Citations, sites, quotas and stuff that seem to be non-neglecteble. A more non-conform way to spy on the trends and the world.
Finibus Bonorum et Malorum is a work from Cicero. Chunks of this is a part of the Lorem ipsum - the dummytexts that is used in almost every sketch that creatives in advertising use.


Worst cars of sixty years

"You don't want to talk about the Pinto," said a Ford official. . Forbes is listing the worst cars of all time (well 'all time' is rather limited scope of time when coming to cars).

Interesting is that many of the cars is "Couplandish" - a couple of them is playing important roles in some of his books. The AMC and the Pinto as well as the Honda Hatchback.

Of course the Trabant and the Yugo is on the list too but that was no surprise.


What goes around comes around

In the ever ongoing quest for justice for all there are some that use better ideas than other.

Karma Banque is one, bills itself as a web site for political activists who want to combine the civil disobedience of Gandhi with the financial savvy of George Soros to help change the economic and political landscape of the world.


Dying in the air

"A 19-year-old British woman died Monday on board a Virgin Atlantic flight from Miami to London's Heathrow Airport, the airline said. A day earlier, two passengers on a British Airways flight from Miami to Heathrow"

Some mystery deaths have occurred on London Flights. There are a couple of people who died from viral meningitis at some that have died from still unknown reasons. They haven't been old or with known disabilities.

Viral meningitis isn't deadly for grown people with healthy immunesystems.


Matrix for real

It sounds like the plot of the Cohen Bros: "MATRIX — Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange — is an intranet database regarded as the nation's largest cyber-compilation of personal records. It is touted as an efficient crime-fighting tool that allows agencies to access information with just a nimble fingertip. Searchable databases allow law enforcement agents to probe for people using Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, property records, motor vehicle information and credit history. The information is collected by states and forwarded to a database in Florida, where a private company, Seisint Inc., builds and manages the database. The program essentially cross-references government records from both public and private databases, putting together a dossier on individuals for use by law enforcement."

The people of Utah is, without their own knowledge, participants in an experiment where everything about the inhabitants is put in the rolls of the Big Computer.


TV-ads nails Bush

At Bush in 30 Seconds you can look at the winners of the competition for TV-ads against Bushs presidency. And there is not some amateuristic flics taken with the handheld DV - it's professional and surely edgy as hell.

The judges was a large group of well-known artists, writers and actors with Michael Stipe from R.E.M and Michael Moore as members. And the fact that the organisation behind the competition have bought a lot of spot-time to run the ads.

But a place on the TV-advertisings most expensive but best covered mediahappening Super Bowl they didn't get. CBS told them that they don't run interest-driven ads at the Bowl. As dabitch is writing on ad-rag: "Are anti smoking ads 'issues' by the way? Just wondering. How about anti-terrorism ads? Is that an 'issue advocacy advertising'? Don't litter? Is that 'advocacy advertising'? Whats an issue? Someone help me out here.... ". Read more at the texturl-blog.


Gates made it famous

Houston is telling the story that the guy who used a couple of minutes to write that code that saved a lot of people from behind mad, killing their computer and catch a heartattack. David Bradley is leaving IBM, Big Blue, after 28 and a half year. At 55 he is retired but will be remembered not only by his code but also his remark at the panel celebrating the twenty year celebration of the PC:

"I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous," Bradley said.
Gates didn't laugh.


PR-firm to help Bushy

The Bush Administration may soon be on the hunt for a PR firm to lead a controversial campaign educating the American public about the skills required to sustain a marriage. As Dr. Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families with the Department of Health and Human Services puts it: "What we need to say is that healthy marriages are attainable not just through luck, but with skills, and then to make sure that the services are actually available in those [poorer] communities,".

But as Mark Shields, Human Rights Campaign spokesman say: "We think it's ironic that while the President is launching this $1.5 billion marriage promotion initiative, his administration is also considering a constitutional amendment that would permanently deny the rights, protections, and stability of marriage to millions of same-sex couples who want to enter into it,".

And the fact that Bush and his cohorts is big on banning partnerships between gaypeople, on the pro-life-issue and the pressure on people on welfare.


Stiff little one

"Walk into sex clubs in different cities, go online to different sex sites, and it's all about Viagra," says Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, deputy director of San Francisco's Department of Public Health.
"People with these new STDs and new HIV infection are between two and four times more likely to have used Viagra," Klausner explains. Viagra itself is not the problem. It's what people do with the drug after they take it. The pill does what it does -- inhibit an enzyme so blood can flow into the penis and allow a man to develop an erection. Ira Sharlip, a former president of the American Urological Association who practices at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center, says Viagra won't make a healthy man a super-stud. "A man who has a 100 percent hard, rigid erection cannot achieve more than that," he says. "There's a maximum erection that you can get."
...common to mix Viagra with drugs such as Ecstasy, methamphetamines, or even cocaine. They all boost the senses and pump up the sex drive, but they also cause a form of impotence. So when men want to have sex while high, Viagra helps them party all night long. "You already want to go longer when you're under the use of other drugs," Russell says, "and Viagra allows you."
C.J. Russell also worries about an expensive form of addiction. "When you're so used to a combination like crystal [meth] and Viagra together, it's really hard for some people -- I've heard the experience that they can't have sex without it," Russell says.
The risks and dangers are well known to the drug industry and the Food and Drug Administration. But Klausner says, "We've shown these data to the FDA, we've shown these data to the manufacturer, [and] unfortunately at this point they're still not compelled to take any effective action" over abuse. Pfizer, Viagra's manufacturer, insists it has no control over abuse, and that packaging and ads openly warn that Viagra doesn't protect against AIDS. Two new competitors for Viagra's business, Eli Lilly's Cialis and Levitra, from Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline, also add the same warning to their marketing. But Pfizer marketing official Daniel Watts maintains that "stopping Viagra abuse is the job for public health agencies, and not us."
(TechTV | Viagra's Wild Side)

When time-shifting was at trial

On this day in 1984, after a year of deliberation, the US supreme court ruled in favour of Sony (makers of the Betamax video-recorder) and against Universal Studios and Disney, who had claimed that viewers recording television programmes were stealing copyrighted material. The counter-argument was that home-tapers were "time-shifting": rescheduling programmes through convenience rather than greed. The acceptance of that argument was decided on a 5-4 vote, meaning that if one justice had been a little crustier, television viewers might now be confined to their homes on the nights of their favourite shows.

This forgotten case (which also influenced British law) has more than incidental relevance to the current fuss over downloaded music. Not only does it show how artistic corporations instinctively react with fear and greed when new technology begins to reach the public, but the supreme court ruling was cited as precedent in the legal case brought by record companies against the Napster website, the first to offer online music for nothing.


The truth is in the black box

Even though you say that you did it all right: the black box in your car reveals everything. In this CBC News-story there is a guy who attempt to get away from a dangerous-driving conviction but using the info from the black box in his car the police could prove that he had been driving in at least 131 km/h (yes, the canadians is using the metric system).


The digital stamp

"A new online postage purchasing system, called SmartStamp, will enable customers to create their own stamps on their computer - with or without an image of the Queen - pay for them via the internet and print them on envelopes or labels. The service is geared to small businesses and can be accessed day or night, avoiding lengthy queues at dingy post offices. It can be used for international as well as domestic mail."


The area turns green

This gadget may wreak traffic havoc. It is a instrument to change the read lights in intersections to green - a instrument that the police is using.

The officials is rather frightened that this would be a big-seller since it would create a total chaotic situation if the system of traffic lights is tampered with by many people. The device is using infra-red signals and is made for the police and fire trucks.

The potential of duels over the control of intersection-streetlights is scary and since there is a lack of laws on using such devices there might be needed to find another way to control the traffic in intersections.


Meet me up

Some sort of Friendster-like and FlashMob-ish. Meet people interesting in the same topics as you in a town not to long from you. At Meetup you can fix up yourself with a-likes and suggest a meeting IRL.


Psychoanalyze yourself

Why spend a fairly amount of money on a shrink year after year when the Net is giving it away for free? At Subtle Sabotage you just fill out some webform and then you get yourself a psychotherapy. Or not.

But this is not only a joke - there have been an amount of tests in using the computer as a therapist.

In a survey one find that somewhat 91% of the respondents could think of using a self-helping site online: 326 questionnaires were sent out and 113 (35%) responded, an average for postal surveys. It was found that:

27% did not want to go via their GP, 63% of these because they found this process 'bothersome'

34% wanted to access therapy via the internet

56% through a telephone interactive voice recognition (IVR) system

43% via CD-ROM on their home computer

23% via a computer at their GP's surgery

22% via a computer at their local community mental health resource centre

16% via a computer in a leisure centre, cafe or pharmacy

62% via a book.

Other methods of service delivery requested were: telephone support from a human therapist (2%); audiotape or CD (3%); video (2%); group therapy (1%); face-to-face therapy (3%); and interactive television (1%).

In an essay about Psychotherapy in Cyberspace they try to build a theory in the psychotherapeutic ways of dealing with the pros and cons of using the Net in this way: psychotherapy in cyberspace does not replace traditional models or theories. It can be considered an independent framework, a supplementary perspective. Clinicians may use it as a tool when extending their f2f work into cyberspace. What online channel might work best for psychoanalytic therapy, exposure therapy, or the Gestalt "empty chair" technique? Whether one conceptualizes a schizoid client as deficient in adequate social learning experiences, lacking sufficient object relations, or derailed from self-actualization, what online environment might be helpful to that client? The model also may be used as a framework for integrating ideas from other theories. If a psychodynamic clinician and a cognitive clinician discuss their teen male clients who love online fantasy games, they may discover some significant overlap in their concepts of psychopathology and psychotherapy.

Another study on self-help is concluding that: "A self-help system comprised of a computer-aided telephone system and a series of booklets was used successfully by people with mild-to-moderate depression. These preliminary results are encouraging for people who cannot otherwise access ongoing, in-person therapy."

Elsewhere there is several applications in the range of self-help: MAIW have worked out an interactive application in cognitive treatment.
And a lot of websites are offering help in any thinkable way: Mastering Stress who says it can Reduce Your Stress, Fear, Depression, Anxiety and Relationship Problems and on the site (with a lovely domain) is offering psychoterapeutic help via e-mail.


Old Judaica found in Iraq

In the basement of the Iraqi security police the Americans found some of Saddam's Secret Stash in form of a number of scriptures from the Jewish community which was almost terminated during the reign of Saddam and his successors.

The basement had been flooded during the bombings but the troups, searching for the invisible weapons of mass destruction, did save the cache filled with parchment rolls, books and other documents. The rescue op did take about a week and under stress since outside the building an undetonated bomb was located.


Something big coming your way

Man this is truly a "wanna-have"-gadget: NEC is releasing a 61"-plasmascreen with high resolution and high quality, high performance Double Picture function.

Surely something that could be useful for people with very big walls and large wallets. Or for the compact-living geek in need of something else than the poster of Tombraider to put on the wall.


A black year of journalistic casualties

"Covering a war is becoming more and more dangerous for journalists" . Reporters Sans Frontiers is counting the highest value of casualties of the media. 42 journalists have been killed and since a lot of the killings have taken place during the Iraqi-conflict the blame is the high number of deaths in the Gulf conflict on "the use of more sophisticated weapons" and "belligerents who care more about winning the war of images than respecting the safety of media staff".

One particular new trend is that a number of 'cyberdissidents' have been jailed.
Arrests of journalists also soared by 74 to 766, and there were more than 500 instances of media censorship, a trend which RWB said was "undoubtedly linked to the fight against terrorism" since September 2001.. Some examples are given in



Print, film, magnetic, and optical storage media produced about 5 exabytes of new information in 2002. Ninety-two percent of the new information was stored on magnetic media, mostly in hard disks.

How big is five exabytes? If digitized, the nineteen million books and other print collections in the Library of Congress would contain about ten terabytes of information; five exabytes of information is equivalent in size to the information contained in half a million new libraries the size of the Library of Congress print collections.

Hard disks store most new information. Ninety-two percent of new information is stored on magnetic media, primarily hard disks. Film represents 7% of the total, paper 0.01%, and optical media 0.002%.
The United States produces about 40% of the world's new stored information, including 33% of the world's new printed information, 30% of the world's new film titles, 40% of the world's information stored on optical media, and about 50% of the information stored on magnetic media.

How much new information per person? According to the Population Reference Bureau, the world population is 6.3 billion, thus almost 800 MB of recorded information is produced per person each year. It would take about 30 feet of books to store the equivalent of 800 MB of information on paper.


Hello World

If you didn't know it before the sentence "Hello World" is programmer-lingua: it's used as the normal test sequence in any code-base needed to visualize text.

The Hello World Project have something to do with it but I haven't yet worked it really out. Nevertheless it's one of the most ugly sites I have seen in a long time.


Thumbs up in universe

"I love deadlines. I especially love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." (Douglas Adams)

"After bouncing around development hell for the past two decades, the film has officially been given the greenlight by Spyglass/Disney
. No word yet on casting, but cameras will roll early next year in London with commercial/music video director Garth Jennings at the helm, with his 'Hammer and Tongs' partner Nick Goldsmith producing (the pair previously worked on videos for the likes of Beck, Blur and Fatboy Slim). Chicken Run scribe Karey Kirkpatrick last pecked at the script.

Some of the casting you can read about at BBC and at IMDB there is info about the forthcoming flic.


A slightly bad gen-therapy

This piece in Wired News tells about how researchers genetically have made some coffee-beans contain 70% less coffeine than the natural ones. "Experts contend a caffeine-free bean would be an improvement over current decaffeination processes, which use water or organic solvents to remove the stimulant from the beans before they are roasted, taking out some flavor and aroma as well. " Who cares?! I'm not drinking ten cups a day because of the flav of the thing-called-coffee that is in the automat at work - I drink it to stay awake!!!!