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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Agile Practices

A nice little Freshmeat editorial on developer-led "viral adoption" of Agile Practices. Why? because : Trust; ;numbers;Low ceremony; unaware Host; The Web; tools/frameworks


Machinima music video "Fallen"

Via Boing Boing and Hollywood Liberation Army: Fallen is a machinima music video created in Star Wars Galaxies about a tragic romance between a female Imperial officer and a male Rebel fighter using the song "Fallen" by Delirium.

It also won the Star Wars Galaxies Fan Film Fest 2004.

More : Rouge Farm; Red vs Blue Season 3; The Art of Machinima; Spielbergs with a joystick or Reservoir Dogs/Star Wars mashup


Friday, October 29, 2004

Google Cheat Sheet

Via Google Help Central

National Geographic on Evolution :Was Darwin Wrong?

From ironcircus Via Links : Q: Was Darwin wrong? A: NO.

"Yes, it can be measured in the laboratory. Shut up.

Yes, there is fossil evidence. Shut up.

No, no one claims we evolved from present-day apes. Shut up.

And yes, it's just a theory. And so is that whole 'the Earth orbits the Sun' thing. Time out to look up the scientific definition of the word 'theory,' okay? Go on. I'll wait here.

Got it? All done?

Good. Shut up."
Category Evolution

The rise of Asian filmmaking.

From Prospect Magazine Via Peking Duck, also The Economist writes about the New Wave of South Korean cinema.


Presidential Enblogments 2004 :

False Positives endorses John Kerry for President(click to show your support) because:

  1. I am a Proud Member of the Reality Based Community
  2. To Vote Republican, One Must Believe The Following

Please Vote (you either get counted or you don't count!)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Casshern DVD Review

Twitch reviews Casshern, as mentioned here

DHTML JavaScript Tooltips and other JS tool libraries

DHTML JavaScript Tooltips , WZ.Grapher Function Grapher,JavaScript Vectorgraphics Library and experimental Rotate Image . Not your mother's javascript library, not mine at least...

All these and a few more from

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Agent Boost Alpha

Via the Inside Lotus Blog comes Agent Boost Alpha from Damien Katz

"Agent Boost is an extension manager hook [that] will allow you to write regular Notes agents and have those agents be invoked during database and server events, like when a document is saved or mail is delivered."

Here was the first pre-annocement

Rouge Farm, machinima

Via Charlie's Diary comes word that this story Rouge Farm ("Live without a Net" edited by Lou Anders, published by Roc.) has been machinima'ized into Rouge Farm ,the animated short film and nominated for a BAFTA Scotland award in the Best Animation category.

Rogue Farm will be released on DVD in November 2004.

More on Machinima.

On GMail and DHTML architecture again

Koranteng's Toli gives a well written peice on On GMail and DHTML architecture again, and also has a older On rich web applications, AlphaBlox and Oddpost

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

GLUCOBOY is it GameBoy or Is it a blood glucose meter?

GLUCOBOY is a children's blood glucose meter that can be directly inserted into a Nintendo GAMEBOY

via Boing Boing

Monday, October 25, 2004

Now with

I've added links to the right.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Tiny Ideas Coming of Age

From The New York Times (registration required; or use talks about NanoTech and that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced a new registration category just for nanotechnology inventions (Class 977).

Also this definition of things Nano-tech : Information technology was about recording and analyzing the physical world, but nanotechnology is about changing how the physical world behaves.

Intel's Dual Core Strategy Investigated

From AnandTech via Slashdot

Anandtech has a bunch of insider information concerning Intel move to dual-core CPUs, contrasted with AMD's aproach.

While Intel's current roadmap appears to place dual core on the desktop before it makes its way to the enterprise (other than with Itanium), AMD's strategy is reversed - with dual core appearing in workstations and on servers before making a splash on the desktop.

More on Core Wars

Saturday, October 23, 2004

USS Make Shit Up

Via Bureau 42 Comes The USS Make Shit Up and Screw the Okampa (also The Sexy Data Tango and Worfs Revenge) lol! hilarious!!

Category:Star Trek/Humour

A match made in bloggers' heaven

Accordion Guy's and The Red Head's engagement made it to The Globe and Mail (after a weeks delay). Congrad's Joey and Wendy!!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Attack of the 50 ft. Windows error....

@ Toronto's Dundas Square

Performance Engineering Lots Notes Domino Applications

Lots for good info Here from Martin Scott. worth reviewing every now and than.

Also Notes/Domino development version control strategy, which is "basically" what I'm using now, will save your bacon if not your sanity.

Windows v Linux security:

From the The Registerr, a counter is the FUD.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Review of Kar Wai Wong's 2046

@The Japan Times Online, it actual explained something to me in his "Days of Being Wild". Here for more on Kar Wai Wong's 2046


Casshern, the best SF film this year that you haven't heard of via Casshern: SciFi Unseen (IMDB). here's a review.

It's comming out on DVD (in asia) on Oct 23 and you can get at YesAsia or cdJapan.

Director:Kazuaki Kiriya (feature film debut; (known as a photographer & video director)

Cast:Yusuke Iseya, Kumiko Asou, Akira Terao, Kanako Hiquchi, Fumiyo Kohinata, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Mayumi Sada, Toshiaki Karasawa

Update Twitch Films has a review of the Casshern DVD

Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

via Accordion Guy in reaction to this Without a Doubt, also Boing Boing's : Bush's faith-based reality and Willian Gibson's Blog "This election is increasingly about not letting Medievalism conquer the Enlightenment,"

Just to clarify : "I am a member of a civilization." (IAAMOAC)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Personal Network

The Personal Network : Informationweek has a piece on the
The Next 25 Years, and there is some interesting stuff there, but what really got me was their section "The PC Versus The Personal Network".

It's like the next step beyond Sun's the "Network is the Computer", which is okay if your a big company or government, but this is "MY Network", I just happen to be using this device to access it right now.

It's not new but a new vision of a "Network is the Computer". It's not theInterNet, it's MyNet.

Run a Lotus Notes Domino Web agent via Javascipt

When coding on some Domino web app, I frequently need to do more than just a WebQuerySave. I could use a Formula code "@URLOpen()", but for actions that are really serious it nice to confirm that they really, really, meant to push that button before you launch the nuclear missiles....., and that’s hard to do on the web without a little this is the sort of code I add to the button or hotspot.:

// this code could be in your JS header or Js include file.
path = window.location.pathname.toLowerCase();
nsfPos = path.indexOf(".nsf");
path = path.substring(0, nsfPos+5);
// path now contains the relative url of the window upto ".nsf/"

if ( confirm('Please confirm this very dangerous Action.') )
f = document.forms[0];
action = path + "YourAngentsName?OpenAgent";

After the "?OpenAgent" you can pass paraments of course, which then needs to be parsed out. This whole technique lends itself very nicely to the proper way to Delete Domino Doc on the web

I'm not sure if I "borrowed" this for someone else years ago or invented myself. Part of the reason for posting this is so I don't forget it.

Also Search Domino posted a similar tip to fill a more complicated need, from which I'm sure I can learn a few tricks.


Bullet Madness

Get your Typogrpahical Bullets - a free bullets project at Stylegala

Bullet madness is a list of 200 bullets, arrows and icons

More Muilt Core, 50 Billion Flops

ClearSpeed Technology demos the Revival of the co-processor

96 processors on a single chip... 50 billion floating point calculations in a second and while dissipating as little as 5 watts of power.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it! What would/could you do with 50 B flops? (in addtion to Doom I mean) "I've just simulated today’s weather, Dear, better bring you umbrella!"

all this follows up nicely on the More Core Wars theme.

Neal Stephenson's Slashdot interview

Via Boing Boing comes Neal Stephenson's Slashdot interview.

Still slowly being digesting by it (It's an attack meme), but I've decided I'm bring body armour the next time he does a reading or signing in Toronto!

Loft Lust :Downtown, Starck designed Wall Street condo complex

Via MoCoLoco, uber designer Philippe Starck transformed the former 40-story headquarters for banker JP Morgan into 326 Starck-designed residences.

drool....oh for +$USD 2 Md!!

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars on DVD

Via Bureau 42 the DVD will be out for region one on January 18, 2005.

The Bureau also have a Peacekeeper discussion

Monday, October 18, 2004

Ten CSS tricks you may not know


Jon Stewart's Brutal Exchange with CNN Crossfire Hosts

IFlim is Hosting Jon Stewart's (of the Daily Show) appearance on Crossfire.

It?s sad (scary) how they (CNN) can?t answer a straight question (they can't believe he asked a straight question, then avoid the question any way they can), and hold a comedy show to a higher standard than they themselves follow. Here one column describing what happened.

Update: It was also on Boing Boing, but I missed it.

There are now suggestions that (maybe) Crossfire Downloads Exceed Broadcast Audience

Another update: Jon comments on his appearance and CrossFire's tempid response

And the New York Times has finally noted it:No Jokes or Spin. It's Time (Gasp) to Talk.

Mr. Stewart's frankness was a cool, startling, rational version of Senator Zell Miller's loony excoriation ("Get out of my face") to Chris Matthews of MSNBC during the Republican convention...

Mr. Stewart's Howard Beal (of "Network") outburst stood out because he said what a lot of viewers feel helpless to correct: that news programs, particularly on cable, have become echo chambers for political attacks, amplifying the noise instead of parsing the misinformation. Whether the issue is Swift boat ads or Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment suit, shows like "Crossfire" or "Hardball" provide gladiator-style infotainment as journalists clownishly seek to amuse or rile viewers, not inform them....

When Mr. Carlson took the offense, charging that Mr. Stewart had no right to complain since he had asked Senator John Kerry softball questions on "The Daily Show," Mr. Stewart looked genuinely appalled. "I didn't realize - and maybe this explains quite a bit - that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity." When Mr. Carlson continued to argue, Mr. Stewart shut him down hard. "You are on CNN," he said. "The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls."...

All late-night talk-show hosts make jokes about politicians. What distinguishes Mr. Stewart from Jay Leno and David Letterman is that the Comedy Central star mocks the entire political process, boring in tightly on the lockstep thinking and complacency of the parties and the media as well as the candidates. More than other television analysts and commentators, he and his writers put a spotlight on the inanities and bland hypocrisies that go mostly unnoticed in the average news cycle.

Cory Doctorow interview

Via Boing Boing, All About Symbian has part 1 of an Interview conducted early October in Edinburgh.

Mostly good backgound stuff with a few tidbits. inculding that his 3rd novel (Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town, an urban fantasy based around wireless community networking in Toronto's Kensington Market) in out in Feb 2005, his 4th is (working title) usr/bin/god in 2006, plus more short stories and "a joint project with Charlie Stross about the first multi million dollar heist in a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game"

Update: Part 2 is now up. Hear Cory design a better Phone and Network.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

Updated PKWars Info : The four-hour mini-series begins Sunday, October 17 on The SCI FI Channel. Movie trailers here

No word when us Northern America's can see it.

More On Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
and there's always FoxTrot

Update March 2005 : Now in Canada

Javascripts for Designers

A collection of handy Javascripts for Designers: ExpandCollapse, Timer Layer, Style Switcher, Form Checker. Also some neat stuff in the Sandbox

Bell's Axioms on Standards

Via Slashdot comes A Time and Place for Standards from ACM Queue by Gordon Bell

Some interesting observations in light of Sun's Jonathan Schwartz comments, in particular :

People buy products, not protocols or algorithms.

If their is no product their is no market, hence:
You get no product, technology, or standard before its time.

you actual have to solve the need not make the pain visible,which leads to:
Once a technology has been proven in a hardware implementation, it proceeds to be implemented in software running on high-performance processors.

many leading edge problems at first require dedicated hardware, but high volumes become only really high volume in software running on general processors, which leads to:

Ultimately, each high-volume information technology product becomes a commodity distributed free of charge or given away with something else.

but as soon as it is practical to run it as software it is unlikely stay proprietary and starts getting commodized, which leads back to
People buy products, not protocols or algorithms.

value add beyond the algorithm

Think of what this means not just the computer and software biz, but the music and movie biz, or others. (banking, telecom, advertising,...)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Domino Error Messages

Jake Howlett of CodeStore fame has complied a very handy list of Domino Error Messages

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Google Desktop Search

Google Desktop Search Download

Tiny (400k) download. Indexes Outlook (Express), AIM, IE, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and text files. Runs on Windows 2000 and XP only.

More details on O'Reilly, plus John Battelle's Searchblog and Search Engine Watch

Very weird doing a google search and seeing the resuilts of your desktop search. (not bad, just weird). Missing: mozila mail; Lotus notes data; images; mp3 ad other audio; Open Office files; pdf's!!!. Is it just chance that it focus's on Microsoft formats?

It's a very Google world !! I've got Gmail and notifier, Adsense, Google Blog (Blooger) and now Google Desktop search.


Via ComputerWorld Grazing the Nanograss : a bed of upright silicon posts a thousand times thinner than a human hair. Apllications inculde: Improved Battaries; Heat sinks for computer processors and other devices; Liquid lenses; Liquid photonics.

"Nanograss is an important technology because it combines a materials breakthrough with electronic properties that enhance the material and allow it to be used as a platform for a slew of applications,"

This is something I would expect to see in Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends or Howard Lovy's NanoBot.

Update :

  1. The "Liquid lenses" is something that I think I remember reading in Frank Herbert's Dune books: in the first one didn't someone (a Atreides like Paul or Duncan) use a Binocular with a water or liquid lens that could be focused?
  2. Howard was kind enough to post my email to him regarding the NanoGrass story. Thanks! (and now I wish I had been more eloquent)

Wireless tech glossary

Via Boing Boing, WIFi Guy Mike Outmesguine gathers a glossary of wireless tech terms . Keep WiMax straight from your ZigBee.

Hide .jsp Names from the URL

Via Dex Tip of the DayHiding .jsp Names from the URL:

There are instances when .jsp names need to be hidden from the URL. This can be done using various design techniques. But if your application is small and simle enough that it doesn't even require a servlet, you can hide a real URL by defining a mapping in the web.xml file. Here is a snippet from the web.xml file:




Now the url can point to /company.myco.admin, which would actually take the user to /admin.jsp.

Extra thanks to Puneet Sangal, whom authored the tip, and the Tip Bank

Saturday, October 09, 2004

A high quality javascript form validation tool

fValidate via raible designs

Sushi Wars

Globe and Mail food columnist Joanne Kates (registration required) spares a few inches after review the new Jolly Miller.

Sushi wars: If the Ontario government proceeds with its wacky plan to ban the use of fresh raw fish, sushi will go the way of the dodo in the province.

How much frozen fish do sushi chefs use now? Hiro Sushi uses about 20 per cent frozen fish (surf clam, butterfish and eel). All his other ingredients (tuna, snapper, mackerel, squid, octopus, sea urchin etc.) come in fresh.

Were they to be frozen, the sushi would have the texture of porridge.

Hiro (along with Michael Stadtlander and other chef luminaries) is organizing a petition to fight this law. You will soon be able to get information at

previous related posts started here : Sushi Insanity; "The Battle for Toro" One and Two; and The End of Sushi or Sayonara Sashimi

Friday, October 08, 2004

Towards tag-based bookmark management in web browsers?

Tom Coate @ has some neat ideas about a next gen way to slice and dice Bookmarks and make them more usable / flexable. I wonder if Mozilla (xml?) bookmark format might be amenable to be hacked, extended and redisplayed?

Alan Cox on writing better software

Via Ping Wales. Lots of good ideas:

Execute-only code; Firewalling by default; Languages; Validation tools; Type safety; Tainting; Rule verification; Good interfaces; Defensive interfaces; Mathematical models; Scripted debugging; Brute force testers; Root cause analysis; Document trails; Rigorous reviews; Statistics

Thursday, October 07, 2004

TV Via DSL - Waiting for cheap set-top boxes

As Time Warner Cable begins to push into their phone business, Cincinnati Bell says they're getting closer to pushing back into the television business. Jack Cassidy, president and CEO of Cincinnati Bell, says the only thing that has kept his company from deploying TV over ADSL2+ gear is the cost of set-top boxes for the service, which he says often run in the $400-500 range. InStat-MDR recently noted that sub-$100 boxes would allow the TV via DSL business to start moving forward.
So, how quickly could we get from "Broad-cast" to Nich-cast? Think TiVo + Netflix: and think Evan:
"The Power of the Tail: 1 million sites with 1000 users is far larger than 100 sites with a million users (AdSense, Affiliate models, et al" Hmmm...
for more about the Power of the Tails see The Long Tail via Boing Boing
Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.
and more about: TV over Internet protocol (TVIP)

Gmail Notifier

Gmail Notifier, updated October 4, 2004, a Windows (>2k) system tray app. new Icons and other stuff, see faq

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Zoom quilt: This must be want Alice felt like


Like Kottke said, man.... Trippy.

6 Best Practices for J2EE Architecture

The Codist Links to 6 Best Practices for J2EE Architecture:

Never Shortcut Server-Side Validation; Security is Not an Add-On; I18N is Not a Just a Buzzword Anymore; Avoid Common Mistakes With MVC Presentation; Don't Be Embarrassed by POJOs; Data Access Does Not Mandate O/R Mapping

Magical Maps

Via bTang reBlog: is using its aerial photo/map mash-up as a tool to sell maps and photos. But it's the combination of the two that leaves me with my mouth hanging open.

Hover over the map and the (dhtml?) trick which will have you catching flys. So Cool.

Update:Life with Alarcity : Map Mashup dissects the JavaScript and gets the link love from Boing Boing

This trick is done completely in Javascript, located in global.js, and uses the* properties that I've really only seen used in Javascript-based menus before. I'm a bit confused on how this works in IE, as it does not support alpha tranparency

TokyoArtBeat and QR codes

From Antipixel comes TokyoArtBeat, which is a brilliantly executed site (in English and Japanese) which tracks shows and events in the art, design, film, art party and opening events.

As an interesting plus, it has those QR Codes which you scan with your mobile (Camera) phone to instantly download a map to the event location. (It also has Yahoo! Maps for those not so blessed).

I've mentioned QRCodes (two-dimension quick response codes) before : One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, BarCode Fish... and Camera-phone barcode reader and Camera Phones Link World to Web.

Categorized under: //

Life as I know it....: Lotus Notes RSS Aggregator

Life as I know it has kind words for my Lotus Notes News Reader (v0.3). Remember It's : free; open source; designed for R5.x.

Thanks Colton! It's allways nice to hear from folk who have found it useful (like the Nsf-On-Air people).

I haven't got around to adding other major changes to it, but keep thinking of modifing to make it easier to use as a server newsfeed reader (an admin role to maintain feeds), plus a web view of the feeds (for non notes client people).

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire

Sarah McLachlan's new video cost 15 Dollars.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Bigelow's Inflatable Treehouse and the Next X

Bigelow's Gamble, via futurismic

Given Mondays 2nd flight, and hopeful X-Prize win, it time to set the next big challenge.

Update : SpaceShip One successfully reached it's altitude of +100km (+62 miles for the metrically challenged), piloted by Brian Binnie to a maximum altitude of 368,000 feet, passed an altitude record set by NASA's X-15 forty years ago. (Google tells me that = 112.1664 kilometers).

Xeni Boing's the event and links to Jason DeFillippo's photos

on a related note: Mercury 7 Astronaut Gordon Cooper passed away at age 77

FuturePundit blogs "X Prize Shows Prizes Can Speed Technological Advances", with a great summary of why this is important and , links for more info.

The more important story is that prize money can very efficiently speed the rate of technological advance in targetted areas. If NASA's entire budget was shifted over into prize money it would do far more to accelerate the development of space technology than the current set of programs that NASA funds.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The FAQs on Frequently Asked Questions

From open source FAQ generation and management tools that make maintaining and deploying useful FAQs al little bit easier.

Although at the end of the day, there is no substitute for listening to your users and tracking common issues and questions.

Sushi Insanity

The Globe and Mail has a few inches devoted it the Sushi Ban in it's "Intelligence" column (registration required (try )which mentions Malcolm Jolley's were he is gathering a names and massges for a "massive electronic petition to be submitted to the provincial government."

"I love all good food and what really insults me is that we're being denied access to the very best for silly reasons," he says. "At the end of the day we'll all be eating at McDonald's and having Kraft Dinner because it's safe. How far do we want to take this?"

In just a few days, his site has been flooded with dozens of posts by Ontarians outraged that the government is sticking its dirty hands into their sushi platters. The petition now has more than 200 signatures, and Mr. Jolley says he hopes to reach thousands before sending it next weekend to Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman, an admitted sushi fan himself who nonetheless has defended the deep freeze.

Toronto has some of the finest restaurants in the world, Mr. Jolley says, and the fresh-fish ban is embarrassing for the city.
see more at "The Battle for Toro" One and Two; and The End of Sushi or Sayonara Sashimi

Update Sushi Wars

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Battle for Toro, 2

Following up on The Battle for Toro, Part 1 and the original The End of Sushi or Sayonara Sashimi, and Via Blue Frog's Blog, I've sent a Petition to the Hon George Smitherman (" sushi aficionado as well as Ontario's Health Minister") from the fine folk at Toronto Area Sushi Society, and you can to.

Update Sushi Wars