June 2008 Archives

Tory scum, part 94.

I was watching David Davis on YouTube, and then foxes started causing a tremendous racket in the back garden (which in turn set Habibi off). I do not think the two are unconnected.

That is all.

There is no entry following this one

I'm reading theweaselking's LiveJournal. I use the RSS feed to tell me whether there's anything new, click on the oldest entry, then click on the "next entry" arrow repeatedly until I run out of posts. I do this because I want to see the comments.

Inevitably, when I click on the "next entry" arrow on the most recent entry, I end up with an error message saying "There is no entry following this one".

Why? If LiveJournal knew that there was a given entry was the last one, why give me an arrow to click on?

(Similarly, if there's a friends-only post following the post I'm looking at, why complain that I'm not authorised to see the post? Why not just take me to the next post that I am allowed to look at?)

Warren Ellis has a sick, disturbed mind

Says Warren Ellis:

[S]ometimes, deep in the armpit of the night, these sketches call to me. I dream that perhaps I walked away from the purest fiction ever to have touched a screen. And then I dream that I’m being repeatedly punched in the face by everybody.

Here's a sample sentence:

I grabbed a handful of my own semen out of Mother Teresa and flung it at the oncoming cops. They all got instantly pregnant and fell over. Even the men.

It's a wonderfully bad idea. You should go and read it.

How Apple Gets It, part 94: user interfaces

In the middle of a whole bunch of Enterprisey nonsense in the Steve Jobs keynote just now, I noticed a new feature in the latest version of the iPhone software: a better way of typing in passwords.

On a normal computer, when you type in a password, whatever you type is replaced by asterisks. That's fine, because you're using a standard keyboard that you presumably know how to use accurately. On the iPhone, though, you're using a more clumsy virtual keyboard that, if you're not 100% accurate or you have fat fingers, can easily result in you pressing the wrong "key" by mistake. As someone who has had to type in passwords on an iPhone (e.g. to authenticate a wireless network), it's frustrating to think that any of the characters you entered could be wrong, and you don't know.

The new iPhone software has a wonderfully elegant solution: everything other than the most recent character you typed is replaced by an asterisk. The most recent character, however, is displayed normally. If someone shoulder-surfs you somehow, the only thing they get is the last character you entered. You, on the other hand, know immediately if you mis-keyed part of the password and can immediately correct it.

Professional sports is fucked-up

From The Scotsman, 4 years ago (a link I found again while re-reading the archives of Casey and Andy):

"Every athlete who goes to the Games is intimately familiar with what a life of training and genetic culling does to people in his sport," says Terry Kent, an American Olympic kayaker who competed in LA, Seoul and Barcelona. "Everybody has been trying to achieve a freak-of-nature status just a little bit more extreme than the next guy. But when you’re thrown into the village you are suddenly confronted with a cornucopia of ultra-honed bodies twisted by the demands of sport."

Kent remembers sitting in the village, watching athletes walk through the door and playing a game of Guess What They Do. "The bikers have skinny little upper bodies, farmer tans and massive, clean-shaven thighs. Invert them and you get the kayakers, who have skinny little legs and massive backs and shoulders. The seven-foot-tall giant who ducks under the doorway entering the cafeteria is probably from basketball. The seven-foot giant who smacks his head on the door frame is definitely a rower; they don’t have that hand-eye co-ordination thing. The kids running at the rowers’ ankles with the high-pitched voices are gymnasts. It just goes on and on. Being at the village is like taking your place in a wild anatomical parade seen nowhere else on the planet."

Also? They fuck like bunnies.

In other sports news, my disappointment at France performing so badly against Romania tonight was only tempered by Italy getting absolutely thrashed by Holland. To an inveterate Italian-national-football-team hater like me, the two sublime counter-attacking goals from Holland were only made better by the fact that they were made possible by Italy having to chase the game after the first Dutch goal, which was blatantly offside.

Steven Moffat is awesome

Warning: spoilers if you haven't seen episode 8 of the current season, "Silence in the LIbrary".

From Doctor Who Confidential, Steven Moffat explains his thought processes:

Also worthy of note, which I missed from this clip, someone (I think the producer) saying something along the lines of "The brilliant thing about Steven is that he writes this invisible monster that lives in the shadows, and then somehow pulls out a lurching skull-headed zombie in a space suit".

Just keep those wooden puns phloem

They're happily punning away at Making Light, especially from comment 20 onwards.