Courtesy of Martin, welcome to PubFight. Be warned, this website may well suck up large amounts of your time and life. Basically you get presented with an X vs Y photo combination .. you click on who you think would win and then you get to see if everyone agrees with you and what the best comments on the fight were. Strangely addictive. For instance, I just got Ninjas vs Jedis, followed by The Empire vs The Go Uld….

I also got an email from Elmyra today containing the following:

They’re very, very funny and worth reading by both sides!!

There’s also a fantastic bit on A Whole Lotta Nothing about someone who boycotts McDonalds because they make pizza

All these things amused me greatly today. As did the Extraordinary League of Gentlemen, which we just saw.

Section 28 has finally come off the statute books in England and Wales. Scotland, quite sensibly, got rid of it 3 years ago. Being a little more behind the time, here the House of Lords only voted it out in March.

Section 28 prohibited local authorities from “promoting” homosexuality or even gay families. This was bad enough, meaning that teachers could never (even if they wanted to) say “Well, Billy has 2 dads, but that’s just fine”, but the confusion surrounding this little legislative beauty meant that there was close to complete silence in schools over anything gay-related. Gay support groups for teenagers were shut down, teachers were fired and all sorts of similar silliness.

Well now it’s gone and hopefully there will be some progressive moves to improve the situation for all the young LGB kids in schools scared out of their skins for being different.

Also, one of the original doctors who said there might be a link between autism and the MMR vaccine has now said that there is not only further research to prove no link but also a real risk of a measles epidemic due to the record low uptake of the vaccine.

Elly also has an interesting post about the claims that Harry Potter books give kids headaches.

The World Wide Web Consortium has gone to the US Patents Office with prior art to be taken into consideration with regard to the Eolas “906” patent.

Hopefully this will sort things out and then we only need to hope and pray that the collective sigh of relief we breathe doesn’t destroy the world, butterfly style.

Amazon now searches the full text of books, but apparently Google had been planning similar things as well. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a showdown?

Simon has joined a number of others in bemoaning the current state of basic computer security, with a particular focus on how difficult it is for an “average user” to keep their PC relatively up to date. It’s an interesting debate, but I would worry that Microsoft will decide to try and monopolise the anti-virus, anti-trojan etc market, rather than fixing the elemental security flaws in its software itself. More security blankets for users who know no better. Saying that, CNet news doesn’t think so.

Rereading that last paragraph, I realise that Microsoft will never give me a job, just based on my blog posts. That’s OK — I don’t particularly want a job with them, at least not now. On the other hand, this poor guy did and he got fired for what looks to me like a pretty innocuous blogpost. I hope whoever made that decision sees the amount of bad publicity it’s causing the company.

There’s a fantastic article in the Economist all about how the end of the world’s absolute dependence on oil (in its various forms) is possibly closer than we expect. It has a number of interesting points about how, scientifically, the revolutions needed to replace petrol as the main fuel of public and private transport really are underway, or just on the horizon.

The article ends though, with some criticism of how President Bush and the rest of congress are approaching this situation wrong. I say all power to them. Let them spend their time worrying about how to get more guaranteed sources of oil for less. Now, all the other countries in the world, let’s sneak out the back door whilst they’re not looking and go get ourselves some non-pollutant cars and cheaper energy and little green Startrek outfits. That way in about 10 years time, we can make a killing and retake the global economy by selling fresh air to America!

Following on from my recent post about ergonomics, I found that Simon is also advocating banishing RSI via the use of WorkRave. There was also an interesting discussion in the comments about how really what we need is for input devices to become more ergonomically designed, as well as a great link to someone’s testimony about the Dvorak keyboard layout.

Personally although I can see the advantages of the Dvorak layout, I don’t think I’ll be able to switch to it for a very common reason … I use computers all over the place. And I remember how bloody annoying it was when I still had my South African keyboard (the main difference is no ? sign and @ & ” are switched) and had to try use uni computers. Until I can know that I can easily and transparently switch layouts on any machine (perhaps some sort of webservice that I ping and get to reconfigure whatever keyboard I’m working on now, as well as put it back when I’m done) then I won’t switch. I don’t think I really type that much anyway 😉

I found this today and it pretty much made me double over in laughter. I have no idea why on earth people would collect screenshots of toilets in videogames (anyone who can translate the text, I would love to know), or for that matter how Jason found it in the first place. But my word it’s random and I thought it deserved a bit of propagation.