Thursday, September 30, 2004

What's in a name?

"Local tax authorities refused the request, saying the name could lead to the boy being ridiculed in later life.

But MPs say the law is inconsistent as the names Tarzan or Batman are allowed.
"

I hope to call my son "Kaja-baja-googoo" as that's not a superhero name, and thus, not open to trademark infringement accusations.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tiddlers

TiddlyWiki - a client-side only, Javascript-based personal wiki/notebook. "Navigation" is more like displaying different notes, than linking between pages, and saving is quite a manual task currently. But I like the look of it, and syncing between machines would be a doddle-oddle.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Pro fox, anti ban!

Been down watching line of police at the Pro-Hunting demo outside the Labour convention, so seems appropriate to post the most unbiased look at the issue I could find on the net - try getting an impartial view of the matter through Google...

Thinking over the political stage, I wonder - Is there a danger of politics being ruled less and less by common-sensed, balanced thinking, and more by appealing, en masse, to the (now much more reachable) public's instincts and their emotions?

Thinking of the two main mass-mobilisation issues this week - hunting and the war - it seems that there are many more people willing to shout vociferously about something than actually think about it. I heard one (anti-hunt, I assumed) woman asking another with hound puppies on leads, in a very serious manner, if "hares are becoming extinct", what with all the hunting...

In some ways, politics is extremely over-complicated, and needs to be made simpler to understand - but this is never going to be true also of the many-factored world in which it operates. Having a strong opinion on an issue (strong enough to march, say) currently seems to be a far cry from understanding it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Breaking the silence

OK, so when I said "abated", I meant "stopped". Back soon, with plenty of thoughts and notes - I recommend exploring Eastern Europe to anyone looking for somewhere a little different, but not so overwhelmingly other-worldly as to be insurmountable.

In the meantime, some BBC links to pick up no later...

Crime detection stats

Fear and elections

Back soon...

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Poo sticks.

Gah, the day before I go away and it looks like my e-mail is down. Seeing as I can't remember everyone's address, I figure if I post here, *some* of you will read it and let everyone else know (hey Rob, I know you read this... ;). That, and the "message not delivered yet" responses should help...

I hope they're getting queued somewhere. *Gulp*.

Off Out for a Bit

As of tomorrow morning, Scribe is going off-shore for 3 weeks. I hope to blog some of what I see in Europe, but the regular fervour will be abated somewhat. In the meantime, don't forget about Zippy...

Friday, September 03, 2004

TGIF

Ah good, I like to leave on a sensical note. And at least there's an air of common sense hitting the walls at this late hour today...

Letwin calls us compensation-seeking cowards

TUC says we work too much

Shut up, that's why

Never mind the civil liberties, this week I resent ubiquitous police helicoptering as it's SO FRIGGIN LOUD. Quiet, up there. Hnnng.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Infomerge a go-go

Finally gotten around to reading the Networked Semantic Desktop paper, which has been sitting open on my desktop for a week now, and I like what it sayeth. Anything with a heading of "Surviving the Information Flood and Creating Knowledge in the Process" has got to be good...

It doesn't really suggest anything concrete - it's more an overview of existing efforts in 3 fields - p2p services, social networking, and semantic data - and the combination and future of all 3 of these to create distributed knowledge that's accessible by both machine and mind. There's a fair amount of talk about how metadata can emerge from social networks, which has got me thinking a fair bit.

Currently, I think it'd be great to be able to use the existing p2p networks for more social-network-based activities. For instance, imagine creating an RSS feed of "documents" you're currently reading (including books, PDFs, web pages, e-mails, etc.) and being able to subscribe to other's similar feeds. This would form a kind of p2p network which was then backed up by something similar to existing networks - distributed file storage - with peer-based reputation to advise you on which documents you may find most interesting.

The problem as I see it is that the current range of p2p networks are to specified, and choose to concentrate on either one type of file (such as music), or one type of usage. At leats with the network I use most (eMule/eDonkey), metadata is only concerned with the format of the file, not its semantics. You can add comments to files, but I don't think you can search through them. There needs to be a further level of metadata for *human* use. It's also intended for more "public" networking, rather than more social/reputational peering, and so the queuing system implemented would perhaps get in the way of usable document peering.

I hope to follow up the other software and networks cited in the document, but some of me wonders if there's too much diversification going on here. We either need something so simple that anyone can take it, use it and adopt it to their needs - if this doesn't exist now, I suspect it's not long until it does. - or we need technology that allows people to set up their own decentralised nodes easily, based on existing common protocols such as ftp/scp/http. This is a form of limiting factor when it comes to any of this decentralised peer stuff - take-up and economies of scale.

I shall continue my search as time allows...

Gah.

Coises. Big Blip 04 is on in Brighton whilst I'm off in Europe. I will be missing evolutionary music, more swarm music (not my cup of tea, anyway), stuff on biological cells, artificially evolving buildings, and technology to create the "unforeseen, the unthought and the unknown" (?).

Amongst others.

WinXP SP2 = security placebo?

Is Windows service pack 2 nothing more than a marketing placebo? Are we doomed to yet more security propaganda in the face of MS' ease-of-use sales tactics? Hum, probably.

Personally, I still lament the lack of ssh client in Windows by default. Or do I? Maybe if they included one, I'd lament the death of Putty and WinSCP... *sigh*