March 1st, 2008
The Shrine of the Mall Ninja.
quote: Originally posted by SteyrAUG:
Last time I checked class G (armed) security guards were restricted to .38 cal revolvers as duty weapons. NO state would authorize the use of a semi automatic carbine or rifle made by anyone. I would think that Todd would know this given his expertise in low paying occupations.
We were previuosly restricted to .38â€™s and two Mossberg 500â€™s with less leathel rounds in them, but when our team saved the life and possibly the virginity of the Mayorâ€™s nephew, there was a special relaxation of the rules made for us, due to the factt that the nepheew(who will remain nameless to rpevent a scandal) was saved by us using weapons better than our issue setup, so now we have good funding for gear for our jobs, and we needed to find relaible SMGâ€™s, but the HKâ€™s just wouldnâ€™t cut it.
Don't worry if the weapons-geek talk goes over your head: it's the symptoms of testosterone poisoning that make this a very special thread.
[Via Neil Gaiman]
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February 23rd, 2008
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January 25th, 2008
Charles Arthurs says All this online sharing has to stop:
The IFPI – the International Federation of Phonographic Industries – is the global music industry organisation whose very name tells you how long ago progress overtook it. On Thursday it published its digital music report for 2008, which says boldly that "the spread of unlicensed music on ISP networks is choking revenues to record companies and investment in artists, despite a healthy increase in digital sales in 2007, up approximately 40% on the previous year". […]
The IFPI's solution? Sort it out at the internet service provider level. "ISP cooperation, via systematic disconnection of infringers and the use of filtering technologies, is the most effective way copyright theft can be controlled. Independent estimates say up to 80 per cent of ISP traffic comprises distribution of copyright-infringing files."
You know what I say? Damn right. Let's get ISPs to stop copyright infringement. But, um, music people? Better form an orderly queue. You think you were the first to suffer from your content getting ripped off and spread to the four corners of the earth? Get to the back of the line, bud. There's a few people ahead of you. […]
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January 25th, 2008
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December 4th, 2007
Stephen Fry nominates Tim Berners-Lee as the greatest living Englishman:
Who is the greatest living Englishman? It would be hard to argue against the merits of Tim Berners-Lee, the sole begetter and inventor of the world wide web, an organism whose initials, www, have (in some languages, including our own) three times more syllables than the phrase theyâ€™re abbreviating, which is perhaps the only flaw in Berners-Leeâ€™s grand design.
Incidentally, that flawâ€¦ the unwieldy name and initials, www, came about as a result of the inventorâ€™s extraordinary and entirely endearing modesty. Originally he had come up with the name The Information Mine, but he found the initials, TIM, embarrassing. No less egocentric (especially in French-speaking Switzerland, where he was working) was another thought, the Mine Of Information, so he settled on good old www. […]
Note to would-be commenters: anyone posting that Bill Gates invented the World Wide Web when he wrote Internet Explorer will have their Internet Driving License revoked with immediate effect.
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November 11th, 2007
The Nerd Handbook pretty much says everything that needs to be said:
Your nerd has built an annoyingly efficient relevancy engine in his head. Itâ€™s the end of the day and you and your nerd are hanging out on the couch. The TV is off. There isnâ€™t a computer anywhere nearby and youâ€™re giving your nerd the daily debrief. â€œSpent an hour at the post office trying to ship that package to your mom, and then I went down to that bistro â€” you know â€” the one next the flower shop, and itâ€™s closed. Can you believe that?â€
And your nerd says, â€œCoolâ€.
Cool? Whatâ€™s cool? The business closing? The package? How is any of it cool? None of itâ€™s cool. Actually, all of it might be cool, but your nerd doesnâ€™t believe any of what youâ€™re saying is relevant. This is what he heard, â€œSpent an hour at the post office blah blah blahâ€¦â€
You can be rightfully pissed off by this behavior â€” itâ€™s simply rude â€” but seriously, Iâ€™m trying to help here. Your nerdâ€™s insatiable quest for information and The High has tweaked his brain in an interesting way. For any given piece of incoming information, your nerd is making a lightning fast assessment: relevant or not relevant? Relevance means that the incoming information fits into the system of things your nerd currently cares about. Expect active involvement from your nerd when you trip the relevance flag. If you trip the irrelevance flag, look for verbal punctuation announcing his judgment of irrelevance. Itâ€™s the word your nerd says when heâ€™s not listening and itâ€™s always the same. My word is â€œCoolâ€, and when you hear â€œCoolâ€, Iâ€™m not listening.
Information that your nerd is exposed to when the irrelevance flag is waving is forgotten almost immediately. I mean it. Next time you hear â€œCoolâ€, I want you to ask, â€œWhatâ€™d I just say?â€ That awkward grin on your nerdâ€™s face is the first step in getting him to acknowledge that heâ€™s the problem in this particular conversation.
November 9th, 2007
Joel Turnipseed Interviews Cory Doctorow and Jennifer Love Hewitt:
Joel Turnipseed recently sat down to chat with Cory Doctorow, noted information liberator, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress, internet imagineer, and all-around hot chick. The original interview was edited for content in order to appease Kottkeâ€™s advertisers. What follows is the original interview in its entirety.
CD: [We…] live in a century in which copying is only going to get easier. Itâ€™s the 21st century, thereâ€™s not going to be a year in which itâ€™s harder to copy than this year; thereâ€™s not going to be a day in which itâ€™s harder to copy than this day; from now on. Right?
JLH: [Shakes head.]
JLH: Youâ€™re talking about music, not books.
CD: Iâ€™m talking about books.
JLH: Who copies a book? Itâ€™s hard. Itâ€™s as hard now as it was in 1440. [Mouths the word â€œGutenbergâ€ to Turnipseed.]
CD: And so, if your business model and your aesthetic effect in your literature and your work is intended not to be copied, youâ€™re fundamentally not making art for the 21st century.
JLH: FYI, as King of the Internet, Cory gets to decide whatâ€™s art. They voted on Fark or something. Was it Fark?
CD: â€¦It was Slashdot. And you knew that.
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November 5th, 2007
Director Bruce McDonald is releasing all the footage he shot for his new film The Tracey Fragments under a Creative Commons licence so that would-be filmmakers can recut the film for their own purposes.
Just imagine the fun to be had if this catches on. A Jar-Jar-free edit of The Phantom Menace is a no-brainer. Think of Titanic without the gunfight and the framing story about that bloody jewel.1 Spider-Man 3 with only one villain.2 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen turned into a coherent story bearing some resemblance to the one Alan Moore wrote.3 The possibilities are endless.
1 Some would choose to excise the theme song. I didn't mind it too much myself, but that's the beauty of the concept: anyone with access to a decent video editing package can have whatever edit they want.
2 Venom, Sandman, Harry-as-the-Green-Goblin – I don't care who, I just wish Sam Raimi had picked one and stuck with them!
3 No, hang on, even the most talented editor can only accomplish so much…
[Via Red Ruin]
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November 3rd, 2007
Ray Girvan has noticed some common patterns in the Terms & Conditions of Use applied to apparently unrelated sites:
[If…] you Google "6.2.1 use the Services to send junk email", you find hundreds of sites, of no discernable common origin, using the same Acceptable Use section in their terms and conditions. Another popular phraseology is "inherently unstable medium" "errors, omissions, interruptions".
I wonder how much your average web designer charges clients for slapping a bit of boilerplate legalese on their site. Though in fairness to web design consultancies everywhere I suspect that it'll more often be a case of the client's legal department thinking they need to cover themselves by bolting a disclaimer-cum-warning into the footer of their site's design or adding it to their About… page.
[Insert obligatory Shakespeare quotation.]
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