Monday, April 28, 2003

What's going on?! I'm only updating this thing every four days, although I usually manage to do so for a couple of days in a row, so you have to grant me that. If you don't, it'll still be true, and you'll look downright silly. Which wouldn't be nice, would it? Anyway, it's late, I'm tired, and I have a lot to get through, so I'm going to have to do the obvious: gibber some more. In a verbal way.
So with that essential gibbering out of the way, let's move on. Metaphorically. I have eight e-"newsletters" to get through, and although I won't finish doing that today, I should at least make a go of it, right? And in sympathy (or maybe even empathy, though I think my suffering is unique), you'll read what I'm writing as an act of charity, won't you? Please? Thank you! I hereby give you permission to comment on what I write. A belated birthday present if you like (unless your birthday is today, in which case it's for last year's birthday).
First up is the 11/04/2003 edition of NTK, or strictly speaking, the joint production, NTK Lite -- "NTK, without the scary acronyms (apart from the name)!". [Notice how I missed out the previous one, due to inability to cope with paradoxes, and more importantly, profligate site-exposure]. The first item of interest not entirely dependent on technophilia (although I'm not one to talk, as I find anything from elections to the prices of hotels interesting. Well, maybe not the prices of hotels) is the BBC's (yes, them again) blatantly biased news article on piracy. Now I admit it's easy to criticise the BBC, and even easier to accuse it of bias, especially when one disagrees with them. But the number of articles the BBC writes about piracy, the patronizing and tabloidesque way in which they're written (choice quote:"His fingers well and truly burned - and his spending power far greater than in his student years - Matthew now only uses licensed software. 'Not only do they work properly, I get all the technical support and upgrades I need.' " Isn't that sweet? Aww...), the chutzpah to suggest remedies (the constant begging for strong laws springs to mind), and the unprofessional, if not ignorant, underpinnings of the articles, mix together to create a very nasty taste in the mouth. After spitting out the gum that hasn't been chewed due to shock and anger, there is still a feeling of rage and maybe even helplessness at the BBC's attitude. If only it was just piracy! I used to be a big fan of the BBC, and in theory still am one: I strongly believe a truly public-service broadcaster is essential to the funcioning of democracy. But if it continues to degrade its news-reporting in this manner I shall have to campaign for its abolition.
Well, that was preachy, wasn't it? Get a grip, Guido. Still, at least I wasn't provoked into lamenting their abysmal record for showing American sitcoms at regular, pre-3am hours... Then I really would've been self-righteous. But I'll save that for the right time.
Perhaps one way for me to relax would be to play Go, a very old Japanese board game. I played it many years ago, and it seemed like a cerebral enough game, perhaps even a worthy alternative to chess, when there's been a power cut and you just have to play a board game. Is that just me? Oh, it is. Anyway, the BBC (and no, I'm not paid to write about them, either by them or anyone else: though I am willing to ignore my principles if someone does pay me to write opinions on here! Get in touch, I need the money) have kindly, through their kiddienews site (aka Newsround, which to be fair is a great programme) given instructions on how to play Go. You must start with an "Unlimited amount of black and white stones", and then "fill the corners of the blank spaces, called the intersection [sic]" with them. Then "Black goes first. Placing a stone on the corner of the square. This leaves the opponent up to 4 chances to capture the opposing stone, (i.e. there are 4 lines out of a corner and once the white (for example) has been surrounded the white is captured and turns to black." How to end this fascinating, if slightly incomprehensible game [or is it -- gosh -- just that the instructions are muddled?!]? Well, there is no end to it, seemingly, because, "basically, it's all over when you've both had enough and have decided that you can't make more territory, capture more stones, or reduce his opponent's territory by playing on". Right. That's very helpful, thank you. Except it's all [family-friendly word inserted here].
Oh well, there's always Microsoft to laugh at:
The day I see a good school site is the day I see a good school site (I don't want to do or promise anything rash, you understand). So it would be terribly petty of me to link to one from here, wouldn't it? But if NTK does, so do I, so please visit The Matthew Arnold School site. Although it's not bad per se, it does take a very long time to load up. A very, very long time. Unless you have broadband like me. Either way, view the source code, and marvel at its genius. Mad, evil genius, maybe: this is a school after all. But genius nonetheless.
I think that's enough for now. It is almost tomorrow after all, and I don't wish to be present in two different days at once, especially whilst fatigued. Could be bad for my health.
Bunos nitos.


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