July 25th, 2003


Hurrah for the internet

Inquirer article on how we're all geeks nowadays.

ACCORDING TO Carat North America and a leading internet company, youngsters aged 13-24 are now using the internet as their main source of media driven entertainment.
The research, in a joint study between the two companies, found that the main sources of entertainment for teens and young adults in an average week are led by the internet, at the top spot with 16.7 hours online, excluding e-mail. In second place was TV, with an average of 13.6 hours spent a week. In third place was radio with 12 hours, fourth place was the phone with 7.7 hours, and fifth was reading, with an average of six hours spent a week.


Idea had while shaving this morning:

When Jenna was a child she'd been told that "Lies make Baby Jesus Cry." and it had, for some inexplicable reason, stuck with her.

Many years later she took some grim satisfaction from the fact that not only were lies useful in a wide variety of situations, but they also counted as a kind of revenge for the iniquities of Christianity.

"I sent you the cheque yesterday, Mr Adamson." would be accompanied by the internal "That was for Galileo."

"I've been up half the night with food poisoning. I'll be in tomorrow." would trigger a grin and "That's for the Crusades."

And once there was an "I love you too." was followed instantly by "You deserved that for the inquisition."


Not sure where that's going, but it was too cool an idea not to put up.


Spending this afternoon matching up a spreadsheet to match a spec document. The spreadsheet then automatically produces text files for inclusion in the actual programs.

Of course, other spec documents also use some of the same entries, so it's still not centralised.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that neither Word Documents nor Spreadsheets are the right way to create large specs. We ought to be working from UML (or something similar) design programs that automatically produce specs and data descriptors.

But that's not gonna happen on this project. Maybe when I rule the world...

The problem with legal online music

The problem is that they don't know what it is they're selling.

Either it's:

1) An analogue to a physical object (like a CD) in which case I should be able to move it around, listen to it wherever I like, take it apart, etc.

2) A license to listen to a particular song on my computer. In which case I should be able to re-download it if my hard drive crashes, because I've already bought the license - the actual music file itself isn't relevant except as a way of using my license.

The music companies are currently going for joined limitations of both views - a music file that's tied to my computer, gets lost in a hard drive crash and locked against tampering.

Sorry, not interested. I'll happily sign up for either an Emusic.com type of service (if they had a much larger selection) or a radio service that provides me with whatever music I like, on demand.

I can't think of anything else that would get my money.

Offensives in Public Places quiz

When in public, people should

be allowed to wander around naked
have to cover their groins
have to cover their genitals (groins for men, groins+breasts for women)
avoid looking overtly sexual
wear a Burqua

Breastfeeding in public

is a-ok by me.
is ok when discreet
shouldn't be done at all

Offensive Clothing

is great. All my t-shirts show nun's masturbating
is ok, provided it's not too offensive
is something I put up with
shouldn't be allowed in public

All hail our mechanical overlords

Techies by Necessity, Not by Choice is an amusing article on the people who got a computer to do work and then found themselves doing technical support for themselves, and then for their family and then for their friends.....

For Ms. Kilhoffer-Reichert and others, such expertise derives from economic necessity, as their livelihoods depend on the technical tools they use. "If my computer isn't working, I equate it directly to lost income," she said.

Yet Mr. Marcuse says he has learned just the amount he must, perhaps slightly less. "I can get my computer to operate most of the time, and frequently there are things wrong with it that I just tolerate," he said. "I don't want to deal with some company's tech support bureaucracy. I'd rather just suffer with the imperfection."

Instead of calling tech-support lines, she also navigates her way through Web site lists of frequently asked questions, or FAQ's, which are growing more detailed and widespread to accommodate the technically proficient.