Archive: Posts about Uncategorized
May 1st, 2006, 15 Comments »
A reader writes with a request for film recommendations against some pretty specific criteria. I’m crap at recommending films when put on the spot, so I thought I’d open things up to you, my dear readers:
We watched Hotel Rwanda last night for the first time. It’s the first movie I’ve really enjoyed since The Pianist (though it’s probably one of only movies I’ve seen since The Pianist). I would put these two films in a category along with (though I haven’t seen) Schindler’s List. Stories that dramatize historic events, with main characters displaying extraordinary survival/humanity in a milieu lacking in humanity.
Given that I’ve been raising children over the last few years, I’m worried I’ve missed similar films. Would you add any others?
At the moment, I’m pretty much coming up empty. I pointed him to Participant Productions, as they produced created Murderball, Syriana, North Country and Good Night, Good Luck.. None of those quite fit the criteria he outlines, however.
15 Comments »
April 4th, 2006, Comments Off
Last month, I wrote about the massive influx of Poles, Lithuanian and Latvian workers into Ireland, Britain and Sweden (and its impact on the burgeoning Irish sex trade). Like illegal Mexicans coming into the US, the workers are generally doing jobs the locals won’t. Unlike the Mexicans, this immigration is legal.
As Gridskipper reports, the director of a Welsh government tourism office is worried that Wales is getting less and less Welsh:
“I’m concerned, and there’s concern among some English rural regions and in Wales and Scotland, that there’s a dilution of what we consider our national tourism product’, he said. ‘It almost sounds racist, but it’s not meant to be. We have to retain things that make our tourism distinctive, whether it’s Welshness, Scottishness or Irishness…I don’t believe that if you bring someone from Poland, Lithuania or the accession countries that you can deliver a distinctively Welsh experience.”
He goes on to mention the immigrants’ impact on the Welsh language, whose re-introduction (or, maybe, repopularization) has been a real success story.
I guess the government needs to contract a bunch of acting schools to teach the Lithuanians some Welsh and Scottish accents.
March 13th, 2006, 14 Comments »
On your website, you’re using one of my photos without my permission. The photo you’re hosting is a cropped version of this photo, which features my lovely wife and I at a wedding. It was originally referenced on this page on my site back in August, 2004. Please remove this photo from your site immediately.
I note with some irony that you’re selling ‘white linen suits’ on that page, while my suit is clearly, well, linen-coloured. Cheers. DB.
UPDATE: MisterShop.com removed my photo.
14 Comments »
March 7th, 2006, Comments Off
There’s considerable sturm und drang around the blogosphere today about Wal-Mart’s blogger relations program, and the related article in the New York Times:
Under assault as never before, Wal-Mart is increasingly looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers, feeding them exclusive nuggets of news, suggesting topics for postings and even inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters.
But the strategy raises questions about what bloggers, who pride themselves on independence, should disclose to readers. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, has been forthright with bloggers about the origins of its communications, and the company and its public relations firm, Edelman, say they do not compensate the bloggers.
But some bloggers have posted information from Wal-Mart, at times word for word, without revealing where it came from.
This is almost a non-story. After all, the media gets the majority of its content through ‘tips’, ‘story ideas’ or ‘media releases’ from the government, corporations and non-profits. Stories are written, and the ‘sources’ are rarely revealed. However, even the lowliest reporter has enough integrity to rephrase a press release or email.
It would be a non-story, and would never make the Times, if these pro-Wal-Mart bloggers weren’t too stupid to publish Wal-Mart’s emails verbatim. That’s just plain idiotic, and reflects a lack of integrity. This isn’t Wal-Mart’s fault, nor is it Edelman’s. It’s the bloggers themselves.
For more on this, read Richard Edelman’s post and Dan Gillmor. I’m a little surprised that Steve Rubel, Edelman employee, hasn’t commented, but maybe he’s wisely keeping a low profile on the issue.
Update: Steve Rubel subsequently commented.
March 1st, 2006, 3 Comments »
This is a demo post from SFU. Roland couldn’t be
her here–apparently he’s ill.
3 Comments »
February 15th, 2006, 3 Comments »
Hey germaphobes–you might want to skip this one. Via Robot Wisdom, here’s a Reuters article discussing the nastiest bits of our world:
Shopping cart handles led the way with 1,100 colony forming units of bacteria per 10 sq cm (1.55 sq inches) followed by a mouse used on computers in Internet cafes, which had an average of 690 colony forming units.
The other germy leaders are hand straps on buses and subways, bathroom doorknobs and elevator buttons.
3 Comments »
February 8th, 2006, 7 Comments »
I’m a big fan of Father Ted, a hilarious
BBC Channel 4 series about three Irish priests living together on a remote island. Yesterday I read on Boing Boing that the creator of Father Ted was back with another series called The IT Crowd. Cory Doctorow speaks highly of the show:
Two IT geeks in the basement of a large, abusive corporation get a new boss, a woman who lied about her IT experience on her resume. What follows isn’t funny because of its intricate plotting, but because of its willingness to lard absurdity on absurdity, so that each episode gets progressively weirder as it progresses.
I decided to check out the first episode (via BitTorrent from The Pirate Bay), and it was pretty funny and Father Tedesque.
I also noticed something that’s kind of cool. It seems to me that the set designers for The IT Crowd visited my Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness for inspiration. I obviously can’t be sure, but I’ve spotted at least five images from the Hall in the background of shots. I uploaded three screenshots to Flickr and will post them below:
You can also see the infamous Flying Spaghetti Monster in that last shot.
7 Comments »
January 19th, 2006, 2 Comments »
Via Mark Evans, I just had a quick peak around PreFound, a new search engine that enables you to “search what people have already found”. This human-filtered approach to a search engine isn’t a bad idea, but I think they’ve made some very old-school mistakes:
- Their search results pages don’t have unique URLs.
- No RSS feeds.
- In order to add new search results to their database (the fundamental idea of PreFound), I have to download and install the PreFound PFfinder toolkit–a desktop application. If I’m using my browser to search (like most humans), why can’t I use my browser to add results to PreFound?
- Their search results, frankly, are lame. They prepopulated their database with data from the Open Directory Project, but that doesn’t seem to have helped. Search for “linen suit” (one of my common litmus test phrases) and the first result is for Leisure Suit Larry. Search for “Darren Barefoot”, and I’m nowhere to be seen.
They’ll have to leverage a tremendous amount of user goodwill (or a lot of cheap Indian and Chinese searchers) to transform their database into something that can compete with the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN. Here’s another short article about PreFound.
2 Comments »