A shameless impostor

Shite, I nearly got robbed today, if I hadn't kept my cool. This thug came to me on the street and although I tried hard to lose my tail without running away (which isn't the right thing to do unless you're pretty certain he or one of his pals won't get you), I only managed to leave him when I jumped on to a bus that was just leaving the stop. Bye sucker. That was close.

Typespotting: TND has linked to a couple of interesting articles about typography, the first about bad use of type in epoch movies, the second about Arial's ubiquity and how it is in fact just a shameless impostor.

Random Trees For Misery

Blair and Bush are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. No, it's not a defacement like in the Microsoft site, it's real news. Well, I guess the Nobel Peace Prize is a bit like the Blo... you know. Further proof we live on a democratic abstraction layer above oligarchic dictatorships. (via ND)

HOWTO: Read the Fucking Manual. Ahah. I was missing this kind of website jamming. Notice the '@' in the address. You don't really believe you're on Microsoft's website, do you? (via VM)

Fritz Answers Questions

Run for your life! Asseptic Television is here and will take over the world. After I come to terms with Linux users, that is, since I went for Windows Media after all.

The White Stripes' Fell in Love With a Girl, video of the year? (requires Quicktime)

Come With Us, The Chemical Brothers latest, is a helluva great album, despite borrowing more than just a bit from Leftfield's Rhythm and Stealth. Or anything in the 80s electro bandwagon, for that matter. The Test featuring Richard Ashcroft is perhaps the best track in the record — although I'm a sucker for anything that vaguely resembles Setting Sun.

And speaking of that game played with feet: The RSSSF will keep any football fanatic happy for quite a long time.

The same institution that considered FC Porto the 7th best club in the world during 2001 has now considered Sporting Lisbon the best club in the world in January. That was the sound of a giant frog being swallowed. Really, football stats are a bit like the Bloggies, ain't it? Anyway, Mario Jardel really should be playing for Porto, shouldn't he?

Someday I'll wear a fake moustache

I love Urban75. But doesn't the latest homepage redesign make it look a bit cluttered?

Listening to Perry Blake Live, curtesy of my cousin. Now, this bloke doesn't just give his concerts holding a glass of scotch, he sounds like whisky too.

<NERD PROGRAMMER="1">Although IF THEN ELSE looks exactly the same, I undertake a small revolution under the hood, to allow for the lowres version. Instead of doing preformatted HTML, my CMS creates a custom markup (MOML — My Own ML), allowing for post-processing and formatting according to each site's needs. That is the same as saying I built an internal syndication system for my own websites, meaning the new asseptic.org will feature the latest ITE entries in the homepage. Of course I could have used XML like any decent person, but keep in mind I am an arrogant bugger who refuses standards — and besides, I think processing XML in PHP is more complicated than using the explode command.</NERD>

Attack of the scary search requests! 'Enrique Iglesias in underwear'. I just don't get it.

Random Website. Now there's a good, useless idea.

Mea culpa, mea grande culpa: The Simutrans link came not from 4-3-3, but from No Filter. Being Alex such an Underdogs fan, it wasn't hard to make that mistake.

Flash breaks

Mind you, these are the good guys: First there was the Pope advising lawyers to refuse divorce cases. Nice. Anyway I can't really comment on this since my parents are divorced, which means I'm a son of Satan. But then there was the United States veto on an United Nations proposal to multiply by three the aid on third-world countries (and by multiplying by three they mean risinng donations to a puny 0.7% of each rich country's GNP), strinking a deadly blow on the UN's ambition of cutting poverty by half by 2015. Now repeat after me: 'They are the good guys'. (via the telly)

Ok, it seems that my announcement to be using Microsoft Windows Media on Asseptic TV has spawned a few negative comments, either via this site's comment thingy and via e-mail. So let's consider the pros and cons. WM pros: 70% of the site's visitors will have it already installed (that means recent Windows systems, Mac OS-X and Solaris); good quality encoding; free and cool encoder app. WM cons: It's from Microsoft and I don't like it; won't work on my Linux box; won't work on your Linux boxes and your pre-OS-X Macs. Real pros: exceptional quality encoding. Real cons: forces people into downloading the program and the associated spyware; crap encoder app (the free version that is); not many systems have it. Well, between those two I have to give it to Microsoft. I had a third option which was the use of a Flash video encoder app, but the quality is so poor I can't be happy with that. DivX ;) was another option, but it will again force people to go download a codec. So, I seem to have run out of choices — keep in mind that I want streaming video, or else I'd be all for the use of MPEG. Does anyone know of any alternative streaming video option that is supported natively under Windows system (I have to account for the fact that 90% of Windows users are stupid and the rest are only using it for the software), as well as easily installed under Linux and Mac?

We portuguese people also have cool design websites. Check Widedreams for instance.

Confortable labour

Ahahah. Really.

Mental note: Must remember that some 95% of this site's visitors might not know British comedies, let alone The Fast Show.

Oh ah, there's a nice 'recent referrers' gizmo on the right side of this webpage. And ooh, I programmed it myself, since I don't like gizmos that rely on outside pages like this one. Ooh. Ooh.

Putre fiction

Sad, sad: I was told the country's biggest magazine distributor went bankrupt, suspending most of foreign magazine imports. Magazines such as Wired are now nearly impossible to find here in Portugal, as well as many other magazines, many of them either art-related or tech/computer related. Even a few Portuguese magazines are hard to find. I think I better save for a few subscriptions.

Twelve thousand

And if you are wondering, those twelve thousand files are made up like this: 2904 HTML files, 2106 JPEG images, 5037 GIF images, 764 PHP files, 153 SWF/Flash files and 1671 miscellaneous source and media files. Keep in mind that many of these are source files (eg. loads of files which are put on a single .swf movie) and that the 764 .php are easily explained by the fact I've got three websites running on PHPNuke, that is a ready-made package, not files I have hand-coded. Anyway I'm mesmerized by how many files I have produced and overseen.

If I put together all websites made during my 5-year carreer, they contain 12635 files, that means a shitload of .htm, .php, .gif, .jpg, .swf and file types. Of course the figures contain archived and older versions of websites as well as 'source' files such as photoshop templates or flash sources and associated files. Still, loads of files I've overseen over the last years.

Off with the comma

Wanted:

I really miss watching the H Plus demo by Halcyon. It's the sad thing about MS-DOS' demise, all those great demos and classic games are lost. Somebody better start bulding a MPEG archive of old demos, no?

Relative beauty distortion

The Photoshop Wishlist: Does a really simple guestbook script really need a load of A-list design site links filling the page's bottom? Does such a simple form-based site need a heavy graphical frontend? And does it need such a tiny navigation bar? And its own domain name? And logo? Really, this is an extreme example of style over content. That's why I'm saving you some bandwidth and linking directly to the part that really matters.. And by the way, I'd like to see keyboard shortcuts to 'Image Size' and 'Canvas Size', a faster Save To Web, and the complete removal of ImageReady (and integration of its features into Photoshop).

Discogs.com: "the definitive electronic music database". It surely is. I didn't know there were as much as FOUR THOUSAND LABELS and SEVENTEEN THOUSAND ARTISTS worldwide. Amazing.

Today I went to a lecture by Marcos Cruz, a young portuguese architect who is teaches at the Bartlett University in London and is also a bleeding-edge researcher on the topics of biotech and nanotech, and their architectural implications. Even though these are areas that scare the hell out of me and I don't really care much about architecture, I went there because a) I was involved in the lecture's organization (designing flyers and such) and b) nanotech scares the hell out of me but also fascinates me. It was interesting, yes, but I left the conference when the questions from the audience started getting into the usual 'me me me' thing and the prospect of having a few beers seemed nicer.

You know something's not right when you leave your computer rendering a movie, go get some sleep, and when you wake up and turn on the monitor you are greeted by a Windows NT blue screen of death. And that after restarting you see that the 10+ hours rendering got corrupted.