It doesn't come naturally; you learn it - IOL : Lebanese kids milk Israeli cow for goats.
Microsoft's Final Plan. A net oldie, but a goody.
Slashdot | Legalizing Attacks on P2P Networks - basically a push to legalise hacking/cracking for use against peer to peer networking agents, eg. napster or kazaa. Of course, it would remain illegal otherwise. Sound like a disgusting bit of work to you too?
CNN.com - Pledge of Allegiance ruled unconstitutional - June 26, 2002 - the US Govt was trying to argue that "One nation, under God" had "minimal" religious content. Not surprisingly, they lost the argument.
news.com.au - Maroons robbed [27jun02] - damn right they were robbed. Lockyer scored a try that should have gone down in sporting history as a classic moment; but the video ref made a dud decision which should have gone back to Ref's Call (the ref asks for a check regarding the dead ball line; the video ref disallows the try over the grounding of the ball). Even NSW news outlets have to admit the decision was questionable - Origin farce: no time for winners - smh.com.au - although they're obviously more concerned about the extra time issue. In this case I say - Queensland won, no question. But yes, extra time should be introduced. If channel nine can't sort out their commitments, they shouldn't be broadcasting the events. Give the world cup back to SBS!
TechTV | Wireless Broadband's Holy Grail? High speed wireless broadband. If this venture flies, the implications are huge - not least the fact that remote areas could finally get net access just as well as cities. In Australia that's a huge benefit - our telcos are utterly pathetic in their efforts to make rural areas go away (what do you mean you need phones? just drive 400km to a payphone, and be glad it's there! etc.).
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report - including a post about a screenshot of webstandards.org on a palm pilot. Impressive. This is what web standards is all about. You can jump straight to the screenshot, plus see webstandards.org in your own browser for comparison (assuming you're not using a palm pilot, which would hopefully work just fine with this blog template - ad table aside).
some graffiti is nastier than others - welcome to the working week... yuppie fuck.
Microsoft takes big losses on Xbox - huzzah. Of course, when M$ loses a hundred million, it's petty cash.
slashdot quick links:
- Slashdot | Mitnick Testifies on Telco's Security - you may recall hacker Kevin Mitnick. He's out of jail and back on the stand; this time against a dodgy telco.
- Slashdot | Shocked, Shocked at Payola
- SearchDay - Teoma vs. Google, Round Two - 2 April 2002
- Popular Science | All Eyes Are on You
Wireless network types have launched the warchalking concept - a "hobo language" style set of symbols relating to local wireless networks. The idea is that people running a WLAN can chalk up some symbols in the area to let other wireless network types know what's around without scanning for it. Nifty.
ZZZ online | Number 134 - cool pic (flying tank!), weird planes, solo water skiing.
news.com.au - MP's 'vile' attack on PM [26jun02] - I guess the truth hurts:
"He went over there, kissed some bums, and got patted on the head," Mr Latham said. "He should have used that address to the Congress to throw back at the Americans all their empty rhetoric about free trade." Sounds dead accurate to me. Just needs a little polish on the delivery :)
Scientists have managed to create a robot which is smart enough to attempt an escape :) Robot on the run - theage.com.au.
Crashed computer boots local man into jail. After taking a dud computer back to the shop several times, plus several home visits; the computer still wouldn't boot. So he dealt with things in what can only be described as a highly satisfying manner.
Responsible journalism 101 - news.com.au - CD pirates in from the cold [24jun02]. The story is actually "public CD copying machines given the go-ahead". Fine line? Perhaps.
League to consider loyalty fund to halt player drain - seems the NRL is still trying to figure out how to buy the loyalty of players who go where the money is. Sadly, it seems professional footballers no longer give a toss about loyalty - which is something you don't need to be paid for. You're either loyal or you're not. At the end of the day, if the Broncos lose Tuqiri to Rugby Union then they'll just bring up another promising reserve. The Broncos have spent years building a culture of well-supported juniors and outstanding feeder clubs like the Clydesdales. They nurture their own and if that loyalty isn't repaid, they shouldn't feel like they have to throw money at it. The rest of the League should probably think about that.
Student Sues School Over Ban of 'Straight Pride' Sweatshirt. So much for being anti-discriminatory... oh, reverse discrimination? Oh that's the good kind! Silly me.
The latest Alertbox is out, and Jakob is about as bleak as usual in his outlook - Improving Usability Guideline Compliance, which states that it will take fifteen years for the web to attain 90% usability guideline compliance. This is based on two tests of e-commerce sites 1.5 years apart; also assuming linear growth. However with advances such as Amercia's "508" usability legislation, one would hope that usability will increase a little faster. Not just that, but the tools are getting better - Dreamweaver MX makes it pretty easy to at least atttain basic usability, although frustratingly those options have to be turned on manually. Worth a read, at any rate; but as I always say, take a grain of salt - you don't have to agree with everything Jakob says.
Electronic master musician Moby has made comments regarding the "pearl jam effect", whereby some artists have fans more likely to digitally pirate their music than other artists. Seems logical enough; although it'd be near impossible to measure the effect. Moby's concerns relate mostly to the way the industry rates an artist and their releases - if one million buy and ten million people burn a copy of an album, that would imply the artist is more popular than, say, an artist who sells two million units but doesn't get many copies burnt. Besides that, who wins in the long run? Artist one, who has eleven million fans out there; or artist two, who has two million fans?
Nutty price for nuts - seems Britain's Ministry of Defence has been hoarding all kinds of crap, not to mention making some serious valuation errors in stocktake.
Reaching the Americas: One Mad Scientists's Approach. Highly amusing. Publication from Transylvania Polygnostic University ("We know enough to be afraid").
evolt.org is running a blackly amusing piece on netscape/mozilla/gecko/what the hell is the difference and what's the story here? One browser, many names.
amusing 404: scully 404.
this speaks for itself. i haven't found any mainstream news on this, but it certainly rings true doesn't it?
Welcome to near-compliant template v1.1, aka h can't leave stuff alone and the ads still kill validation, but what the hey. i'm also great at snappy names.
hah! hacked your ads, you bugger!
Hmm, well, it seems there's a stunningly easy way to hack your blogspot blog so the ad doesn't show. I've taken the hack back out though. Damn my conscience. Besides, the particular method I just had success with doesn't solve the problem I have with the code (ie. I'll eventually be paying to go ad-free, that's not the point).
Feels kinda cool to defeat the ads though ;)
heretic's valid xhtml linkblog of fun? Well, I'm working on it. I've rebuilt the template, eliminating the tables and attacking the less-than-ideal template CSS. If nothing else it should be a lot more accessible now; although thanks to that bloody ad up there (complete with uncommented javscript and iframes) this sucker won't validate.
VillainSupply.com | Lairs & Bases - own your very own Secluded Mountaintop Villa (with optional missile defence).
The official Neil Gaiman website has been redesigned. Umm. If you don't know who NG is, go read his books, they're great.
Australian IT - Censor secrecy okay: tribunal (Karen Dearne, JUNE 18, 2002). Oh yay, the government won't even describe what they've decided we can't see.
CSS Panic Guide. This kind of site is a developer's friend.
Graphics-intensive pixel surgeon interviews Jakob Nielsen, generating some pretty frank comments. Worth a read; but as always I recommend a grain of salt with your Jakob :) In principle I agree, but there's a point where you go from "make it easy" to "make it offensively stupid".
Slashdot | The Wayback Machine, Friend or Foe? What's an archive, as opposed to a violation of copyright and/or privacy? The other issue here is that the wayback machine is not perfect - one of the sites I've worked on has old versions incorrectly stored (images with the same name but different content stuffing up a template, for instance). The side of this argument that rarely gets a mention is the historical record aspect - historians have to make do with whatever record of life has survived from a certain era. If you let the net slip by without keeping anything, then you let a revolutionary communication medium go the way of the Dark Ages.
Australian IT - Spam lawsuit creates furore. The spammers - sorry, direct email marketers - are trying to sue people who've called them spammers.
Cool case mod: hellraiser mp3 machine.
Geeks will completely lose it reading these. We couldn't stop laughing. QDB: Top 25 Quotes. If you've never used IRC, don't bother.
<@Logan> I spent a minute looking at my own code by accident.
<@Logan> I was thinking "What the hell is this guy doing?"
The Beijing internet cafe fire has given authorities a weak excuse to shut all net cafes down. China's desire to censor the net is well known, the driving force being to keep ordinary Chinese people from accessing "unhealthy information". Like the BBC, just to pick one example.
Some people are claiming that Mozilla's 1.0 release has revived the browser wars. Of course, other people tend to think Netscape/Mozilla missed the boat years ago.
In a fairly unsurprising exchange, a class-action lawsuit has been launched against the record companies distributing "copy protected" CDs which don't play properly and break Macintosh CD drives, amongst other things. The record labels have called the suit "frivolous".
Have you seen the arcade game Dance Dance Revolution (aka. DDR)? Basically you watch the screen and try to dance out patterns on the footplates you're standing on. One American school has cottoned on to the fact that DDR makes you exercise - it's a Video Game That's Good For You. It's conquered the problem of motivating kids to get some exercise - traditional PE would otherwise be a degrading chore to a lot of kids; but with DDR they can just play around.
You may recall this story from 1998, which has resurfaced on slashdot: The radioactive boy scout: when a teenager attempts to build a breeder reactor, the case of David Hahn who managed to secure materials and equipment from businesses and information from government officials to develop an atomic energy radiation project for his Boy Scout merit-badge.
The I-Bomb. Scary shit. If you don't understand why, think through everything you use in a day that's controlled by a computer chip. This includes the basics like computers and watches; but also your car (probably), traffic lights, banking systems, supermarket checkouts, medical facilities, the whole shebang. They're all screwed if you hit them with an EMP.
dive into mark/30 days to a more accessible weblog. because accessibility is a good thing.
photo: one way hell. "But which one way???"
icq tells the story.
whiteice: if your ever looking for something to do
heretic: hmm... suggests that brisbane exists after midnight ;)
whiteice: ... i thought anyone out in brisbane after midnight turned into a pumpkin!
Weird link of the day: Cats Are From Mars.
In recognition of the English language's death; there is now an SMS decoder. & hEr's me tinkN haxor spk wz hard 4 d unitiated 2 understand.
Another small step towards artificial eyes and/or vision devices... a Canadian man who lost his sight in an accident has demonstrated a new electronic eye implanted in his brain. Slashdot notes that there are many projects out there working on artificial vision.
Scientists at ANU have claimed they have successfully teleport a laser beam over a distance of 1m. They're not quite up to Beam Me Up Scotty time; but they reckon they're heading for some seriously nifty data security/computing applications.
Apparently your average Australian thinks Centrelink penalties are too harsh, particular for a recipient's first breach. They also have an accurate understanding about the pitiful amount of money recipients are actually getting (in real terms it's below the poverty line IMHO). The dole will keep you alive, so long as you never get sick or injured and you never need to buy anything other than basic food items. My theory is that the whole system is designed to be so fucking horrible that people will do anything they can to get out of it.
Scientists have announced progress on permanent contact lenses, which are sort of grafted onto the eye. Sounds pretty offputting, but hey, synthetic skin grafts work.
I took the What Mythological Creature Are you? test.
heh, cool. grypons rock.
More hardware devastation: 102 ways to kill your computer.
One from the other side of the piracy argument - Salon.com Technology | File sharing: Innocent until proven guilty.
Scientists say: What the bloop was that noise? (They think it's giant squid).
Yet more proof that anything you can think of is out there on the net somewhere: The Mirror Project. A site dedicated to pictures of things reflected in mirrors and other shiny surfaces.
Zeldman's page has tipped me off to the new incarnation of The Web Standards Project.
the crowd goes wild
well ok, i'm interested. i'm a web geek, ok?
Another cool 404: we come in peace. I'd love to know how this was generated :)
It seems that Sony and Universal have decided to take the plunge and offer cheap music downloads; which are allowed to be burned to CD or otherwise reproduced for use by the purchaser. Projected prices are US$0.99 for a single and US$9.99 for an album. Could be a good deal; although I'd be curious to know if they plan to have "b sides" with those 99c singles - like most people, I often buy a single for the remixes. But at least the two companies are willing to try going with the flow instead of trying to hold back the tide.
There is a catch, however - they are planning to use a format other than mp3, which will mean a lot of consumer education and yet more fucking plugins; plus the files will be watermarked. The idea is that they will be able to identify the original purchaser when a song gets pirated, even if you've burnt it to a cd. No idea how they plan to do that, but they're going to try.
Update: there's further coverage on the sydney morning herald, which features some classic quotes:
...music analyst Phil Trip said the industry had a history of prosecuting backyard operators while allowing the professionals to go free. "The IFPI has a habit of spouting out statistics that make Peter Pan and Wendy look like the pirates," he said. "They see kids selling home-made compilations in the schoolyard like they are in the heroin trade."
The Japan Times Online has a piece on an experimental maglev train which reaches 500km/h (although it has gone faster in unmanned tests).
Mah Jongg - Worldwide Web Site. Mah Jongg is a wonderful game, particularly if, say, your grandmother taught you the game using a gorgeous set with hand-carved ivory-faced bamboo tiles (I know, ivory is frowned upon now but we're talking about an antique). Broke little monkeys like me will have to keep saving for a cheap set, such is life.
An odd bit of news off a site dedicated to professional snipers/sniping. A kill from 2,430 meters actually focusses on the efforts of some Canadian snipers in Afghanistan (including the titled long shot); and the freeze put on awarding medals to them. Apparently Canada has a problem with the idea that their soldiers sometimes.... kill people. In combat.
Oi guv, how much to rent the city? Filming of The Matrix Reloaded is set to involve shutting down Sydney's CBD for filming of helicopter stunts. Way to blow out the budget. Sounds like it will be an amazing sequence though!
Watch out London mobile phone users. There's a rogue chimp stealing mobiles.
Micro$oft is collecting system information in the name of stopping piracy, in order to refuse Windows XP updates/patches for any user who is not using a valid product key. Don't forget that XP keys only work a limited number of times, so many people use the leaked developers' key which gets around that daft "activation" feature. Doesn't matter if you have a fully paid-up legit copy of XP, of course. You have to use their system no matter what. I'm sure there'll be a hack in no time, so yet again this will just violate everyone's privacy and punish the honest people.
UK inventor Trevor Baylis (famous for the wind-up radio) has created a new wind-up device... a hand-crank mobile phone charger. Yup, you can wind away while you use your mobile - renewable energy for one of devices which can need it most. You'd never be in a fix due to a dead mobile battery again.
H4x0r Economist. Funnier than it should be, really. If you don't get the joke then forget it, w3'23 700 31337 t0 3xp141n 17 70 j00.
It's called Ironic Humour, you at the back.
More security problems: Latest IE Hole Lets Gopher Root You, and Kazaa is so confusing many users are sharing their entire hard drives without realising it.
Slashdot | Mozilla 1.0 Officially Here. Wow. They really did it :)
A VIDEO technology breakthrough enables researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to animate images of people speaking words they never said.
Funny photo time! This little rodent has learned that you've gotta have the right equipment for the job at hand.
Gargamel: Man, Myth, Legend.... goth?
Sun have implemented cubicle hell, where you have nothing but a desk, dumb terminal and a login. You don't get the same desk two days running (unless you turn up at 6am) and you can't personalise anything. Why else? It saves money and creates a shining example the Sun executives can sell to other executives who don't actually have to work in the cubes. The unfortunate thing is that the technology is a great idea, but the way it's used is not. They claim that commuting is a driving force.... but, umm, they still have to travel to the clone-cube farm so I don't see where it helps.
The idea of central servers and simple terminals is an old, old idea; but it has a lot of advantages. Sun Rays have a monitor, small case with a card reader (I think a CD-ROM as well) and a keyboard. No noisy fans. Fill a computer lab with these things and it's lovely and quiet. Meanwhile everyone benefits from server upgrades and bean-counters don't sit on P4 mega-machines while graphic artists wait for next year's upgrade.
In a perfect situation, you can stop what you're doing; pull out your card; go have lunch; attend a meeting at another office; sit down at another machine and pick up your workspace session where you left it. This does have applications other than turning the cube farm into an even more demoralising environment.
$100K hacking contest ends in free-for-all. Well shit on me, we set up a dodgy hacking contest and disgruntled contestants hacked the crap out of our other servers - who would have thought they'd do that? It's actually a very interesting read.
BIG NEWS: Music piracy is now a thing of the past!
Yep, Napster has filed for bankruptcy, so I guess nobody will ever copy music again!
Apparently you're not cool unless you have a custom ringtone. Not that a ringtone company would be biased or anything. Personally I have a (custom) dark grey cover and a standard ring. It's practically unique. When phones get full .wav capability and a subwoofer maybe I'll get an industrial ringtone ;)
Library Net porn filters shot down... a Philadelphia court has thrown out the idea of filtering porn sites from public library terminals, in the name of free speech. Tough call - the principle is sound, but at the end of the day I just don't feel it's appropriate to have people surfing porn sites in public libraries. Maybe library workstations will end up with "filtered" and "unfiltered" sections.
Similar to sneakemail, spamgourmet - disposable email addresses, spam filtering provides "disposable" email forwarding addresses. Use these on your website and you can just change the address when the spambots get them. Nice. For anyone who does use Sneakemail, they're currently asking for donations to keep running - so if you've got a few bucks spare, you might want to contribute to the cause.
What happens when a church hires a really good ad agency? This very clever campaign. Great ads :)