« Previous Day | Main | Next Day »

6 November, 2002

Stupid Linking Policies

Every once in a while I'll read about a web site that has a Terms of Service policy which prohibits "deep linking" to specific documents at their site. My reaction: What a bunch of idiots.

The Don't Link to Us! web site has compiled an extensive list of these web sites -- most of which are apparently operated by people who have no conception of what the World Wide Web is all about.

Amazingly, there are even web sites (e.g., sylvania.com) that actually require a written "linking agreement. What a crock!

Posted on 6 November, 2002

How to Turn People Off From the Tablet PC

Matthew, over at SlashNOT, wrote a short parody of a Microsoft press release for "Digital Ink." I had a good laugh over the screen shots that are linked from Matthew's piece. But then I realized that they are the actual images that accompany Microsoft's official press release!

C'mon Microsoft! You're sitting on $40 billion in cash. That's the best you can come up with?

If somebody defaced my spreadsheet like that, they'd be looking for a new job. Maybe somebody needs to develop Digital Whiteout?

Posted on 6 November, 2002

Match Head Art

Here's a link to some incredibly original art by David Mach. Sculptures made from wooden matches.

There doesn't seem to be any limit to the subject matter and of course they all have that lethal incendiary device capability. In fact you can describe three clear lives to these sculptures: the original head with colour; the performance of burning it; and the burned head, instantly aged black and white version of the original. Not bad for a nothing material.

Don't overlook the burning head video.

Posted on 6 November, 2002

Debunking the Fake Moon Landing Myth

I read an article about how NASA is paying some guy $15,000 to write a monograph to convince the conspiracy theorists that the U.S. really did put a man on the moon. I guess they need more ammunition than the document at NASA's web site.

Hey, for a mere $10,000 I'll write an article that debunks the ever-popular Nigerian Email Hoax. Any takers?

Posted on 6 November, 2002

Sports Star Look-Alikes

ESPN's web site has 11 pages of sports star look-alikes -- hundreds of them! Start at the most recent page, and then you'll be able to go back and view the previous documents.

One of my favorites is Barry Bonds (left) and Gladys Knight (right). Their hair styles don't match, but they do appear to have matching earrings.

This is great stuff. Check it out.

Posted on 6 November, 2002

Excel's Status Bar SUM Display, Patent NOT Pending

If you use Excel, you've probably noticed that the status bar displays the sum of the cells that are selected in the worksheet. Right-click the status bar display, and you can choose other functions such as Average or Count. As far as I can tell, this feature does not have an official name.

It's a handy tool, but it's certainly not something that most people would consider revolutionary. But apparently it is. Microsoft patented this idea: U.S. Patent Number 6,055,548, "Computerized spreadsheet with auto-calculator." The patent was originally filed in June, 1996.

Particularly interesting:

...the auto-calculator module can be configured to use a user-defined function (UDF). A UDF can be a formula that the author writes, a program written in a built-in macro language (e.g., Excel supports XLM and VBA as internal macro languages), or through a separate program that interfaces with the spreadsheet.

The ability to specify a custom function has never been implemented.

If you're a spreadsheet buff, the patent application is fascinating reading. Don't overlook the Figures, which are accessible via the "Images" link at the bottom.

Posted on 6 November, 2002