Tonight we’re having some sort of New Year’s Eve soiree at the house. To be honest, there’s somewhere else I’d rather be, but that’s another story. I’m sure it’ll be a grand evening, and as the year draws to a close there’s probably no better way to celebrate the birth of a new era than by casting your eyes down the extensive list of musicians who tumbled off this mortal coil during 2000. Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2001.
Archive for December, 2000
The last Sunday of the millenium statrs like any other; a trip to the newsagents to score cigarettes and a copy of The Observer. This week’s Life section previews the future, and reveals how advances in computer technology are continuing to blur the boundaries between science and science fiction. Featured in the piece are Kevin Warwick, cybernetics professor at Reading University, who has a tiny computer inserted under the skin of one arm, and Sun Microsystems boss Bill Joy. Joy predicted earlier this year in an article for Wired magazine that “Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won’t be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.” With many parties reasonably certain that personal computers will be a million times more powerful in 2030 than they are today, only one thing is certain; Northampton Town are unlikely to get promotion to The Football League’s division one this year, especially after yesterday’s lacklustre home draw with Wycombe Wanderers. Damn.
More insight into the mind of a killer? It appears that Michael “Mucko” McDermott had an Amazon Wishlist. DVDs Mucko was keen to acquire include Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3 and, er… Lethal Weapon 4. No further comment necessary, methinks. Further investigation also reveals the registration for a Mucko website.
Yesterday wannabe Australian author Brett De La Mare landed his paraglider in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, provoking much tabloid outcry about the state of the monarch’s security etc etc blah blah blah. Brett’s website reveals the background: “I’ve written a book called ‘Canine Dawn’ and I’m out to get it published. Brother, let me tell you.. so far it’s been hell. But until it is, I’m prepared to do whatever craziness it takes.” Well, that’s pretty obvious. The freshly launched official free Brett La Mare homepage brings our story up-to-date. “I’m a novelist” he proclaims, “not a terrorist”. Well I’m sorry Brett, but what you are is an idiot.
Blogging receives a boost! ” In the past two years, thousands of people have started their own Web logs, creating a vast sprawl of sites that, to the uninitiated, might feel like a parallel Web universe.” The New York Times introduces weblogging into the mainstream. Is the end nigh?
Possibly. Blogging receives a blow! Wired reports on how some online news agencies are attempting to introduce a new revenue stream by charging for links. Yep, just for the privilage of promoting their sites. I’ve just sent Wired $50 to compensate them for the liberty I took in linking to their story about sites charging $50 to link to their stories, and I feel far less guilty.
And so the saga continues. The always excellent Riothero has borrowed my blog about borrowed blogs borrowing my blogjam blog about Random Walks borrowing my blog about borrowed blogs borrowing my blog from, well… me. Which was borrowed from Metafilter. Maybe. I’m losing track. New visitors may have to scroll down to understand any of this.
Two days ago Michael McDermott walked into the offices of his employers, Edgewater Technologies, and killed seven people before sitting down in the lobby and calmly waiting for the police to arrive. Apparently a frequent Usenet user, postings alleged to be his can be found at deja.com. Most contributions are to the alt.engr.explosives newsgroup, where topics covered include “Where Can I Buy A Landmine?” and “Info on Acetone Peroxide.” Scary stuff indeed. Other deja.com users react here.
Back to work, and the heating in our office has broken. We’re based in an old industrial warehouse with stone floors and very little in the way of insulation, no plumbers are available, and it’s nearly impossible to type. There’s even condensation on my screen. We’re all thinking of going home and refusing to budge until this is fixed. I’m actually shivering.
There’s an interesting piece at TechTV.com which pulls very few punches in it’s criticisms of the blogging phenomemon. Blogger Noah Gray comes in for special criticism, being desribed as an “agoraphobic, manic-depressive living at home who hasn’t had a face-to-face friend in more than four years.” Blimey. Noah’s response is actually quite reasonable is the face of such abuse, unlike The Register’s list of the most virulent flames it received this year.
brrrrrrr. That’s it. I’m off.
A new weblog for Christmas: Chez Lubacov is now online. You’ll have to be able to read Dutch/Flemish to enjoy it, but It’s still worth a visit, if only for the vast selection of hugely entertaining mullet-related links. Welcome aboard.
Anyhow, it’s Christmas Day, I’ve just opened a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and am getting ready to spend Christmas dinner with my good friends John and Fiona, along with their daughter (and my god-daughter) Ruby Yates. I bought her a domain name for her last birthday, but she’s been a bit lax about building her site. Mind you, she’s less than two years old, so I guess it’s understandable. This evening sees a continuation of my annual plan to spend at least some part of Christmas in the least festive surroundings I can find. My venue of choice for 2000? The extremely seedy Kilburn Snooker Club.
And a Merry Christmas, each and every one of you.
Home to the sticks. Wollaston, to be more precise. Lovely. Back in the smoke tomorrow.