The Null Device
A good article on literate programming, by Mark-Jason Dominus, which should be comprehensible to anyone who understands Perl.
My faith in the infinity of cynical opportunism is reaffirmed: It turns out that rather than just buying ads, corporations in the US are buying entire episodes of TV shows, having them themed around their product. The example here is an episode of Friends (some American sitcom or something, I think), whose plot and setting were themed around a shop known as The Pottery Barn. Though, on one level, they're only following the lead of the US Government's anti-drug office.
We can undoubtedly expect to see more of this kind of thing, both in the traditional script-buying sense (commercial TV show scripts in the 21st century are likely to become a battleground of advertisers and marketers, with anything unpaid-for being squeezed out to make room, adding new layers of surreality to the alternate universe on TV, and where this doesn't happen, with digitally inserted product placement. Probably not in product-laden sitcoms and soaps, as the producers and advertisers would undoubtedly sue if their product placement was diluted with electronic insertions. Though perhaps we can expect to see digitally inserted products start popping up in news footage (perhaps in interesting ways; would a company pay to have a competitor's product inserted into a serial killer's personal effects?), and into older, pre-product-placement programmes.
Script kiddies caught in the act. (securityfocus.com)
Right; I'd better get off the soapbox, lest I turn into Graham. Anyway, now for something completely different, in this case, some code. A Python module for writing Type 1 font files to be precise. It's still in its early stage, but it can generate font files that X is happy with. Note that if you're not a Python programmer or have no interest in generating Type 1 fonts, it probably won't interest you much.
A minor clarification concerning my comment a few days ago about black tape for a blue girl being categorised as "goth". Whilst they probably wouldn't float a 15-year-old Manson fan's boat, they do embody some clichés that are part of the "goth" meme-set; a more mature, less teen-rebellious version, but still stereotypically subcultural in its boundaries. For example, the Byronic romantic angst that permeates their lyrics (or did back when Sam's romantic life was more turbulent, presumably). Though it's not quite as noticeable as in Soul Whirling Somewhere's Hope Was, a double CD (of gorgeously æthereal shoegazeresque music, I may add) all about the author's break-up with his girlfriend or somesuch. That's one of the reasons I like acts like Slowdive, Not Drowning, Waving and the Cocteau Twins. They have that sort of understated, æthereal sound but their lyrics (where relevant) are quite a bit out of the "you meant everything to me and now that you're gone I think I'll kill myself" milieu. And don't even get me started on dark vampyre erotica and the sort of drivel that your typical self-consciously goth band puts out.
And another thing: Edward Gorey is not goth. Try telling someone that the Gashlycrumb Tinies embodies your dark, tortured soul sometime; you'll get laughed at.
Republicanism: it's not just for Australians anymore. Well, maybe it is, but the Poms are making skeptical noises about the monarchy. Given that they foot the bill for maintaining it, they arguably have more right to than the Australians do. To be precise, it has been commented that the Royal Family should move to more modern (and cheaper) accomodation; among the candidates the BBC has raised are the Millennium Dome (a silly and expensive novelty in London) and Battersea Power Station (wasn't that meant to become the World's Biggest Cinema or somesuch?). As far as making the royals pay their way, there could be some ideas there. Given how the royal family is, for the most part, the world's most popular soap opera, why not sell them to Aaron Spelling or someone, or install webcams in Buckingham Palace and sell advertising on the site?