Exhaust Theory, a surprisingly interesting article on car exhaust systems. How they work, what they do and don't do (eg. whacking a bucket-sized tailpipe on the back of your car does NOT make it go faster). No, pal, not even your hotted up Micra (there's an activity that beggars belief).

Slashdot | New Computer Program Determines "Hitability". To put it another way, the music industry is trying to remove humans from the selection process; since computers are excellent at processing mindless repetitive crap. Why subject a human to endless demo tapes from Britney Spears wannabes?

But really, what the hell. If the music industry is truly stupid enough to trust a computer's taste in music; then that's their bag. I don't listen to commercial radio much anyway (much = occasionally JJJ comes on between CDs...)(yes, I know JJJ is not technically commercial; but it sure ain't alternative anymore).

News: Taiwan forces MS to slash prices and also un-bundle its software to be sold separately instead. This is exactly what MS claimed it couldn't do during the antitrust legal battle in the US.

[...] Microsoft would cut prices by an average of 26.7 percent as part of a settlement to an investigation launched after a consumer backlash against government crackdowns on software piracy.

Consumers said they had been forced to turn to illegal copies because Microsoft had used its virtual monopoly to inflate prices.

They also complained that Microsoft forced buyers to purchase expensive bundles of software rather than picking only the products they desired.

Lilley Street© - Dan Beeston has, sadly, come to an end. A fairly spectacular end, too :) A great story arc and a logical end - after all, if the Lilley Street house is demolished then its story is done. I've got to say that I think Dan's done this the right way - decided that he wanted to end the project, for his own reasons; stated them simply and thanked those who supported it. As an aside; I'm amazed he even noticed my little page's link to the site, let alone included me in his thanks list!

Lilley Street: We Loved It.

LiveJournal Status - LiveJournal is currently under a Distributed Denial of Service attack... I wonder who would bother launching a DDOS on LJ. Probably some lame script kiddie. It doesn't strike me as much of a challenge or a worthy target in the first place. It's just a bunch of journals, for smeg's sake.

Wired 11.03: Segway's Breakdown. Apparently, sadly, the Segway's inventor really believed the product would revolutionise the way the world travelled. Now reality is biting... seriously, at US$5000 most people decided they could bloody walk, thank you. Hell, for 5k you can take a cab. You could buy the best mountain bike that money could buy and that doesn't even need electricity. | Do not ignore us, protestors warn (February 17, 2003) Prime Minister John Howard said last night public opinion could not be measured simply by the numbers at protest rallies around the nation.

Excuse me?? Half a million people take to the streets and you can't get some idea of public opinion? To quote Jello Biafra.... "who here thinks they are living in a democracy?" Not me. We have Free Speech, yes. You can say anything; the government ignores everyone equally. Howard was probably too busy buying a $16,000 crockery set (seriously, read your papers) to investigate public opinion about the possibility of war.

Signs that your commander doesn't think you've got a good chance of coming home alive, number one: | 77,000 body bags (February 11, 2003). FEARS that Iraq will inflict heavy casualties on British and American troops intensified yesterday when it emerged the Pentagon had ordered almost five times the number of body bags it requested before the last Gulf War.Within weeks it will have more than 77,000 bags at the ready, compared with 16,000 in 1991.

OK, so it's a military logistics thing; but it's still scary. Every one of those bags is someone's husband/wife, son/daughter... - Cashless society gets mixed reviews - Feb. 8, 2003 PARIS, France (AP) -- France is leaping toward a cashless future with a nationwide launch this year of computerized "smart cards," a concept that has so far failed to entice many American, British and German consumers.

This seems pretty cool in some ways; not so cool in others. Basically it'd mean no more heavy shrapnel in your pocket; but it also means a piece of plastic holding up to $100. I've had library/photocopy cards crap out with $20 on them; and it's a real hassle to try to get your money back. How do you prove the amount that went onto the card? Maybe Moneo has a solution for that - perhaps it tallies up input and purchases or something.

Downer denies troops committed to war - Sometimes it doesn't matter what you've said; it's the fact you didn't say it to the public. Downer's desperately trying to ignore that fact. In some ways he's not such a moron as he seems - he'll just sit there saying the same crap over and over until the journos have to quote him anyway. Being able to sustain the bullshit like that can't hurt if you're a Foreign Minister. Sadly.

READ ME "A Blogger's Disclaimer". I can understand why they put this together, I just think it's a classic sign that most bloggers are blissfully unaware of the ramifications of running a blog. Particularly a blog which is your journal, complete with innermost thoughts and stuff which might offend people. Simply put: blogs and online journals are published to the fucking world wide web. They are not private, unless they are fully secured and password-protected.

At one point this page says... They may not want you to read certain things they might write about you or others you care about, in order to spare your feelings, avoid drama or maintain their privacy. Don't want you to read it? Maintain their privacy? A blog is no more private than if you wrote it down and put it up on a sign outside your house. If you don't want people to read what you're writing, don't put it on the web!

It's a pity since the READ ME site starts well - Do not assume that you know everything there is to know about a writer simply because you read their weblog on a regular basis. It just goes all to hell after that.

Revolutionary molecules turn bland food bodacious (dodgy headline of the week?). Basically some clever sods have figured out how to make your tastebuds think X tastes like Y. The example they start with is making black coffee taste like a latte. Now personally I like both kinds of coffee so I don't see the point ;) But if you could entire meals taste like lollies, kids the world over would stop being such little shits about their veges. What you would then reward them with is beyond me, of course.

This ignores an important factor though - for a lot of foods it's a texture thing. Take bread and butter pudding for instance. Take it a long way from me. I don't really know what it tastes like, since I'm incapable of dealing with the texture and have maybe choked down two mouthfuls in my life.

They go on to note that being able to make anything taste better also means some companies will immediately use the cheapest shit they can; leaving it to the chemicals to make it taste good. The evil golden arches spring instantly to mind.