Friday, September 5, 2008

In other news...

It's not just Republicans doing goofy stuff that is worth your attention. No, sir!

ZDNet reports that Microsoft has taken out a patent on PageUp and PageDown. Yes, when you use those buttons on your computer that let you move around in any document that is longer than a Post-It note, those buttons that have been on computers since the early 1980's, Microsoft wants you to know they own that idea, and they are letting you use that idea for free out of the goodness of their hearts.

For now.

I actually like the idea of intellectual property and it would be a lovely world if every nation respected patents, but there are a lot of patents in the computer science field that make any reasonable person arch one eyebrow and say, "Pull the other one. It's got bells on it."

Speaking of intellectual property, the NFL season started last night, so my other blog The Unified Football Theory is going to actually have fresh new content every couple of days or so. It's about taking the data from football games and analyzing a new statistical method for judging the effectiveness of teams.

The new blog will be chock full of useful information about professional American football, or gridiron as they call it in the U.K., so much so that you might need to use the PageUp and PageDown buttons to take it all in. I'm sure Microsoft will let you use these keys for free.

For now.

And in what really isn't technically news at all, French newsreader Melissa Theuriau remains enchantingly beautiful.

If John McCain had chosen Melissa Theuriau as his vice-presidential running mate, I would probably be in the street right now, urging people to sign a petition to help change the Constitution and its silly rules about people having to be born in America and at least 35 years old to be president. (She was born in Grenoble, France, and just turned 30.)

But John McCain didn't choose Melissa Theuriau. He chose someone not as pretty, not as well informed, not as pleasant, not as... in the interest of brevity, let me say just not as good as Melissa Theuriau. So instead of taking to the street to work for her chance to be our vice-president, I'm going to take to the streets to make sure John McCain and his not as good running mate lose this election.


Friday means Random 10!

The Wexford Carol Nancy Griffith with The Chieftains
Promises Buzzcocks
Take Stuff From Work King Missile
Withered and Died Elvis Costello
The Other Woman Nina Simone
Raspberry Beret Prince
I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling Fats Waller
Then She Appeared XTC
Maggie’s Farm Bob Dylan
I Can’t Stop Killing You Kirsty MacColl

Only half the tunes have links this week, which is a shame. Prince's song has a famous video, but it isn't on The You Tubes. There are other versions of all the songs except Take Stuff From Work up on The You Tubes, but when I give a link, I want it to be the same artist and the same song. The XTC song is playing behind a collection of home movies of a truly adorable baby girl. And the set closes with Kirsty MacColl, the excellent singer-songwriter who died a few years ago in an accident, hit by a boat while swimming. Not to give too much grief to the devout who read my blog, but the fact that Kirsty MacColl is dead and Shane MacGowan is still alive shows that God has a very cruel sense of humor.

Just sayin'.


dguzman said...


You know how to make my day, Matty Boy. Our favorite French woman and some Kirsty MacColl. Sweet.

dguzman said...

Oh wait, little Publish button. It's plain old Griffith on the Nancy, Matty. She's an old fave of mine as well.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks for correction, dg. It has been noted and logged.

Ed said...

This Microsoft thing could be setting a bad precedent. Didn't Apple invent the mouse? Presumably they patented it. Nice of them to let us use it free. For now.

I love Kirsty MacColl, too. By the way, the boat that killed her was owned by Guillermo González Nova. The boat was a type not allowed in the National Park waters where the accident occurred and was traveling faster than the allowed speed. Some witnesses claim the boat was also piloted by Gonzales Nova, and that he paid an employee, Cen Yam, to take responsibility, although it is disputed by González Nova. González Nova owns the Costco chain of stores, in case there are any in your area you'd like to boycott.

Matty Boy said...

Hi, Ed. The mouse is invented at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and the first commercial use is by Xerox. The full story is at

Thanks for the information about Kirsty's death. I didn't know about that.

PseudoPiskie said...

When I started the linky thing, I decided that only originals would be linked. Nice to see you following suit.

dguzman said...

Kirsty MacColl is dead???? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matty Boy said...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, dg.