Friday, July 30, 2004

Software patents are stupid...

Microsoft has been granted a patent for organising digital photos by the time they were taken. Duh! Sounds suspiciously like how I organise my photos...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Arabs shock Europeans, refuse to condemn anti-Semitism

Great Hackers

Some comments from Paul Graham on the responses to Hackers and Painters.

MailFrontier Phishing IQ Test

This is an interesting little test to see if you can spot legitimate emails from fakes trying to get your password/credit card details (eg from banking sites).

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Digital manipulation of photos

Some nice before and after shots of digitally manipulated photos used in advertising: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Don't believe anything you see...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Dutch auctions

The Degree Confluence Project

Load Testing Gmail

I doubt anyone ever did this kind of thing to Hotmail...

Terrorism Laws: ASIO, the Police and You

The booklet from the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network on your rights and responsibilities under Australian anti-terrorism laws.

Monday, July 26, 2004

CD settlement delivers duds

To prevent the companies from dumping unwanted inventory, lawyers for the states came up with a formula based on how much time artists spent on the Billboard charts, ... But he conceded, "it may be hard to believe looking at the selections."

Friday, July 23, 2004

JWZ - CensorZilla

The programmers look like they were as pissed-off with Netscape as the users!

The Project Apollo Image Gallery

Lots of very nice photos from the Apollo 11 missions, which were 35 years ago, as of a few days back.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Army rations rehydrated by urine | New Scientist

An excellent idea that combines a filter with the dehydrated rations, allowing any source of water (not just urine, it can be clean or potentially contaminated with bacteria) to be filtered by osmosis before it re-hydrates the food.

Monday, July 19, 2004

European Copyright Clock Ticking on Elvis Hits Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game

This is good, trawling Amazon for bad reviews (ie negative) of what are generally considered the best books, albums and films. I like this one of the King James Bible:

"This was the worst piece of fiction I've ever read. The characters were cliched and their actions were just unbelievable. A total piece of trash."

And, of William Gibson's Neuromancer:

"Read 2 chapters and call me in the morning. Zzzzz..."

Using Mobile Phones on Aeroplanes

New Scientist has a story on a "base station" that can be installed in a plane to relay mobile phone calls to a satellite.

I had been wondering for a while why mobile phones can't be used on planes, the usual explanation of interfering with navigation equipment seemed a bit lame (and this article refutes it).

One possibility I'd heard was that the phone could "see" too many base stations and therefore overloaded the system by communicating with 100s of them rather than the usual 3 or 4, but being out of range of the base stations seems a more likely reason.

Wired News: P2P Company Not Going Anywhere

Please take notice: EarthstationV Ltd., a Palestinian corporation, does not accept any legal process via e-mail, nor will we accept any attachments via e-mail. For service of process, you must serve our legal department located at our offices in the Jenin refugee camp, Jenin, Palestine.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Software That Lasts 200 Years

This article looks at what is required (and not going to work) when we look at computers as part of our societies infrastructure, just like roads, power grids and so on. It looks like open source will be the only option, and also that software engineering may actually have to be engineering.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wired News: Searching for The New York Times

It's not just annoying to have to sign in to view NYTimes articles, they could be shooting themselves in the foot too...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Video-conferencing that may just work...

Facetop is a video conferencing system that uses a very neat idea: It makes your screen into a semi-transparent window out of the other persons computer. You share a desktop that you can both point at and discuss, and can still see each other through it. Very nice.

Friday, July 09, 2004


"One day we'll be poor no more
I'm almost sure enough
Before then let's not let successlessness
Get the best of us, my love" — The Lucksmiths

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911, Dave Kopel, Independence Institute

Don't know who Kopel is, nor who the Independence institute is Nor have I seen the film nontheless this is interesting.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Election Summary. Antony Green Election Guide. Federal Election 2004. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

see also the pendulum and Key Seats by State and Margin. For the first time in my life I am not sure what will I vote (between Green and Labor that is).

Friday, July 02, 2004

A neat idea and an interesting organisation.

Arcosanti : Project

Arcology is Paolo Soleri's concept of cities which embody the fusion of architecture with ecology. The arcology concept proposes a highly integrated and compact three-dimensional urban form that is the opposite of urban sprawl with its inherently wasteful consumption of land, energy and time, tending to isolate people from each other and the community. The complexification and miniaturization of the city enables radical conservation of land, energy and resources. check also this,Arcology: Solution for the Information Age?, and the Eden project.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Big Displays

Apple released a big 30" screen the other day, and ViewSonic have topped them with a 22" screen, but with 4× the pixel density — making it ideal for editing photos (pretty much at the same resolution as prints!