Monday, June 30, 2003

Orwellian computing (NYTimes)
"It's like having a little safe inside your computer,"
Microsoft always did make it simple. It's not the little paperclip guy talking - it's a Microsoft marketing guy hipping us to their latest Big Brother shovelware.

Here's a differing view:
"Microsoft's use of the term `trusted computing' is a great piece of doublespeak," said Dan Sokol, a computer engineer based in San Jose, Calif., who was one of the original members of the Homebrew Computing Club, the pioneering PC group. "What they're really saying is, `We don't trust you, the user of this computer.' "

An economist says music piracy should be hurting the recording industry, but it isn't -- and he doesn't know why.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

The use of color and pigment through the ages
Just as orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow, so violet is red withdrawn from humanity by blue. But the red in violet must be cold, for the spiritual need does not allow of a mixture of warm red with cold blue. Violett is therefore both in the physical and spiritual sense a cooled red. It is consequently rather sad and ailing. It is worn by old women, and in China as a sign of mourning. In music it is an English horn, or the deep notes of wood instruments (e.g. a bassoon).
The American Traveller Apology Tshirt, courtesy of memepool
The only way to stop the RIAA is to stop buying products from companys that associate with them. Magnetbox has an RIAA Radar that lets you check to see if an album you're interested in buying is issued by a label that supports these thugs.
EZ Klean - BushCo's extra strength fact sanitizer (Flash)
When news media stays quiet in deference to the interest of their parent companies. (NYTIMES)
If allowed to stand, this surrender to media giantism would concentrate the power to decide what we read and see — in both entertainment and news — in the hands of an ever-shrinking establishment elite.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

War Profiteers card deck.
The War Profiteers Card Deck exposes some of the real war criminals in the US’s endless War of Terror. This is no Sunday bridge club. These are individuals and institutions that stack the deck against democracy in the rigged game of global power. Exposing their place in the house of cards illuminates the links among corporations, institutions, and government officials that profit from endless war. The US War of Terror is not about liberation, democracy, or UN resolutions. Plainly put, the War of Terror--whether in Iraq, Colombia, Afghanistan, or the USA--is about subjugation, resource extraction, and opening markets: a practice once referred to more honestly as colonialism.
An entire island off the coast of Maine is up for sale on ebay.

Ram Island is comprised of fields of grasses, an elevated "grassy knoll" 60 feet above the ocean and a giant rock the size of an office building laying on its side. It features a mile of ocean coastline surrounded by deep salt water.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Finally, a car that fits my Mammoth-car-racing lifestyle. Own a real Mach-5.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Cheers to the kind-hearted people over at Coca-Cola. They sacked a toiling truck driver just for drinking Pepsi.
Eww. Poland Springs ain't from Maine.
"Consumers purchase Poland Spring thinking they are getting a higher-quality natural spring water, but our suit will show that Poland Spring is neither natural nor spring water, and in fact comes from sources of a lesser quality than some tap water,"
Incas coded in binary?
Gary Urton, professor of anthropology at Harvard University, has re-analysed the complicated knotted strings of the Inca - decorative objects called khipu - and found they contain a seven-bit binary code capable of conveying more than 1,500 separate units of information.
GWB Greeting cards from Trailer park creations
Idiotic musings from the fortunate-son-in-chief, delivered with all the delusional self-confidence you've come to expect!
"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's come kind of federal program."

Q: What would the unelected buffoon think of my Japanese links?
A: "For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times."
Damn straight, George! Now go get yourself some rest!
Strange Japanese Advertising... for things like the Shape Horny-Remover (Horny-B-Gon would be better, no?). Some Japanese Ad Slogans, and (I can't believe I missed this for all these years) Who's up for some Bourbon Pickle Ex Lemon Milk?
"When I'm president, we'll have executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day," said Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri.
I'm not sure that there's any common voice in the Democratic party, but at least they're starting to push back on Bush's illegitimate regime and its cronyism, special-interest favoritism, warmongering, and corruption.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Various concept models of Time Machines found on the internet.
[Government+Big Media vs. Citizens] New bill injects FBI into P2P battle
"It's doing a bunch of things to get the FBI more involved with private enforcement of intellectual-property rights," said Wendy Seltzer, staff attorney for the EFF. "It gives them a chance to scare a lot of users into thinking the government is after them."

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Are you a windows user who is curious about eventually switching to Linux? Try Knoppix - a complete Linux environment that runs from a single CD-ROM.
This website is about Knoppix, a Free and Open Source Live Linux CD. Knoppix is a GNU/Linux distribution that boots runs completely from cd. It includes recent linux software and desktop environments, with programs such as, Abiword, The Gimp, Konqueror, Mozilla, and hundreds more quality open source programs.
More Bush scorn for environmental issues: Report by the E.P.A. Leaves Out Data on Climate Change (NYTimes)
The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tail-pipe emissions and could threaten health and ecosystems.

Among the deletions were conclusions about the likely human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on climate by the National Research Council that the White House had commissioned and that President Bush had endorsed in speeches that year. White House officials also deleted a reference to a 1999 study showing that global temperatures had risen sharply in the previous decade compared with the last 1,000 years. In its place, administration officials added a reference to a new study, partly financed by the American Petroleum Institute, questioning that conclusion.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

What Is Happening in America?
It is unquestionably the most radical government in modern American history, one whose ideology and actions have become so pervasive, and are so unquestionably mirrored by the mass media here, that the population seems to have forgotten what "normal" is.

George Bush is the first unelected President of the United States, installed by a right-wing Supreme Court in a kind of judicial coup d'etat. He is the first to actively subvert one of the pillars of American democracy: the separation of church and state. There are now daily prayer meetings and Bible study groups in every branch of the government, and religious organizations are being given funds to take over educational and welfare programs that have always been the domain of the state.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

ClownSquad (?)
[Handy Household Tips IV] How to paint a flamejob.
See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me: The Twilight of Packaging
70's greatest album covers
What? 'Cosmic Slop' beat out 'Let's take it to the Stage?!'
Bad Movie Planet hooks you up with all the films that are so bad they're good. Just browsing the titles in the 'unknown movies' section is fun ('Shootfighter', 'Pink Nights', 'Give Me My Money').
Believe me, there's a lot to savor about Nail Gun Massacre, both in a genuine sense and unintentional. Well, there's a few faults, I guess, so I'll get them out of the way first. First, the movie's score consists of a few bars played over and over by what seems to be one of those cheesy Casio keyboards, in the "electronic piano" mode. When a character is speaking, sometimes a couple of notes will play after every sentence.
"What you have here is an apparent epidemic." DUM DUM!
"Seems we've been losing a lot of men at that construction site." DA DA!

Monday, June 16, 2003

Holy Smoke! Brian Wilson to perform the long lost Beach Boys record Smile in concert.
Abandoned early in 1967, Smile would have been a psychedelic landmark had it ever seen release, and in the years since, its status has become positively legendary. Reams of bootlegs circulate in collectors' and online file-trading circles, and more discussion and writing has been devoted to it than to most albums that have been released.
Hollywood couldn't come up with a better Gamma Sphere, so they used the real one in the Hulk
Down and out in white collar America
"I've been in this business for over 20 years, and it's the worst I've ever seen," says David Hoffmann, CEO of DHR International, a Chicago-based recruiting firm. "Nothing even comes close to this."

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Gregory Peck passed away today at 87.
British Arts and Crafts movement pioneer made poisonous wallpaper.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

These guys play some terrifying ping pong. Thanks, memepool.
There has been some good news at Fantagraphics. Fans responded to their open letter, and they're out of immediate trouble.
A long (in feet) comic about chess from Scott McCloud's excellent site
Something Positive (online comic)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Time on the Republican hatred of the poor.
So the Republicans decided that the working poor, who pay little or no income taxes — families with incomes from $10,500 to $26,625--should not receive the expanded child tax credit. Almost 12 million children were effectively denied stipends of up to $400. This saved an estimated $3.5 billion, or 1% of the final bill.

At least the destitute, unemployed, and disenfranchised won't have to pay taxes on their stock dividends.
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
Senator Robert Byrd calls out the Bush Administration for evil, deceit and cronyism.
"Regarding the situation in Iraq, it appears to this Senator that the American people may have been lured into accepting the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, in violation of long-standing International law, under false premises. There is ample evidence that the horrific events of September 11 have been carefully manipulated to switch public focus from Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda who masterminded the September 11th attacks, to Saddam Hussein who did not."

"Meanwhile, lucrative contracts to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure and refurbish its oil industry are awarded to Administration cronies, without benefit of competitive bidding, and the U.S. steadfastly resists offers of U.N. assistance to participate. Is there any wonder that the real motives of the U.S. government are the subject of worldwide speculation and mistrust?"
Buy an original Sputnik 1 for $40K.
World's Longest Mustache
NYTimes article on Steinway Piano's manufacturing process, which has remained largely unchanged for a hundred years.
Anywhere but New York City, a 440,000-square-foot factory like Steinway's would be horizontal, a sprawling, single-story wonder. There would be no need to make appointments for the freight elevators to haul the pianos from floor to floor. There might be mechanical arms to lower the cast-iron plate into the rim, instead of the heavily muscled arms of workers cranking winches.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

1894 Steam-powered motorcycle
[Big Brother, Sister, Mother, Father] View the research proposer's info sheet for the Pentagon's LifeLog project. This is terrifying in every sense of the word.
LifeLog is interested in three major data categories: physical data, transactional data, and context or media data. “Anywhere/anytime” capture of physical data might be provided by hardware worn by the LifeLog user. Visual, aural, and possibly even haptic sensors capture what the user sees, hears, and feels. GPS, digital compass, and inertial sensors capture the user’s orientation and movements. Biomedical sensors capture the user’s physical state. LifeLog also captures the user’s computer-based interactions and transactions throughout the day from email, calendar, instant messaging, web-based transactions, as well as other common computer applications, and stores the data (or, in some cases, pointers to the data) in appropriate formats. Voice transactions can be captured through recording of telephone calls and voice mail, with the called and calling numbers as metadata. FAX and hardcopy written material (such as postal mail) can be scanned. Finally, LifeLog also captures (or at least captures pointers to) the tremendous amounts of context data the user is exposed to every day from diverse media sources, including broadcast television and radio, hardcopy newspapers, magazines, books and other documents, and softcopy electronic books, web sites, and database access.
Art vs. Politics: Gas-masked queen is causing an uproar.
Sammy Sosa's other 76 bats are cork-free. This of course gives him a seasonal .013 corking average.
Still chasing Billy the Kid (NYTimes)
"All we want is the truth, whatever it is. If the guy Garrett killed was Billy the Kid, that makes him a hero. If it wasn't, Garrett was a murderer, and we have egg on our face, big time."

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

The Physics of Baseball, Really difficult Physics of Baseball (pdf), and a pitch/wind/hit angle simulator that tells me that for sheer distance, the optimal angle to hit a ball is between 32.6 and 37.1 degrees with diminishing returns at any angle above or below.
How its makers learned to hate the bomb.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

The Pentagon's project LifeLog:
Cameras and microphones would capture what the user sees or hears; sensors would record what he or she feels. Global positioning satellite sensors would log every movement. Biomedical sensors would monitor vital signs. E-mails, instant messages, Web-based transactions, telephone calls and voicemails would be stored. Mail and faxes would be scanned. Links to every radio and television broadcast heard and every newspaper, magazine, book, Web site or database seen would be recorded.
Priest suspended over 'no God' claim.
Thorkild Grosboel, the Lutheran pastor of Taarbaek, a town near Copenhagen, said "there is no heavenly God, there is no eternal life, there is no resurrection." Well, he is a Lutheran.
"It isn't exactly rocket science ... " A New Zealand man is building a cruise missle in his garage from pieces he purchases from the internet. Well... New Zealand must be defended.
"Obviously the goal of this website is not to provide terrorists or other nefarious types with the plans for a working cruise missile but to prove the point that nations need to be prepared for this type of sophisticated attack from within their own borders," Mr Simpson says on his site. Mr Simpson has already bought a GPS system US$120 and a radio control flight pack (US$150) from eBay, both on his shopping lists of materials and components for the home-made missile.
McDonald's keeps a roster of about 250 Ronalds world-wide, according to marketing experts familiar with the program, and franchisees, with some support from the company, pay for Ronalds as an advertising expense. Each major market in the U.S. has at least one Ronald, with large cities employing several. From Metafilter
Ramping up for more bland, homogenized sameness, More corporate voice in local forums. FCC Relaxes rules on big media
The centerpiece of the changes effectively makes it easier for networks, newspaper publishers, radio station owners and others to buy local television stations.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Speaking of turntables, here are some exotics from "all over the world".
Check this behemoth with the magnetically suspended platter.
Turn your turntable into a mouse device. Seriously.
Fantagraphics needs your help, and there are few publishers so worthy. If only because they've got many years of Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse complete runs yet to reissue, you should support them.
SCO vs. Linux, put in terms that I can easily understand. (from Memepool)
Bad Patriotic Audio, courtesy of Bad Music
Sister vs. Mecha-Sister: Nun's battling Godzilla-style (Flash).