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April 2002 — Monthly Archive

Clones Reported in Italy

Space Daily: Attack of the Clones (no, not the darn movie).

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30 April 2002 12:55 pm

Mmm, Floyd

Was it love, or was it the idea of being in love?
Or was it the hand of fate
That seemed to fit just like a glove?
The moment slipped by
And soon the seeds were sown
The year grew late and neither one
Wanted to remain alone.

I’m listening to too much Floyd these days, I guess. Although some might say there’s nothing like too much Floyd :-) .

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11:32 am

The Gujarat Riots Blame Game Continues

ToI: US Rights Group blames Sangh for Gujarat Riots. A good thing to ask at this time, I think, is: Cui Bono? The only person I see benefiting from this is the Gujarat Chief Minister, because (alas) there’ll be many for whom he’ll become a defender of the faith. It is also a testament to the political poverty in India that the oppostion is sitting still, and not making this fleabag’s life miserable. The message I want to see sent is: if you, a leader in power, and you fuck around with law and order, you are politically finished. But yeah, I know this India. Anything is par for the course :-| .

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7:36 am

RSS Enclosures in Radio

While Dave talks about streaming movie trailers to Radio users, one (don’t know which one) of my subscriptions (I use Radio 7.0.1) has been quietly doing that — streaming high quality Quicktime trailers to me. Right now it’s downloading http://samby01.jamby.net/movies/collateralDamage.mov. Strange, though — I have very few Radio subscriptions, and I still can’t figure out which one’s doing this. Not that I mind, of course.

Update: The Jamby thing was the giveaway: the culprit was Adam Curry and his Movie Trailers Channel. Interesting, since I wasn’t subscribed to it (I’ve subscribed now) for the past week or so. Conclusion: Radio 7 downloads enclosures even from channels you are not currently subscribed to. Not the correct behaviour imho.

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29 April 2002 7:56 pm

Kashmir – Is Compromise Possible?

Kashmir is not negotiable Looking for information on some bank addresses, I came upon this picture of Kashmir. Noble sentiment, yes. But I have this gut feeling that most Indians would be happy to accept the LoC as an international border provided there is real peace. On the other hand — I know as long as there is the slightest of doubts in the average Indian’s mind about the sincerity of the Pakistani leadership, there will be not an ounce of willingness to compromise. Somehow, I don’t think the situation on the Other Side is too different. Fundamentally, there is a chasm of trust, and I think it is too great a chasm to be bridged in our lifetime.

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10:23 am

Great DMCA Banner

This banner has a good way of making its point. Funnily enough, the site is the #1 hit for DMCA on Google, even ahead of the loc.gov site.

Code is Language - www.anti-dmca.org

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28 April 2002 12:49 pm

Book on the Pre-Industrial Night

How do you think about nights? Chances are, you don’t. Nighttime is time to spend time at home, at pubs and restaurants and cinemas and concerts. Or maybe escape it all and spend a few moments under the stars with a loved one (or a telescope, or TV, or an all-night codefest). But what if there were no lights to go back to?

Roger Ekirch teaches history at VT and is interested in the nights of the pre-industrial era. And, as anyone who has read Isaac Asimov’s Nightfall will know, dealing with darkness is not everyone’s cup of tea. Guess what? Earth today is not very different from the story’s Lagash. But five hundred years ago, Prof. Ekirch’s research reveals, there was a world where crime and occult thrived, and where darkened evenings eroded interpersonal barriers, a world with its own entertainments, fears — and even sleep patterns. Fascinating read.

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10:36 am

Pay Sites

Disney might suck, but there’s still a lot the dot-com brigade (rather, the newly desperate cash-seeking dot-com brigade) can learn from old bricks-n-mortar operators like them. Like Disneyland’s ticketing options, for example.

Consider: today, Yahoo insists you pay separately for Mail, Geocities, and so on. Each is about $5 a month at its cheapest. But there’s no way to get a blanket admission to all of Yahoo. All services (level: basic), $14.95 a month? (That’s less than AOL, which is justified by the fact that Yahoo does not provide connectivity).

CNet (or one of its group companies) is going down the same slope. GameSpot, a CNet Networks Media company, goes pay, too. Still no way of paying for all of CNet, you’ll note. But as the number of pay sites keep increasing, the strain on my pocketbook will, too.

In a month, I might be paying Blogger $3, BlogSpot $1, Slashdot $2.50-5. Other sites I’d be likely to subscribe to would be (heavens forbid) Google, MSNBC/Newsweek, and maybe the Newspaper Today, and almost certainly CNet itself. Are we there to about $20 levels yet? And yet this is a fraction of the sites I visit on a weekly basis. After spending $20 a month on ‘core’ items, I don’t know if paying extra for niche items like GameSpot would appear to be good value to me. The only way I’d pay for Gamespot is if it came bundled along with my CNet sub. Other small, indie sites would have to share content/revenue with the Yahoos and CNETs and MSNs of the world. This is very similar to the way current newspaper syndication services operate. Bit of a blow for the notion that the Net was a egalitarian publishing paradise, and the almost contradictory notion that one could set up content on the Net, catch enough ‘eyeballs’, and profit from them.

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27 April 2002 5:27 pm

Another Blogger Outage

Blogger’s SQL Server database was suffering through a overstuffed transaction log today. Oh well.

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4:21 pm

If Darth Vader had a Supercomputer

(Via Rob) If Darth Vader had a supercomputer, this would be it: The CM-2. Drool drool drool. This so beats the NeXT in coolness.

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10:45 am

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