Archive for March, 2006


Monday, March 27th, 2006

Somehow, the DRM argument gets a lot easier to explain when when you pick a better acronym.

A load of C.R.A.P. -

CRAP stands for Content, Restriction, Annulment and Protection. It’s my catchy buzz-phrase for a technology that’s really called DRM.

Now the way it works is we’ve got let’s say a company who makes products like Apple here. And they have a technology that’s CRAP that’s around their products. And we’ll put CRAP here because everything that happens inside of here, like video or let’s say audio, for example, music, is protected by this layer of CRAP, and the only thing that can take that layer off are the devices that this company, Apple, says can take it off, for example, the iPod.

Now by itself, this isn’t much of a problem until you go out and you buy a device that’s based on Microsoft’s CRAP. So here’s a device that’s based on Microsoft’s CRAP, and here’s their layer of CRAP here. And inside this little window is some video or some audio, like MP3 or music files. And guess what, when you take this layer of CRAP off, it only can play on a device that Microsoft says it can play on.

And guess what? If you try to connect these universes, they don’t connect. Stop buying this CRAP.


Friday, March 24th, 2006

After finishing off my lunch with some tasty Almond Crush Pocky I’ve been looking through the Pocky ads on Youtube.

All the usual Japanese culture suspects are in there: complex social situations, complete insanity, beautiful traditions and upskirt pics.

However, I must admit I never guessed I’d find them selling snack food with zombies - genius!

Sure WYSIWYG, unfortunately WYG is crap

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

I’m less than impressed with several of the WordPress 2.0.2 features. Since he’s the recipient of quite a few nasty comment spams Jamie has been my first upgrade guinea pig. Earlier today he quite innocently created a post in the visual editor with

<span style="font-family: Arial">

tags wrapping every paragraph and overriding his stylesheet defaults. I’m battling with it now and seeing some really crappy markup getting inserted, such as a totally redundant

<span style="text-decoration: underline" />

sitting next to a link I made. Since this behaviour is disturbingly reminiscent of the


tags spat out by Microsoft FrontPage, that’s enough to damn the “visual editor” straight to 1990s WYSIWYG hell. Fortunately you can switch it off and return to the relative sanity of an html source editor, which my non-technical user was begging for. Score for the WordPress developers.

While I’m on a griping mission I find the new image upload tool is really poorly designed. Not only is it very inscrutable to use, it’s downright irritating to configure - there no longer seems to be a way to store image and file uploads outside your wordpress installation directory.

Not everything is bad. The new Akismet spam filtering seems to be catching all the spam thrown at it, which at least gives us a few more minutes in the day to scratch our heads at the rest of the interface.

Down with President Blair

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

BBC NEWS | Politics | How bad is loans row for Blair?
Former cabinet minister and Blair critic Clare Short, amongst others, has described that issue in characteristically blunt terms.

“What we’re getting is a bubble of these clever people who’ve captured the state, don’t need a party, don’t need any members, don’t have turbulent people having opinions, who then get money from rich people and run our state without consulting anyone else,” said Ms Short.

The outlook is not so good for British politics. The incumbent party is corrupt, fragmented and dragged us in to a war of aggression without pausing to question even the flimsiest pretexts of our ally. The opposition would have done exactly the same things in the same position.

Wordpress upgrade

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

The handful of blogs hosted on will be upgraded to Wordpress 2.0.2 over the next day or two. If you notice anything funny going on, please let me know.

Cancomical Lynchpad

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Everybody loves Eric Raymond >> Cancomical Lynchpad

A short comic explaining the business model behind Ubuntu linux and the OLPC project.

Ryan vs Dorkman

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Ryan vs Dorkman - Google Video
Originally created for the TheForce.Net’s lightsaber choreography competition, this fight to the death will decide once and for all who is truly most skilled with a saber.

Circus of Deception

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

I can’t think of much to write about this week, so I’ve excavated some old Asparagine treasure.

Panel Filler Robot

Here is Ant’s Circus of Deception comic. He’s been asking me to find it for a while and says he might write something new if he gets begging comments.

Polar Bears

Monday, March 6th, 2006

This is rather random, but walking past Liberty last week I spotted that their window display features the polar bear masks from the National Theatre’s production of His Dark Materials.

Polar Bear Masks