Massive media deal - CanWest buys 136 daily and weekly newspapers. Of course, they bought both of Vancouver's dailies, so there still isn't any real competition in newspaper coverage here.
July 2000 Archives
Stockwell Day says all the right things about the role of religious faith in public life. (Question: Stockwell Day becomes a national hero and a general holiday is declared. Would it be called Day Day?)
More about how the Gates Foundation gives away massive amounts of money ($1.1 billion this year). Philosophical question: if all of the money Gates has amassed by making people miserable with dos, windows, office et al ends up saving the lives of millions throughout the world, was it worth it?
No posting because we were here. All things considered, I'd rather still be there, it was beautiful. I also got to see the downside of camping without actually experiencing it - a group of campers came in late in the evening after being rained out from a campsite in Whistler. They'd been rained on for 3 days straight and everything they had was absolutely soaked.
Inside.com continues to have excellent coverage about napster, although their view seems to be that Napster is, eventually, going down - e.g.: "Today Could Be the Last Day of the Rest of Napster's Life, or it could just postpone the inevitable." Still, the summary of the legal issues and possible outcomes is very good.
Brown recommends two books for learning more about the chemistry of cooking: On Food And Cooking by Harold McGee (indigo.ca link, fatbrain link) and Cookwise, by Shirley Corriher (indigo.ca link, fatbrain link).
it's only food. What I mean by that is that it's not anything to be afraid of. The more you understand what you can do with it, the more you will be able to do with it. Don't be afraid to play with it, and don't be afraid to fail. Every good cook I know screws something up! Taste your food, feel your food, think about your food, and then go cook.
Fascinating article from the Globe and Mail about Inuktitut (which should be pronounced "Ee-nook-tee-toot").
There is an excellent English/French/Inuktitut diction at Living Dictionary. There is a complete explanation of the symbols used to write Inuktitut here, although the symbols themselves were invented in 1894 by a chap by the name of Edmund Peck.
The US has the mafia, Canada has... biker gangs? Unfortunately, the online edition of the G&M doesn't have the companion story to this article that talks about how the BC Hells Angels chapter is generally much less violent and low key. Perhaps dominating BC's massive pot trade has something to do with it.
I'll bet that some enterprising young Canadian producer is developing a Soprano's-like show about a dysfunctional Hells Angel family as we speak. They'll probably get government funding to produce it, too.
Drug testing of employees ruled illegal. Yeeha - I've always wondered what I'd do if required to submit to a drug test as a job requirement. If it was a position where impairment is a significant safety risk, I'd be ok with it, but otherwise not. Good to see the courts in Canada agreeing with me. (Don't bogart these links, they belong to osadchuk)
Whew, all the various broken bits should be fixed. At some point I'll actually post links, I promise!
If you sent mail to firstname.lastname@example.org in the last 24 hours or so, I likely didn't get. It should work now.
Whew. Sorry for the downtime. I'm now on an OpenBSD server.
Further thoughts on apple's cube (if you needed a link there, well, that's just sad): two things that have given me a little pause in my unbridled enthsiasm for it - the cost (more than a better equipped and more expandable G4) and expandability (basically none internally). While it looks just fabulous, if I can get more functionality from a less expensive package, why wouldn't I? Sure it would look cool on my desk, but personally my ideal computer is one that I would never see - I'd love to see a computer that's just built right into a computer desk with USB ports easily available on the surface and that's it. I should never have to look at anything else besides the monitor and my trusty trackball and keyboard.
Brazilian Soccer team more important religious quotes. Basically, if you ain't a company, your domain name ain't safe.
Say what you will about Microsoft, their dedication to backwards compatibility is really admirable. I wrote a set of macros in 1993 in Excel 4 on Windows 3.1 to help me in scheduling on-call staff; it still works 7 years later with no modifications required.
Which means I've been working here waaaay too long. Did I mention I'm looking for work?
All of marginalia.org was recently sucked up byip3000.com. Their site has this note:
NOTE: IP3000 Digitally Fingerprints logos, images, photographs, MP3s, and other digital media it locates. IP3000 does not keep copies, thumbnails or clips of any of the media it locates. The digital fingerprints that are collected will be used in conjunction with the text data collected to create a comprehensive index for locating websites of interest. Combination text and fingerprint searching is a major new development in the evolution of the web to enhance the effectiveness for Internet users seeking information from your website.
The ip in ip3000 is supposed to stand for internet portal, although I wonder if it's not really for intellectual property; it sounds like this would be a great tool for those seeking to enforce copyrights on the net.
But I'm probably just paranoid, right?
mod_rewrite seems to have been turned off at the server, so archives will be broken for a couple hours. Not that anybody uses them anyways, but...
Man, why don't PC makers make machines like the new Apple Cube? Of course, I built my own computer and it's a boring beige box, but that's because I had to cheap out somewhere to remain on budget. Anyways, the point is that if OSX turns out to be as cool as it appears and runs xwindows well (as is promised (by the way, funny sentence from linked press-release: "The new X (pronounced X) for OS X (pronounced 'ten')")), I know what computer I'll be buying next, and I don't think I'll be alone.
The problem lies in how Outlook and Outlook Express handles the parsing of the GMT section of the date field in the header of an email. This process is handled by INETCOMM.DLL. Improper bounds checking exists on the token represented by GMT. Therefore, if a malicious user was to send a specially crafted email message containing an unusually long value in the GMT specification, the buffer would be overflowed making arbitrary code execution possible.
In Outlook Express, a user would merely have to open a folder containing a malicious email in order to become vulnerable. Outlook users are vulnerable if they preview, read, reply, or forward an offending email. The only exception to exploitation is under Outlook if a user deletes or saves the email to disk.
I had a weird sense of deja vu reading this article on Salon, then I realized I'd read it a long time ago on LambdaMOO itself. Strange feeling.
osadchuk.org is a privacy-focussed weblog, run by someone that knows what they're talking about.
Edogawa is the home of the Shinkawa parking garage, and if parking garages were cathedrals, this would be their Notre Dame.
It took four years and $130-million to build. Ultrasonic sensors tell staff which of the 250 spots are filled. Carbon-dioxide monitors ensure that the air is clean. A digital sound system fills the space with pleasant orchestral music. The men's and women's bathrooms are spotless.
To top it all, the whole thing is underwater. To save on land costs, officials dammed and drained a river, drove pilings into its bed, built the garage and then filled the river back up again.
But, like the Shinkawa parking garage, many public-works projects are underused.
Take the Akashi Kaikyo bridge that links the city of Kobe to Awaji Island. When it was finished in 1998, it became the world's longest suspension bridge. But it carries no more than 4,000 cars a day, a 10th the number forecast by planners.
Then there is the Aqualine Expressway, the world's longest underwater highway tunnel. It traverses Tokyo Bay and cost $16-billion. Despite amenities that include restaurants, cafes, gift shops and, yes, a parking garage, many motorists shun it because of the high toll: $45 for a 15-minute ride.
Or consider the spectacular new toll highway that runs through Kagoshima prefecture. It, too, is a marvel of engineering skill, but most motorists stay away. The reason: the older highway that runs parallel is free.
Last month, SOCAN's licensing manager, Gina Pollock, sent a letter to the owners of music stores across the country. Pollock wanted to let them know that the music they play in their stores is, like all other music in this country, licensed to SOCAN by its performers and composers, and that the stores should therefore pay a licensing fee for playing it.
"If it wasn't for record stores, there'd be no industry at all," said Laurence Marks, owner of Abba-Zappa in Toronto. "Here I am, struggling to make a buck. So they get 50 bucks from my store, who's it going to go to? Some guy on Queen Street with an independent CD out? No. It's going to go to Neil Young." The licence would cost Marks $50 a year for his small, used-CD store.
The latest builds of mozilla have added support for the title attribute, but it goes one better than IE - it provides the title attribute if provided, plus the href and the target, if there is one. This is a very nice addition and one I think I'll actually come to miss in other browsers.
Another good set of notes and recommendations from Phil Agre. (Ignore his dislike of Chicken Run, it's a good movie.) I particularly liked this:
Critical thinking means that you can, so to
speak, see your glasses. You can look at the world, or you can back
up and look at the framework of concepts and assumptions and practices
*through* which you look at the world. Every such framework edits the
world in some way; every such framework has its biases. And no matter
how carefully you think you define your words, most of your framework
of concepts and assumptions and practices for looking at the world
will be inherited from a long disciplinary and cultural tradition.
If you can't see your glasses then you will have tunnel vision your
whole life. Yet you probably won't even notice, because your ways of
looking at the world also define what counts as success, as progress,
as a research result, and so on. Not that critical thinking makes
you omniscient: you're still wearing glasses even when you're looking
at your glasses. This (and not any sort of silly idealism) is what
Derrida means when he says that a text has no outside. But through
scholarship and analysis you can do a lot better than just stumbling
along with the glasses you got in school.
I so much want a change of jobs right now. I want to build web stuff
all day, not just at night when I'm tired and frustrated from a job
that does nothing to tax my abilities or intellect.
I have a vision for the web I'd like to help build, one that remains open to all and is a marketplace for ideas as well as products, and I'm going to find a company that will let me.
Latest The The album to be offered as a free download. Very articulate rant about why Matt Johnson has chosen to do this. (From metafilter)
More wackiness around Mike Myers' doomed Dieter project. I think Myers should be applauded for making a stand.
Behind the scenes nastiness on pop-up video.
''My mission is to bring down multinational media conglomerates,'' says Low, who feels cheated out of the enormous Pop-Up Video profits by Viacom, a not untypical sentiment for a first-time success in the television business. ''If you want to effect social change, you need to have the access.''
Ya know, I'm not a complainer, but shouldn't something called a geek rave stream in something that non-windows/mac users can see? (Yes, I know, Real Video sucks, but at least it's something!) Maybe this is all just a clever means of ensuring all linux geeks attend the next event, if only to complain about the use of shockwave and quicktime.
Hell is other people's HTML. Thank goodness for xemacs and fold-element.
Star Wars Christmas Special. 18MB of 1978 love proving once again that the internet is the most fabulous thing ever invented.
Merzbox, as it's called, is a 50- (that's five-oh) CD retrospective encased in latex rubber that retails for $500 or more and includes a CD-ROM, T-shirt, stickers, circular postcards and a commemorative coin dubbed a Merzdallion. By the way: the CDs aren't numbered. To know what you're hearing, you have to match the psychedelic designs on the discs against partial reproductions in the accompanying 132-page hardcover book. It doesn't get any more Emerson, Lake and Palmer than this.
This is insane, of course. And I'd love to own it.
Employees trying to buy Shift. I hope Shift doesn't die, it's a decent magazine.
This salon article on San Fran Public Library lending ebooks tries equate it with napster, but unfortunately a central fact in the article is incorrect: an ebook owned by the library can only be checked out by one person at a time. This is obviously dumb, but it's the only way netlibrary (who is running this service and marketing it to libraries across North America) could get publishers to participate. So it's basically just like a book, except it's harder to read and less portable. Just what publishers want - one step closer to leasing books to libraries (and what I think is their holy grail - pay per read).
I know all this because we're participating in the pilot project too.
Broadcasting in French and Swahili, government radio from Kinshasa and a privately operated station known as "Voice of the Patriot" have injected the chilling vocabulary of genocide into Congo's conflict.
"People must bring a machete, a spear, an arrow, a hoe, spades, rakes, nails, truncheons, electric irons, barbed wire, stones ... in order, dear listeners, to kill the Rwandan Tutsi," one declares.
Another urges patriotic Congolese to: "Jump on the people with the long noses, those who are tall and slim and want to dominate us."
"Wake up," the broadcast warns, "be aware of our destiny so as to defeat the enemy. From today onwards, you will detect enemies and massacre them without mercy."
Yet another identifies Tutsis as "a virus, a mosquito, filth which must be crushed."
When General Juan Peron, during his first stint as Argentina's
dictator, decided to take his revenge on the writer Jorge Luis
Borges who had refused to take an oath of allegiance to the
General, he removed Borges from his position in a small
municipal library and appointed him poultry inspector at a
local market. Borges resigned and, at a dinner given to him
by some friends, he pronounced these words: "Dictatorships
foster oppression, dictatorships foster servility, dictatorships
foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster
stupidity . . . To fight against these sad monotonies is one of
the writer's many duties."
I can finally read Antenna without it making my eyes hurt! Woohoo for Nielsenify!
The anger, the rage, the hurt and the cold loneliness that separate you from your family, friends and society's normal daily routine are so powerful that the option of destroying yourself is both real and attractive. That is what happened last Monday night. It appears, it grows, it invades and it overpowers you. In my current state of therapy, which continues to show very positive results, control mechanisms have not yet matured to always be on top of this battle. My doctors and I are still building my prosthesis that will establish the level of serenity and productivity I yearn so much for.
Further perl exploration - a simple view of marginalia.org. As it doesn't have all the chuff of the standard version, you get 14 days worth of blurbs, not 7.
Fans killed at Pearl Jam concert. Depressing factoid from article: 70 people were killed at concerts last year.
France 2, Italy 1. Hell of a good game - much better than the world cup final two years ago.
Astute readers will notice the new search box on the right. It's fairly stupid right now - it searches for exactly what you type in and there's no AND or OR or anything fancy like that. For some reason I decided to do it in perl instead of php, but it actually turned out to not be too difficult. There are things that are easier in php, but others are definitely easier with perl. I don't think I'm ready to redo the site in perl, but it wouldn't be too difficult.
It'll also do stupid things like letting you search for and, the and a. I'll fix that shortly.