Archive for July 17th, 2015|Daily archive page

Ripping music and films illegal again after High Court overturns new law – BBC Newsbeat

Ripping music and films illegal again after High Court overturns new law – BBC Newsbeat.

From the scent of churros to the sound of Mariachi, discover Mexico in Toronto | Toronto Star

From the scent of churros to the sound of Mariachi, discover Mexico in Toronto | Toronto Star.

Watch out sharing economy, the feds are watching this whole contractor thing | Ars Technica

via Watch out sharing economy, the feds are watching this whole contractor thing | Ars Technica.

I confess to disliking much about Uber but also liking a lot about Airbnb; and I’ve even used the latter. But they are also different things. Uber, and its ilk–and these have little to do with “sharing”–exploit individuals by encouraging ruthless community self-destruction. Airbnb introduces levels of risk that can be tolerated by those able to leverage their privilege, such as tourists, and also, now, academic researchers. Tax loss is an issue that is not insignificant, but can be dealt with, I’d imagine. For now, however, the issue of labour rights is of paramount importance: we know that individual workers, working without the resources (social, economic) nearly all capitalists can claim, are intensely vulnerable to the vagaries of the market and whims of fashion–far, far more than consolidated, community strengthened labour.

And that consolidated labour–unionised or shaped by unionisation–also works better, as it does not have the sword of Damocles hanging over its individuals’ heads but rather can focus attention on the job at hand, not the job to come. This distinction is as true in open source as anywhere else. The contributor who loves working on her own time, may do wonderful work–but unless she has a source of income affording her her community contributions (and that could include income derived from her community work), her future work is always a little uncertain.

Open source has finessed a lot of this uncertainty by a structures and relays that make it easier to include new contributors. But however well-designed the structure of collaboration and education, it’s not likely to be perfect, if only because everyone works slightly differently, using different styles and at different rates. For many large projects, in fact, the core group of developers is made up of employees to stakeholder companies or company.

This assures a degree of future stability, though of course, in any market society, especially one increasingly neoliberal (which privileges the individual entrepreneur), there is always the vertigo of uncertainty.

[Note, as I finished the above, I reviewed a lecture given to the LSE by the French critic Michel Feher on the neoliberal condition. It’s a remarkably lucid and clear analysis of, among other things, the transformation to freelancing that neoliberalism has made on US and UK (and more) society. See https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/michel-feher-on-neoliberal/id78900506?i=347171904&mt=2]

Provisioning OS X and Disabling Unnecessary Services | vilimblog

Provisioning OS X and Disabling Unnecessary Services | vilimblog.

 

I’m constantly looking to speed my computer up—and, I suppose, in effect slow the rest of my life down. :-/

Be that as it may, what I’ve been doing with the latest beta of 10.11, is … pruning. What this has forced me to think through is, inter alia, how much I like the (pseudo-) social networking avenues Apple has packaged into OS X. As my play computer is also likely to be my main work device (it could be otherwise; I’m just being realistic), I don’t want to prune to the root, or core and be left with only highly functional memories of what was once there. Hence the link to this quite useful site. (More enterprising and ruthless can go further; I’d also recommend the communities at Stackexchange.)