April 24, 2007

Good luck with that

Filed under: censorship, tech, web — ted @ 3:32 pm

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday launched a campaign to rid the country’s sprawling Internet of “unhealthy” content and make it a springboard for Communist Party doctrine, state television reported.

With Hu presiding, the Communist Party Politburo — its 24-member inner council — discussed cleaning up the Internet, state television reported. The meeting promised to place the often unruly medium more firmly under propaganda controls.

“Development and administration of Internet culture must stick to the direction of socialist advanced culture, adhere to correct propaganda guidance,” said a summary of the meeting read on the news broadcast.

Full article here.


April 17, 2007


Filed under: ephemera, tech — ted @ 4:11 pm

I’ve spent at least an hour in the past two weeks trying to trick Verizon’s automated messaging system into putting me through too a person. Turns out I should have been saying “Agent” over and over again.

This is one of the most helpful lists I can imagine.

February 21, 2007

Attack of the Microsoft Lackeys

Filed under: comics, humor, nerd, tech, web — ted @ 11:28 am

On xkcd:

This may be a little high context for some readers of this blog, but it threw me into hysterics. All three of the dudes mentioned are free software / open source heroes.

December 1, 2006

Fractal Flames

Filed under: art, science, tech — ted @ 10:33 am

I don’t really understand what a fractal is, but these flame fractals are beautiful, and make great desktop backgrounds.

November 15, 2006

Zune-Day: Welcome to the Social

Filed under: tech — ted @ 2:48 pm

Today heralds the release of Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player. If you’ve been reading the Internet of late, you know about this. I thought I’d take the chance to sum up what I’ve been reading on the web today, and ridicule Microsoft in the process.

First, check out this hilarious photograph which was grabbed during a Zune installation:

I’ve seen it subtitled “groin shot,” and I think that’s great.

Endagaget tried to install the Zune’s software, and had all kinds of trouble. Also, they found that this picture was featured twice during their muliple attempts at installation:

Ugh. Crunchgear also had trouble, although Wired seems to have had a uneventful installation (they give the Zune an overall favorable review).

The Zune music store has an absurd pricing scheme which uses “points” instead of real dollars. The idea behind this, obviously, is for people to compare the 79 points it takes to but a Zune song to the 99 cent-per-song price in the iTunes store — despite the fact that 79 Zune points equals 98.75 cents.

On NBC’s the Today show, the hosts compared the Zune with the iPod: using a 4G iPod with a plain display (which wasn’t playing a song) and a Zune that was playing a video. Microsoft, of course, owns MSNBC, so the relationship here is a little sticky. Or the producer could have just been clueless.

Oh, and you know about Windows Vista, right? Microsoft’s first new operating system since 2001? The Zune won’t work on it

August 7, 2006

Nerd Alert

Filed under: graffiti, nerd, tech — ted @ 4:42 pm

Biggest news today in my world (and that of thousands of others who were surfing the web today) was Steve Jobs’s keynote speech at Apple’s WWDC 2006. This afternoon, I followed engadget’s liveblog with thinly veiled fanaticism, and — while there were no huge surprises and no new iPods — found the new Apple news to be exciting.

Besides the announcement of a new Mac Pro, the keynote was all about Mac OSX Leopard, which is supposed to premiere this Spring. It has a handful of sweet new features and updates, the best of which is certainly Time Machine, an application which works with an external storage device to automatically back up all your data, and even allows you to “browse through your entire system as it appeared on any date.” Coolness.

Stuff not relating to Apple:

Speaking of graffitti, this sweet piece can be seen in the city of Toronto, which was forward thinking enough to commission ten artists to paint Bell Utility boxes around the city.


May 16, 2006

Soccer, Scott and Shyamalan

Filed under: books, literature, tech — ted @ 1:53 pm

Apparently it's been over a month since I last posted. My present plan, which will hopefully lead to more posts, is to blog shorter and more often, with a sort of "daily dose" of good things on the Web. So here goes.

The World Cup starts on June 9. This magnificent event causes me to wish that I had cable and was not an American (although, if the US makes an impressive showing, I'll be bursting with patriotism). I've been preparing myself by watching the outrageous goal Steven Gerrard scored in the FA Cup Final, and consoling myself with the hope that all of this year's impressive World Cup goals will be up on You Tube in a matter of hours.

The Times has decided that Beloved is the "Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years." Also receiving lots of votes: Underworld, Blood Meridian, American Pastoral, and Updike's Rabbit cycle. A. O. Scott talks about how and why.

In Slate, Tyler Cowen argues that indy bookstores are overrated. I disagree.

Apple is making an iPhone, and I would like one as soon as possible. (Also: it seems they'll be announcing a new product on Thursday–most likely indeed it is a Macbook.)

And, while I'm as wary of the new M. Night movie as the rest of you, the new poster is awfully sweet:

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