Coffee plant's caffeine gene isolated. Now this should be an interesting GM battle - the cost savings, both for makers of decaff and consumers (presumably, anyway) would be immense.
August 2000 Archives
Nothing is secure. Something to think about next time you're sending your cc# over the net.
I've updated the simple view of marginalia.org so that you can set the number of days you want to see; just add ?days=# where # is some digit. You can even see all blurbs available with simple?days=all. @whee.
Ah ha! I found a clip of the Spike Jonze Visits the Gores documentary. Not something you see every day.
Lovely story about how criminals try to mess with DNA evidence:
Turner, determined to cast doubt on the science upon which his
conviction was based, had smuggled a sample of his own semen
out of jail, concealed in what had been a ketchup packet. Family
members then paid a woman $50 to use the sperm to stage a
phony rape. Turner was wound up being sentenced to 120 years in
The National Post goes to town on what it considers the Globe and Mail's declining standards. Which are all due to their fear of the National Post, of course.
Alphanumerica releases Theme Builder, a theme builder for mozilla built with mozilla. Neat, but when are they going to build a mozilla tool builder with mozilla tools, huh? THEN I'll be impressed.
Y'all know you can ICQ me at 8634383, right?
Finally - multilingual domain names. Of course, what they're really talking about is allowing non-ascii (I'm going to assume unicode) domain names. I'm really looking forward to the day when I have to remember if it's résume.com or resumé.com or résumé.com.
The interesting bit of this article:
I have to report that the "realest" moment of the whole blatherfest for me was something I saw on screen. In a stroke of surprising originality (perhaps born of desperation) the Gore campaign invited film director Spike Jonze to make a short documentary film. Gore had evidently liked Jonze's delightfully bizarre "Being John Malkovich," and chose to offer him an opportunity to film the Gore family at their vacation home in North Carolina and various other places earlier this summer.
Now there's a bit of political theatre I'd like to see.
This article about the non-reality of Big Brother is interesting, I suppose, although I can't help but wonder if anyone really cares. I certainly can't imagine watching the live feeds of the show (heck, I don't even watch the show).
"King me!" Douglas Coupland said gleefully as he jumped three of Mark
Kingwell's men and landed in the back row of the checkerboard.
Mark Kingwell glared irritably at Douglas Coupland before reluctantly
placing a previously captured piece on top of the foreign invader sitting
in his back row. This was an important game. It was more than a game.
As agreed upon beforehand by both competitors, the victor would
assume his rightful place as the pre-eminent Canadian pop-culture icon
and media darling. One man would emerge as the ubiquitous talking
head on television programs broadcast from coast-to-coast. One man
would take his place on myriad editorial boards and as author of a
thousand guest articles in a thousand periodicals distributed ad mari
usque ad mare.
Only 485 days to LOTR. That's right, Salon's top story is a 4-pager on a movie that won't be released for 16 months. God bless them.
Michael Cowpland, CEO of Corel, resigns. Let the Corel deathwatch begin. (Continue?)
For as long as I've ridden SkyTrain (over 10 years now), there's been a house between New Westminster and 22nd Street Stations that has had "Read Qu'uran Proven Scipture" on its roof in big white block letters. Today, I noticed it was gone. I wonder if someone just bought the house and immediately removed it or if the homeowner had gone for years without knowing their roof advertised Islam to the world.
Mr. Lanteigne said the bait was probably from "a bucket of
mackerel" and that the department was considering laying
The horror, horror.
The Globe & Mail has lots of fun with the Reform rucus:
Yesterday, the party ruptured into two separate and competing leadership conventions. The branch of the party led by right-wing firebrand Pat Buchanan banished the party's other major faction, led by Transcendental Meditation enthusiast John Hagelin, whose supporters marched to another convention hall singing We Shall Overcome while Mr. Buchanan's supporters jeered at them.
In what looked like a comic-opera production of Robert's Rules of Order, the two sides spent the day arguing about just who had the right to speak and vote at each of the conventions. Each side referred to itself as the "real Reform Party."
Note that Buchanan picked an African American woman, Ezola Foster, as his vice-president running mate. (Not that it matters.)
The biggest ant colony in the world.
The ants in this so-called supercolony are so similar to each other genetically that different colonies do not fight with one another the way they do in their homeland. As a result, they are using a united family front to win territory from native ants.
In Argentina, where they are known as sugar ants, different nests of the fiercely territorial ants fight with one another, competing for food and space. An ant that wanders into the territory of another colony just 50 yards away will quickly be torn apart by workers who recognize the peculiar odor of a rival. But in California, scientists found that they could take a worker from San Diego and put it in a colony from San Francisco and it would be welcomed like a kissing cousin.
Cheap shot: Compassionate conservatism in action.
Cruz, whose IQ has been tested as low as 63, is scheduled to die one hour after Brian Keith Roberson's execution.
Ode to robertson screws - I didn't realize roberston was pretty much a canadian-only screw.
Netscape's response to complaints about the half-baked, buggy-as-hell preview release 1 of Netscape 6: quarter-baked, buggier-than-buggy-as-hell preview release 2 of Netscape 6. What is the PDT team smoking? If you want a good impression of what will become Netscape 6, try the M17 release of mozilla.
mook culture - excellent article about the convergence of metal, rap, wrestling and porn into an angry unholy union. Only nitpick: rap metal fusion isn't new, dammit! It's been around since the 80s - does nobody remember Epic, by Faith No More? I'm turning into such an old fogey. (via dack.)
Addendum:Anthony points out another great rap/metal combo - anthrax and public enemy's version of bring the noise, which is from the early 90s.
Great article on Motley Fool on handling credit cards. My favorite recommendation:
I had a friend who used to freeze his card in a bowl of water. If he still wanted the item when his card thawed out, he would buy it. Remember, no cheating. The microwave will hose up the magnetic strip.
(From signal vs. noise.)
More problems with copyright online - writers are finding their work showing up via content aggregators in violation of their contracts with publishers.
What with being Canadian and all, I likely won't have much to say about the US Election. However, I like this column about the Cheney's two-facedness on the subject of their lesbian daughter a lot.
Long interview with the principle architects of C#. (Who also wrote some obscure language called Turbo Pascal (which I once learned in an introductory computing science course (along with Modula) before SFU wised up and started teaching C)). Some very pointed jabs at java, of course:
I might point out that we're taking a true open standards approach with ECMA. When and if ECMA actually arrives at a standard for C# and a common language infrastructure, the result will be available under ECMA's copyright and licensing policies, which are truly open. Any customer, and any person, will be able to license the ECMA C# standard, subset it, superset it, and they won't have to pay royalties. They'll be able take it and go implement it on any platform or any device. We fully expect people to do that. That is something fundamentally different from our competitors who wandered around the standards bodies, looking for someone to rubber-stamp their proprietary languages.
If Microsoft does go ahead with this, Sun should (but probably won't) be deeply shamed, considering its own "yes we want a standards process but we still want complete control" approach to java.
It's a shame in some ways, but I think the swastika should probably remain dead, or at least reviled.
Pretty soon swastikas were everywhere, rotating both clockwise and counterclockwise. Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, included the swastika in the seal of the society. "Rudyard Kipling combined a swastika with his signature in a circle as a personal logo," Mr. Heller reports. And the swastika was part of the logo of the Bauhaus, under Paul Klee.
The swastika spread to the United States, too. Coca-Cola issued a swastika pendant. Carlsberg beer etched swastikas onto its bottles. During World War I, the American 45th Infantry division wore an orange swastika as a shoulder patch. At least one train line had swastikas on its cars.
"They're housewives and they're hackers," Hedgepath said. "I don't care if they have kids. I don't care that they are grandmothers. They're bootlegging us out of business."
The latest crazed recording industry executive on Napster? A movie mogul fuming over DVD piracy?
Nope. A needlepoint pattern publisher exec on doily-swapping grannies. While the dollar figures are much smaller, the similarities to the napster issue are quite striking, as alluded to in the article. (Stitched together at obscure store.)
Dude, Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms like totally rocks, man.
First Microsoft, now Corbis is getting some government love:
What had been a dowdy business has become a battleground between Corbis and Getty, companies controlled by two of the richest families on earth. Over the past several years, the two firms have been gobbling up smaller stock companies and now control at least 135 million images. The attraction is simple: With the digitization of images and the elimination of costly storage and shipping costs, photo supplying has become a much more inviting business. And given the Web's bottomless appetite for content -- as well as continuing revenues from old media -- a nice collection of photos can reap a nice heap of money.
Ridgely Evers, CEO of Exactly Vertical, which offers photographers business management software, is not alone in foreseeing a future where buyers will become habituated to using just one or two photographic superstores. And many photographers allege that because Getty and Corbis effectively control both the fees paid to photographers and the prices for images -- in addition to many of the most valuable images around -- they are scaling themselves into an oligopoly.