Rob’s blog

Links instead of a post

As so often seems to be the case here at chaos central, I'm up to my eyeballs in work. Fortunately, there's a lot of other stuff out there worth reading: Fighting a Campaign Online – Crawford Kilian recounts his challenges as an e-campaigner for NDP candidate Sherry...

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:-o (still not patented)

From The Register: Cingular, the United States' largest mobile phone network this week applied to patent emoticons, better known as smileys. The application refers to selecting emoticons on mobile phones or handheld devices over a wireless, and makes 35 claims in all....

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Take a swing at the Bad Pitch Blog

You can spend a lot of time memorizing the rules of public relations. ("#15. Don't say your target audience will blow money intended for their kids on beer and popcorn.") But nothing drives the lesson home quite like the odious example of what happens when people...

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One last post-election things-I’ll-miss

John Bowman's Blog Report at Some blogs – like this one, I guess – have a limited lifespan and will be shutting down soon. That's a shame. Not to go crazy with claims about the influence or reach of Canadian blogging, but it's a nice, deep well of opinion...

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Spam score: Spammers 1, Akisment 68

If you're being tortured by comment spam on your WordPress blog, have a look at Akismet, the plugin from the folks who brought you, well, WordPress. The secret sauce: cooperation. Akismet relies on clever folks like you and me to help teach it what is and isn't spam....

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NetSquared North: a tech bootcamp for non-profits

February 10th, 2006 UBC Robson Square, HSBC Hall Does your nonprofit want to reach more members or a broader public -- and could use the Internet to help? Are you an activist looking to get your message out to a larger audience -- and could use online tools to do it...

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Who will save us from the record labels? Maybe a record label.

But it isn’t what you think.Nettwerk, the great Canadian label that represents Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne and the Barenaked Ladies, has taken sides in the Recording Industry Association of America’s war on users….  “The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists’ best interests.”Nettwerk is paying the family’s legal bills, and has announced it will cover any fines the court ultimately levies.This is classy.

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Schism in the open-source world: GPL vs. DRM

It’s been brewing for a while, but a fissure in the world of open-source software may be about to widen dramatically.At issue: digital rights management (DRM), the technology that allows copyright holders to restrict how you use the media they publish.On the line: the latest version of the General Public License (GPL), the legal framework that establishes the ground rules for developing, using and distributing open-source software…. The man behind Linux, Linus Torvalds, wants to leave options open for open-source developers to introduce DRM to their software.The positions in a nutshell, as reported by ZDNet:The foundation believes that free software–that is, software that can be freely studied, copied, modified, reused, redistributed and shared by its users–is the only ethically satisfactory form of software development, as free and open scientific research is the only ethically satisfactory context for the conduct of mathematics, physics or biology.

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Steve Page on artists and copyright

From the BNL Blog: As I've said to friends, we can't expect to tell our fans "see you in court" and then "see you at Massey Hall next fall" – we have to choose one, and I choose the latter.

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Comments and blogs: If I could talk to the animals…

The Washington Post recently shut off comments on its, following a flurry of angry ripostes to its ombudsman's clumsy handling of complaints over the paper's coverage of the Jack Abramoff affair. Commenting has been partly restored; you now have to e-mail...

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Speechlist Issue #5: Seven steps to powerful quotations

Issue 5 - January 25, 2006 IN THIS ISSUE... 1. Opening words 2. Feature article: Can I quote you on that? 3. Catch Rob at the Ragan Speechwriting Conference, February 8-10 4. Your reading list 5. Ever thought of blogging? 6. Subscribing, unsubscribing and passing...

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Bloggers 1, Bulte 0

I have a story in this week's Straight Goods on the Sarmite Bulte affair, where bloggers turned a Liberal MP's cozy relationship with large media rights-holders into an election issue: There were other factors at play, of course. Mayor David Miller endorsed Nash as...

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Public speaking and speechwriting: the essential guides

(photo of books with text) Leadership communications: the essential guides

Looking for advice on public speaking, speechwriting and leadership communications? Here are some of my most comprehensive posts, on topics that people ask me about most often.

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