Hmmm. I used to notice overtly sexual language in computing, but I guess I gave up worrying about it. I’d be a lot happier if they replaced master and slave with master and servant, or something more specific than primary and secondary, which doesn’t actually suffiently describe the relationship.
“Technology firms supplying Los Angeles County with hardware have been asked to avoid using the words “master” and “slave” to describe their products.” (BBC)
What a cool chick! “A 22-year-old student at Stockholm University, Elin Oxenhielm, may have solved part of one of mathematics’ greatest unsolved problems.” (BBC)

One of the guys next to me sent this around the building after we had a silly conversation about using Word instead of Oracle that lead to the suggestion of printing out all the data and using string to make queries to this:
“Dear all
it has been decided that support costs for Oracle can be greatly reduced by having everyone memorise all the Oracle data. This will negate the need to create queries etc etc.
Thank you Mia.
Kind regards
Fred Smith”

I went to Late at Tate on Friday to see the Turner Prize show and cruise the beautiful people.
While I was there, I popped into the Turner in Venice show, which really didn’t impress me. It’s not often I leave an exhibition feeling disappointed, but there just didn’t seem to be enough content to justify a special exhibition. Maybe I’m just biased because I’m not a huge Turner fan.
I really liked the Turner Prize exhibition, particularly Grayson Perry‘s ceramics and the Chapman brothers‘ etchings.
Which reminds me, I wrote a review of Damien Hirst, Romance in the Age of Uncertainty at the White Cube and never posted it. I really liked Heaven Above, Hell Below (pills and flies on canvas). Devotion and Rapture (butterfly-wings on household gloss on canvas) were incredibly pretty but I felt guilty for liking them, as if I was encouraging him to kill more insects by doing so. Guy liked Pray, another butterfly-wings/canvas number, but it didn’t do anything for me. I would have gotten a lot more from the exhibition if I’d been able to remember more about how various saints died but overall I was impressed by the modernisation of the lives of the saints. At a time when fewer than 3000 (or whatever the final number of deaths from WTC, Sept 11 was) is deemed more important than the number of lives taken in war in a foreign country, it’s interesting to remember how familiar we can become with other real deaths.
Definitely not a show to see with a hangover, btw, especially if you’re a vegetarian.

“Tom Cruise has said he gained 12 kg of rock-hard muscle for his role in the movie The Last Samurai.” Is he a side of beef? Do we get more acting value for our money now he weighs more? (Age)
John Howard lets the side down again.
Tim Costello, otoh, rocks. “Social justice campaigner Tim Costello says he will take on international terrorism in his new role as chief executive officer of World Vision Australia.

Mr Costello, an outspoken campaigner on problem gambling, said his new crusade would be fighting international terrorism through a “war on poverty”.

“The very title of World Vision resonates emotionally and powerfully with me that if we’re to actually defeat terrorism, a war on poverty is the only way to actually win a war on terror.”” (Age)

“Jail sentence on Hanson is harsh, say Australians” says a Telegraph editorial I read on the plane. Oh really? Which Australians would they be? Certainly not the ones who wrote the celebratory emails filling my inbox or the ones writing letters to the press. A few callers to a right-wing talkback show is hardly a representative sample.
Good old Mark Latham: “She’s just been a candidate in the recent New South Wales election in which she campaigned for tougher penalties – now she’s got one”. (ABC)
I’ve been hearing fireworks going off periodically for a few weeks now. It’s a reminder that I’ve been here for a whole year now, because I know it’s going to build until Bonfire Night when it will slowly petre out. I still don’t understand why they set them off in daylight, surely you wouldn’t really be able to see them. Maybe I’ll understand when I’ve been here longer.
It’s almost a shame they’ve discontinued the photo tagged razor blades, cos I had a great idea for a grass-roots campaign against them: make a scary or monster face as you pick them up, triggering the photo, then put them back. It won’t affect the number of purchases, but it will affect the usefulness of the photos.

Bad news: “Australian officers were denied access to critical US intelligence during the Iraq war, potentially putting their lives at risk, under a policy described by a senior US Air Force intelligence officer as “damn silly”.” (Age)
Good news: “The foot-tall four month old is thought to be the first dog in the UK to become a classroom assistant.” (BBC)