knowledge is power Last updated - March 10

 A Weblog exploring the repository of all human knowledge

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 Archive - February 2001



Weblogs (inside stuff)
Zeldman with some very 'inside' jokes about Web celebs , Cam thinks Metafilter is ruined. Neale is back - Oh wait that's fiction where his blog should be, maybe not, and if I see one more All Your Base ...

Oh, here's one more thing that 99.99% of the world's population won't understand - Memecrash

Weblogs in the press
Who's Blogging Now, a shallow NewsWeek piece only mentions about a half dozen sites, with no links. This writer severly under-researched, not because of the missing A-lister references, but because there's no distinction between the online-journal and the Weblog.

Standard Compliant pages
The Web Standard Jihad is starting to spread. I'm trying to work on getting KIPlog compliant but I haven't the time to work out a few glitches. This is an extremely simple page here, and it really shouldn't be difficult, but even the lord high <FONT> tag excutioner Zeldman needed help from a few experts. The are a few ways to approach a two-column layout like mine, either with CSS or by staying with a table. Evolt managed to become compliant with tables, and more important, have found a way to do it so it works in all browsers.

The Final Lap
Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a crash during the last lap of the Daytona 500. His death proves once again that, doing dangerous things will kill you even if you're the best at it.

Moon Landing Hoax
Fox aired a show bringing up old claims that the moon landing was faked. Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy page refutes all of the Fox show's claims. I only saw the part about the crosshairs that appear in the transparencies from the 70mm hand-held Hasselblads. Some parts of the crosshairs appear behind some objects, which is the result of simple photographic overexposure. A much more complicated claim is that the radiation of space would have killed the astronauts. Phil supplies a link which refutes that claim as well. Fox can go back to showing police chases now. They better not mess up NASCAR this Sunday (they did during the BUD shootout last weekend)

By the way anybody in, or visiting NY should go to the Rose Center (Hayden Planeterium), walk past the big dome (that's a pic of it in the title bar to the far right), and in the hallway behind it is an incredible exhibit of photos taken on the moon. It closes March 18. These "exhibition-quality prints of unusually high resolution and large format" show just how bizarre and beautiful a place it is. These prints must be seen to appreciate the quality of detail that can be seen in a photo taken with no air. If you can't check out the shockwave Web site of the Full Moon Project. If you're interested, poke around that site and you'll find much more on the photgrpaher who compilied the photos and even the direct-to-digital printing process he used to reproduce every detail.

This Weeks reading assignments

  • Beyond the bar code Within a few years, unobtrusive tags on retail products will send radio signals to their manufacturers, collecting a wealth of information about consumer habits-and also raising privacy concerns. Imagine barcodes that don't need CueCat to spy on you. via slorp
  • Nature Science Updates Human Genome section links to features and a large gateway of info. "The news that the male-defining Y chromosome is highly repetitive and mostly non-functional will come as no surprise to the half of the population without one."

Free servers!
Want to play with Coldfusion, MySQL, PHP but don't have a server that offers them? Evolt now offers free server space with such features, and soon JSP and ASP. "Taking down the roadblocks to development by allowing for easy entry into otherwise unattainable fields of knowledge, we're making the web a better place for developers and keeping in line with the philosophy of a world wide web for the developer by the developer. "

Beer laws
Don't get in a froth over beer. In response to a British law change that would require bars to buy pint glasses that could hold the pint plus the head, Lord Haskins, chairman of the Better Regulation taskforce, declared "that a pint should comprise 95 per cent liquid plus a frothy head". Via which " has no affiliation with The New York World, which was a great newspaper in its day. " style is focusing on the best bits of the best timely articles.

The WaSP Browser Upgrade Initiative
The Web Standards Project evangelists are pushing to encourage "developers to use W3C standards even if the resulting sites fail in old, non-standards-compliant web browsers." WaSp provides some tips on how to detect and redirect non-standard compliant browsers. Meanwhile ALA redesigns as standard-compliant and Zeldman tells us how he did it.

How in the hell?
Looking for something that will explain to me how you could possible blow 6.8 billion in a single quarter. I learned the other day that Marchfirst outsourced the design on their own website.

Underground, underwater photography
The ultimate guru of underwater cave photography, Wes Skiles has filmed an IMAX film Journey into Amazing Caves. Check out that link for a commentary and images about this incredible endeavor. I'm out of breath just thinking about the effort involved in pulling off the most "difficult lighting scenarios ever attempted". Incredible underwater, enclosed depths, covered by thick jungle, with blinding silt kicked up by the slightest mistake. Unlike other high risk sports, cave diving is more akin to surviving in outer space than it is to hanging out on the face of a mountain. When faced with an emergency, such as being lost, time to solve a life threatening emergency is measured in breaths. Over three hundred and fifty people have drowned in underwater caves making it one of the most dangerous sports on earth. But it's not all about danger or taking unnecessary risk. For the properly trained and equipped diver cave diver the environment offers some of the most amazing experiences one could imagine. " The fact that Wes has kept himself alive through a career of this sort of thing, when the best either don't make it or are critized as megalomaniacs, is a superhuman achievement. But to be able to bring it to the screen, so my fat ass can sit and watch it in a chair in a theater, with a huge screen, defies my ability to express my appreciation.

Digital art
Larry Carlson has made some Hallucinigenic buddhas and lots of other really cool flash-digital art. The most creative, trippiest flash stuff I've seen. Warning: some adult images. This is a don't miss for those who like trippy.

Random links
Falling behind on my reading - here's my list:
  • How eToys could have made it "The lessons in eToys' fate? Actually, they involve more about what doesn't work in online retailing than what does. This much is clear: If you expect to become a billion-dollar e-tailer, you cannot limit yourself to a single product category plagued by intense competition and seasonal peaks"
  • Don't click that link Why not to click on links in spam emails. "...when you click on the link, the CGI script can easily verify that the message got to the intended destination (which is a reading human) and will mark your e-mail address as being good! Then you can look forward to having your e-mail address passed around to all the other spammers and get inundated with spam." via scratchpaper's Jim Park who wrote a good zdnet article on tracing emails.
  • Netscape 6.01 is out
  • NodalPoint on the publication of the entire sequence of the human genome. More opinion on this issue at snowdeal's informatics

Some stuff found on the Web
The All-great and Powerful Zeldman points us to:
  • A useful MacIE5 FAQ which solved my IE Java applet errors. I knew it was just an extension update, but was to lazy to look for it.
  • Burma - Grace under Pressure, a photo-documentary. Requires Flash. If you don't have it this is why you need it.
Some science stuff

Glossary of Glossaries
This Glossary of Glossary is so good its been stolen several times. Compiled by the author of Ethel the Blog. A look at the list of dictionaries gives you an idea of the amount of knowledge that is available for reference. I particularly like the dorktionary and the Glossary of Hardboiled Slang

Web stuff
Here's some quick links to some good Web info. Mostly Information Architecture, a job which I seem to be falling into alot lately.
  • Moving Large Documents to the Web
  • Interview with Professor David Jonassen discusses the impact of technology in education, and the science of transfering knowledge. " Every amateur epistemologist knows that knowledge cannot be managed. Education has always assumed that knowledge can be transferred and that we can carefully control the process through education. That is a grand illusion." By the way an epistemologist is somebody who studies the "nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity".
  • Interview with Tom Reamy, Information Architect at Charles Schwab. This article has introduced me to the concept of a site represented by a Knowledge Map - "The map consists of an organization and categorization of content, user populations, and tasks. The map will then create a structure to support the linking of all three: content, users, and tasks." My concept is kind of like those world atlas maps with colored areas showing where the population, raw materials and industries are.
  • Crossing the Learning Desert in a Ferrari, an interview with Xplane's President. "More than half your brain is used for processing visual input. This imaging process is constantly going on, bridging the gap between information and understanding. If you can be presented with a picture when you sit down to learn, 80% of the work of learning can be eliminated."

Weblog Notes
You'll notice a quick clean-up of the design. I figured it needed something after a year and 5 months. Still playing with it.

Web Privacy
Watching words on the web, a BBC article on bots which patrol the internet. The RumourBot could help law enforcement agencies track the originator of obscene material, or aid companies keen to find out who is issuing bogus press releases under their names. Is this an invasion of privacy? It depends on where the bots are crawling. A chat room may be a private conversation, while a newsgroup is a public forum, you're responsible for what you post. However neither the BBC nor the Swiss bot builder's over-e'ed (meaning they use to many eWords, including e-havoir) Web site has anything about how it could indentify the poster who makes an effort to anonimize his post.

Some random links
How Much Information This study is an attempt to measure how much information is produced in the world each year. Some interesting numbers here: There are over 2700 photographs taken every second around the world, the 4,500 full-length motion pictures produced around the world every year would be about 16 terabytes if stored digitally. Each year, almost 500 billion copies are produced on copiers in the US.

Microsoft down
Microsoft's Web sites were down for 23 hours. How, Why Microsoft Went Down from Wired. the most dramatic snafu to date on the Internet.

Older stuff

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