Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Anglosphere

The Anglosphere is the term I have been wanting for quite some time now. It is an amazing term that perfectly summarizes an important Internet issue. Apparently it was coined by Neal Stephenson in 1995, so I admit I am late to pick up on it. (Notice the laptop in the picture is a... it's a Mac, of course!) But that is an issue I have been poking at academically for a while now.

Google language tools have vastly improved and expanded, both in terms of languages and functionality. You can search in one language (probably your own), have GLT translate it into another language, and then search on the translated words. Awesome. Versatile! But wait, there's more. It two-columns the results, the left column is the results translated into your language, and the right is in the results in the other language. It also does mouse-overs with the original when you mouse over a translation.

Some friends were in Japan (since they are from Japan), and brought me back some CDs. So nice! One came with a DVD, so, after ripping the CD into iTunes with no problem of course, I stick the DVD in to check out the content, just like with the CDs. (You know where this is going, don't you? I was too wrapped up in the benefits of globalization to see it until it happened.) But no. The anti-global, anti-free market, illegal and horrible DVD Region Code issue rose up and stopped me from viewing content that I have every right to view. Every rightOne drawback of the new Intel Macs is that I have yet to find a piece of software that lets me control my machine -- let me stress that, allows me to control my machine -- so that I can view legally obtained content. (This means I can't find software to control the region switching on the DVD player, or to work around it in some manner.) I am under the impression VLC won't work, although it did on my G4. This is unacceptable. My machine. My legal content. Flawed by design. It's not a Mac problem, of course, it's the DVD cartel, forcing DVD player manufacturers to abide by their contract. In Europe they laugh at this. In Asia they laugh at this. Maybe I'll go to Chinatown and get a cheap region-free player, which is not illegal for me to do. One thing to note about the DVD regions is that they cut up the Anglosphere.