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12 September, 2003

Beatles Rarities

Beatles fans will enjoy these photos of unique Beatles rarities.

The "My Little Margie" comic book, shown here is from November, 1964. It might be worth $100.

The Beatles concert tickets section is also interesting.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Comic Strips VIA RSS

Whoa! This is very cool: Tapestry:

Tapestry is a series of RSS feeds for online comics. They help you keep up to date from within your favourite news aggregator, especially if you happen to miss a few days.

It works great with Bloglines. You can read your favorite comics without all of the fluff and ads.

(via JD's New Media Musings)

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Sued By The RIAA

Lorraine Sullivan's new site: Sued By The RIAA.

I'm in a living nightmare.

Like 60 million other people around the world, I've used the Internet to enjoy music. And now the RIAA and the Big Five record labels have offered me a settlement I can barely afford for sharing music.

The real irony is - I didn't even know I was doing it. I'd installed p2p software and it went automatically to a folder which stored the songs I'd downloaded. I didn't know it but this folder was also open to the world. It was turned off in the old software.

She's seeking donations.

In related news: Being Sued by the RIAA Turns Profitable.

What started off as every P2P users nightmare has turned into a profitable enterprise for 12 year old Brianna LaHara... What started off as a financial nightmare for the LaHara family has turned into a dream come true. With the $2,000 dollar offer from Music Rebellion, and "floods" of donations where some have totaled near $1,000, we can only speculate that Brianna has managed to make over $4,000 for the LaHara household - and that's a very conservative estimate. Not bad for being sued for copyright infringement.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Two Things That Don't Make Me Happy

  1. Crappy Spider Programs
    WebZip is a $40 program from SpiderSoft that lets people save entire web sites to their local drive. Every once in a while, I'll notice a huge spike in my web site access logs. In some cases, it's caused by a link from a popular site. In other cases, it's caused by someone using WebZIP to download my entire site. Apparently WebZIP has some bugs.

    Today, for example, j-walk.com had 11,557 requests from someone using WebZIP, and 8,221 of them were for files that don't even exist. In other words, the software is misbehaving. I've contacted SpiderSoft about this and (not surprisingly) they didn't even reply.
  2. People who steal my stuff
    A recent thief is National Vanguard -- a white supremacy organization that I certainly don't care to be associated with. They copied my Nigerian Email Conference spoof and posted it at their site. I contacted the webmaster and asked him to remove it. Not surprisingly, he didn't even reply.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

A Guide To Breakfast Cereal Characters

Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide...

Ingredients: This guide was created as a fun and educational reference on all your favorite cereal box characters from the early 1900's to the present. It is full of great images and information on over 750 characters. (No sugar added). Just select a boxtop to begin. Enjoy!

Shown here is Bixby Beaver on a box of Kellogg's Crunchy Loggs. Oddly, this cereal was not actually made out of wood.

Bixby Beaver (1978) was a big fan of baseball. Crunchy Loggs was a strawberry flavored "ready-sweetened corn and oat cereal."

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Age Gauge

Enter your birthday at the Movies Age Gauge, and find out how much older (or younger) you are compared to some movies and movie stars.

For example, I'm 33 years younger than Zsa Zsa Gabor, and five months older than Robin Williams. And I was 17 years old when "Midnight Cowboy" was released (and that was my favorite movie at the time).

(via A Welsh View)

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Stupid Web Surfers

From Wired: Are You Too Stupid to Surf?

So why not institute mandatory education before people can go online? After all, motorists must obtain licenses before they can legally hit the road, and computers are much more complicated than cars.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

The Casualties Union

Training medical personnel often requires simulated casualties. That's what they do at the Casualties Union.

Casualties Union is a registered charity which exists to provide casualties and patients for those who teach first aid, nursing and rescue.

We provide trained bodies! We are all ages, shapes and sizes skilled in realistic wound simulation, with experience of portraying the following conditions and more... Evacuee, Confused, Lost, Injured, Illness, Unconscious, Special needs, Bystander, Trapped, Nuisance.

Shown here is a guy simulating a plane crash. I think there might be a bit more blood involved. The site has lots of other photos, and most of them are much more gruesome than this one.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Colorblind Vision

Vischeck lets you simulate colorblind vision, and also has software (Daltonize) that lets you correct images for colorblind viewers.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Paperbag Head

I'm not sure what Paperbag Head is all about. It has photos of people wearing a paper bag on their head.  I think the guy has a good idea, but the design and layout of the site is fairly annoying.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Life in Elizabethan England

Some might find this interesting: Maggie Secara's Life in Elizabethan England: A Compendium of Common Knowledge.

So this is not a series of essays or articles, but rather bites of Elizabethan life that are, have been, or should be "common knowledge" for those of us who work and play in the 16th Century on a regular basis. It is primarily social history, not political or military.

It's all written in the present tense. Here are a few examples taken from the section on food:

  • The potato is still a novelty. It is not yet a crop in Ireland, nor is it found in our stews. The turnip, which has that honour, is followed closely by the parsnip.
  • Tomatoes are considered doubtful, if not actually poisonous, although they have already appeared in some southern European cooking.
  • Chocolate has not yet come in, except for medicinal purposes. 
  • Just to be fair, vanilla isn't a period flavoring either.
  • Almond is the most common flavoring in sweets, followed by cinnamon, clove, and saunders (sandalwood).

(via Sugar'n Spicy)

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Microsoft Patches

As you know, Microsoft has been releasing lots of security patches lately. David Berlind takes us behind the scenes with A day in the life of a Microsoft security patch.

Momentarily setting aside any criticisms or prognostications about why the vulnerabilities are there in the first place, I started to wonder how the company manages to turn around these patches on such short order. Considering the delicate balance that must exist in the millions of lines of code making up Microsoft's operating systems and applications, 17 days hardly seems like enough time to engineer and test the integrity of a patch. Most corporations wouldn't dream of putting their own 17 day-old code into production.

So, I asked Microsoft for a backstage pass to view the inner workings of its emergency response team; officially known as the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC).

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Create A Stand-Alone Slide Show

A great program from WnSoft: PicturesToExe.

PicturesToExe creates presentation in stand-alone .EXE file. Using a clean-looking, intuitive interface, you select pictures from any combination of folders on your system. Then press the Create button. In just moments, you've produced an .exe file that, when run, displays the images with the options you've selected.

You have a great deal of control over the visuals, and you can also add background music. It's very easy to use, and seems to work very well (I played around it with for over an hour yesterday). It's only $24, and you can download a trial version that's limited to 10 images.

This might be a good way to share photos with people who have minimal computer skills. The only potential problem is that the EXE file runs only on Windows. It could also be used as an alternative to PowerPoint (after all, PowerPoint is Evil).

If you'd like to see some examples that were created with PictureToEXe, go here. In particular, I recommend "Olga Boritsch, Photographer." It's an 11-Meg download, but it's worth it. Her photos are superb, and it really demonstrates the types of things you can do with the software.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Refrigerator Magnet Letters

Here's a virtual refrigerator, with virtual magnetic letters. Move the letters around and spell whatever you like.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

Music: Legal and Not Legal

From Julian Bond's Blog: Music is not illegal (for now). A list of forty things you can do with music. Some are legal, and some aren't.

Following the amazing RIAA actions in the USA and a comment here about "if you can't do the time don't do the crime" I thought I'd put together a list of hypothetical actions and see which were illegal and which legal. Bearing in mind that under the law, ignorance is rarely a defense.

Posted on 12 September, 2003

A Coloring Book For Lawyers

Dig out your crayons, and open Brandon Bird's Law and Order Coloring Book.

(via Reenhead)

Posted on 12 September, 2003