March 08, 2007

Wearing a Thong?

I'm late to this I know but it is important to realise that there are parts of the world which don't have the same sort of liberal attitudes to dress that we do:

A town in Muslim-majority Malaysia has threatened to fine non-Muslim women for wearing "sexy" clothes, infuriating some women's organizations.

Authorities in northeast Kota Baru, which calls itself an Islamic city, will slap fines of up to 500 ringgit ($140) on women who expose navels, wear body-hugging outfits, mini-skirts or see-through blouses, the Star newspaper said on Tuesday.

"Such outfits are prohibited here as it smears the reputation of Kota Baru and affects its status as an Islamic city," the Star quoted municipal council spokesman Azman Daham as saying.

The idea that women might go topless on such beaches would of course have the locals up in arms.

March 8, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2007

Skype on Mobiles

So here's an interesting little tale:

Skype Ltd. is looking to a 1968 ruling by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to open up the country's mobile phone industry for "unlocked" devices and third-party applications -- such as Skype.

The eBay Inc. unit, a pioneer in peer-to-peer VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol), petitioned the FCC this week to affirm that the landmark Carterphone decision applies to the cellular world. That ruling, which involved an early type of wireless handset, said carriers couldn't stop consumers from attaching any device to the wired telecommunications network as long as it couldn't do any damage.

Letting any device connect to cellular networks would gradually open the door to a wide range of new choices for consumers, including handsets that use VOIP for voice calls over operators' 3G (third-generation) data networks. Almost all cell phones in use on mobile networks in the U.S. are sold by the operators and locked so they can't be used on another provider's network. But Skype's proposal also would stop carriers from blocking or forbidding applications on 3G networks -- again, as long as those applications can't damage the network.

You can already get Skype phones that will pick up any wi fi network around, clearly, the technology is going to be generally available to use any data pipe to make phone calls. The question is whether the legal set up will allow it, not whether it can technically be done.

March 6, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2007

Brtiney Spears Suicide Story, Real Or Not

At least some people don't actually believe the Britney Spears attempting suicide story:

Someone is desperately trying to get our attention.

Either it's Britney Spears who allegedly tried to hang herself after writing 666 on her forehead and running through the halls of Promises rehab in Malibu, or it's the news agency who is spreading these rumors.

Personally we don't believe the story because Britney's "friend" reportedly says that the rehab center doesn't know what to do with the allegedly wild pop princess, which is unreal because we doubt any rehab institution worth its thousands of dollars a week wouldn't know how to handle freaked out celebs.

But it's a slow news day

and it's always fun to Photoshop people's heads into Eddie from Iron Maiden's body, plus if it's true you'd be mad at us for not telling you - as you should be.

The ordeal began when she terrified staff by writing the number of the beast on her head and running around the clinic screaming, "I am the anti-christ!"

"The clinic people just didn't know what to do," a friend claimed.

The pop star then tried to hang herself with a bedsheet was but was found before she could hurt herself. -

Maybe Brit will cover Maiden's "Runnin Free" on her next cd?

Makes logical sense to me.

March 5, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yet More Britney Spears Suicide Watch

This story of Britney Spears attempting to commit suicide has certainly made the newspapers around the world, this is from Alaska:

Britney Spears apparently has attempted to commit suicide for the second time in the past ten days.

Spears broke down in rehab, reportedly trying to hang herself with a bedsheet after screaming "I am the anti-christ" to frightened staff.

She made the demonic cry after scrawling the devil's number "666" across her head.

Spears's manic behaviour has concerned relatives who once again fear for her safety, and has staff at the Promises Clinic in Malibu, California struggling to cope.

The former chart-topper's troubles have been revealed in Britain's News Of the World, which broke the exclusive story.

Within days of her suicidal behaviour, Spears - who was in and out of rehab before shaving her own head and later attacking a photographer's car with an umbrella - was begging estranged husband Kevin Federline not only for a reconciliation, but demanding she wanted to soon have another baby.

March 5, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Britney Spears Rehab Suicide Attempt

Another report on Britney Spears' attempt at suicide while in rehab, this time in rather more tabloid language:

A crazed Britney Spears has tried to hang herself with a bedsheet during a week of rehab madness that ended with the mentally unstable star pleading with her estranged husband to give her another baby, a British tabloid has reported.

Spears is reported to have written the number of the beast 666 on her shaved head before running around the clinic where she was in rehab shouting 'I am the Antichrist" at frightened patients and staff.

"Later she tried to kill herself," a friend reportedly told the UK tabloid News of The World.

"She attached a sheet to a light and tied it around her neck. Paramedics were called, but luckily she was unhurt."

But just days after allegedly trying to commit suicide Spears is reported to have told husband Kevin Federline she wanted to take him back so that they could renew their wedding vows and have another child.

The continuing bizarre behaviour of the 25-year-old star has shocked staff at the Promises Clinic in Malibu, California where she is seeking treatment.

They have struggled to cope with her increasingly deranged behaviour, that has seen her regularly check in and out of rehab.

"She is still very vulnerable," the friend said.

"Last Saturday she said she had the number 666 written onto her bald head. She was crying, and shouting, 'I am the Antichrist!'," she said.

March 5, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Go On Computers

No, not me cheering for our soon to come robotic overlords. Rather, the game of go played upon computers, and by computers.

Computers can beat some of the world's top chess players, but the most powerful machines have failed at the popular Asian board game "Go" in which human intuition has so far proven key.

Two Hungarian scientists have now come up with an algorithm that helps computers pick the right move in Go, played by millions around the world, in which players must capture spaces by placing black and white marbles on a board in turn.

"On a nine by nine board we are not far from reaching the level of a professional Go player," said Levente Kocsis at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' computing lab SZTAKI.

Back when I was actually involved in developing computer games we simply assumed that Go would never actually be played by computers at all. It just doesn't lend itself to rational calculation of options, in the way that computers like to do things.

Shows how wrong we were I suppose.

March 5, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2007

Fuzzy Zoeller

No, I didn't know this. Wikipedia is apparently immune from libel suits, as Fuzzy Zoeller has just found out:

The offending paragraphs allegedly slandering Zoeller’s name were posted on December 20 2006, and have now been removed, but not before they were discovered, with Fuzzy Zoeller being named as ‘John Doe’ in the legal action that has subsequently been initiated to clear his name.

The IP address of the posts was traced back to education consulting firm Josef Silny & Associates of Miami, although Mr Silny says he is surprised that the complaint originated from his computer systems and doesn’t know who at his company might have made the offending Wikipedia posts.

Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, although following previous instances where Wikipedia entries were defaced and edited with potentially defamatory information, with people previously affected by inaccurate Wikipedia entries including John Seigenthaler, a former assistant to Robert Kennedy, who was falsely accused of being a suspected participant in the assassinations of  the Kennedy brothers, along with US politicians who have had their Wikipedia entries besmirched.

I guess the assumption is that as the people who host and run it are not the people who write it, it's more like a forum or bulletin board than anything else. So the hosters aren't liable, only the writers.

March 1, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2007

Pirate Bay

Heh, I love it when these sorts of mix ups happen.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is unintentionally funding the world's largest illegal file-sharing network, Sweden-based Pirate Bay.

According to Variety magazine, several Wal-Mart banners have appeared on the site, including an ad for the eighth season of The Simpsons on DVD, The Sopranos, Smallville, Desperate Housewives and the movie Office Space during the crucial Christmas selling season in November and December. Many of these titles are also available illegally as bit torrents.

It just isn't what the well bred marketing manager would want to happen, is it, his budget being wasted upon people who are about to get what he's selling for free.

February 28, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2007

Robert Adler

A little late I am but via this blog I see that one of the people who defined the modern age has passed away:

Today I'm mourning the passing of a pioneer. I just discovered that Robert Adler, one of the two men credited with the creation of the remote control while at Zenith, died yesterday of heart failure. He was 93. Adler's remote, called the Zenith Space Command, made its appearance in 1956.
I don't have to explain the importance of the remote, do I? Oh, maybe I do. If you're too young to remember when Meco's
disco version of the Star Wars theme topped the charts, then praising Robert Adler is like praising the invention of the wheel -- the thing's so ubiquitous, you barely think about it.
But I remember when my parents got a cable box so that we could get more channels on our 1972 Sony Trinitron. The box came with a remote that could change the channel and turn the cable box on or off -- and that was all. But it was still miraculous, with the ability to switch from Rocky and Bullwinkle to Underdog to Jonny Quest on Sunday mornings especially appreciated. (Hey, why should I have to put down my cereal when I'm in the zone?)

As he lived to be 93 I think we can safely make the assumption that he didn't simply slump on the couch with his own remote, can we?

February 27, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The IBM Sex Addict.

This little story has to be one of the more pathetic defenses yet:

A man fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room during work hours has sued Big Blue for $5 million, claiming he's an Internet addict who deserves treatment and understanding rather than a pink slip.

But bloggers are expressing little sympathy for 58-year-old James Pacenza, who says he visits chat rooms to distract himself from the lingering stress of seeing his best friend killed during a 1969 Army patrol in Vietnam. Pacenza, according to the Associated Press, said the trauma caused him to become "a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict." He is claiming protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It's not just the absurdity of seeing someone killed turning him into a sex addict. It's the whole Disabilities Act thing. When everything, every moral foible and failure, becomes a "disease", then of course we can no longer make moral judgements about them.

February 27, 2007 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack