On the off chance that someday I'll get my data circuit back, here's a pass of the Ole filter...
LGF reports some infuriating statistics: "Of the $13.3 billion tax dollars invested in direct Foreign Aid only about 26% or $3.5 billion went to support people who endorsed American initiatives or causes. A staggering $9.8 billion tax dollars went to causes and people who are in open and direct opposition to the United States' interests and objectives." Seems like a waste of money, doesn't it?
Word of the day: Francopessimisme. "From record unemployment to a chronic budgetary deficit, France's economic woes are taking a toll on the morale of the French. The wave of negativity about the performance and future of the country has been dubbed 'Francopessimisme'." Gee, I'm so sorry! Now why am I reminded of another word, schadenfreude...
I'd like to encourage all visitors to visit the EFF website and send a message of protest to the FCC about the infamous "broadcast flag". This would make all new PVR hardware and software subject to the approval of the Motion Picture Association of America before going to market in the U.S. Preposterous. Talk about stifling innovation!
Meanwhile back at the MPAA, 142 directors have signed a petition requesting an end to the ban on "screeners". Despite the star power behind those signing on the letter the MPAA announced "...the screener policy remains as it was originally announced." So be it. Fools.
Did you know the second and third Matrix movies will be out on IMAX? Yippee and Wow.
Tim Bray and friends have a solution for spam. It seems quite workable. I'd pay 1¢ per email to avoid spam, wouldn't you?
The NYT reviews Skype, the P2P VoIP service. Interesting that in such articles Vonage is always mentioned, but never as "the answer". I think Skype is cool but it will never cross the chasm from geeks to mainstream, the NYT article notwithstanding, while Vonage is already there.
I've forwarded my main home number to Vonage, so it is now our only phone service. Works perfectly. ($30/month, no long distance...)
Joel Spolsky has an interesting article out on Unicode and Character Sets. As one of the many programmers who wish this would just go away so I could use good old ASCII, I found it very informative.
Joel is on a roll - he also explains why he dislikes exceptions. I agree 100%.
This is a great example of a technique which some consider elegant, but which I consider kludgy; exceptions are a clear violation of W=UH (being both U and H).
Sharp's 3D laptop is out. This is 3D without goggles; the screen subtly shows different images to the left and right eye based on field of view. I'm going to try really hard to see one in action - stay tuned. Could be just the thing for viewing virtual slides.
Wired thinks Sony should skip making an iPod (MP3 player) and go directly to making a videoPod (movie player). "Sony made a colossal mistake. Rather than build a hard-drive-based MP3 player, the Japanese company sat back while Apple Computer wowed the world with the iPod. Sony was so worried about piracy, and sapping revenue from its Sony Music division, that it chose to do nothing and let Apple ascend." Maybe so, but Sony generally makes one of each and waits to see what will stick.
Remember Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair, the journalists who moved from Los Angeles to Rarotonga last summer? Well, they've given up on Rarotonga and are moving to Waiheke, an island off New Zealand. "We've gone anhedonic. We seem to be unable to feel enjoyment. I'm wondering if our time in Rarotonga has made us immune to natural beauty. I look out at rugged spires of rock in a cove we're driving by, and feel nothing. My mood is flat. But maybe it’s something more than that. Maybe I'm suffering from the repercussions of a shattered fantasy."