Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Closings tabs – quick links

Sunday, May 8th, 2005

Via Engadget is the networked emoticon device. Pretty cute.

OpenBSD BitTorrent encrypted server

the data you copy to the server gets encrypted and the data you read from it gets decrypted, all on-the-fly…

How to make a homemade cheap TiVo with a spare computer. Nice howto that’s been seen on many a website but if you were to purchase all the software in this tutorial it’d cost a fair old whack. There are loads of open source alternatives out there these days. Such as here.

keeping to the TV theme: The BBC allows viewers to upload and share their videos. How cool is that ?

BBCi has launched a programming service for digital satellite viewers that showcases short films made by regular people across the UK. The service, dubbed Your Stories and accessed 24/7 by pressing the red button.

BlogPulse – Search the blogs. Woeks a bit faster than technnorati. Handy for vanity searches or to check what the latest buzz is. Look at the stats:
Total identified blogs: 10,603,693

New blogs in last 24 hours: 39,909

Blog posts indexed in last 24 hours: 359,639

New tagging blog. Contributors are: Christian Crumlish, Clay Shirky, David Weinberger, Don Turnbull, Gene Smith, Jon Lebkowsky, Kaliya Hamlin, Mary Hodder, Peter Merholz, Timo Hannay.

Mosh Girl. Just look and laugh.

Thinker – A Cognitive Psychology Resource.

What I Would Be Thinking About If I Were Billy Joel Driving Toward a Holiday Party Where I Knew There Was Going to Be a Piano. Hilarious.

Brevity – Is it still around ?

Friday, May 6th, 2005

My liege, and madam,–to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night is night, and time is time.
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief

From here:

Lord’s Prayer 56 words
23rd Psalm 118 words
Gettysburg Address 226 words
Ten Commandments 297 words
U.S. Dept of Agriculture Order on cabbage pricing 15,269 words

Anyone got any Gov papers of late ?

RateMyTD – As endorsed by Mary O’Rourke

Friday, May 6th, 2005

Listened to the Last Word tonight and they had on Mary O’Rourke, the leader of the Seanad is her title now. There was a debate about RateMyTeachers and Mary decided to have a laugh and suggested RateMyTD. That’s actually a good idea Mary. Now despite the fact that in the non-web version of RateMyTD aka the General Election you got *puts on eurovision country voting voice* “Mar-eeee Ooo Roo-ark null pwointe*, you are still for such a system.

In the tradition of They Work For you the UK website that rates MPs and tracks their voting patterns and speeches, I think we should have the Mary O’Rourke endorsed do the same thing.

I did an search for RateMyTD and it seems Planet Potato already mentioned the idea.

Google speeds up the web but it’ll be a privacy nightmare

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

The day ends in a “y”, time for another Google post. Google has launched Google Webaccelerator which basically speeds up your web speed by caching everything on their servers. The odd thing is that it is designed for broadband users. I’d much prefer if it was done for all those on 56k connections or worse. They need it most. It says 56k users can still use it though.

This might prove to be a privacy nightmare though as Google is now actively caching websites and they are acting as a proxy. The world’s biggest proxy ? Given the fact that they happily censor sites to keep the Chinese and American Governments happy, will they do the same when they become the worlds biggest web proxy ?

It’s more than search now, this is the start of content hosting. Is the next move to offer actual server space for websites ? They are now hosting our email, our photos and recently have started on hosting our videos. Since you can charge for your video content, I wonder will they bring in payment systems for accessing other content on websites they’d host ? In the short term I wonder what kind of traffic decrease will webhosters see and in the long term will they make less from their hosting business ? How long before Google hosts 20% of the web ? Do we really want one company to control it all, even if their public motto is “Don’t be evil” ?

More details from Search Engine Watch

When the President Talks to God – Bright Eyes

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

When the President Talks to God – Bright Eyes on Leno

Really good protest song, very surprised Leno’s people allowed this on:

“When The President Talks To God”

When the president talks to God
Are the conversations brief or long?
Does he ask to rape our women’s’ rights
And send poor farm kids off to die?
Does God suggest an oil hike
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
Are the consonants all hard or soft?
Is he resolute all down the line?
Is every issue black or white?
Does what God say ever change his mind
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
Does he fake that drawl or merely nod?
Agree which convicts should be killed?
Where prisons should be built and filled?
Which voter fraud must be concealed
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
I wonder which one plays the better cop
We should find some jobs. the ghetto’s broke
No, they’re lazy, George, I say we don’t
Just give ’em more liquor stores and dirty coke
That’s what God recommends

When the president talks to God
Do they drink near beer and go play golf
While they pick which countries to invade
Which Muslim souls still can be saved?
I guess god just calls a spade a spade
When the president talks to God

When the president talks to God
Does he ever think that maybe he’s not?
That that voice is just inside his head
When he kneels next to the presidential bed
Does he ever smell his own bullshit
When the president talks to God?

I doubt it

I doubt it

Meanwhile the music press shows how clueless it is when it comes to Johnny Cash and Nine inch Nails.

Google + Flickr + GPS – As I predicted

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

As I mentioned previously I thought it was only going to be a matter of time before GPS and Google Maps were integrated ane possibly Flickr, and now they have thanks to GeoBloggers. Check out some of the photos, really really cool.

This would make a nice addition to the Eirepreneur open source map of Ireland.

Tech can never hide secrets – tech will always reveal secrets

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

I think the trend with technology is that it will always reveal information and not hide it. DeCSS is an example, a few small lines of c code which DVD Jon stored on his mobile got around the stupid protection on dvds. Not one DRM system has been found to be uncrackable. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that a PDF file containing a detailed U.S. military report on the killing of an Italian agent by U.S. troops was cracked.

Many lines in the report were blacked out to keep sensitive information censored. The guy who made the PDF was obviously clueless about making PDFs and an Italian student pretty much clicked a few buttons and the black was removed. This reminds me of a script a guy wrote recently which goes over a document with words blackened out. Using some clever algorithm he can still see partial letters and figure out what the words are and so he removes the censorship.

In my own experience with FOI documents in Ireland they are a little better at taking out data. They cover swathes of text with paper and then photocopy them. So instead of black lines you have giant white spaces. Much harder to decode. However they don’t do that with all documents and I have a significant amount with blacklines running through them. I should pass them through that declassifier script one of these days …

Happy Burfday Mr Winer

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

Dave wants a birthday present of a link so that he can go up the Technorati Top 100 list. There ya go. Now I have two more links to Dave in this post.

Firstly, the ads in RSS debate rages on and I’d recommend reading the comments. Right now, even after reading all the comments I’m not against ads in RSS if that’s how writers want to earn their bread and butter. If RSS becomes the main way people read your content and you need to make a living from your content then you need some way of supporting yourself. To me it’s an Occam’s Razor attitude. People are going to choose the easiest, most convenient way to generate income. If signing up to AdSense which will inject relevant ads into your RSS is the simplest route then that’s what people will go for. What are the alternatives to this and are they as simple ?

Secondly, Dave posted a summary of a West Wing story which was a few episodes before I stopped watching the West Wing. Having RTE show the series close to midnight on a thursday wasn’t the best way for me to get to see it. I might borrow a box set or two from a friend and watch it. I did love the idealism in that show.

Calling bloggers liars is not a good move

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

There’s a big bruhaha going at the moment over the Creative Commons joining up with a viral marketing company to promote the Creative Commons. Generating artifical word-of-mouth campaigns is not approved of by many of the CC supporters. Of course calling bloggers liars was not a good move. I thought All marketers are liars?

I posted a comment on Larry’s blog:

There seems to be an emerging consensus that the CC needs to better promote itself. I think the likes of BzzAgent and other marketing/pr companies should work with the Creative Commons people to design a campaign that involves all the supporters to increase awareness. This campaign needs to be transparent and supporters feedback should be listened to. In return these commercial companies get good PR for helping the Creative Commons but more importantly they get invaluable experience helping a worldwide campaign that is trying to make the world a better place.

The Creative Commons is a very important group when so much of this world and our creativity is strictly controled by corporations. It’d be nice if more and more people knew about the Creative Commons alternatives.

Channel 4 Spoof Political Ads

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

Brilliant. Channel 4 hired Lee Ford and Dan Brooks of Suicide Bomber in Volkswagen fame to make some fake political campaign ads for the British Election. They did 3 ads which are quite outrageous really. The link to the Labour one is broken now. EDIT: Kevin sent the right link.

When I was looking for blogger commentary on that I found Peter Parkes’ website who in another post pointed to an interview between Jeremy Paxman and Michael Howard where Paxman grilled Howard and asked him the same question 12 times. We need more Paxmans in this world and our own versions in Ireland too. Will they come from journalism degrees or from the ? Peter also linked to the Bush Childs Play ad which seems quite effective when it comes to making people think.

RTE should offer up their news archive under a Creative Commons licence and allow people to create their own remixes. Remix culture remix culture ReCulture Mix.