You might have heard about TPM, a chip+technology that’s meant to enforce “the law” — or whatever a software company wants — on your machine. For example, it could be used to tie data to a specific machine, ideal for anti-consumer DRM. Well, it seems that TPM doesn’t exist (yay!) on the new MacBook Pros: read Trusted Computing for Mac OS X. Cory Doctorow left the Mac partly because of Apple’s silence over TPM; it’d be great to see it gone for good.

This morning, I finally, finally finished Neal Stephenson‘s The System of the World, the concluding book in The Baroque Cycle. All up, it’s a mammoth read, set in the 17th and 18th centuries, largely in Europe, and the concluding volume largely in London.

The first book, Quicksilver, promises an overwhelming, brain-engagingly satisfying read; the second drags at times, and has caused some to give up. Indeed, even the third book was hard going; it took me a long, long time to finish. Somehow this last 12 months hasn’t had enough Reading Of Books. Lots of Reading Of Blogs, lots of Learning Second Life, lots of Playing Xbox 360. It felt great to actually devote time to reading something utterly compelling. Cory Doctorow feels similarly.

First, though, you have to read Cryptonomicon. One volume, a more modern setting, a common character to The Baroque Cycle, and absolutely stunning storytelling. One of the most compelling books I can remember reading. Finally, for anyone interested in virtual worlds, his much shorter novel Snow Crash basically predicted and inspired Second Life, so it’s a must too. I haven’t even read The Diamond Age yet. Enjoy!

I Love Travel

New content! Though it’s not an official Twelve Fives video, it’s travel-related, and works on a five-second rhythm. Some Twelve Fives content makes an appearance and I think you’ll like it if you like the Twelve Fives videos to date. Created for the Lonely Planet competition “<3" (less than three, or a heart in IM-speak), here is I Love Travel.

Download speed should be better as I’m now hosting my videos here — though I haven’t changed any of the older links yet. Let me know if it works for you.

Snakes on a Blog

Heard of Snakes on a Plane? It’s a shit film with a cool name that various bloggers thought would be really, really, cool. So bad it’s good, right? Well, nearly. They got a whole heap of stuff added to the film, easily the best bits, including the best line. The rest is a steaming pile o’crap, exactly the kind of nonsense that Hollywood churns out to keep people employed and US cable schedules full.

It’s bad, but not so bad it’s good. For proof, listen to the commentary, where the director and producers make fart jokes, tell you what you can already see, and generally prove themselves to be unworthy of being anywhere near either side of a camera. Not worth $1 on a Tuesday.


Happy New Year! And if you’re reading my blog… thank you for being cool people, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. You are appreciated. You deserve a good year.