I am the ghost of groovymother.com. Woooooo!

This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Entries for week beginning January 14, 2007

January 20, 2007

The South African XMPP Federation OpenID Server

OpenID server which uses Jabber for authentication. Give your Jabber ID and a temporary token, and it will IM you and ask for your permission to login. Very clever.

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Doctor Who - Did you see the chainsaw episode?

Halfway through watching the new “Doctor Who” DVDs, Netflix renters were suddenly greeted with scenes from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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January 19, 2007

Gonzales: "There Is No Express Grant of Habeas Corpus In The Constitution"

Our Attorney General: “The Constitution doesn’t say, ‘Every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.’ It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended”

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January 18, 2007

Sex, Lies and Videotape (oh, and Blue-Laser DVD Formats)

Attention lazy received-opinion-espousing comment posters.

Last week, there was lots of discussion around Sony reportedly refusing to allow porno to be distributed on their Blu-ray high def format.

(For the moment, let’s ignore the fact that this isn’t necessarily true—the Blu-ray Disc Association deny any such ban.)

The lazy opinion I refer to is “Sony have learned nothing—The reason VHS won over Betamax is because they refused to allow porn on Beta.” (Entertainingly, this very opinion is spouted in the ArsTechnica article linked to in the previous paragraph which I was using to debunk the opinion in the paragraph before that.)

I’ve hunted around for anything online that can back up the idea of Sony not allowing teh pr0n on Betamax, and can’t find a sausage. However, I did find an article entitled Pornography Drives Technology: Why Not to Censor the Internet which proposed a considerably different connection between boobies and videotape:

Predicting that the greatest use of home VCRs would be time-shifting, that is, recording TV shows off the air for later viewing, Sony designed Betamax tape with a one hour playing time. When the market for videotape proved not to be time shifting, but prerecorded movies instead, longer-playing tape was demanded, and VHS arose to meet the demand. Though Beta eventually went to a four hour format, it was too late. Within years, two-, four-, and six-hour VHS tape became the industry standard.

What were people watching on these early videotapes? The early home video rental stores, the outlets that drove Betamax from the market, were almost exclusively pornographic, drawing on the same clientele as early nickelodeons.

So while it can be argued that yes, there was a comparative lack of red-hot-girl-on-girl-action on Betamax, and that, potentially, this contributed to the downfall of the format. However, it was for purely technical reasons—the unavailability of suitably girthy videocassettes—rather than moralistic stances by Japanese corporations.

(And as an aside, is there really that much demand for HD porn? It strikes me that most porn I’ve seen in my life would be improved by reducing the resolution of what I was witnessing.)

Don Park's Daily Habit - Visual Security: 9-block IP Identification

Attractive approach to giving plausible deniability when someone fakes your name posting comments, without having your IP address posted publicly.

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sniflabsinc. home

Social networking for dogs, using RFID collar tags to track “friends”.

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TagMaps - World Explorer

Wicked cool use of Flickr’s geotagging — Overlay maps with the tags most commonly used on photos taken at those locations.

January 17, 2007

American Idol Myspace Hunt: Round #1

It stands to reason that most people who audition for American Idol have MySpace pages, so here’s some gathered together for you.

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Feld Thoughts - Tips For 24 Newbies

“Chloe is right. Don’t ever question that girl. Believe it or not, she can shoot a gun.”

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privatecopy - epetition reply

The UK goverment has started posting public responses to petitions filed using their “Petition the Prime Minister” site. They’re mostly your standard “don’t worry your sweet head” brush-off you’d get from writing to your MP, but it’s good to see, nonetheless.

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The Complicator's Gloves - The Daily WTF

Best Daily WTF in a while. “Take a good, hard look at your first revision and just say to yourself, ‘gloves.’”

bethemedia: Saussure, Predictive Text, Cycling Awake and the word 'Book'

On T9 misspellings of words becoming “slang”. Zonino!

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Live Lounge

CD Purchase: Various Artists - Live Lounge

Colours Are Brighter

CD Purchase: Various Artists - Colours Are Brighter

Not Accepted Anywhere

CD Purchase: The Automatic - Not Accepted Anywhere

GigaOM > Mashup Camp 3 Begins in Boston

Dagnammit — I thought it started tomorrow. Guess that means I’m not attending!

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January 16, 2007

Volume Unique Keys - Doom9's Forum

The keys for use with BackupHDDVD are now starting to be extracted and shared, enabling your to back up your HD-DVD discs. I doff my cap to the community that made this happen so quickly.

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Basing the Design of History on the User's Memory

Really interesting concepts in changing the history tab in Firefox (which is currently near useless for finding something you remember from a couple of days ago).

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The law is on their side - The Boston Globe

Turns out that I was mentioned in the Boston Globe the other day (in their local blog roundup column), and didn’t know about it. Not sure what to make of the sentence construction “Rod Begbie […] writes on his Groovy Mother”, though.

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January 15, 2007

rc3.org: Defining your music collection

Interesting thought: Is your “music collection” just your audio files, or is it all the ratings and playlists and stuff that go along with it? Is Apple’s DRM less of a lock-in than just the time spent organising your music *just so* in iTunes?

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Back To Black

CD Purchase: Amy Winehouse - Back To Black


CD Purchase: Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis

jQuery: jQuery Birthday: 1.1, New Site, New Docs

New version of JQuery cleans up the API and reportedly speeds things up.

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January 14, 2007

[RhymesWithNose] Corporate Center

[RhymesWithNose] Corporate Center

Another shot trying out my new camera. This is from the [RhymesWithNose] parking lot on The Mountain, facing the shiny "Corporate Center". Not pictured: The beige 70's-style "R&D Building" where I work.

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net.bugs: Computer bugs in the year 2000

A marvellous find — A USENET discussion from 1985 about date bugs. I love the idea that there was a mini-Y2K on Jan 1st 1970 for all the places using one digit to represent year.

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Lines From Alanis Morissette's "Ironic," Modified to Actually Make them Ironic

“An old man turned ninety-eight. He won the lottery and died the next day… of chronic emphysema from inhalation of the latex particles scratched off decades’ worth of lottery tickets.”

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About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.