Monday, August 20, 2007

Bandwidth Theft

So apparently dozens of people have decided to use a picture from my web site as their blog picture, by simply linking to it (which of course, means that my web site gets a hit every time someone reads that blog page). Many of these are in Spain.

I have renamed the picture and unlinked it from anything in my web pages (it was only linked to one).

I am very tempted to replace the picture with a GIF containing the text "I Steal Bandwidth", in English and Spanish. But since the original picture was a copyright-violating scan of the Michael Whelan cover of Chanur's Venture (which ironically has no cover image available on Amazon), I think I'll (regretfully) pass.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Don't Use Antibacterial Soap

I've long thought that antibacterial soap should be banned, and now scientists confirm this.

It does make me wonder how creationists deal with this, since antibiotic resistance is clearly Evolution In Action.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why Cory Doctorow Matters

Cory Doctorow writing in the Guardian about Digital Rights Management:

The DRM business model is the urinary tract infection of media experiences: all of the uses that used to come in an easy gush now come in a mingy, painful dribble - a few pennies out of your pocket every time you want to watch a show again, hit the pause button, or rewind.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cheney Earns his First Name, Again

Dick Cheney in 1994 explains why George H.W. Bush didn't push on to Baghdad after the Gulf War.

If I weren't so cynical about the current Administration, I'd wonder what happened to Cheney between 1994 and 2000 to make him so seriously crazy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stardust

Saw Stardust tonight with The Spouse. We both enjoyed it a lot. The theater was at most 25% full for a 6:30 show, which doesn't bode well for the weekend gross. It's not like I'm not going to buy it on DVD anyway.

It's a tad long and a bit loose at the end -- some extra editing might have kept the pace up. But other than that, it's really enjoyable. Some reviews knocked Claire Danes, but I thought she was well cast. Some reviews (possibly the same ones) thought it was confusing -- but that just tells you something about the reviewers, since I thought everything was fairly clear. (Admittedly, I've read the book -- but not in a couple of years.) Michelle Pfeiffer was great, De Niro was over-the-top (in a good way), and small parts by Rupert Everett and Ricky Gervais were wonderful. But in my opinion, the real find is Charlie Cox, as Tristran (the hero).

Highly recommended.

Best Panda Video Ever

Back in the mists of time, one of the first things we recorded on our first TiVo was an Animal Planet (I think) show on pandas. There was a clip that we used the TiVo "jump back 8 seconds button" on incessantly. I wish we'd kept that recording, but now we don't have to worry, because the Group Mind has placed it on YouTube. Now if only can I figure out how to put it on continuous loop....