Tag Archives: internet

911 and Fall

Exactly a week ago, it was the 10th anniversary of 9-11: it looks like the (re)construction at the former Ground Zero has made substantial progress. To be honest, I’ve never followed the progress on the 9/11 memorial (official site) but personally, I like the idea of the water falls. The last week, we had our share of remembrances and that: I wasn’t planning to elaborate on my personal thoughts. Here, have a link to the Archive’s excellent TV News archive (link).

We had our first frost warnings of the years, which means that most likely Fall will be short. One of our maple trees got really hit during the last storm (Irene). Strange enough: I believe we went thru the worst part of hurricane season. That is, the last hurricane I’ve heard of was Maria (CBC news) which only hit Newfoundland earlier this week.

And last but not least, a pet peeve. Now that I’m using a tablet (Android based) I noticed that a lot of companies have mobile variants of their websites: By default it’s these mobile variants that are shown. I find this irritating, particularly knowing that most of the mobile browsers have no problems showing a full website.

The Queen has her picture taken

Various Decker vs. Zolanews organizations report that the British Queen has launched a YouTube channel (@ YouTube). The Palace promises clips from garden parties, footage from overseas travels, prime ministers and even a day in the life of the Prince of Wales.

Completely related: The BBC has a set of pictures of Russia’s bombers. As you probably recall, a while ago, Putin ordered the return of long range patrols, an event that reminded of those precious Eighties days. Flipping through the pictures, I was slightly amused by the following quote, which reveals the state of these older ‘Bear’ bombers:

There were no toilets or other comforts – and controls were so heavy only a very fit person could operate them.

For some kind of reason, I keep thinking of the 1984 Olympic Games1.

There is a chance that an asteroid is going to strike Mars in January 2008. The asteroid (2007 WD5) was discovered early November (this year) and according to statisticians at the JPL, the odds that it’s going to hit Mars are 1 to 75.

Say what you want about public broadcasters: The CBC does some excellent stuff on the Internet. For example, Katrina Onstad’s top picks of 2007 movies is well-presented and generally, well-done.

Update (12/29/07): CNN’s list of top ten movies of 2007.

1 Like I said, for some kind of reason I was thinking of this incident.


An assortment of links:

I was reading this article at More Intelligent Life written by Enid Stubin (who appears to be an assistant-professor of English) and the first comment in the comment section literally says:

Brilliant. This chick can actually write.

Behold: the future of the Internet!

3 Quarks Daily links to a 2 hour discussion between Dennet, Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens (in two parts). If you have some time and have read some of the material of any of the authors, you may find their commentary on religion and current events interesting.

So, Movable Type has gone open-source: the announcement was made this Summer but effectively a couple of weeks ago the official sources were (finally) published. You may remember that earlier versions of xsamplex ran on Movable Type 3. Heck, you can even steal my original MT template!

A couple of months ago, I happened to run into the sources of MyJabber IM: Much to my surprise, the sources were open-sourced (GPL). It appears that the MyJabber site doesn’t exist anymore, so, I assume that the (original) programmer’s goal was to ensure the program continues to live on. Good choice: the code is a bit ‘old’ fashioned and relies heavily on the agsXMPP library (which is dual-licensed). [Note: this is all C# stuff]

And finally (as in: the last paragraph), Toshiba has developed a Micro Nuclear Reactor, which measures only 20 by 6 feet and can deliver up to 200 KW. I read that the reactor is self-sustaining and should last more than 40 years. If you want one of these things, you can apply for one at your local security agency. People with last names that rhyme with ‘laden’ do not need to apply. If you have certificate in theoretical quantum physics, that is a plus. Oh: and you may need to allow UN inspectors on your property.

The old new

Yesterday, I downloaded the ‘latest’ Eudora: Officially, there’s a team of developers working on the new open-source version of Eudora (based on Thunderbird, or something like that). Progress is slow, I hear (see also the Penelope project page @ Mozilla). However, if you have Thunderbird v 2.0 running, there’s a plug-ing available that supposedly remaps some of the Eudora functionality to Thunderbird.

Also old: I noticed that Forte Inc. programmers still frequently push out beta versions of their Agent newsreader. Many years ago, I used their ‘Free Agent’ version, which was a lighter less obtrusive version of the ‘paid’ one. There’s no ‘Free Agent’ anymore: as far as I can tell, the only way to get an older version is to do a Google hunt (or use earlier mentioned Thunderbird). Talking about newsreaders, I see that the GNKSA is still around and now, even in version 2.0!

Via Digg (or Slashdot, or Reddit), I found the browser time-line1, now in SVG (link will work in FF, Opera and Safari, not in IE!). My 2006 timeline needs some updating too, I see.

Earlier this week, NASA open-sourced their Robotics framework layer “Claraty”. This is all C/C++ stuff, in case you’re interested. Additionally, at this day, the official website still 404s.

And talking about programming, earlier I decided to take a look at Flex and then removed it after reading some of the code samples: I applaud Adobe for releasing some stuff to the public but I’m not impressed. I read that a team of Microsoft (Silverlight) developers looked into Adobe’s material too and weren’t impressed either, only because they thought that this programming language needed a good IDE, which it doesn’t (at this stage). Looking at the Flex examples, I see murky deep and dark areas of conflicting specifications. Maybe this is why Adobe decided to release the language under an open-source license: after all, most of their business relies on their (quality) graphics software and not their programming languages.

1 I guess it was Reddit


A couple of things that need to be mentioned: Before I signed off last night, I was surprised about the flood of Digg postings that had to do with that HD-DVD. There’s no way to link to a specific day of postings at Digg, but I think this one (link to one of the founder’s blog) should give you a good overview what happened last night. The whole event was actually noticed by our beloved BBC, where it was reported as a ‘Internet user rebellion’. Quite true. (Metafilter and Slashdot coverage).

The TPMMuckraker is on to something too: For weeks (months?) the site has been monitoring the AG scandal and the recent postings all seem to have been quoting fired attorney-generals, all of them detailing or rather, specifically linking political motivations in this scandal. Carol Lam’s case (“DOJ official to Lam: Leave in Weeks Not Months”), Cummings case (DoJ Official to Cummins: Circumventing Senate Was “White House Plan”), Paul Charlton (USA: DoJ Official Wanted to Keep Me Quiet) and Daniel Bogden (Fired USA: DoJ #2 Said Performance Not Reason for Firing). Excellent reporting for a change.

I’ve not been able to follow the French presidential debate between Royal and Sarkozy (CNN link), but the result of the elections is going to be (probably) more of interest for my European relatives. Surprisingly, no mention of opinions on the future of Europe. That is unless I’m missing something1.

1 Sego vs. Sarko