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.
Link (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?

Nomadism

Adam Greenfield recently said:

Emotions are mixed, of course, as they will be when you’re unpacking books that haven’t been opened in three or four years, setting up furniture bought months in the past and continents away. Remind me, again, why I still have all these PSYOP manuals and old New Yorkers, why I paid to store them for years and then ship them across the country just to decide upon opening them that I no longer needed nor wanted them? How could it possibly have been the case that I thought these sunglasses were cool, these pants flattering, this tapedeck serviceable? But deeper, more all-encompassing is the amazement of waking up next to my beloved, in this airy, tranquil space of clean lines, and knowing that this is home base.

I find this very interesting, because I’m beginning the opposite process. Sorting through things, deciding what I can get rid of, what I need to move with me, what I want to keep inn storage for the next few years.

Abe recently said: “somewhere in A Thousand Plateaus is a line to the effect that a nomad always stays in place, the ground just moves beneath them.” I suppose the ground is going to start moving soon…

Peter Bagge draws Bat Boy

Over at Hit and Run Jesse Walker points out that Peter Bagge is doing a Bat Boy strip for Weekly World News. Doesn’t appear to be online, though.

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.
Link (via Hit and Run).

Consumer protection for decapitated heads

“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.”
Link.

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 elevetor to the moon only to be confronted by Marvin the Martian.
Link (via Creative Generalist).

Technoccult chat tonite

Just a reminder that the Technoccult chat on the winksite is tonight at 8pm PST. Hope to see you there!

Sidewalk art

sidewalkart.jpg

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.

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