Monthly Archives: August 2008

Great Olympic Moments on YouTube

Jason Kottke with a fantastic collection of Olympic moments you can watch on YouTube:

One of the best ways to watch the Olympics is to chase down all the references made by NBC’s commentators on YouTube and watch them in addition to (or instead of) the regular telecast. Here are some of the ones I’ve found.

Using Photographs to Enhance Videos of a Static Scene

Very interesting research into using still photographs to enhance a video of the same scene by increasing the resolution, enhance the dynamic range and exposure, and even object touch-up and removal.

The Big Picture: Beijing Olympics 2008 Opening Ceremony

Some spectacular photographs from the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Big Picture blog never fails to deliver.

Caring About Fruit Flies

More from the New Scientist about the recent attacks on scientists using animal testing:

[The scientists] study how the brain develops, not in the bigger mammals most of us feel some kinship towards, but in mice and fruit flies. “I’m 99% sure that the public doesn’t care about the wellbeing of fruit flies,” says Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Bioethical Research in Washington, DC.

US Animal Extremists Firebomb Scientist’s Car

ArsTechnica has an excellent article examining the reasoning behind the violence used by the animal extremist movement.

The issue at its simplest is that animal rights extremists believe that animals are as deserving of the same rights and protections as humans, and that the use of animals in scientific research is deeply immoral. Since animals can’t speak for themselves, the extremist groups use violence on their behalf. Animal rights activists often claim that the use of any animals in research is unnecessary, implying that the researchers who perform such studies are therefore doing it because they must enjoy causing distress.

Other parts of the article are worth quoting at length:

Unfortunately, that argument breaks down under even the simplest scrutiny. As imperfect as animal models are when applied to human biology and disease, putative replacements such as computer simulations remain decades away. We can’t even accurately model the behavior of a single cell on the molecular level due to the thousands of different (but interrelated) biochemical pathways contained within. If a single cell is out of the question, you can imagine that being able to model organs or complete organisms is several magnitudes harder.

And finally:

Perhaps the problem is our complex relationship with animals. We use them for food, for clothing, as beasts of burden, but also as companions. The habit of anthropomorphizing projects human emotions onto creatures that in many cases are incapable of them; when your dog cranes its head to one side, is it really considering your question thoughtfully, or is it just being a dog?

It’s hard to fathom how passionately misguided you must feel about an issue to resort to inflicting such extreme violence, and in such respects I find little difference between the mentality and goals of religious extremists and animal-rights extremists.

Pressing Enter Doesn’t Submit Form in ASP .NET

I encountered a strange bug today while working on a login page in .NET. This page differed from your run-of-the-mill login page by having the user select their username and then enter their password, so only had one text field on the page.

The bug meant that when the user pressed enter after typing in their password to submit the form, although the form was submitted, the SubmitButton_Click event that is set to trigger with the submit wasn’t evoked. Clicking the button itself worked, but trying to press enter anywhere on the form (except with the submit button selected) didn’t.

Even wrapping the content around a Panel and setting the DefaultButton property on that to the submit button didn’t work. It turns out that Internet Explorer won’t evoke the SubmitButton_Click event when there is only one textbox on the form, even if it’s explicitly set as the default button.

The solution is to create an empty textbox and set it to be invisible through CSS:

<asp:TextBox ID="TextBox1" runat="server" Style="display:none;">

Note that you can’t set its Visible property to false as that won’t render the textbox at all and you’ll still have the same problem.

Obviously, this is not the ideal solution to the problem, and hopefully this bug will be fixed in Internet Explorer 8. However for now, until I find a better fix, this is the only solution that works around this bug.

It’s a Core Location Blacklist

John Gruber’s take on Apple’s widely reported ability to remotely disable iPhone applications:

Apple has no reason to hide such a configuration in a sneaky place. If it’s “tucked away in a configuration file deep inside” the Core Location framework, doesn’t it seem more likely that this list has something to do with, say, Core Location?

Distorted for Readability

Distored signs in a multi-story car park that you can only read when in the exact right spot.

Olsen’s Involvement in Ledgers Death

There’s something fishy with Mary-Kate Olsen’s involvement in Heath Ledgers suicide. The BBC reports that Olsen is seeking immunity from prosecution before she speaks with investigators about his death, when “other potential witnesses all have answered questions voluntarily, including doctors, Ledger’s ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams, and anyone who was in his apartment around the time of his death.”

Even more suspiciously:

Police say the masseuse who discovered Ledger’s body spent nine minutes making three calls to Olsen before dialling 911 for help, then rang the actress a fourth time after paramedics arrived.

At some point during the calls, Olsen, who was in California at the time, summoned her personal security guards to the apartment to help.

NetShare Added Then Removed

Nullriver released their NetShare application onto the iTunes App Store last night, only to have it removed only a few hours later.

It’s surprising that this app was approved in the first place, since AT&T typically charge an extra $30 per month to allow tethering use in the US. Upon investigating the terms set out by other telecos, O2 UK say:

You may not use your SIM Card in any other device, or use your SIM Card or iPhone to allow the continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing or use them in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other customers of O2 or The Cloud.

Which seems to restrict the use of streaming audio and video content, something which the built-in YouTube app allows you to do, along with radio streaming app. However what it doesn’t explicitly forbid is the use of a tethering application to allow you to access the internet through another device, as long as the SIM card is still in your iPhone, so with O2 UK there is nothing to stop you using NetShare.

If, like me, have your iPhone unlocked and on another network such as T-Mobile UK, they may have even less restrictions. From T-Mobile’s web’n’walk fair use policy:

This plan comes with a fair use policy of 1GB a month. We’ll monitor how much you send and receive each calendar month so that we can protect our network for all our web’n’walk customers. If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won’t charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much.

Which seems to allow everything, as long as you keep within the 1GB fair use policy. As Apple has exclusive contracts with one teleco for each country the iPhone is being sold, it is possible for them to restrict NetShare to only countries that allow tethering apps. The chance of the app appearing back on the App Store is small though, which begs the question, why was it approved in the first place?

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