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For some of us it's party time

Yes, the commercial x-mas is upon us ... It was preluded with a nice thunderstorm here in Bondi, while we were having some lunch overlooking the beach. People passed by carrying surf boards, running bare foot (as you do) rushing to catch some waves. After 4 christmas in the Netherlands, I got a bit confused when I saw all these people, in shorts, in swimming costumes, with santa hats ... :) But yes, I better get used to it as this is the way it should be, summery and hot.

On the other hand, it's also depressing to have a world like we do now, with wars that don't seem to get any closer to finishing, with increased hostility from the US empire towards so many countries and areas of the world, with ... well, so much destruction around, it's harder and harder to look at the future and think that we will make this a better place but if we give up, what's left? I don't want to give up but it's hard work!

So, on this happy note ;) I just wish everyone a merry x-mas and might 2005 be the year where we bloody get our act together and make this a better world, less pollution, less killing each other, less abusing, less imperialism, less recklessness and more love!

December 24, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Everything is nice with American rice

Rice202Rice1_1

Everything's nice with American rice: "Everything's nice with American rice, by Sydney-based artist Nigel Helyer, proposes, in a playful but critical way, a radical 'green' solution to the so called free-trade agreements which promote the importation of American rice into the Japanese rice economy.

In an interlocking triangle mechanism, imported rice is converted into 'Bio-fuel' (ethanol) that, in turn is used to power local rice cultivating equipment to produce Japanese rice, whilst at the same time reducing the reliance upon imported fuel oil.

A small shift in thinking, a modest action, but one, which illustrates the possibility of re-working the gridlock of multi-national economics with a local version of freedom of choice and direct action that combines aesthetics and economics!"

[ Via we make money not art. ]

December 23, 2004 in Culture Jamming, Geek Stuff, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Major bug in PHP opens database security hole

With the wide adoption of PHP this seems like a very serious issue ...

Major bug in PHP opens database security hole: "A SERIOUS BUG in the popular PHP development language can leave databases wide open to intrusion if the proper security steps aren't taken."

[ Via SecurityFocus News. ]

December 22, 2004 in Geek Stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

BitTorrent Over?

I hope that I will still be able to get stuff like Fedora using BitTorrent... Dammit.

BitTorrent Over?: "So as of yesterday, it seems the biggest BitTorrent servers, SuperNova.org and TorrentBits.com, have been shut down.

BitTorrent is basically a peer-to-peer filesharing protocol, that allows a whole bunch of different computers to host the same files so that people can download them from multiple places at the same time - reducing the load on machines with popular files. The more popular a file, the easier it was to download, because BitTorrent required everyone who downloaded files to share them. BitTorrent was the way a lot of people got to see my last two documentaries, their favorite HBO programs from overseas, or feature films that weren't running, anymore.

BitTorrent was so popular that by last month, according to Mark Pesce, it accounted for 35% of all Internet traffic.

BitTorrent worked a bit more like Hotline, the original p2p program, than Gnutella. This means that used 'trackers' - basically tables of contents listing available files and telling your computer where to find them. Now, the two biggest trackers have shut down. Why? No conclusive answers just yet. Most likely the MPAA, who was going after BitTorrent over the past few weeks, got some sort of injunction.

This will come back to the bite them. With BitTorrent and its identifiable trackers, they had the means to leverage the power of the biggest filesharing network in history - and save what was left of their industry. Now, it's back to the hackers - who only need to find a way to share 'trackers' in a way that requires no single, centralized host. And the content will be free, forever."

[ Via rushkoff.blog. ]

December 22, 2004 in Geek Stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thriller ... with legos

FANTASTIC!!!! Can't miss this video, it's a shot-by-shot recreation of Thriller, the video from Michael Jackson :)

Note: the link is to a BitTorrent file, you'll need a torrent client to get it.

[ Via Boing Boing. ]

December 21, 2004 in Culture Jamming, Geek Stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hoovering the carpet away

Excellent stuff ... I want one like that ... I bet I would be the coolest kid on the block :)

Hoovering the carpet away: "Petra Trefzger 's Flying carpet is decorated with geometric patterns that swirl around your feet as you walk or dance on it. An ultrasound sensor monitors your position as you walk on the carpet: the patttern runs away from you and bounces back when you're gone.

best6.jpg

She also made a vacuum cleaner version, called Vorwerk. When the real vacuum cleaner is turned on, the position and movement of the cleaning nozzle is tracked using an infrared-sensitive camera. The areas of the carpet that the cleaning nozzle covers are erased from the projected carpet image (have a look at the video and you'll see better what I mean.)

Vor2.jpg Vor3.jpg

Oter carpets: Pacman carpet, digital quilt."

[ Via we make money not art. ]

December 21, 2004 in Geek Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Google: We've fixed desktop search tool flaw

Elsewhere: Google: We've fixed desktop search tool flaw: "Google says it has fixed a flaw that could allow hackers to search the contents of PCs running the company's desktop search tool. According to a statement issued Monday ..."

[ Via SecurityFocus News. ]

December 21, 2004 in Geek Stuff | Permalink | Comments (0)

Missile Defense Is A Cult

Interesting view from Tim Bray on the missile defense program. I have to agree with most of what Tim says in his post, especially the fact that it's a way to get a lot of money. The funding of the industrial-military complex... It looks like the vision of Orwell is becoming true ... but this time the parallels are not with the former Soviet Union ...

Missile Defense Is A Cult: "Up here in Canada we’re coming under political pressure from President Bush to sign up for the U.S. Missile Defense program, we’ve got all this territory up North where they’d like to situate the launchers. Rather than just saying ‘Get lost!’... [read full post at Ongoing]"

[ Via ongoing. ]

December 20, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

WiFi-proof windows keep office secrets

Very interesting technological advances, definitely very useful in so many circumstances.

WiFi-proof windows keep office secrets: "We had anti-wifi and frequency selective wallpapers, now Christos Mias at the University of Warwick (UK) has devised a method of producing tunable surfaces that can selectively block signals from wireless networks from spilling out of the office."

[ Via we make money not art. ]

December 19, 2004 in Geek Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Elsewhere: Massive IE phishing exploit discovered

Still need more excuses to switch to Firefox (if you can't actually switch to Max OS X or Linux and stop using Windows)?

Massive IE phishing exploit discovered: "Even SP2 versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer are vulnerable to a spoofing exploit published yesterday"

[ Via SecurityFocus News. ]

December 18, 2004 in Geek Stuff, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1)