In science they don’t trust
Galileo must be rolling in his grave. Apparently, only four fifths of Americans support the heliocentric view.
Bitte keine Deppenapostroph’s!
I received a letter from Lufthansa this morning.
Yamaguchi-gumi gets new boss
Ten years of 95
Windows 95 was released 10 years ago. Has it really been that long? (Well, obviously: it’s 2005.)
ChaSen in UTF-8 on Ubuntu (or Debian)
I have been trying to get ChaSen to work in UTF-8. Allegedly, it should do so; however, the packages installed by Debian (and used unchanged by Ubuntu as well) don’t include all the necessary files for rebuilding them in UTF-8 format.
ChaSen, Ruby, Ubuntu Linux
ChaSen is a morphological analyser for Japanese. For me, it’s particularly useful in the context of full text search. Japanese doesn’t use spaces, so it’s very hard for a computer to work out where to break up the sentence in order to index the components. ChaSen handles this beautifully, delivering a full analysis of the sentence, showing each component’s pronunciation, basic form, and part of speech. It’s an example of standing on the shoulders of giants thanks to open source software: with such powerful tools available for free, it’s possible to achieve things that would otherwise be impossible.
Talking telephone numbers
In Japanese, telephone numbers can invariably be made into mnemonic phrases based on various pronunciations of their component digits.
Propaganda for kids
I came across some Japanese propaganda from World War II the other day. It actually makes for interesting reading, so I have translated it.
Don’t fly BA when there’s no R in the month
British Airways has been having another of their now-annual summer personnel catastrophes. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the airline. Partly, that’s due to their overpriced, surly service; the principal reason, however, can be summed up in a single word: Heathrow.
I must have been abducted by aliens last night.
Reasons to love Linux
I was trying to retrieve a Windows address book off a partially-corrupt, fully-reformatted hard disk for someone—a task for which, if successful, I have been promised a good bottle of Bordeaux. I connected it up to a Linux machine to start the forensics, only to discover to my absolute joy that Linux could already read the files on it.
Public Service Announcement
Don’t drop your external hard disk. Not even a short distance.
60 years ago today
It was sixty years ago today that the first nuclear weapon was used in conflict, killing 140,000 people in Hiroshima.
The unbearable heaviness of being Mr Blair
It must be hard to be Tony Blair: to live with the knowledge that you took your country into a wholly unnecessary, ill-thought-out, unjustified and probably illegal war in Iraq, an action that has led directly to the deaths of tens of thousands of people over there.
Tweaking for speed
I’ve made a couple of small speed improvements to this site.
How to break YAML in Ruby
Kitty gets assimilated
Just for fun and general subversiveness, here’s my parody of cloyingly-sweet Japanese graphic icon Hello Kitty as a Borg (the villainous cyborg baddies in Star Trek:TNG).
Decoding HTML entities in Ruby
I needed to decode HTML entities in Ruby this morning. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find an obvious way to do it in the existing libraries, although it must be a fairly common requirement.
I was reading the Slashdot review of DHTML Utopia over breakfast. It set some ideas rolling in my head about unobtrusive scripting.
Directgov’s stupid link policy
I happened across the New Zealand government’s website the other day, and a fine piece of HTML it is too. Elegant, clean, and accessible.
I said my target was the 1st of August, and, after much drawing, coding, CSS-tweaking, and Textpattern hacking, the all-new po-ru.com is here.