Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 100 oldest dot com domains

A simple link for local people: The 100 oldest dot com domains. The oldest three, from March to May 1985 (with no dot com domains being registered in June 1985, which seems amazing in the postfuture present) are,, and These are now, respectively, judging purely from a cursory glance at their websites, a defunct but formerly innovative technology company, a boring but still functioning technology company, and an Oracle-sponsored free-sites-for-children-yay site. That's it. It's not Kafka, but you had that in the last post.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Neogooglelogism of the day or other convenient time period

"Go forth and self-inebriate!" Google doesn't have any webpages in its index with this phrase. I'd like mine to be the first. Behold my ambition, and shudder.

Kafka - Away From Here

Kafka - Away From Here:

"I gave orders for my horse to be brought round from the stable. The servant did not understand me. I myself went to the stable, saddled my horse and mounted. In the distance I heard a bugle call, I asked him what this meant. He knew nothing and had heard nothing. At the gate he stopped me, asking: 'Where are you riding to, master?' 'I don't know,' I said, 'only away from here, away from here. Always away from here, only by doing such can I reach my destination.' 'And so you know your destination?' he asked. 'Yes,' I answered, 'didn't I say so? Away-From-Here, that is my destination.' 'You have no provisions with you,' he said. 'I need none,' I said, 'The journey is so long that I must die of hunger if I don't get anything on the way. No provisions can save me. For it is, fortunately, a truly immense journey.'"
This blogging lark is a doddle [= So blogging is bloody easy], what with all the marvellous material already existing on the internet. Copyright, you say? Yes, I want to talk to you about that. Please come this way.... For the rest of you, a bow. I hope you start to realise how this log of the web is not just interesting and wonderful, but also a fight against the second law of thermodynamics. I do, because I can. I wonder what Kafka's blog would have been like...

Friday, October 14, 2005

How can papers afford to give away DVDs?

So how can papers afford to give away all those DVDs? A fine question by any standard (except saltiness). The BBC, in its queenly wisdom, claims that the answer is that the newspapers get each DVD very, very cheaply, even as low as 16p according to an Anonymous Industry Source [I wish I knew more of those]. An obvious response-question, at least to a middle-class boy, is, "Why the hell do we pay so much for the DVDs ourselves then?", assuming "we" actually buy DVDs. As a professional journalist can't give the correct answer, "Because you're idiots who agree to it", the need to blame someone else has to be satisfied. If the scapegoat is also an idiot, this helps. Much help was given on this occasion by Gennaro Castaldo, an "HMV spokesman" [I wish I knew more of those too].

"DVDs should be aspirational but if you see them being tossed around it sends out a negative message," says HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo. "It devalues the medium in the minds of the public."
So because people find out just how cheap a DVD really is, they won't want to own one any more? The horror! Maybe retailers shouldn't be depending on DVDs being "aspirational" in the first place, especially because no-one actually thinks so. Disingenuously pretending they are won't do much good for the brand, will it? So will HMV et al now face reality and price DVDs more cheaply?
Mr Castaldo rejects it as a "facile argument". The cost of DVDs sold in shops reflects the "full costs of creating a film, distribution, marketing and selling it."
Just like the ones given away free with the newspapers, no? How facile of us to notice. Bloody consumers and their demanding demands. The world moves on.

A borderline existence (Ha'aretz)

A curious tale:

Tom Hanks lived in an airport. Mahmoud Shaniq lives at a checkpoint. Hanks was in a movie, Shaniq is doing it in real life. When push comes to shove, though, it's more comfortable to live in a modern airport terminal than at an Israel Defense Forces checkpoint in the occupied territories. It is not clear why the character played by Hanks chose to live in the airport in the film 'Terminal.' However, it is perfectly clear why Shaniq chooses to live at the checkpoint: he has no other choice, because he wants to go on living. He is barred from moving to the west of the checkpoint, which is Israeli territory, and he is convinced that if he takes a few steps to the east, toward the West Bank, he will be liquidated immediately. Shaniq is known in the West Bank as a collaborator with Israel.
To cut a complicated story simple, this Palestinian, Shariq, appears to be extremely unlucky, having been struck with, in the correspondent's words, the "mark of Cain" -- that of being accused of collaboration with the Israelis, an accusation he denies. A tale of flitting between home and abroad, trying not to be killed or deported, describes his life so far. And now, after really having collaborated with the Israelis to try and be allowed to stay there, he has been kicked out one final time, and has nowhere to go. Except Hollywood, of course. I think he should at least try.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Madonna 'upsets Israeli rabbis', rest of world [as American journalists would have it, and me]

Since wearing conical bras got the attention of everyone except those who shun pop culture and its satanic ways, Madonna has embarked on a much more focussed marketing strategy, starting with one of her biggest unexploited markets, Israeli rabbis. Given their previous lack of interest in her status as a virgin with a premiere contact, or her habit of crying blood, she's gone for the jugular and just written a song about an important rabbi in Kabbalah folklore that most Jews don't really care about. This has provoked outrages such as the following (according to the BBC):

'Jewish law forbids the use of the name of the holy rabbi for profit,' said Cohen, who runs a seminary named after Luria in the northern Israel town of Safed."
He obviously has a non-profit seminary. Source of all this inconsequential speculation: BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Madonna 'upsets Israeli rabbis' I bet you're really glad I exist now.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A new Shining trailer, perhaps

The Shining has been re-released! It's now called Shining and has a completely different storyline. There's a new trailer to herald it. The aforementioned trailer For some reason, I found it all very funny...

News in Science - Dolphins sing 'Batman' theme - 03/10/2005

Keeping right up to date, I hereby inform you that Dolphins sing 'Batman' theme. Who knew? I don't.