Props to the Hackers and the Crackers

Zearle raps some words of respect to the Hackers and the Crackers. (Naw not whitey . )

hacker /n./ 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.

cracker /n./ One who breaks security on a system. Coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker

[Definitions from The New Hacker’s Dictionary.]
MP3 Zearle – Hackers and Crackers 5m 3s 7mb 192kbps

Protests at WTO meeting in Hong Kong

Peace and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong working to stop the WTO. May you have success and return home safely to your families. Here are some links to stories about the latest protest.

From DemocracyNow (December 14, 2005):

The World Trade Organization has entered its second day of its ministerial meeting in Hong Kong. South Koreans have led attempts to reach the convention center by swimming across Hong Kong Bay. They have been blocked off by heavily armed police barricades and beaten back by riot police with pepper spray and batons. We speak with Anuradha Mittal, an expert on world trade issues in Hong Kong.

Protests Continue at WTO Conference as Talks Stall Over Agricultural Trade from democracynow.org
WTO Protest Action Hong Kong from Indymedia Ireland
Hong Kong People’s Alliance on WTO
Our World is Not For Sale
Protests to Greet WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong from San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia

Text to Speech to Feed

For months I’ve been thinking about how to turn the text in my blog posts into audio. The next step would be to put this audio into my RSS feed. Bang, an automatic podcast!

First I ran across a set of unix shell scripts over at Jerremy English’s blog Sky Clothes called How to make a podcast from a website. I need to find time to set it up for AudioActivism. Basically I could create my own audio from text then put it into a rss feed on my linux laptop. Then upload the rss to my site manually. Bit time consuming for me now.

Next I tried out the service Feed 2 Podcast. It’s free for now and works quite well. Here is the AudioActivism RSS feed created by Feed 2 Podcast. The computer voice reading my blog posts sounds pretty good. Listen to the AudioActivism blog posts with this flash player from Feed 2 Podcast.

How do I get the audio Feed 2 Podcast creates put into the RSS feed automatically? Tons of people are already subscribed to my podcast feed. I could just cut and paste the mp3 links into a post like this.

AA.org Text to Speech MP3s: (Thank you Feed2Podcast)
Links from Digg
Del.icio.us creates podcast feeds
What is real news?
Thank You John
Chapel Hill Free Public WiFi Petition.

It would also be cool if I could embed the flash player on my site. I’m sure that isn’t hard. Might raise the bandwidth usage on Feed2Podcasts web server though. Also dear Feed2Podcast creators PLEASE make the flash audio player on mute by default. I find it really annoying to go to a website and hear some audio right away. Much better to let users CHOOSE when to listen. This also prepares people to pay attention to what they are listening too. I’m looking forward to how this service evolves.

Links from Digg

Digg is cool. It’s a site that links to other websites submitted by users. Users can then comment and rate the links. Digg uses “non-hierarchical editorial control. ” More and more I’m finding links of real interest to me. (I subscribe to Digg’s RSS feed.) Granted the topics are a bit geeky because they are submitted by geeks. But hey… I’m a geek too!

Digg is like Slashdot [respect!] in a way but has a more modern web interface. Plus it puts the off site link in the header title. This makes it very simple to just click on the link and go. Like a search engine. As Dave Winer wrote the other day, “People come back to places that send them away.” This seems like a counter intuitive truth. It’s just good karma really.

From their website:

What’s Digg? Digg is a technology news website that employs non-hierarchical editorial control. With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.