Quick Comments and One Liners

Whoops! I try to keep y'all up to date, but I'm a day behind on this one. A Bug's Life will be released on VHS (many scenes were re-laid out to fit) and DVD on April 20th.

I'm not nearly as charitable as Cameron. This morning he bemoans The Tragedy of Wired , alas, even in my sheltered state living in Chattanooga I saw it deteriorate rapidly after about the first year and a half, becoming little more than an advertising vehicle. It's a shame, because it subsumed writers who published some of my favorite magazines (Steinberg's Intertek was awesome) and so actively destroyed a lot of culture that I thought was worth saving.

Times have changed. Ziff Davis's Sm@art Reseller Online is now acknowledging that the best Windows file server is Linux:

You might think that Linux would operate at a disadvantage here, but Linux kicks NT's butt. Only at the lightest loads does NT hold any advantage over the Linuxes. Once the load moves to 12 clients, all the Linux platforms take commanding leads over NT. At 32 clients, SuSE, the weakest Linux, has more than double NT's throughput, and Red Hat, the leader, extends its lead to almost 250 percent of NT's performance.

A new Need To Know , what more do you need?

Wow! The perl scripts tell me 121 distinct IP addresses hit http://www.flutterby.com/ on Tuesday, 93 on Wednesday and Thursday. Including someone else who names their machines after Ayn Rand characters (dagny, roark and toohey are my Linux boxes hidden away behind my router, taggart.pixar.com an old Windows box at work).

Accaording to this web article (and, not to be a pessimist or anything, but we all know to take the web with a healthy shovel full of skepticism, right?) the theory behind a massless drive has been demonstrated in the laboratory. See also Foundations of Physics Letters, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1996 paper, p. 247 - 293. Summary:

The beauty of his experiment was the following insight -- if you vibrate these capacitors up and down using a piezoelectric crystal, at just the right frequency so that they are going up when their mass is the least and going down when their mass is the most, then a small, constant, mass change is possible. The largest mass change he measured was 4.4 milligrams.

Nothing new: The Semitic Museum of Harvard University presents Nuzi and the Hurrians: Fragments From a Forgotten Past , running through April 2001. Among other things, it presents the cuneiform record of alleged misdeeds of the town's mayor:

He is also charged with sexual misconduct. Two of the mayor's underlings are supposed to have helped him arrange an illicit liaison with a young woman named Humerelli. Kushshiharbe flatly denied every charge and no documents recording the outcome of the trial have ever been found.

SGI announces official support for Linux: http://www.sgi.com/newsroom/press_releases/1999/january/servers.html

I haven't actually checked the web site to verify this, just seen the press releases, but if you'd normally be parked in front of the Super Bowl half time show on Sunday, you might want to check out the Boob Bowl: The Superbowl of Breasts, apparently to be netcast at http://www.danni.com/ . Those of you with lives are saying "cool, there'll be less people outside on Sunday! Time to get out and enjoy the quiet!"


"As a CIA employee, whenever I hear that the Agency is programming people's minds I have to laugh. I don't want to laugh when I hear this, but I have to because that's the way the CIA programmed my mind."

Contrary to popular news stories of the day, social change does not hinge on government overthrow. Those are just the warrings of competing ideologues, not incremental steps in the evolution of consciousness. Growth -- the recognition and elimination of ignorance -- happens on a human level, slowly, building over time like the gradual conversion of a successful anomaly into a whole new species.
- Steven K. Roberts in Miles with Maggie

A new mouthorgan , talking about sleaze in the adult web industry and how that compares and contrasts with business in the real world. They're optimistic, once again.

In Salon, Sallie Tisdale raises some questions about the role of libraries.

The Dangers of Bread : "More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread eaters."

Too happy? The folks at http://www.dieoff.org/ are happy to feed you a heavy dose of pessimism and doom saying. Not that I don't agree with some of their premises, but...

Clean Sheets has a new David Steinberg article , about family secrets. Unfortunately it's laid out in some gross table based thing that makes a very small part of my browser useable, maybe if one of the Clean Sheets people reads this they can tell me why they're so intent on using such a horrible layout (and frames).

It's about bloody time. A new Queen On-Line , bemused by the concept of "government by Larry Flynt" (which, you'll notice, I said I'd vote for a couple of weeks back), Carol compares and contrasts Flynt and the Republican party. For instance, Flynt is paying for women to document adultery, the Republicans expect to get that information for free.

Also at Good Vibrations , Anne Semans writes about Valentine's day gifts for parents .

To appear on business cards advertising Flutterby in the near future:

Without the fringes, the fabric of reality would be just another dirty washcloth.

Jakob Nielsen gets it, with Differences Between Print Design and Web Design :

Print design is 2-dimensional, with much attention paid to layout. It is obviously possible for the reader to turn the page, but substantial interplay between different spreads is rare. Typically, each view is a design unit created for a fixed size canvas - often a big canvas when designing newspapers or posters.
In contrast, Web design is simultaneously 1-dimensional and N-dimensional.

I didn't find the small part of the rest of this Upside article by David Futrelle that I did read worth reading, but the opener is certainly good. You can tell the Windows and Mac users:

So what if one dark midnight less than a year from now, millions of computers around the world suddenly grind to a halt?
My computer grinds to a halt several times a day.

Tog misses the point . He mentions two studies, one showing a positive correlation between time spent on the 'net and depression, the other showing that computers in the schools are massively counterproductive, and then calls for a terabyte a second per net user to solve the problems, because it would allow us to transmit large images of isolated people: "Anything less than this kind of realism and the depression will continue." For someone who can, at times, be so brilliant about human to computer interaction, how can he miss the simple aspects of human to human interaction?

Aaaargh! So most C compilers let you name the output. On most Un*x systems, this is done with '-o filename'. Despite having other flags to tell what sort of output to create, Microsoft Visual C++ has different arguments for different filenames. Why? So I offer a nerdly plea: If any of the @DIETIES with accounts on reality with uid==0 would run the following script, I'd renounce atheism:

kill -9 `ps -aux | perl -e 'while (<>) {/microsoft/i && split && print "$_[1]\n"}'

In Mary Anne Mohanraj's January 20th diary entry she talks about somber commuters and friends who used to dress up as clowns to practice random acts of sillyness:

The point of all that was that as I was sitting on the subway this morning, I was really wishing I had some juggling balls or a musical instrument, and the nerve to be goofy.

So consider this your daily prod to be a little more surreal. On that note, Catherine and I are building a kinetic sculpture, a human-powered around-town and occasional commutte vehicle. If anyone has old bicycles or brazing skills they'd like to donate or sell cheaply to the cause, drop the webmaster a line.

My mother is rabidly anti-immunization. I'm less so, but I still shy away from unnecessary medicine. A good example of that appears to be the Hepatitus B vaccine for newborns. Beware.

In Salon this morning, two articles that I find a bit disturbing. The first is a deification of Ralph Nader , which paints him as a saint who's toiled his whole life for you and me without any material recompense. It's contrary to every report I read on the man, and could have come straight from his PR department except that I think in the interest of making it beleivable they'd actually make it a little less gushing. The second is a glorification of some MIT Media Lab wanker , writing the usual science fiction about things that the rest of us are quietly implementing. What bothers me about both of them is that there's no attempt at balance, I gave up on both after the first page as I get enough of that treacly saccharine trash in advertising every day.

Cameron talks about the anatomy of a web log , although it needs a clarification: I'm not an animator.

If anyone out there lives in the bay area and has a couple of old bicycles they want to get rid of, I need some materials for a kinetic sculpture.

I've had a couple of messages about the serial numbers that Intel will be putting into their new CPUs. Maybe someone out there can correct me. This is just a unique ID, much like every ethernet card has, the difference is that it's locked to a unique CPU. Basically, it's a built in dongle. It might make licensing for node locked software a little bit easier to manage, apparently there's a way to turn it off that requires a reboot to reenable, and your software will still need to transmit it to anyone making use of it. Now I know some of you use Microsoft products and expect your computer to go sending things like lists of all your software off to the folks building the mailing lists, but just use protocols and implementations you can trust. I fail to see the cause for panic.

In Salon this morning, Rainbow Gathering meets Burning Man in Italy

A new My Word's Worth this morning, titled Lighting out for the Territory, on casting off the shackles.

Gotta go catch up on Sluggy and User Friendly .

Need To Know is up. Among other things they point out that the recent European "child porn" scare is apparently based on taking Rimm's infamous survey and thinking that somehow the numbers of images involving naked adults count as "child pornography". How much you wanna bet the subjects... err... citizens... fall for it.

A new forum, The Philosophy of Photography .

I forget yesterday, there's a new Mouthorgan , and, relatedly, Columbine writes a soul baring piece in Alewife Bayou on a father who betrayed trust for alcohol.

Writing the entry above brought up a different gender-issue problem. Columbine of Alewife Bayou makes no secret of being Todd of Mouthorgan and vice-versa, in each case presenting a different gender. Being conditioned to believe that gender is related to genitalia (more than etymologically), I didn't know whether to say "her" or "his" dad. I've no problem picking a random gender when I'm writing in the abstract, but what about writing in the concrete about someone who freely adopts both genders? I suppose I should have used "her", except that the nature of the relationship described implied son to father. I shy away from the "zir" of the BDSMNLOP crowd because I no longer read much of that and am not used to seeing it in common useage, but maybe the rest of you are. Suggestions?

Just after Burning Man , I mentioned the Water Woman . I'm not sure what the entire deal is, 'cause they used to have a page at http://www.watarian.com/ too which is now gone, and the page at http://www.waterwoman.com/ is for last year, but it's a start on finding out more information.

A new Susie Bright column in Salon, a rambling piece about sex, chess, and the 7 year old.

There's a new NETFUTURE up, and as always it's a wonderful read.

From a message in the Scripting News forum comes this review of 4 outliners for the PalmPilot . My PalmPilot is slowly starting to make itself a part of my life, I need to integrate it better with my main workstations, but I think it's a start at seeing the future of computing.

From /. comes this link to a workstation that includes electric adjustable seating, diffuse lighting, will rotate over 120 degrees during the day to keep you aligned with the sun if your office has windows, and an air filtering system.

So I'm listening to NPR (don't ask, it's an aftershock of the Clinton trial), and they're talking about the federal government suing the tobacco companies for health care costs incurred by medicare patients. Ummmm... Excuse me? Why don't we go after those who incurred those charges, the smokers? It's time to stop protecting morons from themselves.

ACM Classic papers

In Alewife Bayou, a piece called satire is dead, long live irony . Which reminds me: one of my favorite magazines, Satire, moved over to be a strictly Internet publication. Alas, I haven't gotten around to reading the online edition. One of my hopes with Flutterby was that it'd be an impetus for me to check on some of these resources, but I wonder what's really happening to all of the 'zines in the age of the Internet? Are we gaining, or losing ground?

In Salon, Keith Knight interviews the Y2K bug .

Eric Boutilier-Brown has announced a photo diary update. Haven't had time to check it out, but I've liked his stuff in the past: http://www.collideascope.com/ebb/diary

I think that this note is going to screw up the headers again. I'll fix 'em in the morning. Deal with it. But, some cause for celebration (and as these things usually are, this is a mixed bag). For a short while, at least, this will have the announcement of DES-III being broken in 22 hours:


What does this mean to you? Well, the morons who run "our" government have decided that U.S. companies can't export keys longer than 40 bits. If you want to keep your data secure from anyone with $50k or a couple of friends, that means that your data is secure for less than 24 hours. Contact your representative and tell them that people who do business have secrets, and if we're going to be competitive in the real world we need to be able to keep those secrets for longer than a day. It also means that if you're using one of the U.S. government approved encryption techniques, your data certainly isn't safe from them, and probably isn't safe from anyone else.

Deb Margolin eroticizes type in Nerve

Oh. Dear. God. Via Cameron , a report that AOL is unveiling a new multilevel marketing scheme . They're calling it AOL Select . Fair warning, if any old friends call me up with an outstanding "business opportunity", refuse to mention the name until we "get together to chat", and end up offering me this: if they ever find your body they'll have to extract free trial CDs from orifices you didn't know you had.

In Salon this morning , an article on how the free web services are (or, more importantly, aren't) "building community".

A week or three ago some negligent excuse for a mother sued the Livermore public library because the 12 year old she temporarily abandoned there used the library's net connection to access pictures of naked people. My faith in the world has been temporarily restored, the AP reports that Judge George C. Hernandez dismissed the suit without comment. Alas, lest we believe that common sense has prevailed, Michael Millen, the mother's lawyer, backed by the Pacific Justice Institute, has said that the case will be appealed.

The library's policy makes the Internet available to all patrons and leaves it up to parents to monitor their children.

Good article in the New York Times about leaving Silicon Valley. Hit some nerves, not some others, but still a good read if you've considered joining the gold rush.

Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Until now .

.sig file of the day, to which I'd only add: "and the aesthetic tastes of white-bread eaters":

"Hollywood is a dreary industrial town controlled by hoodlums of enormous wealth with the ethical sense of a pack of jackals"
-- S.J. Perlman, 1988

Funny, this came up in several places at once, on a mailing list of friends talking about a recent "buy a degree" spam, and Cameron mentioning that he's ordained: Don't be fooled by expensive imitations, look to the Universal Life Church for all your credentialling needs.

My Word's Worth this morning talks about common sense. Usually when people talk about that I'm tempted to sigh and mumble that old sense about it being neither, but I like Marylaine's take on the topic.

And, at last, a new set of Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet strips. The 'net seems sluggish this morning, but I assume that there's also new Sluggy Freelance and User Friendly material, too.

Apparently the lack of updates at Good Vibrations means that Pat Califia has more time to do Topping the News updates, 'cause now they appear to be weekly.

Via Cameron (I've got to start branching further and/or writing more original stuff before these assorted daily web log pages just become one big tangled incestuous mess), comes this report that companies like MathSoft, Zapata, and (cigar retailer) International Industries are seeing jumps in stock prices in the 30% gain because of announcing associate's programs with Amazon. Who are the morons buying this stock? Want to see what one extremely successful web site makes from Amazon's associate program (although all proceeds are donated to animal hospitals)? Check out Philip Greenspun's Amazon logs at http://photo.net/wtr/thebook/amazon/ . One week in November Amazon got 3550 hits, which resulted in 29 direct orders and 93 indirect orders, for a whopping total of $158.32 in referral fees.

If you enjoy thwarting the goals of lawyers who like to use scare tactics to do things they've no legal basis for, go to http://www.veronica.org and then express your displeasure at the Archie Comics Feedback Page

In an attempt to shoot themselves in the foot, Apple is trying to fee-license the FireWiretm trademark, and Sony the i.LINKtm trademark for the IEEE-1394 protocol. Adaptec has chosen to refer to the protocol as 1394 and try to get other manufacturers to do the same. Guess who I'm rooting for.

Flutterby clears 40 readers (not hits) a day for 3 days in a row! Cool! And it looks like we're lined up for a 4th! Lest any of you have illusions about what garners readers, Dan's Ocoee whitewater pages haven't changed in several years, and garner far more hits.

A new Need To Know . Was gonna put some sort of teaser quote on here, but y'all don't really need that, do you? I mean, it's *NTK*, after all!

That encryption algorithm developed by a 16 year old woman that has RSA level security while being way faster? I've been waiting to see something other than mainstream press reprinting of news-release type stories. Here's an article from The Times and a response to it that seems to go just a little bit beyond the usual fluff pieces. http://jya.com/flannery.htm

An innovative approach to financing a software startup : Sell T-shirts.

Via CNN, Reuters reports that NPC is cutting back on the sex in their sitcoms:

"Sometimes we use sex to get an easy laugh," Sassa said. "We could use a few more words between, 'Hello' and 'Will you sleep with me?"'

Maybe that I don't find "will you sleep with me?" particularly funny explains why sitcoms have been falling completely flat for me. The other line:

NBC's new entertainment president Scott Sassa Thursday outlined his vision for the network, including "more traditional families," "less emphasis on sex," "more diversity" and series set somewhere other than New York City because "other places can be cool, too."

Oh. Wonderful. Hate to break this to him, but people with no lives in LA are just as pathetic as people with no lives in New York. And people with lives are likely to inspire would-be consumers to get off their butts rather than sitting there watching commercials, so that's a lose-lose situation as well.

For those of you that haven't figured out the puzzle from yesterday, via Scripting News comes Kevin Newman's solution .

In Salon this morning, a quick article about the Legend of the Five Rings card game, and how "he most successful example yet of interactive fiction runs on cardboard."

The folks at Xanadu suggested this link laying out the issues and problems with the recently passed copyright extension act: http://eldred.ne.mediaone.net/battle.html

In the New York Times (free, but registration required), a piece called Did you Get Her E-Mail Address? addresses the "the revival of the epistolary romance." As people who've known me for a while know I've got mixed feelings about technology. I'm concerned that TV and movies have removed some of the need for and beauty of the symbolic manipulation that language, particularly written, requires, and I think that the loss of written language means that we're losing some of our thinking skills. On the other hand, e-mail and the web, both being primarily text, have brought a great resurgence in writing and reading, which I think is a wonderful thing.

So, a question to those of you who are into such things: If the world was your oyster, and you had a chance to go do something profitable, but that would help pull the culture away from one that's willing to be entertained toward one that seeks out participatory experiences, what would you do? Is there something that meets both criteria?

The Association for Investor Assistance announces that Pixar's Investor Relations department gets a "Superior" rating.

A new mouthorgan , but I'm not into it. I think it's the continued malaise from yesterday, I'm just not up to snuff and that cabin in Montana with a little left over for bus fare is sounding attractive right now. Must convince myself that the popular culture is right.

CNN reports that Princeton is considering banning the tradition of running naked through the semester's first snowfall because drunken fratboys are urinating out of windows and groping the nude runners... Somehow it seems like they're targeting the wrong offenders, but maybe that's just me.


New in Clean Sheets today: The Advantages and Disadvantages of having a threesome

12. Calling out the wrong name during climax isn't as much of a problem; the "wrong name" is probably the one on your left.

Don't expect anything today, my stomach feels hideous so I'm resting. Lots. However:

If you're a sysadmin from an online bookstore noticing a large number of hits from a robot with "Flutterby.Com" in the user agent string, yes, that's us. Just trying to fill out the database of our home library. Thanks for the data.

Play Justification the Wacky Spokesman Game that explains just why we bombed Iraq. I think.

Some of you may remember http://www.realdoll.com/ . I guess this had to happen: http://www.realhamster.com/

Via Cameron , here are some design directions the iMac could take

A good review of the game Trophy Buck in Salon:

If Trophy Buck celebrates a particular -- and real -- strand of American culture, what does a game like Broodwars represent? Is the mass murder inherent in every game of Starcraft harmless escapism, without strings attached? Or is it something darker -- repressed xenophobia, slaughter without responsibility?

I've been dubious about a lot of what "higher education" has become (I mean, besides that crack about an excuse for the failures of elementary aeducation), but I'm not sure I'd go this far: Via /. , Forbes has an article questioning the value of college for the technical :

"For geeks, colleges have become like those cheesy technical schools offering courses on refrigerator and auto repair that advertise on Dukes of Hazzard reruns," Waldo says.

In User Friendly , the Mighty Morphin' Power Macs: http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/99jan/19990110.html

Forwarded from origins unknown...

After many complaints, the Edgell canned food company was forced to remove these labels from a particular line of canned veggies. It actually took months of convincing to remove them because Edgell could not understand what the problem was.
Go to: http://www.fensende.com/Users/mcuddy/veg.jpg

One note I left out of my predictions for 1999 was that cheese will be the next culinary craze. Much like microbrewed beers, then scotch, then cigars, I expect micro dairies churning (sorry) out assorted small batch cheeses to be the next fad, accompanied by cheese courses becoming common in restaurants, and cheese specialty shops springing up.

Those two prurient Rescuer's frames are at http://snopes.simplenet.com/disney/films/rescuers.htm

Marylaine talks about the death of the polymath and the rise of specialization in My Word's Worth this morning.

Look out Disney:

"Frank Georgi wants to build a theme park recreating East German totalitarianism, complete with May Day parades, an Erich Honecker look-alike, secret police, and closed-circuit TV sets showing old propaganda movies. Visitors could apply to leave, but at the risk of ostracism and petty harassment. "

Wow! Another update to Topping the News already.

In Nerve Magazine , Vronique Vial photographs people as they wake up :

What difference does it make photographing people when they first wake up?
Everybody is more soulful. You catch them off guard and real, not as they pretend to be or as they are made to look. We are so used to seeing famous people as they are presented to us; here is a chance to see what they really look like.

Quote of the day:

"you couldn't get a clue if you were soaked in clue pheromone in clue bondage gear on the clue mating grounds during clue mating season surrounded by horny clues." -- sn

So undoubtedly all of you spent last night single-framing The Rescuers to find that objectionable frame, right?

When Berdard And Bianca are going over the edge on the back of the bird... the Bernard is scared, the Bianca looks happy... they are falling down the side of the building with all the windows in the background zooming by when a photo of a nude woman is taped to the background over a window.

I'm no friend of Microsoft, but the Consumer Federation of America scares me. They're claiming, based on prices from other applications, that Microsoft has abused its monopoly power and overcharged customers by $10 billion. And calling for a class action suit against Microsoft if the DOJ wins its monopoly case. Microsoft has made no attempt to hide their business practices. The American people have voted with their dollars, and deserve to get the results of those votes, good and hard. Anything else is just encouraging consumer stupidity.

Ya now how everything comes together sometimes? In Kool Aid colored boxes this morning, and later in a message I posted to Userland's discussion board I thought I was going out on a limb by predicting that networks in houses will be common place (an extrapolation based on the proliferation of cablemodems with lightweight routers doing essentially what I've got a 486 doing with my network at home). Now Microsoft is trying to beat down Sun's Jini , with a set of standards for printers, scanners and other peripherals over TCP/IP. This is a much more reasonable way to implement these sorts of things than, say, USB, and if we start to see chipsets which support lightweight TCP/IP protocols it won't be too long before you can hook your oven up to the network in your house and see how long 'til dinner's done. Cat5 in every room.

The Upside Hypemeter tears Nora Ephron for You've Got Mail

But, if Ephron and company have the guts to rub shoulders with reality, I fully expect to see Tom Hanks shopping online and paying way too much for everyday items "for the sake of convenience." Also, it would do reality justice if, during his search for love, Hanks met no fewer than 45 greasy, tater-eatin' heifers before finally landing a date with Meg Ryan--who then ends up killing him on their third date.

The new FlickFX solution to all of those pesky wide screen dramas. No more horrific camera movements from pan-n-scan, no more loss of detail from letterboxing. Finally, a solution to the video transfer problem that I think we can all agree on.

Quote of the day from CNN :

"We think that the best way to keep calm and cool and dignified is to look at each other and talk to each other."
-- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, discussing the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton

Ummm... Sorry, Trent, but you lost the "dignified" part a looooong time ago.

Yahoo reports that they're recalling 3.4 million copies of "The Rescuers" because of 2 frames with "an objectionable background image." Run out and buy a copy now, before they're all gone.

Susie Bright looks back at the year in sex in Salon Magazine this morning. Viagra, cigars, and more...

In any case, if there was a wonder pill for women's sexual arousal, I wonder who would be the famous female political figure to endorse it. In this context, you can see how far the girls are lagging behind the boys. Dianne Feinstein? Libby Dole?

A new Need To Know is up.

Bob Linginvston warns darkly about "Government by Larry Flynt" . I'm there, baby.

So the big news from everybody about MacWorld is that the iMac now comes in assorted colors. I'm sure that, like me, a bunch of my readers have lived in rental units with appliances in colors left over from a long time ago. Can you even buy a teal refrigerator any more?

Quote of the day:

The wierder you are, the better you have to be if you still want to get paid.
-- Ben Aveling

A new mouthorgan on the difference between kinky and vanilla, and what role religion plays in that distinction.


I wish I could give whoever made this credit, a coworker got it via e-mail, its origins long gone. But it's a beautifully done image. If anyone can trace its beginnings, please tell me. Warning: Contrary to my usual policies this link won't last forever on Flutterby, it will disappear unexpectedly, probably a short time after this scrolls off the main page. Anyway, with that caveat, I present:

Starr Wars (jpeg, 108k)
Not so long ago, in a country not so far away...

Marylaine in Fox News

If Pfizer can invent a drug that moves the decision making process about 3 feet higher up in our glorious leaders, they will deserve every penny they make on it.

Raffle postponed: If you overnight it, you can still buy a chance to win a souped up VW bug painted up like Francis from A Bug's Life .

Sorry about the table problems, I'll fix those when I get home.

Help! I finally got what looks like a mint copy of Chris Crawford's The Art of Computer Game Design for probably less than 4x what it originally cost, and I remembered that there was a site on the 'net that had most of it online (I think it was http://vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html ), but the server seems to be down. I was going to offer to fix the missing parts (they were missing a couple of pages in a few places, if I remember right). Anyone know who else has a mirror of it? If it's still legal to host it, I'll gladly mirror it here at Flutterby.

Via Scripting News comes this gem from Wired :

"We think the most important question when people are buying a new computer will be, 'What is your favorite color?'" Jobs said.

Linux Weekly News has a 1998 Linux timeline , including the great series of quotes from Jesse Berst, ZDNet columnist. Where do they dig up ignoramii like this moron?

). ). ). ).
Linux according to Jesse Berst
(reproduced without permission from Linux Weekly News 1998 Timeline
"I think it's great if you are willing to promote Linux to your boss. As long as you are aware of the risk you are taking. The risk of getting fired." (Feb. 16
"Is a Linux takeover likely? Give me a break. Of course not." (June 23
"I personally think Windows NT will be the mainstream operating system within a few years." [...] "My belief: Linux will never go mainstream" (Sep. 9
"I've always said that Linux could become a serious challenger to Microsoft's Windows NT." Sep. 28

My Chattanooga readers will remember when the Chattanooga News-Free Press (mentioned in Strunk & White's Elements of Style as an example of ambiguous hyphenation) dropped the final vestige of news from their paper and became the Chattanooga Free Press. Well, now the Chattanooga Times, the paper that had content when I lived there, has been assimilated too, and has published its last edition according to CNN. Mike & I tried, we told them where there business was going in '94 and that they needed to get online, and were shown the door. Oh well...

Other prognostications: Don Conway tells me that the product of 1998 will be the Rotato . You heard it here first.

Scarlet Letters is a little bit dark and goth for my usual tastes in erotica, but they've taken an innovative response to the "If you're under 18 go away" problem. They've started Pink Slip , sexual information on relationships, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, crises and such for women between 14 and 17.

Not really an issue unless you're nostalgic, but News.com reports that Hayes is going out of business . Once the premier modem maker, they stumbled when US Robotics beat them to the high speed modems with the HST, and despite some fancy marketing and sidestepping (I remember talking with their salesdroids at Comdex around this time, wondering what they were thinking) never managed to recover.

"The bank said it would only fund a liquidation and not our ongoing operations," said Ron Howard, who served as chief executive up until yesterday.

Pat Califia also has a new Quickies column over at Good Vibrations.

Pat Califia has a new Topping the News in Spectator Magazine. Excerpt:

Murray, ID - Sally Green cried tears of joy when she was recently crowned queen of the prostitutes for the second year in a row. Green's coronation is part of the Molly B'Damn Days, an annual fair here which commemorates the town's most famous Gold Rush madam. Molly was famous for her foul mouth and her heart of gold. She stole gold from drunk miners and gave it to the poor, or so legend would have it. During a smallpox epidemic, she rallied the town's women to nurse the sick, and died herself two years later, at 35, of tuberculosis. The event raises money for needy families, the town park, and the local fire department.

Salon has predictions for the new year :

In March, the iMac II will feature a fancier case but will leave out the keyboard. "The mouse is a superior input device -- keyboards are a tired old 19th century technology," Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs will explain.

I'm back. And it was a wonderful vacation. Some time spent loafing, some time spent coding, some time spent snowshoeing in Yosemite . It doesn't get any better.

Marylaine reports on her favorite books of '98 in My Word's Worth

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