Making A Better Browser History

I was cursing the so-called 'History Feature' in Firebird yesterday: it's virtually unusable. This sounds like an interesting idea, but it's always tough to get the public to accept new models for data representation.

tudents at the University of Illinois have released TrailBlazer, a new user interface to represent your web browsing history. It lays out the pages you visit in a simple 2D map with thumbnails and summaries.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

US opposes Oklahoma headscarf ban

As I've said before, I'm not certain of the need for a complete ban on religious ornaments in public schools. But in the case of attire, especially headgear, it behooves us to remember that most gangs identify their members by clothing and/or headgear. So I dunno - it's a tough one.

The justice department files a complaint on behalf of a Muslim girl sent home from school for wearing a scarf.

(link) [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Liberal Voices (Some Sharp) Get New Home on Radio Dial

It will sure be nice to have a choice on the AM dial for talk radio ... listening to Limbaugh, Hannity and Ingram et. al. on my recent drive to Florida was enough to turn me into a flaming Commie. Maybe if I could listen to some of the doom and gloom policy wonks on the left it would even my perspective out again.

Air America, which makes its debut on Wednesday with Al Franken at the microphone, intends to challenge the hegemony of conservatives on commercial talk radio.

(link) [New York Times: NYT HomePage]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Completely Unexpected

Well, this has gotta have the loonies are in a tizzy! Seems as though one of their own, former Representative Bob Barr (R-Ga.), the receipient of a The Burning Times Award, has come out against the proposed Marriage Amendment, using language that sounds, well, almost rational!

"I don't think it's the function of Congress to monkey around with state court jurisdiction," Barr said in testimony that put him at odds with Judiciary Committee Republicans looking back from the dais.

What's the world coming to?

Proposed amendment on same-sex marriage draws conservative foe

(link) [CNN]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Maybe the Music's Just Lousy?

Well, doh!

The recording industry insists that CD sales are off because everyone's online stealing the music. Now a study comes along saying that piracy has little, if anything, to do with stagnant sales.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

SCO vs. IBM vs. SCO: Is the end in sight?

Methinks the Register is being overly optomistic here: after all, there are lawyers involved...

Big Blue seeks declaratory judgement

(link) [The Register]

00:00 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

Bush official defends outsourcing

I could go on about this for pages and pages, but I've said enough to refute and lambast these apologists for multinational corporations. Suffice it to say here that this is proving to be the issue of the 2004 Presidential campaign: and there's a very clear choice.

Treasury Secretary argues that the benefits of free trade outweigh the costs.

(link) [CNET]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

BJP to act against conversions

More on loony fundies in India. It seems as though if you're a dalit (low caste Hindu, aka 'untouchable') they want to prevent you from changing religions...

The BJP has always been uneasy about religious conversions, especially involving low caste Hindus who they argue have been brainwashed or coerced into changing their religious faith.

I wonder how they'd react if the dalits simply became atheists? Would that be a "conversion"?

India's BJP promises to ban forcible religious conversions and stop foreigners from occupying high offices.

(link) [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Subdomains Part Of The Patent Frenzy

According to the article, this patent was issued in 1999. I owned a subdomain ( in 1994. Can you say "prior art"?

This is just another legal extortion attempt.

A company called Ideaflood that has been sending out letters to web hosting firms claiming that they own a patent on subdomains.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Playas Pay to Spread the Luv

Fascinating play on the whole social network thing. Take a "standard" social network, add a dab of impulsive consumerism, a bit of romantic flair and a touch of greed and you've got this potential money maker. I always wondered if somebody would try to do this with social nets - now I have my answer.

FunHi's role-playing gangstas are spending big bucks to shower each other with virtual geegaws, and they don't seem to mind spending the money. By Daniel Terdiman.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Justice is ...

blind? or just dumb? This has got to go in the Humor section, because I don't have a seperate category for stupidity.

State police have charged a 15-year-old Latrobe girl with child pornography for taking photos of herself and posting them on the Internet.

(link) [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] via Secular Blasphemy

00:00 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Waiter, There's a Drug in My Rice

What's it gonna take to stop this lunacy? May I suggest that a solution will come from a [unfortunately likely] place ... lawyers.

"Even food-processing corporations are very upset about this as well, because they know all you need is one shipment of corn flakes that has a contraceptive in it and there's a real problem, obviously," Achitoff said.

One dose of digitalis to a six year old from his Rice Krispies will be enough for any decent trail lawyer to shut down Monsanto. But it will probably be too late to prevent genetic contamination of the world's most ubiquitous cereal grain.

A California biotech company may soon plant the first commercially grown crop that has been genetically altered to contain drugs. Rice growers, consumer advocates and environmentalists ask regulators to just say no. By Kristen Philipkoski.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Good Riddance, Gigahertz

And it's about damn time, too. My 887 MHz "Big Mac" is demonstrably faster than my 1.2 GHz PC - and it has little or nothing to do with the speed of the processor, and everything to do with the bus speed and the operating and file systems.

The downside, as the article points out, is that the lack of a single number to compare computer speeds means consumers will have to really understand things to get the best deal. Or that somebody will have to design a relevent, cross-platform benchmark that will give an reasonable estimate of a computer's performance.

Hmmm.. this may be a business opportunity!

Computer chipmakers finally drop gigahertz figures, used to measure processor speeds, from their marketing plans. They are irrelevant. But now, customers have to dig a little deeper to find the best computer for their needs. By Amit Asaravala.

(link) [Wired News]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Bizarre attractive force found in mayonnaise

I've always thought mayonnaise was weird stuff ... little did I suspect how weird.

Scientists have discovered that a little-understood tensile force, which was previously thought to be an oddity found only in the types of plastics used to make bulletproof vests, occurs in everyday emulsions like mayonnaise and salad dressing.

(link) [Science Blog]

00:00 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link


Today's edition of Moore's Lore has an absolutely wonderful bit about delusions, generations and the last years of the 20th Century - The Age of Nixon

Read it.

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link