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Home > Weblog w/e 23.3.2002

Saturday 23 March 2002, 23:15 GMT
The Wing Kong Exchange is a site celebrating the wonder that is John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China. Naturally, there's a fanfic section. And best of all, there's Army of Trouble, a fanfic which pairs Big Trouble... hero Jack Burton with Ash from Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness. Now that's a film I'd like to see!

[Via David Grenier]
Thatcher told to quit public speaking.

Do I really need to add a comment?
Jamie the Sphynx: The Bald Pussy. Scary. (NB/- The site itself is work-safe, but the pop-up ads aren't.)

[Via dutchbint.org]
Friday 22 March 2002, 22:00 GMT
Elizabeth Wurtzel would like to thank a few people...

[Via rc3.org]
Worried about 500 billion tonnes of ice shelf melting in the space of a month? Don't worry. It's nothing to do with global warming - the Center for Climatological Happenstance would like to reassure us that it's all because of Global Coincidence.
A keyboard made of light. Quite possibly the coolest PDA accessory ever.

[Via Ben Hammersley.Com]
Attention Rights. Coming soon, the next stage in the battle to monetize our every waking minute:
October 8, 2006

Court Protects 'Attention Rights' of Media Companies

WASHINGTON, DC -- In a closely watched proceeding, DC District Court Judge Natalia Wimbley ruled Friday in favor of claims by a coalition of media companies to rights to the 'attention' of consumers. "This ruling is crucial to the continued vitality of American art and culture," explains RIAA President-elect Richard Mound. "Recognition of attention rights goes a long way to guaranteeing that artists and musicians will have access to sustainable revenue streams."

[Via Techdirt]
Thursday 21 March 2002, 23:55 GMT
Context Remix. A Britney Spears interview collides with an academic's discussion of the Ebola virus, and hijinks ensue. Funny stuff.
Dan Bricklin has finished his three part review of the Handspring Treo 180 mobile phone/PDA. I particularly like his argument that companies which approach developing a wireless phone/PDA from a computing background will tend to produce systems that can be expanded and upgraded through software. I think this more open approach is likely to win out over the consumer electronics/mobile phone mindset of supplying users with a package which works in a certain way and needs to be replaced to add new functionality. He's also correct to note that having the ability to easily back up, update and transfer your address book and other PDA data in formats which won't be rendered useless by the next major system software update is a big win for Treo users.

I think it's safe to say that unless the UK version of the Treo ends up being priced at stupidly high levels I'm going to want one very much indeed.
Wednesday 20 March 2002, 23:20 GMT
Copy That. Technology versus plagiarism, with a neat twist.

[Via Techdirt]
Ali G Stole My Image... says Jimmy Savile.

[Via miss bitch]
Tuesday 19 March 2002, 23:35 GMT
Emperor Norton's Archives. Everything you ever wanted to know about Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States. I first came across Norton I in one of Neil Gaiman's Sandman stories. A fascinating character.

[Via Found]
Malcolm Gladwell explains why it'll be a long, long time before we have paperless offices. And, more importantly, why this is a good thing.

As someone whose desk rarely supports less than four piles of papers, I'm with Gladwell on this. It's all well and good to say that on a computer I could categorise and rank the data and assign it keywords and schedule it and all the rest, but unless your job never involves dealing with printed information from outside organisations you soon reach the point where the categorisation is more trouble than it's worth.

[Via Robot Wisdom]
Serious LEGO. There's some exceptionally cool kit here.

[Via Haddock.org]
Bulbo in the 20th Century. Very nice Flash animation.

[Via brainsluice]
Monday 18 March 2002, 23:15 GMT
Asteroid 2002 EM7 almost sneaked up on us a couple of weeks ago. We wouldn't even have seen it in time to ask Bruce Willis to get up there and blow it up. Scary.
Word of the day: antonomasia.

[Via caterina.net]
Meet the Hawaiian Happyface spider. Very pretty, but I'd prefer to admire it from a very great distance, if that's OK with you.

[Via Memepool]
Sunday 17 March 2002, 23:00 GMT
First of all, an apology. Several of the links I posted over the last three days were broken as a result of my failing to notice that the text editor I was using was adding the odd space when word-wrapping. I've corrected all the errors I can find, but if I did miss any please email me and I'll put them right.

In particular, I'd like to point out that yesterday's links to the story about Iran and the two articles commenting on The Gift are now functional. All the articles are well worth a read, so if you gave up on them yesterday because I boobed please try again.

Thanks to Stuart of feeling listless for pointing out the broken links.
World Press Photo of the Year. The winner may not be to everyone's taste, but there are some gems in some of the specialist categories.

[Via MetaFilter]
While I'm on the subject of photos, I was browsing ann elizabeth's photo gallery this afternoon and came across this exquisite image of a white rose. Speaking as someone who doesn't even own a camera, I can but stand back and offer virtual applause.
Computer book publisher Tim O'Reilly isn't half as worried by digital "piracy" as the entertainment industry thinks he should be. As O'Reilly points out, the software industry is even more at risk from the availability of perfect digital copies than Hollywood and the music business are. The difference is, the software business went through the vogue for copy protection back in the 1980s. The result: dongles, manuals printed in hard-to-copy (and hard-to-read!) colours and "uncrackable" non-standard disk formats.

And yet, here we are now with almost all software supplied via media which can be duplicated and a lot of very rich software companies with plenty of users. Granted, Microsoft are giving copy protection one more try via Windows Product Activation, but it seems unlikely anyone with less of a stranglehold on their corner of the market could pull a trick like that. And Microsoft will almost certainly quietly drop WPA once it's pissed enough people off by failing to operate when it' supposed to and kicking in when it shouldn't.

[Via Charlie's Diary]
Menawhile, over on the audio front of the Intellectual Property Wars, Kevin Kelly maps out a strategy - several, actually - by which the music business may continue to make money despite the rise of file sharing networks. (NB/- New York Times link - free registration required.)

I think Kelly places far too little emphasis on the importance to file sharers of the "zero cost" aspect of Napster et al. Even so, it would help if the music industry actually tried some alternative approaches, rather than just try to persuade lawmakers to criminalise the use of technologies which could concievably be used for file sharing.

[Via Boing Boing]
Six months that changed a year. Armando Iannucci. Chris Morris. The War on Terrorism. I'm sure you can imagine how this story goes.

Like any satirical piece, it's hit-and-miss. It's also very English:
20th October: The Pentagon denies reports of civilian casualties and adds that even if there were some, they couldn't be shown in case they 'died in shapes that could be code'.

26th November: Tony Blair triumphantly announces his UK delegation has persuaded the UN Afghan Conference that the broadcaster John Peel should be the new leader of Afghanistan. Says the Foreign Office: 'John will appeal both to the conservative Pashtun south - who prefer men to wear beards - as well as to the northern tribes who like music.' Blair says The Americans give their approval after he told them Peel is 'the British Tom Hanks'. Peel will be required to repair Afghanistan's shattered infrastructure, restore relations with Iran and Uzbekistan, unify the volatile stand-off between rival factions in the south-west, and continue with his Radio 4 series Home Truths on Saturday mornings, against his will if necessary. On the BBC's Newsnight, the US ambassador allows Jack Straw to confirm the news and then announces that Hamid Karzai has been installed in Kabul.
Globe of Blogs. Weblogs listed (among other things) by their location. An excellent idea.

I've submitted this site, but it probably won't show up for a couple of days.

[Via 13 days from monday]

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