Month: May 2008

  • Sex and the City & Genre Bending

    Wow, I totally forgot that I transcribed this sitcom dialogue a year ago. Manohla Dargis on the movie: I guess size does matter after all, if not in the way that the sex-addled Samantha might assume. On television and in tasty 30-minute bites, the show “Sex and the City” managed to entertain and sometimes even…

  • Brilliant Search Engine Idea (Google, please steal it!)

    Google’s search algorithm is being polluted by commercial entities that game the system. Establish a criteria called Commercial  Density.  Commercial Density refers to the ratio of text content on a page to links to commercial sites (i.e., advertisements) on the same page: if the ratio is low (or even zero), then the web page contains…

  • How many ways to write?

    I just noticed that at the moment I have open an XML editor, Windows Live writer (for blogging), Open Office (for editing), a web browser (for checking email and replying), a simple text editor and a Skype client (with chat capability and telephone capability).  6 different tools for creating content, so little to say.

  • Who is Jessica Jay? Answers are here (Maybe)

    A TX blogger uncovers the identity of the 90s Europop singer Jessica Jay.

  • Lessons Learned from another Reinstall

    I am 80% done with a total reinstall of my OS and PC. I did it when I had a hard drive crash (see my post here).  Here are hard lessons learned: among free download managers, Orbit downloader is probably the best. I learned how easy it is to forget to turn on ClearType font…

  • Emily Dickinson in the 21st Century

    I have a busy and unfulfilling life…what else is new? (This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact). One becomes older, and things seem less impressive. Books, movies, food…all of them ok, nothing special. That’s an inevitable result of growing older. (On the other hand, when something seems out-of-the-extraordinary, you take notice). At…

  • Literary Collaboration: Pros and Cons

    Another example of literary collaboration. Seriously, though, sitcom writing seems to benefit from collaboration, but narratives do not. Update: The Snopes site is peculiar, so I am delinking here. First, the popup ads are a little much, and the text has some javascript to prevent cut and paste. For that reason I am reprinting the…

  • Messages to future beings

    “The artist cannot get along without a public; and when the public is absent, what does he do? He invents it, and turning his back on his age, he looks toward the future for what the present denies.” Andre Gide. Future fans, I salute you! Future critics of my book, I can’t wait to despise…

  • Houston is the Country’s Worst Recycler

    Felicity Barringer on the state of recycling in the major cities: The Los Angeles region most recently reported a 59 percent diversion rate, a number still being audited by state regulators. San Jose, at 62 percent, claims the best-in-class crown for cities of 900,000 or more. Statewide, the figure for 2006 was 54 percent. With…

  • 1.7 Terabytes richer, 12,000 Songs Poorer

    Two weeks ago I discovered that a 400 gig hard drive crashed. Completely. Total data loss. I did not lose a lot of data, and almost all my personal data and important docs are safe, but I’m sure I lost several things I can’t remember. More importantly, my complete mp3 collection from 2001 is down…

  • Houston Public Library book sale

    As much as I am into ebooks, that doesn’t keep me from attending the annual Houston Public library booksale (which starts tomorrow morning). In 1997 I bought several hundred dollars of books for my university in Vlore, Albania at the booksale. Great books. Unfortunately, my PDA is temporarily out of commision, so I cannot bring…

  • Fighting the Enemy via Google Ads

    Simon Owens is a respected blogger about new media, with a slight bias toward the liberal side. He’s not a political blogger per se, but politics comes up fairly often. See his anatomy of a Michelle Malkin post, the ambiguity of a Youtube video and a collection of his best links from the years. Yesterday…

  • The news I hope not to watch

    In 5 minutes I will turn on ABC’s This Week, a one hour talk show about the news. I used to enjoy this show tremendously. Sunday mornings are a good time for news, especially since the daily Sunday newspaper seems to have disappeared. (The Sunday morning newspaper is all I need, but you can’t subscribe…

  • Burmese News

    Since the Burmese  government for the most part prevents good outside journalism about the cyclone or their politics, the most reliable source of information so far (aside from BBC/ITV sneak-in journalism) is Irrawaddy, an expat newspaper with ample coverage of the subject.  I am seriously thinking of donating some money not to some international aid…

  • No more link condoms on idiotprogrammer!

    I have a rather important announcement for regular readers of this blog. I just installed a plugin that removes the Nofollow attribute on URLs included in comments.  This link love occurs 10 days after you post. I don’t receive many comments on idiotprogrammer and I see no reason why I should not help writers and…

  • Anastasia’s Love

    Something I saw on TV Friday night. (Hopefully the video link will stay up). This was nothing short of incredible. Leno lovers might enjoy this 1983 talk show appearance by him.