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Saturday 16 September 2000, 23:55 BST
"I couldn't believe my best friend was actually angering the big elves." Much, much more of this sort of thing from The Always Amusing Euphemism Generator. [Via Pigs and Fishes]
Data mining has a bad reputation, often being regarded as a tool of evil marketing types and overly inquisitive managers, but like most technologies it can also be used for Good ends. Salon has an interesting story about the way that human rights activists are taking advantage of the availability of cheap computing power to track details of human rights violations and their perpetrators. Good stuff.
Help solve one of the great scientific mysteries of the 21st century: why is belly button lint almost always a bluish colour? [Via Bifurcated Rivets]
When I read about the Moodwatch feature in Eudora 5.0 I was convinced that it was a joke. [Via Pigs and Fishes]
Learn more than you ever wanted to know about forensic entomology here. [Via Memepool]
It's good to see that Laurel's Krahn's Windowseat Weblog is back. It's long been a favourite weblog of mine - anyone who loves Homicide: Life On The Street and science fiction just has to be worth reading.
"A book is like a bomb. You pack all of these chemicals and things into it over the course of a year and they read it in a second, with that amount of compression. Think how long it takes." (Scott McCloud)

A couple of worthwhile interviews with writers. Scott "ZOT!" McCloud talks to PopImage about comics and computers, and J Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5, the most worthwhile science fiction TV series of the last thirty years) discusses his writing career with FilmForce. [Scott McCloud interview via via Misnomer, JMS interview via posting by Steven N Orso in uk.media.tv.sf.babylon5]
Sunday 10 September 2000, 22:15 BST
The most thought-provoking TV series at the moment is Australia: Beyond The Fatal Shore by art critic Robert Hughes. His personal survey of the state of Australian society has been every bit as wide-ranging, humane and enlightening as American Visions, his series about the art and culture of the United States, and every bit as tough-minded as Culture of Complaint, his book about political correctness. Unfortunately, the series didn't go down well in Australia, as he told Bryan Appleyard in the Sunday Times. [Via Arts and Letters Daily]
ZZZ online has produced another fascinating issue (#47). This time the highlight was the story about computers at Brandeis University building robots, though the Weekly Picture was pretty amusing too.
IBM ANNOUNCES VOICE RECOGNITION BRAKE THREW. [Via SatireWire]
Big Brother in the United States has been a very different programme to the one we've been enjoying in the UK for the last couple of months. Martha Soukup ponders the reasons for the difference in Salon.
The New York Times has looked at the TiVo phenomenon, and has a pretty good summary (free registration required) of just why the face of commercial television is about to change completely. Interestingly, according to an article in the current edition of Wired (not yet available online), BSkyB is looking to offer a TiVo-like option in their digital set-top boxes, except that instead of allowing users to skip ads they'll offer advertisers the opportunity (for a price) to ensure that ad breaks can't be skipped.
Robert X Cringely thinks every high-tech firm needs to invest in a shredder and ditch their old emails. Now.
The Digital Freedom Network announces a Foil The Filters contest. [Via the null device]
I do hope nobody from the Department For Education and Employment sees this - it'll only give them ideas. [Via Metafilter]

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