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Saturday, March 23, 2002

Mail archiver for Entourage for Mac OS X:
Mail archiver for Entourage for Mac OS X:
Entourage Email Archive (EEA X) is a simple and fast utility for archiving emails and attachments you have received or sent using Microsoft Entourage. Entourage Email Archive X can archive your email in three different ways:

* 1 - Archive email and/or attachments in the Finder
* 2 - Export or append email in a text file
* 3 - Export or append email in tab-text format
(for this function a freeware FileMaker Pro template is enclosed in EEA X folder)

* Settings 1 produce produce a Finder-structured-folders archive where emails and/or attachments are grouped by day.
* Settings 2 produce a long “paper trail” file that can be viewed with a robust text editor like BBEdit, Apple TextEdit or Microsoft Word.
* Settings 3 produce a tab-text file that can be imported into computer database programs like Filemaker Pro.

Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 13:16 permanent link to this entry

The Internet reaches the ends of the earth
Pat sez:

O.K. Now I believe that the internet has penetrated every corner of the planet. Here is the virtual shopping center for Pitcairn Island. Actually, the stuff doesn't look bad. Natural, tropical honey, dried fruit, nice earrings and wood carving---and you support the shrinking population of this last place on earth.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Pat!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 10:54 permanent link to this entry

Some xenu.net links restored to Google's database
Score half a point for the good guys -- Google's put some of the censored xenu.net anti-Scientology links back into its database.

Don Marti, an activist who protested the arrest of a Russian programmer under the DMCA last year, said he and other activists met with Google on Thursday to discuss the situation.

"Google invited us right in," said Marti, whose ad hoc group is called "Mountain View, California, Xenu Independent Study Group."

Google had the Web site back up before the group arrived at its Mountain View offices on Thursday afternoon, he said.

"We're discussing Google's DMCA policy and trying to keep this from happening again," Marti said. "Google should be a fair and accurate representation of what's on the Internet."

Link Discuss (Thanks, Pat!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 09:04 permanent link to this entry

Nixon explains All in the Family
Nixon tape transcripts: Even more reason to hiss when they highlight the Nixonbot at the Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World:

It takes the president a while to get to the point, which begins with his review of a popular TV sitcom he has just watched, apparently for the first time:

"Archie is sitting here with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter. . . . The son-in-law apparently goes both ways."

Nixon seems to have concluded, against all evidence, that Meathead is bisexual. Possibly it is the length of his hair. Another character in the show, Nixon reports, is "obviously queer. He wears an ascot, and so forth."

The president is outraged that this filth should appear on TV:

"The point that I make is that, goddamn it, I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality. You don't glorify it, John, anymore than you glorify, uh, whores."

The president asserts that America is in jeopardy from this Archie Bunker gay thing:

"I don't want to see this country to go that way. You know what happened to the Greeks. Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo, we all know that, so was Socrates."

Link Discuss (via On Lisa Rein's Radar)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:18 permanent link to this entry

Historical online bookselling design
A Razorfish Web-guy has written up a fascinating analysis of the historical design of Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Borders' homepages.

Amazon communicates using images and links rather than text descriptions.

From 1999 through 2001, Amazon used more images and fewer text descriptions than Barnes and Noble. In 2002, both sites used about 560 words per page, yet the density of words was 33 percent lower on Amazon; Amazon distributes the words across the page as links rather than bunching them together in paragraphs. Over time, Barnes and Noble is becoming more like Amazon in this respect.

Link Discuss (via Camworld)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:08 permanent link to this entry

Starbucks as clueless as KPMG?
Starbucks joins the KPMG Memorial Hall of Cluelessness for sending a registered lawyer-letter to the community site Backwash demanding that they remove links to the giant coffee-chain because Starbucks believes that linking to them without permission is a copyright violation. Starbucks needs a clue. Link Discuss (via Fark)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:02 permanent link to this entry

iPod text editors emerge
As soon as I saw the Contacts import for the new iPod update, I immediately wondered why Apple hadn't released a Notes and To-Do version -- simple data-types that should be easy to import. Well, just a couple days later, there are two Cocoa OSX apps that allow you to put unstructured notes into your Contacts folder. Unfortunately, neither is particularily user-friendly; both require that you launch the app, tell it which text you want on the note, hit Save, locate your Contacts folder on your mounted iPod, enter a filename, hit save again. A much better version would be an OSX service or Scriptie that grabs the highlighted text, prompts you for a title and saves the file (giving it a title like "00Note__, so that all the notes are grouped together at the top of the list). Still, it's quite promising.
Link (Podnotes), Link (iPod Text Editor) Discuss (via MacSlash)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 06:51 permanent link to this entry

Schoolhouse Rock -- Live!
In Seattle? Love campy 70s campy throwback cartoons? The Seattle Times recommends this off-off-off-Broadway live production of "Schoolhouse Rock."

If, as the show's theme says, "Knowledge is Power," then "Schoolhouse" is only a lesser superhero. The often overly simple songs chosen for the live version — ranging from grammar rock to folksy math ballads — aren't going to help anyone pass a math test and probably won't win many friends among history teachers either.

Add to this lyrical mess frenetic choreography and actors valiantly but unsuccessfully singing out of vocal range, and information is a rare commodity.

But, oh, does this cast want to win its audience. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone onstage without his Mouseketeer smile on full-blast. Though low on budget, ReACT's cup of cheerleader spirit runneth over.

Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 06:34 permanent link to this entry

Friday, March 22, 2002

Still Blindly Consuming...
Hate those "Open for Business" consumerism-is-the-answer-to-terrorism signs? Show your opposition to them by, er, buying mugs and other cafepress.com schwag with this rather clever riff printed on 'em.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Flux!)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 17:18 permanent link to this entry

Ever notice how much Marjorie "Dog Mauling" Knoller looks like Yoda?
Link Discuss

posted by Cory Doctorow at 17:06 permanent link to this entry

Harry Potter saves Lego
Harry Potter toys saved Lego's ass in 2001.
Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 16:32 permanent link to this entry

Religious Outsider Art
Patrick sez: "A self taught artist from Niceville, Fla (seriously!) has drawn a series of pictures of Jesus with various ''ordinary people' (e.g. Jesus and a french horn player, Jesus and a truck driver, Jesus and a dental assistant) in order to illustrate the idea that 'Jesus is with you always'. The artist is obviously a very sweet old man, and the result is loony, amusing, and endearing."
Link Discuss
posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 15:36 permanent link to this entry

Sorority Boys director meets PK Dick
The director of Sorority Boys is adapting PK Dick's "The King of the Elves" into a children's film for Disney.
Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 11:30 permanent link to this entry

Now *that* is a messy apartment
Justin sez:

Hey Cory, my good friends who have been hit hard by the dot-bomb are finalists in the apartments.com messiest apartment contest. If they win they get $10k to pay their rent with and free cleaning service, and they really really need it.

Anyway, they are by far the messiest, but its the votes that count. They are the ones from Minneapolis. You don't need to endorse them or anything, because if the votes are fair they'll win hands down.

That really is one goddamned messy apartment. My skin is all a-crawl with squalory squeam. Link Discuss (Thanks, Justin!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 10:27 permanent link to this entry

Saddam Hussein, Novelist
Is Saddam Hussein the anonymous author of these thinly veiled propaganda novels?

The previous novels, which earned rapturous reviews from the local press, were "al-Qala'ah al-Hasinah" (The Fortified Castle) published last year and "Zabibah wal Malik" (Zabibah and the King) printed in 2000.

"Al-Qala'ah al-Hasinah" combined romance and Iraqi politics after the 1991 Gulf War, telling the story of an ex-soldier who falls for a girl from northern Iraq.

"Zabibah" is a tragic novel depicting a ruler falling in love with an unhappily married woman, who refuses to marry him after separating from her husband.

In the story, Zabibah is raped on January 17 -- the same day U.S.-led forces launched the 1991 offensive that drove Iraq out of Kuwait, forcing subsequent Iraqi surrender and a sharp economic decline, which Iraq blames on the U.N. sanctions regime.

Link Discuss (via New World Disorder)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:01 permanent link to this entry

Tales of Mere Existence
A bunch of terrific little Quicktime movies of a cartoonist drawing pictures (usually depicting himself) while he tells a story in a depressed, nasally voice. Something about this works so well. Maybe it's the way he completes the drawings with such confidence, yet speaks in such a self-deprecating way.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Derek!)
posted by Mark Frauenfelder at 06:59 permanent link to this entry

Thursday, March 21, 2002

The Anti-Mammal Dinosaur Protection Act
That's great it starts with a mandate, birds and snakes and aeroplanes...

Senator Fritz Hollings has introduced a modified version of the SSSCA, called the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act, which will do just what it says: convert our rich innovative technosphere into a one-way medium run by coked-up Hollyweird fatcats who thought that the VCR was a bad idea but that Police Academy n -1 was just dandy.

The CBDTPA (let's call it the Anti-Mammal Dinosaur Protection Act and have done with it) requires technologists to arrive at a trumped-up "consensus" with Hollywood Political Officers before they can bring any new products to market. This "consensus," reached at lawyerpoint, establishes what features every product that can store, trasnmit, display or manipulate digital files must have and which files it must not have: everything not mandatory is verboten.

If Senator Fritz has his way, no new technologies will be brought to market without a one-year review. Open Source will be dead, since there will be no way to ensure that your users don't remove your mandated copy-protection measures.

Now more than ever, it is time to put your money and time and energy behind organizations like the EFF as our technologies' very right to exist is challenged. Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 16:58 permanent link to this entry

Klingons are science, Harry Potter is magic
High-larious anaeccdote about "Klingons" negotiating their reservation at a local community library:

KLAS contact: Well, I don't know if I have the authority to make that decision about switching rooms. I am only the communications officer. I will have to talk with my captain.

Librarian: Your captain? What kind of a community group is KLAS?

KLAS comm. officer: Why, we're the Klingons.

Librarian: Well, do you anticipate adding a dozen or more Klingons to your federation between now and next Saturday? If not, you will fit into the small meeting room. Unless you are going to have one of those blood battles with big swords.

KLAS comm. officer: I guess it will be all right to switch.

Librarian: Thank you so much. This really helps me out.

KLAS comm. officer: No problem. I'm really a fan of Dr. Seuss's books. I used to read them to my children all the time when they were little. They are so much better than this terrible Harry Potter stuff that forces magic on children.

Librarian (unable to restrain herself): How can you say that about Harry Potter? You belong to a Klingon organization!

KLAS comm. officer: Harry Potter is about MAGIC! WE are about SCIENCE!!

Link Discuss (Thanks, Gavin!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 12:36 permanent link to this entry

Jailing the Welsh
The British "Prison! Me! No Way!" charity has launched a program(me) to throw Welsh schoolchildren into gaol for a day to give them a taste of what they have coming to them if they don't walk the straight and narrow.

"This scheme will show young people the real consequences of making the wrong choices."
Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 10:07 permanent link to this entry

The Green Fairy
*CAVEAT EMPTOR! Reader Khris Brown tells me that EAbsinthe's beverages lack the hallucinogenic punch of true Absinthe! Click
here for a lesson about thujone, the magic ingredient in true Absinthe. Apparently you can now import Absinthe into the US from this UK distributor. I wonder how they sorted out the legalities! Link Discuss
posted by David Pescovitz at 09:33 permanent link to this entry

Google censored by the Church of Scientology and the DMCA
1998's Digital Millennium Copyright Act - the DMCA -- was enacted to protect rights-holders from infringment online. It allows for massive civil and punishing criminal penalties against infringers and those who abet them.

This awful, draconian law has not been used to safeguard copyright, however. Instead, the DMCA is used as a club to threaten competitors (i.e., Vivendi's Blizzard gaming division suing the open-source hackers who implemented their own version of the Blizzard gameserver), to stop innovation (i.e., the action against the people who wrote the Linux DVD player, DeCSS), and, of course, to silence critics.

The Church of Scientology, notorious for its campaigns to silence former Church members who speak out against the Church's practices has served a DMCA notice on Google. They have forced Google to remove from its database links to materials that the Church claims are infringing.

The implications are staggering. Any yahoo (no pun intended) can now have other people's materials removed from any search tool, just by writing a spurious poison-pen letter.

Sez Google: "We removed certain specific URLs in response to a notification submitted by the Religious Technology Center and Bridge Publications under section 512(c)(3) of the the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Had we not removed these URLs, we would be subject to a claim for copyright infringement, regardless of its merits." (emphasis mine).

Here are the allegedly infringing links:

www.xenu.net/archive/photoalbum/ clan-images.html
www.clambake.org/ archive/photoalbum/
www.clambake.org/archive/photoalbum/ clan-images.html
home.kvalito.no/~xenu/archive/photoalbum/ clan-images.html
Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:53 permanent link to this entry

Chicken Little is a fish

Chunks of goldfish muscle grew 14 percent after a week immersed in a nutrient-enriched liquid extracted from the blood of unborn calves, the New York-based scientists found.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Dave and Michael!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:29 permanent link to this entry

Zed's blog
Frequent Boing Boing contributor Zed Lopez has a blog: MemeMachineGo!
Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:25 permanent link to this entry

Charlie versus God
A loony fundie emailed Charlie before his morning coffee to tell him he was going to hell. Charlie's mini-flamewar with him is on his blog.

Okay, so I was rude. Excessively rude, to be quite honest. But I maintain that this sort of religious invective is also rude. It's an intrusion, uninvited, into somebody else's life, uninformed by any actual knowledge of the person concerned (other than their published blog, which may be downright misleading as to their personal life), and without any trace of interest in them as a person -- it's just a salvo of abuse intended to intimidate a sinner into re-assessing their views.
Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:24 permanent link to this entry

Hugo on science fiction
Hugo Gernsback -- founder of the first sf magazine, coiner of the phrase "scientifiction," namesake of the Hugo Award -- on writing science fiction, from 1930:

(1) A Scientific Detective Story is one in which the method of crime is solved, or the criminal traced, by the aid of scientific apparatus or with the help of scientific knowledge possessed by the detective or his coworkers.

(2) A crime so ingenious, that it requires scientific methods to solve it, usually is committed with scientific aid and in a scientific manner. Therefore the criminal, as well as the detective, should possess some scientific knowledge. You will see that this is not an absolute essential to a good story; a scientific detective can use science in tracing the perpetrator of an ordinary crime, but judicious use of science by both criminal and detective heightens the interest because it puts the two combatants on a more equal plane.

(3) As most of our readers are scientifically minded, the methods used by criminal or detective must be rational, logical and feasible. Now, this does not limit the author's imagination; he can develop many imaginative uses of science, provided they are reasonable. For example: one author sent us a story of a man who rendered himself invisible by painting his clothes and face with a non-light reflecting paint. By explaining some of the laws of light and color he made this accomplishment sound plausible, as indeed it is. But he forgot to mention the shadow which is naturally cast by any object standing in the light, whether or not it is visible to our eyes. Readers of our magazine pick us up on these little details. To avoid such mistakes in writing, which really arise from lack of thought, consider your story from every angle before you write your final copy.

(4) What description of clouds and sunsets was to the old novelist, description of scientific apparatus and methods is to the modern Scientific Detective writer. Here again the author must remember that his work will be read by competent scientists among our readers; and, without careful reference to the encyclopedia, no descriptions of scientific instruments should be included in your stories. If you are not in touch with a Public Library, it is advisable to buy a few really good reference books. Criminoscientific fiction has come to stay and your investment will pay you dividends.

Link Discuss (via Schism Matrix)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 08:19 permanent link to this entry

New stuff from Apple
I've lost track of the number of people who wrote to me about all of Apple's announcements yesterday at MacWorld Tokyo, but Rael linked to some of the best coverage I've seen. In a nutshell:

Link Discuss (via Raelity Bytes)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:41 permanent link to this entry

b3ta needs $5,000
b3ta, a great group blog, is losing its free hosting and needs to raise $5k to cover its bandwidth for a year -- it's up to about $3500 now, all from reader donations.
Link Discuss (via MeFi)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:23 permanent link to this entry

iPod by Dior
Christian Dior has designed an iPod case. An unattractive iPod case.
Link Discuss (via MacSlash)

posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:22 permanent link to this entry

Treating tinnitus like phantom limbs
Tinnitus -- a persistent, largely untreatable ringing in the ears -- can be is fantastically debilitating. Severe tinnitus sufferers can't sleep, sometimes can't even hear. Now, German scientists are testing a promising tinnitus therapy based on the system used to help amputees recover from phantom-limb pain.

Flor's group has successfully treated amputees by asking them to recognise the position and frequency of non-painful electric shocks applied to their stumps. The shocks stimulated the corresponding brain areas and persuaded them to expand again. This reduced the patients' pain by almost 70 per cent.

Flor believes tinnitus is also a kind of phantom sensation, so her group tried using the same principle in reverse to treat it. They trained nine people with chronic tinnitus to discriminate between different pairs of tones, closely matched, that were pitched at frequencies near to the phantom noises.

The patients trained two hours a day over four weeks, after which they reported a 35 per cent reduction in their tinnitus. A control group that trained using unrelated tones showed no improvement.

Link Discuss
posted by Cory Doctorow at 07:16 permanent link to this entry

Simpsons Math
Math from the Simpsons -- turns out that the Simpsons is chock-full-o nerd humor. I was raised by a math teacher: Dad, are you reading this?

Kid:  How come we’ve never seen you in school?
Bart:  I don’t go to school.
Kid:  OK, what’s 2 plus 2?
Bart:  5.
Kid:  Ah, his story checks out.
Link (site is under Slashdot load -- here'a a mirror at archive.org) Discuss (via /.)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 06:59 permanent link to this entry

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The Guestbar!
A tiny, guest-edited blog!

This week's guestbar editor: Bonnie Burton, editor and publisher of grrl.com.

Best Toys Ever: All I want is a Vampireda Krabapple action figure, a Talking Evil Krusty doll and a Ripped Willie. Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:43 PM

Oh Davey! I remember watching these religious claytoons at 7 am every Sunday with my little brother. The talking dog made me have nightmares. I wonder if the Son of Sam was freaked by Goliath too. *shiver* Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:32 PM

Hide the Rubberbands: Is this a toy or a better form of warfare? I just hope none of the kids on my block see this Web site. Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:25 PM

What in the...?: Have you ever heard the tale about The Green Children of Banjos? What about the legend of Tent Girl? You had better start reading. Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:19 PM

And the Beat Goes On...: Without drum machines, where would we be today? Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:14 PM

Alien Airports: UFO landing pads or bored farmers with a creative streak? Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:08 PM

Flies in 3-D: Put on your 3-D glasses and appreciate a fly in all its splendor. Link Discuss
posted by Bonnie Burton at 11:05 PM

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