Category Archives: Reblogs

→ Academic paywalls don’t just cost money, they hinder research

Ben Goldacre:

In the two cases [described], academic journal paywalls acted as a barrier to research by slowing peoples progress in accessing content they had a legitimate paid right to. […] These paywalls simply act as a barrier to research.

Even if I did have a day’s wages to spend on a single article, if a journal doesn’t permit me to read and research at my own leisure, I’m sorry but that field’s lost what could have been an excellent mind. And at such a high price per article, a well-designed and well-engineered interface isn’t being put off for financial reasons; either laziness or just good old-fashioned “enough people’ll pay us regardless of what we do”-ism.


→ Why I’m not going near Spotify

James Allworth:

There’s something pretty insidious buried inside music rental models like [Spotify]. Understanding […] that we consume audio in a fundamentally different way [to the way we consume movies and television] is critical to understanding why, from a consumer point of view, paying a monthly rental fee is a risky way of obtaining music.

Now, I agree with James here – and yes: it’s an article from July – that subscription-based music services effectively lock you in as long as you want to ‘keep’ the music collection you never actually owned in the first place. And also, all that music can’t be good for you.

I do have one major problem with Allworth’s article, however, and that’s the overgeneralisation in the second paragraph that all traffic over the BitTorrent protocol is copyrighted material which should be being shared. Sorry, James, but this isn’t true. BitTorrent and pirating are not synonymous.

→ Do people care for an EU referendum?

Cathy Newman writes:

When pushed, 67 per cent of those polled by YouGov last month said they would rather have a referendum on Britain’s EU membership than not. But they had to be pushed – because actually, they don’t really care.

In my eighteen years in Cambridgeshire, membership to the European Union was never an issue raised. Not that it couldn’t be raised but that it wasn’t at all important. We had the guided busway and bin collections to concern our political lobes with.

I would be deeply saddened to see the United Kingdom withdraw from the EU but, if the Daily Express wants the country to commit economic suicide with its largest trading partner and force me against my will to return to my homeland, that’s the public’s decision; and, to be honest, I hated them beforehand anyway.

→ Blackfriars new design

David Hembrow writes:

The LCC’s proposal looks not entirely different to how some Dutch provision might have looked 30 years ago. There was a lot to like about 30 year old Dutch cycling infrastructure, so this isn’t entirely a bad thing. However, in the second decade of the 21st century, I really think that London should be copying 21st century solutions and not looking quite so far backward.

I haven’t been keeping up with the Blackfriars Bridge news as of late. It seems to have all quietened down in my Google Reader. But I’ve just had a late look at the London Cycling Campaign’s proposals and by god: they almost look European.


Commence the reblogging

This isn’t a real blog. While I don’t really want to think of it as such, this is more of a grand memory dump – something which I’ll explain here because there’s no point writing the same thing twice. To cut a long story short, I’ve rewritten my own policy (if one’s allowed to do that) and I’ve decided that content is probably the best way to go, and I’ve taken the decision to reblog more. And I’ll start with…