Monthly Archives: May 2007

“Verschärfte Vernehmung”

Andrew Sullivan:

Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I’m not. There is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007. What I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn’t-somehow-torture – “enhanced interrogation techniques” – is a term originally coined by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death.

(Via Kottke.)

Apple TV gets 160GB and YouTube

Apple today announced that there will be a 160GB version of the Apple TV for $399, along with YouTube integration:

Apple TV with a 160GB hard drive will be available tomorrow for a suggested retail price of $399 (US). The YouTube feature for Apple TV will be available as a free software update in mid-June.

LiveJournal suspends accounts, users outraged again

When will they learn? You cannot blindly delete content generated by your own community, especially when a right-winged activist group pressures you into doing so, and expect there not to be outrage. After two high profile censorship cases, I would expect other community leaders to be far more cautious with their approaces, especially Six Apart and LiveJournal, one of the oldest communities around.

If the average LiveJournal user wasn’t an adolescent teen with misguided loyalties then I would expect a mass exodus; after all, this could be years of content that you probably don’t have a copy of, and you could lose it at the drop of a hat. At least with Flickr you probably had a copy yourself.

We now need to keep an eye out, and start backing up all our content we have online that we want to keep. But that’s a topic for another time.

Apple iTunes 7.2 with DRM-free music

Includes support for “iTunes Plus”, the new DRM-free music in the iTunes Store. However, it doesn’t look like they’ve added the DRM-free tracks to the store just yet.

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft has just showcased a “new” incredible user interface that will be launched in just a couple months. If it kicks off, this will be a revolution in how people interact with computers in the future.

It’s strangly similar to a presentation given by Jeff Han a couple months ago.

Garry Winogrand on photography

A video of Garry Winogrand talking about how he works, and a transcript of the video. (Via Kottke.)

The nature of the photographic process – it is about failure. Most everything I do doesn’t quite make it. The failures can be intelligent ____; nothing ventured nothing gained, I mean. Hopefully you’re risking failing every time you make a frame.

Star Wars: Clone Wars sneak peak

A trailer for the new animated TV series. Looks expensive.

BPI wins damages against CD-WOW

BBC:

CD-Wow says it will continue to sell cheap CDs and may appeal the ruling. “I fear what is happening is an attempt to use the combined brute force of the record industry to force the retailers and, in turn, our clients, to keep lining the pockets of the fat cat executives,” said Mr Wesslen. “It shouldn’t matter whether we are buying from an official distributor in the UK, Europe or the Far East, what is important is that we are buying legitimate products from the record companies themselves.”

Twitterlicious 2.0 beta 2

Following on from bug reports and feedback given for Twitterlicious 2.0 beta 1, I’ve added a lot of usability improvements this time that don’t revolve around the user interface. If you like using keyboard shortcuts and not the mouse, then you’ll love this release. If you like using the mouse, then you’ll love this release too! Something for everyone!

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback, you make Twitterlicious better.

Get it from the usual place.

Changelog (from beta 1 to beta 2):

  • When copying from the list (Ctrl + C), only the tweet’s text is copied instead of the whole row.
  • New context menu.
  • New shortcuts:
    • Ctrl + L: opens the link in the selected tweet in a browser window.
    • Ctrl + U: marks the current selected tweet as unread.
    • Ctrl + D: sends a direct text to the selected tweet’s user.
    • Ctrl + E: replys to the selected tweet (@username).
    • Ctrl + B: view the selected tweet in the browser.
    • Ctrl + T: view the selected tweet’s user’s website.
    • Ctrl + F: add the selected tweet as a favourate (currently disabled awaiting API updates).
  • The error window doesn’t default to always on top anymore, it defaults to whatever you’ve set Twitterlicious to be.
  • Pressing Return now updates the tweet instead of appending a new line in the text box. Ctrl + Return now appends a new line.
  • Select all shortcut (Ctrl + A) is fixed for the text box.
  • Reply (@username) now uses username instead of full name so it works with Twitter’s reply system.

Twitterlicious 2.0 beta 1

twitterlicious.gifTwitterlicious 2.0 beta 1 is now available for download, and with a huge list of changes. Notable improvements include a new twitter list and shortcut buttons! I’ve implemented the most requested features, but if you do have more requests or ideas do get in contact.

Remember this is a beta release, there are bugs (notably with the new twit notification system), but it’s in a usable state. I would usually say don’t use this for business critical applications blah blah blah—but I don’t think anyone uses Twitter for business so you should be fine. Any problems or bugs you find, please do report them, same with any other problems you find with Twitterlicious.

Oh, I know I said you shouldn’t need to enter your credentials again, but you’re going to have again to with version 2.0!

The changes include:

  • Each twit is now shown completely in the twit list, including the avatar and whole message on multiple lines.
  • The read status of each individual twit is now stored properly and updated as you select it.
  • Unread twits are now shown as bold, just like e-mail clients do!
  • Shortcuts!
    • Ctrl + W — minimise the Twitterlicious main window.
    • Ctrl + R — refresh.
    • Ctrl + K — mark all twits as read.
    • Ctrl + Return — send update (same as clicking “Go”)
  • The twitter list now holds up to 50 twits and not just the past 24 hours worth that Twitter spits out.
  • The update text box is now multi-line and is re-sizable.
  • Fixed a resizing issue that crept in with 1.2 where the main window would open very small when you first start Twitterlicious.

Now stop reading and get downloading!

Battle of the sexes

The BBC proves and debunks some cliches about the fortes and failings of men and women:

Vivienne and Quentin were given five minutes to complete as much as possible…For all Vivienne’s bravado that she’s a born multi-tasker, she was squarely defeated by Quentin’s sequential approach. She tried to do everything at once, and so got muddled while counting backwards

MSDN redesign

Microsoft’s MSDN website has received a makeover, although it still doesn’t use semantic markup and uses tables for it’s layout. Are you sure it’s 2007?

Night Drive

Night Drive is a brilliantly inspiring 90—second advert from Volkswagen.

Twitterlicious 2.0 preview

Twitterlicious 2.0 has been in the works for a while now and is taking a lot longer than I expected. You got a small taste of what’s to come in the 1.2 release, but here’s a preview of the completely redesigned interface in 2.0:

Twitterlicious 2.0 Preview Screenshot

I’ve finally managed to implement a list with in-line twits reliably, which makes the interface far more powerful and simple in the process. Stay tuned for the inevitable beta release.

Flickr’s censorship angers it’s own community

After Digg’s recent PR fiasco, you’d think other companies would learn that using the heavy handed approach on your community is a very bad idea. As Matthew Haughey explains:

If the Digg HD-DVD encryption key fiasco taught us anything, it’s that you can’t make rash top-down decisions and expect your community to be okay with it.

But, it seems Flickr (or it’s parent company Yahoo!) has been very heavy handed with Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, a prominent photographer in the community. Rebekka found that a company was stealing her photographs and selling them through their website and eBay. She posted to Flickr about it, and gathered hundreds of comments. However the Flickr Staff have seen fit to delete that photograph, giving the reason Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or terminate your account..

Never mind that there weren’t any threats made by Rebekka at all, it seems Flickr got a little pressure from some lawyers about the public humiliation of a company and decided to blindly follow it rather than risk legal action. This is a sure fire way to drive a community to the edge, picking a company/lawyers over them when clearly the community is in the right and the company is wrong.

Flickr has since apologised for it’s rash decision to delete the photograph, although unlike Rebekka, I view this as no amends for it’s actions. My opinion of the Flickr Staff and Yahoo! have been reduced substantially, and I will probably not recommend their services as eagerly as I did before. This is not the end of Flickr by any means 1 and I hope it will continue to thrive and improve. But most of all, I hope it learns that you must respect your users and the community, and realises that while it may be relatively easy to get users and build a community, but make one wrong move and it might just come crashing down on you.


  1. I will still be using them, and although a few people have deleted their account in protest, they are in the extreme minority.

WordPress 2.2

WordPress 2.2 is out, and finally as full Atom support.

EVGA bans XFX from selling offensive graphics cards

XFX has been banned from selling it’s graphics cards in boxes which contain EVGA’s logo in the saliva of a rabid dog on the front.

Scientology and me

There’s a Panaorama documentary tonight on at 8:30PM on BBC1 about the cult of Scientology. Well worth watching, as is the accompanying report worth reading.

Mars unsuitable for vegetarians

Mars is to start using animal products in it’s chocolate products, including Mars, Snickers and Malteasers.

Masterfoods said it had started using rennet from 1 May and non-affected products had a “best before date” up to 1 October. Rennet, a chemical sourced from calves’ stomachs, is used in the production of whey. It will now also be found in Bounty, Minstrels and Milky Way products, and the ice cream versions of all Masterfoods’ bars.

10K

I managed my first 10 kilometre run today, in 57 minutes (average of 10 km/h). The tread-mill says I burned off 715 calories. After suffering from an injury which took a month to recover from, it feels great to get back into shape. In-fact, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in!

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