Now, normally, I'm not much of a fan of digital "annoyware" postcards, but this one from our Stefan Jones deserves a clickthrough.
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Red, white and blue M&Ms coming to a store near you. Clearly, the terrorists have already won.LinkDiscuss Read the rest
Photoessay detailing the dissection of a Nintendo GameCube.LinkDiscuss
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Hilarious overview of the music industry, explaining how hopeful artists end up indentured servants, from Maximumrocknroll
Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says, "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim it again, please. Backstroke." LinkDiscuss
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One of the big challenges writers like to potter around with is naming characters. Phone books have always been handy, as have baby naming books, but the Internet has created a whole new range of dithering options. Here's the Social Securiy Administration's stats-page for name distribution by year and decade:
* Top 100 names for births in 2001.* Top 1000 names for births in 2000.* Top 5 names by state for male births in 2000.* Top 5 names by state for female births in 2000.* Top 100 names for births in 2000.* Top 1000 names for births in 1999.* Top 5 names by state for male births in 1999.* Top 5 names by state for female births in 1999.* Introduction to 1998 update including top 40 names for births in 1998.* Top 1000 names for births in 1998.* Top 5 names by state for male births in 1998.* Top 5 names by state for female births in 1998.* Large list of names for girls born in 1997.* Large list of names for boys born in 1997.* Large list of names for girls born in 1996.* Large list of names for boys born in 1996.* Top 10 names by year of birth for years 1880 through 1997. * Top 10 given names, by year of birth (1880-1919), and sex.* Top 10 given names, by year of birth (1920-1959), and sex.* Top 10 given names, by year of birth (1960-1997), and sex.* Top 1000 names by decade. * Top 1000 names of the 1900's.* Top 1000 names of the 1910's.* Top 1000 names of the 1920's.* etcLinkDiscuss
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A followup to yesterday's story about the arrest of two Japanese users of WinMX, a P2P file-trading app. It's a press-release from the Association of Copyright for Computer Software, crowing about it. If anyone out there speaks Japanese, I have some links to some Japanese-language reportage on the case, too, that I'd love to see translated.
Investigation section for high-tech crime of the Kyoto Prefectural Police Headquarters, Yamashina Police,Gojo Police searched the home of a man (student of a university) (aged 19) in Suginami-ku, Tokyo and a man (student of a technical collage) (aged 20) in Saitama-city on November, 28, 2001, under the suspicion of copyright infringement (violation of the right of public transmission) and arrested them on the same day. They are alleged to have made business software and the like accessible by Internet users at large without permission of copyright holders using so-called "file-exchange software" which enables Internet users to exchange data by directly transmitting and receiving them between users' computers connected to the Internet. LinkDiscuss
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Crackermatic: A Shockwave app that lets you build your own virtual Christmas Cracker, amidst much v-e-r-y s-l-o-w cutesy animation. Christmas Crackers are (I think) a Commonwealth phenomenon, a special Xmastime party-favor made of a tube of tissue paper stuffed with bad jokes, paper hats and inexplicable and pointless trinkets. You know, when I put it that way, virtual Christmas Crackers don't seem so dumb after all. This'll be my second Xmas in the States, and I miss my homely holiday traditions. LinkDiscuss Read the rest
Buy a bag of assorted 20 GI Joe heads!
Each is about 2" tall with varied features and hairstyles, from fascist buzz cut to Village People mustache. We're sure you'll think of a million things to do with these like... well... you know. LinkDiscuss
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PodMaster 1000 is a new shareware OS X app that gives iPod more control over their devices, facilitatic copying and sharing of files among iPods and multiple computers.LinkDiscuss Read the rest
A Dutch court has ordered Kazaa, a provider of P2P filesharing networks, to stop copyright infingement among their users immediately. Only problem is, Kazaa not only can't control its users' behavior, it also can't shut down the network! The system uses a few centralized servers that Kazaa operates as a means of optimizing traffic, but it hums along just fine without them -- there is no off-switch.LinkDiscuss Read the rest
Review of "Sonic Boom," a book that traces the history of the Napster suit and the music industry's heel-dragging passage into the twenty-first century.
In his book, John Alderman remembers attending one of the first online music conferences in the mid-1990s where an industry executive declared that the Net should be immediately closed down. Copyright protection had to take precedence over technological innovation. In contrast, the author of "Sonic Boom" -- then and now -- does get it. The music industry has no veto over the future. Its lobbyists and lawyers can only slow down the spread of peer-to-peer computing. Sooner or later, file sharing over broadband networks will become as unremarkable as making a phone call, watching television or using a computer today. The utopian vision of the Napster generation is technically feasible: every tune -- ever made -- for free. Quite rightly, what worries John Alderman is how anyone can earn a living from making music in such circumstances? While almost every other sector of the economy will be profiting from peer-to-peer computing, the music industry will have lost its major source of revenue: selling bits of plastic. Who then will pay the piper? LinkDiscuss Read the rest
A blogger's plan to produce cards protesting the Salvation Army's anti-gay insurance practice for depost (in lieu of cash) in sidewalk Santas' collection cauldrons has enraged Jerry Falwell.LinkDiscuss
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Scientists at UC San Diego have generated some fantastic CG pictures of neurons forming memory in the brain, based on research that generated evidence of how our brains change in response to experience.
"The long-term memories stored in our brain last our entire lives, so everybody had assumed that there must be lasting structural changes between neurons in the brain," says Michael A. Colicos, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSD and the lead author of the paper. "Although there's been a lot of suggestive evidence to indicate that this is the case, it's never before been directly observed."LinkDiscuss Read the rest
The full spec for SMS (the protocol used to send short messages to cellphones) includes the capacity for a "Ping" message, which can be used to determine if a phone is on or off/out-of-range. This is the kind of standard network utility that is perfectly sensible in the Internet universe -- chances are I can ping your computer right now and find out if it's on and where it's connected to on the Internet. Turns out that the idea of pinging phones freaks out a lot of people, though, as a German company discovered when they shipped a little Web app you could use to tell if your friends' phones were on or not, without alerting your friend or their carrier to the ping. The public outcry has caused them to abandon the project.LinkDiscuss Read the rest