“There were other books that came close. Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon is superb, on every level, and has what I consider one of the finest final lines and endings in a book. Yet, I’ve only read the English translation and do I not, then, have to nod to the translator for much of that? Questions, questions. Vladimir Nabakov’s Pale Fire was bought up, but a part of me found the original poem to be badly written, and perhaps purposefully so (I have no idea if others have had this experience). Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita was another that for me came pretty close to being what I considered perfect. The list kept going. Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell—they’re not all my choices, and a lot of other names got tossed up. Yet, yet, yet. There was always something. Lydia Millet’s Oh Pure and Radiant Heart is a novel that I adore, but the end of it is a mess. George Orwell’s Animal Farm got named, but I’ve always preferred his essays, and at the very least, 1984. Which, of course, lead to Murakami, for he has a new novel that is a play on the title of Orwell’s great anti-communist novel—but Murakami repeats too much, and female characters, with the exception of After Dark are primarily sexual objects, and his translators vary greatly in their ability to convey his work. I also considered Fritz Leiber’s Our Lady of Darkness, for the beautiful layering of his own life within the text, but the end… ah, the end, it’s such a shame, really, that end.”—Ben Peek - Talking ‘Bout Near Perfection with a nice mention of Lydia Millet’s Oh Pure & Radiant Heart.
“It’s extremely common for websites to protect your password by encrypting the initial login, but surprisingly uncommon for websites to encrypt everything else. This leaves the cookie (and the user) vulnerable. HTTP session hijacking (sometimes called “sidejacking”) is when an attacker gets a hold of a user’s cookie, allowing them to do anything the user can do on a particular website. On an open wireless network, cookies are basically shouted through the air, making these attacks extremely easy.”—Hijack accounts using cookies floating on open wifi networks | via. Eric Butler
“A new study by ABI Research today confirms that mobile subscriptions worldwide passed the 5 billion mark in the second quarter. The crossing of that dramatic threshold had been predicted earlier in the year, and Ericsson estimated the 5 billion mark was reached in July.”—
“These few observations want to underline the conviction that the main goal of the international community in developing a fair regime of intellectual property rights should aim toward the good of all, the pursuit of more equitable international relations, especially with regard to poorer and more vulnerable people. Of this goal we are reminded by Pope Benedict’s latest Encyclical Letter: “…in the context of immaterial or cultural causes of development and underdevelopment, we find these same patterns of responsibility reproduced. On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care. At the same time, in some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behaviour persist which hinder the process of development.”—Statement of the Holy See at the WIPO
“Emigrating from the Soviet Union to the West in January 1980 with his wife, Nora, and their two small sons, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was stopped by border police at the Brest railroad station for a luggage search. “We had only seven suitcases, full of my scores, records and tapes,” he recalled recently. “They said, ‘Let’s listen.’ It was a big station. No one else was there. We took my record player and played ‘Cantus.’ It was like liturgy. Then they played another record, ‘Missa Syllabica.’ They were so friendly to us. I think it is the first time in the history of the Soviet Union that the police are friendly.” He was joking, but not entirely. Later, when I asked Nora about that strange scene at the border, she said, “I saw the power of music to transform people.”—Arvo Pärt, the Sound of Spirit - NYTimes.com
“Every endeavour has an ideal outcome and an actual outcome. My mistake was comparing the actual outcome with the ideal one in my head and feeling bad that I wasn’t living up to my own expectations. So I started evaluating my performance against 70% of the ideal – not in order to legitimize mediocre work but to be realistic.”—The 70% Solution — Solutious, The Performance Company.
“Recently I was south of San Francisco using the native iPhone map app. It pulls in transit directions from the squirrels in the cloud behind google transit. I missed my train, because it didn’t exist other than in google’s timetable data.
That seems sub-obtimal.
Immediately the thought occurs, why isn’t there a wiki of transit data? There are a few mediawiki installs with that as a rough aim, but nothing particularly pushing it as far as I could see. Hence transiki - a transit wiki.”—transiki - Home
“So, school libraries could – in the future – put placeholders in place of real books, which have a blurb, a cover illustration, a few paragraphs, and a http link to the text. Perhaps something like an empty DVD case. Then, librarians could include books in the library without having to actually buy them, and include books which are significant, but out of print.”—Libraries of the future | Look Again via @christofhughes