Monday, February 09, 2004

This Church Sign Generator might come in handy, although I have no idea what for. More pointless fun.
posted by Mark 5:00 PM

One thing I know about you, every single one of you, is that you're sitting at a computer of some sort. Further, I would be prepared to wager that although you know the aforementioned computer runs on silicon chips, you have no idea how they are made. I was exactly the same, until I someone on Slashdot pointed out Prof. Turley's excellent article How do you get from beach sand to microprocessors? This is a great explanation of how it's all done, without any of that mindbending technical jargon. I came away from reading this with a new-found respect for the folks that build these chips, and a far better idea of just how amazing the little buggers really are. Recommended reading for anyone who has ever taken chips for granted (all of us, I suspect).
posted by Mark 4:52 PM

Bad News Hughes gives us his Diary of Indignities Special Edition and introduces it thus: "Kids, this is all the shit I had to learn the hard way. Now that I'm retired it's time to pass it on, so you won't have to suffer the same indignities I did."

Despite this description, this site may well not be suitable for your actual kids as such, but it is fiercely funny. If you find yourself snorting coffee down your nose and onto the keyboard while reading it, don't say I didn't warn you...
posted by Mark 4:24 PM

I've never been much of a fan of the Disney corporation, especially since they took away Mrs. Wasted's free email address so they could use it to make more money, but this story really made my blood boil. Simply put, they have pulled out of a $140 million film of Peter Pan purely because they don't think that Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (who were willed the copyright to the original work when author J.M. Barrie died) should have any of "their" merchandising profits from the project. I mean, c'mon guys, quite apart from the fact that you made $400 million or so profit last year, the simple fact remains; GOSHCC owns the copyright, fair and square. Surely a company who lobbied so hard to extend copyright terms would be falling over themselves to honour the rights of others, no? Especially when the money in question goes to help children, the source of the profits in the first place! Corporate greed at it's nastiest if you ask me (or even if you don't). Bastards.
posted by Mark 3:56 PM

Sensitive Light is an online collection of photgraphy that I really enjoyed bumbling through. There is also a photoblog where he posts new stuff that might well be worth keeping an eye on, and some nice desktop wallpapers (this one is my current background, as if you lot care). Nice work that man.
posted by Mark 2:44 PM

Here is an interesting idea; take a photo of someone as a child and put it next to that same person many years later. Doesn't sound that exciting does it? Well Bobby Neel Adams has his own way of doing it, and the resulting images are quite remarkable, informative but somehow uncomfortable. My theory is that his stitched-together faces trigger alarms in the face recognition software in your head, but whatever it is, it's an interesting sensation. I really like this one.
posted by Mark 2:21 PM

Friday, February 06, 2004

Quick Question: How fast does (did) the Space Shuttle travel?
Quick Answer: Whatever you guessed, I bet you got closer than CNN

posted by Mark 3:19 AM

Microsoft's Internet Explorer has a security hole that lets sneaky folks spoof a real website URL. It's been known about for quite a while now, you might have heard of it elsewhere. Bit of a relief then that they have released a security update (which doesn't fix the problem), and some helpful advice on how not to get caught out. The advice? "The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them."

That's right, computer fans, it's another first for Microsoft - a web browser that you can't safely use for surfing the web. Clicking on links? Right out of the window; that's the old-fashioned way. Nowadays we just type stuff in. One of my favourite sections of this document is the bit where it suggests that before you click on a link you should type

javascript:alert("Actual URL address: " + location.protocol + "//" + location.hostname + "/");

in the address bar to check a link. Wow. I can really see that catching on.

Just so you know I care, here's today's tip - try Firebird; it's free, and it doesn't have this problem.

[update] Firebird just released a new version, and changed it's name - try Firefox instead...
posted by Mark 2:39 AM