. Or - more likely - writing a rant relieved my stress, and I was able to handle all the e-mails.



"Communication technology can be stressful because it forces us to be perpetually available to anyone who has our contact information. This idea makes people turn their phones off, only check their e-mail during weekdays, and relish the lack of internet connection in their vacation homes. This can be extremely stressful to the people who need to get in touch with them, but sometimes people just need a break, right? As usual, the problem is not e-mail or text messaging in itself, but the fact that our habits and our rules of decent behavior haven't caught up with the changes in technology."

- Julie Andersen (yeah, I'm quoting myself)

The actual rant

These days I am still a college student, but now I'm also a journalist at three papers, section editor of one (and soon to be two, fingers crossed) papers and maid of honor at a wedding less than two months from now. I don't feel all that busy, but I have no free afternoons/evenings this coming week. I'm busy in a good way, doing things I enjoy, but still.

My life works because I live in a world populated by adults who are comfortable with communication technology. Yammer, Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, Skype, my tiny computer, my cell phone and even Escenic (with all its faults) make my life easier.

I love being able to work from anywhere. That doesn't mean that I have to work all the time. The possibility of keeping in touch with old friends through Facebook doesn't mean that I compulsively check the (very annoying btw) Facebook front page. And yes, I do still read books, thank you very much, despite also reading blogs and online news every day.

See I have free will. And discipline. And I know how to make technology work for me.

And I assumed that other people my age in my part of the world did too. I am shocked to find Norwegian twenty-somethings who only check their e-mail every two weeks (oh and answering e-mails is just too much for them), who blame the distractions of the internet for their bad term papers (no, not as a joke, seriously), and who honestly see Facebook as nothing but a source of emotional trauma.

And I think: But you're adults! And you're young! Why do you fail at modern communication?

I know I'm preaching to the converted here. I mean, you, lovely reader, are obviously online, reading an enjoyable blog. You do not fail at life. And I'm not going to provide details to the various stressful situations I'm referring to. I just needed to leave my apartment today, and get some carrot cake and a coffee shop window seat and blog. So I did.

In conclusion:

When technology works, it removes all the excuses. You have to actually end the uncomfortable phone call, rather than hang up and blame it on losing the connection. You have to assume that people who don't call, e-mail, text, google, Facebook-friend or Twitter-follow you really aren't that into you. And you really need to get creative if you want a reason not to make a deadline.

So we're left with our own human faults. Our own lack of concentration, commitment or creativity. Let's just be honest adults about it.

Oh and by the way:

Pictures: MarkyBon CreativeCommons, MarieJo L'Aventure Lingerie, Nemi by Lisa Myhre

Posted by Julie at 2:19 PM | TrackBack

June 2, 2009

Girls aren't stupid, we're just not as lazy as the boys

LiveScience reports that a new review of recent studies finds that girls are not more stupid than boys - even when it comes to math.

I didn't take the time to comment last time, when The Boston Globe presented the idea that women just aren't into math.

Like I've said before: I don't know how mentally different men and women really are.  I just know about my own experiences here.

So let's talk about me for a bit. And the fact that guys are lazy.

New scientific discoveries on female vs. male brains don't make me better or worse at what I do. They don't change my excellent math grades. And they don't change the fact that despite those math grades, I was very aware growing up that I was not good at math. Because I was good at writing, and I was "creative", and at least when I was a kid, we were told we couldn't do it all.

I was good at the kind of things that involved neat handwriting, meticulous note-taking, extensive newspaper- and novel-reading and the ability to memorize text. My great strength all the way through high school was the ability to read something once (fast) and remember it.  Even with that skill, if you factor in all the free time I spent reading useful stuff, being good at school took up a lot of my time.

Math can be much less labor-intensive. Compared to many other subjects - at least the way they are taught at an elementary and up to high school level in Norway - math is less about "plodding through" and less about already having read something, and more about just getting it. It's logic.

I'm not saying that all aspects of mathematics are like this. But in my personal experience (in Norway, let's say grades six up to high school graduation), math works for the lazy, but smart. History doesn't.

As my dad told me the first of a million times he explained why I should be good at math: "If the whole world stopped existing tomorrow, one plus one would still be two. Even if we didn't have a language with which to explain this, even if there were nothing left to count, 1 + 1 = 2 would still be fundamentally true."

Learning new math skills requires existing knowledge of something, obviously. But it doesn't require that you stay updated on current news or know how to spell your vocabulary words correctly - or even legibly. For a smart, but lazy teenager, math class requires that you show up, pay attention and work on math problems as long as the teacher is looking. And even if the teacher hates you, because you're an obnoxious trouble-making bully, if your answers are right, they can't fail you.

I was smart and lazy about math, and smart and hard-working about languages and social studies. So I was good at languages and social studies. One of the smartest guys in my middle school class was smart and lazy about everything, and so he was good at math.

Some Norwegians have worried that Norwegian schools only work for girls (Åsmund B. Gjerde, who was editor-in-chief of argument at the time, was not worried). But for the sake of argument (ugh, pun not intended), let's believe people who say that little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, can sit still and make teachers like them, have legible hand-writing, an attention span that allows them to read a lot, and that's why we all grow up to complain about the lack of guys in our university classes. I think the smart little boys pick up some math skills, even if the snips and snails and puppy-dog tails* keep them from writing A+ short stories or brilliant essays about current events as compared to history.

Does this make sense at all?

* Little boys grow up to be young men, and they are made of "Sighs and leers and crocodile tears". According to Mother Goose.

Oh, and by the way:

Posted by Julie at 11:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack