Brass Eye hoo-hah thoughts

Well, this whole Brass Eye fuss is depressingly typical, isn’t it? Think it might be time fax my MP in fact.

In case you missed the show, Cook’d & Bomb’d has it in DivX and Quicktime. And here’s some DivX software to play it with.



(Lots of Slashdot-derived stories this morning, for a change).

Compulsory licenses – the eminent domain of publishing

Compulsory licenses- the eminent domain of publishing.

Truce Or Dare

Truce Or Dare, interesting article about the BSA (Business Software Alliance) in America using scare tactics and paranoia to boost software sales. Slashdot discussion here. Nice quote from there:

Did anyone else see the irony of an anti-piracy campaign going around and scaring people and threating them with surprise raids unless given money? We live in a strange world, methinks.


Face On Mars Hike

Face On Mars Hike

Petition: please make Lord Archer your bitch

Please make Lord Archer your bitch.

China is being run by nerds

China is being run by nerds (discussion).

A Casino Oddessy

A Casino Oddessy, parts one, two, three, four.

Some Python resources

Some Python resources:

Dr Dobb’s Python-URL, which I’ve definitely had trouble accessing in the past, seems to be working at the moment.

Active State Python Cookbook – quite a few interesting bits to check out here. Examples… Handy threading idiom, A ring class (“circular list”), A “bunch” class (not sure what I think of this), capturing stdout & stderr properly, network monitoring using heartbeats (urgh – use SNMP instead, that’s what it’s for).

Idioms and anti-idioms in Python

Idioms and anti-idioms in Python – every home should have one.

Garlic workman bus joke

A workman who was extremely fond of garlic boarded a bus, and sat himself down next to a haughty, sour-faced woman. She immediately became aware of the garlic fragrance, and observed icily, “It’s a wonder they don’t run a special bus for persons who insist on eating garlic.”

The workman cheerfully answered, “They do lady, you’re on the wrong bus.”

Visual elements

Visual Elements – “a visual interpretation of the periodic table of elements”.

Definitely teetering on the “style over content” razor edge, I feel.

Good software takes ten years

Good Software Takes Ten Years. Get Used To It.

I especially like:

Microsoft generally charged about $30 for an upgrade to their $500 software packages until somebody noticed that the growth from new users was running out, and too many copies were being bought as upgrades to justify the low price. Which got us to where we are today, with upgrades generally costing 50%-60% of the price of the full version and making up the majority of the sales. Now the trouble comes when you can’t think of any new features, so you put in the paperclip, and then you take out the paperclip, and you try to charge people both times, and they aren’t falling for it.”

Tea break… :-)

Tea break

Tea break… :-)

Python Imaging Library

Python Imaging Library – very cool. A bit too corporate for my liking, but very cool none the less.

Directing the strokes of Ockham’s razor

Directing the strokes of Ockham’s razor – current thinking on quantum reality. Note that I have no idea what any of this means. :-)

Python, Perl, and the force


With Yoda strapped to his back, Luke climbs up one of the many thick vines that grow in the swamp until he reaches the Dagobah statistics lab. Panting heavily, he continues his exercises — grepping, installing new packages, logging in as root, and writing replacements for two-year-old shell scripts in Python.

YODA: Code! Yes. A programmer’s strength flows from code maintainability. But beware of Perl. Terse syntax… more than one way to do it… default variables. The dark side of code maintainability are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you when code you write. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

LUKE: Is Perl better than Python?

YODA: No… no… no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

LUKE: But how will I know why Python is better than Perl?

YODA: You will know. When your code you try to read six months from now.

the python humour pages

Today’s Need To Know selection

Today’s Need To Know selection:

mod_msff.c – Microsoft Free Friday – an Apache module which rejects connections from Internet Explorer if it’s a Friday. Nice!

Reefer Madness!

Google Zeitgeist – pretty cool, although the O/S pie chart is rather depressing…

“Bad News” – The Noam Chomsky archive

Bad News” – The Noam Chomsky Archive.

The whole monkeyfist site looks pretty interesting, in fact…

Everybody go and see Shrek ASAP

Everybody go and see Shrek as soon as possible… Funniest thing I’ve seen in ages, with some fantastic Disney piss-taking, which is always a good thing. :-)

Gandalf In Calais

Gandalf in Calais

Let’s hear it for psyllium husk

Let’s hear it for Psyllium husk!

Champagne: Posh cider or what?

Champagne: Posh cider or what?

Four Beta Band tickets for sale

I have four tickets for the Beta Band’s Manchester Uni gig on the 21st July for sale. If anyone wants them, or if anyone has any suggestions for good places/ways to sell them, I’d love to hear it.

Super-Toys Last All Summer Long

Super-Toys Last All Summer Long, the short story upon which A.I. is based.