Monthly Archives: May 2006

Praise the Lord and Pass the AdBlock Plus!

Ok, whether you are a theist or not, I am voting for the developers of AdBlock Plus for sainthood. I know I am late to jump on this bandwagon, but today I installed the AdBlock Plus extension onto my Firefox and blocked a few common image / swf based advertisting servers.
Now rather than nearly having a migraine triggered by flashing ads, three of my daily visited sites are now peaceful and have a much better content to white space balance.
Given that I don’t mind text ads, I did not block any of the text ad servers. I understand that folks need to be able to pay for their servers and the like, but please choose ads servers that are not an insult to the eye and / or that fit with the design of the site (like text ads…).
Yes, yes, I know, my minimalist streak is rearing its head… Images should be content not assault.

Sunday Evening Sky

Sun 05.21.06 – The last few days have been dark with heavy rains, but come evening the downpours cease and the skies clear. Anyone know why?

Futurist Manifesto & Free Software Philosophy

I am trying to study for the two exams that I have upcoming for this week (Tues & Wed) that cover 6 subjects and am finding myself immersed in an wide variety of primary texts and commentary, as well as academic papers, on design, technology, culture, and narrative. This has lead to some interesting, if not down right amusing, juxtaposition of ideas and writing styles.
For your perusal today, I shall give you two exerpts, one from the introduction to the Futurist Manifesto and the other is from the FAQ at the GNU project.
Exerpt from “The Futurist Manifesto“, by F. T. Marinetti, 1909

We went up to the three snorting machines to caress their breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse on its bier, but I suddenly revived again beneath the steering wheel – a guillotine knife – which threatened my stomach. A great sweep of madness brought us sharply back to ourselves and drove us through the streets, steep and deep, like dried up torrents. Here and there unhappy lamps in the windows taught us to despise our mathematical eyes. `Smell,’ I exclaimed, `smell is good enough for wild beasts!’
And we hunted, like young lions, death with its black fur dappled with pale crosses, who ran before us in the vast violet sky, palpable and living.
And yet we had no ideal Mistress stretching her form up to the clouds, nor yet a cruel Queen to whom to offer our corpses twisted into the shape of Byzantine rings! No reason to die unless it is the desire to be rid of the too great weight of our courage!
We drove on, crushing beneath our burning wheels, like shirt-collars under the iron, the watch dogs on the steps of the houses.

Free Software Definition

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”
Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

I will leave Edward Tufte’s principles of information design for another post…

Currently Reading Cultural Theory : Cyborgs

From Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot:
Three Laws of Robotics:
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.