Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fidel The Literary Cat

I know cats like to sit on the newspaper when you´ve just spread it out, but Fidel goes a step further with a full library to choose from. According to the BBC, Fidel who came from a sanctuary now visits the local library when his owners are out and stays there all day until they return.

Ants General Agreement About New Nest Sites

An interesting abstract from the Proceedings of the Royal Society here, on how ant´s apparently use their hive mind to decide on the best new sites, even if they are further away than other potential sites.

RIP Geocities

I used to have a page on Yahoo! Geocities about ten years ago. One of my first attempts at establishing a position on the rapidly expanding information highway as the internet was fondly known. While a useful exercise in HTML, I have long since given up writing my own pages, mainly because there are so many services now for creating online publications or profiling oneself to a larger audience. But Geocities was one of the first mainstream methods of establishing an online presence, whether it be an online diary, pet profiles or social commentary.
Ars Technica pays tribute to Geocities which is being shut down by Yahoo after 15 years. Yahoo! itself has a piece here about its origins. Luckily there are efforts underway to preserve the orginal sites, since these very early days of personal web spaces and net presence are of some historical significance.

Message In An Auschwitz Bottle

Builders close to the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp have come across a note inside a bottle buried in what was the concrete wall of a school, according to the BBC. The names and numbers of seven inmates were written on the paper. One of the inmates who survived returned to France and was traced, though he didn´t know why his name was on the paper, the others apparently were poles who were working with him at the time. It is a touching reminder of what happened under the hands of Hitler, that people go to such measures to preserve any trace of their existence.

State Bans Noisy Sex

The BBC reports how in the UK you can get an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) for making too much noise during your early morning hanky-panky. Noisy neighbours are a problem and consideration for your neighbours I can sympathise with. But there´s something about the Nanny State getting involved in bedroom activities which is a little unnerving. It didn´t take long and said ASBO was breached within ten days, with the case to go before a jury.

JSF Databases Hacked

Technical details about design and infrastructure of the Joint Strike Fighter have been stolen after hackers managed to gain access to a Pentagon run database on the fighter, according to The Wall Street Journal. Although the project is still under construction, any technical details will of course give potential enemies inside knoweldge of the workings of the aircraft which may be used against them in combat, as well as being copied for similar programs in other states.

RIP Ian Tomlinson

A newspaper salesman on his way from work, passing close to the G20 demonstrations was attacked from behind by a police officer with a baton and forced to the ground. Minutes later he died from a heart attack. The Guardian reports here including video captured of the moment the unprovoked attack occurred. This won´t do anything to improve the increasingly poor image of the Met and police/public relations.

Homeless Frank

In reaction to the I´m a Mac and I´m a PC nonsense, thanks to The Landline here we have homeless Frank who´s only got 1000 dollars to spend on a computer - what can he do? (Just for fun I´ve posted the I´m a Playstation/Wii comparison too).