June 2004 Archives


I finally went out and got a cameraphone. Well, it's actually way more than that but anyways.

So I have begun "moblogging" like a fiend. You may have noticed. I am sending pics to both my own MT-based MobiLog AND to my super cool neato Flickr account (which appears in the navbar here).

Now, I want ALL OF YOU to start moblogging too. If you have a cameraphone, go sign up for a free Flickr account and get into it. OR, better yet, email me and I'll send ya an invite and get you going... One of the many cool things about Flickr is we can all share and see what the other is posting and be kept up-to-date...

Be one with the information

Google is your friend. Accept it.



For the time being, sure, we step "away" from our computers... step away from the attention of our IM buddies... But when this goes mobile?

"You are in my pocket."

"My attention is not on this interface at the moment."


Friendster: more faster, less java...

I just logged in to friendster to see to my extreme surprise files ending in .php! They redid the system in PHP!

Oh and did I say it is WAY faster? Zing!

iPod replacement battery

My 2nd generation iPod, which I bought back in November 2002, had become essentially unworthy of it's carrying weight. The battery, freshly charged would run out in under two hours. On my last trip to Tokyo I ended up not even using it at all because of this. Why carry this thing around all day if it only works for an hour and half?

So I ordered the newertech 1600mAh 3.7v replacement iPod battery from OWC. At $35USD, it is a deal .. and a half.

I use my iPod mostly in my car. When I got the iPod I also went out and got a special adaptor which plugs into the back of my head unit (radio) so I have a full digital interface between the iPod and my car's sound system. The iPod fits snuggly into the cup holder, in the middle of the center console, above the radio.

For the last 9 months before the battery upgrade, I'd have to recharge the bloody thing every 2nd-3rd day. Now, I've had the new battery in for about two weeks and I've only had to recharge it ... twice. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I plugged it in, and I'm looking at it now and it still has three bars on the indicator!

Awesome. Thank you newertech/owc for giving me back my iPod! :)

So embarrassing...

Here I am, the de facto über geek of my local social network, and I am left ex-communicado ...

Just received an SMS from a buddy asking me what the plan is for tonight. Said buddy has never called or SMS'ed me before. We just sorta end up showing up at the same events.

So, why am I red-faced now? Because I do not have his cellphone number, nor do I have a cellphone that supports sending SMS messages...

Can you believe that? I can't. Blows my mind.

This is getting medieval

AlterNet: EnviroHealth: Condom Wars

Lethal new regulations from President Bush's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, quietly issued with no fanfare last week, complete the right-wing Republicans' goal of gutting HIV-prevention education in the United States. In place of effective, disease-preventing safe-sex education, little will soon remain except failed programs that denounce condom use, while teaching abstinence as the only way to prevent the spread of AIDS. And those abstinence-only programs, researchers say, actually increase the risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Few things surprise me anymore. Except for examples of such extreme stupidity as this. I should thank the current U.S. administration for consistently re-invigorating my sense of awe...

More info on Aprils show

Ok, got the info straight.

The Aprils will be performing as part of the "Club Par Avion" Summer 2004 tour at Saphir (next door to 4 Brothers grocery store) on St-laurent on Wednesday July 7th at 10pm.

For an idea of what they sound like/look like, see this clip I took when I saw them in Shibuya.

From the promoters:

Club Par Avion is a dance craze of sensational and entirely seductive Global Indie Clubpop, Indiepop, Cutepop, 60's Twist and yé-yé! from Japan, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Mexico, Germany, China and Bollywood, conductive to dancefloor exuberance and flirtacious alcoholic consumption.

Club Par Avion: http://www.clubparavion.com
The Aprils: http://www.aprils.jp/en

I am so there. :)

If you are not in Montreal, check the tour dates... Seems they are in San Francisco this friday... (Dav... hint hint... ;)


Takeshi "Beat" Kitano as Zatoichi, the legendary wandering blind swordsman.

What a riot! I liked it a lot, despite the totally absurd tap dancing routine. ;)

Papiere bitte

(german for: "Your papers please.")
Boing Boing: You are now required to show ID to police for no reason at all

Interesting how the Bloomberg article phrases it in a more sugar coated way:

Police can arrest criminal suspects for refusing to identify themselves, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a decision that puts new limits on constitutional rights.

"Criminal suspects". Unhunh.

I think I am going to scrap my plans for a Boston/NYC roadtrip and seriously consider not setting foot in that police state until things become sane again. :(

St-Jean on St-Viateur

So the rumor was true. There will be no official St-Jean Baptiste celebrations on St-Viateur this year. THAT... is a travesty. A crime even, I'd say.

Then again, it's not like the Mile Enders need an excuse to hang around and loiter on St-Viateur all day... hehehehe.

Apparently there is whisperings of unofficially "brownbagging" the afternoon of the 24th on the street anyways. Maybe a ghetto blaster (inside pun intended) would not be out of place...

This just in from... someone who shall remain anonymous:

hello everybody,
IMPORTANT LATE-BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!! Please forward to all fellow citizens, party-goers, st-jean lovers, mile-end badasses, cuties, patooties... THIS EMAIL CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT MAY JUST SAVE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

following the very sad news that St. Viateur St.'s annual St-Jean blowout has been cancelled this year, we have arranged a back-up plan...:

It's St-Jean, Shut Up and Dance!... (C'est la St-Jean, ferme ta yeule pis danse!)... Thurs., June 24, 9 p.m. at the Main Hall of the Mile End Cultural Centre (upstairs from the Green Room), 5390 St-Laurent.
Admission is FREE.

the party will go down in the tradition of the St-Jean block party that took place on Kilo-Prix corner, i.e. massive, eclectic DJ jam session, crazy dancing and neighbourly socializing.

many friendly neighbourhood dj's will be in the mix. here are some that may appear (i.e. not all confirmed, so no complaints about false advertising and/or libel suits, please).

Andy Williams, Scott C, Soundbwoy, Bliss, Crystelle, Keisuke, Sixtoo, P-Love, T'Cha, the Pony Up DJ Posse, Don Ray and Guapo (who will be holding it down downstairs at the Green Room)

merci, et joyeuse St-Jean!...
p.s. for those jonesin' for a little fresh air, there's apparently some kinda outdoor St-Jean thing from 6-9 p.m. at the corner of St. Viateur and de Gaspe.. and a few people have expressed interest in brown-bagging it and hanging out along st-viateur anyway on thursday afternoon, which sounds like a fine idea... and again, s'il vous plait... PASS IT ON!...

(St-Jean Baptiste is the official "national holiday" of Quebec... in so far as a province, not a nation, can have a national holiday... ahem... and have it named after a christian character who got his head lobbed off for the entertainment of a princess... ahem... hehehe I jest I jest... ;)

Aprils in Montorio-Ru!

Aprils online (English)

Oh yay!!! This the band I saw with Patrick in Tokyo! July 9th in Montreal! Doesn't say where though ... In fact, it is "unconfirmed".

Hm. I have emailed the organiser. I may be able to "confirm" a stop. :)

What has Seb done for you lately?

Seb Paquet (Seb's Open Research) has a special request today.

Seb's work is funded by the Government of Canada. This funding covers not only his research, but also the fact that he is able to, and does, share much of it, if not all of it, with us. As Seb explains, however, the auditors need to assess the impact/value of his work...

Well, let's show em. :)

My own letter is as follows:

Seb Paquet's shared research stimulates and enriches my life on a daily basis. It adds to my intellectual, psychological and even emotional development as a sentient individual and as such promotes my well being as well as my abilities and desire to share that with others, enriching their lives in the process.

As a fellow Canadian, I could ask little more of my government. (Aside from basic rights and freedoms, reasonable taxes, universal healthcare, etc etc etc... of course... ;)

Hope that's not too cheesy... ;)

A Momus view of the music industry

Click opera - Interview techniques of the insane

Shelve your ADD, sit back and take five minutes, as this is well worth listening to.

The question and Momus' answer.

(No it is not highbrow, it is smart and playful.)

Cory on DRM at MSFT

Cory Doctorow gave a presentation on DRM (Digital Rights Management) at Microsoft and shares the text with us.

Beautifully explained in an accessible way... and of course in Cory's inimitable style. :)

Death in the age of Social Software

Following the dreadful email mentioned in the previous post, I was contacted with the following suggestion:

... should we put something onto the bulletin board at Friendster for the non-bloggers who know her there? It seems like a grim task, but maybe you could also notify the people on her friends list. It seems like the right thing to do.

I have a few reservations about this. Any thoughts?

In Memoriam

With heavy heart, I sent the following email to some of my fellow YULBloggers (Montreal Webloggers):

Last fall we had the pleasure of being introduced to Andrea "Space Cadet / Piglet Posts" who had joined our little community of Montreal bloggers. I had met her through some friends the previous summer and had encouraged her to start a blog. She did so, but graced our monthly get-together only twice as an active blogger, having stopped due to the burdens of school and work. She had promised to come back, and even stopped by La Cabane last May at the urging of some of us who had befriended her... and missed her.

It is with great sadness that I must tell you that Andrea lost her life in a tragic automobile accident this past Friday night, while vacationing in the south of France.

A shy yet brightly radiant young person, to be remembered.

I suggest a toast and a moment of silence in her honor at our next first-wednesday.


I didn't know her all that well. Barely a year. We had a few laughs, some good times, and all too few conversations. However between the first time I met her - sitting in a booth at Blizzarts with Keith and Ari after a Bar-B-Q at Keith's - and the last time we chatted in line waiting for our café au lait at Open Da Nite, I did notice that she had a renewed spark in her eyes and spring in her step. She seemed happy and had found some direction. It made me so happy.

While the pain and disbelief, shock and anger, are still fresh, in the face of so senseless a loss of life, I entreat us all to remember this:

Our time here is not only short but in no way guaranteed. One of us is next. It may be you and it may be me. Just as Andrea was just beginning to start her new life, so must we all make sure to get up tomorrow and continue, or begin ours. Let no moment pass where we are at least content, and working towards reaching our hopes and dreams.

Otherwise, all really is without meaning.

Some others who took a moment to remember Andrea in their webogs:

Nika Vee

Also, a snapshot of Andrea's Friendster profile. (~250k JPEG)

Oh, Canada

Mark Federman over at the McLuhan Program says this about the upcoming Canadian elections.

I've been meaning to write about the imminent Canadian election, scheduled for June 28, because the message of the discourse has been bothering me tremendously of late. If the news media and polls are to be believed, Canadians are apparently a churlish lot, and are either incredibly selfish, or collectively suffering from mass Alzheimer's Disease.

Part of the democratic calculus of any election revolves around whether the incumbent party and leader "deserves" to have another term. The relative deservedness of office for any sitting Prime Minister should logically focus on the results of the prior mandate: Is the country better off, in general? Are we collectively farther up the economic scale compared to conditions of the last election? Are we healthier, caring for our disadvantaged better, setting a good example for the world, enriching our lives, creating a legacy of which to be proud? There is no government, past or future, that has ever been, or will ever be, able to claim complete and absolute success on any of these criteria. But what the electorate should be judging is the trend. This is the essence of deservedness.

Read the whole thing if you have a minute. I am unable to comment really since I am not really following this at the moment... - I know! I know! Shame on me. I'll get to it. - but Mark as always speaks da trooph. IMHO.

(Forgive the clichéd title. It was too easy.)

Spiegel does RSS

RSS-Newsfeed: Immer wissen, was es Neues gibt - Der Tag - SPIEGEL ONLINE

German news magazine Der Spiegel (think: germany's Time magazine) does RSS feeds of their online edition.

Most impressiv... ja, ja... ;)

Mi-Ne no longer


In a quiet backstreet of Kyoto, after visiting a temple there last year, I came across one of innumerable cigarette vending machines. My eye was caught by the aesthetic beauty of a single pack displayed. A bronze box, silver edges and black, brush-script kanji. Mi-Ne.

How could I resist?

These have been my favorite brand for almost a year now. I've had people bring cartons from Japan for me, burdened fellow conference goers to set me up... I jammed 3 of em in my carry-on on my last return.

I've given away many of them. Packs to friends, singles to pretty ladies. Everyone agrees they are tasty and the pack, oh the pack, is so damn sweet.

Japanese who see me smoke them laugh out loud. They ask me "why do you smoke these?! Only gamblers and prostitutes smoke this brand! They are old people cigarettes. And heavy!"

Yeah... I was disheartened to learn they pack 12mg of tar each. I'm feeling it right now... The weight in my lungs.

So that's it. That's the last one up there. Sayonara.

Break it down for me fellas

Breakdancin' Deceptacons!

Ile Sans Fil WiFi at Laïka


Mike, of Ile Sans Fil, grinning as we test out their newly activated free hotspot at the trendy Laïka Café/Bar.

Fahrenheit 9/11 trailer online

The trailer for Michael Moore's new film, the Cannes Palme D'Or winning Fahrenheit 9/11, just went live online. Check it out.

The Passion of the Keeerist

Warning: The following may be profuse in profanities, obtuse in obscenities and generally not fit for reading by good christians. I do not mean to offend, only to perhaps displace, for a second, faith. A temporary suspension of belief, as it were.

Spoiler: After being viciously beaten and crucified, Jesus dies. Only to be resurrected. Or so I'm meant to believe.

Last night I watched the film "The Passion of The Christ". Assuming one has the stomach to watch a man be first unjustly condemned, slowly and viciously beaten for over an hour and finally atrociously executed, the film could be described as lush and stunning. The aramaic and latin gave it an extra flavor. I kept expecting someone to break out in the King's english, but it didn't happen. The wailing soundtrack complemented the incessant shouting, screaming, crying and grunting throughout. It was a "good" movie, but not a "great" movie, as Woody Allen might say in a nightclub stand up routine.

That's all I have to say about the film. The subject matter, on the other hand, has kept me scratching my head all my life.

Although baptized as a Roman Catholic, my relationship with Jeeeysus ended after my godfather renounced Satan for me. No matter how hard anyone tried, they couldn't pull me back in. Ahem.

The teachings of Jesus aside - good stuff, really - the whole christian tradition, mythology, ceremony, etc, always struck me as oddly, and utterly, absurd. Over the years I've poked my head into many of the theologies man has come up with in our history, and well, they are all more or less the same. Some enlightened individual shows up and reminds everyone that we are all together in this and we should respect the oneness of being in nature. (We have a couple of cases of anthropomorphic depictions of nature, but these are just manifestations of such a respect and have generally not evolved into instruments of governance.)

If we geographically and historically map the appearance of said enlightened people and attach the essence of their messages, we get a rather fascinating perspective on the state of the world, I might add.

We may notice another thing: Jesus is the ONLY one we killed. And boy oh boy do we LOVE him for it! He died for our sins! Someone please tell me what that is supposed to mean. It is totally beyond me. The poor guy shows up, tells us to love one another and we kill him. From what I gather, essentially, it was a case of "wrong place at the wrong time". The socio-political climate he found himself in just couldn't handle him, and he got burnt. Oops, no he didn't, but for 1500 years after, anyone pretentious enough to think they really "dug Jesus", did. Ahem.

I've come to consider such appearances as a naturally recurring pattern. Statistically it makes sense that a small percentage of humans, here and there, every now and again, might "wake up", "see the light", etc... There is evidence of this littered all over our disparate human cultures. Once in a while, one of these people finds him/herself with enough charisma, courage and perhaps in an environment where they feel the need to REALLY share this awakening. Gautama, Jesus, Mohammed... We remember their names. We worship their words. We totally, for the most part, miss their point.

But that's not my point.

My point is, why, in the face of such a plethora of wonderful knowledge, do so many people not only have a crippling fascination with the symbols used to express it, but focus so steadfastly on the grisliest episode in the life of ONE of truth's proponents?

The whole crucifixion and "died for our sins" stuff smacks of "Oops! Oooo-kay... how do we explain this little blunder?" Two thousand years of severely messed up people all over the place because of a mistake and an overly cerebral desire to explain it away. Brilliant. That's not passion, it's stupidity. Stupidity, after all, is a faculty made possible only by intellect.

Jesus had a lot to teach us, no doubt. His murder, I suspect, was not part of those lessons. At least not in terms of spiritual growth. Perhaps a bit in human affairs and a reminder that we really still are just animals... or can be.

Scary thought

MJ: Well... we have come to the conclusion that tornados and the like must have tastebuds.
KB: Do go on.
MJ: And that trailer parks must taste like bacon.