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 2005

Microsoft étend son initiative antipiratage à la réactivation de XP [via] : “Les utilisateurs de Windows XP risquent d’avoir une surprise lors de la prochaine réinstallation du système d’exploitation sur leur machine. Ils ne pourront pas réactiver leur logiciel en ligne, comme c’est l’usage depuis sa sortie. Un message sur le site de Microsoft les informera qu’ils doivent contacter un service téléphonique dédié afin de prouver qu’ils possèdent une copie non piratée.

Trois tranches de vingt minutes séparées par des journaux de dix minutes, qui racontent toujours la même chose parce qu’il ne se passe pas grand chose à deux heures du matin : il faut avoir du courage pour regarder un talk-show sur LCI.

On dira ce qu’on voudra, mais la LLM-mania chez les grands de ce monde a quand même le gros avantage de limiter la recrudescence des blogs en SPIP [via].

He wrote […] that a young writer needs desperately to live with someone and he had decided that he wanted to live with her; even marry her, he offered, because sex was simply necessary but it took too much of one’s time if one had to be constantly planning how one was going to get it.

John Irving, The World According to Garp.

So true.

Colin Farrell was cute when he was younger. What happened? What changed enough for me to find the current version so repulsing? It’s not just about age, he’s thirteen years younger than Brad Pitt! (And… three months younger than me?! but he looks so old! Damn, I’ve got to shoot myself.)

2 March

Help rat on people who sing Happy Birthday! : “Unhappy Birthday is a website/project commenting on the fact that the song “Happy Birthday To You” is under an actively enforced copyright held by Time Warner. The site offers tools and information to report unauthorized public performances of that work.

If you are careful, if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day: what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.

John Irving, The World According to Garp (which is good, but damn long).

4 March

McNugget Number [via] : “A number which can be obtained by adding together orders of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (prior to consuming any), which originally came in boxes of 6, 9, and 20. All integers are McNugget numbers except 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, and 43.
Ah, les boîtes de 6, 9 et 20 McNuggets. Toute ma jeunesse.

Right now I’m in one of those periods when I’m very hardly confident in my future as a successful writer, or even a self-supporting one, especially in the short or medium term. And, at the same time, my account balance is so vertiginously flirting with zero despite the euros I get from my mother by the hundreds, that I find myself remembering how quickly money can fly by.

So maybe I’ll just be super reasonable (well, as much as I can be, at least), save as much money as I can, and just be content with an iMac mini and a 17-inch LCD. Not only do I not really need a G5, I don’t need a high-end 20-incher that much, either, for what I’ll be doing with the Mac.

Très mignon. Et absolument infect.

5 March

John Irving, The World According To Garp

Ah. Yes.

So that must be what they call a “The Great American Novel”. I guess I finally understood how other people’s talent can paralyze you — well, I already knew that, in so many other fields, but I hadn’t recently read anything good enough for me to be in that position. Right now, I can very hardly imagine myself being bold enough to write a novel.

Fortunately, I have a nice quote to cling on so I can get started, and there are lots of crappy writers I can read in order to feel better about myself.

Fortunately, I never intended to write 600-page monuments telling the story of a family over three generations, and at the same time discussing our society, and the whole human condition.

Fortunately, I never expected to become a writer, but just to have books published.

And tomorrow will be another day, and tomorrow I finally won’t be reading that book anymore.

But it’s a bit dumb to have a computer without any audio input. I imagine OS X doesn’t bother to be compatible with the microphones embedded in Logitech’s webcams?

6 March

Neil Gaiman, Death - The Time Of Your Life

No. It just won’t do. I must be missing something.

7 March

Un amour à taire (France 2)

Louez plutôt Bent.

Non, vraiment, c’est très bien que France 2 produise et diffuse un téléfilm comme ça, mais louez plutôt Bent.

Je peux comprendre qu’ils aient choisi de ne passer que cinq minutes au total dans les camps de concentration, supposant que ça ferait zapper les téléspectateurs, mais c’est un peu dommage de passer du coup à côté de tout l’intérêt de l’histoire, alors que de toute façon personne n’a dû regarder parce qu’ils s’attendaient à ce que ça se passe dans les camps (et à ce que les personnages principaux soient pédés, aussi). Au final, je me demande de qui le film racontait vraiment l’histoire.

Et puis, quand les scénaristes font dire au petit frère « tu me dégoûtes, pas parce que tu es une tante, mais parce que tu es un menteur », alors que ça se passe en 1942, je ne sais pas vous, mais moi je bloque.

Alors louez plutôt Bent. Enfin, non. Achetez-le.

(Je ne sais pas s’il a changé ou si c’est à cause des cheveux blonds, mais Jérémie Rénier est devenu un vrai sosie de Claude François, et c’est pas particulièrement une bonne chose.)

8 March

Ryû Murakami, 1969

Outre mon allergie immédiate et persistante au traducteur, et le fait qu’un livre qui se passe quinze ans plus tôt ne soit pas vraiment fait pour être lu vingt ans après sa publication, je n’ai pas du tout accroché à l’histoire, et encore moins aux personnages. En prime, comme si ça ne suffisait pas, certains passages auraient un peu tendance à entretenir mes doutes au sujet de l’auteur.

With thanks to Daring Fireball for the star’s HTML code. I knew it had to exist, but never bothered to look hard enough to find it (too bad it doesn’t work in the RSS feeds, probably because of encoding matters I’m not willing to investigate — actually, using those entities even though my HTML isn’t UTF-8 either probably makes my site even more invalid than it was, but as you should already know I just don’t care, as long as it’s working in Firefox and MSIE).

9 March

Garoo ailleurs, à propos d’Un amour à taire : “Vérification faite sur Google, la barrette bleue était pour les asociaux (ce qui était donc moins “grave” que le triangle rose, parce que les homosexuels étaient ceux qui étaient le plus mal traités, y compris par les autres déportés).
Ce que je n’ai absolument pas compris, c’est pourquoi il s’était retrouvé avec la barrette, justement, alors que l’administration sait parfaitement qu’il était homo. Et je soupçonne très fortement les scénaristes d’avoir fait de l’à-peu-près sur ce coup-là, juste pour piquer à Bent la scène où le personnage réclame son triangle rose.
D’après http:// la barrette était attribuée aux homos alsaciens, alors que dans le téléfilm c’est l’inverse.
Et d’après http:// la barrette n’a rien à voir avec l’homosexualité, ce qui correspond le mieux à ce qu’il me semblait savoir, et donc confirme ce que je supposais.

Smiley®, une icône française : “Extraite de cet article du Monde, cette révélation selon laquelle le Smiley international, avant d’être le symbole de l’acid music, provient de… France Soir. En 1971. Et vient confirmer que la “positive attitude” de Raffarin n’est qu’un éternel recommencement.

www.garoo.net — version 1871.5

Small adjustments: the mediocrity of individual pages was beginning to bug me, so they now have the same layout as the home page (and thumbnails got a bit bigger, while I was at it).

P.S. And the snaplog now accepts comments.

In The Cut

Even the ending, once you reach the point when something finally begins to happen, doesn’t quite justify having to go through the ninety preceding minutes; what makes the movie watchable isn’t the story, nor the porn scenes (Jane Campion must undoubtedly be a fan of Catherine Breillat, whose taste she also shares for terminally machist men) but the gorgeous images — they always are with Campion, they’re standing out all the more in a urban setting. Besides a thorough work on colors, so perfect it could be digital (but it might as well not be: I don’t know anything about film processing), there’s an amazing toying with depth of field, some shots looking like could not have been done without a tilt lens. That’s not something you’re used to see in a movie (and, incidentally, it’s a bit too eye-catching sometimes), and I’ll have to find information and confirmation of that.

And as the end credits roll I realize that my first musical emotion with a song (as opposed to Jean-Michel Jarre and similar stuff — what times I grew in) was Qué sera sera sung by Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much. No idea why it stuck with me.

P.S. Once I looked up the English name for a tilt lens, I could find a confirmation on Google.

10 March

The Apple Dashboard Widget Contest : “WikityWidget is a personal notepad with automatic linking. Using a simple notebook-style interface, WikityWidget lets you easily jot down and organize notes with hypertext links so they’re easy to find and instantly available via the Mac OS X Tiger Dashboard.

Yay!

Is that why VoodooPad has gone free?

VNUnetblog (gee, what a great name, congratulations, that’ll get you nice blog URLs with that, easy to remember) is an opportunity to try Typepad for free, without a time limit, as long as you can live with VNUnet’s design and ads.

Nevermind the couple of bugs, or the lacking default setup (was it too much of a bother to set the right date format and timezone?); in the end I’m rather disappointed by the interface. I shouldn’t have been surprised: I have long thought that a platform’s interface and layout influenced the quality of its users’ posts, but I assumed that Typepad, being so expensive, would be an exception. The price should have been enough to deter everyone but geeks serious about their blogging, and there was no need for such an austere, complex and counter-intuitive interface. Why is it such mess? Why don’t they create a default blog so you can start writing as soon as you registered? Why are options and functionalities scattered and hidden all over the place? The MovableType legacy is much more of a burden than I thought.

I’ll keep on recommending Blogger (with the Blogspot hosting option, because experience showed you’d better not give them you FTP password if it matters to you).

P.S. The Garoo Blog advises that the personal dislike by its editor, Garoo, against the SixApart France subsidiary and its president, Loïc Le Meur, could but does not influence the reporting of this company at the Garoo Blog.

11 March

12 March

Glen Cook, The White Rose

This time it’s decided, the writing is poor rather than good. As revealed by some chapters supposedly written by another character than the usual narrator, and yet their styles are just identical. And, whereas in the previous volume the author had trouble dealing with his decision to tell the whole story from the annalist’s point of view, this time he just gives up trying and the novel’s structure, the way it switches from one point of view to another, and one time to another, is completely artificial.

However, fortunately, the story still works. Even though this part is more predictable than the previous two, the resolution does’t disappoint — and that’s already a lot for a trilogy, so who’s gonna complain and be picky about style?

Yet now that the White Rose story is all over I’m not much motivated to check out the rest. Did he write something particularly good, preferredly in a slightly different style, that I should really try?

13 March

Ma curiosité a fini par me pousser sur Google, et voilà le résultat : « L’actrice Judith Godrèche […] attend son second enfant, une fille, dont le papa est Maurice Barthélémy, un comique des Robins des bois. »

Moi qui avais trouvé RRRrrrr!!! pas si mal, j’ai des remords maintenant. Heureusement que je ne l’avais pas trouvé pas-si-mal au point de faire un post dessus.

14 March

Tiger Preview [via]: “iChat AV is also a versatile instant text messaging application, supporting AOL Instant Messenger and Jabber Instant Messenger clients.

I was beginning to be desperate for followup on the rumors about iChat switching to Jabber, but it seems it might very well happen in the end (if you choose to interpret “supporting Jabber clients” the way I want to, which is the only way that does make sense).

I can’t say I’ve got very high hopes for the iChat implementation of the most advanced Jabber functionalities, but as long as it does connect to Jabber servers you should be able to take advantage of it all, starting with gateways, after you’ve configured your account with a specialized client. It was enough for me with the first version of Gush; it should be enough with iChat.

Apple battling scrolling TrackPad woes : “A variety of other complaints include irritably slow mouse tracking, customers receiving shocks from the PowerBooks due to static electricity and TrackPads failing to respond at all for short periods of time. […]

According to sources, the fury of reports has caused concern for Apple, which earlier this week reportedly published an alert bulletin to its retail stores detailing the problem, but asking employees not to acknowledge the issues to customers.”

As I was making a selection to fill up my Flickr account (so I could try it out, and so I could comment on other people’s pictures), I realize that, no, my best pictures aren’t portraits, but those of Paris and other landscapes and still natures.

Which means it’s due time for me to take my mother’s car and drive around — starting with the Mont Saint-Michel, for instance.

But I’m so not in the mood for scouting.

15 March

To Their Detriment, Blogosphere Runs With Old, and No News : “When mainstream media pundits talk about the shoot first, ask questions later mentality of the blogosphere, this is exactly what they’re talking about. Instead of doing five minutes of research, people are rushing to get out the “news,” and they’re doing so in an irresponsible manner. These three stories are insignficant in most respects […] The damage, however, is done, as we can’t expect every person who has read something inaccurate to read a follow-up correcting the original offense.

AppleInsider : “According to sources who have so far filed accurate reports on Apple’s future hardware plans, the company is feverishly working on a two-button wireless optical mouse that it intends to release.

[…] Insiders warned that anticipation may continue to build for months as the company perfects the product.”

16 March

But then if I’m set on having a 17-inch monitor, a basic iMac (with 1 GB of RAM) isn’t that much more expensive than a Mac mini (with 1 GB of RAM) plus an Apple keyboard and an LCD screen — and possibly an USB or Firewire audio box, and maybe other stuff I haven’t thought of. And it would be a whole different world of performance.

I’d like to invest as little as I can in Apple hardware (I don’t trust them when it comes to quality control and customer service, particularly regarding an LCD screen that I could have exchanged as often as I want if I bought it through the family store instead), but their lineup is so damn consistent that you always want to move up a step.

In the end, the Mac mini may not be a reasonable purchase in any other configuration than the most basic — which is obviously quite insufficient, memory-wise, for a desktop workstation.

Anyway. A question, while I’m there, to those who know: why does the French Apple Store offer OS X either in French or English? Is it just a matter of default settings you can change as you like in System Preferences, and maybe the language of printed manuals, or does the choice have more serious, definitive, consequences?

17 March

18 March

Buy DRM-free songs from the iTunes Music Store (post seems to have disappeared) : “Seems that our good friend discovered that when you buy something from the [iTunes Music Store], the DRM is only added to the tracks after you’ve purchased and downloaded them, which sort of makes sense since they do need to be tagged to your account.
How on Earth does it “make sense” for iTMS to send the files DRM-free and have the client side process them? If that’s true it’s just immensely stupid. Or at least lazy. Or some Apple engineers just meant to screw the RIAA.

Why do domain names always expire just when you’re broke?

I would have left the lights out for a while, just for the fun of blogging in the dark, but it bothered me to leave my email address unplugged as well — not that I expect any messages, though.

What other French actor would go to a TV set in a Star Trek pajama top with a Daffy Duck decal?

Or how about an old iBook/PowerBook? I definitely enjoy typing on a laptop keyboard, so I’ll necessarily be disappointed with a normal Apple keyboard (unless I buy a Logitech diNovo set, but it’s expensive, it’s black, it’s wireless, and it’s not Apple anyway). Does anyone here have an old G4 laptop for sale? I don’t want to buy from a stranger, can’t trust them, and the company I bought my G3/300 with a three-month warranty from only deals with prehistoric stuff — they don’t even have any clamshells in stock anymore, only a bunch of black G3/266s à la Carrie Bradshaw.

Which reminds me — the other night I was thinking that Bradshaw would be a more appropriate name for my new Mac than Dalloway, considering I’m finally not buying a top-of-the-line $2000 iMac; yet if I were to name a machine Bradshaw it would make so much more sense for it to be a laptop. So who’s got a *Book G4 to sell me for less than $1000 with a 30-day money-back guarantee?

19 March

Pff. Il fait grand soleil, vingt-deux degrés, et je suis obèse.

20 March

Did Black Death boost HIV immunity in Europe? [via] : “Devastating epidemics that swept Europe during the Middle Ages seem to have had an unexpected benefit - leaving 10% of today’s Europeans resistant to HIV infection.

21 March

22 March

The Chorus / Les choristes

A remake of Dead Poet Society, minus the story and the literature, plus my father as Robin Williams?

If the reason I’m not appreciating the movie is that I’m not too receptive to prepubescent choirs (by the way, isn’t Jean-Baptiste Maunier a bit old and tall to be prepubescent?), then it’s not a very good movie. A music video? I like Laurent Boutonnat’s videos better (accidental collision, I’m just feeding iTunes the Giorgino soundtrack, in the process of cramming all my CDs into a cardboard box so I can free some room).

23 March

VAIO Wireless Keyboard Kit: a laptop-style keyboard with a trackpad, now that’s exactly what I’d need to go with a Mac mini. If it were not wireless, not black, not not-Apple.

May I know who gave my address to the spam mafia now? I’m going to have to change e-mail addresses again, and this time I’ll only give it to those who can know how to take care of it.

Sur les dix mille manuscrits envoyés spontanément aux éditeurs par des inconnus chaque année (à diviser, peut-être, par le nombre moyen d’exemplaires envoyés par un auteur désespéré à tous les éditeurs du pays ?), un seul est publié, paraît-il. Va falloir assurer.

— coucou

— Coucou

— ya robert hossen à côté de moi

— Frimeur :)

— j’espère qu’il ne va pas se pencher pour voir comment j’écorne son nom

Argh! The German bastards strike again.

24 March

Stealing gallery space : “This is the best thing I’ve seen on the web in the last few weeks. An artist from the UK named Banksy went into four of NYC’s most prominent museums — the Met, the Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, and the MoMA — and installed four of his own pieces of art.
Et les pièces en question ne sont pas mal non plus.

Aggregator Market Share [via] : wow, 55% market share — soon we won’t say “RSS” but “Bloglines.”

25 March

Early Apple sound designer Jim Reekes corrects Sosumi myth:

So, upon hearing I had to change the name of my new beep, I immediately thougth of the perfect name, “Let it Beep”. Of course, I was joking but it was brilliant right? As everyone was laughing, someone even took me seriously and said I could never get away with that! I said, “so sue me” and that’s when I realized my scheme. I told Sheila the new name would be spelled “s-o-s-u-m-i”.

Je rêve, ou depuis la toute dernière Software Update je ne peux plus saisir d’heures au-delà de 19 dans iCal ? Impossible d’entrer au clavier une heure commençant par un 2, et utiliser la souris pour régler les heures de mes horaires télé est inenvisageable.

P.S. Ah, non. C’est uniquement pour la soirée du dimanche 27. Soit c’est un bug bizarre en rapport avec le passage à l’heure d’été, soit c’est un bug encore plus bizarre.

26 March

Rendezvous SDK for Windows [via]: doesn’t that mean that someone could finally get down to coding a Rendezvous plugin for Miranda? If the Trillian coders managed to do it, then it mustn’t be too hard.

Windowsian friends, imagine: you launch Miranda (or a hypothetic dedicated IM client) and you can directly chat, no setup required at all, with anyone on your local network (family, enterprise of public wifi — even your whole neighborhood with French cable TV+internet). The ultimate weapon for cruising in Starbucks, courtesy of Apple.

By the way, weren’t they supposed to be renaming it to “Bonjour”?

27 March

Ah, merde. Et une heure d’été dans la gueule, une.

28 March

Clara Sheller, une série gay-friendly sur F2 : « Voici venu le Will&Grace à la française. […] meilleur ami gay Jean-Philippe (Frédéric Diefenthal). »

Voilà, oui. Quand les français font un Will & Grace, c’est avec Frédéric Diefenthal.

31 March

Next time I have to perform Ctrl-C – Alt-Tab – Tab – Ctrl-V – Alt-Tab ten thousand times in order to feed ezPublish a database it isn’t willing to import in a more civilized way (because that crap isn’t as bad as SPIP but is still far from perfection: importing isn’t only terribly documented, it seems to be all but impossible when your site is configured for a foreign locale), I’ll try and think right from the start of using my ShuttlePro’s configurable shortcut keys before my hand hurts so bad I can’t press Ctrl and V at the same time.

But my literary career shouldn’t be in danger: after a little rest and leaving the most hazardous key combos alone, I don’t seem to have a real problem typing.

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