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Home > Weblog w/e 29.7.2000

Saturday 29 July 2000, 23:35 BST
Sadly, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill has now passed its last parliamentary stage and is set to take effect once it receives the Royal Assent. How long will it be before a newspaper demands that this page outlining ways to stop the government from reading your data is taken down? [Via NTK]
Salon has a sympathetic article describing a convention for fans of L Frank Baum's Oz books. I was a bit surprised that Salon didn't decide to play up the "weirdo" elements of the story; you can guarantee that at a science fiction convention they'd be paying plenty of attention to the stand manned by the Klingon Language Institute and the costume competition. What makes Oz fans different to SF fans?
When is 24/7 internet access not 24/7 internet access? If you're a customer of Breathe, the answer is "when someone tries to actually use it," according to this story from The Register.
When a Hollywood film adaptation is on the way, there's such a thing as being too rabid a fan. [Via Metafilter]
Friday 28 July 2000, 23:00 BST
Stephen King's latest efforts to promote e-books may be destined to unleash a truly horrific monster, according to Laura Miller in Salon.
A brief, clearly written account of why you wouldn't want a Passport from Microsoft if you valued your privacy. [Via rc3.org]
Thursday 27 July 2000, 23:50 BST
"I only wear these crop tops because other clothes would make me sweat when I dance," says Britney Spears according to a report at BBC News Online. OK Britney, if you say so. I wonder what the members of the Society for Future Husbands of Britney Spears make of that report? [SFHBS.com reference via Memepool]
Yahoo has a fascinating article about the fact that the vast majority of digitised archives available on the web are barely five years old, and almost give the impression that history started somewhere around 1995. It's not just that much of the information only relates to recent years, it's that the focus is rather narrow and there's a distinct lack of analysis which would put information about, say, the economic boom of the last decade in context.

I think it's entirely fair to suggest that there are too many people who regard the economic and technological trends of the last decade as the start of a never-ending upwards curve, but I think the article is unduly pessimistic about the quality of information available on the web. There may well be 3 times as many sites indexed by Yahoo on the subject of Britney Spears as there are on the Great Depression, but I was actually quite impressed that a subject as unfashionable as an economic downturn of 70 years ago has as many as 25 sites on Yahoo. Also, I'd bet a fair sum that anyone who bothers to put up a site on something as unfashionable as the Depression is highly likely to be taking more care than the average Britney Spears fan to make their site accurate and relevant.
Monday 24 July 2000, 22:15 BST
"But Officer, I Don't Even Have A Pornograph!" How one man ended up running a porn site without even knowing it. [Via linkmachinego]
Why Microsoft's .NET initiative is a less than convincing piece of vaporware. [Via rc3.org]
A fascinating interview with Dave Eggers, author of best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and proprietor of McSweeneys. Worth reading in itself, but the long rant at the end about "selling out" makes it a must-read. He's especially good on the way that people are keen to cry "sell-out" at the first sign of an artist moving on. [Via Arts and Letters Daily]
Sunday 23 July 2000, 23:10 BST
The War Against Silence is a record of the thoughts of Glenn McDonald, who has been posting reviews of his favourite music to the web since 1995. He's an enthusiast rather than a professional reviewer, but so what? Sites like this are exactly what the web is good at. [Via Feed]
"You no establish date of birth, we establish date of death," said Tetrazzini. "Capiche?" A new approach to e-commerce, courtesy of Segfault. [Via TBTF]
Corinthians 1 - Corinthians 0 . I'd have thought the Vatican would have bought up all the Biblical domain names by now. [Via NewsTrolls]

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