Monday, November 17, 2008

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 finally withdrawn

Who knew Windows 3.11 was still available and used? Well obviously the people who used it did, including Virgin and Qantas who use it for some of their inflight entertainment systems and it is also used on some other embedded systems like cash tills. But now Microsoft have finally withdrawn it from service and stopped issuing licences though support was withdrawn as way back as 2001. Oddly enough Windows 3.11 has outlived it's direct successor Windows 95 by some margin.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Virtual affair leads to real divorce

A British couple are divorcing after the wife discovered her husband with another woman. Nothing that unusual there of course but the discovery of this illicit liaison was in Second Life. The wife found her husband's online virtual alter-ego "a goatee-bearded, medallion-wearing hombre called Dave Barmy" with a similarly virtual woman. The wife said her husband's affair might be in a virtual world but it was a real affair.

The blurring of the line between the virtual and real-life world is always something that has interested me and i can appreciate her point of view. It might be a situation generated by zeroes and ones but are the thoughts and intentions still the same.

As more of us spend more of our lives in virtual worlds then we need to start considering what laws apply and how. For example (and this is just something that interests me not a query about a possible career change) if i was to become a prostitute in a virtual world like Second Life and sell sex to other users would that be illegal? Especially in virtual worlds where the virtual currency can be exchanged for real loot. Would it stand up in court? (Sorry couldn't resist!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And on a lighter note...

With all this news of doom, gloom and economic boom we need a bit of satire.


I have been scathing about Twitter in the past on other blogs, wondering exactly what it was for. It's continued popularity however has led me to give it another try, however this time i am coming armed with... a Firefox plug-in. I wondered if there was a plug-in to allow me to write to my Twitter account directly from FF without having to go to the site, login and all that jazz. Of course there are several. The one i am giving a go to is Twitbin.

It works quite nicely, adding a collapsible sidebar to Firefox and easily allowing you to post to your Twitter feed and see what else is happening on your feed. It actually makes updating your Twitter account quite painless and fast so maybe i will finally use it...

I have also added a Twitter badge to my static homepage (which is basically a portal into my blogs) but the ridiculous caching on the ISP server means i can't actually see if it works (it did work offline so i assume it is OK).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Real-time ship tracker

Now this is rather cool, a real time tracker of civilian ships using Automatic Identification System (AIS). Unfortunately not all areas of the globe are covered but those that are are very interesting, especially choke points like the Strait of Gilbraltar where you can see a real traffic jam of ships.