July 29th, 2004

Porsupah smile by Djinni

Squeezed tongue, damp raccoon, and pop goes the ceiling

The Plain English Campaign is 25 years old, and to that end, they've released a list of their prime examples of tortured writing in officialdom. The winner? From the 1989 National minimum wage regulations: "The hours of non-hours work worked by a worker in a pay reference period shall be the total of the number of hours spent by him during the pay reference period in carrying out the duties required of him under his contract to do non-hours work" The second and third place winners are equally deserving. ^_^

That was slightly unusual.. heard a gentle pop from the ceiling light, and the light grew very bright, briefly, followed by the sound of something hitting the floor. That was the entire glass of the bulb, neatly separated from the metal base. Glass envelope and base next to each other puts me in mind of a latterday ship-in-a-bottle.

A particularly good Fark potatoshop contest: other films Quentin Tarantino might have made. (Dialup users beware - it's image intensive)

PacketStorm Security makes note of a potential security vulnerability with AMD processors: it's possible for a user program to update the processor's microcode. They note similar mechanisms exist for Intel processors, but protected by encryption.

Courtesy of rabitguy, Audio Atrocities showcases "highlights" from the area of video game voice acting. There are plenty of quite exquisitely awful examples, oh indeed yes.. try this authentic Chinese accent from Last Alert, or this moment of drama from Tenchu.

And from Greg, Tech Talk Radio looks like a show that's actually worth listening to for something other than the announcer enjoying the sound of his own voice. Guests have included Dr. Feisal Keblawi, Information System Security (IIS) Manager for FAA; Alan Paller, Director of Research and Founder, The SANS Institute; and Bill Ball, Linux Guru and Author. Full archives are available, in both mp3 and RealAudio form. From the most recent show, a resource listing "magic codes" for many DVD players; these range from service menus to enabling all-region playing, depending on the model and manufacturer.

Heart of the Dog sounds quite intriguing. Not the worst IMDb rating I've seen, either. I'm afraid I'm woefully undereducated in Russian literature, and so my impression's purely gained from some net.searching, suggesting it's something of a 20th Century classic, finally adapted visually some sixty years after its composition.

The Magic 7, an animated feature starring a dragon, might be good.. or not. Certainly, not the worst of casts, but it's listed as a TV production, which isn't usually the best sign as far as US animation goes, although The Lion King 1 1/2 was surprisingly good, with almost cinematic quality animation, that annoyingly catchy song, and a general not-just-pushed-out-for-the-tykes look to it.

Quote for the day: Mr Morrison, a former deputy chief of defence intelligence, had commented on Mr Blair's claim that Saddam Hussein's Iraq posed a "serious and current threat" to Britain. He told the programme: "When I heard him using those words, I could almost hear the collective raspberry going up around Whitehall."

Amusing.. here's a sex chat log. What ChnsboyneedSEX doesn't know is that jenny18 is an IRCbot. Further examples can be found here. Obviously, not safe for work, and you can imagine the level of *cough* sensuous, eloquent discourse, but it's fun nonetheless.

Hm. The page for the new trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow also includes a link to a free game, for OS X and Windows. A little more demanding of one's system than I can run, unfortunately.

Oh dear. Blame that rabbit for this.. Sunday's Game. It's an iFilm hosted short, so unfortunately, after going through the QuickTime/WMV/RM selection, you then have to "enjoy" some cheesy Flash ad before the streaming commences.. but, it's worth the effort. It's a very dark comedy. Probably not recommended if you're feeling very depressed.

And also on iFilm, 405: the Movie, a brief short on the theme of a jumbo making an emergency landing on I-405.

On the programming front, here's one or two links on Objective-C, nicely arranged, including some good introductions to the language.

Wasn't Reefer Madness some time ago? Apparently not.

For the consideration of huskyteer, a report that the Farnsborough B-52 apparently flew over the wrong airfield.. ?

A security guy sets up XP Home Edition, in as vanilla a condition as most would find it, in order to find out how malware comes onto a Windows system. It's for a tech audience, it should be noted, so it goes into explicit detail regarding the HTML and JavaScript involved.

Here's quite a neat potted biography of Richard Dawkins, perhaps best known as author of The Selfish Gene.

And this week's Vinci & Arty is about as cute as it gets. ^_^ If he follows me home, can I keep him?
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