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Next New Moon: Sat 15 May 07:06 CDT. Cams: Asia : West : East : Euro

April Oliver sues CNN! (AP-Fox)
Earthweek map features fires in South Asia (CNN)
Review of Truffaut bio (WashPost)
First chapter of John McPhee's latest Pulitzer-winner (CNN)
Rimbaud et Baudelaire (in French)
Debbie Harry nudes from early 70s (832x846 jpeg) (Playboy?)
Pentagon confirms depleted uranium use (BBC)
Search results to be displayed as topological map (UIUC)
Anti-environmental riders attached to Kosovo-relief bill (CDreams)
Daniel Schorr sees Clinton identifying with Littleton's geeks (CSM)
Confessions of a kaleidoscope collector (Forbes)
In praise of businesspeople writing poems (Forbes- multipage)
Nato airstrikes poison rivers, kill fish in Yugoslavia. (TASS)
Lifestyle survey of 30-something women (UK Mirror)
Review of Lotus Organizer 5 (WashPost)
Newly discovered throne offers Mayan clues (LA Times)
Web-hosting for Dummies (WashPost)
Matter or antimatter, that is the question (BBC)
Web leads to increasing consumer drug-ads (Wired)
April Oliver (CNN-Tailwind martyr) fights back? (OSRR)
25 most influential tech journalists (OSRR)
Update on Canada's new National Post (CSM)
Japan's humanoid-robot project (CSM)
Calligrapher's 6yr project to hand-copy the Bible (CSM)
Thursday book review section (UK Times)
A very short Nabokov story, 'Revenge' (alt.books.nabokov)
First, mixed reactions to Phantom Menace (long page, minor spoilers) (AIC)
Comparison of meta-search engines (CLib)
Phoebe Snow says Gwyneth can sing (Go)
Elaborate proposal for XML-with-added-AI (bad English) (
Decent Neal Stephenson interview (Amazon)
Finally a new Jules Feiffer cartoon (UExpress)
Finally the Tuesday book review section (UK Telegraph)
Clive Sinclair plans ultra-cheap Linux box (Wired)
Start of multi-day feature on microcredit (SFGate)

Fri, May 7, 1999

Updated: There still may be a different batch of Computer Gaming World reviews coming this evening (I may have missed these last week):

- Heroes of Might and Magic III (4.5 stars) [Very cool pic]
- Monaco Grand Prix (4 stars, no pix)
- Speed Busters (messy racer, 3.5 stars) [Beautiful pix]
- Extreme Tennis (2 stars)
- Close Combat III: The Russian Front (3.5 stars, weak AI, low replay value) [Cool pic]
- SimCity 3000 (4 stars) [boring pix]

New Science News includes social spiders, and Neanderthal hybrids

New first chapters:

- "Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique: The American Left, The Cold War, and Modern Feminism," nonfiction by Daniel Horowitz
- "Between Mothers and Sons: Women Writers Talk About Having Sons and Raising Men," nonfiction by Patricia Stevens

Japanese shop specializes in puzzles:

"Japanese customers often ask for the solution, but Westerners generally turn it down," Hirano said. "The fun is in that moment when you solve the puzzle yourself, don't you think so?"

Excellent piece on cable networks' ethically dubious market research:

Nickelodeon's spin-off network, Noggin, arranged to pay thousands of dollars to a school in Montclair, New Jersey in exchange for allowing it to conduct weekly focus groups. Children were given disposable cameras and asked to record their activities in photos and words. Nickelodeon also has a long-standing relationship with an "adopted" day-care center in Harlem, which is paid $100 a month to enable the network to test some of its ideas on children.

Dancers at MTV's spring break flashed fewer designer labels on clothes this year after researchers found many teen-agers resented "in your face" marketing.

AltaVista rumors at the Evil MSNBC: [SN]

Compaq is simply pulling its punches while it works behind the scenes, planning to re-launch a bold new AltaVista site later this year. He said the site has consciously held back on integration of new services while it ramps up back-end technology.

Getcher X-ray specs here: [multipage w/G-rated pix]

The PF is able to see through thin and tight clothes, sundresses, swimsuits and so forth. This means that you can see a person's body or underwear through the external garment. Therefore, those parts of the body where the naked eye cannot see are made to be seen starkedly-nakedly by the use of the PF.

Need To Know's interpretation of Sinclair's Linux keyboard includes 'chmod' key:

Sir Clive Sinclair single-handedly launched the UK's home PC market in the early 80's. Now, Britain's most famous high-tech inventor reportedly has a new project: a low-cost, portable Linux machine.

Okay bubble-bursting:

How does a rational investor justify owning the S&P at 1360, which means owning stocks at 34 times trailing earnings? One theory is that, over the long pull, stocks are so sound they needn't carry a risk premium. But even brushing aside the risk that P/E ratios just might be a lot lower 20 or 30 years from now (or whenever you get around to spending the money you are saving now), the 34 multiple strongly suggests that you can make a real return of only 2.9% on money you put into stocks today.

The associated chart is interesting:

Percentage of stocks underperforming the market by more than 10%

Current: over 70%

Thu, May 6, 1999

New The Nation

I haven't even seen Creatures TWO yet!

"We're particularly excited about connecting agents in Creatures 3, which are like a vast interlocking set of cool gadgets that you can just plug together to combine their functions..."

Brushes with greatness:

I just found out that Beck's grandfather once took my older sister dancing at Max's Kansas City in NYC.

[Email by phone] Great banner (for a banner)

So do ISPs routinely log caller-IDs? Does star-69 still disable this?,4586,2254225,00.html?chkpt=hpqs014

The Radius log for that session had a caller I.D. function that showed the telephone call came from Middleton's San Francisco apartment.

(A reader writes that for the ISPs that do this (not many, I guess), star-69 won't work.)

Programmers' view of Python: [SN]

In short, Python's major features include its support for object-oriented development and powerful programming constructs, extendible and embeddable architecture, and clear syntax. Python makes it extremely easy to build complex data structures out of objects, lists, dictionaries, and the like. It is particularly useful for system administration, building GUIs, scripting, database programming, and rapid prototyping.

NASA in a panic:

"Probably we should stop believing our own bulls___, and realize that this is a high-risk industry," said Alden Richards of Space Machine Advisors, which brokers insurance deals between insurers and satellite firms. "Who the hell designs a brand-new vehicle and puts a payload on the first time?"

"Underneath most of these guys you find a person who thinks that space is the destiny of mankind. As long as that remains a driving force, you are always going to have these optimistic people who by sheer will are trying to break the technical boundary," he said.

Memo to the W3C, self-appointed arbiters of Web style: [via YAWL]

- Starting off with several screenfuls of meta-content is extremely burdensome. Move it to the bottom, or a separate page.

- An academic, jargon-ridden style is very difficult for the average Web surfer. Say it simple and straight.

- White space is good. Your tables are cramped, even with stylesheets on. (And I hate those after-dinner-mint colors.)

- Checklists are supposed to be concise (unless you're launching a Moon mission).

OS News (operating systems weblog) streamlines their page design:

Daily News (Updated Continuously)

6 May 1999: The Gartner Group has warned corporate users against adopting early versions of Windows 2000...


I'm vaguely conscious of a growing pool of wounded-or-annoyed people, who've sent me questions or requests that were important to them, but that I didn't even reply to.

What happens is that I don't have a quick answer, but my mail program promptly buries them among dozens or hundreds of others. I should make them a special folder, but this is really awkward in MacSoup (mail and news).

Headlines of Tomorrow?

Negativland hacks Imagine Radio, substituting own tracks

Nick Traenkner on alt.hypertext: [Deja URL]

Getting "lost in a book" is often considered a good thing. Why is getting "lost in a hypertext" a bad thing?

Wed, May 5, 1999

New Lingua Franca:

- FIELD NOTES The Proust boom
- LOST TRIBES: Critics in the academy, Congress, and in the Indian community charge the Bureau of Indian Affairs with using outdated categories and racially suspect assumptions.
- HYPOTHESES Jim Holt pokes holes in the miracle of stigmata.

Shortish account of the 19th C 'free love' movement:

This virulent repression was so widespread that English playwright George Bernard Shaw refused to visit the United States, saying in a letter to the New York Times (September 26, 1905):

"The reason I do not go to America is that I am afraid of being...imprisoned like Mr. Moses Harman.... If the brigands can, without any remonstrance from public opinion, seize a man of Mr. Harman's advanced age, and imprison him for a year under conditions which amount to an indirect attempt to kill him, simply because he shares the opinion expressed in my Man and Superman that 'marriage is the most licentious of human institutions,' what chance should I have of escaping?"

New New Scientist


My ideal for weblogs is that everybody should keep one-- publicly or privately-- as the most efficient way of archiving good bookmarks. (Since I started keeping mine, I've hardly ever lost an URL!) If this means you copy 90% of my links, I don't mind at all if you also: 1) write your own comments rather than copying mine, and 2) include a link to me from time to time that will let your readers choose whether they want to follow RWWL here, directly.

One logger may filter out the 10% politics, another the 10% tech, so this would ultimately allow surfers to fine-tune their interests. RWWL offers way too many links for occasional surfers to keep up with, so anyone who wants to just 'skim the cream' will also be serving a useful purpose. And I'm always pleased to see which links others have found worth repeating-- once I understand your tastes, I may even include 'marginal' links because I think you'll like them.

Final poll percentages (crash frequency):

                       Windows   Mac    Other
More than once a day     17%      3%      1%
More than once a week    27%      8%      0%
Less than once a week    17%     11%     16%
Total                    61%     22%     17%

Cool niche market: [YAWL]

Hometown Favorites specializes in candies, condiments and everyday food items from back home. Originally begun to satisfy northerners who had moved to Florida, Hometown Favorites makes available over 400 food items which had been regionally exclusive up 'til now.

Their intensely nostalgic long list of discontinued products:

Grape Tang
Haagen Daz Peanut Butter Burst
Hallmark Beans
Heinz Salsa Ketchup

Long, exciting RealAudio account of Pacifica reporters confronting Brokaw, Stahl, and Holbrooke: (first 20 of 30 mins)

Joining the discussion are Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! and Jeremy Scahill of the Pacifica Network News. Their recent experience at the Overseas Press Club awards ceremony bring some the problems of elite journalism into bold relief.

(They also argue that the Belgrade TV station was bombed to shut down their factual footage of the bombing victims getting to the West via CNN etc.)

A nice paragraph from a book about Milosevic: (Telegraph)

"The main culprits for the explosion of Serbian violence in the late 20th century," he writes, "were not primitive cattlemen but highly educated, sophisticated and powerful people. Violent highlanders and urban criminals were their tools; they were given weapons and opportunity to loot, rape and kill in order to realise the ambitions of the elite."

GV Higgins chooses a Churchill bio as the best book of the century! (Telegraph)

Bill's prose is the ex-marine's plainsong, as accessible to the common reader as to the specialist; his art so very perfect that it seems no art at all.

Haunting nude-series of kd lang, from the film Salmonberries: (1024*768 jpg)

Ralph Nader makes the Littleton/ corporate-greed connection (plus AIDS-drugs in Africa): [CDreams]

Behind every Marilyn Manson are corporations and corporate executives who cynically draw their large compensation packages from the fruits of such work.

There is nothing Congress could do that is more important than making America's children safe again from the interests that would rob them of their childhood.

Raphael returns with a bang: (biology/arts weblog)

No Honeyguide updates last week because I was out of town, visiting the Sonoran Desert (I'll put some photos up soon).

Chris Byron on day trading:

...what Internet Financial and the Internet's other day-trading firms have done is perfect a method for trading stocks so cheaply and easily (and above all, so rapidly) that vast stretches of the American capital market have been transformed into a kind of global Off-Track Betting emporium-a place of infinitely flowering generosity, where the more you put in, the more you get back, where no one ever loses (so how can you call it gambling?)...

Chatty Shakespeare scholarship:

Reading the Hand D passage is fascinating on several levels. If it is Shakespeare's handwriting, we get to watch him, in effect, in the throes of the creative process-crossing out, blotting out, changing his mind, getting stuck untangling an image-the closest thing, perhaps, to watching his mind at work.

What Applause has issued are not facsimiles of the 1623 folio, but modern-type versions of the original spelling texts (under the direction of-and with commentary by-the scholar Neil Freeman). Versions designed not just to be read but to re-create for actors and directors something closer to the unmediated playscripts used by Shakespeare's own company.

Beautiful Nick von Hoffman rant:

By cracky, if there be a person in need of some gun control, it is the aptly nicknamed Billy the Kid, who has bombed no fewer than five countries, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Serbia-Kosovo, since the old draft squirmer got himself a hat with scrambled eggs on the visor, entitling him to play Commander in Chief.

Poll: What computer do you use most, and how often does it crash so bad you have to reboot it (turn it off and back on, or hit ctrl-alt-delete, etc)?

View results

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