ElephantDrive has launched their online data storage system, which will allow subscribers to use their accounts as a sort of central hard drive or data storehouse, accessible from anywhere. It requires the installation of the "Elephant Desktop"; the FAQ is at present ominously silent as to whether it will work on non-Windows platforms. It will become a pay service in the future, starting at $9.95 for 10GB of storage space, but for now a free beta trial is available.

I wonder where their servers are located, and whether they're safe from the predations of Homeland Security…


Check this out!

These lovelies from Bristol & Bath:
From Kohler: a flat sink and weirdly flat toilet to match

Paul Nelson and Andrew Hunter with the piano they found on top Ben Nevis
Paul Nelson and Andrew Hunter with the piano they found on top Ben Nevis. Photograph: John Muir Trust/PA

A musical mystery today surrounded Britain’s highest mountain after a piano was discovered near its summit.Volunteers clearing stones from the 4,418ft peak were astonished when they discovered the musical instrument on Ben Nevis. An appeal has now been launched to find out how and why the piano came to be within 200 metres of the top of the mountain.

The piano was recovered at the weekend by 15 volunteers from the John Muir Trust, the conservation charity which owns part of Ben Nevis.

The squad was removing litter and stones called cairns from the summit plateau when they spotted the top of the piano.”Our guys couldn’t believe their eyes,” said trust director Nigel Hawkins.

Read the rest of this entry »

For the teenager:
Two for fed-up Windoze users: 

Woman, 104, takes man, 33, as husband no. 21

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A 33-year-old man in northern Malaysia has married a 104-year-old woman, saying mutual respect and friendship had turned to love, a news report said Tuesday…The report did not say if any of Wook's previous 20 husbands are still alive.

I'd be looking into that if I were him.

How geeky is this?! An index to 3367 anthologies and single-author collections published before 1984, containing over 23000 works by 3849 authors.

Top ten authors with the most entries:

  1. (433) Bradbury, Ray
  2. (338) Asimov, Isaac
  3. (255) Ellison, Harlan
  4. (254) de Camp, L. Sprague
  5. (238) Anderson, Poul
  6. (218) Bloch, Robert
  7. (202) Aldiss, Brian W.
  8. (189) Silverberg, Robert
  9. (186) Leiber, Fritz
  10. (167) Malzberg, Barry N.

Top ten reprinted stories:

  1. 27 Asimov, Isaac – Nightfall
  2. 26 Ellison, Harlan – "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman
    26 Wells, H. G. – The Star
    26 Bradbury, Ray – The Sound of Thunder
  3. 24 Aldiss, Brian W. – But Who Can Replace a Man?
  4. 23 Clarke, Arthur C. – The Nine Billion Names of God
    23 Clarke, Arthur C. – The Sentinel of Eternity
    23 Simak, Clifford D. – Desertion
  5. 22 Bradbury, Ray – There Will Come Soft Rains
    22 Godwin, Tom – The Cold Equations
  6. 21 Clarke, Arthur C. – The Star
  7. 19 Ballard, J. G. – Billenium
    19 Keyes, Daniel – Flowers for Algernon
    19 Leinster, Murray – First Contact
  8. 18 Bixby, Jerome – It's a Good Life
    18 del Rey, Lester – Helen O'Loy
    18 Ellison, Harlan – I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
  9. 17 Blish, James – Common Time
    17 Brown, Fredric – "Arena"
    17 Clarke, Arthur C. – History Lesson
    17 Merril, Judith – That Only a Mother
    17 van Vogt, A. E. – The Monster
    17 Wells, H. G. – The Man Who Could Work Miracles
  10. 16 Asimov, Isaac – Strange Playfellow
    16 Bradbury, Ray – Million Year Picnic
    16 Heinlein, Robert A. – Roads Must Roll
    16 Le Guin, Ursula K. – Nine Lives
    16 Silverberg, Robert – Sundance
    16 Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr. – Harrison Bergeron

P.S. the magazine index goes back to 1890. 

Exopolitics Toronto and the Canadian Disclosure Initiative present an exclusive Press Conference on UFO Witness Testimony. A press screening of authentic military, corporate and government witness testimony will present compelling evidence attesting to the reality of an extraterrestrial presence and the 58 year old military/government cover-up of this issue. This historic press event will feature Dr. Steven M. Greer Director of the Disclosure Project and the Hon. Paul Hellyer former Minister of National Defense in Canada.

Read the whole press release

I have worked in computer support for 5-6 years now and I think my colleagues everywhere will thank me for telling you this:

– Windows and Office are NOT the same thing. So often we'd get called up in September and screeched at because someone bought a new computer and Office wasn't on there. It's not part of the operating system, although I'm sure Micro$oft has already run the idea past its lawyers. I have also noticed a charming little urban legend beginning to circulate among some undergrads, namely that the difference between XP Pro and XP Home is that "XP comes with Word." And why do you sound so proud of having XP Pro when you don't even know why it's different from XP Home anyway? In the same vein, when we ask you which operating system you are using, please don't look around wildly and say "Uh, Office 2000?" You're smarter than that; don't choke.

– Enough already with the Invoking of the Husband. We actually WANT to help you, regardless of gender. And yes, there are plenty of women working in tech support, including me. Deal with it. We are not "tokens", nor are we receptionists.

– I don't care what your idiotic ISP told you–you don't HAVE to use Internet Explorer. All the same sites will still come up in Firefox or whatever.

– Get comfortable using keyboard shortcuts instead of mousing everywhere; it's much, much faster and will save your wrists in the long run.

– The web is not the whole internet any more than track & field is the whole Olympics.

– I don't think asking you to click on the Start button qualifies as "getting technical with you".

Stop being so intimidated by computers. They work for you.

And btw, everything on this site is absolutely true.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan proclaimed his support for "the universal right to freedom of expression" to mark World Press Freedom Day.

The U.N. General Assembly in 1993 proclaimed May 3 World Press Freedom Day and it has been observed since.

"With the proliferation of so-called new media, new technologies and ways of distributing content, information has become far more accessible," said Annan in his statement issued Tuesday. "Mainstream media reporting, for example, is being supplemented by 'participatory media' such as blogs.

"But as media and journalism evolve, certain bedrock principles remain paramount," he continued. "I declare my firm support for the universal right to freedom of expression."

Annan also decried the many members of media "to have been killed, maimed, detained or targeted in other ways for pursuing that right in good conscience."

He pointed out the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that 47 journalists were killed in 2005, and 11 have lost their lives so far this year.

"It is tragic and unacceptable that the number of journalists killed in the line of duty has become a barometer for measuring press freedom," the secretary-general said.

The top U.N. envoy in Iraq, Special Representative Ashraf Qazi, marked the day with a statement saying more than 70 journalists have been killed in the past three years in the country.

He urged the incoming government to assist Iraq's independent media in its struggle for the right to seek, receive and impart information in a responsible manner, terming it one of the necessary preconditions for establishing a healthy democracy in Iraq.


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