[ Home page | Web log ]
The pattern which is printed on modern European bank notes and is recognised by photocopiers which refuse to print it. See this mailing list posting for more information. To my irritation, I wasn't able to find this with Google -- apparently because the word I was searching for -- `photocopying' -- is hyphenated in the document....
I went to see the new Star Wars movie last night. It was OK, I suppose, if you ignore the cringe-worthy dialogue. The special effects were pretty, too, though not quite seamless.
One thing that's always bothered me about those films is that the extremely technologically advanced people long ago in a galaxy far away have no weapons between little LASER guns which sting a bit and swords which might take your arm off, and enormous planet-destroying death rays. Surely there's a gap in the market there somewhere....
Here's a really good scam which I read about in Stephen Jory's book about currency forgery, Funny Money. It turns out that many of their forged £20 notes were sold to taxi drivers, who used them to defraud their customers.
The way it works is as follows:
Customer goes on taxi ride, offers £20 note in payment.
Taxi driver takes note, swaps it in his hand with the forged £20, and says ``Haven't you got anything smaller?''
If the customer replies ``No,'' the driver hands back the fake £20 and says ``Don't worry mate, this one's on me.''
If the customer offers another note in payment, the taxi driver hands back the fake £20 and takes more of the customer's real money.
Cunning, but it hasn't improved my opinion of taxi drivers any.
Just for fun, I rewrote ng-analyse, my trivial newsgroup analysis program. Some results (updated nightly) are here; apart from the fact that it now makes some sort of attempt to do non-ASCII character sets correctly, the major enhancement is the time zones plot, which is quite fun.
Perhaps I should find one of those databases of host locations to do a proper map of posters?
(Character sets thought: what a pity that it isn't BSCII-- I'm sure that British engineers would have had the sense to put both £ and $ in their character sets.)
``The day [hated corporation] makes a product which doesn't suck is the day they start making vacuum cleaners.''
Today I had the misfortune of using the world's crummiest vacuum cleaner, an antique upright model made by Hoover some time before I was born.
Most vacuum cleaners make a room clean by sucking dust and dirt off the floor and storing it in a bag whose contents can then be discarded. This vacuum cleaner attempted to create the impression of cleanliness by sucking up dirt and blowing it out again a moment later into a different part of the room. Possibly it was this very process which inspired Hoover to give away free airline tickets with its more recent products.
(Before you ask: yes, I had emptied the bag out, discarding dust which may have built up over several years and possibly contained a valuable record of the events of the late twentieth century. Before I did that, the thing just blew the dust out of the bag and into the room....)
I despair. With quality engineering like this, it's no surprise that British technology has the reputation it does. Perhaps I should buy a proper vacuum cleaner....
The government has decided to enhance consumer choice by liberalising the UK's cross-media ownership rules. The intention, obviously, is to give consumers a choice between a Murdoch-owned newspaper, a Murdoch-owned satellite TV service, a Murdoch-owned terrestrial TV service, or a cable TV service which just rebroadcasts channels from another Murdoch-owned TV service.
I feel more empowered already. (Disclaimer: I don't have a television. You believe me, so why doesn't the Television Licensing Agency?)
This, via NTK, must be the most involved piece of typographic pedantry I've ever seen: a comparison of the type seen in `period' films with the typefaces actually available at the times they were set. Bravo.
This is all done with wwwitter.
Copyright (c) Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License. Comments, if any, copyright (c) contributors and available under the same license.
Hosted and supported by