Sony goes stupid (again)

Sony has revised the terms of service for the PlayStation Network. The new TOS says: You may not provide anyone with your name or any other personally identifying information other than your own Online ID As it happens, I broke the new TOS twice at the weekend without realizing it at the time. I’ve told people in Team Fortress 2 and Burnout Paradise both my name, and the fact that I live in Austin, TX.

Dangerously convenient Thai food

A couple of weeks ago I saw a new Thai place had opened up a few blocks from our house. Today I was bored of my usual lunch fare, and decided to check it out. It’s called _thai_fresh and is at 909 West Mary, in the same block as Café Caffeine. One wall is occupied by Thai groceries. Opposite that is the kitchen area, and in front is a cabinet with the dishes on offer.

MIT dream

Last night I dreamed about MIT. Texas Instruments had finally decided to build an RPN-based calculator, and for obvious reasons had chosen MIT for a major promotional event. I had been browsing the MIT bookstore and had seen a promo kit, so I snuck in to the labs to see the hardware in action. It was “landscape” format, like the classic HPs (12c, 15c, 16c), but had a wide bitmapped display that could show 20 digits easily.

Tidy? Not even close

Today I spent three hours tidying my desk and going through paperwork. This included going through the entire filing cabinet, removing obsolete documents. Then I shredded old information until the shredder literally burned out, emitting an unpleasant melting plastic smell. Ah well, I’d been thinking of getting a better shredder anyway, preferably one that can shred CDs. Now I’ve traveled to the coffee house with rothko and fixed their Internet.

Musico electronico, decibels synthetico

About 7 or 8 years ago I ripped all our CDs to MP3 and stuck all the music on a house media server. I used what was, at the time, a good MP3 encoder: LAME, with the –r3mix preset that had been tweaked by the members of an online forum for MP3 enthusiasts. MP3 encoder quality has made some strong progress since then, and disk space has become even less of an issue.

The Ron Paul Theocracy Party

“The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers.” — Ron Paul. “The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries. […] The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are Constitutionally elected by the citizens.

The Bradley Effect

During the 1990s, UK TV series Spitting Image included a song “Thank You Tory Voters”, listing disasters caused by the Conservative government. One memorable line was “Voting Tory’s like a fart, no-one admits they’ve done it”. This was the point at which opinion pollsters noticed something interesting: Conservatives would routinely lose in every opinion poll, and then win the election. Studies were carried out, and it turned out that a surprisingly large number of people were so embarrassed by their support for the Tories that they would routinely tell opinion pollsters one thing, and then vote differently in the privacy of the voting booth.

Change you can believe in

From: Joe Biden To: Barack Obama Subject: Changes to your positions on key issues I’ve been taking a look at your web site. There are some changes you need to make if we’re ever going to win this thing. Get rid of as many mentions of science as you can. That stuff scares the right-wing Christians. Remove the paragraph about surveillance being conducted under the rule of law. It just looks embarrassing after your FISA vote.

A rare excursion into memetic propagation

Ten books on my bookshelf which almost certainly aren’t on yours. “Threaded Interpretive Languages” by Loeliger. Describes how to build FORTH systems. Published by Byte back when FORTH was mainstream. (Why, yes, I am that old.) A.R.T.H.U.R. by Lawrence Lerner. Poetry from an imaginary AI. Much better than RACTER. “The Third Word War: Apostrophe Theory” by Ian Lee. Starts off as a catalog of grocers’ apostropes, mutates into a collection of photographic meta-references and arch puns.

Palin & McCain: similarities and differences

Sarah Palin can “just put down the BlackBerry and pick up the breast pump”. John McCain invented the BlackBerry. Sarah Palin describes herself as a pit bull with lipstick. John McCain described his wife as plastering on the makeup like a trollop. John McCain has always been very concerned about ‘pork barrel’ spending. Sarah Palin has always been very concerned about obtaining ‘pork barrel’ funds.