30.1.05

Doing.

  • waiting 16 weeks for an operation
  • wasting time on IRC
  • not wearing socks
  • saving money for the NIN London dates
  • editing short stories but doing nothing with them
  • going to bed in the wee hours
  • re-reading Virtual Light
  • cramming historical NIN media
  • trying to breathe

Model


"She has spent her life, ever since she began modelling at the age of 14, as an evangelist for consumerism, selling Calvin Klein underpants, peekaboo outfits by Versace or Galliano, and perfumes called Obsession or Opium. Undersized, dangerously thin, she is a mannequin or a manikin, less a human being than an animated dummy from a shop window, festooned with price tags. No wonder she spends so much of her time behaving unbeautifully, grimacing as she puffs a fag, swigs a drink, gives paparazzi the finger, and spits out expletives in her harsh south London accent. Her rampages are an attempt to claim back a reality that the fashion business has stolen from her."

A Waif's Progress by Peter Conrad.

Lolita Storm



This week, I have mostly been listening to DHR's techno punk girl group Lolita Storm.

29.1.05

Link Dump 29/1/05

  • Net regulation is still possible, and that worries me. Do you agree? Should the internet be regulated by external forces, or should it be left up to us to maintain this wonderful network of information?
  • The Nintendo DS, which sold out to such an extreme that I couldn't even walk into Futureshop and ask for a demo copy, will launch in Europe on March 11th, retailing at a delicious 99 pounds. I still want one, but for now, my Gameboy Advance SP (in generic silver) is serving me well. There's no real need to upgrade, in my opinion, unless you have the spare cash lying around.
  • Will Christopher Baer. Check out his miscellaneous section for some skillful tight writing. I took notes. [From Metafilter]
  • Michael Jackson's trial begins on Monday . He faces 10 counts of criminal conduct, including child molestation, kidnapping and extortion. 5,000 fans are expected to appear outside the courtroom to support him. More information about the case can be found at The Smoking Gun website.

26.1.05

Remember?

For those who were left behind, whose ashes are kicked up by errant visitors from underneath weeds and trees, whose bones lie beneath the ground and emerge at "inappropriate times". For the liberated, and the liberators. For the children who were torn from their mothers and fathers. For those that saved lives, but lost their own. For those who live with the permanent scars dug deep into their skin. For those who remember and for those who have forgotten.

Auschwitz lies empty for it's 60th year.

Only.

When I was seven or eight, and I went to school and liked it, and I had a white sweatshirt with a giant orange tiger on it, and my brother had a matching one, and I used to go out early each morning to ride my bike around the rotten old vandalised tennis courts in the nearby park...I was the kind of kid that analysed my friends in certain ways. The only thing I remember, is that I counted the numbers of people who's parents were still married, or married at all. There were two, besides me.

Then my parents got divorced.

Losing touch.


"Loosely translated as "social withdrawal",
hikikomori refers to the state of anomie into which an increasing number of young Japanese seem to fall these days. Socially withdrawn kids typically lock themselves in their bedrooms and refuse to have any contact with the outside world. They live in reverse: they sleep all day, wake up in the evening and stay up all night watching television or playing video games. Some own computers or mobile phones, but most have few or no friends. Their funk can last for months, even years in extreme cases. No official statistics are available, but it is estimated that more than 1 million young Japanese suffer from the affliction."

Japan's Lost Generation by Ryu Murakami.

[From the William Gibson messageboard]

Swoosh, another linkdump.

  • Joe. My. God. tops 100,000 hits on his site, and links to me first. The crazy man. Note that he had absolutely nothing to say about me aside from that I'm "snarky". Thanks dude. But also, thankyou for creating one of the most interesting blogs on my RSS feed. Never quit.
  • Meathead of the NIN Hotline has a new FUNNY LOL!!11! column over at CrapVille. I love this guy. He makes waiting 5 years for a new NIN album bearable. So does chocolate, but mostly it's down to Meathead.
  • Another Google employee is blogging, but unlike the others, I like the things that this guy blogs about. He gives a little more of a blue collar feel to what working for Google is like. He's so genuine, people think he's a marketing ploy already. Gotta love that.
  • Blogging is a paedophile's dream! proclaim's a forensic scientist, thus leading blogging down the nasty road of completely misconstrued facts. Just to balance it out: so are ice cream vans, children's clothes sections in department stores, mail order catalogues and any form of anonymous communication. I dislike the way the media tries to demonise the internet as being some potential timebomb waiting to explode and destroy society.
  • The four British prisoners that were recently released from Guantamano Bay were earlier released without charge. They are going to sue the American government. That should be fun.

25.1.05

Memory.


"People started to scream. They started to go mad...started to have heart attacks and they died... travelled with the dead and the mad and the screaming for five days and five nights. They tried to dehumanise us. That was the worst part. They did not succeed with me, only physically. Physically, they could dehumanise me. Mentally, they could not. I am still here. I kept my integrity. I won the war."

- Auschwitz/Buchenwald survivor, Trudi Levi, speaks about her experiences in the concentration camps during World War II, ahead of the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of Auchwitz on the 27th of this month.

A new brand of ADD

This afternoon at 3:30pm GMT I said a happy farewell to my dial up connection...and welcomed (with great wide open arms) the gloriousness of 256K cable high speed. Is it me, or does upgrading the speed of your connection make you immediately a little more bored? Being on dial up, you condition yourself to be patient and play card games between page loads. Now I'm stuck with no space between load times, and a great big void in my internet useage. I probably won't be complaining in a few days (or even hours) but it's definitely one of those changes that affects the inner core of your brain. And to think, at some point in the next few years, dial up may become redundant.

Although, they did say that about radio and books.

24.1.05

Everybody hates a tourist.


"“Well, actually… I’m a poet,” he said. “A poet. My influences are Allen Ginsburg and Ted Hughes, mainly. Your Mum said you read a bit of poetry – so you know what I mean. I’ve been published in” – and I forgot the few, obscure names he listed, on purpose. “And while I’ll have to work for now in London, it shall not be for long,” he stated. “I hope – I dream – of course, because who really knows,” he added, falsely.


And then I knew how I could get to sleep: type out his crap for this blog. Exorcise the stupidity and rudeness and irritation of it all, by making a mild joke out of Thomas; Thomas, my companion for the next few, two, three, eighteen, nineteen, no more than twenty-one days. Twenty one days!"

37 - Adam

23.1.05

Coward.

"U.S. President George W. Bush tried to bully Canadian officials on missile defence during his visit last month by linking Canada's participation to future protection from the U.S., the Washington Post reported Sunday. The newspaper quoted an unidentified Canadian official who was in the room as saying Mr. Bush waved off their attempts to explain how contentious the issue is for Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government.

“[Bush] leaned across the table and said: ‘I'm not taking this position, but some future president is going to say, Why are we paying to defend Canada?' ” the official was quoted as saying.

“Most of our side was trying to explain the politics, how it was difficult to do,” he said.

But Mr. Bush “waved his hands and remarked: ‘I don't understand this. Are you saying that if you got up and said this is necessary for the defence of Canada, it wouldn't be accepted?' ”"

Hands up who's surprised.

What? No one? Really? WOW. Me neither.

[From Globe and Mail]

You can only change yourself.

"The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons recorded 16,367 cosmetic procedures in 2004 - up from 10,738 in 2003. The vast majority (92%) were carried out on women - but cosmetic surgery is also growing in popularity among men. For women, the top procedure was breast augmentation, while for men it was rhinoplasty - surgery on the nose.

Douglas McGeorge, a consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS president-elect, said advances in technology had contributed to the growing popularity of plastic surgery. He also said that the concept of using cosmetic surgery to enhance looks was becoming increasingly accepted in society. 'These days people are retiring to start a new life, not retiring to die, people are feeling young, and perhaps more people are opting to look young as well."

Would you do it? I've always been enthusiastically pro-body modification; be it dying your hair, tattooing your skin or shaving down noses. But as I've got older, my viewpoint has changed. I'm not as unhappy with my body as I was 5 years ago, when I was considering saving up hilarious amounts of money to get a nose job. It seems like as you get older, you learn to accept your body a little more than you did the day before. Some people however, can't. And in a society where perfection is demanded on a higher level each day, it doesn't surprise me that people are seeking out the chance to modify their bodies because the outside world is somewhat uncontrollable.

[From BBC News]

22.1.05

Link Dump 23/1/05

I'm still incredibly busy, dealing with the NIN London tour, so I'm afraid you'll have to put up with more linkdumps until it's calmed down:


On the mend.


'My head was the size of a football, and my eye was down there,' he says, jabbing a spot just to the right of a nostril. 'I had made things worse because [at the scene of the accident] I had a kind of fit and tried to pull my helmet off.' He lists his injuries with a delighted reverence. 'I cracked all my ribs, collapsed a lung; there was a perforated ear drum and a broken shoulder. My arm is a dead weight [he can still raise it only a little, and even this is painful] and the thing is that I am an arm performer. This is my drama arm. In future, there might be a few more sitting-down songs.'

Marc Almond discusses his recovery.

21.1.05

Onslaught

The NIN UK Tour mailing list now has an excess of over 30 people. Tickets are scarce. I am barely finding time to eat, bathe and check my RSS feed. Philip, I know how you feel.

20.1.05

Link Dump 21/1/05

  • Tsunami death count : 220,000. And it's still not over.
  • British soap star Chris Parker tries to kill himself because people think he's gay. When he's not. Sure. I believe that story. Chris, coming out of the closet will spare you a lifetime of pain, I promise you. Being gay will not ruin your career.

18.1.05

J.D. Salinger

“Enter Rocco, Buster Hankey’s newest, most-likely-to-succeed trigger man. Rocco inquires sweetly of the dizziest blonde in the room, whose name escapes me, where he can find Sonny Varioni. The tipsy blonde—poor thing—points wildly in the direction of the piano. ‘Over there, Handsome. But what’s your hurry? Have a li’l’ drink.’"

Online Archive of the Uncollected Writings of J.D. Salinger.

[From Metafilter]

Bad pills. Bad pigs.

  • A profile of Tracey Emin by Kathryn Corrick. Do you still believe in the definition of art as laid out by former generations? Or do you believe it can be something more? To me, art is a short visual assemblage that inspires a scene to be played out in my mind. It doesn't have to be the Mona Lisa (which is perhaps the most uninspiring piece of applauded art in existence).

Geek Gossip

According to Page Six: "the daughter of a West Coast software gazillionaire has moved to London and began a lesbian romance with a married woman who subsequently divorced her husband to shack up with the sapphic scion."

[From Popbitch]

17.1.05

Estrangement

"She handed me a note and said, "Give this to your stepdad because I'm leaving you all." I asked her where she was going and she said she'd be in touch. Then we just didn't see her. It was a very strange and uncomfortable time. One day I saw her and she was living three doors away. I was walking to school and saw a blind in a kitchen window go up, and there she was. Then she pulled the blind back down again."

[From here]

NIN London Tour 2005

At precisely 4:00pm GMT, the internet community of Nine Inch Nails fans, also known as the NINternet, went absolutely batshit over the pre-sale tickets for the exclusive two London dates at the end of March. They sold out within 15 minutes. That could be anything up to a thousand tickets.

However, I got mine. Thanks to the community of good people, I have a ticket for each night, as well as accomodation and great people to pass the time with while I'm there.

Most of today has basically revolved around the community: I've involved myself by setting up a mailing list for all those who want to meet up beforehand, generally keep to a group while they are there, or just keep abreast of information. We have people flying in from Montreal, Sweden, Slovenia and even Israel. I've spent 10 hours of my day answering emails and private messages, and generally keeping a steady flow of useful information flowing. It's exhausting. I have to budget my money extremely carefully, because it's going to cost me a good 100 pounds to show myself at both nights. But it's going to happen.

General ticket sales begin on Saturday at 9am GMT. If you're still ticketless, spare tickets are available and being advertised over on Echoing The Sound.org, and will more than likely always be available. Please don't buy tickets on eBay that have a price above the original selling price (25 pounds). Please don't buy tickets with the intent to do that. Please keep the information going, and help those who need it.

For regular Nine Inch Nails news, check out the NIN Hotline.

16.1.05

Waiting.

I'm still waiting for a slip of paper to arrive in the post and tell me that the NHS is once more kind and functional and can be bothered to schedule me an operation to remove my gallbladder.

Remember when you were a kid, and things seemed to take forever? Does time speed up as you gain age? Because my days are slipping away into a mushy grey colour, and still no operation cometh, and still I have this timebomb inside me, and still all I can do and all that is done, is for me to take a double dose of extremely high painkillers, which won't really work because even morphine in an IV tube doesn't take the pain away.

That's some pretty awesome pain right there, when you watch a nurse syringe morphine into the IV tube they gave you because you kept vomiting yourself into dehydration, and still the sore diaphragm aches you to tears. I feel like I could push a baby out through my vagina no sweat.

Did Firefox fail me?

Why did my most beloved browser fail to block a pop up today? Come to that, why is this the second time it's happened? Could it be because a spyware domain made it's way onto my allowed pop ups list?

But...I didn't add that domain to the list. All I did, was visit my Photobucket account.

How the hell did it get there?

15.1.05

Link Dump 15/1/05

  • Under the deluge of spyware and spam, people are quitting the internet (may need bugmenot), only connecting up to check their email. Curiously, they aren't quitting for security reasons, but because of the inconvenience caused by a slow computer and numerous pop ups. Question: is it really that hard to install and update software that protects your machine?
  • Channel Five confirms that the "Trisha Goddard" show will begin on January 24th at 2:35pm. I can't wait! They've scheduled it at the perfect time too.
  • Courtney Love regains custody of her daughter, France Bean Cobain, also the daughter of late Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain. Here's to hoping that this is a new start for the both of them.

14.1.05

Livejournal is down...

apparently due to a power outtage.

Slashdot it calling it out as bullshit.

*Update*

Brad of LJ posted this on Slashdot just a second ago :

"[the servers] all came back up when the power came back.

But we intentionally don't have databases come back up on boot because if there was a blip, we want to do an integrity check first. (we run InnoDB, so it's ACID, but we're paranoid...}

We have clusters of 2 identical databases in separate cabinets, separate switches, separate Internap power feeds... so normally losing one database in each cluster doesn't matter: the other one gets used. But when we lose every single database, in all clusters, all at once... that's the time to be paranoid and double check stuff."

The Bridge: Bristol, UK 1380



"Bristol Bridge was in a serious state of disrepair and it was decided to build a new, stone one. This meant building new foundations for the pillars into the river bed. To enable this to be done dams were built at Temple and Redcliffe and a deep trench dug between the two. The Avon was diverted along this trench until the new bridge was finished. Building started in 1245 and was finished at the same time as the new Frome channel was opened in 1247. The bridge had three massive pillars giving four archways. On top of it was built a double row of houses and across the middle of it was a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This bridge was very well built and lasted up to 1768, and even then the pillars were found to be in good enough condition to be kept."

[From here]

I am a Stats Whore : Update!

The other day I posted my most recent stats, one of which was that Internet Explorer 6 had the lead share in browsers accessing this blog.

I am happy to report that since then, other browsers have since taken over the share, with a healthy 55.01% to MSIE 6's 36.52%.

I hope this is a sign of things to come.

Link Dump 14/1/05

  • Harry might have issued a statement apologising for his incredibly stupid choice of a fancy dress constume, but boy, are the Canadians pissed off. There have been recent moves to approach a disconnection of the last few ties that Canada has with the United Kingdom (where the Queen is head of state, and the baby boomer generation mostly stems from English/Scottish roots), and this has only helped those who want to do so. Kinda sad, really.
  • Another dead LJ-er. WolfMoon98 was a soldier in Iraq. He died on Tuesday. His last post on reads : "i need a day off/that is all.../missing you/and all of you too". [From Metafilter]
  • Tom Coates is getting a bit of hassle in the form of a homophobic troll. Is anti-gay sentiment on the rise? I don't think so, but I do believe that the North of England (where the troll is posting from, inside, would you believe it, a government building) needs a good kick up the backside in regards to the way it treats "outsiders".

12.1.05

Things we know about Nine Inch Nails.

That is, the recent happenings at nin.com.

  • The album is called "With Teeth'.
  • It was originally called "Bleedthrough" but after everyone laughed at it, TR changed the title. It reminded him too much of bloody tampax. Apparently.
  • These are the most recent good pictures of Trent Reznor.
  • Band members : Jeordie White (bass), Jerome Dillon (drums), Ralf Dieter (guitar*), Alessandro Cortini (keyboards).
  • There have already been warnings placed on nin.com to sign up for the mailout in order to receive pre-sale tickets for a US tour.
  • Leo Herrera has found love. A million NIN girls now cry themselves to sleep every night.
  • There are already rumours that the tour will in fact kick off in London, UK (I hope that's to make up for the Lost Weekend fiasco).
  • Kerrang promised, but did not deliver, an interview with Trent yesterday.
  • John Malm is evil. Evil. We don't like people who mess around with our rockstars. If you happen to be passing by and leave a flaming turd on the man's doorstep, it wouldn't be a bad thing. Fuck you Malm.
  • Trent no longer resides in New Orleans. He packed up his shit sometime last year, and moved to Los Angeles, the city of sin and copious hookers.
  • The webcam archive is here if you missed it. But it's run by a slimeball. Ugh.
For up to date news, check out the NIN Hotline. For discussion, check out the Echoing the Sound messageboard. ETS also has an unofficial IRC channel on the irc.nintelligent.net server called #ets (which I op).

If you can't find what you need after that, you never will.

(*At the time of writing this, there is a rumour that he might not be in the final line up.)

Nick dePlume's secret identity revealed.

So, that guy. You know, the one that runs ThinkSecret, the site that revealed the news of the $500 Mac a week or so before it was officially announced? The one who's being sued by Apple? He's nineteen years old. He's been running the site since he was 13.

Wow.

[From Slashdot]

11.1.05

Mac Mini



Retailing at $499-599 (US). G4 processor. USB ports. Built in ethernet and modem. 1GB memory, 40GB's storage space. All you need to do is plug in your monitor and keyboard, and you're done. Hooray for Apple, it's about fucking time. It's available on January 22nd, and the only mistake I think they've made is not waiting to bundle Tiger (released later this year) with it, instead of Panther. But you can't get it right all the time, especially with the internet and it's nasty nasty rumours.

Again, Microsoft. Pwned. 2005.

Mac Mini.

Live Mac World SF 2005 coverage.

[From Jason Kottke]

10.1.05

What do you get...

...if you cross a male journalist with no clue, and a cutting edge Japan fashion scene?

A frustratingly awful article about the Harajuku look that makes me wonder whether he's even aware what a legwarmer is.

"Right by Harajuku station, in front of Yoyogi Park, is the least hip place to hang out. Here is what Chiaki Tanabe, of the Louis Vuitton private members’ salon Celux, calls “the gothic Lolita scene”, the Tokyo equivalent of the King’s Road punks. They blend Victorian lace with Bo Peep bonnets and video-game gore — fake blood on surgical smocks was last year’s big story for the Harajuku teens. The real cutting-edge style scene is a five-minute walk away, in Omotesando — not so much Harajuku as off-Harajuku. It’s these girls that Stefani is singing about."

AAAAAARGH. NO SHE'S NOT.

9.1.05

With fucking photo & poor English you never seen at boring major sophisticated jurnalism.



"this year also maybe happen lots of surprising thing in Japan ! Do you want to know what happne in Japan ? Do you really want to know what will happen in Japan ? How can you know what happen in Japan ? From TV ? from News paper ? Hey, they just tell you about celebrity's marige or divorce. They just tell you tamed sopisticated boring story. THey are afraid to use the word, FUCK. what's a coward !They are afraid to show boob and pussy and dick ! I tell you, I show you the real Japan as it is directly. Sometime it make you disgusting. Sometime, it make you angry, but sometime it make you exciting ! Because it is truth. Do you want to know what happen in Japan truely ? Fuck you ! If you want to know what happen in Japan, you must keep checking my site ! If you make effort to see, I make effort to tell you the truth of Japan. Because I am mania of the truth, MasaManiA !

This year also, Please come to my site, and let's stick out middle finger with me for the truth.

I am with you always as long as you give me finger.

Happy new year !!!"

MasaManiA

8.1.05

Blair.

Last August posted a piece of gossip from Popbitch on a messageboard I use regularly. It completely dropped out of my mind. Until I read Adam and followed a link to this.

Yet another reason to not vote for the man. How could he possibly stay in power after that happens? Does he not realise that it will get worse in June?

English Food

Bruce asks me :

"Oh come on, how tough can it be to get some decent Tex-Mex taco chips?"

In England? In the south west of England? Come on folks, you know all we eat in this country is black pudding and fish and chips .

From Scrotes:

"English food as we know it owes a big debt to the Victorians. Like other northern european cuisines, it majors heavily on meats, dairy products, wheat and root vegetables and a diet conducive to manual labour and red-faced citizens. The nineteenth century idea of a varied diet was one with different sorts of meat in it. Milk and vegetables were regarded as not only inedible raw, but highly dangerous until boiled thoroughly. To a certain extent this is understandable. In an era without refrigeration, when typhoid and cholera could strike even the wealthy, over-cooking everything was probably a sensible course to take.

The Victorian propensity to send splendidly choleric officials to war on and rule over farflung corners of the empire, and then later to retire them to the home counties, added a number of colourful foreign words to the vocabulary and foreign dishes to the table, which were gradually adopted and anglicised. For instance India provided the English language with curry, chutney and kedgeree while ketchup came from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). The aristocratic european tour also gave us the omelette, blancmange, marmalade, mayonnaise and macaroni to name but a few."


The closest we get to decent Tex-Mex cuisine, is a packet of flavoured Supernoodles (extremely high fat content by the way) . Mexican cuisine is non-existent here. And I'm still on a diet. Weep for my soul.

Tard Blog returns!

For those who didn't know, I've recently discovered that the Tard Blog is back online, complete with new teacher! Hooray! I don't know how I live without this site.

7.1.05

Satan's work is done.

441 British people may have died in the tsunami.

This weekend, I shall mostly be learning HTML/XHTML and CSS. I bid you goodnight.

6.1.05

Pinpoint.

So it's 2am, and everyone you could think of is sleeping. You're running music...something easy on the ears...and you feel guilty about it because it's late and it might be a little louder than it should be. Your glass is empty. There is paper everywhere. The world weighs heavy around your neck, making it a little hard to breathe. Your email inbox is empty and you don't feel like talking on instant messaging. Bruce Sterling's taco chips look really really tasty but there's no chance of any food like that in the near future. You're constantly slipping through the cracks, and no one seems to notice. You didn't write a damn thing in 2004, but you're being published on Monday. You worry about whether you can pay off your debt. Your boyfriend isn't calling. You have a timebomb in your gut, and you're waiting on a piece of NHS paper to arrive and announce a metal detector exploration to remove it; but in the meantime, your leg keeps getting blown off. Regrowth takes longer and longer each time. You have millions of people to talk to, everyone says the right things, but nothing helps.

5.1.05

Confirmed : Six Apart own Livejournal.

" I totally trust Six Apart.

Ever since LiveJournal got big and popular, a number of companies have been offering to buy LiveJournal. I suppose it was inevitable, but the more I talked to everybody, the less interested I became in selling. With a few exceptions, nobody seemed to "get it", and people's ideas for LiveJournal's future were generally lame. I started to realize that selling LiveJournal would mean killing LiveJournal, so I didn't. Then one day Six Apart contacts us, we start talking, and here we are. I know you may not necessarily trust me when I say they're a cool company, but I'd ask at least that you give them a chance before you start rioting in the streets. I have a lot of confidence that this union will produce cool things.

Ben and Mena, the founders of Six Apart, have built a great company and hand-picked a lot of great people. Over the past couple months I've come to know their executive team really well, and they're people I feel confident taking over control of my baby. They've already shown that they'll defer to me on issues of community, fearful of doing anything that'd upset people. As for the rest of the team, I've only started meeting them all, but my mouth hit the floor when I saw some of the latest stuff they have in the works.

If you want to run for the hills and backup your journal and move to another service, feel free, but hopefully you'll be back in 6 months when we've proven ourselves."
[Full Statement]

Rumour : Six Apart to buy Livejournal?

I'm lazy, I found out about this hours ago, and I've only just got bored enough to blog about it.

First the quote, from some guy named Om Malik :

"EXCLUSIVE: Folks have been predicting a big year for mergers and acquisitions in 2005, and we are starting the year with a bang. I have learnt exclusively that Six Apart, the parent company behind hosted blogging service TypePad, and Moveable Type is about to acquire Live Journal, for an undisclosed amount. The deal is a mix of stock and cash, and could be announced sometime later this month, according to those close to the two companies. If the deal goes through, then Six Apart will become one of the largest weblog companies in the world, with nearly 6.5 million users. It also gives the company a very fighting chance against Google’s Blogger and Microsoft’s MSN Spaces."

Now, right now, this is still a rumour. It's not been confirmed by either company. CR Schmidt posted two separate blog entries on this topic which basically says :

"As a long time (2.5 year) LiveJournal user, this is something that I have absolutely no interest in. I was a beta tester for the Typepad service when it first came out - and it was an interesting change from LiveJournal. However, in all my time as an LJ user, I always enjoyed the fact that it was a “personal” project. Something that I could participate in, something that my friends could participate in. Something that let me be a part of it. Something that I fear will change when LJ becomes “corporate”. One need look no farther than the Movable Type licensing mess to see things that Six Apart has changed for the worse."

"Despite all my praises of LiveJournal and the effect that it’s had on me and that I’ve had on it (in my own small way), there are a number of things which could definitely use some work to get up to “snuff” on a customer service level. User interface has never been a strong point for LiveJournal, and although with the addition of some new developers in the past year it has improved greatly, it is still not nearly as easy to use in many respects as something like Typepad."

I have my doubts about this being a good thing. One of the strong points of Livejournal's success is based on the fact that it is such a dysfunctional mess. I personally have no problem with the user interface, although the templating of the actual journals could use some work (but that's also pressed a lot of LJers to learn to use HTML in order to design their own). But the actual community side of the site is something that if tampered with in anyway, could collapse and never return to what it once was. I have strong suspicions that one of the first moves that Six Apart could take, is to censor certain communities that contain taboo topics, like pro-anorexia and white supremacy. Whilst I don't support such opinions, I certainly find it interesting to read what these people have to say. Another move would be to take it off the market as an open source development: it's one of the most successful open source developments out there . The community and the freedoms that Livejournal contain are too precious to the internet as a whole to be changed. If Six Apart do indeed buy it up, it might be good for user interface, but I don't believe it will be good for the internet. Leave it alone, for the love of god.

[Mostly from Andy Baio]

4.1.05

Lukas Moodysson

an interview by Xan Brooks:

"A Hole in My Heart is a slap in the face for the mainstream punters who cherished his 2000 hippie fable Together, and a test of nerve for those who stuck with him through the more bleak and melancholic Lilya 4-Ever. In essence, it documents the shooting of an amateur porn movie, with its director, stud and starlet holed up in an infernal Stockholm apartment while the director's teenage son tends pet earthworms in the room next-door. The drama unfolds in a storm of drunken antics and a crush of gynaecological close-ups. It's an audacious tactic. Most portraits of the porn industry try to de-sex their subject matter by affecting a genteel distance. A Hole in My Heart goes the other way, ramming the viewer right up against it.

"I decided not to care if it became exploitative," Moodysson says. "I wanted to talk about the sexualisation of public spaces, like commercials, and the way porn seeps into everybody's living room, but I didn't want to be a part of it. Then after a while I realised I couldn't draw that line. So the film becomes part of what it's talking about. It is a symptom, not a diagnosis." To illustrate his point, he tells the story of a Swedish couple caught having sex during a screening. Someone in the audience spotted them and complained to the manager. Moodysson gives a smile as bright as December sunshine. "People react very differently to the film. And those reactions are enormously interesting.""
IMDB profile

Tsunami Victims.

I spent a lot of last night awake listening to the radio via another bout of gallbladder pain. Most of the topics discussed involved the 199 potential British victims of the South East Asian Tsunami, and how most bodies are unlikely to be found due to the severity of the waves sweeping them straight out to sea. I thought that was a large number of foreigners missing...until I heard that at least a thousand Swedish nationals are missing, presumed dead. What a huge blow to such a small cold country. Much like here in the UK, the Swede communities have been rallying around, and celebrities have offered their services for fund raising.

It's just a shame that none of this is going to bring the dead back...aside from in coffins. As the death count rises, it's almost becoming suffocating. I can't bear to look at the news. I skim posts about it. I've not yet visited Ogrish (extremely not safe for work, children, or anything else really) because I'm sure there are pictures on there that will once more make me angry at the media for censoring my view of the world yet again.

Someone tell me when it's all over.

2.1.05

The Wonderful Power of Storytelling.

"Compact disks aren't really all that much better than vinyl records. What they make up in fidelity they lose in groovy cover art. What they gain in playability they lose in presentation. The real advantage of CDs is that they allow you to forget all your vinyl records. You think you love this record collection that you've amassed over the years. But really the sheer choice, the volume, the load of memory there is secretly weighing you down. You're never going to play those Alice Cooper albums again, but you can't just throw them away, because you're a culture nut.

But if you buy a CD player you can bundle up all those records and put them in attic boxes without so much guilt. You can pretend that you've stepped up a level, that now you're even more intensely into music than you ever were; but on a practical level what you're really doing is weeding this junk out of your life. By dumping the platform you dump everything attached to the platform and my god what a blessed secret relief. What a relief not to remember it, not to think about it, not to have it take up disk-space in your head."

- Bruce Sterling speaking at the the Computer Game Developers Conference, March 1991, San Jose, CA.

Hacking Apple

The Graphing Calculator story:

"I used to be a contractor for Apple, working on a secret project. Unfortunately, the computer we were building never saw the light of day. The project was so plagued by politics and ego that when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead. In August 1993, the project was canceled. A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple's doors, so I just kept showing up."

[From Wired]

Sushi ban update

I recently posted a link about fresh sushi being banned in Ontario because of a parasite that can be found in unfrozen fish. Christine K, of the blog Knife Skills, has just informed me that the stupid ban has been overturned due to more information coming to light. Which is good. Hooray. I love sushi. Thanks Christine. Great blog, by the way.

1.1.05

Scan your browser for vulnerabilities.

ScanIt browser check is a browser based security scan that checks and informs you of all potential vulnerabilities of your browser. And then tells you how to fix them.

I thought I was safe with Firefox 1.0 but this scan told me that I needed to update my Java plug in's because they were so out of date they could lead to a potential hijack. You learn something new everyday.

Be safe y'all.

[From a Slashdot thread]