listening to:

Wednesday, August 29

Mangling URLs

Mangle your own URL. MSN have replaced the standard "can't find this site" page that they use, but you can stick anything in the URL. Try this one and play with it...

What words have you put in MSN's mouth? Email yours here...

- posted at 6:23:31 PM :: feedback

Tuesday, August 28

Upgrade gravy train

Internet Explorer 6.0 is out.

- posted at 12:57:17 PM :: feedback

Content harvesting

This sucks. I'm reduced to mining my bookmarks for links. Good job I've got about nine hundred and fifty odd, because they should last a while... Today's installment is a unix reference folder. Joy. I sincerely apologise for having reached these depths and will endeavour to find something a) less tedious and b) actually interesting for you to read sometime.

- posted at 12:01:54 AM :: feedback

Monday, August 27

Aaaaaaaaaah

I start law school on the fourth of September. This, however, is not encouraging (www.college-of-law.co.uk returns a 404 at the moment).

- posted at 11:30:59 PM :: feedback

Saturday, August 25

Crazy kids...

Now that everyone's seen the monkey Ballmer, get a load of some of the other pranks at Microsoft.

- posted at 11:23:34 AM :: feedback

Scary

Original Windows 1.01 applications still work if you muck around with them a little:

"It seems that the Windows 16-bit executable format hasn't changed that much since Windows 1.01. All I had to do was set some bits in the header to make it think it was a Windows 2.x executable, and then use an old copy of Borland Resource Workshop to convert the resources to Windows 3.0 format. Now the Windows 1.01 accessories run under Windows 9x!"

- posted at 11:21:02 AM :: feedback

Friday, August 24

Slackers

Via Meg and Davo, the BBC News Online slacker article. Quite how this qualifies as news is beyond me, but the great part is the section about wasting time on the net:

"But the great effort-illusion of all is the internet. On the face of it you've taken the lazy option by coming to this page - much easier and quicker than going down to the newsagent.

"But think again. The computer you are using probably cost £1,000, and you've spend hours of valuable, billable time working out how to use it. Then there's the time you spend working to pay the taxes used to build the military satellites on which the system depends."

Er, yeah. Military satellites. Gotcha. Unless, of course, I'm sat in the middle of nowhere with a laptop and GPS, I don't think so. Score one for tedious pedantry.

- posted at 6:17:22 PM :: feedback

Thursday, August 23

Unfortunate Acronyms #23

(In an ongoing series) - in an article on text messaging and its impact in the States, I learnt that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Manila is known as... the MILF.

- posted at 5:29:20 PM :: feedback

Ooops

BT is cautioning 400 users about excessive net use on their Anytime product. Since our family connection was in the first batch of people to be kicked off Freeserve's unmetered offering (cue shocked expression from Dad as Adrian and I tell him that we're included in the 'funny newspaper story' he read), I think it might be time to check some email somewhere...

- posted at 2:52:51 PM :: feedback

Will Work for Bandwidth

It's true, I would. It doesn't help when ntl and Telewest are running Broadband Cable adverts in our local paper, but neglecting to actually tell you that you can't get their service. Or that ADSL stands as much chance of getting enabled in an exchange near me as Chris Morris does of becoming the next-next Prime Minister.

- posted at 11:17:30 AM :: feedback

Wahey for convergence!

I installed Trillian today, which replaces mIRC, AIM and ICQ. And actually works. Wow. And uses less RAM. I'm impressed. All they need to do now is get the whole skins meme out of their skulls and everything will be fine and dandy in the world of IM systems.

- posted at 1:15:00 AM :: feedback

Wednesday, August 22

Warm Glows

Managing an online community of around 7,500 people is hard. Especially when your ethics are called into question... Now that it's all over, things like this let you know for sure that what you did was worth it.

- posted at 6:48:14 PM :: feedback

Life Imitating Onion

Tennessee rates No. 1 ‘party school’

- posted at 4:04:36 PM :: feedback

Monday, August 20

Amen

Stolen from Camworld: Hollywood Computers.

- posted at 9:57:33 PM :: feedback

Neon Signs

Roger Sanchez's single Another Chance has got quite a funny video (if you want to look at it that way) --

A woman stands in a street, holding a small red heart (about the size of a head). She looks quite fragile and sad. A passing man double takes. "What's this?" he thinks. He goes over to her and says "Is that your heart?" She nods. "It used to be bigger," she says. "That must've been a problem," he says. She nods again and looks forlorn "Yeah". The man looks down at his feet for a few seconds, then around the street. "Hey," he says, "you want to go for a coffee?" She looks up and we see the first hint of a smile cross over her face. "Now?" she asks. The man looks around again. "Yeah, now," he says, and smiles.

[cut to shot of the man and the woman and her heart in a cafe]

[cut to shot of man and woman walking up another street]

"This is my place," she says, still holding her heart. "Thanks for tonight. It was great," he says, "I'll see you around?" She grins, and goes inside.

[cut to shot of the man around the corner from the woman's flat, the next day]

The woman's standing outside her flat. Her heart, which yesterday was about the size of her head, is now massive. It's about as tall as she is, she can only just about wrap her arms around it. The man looks round the corner, and stops. He looks troubled. The woman looks very happy. He looks again, and seems to make up his mind.

He walks away.

[cut to shot of woman, with large heart, standing on a New York street corner in the middle of the day]

Fin.

- posted at 3:36:09 PM :: feedback

Even More Fillums

This is getting to be a bit of a habit. Never mind.

Down to You [imdb]
[DVD] Predictably boring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles flick where boy meets girl, girl gets pregnant, boy loses girl, boy drinks shampoo, boy gets girl back. Oh, sorry, did I spoil it for you?

Rush Hour 2 [imdb]
[Cinema] Complete and utter shite. The best part is that Jackie Chan does his trademark outtakes sequence at the end of the film whilst the credits are rolling. Apart from that, Chris Tucker deserves to die a horrible death. A really horrible death, one involving all manner of torture.

- posted at 12:27:57 PM :: feedback

Sunday, August 19

It's a sm*ll world

Gah. For the last few days, I've been connection people that I know with other people that I know all over the place. They're all starting to do similar things, things that they could bounce off each other with. It's all very cool.

Some of my friends are coming up with very interesting things. Adam's busy having meetings with exceedingly groovy people about a new thing he wants to try out, that we've talked about since the first year of uni (and many a late night had been spent with me saying things like "Yeah, but what would happen if I did this...)

The people who are part of a community I moderate have finally stumbled across something that Chris, who hosts this site, is doing, which is just another coincidence that was waiting to happen. Chris coincidentally is interested in the same things as Adam. Hopefully they can bounce off each other...

Ugh. And I just made a gorgeous design for a friend's website. Maybe I can steal it...

- posted at 1:16:15 AM :: feedback

Saturday, August 18

More Fillums

Minimalist, today.

Unbreakable [imdb]
(DVD) Loved it. Very dark. Darkman-ish. Nice. Obviously needs sequels. Hope more come. Nice music. Bruce Willis. Small boys with guns are scary.

Eyes Wide Shut [imdb]
(Sky Movies) I don't know much about Kubrick. Some people said this sucked. I disagree. It did seem slow. They used a piano lots. It was Christmas all the time. There was sex in it.

Thirteenth Floor [imdb]
(Sky Movies) Cheap production, bad effects. B, maybe C-list actresses and actors. Good story. Preferred eXistenZ.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [imdb]
(Cinema) Caught this in Seattle. Lipsynching not good in the first few scenes. Story didn't suck that much, was actually alright and anyone who couldn't follow it just wasn't thinking. Graphics are gorgeous. In some still shots, they look like real people!

A.I. Artificial Intelligence [imdb]
(Cinema) Probably a vested interest here. Have been told it's better second time around. Dark, so not Spielberg. Happy, so not Kubrick. Bizarre ending, so like Kubrick. If you don't think about the ending, you'll think it sucks. Please try to think about it. Haley Joel Osment is scary.

- posted at 6:43:34 PM :: feedback

Tuesday, August 14

Now released for public knowledge

Seattle. More soon, when I've gotten my ass in gear and finished the article for Tom's Barbelith webzine.

- posted at 4:38:28 PM :: feedback

Monday, August 13

Fillums

Went out to Blockbuster the other day and decided to join since I have absolutely sod all to do during the evenings now that my friends have buggered off to the Lakes for a week (I'm not complaining, I couldn't go because I had two rather nice holidays and am thus revelling in interest-free student overdraft land) and got out Sixth Day and Magnolia on DVD.

Magnolia:
I saw the last third of Magnolia (seemed like an entire movie in its own right) when I stumbled into a friend's room at college two terms ago, loved the bit where the characters spontaneously burst into an Aimee Mann song and decided that at some point I'd want to see the rest of it. I've now seen *two* thirds of Magnolia, remain impressed and will just have to go and rent it again. It seemed as good as ever. Lots of disparate stories, coming slowly together. Some people hate it. I loved it. And it's got raining frogs in. Wonderful.

Sixth Day:
Arnie fest! Memorable for a Terminator parody "I'll probably be back" and for having, word for word, an entire section of the A.I. trailer in it "never changing, always perfect" but in reference to clones, I was surprised to discover that it *wasn't bad*, and actually rather good. The intro/titles section is very stylish and well done. The film manages to actually put some viewpoints across without thrusting a position on to you, so:

a) science is not evil, it can do cool stuff
b) some people are really evil
c) how would society adjust to widespread cloning technology?
d) if all fails, blow stuff up
e) people who dress in black are evil
f) if the head researcher at PPL Therapeutics dresses in black, blow him up

Cool bits:
1. Just like Total Recall/Demolition Man, some nice background stuff just to show you, unobtrusively, how the world might be in a decade or so. Flat panels everywhere (wander into a WH Smith's in London and you get them anyway), fridges that order milk, cars that drive, thumb-prints. But it's all done in a way that 90s sci-fi didn't do: make it look just like now, only with extra bits tacked on. Kitchens still look like kitchens. Houses still look like houses. Cars look just like today's SUVs.

2. Arnie gets to say "Science is not inherently evil", thus catapulting the film out of the "ridiculously preaching reactionary" bucket I had instinctively placed it in, and into the "someone actually thought about the issues for once" bucket.

3. Cool helicopter/plane things with cool remote controls.

4. Arnie's daughter wants a "SimPal", a fake doll that has "real hair and can do all the stuff that real friends do." Arnie asks her, "Well, why don't you just play with all your real friends?" Daughter's got a great reply: "Because all my friends have one!"

Ridiculousness:
1. Cloning processes
Blah. "Simcording" allows you to record, um, everything in the brain, via the optic nerve. Oh, and it's in a handy digital playback format as well, so you can look through people's eyes. I suppose they had to use a Magic Technology(TM) somewhere.

Bits That Don't Work Anymore in Films:
1. Car chases. Can't be bothered. Someone's in a car, someone else is in another car, they don't like each other. They drive fast. Unless you have something seriously cool to show me, don't bother.

2. Explosions. Big deal. Buildings and stuff gets blown up. I honestly don't care. Try not to wreck everything.

- posted at 6:32:58 PM :: feedback

Sunday, August 12

Trying

... to actually blog something that could be described as anything but "tedious".

- posted at 12:54:46 AM :: feedback

Saturday, August 11

New Release

Been having high highs and low lows. I think I need to upgrade my life's OS, or at the least patch it to a more stable version. Don't need all this swinging about all the time.

- posted at 10:36:45 PM :: feedback

Wednesday, August 8

Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells

Watched Tomorrow's World for the first time in years today because I was channel surfing. This week's NTK had highlighted it for possible hilarity describing it as jumping on "the reality bandwagon as 75 passengers attempt to escape from a burning Jumbo - live on TV!...".

They couldn't have been more wrong. The whole thing looked like a complete farce. And the worst of it was when they had their "high fliers", who were "competitively motivated people" and you could... wait for it... participate in the "experiment" by calling in and voting for which one you thought would get out of the jumbo first! Kind of like Big Brother, but with a double-decker jet!

The BBC Dumbing down? Pah.

- posted at 8:55:47 PM :: feedback

Friday, August 3

Holidays over

Back in the UK. List of things to do:

- posted at 2:33:59 PM :: feedback

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