25.2.05

Firefox 1.0.1 released.

The new version of Firefox is out today. I know that the majority of people that pass this way are still using MSIE 6, so I'm not preaching to the choir quite just yet. Go check it out. Updates include:

  • Whole bunch of spoofing vulnerabilities are fixed.
  • Image drag and drop now allows you to create .exe files.
  • "New Updates Available" popup in bottom right-hand corner no longer pops up endlessly or has excessive hits on update service.
If you're lazy, like I am, then the update will be made available via Tools>Pref/Options>Advanced>Update next week. Mozilla has chosen to leave it turned off due to "the daunting task of updating all 27+ million people who have downloaded and are using Firefox today" (Asa of Mozilla commented on the Slashdot thread).

And for all you hipsters who hate popular things, check this post out:

"Remember that it's not just one geek-friendly browser we're talking about here - the future of the entire internet's at stake. The popularity of this one browser could be the only thing that prevents the web turning into a microsoft-dominated proprietary system a few years down the line, destroying any chance linux might have had on desktop machines."

Would you avoid wearing a condom because everyone else uses them?

[From Slashdot]

24.2.05

Keep it on the QT.


"Film director Quentin Tarantino is to direct an episode of US television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction director has also written an original story for the season finale episode. CSI's co-producer, Carol Mendelsohn, said the episode would have "more bugs and blood" than usual."

Stupidly. Excited. About. This.

[From BBC News]

Always late to the Party.

Been listening to a lot of Johnny Cash recently.

"I got stripes/stripes around my shoulders
I got chains/chains around my feet
I got stripes/stripes around my shoulders
And them chains/them chains they're about to drag me down"

- Johnny Cash

23.2.05

Heart.

I rarely post between RSS feeds...but William Gibson just made my heart swell with absolute admiration and envy.

Blogging Pro.


"I recently quit my web design gig and -- as of today -- will be working on kottke.org as my full-time job. And I need your help.

I'm asking the regular readers of kottke.org (that's you!) to become micropatrons of kottke.org by contributing a moderate sum of money to help enable me to edit/write/design/code the site for one year on a full-time basis. If you find kottke.org valuable in any way, please consider giving whatever you feel is appropriate
."

So Jason Kottke's gone professional blogger. Not shutting down his site and making it pay-for only, but: "think of kottke.org as non-crippled, fully-supported shareware...you only pay if you feel it's worth supporting." I think this is pretty cool, he obviously has the site stats and heaving inbox of fans to support this idea, and from the sounds of the update he's made recently, he's got more than enough people willing to donate money. More than anything, I find how he's cut back on resources the most interesting:

"I've moved to a (way) cheaper apartment in Brooklyn, cut way back on eating out (I'm learning how to cook properly instead...hey, if I can learn to cook, you can pony up a couple of bucks), will be using my cache of frequent flier miles when I need to travel, and am curtailing my spending in general. It feels a lot like right after I got out of college...without the ramen noodles."

If he makes it, he will have achieved something huge. People are often far too quick to put down other folks' achievements on the internet: there's this ideal that it's outlaw country, that nothing's quite real enough to affect the world. Jason's out there, proving otherwise. He might be the first person to be building the bridge between real people and the internet, stemming from the first genuine platform that the internet gave people to speak from - blogging. There are a lot of naysayers out there that have become sick and tired of the blogging craze, and most of their claims stem from the Livejournal-esque blogs that make up 80% of the Blogosphere. For me, I've never viewed blogging as being anything but a base for me to talk about cool stuff that I like. If you don't want to partake, you don't have to (the 2,500 people that regularly pass by this blog each month certainly seem to be in that catagory). But don't be so cynical as to believe that a blog can't change something, be it a personal life, politics or the world in general.

This is the internet! Anything can happen!

So good luck Jason. I hope you succeed, because it will only make the net a more flexible place to live on.

20.2.05

Hunted.

Hunter S. Thompson author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is dead. He shot himself.

Gutted.

Skin.


"'And this is what is great about England - we're inter-racial and we're inter-sexual. We can be whatever and it's fine. This why we're so good and this is what makes us the best people in the world. We're exciting, interesting and exhilarating. We're much better than we used to be and we need to keep that.

Obviously, the fact that I'm black is an issue, but I don't really worry about it. It's not my problem that I'm black and I'm female. If people have issues with it then, fuck them. I use the fact that I'm black and I'm female to my advantage. It makes me interesting and multi-dimensional.'

~ Skin, former lead singer of 90's rock band Skunk Anansie, speaking to The Guardian Unlimited about what it's like to be a black rock star. She is a long term heroine of mine.

Shrinking Fish.

From BBC News:

"The shrinking size of fish due to their overexploitation has dire consequences for the recovery of depleted stocks, scientists have claimed. Fishing drives natural selection for smaller fish that grow more slowly and have reduced reproductive potential. These changes are genetic and therefore hard to reverse, scuttling the renewal of dwindling fish populations."

So yeh, the human race is really great at not managing to tamper with other species for our own selfish needs. Despite our claims to being a superior species, we aren't being very responsible with the superiority, are we? Still, my first thought was that I like eating fish more than I do meat. What would happen if fish began to dwindle and die out? No more salmon cakes, for sure. But what kind of effect would it have on the ocean? On other animals? On employment in lesser city areas? Reports like this are so easy to look over...and then years later we wonder where we went wrong. Unfortunately, I don't hold much hope of anything changing in the near future.

19.2.05

Hot but stupid.


"They claim, for instance, to have slept with representatives from every major record company in the UK. And they allege that when they found themselves the subject of a fierce bidding war last autumn, they signed with the label that offered them a bottle of whiskey, copious cigarettes and a packet of condoms. You wouldn't know any of this to look at the five young men gathered around a table in a tiny Thai restaurant in Brooklyn. Struck down by a cold, guitarist Michael Zakarin droops, pale and wan, at the end of the table. The rest of them are unnervingly polite. Issued with the challenge, "So, tell me about the women", they clam up. There's two minutes of embarrassed silence, broken only by the piped music of the half-empty restaurant. Eventually, singer Sam Endicott ventures: "Oh, we're not interested in ladies. We date each other, we're too busy making love to each other."
~ Laura Barton,The World Isn't Such a Bad Place Y'know (review of the band The Bravery, whose lead singer I would fuck mercilessly because he looks like Morrissey/Elvis combined)

17.2.05

Bill.

Has anyone else noticed the stupid amount of Microsoft publicity around recently? It doesn't seem to be connected to anything in particular - not even the launch of their Google-clone MSN search, or whatever it's called (I don't really care, I'm never going to use it). It just seems to be Bill Gates sat around discussing the techie world that he is so completely out of touch with (does he even use the internet these days? Can he remember what a commandline looks like?), to a bunch of reporters as a method of defending his company from the recent attacks. You know, where we're the h4x0rs and he's the Jesus Christ figure - "forgive them, they know not what they do" - and Firefox isn't a threat and Linux is unstable. In the crazy world that Bill Gates lives in, probably the same world that dreamed up the public-profile-boosting advertisement that I saw on TV the other day that involved swirly pretty designs, urban people and the implication that Microsoft makes stable useful software.

I laughed for, oh, ten minutes. Bill, we know you know you're losing your grip on your success. You might have enough money to hide the flaws, but as I've stated a few times in the last few months...Microsoft is getting pwned in 2005. And there is nothing you can do to stop it.

16.2.05

Link Dump 17/2/05

  • Salman Rushdie's fatwa still stands. I think he's a fat bastard, but this is fucking insane.

15.2.05

Ducky.

Linux installed...very...very...tired...

It took a good few hours of stupidity and miscommunication, plus Google, plus soup and salad, plus Gaim. But I have MandrakeLinux partitioned, working, with browser, IRC, IM, OpenOffice and 2GB's of pure space. At some point, I saw god in the kernel and decided that this would be my clean zen-like space in which to do productive things (although I do have IRC installed, which could quite possibly void that feeling), most of which include research, writing, blog building and other life building exercises. Peer2Peer, mp3's, popculture and junk can stay well over in the Windows partition for now.

At this second I am filled with the joys of achievement, and despite my complete newb-ness, I'd really like to have just wiped the whole thing and done a clean install. But alas, for now, it shall not be, and the revolution shall only have 2 gigs to grow in. But y'know, I'm pretty good at working in confined spaces.

13.2.05

Snoop.


"After seeing how much money former boxer George Foreman made from the George Foreman grill, Snoop decided maybe he should do the same thing and is now in discussions for a product to be called the Snoop DeGrill. 'Why not?' he asks, reasonably enough. 'Everybody wants to be down with Snoop Dogg. I like to barbecue, and I know a lot of other people like to barbecue, so why not give them a grill that's customised in the Snoop Dogg fashion, where they can say, "Hey, I know Snoop Dogg's probably barbecuing right now, watching football!""

~ Erik Hedegaard, "Ideal Homie"

12.2.05

Bridge/Wall


"...out of all the chaos and apparent lack of real organisation, a sort of society began to flourish. Soon, there were factories of every description, small shops and even schools and kindergartens, some of them run by organisations such as the Salvation Army. Medical and dental care were no problem, as many of the residents were doctors and dentists with Chinese qualifications and years of experience, but lacking the expensive licences required to practice in the rest of the Colony. They set up their clinics on the edges of the City and charged their patients a fraction of what they would pay elsewhere.


For the moments of relief from toil, there were many restaurants on the City’s fringes and embedded deep in its heart were a temple and a ‘yamen’, relics of the City’s distant past. And so life went on. Every afternoon the alleys were alive with the throb of hidden machinery and the clacking of mahjong tiles, while up on the roof, in cages not much smaller than some of the City’s homes, cooed hundreds of racing pigeons, joined there by children playing after school.

And here, in this richness and diversity, lies what was truly fascinating about the City. For all its physical shortcomings, and there were many, its residents had succeeded in creating a true community - and, ironically, one that was to flourish in the City’s final years, after the authorities had moved in to arrange the clearance and the Triads had been forced to move out."

~ Kowloon, Walled City

11.2.05

CSS

So, I've been learning the wonderful ins and outs of CSS as an addition to my resume (which is terrible). After slogging through the horrendous language that is HTML, CSS might be a little tricky to grasp (like when you first approach algebra), but in the longterm it's absolutely fantastic. The language focuses on moving the design outside of the bulk of the .html file, so that you can just get on with adding content: minimal tags, mass organisation. I love it. The only thing I dislike about this learning process, is that everyone keeps telling me to keep HTML tables, which clutter up the file like nobody's business. As soon as I can, I'm moving away from tables, and onto pure CSS. It gives me peace of mind.

As for the final two objects on the list that I made, earlier this evening I moved onto creating additional pages for the project (which is now a project, as opposed to a learning pallette), which included new logos and transferring the basic formatting on the main page onto a sub-page for alternate uses. I also took the CSS from the .html file and put it on a completely separate .css file. I'll work through tonight creating new pages, and hopefully uploading some content (and maybe even adding a top navigation bar). I'm not doing too well in terms of making conscious design decisions - it's a pretty 2 dimensional layout. I'm hoping to improve on that with time, but for now, it's presentable.

I'll link to it when I'm done. It's purpose? To add extra pages to this blog: partly to display writing, and information about myself, but I also want to get around to changing the template on this thing (whilst keeping it hosted on Blogger, for bandwidth purposes - at some point, I'll really need to get some paid-for hosting). So it's another revolution at hand my friends. Keep your eyes peeled.

Sniff.

"I know some coke will be available and it is. When I was pregnant and in the early months after my kids were born I never took drugs. Each time I wondered if I would again, but I did and I can't really see a time when I won't have the odd line of coke socially. When I started taking coke in my 20s it wasn't so readily available. It was a treat. Now I almost always have some on me, available to me or just a phone call away. It is the accepted - and often expected - thing in my crowd. I know doctors, barristers and teachers who do it."

~ Denise Winterman, "Canapes and Cocaine"

10.2.05

Linkdump 10/2/05...

...these days are passing, the links are piling up. Apologies to all who hate this kind of thing.


Fire.

"The jagged ruins of walls emerging from fields of rubble, as far as the eye can see or the camera record, are a testament, of a kind, to human ingenuity. Only the long development of science and knowledge could have achieved this. As for the funeral pyres of bodies, piled up with their legs and arms emerging from the mass, or the corpses of the people boiled alive in the fountains in which they had taken refuge . . . one averts not only one’s eyes, but one’s thoughts."

~Theodore Dalrymple, "The Spectres Haunting Dresden"

9.2.05

Google, you suck.

Mark Jen, who began the ninetyninezeros (now edited for content) blog about working for Google, had been fired for the writing about his experiences. None of the content was derogatory to his employers or his co-workers. None of the content was in anyway controversial - exposing Google as being just another employer with positive and negative aspects to their workplace.

So Google, what happened to the premise "don't be evil"? And why are you manipulating search results to detract attention away from the blog in question? This is bullshit. Maybe it's time I found a new search engine. I hear Yahoo's is pretty good.

8.2.05

Linkdump 7/2/05

  • Do you know who created what we know as the internet? Tim Berniers-Lee invented the World Wide Web and continues to take a hand in the development of web standards (non-compulsory recommendations that apply to the way the internet is built. Someone can develop their own language and method of using the internet, which is, after all, only packets being sent around wires, and use it without fear of prosecution/ostracisation) via the W3 Consortium. If you want to know who the most important man on the internet is, I'd take a fair shot at putting the title around his neck.
  • Rita Cosby, Michael Jackson's mother, recently hit out at District Attorney Tom Sneddon with a racial slur against his son. When interviewed on Fox News, she alleged that she heard Sneddon's son was a "skinhead" and a member of white supremacist organisation Aryan Nation.
  • Need portable storage? How about a $7 128MB USB stick (after a $10 rebate - original price $16)? Someone buy me one?
  • "Meanwhile, a small number of emotionally damaged former children, embraced and adored by millions of teenagers like them, rage on in every commercial medium available about the multiple damages of the disappearance of loving, protective, attentive adults — and they reap a fortune for it. If this spectacle alone doesn’t tell us something about the ongoing emotional costs of parent-child separation on today’s outsize scale, it’s hard to see what could." - Mary Eberstadt, "Eminem is Right"
Note - if you're interested in tech culture and quick links, digg is proving to be a really awesome resource for me.

Crippled Men.

"As a seven-year-old, he hid under a cloth-covered table and listened while nine peasants, two of them women, killed his father. Mario is about 30 years old now: this would have happened during the period known as La Violencia (though there is barely a period of Colombian history that could not be so called). When he was 12 he made a start on his venganzas, killing the first of the nine peasants with a knife. He then went on to kill the other eight. "

~ Martin Amis, in an essay of some sorts about the gang culture of Columbia.


Radio.

"I don't care if you bootleg! Just bootleg it quietly!"

~ on people talking in the movie theatre.

Underfire Radio - geek talk to the nth degree. I'm addicted.

[From Hackermedia]

I *heart* labels.



ACME Label Maker

[From Metafilter]

Doherty.

When I heard that Pete Doherty (crack addict, former member of the band the Libertines, current member of Babyshambles) had been arrested for assault and thieving I thought "no shit, he's a crack/heroin addict" (nice combination of addictions there, don't you think?). Then I heard he got bail (on Popbitch). Now it turns out that he spent his fourth night in jail, because no one has raised the cash (it looks like he'll be released on Tuesday though, regardless).

Excuse me while I laugh silently behind my hand. It's not that I dislike ol' Pete, but the celebrity circus ring that has been created around him is ridiculous. He's on indie girls walls as the poster boy for rock and roll when all he really is, is a junkie. Junkie's aren't cool, they'll make friends with you and then nick your kid's piggy bank to go score drugs. So I smile, because it's a complete and utter disaster. At least, if he survives his addictions, he's going to write one hell of a book (he's actually a reasonably talented writer when he wants to be).

7.2.05

CSS Learning.

Things to do:

  • font
  • text
  • paragraphs
  • classes
  • syntax
  • padding
  • margins
  • comprehension
  • titles
  • design
  • purpose of site
*update* - completed list at 21:45, February 11th 2005

Link Dump 7/2/05

  • Dropkick the Faint! - one of my current new favorite bands. I love the recent internet fad of bands promoting their music via quirky little flash games.
  • "The clothing of the freaks used elements of roleplay such as headbands, cloaks, frock coats, kaftans etc. which suggest either a romantic historical era or a distant place travelled to. These were combined with cheap hardwearing clothes such as jeans and army surplus coats. The effect was to make a group of freaks look like a gathering of characters from a fantasy or science fiction novel, like time-warped refugees out of Middle-earth. All of these appearances were intentional and enjoyed by the participants of the freak scene." - Freak scene wiki.

Enterprising.

So apparently the Mozilla Foundation are looking to gain commercial support for Firefox - thus directly targeting the businesses and governments that set the standard for society and use IE for intranet purposes (I'm not too familiar with intranet). Not only that, they are looking to "provide technical support and other services around Firefox", presumably to make their marketing campaign against the big institutions just a little more solid. They brush off any big-evil-corporation comparisons by making sure we are all aware that this is still a not-for-profit movement, which is great, but taking the main line of pinko-hippy socialist technical support away from the community could be interesting. Customer support phonelines, especially computer tech based support, are notoriously awful. Will they be hiring from the Mozilla communities first and foremost, or will they just be hiring people who wouldn't know the difference between a browser and a mail app?

6.2.05

Alcohol.

I'm not a real big drinker.

One of the things about being a kid, is that you get a choice in whether you participate in the real world. When you grow up, that's it, you're there, you have to have an opinion, you have to make a choice, and if you don't you're on a downward spiral to general chaos and existential angst.

My first taste of alcohol was white wine at a batshit Christian woman's house (hey, Joe, if you want a gay moment - did your mother ever dress you as a little girl - white frilly dresses, patent leather shoes, long curly blonde hair - until the socially obvious because apparent? She did exactly that to her two year old son. I bet he grew up just a little faggy) . Neither of my parents drank on an even remotely regular basis: the first time I ever saw my father drink was when I was ten years old, some weak-assed beer, after years of unemployment and being off the road because he had no car. My mother, she was an occasional. But neither of them really brought alcohol into the house. For some reason I haven't paid attention to television/billboard/magazine advertising like I should have, because that never weedled it's way into my head in order to create the equation that alcohol = fun!

For sure, I did the social experimentation of drinking until my bladder/gut/brain was on the point of mass explosion, but that was as an acknowledged social experiment. I hung around a bunch of kids from the years below/above me at school, drank to excess, got bored, went home to pee and do something else. It lasted...a weekend? Maybe four?

And now I'm in the adult world, and I see that pretty much any kind of social life involves the damn thing. Getting drunk! Wooh! Uh...yeh. Alcohol doesn't do much for me. It makes me pee, it makes my gut clench and churn, it gives me a headache. I'm not really complaining, moreso failing to understand the overwhelming drink culture in the country that I live in. Not even the binge drinking - the social conventions which lead people to use alcohol as a tool to meet people and establish relationships. I'm not anti-drug either, there's nothing like a caffiene kick when I want to get things done, and...well...let's not go down that path on a public, google-accessible blog. But you know what I'm talking about. Let's just say I support the legalisation of all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. But...when it comes to alcohol, I wonder...is there a space in reality for me, or do I have to down a shot to find one?

3.2.05

Michael.


"The whole Michael Jackson culture you either get or you don't. It feels like the most natural thing in the world to me but if you're outside it then it seems like an extreme thing to do. He brings a sense of love and belonging, and he brings people together from all over the world. He's given his whole life to the industry, to friends and supporters. He gives more to charity than any other celebrities and puts out an influential message about healing the world and I truly believe he stands for that. If I had any element of doubt in my mind that he was innocent I wouldn't be here now."

- Emily Smith, a 23 year old Michael Jackson fan, explains why she's one of the fans that are showing their support for the pop star outside the Santa Maria courthouse.

(If you're following the trial, you might want to check out BBC News' reporter log, written by Peter Bowes, who writes about his experiences inside the court room)

Link Dump 3/2/05

  • Blackberry use can damage thumbs. You mean like the Gameboy, various modern small keyed cellphones and hours on a computer keyboard were supposed to cripple me? Why do we never see articles about the dangers of masturbation? I masturbate a hell of a lot more than I play my Gameboy Advance. Uh...sometimes...
  • 21 million Firefox 1.0 downloads - but as you can see, I'm lazy, and the number has now risen to nearly 22.5 million downloads since the article was written. IE is so owned this year, and we're only 2 months down. Good news for the average internet user - we don't seem to be in the same position regarding critical security warnings, as we were this time last year.
  • Images - the world of Anime. Each picture is from a classic anime movie (be it released only a year or so ago, or 10) that, in my opinion, you should see before you die. Check it out.
  • The internet population is growing.
  • MTV is delivering children a steady diet of sleaze. 10 years ago it used to deliver me late night heavy metal videos, quirky cartoons and unreliable scheduling. I miss those days.

2.2.05

Clean

"High up, on the 6th floor, Ito has cleared the space to provide a single room for private events. At a level higher than the adjoining buildings, its walls reveal the interlacing braces in the facade. Clear glass fills the gaps - now more abundant - allowing light to bounce through the large, empty room. Shadows are cast against the tree-shaped walls, creating the illusion of being in a forest clearing."

- journalist Yuki Summer on Toyo Ito's latest architectural creation

1.2.05

Wanted


  • a sense of clarity
  • good health
  • direction
  • a new heart

because mine are broken.