I want a green Apple

I’m a big Apple fan. I have an iPod and my last two laptops have been Apples. They’ve all served me very well and I like being part of the “mac fraternity’.

But there are two things that worry me: firstly their growing insistence on DRM on music and video and secondly the environmental impact of their technology. They did pretty badly in a comparison of different manufacturers.

Now Greenpeace have created a constructive campaign to get Apple to change. I’ll be buying a new machine early next year. I’d like it to be an Apple but will make my decision based on how they respond to the campaign. It will have to be good — as the Greenpeace site puts it:

“We’re not asking for just “good enough.” We want Apple to do that “amaze us” thing that Steve does at MacWorld: go beyond the minimum and make Apple a green leader.”

[via the wonderful Worldchanging]

The Good Society

Compass is a name that is cropping up more and more in the newspapers and on TV news. It’s a pressure group set up by Neal Lawson to try and influence the Labour party’s policy direction after Tony Blair leaves the helm. I’ve been involved a little bit and was a member of their Good Society working group, which has published its report as a short book today. It’s an interesting read and will certainly get people thinking.

Hetan and Jonathan who co-ordinated the process and wrote the final report have a piece in the Guardian today.

Neal’s blog on the way to a book is also well worth a read.


There’s no escaping the similarities between the lonelygirl15 saga and the plot of William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition. From the Washington Post:

“The plot [of Pattern Recognition] centers on mysterious bits of video posted anonymously on the Internet. The shadowy black-and-white videos, called “the footage,” appear to feature a pair of lovers and hint deliciously at a larger, magnetically compelling story. The footage inspires a cultish following on the Web, including chat rooms, parodies and investigations — just like those created around lonelygirl15 — and the novel’s hero is dispatched by an advertising wizard to track down the filmmakers so the phenomenon can be monetized.”

The Wikipedians have done an excellent job of telling the unfolding story of lonelygirl15. It seems to have come to an end for now with a series of public admissions that it was staged, although the scene is set for it to develop more into an ARG.

Gibson blogs chaotically and confusingly, but he’s noticed the Post’s piece likening lonelygirl15 to his book.

I had a few thoughts on Pattern Recognition the first time around, when I realised the ideas in the book wouldn’t go away.

I have to admit lonelygirl15 thing has creeped me out a bit. It made me realise how manipulative compelling storytelling can be in a networked environment. Perhaps it’s because as Gibson himself has said, “Emergent technology is, by its very nature, out of control, and leads to unpredictable outcomes.”

I think we’re just seeing the beginnings of a new form of art and/or business.

Would you trust Team 32?

The Department is the finest thing on radio for quite some time. Every show in this series has been brilliant but this week’s installment about what to do with science and technology was a particular gem.

“You can be pretty sure that a few seconds before the world ends, a scientist somewhere will have uttered the word ‘oops’.” is one lovely line. You can tell these things are catching on when the real Radio 4 presenters join in — this time it’s Cornelius Lysaght from Today.

I swear working with Demos sometimes had similarities to team 32.