MonthFebruary 2004

Chinese transsexual competes for Miss World

The Miss World Organizing Committee for Sichuan province has agreed to allow Miss Chen Lili, a 24 year-old transwoman, to compete in the contest.

Full Story: People: Chinese transsexual competes for Miss World

(via Cyborg Democracy)

Rambling: micropayments, outsourcing, and the digital divide

Not too long ago Glenn Reynolds said:

And although quite a few people have downloaded it for free (and even sent in donations), many of them have emailed to say that they’d rather pay cover price for the actual book than download it for no charge.

This seems to me to suggest that free downloads don’t do much to cannibalize actual sales.

I’m pretty sure Reynolds originally mentioned that he might need to reconsider the rules he learned in economics 101 when he originally posted, but that comment is gone now.

And this story is hardly rare… Cory Doctorow’s book has sold well. And while of course book downloads are very different from music downloads, but iTunes certainly hasn’t done bad. Hopefully this success will transfer to stuff like mperia as well.

Personally, I think the prices are still too high. There was a thread about micropayments on Margin Walker (last summer was it?), in which Andy from South Africa pointed out that while 10 cents to download an article might not be much to us in America, but in another country that’s a lot. But what if it was 10 cents for an entire book or magazine? Or 10 cents for a year’s subscription to a web site/e-zine? The idea here is to make up the sales in volume, Wal-Mart style. And with more and more people getting internet access, and outsourcing giving jobs and internet access to people who have never had money to spare before, there’s I think there’s a strong possibility for people to start global cottage industries using micropayment systems.

Also, Clay Shirkey makes a point that people don’t like being “nickel and dimed” and that subscription based models tend to be preferable. Not sure he’s right, look at eMusic. It used to be an all you can download service, now, like iTunes, it’s a pay as a you go.

more: Bruce Sterling on Somolia / Me: The digital divide, organized labor, and smart mobs / Digital Divide narrowing?

High Times get a face lift

It turns out High Times was started by a drug smuggler to promote his gourmet weed. That makes my copy of the first issue that much more interesting.

Full Story: Newsday: ‘High Times’ Post-9/11

(via Hit and Run).

Consumer protection for decapitated heads

Reason:

Earlier this month, Arizona state legislator Bob Stump (R-Peoria) coolly introduced a bill aimed at regulating the activities of the nation’s largest cryonics facility, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, under the authority of the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.

Full Story:Reason: Regulating the Biggest Chill

Space Elevator

This doesn’t even sound like science fiction. It sounds like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Becca asks if there was an episode where Bugs, running from Elmer Fud, takes and elevator to the moon only to be confronted by Marvin the Martian.

he Space Review: The space elevator: going up?

(via Creative Generalist).

Sidewalk art

Sidewalk art by Kurt Wenner

More Pics: Kurt Wenner

via Ideas Bazaar

Another geo-tagging service

Wave Market is a new location based tagging service (or “virtual graffiti” service, but I’m finding that term less and less apt). Not much info on the site, but it sounds like it will be available in the US.

More blogs!

I’ve finally got pretty good at keeping up with my blog-reading – through a combination of Feed Demon, Opera, and Wink. But the interesting blogs just keep coming!

Ideas Bazaar via City of Sound

Swen’s Weblog via Angermann2

And Angermann2 itself from Anne.

Anton LaVey: On Occultism of the Past

Anton LaVey slams Crowley et al.

Strange, how seldom one hears plaudits for Crowley’s poetry, worthy of inclusion with the likes of James Thompson, Baudelaire, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. If Crowley was a magician, it was the beauty of his creative art which made him so, not his drug-befuddled callings-up of Choronzon, et al. Unfortunately, his followers today have taken up his worst, while neglecting his best.

Church of Satan: Anton LaVey: On Occultism of the Past

(via Disinfo).

Fuck this is cool!

graffiti by dist in Essex

More Pics: Wooster Collective: Fresh stuff from dist

I’m just too tired to blog tonight. Even coffee didn’t help. Maybe new stuff this weekend. Wooster Collective has nice pretty pictures, as always.

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