Sunday  the Eighth of September, 2002

Some great barcode posters from a Russian design studio; their barcoded logo hidden within each, with varying subtlety. Particular applause for the skeleton and the US flag. [via Matt]
There we go. As Above's sidebar bookpile is now stacked by the automated arms of All Consuming, a site which today has the added innovation of alerting you to freshly cracked spines amongst your signed-up friends. Superb.

Gimmickry: Jump to a Random Archive Link

 Friday  the Sixth

Throw away that stale, sliced bread and sign up with All Consuming - let it know which books you're reading (and, splendidly, which page you're on), and it hands back a Javascript or XML feed to nail onto your Web page, replete with cover-pictures. My sidebar bookpile will be effortlessly restocked from my All Consuming account, before very long. [via Nocto]
"A handful of envelopes; selection for entry to a £50,000 prize draw, and a call for charity from Christian Aid, pen included. Easy. A pre-printed envelope which looks like it might be from my bank. I open it. It isn't. A card-shaped envelope addressed in what appears to be my mother's handwriting, but looking closer it's just a printed approximation of her style (they've extrapolated the '4' rather badly), and besides, she's dead."
Undercover actors enthusing to the public about mobile phones, car adverts pretending to be film trailers or holiday photos, referrer-log spamming, chatty AIM bots advertising to kids; this has been boiling up for months.

The Campaign for Real Advertising starts here, at Upsideclone.

 Thursday  the Fifth

More music for a future self with a soundcard; a recent HMHB Peel Session which I didn't even know had happened, in MP3 format.
Glorious news - celestial Bristolian futurists Angel Tech are back in the world, presenting some downloadable songs and not being dead after all.
Mug concept: World's Greatest Landmass. Happy tectonic-fission-millennium, Eurasia!

 Wednesday  the Fourth

So my Subjective Best British Weblog is Matt Webb's Interconnected - weblogs were still a new thing to me when I fell across it back in 2000, and after returning to the site a few times over the next few days, I realised that I'd found someone with suspiciously similar enthusiasms to my own; somebody was browsing the Internet for me and underlining the good bits. And he's still doing it, two years on.

There must be hundreds of tiny things from Interconnected that have made my brain the thing it is today, and many hazy half-interests crystallised by Matt's sudden and infectious enthusiasm for bits of the world (the person/blog boundary blurs a bit, but I'm pretty sure Upsideclone wouldn't have existed without the cast-net of Matt's weblog). Interconnected. Daily, required reading. Long may it remain connected.

Weblogs are personal things, as personal as the opinions of people who read them. I'm not really that interested in learning what Alan Rusbridger and Anita Roddick and five other people agree is Britain's finest weblog, because I don't know any of them, don't really know how much I respect their opinions.

The whole thing seems absurdly adjacent to a World's Greatest X mug being presented by a panel of strangers - such a thing would be far more meaningful and interesting if an individual whose opinion I cared for was doing the presenting, and explaining their reasoning. So (at Tom's encouragement, after this came up in email) I'm hereby forging meme #1 of the Subjective Best British Weblog competition, encouraging people to nominate their current favourite and tell the world why. No prizes or vote-tallying, just a meaningful signpost to somewhere worth going. (And this isn't a curmudgeons-only thing; it'd be good to see everyone's favourites.)

That logo still looks far too much like some horrible robot/petrol-pump flirtation thing, to me. Curmudgeons of the world unite! Tom is undermining the Guardian's weblog competition by making a web ring that links to it.

 Tuesday  the Third

"Adopting the Brace Position during airplane emergencies does not improve your chances of surviving an impact. What it does do is preserve the location of your teeth in proximity to your mortal remains in order to aid forensic odontologists in corpse identification."
Says Brooke, which is on the same sort of level as chipping your kids. It also actually increases your chances of death by pushing your spine straight through your brain, to avoid any whiny crash-site suffering, apparently.

But wait! h2g2 says that airline authories have recently changed the crash position to something else, because head-between-knees was breaking people's jawbones and making dental identification even more difficult. And other sites say that it's actually for simple passenger safety after all, that people have survived crashes using it.

Given the choice between killing passengers (and knowing which ones) and merely injuring them, it does seem a bit absurd that any airline would prefer a reputation for the former. But I suppose a nasty plane crash is always a nasty plane crash, in the public memory, however many survivors crawl out.

Feh. The genius behind that absurd anti-abduction kiddie-tracking microchip is none less than Kevin Warwick. I give it three or four days before the News of the World is demanding that known paedophiles are chipped and tracked themselves, wired up to devices that administer electric shocks when within three feet of a chipped youngster.

[Update: The Register technically demolishes the tracking-chip idea.]

 Monday  the Second

"Ananda, should any sentient beings in any of the kingdoms of existence, copy down this Dharani on birch-bark or palm-leaves or paper made of papyrus or of white felt, and keep it safely in some scented wrapping, this man no matter how faint-hearted or unable to remember the words for reciting it, but who copies it in his room and keeps it by him, this man in all his life will remain unharmed by any poison of the Maras."
A fascinatingly thorough essay on the evolution of chain letters, analysing the factors of their propagation from the 19th century onwards, with a nod to their religious predecessors. Very solid evolutionary stuff, with various tricks and gimmicks arising intentionally or accidentally to boost distribution; the beneficial effects of copier-mutation, clever self-correction of text, and the escape from an immunised environment. It's actually been possible to track an entire "species" back to a single ancestral rewrite.

Also interesting that for all its ease and range of distribution, the Internet actually helps kill these things off by denying them any real room for mutation. (Although there was the iWon thing.)

Amid careless chain-email urging me to dress in red, white and blue and recite the Pledge of Allegiance next Wednesday, I was flexing the obvious worry as to whether a fanatic would pick the 11th of September as a good, significant date to mount a psychologically meaningful follow-up attack.

But it's going to be Bush, if anyone, isn't it? Oh dear.

As Above

Brain children. Recent or noteworthy Web offspring.

Online cliques. Trespassers may be welcome.

In the bookpile. Powered by

Incidental music. Ohrwurmen or otherwise.

Other weblogs. The ones I make a point of returning to a lot.

Supporting cast. That have Web pages. In alphabetical order.

Weeks beginning. All having ended.
2002: 02.09 26.08 19.08 12.08 05.08 29.07 22.07 15.07 08.07 01.07 24.06 17.06 10.06 03.06 27.05 20.05 13.05 06.05 29.04 22.04 15.04 08.04 01.04 25.03 18.03 11.03 04.03 25.02 18.02 11.02 04.02 28.01 21.01 14.01 07.01

2001: 31.12 24.12 17.12 10.12 03.12 26.11 19.11 12.11 05.11 29.10 22.10 15.10 08.10 01.10 24.09 17.09 10.09 03.09 27.08 20.08 13.08 06.08 30.07 23.07 16.07 09.07 02.07 25.06 18.06 11.06 04.06 28.05 21.05 14.05 07.05 30.04 23.04 16.04 09.04 02.04 26.03 19.03 12.03 05.03 26.02 19.02 12.02 05.02 29.01 22.01 15.01 08.01 01.01

2000: 25.12 18.12 11.12 04.12 27.11 20.11

Archive search. You never know.