new york times stuff
For anyone who is wondering, the fifth Harry Potter book was great. Go read it :) An excellent article in the New York Times highlights some possible reasons for the success of HP... Harry Crushes the Hulk. The article goes on to discuss how HP's audience is far more sophisticated than media outlets realise; and draws some conclusions about preventing piracy by creating worthy content.
Much has been said about how the "Harry Potter" series, in less than five years, has brought kids, boys included, back to reading. But the phenomenon is about more than childhood literacy. The ravenous hunger for Ms. Rowling's novels shows that children are far more discerning than adults tend to give them credit for ...
In the new novel, Harry is 15. The readers who started with him five years ago have aged as well. These high school kids are at once the most prized and despised by our show-biz titans. They are prized because they are a demographic with disposable income and a boundless appetite for all forms of entertainment ... They are despised because of their wholesale theft of that industry's products.
How do all those lovely entertainment-seeking kids weaned on "Harry Potter" grow up to become thieves? ... There is no single explanation, of course, and there is no acceptable rationalization that can excuse theft. But it's no secret that music piracy spread as CD prices rose and teenagers were enraged to pay roughly the same price as a "Harry" hardcover for a dozen or so tracks of which 10 might be filler.
They may well be willing to pay for their entertainment - if the quality is guaranteed and the price is fair.
Also at the NYT... Is Google God? and will global communication mean that everyone will discover that everyone else hates America too?
Good stuff. If you don't have a NYT subscription, grab one and check it out.
Zeldman | Supremes blow it: bad filters are here to stay. The American Supreme Court has ruled that libraries must filter all net access. Although some libraries have had to do so already to stop people extensively browsing porn sites at library workstations; the general feeling is that filtering is much too unreliable for blanket implementation. But since the already cash-strapped libraries must comply to continue receiving funding, there's no question as to whether it will go ahead.
Strip searched parking fine woman awarded $138,000. Because an apology would have killed them.
wrecked exotics... a weird site devoted to photos of exotic but crashed cars. includes an "injury report" on some posts.
US push for global police force. *blinks* uh huh. not only does the US want to be the world's army, it wants to be the cops too.
- Most euro notes have cocaine traces: study. Amusing.
- Slashdot | RIAA To Sue Hundreds Of File Swappers. See, it's always better to sue someone than come up with a business plan that works. Right? Sure.
- Telstra denies selling BigPond email addresses. "We won't be admitting to that until after full privatisation," said one imaginary Telstra rep.
- Politicians unite over plastic terror fence
"I really dislike the fence, I hate seeing it," Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett said. "I'm not an expert on what goes through a terrorists' mind but I'm not sure that they would quiver in fear at the sight of a plastic barrier."
- Uniform schools plan unveiled. That's uniform curriculum, not one uniform for all schools. It makes a lot of sense. Once the entire country has the same system, they might also like to fix that system....
State of Origin roundup.... Queensland lost, ok. They were soundly beaten on the night and just never looked like winning. What does this mean? It means a team lost a game against another team. Does it mean you should sack the coach? No. Does it mean one player is to blame? No. Would it be fixed by refusing to select Broncos? No... but hey, suits me if the Broncos didn't get knobbled three rounds of the year due to players backing up from Origin matches.
- Fans blame Ikin for Loss - pull your heads in you morons. The only guy quoted here worth listening to is this one....
The demoralising Queensland defeat also dominated the airwaves, although one caller to ABC radio in Brisbane named Darryl suggested people should stop whingeing. "Every time Queensland get beaten it's somebody else's fault," he said. "They just weren't up to the game."
- Kennedy facing ban and quite rightly so.
- Fans wonder where Harrigan and the touch judges were, since they sure weren't watching the game... although at least some just accepted it.
- Sydney journalists crow sickeningly about the win. Roy Masters, you should be thumped for that piece. You're supposed to be a journo at work, not a sycophantic fan.
- Other journos persist with using the word "whitewash". *sigh* losing badly is not a whitewash. A whitewash is when you cover something up. IDIOTS. Otherwise, the Courier-Mail's roundup is actually pretty reasonable :)
It's the old story: when the team wins, it's the players. When the team loses, it's the coach. You throw a side together in the middle of the regular season, sometimes they just don't gel as a team. The Maroons just didn't know where to find each other on the field, or who to pass to.... etc. The referee is known for his delight penalising Queensland players; and the Sydney touch judges continued the proud parochial tradition of doing everything bar wearing a blue jersey.
At the end of it all, Queensland got thumped and that's the story. There's Origin 3 to salvage some pride; and besides, there's always next year :)
Mac users' insane loyalty leads to Apple getting away with doing bad things to their customers, according to this - Wired News: Mac Loyalists: Don't Tread on Us. Well, yeah, if you've got the tattoo as well as the pretty box, you're not going to back down now are you?
inktank: pic of the week archive. funny*.
* funny = sure sure, some are juvenile. others really are funny. it's the net, just fucking deal :)
- Slashdot | RIAA Not Done With Jesse Jordan. This is pretty cool on one hand: the RIAA sued a college student for creating a search engine which people could use to look for MP3s - that's like suing a road crew for creating something criminals can use. The guy lost his life savings in the settlement; but thanks to the net, people around the world have chipped in to restore the cash (note that others in the same case are still trying to recover the money they lost). This is great! :) It's just a pity that the RIAA have decided to harrass the guy some more.
- Business 2.0 Magazine | The MP3 Economy: How labels and artists divvy up your MP3 dollar. Discusses how a US$1 download gets divvied up. On average, the artist gets 12 cents; the label gets 30 cents; and so on. To put it another way, if you ever saw your rock idol at a bar and you bought them a drink for $2.50 (I'm doing rough currency conversions here); that drink is worth a bit under 21 downloads. Buy them a top-shelf single malt and you can probably download their life's work.
- Billboard | Top Artists Balking At A La Carte Downloads. Their fear is people will just buy the single and not the whole album. Considering exactly which artists are worried; I reckon they should just make sure there's no filler. Ever bought an album, only to discover that there's one good song and ten shit tracks? Or discovered the one song you like was a really big deviation from their ususal style? As for Radiohead's latest album, they've got bigger problems as far as alienating their fans goes. Besides that, if someone has never heard any of their work; letting them spend $1 on a download is more likely to lead to an album sale than, say, not letting them preview your work at all.
- Mysterious Net traffic spurs code hunt.
- Wired | Happy Birthday, Dear DNS
Quote of the day goes to Doc, the man behind The Whiteboard:
[I]f you have any more complaints about this totally ad-free, banner-free, pop-up-free, paid-out-of-his-own-pocket, just-'cause-it's-fun comic strip, please feel free to go jam chopsticks in your ears. (quote from the FAQ)
You're the TRADITIONAL PIRATE. Stealing gold, backstabbing other pirates, being suspicious of everyone you meet, running from the law... you're the real thing. People don't like to mess with you because you always manage to get your way. Just watch out, those parrots can be a little messy sometimes....
One quick gripe: if you make a quiz, include a see all results button you sodding sodding bollocking sods!
Howard appoints tame military man as GG. Well ok that's my version of the headline. Basically Howard has chosen a guy who agrees with his views and is unlikely to do anything to offend anyone (even if he does, he'll probably smooth it over). A relatively safe choice; although it demonstrates again that Howard doesn't listen to anyone else's opinion. The new GG is noted as supporting Howard's (unpopular) stance about the war in Iraq; and I don't know that most people are particularly keen on having a military man as GG in the current world climate. *shrug* still better than bloody Hollingworth.
Court to rule if drunks can sue -
The High Court heard on Friday that Ms Cole arrived at the leagues club for a champagne breakfast around 9.30am and began consuming free Spumante. She bought her last bottle from the bar at 12.30pm and was refused service about 3.30pm because she was drunk. She was ejected about 5.30pm but offered a taxi or bus home. She refused, left on foot and was struck by the car around 6.20pm. The club couldn't force her into a taxi; and they couldn't reasonably be expected to stop her obtaining more booze from somewhere else. There has to be a limit on the club's responsibility/liability. She didn't have to drink anything; she chose to get blotto.
Rare plane had curse.
THE Australian War Memorial will today unveil a never-before displayed German Messerschmitt Bf-109. The World War II fighter plane is the only one in the world to still bear all its original paintwork. It also has carefully concealed graffiti from PoWs who built it. Most of the graffiti is a mystery of smudged crayon, but what can be made out is "extremely rude", said head aircraft conservator John White. I wonder what it says :)
Raptor III. Apparently it's a Suburban (SUV) with a gatling on the roof. As you do. Well, hell, all I can say is it's a good thing i don't have one; otherwise Coronation Drive would be a different place during peak hour. "Why hello officer, yes i know this is a transit lane; see here i have six passengers! Together they make up Mr Minigun! Mr Minigun wants to get to work now."
But wait! There's more! Complete with cheesy Flash :)
Catching up with Mac Hall produces this gem: Matrix: Part VOIP. Not to mention
She's got the meme!! from the road trip story preceeding it.
RISK 2210 A.D. ...hmmm. Much more complex than the original. Would have to play it to decide if I liked it... which is a bit iffy, since the simplicity of the original game is one of the things I love about it.
Subculture Rants - "Fuck your subculture standards". Basically an LJ group devoted to rants about the limitations of the goth subculture. My take goes back to an old favourite quote:
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity. - anon.
Ya know yer a strayan when you get these jokes. Although I will say that some particular words (said in a broad aussie accent) tend to send me insane. There are a few words I really hate; "brekkie" is one, gone pronounced "gorn" is another, "sattadee arvie" is a kind of combo thing - turning Saturday into Sat'dee I can cope with; saying arvie is touch and go... combining the two.... HULK SMASH!
"Straya" just makes me laugh, though. I've used the word "arvo" occasionally. I drive a Holden, but I've never had The Argument. I'm wearing ugh boots right now, but I don't own any thongs.
You are Oz! Or, Type Four of the Enneagram's personality structure: THE ARTIST. You are creative, intuitive, introverted and depressive. Which Buffy character/Enneagram Personality are you? (quizilla, have lost the link now, deal).
Actually I cheated, since I already know I'm a Four I skipped the test and grabbed the result ;)
Some stuff from the news....
- BBC | Moaning workers are "ill"
- news.com.au | One third live their life stoned.
A THIRD of Australians cruise through life stoned. A study shows 27 per cent rely on drugs or drink risky levels of alcohol for their mental well-being. ... The Australia Institute survey reports men are more likely to seek refuge in alcohol, while women turn to tablets.Sweet! Give me another scotch, I'm normal.
- The Courier-Mail | Sexual Politics. Yup, we really do have a porn star and a drag queen running for Lord Mayor. It's a pity their policies tend to be more practical than the normal pollies. In the Ryan by-election, Tamara Tonite and Nigel Freemarijuana had far better policies than the crap trotted out by the major parties. Go figure. Remember kids: they don't report informal votes (donkey votes); so if you don't like the major parties, vote for the porn star or the drag queen. Otherwise your protest vote will get lumped in with the people who just fucked up their ballot.
Fans go wild for Harry Potter. I've got my copy :) It was quite nice in the city today. The book was released in Brisbane at 9:01am; so when I rolled into town a bit after ten it was full of people dressed up HP style. I was passing a Dymocks when I suddenly found myself in the middle of a swarm of kids in black robes and Hogwarts house coloured scarves. They'd really made an effort and all had big smiles. I don't like kids, but hey I can still enjoy that moment :)
As an aside, I bought my copy from my regular bookstore. Sure, I could have saved some bucks grabbing it off the mound in K-mart being flogged off at cost, but frankly the chain stores are just undercutting real bookstores and I hate that.
Phew, does republishing an RSSified blog play hell with livejournal friends lists! Sorry 'lapse (and anyone else who reads his friends list :)).
Delicious irony: Orrin Hatch: Software Pirate?. A few days ago this guy claims copyright owners should have the right to destroy the computers (as in, make the hardware explode) of individuals downloading copyright material. Now it comes to light that his website uses copyright code and is in breach of the terms and conditions of use. So, is he down in the server room with a mallet? I suspect not. Will he learn from this? I suspect not. Is Senator Hatch doing this out of the goodness of his heart? No. He's a composer who earns a lot of money from royalties. To be fair; it seems his comments - while initially serious - are being taken more as a provocation to work on the problem and less as a real plan of action.
Even if a method of destroying computers was devised; how would you guard against destroying legit users' computers? The death penalty has sent innocent people to their deaths... even when playing with people's lives nobody's found a foolproof method of avoiding mistakes. The record industry has already broken the computer hardware of legitimate users and they didn't give a shit (remember the copy protection that broke Macintosh CD-ROM drives?). They'd happily do this if they could; and they wouldn't care about the innocent victims. Plus, how easy would it be to destroy someone's machine for no reason? "I thought they were using my hardware!" Well we can't prove it now, can we? So what's to say you just didn't like them?
Wired | Coffee Genes Hold the Jolt - projects looking to grow coffee plants which produce low-caffeine or decaf beans. Would be a good thing for people who actually know what good coffee tastes like; but have doctor's orders to stick to decaf. That assumes the beans still taste good :)
On a vaguely related note: it annoys me that people drink instant coffee, then claim to love "good coffee" and say they can't stand crap coffee. Drinking Nescafe and spurning International Roast does not make you a connoisseur. Then there are those who claim they need the caffeine hit from their one-teaspoon-of-instant coffee brew. I guess it's all about the comforts of daily ritual; since it can't be the actual caffeine :)
ABC: What does the world think of America? Short answer: not much.
Here's why I'm not shattered that I'm yet to go to a conference..... BOFH and the Bad Junket.
Penny Arcade 2003.06.18. heheheheheh. so harsh, so damn funny.
This one is a cracker. Stupid Computer Tricks. This is photographic evidence of all those tech support stories you thought were made up....
- Fortune.com | Heroes of Manufacturing. What if you want an OS that never crashes? What if you have a device which you cannot afford to have crash? You use QNX.
- Slashdot | Weta Prepares to Render LOTR: ROTK.
Seven racks of IBM blade servers have been added to Weta's existing 15-rack server cluster to make up the largest Intel-based high- performance computer site in the world with more than 2000 linked processors.What will this computing behemoth be doing? Rendering a movie. Great priorities, eh. Humans are fucking weird.
- New York Times | A Mighty Wind - plans to build a huge wind farm in Nantucket Sound have the locals up in arms. This is too big for a dot point, so let's continue below....
It's a fight between needing sustainable energy, preserving natural wonders, and the basic "not in my back yard" attitude of the locals. The developer points out some of the benefits -
Imagine tapping into this inexhaustible supply of energy right here in our own state, lowering the cost of electricity, decreasing pollution, reducing reliance on foreign fuel,'' Gordon said recently as he paced his company's boardroom in downtown Boston. ''We're feeding oil cartels whose whims move our economy and our armies. With wind, we can free ourselves from that.
The problem is the locals are rich and powerful. Really rich, really powerful. So they can afford to fight and fight hard:
[Locals] tend to be vain about their environmental sensitivities, so you would think they'd cheer the coming of alternative energy. But supporting the construction of dozens of towering turbines visible from their beaches, boats and waterfront homes is a very different thing from avoiding tern nesting grounds or attending a lecture on shoreline erosion. Even before Gordon finished his analysis of the shoal's sands, a forceful and well-connected army of opposition had formed. ... Representative William Delahunt spearheaded an effort to protect the sound by advocating that it be declared a national marine sanctuary. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. offered his name and voice to the struggle, despite the fact that the Natural Resources Defense Council, the environmental organization for which he is a senior attorney, is a strong advocate of offshore wind development. And the yacht-club set opened its checkbooks, donating money and stock to cover the $100,000-a-month bills for rent, three full-time salaries, television and radio time, two lobbyists and three law firms. That's a lot of clout.
Banks lower fees. Non-bank lenders have squeezed interest rates down a little. Good to see the banks reap what they sow, the gluttonous fucks.
Guy in Landrover - "Mental note: next time I tailgate a guy, first check he's not a royal." Secret service agents don't like royal road rage much.
Dubya has proved that yes, you can fall off a Segway™. Bad timing, considering the Segway's inventor is also trying to get the US government to bail out his venture. Please, someone tell that guy that people just don't need a machine which costs US$5000.... and just replaces walking. People do remember scooters, pal. In fact, they're still popular.
Microsoft has now confirmed the comlete death of Internet Explorer - Zeldman | RIP - IE5/Mac is dead. IE5/Mac was a real groundbreaker for web standards; with far better support than IE5/PC ever had. So, what's up with Microsoft? As Zeldman points out, MS obviously doesn't give a toss about web browsers any more - particularly not for the Mac. They'll keep a web browser as part of their operating system, but they're not releasing free/standalone versions any more. If web developers disliked MS before, they hate them with a passion now.
Why? Because the average Windows user barely knows the difference between IE4 and IE6. They sure as hell won't pay for a better web browser when IE is right there on their desktop, "free" no less. So, they'll just use whatever version of IE they've got (probably IE5.5 or IE6.0, no service pack) from now until they replace their computer. We're talking about years of stagnation for the vast majority of web users. Imagine if Holden and Ford hadn't released a new Commodore or Falcon* for 20 years - that is, every Commodore/Falcon on the road was built according to standards and designs that were 20 years old. No airbags, no ABS brakes, no power windows, no central locking, no improvements to the engine, fuel consumption, aerodynamics... you get the picture. It's the same deal.
While people wouldn't put up with it in their car; they either don't know or don't care if their software doesn't change. Then consider that computers age incredibly fast - 1 human year is like 10 computer years. So, people are already using the web equivalent of a car put on the road in 1973. Now, you won't be able to buy a better car until 2023.
* For those who don't know, Commodore and Falcon are the most common cars we have on the road in Australia. Thousands of them. Every other company car is a white one.
Update: this even got a mention in a mainstream news outlet. Wonders will never cease.
boingboing post a recent development in one man's quest to give thieves a hernia: the concrete casemod. be sure to read the important update, which reads in part...
The computer was still intact and the thief is probably sore and suffering from back problems, but be aware that this method of protection is not fool-proof. I am watching the neighborhood for someone walking with a limp or in a wheelchair. I view this as a challenge and may have to fill a full-size tower with concrete, hoping to break the 200 pound mark. If this does not provide the desired results, I may resort to visiting a foundry and pouring with molten lead. I must first find an over-head crane to make it possible to position it in my front yard.
also from boingboing...... a photoshop contest which proves that a jail cell can be made uglier than it already is: photoshop martha stewart's jail cell. meanwhile a DJ in philadelphia has caused plenty of discussion about his idea to fill iPods with his mixes, then rent the iPods to local businesses who would otherwise hire him for live perfomances. apart from the legal problems, it raises the question of what constitutes a DJ performance and what is...well... a high-tech mix tape. at any rate it still rings true that for a business like a restaurant, an iPod is much better than shuffling CDs or setting up decks. the primary business is preparing and serving food!
BTW, if anyone else wants to hook into the RSS feed of my linkblog (livejournal people can add it to their friends list), drop me a line at email@example.com with the subject line linkblog rss feed. Not that I forsee anyone else wanting to do so; but on the off chance I'd love to hear what possessed you ;)
ps. thanks to colinmo and steve for their part in all of this! :)
Gamers.com | Original Gangster - We have a bad guy play bad-guy games. And he steals our GameCube.
In the July issue of Electronics Gaming Monthly, we interviewed Henry Hill--you know, the guy the movie Goodfellas was based on? He worked for the mob, participated in the $6mil Lufthansa heist in '78 (the biggest ever at the time), then turned state's evidence and helped put away the Lucchese crime family. We thought the wiseguy who lived Grand Theft Auto back in the 60s and 70s should play it, so we called for a sit-down and brought in GTA: Vice City, Hitman 2, The Getaway, and, for the hell of it, Animal Crossing.
Husband does more housework = his kids will be nicer and his wife will bonk him more; according to one academic.
Some people have really insane hobbies. 737sim.com documents the activities of a guy who's turning a Boeing 737 cockpit into a fully featured flight simulator. I guess it keeps him off the streets ;) Don't get me wrong, this is an impressive project.
- www.la - a company in Los Angeles has swung a deal with Laos to take over the .la TLD. An abuse of domain naming? Yep. Surprising? No.
- Australia's great broadband disaster. Australia has a lower broadband connection rate than Estonia... now to be fair, I don't think many Australians could find Estonia on a map; so let's look at it in a better way. 60% of Australians have access to the net. Only 2% use broadband. On top of that, the quality of service vs. price is terrible - we get tiny data limits and relatively slow connections, with huge fees. Then we have Senator Alston, fuckwit extraordinaire; who remains our Communications Minister despite a desperate need for removal from the gene pool. For example, Alston thinks Telstra's poor revenue is due to good competition. Actually, Telstra is in the shit because - as an organisation - it can't find its arse with both hands.
- Voyager to a Strange Planet.
- Fun with exploding CDs! Done before (far more scientifically), but still amusing.
- Spam war settles into mobile phones. SMS is the new SPAM. Or the new black. Or something.
- SCO Says to Act Against IBM if No Deal by Friday. IBM says "Yeah whatever!"
- The Little Coder's Predicament.
In the 1980s, you could look up from your Commodore 64, hours after purchasing it, with a glossy feeling of empowerment, achieved by the pattern of notes spewing from the speaker grille in an endless loop.In short: users are very removed from their computers/consoles these days. Our houses contain infinitely more computing power than the first space shuttles, but kids learn less than when they had Commodore 64s. Witout this early start, would today's coders be as adept? What of tomorrow's coders? It's important to consider such stuff.
Gored By Longhorn: Zeldman combines two bits of info - a) MS won't develop IE except for the bundled version in Longhorn; and b) Longhorn won't be out until 2005. That's an awfully long time to wait for something better than IE6.0, with its various bugs. Please, for the love'o'mike*, everyone switch to Opera/Netscape/something standards-compliant. Don't forget to switch Opera's preferences over so it identifies as Opera (by default it identifies as IE to avoid discrimination by sniffer codes). It Opera doesn't turn up in server logs people can't prove that it's being used.
* No I don't know why Mike's love is so attractive, but let's not burst his bubble.
Bus-rail deal to streamline public travel.
[T]he new arrangement [involves] the state taking over responsibility for revenue collection and paying Brisbane Transport a service fee to operate its 600-strong bus fleet. ... There will be falls in the cost of most bus fares. About time they stopped farting about with Queensland's public transport. It's a first step, at least.
Origin bruiser reignites the Cauldron. Hell of a match. I wonder if the result could have been different if the blues hadn't scored off a dodgy "played at the ball" call by the ref... who knows :) It's a shame for the injured players; but then they always go hard in origin football.
btw... for those of you who didn't know i watch nrl football, just deal with it mmmkay :) it's not that shocking.
- SFgate | Inventors patent ideas to pre-empt their rivals / Companies then must buy rights to the devices. Patents as weapons, basically. Or; you no longer have to actually create anything. Just patent the idea so you can screw money out of the people who do the work.
- Slashdot | Hints for Planning a Network Gaming Marathon. Interesting as an exercise in logistics, if nothing else.
- Slashdot | Microsoft Acquires RAV Antivirus. Step one: create massive holes which are exploited by viruses. Step two: bundle your products with an anti-virus system nobody's heard of; which will lull users into a false sense of security. Step three: continue charging too much for crap software. Ahh, why change... it's worked for them so far :) Besides that, I guess anything is better than nothing. Plus, MS will have that much more access to your machine while the updates are downloaded. They like being able to access your system (of course, so did lots of the viruses).
GO TEAM RANDOM! :) colinmo has been nuts enough to set up an RSS feed of this blog and let it loose on his lj friends list. end result: we learn that RSS is cool; and i spam the living crap out of his friends list :) all good.
meyerweb.com has had a multi-redesign, demonstrating the power of CSS. verra verra nice...
australian weblogs. really nothing i can add to that.
holy crap. just republished the entire archive (realised i'd never got around to reinstating the matching template after some blogger problems a while back) and it's taking ages. at which point i realised i've been doing this since september 2001. that's an awful lot of links.
- extreme truck mods (page in japanese). these guys are totally out of fucking control :)
- a sweet case mod. simple, but very well done.
2003.06.11 - update - i am assured the truck mods link is definitely for real. apparently in japan this is all the rage (mainly away from the cities) and they use the trucks for work. ie. that's their work vehicle, not a show vehicle. wild!
New addition to Laid-Off: A No Nothing Production: "The One". New odd todd, and before coff-ay no less! :)
- Slashdot | Review: PogoProducts' Radio Your Way - TiVo-style device for recording radio. Would be great - imagine being able to record late night radio shows for later consumption (if you've ever tried this with normal tapes, you'll know it doesn't work).
- NASA's Foam Test Offered a Vivid Lesson in Kinetics - basically an illustration of the damage a piece of foam can do at 500 miles/hour (note: miles, not km).
- Poultry in Motion: With Invention, Chicken Catching Goes High-Tech ...I'd never thought about it, but catching chickens must be a really sucky job. No fun for the chickens either.
- CNN | Wired, lightweight and ready to kill - plans for the future of American footsoldiers. The problems are keeping the weight down and avoiding information overload. It helps that the plans include features to avoid friendly fire.
This is actually important: Adobe have released a new version of Acrobat Reader (v6.0). Consider that the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission deem PDF to be an inaccessible (ie. discriminatory) file format. The hype has claimed that v6.0 would fix all problems and usher in a golden age of PDF for the vision-impaired. So what's the reality? AnitraPavka posts some first impressions.
Enough about Blogger. Here's some content that might interest someone.
Soul of the Web. Not only does this page sport a wonderfully rich-but-subtle design; the content is pretty damn good. Think of it as a place to find something good to read; at random.
Don't get me wrong, the new Blogger system seems nice. They've just come out of the blocks with a system that only gives the full-featured version to a browser which is lagging behind the pack; not to mention that MS have just announced it will lag forever unless you buy Longhorn.
Interface issues aside, the features look like they could be interesting. Though of course free users like me probably aren't seeing the best of it. Making users deal with
charset issues is a brave move. They'll get endless emails over it, but it might improve the technical standard of a few blogs. One thing which is already pissing me off is the lack of a POST button in the POST screen (LoFi version). I don't need to preview most of my posts. Then the rapid refreshing post status page is a bit too quick - the pulsing effect makes me feel sick. Seriously, refresh ever ten seconds or something. Every two or three is overkill.
On top of all that, the old interface broke quite badly in Opera 7.10 - so even though it gets redirected to LoFi, Opera is still better off this way. Everything does work; so I'll quit my bitchin'. The reality is 99% of Bloggers won't know or care about web standards. Just a few geeks like me find fault.
Hmmm, hmmm and more hmmm. IE6.0 SP1 gets a different version of BloggerBasic. So if this is on purpose, Pyra Labs and Google consider IE6.0 to be the pinnacle of modern browser development. Which is complete shite, since IE6.0 - as observed recently - is getting long in the tooth in browser terms. IE6.0 SP1 isn't a bad browser; at least not compared with, say, Netscape 4.x... but it sure as hell isn't a good browser.
Sadly it seems they have decided to favour "popular" over "good".
Small mercies: the B and I buttons now insert STRONG and EM instead of B and I. This is a Good Thing.
Plus it does seem faster.
Netscape 7.0 is also sent to Blogger LoFi so I'm guessing the HiFi version isn't ready yet. Or perhaps the detection is a bit screwy.
Hmmm, well it seems that MSIE 5.5 SP2 fails Blogger's test as well. Perhaps fair enough, it's an old version.
Blogger has apparently just cut over to its new system; and I'm quite narked that the system claims Opera 7.10 "lack[s] robust Stylesheet and/or DHTML capabilities". Opera supports standards better than MSIE, bucko. Watch who you insult.
In other other news, I accidentally did something simlilar* to a few tycho.gil.com.au users recently; so I shouldn't complain ;)
* Well actually it wasn't my fault, not really anyone's fault. Something just broke.
- Slashdot | SA Creates Piracy Statistics
In other words, some guys sat in a room and decided that people probably wanted to buy ten copies of software, but only five were sold, so the piracy rate must therefore be 50%. By a similar process we can calculate that 99% of all ocean-front homes are pirated.
- Slashdot | After-School Hacking Special
- Slashdot | Microsoft Patents Interactive Entertainment
- Slashdot | DMCA Vs. The Sewing Underground
CSS Zen Garden. Select from one of many designs, to see the power of CSS.
CNN.com - Man wins right to sue U.S. government over pot car - Jun. 2, 2003. "No officer, that's not my pot... it's yours!" It really shouldn't have taken three months of jail time to sort it out though.
The deputies' long-playing record of loyalty. This is
... delicious ... indeed :)
peltierbeer - beer glass with heatsink. as you do.
The horror of a missed downshift (warning: photo-heavy page). Answers the question of what happens if you miss a gear while in 5th with 7000rpm, accidentally slamming the car into 2nd.
silly cats (.wmv). funny. i am told it was on funniest home videos, though. but still, it's funny. cats pratfalling!
New Scientist | Gecko tape will stick you to ceiling. Geckos are really cool. They're up there with meerkats.
Whirlpool News - Telstra terminates ADSL whistleblower's connection:
Telstra visited ADSL whistleblower Steve Mann's home this week, serving him with a disconnection notice after he told Whirlpool the carrier appeared to favour Bigpond in ADSL line testing. Mann raised the alarm that Telstra Wholesale had rejected his application for iiNet ADSL, but subsequently accepted a Bigpond ADSL application.
The Search for the Missing Link. Very neat CSS trick. Don't bother if you're using IE though - it doesn't work. See! Switch to Opera, like I said :)
Wicked Jester Clothing
Twisted Clothing For Twisted People. I'll have one of each, thankyou!
The Independent Weekly: "The FBI has been reading my diary".
A student is mistakenly targeted as an investigation blurs the line between local and federal law enforcement. Sounds like cops trying to use power they didn't have; quite apart from being a grand illustration of a) why it's fucked to live in america; and b) THINK before you blog. IT'S FUCKING PUBLIC.
Microsoft will make you pay for newer versions of Internet Explorer. That's not what they say, but that is what it means:
Q: when / will there be the next version of IE?
A: As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation.
Q: Why is this? the anti-trust? (no further standalone)
A: Although this is off topic, I will answer briefly: Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS.
What that means is; you'll have to buy Longhorn for anything after IE6 SP1. No improvements for the standalone IE6, which is the best anyone will be able to use with a Windows OS other than Longhorn. Win95, 98, Me, 2000, XP... all stuck with IE6.0 SP1; which was released in 2000. Three years old and counting... this is bad news.
Zeldman comments on this and also notes that AOL has just caved in to MS, agreeing to use IE and not Netscape.
Right! Now everyone switch to Opera!
UserFriendly 2003.06.02. Funny :)
Boing Boing: web translators. l33t, teen, porno... translate any page into something stoopid! hours of fun :)