A soul for Europe – Wim Wenders on growing up European

There was this interview (mp3) with Wim Wenders on the 11th Hour on RTE on Monday this week. Basically what it covers is why his European identity was so important. For him, Europe is not just an economic entity, and I think that casting Europe in citizens’ minds as a social, cultural entity of vast diversity is important to the success of the European project, and the future of everyone living in Europe. He talks about Ireland being at the cultural heart of Europe, although maybe he is flattering the interviewer a little. I think the cultural aspects of Europe will soon be as important as the legal and economic work that is been done.

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NSAI invites comments on OOXML/OpenXML standard

NSAI (the Irish national standards body) has posted an invitation for comments on its site regarding the proposed new Office Open XML standard (ISO/IEC DIS 29500). NSAI has established an ad hoc committee to consider the matter, and I am a member of that committee, together with a number of far more important and qualified people.

Anyway, we are anxious to hear from anyone who has a view on what way NSAI should vote on this standard when it reaches committee. If you can provide links to any relevant articles, that would also be very helpful. If you have time, please review the documents and leave your comments either here or send them to the committee.

A film that can teach you about terror

The Battle of Algiers, showing in the Irish Film Institute today, is essential viewing if you want to understand the hows and whys of terror, and how governments deal with it. Most of the film is said to be quite true to what happened – Algerian women dressed themselves like cosmopolitan French girls to get access to the fashionable lunch spots of the city, and left timed bombs behind -. The whole terror organization was organized in groups of only three people in order to preserve secrecy and make the whole movement resistant to torture. Some of the people who were actually involved in the action act in the film.

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The personal touch – Apple watermarks DRM-free music

Listening Post reports that Apple are watermarking tracks with the purchaser’s email address. Not really surprising that, at least to me. I’ve been doing some thinking about this area for the last while

What I find a bit objectionable is that Apple apparently didn’t bother to tell its customers that it was doing this. I can’t see why they wouldn’t.

I think it’s a good idea though. It makes tracks usable and sharable but puts some sort of limit on the extent to which they will be shared.

You could still scrub the watermark off the tracks without too much hassle, but why would the average consumer bother?

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