Anonymous on (British) TV

Dear Reader,

This post is for our British audience.  Well, at least predominantly.
If you know how to appear British online, via VPN or Proxy, then you might find this interesting as well.

For a while now the movie “We are Legion” is out.
It is a documentary about Anonymous. And, at least in my humble opinion, it is a good documentary. If you want to understand a bit more about the phenomenon Anonymous, the movie really helps.

So what do the Brits care?

On February 20th the BBC Four showed the movie on TV.
And until March 4 you can watch it on iPlayer:

Thanks to stupid copyright provisions, this is restricted to IP addresses from the UK.

Of course, if you know how to change your IP address to a “British” one, you also know how to watch the movie some place else.

And if you want to understand hackers, I again recommend the book by Gabriella Coleman mentioned here. A free download link is included in the post.

Stay tuned,
Engine Room

Open Data – slowly getting there

Dear Reader,

Diablog has a history of pointing you towards open data projects.
There was the Europeana, the European Film Gateway, the NYC Department of Records archive, and of course over one million books, movies and songs at

And last week the US government decided to put more of its data online for free. Including scientific research, paid for by the government.
If you believe in an afterlife, Aaron Swartz is celebrating somewhere.

It seems, slowly we are getting there, one step at a time.

Via openglam I learned today, that the Dutch Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has made available high resolution scans and images of some 111,000 famous art pieces. And that includes works of art by masters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goltzius, etc.

You can search the archive here:

Of course, nothing beats seeing the originals.
But not everyone is lucky and can go there. And with 300,000 visitors each months it is kind of crowded.

Seeing a high-res image of the Night Watch for example might be the second best thing:

I guess, Pete will like this one:

Continue reading “Open Data – slowly getting there”

Let The Skyfall..

British singer Adele performs the song "Skyfall" from the film "Skyfall," nominated as best original song, at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013.

I was delighted to see that ER’s least favourite singer Adele, has won an Oscar.
British singer Adele performed the song “Skyfall” from the film nominated as best original song, at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 24, 2013.

The song, from the soundtrack of the 2012 Bond film with the same name, was nominated Sunday for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, the latter giving Adele her first ever Oscar nomination and win. The 24-year-old already won a Grammy Award and a BRIT Award for the song earlier in the year. Continue reading “Let The Skyfall..”

Two things are infinite, as far as we know – the universe and human stupidity

Dear Reader,

In his last post Glynsky raised the question of proper attribution, giving credit for content creation. The discussion is as old as mankind. And it certainly is prominent on the internet, the global copy machine, as shown in the rules of the internet:

21. Original content is original only for a few seconds before getting old
22. copy pasta is made to ruin every last bit of originality
23. copy pasta is made to ruin every last bit of originality
24. Every repost is just a repost of a repost

Giving credit where possible is important.
On the other hand, for classics it can be difficult.

Many composers of classical music used folk songs or parts of them for their work.
Most people think, the Brothers Grimm wrote all those fairy tails. When in fact, the two just collected and wrote down the stories, which had been told for decades or centuries before already. Who invented/created them? Nobody knows. But we do know, that Disney copies them for movies, to then claim copyright. Kind of stupid, wouldn’t you say?

Another point in case, the quote in the headline and its variant:

Two things are infinite:
the universe and human stupidity;
and I’m not sure about th’universe!

are most often attributed to Albert Einstein.
But then, the Quote Investigator shows, that is wrong.

Wondering about the stupidity of mankind is a classic too. There are whole websites dedicated to the issue, like failblog.

Here is another one of internet fame:

Continue reading “Two things are infinite, as far as we know – the universe and human stupidity”

credit where it is due…

Dear diablog,

As I have mentioned in the past I am forever grateful for the links, films and pics sent to me by the faithful band of ‘informers’ across the world who deem me a suitable target for the extraordinary mixed bag of delights that they think readers of these posts may enjoy.

Pete, of course, as a renowned plagiarist and rarely a writer of things original, not only reproduces sent ‘jokes’ (shades of grey, insurance claims etc) without editing but doesn’t even give the sender (in the last case the Brits Abroad) any credit for the idea. As the Blind Dentist gives Pete free dental treatment (apparently the only time he has seen gums like these before is in a tube of  Copydex ) – I consider this a disgrace and have written to the said person to suggest he is more careful about to whom he sends his rare gems of humour as I, along with Pete, get sent the same stuff from him and I have noted that our ‘Copy Writer’ publishes it within 6 hours.

What is interesting, diablog, is that I often get the same things from 2 or 3 ‘suppliers’ who live at all four points of the globe – which is, according to Galileo round and which therefore puzzles me as to how people are able to live in the corners!  In Engine Room’s case a corner is all he deserves.

Anyway, dearest Philippa (as you see Pete, I always acknowledge receipt of help)

(who sends her love to Iren –
this is all getting much too complicated for but a simple man)

and who must submit at least six items a day to completely clag up my lap top, has been moved to ask, following the submission of this film clip, if a) this is footage of the typical Spurs supporter driving in Europe leading to their being attacked by the local peasantry and b)…

Continue reading “credit where it is due…”

Thank you for FOSS

Dear Reader,

10 years ago I switched from proprietary software (almost) completely to Free Open Source Software, aka FOSS.

Whether it is Linux/Ubuntu as operating system; Firefox for web browsing; the office suite LibreOffice; Thunderbird/evolution for email, calendar and contacts; all this is free and open source.
And I also use FOSS for listening to music, watching films, reading news and books, viewing photos, creating content, collecting information, chatting and much more.

It is high time to say thank you:

too old to rock and roll…

Dear diablog,

Ok, so Mme. and I are slightly beyond being ‘rock chicks’ but then the whole movement has been going on for a lot longer than we have been around so c’est la vie.

Unfortunately I don’t think the following will delight Engine Room, but you never know, and the term ‘rock chick’ is unlikely to be applicable to today’s subject either!

The lady concerned is Big Mama Thornton and this seriously old grainy black and white stuff can only give you an idea as to how good she really was – and how amazing for the time she recorded it. That we could have had a diablog day out at the Buddy Guy Blues club!

This version of Hound Dog predates the Presley one by quite some few years, and the dancing and fashion is not quite Beyonce! But it is seriously cool – and worth turning up the volume for:

Maybe Beyonce could have a go at it sometime!

This film was shot, along with the next one, for an American TV series where some forward thinkin’ dude was trying to arrange sets bringing the foremost real (as in the original meaning of the genre label) R and B stars together to create an archive for future reference. The footage is still kicking around somewhere in toto, but at least another cool dude thought it worth loading onto youtube – long am I thankful.

Particularly as it includes…

Continue reading “too old to rock and roll…”