Tags in Movable Type and TypePad

This isn’t really something that I am too into at the moment but there has been quite a bit of interest in this type of feature for Movable Type and TypePad, more so the former.  It turns out Six Apart are either listening or are moving in the same direction as their users (most likely both) because Anil Dash posted on the Six Apart Professional Network that these features will soon be coming to a Movable Type or TypePad blog near you.  I may be a little off on the TypePad side as the post does mention "TypePad affiliate programs".  Anyway, take a look.  Here is the post:

Hot on the heels of the release of Technorati Tags comes a Movable Type plugin
which will automatically generate keywords for a post to populate the
Keywords field in Movable Type and then create links to Technorati tags
for those keywords. Slick.

Holocaust Revisionism?

I came across a post on The Wandering Jew regarding an apparent revisionist effort on the part of the BBC.  It seems this recent story about Prince Harry and his poor choice in costume at a party has stirred things up a bit about the Holocaust and how it is recorded.  I haven’t read much about the original story or the stories that it has given rise to.  For my part I think he should have known better than to wear a Nazi uniform and that doing so could only have caused the furor it did.  Harry’s insensitivity is a good reason for him to spend some time delving into the Holocaust and its impact.

Anyway, a man by the name of Tom Gross has picked up on a page on a BBC site that simply records that:

The Holocaust was a mass murder of millions of people leading up to and during the Second World War.

The killings took place in Europe between 1933 and 1945. They were organised by the German Nazi party which was lead by Adolf Hitler.

Most of the victims died because they belonged to certain racial or religious groups which the Nazis wanted to wipe out, even though they were German citizens.

This kind of killing is called genocide.

Of course this has given rise to great debate regarding this apparent revisionist effort.  The objections to this piece are that (quoting from Melanie Phillips’s Diary) "this neglects to (a) mention Jews (b) falsely states most victims were
German citizens, and (c) encourages the myth that other groups were persecuted by the Nazis in anything like the way Jews were.
"  If this is all there were to it then I would agree that more information out to be placed on the site.  Only, this isn’t all there is on that site.  There are a number of links off that site and one of them links to the following content:

         

Holocaust victims

The largest group of victims were Jewish people.


It is estimated about 6 million died – nearly 7 out of every 10 Jews living in Europe.


But we will never know exactly how many died, or who they all were and there are lots of different estimates.


The Nazis also killed other large groups of people who they thought were inferior races, including:


Other large groups of people murdered were:

  • Civilians and soldiers from the Soviet Union
  • Catholics from Poland
  • Serbians
  • Romany Gypsies.


They also murdered politicians, journalists, teachers and  anyone else who spoke out against Hitler.


There were many millions of non-Jewish victims.

So?  Why all the hysteria?  I recognise the importance of people who question how the media deals with important history like this and at the same time, I think people need to think twice before going off on yet another sensationalist mission.

 

Taking the leap

I am at an interesting time in my life at the moment (interesting more in the sense of the cliched Chinese curse) where I am stepping out of one world and into another.  I have have had two feet in different places for a little while now; one in my current job as an attorney for a prominent law firm and the other in my new role as entrepreneur and business owner.  I have been a lawyer for many years now, since I graduated from university and this work has been all I have known for quite some time.  So too, has the environment I have been working in been all I have known for these years.  It is a corporate legal environment where there is much emphasis placed on conformity with the firm’s mould of the ideal lawyer.  I have perceived there to be much politicking in the firm and it has been conveyed to me that to get ahead and be accepted as a part of the firm it is necessary to "play the game".  I have a strong aversion to political games and have done my best to avoid them.  This has been to my detriment at the firm and I have pretty much hit a wall in my progress there.

I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about my position at the firm and wondering if I could have behaved better.  Have I been too stubborn/immature/short-sighted to make the most of what could be regarded as an amazing opportunity to progress through one of the premier law firms in the country?  I have asked myself these questions many times and have doubted myself many times.  I have been told that this is what the corporate world is like.  People don’t care how good you are or what your talents are, they care that your personality either is or is not to their liking.  I have also been told that it is naive to expect otherwise.

Ultimately it has come down to my decision that while I may be stubborn (actually I am, G will be the first to confirm that), short-sighted or even naive about the corporate world, this is now how I would like to spend the rest of my working life – scrambling around in an effort to make sure I am liked by the people in power.  I much prefer to develop my own business where I will focus on the talents that a person offers, work to cultivate those talents and harness those talents for the greater benefit of each member of the business and the business itself.  I believe that is an important key to the success of a business and its clients.  I have learned that the little people want to be recognised and appreciated for who they are, not the commercial value they represent.

People say that you should do the work you enjoy and that is so important.  Why give so much of your time to a job you are not passionate about and serve people who have no appreciation for who you are as an human being and individual?  Where is the humanity is today’s business?  Some of the top companies to work for are incredibly dynamic and thrive on their employees’ individuality.  I often wonder if these political games played in corporate environments are not just the expression of fear shared by the people in power.  What do they fear?  Change.  People who are different represent a threat to the status quo and that is translated into a threat to the survival of the ruling power (I am beginning to sound like Karl Marx) instead of a brilliant opportunity to be embraced and exploited for the benefit of all.

Tara Reid’s, um, slip …

I came across this mini-story yesterday when I ran a search for Tara Reid on Google.  I was a bit bored and was after some pictures of this gorgeous actress to ogle at until my interest in my work returned.  What I found was way more than I bargained on finding.  I expected to find the usual celeb sites and a couple fan sites with some pictures of her from her movies and appearances.  Well, I did find that stuff together with a couple sites that had images from a little slip she experienced towards the end of December 2004 when she was at a party for P-Diddy.  She was on this red carpet and the media must have been calling her to get her attention for photos as the media is fond of doing.  She stood there for a while posing for pictures and didn’t notice her dress slip off her left shoulder and expose her left breast to the waiting cameras for a fair amount of time until someone finally alerted her to this ‘slip’.

In the video you see her standing there while the photographers’ cameras flash and her dress just slips off and as it does, the cameras go wild.  A woman rushes up from her left and pulls her dress back up onto her shoulder and tells her what just happened.  She smiles and dashes off to her right and seems to make some comment to the media.

This is one of those things you watch with this almost morbid fascination.  You know you shouldn’t add to her embarrassment but you watch anyway, just to see it happen.  She handled it pretty gracefully and I really felt for her there.  Stunning pictures though (the boy in me speaking there)!  I am not going to publish the pics on my blog so you are going to have to find them yourself.  This was just one of those things I had to get out of my system.

Update:
I noticed that this post ranked quite highly on some searches on Tara Reid and I followed a link to MK Magazine’s site where they reported on Tara’s slip.  After reading the extract below, I really feel for her.  I guess this is what happens when you are so well known and beautiful, when something like this happens and the press are around to capture it all:

A red-faced Reid told PAGE SIX yesterday: "I took off my jacket and my strap fell off. It was awful. The photographers were like lunatics — high-fiving each other in front of me. It was so embarrassing. There were so many paparazzi and the flashbulbs were going off, I couldn’t see anything.

"I didn’t even know what was happening. I was like, ‘It’s not nice to take a picture like that. Please don’t print the picture,’ but they just laughed."

The pixie actress seemed exasperated by this latest burst of bad press: "I’m known as this retard . . . I want to grow up. I don’t want to be the drunk girl. It hurts my feelings when you guys write stuff about me. It’s not just me — it affects everyone around me. I just want everyone to leave me alone — let me graduate. It’s like I’m in college and you guys won’t let me get my degree."

Reid swears she has changed her wild ways: "I’m not crazy anymore. I’ll be 29 on Monday and am celebrating at my mom’s house in New Jersey. I didn’t do anything. Paris seems to be able to move on from situations all the time, why can’t I?"

 

Things Japanese

I have had a fascination for Japan for quite some time now.  Most of that adoration is based on popular culture and my (very likely) limited perceptions of Japan.  I love Taiko drumming, for one thing, and pictures I have seen from much of the landscape are absolutely inspiring.  I keep telling G than one of my ambitions is to visit Japan when I go on my much anticipated world trip (to be made possible by my wild successes with my various projects).  From what I have read about Japanese culture I will probably stand out quite a bit in the streets as a typical foreigner and readily identifiable tourist and that is ok with me.  The only other country I am as interested in is Ireland and my time there was amazing!

In that vein, I came across this nifty website that shows you what your name looks like in Japanese.  Here is my name in Japanese:

Paul_in_japanese

It is pronounced "POORU". (Consonants are pronounced more or less the same way as in English. "U" sounds like oo in hook, but with less rounding of the lips. "O" sounds like o in old. Double vowels like "OO" are held for twice the duration of single vowels.)

Thanks to Michael for this link.

“Mozilla Is Gaining On Godzilla”

BusinessWeek Online posted an article on 12 January 2005 titled "Mozilla Is Gaining On Godzilla".  This is yet another article charting the amazing growth of Mozilla Firefox.  To quote Steve Hamm, the journalist –

How’s this for a mismatch? On one side, you have Microsoft (MSFT

), the world’s largest software company, with $37 billion in revenues

and 57,000 employees. On the other is the Mozilla Foundation, a

nonprofit with a $2 million budget and just 16 employees wedged into a

single room in a Mountain View (Calif.) office park.

It’s Godzilla vs. Mozilla, and Mozilla is a midget. Yet the pipsqueak

is pulling off a feat that would have seemed preposterous a year ago.

It’s taking chunks of share from Microsoft in the Internet browsing

market. According to a survey released Jan. 12 by Web site analytics

firm WebSideStory, Mozilla’s free Firefox browser has grabbed a 4.6%

share over the past six months and seems well on the way to its stated

goal of 10%.

Yup, it won’t be long before Get Firefox! is right up there as the browser of choice.  I am curious what Microsoft is going to come up with when they release their new version of Internet Explorer in a couple years.  That will certainly raise the bar for all other browsers, including Get Firefox! and that can only be good for the industry as a whole.

In case you didn’t notice, I am a dedicated Firefox fan!

Get Firefox!

Google South Africa!

I was very surprised and excited when I loaded Firefox and discovered that there is now a local Google search page that searches South African sites!!  This kind of thing really excites me.  Despite my recent disappointment with Blogger (owned by Google) I am still a HUGE fan of Google and model my own business on some of the things Google does.  This is just way cool!

New is not always better

I have had a couple experiences lately where new versions of software I have been using simply didn’t cut it.  The older versions did a better job of it and I wound up removing the new versions and restoring the older ones.

One example is Adobe Reader 7.0 (formerly Adobe’s Acrobat Reader).  I am curious if anyone else has had the same experience as me.  The main issue I had was copying text from a pdf document and pasting it in a word processing program.  It just doesn’t translate and I crashed my word processor (OpenOffice.org) twice till I worked out there is a glitch with Adobe Reader.  That alone was enought to put me off so I went and removed it and reinstalled version 6.0.  I am a huge fan of pdf’s and I use them often to preserve documents I send by email or store so I was really disappointed with Adobe Reader 7.0.

Another piece of software which let me down a bit is OpenOffice.org version 1.9.65.  This issue is a little different so I am going to qualify what I am about to say.  First this is a preview version of the soon to be released version 2.0 so it is a little buggy and that is likely the cause of the problems I experienced last night.  So perhaps this should really serve as a caveat for those out there who, like me, tend to download the new one immediately and expect it to be perfect.  Anyway, I have been working on a manual for Reiki classes I am going to be giving at the end of the month and I have already completed about two thirds of it (44 pages and counting).  I had just downloaded and installed two Microsoft Security patches (a-ha!  some may say) and I was being prompted to reboot my PC to complete the installation (which I didn’t want to do right away because I would lose the decent dial-up connection I managed to secure for that session).  Right about then OpenOffice.org started acting very strangely and froze up.  To make things worse, it refused to open my manual.  I had visions of going back to some old version and spending another 2 months rewriting my manual.

I tried to repair the installation and even removed it from my PC altogether and then reinstalled it.  Still, it refused to open my manual.  It does get worse.  After the reinstallation, it opened other documents I had on disc and my backup on my USB memory device also didn’t open.  Right about now I had a vision of two corrupt versions and more gnashing of teeth.  My last resort was to reinstall version 1.1.3 (the current stable version is version 1.1.4) and that opened the manual perfectly!  Yay!  After I managed that feat, the new version (which I kept on my PC) also opened the manual and all was good and thoroughly backed up!  Just goes to show that the new version (especially the beta versions) are not always better than the older ones.  It does pay to wait for the new one to be finalised and released as a stable version.

I would like to point out that I won’t move to Microsoft Office.  OpenOffice.org is a pretty amazing piece of software and the fact that it is free is even better!  If you can’t afford Microsoft Office, install OpenOffice.org and give it a go.