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Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations no longer shine

Why tables for layout is stupid: problems defined, solutions offered
Topic: Technology 8:22 am EDT, Jun 17, 2005

Nice lecture. Isn't the usual "use tables for layout stupid" and "Structure should be seperated from content" rant. This site actually shows you how to break an existing webpage down to its basic structure and built it back up with CSS, DIVs, and more.

I've been working today on using some Javascript to make the Recommendation page have more, but hidden, options. Inserting this into a page that uses tables for layouts is a bitch.

-Memestreams includes CSS defined inline with each page.
-Memestreams uses Tables instead of DIVs for layout. The main page is over 30k, most of it table formatting. I know Tom has a good Co-Lo deal, but the bandwidth savings here will help Memestreams users.

[ I only wish he had said : "The only problem with CSS is that all browser manufactuers are FUCKING ASSHOLES and don't properly support the spec. You'll spend more time dealing with silly goddamn tricks than laying out your page."

Fuck IE. Fuck Firefox, Mozzilla, Safari, and every browser on the planet. There's a spec. If you're gonna call it a standard, then bloody fucking comply with it.

I dare you to try and align a div with the BOTTOM of the screen. Check it out, it's awesome! -k]

Why tables for layout is stupid: problems defined, solutions offered

Firefly picked up by SciFi Channel
Topic: Society 8:16 am EDT, Jun 17, 2005

Fans of the cult-hit series Firefly will be pleased to learn that the show has been picked up by the Sci Fi Channel--just two months before the release of Serenity, a Universal Pictures film based on the series.

SciFi picked up the rights to show the 1st season of Firefly, including the 3 unaired episodes. They also will be showing them in order.

This move scares me. With the movie coming out in 2 months, you'd think Fox would adopt a "wait and see" attitude about the show. Why are they selling rights to a show that could get very popular? If they had any plans to restart the show after the movie, you'd think they'd want to keep the 1st season.

[ Well, the article says nothing about whether they've acquired rights to the whole franchise. As in, this says nothing about potential future episodes. I'm glad that (hopefully) more people can be exposed to such a good show. Still, I have a feeling Fox is probably assuming they'll get more out of buyers now, when the hype is high, than if the movie's not well recieved... it's a hedge.

Anyway, I'd *love* to see SciFi run with the series. As long as the writers and actors are willing to keep it up, the production values can be lower... it was never driven by flashy SFX (even though it had them) but by rich characters and stories. Someday those gou cao de jackasses at Fox will keep a quality show around.

(and, yes, I *have* been waiting a while to use one of the chinese quotes from the show in this context... ;)


Firefly picked up by SciFi Channel

Where To Find Great Free Photographs And Visuals For Your Own Online Articles - Robin Good's Latest News
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:22 pm EDT, Jun 15, 2005

Finding quality images and photos for complementing an important article, essay or news report is already quite a challenge for many. Imagine when the goal is not just too find good images, but find some that you could openly and freely use without needing to pay royalties or one-time publishing rights to someone.

I've recently gotten into the concept of stock photography, especially for story telling purposes. This is a good article that hits a number of the sites I've started using for free or cheap stock work.

Where To Find Great Free Photographs And Visuals For Your Own Online Articles - Robin Good's Latest News

Paul Graham: What Languages Fix
Topic: Technology 11:20 pm EDT, Jun 15, 2005

Kevin Kelleher suggested an interesting way to compare programming languages: to describe each in terms of the problem it fixes. The surprising thing is how many, and how well, languages can be described this way.

Some of my favorites

Fortran: Assembly language is too low-level.

Cobol: Fortran is scary.

Basic: Fortran is scary.

C: Assemby language is too low-level.

C++: C is too low-level.

Java: C++ is a kludge. And Microsoft is going to crush us.

C#: Java is controlled by Sun.

Perl: Shell scripts/awk/sed are not enough like programming languages.

Python: Perl is a kludge.

Paul Graham: What Languages Fix

RED HERRING | Nation Failure Warning System
Topic: War on Terrorism 11:36 pm EDT, May 18, 2005

] there are parts of the world where Washington very much
] wants to be able to predict when a nation will slip into
] a condition of lawless failure.
] To that end, DARPA, the Pentagon%u2019s extreme science
] division, is doling out about $500,000 to BAE and a trio
] of Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors to
] develop software that could model the circumstances that
] give rise to nation-state failure and collapse.

This would be very useful if it could be used to pinpoint
interventions that would prevent the final melt-down into

RED HERRING | Nation Failure Warning System

New Scientist Whatever happened to machines that think? - Features
Topic: Human Computer Interaction 4:43 pm EDT, May 16, 2005

] In the next few months, after being patiently nurtured
] for 22 years, an artificial brain called Cyc (pronounced
] "psych") will be put online for the world to interact
] with. And it's only going to get cleverer. Opening Cyc up
] to the masses is expected to accelerate the rate at which
] it learns, giving it access to the combined knowledge of
] millions of people around the globe as it hoovers up new
] facts from web pages, webcams and data entered manually
] by anyone who wants to contribute.
] Crucially, Cyc's creator says it has developed a human
] trait no other AI system has managed to imitate: common
] sense. "I believe we are heading towards a singularity
] and we will see it in less than 10 years," says Doug
] Lenat of Cycorp, the system's creator.

It's about time. Cyc has been perported to be on the verge of taking off for five years now. It would be really exciting if Lenat's decades-long effort were to be successful.

New Scientist Whatever happened to machines that think? - Features

InformationWeek - The Future Of Software - AI's Next Brain Wave - April 25, 2005
Topic: Human Computer Interaction 4:34 pm EDT, May 16, 2005

] Computer scientists at the Palo Alto Research Center also
] are trying to bring user interfaces to life by replacing
] raw information with material that selects itself based
] on what the computer thinks the user wants to know.

This article is about the current trend in AI research to construct statiscs-based approaches to assisting human/machine interation. It's not so much about making machines smart as making them flexible, adaptable and useful

InformationWeek - The Future Of Software - AI's Next Brain Wave - April 25, 2005

Why the World Is Flat
Topic: Society 5:45 pm EDT, May  6, 2005

] I'm worried about my country. I love America. I think
] it's the best country in the world. But I also think
] we're not tending to our sauce. I believe that we are in
] what Shirley Ann Jackson [president of Rensselaer
] Polytechnic Institute] calls a "quiet crisis." If we
] don't change course now and buckle down in a flat world,
] the kind of competition our kids will face will be
] intense and the social implications of not repairing
] things will be enormous.

This is a great article. I've been meaning to post it once wired placed it online, but Flynn beat me to it. :)

Why the World Is Flat - :ADVICE DISSENT : Managing Technology: :Get BUFF (4/15/05)
Topic: Military Technology 5:38 pm EDT, May  6, 2005

] Thus, the rise of the machines. If you think of analysis
] as a pyramid, then human beings sit on the pointy end,
] atop the network of computers, databases and software
] tools they have to manage. In the future, the pyramid
] will flip over, and machines will do the heavy lifting of
] data crunching and might even predict wartime scenarios
] for human analysts, who will become the trickle-down
] beneficiaries of computerized intelligence.

This is a relatively compelling vision of how the brute-force use of computing technology can be employed to aggregate the vast array of sensor data available to the military to portray what's really happening on the battlefield. If this is successful, there may well be civilian applications. - :ADVICE DISSENT : Managing Technology: :Get BUFF (4/15/05)

Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds
Topic: Science 11:47 pm EDT, May  4, 2005

] Some scientists now believe they may have finally
] discovered its root. We're all essentially mind readers,
] they say.

I hate it when scientists use termonology like "mind reader" which is very misleading, but sounds sexier then a more accurate description of what is happening. However, this article is still interesting...

Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds

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