The Null Device
This time, for sure! Microsoft have finally started moving Hotmail to Windows 2000. Hotmail, which Microsoft bought a few years ago, runs on FreeBSD and Apache, much to its owners' embarrassment. They tried moving it to Windows NT a while ago, but gave up; now they're giving it another go. If this succeeds, they'll probably need twice as many machines, but the added expense will be worth the saving of face. Though it may be a good idea for Hotmail users to move to another free mail service for the time being, in case things cock up too badly.
With the workload finally relenting somewhat, I got to go to a talk by Eric Zimmerman, a game designer, among whose accomplishments is the massively popular SissyFight. He talked about the nature of games, the interaction of rules, play and the culture of games, and about games using digital media in particular, and showed some examples of games he has designed, both computer-based ones (such as the aforementioned SissyFight and a cute arcade game with rave-flyer graphics and 303 squelching sound effects) and traditional ones (my favourite being Suspicion, a role-playing card game played surreptitiously in an office). It was a most interesting talk; Zimmerman is definitely someone to keep an eye out for...
If professional wrestling is fake, what about amateur wrestling? The latest trend among bored teenage boys in the US is amateur pro wrestling, done in suburban backyards by outfits with names like Xtreme Championship Wrestling, and imitating the carefully choreographed moves of pro wrestling. Not surprisingly, many of the participants end up injured. (via Leviathan)
This has been on most of the other blogs, but it's doovy enough for me to run it: the world's first Klingon-based programming language, var'aq, which looks sort of like mutant PostScript. Rewrite the in-house administrative systems at work in it when you're bored...
...and while I'm stealing links from Jim, you should all check out the works of Joseph Cornell, a surrealist artist who made "boxes", constructions of found images and objects. His works inspired many latter artists, such as Dave McKean to name one.
Neil Gaiman's leather jacket (the one he wore in various publicity photos and wrote much of The Sandman in) is being auctioned on eBay, with all proceeds going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The current bid is just over US$2,500, so this is probably only for those whose goth-clique-cum-web-consultancy hasn't been wiped out by the NASDAQ crash. (via Found)
The Register reckons that the @ symbol originated as a mercantile shorthand for "amphora", used in ancient trade. Does this mean that the usually accepted explanation of it deriving from an 'ad' ligature is incorrect?