The idea of a universal translator comes one step closer, they reckon: 'Wearable' translating computer due out soon. It's a pity that it takes terrorism and war to prompt development of a tool to bridge the language barrier.
Apparently Micro$oft thinks people will confuse "Lindows" with "Windows". Lindows is a (currently developmental) linux-based operating system which will run both Linux and Windows applications; thus giving small businesses a way to lower costs and keep using their expensive M$ Office software which they've already shelled out. The story:Microsoft sues Linux start-up over name.
Season's Friggin Greetings. Here are some Anti-Xmas Celebration Tips. Not quite the horrible-things-happening-to-santa style greeting cards I was hoping for, but the sentiment is there :)
The PS2 is holding its own, even a year on! PlayStation 2 Holds Slight Edge in Sales Over Xbox
Net chaos has led me back to waferbaby, again. Curious the way this happens.
Zeldman writes: Where have all the designers gone?. "Designing for the mass audience is like teaching a class where half the children are gifted seniors and the other half are freshmen with learning disabilities." Note that this article extends over three pages.
The fires in the World Trade Center have finally been put out. It's hard to comprehend that it's been on fire for so, so long. While the fires of September 11th have burned, allied forces have mobilised, attacked and forced the Taliban into a small amount of held territory. It's odd to think about it.
One lecturer has posted an article about his final-year students' perceptions of Linux. It's scary. These possible future sysadmins don't even seem to question M$ at all - they all think it's normal and acceptable for machines to crash a lot; to be put on hold when calling support, etc. They made some good points, but they really made some horrible clangers.
Read this, but do it when you're feeling calm. Universal records have got to the stage where they are happy with a new form of copy protection which prevents CDs being played on Macs, DVD players, consoles like the PS2 and maybe even some CD players. So much for fair use. The claim which really makes my blood boil is "Unfortunately, phenomenon [sic] like Napster and the ease of `ripping and burning' are causing artists and record companies real harm,'' said Hilary Rosen, head of the Recording Industry Association of America. "The unprecedented amount of music being copied is hurting the industry." Yeah, I'm sure the record companies are hurting really badly. It's not like they've been fucking over the artists and fans for years on end. What really annoys me is this attitude: [Copy protection] would discourage 15 high school friends from getting together and pooling their money to buy a single music CD and a spindle of blank discs and making dubs for everyone in the group -- with a few extras to sell at school. Fine, stop them making copies. That way you don't make any more money anyway, because they couldn't afford to buy one each in the first place. Now the kids don't have new music, the artists don't have new fans and the record company won't get sales later when the kids grow up and get an income. I know I'm slowly filling my back catalogue, buying CDs of all my favourite dubbed tapes and burnt CDs. Maybe if they were cheaper, people wouldn't need to pirate them.
This has got to be a hoax: Al-Quaeda members seeding Windows XP with trojans. Uh huh. Mind you, it'd explain why M$ systems crash so damn much - terrorist sabotage.
Discussion of ditching the hard-drive icon and other interface issues.
A nice version of download the net.
New from Sun! The beer server. This is up there with the server fridge for cool ideas :) Pity the fridge site got slashdotted off the face of the web.
Geez, paranoid much? - If you don't want American flag stamps, watch out! A tale of security overriding reasonable treatment. It's hard to know how to react though - what if certain flying schools had done the same? What if Hitler had been allowed into art college? :-/
Don't miss the take the tour link on the Buy Nothing Day site. There's a lot more info in there, although you do miss the zen santa pic :)
Wired 9.12: The Geek Syndrome - discussing the large increase in the number of cases of autism, as well as the milder, "geek syndrome" form known as Asperger's Syndrome. From what I've heard of Asperger's, it can be a fine line between a diagnosed case and someone who's just a brilliant geek.
Adbusters: Buy Nothing Day. Go a whole day without buying anything... this year's BND has passed, but when you really think about it, imagine not buying one single thing for a whole day. I often buy lunch or coffee, which blows it out the window.
It'll probably be lost beside that huge motherblogger I just put in, but I noticed a link to Keep Trying... a blog about meta-blogging - blogging about blogging.
Apparently, B52 Bombers just keep on keeping on. Having tried to ditch the 40 year-old planes, it's turned out that they're still more economical to keep combat-ready than their high-tech peers. This article is a real eye-opener... and a testament to the idea that if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
After years of PhD student theses on The Simpsons, one uni has gone to the next level and included large amounts of Simpsons content in their animated philosophy class. The Simpsons are getting so deeply rooted into society it's scary - I caught myself saying "D'oh!" at work the other day; then realised that nobody had batted an eyelid. I remember when saying "D'oh!" was likely to spark a "Hey, you watch The Simpsons too?" conversation. My problem with it all along has been that parents let their kids watch The Simpsons (and South Park); when it is absolutely not a kid's show. Just because it's animated doesn't mean it's ok for the kiddies - you at least have to understand irony and satire.
In the UK, Sony has decided to get medieval on the mod-chip trade's arse. This is interesting seeing as mod chips aren't actually illegal - it's the pirated games that are illegal. But it won't get fought out because Sony's legal team probably outnumbers the entire staff of all the mod chip companies put together. They just don't have the resources to resist. There can't be much doubt that they'll move on to US distributors next.
Some guy spent 16 hours in a hardware store, on a bet. Some bets you shouldn't take. Thanks to memepool.com for that gem.
Micro$oft has released a massive security patch for IE. Build a bigger bandaid and I'm sure they'll build a bigger security hole.
If anyone thought the greenhouse generator was a wild idea, then you'll think this is the work of a total nutjob. A scientist has floated an idea for a solar power plant on the moon; at a mere cost of US$9billion for the prototype. Mind you, if it worked, and it wasn't turned into a giant death ray (because hey, nobody would try to do that), then it would pay itself off in five years. Big ifs, but let's not scoff. But frankly, as far as Australia is concerned, let's stick with the greenhouse - we've got endless miles of hot empty land that we can put to good use here.
Meanwhile, plans are afoot for a fuel cell van by Chrysler, which would run on borax - which is less likely to explode in a large fireball than, say, pure hydrogen. Huzzah for that.
He's done it again. The guy who created a portable Playstation has now created a Portable SNES. Pretty cool stuff.
Interesting... someone's repacked dengdeng.swf as The Insanity Test. Personally I think you should fail the test if you don't laugh.
Watch out for the double-popup, but otherwise Acid Fonts is pretty cool. Lots of free fonts.
Google have made 20 years of usenet posts available. Ooh dear, somewhere in that lot is a record of just how angsty I got as a teenager. I shudder to think of it. The timeline is interesting though.
Keep up your domain registration fees, people :) Wired has a report on the current trend of expired domain takeovers. That's right, if your fees aren't paid, some guy in Russia might buy your domain then sell it back to you. In the meantime, your site has magically morphed into a porn site. It'd be funny if wasn't so serious - it doesn't just effect the people who own the domains. Anyone linking to the domain can also get caught out.
the pick of today's slashdot:
WE-MAN!'s Funny Things To Do With Your Microwave Oven Page; and Robot Vibe-inu, the robot dog and sex toy in one. I just don't know what to say about that one :)
Meanwhile, a bunch of people decided that the "bulding as billboard" idea was pretty cool... hence blinkenlights, a celebration of a computer club's 20th birthday. They've even come up with a way to dial up with a mobile and play pong. Building-sized pong. Major cool points to this one.
Looks like there will be another terminator movie after all, despite the last movie wrapping the plot up. I guess $30million can change almost anyone's mind.
Then, there's this mind-bending idea for a solar generator. I really hope this project makes it. This abused ol' planet could really use clean power sources.
mmmm, design over-analysis...
i'm not sure i like wallpaper* as a webpage. i prefer the glossy dead trees version, ads and all. but we don't have a coffee table in our unit at the moment, so.... hmm.
yikes. with all this edgy design floating around in my head, it's no wonder i picked this grey and orange template... after all, to quote some guy i don't know: 'Nothing says "I'm a pimp-azz designah, y'allz!" like orange and grey.'.
Just for the domain name: barbaric-yawp.com
Carthedral... "is a gothic cathedral built on a 1971 Cadillac hearse and modified with '59 Cadillac tailfins, a VW bug and sculpted with fiberglass over metal armatures."
Hmm, looks like Apple might be planning to retire the current iWhack... sorry... iMac. The now-classic fishbowl is set to go flat-screen, apparently. I guess goldfish will have to lose weight to fit into future MacQuariums :)
Meanwhile, the US Army has been working hard to make a better laser to shoot stuff with. Apparently their preferred application will be shooting down missiles, artillery and mortar shells.
SatireWire is running their second Poetry Spam (think "poetry slam"). Poetry made entirely of spam snippets... plus some poetry about spam. Some of it is pretty good - amazing what you make out of the proverbial pig's ear!
French hackers have started a 'hacking school'... Zi Hackademy. They say they teach "ethical hacking techniques" and many students say they are there to learn how to do it, so they can learn how not to get hacked. Paris Police are "watching with interest" but haven't tried to shut the school down. Yet.
Meanwhile, scientists are working on ways to harvest the human body's heat and turn it into usable energy. The idea is not new, so it's great to hear that it's still being developed. Most of the time this sort of thing gets in the news as the End-Of-Show Human Interest "Wacky Scientist"™ piece... then you never hear about it again.