March 6, 2010

Today's reading list

Found some videos by Paul Robertson a few weeks ago and created this playlist. It consists of Pirate Baby's Cabana Street Fight (a b&w violence-fest), Kings of Power 4 Billion% (colorful, dimension-warping adventure), and Devil Eyes (lovely/sad, space friendship story):

I'd first found his artwork from his uniquely NSFW Livejournal page left in a random Reddit comment. His animation style uses video game left-to-right traveling as the primary framework. Interesting. Pirate Baby and Kings will give you epileptic seizures if you're not careful. Devil Eyes is a completely different mood.

Also from a Reddit comment, pictures from the Hyssop Lounge blog. Post are mostly YouTube videos, but several contain a wealth of great photos of musicians and stuff. See 2day pitures: 29 and 2day pictures: 30 for awesomeness. All, however, are frustratingly unlabeled.

posted by sstrader at 4:51 PM in Today's reading list | tagged photos, videos | permalink

February 8, 2010

Today's reading list

Rhys Paul Hovey rant about mind control:

The Wikipedia entry for Hillary Rodham Clinton is on my watch list (from edits made years back) and this little 5k rollback on the talk page showed up today. A beautiful, schizophrenic rant that starts with:

Hillary Clinton may be in danger over ANNE MARIE SLAUGHTER,. this is RELATED to Rhys Paul Hovey, and the high tech organized crime. Her name is MIND READER BAIT,. please see the RADIO CONTROLLED MEGA PIRATE story and FOREST HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, district 18, and MR CASE. This involves "mind control" technology, which is computer controlled psychological abuse AI and wireless long range subvocal speech recognition (see charles jourgensen NASA), and satalite sound "weapons" which are also used for ADVERTISING (see joseph Pompeii and AUDIO SPOTLIGHT).

Et cetera.

The author may be the referenced Rhys Paul Hovey [ Google Sites | Blogspot ] who has another entry on Wikipedia for his as-yet-unrealeased, surrealist video game Synth. Similar rants found elsewhere in comments at Stay Free! Daily:

I was a big Hillary Clinton fan at one time, until this fiasco started on me with the ultrasound weapons, being used on me, at my home. Not only do I have recordings for you to download at (Yahoo video) and youtube. But now people in my building are starting to talk about the "advertising mind control computer" that they can hear in the streets (Hastings street in Vancouver) they recognize that the actual sounds of the cars and such can be used as a carrier signal as well.

Resemblance to Robby Todino's time travel obsession. Both evocative and unsettling.

Michael Gordon concert at Woodruff Arts Center:

Completely worn out (and will probably regret missing) or I'd go. Postminimalist composer from Bang on a Can fame and of the group Kyle Gann often proselytizes on his PostClassic blog. Pieces I'll be missing (along with links to their MP3s on Amazon where available):

Profiling by Schneier from July 22, 2005:

This is relevant to your interests. In the article, he argues that the wide net of ethnic profiling is so wide as to be useless in catching anyone, and so unwarranted as to be harmful w/r/t ethnic relations. Imagine noting that most terrorists are male and deciding to profile males, only to realize that you can only randomly search an insignificant percentage. Then imagine the resentment you've instilled in the 99.999% of innocent males. You've irritated a large chunk of citizens with arguably no increase in safety. Profiling is pattern recognition and is useful. Wasting time on imprecise patterns is not.

posted by sstrader at 8:23 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

January 2, 2010

Today's reading list

  • Welcome to the out-of-control decade: We have seen the future, and it doesn't belong to you - More and more I'm considering a boycott of the iPhone the act of a responsible technology user. People stop using applications out of convenience if they are cumbersome. People stop using apps for moral reasons if they steal private information. Because Apple controls what software is allowed to be written for the iPhone, it is a closed hardware system where the owner is unable to install anything they might want. No one would ever produce a laptop that restricted users in such a manner; it would be met with the same abhorrence as an application stealing private information. I remember having an old iRiver MP3 player (256 MB!) that only allowed me to copy to it and not from it. MP3 players, despite the RIAA, have become more open. Will all personal devices start trending towards the closed system that Apple models? My comment on selling your privacy for convenience (a major theme in the young adult novel Feed): Something we think we want can give us what we want and yet still be destructive.
  • Separating Explosives from the Detonator - Bruce Schneier is vindicated for his longtime warnings of the US's flawed security theater: Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers. A round-up of his interviews after the fact. Commenting on how rare it is for a terrorist act hurt anyone (highway fatalities being a more serious threat), he says: A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy our country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage.
  • UPular mixed by Pogo [ via VOTD: POGO's UPular] - A fun and funky remix of scenes from UP. Made me want to watch the (wonderful) movie again.

  • Watch This: Skhizein, an Incredible Animated Short Film - Thoughtful animated short from France about a man who exists beside himself after being hit by a meteor. Beautiful.

    Skhizein (Jérémy Clapin,2008) from Bertie on Vimeo.

posted by sstrader at 11:53 AM in Phones , Today's reading list | tagged iphone | permalink

December 23, 2009

Today's reading list

  • C-SPAN helps MSNBC show and prove hypocrisy by McCain - Sen. Franken denies Sen. Lieberman an additional moment to speak, McCain denounces that action as unprecedented, Maddow dutifully hunts down a clip (with considerable help from C-SPAN) of McCain, in 2002, denying an additional 30 seconds from Sen. Mark Dayton as Dayton rails against the Iraq war.
  • How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room - Excellent, clearly written piece on how China emasculated the treaty and how the world press laid down on the job and put the blame on Obama.
  • Holy Baboon! A 'Mystical' Moment In Africa - Back in 2004, I commented on the continuum of consciousness across the animal kindom. This event with baboons appears part of that continuum as--although exaggerated in the NPR story--an example of group contemplation. Myth is our collective memory of events in our pre-writing past; here was the origin of a myth in baboon society.
  • THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION - Mocking Palin (easy though it is) for her tweet that shall be known in the archives of literature as: "Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions". I'm loathe to defend Palin, but Gin and Tacos' railings reminded me of an article I remember reading in Language Log (closest I could find was Shattering the illusions of texting). Their defense was, simply, that Twitter and IM abbreviations are akin to those used in early printed novels, newspapers, and broadsheets. Ink, paper, and typesetting were expensive, and so brevity became the soul of profit. To anyone who complains about Twitter but then uses "etc" or "1/4" or "&": get over yourselves.
  • THE DIZZYING HEIGHTS - The G&T blog is more interesting when he avoid linguistics and sticks to politics. His mocking of conservative solutions are spot on: There is not a single thing the government can do - from fighting a war to creating a last-resort insurance option - that can't be done better by a consortium of gigantic private interests with their eternal guiding light of the profit motive.
  • THE COOLER - The Senate and a weak majority: One of my favorite quotes from the founding era - which, like any tale of the Founders' wit and wisdom, may be apocryphal - is Washington's explanation to a skeptical Thomas Jefferson about the advantages of a bicameral legislature and specifically of a House designed for rapid action paired with a slow-moving Senate. GW is said to have asked Jefferson, "Why did you set your tea on the table before drinking it?" to which Jefferson said, "To cool it; my throat is not made of brass." Having made the point, Washington told his friend, "So it is with the legislature. The House is where we make our tea and the Senate is where we let it cool so we might drink it."
posted by sstrader at 9:51 AM in Today's reading list | permalink

August 28, 2009

Week's reading list

Opera Mini Is Most Downloaded Mobile App - A flawed survey but it mimics what I've read from European/non-US sources. Some of the flaws I've found with Opera Mini on my BlackBerry Storm:

  • Cannot copy text from a page.
  • Cannot copy link addresses.
  • Manually entering an address is cumbersome.
  • You must touch a link (and not click it) to navigate to that link.
  • In mobile layout, which is more condensed, check boxes are virtually un-checkable.
  • Bookmarks can be resorted by touching (not clicking) and dragging in the list. Most of the time, they respond by resorting to unexpected locations in the list.
  • Search keys (via the address bar) are not available.
  • Opening images and videos shell out to the BlackBerry browser.

Health insurers admit using 50,000 employees to lobby Congress to defend their outrageous profits - This is a tough one: on the one hand, a corporation is strong-arming it's employees to act in the political interest of the company; on the other, those employees have every right to say no. It

Johann Hari: Republicans, religion and the triumph of unreason - How do they train themselves to be so impervious to reality? - Every paragraph is a gem. I'll pick two to quote:

This tendency to simply deny inconvenient facts and invent a fantasy world isn't new; it's only becoming more heightened. It ran through the Bush years like a dash of bourbon in water. When it became clear that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, the US right simply claimed they had been shipped to Syria. When the scientific evidence for man-made global warming became unanswerable, they claimed - as one Republican congressman put it - that it was "the greatest hoax in human history", and that all the world's climatologists were "liars". The American media then presents itself as an umpire between "the rival sides", as if they both had evidence behind them.

It's a shame, because there are some areas in which a conservative philosophy - reminding us of the limits of grand human schemes, and advising caution - could be a useful corrective. But that's not what these so-called "conservatives" are providing: instead, they are pumping up a hysterical fantasy that serves as a thin skin covering some raw economic interests and base prejudices.

That second one bears repeating. There are many good arguments to be had on healthcare reform. We're not having them and instead allowing the crazies to define the discussion.

The Truth: What's Really Going On With Apple, Google, AT&T And The FCC - Just one story of many where developers are getting fed up with the Apple ecosystem. The best assessment I've heard was from On the Media (I thought it was from the Aug 14th show, but can't find the reference). They were talking about how closed systems promote censorship. If the internet restricted who could create web pages, and what web content they could create, the on-line landscape would be of much less value. Similarly, when Apple arbitrarily block some applications from its phone while allowing other, they diminish the overall value of the iPhone environment. With the horror stories I've been hearing from developer blogs, I'm quickly becoming an Apple-hater. Bring on the Android!

[ updated 2 Sept 2009 ]

On The Media: The Net's Mid-Life Crisis, August 14, 2009 with Jonathan Zittrain, explaining the chilling effect of centrally controlled technology:

The downside [with the iPhone] is it sets up a new gatekeeper that's going to have its own motives and incentives that are not always the same as the consumers it's supposed to serve.

Somebody submitted an iPhone application to Apple called "Freedom Time." Basically it was a countdown clock for the Bush Administration, and it had the tagline, "Till the end of an error." The author couldn't understand why it was rejected.

Steve Jobs wrote him back when he complained, and said, this is an application that will offend roughly half of our users. What's the point?

Also of note from the same show, if off topic, The Net Effect with Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project:

One of the surprising things we found in that survey was that those who are the most technologically adept and those who are the most engaged with information actually are not in the echo chamber pattern; they are actually seeking out and finding out more arguments opposed to their views than those who are less technologically adept and less interested in political information.

Tweet count is much smaller than it should be - My Twitter count went from ~3000 to 0 after their DDoS. Still not fixed. :-(

posted by sstrader at 2:44 PM in Phones , Science & Technology , Today's reading list | tagged android, iphone | permalink

August 26, 2007

Today's reading list

posted by sstrader at 7:15 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

August 4, 2007

Today's reading list

  • Wikipedia trust coloring demo [ via Boing Boing ]
  • Wizkids at the UCSC Wiki lab created an algorithm that determines a Wikipedia author's reputation by examining how long their contributions last. With these reputation values, they then created a tool to highlight article text with shades of orange. White is trusted, orange is untrusted, and everything in between are varying levels of trust. This is quite an achievement, and I hope that it makes it into the Wikimedia code soon.

  • Amazon Fresh revivifies WebVan in Seattle [ via TechCrunch > WebbAlert > Boing Boing ]
  • We still have our WebVan refrigerator magnet and pine for those Halcyon days of sitting in front of the computer to shop and having our groceries wating for us in the lobby refrigerators. Yay!

  • That Whole Puppy-Burning Thing
  • A one-page story from 1997 by Jim Knipfel. One of many stories hosted on his site Slackjaw including a prominently notable blurb from Thomas Pynchon. I haven't read anything else yet, but TWP-BT had a nice sardonic and parable feeling to it.

  • 30 Day Challenge
  • Make your first $10 in 30 days. Entry fee is simply your email address. A co-worker snagged this from Digg and is signed up. All of the web references I can find are from (1) home business news sites that dutifully praise the event, (2) home businesses/blogs that are signed up for it, and (3) Digg. Not sure if I'm going to take the time...

posted by sstrader at 10:07 AM in Today's reading list | permalink

July 4, 2006

Reading list, 4th of July edition

I was finally getting around to research on the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision and found a concise explication by Glenn Greenwald. Recommended. Also check out his hilarious roundup of that ridiculous battle by the administration against the NYT. Tracking banking records was bragged about by Bush yet for anyone else to talk of it is treasonous; publishing photos of Cheney's vacation house is allowed by conservative outlets but proof of sheer un-American-ness by others. Disclosing public knowledge is no longer a semantic contradiction, it's now apparently unlawful.

On a lighter note, I was told that an otherwise conservative relative (I mean really conservative) feels that Gore is right about global warming (although, humorously, that's "the only thing he's right about"). Maybe this country is turning around...

posted by sstrader at 11:22 AM in Today's reading list | permalink

February 4, 2006

Today's reading list

Mark Liberman at Language Log discusses the absurd Cingular patent on hot keys for emoticons. In it, he links to Geoff Nunberg's piece from 1997 called "A Wink is as Good as a Nod," in which he trashes those silly things. I hate emoticons and only use them rarely (if you're too dim-witted to realise when I'm joking or being sarcastic, no collection of punctuation will help), but it was only recently that I realised exactly why I hate them. Whenever someone types a :-) or a <:-o I imagine them actually making that face. And it just looks ridiculous. Even Bazooka Joe doesn't over-emphasize what he's saying that much. Please, enough with the emoticons.

Semantic Compositions had a couple of recent classics. First, a discussion on the WSJ article about the death metal singing style called Cookie Monster singing or Cookie Monster vocals. Fascinating and funny. And now I may have to start listening to Fear Factory's 1999 opus Obsolete. It tells a story about machines taking over the world in the future and the rebels trying to fight back! Wacky!! I've got a passing familiarity with punk but haven't really listened to hardcore metal (although the movie Some Kind of Monster is very good, Metallica really ain't that hardcore).

The other SC article was on the frequency and variation in the 800-pound gorilla metaphor. 800 is the most common gorilla weight with 500 a distant second.

A /. discussion links to a review of search engines and privacy (which in turn links to, among other things, a more detailed article from Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch). One poster hypothesized that although Google emphasizes the importance of complying with China's censorship, they would probably attempt to skirt the legal issues of data privacy addressed in most EU countries. The lesson: only obey local rules when it benefits you.

posted by sstrader at 4:32 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

November 25, 2005

Today's reading list

  • The Man Who Sold the War [ via Rolling Stone ]
  • The CIA paid the Rendon Group more than $23 million dollars to help bring down Saddam Hussein through propaganda and media manipulation. That propaganda, fed to Judith Miller among others, once reported was used by the administration to bolster support for the war. In one breath John Rendon criticises the media for reporting unflattering and incorrect information about the war, in the next he boasts of feeding incorrect information to that same media. Jackass.

    It reminds me of the essay "Astroturf: How Manufactured 'Grassroots' Movements are Subverting Democracy" from The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003. In it, Jason Stella outlines how propaganda--lies--from the Kuwaiti government was used to push lawmakers to vote for the first Iraq war.

  • Crisis in Cosmology [ via In Defense of Marxism ]
  • First, I find out that string theory is in question, now the big bang too? My head is spinning. All of those problems that still exist with the theory could eventually bring it down--and in the process describe a universe that is at least 70 billion years old instead of 13! This is big. At the center of the dispute is plasma cosmology.

    The article is, however, absolutely dispicable in the way it presents modifications that occured in the big bang theory. At several points, scientific adjustments are presented as some sort of weasling out on the part of the scientists. Look: theories are meant to adjust as new facts are presented. That's what science is. If the theory eventually falls apart--which the big bang may-or-may-not--then the theory that best represents the new facts will replace it. Too much sensationalist science reporting. Jackasses.

    This, oddly, makes me wish Brian Greene had a blog. I wonder what the discussions are in the physicist and cosmologist circles...

    And, bravo to Eric Lerner for his vigilance in keeping the Wikipedia entry on plasma cosmology unmolested by rabid graduate students. New science is new science and it needs to be presented with fact and not ridiculed with emotion.

  • TiddlyWiki
  • Self-contained wiki based on JavaScript contained within the HTML pages. Basically, you can save your entire, functioning wiki to a single HTML file. Client-side scripting at its best. Now I have to think about porting my development wiki, and maybe even my blog, to this.

Today's reading list

  • The Wilson-Plame-Novak-Rove Blame Game [ via ]
  • Painfully detailed and dispassionate timeline of what-happened-and-when. Worth several readings.

  • So I says to myself, "Self, what's up with these Googlecounts?"
  • Whilst researching a snowclone, Benjamin Zimmer points out some interesting inconsistencies with Google searches when used to research statistics of language use. For example: the search count for "A" should be equal to the sum of the search counts for "A" "B" and "A" -"B". Instead, the numbers are wildly different. The first search can return thousands more results than the sum of the other two.

  • Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse [via Wikipedia ]
  • I recently had heard several comments suggesting that America did not torture its prisoners. Some people apparently still believe that. With Bush and Cheney double-speaking their way around questions on the military's policy, was I missing something? I don't think so. Major General Antonio Taguba's report from April 2004 states that we committed egregious acts and grave breaches of international law. It also states that 60% of the Abu Ghraib prisoners were not a threat (a point I noted back in June 2004). Why is this forgotten?

posted by sstrader at 12:45 PM in Language & Literature , Politics , Today's reading list | permalink

February 19, 2005

Today's reading list

  • The Rise and Fall of Rock and Roll Graphic Design
  • This Is Why Your Game Magazine Sucks (part one)
  • Skulls may be oldest known human remains
Continue reading "Today's reading list"

February 17, 2005

Today's reading list

  • Wil Wheaton: So, ASCAP to *license* podcasts? Readers respond.
  • Composing at the keyboard
  • Groupware
  • Color Rules of Thumb
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 1:45 PM in Art , Culture & Society , Music , Today's reading list | permalink

February 13, 2005

Today's reading list

  • Wake up and smell the fascism
  • Whither Apple, Google, Blogs, and DVRs
  • Reinventing Physics: the Search for the Real Frontier
  • Interface Culture
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 10:35 PM in Art , Music , Politics , Science & Technology , Today's reading list | permalink

January 7, 2005

Today's reading list

  • Moral Values My Ass
  • Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism
  • K5 Article on Wikipedia Anti-elitism
  • Academia and Wikipedia
  • Nickelback
  • The Identity of a Song
  • Music In and Out of Time
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 2:06 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

January 1, 2005

Today's reading list

  • Repeat after me
  • Ways to fix your life: Quit your job
  • Let Them Eat Prose
  • Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 11:24 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

December 24, 2004

Today's reading list

  • 2004: The 50 Best Albums
  • New coal plants bury 'Kyoto'
  • Who are the nation's 'cheapstates'? Try the blue ones.
  • Head (1968)
  • Head (1968)
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 1:31 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

December 16, 2004

Today's reading list

  • The Most Hated Advertising Techniques
  • complete css guide
  • Not Funnies
  • Several comic book related stories
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 4:45 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

December 8, 2004

Today's reading list

  • News Analysis: Overhaul of U.S. intelligence still has far to go
  • God, American History and a Fifth-Grade Class
  • Mush Journalism Lets The Lie Spread
  • Army Spun Tale Around Ill-Fated Mission
  • The 6 Myths Of Creativity
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 9:42 AM in Today's reading list | permalink

December 7, 2004

Today's reading list

  • Don't believe the hype, No more heroes: music
  • Old Faithful, Testing the limits of love, by David Sedaris
  • Take a Chance, Scientists put randomness to work
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 5:37 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

November 28, 2004

Today's reading list

  • Beyond "The Da Vinci Code": What is the Priory of Sion?
  • Isaac Newton in the Kitchen
  • Shock and Awe In the Senate
  • One gulp, and Bush was gone
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 3:04 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

November 10, 2004

Today's reading list

  • Mining the Moon, the Gateway to Mars
  • For Dutch, anger battles with tolerance
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 3:25 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

November 4, 2004

Today's reading list

  • Avet Terterian, Composer from Armenia
  • The Doghouse: Vadium Technology
  • One-Time Pads
  • Nature (journal)
  • Science (journal)
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 7:05 PM in Today's reading list | permalink

November 3, 2004

Today's reading list

I'm not sure if I like these reading lists. They bundle many entries under one, giant entry at the expense of categorization. This may be a short-lived experiment.

  • Authenticity blues
  • Climate Change Melts Arctic Ice
  • Climate change is here, now, say scientists
  • Winning and losing the compliment game
  • A Mobile Web That Knows All About You
  • Riemann zeta function
  • Data haven
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 3:50 PM in Today's reading list | tagged arts and letters daily | permalink

November 2, 2004

Today's reading list

  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Thoroughly modern Moma
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 8:31 PM in Today's reading list | tagged arts and letters daily | permalink

November 1, 2004

Today's reading list

  • J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly
  • Cavite province, Philippines
  • Spyware: Sneaky, annoying threat
  • Home PCs Plagued With Problems
  • Kerry Ad Falsely Accuses Cheney on Halliburton
  • The Facts on Halliburton
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 5:16 PM in Today's reading list | tagged arts and letters daily | permalink

October 31, 2004

Today's reading list

I am going to start blogging and sometimes mirroring the interesting articles I read each day. With the entries here on my site, I can more easily search for quotes ("where did I read that?") and can be sure that links don't die. This may become more trouble than it's worth, but it's still worth a try.

  • Infinite monkey theorem
  • Schenkerian analysis
  • A Schenkerian Primer
  • Camille for Kerry
  • Just say Yes
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 5:54 PM in Today's reading list | permalink