Monthly Archives: November 2005

A Jack Vance Restaurant

I was introduced yesterday to the most absurd and delightful “Chinese patisserie”:http://www.urbanpath.com/london/chinese/yauatcha.htm in Soho, possibly in Europe. The exterior walls are sheets of blue glass; even the urinals seem made from slabs of blue perspex, with a stepped slate trough … Continue reading

Posted in Travel notes | 1 Comment

Gmail is not a word processor

I was bewildered by Vic Keegan’s “article”:http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,16376,1643768,00.html on gmail as a word processor; I should have been illuminated. It shows how many journalists still use a computer as a typewriter with fancy formatting. He wants a fast and lightweight program … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Journalism | 12 Comments

Another patent story I missed

OK – I only “found it(via TNH)”:http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/006995.html after the deadline. But some idiot in the US Patent Office has approved one for “a flying saucer which depends on antigravity.” In a way, that’s almost more shocking than patents on hyperlinks.

Posted in nördig | 4 Comments

That Sony rootkit

I have a big piece on IP going into Saturday’s _Guardian._ I’m not very happy about it, because I think it misses an important point about “Sony’s rootkit”:http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/11/sonys_drm_rootk.html, one of the most egregious examples of corporates taking ownership of things … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in nördig | 2 Comments

Different from Kipling, how?

There is a long “plug/interview”:http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200511u/kaplan-interview with Robert Kaplan in the _Atlantic Monthly_ online (not sure if it’s paywalled) which fills me with a soft despair. Here’s why: bq. Instead of the oppressive colonial domination that characterized other empires, Kaplan describes … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in War | Comments Off on Different from Kipling, how?

The Wall Street Journal comes out for torture

The _Wall Street Journal_ has come out for torture in its “leader”:http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/hottopic/?id=110007542 on Saturday: bq. “Yet according to many Bush Administration critics, the aggressive and stressful questioning techniques used successfully against the likes of KSM put the U.S. on a … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in War | Comments Off on The Wall Street Journal comes out for torture

Showing the instruments

Call me sentimental but I would like to believe that if Mr Bush and Mr Cheney had actually run for office on a programme of legalising torture, they might have lost the 2000 election. Possibly they had no strong opinions … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in War | 1 Comment

Sex and slavery

There was a glorious story in an Australian-owned tabloid about two teachers meeting in Queensland, where brothels have just been legalised. One of them had gone as a customer; the other was working there in her spare time. I don’t … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Journalism | Comments Off on Sex and slavery

A Phlegmagogue for the Elaphure

I’ve been dithering about what to put in this slot. In a linkier and shorter place I would simply put the two delightful words I found while cheating at the FT crossword yesterday — *elaphure* and *phlegmagogue*. An elaphure is … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Blather | 7 Comments

Serendipity

The next entry on this blog will be the thousandth. I’m not sure how I should commemorate this milestone — perhaps proclaim a year of Jubilee? — but in the meantime, here’s a twelve sting guitar and a curiously shaped … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in Pictures | 2 Comments