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November 1999 Archives

November 30
I know you're all probably missing that old mini-mainframe you used to program on as a kid, right? Ok, maybe that's just me... But darn it, I can do it again using this PDP-8/E simulator for the Mac. You can even write your own simulated DEC I/O devices like paper tape readers via a plug-in API. And for the techno-frankenstein in me, it'll run using SheepShaver on my BeBox too.
posted by grant at 7:45 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Behold the power of slashdot.
Behold the power of slashdot. When slashdot ran a story about an ISP shutting down a guy hosting a FBI spoof video, the owner of the single person ISP became inundated with hate mail. It's seems like this is happening fairly often: slashdot runs a story based on some early information that may or may not be checked, the zealots get fired up and go on the rampage. The last time I remember it happening was the bogus Dreamcast telnet story that resulted in numerous angry calls to Sega's tech support lackeys. It's sad to see that even a group of mostly educated geeks often reacts with pack mentality before thinking of the implications of what they're doing.
posted by mathowie at 4:12 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 29
So Nike has this custom shoe thing
So Nike has this custom shoe thing online and the whole thing seems ridiculous to me. Luckily, I'm not alone, because someone way more witty than I came up with some great custom shoes of their own. I wonder if Nike would actually produce those if you ordered them? I bet the 'Air 3rdworld' shoes could win Nike a truth in advertising award somewhere.
posted by mathowie at 10:21 PM PST - 3 comments

Another unfortunate fashion choice, combined with flash photography, capturing an embarrasing moment.
Another unfortunate fashion choice, combined with flash photography, capturing an embarrasing moment. This one's a bit more discreet than the other 'beaver shot' from the limbo contest, so much so that I didn't even notice it until the closeup at the end.
posted by mathowie at 7:22 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Blink.com
Blink.com is yet another server-side bookmark site. If I remember correctly, the first one I saw was over two years ago. Recently, with the big push towards application service providers, anyone with a script that can be used by multiple users is calling themselves a distributed application company. Hey, MetaFilter can be used by everyone, it's not a weblog, it's an application! Get ready for the IPO!
posted by mathowie at 6:23 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A company has released a fully web-based spreadsheet program
A company has released a fully web-based spreadsheet program that is utterly amazing. To see it for yourself, go to halfbrain.com and hit the link entitled 'BrainMatter' in the second paragraph in the middle of the page. Incredible.
posted by mathowie at 9:49 AM PST - 2 comments

November 28
Thanks to the scarcity of good domain names, we're stuck with stupid ideas like piiq.com. Here's their deal: you put the letter 'p' and 'q' around anything you want, and their site will come up, like pbookq.com, ptoysq.com, and pfoodq.com. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
posted by mathowie at 8:58 PM PST - 1 comments

A century of scams
A century of scams shows us that government agencies don't have the monopoly on con jobs and consumer conspiracies. Read through a few of these tales of technological jiggery-pokery, and then see who's been zoomin' whom. Remember, the next time your browser freezes, it was designed to do that.
posted by grant at 6:53 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Should Apple change its name?
Should Apple change its name? After all, they changed the way we use computers. They changed the way we design. They recently changed their logo. That would certainly be thinking different now, wouldn't it? Personally, I'd like them to change their minds and release a six-slot G4 chassis...
posted by grant at 6:44 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 25
How 2 be soopa famous...
How 2 be soopa famous... Quick tips on becoming an underground web design hero. Or at least maintaining the appearance of one.
posted by grant at 5:57 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The Top Economic Events of the Twentieth Century is an interesting list. It's good to know that people truly realize the economic importance of things like the Apple II and the Web browser.
posted by tdecius at 5:11 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Y2K Spoof Flick Goes Awry
Y2K Spoof Flick Goes Awry "This FBI agent called," said Zieper. "He said, 'There are a lot of people planning to vacation in New York this year, a lot of them are coming to your site and they're getting scared. I want to talk to you about how we can stop people from coming to this site.'" ... see the flick here. The FBI is full of a bunch of weirdos.
posted by greyscale at 2:12 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Happy Turkey Day!
Happy Turkey Day! Now turn off the computer and get back to your family...
posted by grant at 11:55 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The worlds smallest web server
The worlds smallest web server has been build by a hack named Fredric White from a two dollar Fairchild chip, just over 1K of code, and a couple of other bits. Check out these images of the entire server set up which is dwarfed by the serial cable it's connected to. Now that's internet everywhere.
posted by grant at 8:20 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 24
The Attorney General's Office just released the results of it's sixth annual holiday scanner accuracy survey (betcha didn't know you already missed five of these puppies, eh?) The survey unearthed an overall scanner error rate of 16.8 per cent, of which 85 per cent of the errors were overcharges. I always thought those cashiers at Sears looked shifty.
posted by grant at 9:35 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Ted Nelson rocks!
Ted Nelson rocks! This article from Interactive Week is a month old or so, but it was so enjoyable, I re-read it recently and had to post it. The HyperTextual Man writes and rants about breaking free from the conceptual shackles of interfaces and metaphors. Let the web do its own thing. Let anyone program. Of, course he's talking in terms of his Xanadu project, but nevertheless, some provoking commentary.
posted by grant at 12:02 PM PST - 1 comments

November 23
Hmm...this is weird. Recently, RealNetworks split their site into two distinct sites. Real.com caters to the general internet user and focuses mainly on the new RealPlayer 7 (which I didn't even know came out this month), and they've moved all their content creation stuff to RealNetworks.com. What I find odd about this is I'm used to their old unified site, so when I stumbled upon an article about the new player at Realnetworks.com, I couldn't find any place to download the new player. They don't even mention it on their products page!
posted by mathowie at 12:40 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 22
A browser emulator.
A browser emulator. Now we're all set. We've got a program to emulate software which was designed to simulate and display multiple, linked text documents dirived from printed matter that runs in a virtual data-driven environment made up of digitally created window-like containers that are part of an interface based on the desktop metaphor. I think I'll go buy a book.
posted by grant at 9:22 PM PST - 1 comments

Internet use has reached one billion page views per day.
Internet use has reached one billion page views per day. Does this statistic mean anything to anybody? In reality, if more sites were designed better, this number would drop by half because people would be able find the information they were looking for twice as fast.
posted by grant at 8:08 PM PST - 1 comments

SGI is going to dump Cray
SGI is going to dump Cray at a Wal-mart price, after a tormented merger and an unfocused relationship. A source within Cray said it was like 'if your sister married your worst enemy...' SGI is looking at selling Seymore's baby to Gores Technology Group which touts itself as 'a technology acquisition and management company'. Translated: We don't build anything, but we can wave around lots of money.
posted by grant at 7:05 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Palm Buddy
Palm Buddy lets you view and install files on your Palm using a slick Finder-like window. It also does file conversion, but doesn't sync. Nice. Here's a screen shot.
posted by grant at 6:46 PM PST - 1 comments

November 21
Did you know that a woman is rowing solo across the Atlantic? She's almost done, hopefully finishing the journey in the next week or two. Just the thought of it blows me away...
posted by mathowie at 9:28 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

MacOS Rumors is running an internal Microsoft memo apparently written by Bill Gates himself. In it, he urges employees to give to the Microsoft Corp. Political Action Committee (MCPAC).
posted by mathowie at 5:19 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Today on a web list I subscribe to, some members were complaining about spam and the need for sites to have privacy policies that promise not to sell your address. I have a hotmail address that I use whenever a site requires an email address and doesn't post a privacy policy. I hadn't checked my account in a month, but I did today and look what was in it. 74 useless messages in 30 days. Thanks spammers.
posted by mathowie at 4:58 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

As I was reading about this product at Amazon,
As I was reading about this product at Amazon, I noticed they now let people 'score' the reviews. Will highly regarded reviews float to the top? That would make the products with 40+ reviews a lot more useful. Since Amazon patented one-click ordering and even sued Barnes and Noble over it, does this mean Slashdot should come after Amazon for adopting their moderation ideas?
posted by mathowie at 1:07 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

MSNBC is apparently blocking Mac access
MSNBC is apparently blocking Mac access to Windows MediaPlayer files, claiming that 'Windows Media Player for Macintosh is not currently available.' Interesting, since you can actually download it from here. Oh well, at least CNN gives me a choice.
posted by grant at 12:46 PM PST - 1 comments

November 20
I've seen a lot of photos of peoples' costumes from this past Halloween, but this guy's costume is far and above the best one I've seen.
posted by mathowie at 12:37 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Have you helped name the next decade yet? I personally prefer 'the empties'.
posted by grant at 12:27 PM PST - 1 comments

This site
This site should get an award for being so long overdue. I'm surprised there isn't more pokemon backlash on the web. I don't know anyone over the age of 12 that doesn't hate them.
posted by mathowie at 11:56 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

When did Wired Magazine merge with Heavy Metal?
posted by grant at 9:29 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I'm sorry, but using Java to play back streaming media
I'm sorry, but using Java to play back streaming media does not make for a 'playerless' environment. Java is the player, and it needs to be active in order for this product to work. The only true 'playerless' browser environment uses server-push and html meta-refresh.
posted by grant at 9:19 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 19
Tonight, I found a bevy of Bill Hicks mp3s. God, he was hilarious. He was more a truth-teller than a comedian. Luckily, there's still people out there that dig him too, including the great site at BillHicks.com. Among the many cool things at that site is a huge archive of audio clips of his standup and interviews.
posted by mathowie at 10:50 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Bob Metcalfe on how to be a startup millionaire.
Bob Metcalfe on how to be a startup millionaire. I love Bob, ever since he left 3com, he's been a prolific writer on the tech industry. This time he tells how to grow a successful company in 8 easy steps.
posted by mathowie at 10:05 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Well, I learned something.
posted by tdecius at 6:07 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 18
Uncle Bill's other hobby
Uncle Bill's other hobby is collecting the digital rights to millions of images that basically make up a large chunk of the visual history of humanity. Gates, via Corbis, Adobe and others are charging themselves with bringing digital imaging to the people. The best snippet: 'In addition to the delectable link sausages served at breakfast, Mr. Gate's keynote speech spiced up an otherwise bland show.'
posted by grant at 9:42 PM PST - 2 comments

Last week, the woman that does almost every female voice on Southpark committed suicide.
Last week, the woman that does almost every female voice on Southpark committed suicide. It's a terrible loss, she did voiceover work for so many movies and shows. What's really spooky about it is listening to her being interviewed earlier this year. She even talks about animated characters living long after you're dead.
posted by mathowie at 3:20 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Ugh! Jakob Nielsen is at it again,
Ugh! Jakob Nielsen is at it again, this time quantifying design conventions for the web. This quote of his stands out to me in a bad, bad way: "Therefore, I recommend following the conventions even in those cases where a different design would be better if seen in isolation." Instead of pointing out the recipie for making a boring, slightly functional site, I wish he'd stress alternatives to the emerging trends in corporate web site design.
posted by mathowie at 11:54 AM PST - 2 comments

November 17
Is it just me, or has there been a trend towards creating logos that look like whirlpools? I have compiled a small collection of company logos that seem to have been separated at birth. Additional sightings are welcome.
posted by grant at 9:49 PM PST - 2 comments

Ha! Ever since a court ruled that Disney/Go couldn't use the green stoplight logo, they've actually begun removing them from their sites. Too bad the new logo looks like an afterthought, but I suppose they were under a pretty tight deadline (make a new one NOW!).
posted by mathowie at 4:30 PM PST - 1 comments

November 16
A Mars Lander is set to touch down on Mars
A Mars Lander is set to touch down on Mars sometime between December 1st and December 20th of this year. Keep your eyes peeled on this mars site, it will be the primary location of new information about the mission. I doubt if they find water on Mars though...
posted by mathowie at 5:33 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I'm a gadget freak and I've got lights in my house controlled by my computer. But the folks at misterhouse.net have taken it 10 steps further. There's a web interface to all sorts of things, inlcluding the lighting system, the vcr, and reminders of new mail. That's some pretty nifty geek stuff they have going on there.
posted by mathowie at 1:18 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The California DMV has a cool search engine for custom license plates,
The California DMV has a cool search engine for custom license plates, but pretty much anything with the words 'web' 'nerd' or 'geek' are taken. About the only remotely interesting thing I could find was TEKGEEK.
posted by mathowie at 12:04 PM PST - 2 comments

November 15
I found this site's list of 90's remakes
I found this site's list of 90's remakes at hack the planet. Having grown up in the eighties, I knew about half these songs were remakes from my childhood, but since I was a wee boy for much of the 70's, I didn't know some of today's songs were redone oldies. The coolest thing about this list is I could find any interesting songs as mp3 using napster. Every search resulted in a successful download. Even the Cure's 'Love Song' done by Tori Amos on the radio was on my hard drive a minute after I read about it on that page.
posted by mathowie at 10:19 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Finally! Microsoft released an add-on app for Word 2000
Finally! Microsoft released an add-on app for Word 2000 that allows cleaner HTML to be saved out. I've saved one line Word documents as HTML and had them turned into 10kb of bloated CSS markup. I generally avoid using Word at all costs, but most of the content I get for new sites are done in Word. Tools like this are indespensible.
posted by mathowie at 4:28 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

When a software company starts licensing chunks of hardware,
When a software company starts licensing chunks of hardware, something must be afoot. What the heck is Adobe going to do with Sony's Memory Stick technology anyway? Free PDF storage media in every box of Acrobat?
posted by grant at 4:19 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Dumb name, clever site.
Dumb name, clever site. Yodlee wants to provide an online service that consolidates all of the email, ecommerce, banking, and travel accounts that you probably have scattered across a half-dozen, disparate sites and then link them right into your Palm. And they support sites out the wazoo already. Now you have only one login and password to forget.
posted by grant at 11:11 AM PST - 1 comments

November 14
Streambox
Streambox says that it has broken the encryption used on the RealNetworks streaming media format and they have released a tool that converts RealAudio to MP3. This would probably be more useful if the actual quality of RealAudio files made it worth ripping them to my Rio.
posted by grant at 4:45 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

What will future interfaces look like?
What will future interfaces look like? Steven Johnson, the author of Interface Culture, asked this question of a few presumably knowing souls. There are some interesting points regarding the interaction, rather than the interface in this oh-too-short article.
posted by grant at 9:25 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 13
I don't know why I find this so funny,
I don't know why I find this so funny, but I do. It's the Star Wars liquor store.
posted by mathowie at 11:20 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

'Is the glass half empty of half full? That all depends upon who is looking at it. The case is similar with the Bible. For thousands of years man has been putting his own spin on Religion and the Scriptures and now so can you. Simply select the beliefs that are most advantageous to you and ‘The Cult Construction Set’ will generate actual Bible scriptures to support these beliefs. Now you too can start your own Cult in the comfort of your home!'
posted by tdecius at 7:27 PM PST - 1 comments

We are not alone....
We are not alone.... a new planet outside of our solar system was found today. It's only a matter of time before the little green men come down to greet us.
posted by mathowie at 6:54 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 12
c|net's making fuss
c|net's making fuss over the fact that Apple may be contemplating a more robust e-commerce play because it has recently registered domains such as shop-different.com and buy-different.com. Actually, I'm more interested in what the heck they might do with this one.
posted by grant at 7:53 PM PST - 1 comments

Self promotion time: I wrote an article for evolt
Self promotion time: I wrote an article for evolt but there was also a great article about Mozilla that was posted to evolt. That mozilla article got picked up by slashdot and the server has been unreachable all day. If you're interested in the Mozilla article, there's a mirror here, and in case you can't get to my story on evolt, I put a mirror here.
posted by mathowie at 11:34 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 11
The Industry Standard posted this schpiel on how Microsoft has won the browser war. Didn't everybody stop caring about this about a hundred years ago?
posted by grant at 8:58 PM PST - 1 comments

Something that may finally make e-books palatable
Something that may finally make e-books palatable is this new display technology that has an incredible resolution of 202 pixels per inch. Imagine a digital display with the same image resolution as a high quality printed magazine.
posted by grant at 8:31 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I want my QTV.
I want my QTV. According to the current scuttlebutt surrounding the next rev of QuickTime, you'll be able to launch a plethora of happin', high-gloss streaming media channels directly from the control strip in the Mac OS. And with the addition of seamless ad insertion and tracking into the mix, they've now got the mouse potatos by the proverbial short hairs.
posted by grant at 8:15 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Wow, check Amazon's new holiday look. They've added even more new product lines (home improvement, software, and video games). How many folder tabs can they stuff into that navigation bar?
posted by mathowie at 7:45 PM PST - 1 comments

I'm quickly realizing that everything I buy comes with a URL. Tonight I ordered a pizza, which came in a box emblazoned with www.DominosLA.com, and I noticed that now I can even order my pizzas from dominos online. Even with all this new tech, Domino's still needs to add one thing: an extra field in their customer database for tip rating. I tip heavily and would love to get better service as a result.
posted by mathowie at 7:16 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Someone sent this to me,
Someone sent this to me, apparently it was mentioned somewhere on slashdot, but I can't find the reference. It's a final exam from a special college course on the future of computing. Question 11 is especially intriguing.
posted by mathowie at 3:58 PM PST - 1 comments

Microsoft has a pretty nice seminar site
Microsoft has a pretty nice seminar site with dozens of old presentations of powerpoint slides sync'd with audio. The topics range from the simplest things like word processing to the most difficult ones like SQL server tuning. One title jumps out: 'Windows 2000 Active Directory Disaster Recovery.' Makes you want to run out and get Windows 2000, eh?
posted by mathowie at 9:45 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

From Today's Suck.com,
From Today's Suck.com, comes the story of plagiaraism.org, a service that checks papers against a huge database of online essays and automatically highlights stolen passages from internet essays, then quantifies the plagiaism by giving every paper an 'originality index.' This looks like a cool application of technology if it really works.
posted by mathowie at 7:07 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 10
There's something truly bizarre about the Zappos.com Measure Your Foot page. You download a PDF which contains the image of a traditional foot measuring device, print it out, and step on it to get your shoe size. I'm all for combining the best technologies, but...
posted by grant at 8:08 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Can you say burn rate kids? I knew you could.
posted by grant at 6:55 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Check out the new Netscape home page.
Check out the new Netscape home page. They're showing three different designs right now, upon reloading either www.netscape.com or home.netscape.com, I'm seeing these designs: old one, new one #1, and new one #2. I like the new one #1 the most. There's probably more stuff on the page than there was before, but it's organized better. It's nice to see someone doing something different than the snap/metacrawler/go/altavista portal madness, I like the new ones a lot better than the old one.
posted by mathowie at 3:09 PM PST - 5 comments

(via /.)
(via /.) comes the much-rumored new 4.8 Gb personal mp3 player. I heard about this a long time ago, but it seemed like a fantasy. 4.8 gigs! That's hours and hours of mp3's! My entire collection at home and work is less than 4 gigs. They claim it's going to be released next week. If they can sell if for under $300, I bet they won't be able to produce enough for the demand. The revolution has begun.
posted by mathowie at 11:10 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 9
I'm feeling the pull of a convergence...
I'm feeling the pull of a convergence... Check this out. Additional support for QuickTime content in Oracle's interMedia databases will allow you to search and retrieve streaming media content, using - and get this kids... - Sherlock 2. Color me enabled.
posted by grant at 9:39 PM PST - 2 comments

What comes After Dark?
What comes After Dark? Apparently ten years is long enough for Berkeley Systems to keep developing the modular screen saver that we all know and love. With the release of Mac OS 9, those strangely captivating Flying Toasters will no longer flutter by on our dimmed screens. Say, whatever happened to Confetti Factory anyway?
posted by grant at 9:30 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Oh my god. With this new site, Microsoft just crossed an invisible line of decency. Who are they kidding? Would you believe any pro-Microsoft commentary on the site came from a site visitor and not an internal MS employee? They've just lost what little credibility they had left.
posted by mathowie at 1:06 PM PST - 1 comments

heh, Altavista left some of their old URLs up
heh, Altavista left some of their old URLs up after the redesign. Take a look at the top banner, remember how useful the altavista.com page used to be? Thanks to their current redesign, I prefer this version of their search engine.
posted by mathowie at 11:02 AM PST - 2 comments

November 8
The nukes are alright...
The nukes are alright... "since most American nuclear plants were built in the 1960s and '70s, they operate on analog systems, and are unlikely to be affected by digital errors." I feel so much safer now...
posted by grant at 7:33 PM PST - 4 comments

November 7
Available Domain Name of the Week
Available Domain Name of the Week In homage to zipper.com's available domain name list, I've started my own decidedly manual dotcom availability list. Let's see how long it takes for someone to snatch up deathplane.com Aw, come on... it'll be fun.
posted by grant at 12:21 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Green
Green is an alternative email client for the Mac. Tightly coded, immaculately clean interface, Appearence Manager savvy, and free. I may have to finally let my copy of Claris Emailer rest in piece.
posted by grant at 11:07 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 6
The weblog index
The weblog index at eatonweb.com is quite nice. It's definitely a good place to begin your weblogging for the day.
posted by triptych at 10:29 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A perfect complement to MetaFilter -
A perfect complement to MetaFilter - a weblog metasearch tool. Found this on Scripting News.
posted by triptych at 10:24 PM PST - 1 comments

A bunch of display type hacks...
A bunch of display type hacks... who just happen to be the berries in my book. Ok, I'm a type geek, I admit it - and I've designed a couple of fonts myself... But the boys over at House Industries are without a doubt the hippest cats this side of a kerning table.
posted by grant at 8:31 PM PST - 2 comments

Is PDF the Java of digital content?
Is PDF the Java of digital content? Not that Java comes even vaguely close to fulfilling it's 'Write Once, Run Everywhere' promise - but Adobe's PDF has a chance to become the universal, interchangeable, cross-media delivery boy it should be. This article by Robert Morgan explores Adobe's options around a PDF future.
posted by grant at 1:38 PM PST - 2 comments

You've no doubt seen the original DOJ document issued yesterday on the MS trial findings. Brent Verner has posted a nicely formatted copy that makes for easier reading.
posted by mathowie at 12:27 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The Beginner's Guide to Effective Email
The Beginner's Guide to Effective Email is such a great resource that it should be required reading for everyone before they ever send a single email message. I first read this in 1996, and thought the author sounded like an old crank. That was back when 10 emails a day was a lot for me. Now in 1999, I'm getting 150-200 a day and every word in this Guide is gospel. I especially hate it when people don't reformat their quoted messages when replying. Why do email clients allow for typing above the original message? Why not default a reply message to new entries below the original?
posted by mathowie at 12:04 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Critiques Of Libertarianism is a good read. The kind of concerns raised on this light-hearted site is what keeps me off of the Libertarian party.
posted by tdecius at 10:41 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 5
I buy a lot of stuff online: books, music, stereo stuff, clothes, camping equipment, watches, and computers, but I can never find shoes online. Yeah, I know it's pretty hard to try on shoes over the web, but I have big feet (size 13 or 14 depending on shoe manufacturer) and finding shoes in a store is usually a problem. So I found some skate shoes at Fogdog the night before last, and I noticed the package is going to be here tomorrow. They only charged me $2.99 for shipping, but they sent it 2nd day air. Does Amazon share their records with anyone? Does Fogdog have access to my VISA records? I'm happy to get my stuff quicker and cheaper than I thought, but it seems a bit weird. I keep thinking I'm flagged somewhere in a database as the gullible impluse buying type...
posted by mathowie at 11:01 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 4
The BBC, working with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, has created a perl script that reparses a page, stripping out the text from tables and reorganizing it on the fly. It creates a pretty good visually impaired-friendly version of your pages instantly. I don't know how well it does on complex page layouts, but compare the BBC News site in its typical state to the parsed 'text-only' version, and you can see they are pretty close in terms of content.
posted by mathowie at 4:32 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 3
I didn't even know that RCA had a mp3 player
I didn't even know that RCA had a mp3 player until I saw the site for it. It's interesting that it plays Real G2 files as well. Until the empeg car player gets cheaper, I might get one of these portables and run it through an auxillary port of my car stereo. It's a tad more expensive than the Rios though.
posted by mathowie at 9:33 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Roshambo: It's a religion, it's conflict resolution, it's a cult of personality, it's a way of life, it's rocks and paper and scissors grooving up their thing. Worship of Roshambo.
posted by tdecius at 6:26 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Did you ever play console games for hours on end? I bet you can recall the annoying MIDI music that went with them. Relive the good old days at the Video Game Music Archive.
posted by mathowie at 5:44 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Homepage.com just received $12.2 million in financing today.
Homepage.com just received $12.2 million in financing today. I've never heard of homepage.com, but they claim to have 550,000 users and 1 million daily pageviews. I suppose it must be the draw of the lackluster former TV stars they have peddling their service. Gilligan and The Beav sure make me want to launch a new site...
posted by mathowie at 5:26 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Boo.com finally launched today.
Boo.com finally launched today. There's been a lot of hype around this site and now that it's finally out, I wonder if shoppers will put up with the small popup window. I looked at some shoes, and they were only showing about 15 records at a time, which made for numerous hits of the 'Next page' link. The product detail pages were interesting, I liked the 3-D spinning shoe applet. The 'shopper agent' AI thing that runs in another window didn't work at all for me. It spit out the same 3 phrases over and over. It's nice to see someone doing something different though. This industry is still too young to have rules and guidelines.
posted by mathowie at 3:41 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

So the DVD copy protection was cracked,
So the DVD copy protection was cracked, and it's interesting to hear the comments from the industry. The DVD Forum's release makes the hackers sound awful. The DVD folks feel like they've been ripped off. Can't these motion picture and DVD industry folks see this as a good thing? A couple hackers decrypted what was supposed to be a secure format and they're horrified? They should be horrified at the idiots that created the weak 'protection' in the first place. These hackers just did the industry a great service. They found a gaping security hole before good recordable DVDs ever came out! I'm surprised hackers are vilified instead of being offered lucrative positions as security experts.
posted by mathowie at 10:15 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 2
Philosophy in Cyberspace and Politics.com are wealths of information. Visit them if you want a complete bio of either Hatch or Hegel, Bradley or Baudrillard.
posted by tdecius at 7:27 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

The ICQ Protocol Site is a neat resource about the ICQ protocol. Yeah, that's right. I bet you didn't see that coming. Anyways, the protocol is kinda elegant.
posted by tdecius at 6:25 PM PST - 1 comments

I often forget to check The Smoking Gun site regularly.
I often forget to check The Smoking Gun site regularly. Whenver I remember to visit, I'm never disappointed. Right now they're running a piece on former Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss' bankruptcy. Thanks to public records, there's a few funny and embarrasing things to see.
posted by mathowie at 1:26 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Net Music School
Net Music School Found a very cool site in Flash that provides online guitar and piano lessons over the 'net. They got a free lesson sections too.
posted by eggcreation at 1:10 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Barry Weaver from the University of Oklahoma has a neat Web site on the islands Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha. These islands belong to Britain and are in the South Atlantic, a few thousand miles from Africa. Weaver's pages may not be the prettiest, but the content is interesting, especially the photo-tour of each island.
posted by tdecius at 12:10 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

I encourage all people to take a look at a few sites to learn what Satanism actually is. As a nominal Christian, I was suprised to learn that Satanism isn't anything like popular culture says it is. Actually, as a student of theology, I found it fascinating. It's based on Magick and the teachings of British poet and mystic Aleister Crowley. The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance has a great introduction to Satanism, among 70 other faiths. The prominent Satanist 'church' is the Temple of Set. The Order of the Thelemic Golden Dawn is a notable Satanic order, but no Order compares to the Ordo Templi Orientis, an Order that Crowley himself ran. The Aleister Crowley Foundation and The Hermetic Library are two other interesting resources.
posted by tdecius at 12:07 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

November 1
Hey man, what time is it? It's um...um...hold on...my watch is rebooting.
posted by mathowie at 7:35 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A couple months ago, a panda was born
A couple months ago, a panda was born at the San Diego Zoo. It was a big achievement and the team is chronicling the progress online. Also, thanks to the wonders of the web, you can see it live at the panda cam page. Right now, I'm seeing the panda tossing in its sleep.
posted by mathowie at 1:50 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

A few political links today.
Arthur, Tyler, and Polk were interesting men, but mediocre Presidents. Learn about them by spending a few minutes in the smallish Hall of Forgotten Presidents.
William F. Maton's Solon Law Archive Mirror is a neat resource, especially for those interesting in the Canadian constitution. Every major and minor constitutional act is up there.
The ZDNet UK Random Political Manifesto Generator is a funny little script. 'Friends, Britain stands poised on the threshold of a new era. The future holds great promise but who will reap the benefits? Make sure you're not left out by voting for us.'
posted by tdecius at 1:28 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Danger Will Robinson, Real knows what music you listen to!
Danger Will Robinson, Real knows what music you listen to! If you've ever used Real Jukebox, check out this article. Apparently, the client uploads your listening and recording choices along with your IDENTITY to RealNetwork's servers. Real knows every CD you've encoded and every file you've played. RealNetworks = Big Brother.
posted by mathowie at 9:41 AM PST - 1 comments