Monthly Archives: July, 2003

"The only good PC feature, now on the Mac"

[Original Link] Agreed. I’ve been wanting this.

Standing up for sanity

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An Open Source group in Australia has filed a complaint against SCO, complaining of “unsubstantiated claims and extortive legal threats for money”.

“They’re basically saying ‘you owe us money’. But if someone asks ‘why do I owe you money’, they reply, “we can’t tell you why, but you have to pay us anyway’,”

Humor, Humility, and Rhetorical Courage

[Original Link] I was in the States last week and turned on the TV in my hotel room to see Tony Blair addressing Congress. Now, I am no great fan of our Prime Minister, and particularly of his recent activities, but something in his speech made me proud to be British.
Michael Kinsey’s article in Slate gives me some insight into why that was.

Danny and Tim

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Danny O’Brien, as an aside while talking about something else, makes a wonderfully resonant statement:

One of my big bones with MS stuff is that it always makes me feel like I’m eating out of the trash bins outside a cubicle farm. All of their software is designed to help busy executives plan their lives. Everyone I know uses it to try and write birthday cards and chat with their friends. When people use Microsoft Office they use it anywhere but in an office. Microsoft knows this – but it also knows that the money comes from their corporate clients, so there’s a limit to how much it can bend its software toward a wider customer base. Ultimately when you use MS software, you’re not the end user MS perceives at all: we’re just living off the scraps Microsoft leaves out after feeding its big customers. This is especially true of their super-smart agent tech. Every demo I’ve seen presumes so much about how it’s going to be used in an office environment that I can’t imagine using it anywhere else.

and Tim O’Reilly comments:

Part of what I like about what Apple is doing with Mac OS X is that they’ve redefined “productivity” away from the office and towards helping people do other things with computers: photos, music, videos.

Modern Swiss Army Knives

[Original Link] Is this the SUV of the mobile phone world? Hey, wait! – they left out the printer!

Three Sins of Authors in Computer Science and Math

[Original Link] Jonathan Shewchuk wrote this 6 years ago – I’ve just come across it. Very valuable advice for science research students.

Netscape is dead

[Original Link] Long live Mozilla.

Hedge Rage

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I’m back in Seattle again, and enjoying the New York Times, as always. Let’s see, what’s in the international news? Thousands in pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong, atom bomb developments in Korea, and new laws in Norway requiring 40% female board membership in public companies.

What about the UK? Well, apparently, some people in Elstree are upset about the height of their neighbour’s hedge…

…Stalemates like these are common in Britain today, said Clare Hinchcliffe, a spokeswoman for Hedgeline, a group that lobbies on behalf of people with grievances about hedges…

Grievances about hedges? Can you imagine admitting at parties that you were a spokeswoman for Hedgeline?. What must the Yanks think of us?!

Plus ça change…

We’re always told, by the publishers of trendy dictionaries, for example, that language is a fluid and fast-changing thing. But yesterday I found myself using a phrase which, for millions of people, would have had exactly the opposite meaning only a few months ago:

“…as elusive as a weapon of mass destruction.”

Making Movies

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Well, I’ve now received my Apple iSight, and the design of the packaging it came in is almost as good as that of the camera itself.

Here’s a handy article by Derrick Story on making the most of it.

Worrying news about EU patents

[Original Link] The EU is going the way of the US, and the whole patent world is in danger of becoming a farce. It’s good that, in the midst of this, people can write such well-thought-out articles as Kieren McCarthy.

Grounding planes the wrong way

[Original Link] Iraqis weren’t the only ones looting and vandalising, according to this Time report.
[Thanks to Denny for the link]

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser