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

1 January 2005

Well, that’s done, now do I make myself throw up?

Biojewelry allows two persons to undergo a biopsy, in which each of them has a sample of their bone cells removed. The tissue is harvested in a lab, grown until a mass of bone has developed and used as a material for a ring.

This has to be the most romantic, creepiest gift you could ever offer. A bit like ripping a vertebra out of your boyfriend’s spine and wearing it around your finger.

I only just realized that since I canceled my Telerama subscription I have been completely out of the loop of movie theater releases.

Any URLs to recommend for my Bloglines account?

Only 88 clicks left. Courage.

2 January

Il y a beaucoup de gens que j’aimerais voir virés de Pink TV. Mais si on pouvait commencer par le responsable des achats de films pornos, ça serait vraiment bien. Parce que neuf euros par mois, ça fait franchement cher pour ne regarder que Queer as Folk.

Je sais que c’est loin d’être nouveau, mais je me réveille : personne n’a scanné les photos des chroniqueurs de Pink TV nus dans Préférences ?

Au prix qu’ils me coûtent, j’y ai droit, quand même !

Neuromancer, by William Gibson: uh… I don’t know. Not really pleasant to read (with this little habit of explaining things only ten pages after they’re been introduced, if at all), not really riveting (although the second half is a faster read and you do want to know how it ends), and of course the whole SF thing hasn’t so much gotten old as been reused in every possible way by every possible storyteller for twenty years. True, though, that it must have been “a mindbender of a read” at the time it came out. Now, it just remains an interesting, worthy read.

3 January

Je ne rêve pas, Canal Jimmy va diffuser la saison 4 de Six Feet Under dans deux mois, alors que la saison 3 n’est jamais passée sur Canal+ ? Argh !

J’ai déjà mon idée sur la question, mais est-ce que vous auriez des suggestions sur quoi mettre entre les deux couches de pâte feuilletée pour faire une galette des rois à la fraise ? Oui, oui, à la fraise, je n’aime pas la frangipane.

(Et dire que je suis censé être au régime.)

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, page 85: pff, that thing is just as original and surprising as a Hallmark TV movie@.

Not to mention that after American Gods and Neuromancer I’m more than a little fed up with having to follow the footsteps of yet another dumbass who passively lets himself be manipulated by fate, winds, parallel dimensions and every other thing.

No, seriously, what is it about Neil Gaiman?

J’avais émis l’hypothèse d’une noyade massive des pédophiles présents sur les plages d’Asie du Sud-Est. On dirait bien que non.
Encore mieux que les touristes occidentaux qui profitent des promotions tsunami pour partir en vacances pour pas cher, les pédophiles occidentaux qui en profitent pour se payer des petits suédois pour le prix de petits asiatiques.
C’est beau, la nature humaine.

Jigsaw plan reveals personality [via]: “Players were seen refusing to allow a fellow player to touch their part of the jigsaw and squabbling over access to pieces.

Would buying a boxed puzzle be the ultimate way to test your compatibility with a prospective alter ego?

I hope I remember this idea by the time I get the occasion to test it. I’d really love to try: it must indeed be very revealing.

Why don’t you do it, and tell us how it went.

4 January

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman: I didn’t enjoy American Gods, so you recommended this one. Congratulations: it’s the same book again! Sure, it’s a little bit less boring of a read, but after I didn’t like the American Gods story there was no way I’d be thrilled about Neverwhere. Especially when the storytelling is so “highly visual” that I kept having flashes of cheap, imaginary TV movies in my head. If that’s as good as it gets, I’d rather my imagination was left alone.

So, now, would someone want to recommend a novel for me, not by Gaiman, and not about a dumbass being manipulated all the way into an adventure that will slowly unfold, in monstruous geographical detail, sluggishly following the aforementioned dumbass’s pace of comprehension of the world?

Some of the heads (and bodies) of Pink TV, the gay French TV. Thanks to cossaw.

5 January

28 Days Later: it’s odd, I seem to remember it wasn’t particularly well received when it was released, although this movie just hasn’t got a single flaw — except, I suppose, being from the Trainspotting director, and not trying to be cult, or a shocker, or plain different, but just, simply, good and efficient (would that be sacrilegeous?).

I’d be really curious to know how each scene was shot, and with what: you go from ensemble shots with a very DVesque blur on details, to gorgeous images where you can see each raindrop fall. I can hardly believe it’s the same camera all the way, and only the lighting changes.

Tiens, c’est con, j’avais jamais pensé que la mosaïque Canalsatellite était la meilleure façon possible de regarder les talk-shows.

Le pendule de Foucault, d’Umberto Eco, page 182, parce que je n’ai rien d’autre en stock, là, tout de suite : Est-ce que c’est plus facile à lire en faisant la transition après du Gaiman, qui est déjà lourd, qu’après du Douglas Adams ? Est-ce que, le reprenant à défaut d’autre chose après avoir déjà décidé une fois de l’abandonner, je suis plus décomplexé pour sauter des passages entiers ? Ou est-ce que l’auteur a juste fait exprès de rendre les cinquante premières pages imbouffables pour n’être lu que par des gens qui le méritent ?

Recette de galette des rois au gloubiboulga

Ne vous fiez pas à la photo : la pâte feuilletée n’était pas la même que d’habitude, elle n’est pas tellement montée et n’était pas très bonne. Ceci dit, même avec une pâte de meilleure qualité, la garniture n’est pas d’une couleur particulièrement appétissante — et l’odeur ne l’est pas tellement plus, à vrai dire. Mais c’est bien meilleur que la frangipane. Et original.

Les instructions, donc. Broyer 200g environ de corn flakes (c’est pour la texture frangipanesque). Ajouter du lait pour que tout soit imbibé, un oeuf ou deux (ou pas), deux ou trois blancs en neige (ou plus), peut-être du beurre fondu (on n’en avait plus), un peu de sucre et un pot ou deux de confiture de fraises (je n’ai mis que 250g, et le résultat ne sentait pas énormément la fraise). Etaler sur un disque de pâte feuilletée, couvrir d’un deuxième disque, souder les deux avec de l’eau, faire des trous dans le couvercle (je ne sais pas si c’est indispensable, mais entre le lait et la confiture je me suis dit qu’il y aurait pas mal de vapeur à évacuer) et cuire 15-20 minutes dans un four préchauffé à 180°.

Voilà, quelques minutes de préparation (à condition d’avoir un mixer pour les corn flakes, parce que sinon ça doit être galère) pour une galette des rois moins ordinaire. Et n’oubliez pas de mettre la fève avant de refermer.

6 January

Fancy that Il pendolo di Foucault quotes, when mentioning Jesus’s descendance, the very book that Dan Brown is accused of having plagiarized all his research (and even his characters) from. He really won’t haved had to work too much to find his documentation.

P.S. Oh, as I was checking if Google could have answered some readers’ interrogation as to what I was writing about, I find out that Brown is also accused of plagiarizing another book, this time a novel. Figures.

Il pendolo di Foucault, by Umberto Eco (phew, finally done — except that Amazon is a bit slow this week and I still haven’t received any new material for tonight): this is not a historical novel, but just a big, fat history textbook with a few bits of novelism inside as an excuse. And that is a classic? Snobism has no limits.

7 January

Since I have an old iBook by my bed, and I know the differences aren’t only cosmetic, I can’t stand having an Aqua imitation on my PC anymore.

8 January

The iHome?

Yum yum — and it’s all the more credible as it’s called iHome, contrary to the usual rumor, but in accordance with John Gruber’s observation that Apple would be unlikely to release a low-end iMac G4 when iMacs are now at the G5 level.

But I’d be surprised if a “iHome Media Centre” were sold under $500 — and this, too, is consistent with Gruber’s interpretation that Apple’s peeve isn’t that Think Secret announces products before they’re released, but that it predicts prices well below reality.

And it’s all the better for me anyway, as it spares me the hesitation between a mini-Mac and a top-of-the-line iMac.

P.S. Seeing the pictures in full size, the thing looks more like a cardboard box than anything. Damn.

Oh. My wall poster from when I was young.

9 January

10 January

11 January

I want one of these!

P.S. And it took seventeen hours for someone to tell me the second image was broken?!

MWSF ’05 (live on IRC)

The iPod shuffle is amazingly ugly. Whatever could they be thinking? As they were detailing the characteristics, I was thinking for the first time ever I’d want an iPod — never really saw the point of a full-fledged one, maybe because I’m not a commuter — and then I saw the pics and just forgot about it. Sure, it makes for an Apple-branded USB key, but I don’t really think it’s worth it.

Not much new on the Tiger side: the only thing I was interested in, Dashboard’s “widget dock”, isn’t documented on the website (and it intrigues me, because I wonder how they could cram a widget bar below the system dock); more importantly, I’m a bit disappointed by the latest variation about Aqua. It looks… uh, just bad.

I’m interested in Pages, obviously, “professionally”, but I’ll have to wait and see before I make my opinion: the site’s screenshots only show the page layout aspect, when all I want to do is typing. And an “iWork” suite doesn’t make much sense if it’s only Pages plus Keynote, so maybe it’d be best to wait until they beef it up a bit.

And, finally, there’s… mrrr… bllll. 650€ if you put in 512MB of RAM and take an Apple keyboard. 1000€ with a good flatscreen. But it’s only a G4. Rhaaa. As I said earlier, I did hop the iMac mini wouldn’t exist, because it’d spare me the additional hesitation when it comes to choosing what to buy. Well, looks like I won’t be spared after all. A G4 would be perfectly sufficient for most of what I need it for. But what about the occasional, even rare, need for more firepower?

As everybody said in rumor discussions, it’s an adder’s machine, not a switcher’s. And I never intended to throw my PC away. So?

P.S. Hmm, ok, well, maybe I still would like an iPod shuffle. But still, besides the overall looks, I can’t understand they didn’t find anything better to do than strap the lanyard to the USB cap. Particularly considering you’ll have to take it off everytime you want to recharge the player: how long will it be able to hold.

P.S. After seeing the video, it appears the “widget dock” was just a misinterpretation of the IRC transcript. It’s only the place where docklets are shown when you press the “+” button, but widgets still only appear when you press F12. (Which is actually a weird limitation — are they afraid Konfabulator would sue them if they were really too similar?)

P.S. Okay, I got to watch the keynote and it’s clear: I want an iPod shuffle, and I want to have a Mac! A real one, a complete one, a recent one, so I can make pretty DVDs and records and sort out my photos and damnit all of it is so great (know someone who still doubts the superiority of Apple? show them the keynote).

I just don’t understand why Apple wouldn’t integrate the earplugs in the included lanyard. It’s so obvious in the new TV ad: the iPod shuffle is all wire, feets and feets of wire. I know third-party accessories will tackle this, but it won’t really be good unless Apple thought of putting audio out within the USB connector.

12 January

This episode would have been absolutely excellent if only fur unq ernyyl qvrq ng gur raq@. Not for the show’s or the character’s sake, but just the episode in itself.

MacWorld 2005: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
“Part of the genius of this machine is that I don’t want one. I’m a professional designer and lifelong Mac user and I’m perfectly fine with my 12” PowerBook and 20” iMac. And if I did a lot of video work, I’d be fine with a PowerMac. In other words, this extremely low-margin Mac Mini should not eat up any profits from higher-end Mac sales that were already going to happen.”
“Apple is learning about phone interfaces, cellular standards like GSM and CDMA, and what it takes to make the ultimate personal communicator. It won’t be long now until companies like Samsung and Sony will be offering phones with high capacity music players built-in, and Apple knows that this will dry up the standalone iPod market pretty quickly.”
“I love Steve Jobs because he loves computers. I hate Steve Jobs because he hates TV. […] You say you are the “digital lifestyle company” and yet you won’t address one of my primary digital lifestyle needs?”

Oh, crap. Winter sales are beginning and my bank account is well in the black. Good thing I have no motivation to set foot outside these days.

Tonino Benacquista, Saga

Mff-fff. Ne jamais rédiger mentalement ses critiques de livres avant d’être arrivé à la dernière page. J’ai adoré, même envié, les trois cents premières pages, et détesté les cent-cinquante suivantes, que j’ai passées à espérer que le narrateur se réveillerait d’un mauvais rêve. Mais comment serait-il possible que le même auteur ait écrit l’ensemble ?

Binary Bonsai:
“And Apple is really doing everything they can to get switchers over. Have a look at their accessories section, notice anything?”

« Vous avez un blog ? Vous possédez SingStar, Dance-Dance Revolution, StepMania ? Vous voulez devenir une Sinkstar et sombrer avec le reste de la blogiboule ? Filmez-vous et envoyez vos œuvres ICI. Ne vous inquétez pas, ça ne sortira pas d’internet. »

Latest iTunes update deletes de-DRMized AAC files. Microsoftian.

P.S. I had only read the headline, as I don’t have any AAC files: it seems iTunes flags those songs as non playable, and hence deletes them from the iPod (which kind of makes sense), not from the computer. It’s still stupid, as in “DRM”, but doesn’t quite warrant the “microsoftian” epithet.

I wonder whether the RIAA regularly phones Jobs to complain “OMG OMG it’s terrible people can unprotect the songs they bought from iTunes (duh) OMG OMG you must do something quick”, or Apple’s software engineers take it upon themselves to collaborate the best way they can (oops, Godwin).

13 January

NoFo: “But he launched right into the ‘why does someone as hot as you not have a boyfriend’ bullshit almost immediately. (I know, I know: Boo-hoo. Poor Jake has strangers telling him he’s hot. It’s supposed to be a compliment, you arrogant moron. Point duly noted. But the question puts you on the defensive—like you suddenly have to pull out a résumé and prove to a complete stranger that you’re not a total loser. There’s no right answer. And after you hear it for the 50th time, you start to think maybe there IS something wrong with you. So if you’re ever tempted to use this line on someone, just remember: It’s NOT a good way to make him feel comfortable around you. Or interested.)”

Martin Winckler [via] : “Le but n’est pas d’améliorer le système de santé mais de vous habituer à payer, à payer toujours plus cher, pour être soigné. […] Le coût de vos soins, de vos médicaments, de vos cotisations va exploser. Bientôt il ne restera plus rien du système solidaire, qui permet aux plus malades, aux plus âgés, aux plus démunis, d’avoir un égal accès aux soins.”

14 January

www.garoo.net — version 1871.4

Uh, there. Impressive, uh? No? Okay.

If Kottke can live with a design like this, I can too.

And don’t forget the guestlog, where I post links and quotes from interesting blogs elsewhere. (For lack of guestloggers.)

15 January

Encore + libre : la chroniqueuse italienne s’appelle Ilaria, et la grecque est une Aliagas (et le plateau est atrocement moche, mais on dirait qu’à ce niveau il y a une sale mode en ce moment). C’est une émission-blague ?!

Stéphane Freiss ressemble drôlement à Justin Kirk.

Déjà ? Ils doivent être bien pressés.

16 January

« La statue en bronze d’un héros local était érigée sur la place. Il avait été à la tête d’une révolte et avait combattu les Turcs qui dominaient alors l’île, avant d’être finalement capturé et condamné à mourir empalé. Les Turcs avaient dressé un piquet au bout effilé sur la place devant le port, et attaché dessus le malheureux héros, nu. Avec le poids du corps, le poteau s’était lentement enfoncé en lui à partir de l’anus, pour finalement ressortir par la bouche. L’agonie avait duré des heures. On disait que la statue avait été installée à l’emplacement exact du poteau infamant. »

Haruki Murakami, Les amants du Spoutnik. (Je vous cite ça comme ça, pour le plaisir.)

Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

Cute.

It definitely takes a Japanese author to write 260 pages of blossoming cherry trees and add a tiny touch of Ringu in the last 50. I’m a bit too cartesian to completely adhere but, still, cute.

Jennifer Garner doesn’t look much smarter on TV interviews than the iTunes playlist in her name. Sarah Michelle Gellar decided to do Scooby-Doo, Jennifer accepted 13 Going On 30, it all makes sense.

(Damnit, I can’t find anything more interesting to watch than E!, how bad is that.)

Ooh. Plus the show is funny and clever. Plus, he’s funny and clever.

Au fait, c’est censé être un bon présage pour l’année qui commence, de trouver la fève de la [première] galette des rois, non ?

Ca me fera pas de mal, un bon présage.

The iPod mini shuffle is starring Apple’s website and its commercials, while the iMac mini, which should be the revolution from Apple, only has a small corner. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to buy a Mac this year: what if the mini was just the final shout, and they were getting ready to jettison the Macintosh line by year’s end if the sales don’t become miraculous? Oh, don’t roll your eyes. It’s not like Steve Jobs isn’t capable of doing just that.

No, seriously, the lack of emphasis Apple puts on the iMac mini really bothers me.

P.S. They’re really cracking me up, the competitors proclaiming loud and proud that they can’t understand Apple reinvented the walkman again, and who’ll quietly release their own shuffle clones six months from now — only ugly and less practical than the iPod, with software that’ll be ugly and less practical than iTunes.

17 January

D’après la blonde (brune) du Grand journal de Canal+, le blog de Virginie Despentes se trouve à l’adresse 20six.com (même pas .fr), celui de Julien Dray est intitulé Skyblog et ça n’a rien à voir avec Skyrock, et le Bill Clinton Daily Diary est totalement, indubitablement authentique. Et je dois en oublier, mais je n’aurai certainement pas le courage de me taper la redif.

18 January

Fuck shit ! Je n’avais pas vu qu’il y avait une redif en VO la nuit ! C’est bien la peine de payer pour recevoir un programme télé spécial câble et satellite, qui s’arrête à minuit pour les chaînes qui ne sont pas élues par la rédaction. Et encore, Téva fait partie des privilégiées qui bénéficient d’une colonne entière.1

Pourquoi il n’y a pas d’équivalent français à TV Guide, la bible américaine hebdomadaire au format livre de poche ? Il serait temps que les éditeurs s’y mettent !

Dieu merci, j’étais en train de lever les yeux de mon livre vers la mosaïque Canalsatellite juste au moment où des sous-titres passaient sur un gros plan de Sydney.

Ca fait bizarre, tous les acteurs mâles de la série (y compris Sloane ou Jack) ont des voix complètement passe-partout, à l’opposé des stéréotypes de la VF. Et, quelque part, pour des agents secrets, ça a un côté assez logique.

1 : Quel naïf je fais. Non seulement on est en pleins “Programmes de la nuit, 00:45–08:50” d’après le décodeur Canalsat, mais même le PDF disponible sur teva.tv ne se donne pas la peine de détailler cette tranche horaire. La médiocrité des gens qui n’essayent pas de bien faire m’insupportera toujours.

Avec ce que j’économiserais en résiliant Canalsatellite, je pourrais me payer un coffret DVD de série par mois. Mais, bien sûr, la question ne se pose pas, je ne peux pas résilier avant un an.

Glen Cook, The Black Company

First time a book forces me to read slowly, one sentence, one word at a time. Mostly for good reasons (the vocabulary is elaborate, and it’s all so fast and precise that you get lost as soon as you skip a sentence), more occasionally for bad (some bits are surprisingly confudsed for such a meticulous writer). And the third chapter is quite irritating, not having been rewritten enough after the first two were added (which goes to show the word “meticulous” wasn’t that appropriate). But, apart from that, the story is very good, the characters well defined and likeable, the narrative works, and you don’t get bored for a second. Oh, and I forgot: the characters are intelligent, cynical and witty. I had missed that lately.

I only have a little trouble with the idea the group’s historian, who’s also the medic (that makes sense), and isn’t a bad soldier either (well, why not, seeing as there’s no point in electing an annalist if he’s gonna die first time he has to fight), is also a flawless sniper. But then, it’s an elite corps, isn’t it?

Can’t wait for the second volume.

Hasn’t anybody considered making a big-budget TV series out of it? Considering the success of LoTR, it’s the right time.

19 January

Apple’s director of iPod marketing worldwide, Stan Ng, has ruled out a video-capable version of the music player anytime soon” et… la principale raison serait l’imbroglio juridique qui serait lié au transfert de DVD sur l’iPod ?
Vrai que la loi américaine interdit la simple opération de copier un DVD protégé (contrairement aux CD audio), mais dans ce cas quid de l’intégration des vidéos de vacances dans iPhoto, ou de la présence du PDG de Sony à MacWorld pour vendre des caméras HDV ?

Weird watching the first Alias episodes again: Sydney in SD-6, Rambaldi still off-stage, all the characters having no idea what’s coming at them, it’s hard to believe this was only three years ago (in our dimension). Particularly funny, the sets’ evolution, à la X-Files: the show starts with functional, realistic offices, and moves pretty fast to archetypal sets with mood lighting. That’s too bad — the contrast between the action scenes and the CIA’s assorted brown wallpapers, windowblinds and suits was interesting.

Google launches rel=”nofollow”

Before you thank Google (and its competitors, who got an agreement, against all odds — unless they’re still powered by Google these days? I’m not sure), you should note that it’ll benefit them much more than you: the improvement of search accuracy should be visible rather quickly (with a minimum of all Blogger and LiveJournal blogs instantaneously implementing the change), it’ll be much longer before widespread adoption makes comment spam improductive.

You should also note that, if they hadn’t given in to semantically correct, and had created a <div robots=”nofollow”> (inside which all links would be ignored), it would have been so much simpler for everyone.

Maurice G. Dantec, Les racines du mal, page 126

Quel intérêt ?

Est-ce que je devrais être choqué, ou au moins dégoûté, ou au moins amusé, par les descriptions des crimes, pour être poussé à lire la suite ? Raté, je dois être trop blasé.

En regardant quelques commentaires sur Amazon après avoir lu toute la première partie et pas du tout accroché au style, je n’ai aucune motivation pour lire la suite.

The new Google iPhoto is rather nice (up to renaming the auto-correction button “I’m felling lucky”), but just like the previous version it crashed after five minutes. Yet I don’t really feel like I have so much more pictures on my computer than average.

Note how the above collage’s background picture is crappy because Picasa resized it to my desktop resolution without offering me any other choice. A bit too 1.0, particularly compared to the equivalent, but incredibly more developed, function that Jobs demonstred at MacWorld.

Nip/Tuck — 2.15–2.16

Wow.

And also… wow.

Well, maybe they gave Ava more than she could ever deserve, because just what was revealing about her story was enough… and it must be the first time I’m ever impressed by an Alec Baldwin, probably because now he’s cast as an obese retired surgeon and he looks the part… and, also… wow.

And, also… damnit, they haven’t even begun shooting the next episodes in the US. In comparison, I don’t give a shit about what happens next in Alias.

And then… wow?

Internet Bettors Believe Devout Christian Ned Flanders Will Be ‘Outed’ On The Simpsons : “The Simpsons series is known to push the envelope, highlighting hypocrisy and culturally based ignorance. Critically acclaimed for its fresh and cynical storylines, it is the longest running cartoon featured on prime-time television.”
Push the envelope ? Fresh storylines ? Mouahaha !

20 January

Coral [via]

Add .nyud.net:8090 to the URLs of your images (or any page, more or less static), and your visitors will download it from a worlwide network of proxies, sparing your server’s bandwidth.

It’s that simple. It’s free. It’s magical. Where’s the catch? Why isn’t everybody using it? Will it disappear as soon as everyone learns about it? Why aren’t you using it?

P.S. For a test, click the “via” link above: The Tao of Mac is served by Coral. If it’s not working for you, you’d better say so now, before I switch all my image links.

Blog collectif de jeunes socialistes : “Les jeunes socialistes de la Gironde (dont je suis le responsable) montent un projet de mission d’aide en Inde, dans l’Etat de Pondichéry. Ils décident de bloguer collectivement la construction du projet et si celui-ci va jusqu’au bout, le blog collectif deviendra celui de leur périple en Asie.”

« Il lisait un rapport visiblement complexe, car ses sourcils étaient froncés et son regard ne s’est même pas porté sur nous, durant ces longues secondes.
Un coup vieux comme le monde, en tout cas aussi ancien que les bureaucrates, et ça commence malheureusement à faire quelques millénaires…
 »

Maurice G. Dantec, Les racines du mal.

P.S. Pfff, et dix pages plus loin voilà que l’enquête est prise en main par K2000. Grr. (D’autant plus que ça se passe il y a dix ans.)

21 January

BBspot : “Firefox - A giant fox with his tail on fire attacking the earth. That’s the stuff of nightmares. Not as scary as a communist Godzilla but close.”

Andy Budd : “Alternatively some people may still link normally to high PR sites but try to minimise PR leaching by applying this attribute to low PR sites. […] I could see things getting messy fast and this anti spam method could have far wider implications.”

Quente Cafe : “As far as I am concerned the only media player with a successful DRM is the iPod…Why you ask?…Because its secure enough to keep the higher ups appeased while insecure enough for the average computer user to get around.”

22 January

Maurice G. Dantec, Les racines du mal

Il y a une première partie lourde et pénible, dont on ne réalise qu’après que, non, elle n’était pas gratuite ; il y a bien trop de technobabble pas toujours bien maîtrisé, et d’ordinateurs qui parlent (ce qui ne me gêne pas dans la partie anticipation, mais me dérange dans le temps présent, surtout quand il s’agit de 1993), mais n’est pas William Gibson qui veut (et visiblement il voudrait très fort) ; il y a des petites saillies hors-sujet de madelinisme, voire de sellièrisme, voire de bushisme avant la lettre, mais ça ne fait que quelques paragraphes à ignorer ; il y a l’auteur lui-même, mais là c’est à vous de voir s’il est impensable de lire un livre qu’il a écrit il y a dix ans ; il reste, enfin, plus de six cent pages allant de pas mal à très bonnes, un roman intelligent et peut-être même profond. A preuve, les deux Post-It marquant dans mon exemplaire des passages trop longs pour les citer ici.

Si vous ne voulez pas enrichir Dantec, ce qui peut se comprendre, vous pouvez toujours l’emprunter à des amis littéraires, ou à la bibliothèque du coin. Mais ce serait dommage de se priver d’une plongée dans le cerveau d’un psychopathe. (Et là je ne parle pas forcément de A. Schaltzmann.)

23 January

Tiens, j’ai déjà vu ce sein (en photo, seulement).

’Tain, ça devient franchement lourd de retrouver tout DialH sur les écrans, et moi qui suis dans ma chambre à Smallville, à engraisser comme une oie.

My blog isn’t less interesting in English. It isn’t even much less well written, if I do say so myself. I posted a few comments on foreign blogs to advertise a bit.

So why do I have readers for the French version, and almost none on the English side? Why am I only linked by French-language blogs?

Corollary: are the French reading, or linking, this blog because they find it interesting, or just because it used to be interesting and you never know if it might happen again, or just because others do, and I’m vaguely considered a (has-been) “star” of the French blogosphere without anyone really remembering why?

Am I gonna have to enlist on I’m a blogger, get me out of here?

After a while there was the clink of a chain and the door opened a few centimetres. A suspicious eye appeared at about the height an eye should be, while a metre below there was a certain amount of confused activity as [the pit bull terrier] tried to get both eyes and his teeth into the same narrow crack.

Terry Pratchett, Only You Can Save Mankind.

(Mff, Shift+Alt to get square brackets on the Mac, that’s abusive.)

Terry Pratchett, Only You Can Save Mankind

Since the first volume of Discworld wasn’t available on Amazon, I finally ordered this one, not realizing it was a tiny 200-page book printed in big type and destined to teach high -schoolers how to read, baiting them with aliens and video games. Yet I should have guessed from the summary.

Anyway, you recognize the Good Omens style much more here (you’d believe Neil Gaiman didn’t contribute anything to the book, past the original story). It’s funny, pleasant, there’s a moral (killing for real is no joke) and it’s light and fast read, which is quite enjoyable after I finished a Maurice Dantec book.

Meanwhile, I found out that by removing the “u” in “The Colour of Magic” I could tap the US inventories and get into Discworld pretty soon. I had forgotten that American publishers were forced to edit those britishisms for fear of widespread complaints that they’d be so sloppy as not to fix huge spelling mistakes in the book’s effing title. (And I just spent ten minutes trying to rewrite the last sentence in a less awkward way, but it’s almost seven in the morning, so I’ll just forget about it instead.)

24 January

The Dead Letter Office [via] : “If you’re reading this letter it means I’ve already taken the Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola, and I’m falling down drunk in heaven. Apologies if I owed you money, and apologies if I owed you an apology. Let the living continue thinking they’re right; the dead are lousy at holding grudges.”

Anna Gavalda, Je voudrais que quelqu’un m’attende quelque part

« Anna Gavalda est née en 1970 en région parisienne, où elle vit toujours. Je voudrais que quelqu’un m’attende quelque part, qui fut l’un des titres événements de la rentrée 1999 avec plus de 200 000 ventes, est son premier livre publié. »

C’est effrayant, ce que les gens achètent. Les articles de Biba sont plus intéressants et mieux écrits. (Tiens, je viens seulement de réaliser qu’en déménageant à Smallville on avait aussi perdu les mensuels féminins que Telemarket nous offrait régulièrement — sûrement la semaine où il y avait des Tampax dans la commande, c’est dommage que je ne pense que maintenant à étudier une éventuelle corrélation.)

Je devrais revenir à mon idée de départ de faire du Harlequin pour pédés. Ca, ça se vend. Alors que les deux premiers paragraphes que j’ai écrits dans Textedit ne se dirigent pas franchement dans la direction du roman de gare léger (et mal écrit) que les filles trentenaires de tout sexe aiment recommander à leurs collègues autour de la machine à café. (Mes excuses aux filles trentenaires de tout sexe qui seront vexées de la généralisation alors qu’elles ne lisent pas Gavalda. Mais c’est pas tout, de ne pas aimer les romans de gare, faudrait aussi avoir de l’humour.)

I just received my very first spam on the account I dedicated to Gravatar. No thanks to the blogger who displayed my e-mail address unprotected on his site.

That’s why I signed garoo@example.com every time a blog demanded an e-mail address, and I’m not sure that Gravatar will ever catch on if they insist on checking the validity of addresses.

P.S. And Opera is too dumb to exempt outgoing messages from the manual anti-spam filter I’ve just had to set up.

Oli : “Si j’ai bonne mémoire de mon cours de français de seconde, les droits d’auteurs servent à rémunérer l’auteur en empêchant qu’un autre fasse la même chose et empoche du fric à la place de l’auteur original. […] Et l’internaute qui télécharge la musique sans rémunérer l’auteur ne contrevient à l’esprit de la loi qu’en partie - partie discutable d’ailleurs: la loi est-elle faite pour rémunérer, ou bien pour rémunérer l’un plutôt que l’autre?”

25 January

Yay! I found what happens in my novel! I didn’t quite know how to fill between the first page and the last sentence, but now I’m ready. All set. As soon as I’m done with The Webdesign Contract From Hell and bought an iMac. It’s as good as published!

Joss Whedon et al., Tales of the Vampires

Already on the last years of Buffy Whedon appeared much less interested in maintaining the overall quality of what the other writers contributed. So it’s obviously not going to improve after the show ended, and particularly not for a comic book. No wonder it’s uneven. And, just as unsurprisingly, the best two stories are those Whedon wrote himself. Next stop, Fray.

padawan.info: “Six Apart just released a bug fix to Movable Type, to plug a quite serious ‘vulnerability in the mail sending packages for all Movable Type versions which allows malicious users to send email through the application to any number of arbitrary users’. […] Since this vulnerability has been present in all versions since 1.0, all MT users are strongly encouraged to either upgrade to version 3.15 or install a plugin that fixes it.”

Black skies, didn’t figure where the light on the buildings came from. And it’s gone now.

26 January

Being be-rewt : “Pédanterie mon amie, si tu cherches tes adeptes, regarde du coté de ceux qui quittent la blogosphère en ce moment ou bientôt. Il n’y a plus moyen de se la péter en société en expliquant ce qu’est le monde merveilleux des blogs, quelle tristesse ! Finalement le blog, c’était juste un moyen comme un autre de se démarquer…”

Oh, must have snowed.

CNN : “A suicidal man will face murder charges after parking his vehicle on tracks Wednesday, causing a commuter train collision that killed at least 10 people outside Los Angeles, officials said.
Et on se plaint des retards du métro pour cause “d’incident voyageur.”

27 January

Oh! VoodooPad, one of the first pieces of shareware I intended to buy in my new life as a switcher who does actually buy shareware, is now available as a free Lite version! It’s the best program you could imagine to store all your notes — the power and ergonomics of a wiki, allied to the power and ergonomics of OS X software. I need it. And I need a Mac to run it (the iBook is now on my bedside table, where it’s needed, or relatively needed, or not completely unnecessary, and that’s not the right place to manage my notes.)

Well, anyway, considering the functions they added to the full version, I might still buy it. (When I’m a rich man, and I have a rich man’s Mac. I should stop anticipating the future when everything still has the potential to go wrong.) Would I buy a Wacom tablet just so I can scribble in VoodooPad? Scribbling in your wiki is useful — and if I had a tablet on the Mac it would certainly be useful for lots of other stuff, too. Certainly.

Between the sketch functionality and HTML export — or even the remote wiki management, if it’s really usable — VoodooPad could really be the solution to my notetaking problems. I spend my time switching from a binder to another, buying notepads of all sizes, trying out wikis and databases, and I still never managed to find something that really worked for me. Whereas the VoodooPad concept convinced me after I spent two minutes with the demo.

Fraises-tagada pie. (Based on particularly popular French candy.)

P.S. Just like it did for the corn flakes pie, I can’t forget that the preparation stank before I cooked it, and it deters me from eating the final product, as good as it is. I should really not have put butter in. But even the pre-made dough stank of butter! I hate the smell of butter.

28 January

29 January

Underworld

It’s amazing anyone could make a movie so dumb from a plot so… not too dumb. Well, one that could have birthed a very good script if they had written one. But, hey, you can’t expect too much from a director who’ll give the vampire warrior’s part to Kate Beckinsale (I like her, but she’s not the character — she’s not any imaginable vampire character) and the bad guy’s to Bill Nighy, the old junkie singer in Love Actually, who obviously can’t play anything else. And people laughed at Stephen “Yummy” Dorff in Blade.

I can’t believe they’re shooting a sequel. Same team and all (can you believe the writer is a former stuntman?), they can’t seriously be hoping that anyone would pay to see it, can they?

Can you imagine there was a time when stores had to stick a price tag on every item they sold? That supermakets had to employ people to do that, manually? I wonder what freak invented that system; fortunately they came to their senses, back to our good old barcode.

It’s like those “phone booths”… inventors nowadays really don’t know what to do to get noticed.

MacSlash : “Like many of you out there, I am thinking about acquiring a Mac mini to serve as an iTunes server in my stero rack. To keep from having to have a mouse and keyboard connected I was thinking that a touch screen with an on screen keyboard would be ideal.

Mouaha. Haha. Hahahahahaha. “La vraie star, c’était Lukas, il crevait l’écran.” Haha.

Why Apple Makes a One Buttoned Mouse [via]

Apple is always concerned with creating a user experience that is as intuitive as possible. Giving the average person a right mouse button is like giving a bald man a comb.

I see a fourth reason — or rather a first one — that I intended to blog when I’d get a Mac, but I’ll offer it to you now, prompted by this link (and so that I can say it’s not my fault if you think I’m wrong, it’s just I don’t have a Mac yet): paradoxically enough, it’s because MacOS isn’t designed for power users to keep their hands locked on the keyboard (unlike Windows).

With a multi-button mouse, each time your hand switches from keyboard to mouse, you have to take it exactly in an exact way, each finger in its right place — which isn’t a problem for the keyboard, because it doesn’t move, whereas the mouse is always in a different position (and, often, orientation). With an Apple mouse, all you have to do is throw your hand in the general direction of the mouse and, as long as a couple of fingers did land on it, you can operate. Seems negligible? Nothing ever is, when it comes to ergonomics.

However, even if I can imagine getting used to ctrl-click, I can hardly see myself living without a scroll wheel. There is no keyboard shortcut for that, is there?

30 January

The only possible way not to get bitter and misanthropic as you grow old is to become a hermit. I’m close enough. I should just rip off my network cable.

31 January

How do computers know so much about us? [via]

Seeing how we all like to classify and rate movies, records, TV shows, etc., why not take advantage of it to do something with the information? It’s not that new, and I think I already read about it earlier, but it’s the first time I try: rate every movie you’ve seen and movielens gives you a list of recommendations, simply by looking through the database for people with similar tastes. So obvious, so simple, so unbiased (and I chose that one site because the interface is rather well designed, although it’s a bit slow at times).

As a bonus, you can publish a bunch of lists: here are all the movies I rated (also available in RSS format, but sorted by rating rather than date, so it’s quite useless), and here are the system’s recommendations, which tend to look good. And, if you have a social life, the site can also combine predictions for several people and recommend a title that everyone will enjoy for movie nights.

Apple debuts faster PowerBooks with new technologies

The trackpad that scrolls when you use two fingers instead of one is clever (well, gotta try it, but it looks very clever); the accelerometer that stops the hard drive isn’t their invention, but it’s a good thing they’re among the first to implement it; going to 512MB RAM is finally reasonable; a keyboard lighting up automatically according to ambient light is… uh, very cute, I’m sure.

But, as I was running my mouse over the little Javascripted image that compares all three sizes, I found something appalling (and that’s not new to today’s PowerBooks): the 17-incher has exactly the same keyboard layout that they managed to cram into the 12-incher, and you don’t have any benefit at all from the extra space (except for the relocated “Power” button and, I suppose, the speakers). Isn’t that completely absurd?

And I hesitated to buy a laptop rather than an iMac, so I could be mobile (just in case, you never know, some day) and because I prefer those keyboards’ touch. I think this settles that. I like the touch, not the layout.

Tofu 1.3 : “In Tofu, text is arranged in columns, and each column is only as high as your window. So lines are nice and narrow, they don’t move about vertically, plus your text is now in easy-to-digest chunks. You just scroll from column to column horizontally, and feel more in control. […] There’s a “View In Columns” service so you can, for example, grab some text from a web page.

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