Friday, June 25, 2004

The Washington Post either loves or hates the new Spielberg film, Terminal. Either way, it is based on a bizarre but true story.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Thirsty and poor ? Remember White Lightning and Thunderbird... If you can't the internet can ...

Monday, June 14, 2004

Whilst exploring the avenues of "incidental use" (as described in all sorts of strongly worded pop-ups), I ran across musicplasma, which is like the "people who bought ... also liked" but prettier.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

(Thanks to John for this one) I wonder what her hobbies are?

Monday, June 07, 2004

From our "Wow, you mean it isn't just me?" department ("Microsoft-product-related woes" division) - Windows XP and Wi-Fi - not a happy combination.

Gotta love the typical MS doublespeak in here:

To some, the most infuriating part is that the wireless network connection
icon in the XP taskbar doesn't display any indication at all that something's
wrong. When there is a genuine hardware failure, the icon displays a small
red X to indicate that the connection was lost. But with these mysterious
disconnections, the icon continues to show a connection.

Microsoft said users shouldn't be misled by the icon.

"It indicates that you've associated with an access point. It is possible
for you to be associated without having (Internet) connectivity," said
Shai Guday, a Microsoft wireless group program manager.

Ah, right, so that whole thing about "XP" meaning "experience"? What it means is you have to have experience as a fecking necromancer to discern the talmudic, hair-splitting difference in meaning between what the icon appears to mean and what it really means.

Here's another great quote that nicely illustrates how, once again, MS completely misses the point:

"We don't have data that suggests Windows XP drops wireless connections
more than any other system," said Greg Sullivan, the lead product manager
in Microsoft's Windows division. "Wi-Fi configuration in Windows XP is
much different and easier than in previous versions."

Different! Easier! Happy happy! Joy joy!

What about the fact that no matter how different and easy it is - it DOESN'T WORK?! And furthermore, when it doesn't work, Windows will happily insist it is still working (see rantlet, above, about stupid icon-state semiotics), and certainly won't tell you how to fix it.

Happily (?), there is a little rain-dance you can do that seems to restore connectivity:

• Go to Control Panel.
• Choose Administrative Tools.
• Select Services. A two-pane window comes up.
• In the right-hand pane, scroll down and click Wireless Zero Configuration.
• Click Stop the Service. A progress bar may come up briefly.
• Click Start the Service. Again, a progress bar may come up.
• Close the Services window. At this point, Fleishman said, the
connection should come back.

Remember - Different! Easy! User experience!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

What's the betting the codes on these babies just got changed to '11111111' in 1977?

Friday, June 04, 2004

My very favorite part of the Washington Post is the Style Invitational - a weekly contest in the Sunday edition of the paper's Style section whereby The Empress sets the readers a challenge, the winning entry is announced a few weeks later, and the best entries are re-printed for all to enjoy. Frequently, much hilarity ensues.

Few SI contests, however, have been so funny or so memorable in recent memory as the one which ran in the March 28th issue, which you can see here. This is an idea with legs - "X is a good name for Y, but a bad name for Z". Since encountering this concept, I have found myself subconsciously thinking of values for Z for every X and Y I come across. For example, X = "Chocolate Thunder From Down Under®", Y = "a dessert (scroll down) at Outback Steakhouse(*)", and Z = "a laxative"

* - Outback Steakhouse, an Australian-themed steak house in the US is originally from ... yes, you guessed it ... Miami.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

It is one of my fundamental beliefs that any pastime can become an unhealthy obsession, and therefore a nerdly pursuit. One popular dictum has it that any given hobby has gone too far when you purchase special clothing for it - what this says about lingerie, I'm not sure. Still, if a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing, specializing to the nth degree, and arguing about the most abstruse, hair-splitting details - at least as some might see it.

In this spirit then, I offer the hentai dictionary. As the author of this fascinating glimpse into nihongo culture observes:

Why are Japanese so enthusiastic about giving names to every possible kinky act or
combination of acts? In general, Japanese are much more SINGLEMINDED and focused in
pursuit of their hobbies. For instance, if you're a good Japanese pervert, you don't
want to walk into some porno store and just get any old panty-fetish DVD, you
specifically want to get a DVD of panties being 'flossed' between the lady's pudenda
in a sort of labial tug-of-war. And you want ALL the DVDs of this fetish EVER MADE.
Since you don't want to spend 5 minutes explaining that to the drunk grandmother
behind the counter, isn't it handy to be able to simply say, "kuikomi, please?"

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

People in Russia put their money in something called the "Sod-Business Bank" (Ok, then, Sodbiznesbank), and it failed. Sounds to me as though the bank only did what their name promised they would.

Now those people are baring their bottoms in an effort to get their money back.

Can someone explain please? Or at least get the blonde one in the middle to turn around, and maybe show us the rest?
All I can say is: this chick must have been some piece of ass - she sure as hell seems to have to serious oral skills. Perhaps he should have recalled that she couldn't talk if she had her mouth full ... (SFW, surprisingly)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

From our "Only in Alabama (or West Virginia, or Mississippi, or Arkansas, or Tennessee, or Kentucky or ... hell, anywhere in Dixie, really) Department": "Last Civil War widow dies at 97". Let's be clear about this - she (Alberta) married "the 81-year-old war veteran of the Confederate army, William Martin, when she was 21" and already widowed with a son, which would have been, in about, what, 1928? So then 10 months later, Alberta and William had a son, who they imaginatively also called William, which was probably in 1929. William Martin II is still alive, though, at 75, maybe not for much longer.

Meanwhile, William Martin (I) died in 1931, at the age of (presumably) 83. Then Alberta married Charlie Martin, William Martin (I)'s grandson, presumably by William Martin I's first marriage, and who in turn died in 1983.

Got all that?
For all those Good Eats fans out there...