Stuff we've discussed on IRC.
Posted by azz at 2006-03-11 20:04
"Audiences love spontaneity. Interpreters, not so much. Ball recalls her worst experience, a 1999 Dave Matthews show, when it started raining and the band decided to play every song it knew about rain."
Posted by azz at 2006-03-11 16:24
BBC and ITV multicast streams available on some ISPs.
(Unfortunately, not on the Kent MAN yet...)
Posted by azz at 2006-03-11 15:54
Looking at pils' mail logs, it looks like it really isn't going to be sensible to continue doing general mail forwarding from us-lot.org for addresses that receive a lot of spam -- the big places now just reject mail, so it ends up sitting in pils' queue until it expires, at which point it generates a bounce which sits in pils' queue until it expires.
If you're a pils user with a forward set up (an entry in /etc/aliases or a .forward file) to an address that isn't definitely going to accept mail from pils, then it'd be a good idea to look at either collecting mail directly from pils (mail me and I'll set you up an IMAP password), or set up some fairly dramatic exim-.forward/procmail filtering on pils to avoid forwarding spam.
We're already refusing to accept mail from unverifiable senders; there's not much more SMTP-time filtering we can reasonably do.
(And, besides which, it'd still be useless until we were doing exactly the same sort of filtering your downstream mail provider does -- which we can't do, since we don't know about it or have their databases.)
Posted by azz at 2006-03-11 12:42
Bruce Sterling's most recent statement of his "spimes" manifesto.
That is, how he sees the relationship between the Internet and the real world evolving: treating real-world objects as representations of data.
I'm not convinced about some of his reasoning, though.
"A tech world that talked about ordinators, instead of Artificial Intelligence, probably would have produced Google in about 1980."
No, I don't think that's the case. AI -- in a visionary sense -- is very much a product of the late 70s and early 80s.
But if you go and read 50s and 60s SF -- the stuff I grew up reading -- computers weren't looked at as intelligent; they were treated as vast virtual libraries. And in the real world, IBM, Xerox and Digital were all treating computers as information storage and retrieval systems.
The reason Google didn't appear in 1980 was because there wasn't anything for it to index in 1980: no electronic publishing, no easy ways of digitising books, and so on. Search engines were a natural development once the data was there for them to index; the technology was nothing new at all.
(Google's specific approach was also a result of serious computing power and storage becoming cheap, which wasn't true until the mid-90s. Try implementing Google's indexing system on a PDP-10 with a slow 200MB disk; you won't get very far.)
This has, however, helped me figure out exactly what the problem I've got with the current "Web 2.0" craze is.
"[...] going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences"
There's the problem. I don't want rich user experiences. That's the sort of thing that 90s Hollywood sci-fi was pushing.
I want the world imagined by the people who invented databases and invented the Web, where what we're sharing isn't an "experience", it's a unified database of knowledge that I can access and analyse in any way I want to.
Posted by azz at 2006-03-11 01:32
Why it's silly to buy shares in Google.
(Or, rather, why it should be silly, given that there are already people trading them...)
Posted by azz at 2006-03-11 01:03
"The subject has been included in a new syllabus for biology produced by the OCR exam board, due out in September."
""Creationism and 'intelligent design' are not regarded by OCR as scientific theories. They are beliefs that do not lie within scientific understanding.""
Now, provided that the syllabus here consists of a vigorous debunking of this pseudoscientific nonsense, I'm all for it.
But, somehow, I suspect it won't...
It does look like a smart teacher could sidestep the requirement by teaching some actual science instead.
"Students should be taught how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence (for example Darwin's theory of evolution)."
... which you could teach by looking at the stuff Darwin got wrong -- like inheritance of acquired characteristics.