May 12th, 2009


Boycott NoScript Firefox extension

If you use Firefox (and if you don't, you should consider it--at least don't use Internet Explorer!), you are probably famliar with one of its extensions. It's the first thing that I enable when I start using Firefox on a new computer: AdBlock Plus.

There's another extension that people use: NoScript. It gives one fine control over whether Flash, JavaScript, or Java are enabled for websites, and guards against "cross-site scripting" vulnerabilities--clearly a good thing.

Apparently the author of NoScript has come up with a way to make money--put a bunch of ads in the page that is displayed when NoScript is updated (and it's been updated a lot lately). Since AdBlock blocks ads, NoScript has been subverting AdBlock so that those ads get through--in the fashion of Microsoft's infamous bogus error message claiming that Windows 3.1 beta would not run atop DR-DOS when it really would, in one version of the code doing this was intentionally obfuscated.

This sort of behavior is unacceptable, and I cannot condone it. I therefore suggest that if you use NoScript you consider not doing so.
  • Current Mood
    enraged enraged

My limited connection with Penguicon

irpooh and I were at Olive Garden when suddenly the cell phone rang. It was jmaynard at Penguicon, and at some gathering there, perhaps over dinner, perhaps not, the question came up of how much music survives from ancient Rome. I told him what little I know: Gregorio Paniagua and the Atrium Musicae de Madrid have a CD out called Musique de la Grece Antique, and since, according to Sr. Paniagua, there's only four bars of surviving Roman music, they figured they might as well put it on the disc as well.

Since then I've had a chance to look up some more info. From Wikipedia: "A phrase by his musical collaborator Flaccus for Terence's comedy Hecyra is all that remains of the entire body of ancient Roman music. This has recently been shown to be unauthentic." Rummaging around a bit more shows this: "Flaccus has the distinction of being the only composer of Ancient Rome of whom any music is alleged to remain. A musical phrase accompanying a single line of Terence's play Hecyra was copied in the eighteenth century by Italian composer Arcangelo Corelli from a 10th century manuscript; however, musicologist Thomas J. Mathiesen comments that it is no longer believed to be authentic," with the 2001 New Grove cited.

I may have to go to Penguicon someday. Any place where that question comes up at random has to be interesting.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

Enforced revelation

I wish I had my copy of Marc Stiegler's excellent David's Sling at hand, as it has a quote appropriate for today. It's something to the effect of: to know whether someone holds a position for emotional reasons, present him or her with information inconsistent with it. One who holds to a position for emotional reasons won't change his or her mind until faced with personal destruction.

This past Sunday my heart arrhythmia struck hard, and I wound up going in to the urgent care clinic. I'm doing much better now, but I've had my nose rubbed in mortality; I will have to do some work to live until the Singularity comes along.
  • Current Mood
    worried worried