the whole world burns

Archive for September 2006

Google Reader redesign

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It's fantastic -- Gmail for RSS. If Bloglines hadn't just made their only decent upgrade in months, I'd be switching. I still will if the Google people integrate some means of easily re-blogging to del.icio.us &c.

Red Pandas and Ocelots

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it merely sends the PHP file to the user as an application/x-ocelot-stream, which prompts Firefox to open a Save As dialog box.

If you send a stream of ocelots after a red panda, it better be running for its life, not stopping to open up a dialog with anyone.

Puns are not the lowest form of humour. MIME is.

SciAm: Hip hop music fans have more sex

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[T]he results showed said it was possible to discover clues about what people were like simply from the music they liked.

Almost 38 percent of hip hop devotees and 29 percent of dance music fans were more likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the last five years compared to just 1.5 percent of country music fans.

Not such a surprise, given that most people I've seen "dancing" to hip-hop are already having sex by some definitions, and a night out for a dance music fan involves a seething mass of drunk/drugged friends jumping up and down together in a darkened room. An opera fan, by contrast, will be sitting next to Great Aunt Millicent and watching a fat man in a penguin suit; that this is less likely to lead to a passionate encounter is actually something of a relief.

Slave Labor Graphics offers downloadable comics for $0.69

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The comics piracy scene is huge, and the industry is well-aware of it. Thankfully, the publishers have not taken a leaf from the book of RIAA and sued their most avid fans. The downloaders, for their part, offer the usual litany of excuses -- that they sbuy the comics too, that they're waiting for the trades, that they buy other comics, etc. (In my experience, though, they're actually telling the truth. But that's another story.)

What really makes the SLG announcement notable is that the comics aren't in some closed, DRM-infested proprietary format: they're .cbz files. Not only is it an open format -- it's just a .zip file with a different extension -- it's one of the two main formats used by the scanners.

And for whatever it's worth, some of the larger comic-trading communities have banned those issues from their hubs and trackers now that there's a legitimate alternative.

Grid Wars 2

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Excellent with a dual-analog joypad. Not so good without.

Jamendo: nigh-on perfect Creative Commons music site

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This has everything I want in a music site. It's just about perfect. Tags, so albums are well-classified and easy to find more of; preview or full play on an in-browser player (including the ability to play all the albums on a page of search results -- instant radio); downloads via BitTorrent in either MP3 or Ogg Vorbis; comments; search by license/restrictions; a huge variety of RSS feeds to keep up with new music... And best of all, more than half of the dozen or so albums I listened to were worth actually having. After five minutes I'm in love.

Automatic pullquotes/liftout quotes with JavaScript and CSS

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Wrap quotes in <span class="pullquote">. I'm not having any luck thinking of something more Markdown-ish.

Speed climbing

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The oracle predicts: death by fall from a great height.

Architectures of Control in Design

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Behaviour-regulating designs: the supermarket tile thing I posted the other day is one, but also websites that make it hard to leave, reduced visibility at roundabouts to improve safety... the list goes on.

DailyLit: books by email

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I wish I'd known about this site before I wrote my own bot to do it, I really do. Bah, humbug!

A-Z Retail Tricks To Make You Shop

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Tiles -- Supermarkets used to have a trick placing slightly smaller tiles on the floor in the more expensive aisles of the shop. When a customer entered on of these aisles their trolley would click faster making them think they were travelling faster and thereby subconsciously slow down and spend more time in that aisle.

Star trails around the southern pole

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A 640 minute exposure shows the movement of stars through the night as a field of concentric rings.

A quoi ça sert l’amour?

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Wonderful, wonderful animation.

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.