"The street finds its own uses for things"
Microsoft acted decisively to squash Java on the desktop, viewing it as a threat to their desktop hegemony. In a sense, it worked. Desktop Java isn't really something that an ISV can depend on, since approximately 90% of the world's desktop computers will have either a substandard JVM or no JVM at all.
A funny thing happened on the way to world domination, though. I don't know whether to credit Sun with a coherent strategy (I suspect not), or whether it was the unified resourcefulness of all of the thousands of Java developers who collectively figured out a way around the 800-pound gorilla. Rather than beating their heads against the MS (desktop) brick wall, Java developers (assisted by the not-inconsequential muscle of large players like IBM, Oracle, etc.), transformed Java into a formidable player in the server rooms and corporate in-house application development. Java morphed into the "COBOL of the 00's", ensuring that programmers who put the effort into learning the language back in the "applet days" of the 1990's would be able to earn a livelihood for the forseeable future. Additionally, hobbyist/enthusiast developers are doing all sorts of cool middleware/web services development using Java as a platform. Projects like nntp//rss and Zoë are cool and inherently cross-platform.
WASHINGTON--Critics of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act said Friday that they were disturbed by proposals for similar laws at the state level.
Quietly, opponents said, with few people paying close attention, state legislators are considering bills that would be even broader than the controversial DMCA, which restricts bypassing copy-protection measures.[CNet News.com]
A pen that receives FM radio; a talking keyring; a lighter that will also open bottles: they'll all fit into your pocket, so in terms of consumption, these gadgets are less than conspicuous [The Independent]
The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) is a club for scientists who have, or believe they have, luxuriant flowing hair. [The Annals of Improbable Research]
A World of Girls Kissing. (probably only SFW if your boss is really cool.)
Okay, be honest -- Does it suck? I can take it. Oh yeah, I know It's probably really, really broken in 4.x browsers (and OmniWeb), but then, if you surf with one of those then you're used to everything on teh Intarweb looking messed up, anyway. It works better in Lynx (and Links), though, because all the nav links are at the end in those browsers.
BTW, nntp//rss gives you the option of serving the entries as text, html, or multipart-alternative. Historically, HTML in newsgroup posts has been the work of Satan, but since you're not posting anything, it's actually a pretty nice way to read feeds. Mozilla's much-maligned Mail/News client does an excellent job with this stuff, really.
I mean, using a Usenet newsreader as an RSS feed reader. This isn't the first time I've heard about someone playing with the idea of integrating RSS feeds into a Usenet framework, but this is the easiest to use implementation I've seen so far. nntp//rss (version 0.3) is a java application, so it runs on pretty much everything. It presents a standard-looking NNTP interface on port 119, so (theoretically) you should be able to read your favorite RSS feeds in any minimally compliant Usenet newsreader. This is the sort of thing that really appeals to fossils like me who've been reading Usenet forever. Though there are lots of specialty features a good dedicated RSS reader can offer that some of these old fossil apps aren't going to support, but the sort of people who have been reading Usenet for years have their own workflows that something like this can integrate with.
I still love 24 -- I think it's every bit as good as it was last season, except for one thing: I am so sick of the Kim Bauer "Perils of Pauline" subplot. Even worse, I think the actress is sick of it, and it's dragging the show down unnecessarily.
It's still a little (lotta) rough, but if you'd like a sneek peek at the new layout (no tables [almost -- it won't have any when I'm finished]), it's here. I don't particularly like the colors (expect them to change), and the font sizes need to be adjusted, I think. It's based on the 3-column layout from here.
I'd made a conscious and deliberate decision to stop (or more accurately, not start) making war posts, because anyone who wants to soak up the Shock-n'-Awe™ has more than enough media outlets catering to that whim. The following quote was too funny to let pass by, though (via CNN):
Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Sahef said the real situation in Umm Qasr is different from its portrayal in the media.He then added: "Beeyotch!"
"Those Iraqi fighters, those heroes at Umm Qasr, are teaching the American and British invaders a lesson," he said. "Those Iraqi fighters are slapping those gangsters on the face, and then when they flee, they will kick their backsides."
This was the absolute MOST!
Here are some screenshots of me logging in via SSH, doing a 'top' command, screen, BitchX, pine, and links....
I want this on my SK now!!
The Women in Waders™ calendar makes a great gift for your buddy, your relative and yourself. Let the 12 beautiful Women in Waders™ take you on a year long trip to some of the best fishing locations. Go to the ocean for perch, to lakes for bass, to trout filled streams, or to rivers full of salmon and steelhead.[Women In Waders]
Members of the Mafia in America were sent across the pond to perfect the criminal trade from pros in Sicily, according to a turncoat don. Antonino Giuffrè, arrested in 2002, confirmed FBI reports that members of the Bonanno crime family in the US were sent to the province of Trapani for training.
One of the hardest lessons of an effective criminal organization to teach the Americans? To shut up. Giuffé said the code of silence, or omertà, was alien to the garrulous Americans: "They just couldn't stay quiet, they always talk too much." The improvised professors of crime were Cosa Nostra dons who agreed to take in the Americans on a learning-by-doing tour of how things are done in the old continent. [Zoomata]
Menke said she and her daughter had their hands in the water, hoping to pet a small approaching shark that a woman monitoring the tank said was friendly. That's when another passing shark whipped around and bit her hand, she said.
"If that thing had bitten my baby, I'd still be taking that place apart," Menke said.[WOKR-TV 13 Rochester]
Why I became a chemist, lesson 1: explosions, pretty colors, and dry ice. This page lists some interesting chemical reactions, captured in moderately sized QuickTime movies. Well worth a few minutes of your time if you care at all to see chemistry in action. [NSLog();]
I didn't watch American Idol at all last season. Being my usually snobby self, I figured that a competition that was very deliberately aimed at selecting the most commercially viable and mainstream acceptible STAR would have very little entertainment value for a smug, insufferable indie snob like myself. Though it's not "must see" or anything (like 24 or the Dead Zone), I have caught more than one episode of the current season. It's usually entertaining, though I find the host unbearable. Though I can admire the effort the candidates are putting forth, it does seem a shame that only conventionally attractive people with voices suited for singing mainstream pop and R&B are realistically eligible for the competition. I think about the fact that many of my favorite "singers" (vocalists, really, because I'm sure many of them wouldn't call what they do singing, necessarily) would never even get past the first cut of such a competitition. There's no room for someone who sounds like Björk or Sam Prekop or Colin Newman or Stephin Merritt (let alone the real oddballs like Stan Ridgway or Mark E. Smith...)
Current events had me thinking about one of my very favorite 80's records, Midnight Oil's 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. The sound on this record is really weird -- it's got a strange, maximally processed drum sound (all the more prominent because Rob Hirst is such a f'ing amazing drummer) and all sorts of odd, delicate synth flourishes, all with Peter Garrett alternately ranting and lamenting. The songs are incredible -- what the anthems lack in subtlety they make up for in singalong catchiness ("US Forces"), reckless abandon ("Only The Strong", "Power and the Passion" [which features one of the few musically useful drum solos in the history of recorded rock music], "Read About It"), and texture ("Outside World", "Tin Legs and Tin Mines".)
The following album, Red Sails In The Sunset, was almost, but not quite as good, but the succeeding ones went way over the line into preachy for me.
CUYAHOGA FALLS -- A member of Ohio's 5694th National Guard Unit in Mansfield legally changed his name to a Transformers toy.
FROM: GRIMHELM WORMTONGUE
sir and/or madame,
Salutations, I am GRIMHELM WORMTONGUE, The son of late Counsellor Grima Wormtongue of the Kingdom of Rohan.
My father was Chief Counsellor [equivalent to Prime Minister] to late lamented king Theoden of Rohan. In his position my father altogether legally and correctly acquired significant assets throughout Rohan in order to protect the Kingdom from enemy forces within and without.
In the course of lamentable events succeeding, my father was illegally deprived of office and expelled from the Kingdom. Before this he had with foresight already entirely legally deposited the sum of M.500,000,000,000 in gold with the Bank of Gondor (Minas Tirith). While in exile in the north he was assaulted and murdered by a band of northern pigmies. His family was obliged to seek refuge in northern Dunland among some of our sympathisers.
My father left to me all documents necessary to retrieve the sum of gold aforesaid from the Bank of Gondor (Minas Tirith). However, in the current political circumstances my solicitor believes it unwise for me to attempt to make the trip from Dunland to Minas Tirith, and has recommended that I seek a trustworthy foreign business partner into whose account this money could be tranferred. This appears to be the best option as we are unable to open an account in Dunland. Therefore we are seeking your trustworthy assistance and cooperation.
You will provide information about your account that will enable a deposit to be made in your name. I will contact the Bank of Gondor (Minas Tirith) and inform them that the money is to be placed into your account. Upon completion of the transaction your share of the proceeds will be 15% net following deduction of all transfer fees, that is M. 75,000,000,000. If the transaction goes well we also look forward to maintaining you as a profitable business partner for future ventures.
It goes without saying that I can expect your complete confidence and secrecy in keeping this matter under wraps prefatory to completion.
Please reach me at my email address: email@example.com
Thank you and ERU bless.
MR. GRIMHELM WORMTONGUE.
this came across a mailing list I'm a member of...
I see Dave Hyatt's weblog has developed DID and split into fractions. He decided that all of the Safari-related stuff was overwhelming his personal content. I hope the new setup goes well for him, though I find that some of my favorite weblogs are the ones that freely mingle the techy/professional with the whimsical/personal.
When I first started playing with the idea of doing a weblog, I was simply going to make a little occasional news page for the station to replace the old, anemic one. Yeah, I guess I could have done that, but the whole Freeform Goodness ethos is driven by the idea that there aren't neat little dividers between things, between the personal and the professional, between the technical and the squishy, between the math rock and the one-note sambas. I decided that if I was going to do a page I'd actually keep updating, the only "true" thing to do was to make the log as self-indulgent, incoherent, and idiosyncratic as the station. It works for me, but then I'm one of those low-traffic guys who doesn't exactly burn up the charts on Technorati.
Note to those of you using AOL as your ISP (I'm especially directing this to some members of my family) -- AOL has implemented an anti-spam strategy that relies on brute-force rather than intelligence. They are now dropping inbound mail based on the MAPS DUL, which is practically guaranteed to throw the baby out with the bath water. Because my IP address is in a DHCP range, AOL treats me as though I were Alan Ralsky or something, rather than a responsible admin who has never sent a single spam or allowed a spammer to relay using his resources.
At times like this, I really do wonder why the heck AOL bought Netscape. After all, the Mozilla project, the basis of the Netscape browser, has actually implemented intelligent spam filtering, and Apple has very successfully implemented latent semantic analysis in a widely deployed, real world mail client, so we're definitely outside the realm of theory here. Instead of putting these sorts of smarts to work in their client, AOL puts out press releases.
My recommendation to end-users is to go with an ISP who lets you decide
what's spam and what isn't, and provides you with intelligent tools that help
you block the mail that you want to. And if I owe you email and you haven't gotten it, maybe, just maybe, it wasn't my fault.
His article starts by asking the question "What if Netscape had Won?" Well, first off, that's a pointless question, because it was absolutely impossible for Netscape to "win" against Microsoft once Microsoft bundled their browser with the operating system. Sure, technically Internet Explorer 4 was superior to Netscape 4, but even if Netscape 4 hadn't been inferior, would it have mattered? No, of course not. Just look at how far beyond Internet Explorer other browsers have gone, and do they have any substantial market share? No. [Surfin' Safari]
China is equipping its courts with mobile execution vans as it shifts away from the communist system's traditional bullet in the head, towards a more "civilised" use of lethal injection. [The Age]
As I watched Bush give his recent speech I realized that his eyes wandered from right to left and from left to right. It was obvious that he was not reading from a TelePrompTer. Also I noticed that there were long pauses between his sentences. On queue he would look left and then right before beginning his next sentence. It soon became apparent to me what was going on and why President Bush had suddenly become erudite....
Using a small earpiece a FM signal is broadcast into the ear of the narrator. Another voice reads the dialogue and the signal is sent to the earpiece. The narrator hears the words in his ear and uses this as his prompt.[rense.com]
Norwegian death metal band MAYHEM were involved in one of the most bizarre rock accidents last night (March 9) when a flying sheep's head fractured a fan's skull.
Lead singer Maniac was carving up a dead sheep as part of the stage act in Bergen when the animal's head flew off, striking Per Kristian Hagen, 25.
According to Metro, Hagen was recovering in hospital last night and said: "My relationship with sheep is a bit ambivalent now. I like them, but not when they come flying through the air. I have a headache now."[New Musical Express]
Brazilian prisoners have sewn their mouths shut and tied themselves to crosses to protest against their conditions in a Bolivian jail....
They told Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper that conditions in the jail are terrible and many of them are in constant fear of being murdered.[Ananova]
I just keep waiting for the moment when someone nudges me in the ribs and says "just kidding," but it never comes.
I think Tycho puts it best here:
John G. Malcolm, deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, did say there seems to be some connection between illegal copying and organized crime, in that many of the groups profiting from illegal copies are highly organized and can have international distribution networks. Organized crime often supports terrorism, he suggested.
"These groups will not hesitate to threaten or injure those who tend to interfere with their operations," Malcolm said.
This is the first statement I have ever read where Manga speechlessness - "..." - is the only valid response.
I am playlist, hear me roar.
"As a joke, I was recently telling some of my more philosophical rock-recording buddies, 'You've become Delta bluesmen,'" Easter says. "It's true. Playing rock, you're in a historical niche now."
Why the hell would Don Johnson have $8 Billion (US) in his suitcase? Talk about weird... I have a feeling this will turn out to be every bit as strange as the DeLorean case back in the 80's.
Overzealous reactions to takedown notifications can and do severely damage real people and organizations. The "guilty until proven innocent" provisions mean that complaints that used to be handled via a single email between interested parties very quickly devolve into a real denial of service for people that aren't even necessarily related to the "infringer." In this case, an upstream provider actually deleted a customer's SQL database, which had to be restored from backup. How crazy is that?
Comments and trackbacks are now handled locally via Rael Dornfest's new "Writebacks" commenting engine. Benefits include faster page loading (eliminated a dependency on an external site and script) and increased customization. Expect the look of the comments page to evolve. Also, I juggled the sidebar a bit. As usual, if I broke shit, let me know.
Is the iconography intentional, or is this guy just clueless? Er, not that there's anything wrong with that.
For over one hundred years, copyright law has aspired to strike a fair balance between the interests of copyright holders in the control and exploitation of their works with the interests of society in the free flow of ideas, information and commerce. The great challenge today is to maintain that balance in the digital age by finding ways to prevent and punish digital pirates without treating every consumer as one. The Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations (BALANCE) Act of 2003 achieves this, and does so without utilizing government mandates or other prescriptive measures that ultimately only serve to stifle innovation. [Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, California, 16th District]
Doughty was jailed Sunday on suspicion of shooting his Dell computer four times with a revolver earlier that day in the middle of the Sportsman's Inn Bar and Restaurant.
He then allegedly hung the destroyed laptop on the wall "like a hunting trophy," said Lt. Rick Bashor with the Lafayette Police Department. [The Daily Camera]
The RIAA's travelling "Hide The Website" gameshow rolled into Virginia this week, with a new hosting company given the privilege (or curse) of looking after one of the world's most reviled web destinations. ... This time, it's an accounting firm in Arlington, VA called Kilday CPA. [The Register]
Fans will find a three-day techno party at Hart Plaza on Memorial Day weekend, but it won't be the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
After three years of the DEMF, a different name will grace the riverfront marquee this year: Movement 2003 -- Detroit's Electronic Music Festival. [The Detroit Free Press]
Someone's actually gone and built a meter which gauges the world's level of terror by connecting to the Internet and continually analysing the appearance of certain terror-related keyworks in global news feeds. As if anyone really needs a constant, easy-to-read reminder of the distressing state of the world right in front of them at all times. You could just leave Fox News on all day and achieve the same effect.
Read [Via StreetTech] [Gizmodo]
Because we should never become too reliant on a single tool, and because I think these folks have a few good points, as an experiment I'm going to use search engines other than Google every Friday. The Google of today is a far cry from the one I fell in love with two or three years ago. Their search results and speed are probably still second-to-none, but the accumulation of not-so-cool over the last little while (their lack of detail regarding how much information they retain about individual search histories, the weird Pyra purchase, etc.), and their growing potential as a single "choke point" in the web's overall ecosystem worry me. The 'new' Google is omnipotent enough to spawn its own neologism ('Googling') and corporate enough to bitch about it. For today, at least, I've added an entry to my /etc/hosts file:
which will direct all my search queries (including those invoked from the built-in search fields of applications like Safari) to AllTheWeb, which has done a potentially lawyer-hardon-engendering job of supporting Google's search API with a minimal, bannerless UI.
Dave Hyatt mentions that better support for the TITLE attribute (via tooltips) and for the <ABBR> and <ACRONYM> tags is on the way, which makes me very happy. That makes me happy? Wow, I need a life.
I posted that Jabber entry Saturday night at about 11:30PM. I included my JID, firstname.lastname@example.org, in the message, and I know for certain that was the first time that address ever appeared in any searchable form on the Intarweb. It's not an email address, it just looks like one. At 2:09 PM today, about 38 hours later, I got a 419 scam email (you know, "I urgently need help moving 5 million dollars out of the country, blah blah blah...") aimed at that address, but bounced to my postmaster box because it didn't resolve. I imagine the spammers' address harvesters are keying on the weblogs.com and/or blo.gs update lists. Evil.
I love the politely worded unsubscribe link:
Sorry! Has disturbed, if therefore creates your puzzle underneath, please directly deletes this letter and the spot elects "not to want again to receive a letter", we can yours information deletion!
I've made a few site changes that should make the weblog a little easier to navigate. As usual, let me know if things are broken in your browser.
Jabber is really neat technology -- calling it "instant messaging" drastically oversimplifies the richness of the protocol, but it's a nasty nightmare to set up. I have a Jabber identity now, email@example.com. Add me to your "roster."
The Sci Fi network is bringing back that cheeseball sci-fi nugget of my youth, Battlestar Galactica. As an uncritical 12-year-old, I eagerly watched every new episode when they first aired. When the original episodes started airing in reruns a few years ago, I marveled at the cheap sets, recycled special effects, costumes, and laugh-out-loud plotlines. I wonder if they're going to play it straight?
"Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges!"--Gold Hat, as played by Alfonso Bedoya "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948)
This site aims to be the primary Internet resource for any and all references to the aforementioned quote. But we need your help! [Stinking Badges Home Page]
So, apparently, in Japan, the hot new thing is a "hug pillow" or "daki-makura." i guess if you are a lonely Japanese man tucked away in a sleeping drawer in some towering high-rise, these might seem like good company. [the reverse cowgirl's blog]
On this occasion I awoke to the sense that there was a large menacing presence approaching me silently out of the gloom, so I opened my eyes, and there it was! A LARGE SILENT MENACING PRESENCE WAS APPROACHING ME OUT OF THE GLOOM, AND IT COULD FLY!!! [Teemings]
Thousands of pairs of Nike basketball shoes are washing up on beaches from Washington state to Alaska after spilling from a container ship in Northern California. [Yahoo News]
Did he die of natural causes following a brain haemorrhage or was Stalin killed because he was about to plunge the Soviet Union into a war its people were in no position to fight? [BBC NEWS | Europe]
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and
weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes
and perhaps weigh 1 1/2 tons.
— Popular Mechanics, March 1949