Brian is a researcher, technologist, and futurist working in Kyoto, Japan as a programmer, web developer, and software engineer. He has a CS degree from VT in VA plus several years experience and a wide interest in many topics. Oportunities and Interest Always Welcome.
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Thursday, January 30, 2003 permanent link
  Here are a whole bunch of cool eye candy. First is this super cool flash by a Japanese guy. I can't read what it says either, but you don't need to. Next are two anti-smoking adds that I really like. For some reason I have a strong connection between guns and cigarettes in my mind. You might guess that I don't smoke. Another polical cartoon I like deals with the same theme as my previous post about the Disney Empire's battle to destroy the public domain. Remaining in the political relm, I think that this video by Brian Springer called "Spin" may be one of the best political documentaries I have ever seen. It is a very large file because it is a 60 minute video, so be warned. However, it is definately worth the trouble. Finally we return back to the more light side, because I highly suggest that you do all your shopping at Home Despot
Tuesday, January 21, 2003 permanent link
  Some interesting stats to go along with a conversation at work. According to the CIA Factbook, these are the populations of a few countries of interest (to the people in my office).
China: 1,284,303,705 growth 0.87%
India: 1,045,845,226 growth 1.51%
USA: 280,562,489 growth 0.89%
OZ: 19,546,792 growth 0.96%
NZ: 3,908,037 growth 1.12%
Indonesia: 231,328,092 growth 1.54%
Monday, January 20, 2003 permanent link
  This is a story I recently submitted to Slashdot (and was rejected):
   The Museum Tour is reporting that they have recieved a patent infringement notice from SBC Intellectual Property based on this patent. "The letter suggests that any website which has static, linked information which are displayed while other sections of the page are displayed as non-static infringes upon the patents they hold." How can we stop this kind of madness? I have several web based business ideas that I would like to try but I'm very worried that after the time, effort, and money I put into it, I'll be ruined fighting a legal battle with some jerks like this. (Story found on the BoingBoing blog, previosly reported on Slashdot.)
Friday, January 17, 2003 permanent link
  On a lighter note, here is a really fun and creative card/game/art thing. I'm not sure what it is, but I like it. I have been reading the final book of the HHGG (Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) series and it really reminds me that sort of fanciful wonderings.
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  I had an idea recently that I really like. Maybe it is not new. I realized there are stock funds out there that refuse to purchase stock of companies that aren't "morally good". However, I think most major corporations make at least some morally questionable decisions. Someone is still going to own the stock of these companies, so why not encourage morally responsible people to own them, and then use their voting power to steer the company towards responsible decisions and hiring responsible CEO's. THAT would be one of the best uses of your money I can think of. And potentially profitable also. Next time I get a proxy voting card from the stocks I own, I'm not going to just toss them, I'm going to vote for the right decisions, even if they could hurt the profitability of the company.

On a related note, the Disney Empire has succeeded to win a major battle in its attempt to destroy the public domain. A good summary is an editorial in the New York Times online or you can read a more extensive discussion on Slashdot. Yet another example of major corporations buying laws.

Here is some advice to companies about not rushing to protect their copywrite too quickly, because it might not only be not necessary, but possibly even detremental to their business. It is based on the huge comic books market in Japan and makes an excellent point about the adverse effects of letting the lawyers run a company.

Thursday, January 09, 2003 permanent link
  "I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who have ever lived -- an entire generation pumping gas and waiting tables; or they're slaves with white collars. Advertisements have them chasing cars and clothes, working jobs they hate so they can buy shit they don't need. We are the middle children of history, with no purpose or place. We have no great war, or great depression. The great war is a spiritual war. The great depression is our lives. We were raised by television to believe that we'd be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars -- but we won't. And we're learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed-off." - Tyler from the movie Fight Club
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  I really feel like this guy sometimes... well except for the hand smelling... usually do that during the day, not at night. He pointed me to this page of blinding backgrounds. It really does hurt.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003 permanent link
  Another example of good geek fun is this project, in which a guy turned an old manual typewriter into a keyboard for his computer.
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  This webcam shows a corner I have walked past many many times. It shows the very center almost of the Kyoto nightlife and shopping district. A walk up this street takes you to the world famous Gion district.
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