January 9, 2003

Oak Island

The Mystery Pit of Oak Island. In 1795, two boys found a treasure map on Oak Island, on the coast of Nova Scotia; two hundred years, tens of millions of dollars and six lives later, the island is nearly obliterated with holes and excavations, and no one is any richer... The story of Oak Island makes a fine allegory for pursuing phantom riches at the expense of all else, in addition to just making a damn fine story.
posted by jonson at 10:01 PM PST - 27 comments

MS Admits Wrongdoing

Microsoft altering its ".NET" strategy Microsoft has announced that it's changing its overall use of .NET on its products, as it seems they've figured out that it's confusing to most users or potential customers, and flat out that "many people were unable to figure out just what it was." says the AP Wire. Now they're coming up with a nifty new logo to go with it, and perhaps they'll end up actually competing with IBM in the backend business. For some background on what .NET does, check here.
posted by djspicerack at 6:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Mark Fiore

Mark Fiore is a Californian political cartoonist, whose work may be familiar to those of you in the States, but who is new to me. His animations are topical as well as funny.
posted by essexjan at 4:11 PM PST - 3 comments

segway on my sidewalk

I saw the meter reader riding a Segway today. Apparently Seattle has been using them in trials for city employees. While San Francisco has been working to try to ban Segways from the sidewalks, other legislation has already been passed that may affect your ability to make use of America's favorite alternative to walking. Probably a good thing to know before you plunk down some serious dough for one.
posted by jessamyn at 3:54 PM PST - 35 comments

How much do you know about copyright?

Benedict.com has a bunch of useful articles about copyright, including film, music, and software. Undoubtedly useful to those interested in copyrighting works, but also highly entertaining to the rest of us.
posted by SilentSalamander at 3:22 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Avril Lavigne Virus

The latest fad. You know you're really famous when there is a virus named after you. Avril lavigne gets digital punk.
posted by mary8nne at 3:10 PM PST - 35 comments

Fake celebrity gossip in UK

As our own Royal Family slams them, can we be certain of anything reported in the British press? Celebrity gossip is king: if an unpopular public figure isn't ruined, then they're dragged through the gutter by an amoral PR guru. Celebrities mysteriously go out with other celebrities, until their single reaches number one (usually they're with the same PR company). It happens all the time. And models have sex videos 'stolen', only for one newpaper to 'find' out and charge people to look (and trailers suddenly appear on Kazaa). Is nothing real?
posted by wibbler at 3:03 PM PST - 8 comments

Why We Watch TV Revisited

Why We Watch TV Revisited Sure cable is great, but what should we watch? Given the proliferation of "dumb" mass-market network TV shows (Joe Millionaire being the latest abomination), it's a relief to still find interesting/entertaining niche programming, albeit relegated to hinterland TV channels/time slots. Here are 4 Indie TV Programs worth considering (if you are lucky to have a cable company that airs them): C-Span Booknotes ; History International World Conflict ; NYMetro Strictly Personal ; WNET Theater Talk - Other suggestions ?
posted by Voyageman at 1:29 PM PST - 44 comments

The greatest pictures ever.

The greatest pictures ever. According to the refined aesthetes from SomethingAwful, that is. Surprisingly, it isn't altogether unsafe for work, illegal or ultra-offensive as long as you stay on the path.
posted by 111 at 11:38 AM PST - 22 comments

Who Needs a Pie?

Dow and Their PR Agency got more than a pie in the face, more like egg all over 'em. Two different activist parody productions exposed their continuing despicable behaviour toward the Union Carbide release in India back in '84 when thousands died and many more continue with serious health problems. Dow and said PR firm tried to get the sites shut down, which just generated a WHOLE BUNCH more negative publicity. The sites were moved, but remain for you viewing pleasure.
posted by acutetype at 10:49 AM PST - 3 comments

Yankee go home!

Another reason why we can't win. If we stay, we are labeled as imperialist agressors, keeping the two Koreas apart. If we leave, the South Korean economy will collapse as investors flee (and the North might well take the opportunity to invade again); we will then be blamed for causing South Korea to collapse. The only winning move is not to play. I say leave them to it and shrug when they come crying back to us for help.
posted by mrmanley at 10:18 AM PST - 32 comments

Microsoft behind the times?

Is Bill Gates behind the times? (NYT link - reg req'd) Microsoft today introduced designs for "a new class of watch" which can "provide weather information, text messages and other data." The simplest versions "will cost less than $150," the story says.

But Timex currently offers its own, cheaper version: the Internet Messenger Watch for only US$50, and a year's free service, for almost the same features.

Is Microsoft actually behind the times with their 'innovation'? Is this embarrassing for the software giant?
posted by busbyism at 10:03 AM PST - 33 comments

Internet Poll Accuracy

Join the mission to rig this poll by voting for the red bar. (You can vote a second time by deleting your GuardianUnlimited cookies.)
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:22 AM PST - 36 comments

Bigger, better, faster, NOW!

Is there a Moore's Law for roller coasters? Ohio's own Cedar Point has announced it's newest record-breaking roller coaster - the Top Thrill Dragster. Here are the high points (pun intended):
  • a 420-foot tower - the first coaster ever to top 400 feet
  • top speed of 120mph - in 4 seconds
  • a 90-degree turn at the top of the tower and an almost vertical drop back down
Downside - the whole thing lasts a mere 30 seconds. But I bet it's a fun 30 seconds. Can't wait to go.
posted by starvingartist at 8:22 AM PST - 58 comments

Court backs holding citizens as enemies

Federal appeals court rules that the US can hold citizens as enemies, without the protection of constitutional rights, 'at need' in time of war.
So much for the "home of the free and the brave".
posted by SpecialK at 7:47 AM PST - 35 comments

Of Fundys and Infidels

A Party of Non-Belief? In the most religious country in the developed world, it would be difficult for any political party to grow strong without a large part of its constituency keepin' the faith. Yet the story of America's Culture Wars is not complete without an understanding of the Secularists fealty to the Democratic Party, and the role of Christian Fundamentalists in ensuring they'll stay there. (Sorry, your gonna have to scroll down and click on the article titled: Our Secularist Democratic Party)
posted by dgaicun at 7:11 AM PST - 33 comments

Rhymer Rigby

Rhymer Rigby The most clever site I've seen in a long time -- Rhymer is a British journalist who is traveling the world with his girlfriend, Jane Treasure. Full of photos and hilarious captions to match. Definitely worth a stroll.
posted by sparky at 6:58 AM PST - 10 comments

Boston I-90 opens

Boston thanks the rest of the USA for their $14 billion roadway system of about 8 miles. The new extension of I-90 opens at the end of the month making the longest Interstate highway a few miles longer. The I-90 section alone cost $6.5 Billion. The entire USA is paying for this project because it is federally funded. Are projects like these necessary urban construction of the future? or is it just a black hole of $? Traffic in Boston will improve, but many think the cost was too high.
posted by LinemanBear at 6:28 AM PST - 64 comments

tokuya coughing

Tokuya coughing.
posted by hama7 at 6:14 AM PST - 8 comments

William Gibson's new weblog

William Gibson's weblog
Gibson, the man who popularized cyberpunk and who, through his invention of the word "cyberspace," may have been the first to assign the sense of space to network interactions (but who also gained a measure of early net.notoriety by shunning even email for years), began publishing a weblog a few days ago. Early topics include his thinking on "piracy," the physical perfection of form found in books, inspirations for his work, and the relationship of one well-regarded writer to grammar nazis.
posted by NortonDC at 5:24 AM PST - 21 comments

The Murder of Emmett Till

Emmett just barely got on that train to Mississippi. We could hear the whistle blowing. As he was running up the steps, I said, 'Bo,'--that's what I called him--'you didn't kiss me. How do I know I'll ever see you again?' He turned around and said, 'Oh, Mama.' Gently scolding me. He ran down those steps and gave me a kiss. As he turned to go up the steps again, he pulled his watch off and said, 'Take this, I won't need it.' I said, 'What about your ring?' He was wearing his father's ring for the first time. He said, 'I'm going to show this to my friends.' That's how we were able to identify him, by that ring. I think it was a Mason's ring.

Mamie Till-Mobley, 81, who wanted the world to see her teenage son's disfigured face after his slaying in Mississippi in 1955 and who became a figure in the civil rights movement, died of a heart ailment Jan. 6 at a hospital in Chicago. She had kidney failure.

The impact of the Emmett Till case on black America was even greater than that of the Brown decision. On January 20, 2003, The American Experience will present, on PBS, The Murder of Emmett Till. (Continued Inside)
posted by y2karl at 1:18 AM PST - 51 comments

Secret Diaries

Secret Diaries from the Lord of the Rings.
posted by Ron at 12:00 AM PST - 22 comments

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