30 September 2005

Non-News #2

The BBC - we love them. But there are times when one really could do with seeing evidence of a bit more editorial control. Today's headline says (admittedly in speech marks) "Bird Flu Could Kill 150 Million". Well of course it "could", just as you might be able to say that one day I "might" be able to get pregnant. One day, the sun won't rise.
Please please please Mr Newsman, just because you have a slow news day doesn't mean you have to fill your site with trash. "One day, we'll all be able to fly and live to a thousand". Yep, might happen, but for now, how about a bit more relevance and a bit less scaremongering. If I want to know how the 4th Estate is trying to frighten people I'll read the Daily Mail (upon which day, of course, you will be able to skate over Hades).

29 September 2005

Time for Opera?

Now that Firefox (version 1.0.7) runs so slow and locks up as often as IE, is it time to switch to Opera? I am loathe to give up on it as it has been so good and I like the model / fact that it is open source and so on, but really things are slowing down to dial up speed at times and memory usage seems huge when I check on it (40% of CPU, sometimes higher). Ah well, all good things must come to an end I suppose.

28 September 2005

Bush the Bumbling Fool

He is of course, but part of this image is deliberate dissembling. Underneath, true cruelty lies. Go and read Andrew Sullivan's blog about Fishback, the Officer in the US Army who is currently experiencing the full wrath of the neocons for daring to say that torture is wrong whether it is sanctioned by America or anyone else. Read about the torture and then stop and think, Dubya is the man whom Tony Blair adores.

27 September 2005

Man walks into a cinema...

and sits down in an empty row. Soon a little old lady sits down next to him and puts a dog in her lap facing the screen. The man is going to say something but changes his mind as the dog and the old lady look so happy. After the film he waits outside to speak to the lady. He says to her he was amazed - the dog laughed in all the right places, cried when the film was sad and clapped at the end. The woman looks at the man and says "I was amazed too - he hated the book".

The Future of News Media?

You might want to have a look here for one group's vision of the future of news media and the part digital networking will play. Slick.

Yahoo!'s Complicity in Human Rights Abuse

Have a look over here at Reporters without Borders for more information about Yahoo! and it's role in the handing down of a 10 year jail term for a journalist in China. Ah, the delights of capitalism. Please tell me you won't be using Yahoo! again. (If link doesn't work and takes you to a microsoft page apologies - i have no idea why this keeps happening but if you paste http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=14884
into your browser you should find the story I hope).

Having emailed Yahoo!, here is their reply:

Yahoo! operates web sites based in many different countries.
For example, www.yahoo.com is based in the U.S., ca.yahoo.com
is based in Canada, and cn.yahoo.com is based in China. Just
like any other global company, Yahoo!must ensure each local
country site complies with the local laws and regulations of
the country in which that web site is based. By registering
with or using the services of a local Yahoo! web site, a
person has agreed to that local country site's respective
Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which comply with the
local laws of the country in which that web site is based.
Yahoo! customers who are not registered with or use a Yahoo!
China web site are not subject to CN data disclosure laws.

Links to the applicable Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
can be found at the bottom of every Yahoo! website.


Yahoo! Customer Care

That's OK then - it's not their fault. I mean, what else can they do - not operate in China and thereby fail to make a buck? C'mon, where's your spirit of enterprise? Just because some journalist is locked up for 10 years for breaking censorship laws, does that make Yahoo bad?

WTF, of course it does.

26 September 2005

101: 30

101 - 30: Jazz. I've tried, honestly, but apart from a bit of gentle John Coltrane, I will never have enough of a beard to fully appreciate the discordant horror that is true jazz. Sorry, it can't be done.

23 September 2005


This post is from one of the myriad confessions sites - whoever you are, I like you:

09/20/2005 at 13:32:50

I know I will be pudgy forever. I just like food too much. It's fucking agony to try to make it just a couple of hours without food of some kind. I drink diet fucking soda, diet fucking hot chocolate, "lite" cheese, low-fat fucking turkey, non-fucking-fat 1/2 and 1/2 for my coffee, fucking sweet and low (been eating that since the 70s), exercise 6 days a week rain or shine or cold or heat, and I still carry 15 pounds of flabola. Still, I haven't gotten any fatter, and the 11 lbs I lost 3 years ago has stayed off. Holy shit, though, food is way worse than crack. In my next life, I'm gonna be tall and lean instead of short, pudgy and a genius.

20 September 2005

Those Pesky Penguins

So, penguins are supposedly making the case for Intelligent Design in American cinemas? Well if this isn't proof that God doesn't exist then I don't know what is - a bug that eats a fish's tongue then pretends that it is is the tongue, thereafter sharing that particular fish's food. So God came up with that idea did he? Euch!

New Series Alert - Fake News

I was going to include this in my ongoing 101 roundup (of which more soon), but actually it's too big. I'm referring to "news" stories that are corporate pieces of puff designed simply to sell more newspapers or as a form of advertising. A common example can be found on the BBC news site today where Semantec claim that VOIP calls will be the target of hackers (will be y'hear, not are). Well, if they weren't before, they will now. Why the BBC falls for stories put out by vendors selling security software I shall never know (not for a minute would I suggest that they had acres of screen to cover and a need for something, anything, to fill it), but they routinely publish all kinds of garbage along these lines (c.f. the nonsense about chocolate and passwords I mentioned in a previous post). Future glaring examples will henceforth be brought to the table for disection.

19 September 2005

19th September 2005 I don't think people are going to mess with Mr Remo unless they fancy a trip up the Styx. Babel Fish suggests that the inscription may mean "real circle canottieri to tevere addle" but I'm not sure that is terribly accurate. Posted by Picasa
19th September 2005 I think the little boy (Jesu?) is saying "hey bro, could you look me in the eye when you are speaking to me otherwise when I grow up I shall have all sorts of interpersonal problems". Posted by Picasa
19th September 2005 One from the missing weeks....  Posted by Picasa

18 September 2005

Outside the Box

This comes from Seth Godin's blog - I've quoted it in full because I like it so much:

Keep the change...

Rick Liebling writes and reminds me of a pet peeve. He stopped at the Cinnabon in Penn Station and his treat came to $3.03 with tax. Now, he has to hassle looking for change, or break a bill, and the store has to hassle with breaking the bill and shlepping lots of pennies to and from the bank. In the long run, they may even need to hire another clerk because productivity is hit.

How does this happen?

Well, it's because the price is set by corporate, I guess. And corporate doesn't know or care what NY State tax is. And it's too hard for them to think it through.

But do you know what's really hard? And what would work better?

They ought to RAISE the price on everything in store a few pennies. Then they should teach their clerks to always round off the pennies. So if a check comes to $5.05, the clerk says, "don't worry about the nickel."

Don't worry about the nickel!

Can you imagine? Would that make your day or what? A little free prize that makes you feel way better about a $5.00 fat and calorie bomb that you could make at home for fifty cents.

Expectation and surprise virtually always trump reality.

18th Sept 2005 contd. I thought Amsterdam had some good graffiti last time I was there but even Banksy has some stiff competition in Rome.  Posted by Picasa
18th Sept 2005 Colosseum. Lots of people having their picture taken here - hard to understand when you could almost hear the screams of fear from the thousands of slaves and animals killed on the site. Perhaps the cruellest thing of all, though, was the sight of the clothing warn by most of the tourists. Well, that and the ersatz legionnaires outside.  Posted by Picasa

17 September 2005

17th September 2005 Something else from the Vatican - again, sorry there is no information about the artist.  Posted by Picasa
17th September 2005 Apologies for the lack of posts but as I mentioned, I've been away. As a sop to both my eager readers, here is a little number taken in one of the anterooms prior to arrival in the Sistine Chapel (wherein, of course, one cannot snap away without incurring the wrath of the Vatican-version of the Carabinierie). I'm afraid I can't shed any light on the artist but I'm sure you'll agree it is beautiful.  Posted by Picasa