Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.

1 March 2004

Pédéblogueurs 2004.03

March 2004 is brought to you by David Madore.

Don’t hesitate to publicize this calendar. I find the number of incoming links a bit low. What’s the point of putting it on an external site if only my own readers view it? You ungrateful people. (I know you like it when I call you ungrateful. Ah, men. They’re all sluts.)

Je… rêve ?

Le meilleur des Oscars… sous-titré, plutôt que de réutiliser la mauvaise traduction simultanée de la veille ?! Qu’est-ce qui se passe, chez Canal+, ils se sont acheté une conscience ?

P.S. Je me doutais que je postais trop vite. Ce n’était que l’intro. C’est mieux que rien — et ça ve me donner l’occasion de retourner jouer — mais, s’ils se sont donné la peine de sous-titrer le lancement et les extraits de films, c’était vraiment vraiment trop demander qu’ils fassent le reste aussi ?

2 March

CSS drop shadows : I had seen this technique used on 1976design.com, thought the idea was excellent, but didn’t want to copy it, because I thought it was original (turns out, it was) and I respect originality. So all I did was put back the fake shadows I had once made with the non-standard, Mozilla-only CSS properties that allow you to define borders as gradients.

Now that it’s been officially published on A List Apart, I’d love to use it, but… I’d have to edit all my posts containing images in order to add the <div>, and that’s way too much work for something that doesn’t look completely perfect (the shadow’s extremities don’t look natural — they actually look worse than those I have right now).

Tough luck.

Of the importance of music in a movie (via BB). Very particularly the second episode.

Apart from the music, this reminds me that I should be able to make a webcomic with super-simplified graphics, even pixel art, even if it means using the same pictures over and over again (because I know I’m able to spend some time building a library of reusable locations and characters, but not to produce pixel art day in, day out), a bit like Diesel Sweeties, but with a story arc. All that it takes is getting started, or something.

First, if you are running an old version of Firebird or Phoenix, visit the Extensions panel in Tools, Options and disable all of your extensions.

And how do you uninstall the fucking extensions? Are the previous versions going to linger forever, inactive, in my extensions panel? Idiots.

P.S. Google : Firefox “uninstall extensions”. I’m linking the results page because the first link (the one with the right answer) doesn’t work, I had to use the Google cache.

Must be damn complex adding an interface for this in the options window. I don’t like this browser, its idiosyncrasies and its stupid, incoherent keyboard shortcuts (Alt-Enter, depending on context, either opens a new tab or saves the link target). I’m going to buy 512 MB of additional RAM and install Mozilla again.

And why don’t I buy a bunch of Legos on ebay? I’m scared of ebay. But since everybody’s using it… (It’s still for that stupid idea of mine of a photographic webcomic.)

3 March

When I was… I’ve been thinking of copying the idea, but since I haven’t got enough memories, I’ll just link it.

Insert text here.

Urgent: young man, handsome and intelligent, full of (hidden) talents, motivated and available, seeks interesting, well-paid job, not too annoying and not too early in the morning.

There it is. I won’t make any additional effort (such as, and not limited to, looking for a job, being pleasant and polite, or wearing anything remotely looking like a suit).

4 March

I didn’t imagine a popcorn machine would be so big and, more importantly, so noisy. Considering the turbine noise it makes, and how it heats as much (and requires as much power) as my electrical heater, I understand better why it isn’t cheaper.

In the meantime, my first popcorn wasn’t so good. I don’t know if that’s lack of salt (it was just a first test) or because my corn has been waiting too long in my bedroom’s atmosphere. I don’t think it could be because of the machine itself. I just hope not.

(Don’t hesitate to scroll down. It’s silly, but the only nice picture in this post is the last one.)

I bought a couple of (actually, I can perfectly count: three) small Lego and Megabloks boxes so I could check whether the bricks I stole from my little brother were compatible (and the answer is no). Megabloks’s human characters don’t look that good, but in the Dragons series they have some good stuff.

I don’t think Lego ever made beasts like this. Megabloks also makes very nice dragons, but they’re more expensive. As far as bricks go, I think they’re taking too much distance from the standards, and making all sorts of shapes that can only be used for one special design, which isn’t good for creativity. But they’ve got character and beast design right (only the eyes are a bit disappointing).

The skeleton comes from a little Lego box that’s cheaper but still totally ridiculous as compared to the Megabloks designs:

Look how nice the specific bricks are: I cant wait to integrate them into something. Wouldn’t that make some nice decoration in a living room?

And, finally, the Alien Agency series. Too bad its humans have a weird face and wear a tie. I went through all the available boxes: there’s absolutely no way to get a normal, plain Lego character. How’s one supposed to do in order to make a story about someone else than Harry Potter or Spider-Man?

I really like the little transparent tank that you can’t quite see in the background.

So there are ways to make some stuff. I don’t know yet whether I forget about the idea (since I haven’t got an existing stock of Lego bricks, and this shit is expensive, and I’m getting to the end of my January fortune — yes, already! it’s frightening) or I keep on with it. We’ll see. For starters, I’d need to have a story idea that would be compatible with the available elements.

Sorry for the unusual heaviness of this page. But I’ve got nothing to say, so I might as well distract you.

MyPetFat. Uh, yeah. That or a Brad Pitt poster.

As I’m looking back at the images I posted, I realize it might be quite easier than I first thought.

I thought I’d have to build a complete set, but it may not be necessary: the white background (or optionally another flat color, but that would be more complex to shoot) reminds you it’s a comic, and the imagination can fill in the blanks well enough.

So, instead of a ton of Legos, maybe I could just do with a couple of flat backgrounds (white, black for night time, and one or two colors for some effects). Much simpler.

And, just with those two lab people, I’m sure there would be lots of things to be done.

www.garoo.net — version 1863.3

In progress…

So I’m a bit unstable lately. Can’t find something satisfactory. I’m short of ideas, so I’m doomed to reusing, week after week, various ideas I had already had before. Call me Sisyphus.

There are still some bugs to be fixed, but the idea is that the minilog goes back to a sidebar, so that the big articles can stay longer on top; but this time the sidebar is on the left, because otherwise people tend not to read it. I’ll eventually add in the usual contents of a sidebar.

The downside is that the whole sidebar must be loaded before the main contents (yes, I know, with CSS, I could, but no), but I’ll just assume that it doesn’t matter because the home page is static, so it’s fast to load. (It is on my modem.)

Besides, if you don’t like it, screw you it’ll change again within a week anyway.

5 March

— Better live with remorse than regrets.

— Not so sure. Better live with dreams than knowing you failed.

6 March

A little study of open source CMSs, out of curiosity, just in case I’d go on specializing myself in political campaign websites. Depressing (the study, as much as the thought of working).

I already stated how much I hate SPIP — actually, I didn’t go into much detail about it, so I’ll just say I hate it, very much. But the others aren’t so much better. Typo3 certainly is very professional, but the template management seems absurd to me; besides, the documentation is written in such a bad English that it makes my head hurt, and that’s definitely not helping. Cofax, which looks promising and is used by several online newspapers, is… only available on Windows. No, seriously. Let me skip all the little things, because we’re talking professional sites here. Zope is the opposite of SPIP: the templates system appears to be very well designed, but the thing seems to be completely unusable for a joe writer. If I had to build a site right now, I’d try Plone: base on Zope, but with a real user interface. Except that the thought of committing to a Python system, meaning I wouldn’t be able to extend it at all, is a bit stressful. So what’s left? What’s left is that, out of all the CMSs I’ve seen, the one I’d feel most at east with remains Movable Type. It’s only supposed to make blogs, but it’s extensible, it makes static pages, it can make pretty, clean URLs, and it’s well designed. Only that it’s not open source, and I’m told that political candidates like to use open source software.

So I can choose between Plone (suicidal, because I’m likely to get stuck with what it can’t do), SPIP (suicidal because I’ll want to jump out the window when I’m up to writing the templates), or hand-coding (suicidal because of the amount of work it represents).

Wouldn’t anyone here be willing to design, right here, right now, a good CMS based on SPIP? There wouldn’t be that much to be changed.

7 March

Buffy — 7.18–7.19

Beaucoup de zzz avec quelques bouts de port’nawak.

En remplacement des übervampires (en espérant qu’ils soient effectivement sortis du jeu, malgré le cours d’Anya), on se retrouve avec un prêcheur pervers et misogyne. Ah, et invincible, pour changer, parce que ça ne rappelle pas du tout Glory. L’avantage sur les vampires des cavernes, c’est qu’il a des dialogues ; l’inconvénient, c’est que… ils sont atrocement chiants, ces dialogues. Je n’ai pas plus envie de les entendre que je n’avais envie d’entendre parler (à répétition, en plus) de viols dans cette série. Et puis, pas franchement charismatique, le grand méchant.

Quoi d’autre ? Faith, dont je me serais bien passé aussi : personnage aussi insupportable qu’Andrew, même si elle, au moins, sert à quelque chose dans l’histoire. Xander borgne, mais je m’en fiche parce que c’est Xander (quand je m’étais fait spoiler, je pensais qu’il se retrouverait aveugle, mais non, même pas capable de faire ça à fond, ce gros nul). Trois potentielles tuées, mais on s’en fiche parce que ce sont des figurantes (très cheap, pour le coup, très Star Trek, de ne pas avoir tué celles qui avaient des noms — c’est comme Xander qui perd un seul oeil, c’est minable, surtout pour une dernière saison où ils peuvent tout faire voler en éclats). Et une rébellion absolument ridicule.

Il reste trois épisodes pour ne pas rattraper le coup et sauver la série. Plus qu’un seul samedi à souffrir. Après… après, peut-être que je piquerai des divX d’Alias autour de moi, pour me changer les idées.

« Une démocratie, ça ne gagne pas une guerre. » Tiens, Buffy vote Bush.

Think Of Me. That’s romantic.

8 March

Mmh. Why don’t I adopt a guest blogger too, for hype?

A sidebar somewhere, a new blogger, so I could play star search (well, yeah, there’s no point if I give it to someone who already blogs). But do I still know people who aren’t blogging, and who’d be able to write something good? I already contaminated pretty much everybody I know, and I’m not sure I’m social enough to enroll a guest per month.

I have to think, to look through my address book. Or my chatroom contact lists. Or just wait until I forget about the idea.

Espagnol : cours en ligne. Pour la semaine Almodovar sur Arte.

Karoshi : death from overwork.

And it’s coming to us, now. Not for me, thanks. You can keep your work culture.

Meanwhile, the webserver is saturating. According to our Webalizer stats, Gayattitude is serving an average 500MB per day. I’m no system administrator, but I keep reading about people going past their 1GB-a-month hosting limit, so I’m feeling like we’re having a lot of traffic here, particularly for the pretty low-end machine we have. I’ve been thinking of a redesign but it wouldn’t cut the number of requests so much. Basically, a web-based chat requires resources. Lots of them. We’re fucked, aren’t we?

A small site has no problems. A big site can manage to balance costs and income. An average site…

# rm -r /home/gayattitude_

9 March

Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD

Excellent.

Orlando Bloom could almost be seducing, as a brown-haired dim-witted country boy (as opposed to the snow-walking blonde archer) and Johnny Depp… uh… isn’t he a bit over the top? I mean, too much over the top?

Transformers RX-8 (via Gizmodo). Wow. Well, it’s not that hard to make, but wow.

10 March

Bovine Rectal Palpation Simulator: how could anyone live without one?

Is [horrid, amateur] design successful for eBay? I know it contributes to my not wanting to use it.

I have to completely reprogram Gayattitude and I’m as far from motivated as I can be. I largely prefer to deal with the layout and setup of a new blog, using DotClear. (Which I chose because it looks well designed, and much more pleasant to use than WordPress1.) The blog isn’t for me, and it will be announced later, if it is.

Creating a blog, making a nice, simple layout, now that’s interesting. Reprogramming a site that’s already open, that’s already working (even though it gets slow by 11pm), in order to change the way it works (I’m going to have to write cron jobs to generate the whole chat in HTML static files, because that ought to be the only way for the server not to explode), whereas I haven’t got any idea for the graphical redesign (which I have to do because the current frames layout generates too much traffic — yes, it’s a bit paradoxical for a frameset, I know) is horribly uninteresting.

I’d love to enroll someone to code for me, in exchange for some toast and pop corn, but I wouldn’t, because I don’t trust anyone to put their dirty hands in my scripts.

So for now I reduced the chat’s auto-reload delay. It’ll let the server survive. Or it won’t. Suspense.

1 : I mean, come on. In WordPress, if you want a post to be cut on the homepage, you have to type <!–more–> where you want the cut to be. How could it be any less user-friendly?

11 March

Padawan:

Meanwhile in France, SACEM (our local RIAA) is threatening to sue Apple France if the company doesn’t pay the levy tax imposed on hard-drives (from 10 to 20€ depending on the size).

Nevermind the fact that it reminds me there’s a tax on hard drives (everyday life is so much easier when you forget the details of our society’s idiosyncrasies), it’s troubling me.

First, according to the article linked there, the dispute only revolves around the iPod, which makes no sense: Apple computers also contain hard drives, so either Apple is used to paying this tax, or the Sacem shouldn’t be complaining specifically about the iPod.

But, more importantly, what is Apple doing at all? Did they deliberately decide to go to court and play heroes by challenging this stupid tax? That’s a terribly American concept, but could work as an advertising campaign: Apple defends consumer rights! Hurrah for Apple! But, American as it is, it’s quite likely to fail in France and leave them with a hefty sum to pay. Could they really afford to pay 20 € plus interests for each iPod already sold? iPods cost over $50 more in France than in the US, so maybe they saved the difference on a special account in order to finance the operation.

That’s when I’d like to be a super-famous blogger and have inside sources from the industry contact me with confidential memos. Damn. I should have been working harder to build a larger audience. Good thing I don’t care, really.

I’m trapped in a vicious circle.

It’s been a while since I spent more than a couple of hours in Photoshop to make a new layout, because I know that, no matter how superbly fantastic it is, I’ll change it one or two months later.

But then the layout I make is worthless. Not to mention the time I didn’t spend on it, I’m also lacking motivation to have interesting ideas, to make something beautiful, since I know it’s going to end up in the trashcan real soon. As a result, instead of being used for a month, the new layout becomes unbearable after two days. And I’m even less motivated when it comes to replace it.

On the other hand, yesterday and today, I made a nice layout for a new blog (which should open tomorrow), with a beautiful logo, a simple but pretty image, the likes of which I hadn’t been able to make in a long time.

I have to try and get some motivation back. I have to tell myself that, even though I write crap, even though 99% of my readers don’t deserve me (which leaves six people, maybe you’re one of those), even though it’s useless, it’s still not useless. Uh, when I put it that way, I’m not sure I can convince myself.

De la subversivité des députés UMP (et de l’ineptie des ministres déléguées UMP).

12 March

Ils étaient bien organisés, pour le premier prime en direct de Nouvelle star : dans chaque groupe de trois, deux têtes connues et une qu’on n’avait pratiquement pas vue dans les épisodes précédents. Et devinez qui se retrouve éliminé ?

Les candidats n’ont pas été choisis par le public, mais par les monteurs des premières semaines. Je serais un des perdants d’aujourd’hui, je porterais plainte contre la production pour manque d’équité. Mais que fait donc le CSA ?

www.garoo.net — version 1864.0

In progress.

Here’s the design of the day. Should I comment it? Is it worth it?

Oh, yeah, I’m switching to blue: it’s not deliberate, it’s been forced upon me by the picture, but as it happens it’s the exact same hue I used yesterday when I designed the blog that’s not mine (which I won’t officially launch here, just because, that’ll teach you). Looks like it’s my light blue period. Fortunately, Gayattitude’s users are asking for it to remain grey, because I don’t know what could happen otherwise.

As for the image, well… the post where I introduced the Megabloks characters is still on the home page. I made a dozen pictures on a white background (hand-made from a cardboard box and three 6€ desktop lamps, because I didn’t want to empty my flashes’ batteries every time I make macro pictures), and that one was the most suitable for a blog header.

I would show you the other pictures, just for fun, but you never know: I might need them to redesign the site tomorrow, so I must preserve the surprise effect.

Laser reflections. Arg, stuck at level 10. Thanks K.

Note à moi-même : ne plus acheter de Smint, au moins dans les deux prochains mois. Je ne veux pas savoir s’il y a un rapport entre Paul Belmondo et les bonbons à la menthe, je ne veux pas savoir si c’est un concours de débilité avec Ferrero. Tout ce que je veux, c’est ne surtout pas entrer dans leurs statistiques de ventes après diffusion de la pub.

Bruce Almighty on DVD

The comedy part is a real success and, fortunately, it represents most of the movie. But the script pays the price of being written in the US: instead of treating the subject as a science-fiction comedy, like a French writer probably would, it becomes a fable that wants to deliver a message. The message being that God is so hard a job, you should stop complaining and trust him more. And that, when something bad happens, it’s for a good reason. It’s a bit hard to swallow when you’re not American.

[God,] I want you to decide what’s right for me!” That’s a bit hard to swallow, too.

P.S. Watching the deleted footage on the DVD, I realized that some scene or dialogue bits in the movie make no sense because they relate to what’s been edited out. Hurray for the DVD that gives producers a new possibility to impose cutting out some scenes even if they make the rest incoherent, just by saying “it doesn’t matter, those who care will by the DVD”.
But then, when exactly did it become standard practice to shoot a three-hour movie and cut half of it out afterwards? Aren’t they supposed to pay attention to time when the finish the script?

13 March

Fun Radio s’y met aussi. Une interface en Flash, idée intéressante (si elle est moins buggée que l’anim de démo).

Domain Name: GAROO.NET
Registrar: GANDI
Expiration Date: 17-mar-2004

Lucky I did a whois today, by chance and out of boredom. The warning emails had gone to the spam-catching address I never check.

But, still… what fans you are. When I renewed the domain with my registrar, it didn’t ask for my identity at any time, which means that anyone among you could have offered me one year, anonymously, without expecting anything in return, just a random act of kindness. Mwahaha. (This is not an invitation to do it now: it’s too late, I renewed it for March 2005 and it would be pointless to commit to anything longer, as you never know what will become of me, and even less this site.)

Not to mention that nobody even warned me I was going to disappear. You secretly wish me dead, don’t you?

By the way, I hope that you weren’t too many to use the Amazon links on my blog. Looks like they weren’t interested in affiliating me, and they never bothered to let me know.

When I registered (well, I guess I should say “when I asked to register”, then), I found it funny that they invited their future partners not waste a second and start inserting sponsoring links right away, not wasting a second to start sending them customers. I thought it had to be marginally beneficial for them if those they rejected had already begun bringing them their business. Well, you don’t say. What I didn’t expect was that, not only they’d take advantage of it, but they would make sure not to warn the webmasters so it could last as long as possible. Thanks, Amazon, that’s so professional and nice, really.

As a retaliation, out goes the wishlist. (I’m sure they’ll cry over that one.)

And now I have to go over a couple of months of blogging to remove the links.

Ouf, mes oreilles sont sauvées un quart d’heure avant la fin. J’ai bien cru que MC Solaar n’allait jamais dire à cette pauvre Pascale Clark que “Mach 6” ne se prononce pas “mâchecisse”.

La lampe “dal”. It has some interesting functionalities.

14 March

Buffy — 7.20–7.22

This is the end.

A good episode, an average episode, and a… final episode. More insightful comments when I know what I think.

Eureka!

03:18: I bought a TV capture card@, and in fact the captures@ aren’t much better than with the previous one :(
03:20: Computing sucks
03:20: And the end of Buffy wasn’t good
03:20: I’m gonna become president and blow up the planet
03:20: Now that’s a goal in life

Buffy — 7.22 (bis)

Well… I just played the tape again, read the transcript in English, looked up past discussions on Google Groups, so I could tidy up my thoughts a bit.

Let’s say the final episode is not that bad, that it’s actually fairly good when compared to the rest of the season (and hence the past two seasons, since season 6 was worse), but it’s very unworthy of the original Buffy, the show we loved at the time Whedon supervised the script.

I’m not motivated to go into the detail of all the absurd points, all that’s missing, the holes in the story or the contradictions with the show’s theory. It’s not worth it. The show, the ending, doesn’t deserve it. If you want to know what I don’t like about this show, check out fr.rec.tv.series.sf.

It’s now official: Buffy’s sixth and seventh seasons don’t exist. The slayer’s resurrection is just a spin-off written by talentless writers, and it’s useless. Doesn’t count.

It’s depressing me. That’s what talented people do best: waste their talent. Look at Whedon. Look at Garoo.

Eureka! (bis)

I found the solution to all my problems.

Step 1: play the new, big European lottery every week.
Step 2: dream of all I’d do with those millions of euros, until they pick the winning numbers.
Step 3 (here is the trick): do not check out the winning numbers, but instead keep on with step 2 until I repeat step 1 at the end of the next week.

Never be disappointed or have your dreams be crushed again with the Garoo Method! Try it for yourself right now, with no upfront fees!

Works with just about anything, not just the lottery.

Ah, the satisfaction of browsing a furniture catalog when you know you’ll soon be able to afford all that and more.

Oh, according to TV, I should have a ficus in my room in order to purify the air, be less tired, not have headaches, be happy and get rich (yeah, I know, I always talk about money).

But it’s already quite crowded in here.

15 March

So as to justify, in retrospect, the impulsive purchase of a TV capture card (that failed to help against my nascent depression), I’m adding a “zapping” section to the blog. I’m downloading ImageMagick1 right now (it’s available under Windows, now we’ll see if it works — in any case, it’s a long download), I’ll code the scripts during the night and, voilà, instant naked gymnasts on the site (that was on Canal+ this afternoon, and I thought it would not be nice to make captures… I hadn’t had the idea yet, apologies to my frustrated readers).

Actually, I’m announcing that though you won’t see much of it: most of the captures are unlikely to be relevant for foreign readers.

1: The capture program that comes with the card (and that is the only one I can get to work, partially because my video card fails to display video overlay) outputs BMP files. Since I have to process the image anyway in order to convert it (no way I can upload a BMP file for remote conversion, I’m on dialup), I might as well edit it as needed while I’m at it (cropping to remove the black borders, resizing — or not, I don’t know yet — and boosting contrast), with an automatic script so it’s simple and efficient. Otherwise I’m not going to post captures often.

P.S. It works. A .BAT file in the “Send to” menu to resize and move the picture to the desktop, an upload form that automatically generates the thumbnail, I’m ready to post lots of captures.

Oh, shoot, I forgot to improve contrast. But maybe I don’t need to after all.

Les coulisses du pouvoir (France 2)

On Whatshisname’s desk, the pile of mails sent by the radio’s listeners.

Modern.

I, Robot trailer. Certainly too big a download, you’ll tell me about it.

Petites coupures (Canal+)

Un film dans lequel Daniel Auteuil séduit Emmanuelle Devos, Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas et Pascale Bussières.

Le cinéma français a un gros problème.

Now I remember why I had removed the devoticon from my home page. I never get to update it when I change the blog’s layout.

This time it’s bad. It’s pink.

Les trois minutes de silence en France.

Heureusement que ma télé était allumée quand les sirènes m’ont réveillé, parce que s’il n’y avait pas eu le bandeau défilant “trois minutes de silence bla bla bla” (je ne sais plus ce qu’il disait exactement, j’étais juste assez réveillé pour comprendre le rapport entre les minutes de silence et le bruit) en bas de l’écran j’aurais cru que la troisième guerre mondiale avait finalement démarré.

Les sirènes ont dû sonner comme jamais, je ne me souviens pas m’être fait réveiller par les tests mensuels du mercredi midi depuis longtemps.

A Buffy MMORPG, that would be cool.

16 March

Men in Black II on DVD

The beginning is very good; the end is acceptable (and stolen from Buffy — which certainly took the idea elsewhere, probably in mangas or something); in-between it’s quite dull and… very short. 1h24 total? The first movie was 14 minutes longer! It’s a scam.

I feel like I just watched a TV show episode (a big-budget one, though) with no story, script, characters or point, and I’m going to forget it as fast as I saw it — whereas the first movie quite stuck. As a bonus, I don’t like Lara Flynn Boyle’s real voice (never heard it before) and it’s becoming much too obvious that Danny Elfman plagiarizes himself (although it’s not entirely his fault, considering he has to write a theme for a character quite reminiscent of the alien woman in Mars Attacks, so it’s no wonder he ends up using the same sound schemes).

Posted elsewhere:

I’m not sure that “the masses” will ever embrace weblogs, even if they end up being a no-brainer.

I, on the contrary, think that weblogs can ultimately be as widespread as email addresses, to the point of having more than one per person.

I find that weblogs facilitate contact with people I know: there are many people I didn’t get (nor ask) news from regularly but, now that they blog, I know all that happens to them, every day. Writing/reading a blog is much less intrusive than asking/sending news to someone. If you feel like reading, you read it. If you feel like skipping some paragraphs, you do, no questions asked. If you don’t read it every day, it’s not big deal.

I can totally imagine grandparents writing daily inanities knowing that their grandchildren would come by and read once in a while. Or a group of friends using a collective blog to keep in touch. Or a family. Or a class. Or any group of people, for any reason. Rather than maintain large recipient lists and harassing everyone you know with stupid jokes and QuickTime movies, why not just post them in a central place? Not to mention the blog would be virus- and spam-free (MovableType blogs are attacked by comment spamming, but group-restricted blogs would just be immune).

And, on the professional level, I think weblogs can be quite a good collaboration tool. Because it’s simple, it’s obvious, it’s a completely natural organization: it fits our natural tendency to use chronology in order to classify information.

With this in mind, I’d say that what blogging software developers should focus on, right now, is access rights management: if you can offer a blog platform that’s easy to set up, easy to publish on, and easy to restrict access to, you’ve definitely got something.

On-demand music compilations, again, but with Starbucks’ commercial momentum this time.

Oh, I weigh eight pounds less than last night. I went to bed being desperate to see I didn’t lose weight despite my diet, and I wake up pretty close to my healthy weight.

Three possibilities: either I should really buy an electronic, uh, weight-measurement appliance, whatever it’s called in English (although I don’t know why I should trust it more because it’s electronic — but it can hardly be worse than the current one), or I managed to convince my body to lose some fat overnight (but I don’t think I look thinner), or tides are pretty strong these days.

No matter which, it’s good news. I know I eat a little bit too much toast, but still — two years ago, I had lost weight even though I ate full boxes of Special K every other night. Now that I eat full-wheat bread, it should be the same.

17 March

Pub Smint

Il ne sait pas parler, il ne sait même pas sourire, il n’est personne, juste un nom de famille passé de mode.

Ils ont fumé quoi, les créatifs ?

Posted elsewhere, about Movable Type 3.0’s upcoming TypeKey feature:

“Centralized authentication service”, as in “Everyone will have to register on typekey.com before they can post comments on most Movable Type weblogs”? This is a really weird idea.

If TypeKey really is what it sounds like (and I checked, Six Apart did buy typekey.com), am I the only one who thinks it looks like MT is trying to pull a Microsoft on blogs? I had already read complaints about their support for Atom instead of RSS…

I’m sure there are many other solutions to fight comment spam, without centralizing stuff. Things don’t get done this way on the Internet.

Un, dos, tres (M6)

La France ne fait pas que de la sitcom AB Productions. Elle en importe, aussi.

Au moins, dans la version espagnole, les acteurs sont potables. Mais la soeur de Penelope Cruz est soit mal filmée, soit pas franchement mignonne.

Merci pour l’info (Canal+)

« Il paraît que la chirurgie esthétique fait des choses très bien, mais je n’y ai pas eu recours. »

Il n’y a même pas eu d’éclat de rire sur le plateau. Mais, peu après, un mufle de cadreur a fait un gros plan sur ses mains.

18 March

Weird.

On my A-list of personal blogs, those I reload every hour (or more) when I’m really bored: 21 blogs, 17 of which in French, 14 of which… written by gay male bloggers.

It starts being weird when you consider that most of them write very rarely about sex, or romance, or Britney or anything gay — some of them never do. I already knew that gays are more intelligent and interesting than straights, but not to the point that all straight French bloggers would be boring and undeserving of my bookmarks. (For the record, there are also many boring gay bloggers. Many are on u-blog.net. Some are elsewhere. Like this site I designed and operate. But I shouldn’t say that.)

Where it gets real weird is that 95% of the English-language blogs I read (those beneath the A-list) are written by people either gay or totally asexual (I read many technical blogs). That one, I can’t figure out at all. What’s wrong with me?

I should get myself to add titles to my posts. It’s more clear, it separates articles better on the page, and it allows the readers to know at a glance what they’ve already read. Many blogging solutions impose, or heavily recommend, putting in a title (for instance, you can’t publish a post in DotClear without a title) and, even though it goes against the most fundamental liberties, even though the best reason I can imagine for this behavior is that they want to have some text to put in the permalinks and the RSS file, titles still are kind of useful.

On the other hand, I can’t really get down to it, just as if titles were in contradiction of the way I conceive a blog. Thoughts you write down as they come, instants you immortalize and never reconsider: those aren’t works of art nor press articles, they’re not entitled.

New gadget on the blog: a live comment preview (via Binary Bonsai).

I’m out of time to finish the script because I must go to the supermarket, but it works. Ah, regexps…

Besides, it makes me want to edit my code so that simple HTML tags are accepted in comments. Well, it’ll keep me busy for an hour or two.

P.S. There you go. Simple tags are accepted (<b>, <i>…) but I failed to configure the regexps right for <a href>, so we’ll see about that later. It’s already something. And it’s nice. I find it so cute to see the little bit of text below the form being updated while I type.

And I did write <b> and <i>, not <em> nor <strong>. I’m not using those because I think they’re absurd (when you want to write in bold, you mean to write in bold, not to write “strong”), so I’m not going to let you use them here when you have no control over stylesheets and the definition of <em> and <strong>.

P.S. By popular request, I added a checkbox to deactivate the preview if it’s too slow on your computer. The option is saved in a cookie.

19 March

Nouvelle star (M6)

The French version of Pop Idol, with a 16-yo boy who’s probably a better gymnast than singer, and knows how to take advantage of what he has.

That was just to see if the picture makes you click.

Stars intimes : Steevy (M6)

Je croyais que Steevy avait une peau impeccable ?

Dogging. Now… que fait la police ?

20 March

Spent a couple of hours trying to make the capture card work on the Linux server, finally reverting to the original setup, and now nothing works anywhere, I can’t make still captures anymore.

I’ll wait and see if it’s automagically fixed tomorrow after the computer has had a good night of sleep.

If it isn’t, well… computing sucks.

Radio Vox Populi. Should be more interesting than Spamradio, but it’s less pleasant to listen to.

Yes, I too would like my blog to be about something more interesting than my TV capture card adventures. I’d like it.

TypeKey is just what I thought and, decidedly, even if I don’t question Six Apart’s honesty, I don’t like the concept. When I can define the reasons better, I’ll let you know, if nobody else does in the meantime.

It remains to be seen whether bloggers massively decide to activate TypeKey. But I have a kind of feeling that there won’t be any escape.

Actually, I’m not even sure their idea will work. The biggest problem with Movable Type blogs is that spammers post comments just so that their URLs will be seen by Google. What will prevent them from putting those URLs on their TypeKey page, and recreate their profile everytime they have been banned from too many blogs?

Unless they have a magical, undisclosed solution1, TypeKey could actually make it easier for spammers, as they will only have to register once in order to spam all the affiliated weblogs. Whereas their task could have been made harder by leaving the registration and e-mail address verification job to each individual blog.

We’ll see…

1: Remember Orkut Fight Club? Orkut or Friendster are mostly unimportant toys, but TypeKey may become essential to the blogging world. Just imagine the drama we’ll get when people start getting booted out of TypeKey.

There you go, I managed to write the regexp to manage <a href=”“> without breaking the automatic conversion of URLs into links. It was a tiny detail I had missed. I’m learning regexps one small step at a time.

Since medicines aren’t allowed to advertise in France, someone has to do it for them.

So just go to your doctor’s and get a prescription for something that really works, and that allows me to make self-portraits without makeup (I guess “Eryacné” is the French name, though, so just ask for erythromicin).

I don’t like the thought of taking antibiotics, especially for a long time, for something that’s not life-threatening, but at least it works. And maybe it is actually life-threatening.

Encense poop fascinates me.

I tried plugging my digital camera’s video-out to my capture card (which, considering how lucky I seem to be with those things today, was a bit suicidal, but I think I’ve already killed the camera’s external flash hotshoe, so why stop there?) and it’s confirmed: both of my capture cards’ composite video in-ports seem to be fried. (The tuner works alright, but I always had poor reception.) At some point I’ll have to get the cards out again and check whether something looks burnt, but from what I read these things happen all the time.

I had two capture cards, one of which brand new, and now I’ve got nothing. I’m depressed.

Who will make a photomontage like this one (via C.) from my self-portraits?

I should try messing with some of DeviantArt’s stock photography too, keeping myself busy and building a gallery there. I’ll have to think about it sometime. But DeviantArt is a pain to browse on dialup.

Dead Zone — 2.12–2.13

Plutôt malin : depuis l’apparition de Stillson, l’ombre du livre Dead Zone planait sur la série et on pouvait s’attendre à ce qu’elle aboutisse tout naturellement à ce que Johnny abatte le futur président. Et voilà que c’est évacué, par la magie d’un univers alternatif dans lequel, je présume, tout se passe justement comme dans le livre. En un épisode (pas franchement passionnant par ailleurs, passé la surprise de réaliser que, si Bruce jeune ressemble à Bruce d’aujourd’hui, c’est parce que c’est le même acteur, sans cheveux ni bouc) les scénaristes retrouvent un horizon totalement dégagé : tout peut arriver.

En ce qui concerne le deuxième épisode… on n’a échappé au “Pitié, pas le coup de la tempête !” qu’in extremis et de pas grand chose, mais il semble annoncer une évolution assez bizarre pour la suite de cette demi-saison. Bizarre, ou prometteuse. Si le Destin a décidé de s’en mêler si directement, ça peut donner une nouvelle direction intéressante.

Tout ça pour dire que Bruce était mieux avec les dreadlocks. Comme c’est clairement le scénario qui nécessitait qu’il soit tondu, plutôt qu’un choix personnel de l’acteur, ça a dû être douloureux. J’espère qu’il a eu droit à une prime pour pouvoir se payer des extensions.

21 March

Loaf: the Friendster of spam filters. Interesting.

Allez voter, au lieu de rester plantés là comme des ânes devant vos ordinateurs

Parce que, sinon, ça sera pas la peine de vous plaindre que le résultat des élections est choquant et pas représentatif et pas ce que vous vouliez. C’est vrai que les régionales et les cantonales, tout le monde s’en fiche, mais ça la foutrait quand même mal si le FN faisait des scores énormes un peu partout (surtout dans le sud de la France, là, vous m’entendez ?).

Et votez pour des candidats sérieux. Le premier tour des élections, c’est aussi important que le second, c’est pas Loft Story. Vous n’avez pas envie que votre région soit dirigée par un facteur ou une employée de banque, alors c’est pas la peine de voter pour eux.

Faut tout leur expliquer…

22 March

Why is it so hard to find a good blog CMS that doesn’t force to you give titles to your posts? Is it yet another consequence of that obsession with semantics, or are they designed for a majority of bloggers who dream of being considered like great journalists and seeing their article titles quoted everywhere on the web?

The title of your entry does not necessarily have to appear on your weblog; it is required, however, for sorting and display purposes in Movable Type itself

That’s just perfect. “We understand you may not want to write titles for your posts, but you’ll have to, because that’s the way we coded it.

Some days I think I’m quite right in always wanting to hand-code everything myself. But it gets tiresome reinventing the wheel every time. I just wanted to create a tiny little blog on the web.

Corollary question, for the Movable Type users who read me: does MT allow you to create two posts, the same day, with the same title? If it does, I could replace the title field with a fixed-value <input type=”hidden”>.

24 March

I don’t usually post those, but this one is cute. In my inbox, from my mother (no link, she doesn’t blog yet):

It’ll make up for my being too busy to post in the last two days (more about that later). And, after Hamtaro, it could become a real editorial trend here. (I’d better not say that out loud, because I could receive a surprise package with a domestic rat any day, and my bedroom is already quite stinky enough.)

So, like I said, I’ve been working for two hours. In emergency, between the two turns of our regional elections. On a local South Park clone. (I hesitated to cut the faces at the mouth and make them speak like they do with Saddam Hussein, but I decided it would be too much plagiarism.) See how well I can draw? One wonders wy I haven’t launched my webcomic yet. (If, by the time you view the animation, there’s a soundtrack, note that I didn’t hear it yet and I’m not responsible for it in any way.)

I had been wanting to try and make something like this in Flash for a long time, to see if I could manage. Well, there it is: I tried.

Now that I’m going to be rich again, what do I do with it?

I could buy two LCD screens to spare my eyes when I’m on the web. But it’s a lot of money for not much (what? my sight? it’s already screwed). I could buy, instead, three new 17” monitors, so that I’d have three homogenous screens (considering my first one is getting old, my second one is getting blurry, and I haven’t got a third one yet). Three for the price of one LCD, that’s a budget. I could also buy a giant Wacom tablet, which is the minimum to control a triple-screen desktop (not to mention that the one I have isn’t quite young either, not even USB, and I suppose a USB tablet is faster, hence better for the hypothetic hypothesis of drawing). I don’t remember how much it costs, but I guess I could afford the tablet plus the three monitors, and still have some spare change. (Except that I haven’t got enough room for that on my desk.)

Or I could save my money, be reasonable, so that I wouldn’t have to work again too soon. Because, even though this time it’s been quickly earned money, it’s still not my thing. It figures that I only slept for seven hours last night.

26 March

Another possibility for spending the money I had so much difficulty earning (have you ever noticed money is always harder to earn than to spend? what’s up with that?): I’d love to have a small Palm (or, better, a Psion, as I like to have a keyboard) with a wifi card and, optionally, a digital camera extension if there are good enough ones. This way I could blog from anywhere, move with my ICQ and my e-mail, the whole geek stuff. But there are two problems: first, I hate the idea of walking around with tiny, fragile, expensive objects; second, how useful would it be? I don’t know how widespread free wifi hotspots are in Paris, but the Orange wifi network@ is atrociously expensive.

Or I could go the simpler, cheaper way: just buy a small, cheap camera. Well, when I say cheap… it’s amazing how the definition of what’s expensive and what isn’t changes quickly depending on what’s on your bank account (excuse me for discovering the obvious, but I don’t often have money, and I don’t often have the luxury of thinking a $150 camera is cheap). A minature camera, something that would fit in my pocket, and that I wouldn’t be afraid to carry everywhere, so I could maintain a proper photolog. I’ll have to look into the picture quality these things offer.

I could also spend it all on bags and pens. I’m not one to spend fortunes on clothes, or collect shoes, and I’m even rather reasonable when it comes to tech gear (despite what I’ve written over the last couple of days) but I can’t resist bags and pens. Well, now you’re on to my great secret: I’m really a girl! And maybe someday I’ll tell you about when I was little and I… uh… no. Anyway, the part where I’m lucky about not being a girl although I am is that I won’t go broke over couture bags: these days I’m collecting DDP and H&M bags. Over the last two days, I bought three — two of which I’ll probably never use because they haven’t got enough pockets. In fact, I’ve been looking for the ideal bag for ten years (but, since fashion changes over time, even if I had found it, I’d have to go searching again). What I’m looking for now is something small, that stays close to the body, but has lots of pockets. Cell phone, checkbook, big wallet, big set of keys, subway pass, notebook and pen, a bunch of cond… uh… so there I have lots of things I want to carry and organise (and what I listed is only the bare minimum: there are lots of things I’d like to add, including a small camera or a PDA). Oh, and several Kleenex packs, too. Tough luck getting all of this to fit in something small and fashionable.

Funny how self-storage ads in subway trains always make me think of that old X-Files episode where Mulder discovers a facility full of… uh, aliens, hybrids or whatever Chris Carter would say his original, coherent vision included. But a storage facility is something so unoriginal. Or is it original? It must still be new and not quite widespread in France, or they wouldn’t need to do so much advertising.

I’m not sure, however, it’s quite efficient. People in subway trains are either so poor they can’t live inside Paris, or so rich they live in individual houses. Either way, what use do they have for a facility that’s as expensive as a room in the middle of Paris?

Good news: the composite port of my old capture card isn’t fried, I had just inverted the cables (everything must be connected to a proprietary cable that be mistakenly plugged into the S-Video port — that’s stupid).

Bad news: I finally found a Scart to S-Video kit, so I could use the new card again, but… the picture is displayed in black and white.

So, what shall it be? The Sony Clié with integrated wifi and camera, or a $60 webcam USB key?

With the USB key, the picture quality would really say “moblog”. But maybe the Clié isn’t even better. Why don’t I steal Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s, it’ll be cheaper.

P.S.: I forgot. I’d look real dumb with a wifi PDA if I end up stranded in western Normandy after July. USB key it will be. That’s so small an investment, I won’t regret it. (But it’s not like I really hesitated, earlier.)

27 March

Update: the Philips USB key is covered with LEDs and beeps several times when you take a picture. Kind of removes the advantage of holding a small white gizmo that looks more like a keyholder.

Not to say that all I want to do is photograph boys in the subway without their consent or knowledge (I don’t want to do only that), but in general I’m annoyed and embarrassed when everyone around me can see I’m taking a picture.

I guess I’ll have to find something else. Good for you: the picture quality will be better.

28 March

Wow

Si, si, regardez, en haut à droite, il y a un peu de bleu.

29 March

Paris, 1971–73. It’s weird. And it’s weird that it’s weird. We’ve all seen before some pictures of Paris at that time (with poor colors, usually, though) and we’ve all grown up watching endless reruns of old Bourvil and de Funès movies (with poor colors as well). But seeing those on the web, in the land and age of 8-megapixel photologs, is a shock. Paris has changed so much and so little.

It always brings me back to that question: how could people live in those prehistoric times?!

Oh, wait, I remember. They didn’t live, they just worked until they died.

J’ai rêvé que j’étais le Bachelor et j’ai Garou en boucle dans la tête. La journée promet.

It’s never quite good when your computer reboots without warning or reason. At least, this time, it’s not the CPU overheating. Maybe it’s worse.

ArtRage. Would be good if it didn’t work full-screen over my two monitors.

30 March

Oops! I didn’t know GSM phones without subscription attached had become affordable; I was stuck to the unimaginable prices of my youth.

The lowest Nokia model costs 100 €. With luck, I may be able to find something a cheap camera phone that lets me get the pictures back to the computer — forget about wifi, I don’t expect to find that.

Avant les régionales, j’avais hésité à lancer un appel à voter à droite. D’abord parce que, même si le PS avait bien besoin de reprendre confiance, ce ne serait pas forcément une bonne chose que ça arrive maintenant, alors qu’ils n’ont toujours personne de valable à mettre en avant. Ensuite (et surtout) parce que, si on donnait un avertissement trop clair à la droite, elle risquait de corriger le tir et réussir à faire remonter sa cote de popularité d’ici aux prochaines élections nationales.

Le premier point reste en suspens. Mais, pour le second, j’avais peut-être surestimé la droite. Plus que trois ans à tenir et on devrait repasser à gauche (on peut raisonnablement espérer, quand même, que Sarkozy, à lui tout seul, ne suffira pas à sauver Raffarin et l’UMP sur les trois prochaines années).

Est-ce qu’on va pouvoir tenir trois ans, ou est-ce que je vais déménager en Belgique avec armes, bagages et serveur web ?

Hamster du jour :

(Picture ripped from a gay chatroom. All rights reserved and stuff.)

Uh… I don’t remember going through a Monday this week.

31 March

Entrée d’artistes sur France 2

Explosé de rire devant la rediffusion nocturne : on dirait bien que le public de vieux de France 2 vote selon les mêmes critères que le public de jeunes de M6.

Faut dire, vu que tous les candidats présélectionnés par Sevran sont jeunes, beaux et minces, il faudrait que le public soit vicieux pour sélectionner exprès les plus moches.

Samsung SGH-V200: 200€ without contract, and according to reviews its picture quality is quite good (although most talk of 640x480 pixels when Samsung’s site says 352x288). Anyone here have something to say about it?

If I do end up buying a phone, I’ll have to call my provider’s hotline first in order to confirm I’m not entitled to a cheap phone upgrade. It’s unfair — yes, I have a special contract with free, unlimited talk time on nights and week-ends, but I’m hardly using my phone at all, so I won’t push them to bankruptcy.

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