November 2002 Archives

Erm.. excuse me for a second...

Mobile High Speed solutions for Mac OS
I think I may just have made a mess of meself... ;)

Gimme gimme!

I want a combination Apple iPod and SonyEricsson T68i (WITH the "CommunicCAM" camera... and why not a CHA-30 digital pen).

First let's mention the obvious reasons:

  • one device for portable music, cellphone, contacts, calendaring, file storage and little digital pictures.
  • über-techno-geek-godness ;)

    Some less obvious advantages (with minor software tweaking on the device):

  • voice operation ("dial John K."... why not "Play Bob Marley Jammin'" ? Why not?)
  • scribble SMS messages? Sure... how about scribbe blog entries, SMS'ed to an XML-RPC/SOAP system? Attach a picture to that while you're at it.

    Hmm... how about some feature combinations that would REALLY get shit moving:

  • Dictation: "Take a memo: I just saw a blue Smart car downtown! End memo, attach last picture, submit to my blog."
  • Dictation: "Take a memo: Oh my god I figured out what Einstein meant by E=mc2! Blah blah blah blah.... End memo, e-mail to self"
  • Transcription: "John this conversation is really interesting, do you mind if I record it/have it transcribed? Start Trascription /.../ end transcription, e-mail to self."
    (I'd happlily sacrifice 5Gig of my 20 to a fully portable voice dictation system)
    (Some may balk at the privacy issues of that last one. I consider that a detail that will work itself out, as it always does, as the technology makes it possible.)

    So, what we need for this:
    On the device itself:
    Essentially a cellphone with a 20Gig harddrive and existing cell communication, music playing, filesystem, voice navigation, TCP-IP stack, I/O (FireWire, USB.Bluetooth, keypad, scrollwheel...) etc..
    Voice dictation/trasncription software ported for the hardware platform (I bet someone has this... IBM? Dragon? Locus Dialog?
    On the "network" (service providers/carriers):
    web-technology interfaces (XML-RPC, SOAP, et all)... it's software, people... easy stuff... ;)
    hey, the voice dictation/trasncription could even be done on the service provider side. That DEFINITLY exists. Locus Dialog make that.

    I leave the rest to your imagination. :)

  • Number one in germany for rez trans vibrator pics!

    Google-Suche: rez trans vibrator pic

    Ißt das das "Google-effect"? Oder eine "Google -bombe"?

    XBEL pleeeaaase!

    It seems we'll need to evangelise XBEL to the folks at Mozilla and at (gulp) Microsoft.
    Oh how I would love it if Mozilla and IE allowed me to store all my bookmarks and borwser histories in XBEL format in a specific folder on my HD... or on a remote HD.. via SOAP... preferably somewhere where a Zoe installation had access to it...


    MySQL Explained to Frontier Users

    Or vice versa...

    Mac OS Finder Thing

    Daring Fireball: That Finder Thing

    Brilliantly explained. I wasn't consciously aware how unhappy I was with the OS X Finder until I read this. I just, as he says) figured it was some buggyness that will eventually go away...


    Because sniffles asked for people's experiences with various degrees of insomnia... :)

    I am one of these low metabolism people... If I don't keep myself in check I could possibly sleep my life away as a hunk of flesh comfortably ensconced in a duvet soaked cloud somewhere.

    Ok maybe not, but I do have to keep on my toes. I learnt that over the last few years, and it has to do with level of stimulation. For me anyways. As mentioned in a posting further down, my summer was spent in high physical and spiritual activity: jogging, reading, socialising. My mind had turned mushy over the course of a non-intellectually-stimulating relationship. The combination of much running around and not thinking to darn much, meant I slept liek a king every night.

    As autumn fell, my activities shifted to intellectual ones. This is where sleeplessness comes in.

    "Normally" (hmmm... I'm unsure now what normal for me is or should be, but anyways) I can put myself "out" at will, more or less; give me a quiet room and a clear mind and I am snoozing in seconds.

    That pretty much says it all. I am tossing and turning almost every night now until late. Some nights worse than others. I manage to discpline the ol'noggin most nights, without the use of drugs, alcohol or *cough* masturbation.. or any other such drastic interventions. (Drugs and booze just hop me up anyways... unless I pass out from abuse ... oh boy I can hear y'all snickering: "nice choice of words there B!" ... anyways, as i was saying, those things just rev up the RPMs higher.)

    Here's the part that dumbfounds me and may shock many of you (like you're not shocked already!): I do get, on average, 8 hours a night... BUT I awake feeling drowsy and just wanting more.

    Maybe I dream too vigourously.

    Or maybe I just rather become a hunk of flesh ensconced in my duvet cloud...

    Full body scanner

    This is way cool...
    A full-sized scanner on which you lie down... for about $20 you get a 4' X 6' printout...

    (link by way of Justin)

    Give this man a beer!!

    John's Switch to Canada

    Well done. Well done. ;)


    cnn_iraq.jpg 640x480 pixels

    Iraq has invaded germany!!!

    Somebody's "idealistic" take on it...

    Dreams, thoughts, plans.

    Copyright shmopyright

    Apple and the Pirate Everyman
    Read it, and posted the following comment:
    1- I have at this moment a 20Gig library of MP3s, 99% of which come from the 'net or friend's CDs. My computer is plugged directly into my stereo and I have an iPod for when I'm on the move (car stereo or headphones). A dream come true: all my music, anytime anywhere.

    2- Everybody is always talking about music and movies when copyright is mentioned. Ironically many of the journalists and pundits are published authors... I want what I just described above about "my" music to also apply to TEXT media... I want every book I have ever read (and have yet to read) in digital format (preferably in some XML/PDF form) and fully searchable at all times. Writers think it's hard to make a buck now? Just you wait!

    And awaaaay we gooo!

    Segway Human Transporter on sale now at Amazon...

    Must ... resist... urge...


    I dedicate any and all endeavors I may yet accomplish to my father and mother.

    To my father, the memory of whose sparse use of words, humility, patience and honesty are a life-long inspiration to learn, teach and seek the truth all the while knowing it is all around us, especially on the tip of our nose.

    To my mother, whose enormous pride in her son drives me forward. La fièrtée est un poison redoutable. En doses modérées cependant, ce poison devient une potion magique qui, une fois enivré d'elle, nous emmène au-delà de nous mêmes.

    Communication / Learning via patterns

    Arranging data objects in a pattern.
    Learning to speak/understand a language this way.
    specific sound pattern = meanings
    specific sound pattern -> reference of experience

    (read out loud, sounding out each "aural data object" [syllable] slowly, repeat each line at least twice)

    ning shoo rah
    shoo ning rah
    shoo rah ning
    ning rah shoo
    rah ning shoo

    What am I talking about?

    tchin ehl tcher kah vod
    tcher vod ehl kah tchin
    vod kah tchin tcher ehl

    Yeah I think I need one... :)

    Soooo.. you wanna learn an asian language eh? I'd venture to say it's easier than learning a "western" language using today's teaching methods.

    Either way, do it quick: the future lies in aural-based communication technologies (i.e. language systems). Asian and African cultures are miles ahead of us.
    Considering asia's socio-economic situation (take a step back and look at it with a wider angle... focusing to tightly on the present will tell you nothing), its communication technology (i.e. language system - I am NOT talking cellphones here) could easily become the global de facto standard within 3-4 generations. Its already begun.

    Voice command computer software does sound pattern matching. Their limitations now are the associations to western writing systems. They should think stenography. Sound to symbol. Sound familiar? It should to anyone who reads chinese, japanese et al.

    Ph33r my l337 sk1llz. (enlish haxxor speak... clumsy.. still using multiple symbols for syllables)
    a+ (french Instant Message/SMS shorthand... much more elegant, no? Ah the french...;)

    Hmm.. I need to look into muslim pattern-based art.
    You know, God is in my wallpaper...

    Wheels within wheels.

    Ten years ago, the summer between highschool and CEGEP (a college-like construct of the Quebec education system... essentially it represents 2-3 years between highschool and university) I spent in my '83 Subaru GL in the parking lot of the local strip-mall, listening to U2's Zooropa and digesting, subconsciously mostly, the concepts this pop band had (unknowingly? unwittingly?) foisted on the world. I wrote that summer, on a scrap of paper: "Is there a technology that will allow me to be free? To do what I want?" I had no idea what I meant at the time by those words. They merely sprang from me.

    A year later, after a literature course wherein Umberto Eco's "Name of the Rose" was dissected before me and an introduction to the writings of one Jorge Luis Borges, I tasted the beginnings of madness as sweet semiotics and confounding metaphysics swirled and slashed through my mind. (I resorted to alcohol to supress the fury and sleep at night. Nothing excessive, just basic social alcoholism. Hey I was in college. ;) However, neither Eco nor Borges would ever let me be.)

    Much at the same time, a life-long interest in human theological constructs brought Taoism to my door, and I let it be. It let me be.

    Within 6 months I would be introduced to desktop publishing and the wonders of the computer. Could this be the technology I seeked? I would be a publisher, an editor, an author. No, this was merely the modernisation of an ancient technology.

    A year or so later came my first dial-up internet account. A further modernisation of basic printing and publication, it glimmered nonetheless of something new and promising... and I saw economic rewards for the future. I would embrace the Internet as my professional, bread-winning endeavor.

    So I plugged away as web-designer, dreaming in HTML (literally... I have dreamt in HTML). One day I encountered a magical term: Information Architect. "Yes, this is what I am" I thought. (The term has come to mean something very different than what I consider it, but that is a story for another day.) Classification, categorisation, hierarchialisation, taxonomisation... the hallmarks of western linear thought. Unbeknownst to me, I was (and still am!) working in the direction opposite of where I needed to go.

    Somewhere in 1997-98 I read "Skin of Culture" by one Derrick DeKerkhove; Marshall McLuhan's translator and right-hand man, he had founded and still runs the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto. Profoundly affected by ideas of the acceleration of culture by electronic means and the effects of western text-based communication systems (i.e. languages) on the western mind (and by extension now, the collective mind that is the Internet), in contrast with
    eastern, aural/oral based communication systems (oriental languages/writing systems) and their effect on those cultures, I got hit again with a bout of insomnia. Nothing a lot of beer and a bad relationship couldn't kill.

    For the next 5 years, I shut my brain off. Concentrating on my career and needy girlfriends, I rarely indulged in the deep thoughts that gave my life such pain, but also all it's meaning.

    Spring 2002, feeling the murderous mundaneity of a 9to5 job, utterly void of fulfillment, and the sloth of nightly vegetating on a girlfriend's couch, I felt the need for change. One or both had to go. To my great, undying pain, I made the logical decision: I need the money now. Love, if it is love, will always find me later. The summer was spent licking the wounds of loss. The bleeding has slowed, but stigmata always returns. Zen and jogging replaced alcohol as I buckled down for the return of my thoughts.

    Here we are, fall of 2002 and my nights are spent tossing and turning. I can draw a line through every thought, every notion, every idea that has preoccupied and fascinated me for the last 10 years; every thesis, essay, novel, short story; every religious concept; every business strategy; every historical recounting; every conversation... and in the end I have a loop.

    Now I must put this loop into a form that I can share.

    "The straight line is the enemy of man. It is an abhorration of nature."
    - Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

    There IS a technology that will alow me to be free, to do what I want. I was right to choose the web as my specialisation for it is the seed of this new technology... or rather, it is symbiotically linked to the ever accelerating transformation of the human experience that, as I, needs this technology to come to be.

    It is language; it is communication; it is silence and it is noise. It is everything we have ever wanted, and as such it is nothing. It just is. And we are closer than ever.

    "Nature is a frightful sphere, whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."
    - Blaise Pascal

    Perfect Memory

    About a month ago I started thinking about developping a web-based system for myself which I dubbed "Perfect Memory"... The idea being that I would start capturing any and all text based communication (emails, instant messages), writings (quick thoughts, articles, outlines), as well as text-based "traces of my online wanderings" (bookmarks, browser histories) as I could (since web-tech and the fantastic powers of Google are still text-based), while making sure I keep the dev open enough for future inclusion of audio, and video.

    Yesterday I spoke to Mark Federman at the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto. He mentioned such things as Ted Nelson's Xanadu ( and Zig Zag ( concepts, as well as going over accelerated culture and it's ramification etc etc, but I digress...

    I returned home to an email from a friend. He had done some digging (on Google of course!). The results were these links:

    Good old Vannevar Bush & Memex back in 1945:

    Microsoft is stepping into the ring already (beware Userland...)

    And today, "moblogging" has got many folks talking:

    Let me explain:
    1- I spend an average 8-10 hours a day online. The Internet is just as much a real place to me as any "physical" location. I know where to look for what I want and i know how to get there. But my human brain is fallable and undisciplined.. and unsearchable via a text input box.

    2- I want a web-based "extension" of my mind. As a hammer is an extension of my hand and arm, as an automobile is an extension of my feet, legs and back, so is the Internet an extension of my eyes, ears mouth and fingers (reading/researching text, "publishing texts via blogs and emails and IMs)... Now I want to use web-technologies to make it be an extension of my mind... of my experience.. of my Memory.

    Strings attached

    Ok this kid has attitude, but scroll down and click on "See the lord in Action".. It's a 20Meg Quicktime .mov that is well worth the download... dancing marionettes! Wikkidly done.

    Jaunt to Toronto

    I am off to Toronto tomorrow till Thursday. I have one friend in TO and I hardly expect him to be at my beck and call sooo... If anyone wants to hook up for a coffee/drink/meal/walk and chat about whatever (webtech, life, semiotics (zing!)), ... Hmmm... problem... How would someone reach me? Hmmm.. does my scheiss-phone work in TO? Hmmmm. Do I post my phone number here? Hmmm...

    Well. I don't leave for 24hrs so leave me a comment here and we see... :)


    Oh wow. I played with Userland Radio yesterday. Userland Frontier as well. Very powerful stuff, and very complex, but it essentially represents half of my Perfect Memory concept.

    I'd go into details but I'm not here to document these softwares... ;)

    In a nutshell, local personal CMS "upstreamed" in real time to a webhost. Blogs, bookmarks, outlines, stories, RSS subscriptions.

    But it's so damn complex. I don't see how these guys can hope to make a commercially viable product.. From what I've seen, only hard core scripting geeks use it. Which is fine... they are refining the concept, which I'd say will go supernova sometime in the next 1-2 years...

    Oh god I'd love to see Apple's take on such a system... Oh god I'd love to see Apple buy MY take on such a system... ;)

    Yahoo! Top Stories - Not so Fab-io

    Too damn funny

    Quotes from Naz

    Ordinarily he is insane. But he has lucid moments when he is only stupid.
    - Heinrich Heine

    Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.
    - Groucho Marx

    It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
    - Raymond Chandler

    Sartre's Cookbook


    Sugar Daddy

    About 2 weeks ago I ran out of sugar. The regular white granular kind. Not a huge surprise but nothing I had anticipated either seeing as I barely use sugar at all. In fact I use it almost exclusively for the rare weekend coffee... and the occasional pasta sauce (hey, I've seen countless Italian friends use it and the fat guy in The Godfather when he shows Michael how to make pasta for 20 people.. he uses sugar too...). Actually for the pasta sauce I'll usually use honey.

    But that's hardly the point here. The point is, last weekend I was out of sugar and had a fresh tasse of coffee sitting on my counter. Quick jaunt to Jose's paterisserie, a slice of almond blueberry pie... and a HANDFUL of sugar packets.

    So here we are. I will never buy sugar again. I frequent enough places where big bowls or baskets or other receptacles filled with sugar packets are freely accessible and are begging for a quick grab.

    Need I say more?

    Ok I'm still new to this bit but...

    I just poked around with Apple's iCal and AddressBook.. and well... yeah bravo they are using the "open standard" (are they?) VCARD and ICS formats respectively... But... but...

    I mean I cracked these files open (they are text files after all) and while they seem to follow the same concepts as XML, they aren't... Why? Are there no DTDs or Schemas for these things yet? C'mon folks! There should be! Email too!

    Why? Becasue while the Internet is an extension of our collective minds, now that we are going to see "every client is a server and every server is a client" on our desktops, XML-RPC/SOAP, et al... the time is ripe for "personal extensions of our minds/lives"...

    This is what Perfect Memory is about. Partly.

    So far the only XML based "element" in my plans is XBEL for bookmarks.. but not a one browser uses it as its defacto Bookmark format. This is ridiculous!

    Francis, without Schemas for mail, IM, Contacts and Calendars, we'll be doing a whackamole of importing and parsing. What am I saying? we'll be doing mostly that regardless... Sigh...

    Hear me cry

    I'm hurting inside

    When I was just a little child
    happiness was there a while
    then from me it slipped one day
    happiness come back I say
    cause if you don't come I've got to go looking for happiness
    well if you don't come I've got to go looking for happiness
    I'm hurting inside
    I'm hurting inside
    oh, hear my cry, hear my cry
    my my my my my my my my cry

    (folks, don't worry, I'm fine.. just loooove this song 'cause despite it's melancholy, saudade words, it's actually very upbeat in it's music. As Gil Scott-Heron says: the words are for your mind, the notes are for your soul.)

    Quick thought

    "Time is the corkboard to which we pin the events of our lives."

    Date and time stamps are essential for perfect memory for they add a useful and universally accepted dimension to the indexing and searching features of our mind. No to mention software based search "engines" (which as <cough> McLuhan </cough> would consider, being as they are part of the Internet's makeup, an extension of the human mind...)

    (Thank you Sniffles for reminding me of this concept - extension of our minds -, by way of your posting about Spam.)

    Now we're talking

    O'Reilly Network: Speakable Web Services [Nov. 08, 2002]

    Mr.Udell has the right idea, which is nothing new of course.

    What I want is dictation though... way more than mere voice control.


    c-1.JPG 650x898 pixels


    It's all true.

    Googlism : ?ism=boris

    "I've heard so much about you!"

    It cause brain lesions you know...

    Student Suspended Over Suspected Use of PHP


    Oh, just to be there...

    O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2003

    Would be damn nice.

    Let me write that down...

    (I was debating whether or not I should give the full context of this line, and decided that I will give a minimal explanation here, and the full context will appear in a comment to this posting.)

    Heard on a TV show last night, in a scene where a gentleman is interupted in his courting of a lady he fancies in order to take care of some urgent business:

    "Stick around for a minute? It appears there may be a coup-d'état going on in Venezuela..."

    I gotta remember that one... :)

    I, Rowboat

    The Onion | I, Rowboat

    Now why did I not think of this?


    Google's translation service does a half decent job.

    Ok ok, half half decent... Half half half decent.

    I especially like what it does with my haikus...

    XMail or XMbox ?

    I'm trying to pull together some of the very knowledgeable resources I have to try to get an XML DTD for mail off the ground...

    The currenly widely used "mbox" standard is just screeeaaaming to be put into XML...

    Francis? Ludovic? Karl? Anyone? Wanna help? :)

    La fourmi et la sauterelle: Redux

    A fairly accurate allegory of life in America.

    i'd say.

    Google Search: Rebel Flag Vibrator

    I'm number one! I'm number one!

    I am still waiting for someone to explain this to me...

    Zed "haiku"


    So that CBC show/website/multimedia hipster circus/zoo put out a call to submit haikus.

    Here are my entries.

    solid state circuit
    board feeds quickly on
    names, numbers.

    electronic you.
    attraction binds.

    Now I've done it...

    I caved in, plunked down the plastic and now own a 10Gig iPod.

    It's cute... The interface is... acceptable considering the constraints. I'll have to completely re-jig how I deal with my huge MP3 collection, as well as my contacts and calendars (or at least fully explore all the options available to me).

    Taxman will be told it is a portable storage device for work so hey I get the taxes back (shhhh =)

    Fun! Now I can switch between Pergolesi and 2ManyDJs anytime I want !

    truth and lies?

    (originally posted as a comment on Dandruff. )

    The very first thing I did the very first time I sat at a computer with DTP sofware (Aldus Pagemaker), was print out a sheet which looked very much like this
    and put it up on the various corkboards around the college I was then attending.

    After reading too much Eco and Borges (and of course with a dash of youthful disillusionment), my thoughts were more along the lines of this.

    Now, a bit older, perhaps a bit wiser... I have reconciled (somewhat) semiotics and zen buddhism and view much of the world as such.

    (make sure to view the sources...)

    (the damn tracking bit doesn't validate.. will fix later today...)

    Google, a strange beast are you...

    As a "web specialist" I have often been burdened by clients' requestes to get their websites high rankings on search engines, etc... Futsing with meta tags, massaging content to be spider-friendly, submitting and submitting and submitting.. always to medium if not mediocre results...

    So I put up a blog, and I find in my referrer logs all kinds of search queries where I have high rankings. Must of us have seen this...

    But this is what blows me away. My little page where I tried to sell my car... linked only from my blog and one or two VW enthousiast message boards... gets a number 2 ranking on Google for "vw golf for sale".

    I don't understand... ;)

    Oh... my... god...

    game girl advance: Sex in Games: Rez Vibrator

    I am ... speechless.. dumbfounded... no words can I find...

    Shopping with conviction

    Farha Foundation - ::Au Coeur de la Mode:: -

    Great clothes, great prices, for a great cause.


    Sooooo... The Queen of Lazy Webmasters has finally updated the YUL list and lo and behold there I am.

    Thank you Bill, if that's your real name...

    (Willhelmina? Hmmm)

    Save MY money?

    Ok... So I got an ING Direct savings account cause that dutch guy just so inspires confidence. Save YOUR money!

    Anyhoot. Today I recieved my ING Direct debit card, sos I can get to MY money from any Interac terminal.

    Check this out. The card has one of those holograms on it. The hologram is of a set of HANDCUFFS transversed with a bar, so as to look like a percentage sign % ... And of course, when you move the card the handcuffs open and close with a little flourish symbolising a "click" I suppose.

    (I tried taking a picture but not only do I have the shittiest digital camera of all time, but I ain't much of a photographer to boot.)

    Anyways, this all seems VERY strange to me and somewhat frightening... ;)