The Null Device


A preview of what to expect in Qt 4; the new Qt toolkit will have better multiplatform support, a new paint engine and text engine (with proper font kerning), a neater API (with nifty container classes, Java-like iterators, and a more property-based API that's easier to bind to other languages), and will produce smaller, faster, more efficient code. TrollTech are positioning it to compete with Sun's Java as a multiplatform widget set.

(I hope the thing about easier bindings makes it easier to interface it with Python; I mean, PyQt works reasonably well, except when it fails to compile, as was the case on a Solaris system I was working on. After attempting to recompile everything, including Python and Qt, but still failing to get it working, I gave up and rewrote the project in Java.)

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Recently, a few women decided to attend a 5,000-person LAN gaming party in Norway. When the geek boys at the party saw that there were actual chyxx attending, they decided to make the most of the unprecedented opportunity, by getting a camera and filming close-ups of their breasts and buttocks, apparently even following them into the showers, and, of course, ending up with a girl-free LAN party. Here's to terminal social ineptness. (via bOING bOING)

(The people who, upon seeing real live girls, decided to make a spontaneous LAN-party-tits'n'ass video (and I'll say that again: " LAN party tits'n'ass video"; that really speaks for itself) are probably the same types who complain on Slashdot about how they're so sexually frustrated because there are no girls around who are into Linux/Quake/Star Wars fandom and will admit it. Though, when you think about it, perhaps we're witnessing evolution in action?)

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What shall it profit a rodent if he shall gain the pop-cultural world but lose his soul? One could ask that question of Mickey Mouse; since his debut in 1928, the ubiquitous rodent has gone from being a mischievous, somewhat sadistic cartoon prankster (in the classic slapstick style of the medium) to the corporate identity of an intellectual-property behemoth and, arguably, a symbol of McWorld itself. Of course, as this happened, the once lively character lost his own story and personality and became, at best, as bland and anaemic as any friendly, helpful corporate mascot, and at worst, a symbol of heavy-handed corporate hegemony over culture:

"If I was looking for the crossover point where Mickey's story morphed into the Disney story, it was `The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' " said Mr. Hardison, referring to the Mickey segment of Disney's 1940 classic, "Fantasia," in which the mouse, as an aspiring magician, attempts to harness his master's tricks. "That's where he cemented his place as the source of Disney magic. Magic is such an important characteristic of Disney, but it wasn't an important characteristic of Mickey. Once he becomes magical, he is no longer the everyman underdog. He went from being the little guy against the world to a symbol of what Disney does."
And so a logo was born. A brilliant one, at that: any close approximation of the two black ear-disks is enough to say "Disney" anywhere in the world. "For the sheer power of the graphics," the sculptor Ernest Trova once said, "Mickey Mouse is rivaled only by the Coca-Cola trademark and the swastika." By making itself inseparable from its beloved mascot, Disney made it impossible to see Mickey and not think of the company that backs him -- one whose public profile is a lot more controversial than that of your average stuffed animal.

(via bOING bOING, of course)

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