Message Of The Day

Sat, 13 Aug 2005

02:07 [zork(~/octal)] cat drm.txt

Digital Rights Mangling

So am I the only one worried that with the DRM crappo they're putting in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray someone could make a disk that turns my expensive player into a boat anchor by declaring there are no approved disc manufacturers?

Mon, 01 Aug 2005

08:00 [zork(~/nutella/Waffle)] cat Lullaby.txt

At this rate we'll never reach the future

I'm in some kind of Nowhere Land at the moment, waiting for the countdown to start. This is something like 4.5 years ago but with more restrictions. The only way to survive looking forward to it is to pretend it isn't actually going to happen.

On a similar front I'm a step nearer to stability over here. I had the official medical and received two arms full of immunisations I didn't really need. This is somewhat ironic as I also had to go for a chest X-ray because of the policy of not believing that some immunisations actually work. Thanks to the medical it is reassuring, if not surprising, to find I have a clean bill of health.

The conference in NH was good and it was nice to see some familiar faces and talk some darned good science. On the way back I had half a day in Boston to kill and enjoyed hiding from the gross weather in the Museum of Fine Art. My original plan was for a trip on a DUKW, as that had been recommended by several people, but they were sold out for days. I had seen those vehicles doing the tours in Seattle and I understand that they are already in Chicago and now heading for San Francisco.

While at the Prudential Center arcade looking for the DUKW tickets I headed to Barnes & Noble for something to read and ended up with Palahniuk's Invisble Monsters. As ever he had me hooked in very short order. Here's a fragment;
Don't expect this to be the kind of story that goes: and then, and then, and then.
What happens here will have more of that fashion magazine kind of feel, a Vogue or a Glamour magazine chaos with page numbers on every second or fifth or third page. Perfume cards falling out, and full-page naked women coming out of nowhere to sell you make up.
Don't look for a contents page, buried magazine-style twenty pages back from the front. Don't expect to find anything right off. There isn't a real pattern to anything either. Stories will start and then, three pages later:
Jump to page whatever.
Then, jump back.
I have decided that this is a perefectly adequate description of how real life works. Why did I have to go so long before seeing it laid out so clearly.

Actually, I have only just started reading Palahniuk as I concentrated on Salmon of Doubt beforehand. That, as I have mentioned elsewhere, was excellent, especially because I didn't expect it to be.

I have been back to the library after a long gap. Since I don't anticipate such a well equipped outfit in my next port of call my current rule is "if you see something that interests you, however vaguely, borrow it immediately" as I have previously been in circumstances where I have put off checking something out only to have to wait for weeks for it to reappear. This is a circuitous explanation for my currently listening to film soundtracks The Civil War (Ken Burns' banjo and fiddle collection) and Black Hawk Down. I borrowed the latter because of several pieces that made me curious. The general mood is a mixture between Midnght Express, Hawkwind and Nine Inch Nails but Danez Prigent and Lisa Gerrard's Gortoz A Ran - J'Attends sounds like Clannad. It wouldn't surprise me to hear some of these tracks being used as backing music on This American Life or on one of Joe Frank's programmes. Speaking of Joe Frank, while heading home late from Ron and Sue's after the July 4th BBQ, I came across Ken Nordine's Word Jazz which has a little of the Somewhere Out There kind of feel.

For my viewing pleasure I borrowed 《不散》 which was bizarrely fascinating. If someone had told me that Tsai Ming-Liang would have been able to come up with a fillum with even less dialogue than The River or What Time is it There (or more rain than Rebels of the Neon God) I wouldn't have believed them. Wow! He also uses the familiar faces in yet different roles. While looking at the new materials section in the library I also picked up a disc of Seinfeld's HBO performance. I have to say that I don't understand what people see in his stand-up material. Maybe the American psyche isn't happy without someone being condescending to them. Maybe a big gap emerged, about 1776, and this is the way to fill the void.

Speaking of voids, thanks to the change in management work seems to be just one grey vacuum at the moment. The light at the end of the tunnel has definitely been extinguished. I have appropriated Crackmonkey's singularly apt description of "Slow train wreck. No brakes. and now everyone uses it. I was delighted to see Nice Pete's quote today. I must remember that next time departmental management decides to comment on my work.

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