I am the very model of a Newsgroup personality.Link Discuss
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.
Addresses I have plenty of, both genuine and ghosted too, On all the
countless newsgroups that my drivel is cross-posted to. Your bandwidth I
will fritter with my whining and my snivelling, And you're the one who
pays the bill, downloading all my drivelling. My enemies are numerous,
and no-one would be blaming you For cracking my head open after I've
been rudely flaming you.
Wearing a traditional feathered headdress and using a Power Point presentation, a leader of the Ashaninka Indian tribe from central Peru described how his village created a presence on the Internet...Link Discuss (Thanks, Zed!)
In the past several years, the Ashaninkas put up their own Internet server and website to tell their story. Mino said they are using Web-based tools to educate their people, and village Internet kiosks have enabled small villages to communicate with one another.
A key part of the program, he said, was their insistence that the villagers establish their own Web servers and learn to maintain the system for themselves. This led to a year of negotiating with the Peruvian state telephone company to provide the resources necessary for the Ashaninkas to install a network. It was important that the Ashaninkas be able to demonstrate their self-sufficiency to the dominant society in Lima.
Nico Water, like nicotine gum, comes with 2 or 4 milligrams of nicotine. But unlike the gum, Nico Water is marketed as a supplement -- not a replacement.Link Discuss (Thanks, Michael!)
Recently Moral Police have stepped up arrest and harassment of shopkeepers for selling Barbie dolls and whatever decorated with different shapes of Barbie and its image which are immensely used by school children.Link Discuss (via New World Disorder)
Tehran Judicial Department has arrested many of Barbie traders and shopkeepers mainly in Tehran and other places accusing them for spreading obscene Western cultures since last month.
In the United States, Whirlpool is selling a microwave oven that asks consumers if they are preparing, say, a cooked or uncooked chicken, with or without bones, with or without sauce. The microwave will calculate the cooking time and method; all the user needs to do -- after answering all those questions, of course -- is push the start button and dish out the finished product.Link Discuss (via MeFi)
In the not-too-distant future, many of those questions may prove unnecessary, at least for frozen dinners and such. Some microwaves are being designed to read a bar code that will be printed on the side of the package and cook it automatically. "The consumer won't even have to read directions on how long he needs to cook the meal; he'll just have to eat it," Laermer said.
Nevertheless, he considers himself expert enough to go and say outlandish things ("My crew of leet hackers have the foolproof means to take down and Website in five minutes, bam!" "We don't need Brewster Kahle to preserve posterity, we have librarians!" "The EFF is only farting into the wind: It has a moral obligation to hunt down pirates and bring them to justice!" "There is no posterity. Take $FAMOUS_TWENTIES_AUTHOR, he is utterly forgotten today.")
It was rather tiresome, but thanks to Danny O'Brien of NTK and his 802.11-equipped laptop, we were able to channel the Internet into (and out of) the room quite a bit. If Harlan had been there to hear anyone else (rather than reinforce his superstitions), it would have been even more interesting, as, for example, Danny googled $FAMOUS_TWENTIES_AUTHOR and he and his wife Quinn began to recite all the various and useful ways in which the Internet has preserved him for posterity. Danny was on the #infoanarchy IRC channel, too, stenographing and discussing the panel; the chatter's pretty funny and may give you a sense of what we got instead of a panel. Link Discuss
"Put down that 'Prague on $5 a Day,' you hippie! Justin's Tokyo-On-No-Yen-Just-Confused-Smiles will have you flirting, reeling with liquor and dressed up like an extra from a bootleg high-school production of Neuromancer as you chow down on a hearty breakfast of vending-machine schoolgirl panties. As you lie awake in your coffin hotel, listening to the midnight symphony of salaryman flatulence and drunken good cheer, fire up your DoCoMo handset, aim its flat-panel display at this book and read and you will feel comforted."Link Discuss (via EvHead)
"Yes. Google follows the links. Google also decides that pages are more interesting if lots of people link to them,and shows you those first."Link Discuss (via Doc)
"Can I make a web page and write things?"
"Yes you can. I'll help you"
"And can I make some other pages and link to my web page so Google likes it?"
"That would be cheating - people have tried that and Google counts links from people who have lots of links pointing at them more than links from pages that no-one links to".
"Oh. OK. I'll write a page, and you can link to it, and you can tell your friends to link to it, and they can tell their friends to link to it, and then everyone will find my page."
"Well, that would work, but only if you think of something interesting to write."
"Oh. I'll have to think of some funny stories then."
I counter-propose that we programmers who have mastered the basic human skills of preparing our own food, practicing daily hygiene, social skills and finding people with whom to mate are being held back, image-wise, by uberdorks like you.Link Discuss
This of course, is a classic mode of thinking in a field that is overwhelmingly dominated by men: rather than engineer something to be more user-friendly, this kind of thought says that we should restrict the set of users. Any attempt at usability or widining the audience is seen as "dumbing down". And that's truly a shame, because the nice thing about simple languages, such as Flash's ActionScript or VB, is that it brings people with problem domain-specific knowledge to the programming table
"You've heard it for years -- drink at least eight glasses of water a day. But now some scientists say that may be an urban myth. CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joined CNN's Paula Zahn to discuss the issue."Link Discuss (Thanks, Heather!)
Here's the best quote from the piece:
"Diet Coke, 99 percent water -- you could get your water there."
To all those people who've disparaged my Diet Coke habit over the years: screw off!
"I guess he is not like Clinton, he is not so interesting," a vendor named Igor said. Clinton dolls were outselling Bush dolls two-to-one, he said, just as they would on any other day. At Igor's stand, the two presidents -- never known to enjoy each other's company -- were separated only by a serious-looking Harry Potter. The main difference between the two presidential dolls, both priced at a negotiable $30, is the story they tell.Link Discuss
n trying to give themselves fake lip piercings, several children let the magnets slip down their throats, and in one case sections of a nine year-old girl's gut were clamped together by a pair of magnets she had swallowed, causing potentially fatal perforations in her intestine.Link Discuss (via New World Disorder)
The second section, "Plugging the Analog Hole," reveals Hollywood's plan to turn a generic technology component, the humble analog-to-digital convertor, into a device that is subject to the kind of regulation heretofore reserved for Schedule A narcotics.Link Discuss
Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are the building blocks of modern digital technology. An ADC's job is to take samples of the strength (amplitude) of some analog signal (light, sound, motion, temperature) at some interval (frequency) and convert the results to a numerical value. ADCs are embedded in digital scanners, samplers, thermometers, seismographs, mice and other pointer devices, camcorders, cameras, microscopes, telescopes, modems, radios, televisions, cellular phones, walkie-talkies, light-meters and a multitude of other devices. In general, ADCs are generic and interchangeable -- that is, a high-frequency ADC from a sound-card is potentially the same ADC that you'll find in a sensitive graphics tablet....
Virtually everything in our world is copyrighted or trademarked by someone, from the facades of famous sky-scrapers to the background music at your local mall. If ADCs are constrained from performing analog-to-digital conversion of all watermarked copyrighted works, you might end up with a cellphone that switches itself off when you get within range of the copyrighted music on your stereo; a camcorder that refuses to store your child's first steps because he is taking them within eyeshot of a television playing a copyrighted cartoon; a camera that won't snap your holiday moments if they take place against the copyrighted backdrop of a chain store such as Starbucks, which forbids on-premises photography because its fixtures are proprietary works.
A lot of the blog coverage of this issue has implied that Disney ripped off Milne or his heirs, but that's simply not the case. In 1983, Disney licensed Pooh from Milne's heirs -- the plaintiffs in this case are Milne's agent's heirs, who discovered a document left behind by the late agent in which Milne signed over the merch rights in perpetuity to him.
So Disney was acting in good faith -- until, that is, it shredded a bunch of boxes of documents related to the case, shortly before they were subpoenaed. I wonder if they'll sue Milne's heirs for falsely representing their ownership of the merch rights to Pooh?
"If each of the plaintiff's claims were to be confirmed in a final judgment, damages could total as much as several hundred million dollars and adversely impact the value to the company of any future exploitation of the licensed rights" for Pooh merchandise, according to the filing. Slesinger's heirs claim Burbank-based Disney has cheated them out of $200 million in royalties since 1983 from Pooh-related videos, DVDs, computer software and popular Pooh attractions at theme parks. Disney contends that it has fulfilled its royalty obligations under a 1983 contract.Link Discuss
My recommendation to conference organizers: hire some webloggers to report on your conference, and link to other posts; put up a conference news blog on the web; make that the default page on the internet terminals; and inject weblog commentary into the discussion. For instance, the moderator ought to be browsing weblogs in real time for points and questions to put to the panelists.Link Discuss