ThatchSpace

"Still Moving The Text Around"

Month: September 2005 (page 2 of 9)

Suspicious behaviour on the tube

I have to tell you this story worries me. Jools and I roamed a round London and it’s underground a couple of years back. We carried the toys that we are used to carryiing day in and day out and carried /wore unseasonable clothes because we were going to be out all day.

According to Bruce Schneier and The Guardian some poor bloke was arrested in the London subways as a terrorist because, well because he was acting like a computer nerd.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/09/man_arrested_fo.html
and
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Suspicious behaviour on the tube

From the Guardian reporter (and victim David Mery) “A London underground station was evacuated and part of a main east-west line closed in a security alert on Thursday, three weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 people on the transport network, police said. (Reuters)

This Reuters story was written while the police were detaining me in Southwark tube station and the bomb squad was checking my rucksack. When they were through, the two explosive specialists walked out of the tube station smiling and commenting: “Nice laptop.” The officers offered apologies on behalf of the Metropolitan police. Then they arrested me.” and then he details the nearly 48 hours of being detained, searched, arrested.

You have to read this one to believe it and then put yourself into his shoes. I know I am constantly “playing” with my phone and organiser. I carry maps with client notes and circuit/network sketches scribbled all over them. I carry a handful of flash keys, cables, spare batteries and god knows what else of a geek nature in my shoulder bag ( it was worse when I carried a “bulky” backpack). And I use public transport to get around because I dont drive.

Does all this now constitute suspicious behaviour? More importantly today John Howard and the Premiers are in Canberra discussing the proposed new anti-terrorist laws. Somehow I dont see them being all that concerned with a “false positive”.

I think we are in trouble folks. (or at least those of us who carry backpacks, use public transport and mobile phones).

UPDATE
This is from the comments on Bruce Schneier’s Blog,

All, I keep updating a version of what happened and what is happening at http://gizmonaut.net/bits/suspect.html

You may also be interested in a much shorter piece at http://gizmonaut.net/bits/profiling.html which was inspired in large part by this blog.

br -d

Posted by: David Mery at September 26, 2005 05:58 PM

Clipomatic. But Wait there’s More

I was reading a tech article on Java Programming and came across a reference to “boiler plating” code. You know the stuff you are aleays using and reusing that you have lying around all commented out at the top or bottom of the template page.

Yeah you know what I mean.

Well here is what I have been using of late Mike Lin’s Clipomatic,this is a clipboard cache program – it remembers what was copied to the clipboard even after new data is copied, and allows you to retrieve the old data.

Even better it allows you to keep whole bunches of code in a file and swap it in and out as you need it. I have a default set that includes some stuff I am always using in the blog, like the ‘target=”_blank”‘ to stick in the links to make it open a new page. Not good practice I have been told but seeing as how I read and use the blog I can set it up to work how I want.

How it works
Using Clipomatic is simple. All you have to do is start it up, and it will start monitoring the clipboard and recording its changes. When you want to paste an old item, you just put the keyboard cursor where you would like to paste and press Ctrl-Alt-V instead of Ctrl-V. A menu pops up with your clips – you can select one with the mouse or with a single keystroke. The menu then disappears, and the item is pasted with no further work on your part. Check out Mike’s site and try it out.

My only wish is that it would run of a USB Flash drive… Hello? Mike? Are you listening?

How to search Google efficiently

Google Basics

The Internet is a couple of billion web pages big, which can make it “needle in a haystack” difficult to find stuff. So Serge and Larry invented Google to help work through it all.

Google’s front page is just so brain dead simple, it’s brilliant. But stashed up to the right is the “Advanced Search” and who knows how to use it?

Well ,Sudar Muthu has written an article Google MyWay – How to search Google efficiently you can find some techniques which will help you to use the features of Google in an effective way.

Really really really useful.

UPDATE:
Oblique Searching Strategies by David Seah

When Google doesn’t find what you want, it’s because you are probably using an overly-general search query, or one that has been polluted by e-commerce junk information. Argh!

To get to the real opinions on the Internet, you need to search for words that people use, as opposed to the lifeless copywriting you see in a lot of “professional business communication.” and now read the article. He has some good ideas about how to use your new found skills.
I loved this one

UN-search for marketing copy. I remember looking for reviews on a particular ricecooker (the Zojirushi NS-KCC05), and the entire search result space was saturated with Amazon and Amazon.com feeder microstores: basically, the exact same information over and over again. Use this against them! Find a unique phrase in the copy and ignore it in the research results by adding a – in front of it. For example, if the ad copy says something like, “re-heats rice to the perfect serving temperature”, do this search: zojirushi NS-KCC05 -“re-heats rice to the perfect serving temperature”. You’ll not see any results that contain that phrase. Thank God.

Big thanks to both Sudar and David.

Another UPDATE: Google Search Tips 2005
Here are some search syntax basics and advanced tricks for Google.com. You might know most of these, but if you spot a new one, it may come in handy in future searches.

Magical Macintosh Key Sequences

Yet another in the what appears to be never ending series of cheat sheets, (mental note… create cheat sheets category or better yet a cheatsheet to find all the other cheat sheets… hmmm), anyway this one is entitled Magical Macintosh Key Sequences

All the magic key sequences to make your Mac do various useful things (but probably not how I want it to do it). Still it beats the “official” Apple offering . The irony (and I suspect that irony is something that Apple do better than design) is that for a system that built it’s rep on being easy to use, finding some off this stuff is bloody hard.

Thank you Dave Polaschek.

Dermal Nanotech Display

Visualizing the Future: Dermal Nanotech Display

NanoDisplay

This nanotech dermal display is a designer concept, based on real nanoscience principles. Seattle-based designer Gina Miller, working together with nanotech populariser Robert A. Freitas Jr., describes the concept:

In his book Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities [available on the web at http://www.nanomedicine.com/NMI.htm ], Robert A. Freitas Jr. describes [in section 7.4.6.7 (page 204)] a “programmable dermal display” in which a population of about 3 billion display pixel robots would be permanently implanted a fraction of a mm under the surface of the skin, covering a rectangle 6 cm x 5 cm on the back of the hand. Photons emitted by these pixel bots would produce an image on the surface of the skin. This pixelbot array could be programmed to form any of many thousands of displays. Each display would be capable of two functions:
(1) presenting to the user data received from the large population of medical bots that roam the user’s body;
(2) conveying instructions from the user to that same large population of bots. The display could be activated or deactivated by finger tapping on the skin.

The future is creeping up again, or is that just getting creepier?

Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20050926

Good Morning

This week I will start with some items from the blog.
https://thatchspace.com/wordpress.
As I mentioned I will be posting a lot of this stuff there as I find it and then just sending a roundup.

Roundup From the Blog – The Mondays Category

Liquid art – Eye Candy

Liquid Sculpture – High-speed and Fine Art Photography

British Museum – Original Alice Book

British Library – Online Gallery – Alice

Silly Camera and GPS STuff

Silly Cameras, Diggers and GPS Games

ObjectGraph Dictionary (this is a beaut)

The ObjectGraph Dictionary

But there are still some things that are just to weird to pass up.
Continue reading

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