More random entries from the Great Blog Backlog: What do you get when you send inner-city inmates...

More random entries from the Great Blog Backlog: What do you get when you send inner-city inmates to prisons in the Appalachians? hick-hop. Nope, I'm really not kidding. Need to convert units of time, area, volume, whatever? You can probably do it automatically at OnlineConversion.Com. Beats Dictionary.Com hands down for sheer usefulness. I've been reading lots of webcomics recently, but Exploitation Now is funny, well-drawn and even reasonably well-scripted, even if the artist does tend to break the fourth wall a lot. Everything Jake, on the other hand, is none of the above. Well, I suppose it's kinda funny. The aptly-named Joe Average doesn't even manage that. Pentasmal is just really bizarre. Bobbins is boring. Real Life is amusingly reflexive. And that's enough webcomics. How many Final Fantasy characters are there, anyway? Geez.
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Yes, so I've been avoiding revision by reading more SatireWire. In particular, finally a good...

Yes, so I've been avoiding revision by reading more SatireWire. In particular, finally a good solution to the Middle East crisis: parachuting cats into Belgium. (What? It makes sense.) Completely unrelated, but the guy who does the voice of Nightcrawler in X-Men: Evolution actually looks quite a lot like him. The show is actually pretty good, well-drawn for American animation, fairly well scripted and hilarious on occasion. And I've downloaded like, every episode ever, so I should know :-) Also, this guy has an amazing number of great ideas for t-shirts. I want one. But not enough to, y'know, pay for one.
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The Scientific American Web Awards are really quite good. Among my favourites are the Living...

The Scientific American Web Awards are really quite good. Among my favourites are the Living Internet, a great place to send the clueless-but-clever who want to know everything about the Internet and what it is, how it works, and how to use it. It also does the same for things like the web, e-mail and IRC. And for more mild amusement, try chatting to ALICE the AI bot. She's fairly simple-minded, but for an AI chatbot, she's pretty lifelike. I was certainly startled when she said told me what her favourite Simpsons episode was :-) Continuing the X-men theme of late, this Gallery of X is quite a cool retrospective. The Rogue in Evolution (and the movie) is clearly much cooler than the original Rogue, I have to say. And has better hair, too. That bouffant look is so eighties. And for some great random jokes and a huge collection of those audio and video clips that get forwarded around the office, I recommend Schedler Shebeen, even if it does have a really bizarre name.
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Well, 2 down, 9 to go, but unfortunately my brain's also gone which is going to make the remainder...

Well, 2 down, 9 to go, but unfortunately my brain's also gone which is going to make the remainder somewhat difficult. Damn, but HCI is really boring. Martian FM is not, it's brilliant. For instance, one columnist's recent complaint about cowboy builders: tobacco juice stains on carpet skirting board gouged by spurs off cattle-rustling when should have finished plastering fucking stupid nicknames dispute escalated into shoot-out Also, their Big Brother 3 lookalikes are great. You've got to love these people.
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Some encouraging -- and extremely surprising -- news from the Evil Recording Industry People:...

Some encouraging -- and extremely surprising -- news from the Evil Recording Industry People: they've come to their senses. Universal and Sony are going to start providing downloadable music for US 99 cents for singles and US$9.99 for an album, in a format that you can burn onto CDs (not MP3s -- still a scrambled format that prevents easy file-sharing, apparently). But pretty cool, nonetheless. This seems even more attractive now that the labels have started flooding the file-sharing networks with bogus versions of popular songs, notably Sheryl Crow and No Doubt: they share files of the right size and labelling that consist of 20-second loops of the songs. Aaargh! Other interesting tidbits: A credit-card sized digital camera. No flash, no zoom, crap quality, but cheap and small. Want one. Another KeenSpot comic, Sexy Losers is well-drawn, extremely funny and rated R. This is a good source of DivX software. DivX of course being the video format used to encode DVDs which are, um, "backed up in the public...
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Hmm, maybe everybody spoke to soon about that economic recovery... the markets are in freefall....

Hmm, maybe everybody spoke to soon about that economic recovery... the markets are in freefall. Even if they don't fall today, I still don't think an economic recovery based on buying too many cars and houses with borrowed money is going to last very long. Consumers are going to run out of money and confidence some time very soon, and it will all go belly-up just in time for me to enter the job market. Fanfuckingtastic.
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I was reading this MSNBC article (surprisingly critical of Microsoft for a company owned by MS)...

I was reading this MSNBC article (surprisingly critical of Microsoft for a company owned by MS) which talks about why software is so bad and what is being done to fix it. One of the points it makes is: "continual refinement is the usual rule in technology. Engineers constantly notice shortcomings in their designs and fix them little by little... As a result, products incrementally improve." This isn't true of software, most of the time. And why is that? Because coders have the wrong definition of "incremental improvement". When an engineer has a bad machine, she redesigns the machine and builds it again. By analogy, when a coder has a bad machine, he redesigns it, then carefully grafts the bits that have changed onto the original machine. The result is the software we see every day -- a mess of patches and enhancements tacked onto what might have originally been a good idea. What we need to realise is that code re-use is not the answer. All the little shortcuts we take, all the little design compromises...
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I am so tired of this shit happening every bloody day. On the lighter side, an query on Google...

I am so tired of this shit happening every bloody day. On the lighter side, an query on Google about my exam tomorrow popped up this interesting tale.
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