Now This Log

Archives: February 2002

Friday, 8 February 2002

Word of the moment: upheaval

Use the word in a sentence. One sentence per poster. Do not eat or drink anything for 15 minutes after performing the last step above. permanent link

Two songs been goin' through my head:

Is your favorite place controlled by
Developing ambition?
Do you think you'll have some power
Signing a petition?
-- "River Valley", Moxy Früvous, Bargainville

Everything is beautiful
Just you wait and see
You are only wasting breath
Spitting nails at me
-- "Spitting Nails", Bob Hillman, Playing God [free mp3]

permanent link

America and Anti-Americans by Salman Rushdie [NY Times]
America did, in Afghanistan, what had to be done, and did it well. The bad news, however, is that these successes have not won new friends for the United States outside Afghanistan. In fact, the effectiveness of the American campaign may have made some parts of the world hate America more than they did before.

Critics of the Afghan campaign in the West are enraged because they have been shown to be wrong at every step: no, American forces weren't humiliated the way the Russians had been; and yes, the air strikes did work; and no, the Northern Alliance didn't massacre people in Kabul; and yes, the Taliban did crumble away like the hated tyrants they were, even in their southern strongholds; and no, it wasn't that difficult to get the militants out of their cave fortresses; and yes, the various factions succeeded in putting together a new government that seems to have broad support among the people.

Western anti-Americanism is an altogether more petulant phenomenon than its Islamic counterpart and far more personalized. Muslim countries don't like America's power, its "arrogance," its success; but in the non-American West, the main objection seems to be to American people. Night after night, I have found myself listening to Londoners' diatribes against the sheer weirdness of the American citizenry.
permanent link

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

via If you can think of something interesting to do with vast collections of web pages and actually demonstrate it on a nontrivially-large sample they provide, you might win $10,000 in the Google Programming Contest.

Nothings springs to my mind, but maybe something does to yours. permanent link

Tuesday, 5 February 2002

Valuable information from an English veterinary hospital which I stumbled on at a usability site. I love the Web.

Ten Ways to Poison Your Pet (Accidentally) [ParkVets, found via WebWord]
[Dogs & Cats:] Ibuprofen. This over-the-counter for human use painkiller is extremely toxic to dogs (and cats). As little as one tablet can cause gastric ulceration, liver damage, kidney failure and death. It is the most common cause of poisoning in the pet.

[Cats:] Easter Lilly. This seasonal bloom is attractive to cats, which often ingest the foliage. Unfortunately even a little of this plant is extremely toxic to the kidneys. There is no cure for the poison and affected animals almost always die.

Anti-freeze. If ingested anti-freeze forms crystals in the kidney rapidly causing kidney failure and death. Cats seem to find the taste of antifreeze appealing so it is vital to keep it stored appropriately. Thankfully as motor vehicles become less serviceable by the lay-man, incidences of anti-freeze toxicity are becoming less frequent.
permanent link

Mozilla 0.9.8 is out. permanent link

Sunday, 3 February 2002


Finally, a No-Hassle, No-Strain Computer: The excellent new iMac cures our greatest ergonomic ill [BusinessWeek]
The patent-pending neck is the secret of the design. ... Rubenstein describes it as "a frictionless counter-balance." It rotates through 360 degrees horizontally and pivots 90 degrees vertically. The screen itself tilts about 30 degrees on the end of the arm. The entire display moves effortlessly, and some clever geometry keeps the screen's angle vertically constant as the neck pivots.

The result is a display that you can position just about any way you want. It glides to exactly where you position it, without any bounce or sagging. The impact of this design on the ergonomics of using a computer is dramatic. The ability to put the screen where you want lets you work without hunching over, a common problem with laptops, or, even more uncomfortably, without craning your neck back to view a monitor that is mounted too high for your chair (or your bifocals).

That's only the beginning. I found as I worked with the iMac that totally different positions worked best for different activities. For writing, I like the screen nearly vertical at eye level. But I found that reading and Web browsing were more comfortable with the screen lowered and tilted back, the way I might place a book. The iMac makes this sort of adjustment simple.
Having poked at one at a local Apple Store, I can vouch for the ease of positioning the screen exactly where you want with no movement once you let go of it. It's really something.

I don't need one myself, but if you're looking for a new desktop machine, I'd say it's a real contender. permanent link

The Council of Better Business Bureaus doesn't like for their site to be linked to except by very specific kinds of people or unless they 'consider and approve' one's 'link request', as outlined in their Web Use Terms & Conditions.

This reminds me of KPMG's attitude towards people linking to its site (see Big Stink Over a Simple Link [Wired]).

In both cases, the organizations simply fail to understand the fundamental nature of the web. No one's holding a gun to their head saying they have to have a website, and once the site is on the web, it's fair game to be linked to.

If you want control over whether certain content within your site can be linked to, there are technical ways to make sure that anyone who follows a link to your site will be taken to your home page instead of to content deep inside your site. Technical fixes are cheap compared to legal fixes, and have the added advantage of working against everyone, not just against the one party you choose to sue. That works, for content other than your home page.

But to say that only certain people can even link to your home page without a prior agreement? Pull the other one. Or get off the web.

And for the Better Business Bureau to get this wrong is, frankly, sadder than some puffed-up consulting firm getting it wrong. They should know better. permanent link

Links, exploration and
synthesis from
Steve Bogart

Mug shot
photo by my wife
If you want to be e-mailed when there's new stuff here, say "add me."
Archives by week

February 2002

Older Archives:
2001 (Aug-present)
2001 (Jan-Aug)
2000 | 1999 | 1998


Search log since Aug. 2001:

Ye olde Amazon wish list
Powered By Greymatter

How's my HTML?
How's my CSS?
[Archive Index] [Main page]

Home - Log - Services - Writing - Media - Links - About