Saturday, July 24, 2004

new business partnership with NatWest, which helped keep the regime afloat by supervising the sell-off of Serbian telecoms.

Which one of these banks would we prefer to make a fortune out of Serbs Telecom?:

Deutche Bank
Banque Nationale Paris
Credit Suisse

Ill opt for number one. Business is not evil in and of itself, and HMG and her agents should be doing this sort of thing. What is categorically evil is business manipulating government so that it may use the govererned as sheep to be fleeced. I am talking specifically about warmongering, compulsory vaccinating, or vaccinating without proper choice (MMR), compulsory ID get the picture; anything where a false need is created that can be catered for by a contractor.

Building and installing x-ray machines for hospitals is not a false need.
Creating and managing a DNA database for the government is.
Creating and installing a congestion charging system that is also used to immorally track peoples movemnts is sheep shearing. Managing traffic and then deleting the data is not.

Its a pretty simple rule behind this; can you make up your own ones?

Helping to finance the reorganization of a country's telecoms system is not evil, and if someone has to do it, let them be British.
posted by Irdial , 7:34 PM Þ 

ON THE eve of the Butler report's publication, former joint intelligence committee chairwoman Dame Pauline Neville-Jones told the BBC that Tony Blair should be held responsible for any failings in British policy towards Iraq.

"The buck stops there" she declared, "and I don't think the political layer in any country can escape the consequences of systemic failure."

Dame Pauline knows a thing or two about systemic failure. As political director of the FCO [Foreign & Commonwealth Office - mm] when Douglas Hurd was foreign secretary in the mid-1990s, she was centrally involved in Britain's policy of giving Slobodan Milosevic a free hand in eastern Bosnia. SAS observers were withdrawn from Srebrenica and British generals overruled any air support for the Dutch UN garrison, who had to surrender and leave Srebrenica's inhabitants to be slaughtered - the worst war crime on European soil since World War II.

Neville-Jones was also the British representative at the 1995 Dayton peace talks which carved up Bosnia and lead to the easing of financial sanctions against Belgrade. What her fellow-negotiators didn't know was Pauline had already spoken to her mate Douglas Hurd about joining him in the private sector at NatWest Markets - which she duly did a few months later.

Soon afterwords Neville-Jones and Hurd were breakfasting with Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade to celebrate his new business partnership with NatWest, which helped keep the regime afloat by supervising the sell-off of Serbian telecoms.

Now Dame Pauline tells us politicians mustn't "escape the consequences" of their sins and errors. But this stricture doesn't apply to a mere mandarin: these days she is chairman of the weapons firm [, potential ID card 'provider', etc - mm] Qinetiq, as well as governor of the BBC, and she was recently named as front runner to become next chairman of Eurotunnel. Surprisingly, Milosevic hasn't called her as a character witness.

Some information on the prominent propaganda warrior culled from this fortnight's Private Eye
posted by meau meau , 6:49 PM Þ 

Manifesto for the Reputation Society 
by Hassan Masum and Yi-Cheng Zhang

Information overload, challenges of evaluating quality, and the
opportunity to benefit from experiences of others have spurred the
development of reputation systems. Most Internet sites which mediate
between large numbers of people use some form of reputation mechanism:
Slashdot, eBay, ePinions, Amazon, and Google all make use of
collaborative filtering, recommender systems, or shared judgements of

But we suggest the potential utility of reputation services is far
greater, touching nearly every aspect of society. By leveraging our
limited and local human judgement power with collective networked
filtering, it is possible to promote an interconnected ecology of
socially beneficial reputation systems - to restrain the baser side of
human nature, while unleashing positive social changes and enabling the
realization of ever higher goals...
posted by Irdial , 11:10 AM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 10:12 AM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 10:07 AM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 10:03 AM Þ 

I had a problem posting the FatCat entry...

My guess would be that the Fat Cat javascript uses relative file paths
posted by meau meau , 9:54 AM Þ 

Van Morrison - Almost Independance Day

And it sounds so good because of this.
In another life I am some kind of musician with stacks and stacks of analog synths, instead of printmaking equipment...
posted by Barrie , 7:55 AM Þ 

posted by chriszanf , 1:28 AM Þ 

When I saw that, I thought of this. I linked to it so as not to leech their bandwidth. It's okay to click on incidentally.
posted by captain davros , 12:42 AM Þ 
Friday, July 23, 2004

posted by Irdial , 10:35 PM Þ

make that your homepage and have fun.
posted by Ken , 10:05 PM Þ 
posted by Ken , 5:51 PM Þ 

That is SUCH a good idea. Now I can synchronize the bookmarks on my laptop and desktop. Hmmm I wonder if many different people could share, edit and add to the same bookmarks file??!!

Safari offers a boomark syncing option when used in conjunction with iSync and .Mac however, I suspect one could 'roll their own' in the same way one can with iCal using WebDAV...

The FTP/XML thing is nice too. I don't expect it would be too hard to write an Applescript plugin/application that parses the file for use in Safari (and/or other browsers)...
posted by alex_tea , 5:13 PM Þ 

You Have Bad Taste in Music!

You heard the man.

I had a problem posting the FatCat entry last night using the copy/paste method from Firefox 0.9. Kept getting a Java exception saying it could not connect. Also the javascript to view details didn't work and I had to view source.

Not sure if it was a problem with the FTP server or with Blogger? Has anyone else had this problem?
posted by alex_tea , 4:48 PM Þ 

A Loud Egg

It would *appear* that I was in York.
posted by meau meau , 4:11 PM Þ 

An extension that enables the user to place the bookmarks file (in XML) on her FTP server so it can be accessible (and editable) by multiple computers.

That is SUCH a good idea. Now I can synchronize the bookmarks on my laptop and desktop. Hmmm I wonder if many different people could share, edit and add to the same bookmarks file??!!

What I would love to see for Mozilla Mail is collaborative spam filtering. Every time I mark spam ad my local filter file is updated, no one else gets the benefit of that effort.

If I could share the filter file of millions of other people (it would be downloaded before I check my mail) then all the filtering of other people would be used to correctly mark spam; just like we presume Gmail does.

Even If I was in a group of 100 people using this collaborative filtering, surely my performance would increase dramatically.
posted by Irdial , 4:04 PM Þ 

Black Holes being in the news makes lots of artists representations of them appear everywhere. All of them seem... wrong, or at least, make you ask some questions; when observing such an object, would you see something like this:

which is a sphereish thing surrounded by undistorted rings and background stars, or would not the gravitational lensing twist up space so that it looks more along the lines of this?:

would gravitational lensing not let you look past a black hole in a straight line? The light passing through its influence would be bent, so how can the top picture show rings in an oval shape "orbiting" the hole undistorted right to the event horizon?

Of course, they are both artists interpretations (the top one from NASA), and so they are made with a licence to show anything at all. I would love to see a computer modeled image of a black hole taking gravitational lensing into consideration, with different backgrounds and from different perspectives, from on the edge of the event horizon to millions of miles away...hmmmmmmmmm!

google sends us:

The Photon Sphere

Mathematically speaking, the photon sphere occurs at 3/2 the Schwarzschild Radius.

The photosphere is a place where light rays can have unstable orbits around the black hole. To have a stable orbit the light ray has to travel at a high velocity (c= 3*10 ^8 m/s) as it gets nearer and nearer to the center of the black hole. As it gets farther from the center it doesn?t need such a high velocity. The farther the ray is from the center of the hole, the less the velocity of the ray. A light ray would have a hard time to keep its constant orbit, as there are other rays colliding with it and changing its velocity and trajectory, thus shifting it either into outer space or straight into the black hole. The idea is that in the photosphere nothing is stable: everything either is drawn at incredible speeds in the interior of the black hole or plunged into space but delayed for a few thousands of years.

Another interesting phenomenon is the movement of space. If one had a source of light, let?s say a reflector, at the black hole, then the light rays would start orbiting the hole. If the ray comes back after one rotation it would hit the reflector. Now if one would have a camera and try to move the camera towards the image forming in front of it, then the image would retreat and shrink. This is because the view of the camera is just like the view someone would have if they were standing behind it. If the camera stands behind the person and he would start moving forward, their image recedes.

Movie: circling the black hole from the photon sphere

Explanation: The apparent position of the photon sphere is easy to spot - it is the apparent dividing line between black hole and sky. Stars approaching the other side of the black hole from your point are greatly magnified and move with high angular speeds. You can only see one star moving very fast and get very brighter, and then another one appears.


"After one passes the event horizon, the obvious question is what happens. At the center of the black hole (actually there is no real center) the singularity plays its role. It is the point where all the mass is condensed at infinite density and zero volume. All objects which pass through the event horizon are then inevitably drawn towards the singularity and they hit it in a very short amount of time."

"infinite density and zero volume"

The sound of one hand clapping
A Loud Egg
Brown is the new Black
posted by Irdial , 3:21 PM Þ 

Firefox extensions I currently have installed

All Music Guide corrector 0.1
After AMG's horrible redesign a couple of weeks ago (discussed in depth at functionality for the mozilla flavor of browsers (or any non-Windows non-IE user agent) has been horrible. This brilliant extension fixes some of those problems.

Bookmarks Synchronizer 0.9.6
An extension that enables the user to place the bookmarks file (in XML) on her FTP server so it can be accessible (and editable) by multiple computers. An indispensible extension for someone like me who spends a lot of time at two (or more computers) and wishes to keep bookmarks organized and up-to-date.

Web Developer 0.8
Adds a menu and a toolbar to the browser with various web developer tools. If you make webpages - especially standards compliant ones - you need this.

DictionarySearch 0.6.1
Select a word, right click, "Dictionary Search for ...", and a new tab opens with the definition from your favorite online dictionary in a different tab.

BugMeNot 0.3
As discussed earlier in these pages.

Any other suggestions that blogdialians are using?
posted by Josh Carr , 3:09 PM Þ 

small broadcast: The email and web addresses in the open content zip file are the old ibmpcug-era ones.
posted by captain davros , 1:44 PM Þ 

convolve oxcart irate lineprinter ask hippopotamus hereunder anthropogenic cerium smudge potable revolutionary saturable swampy bristol andrew grapple caribbean transparent vernier bissau source pfennig bertram intoxicate maroon dirge buckwheat blade backside phenomenon consortium choreography buzzard conversant edict cinematic picnicked assai blew chen sac buttonhole sinistral cerebrate basilar g's buttercup banbury dilute munch stockholm batch buyer check andrea lupine noll miscegenation recess bergson enemy widthwise unanimous predict utensil medicine celery drama premature halite repository optoelectronic prejudicial minima satyr reprise catalytic implicate bp valkyrie conform aspirin honoraria cyanamid deject brushy conservation delphi alcove belligerent barbaric corkscrew l'vov charta dominant cf cryogenic signify scornful bstj ambrose boatmen champion kaleidoscope chamfer hackle luxe compass delight consulate degum selfridge dosimeter z's clank vindictive annual ti newline netherlands lindholm convair dossier mini morse penurious argument terse exaggerate horsewomen menlo screenplay inhuman detractor carload suny basso radio muddlehead microbial toiletry taffeta dutton ambitious freud bondsmen leash atheist teeth coco root cursive rilly fortify inward eavesdrop castle zap reed calculate bessel dickey paleozoic edith abdomen wetland childbirth counteract dna eidetic countryside hardtack elsevier deferent trek theism finley confrere certiorari playoff i'd pigtail yemen brow studio ireland langley eft spectroscopy embank dortmund alphanumeric japan booky parlance menlo anomie bart bell asheville stockade globular mutant thereof shrug allusive district consort buzzy disparate barton inflexible australis tetrahedron honshu flax whelp miscellany fingernail clergyman glossed jolt algal emblematic pathway bunt bedtime concept sophoclean devonshire yourself bespoke dauphine deerstalker brunt parimutuel droll boisterous impromptu claremont conflict art haney anterior telegraphy arousal lay nausea tappa emitter hopscotch incomparable plumbago finite mao silty bicentennial coda consult shrimp connors phenol coddington insolvent excursion bicycle institute prurient earthmoving stale ravage axiology blather rhoda babe marlowe shutoff dulse sequestration mule frontiersman haddock chart children concierge fritillary enable gold suffrage give aver abide snake masculine ferment bald kramer dogmatism pathogenesis prescribe charley ted lubbock dim genealogy immodest conscript corral endoderm
posted by Irdial , 12:44 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 10:27 AM Þ 

Oh Mandy,
you came and you gave without taking,
but I sent you away.
Oh, Mandy,
you kissed me and stopped me from shaking,
and I need you!


\Nep"o*tism\ (?; 277), n. [L. nepus, nepotus, nephew: cf. F. n['e]potisme. See Nephew.] Undue attachment to relations; favoritism shown to members of one's family; bestowal of patronage in consideration of relationship, rather than of merit or of legal claim.

posted by Alun , 10:24 AM Þ 

This months cover stars on The Wire magazine; Wilco.

In the GoTo; section, (with Wilco reference) and a numbers station site.
posted by Alun , 10:01 AM Þ 

FatCat Records : Demo Archive
That "PLEASE LISTEN" note is rather funny.
posted by Claus Eggers , 3:21 AM Þ 
posted by Ken , 3:02 AM Þ 

Demo Site is Finally Launched

Demo Site is Finally Launched


After many false starts and lots of help from our friends from Kleber we have finally managed to get the long awaited FatCat Demo Archive online ? a brand new site featuring unheard music by new / unreleased artists.

Whilst we are still receiving a high quantity of demos, we have decided to use the freedom of our website to showcase the best of these. These will be curated online with freely downloadable MP3s and information & contact details for each artist. These tracks will also be available to listen to in the FatCat audio player.

As we launch this site, there are 24 artists included in this archive ? most of whose demos had been received some time ago. The site will be continuously updated, with new artists being added as & when good material is recieved. Throughout August we hope to be adding new artists on a daily basis.

We want to thanks those artists who have stuck with us and waited a long, long time to finally see this site go up. Many of the tracks are a few years old but this does not detract from how good we think their music remains.
If you download tracks and enjoy them, please do drop the artists a line, give them support and encouragement because after all they are sharing their music with you for no finacial gain.

We hope that we can build on these great initial tracks and hopefully see this site grow into something quite special.

You can check out the site here or by clicking the Logo in the top right hand corner of the page.

posted by alex_tea , 12:46 AM Þ 
Thursday, July 22, 2004 Technology | The hysterical skies

worth watching the stupid ad.
posted by Ken , 9:22 PM Þ 

Post Industrial Boys,
Have a wonderful voice,
They read some James Joyce
and make a careful choice.

Post Industrial Boys,
subscribe to Village Voice,
They play with colored toys
and make an awful noise.

posted by Irdial , 9:20 PM Þ 

posted by Josh Carr , 7:35 PM Þ 

The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations

For days after Sept. 11, all I could listen to was The Conet Project - retreating, as the facts of the new world order piled up, into a compilation of recordings of which no sense can be made. For years the shortwave frequencies have included these broadcasts?endless series of numbers interspersed with electronic jingles and howls. No government or agency has ever laid claim to them, but it's believed that they're one-way transmissions by various covert organizations - spy agencies, drug cartels, and the like - to field operatives and are decoded by a so-far-hack-proof technique called a one-time pad. Some geeks perceive "hack-proof" as a challenge, and efforts have been made to crack the uncrackable. Musicians have worked samples of the recordings into mixes and background tracks. (Irdial recently settled a lawsuit with Wilco over use of the sample from which Yankee Hotel Foxtrot took its name.) Newly rereleased and no closer to decipherment, this set stands on its subtle merits: ghostly, distorted tracks that add up to the ultimate in user-targeted listening - an audience of one. Meanwhile, there's been no letup in the broadcasts, not even since the end of the Cold War (when it was assumed that the broadcasts were the usual red-vs.-red-white-and-blue games); stations continue to come and go, occasionally interfering with air-traffic control or shipping transmissions. Somewhere, for each message, someone is listening hard, and then doing something based on what the numbers tell them?what, we cannot know. All we can do is wait. ANGELA GUNN

posted by Irdial , 6:58 PM Þ 

Frances the Firefly wanted to grow up quickly, but there were one or two things she had to learn first . . .

"I've got something exciting to show you, Frances, "said Cocky. "Come with me." He led her to his hiding place, and pushed a leaf to one side and pointed...


Not Italy - they are as ID hungry as the UK
posted by meau meau , 3:37 PM Þ 

So you bought a PS2.
You thought the UK games sucked.
You like Japanese games.
But Sony has ensured you can't use your UK PS2 to play (legally acquired) Japanese-bought games.
What to do?
A 'friend' offers a service, fitting a new chip to your PS2.
Now you can play Japanese games!

Go to jail.
Go directly to jail.
Do not pass go.
Collect fines and a criminal record.

Alternatively, move to Spain or Italy, where "a judge threw out Sony's case saying it was up to owners of a console what they did with it."

Critics of regional copy-protection claim it is actually a way of increasing profits by preventing consumers from importing a cheaper product from another territory.

Who'da thunk it?
posted by Alun , 3:14 PM Þ 

I have just entered the United States.

On ITV the other night, between two episodes of Coronation Street, was a programme hosted by Trevor McDonald about the arbitrary, immoral, revolting, and pointless mistreatement of British passengers arriving at US airports.

It told vivid stories of very ordinary, law abiding people who were degraded, left without food for days at a time, shackeld like criminals and sometimes deported for no good reason at all. There was even a man who was deported for falsely reported debts in a country other than the USA.

A family who had their holiday ruined because the husband was deported for having had an unpaid parking ticket from a previous visit to the US or some other such trifling nonsense.

Six million people watched this programme.

Who in their right mind would plan to go to such a place for a holiday, where anything at all could totally destroy your plans?

What organizer of a conference would plan to put people to gether in such a place when any one of the attendants or speakers could be arbitrarily held, shackled and deported for no good reason?

The worst aspect of the treatment is the humiliation, the leaving of people without food or water for days - its the lower scale of the Abu Ghraib policy, where people are not percieved as human beings, but are thought of as animals, as an explicit matter of policy.
posted by Irdial , 1:44 PM Þ 

Dear Mr Fischer:

It has come to our attention that you are planning to play a chess match for a cash prize in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) (hereinafter "Yugoslavia") against Boris Spassky on or about September 1, 1992, etc


It looks as though the spiral is going the same way as the cloud, perhaps the whole of the UK is amateur and provincial.


posted by meau meau , 1:39 PM Þ 
posted by Alun , 12:17 PM Þ 
posted by captain davros , 11:53 AM Þ 

I have just entered the United States. Since I was on a so-called J-1 visa, this was quite an achievement. First I had to fill in a form asking my host university to send me another form. Armed with that form, I filled in three further forms, including such obviously relevant information as my brother's telephone number, and the names of two people who could verify this information. Then I had to go to Barclays bank to get a special receipt for paying the fee. Then I had to supply a passport photograph 2 inches square in which "the head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 1 inch to 1 inches (25mm to 35mm) with the eye level between 1 1 18 inch to 1 inches (28mm and 35mm) from the bottom of the photo". Only a few photoshops do these and, once found, Snappy Snaps charged me 24.99 for a double set. Snappy, indeed. The first time you apply, you also have to go for an interview at the embassy.

Finally armed with this precious patent of nobility, I arrived at San Francisco airport, where I was fingerprinted and photographed. Last year, I was taken aside for further investigation, while at the next desk an official of the department of homeland security reduced a girl to a nervous wreck by intrusive questioning about what she would be up to with her American boyfriend. And she, like me, was from Britain, the United States' closest ally. Imagine what it's like if you come from Libya or Iran.


There's a lot of speculation (including in this article) that al-Q will "do something" just before November 2nd, thus handing the election to Bush on a wave of mutilation (to cite pixies).

They could well be right, and I have nightmare visions of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld splattering the fervent tumulent crowds of 'patriots' with the blood of innocents as they high-five each other with blood-stained hands in congratulation of their victory, chosen by both bin Laden and the American people as the best people to lead the war on terror from behind.



In the UK, Steve Bell's revived Bambi...

posted by Alun , 11:32 AM Þ 

Will Fischer be extradited?
19.07.2004 Chess legend Bobby Fischer, the hero of millions, languishes in the detention facilities of Narita Airport in Tokyo, waiting for a decision by Japanese Immigration authorities on his deportation to the US. We have collected all the documents and reconstructed a timeline to his arrest. Fischer, who has no legal counsel, is appealing for international assistance.

How can anyone be kept in a Japanese cell without access to a lawyer?

On December 11 2003 the Embassy of the United States in Manila, Philippines, revoked Fischer's passport number Z7792702, issued on January 24, 1997 at the American Embassy in Bern, Switzerland "and any other US Passport you may possess". In a letter to Fischer he is advised of his right to a hearing. "If you desire such a hearing," US Consular official Theodore Allegra states, "you must notify this office within 60 days after receipt of this notice." Fischer is advised that a reqeust for hearing "does not repeat does not" serve to stay the revocation action taken by the Department of State.

From his jail cell at Narita Fischer, who has at the present time no legal counsel and cannot be contacted by phone, told us through the head of the Japan Chess Association, Miyoko Watai, that he had not received the December 11th notice about his passport. For that reason he missed the chance to notify the office within 60 days after receipt of the notice. This would appear plausible, since Fischer's place of residence is not generally known, and the notice itself contains no address to which it should be delivered.

On July 13 the Immigration Officer at Narita Airport issued a notice informing Fischer that landing permission that had been granted to him at Narita on April 15, 2004, had been cancelled "retrospectively". On July 15 Fischer was arrested and served a notice of decision by the ministry of Justice in deportation proceedings that had been initiated against him. On the same day Fischer was arrested and incarcerated in the detention facilities of Narita Airport.

That is completely outrageous. Normally, a third country would step in and offer him citizenship and a passport. Oh for the days of the Soviet Union!

posted by Irdial , 10:17 AM Þ 

How to create a truly egalitarian society from Newsweek
This proves that Denmark is the most middelclass-country in the world, we dont have lower or upper-class, just snotty and narrowminded middel-class...

Sweden is the best country in the world (again the danes are beatten by the swedes)
But the most happy people are from Nigeria, Mexico and Venezuela...
Could it be the weather? (yes, still loads of middleclass-grey in Denmark)

(source: Newsweek, July 26, 2004)
posted by Alison , 9:16 AM Þ 

posted by mary13 , 6:26 AM Þ 

Excerpt from the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower:


Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual --is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. [...]

posted by Irdial , 12:05 AM Þ 
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Dumbfunk flyer
posted by alex_tea , 11:37 PM Þ

We Support Team Member Excellence and Happiness

Our success is also dependent upon the collective energy and intelligence of all our Team Members. In addition to receiving fair wages and benefits, belief in the value of our work and finding fulfillment from our jobs is a key reason we are part of Whole Foods Market. Therefore, we design and promote safe work environments where motivated Team Members can flourish and reach their highest potential. And no matter how long a person has worked or plans to work with us, each and every Team Member is a valued contributor.

There are many Team Members in our company who "work behind the scenes" to produce product, distribute product and generally support our retail Team Members and customers. Although they are not as visible as our retail Team Members, they are integral to the success of our business.

Achieving unity of vision about the future of our company, and building trust between Team Members is a goal of Whole Foods Market. At the same time diversity and individual differences are recognized and honored. We aim to cultivate a strong sense of community and dedication to the company. We also realize how important leisure time, family, and community involvement outside of work is for a rich, meaningful and balanced life. We must remember that we are not "Whole Life Market."

We strive to build positive and healthy relationships among Team Members. "Us versus them" thinking has no place in our company. We believe that the best way to do this is to encourage participation and involvement at all levels of our business. Some of the ways we do this are:

  • Self directed Teams that meet regularly to discuss issues, solve problems and appreciate each other's contributions.
  • Increased communication through Team Member Forums and Advisory Groups, and open book, open door, and open people practices.
  • Labor gainsharing and other Team Member incentive programs.
  • Team Member Stock Options and Stock Purchase Plan.
  • Commitment to make our jobs more fun by combining work and play and through friendly competition to improve our stores.
  • Continuous learning opportunities about company values, food, nutrition and job skills.
* Equal opportunity for employment, with promotion mostly from within the company.

posted by Irdial , 8:57 PM Þ 

An entirely new way to capture color.

Introducing the Foveon X3 direct image sensor, a new
generation of technology that works
just like film.

The Foveon X3 direct image sensor is the most advanced color image sensor ever developed. It represents a giant leap forward in color photography and is the only image sensor technology that combines the power of digital with the essence of film.

A direct image sensor is an image sensor that directly captures red, green, and blue light at each point in an image during a single exposure. Foveon pioneered the development of the direct image sensor using the most advanced developments in semiconductor design, image processing, and signal processing. Here is how it compares to film and typical CCD image sensors.


For over 100 years, color film has traditionally been held as the gold standard for photography. It produces rich, warm tones and incredible color detail that consumers around the world have become accustomed to. Film has achieved this by using three layers of emulsion to capture full color at every point in the image.

Digital CCD image sensors were developed approximately 30 years ago, ushering in the era of digital photography. Unfortunately, the rich, warm tones and detail of color film that the world came to expect suffered over the convenience and immediacy of digital. This was due to the fact that CCD digital image sensors were only capable of recording just one color at each point in the captured image instead of the full range of colors at each location.

Foveon X3 direct image sensor
Finally, Foveon has combined the best of what both film and digital have to offer. This is accomplished by the innovative design of Foveon?s X3 direct image sensors which have three layers of pixels, just like film has three layers of chemical emulsion. Foveon?s layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green, and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths ? forming the first and only image sensor that captures full color at every point in the captured image.

A Dramatically Different Design
The revolutionary design of Foveon X3 direct image sensors features three layers of pixels. The layers are embedded in silicon to take advantage of the fact that red, green, and blue light penetrate silicon to different depths ? forming the world's first direct image sensor.

From point-and-shoot digital cameras to high-end professional equipment, Foveon X3 technology offers multiple benefits to consumers and manufacturers alike. At the same time, it opens the door for other innovations, such as new kinds of cameras that record both video and still images without compromising the image quality of either.

Manufactured by World Wide Licenses Ltd., the Polaroid x530 digital camera is the world?s first point-and-shoot digital camera to incorporate the new 4.5 megapixel Foveon X3 direct image sensor.

The camera takes advantage of several key features of the X3 image sensor design including:

  • Foveon X3F raw file format image capture option
  • Video clip capture at >24 fps with VGA (640 x 480) resolution
  • Foveon?s recently introduced X3 Fill Light software

The Polaroid x530 is also the first X3 based digital camera to capture in-camera JPEG format images.

For more information on Foveon X3 technology, please visit the X3 Technology section of our website. For additional information about our 4.5 megapixel direct image sensor featured in the Polaroid x530, visit the Products sections of our website.

Additional information about the Polaroid x530 can be found at the Polaroid digital camera web site:

posted by Irdial , 7:43 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 7:00 PM Þ 

We got our electricity bill today; our provider announces on the envelope that it is now a member of Nectar.

Opening the envelope, we see that we have been sent a registration form, that gladly declares:

"We are already collecting points for you!"
To get you started we are already reserving Nectar points for you. Your reserved points are shown on the right hand side of this statement and wil be held until 14 January 2005...

Over 1 million customers have already registerd their Nectar cards with us.

The form has your customer account number on it, and your post code under the space where you sign and date.

Now, if a national ID card scheme is introduced, (this translates to "If Labour loose the next General Election" because the Tories have promised that they will scrap the idea...ha ha) Your NID will be connected to your Nectar card to your Electricity bill, to your postcode, to your telephone number etc etc, and all of this will be available to any one of the entities that you are getting a service from, and ALL of this will be available to Nectar, since they are clearly trying to forge relationships with anyone who sells anything to anyone on a large scale.

Nectar will have information on every shopper - fine grained information that would make any marketer faint with extacy at the prospect of the super detailed profiles that could be built with the data.

Imagine it; you already get personalized postcards from supermarkets, printed with your name made of flowers; imagine this data being used to tell you about things that you are 100% certain to be interested in. Its a very compelling and seductive idea - from both ends - because it would be useful as a shopper to be informed of things that you might want to eat or read, just like TIVO tells you what you might want to see on TV. Oh yes, they WILL be joining Nectar, them and SKY also.

You would never miss a bargain, a new product or special offer, and you get points for buying these things that you know you want. That is pure seduction. That is a cause to give up your privacy.

Of course, all of this could be done anonymously, but then the benefit would be purely to the customer, and the essential demographic analysis bussiness model of Nectar would be destroyed.

Privacy will be taken very seriously when Nectar is everywhere, and there is very little privacy; in other words, when it becomes scarce. When that happens, people will pay for privacy.

There will be legions of people and services providing privacy, in the same way that there are professional dog walkers in the major cities of the world. You will pay someone to do your shopping for you, in their name though the goods will be going to you. These Dorian Greys will take on all the sin of your shopping, and heap it onto themselvs, leaving your record clean and lean. Your ID will show that you never buy anything, except (if you are careless) the services of one or two people, who might not even be real people, who will seem to have the buying power of 100 human economic units.

Dont worry, this does not mean that you will loose your Nectar points. The Dorian Greys will keep perfect accounts of what was spent on your behalf, anynmoysly, and your points will be redemed for you on whatever you desire. You will get it all, the anonymity AND the privacy.

I personally know people who already do this. They use a network of friends to collect packages for them, who dont mind if their address is used on forms, and who know what to do when an unexpected package arrives for that
"JANE EYRE" woman whose mail always ends up at the house unexpectedly. These people use cash only of course, and when they need to buy something from Amazon, they have a friend who does that for them, including recieving the books of course.

Obviously this being the age of the internet, there will be organized identity swapping sites so that you can break the trail that follows you around. "" register it right now. There is a problem with this however, if you have a Nectar card and swap it for one that was used to collect points when someone was buying someting fradulently, you could be swept up when you tried to use it. Also, these cards will have so much information on them that is personal to you, it would be ...unwise... to swap it with anyone at all, so scratch that last paragraph. Partially. You get the picture; identity swapping will be organized on a massive scale, by the same type of vigilante that creates sites like bugmenot. Demand will make these services appear.


"Never before have we been so contented"
posted by Irdial , 7:00 PM Þ 

Thinking of the government's satellite tracking of cars idea.
Presumably, in order to get around people evading tolls you won't be able to use an anonymous pre-paid card, rather your car will be sending car specific information to some database, however this information will have to be cross-referenced with the DVLA registration database - which will in fact be a part of the proposed National Identity Register. Anyway what it means is that your NIR record will have to be open to query numerous times (daily? constant?) between payment periods (presumably by direct debit - no driving without a traceable credit card). Basically it introduces a potentially/probably gaping security hole for gathering NIR information by anyone willing to test the database's robustness.


WooF MooU playing Conet, then Wilco!
posted by meau meau , 3:30 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 2:00 PM Þ 
Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Bypass compulsory web registration via Firefox's right-click context menu. Compatibile with Mozilla and current Firefox releases that use the new extension manager. Visit for full details of their service.

BugMeNot screenshot
posted by Irdial , 7:45 PM Þ 

barry... fire up the terminal. run bc. 'man bc' for instructions.
posted by alex_tea , 4:08 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 1:10 PM Þ 

instead of my (quite old) disc-man - The new and improved i-pod...please?

posted by Alison , 10:46 AM Þ 

a consultant neurosurgeon at Oxford, said: "Until animal rights extremists are treated as terrorists they will hold hostage the future of British public health..."

And then treat the pro-animal rights protestors as terrorist sympathisers?

... But what we know is that the government wants to treat the entire population as potential terrorists.

Personally I can see that certain treatments are unlikely to be found for some diseases without an element of animal testing, but I wouldn't be prepared to ever undertake that research myself (which of course is why I am not a vivisectionist).
posted by meau meau , 10:14 AM Þ 

Can we get a name and address on this lady? I'd love to send her son birthday cards for the next 18 years, addressed to him and his two absent siblings.

We are witnessing "entitlement" at its most sinister. It is time to re-assess our values as a nation, when it becomes acceptable to deny the most basic of our inalienable rights to innocents for our own vanity. It is vile, to say the least.

It is shallow people like this 'lady' that really cause me to think that being a parent ought to require a license....

She is the one who does not deserve to live.

Is it just me, or has that country turned into a place where punishment and retribution are the watchwords of the day? Every day?
posted by Irdial , 9:58 AM Þ 

This is fun ? build your own US Defence budget:

Global Beat: Protecting America -- Build Your Own Defense Budget
posted by Claus Eggers , 2:04 AM Þ 

$3000 down to buy a G5!@#

or you could use google
posted by Irdial , 12:44 AM Þ 

Absolutely astonishing. My university of alberta e-mail account spammed my e-mail account with an Outlook virus. I am truly amazed. I was fairly confident of the university's incompetence at handling e-mail service, but this is just disgraceful, Apple!

The GUI for Apple OS X Calculator app is so graphically intensive that it takes a full two seconds to depress a key, even from keyboard input. Again, I am amazed at the incompetence displayed here. A calculator is not an "Xtr33m 4ppz0r," Apple. It is a calculator and should be built for speed and accuracy, regardless of how old my chipset is. Speaking of accuracy, what the fuck is this, copied directly from the "paper tape" that Calculator provides:

824.96 +
51.6 =

It just can't handle the raw number crunching power that simple arithmetic needs! I guess that means I should smack $3000 down to buy a G5!@#

I applaud you Apple, this day. *cough*
posted by Barrie , 12:01 AM Þ 
Monday, July 19, 2004


Yogurt can boost the immune system and prevent health problems such as high cholesterol levels, cancer, yeast infections, bowel tumors, and (hmmm) even the common cold.

Yogurt is also loaded with healthy nutrients such as Vitamin B12, protein, phosphorus, calcium, folic acid and riboflavin.

"The bottom line is, yogurt helps you live longer," according to Dr. Steven Novil of the American Longevity Institute. "It's an extremely effective antiaging agent that's rich in B vitamins, which make your body function more efficiently."
posted by meau meau , 4:16 PM Þ 

Journalist Paul Foot dies.

Former Daily Mirror and Private Eye journalist Paul Foot has died, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop said.
Guardian reports.
posted by meau meau , 3:34 PM Þ 
posted by Alison , 2:38 PM Þ 

It is a confusing area, as the similar-sounding Libertarians tend to come from the right and believe in freedom-at-any-cost.

In the US, the Libertarian Party campaigns for an unrestricted free market, free speech, the right to bear arms and the legalisation of drugs.

By contrast the Hampstead liberals of political folkore are more generally portrayed as the fair-trade coffee-sipping, dinner-party attending middle classes. [...]

Liberals with Guns:

Cant be made to take nonsense.

"Prime Minister Tony Blair has said it is time to mark the end of the "1960s liberal consensus" on law and order."

In a country built upon fundamental rights, an announcement like this is just a joke. In another type of country, its a very dangerous thing indeed; because all it takes is the wrong headed idea of a single bufoon to ruin the lives of an entire population.

America, or at least the idea of america, solved this problem; a written constitution laying out, in writing, the fundamental rights of each human, forever taking away the power of any future dictator or elected maniac to wake up one morning and say, "Freedom no longer works, so my government is cancelling it forthwith". No one in a civilized country could stand up and suggest that the right to a trial by jury should be removed, and yet, these suggestions and countless others are made day after day. To a response of silence.

The reason why they can say these things and then impliment them are few; they know that there will be no reprocussions to these announcements, however outrageous, when they are made law, there are no avenues within which they can be legally challenged, and finally, the population is not armed, making the enforcement of any immoral regulation a simple matter of force.

Of course, the ultimate weapon rests in the hands of each individual. They cannot yet use it because they do not yet see it for the deadly weapon that it is. When they discover this weapon, this highly discriminating, totally accurate, absolutely silent and most potent of means.

It will be GAME OVER.

posted by Irdial , 2:18 PM Þ 

the 5,000 most prolific criminals in England and Wales are to be constantly satellite-tracked...
Which companies does one imagine will tender for doing the tracking?
Radio discussions yesterday suggested road tax may be levied on a 'per use' basis by tracking of EVERY VEHICLE IN THE UK. Purely for tax purposes, you understand.
Mr Blunkett's new language:
Liberati (see also Hampstead liberals)
On Wednesday, several million Radio 4 listeners were present, as it were, at the birth of a new word: "liberati". David Blunkett - the proud father - coined this word to mock pre-emptively any would-be critics of his proposed new law concerning religious hate crime.
Lager Loutettes
Feral Teenagers (appropriated from a senior police officer)
I'm not laughing.
THE BRITISH Minister of the Interior, David Blunkett, confirmed to BBC Radio 4 this morning that 5,000 crooks will be tracked by satellites in the sky as part of a "five year plan" to curb crime.
The technology, he told the BBC, is in place to track "prolific criminals" and a pilot scheme will begin this autumn.
Although he was light on technological details, the scheme will apparently be linked to existing electronic tagging schemes.
He told the BBC that the authorities needed to know where these people were. But perhaps the over-liberal minister could go one step beyond with the scheme, and attach pellets to armlets or anklets which will paralyse or even kill the crooks if they venture into places they're forbidden to go.
Further extensions would be to fit RFID technology to all people at birth. Such devices could be linked to our blood stream and instantly analyse whether we were getting over excited about anything at all and loudly tick us off by triggering loudspeakers fitted to every street lamp.
And because the RFID tech would be linked to our credit and ID cards, we could be auto-fined on the spot.

Tagging asylum seekers
Try it out on those who can't object. Then just implement it on those who won't object. Finally, force it on those who do object. Game over. (AYB! again)
posted by Alun , 12:40 PM Þ 

23 June 04

QinetiQ Chairman warns that the West is losing the propaganda war

Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, Chairman of QinetiQ Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, Chairman of QinetiQ


Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, Chairman of QinetiQ, the defence and security group, has warned that the West risks losing the propaganda war to Al Qaida and other terrorist groups because of a lack of a clear, strategic information campaign. Speaking at IQPC's Information Operations Europe conference at QinetiQ's Malvern site, Dame Pauline emphasised the need for an inclusive approach based on messages and actions of co-operation rather than of coercion, moving away from the current stance of 'either with us or against us'.

Addressing an international audience of Government, military and academic information operations experts, Dame Pauline said: "The West needs to develop a more positive, forward-looking information campaign that seeks not to put up the barriers but rather to shape the world through influence, negotiation and partnership. Those that may be tempted to line up behind Al Qaida and their ilk need to be persuaded that they stand to benefit more by opposing the extremists.

"Western governments, and particularly the current US administration, have tended to reinforce differences that Al Qaida itself would have us believe - that there are no shades of grey, that there is only absolute good and evil. An inclusive approach, rather than an exclusive one, is essential. When we use the phrase 'with us or against us' it draws the same battle lines demanded by Al Qaida and risks putting the broad range of opinion that exists the wrong side of the line." [...]

That comes from a google cache of the Quinetiq website. Thanks to the ever vigilant meau.

Dame Pauline is chairman of Quinetiq. She is also one of the BBC Governors.

To spell it out in plain and simple english; is it appropriate for this person to be the chairman of CIA front company AND a Governor of the BBC, especially when she delivers a speech saying that the way the "Propaganda War" is being fought is not working?

For the sake of cleanlieness, public perception, and the independence of the BBC, should not a person who is fatally compromised like this be forbidden from holding a high office at the BBC?

The answer is no one of this type should be allowed to control the BBC, at any level.

posted by Irdial , 12:20 PM Þ 

al-Qinteiqa's Today programme had a really poor opinion piece on how pervasive cctv is in the UK and how noone in the UK cares about their privacy, in a jaunty manner
We're English
And we don't care
We're mad us
You've got to larf
Larf until it hurts
With the obligatory Orwell reference. Almost as if Pauline had said" we need to fulfil some sort of 'balance' in our propaganda war but don't waste any time getting any experts or politicians involved"

One interesting factoid though 1 CCTV camera per 14 people

posted by meau meau , 11:30 AM Þ 

Freedom for my sisters
But no freedom for...
Iran now 6/4 favourite.
Betting for Syria has slipped to 7/2.
North Korea is the 12/1 outsider.
The headlines:
BBC - 9/11 hijackers 'transited Iran'
Daily Telegraph - Iran 'has closer ties to al-Qa'eda than Iraq'
The Independent - September 11 attackers 'passed through Iran'
The Australian (proprietor Mr R. Murdoch) - Iran nailed on9/11 hijackers
Since May, Congress has been moving -- with little notice -- toward a joint resolution calling for punitive action against Iran if it does not fully reveal details of its nuclear arms program. In language similar to the prewar resolution on Iraq, a recent House resolution authorized the use of "all appropriate means" to deter, dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry -- terminology often used to approve preemptive military force. Reflecting the growing anxiety on Capitol Hill about Iran, it passed 376 to 3. ....
From the Washington Post.
In an even more dramatic move, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) plans to introduce an Iran liberation act this fall, modeled on the Iraq Liberation Act that mandated government change in Baghdad and provided more than $90 million to the Iraqi opposition. The goals would be the same for Iran, including regime change, congressional officials said.
Freedom for my brothers...
posted by Alun , 9:32 AM Þ 

And The Nazz say, "Cool, babies.
Tell ya' what I'm gonna do.
I ain't gonna take two, four six, eight of you cats,
but I'm gonna take all twelve of you studs
and straighten you all at the same time."
posted by Barrie , 6:25 AM Þ 
Sunday, July 18, 2004

Baz, you are the Nazz.
posted by captain davros , 11:17 PM Þ 

posted by a hymn in g to nann , 10:19 AM Þ 

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