Monthly Archives: January 2008


It remains to be seen exactly what 2008 holds in store for us, but rumours/fears/speculation that a recession waiting in the wings seem to be gathering credibility. I woke up to news that Asian markets had taken a serious fall over the (North American) night.

This is a top story for a number of news organizations such as the BBC. The most disappointing part for me, and apparently a number of financial analysts, is that all that Dubya can do is march out the tired line of “tax cuts to stimulate the economy”. I have this vague recollection that cutting taxes for the wealthy and businesses while spending billions on wars halfway around the world was more or less the recipe that got the US economy to where it is right now. Not good news, but it seem like bad news is in the air. Milton Friedman must be rubbing his hands in anticipation.

Test the Nation and Pop Culture

I just took the Test the Nation quiz over on the CBC website in a move of solidarity with my fellows who have to be in the office tending the deluge of incoming web traffic tonight. (Though in retrospect all I managed to do was generate additional traffic!) In any case it turns out the theme is pop culture and I managed to score a 53/60. Admittedly I just guessed randomly on several of them and on a few others I picked whatever I thought was the most likely answer (there’s one question with Lost and 24 as possible answers and I’ve never seen either show), but I was surprised that I scored that well. I guess pop “culture” permeates further than I think.

iTunes U

Over the past several months I’ve become a bit more of an iTunes guy, I actually use it to surf for music online and I bought my first iTunes albums over the recent holiday season. So I came across iTunes U the other day (i.e.: I opened my eyes and noticed the link) and it’s kind of cool. Basically it contains free podcasts of university lectures from a number of leading American universities such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, Yale, MIT and I just noticed that Queen’s is there as well. Obviously it’s no substitute for actually being in the classes but there are a number of good entry level lectures on topics that I would have loved to study in school but just never got around to or didn’t take because they conflicted with something else. Looks like the series of tubes is finally getting connected to something more than porn and warez.

You do need iTunes to play though.


As you can tell I’ve been in the process of migrating to a new site design and toolset over the past few days. I’m trying to avoid too much custom code but I did make a slight modification to the plugin that renders the quotes feed on the rightmost column. In the process of troubleshooting the problem I discovered the Firebug plugin for Firefox. It’s most a most excellent debugger for walking through the code when there are issues (as well as flagging that there is a problem in the first place). In addition it can provide some useful profiling information regarding how your page loads, etc. In any event it was very helpful getting the page to render valid XHTML and JavaScript.

FSF Associate Member 6293

Partly as a response to some of the slippery slope behavior I see taking place with some major GNU/Linux vendors regarding patents and licensing I decided to get off my figurative lazy ass (as opposed to getting off my actual lazy ass) and join the Free Software Foundation today. I would encourage anybody who feels strongly about technology and free software, or who has benefited from the GNU Project to consider contributing.

Quay 2.0 (or is it 3.0?)

Gentle reader,

In the spirit of all the web 2.0 foolishness which I am routinely forced to choke down, I hereby inaugurate The Quay 2.0. Buh-bye Quay 1.0!

So the current iteration of the site is 13 days shy of its 5th birthday, that’s something like 120 in Web 1.0 years so it’s probably time for the experiment to come to an end. Strictly speaking this is the third iteration of content for this site, there was a previous static site with a bunch self gratification therein. In any event, I’m calling a close to the original, archiving the data and deleting the DocumentRoot.

The primary goal, other than a bit of closet cleaning and an attempt to better represent what I’m up to these days, is that hopefully a new toy will motivate me to blog a bit more than I have been in the past couple of years. At some point in the not too distant future I’m going to make an attempt to explain some of the factors that led to this decision. Thanks for your patience.

NB: In the unlikely event that there is something you are looking for it is my intention to be able to dig out most of the old data an republish it, just ask. Also, you will find that The Community has been untouched, simply dissociated from my blog as over the years it has taken on a life of its own and is now self-feeding.