Yaba Yaba

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Archive for November 2008

save Farzad! act NOW

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This just in from Eric Lee:

farzad_kamangarThis morning I received news that jailed Iranian teacher union activist Farzad Kamangar may be hanged within the next few hours.
According to the Education International, he has been taken from his cell in Tehran’s Evin prison in preparation for execution. The guards have told him he is about to be executed and they are making fun of him, calling him a martyr.
We need your help and we need it right now.
Send off your message to the Iranian president:
Pass on the this message to everyone you know who might support this campaign. We may only have a few hours left.
I know that I can count on your help.  Thank you.

Eric Lee

You can read more & send an e-message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at:



Written by yishaym

November 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm

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I’ve given up on finding time to select and touchup the pics from our weekend in Rome. Here they are, all 219 of them (above: Campo de’ Fiori).

Written by yishaym

November 17, 2008 at 11:03 am

Rescession without depression?

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(copied from my comment on Tim O’Reilly’s comment on the Boston globe’s Depression 2009: What would it look like?)

The more I hear, read, think about it, the more I love this recession. Consider this: web2.0 is the child of the 2000 blip. What would a real, deep recession give birth to? Collective economies (rent / share vs. buy), unleashed human capital (shift from mums at home to equal partnership at home and at work), agile resource management. Out of necessity comes ingenuity. The stampeding bulls of the last few years have made it all but impossible for innovation to get a foothold – “if it ain’t broken” etc. It is broken, we know it, but as long as the economy expands – however artificially, no one will listen. Well, now they have to. Or at least they will, once they realize that “restoring consumer confidence” is just not going to happen without a shift in producer culture.
Yet there’s a dark side we can’t forget. Along the way to a more efficient, robust and sustainable economy, a lot of people are going to feel real pain. The question of just how much is a lot is the line between recession and depression.

Written by yishaym

November 17, 2008 at 3:14 am

beat it

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This comes from my homeboy Gil. For the first time in my life, I wish I had an iPhone:

ZooZBeat Lite and ZooZControl Lite now available in the Apple App Store.

ZooZBeat Lite and ZooZControl Lite are both now available for free in the Apple App Store. The full-featured standard versions will be available soon.

ZooZBeat for Nokia N95 series will be available Nov. 15. Reserve a copy at http://www.zoozmobile.com/reserve.html

  • ZooZBeat – a gesture-based mobile musical studio, simple enough for non-musicians to immediately become musically expressive but rich enough for experienced musicians to push the envelope of mobile music creation. Check out videos and read more at http://www.zoozbeat.com/
  • ZooZControl – a mobile application that transforms your iPhone and iPod Touch into a gestural PC game controller. Check out videos and read more at http://www.zoozcontrol.com/

About us:
ZooZMobile is a spin-off from the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. Learn more at http://www.zoozmobile.com/about/


Written by yishaym

November 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Taiseer Elias @ Goodenough college, 27 October

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The Abraham Fund Initiative Logo GoodEnough Logo

You are invited to a recital and a talk with

Taiseer Elias

The Oud & Violin virtuoso

Presented by
UK friends of The Abraham Fund Initiatives
in collaboration with the Goodenough College Middle East Club

Taiseer Elias
A master of both Eastern and Western music, oud and violin artist
Taiseer Elias performs worldwide. He is founder/ conductor of the first
Orchestra of classical Arabic Music in Israel, and currently the
musical director and conductor of the Arab-Jewish orchestra of the JMAD
& the Music center in Jerusalem.

Elias has recorded with a number of ensembles including
White Bird, Bustan Abraham, Ziryab Trio (of which he is the musical
director), Menachem Wiesenberg & Tabea Zimmermann (“The Malta
Concert” -Classics Live) and others. He has also composed music for
theater and films.

“Like a modern Paganini, Elias’s playing was fast,
furious, and techically superb. Anyone who doubts the merits of Arabic
classical music will find his or her argument difficult to sustain, in
the light of this man’s brilliance.” Mohammad Hijazi, Bill Board.

The performance is in support of UK friends of the Abraham Fund

When: Thursday, November 27th


Where: The large common room
William Goodenough House
Goodenough College
Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB
Cost: FREE
donations are welcome, suggested
£5 for students/unwaged
£8 for others

http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/1320883 | http://eventful.com/london/events/taiseer-elias-concert-uk-friends-abraham-fund-/E0-001-017121312-3 | http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dnhkd52_11fpkzpbc4 | http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=55715582624

Written by yishaym

November 8, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A victory for us all

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Is there a name for that feeling you get on a day when you realize you are witnessing history? That the world is not the same as it was yesterday?

The USA has joined hands to end its dark days. Its people are victorious, and lucky, and we are grateful. I believe Obama will be a great president – intelligent, thoughtful, innovative and courageous. As a friend says, if he delivers %50 of what he promised, he will go down in history as one of the worlds great leaders. But in a way, it almost doesn’t matter what he does now. the fact that he was elected is such an inspiration that I’m sure we’ll see it’s consequences ripple through the globe.

First, there’s the issue of his skin colour. I know that should not be an issue, I know that it would be better if there was no point in mentioning it. But there is. He’s black. He’s the first black president of the USA. And he proves that the barriers that once existed should not be taken as given. Yes, there still are injustices, prejudices, and inequalities everywhere – and non-white people of America know that all too well. Yet these can be transcended, challenged and demolished. No, not can be. Need to be. Expect many a speech to begin with the words “if a black man can be the president of the USA…”, from political rally to supermarket checkout queue, from kindergarden to factory. If a black man can be the president of the US, there’s no reason I should take that ____.

Then there’s the issue of power, and who owns the government. Up until yesterday, US elections were decided by the candidates ability to bring in big money. Under that rule, the president’s first account was to the people who held the big money. Obama tells another story, of mobilizing masses, of an average donation of $80. This is not just a tactical issue. Its a matter of allegiance. A president who owes his presidency (in the literal, financial sense of “owe”) to grandmas across the country has the freedom to serve the interests of these grandmas. This sends a message to political systems across the world. It shifts the balance of power from the one who has millions to the millions who have one.

For quite some time, my response to Clay Shirky’s book was “so where is everybody“? Obama is saying “here they are, right here with me on this historic day“. If technology now gives us the power to self-orgenise, mobilise, and coordinate action, why are people still sitting back and allowing the world to run them over? Perhaps part of it was that they didn’t believe they had the power. Even if the $80 donation or masses of grandmas story is part fiction, it doesn’t matter. Because that’s the story that is going to define social dynamics from this day on. In Tel-Aviv, it’s already happening (Hebrew, ht Hananc).

Written by yishaym

November 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm

vote for small worlds network!

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I know, the elections that will determine the fate of the world are in 3 days. In the meanwhile, you can practice at the Knight News Challenge. Ok, bad joke. The real story here is that I put in a last-minute bid, and I honestly think it’s got some value, so have a look and express yourself –


this project will connect existing open-source tools and web2.0 sites to create a platform that will allow users to broadcast and subscribe to news by location, time, and topic. Users will be able to send and receive items by SMS, MMS, email, microblogs, RSS, instant messengers and social networking sites. Users will also be able to tag and rate incoming items. The unique feature of the system is the ability to define a subscription “radius”, which will direct news from the proximity of the selected location / time / topic. For example, if I subscribe to sport news in a radius of 10km of my home, I will receive any item posted to that topic within that range. The proximity variance will create a dynamics of information cross-over, engendering unexpected links between communities of shared, or close, interest. Thus, the “small worlds” property of human networks will be expressed and enhanced, empowering individuals to access the knowledge they want and build communities around common agendas. The core of the system will be the news routing engine, which will collate items from a variety of sources and distribute them to masses of subscribers. The system will provide several straightforward user interfaces, via web, SMS commands, and iPhone and Android apps. More elaborate interfaces will be provided as components for social networking sites and mashups (e.g. with googlemaps). The requested funding is intended to cover the fist year of development and operation. After that, the system should sustain itself through advertising and commissioned channels. Users will have a choice of several subscription options, from free and open ad-supported to corporate rented closed and ad free. The free option will always be available, and will be supported by the paid ones.

(by the way, LabourStart2.0 seems to be doing pretty good)

Written by yishaym

November 2, 2008 at 2:37 am