Daily HREFs
Something to anchor yourself to
Ideally--really--my website isn't the same from one day to the other. This allows me to deliver unto you the things you care most about: content, and novelty! Hot damn! Anyway, starting on the 13th of August, 2008, I'm going to start listing pages that I think are interesting, that I visit often, etc. Particularly if you travel in the same circles as I do, which many of you do, you're liable to find that you've already visited some of these sites. Check back on the following day. Sites will update when I get up in the morning, so if you check the same time each day you should find something new.

For your edification, the sites will be colour coded as follows:

Things that pique my curiosity--say, a news story about a new solar plant, or something.
Things that amuse me, either in a subtle way or in a "laugh-out-loud way". Don't matter here.
Things that tell you stuff you need to know, are good sources of information, or teach you. snopes, for example.
Things that address the fascinating wide world of information technology and technology in general.
Since I am a part of the furry fandom, and since most of my readership is as well (admittedy, not all), after all.

Unless otherwise marked, everything will be safe for work, in the sense of not displaying naked people or anything like that. Even though that could be both interesting and informative. Anyhow--links ho!

Internet Memes (March 07, 2009)
Linked from a forum discussion elsewhere. I'm struck primarily by two things: one, how recent some of these seem to me (apparently the last couple of years in my life passed by extremely quickly) and, two, how far back I can remember these. Oh, Internets :D
The Slot Machine (January 05, 2009)
This is an interesting article... most of us know (or say we know, anyhow) that gambling is a massive scam that will always dick you over, always. One of the more interesting parts of this particular website is the section on casino design, so, go read.
SimHQ (December 26, 2008)
SimHQ is one of my favourite websites for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they always know what they're talking about, and their articles present a breadth of knowledge that isn't found elsewhere. Secondly, they have a tremendously useful forum. People concerned with simulation games--of all types, land, air, and sea--probably already have this bookmarked, but if they don't, hey, give it a shot.
http://www.fuelly.com/ (November 28, 2008)
Fuelly promotes itself as a site where you can track and share your gas mileage. Now, me, I've only owned SUVs and a sports car. But maybe it will be good for you!
Badass of the Week (November 26, 2008)
I got here reading about Simo Hayha, but as it turns out there are a number of additional badasses that it is possible to spotlight. Thus, a reference sight for them.
Virtual bubblewrap (November 25, 2008)
I don't know. It's some virtual bubble wrap that you pretend to pop. Unfortunately it lacks the tactile sensation of real bubblewrap, but in a pinch it might be close enough.
The Empire that was Russia (November 24, 2008)
The word "interesting" is probably not enough for this--"fascinating" is more like it. Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a colour photographer. At the turn of the century. The results are simply stunning, particularly when you consider their age.
TCFIG (November 21, 2008)
No, this isn't actually the germ for all my stories. It is, however, a nifty way for you to make a name for yourself over down fanfiction.net way! Hop to it, chilluns!
Transforming a 2d image into 3d (November 20, 2008)
This is just something that has been captivating me today (well. I sort of lie--actually what has been captivating me is a redone "Battlestar Galactica" opening sequence done in "JAG" style). I am not sure if it has any actual potential for anything, but it's nifty to watch.
Xobni (November 19, 2008)
I've been using Xobni pretty much since it debuted, and while it's not a game-changer it's certainly very interesting. And since it doesn't seem to take up any system resources or anything, I use it to keep track of my conversations. It's helpful mostly, of course, if Outlook is your primary email client and you're already using it everyday.
Long Tail reader's companion (November 18, 2008)
The Long Tail has tremendous traction in technophilosophical and marketing arenas, and most people have come across it at some point or another. I read it and thought it was interesting, but I'm also interested in this, an author's contrary position, particularly as the Long Tail has come under spirited attack of late.
Weird Meat (November 17, 2008)
I don't know how I found Weird Meat, but it's an interesting sort of journey into gastronomical weirdness. I find the whole thing fascinating, although it does provoke its fair share of "BUT HOW CAN U EAT THAT?" comments. Because it's food, dipshit. That's what you do with food. You eat it. Mm. Dog.
Snow World (November 14, 2008)
I don't know how much this is actually going to wind up working for people--I just think it's an interesting sort of concept, and an interesting application of virtual reality in this decidedly unvirtual real world.
Are ants intelligent? (November 13, 2008)
So, I find ants to be incredibly interesting little things. I like them, actually, hard little workertypes that they are. Nonetheless I have to confess that this article, on the wonders of ants, scares the living daylights out of me.
Top 10 Worst Captchas (November 12, 2008)
CAPTCHAs are one of those interesting bedevilling creatures of the modern spammish age. Myself, if the alternative is to use the ones provided here, I think I'll just continue with my hidden and proprietary system of avoiding spam.
Wikimapia (November 11, 2008)
Perhaps one of the most intriguing content-driven mashups combining user-generated crowdsourcing with yet other buzzwords. It's friggin' amazing to see what people have detailed, though.
Aerospace Web (November 10, 2008)
I first found Aerospace Web when I was looking up NACA airfoil equations. Since then, it has proven itself a fascinating resource, and a good source of reading when trying to figure out some of the less-obvious aspects of aersopace stuff. Things.
IAF Red Flag Lecture (November 07, 2008)
The presentation is divided into two parts and is a highly interesting commentary on the newest generation of Russian fighters (operated by the Indian Air Force) and their comparative abilities.
What the Ad? (November 06, 2008)
Apparently the Apple II was just not all that it's cracked up to be. I mean, for less money I can get a computer that has upper and lower case letters! Fancy that!
The Pod People (November 05, 2008)
There is generally a technological and indeed aerospace-ish bent to my links of the day, because I like aerospace and technology. This isn't any exception, it's just an idea (and article) that I find rather interesting.
Game of Design (November 04, 2008)
Dan Kline is a video game AI programmer, which means he doesn't work for Firaxis. Of special note, here, is the pseudo-live blogging from the Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference
Dialect Survey (November 03, 2008)
American speech has unfortunately become increasingly homogenised, but there's still a fair amount of difference. Do you call them lightning bugs or fireflies? Pillbugs or sow beetles or rolly-pollies? Soda, pop, coke, soft drink? See the geographic distributions here.
WikiHow (October 31, 2008)
Wikihow is a phenomenally useful resource for everything from doing magic to fixing things to calculating the centre of gravity of something, which is how I found it in the first place. Anyway, cool stuff.
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (October 29, 2008)
What is always interesting about concepts is how they generally in no actual regard resemble what actually winds up coming to the general public. Some of these airliners look pretty cool but I have to imagine that the planes of 2030 will, in point of fact, look mostly identical to those of today, helas.
Daisy Owl (October 28, 2008)
In point of fact I don't really care for webcomics much, on the whole, but I make occasional exceptions. Daisy Owl is written like Achewood, except with fewer characters (at the moment) and better artwork. It's a promising start!
Jennifer's Language Page (October 27, 2008)
This is not actually a useful site if you are trying to learn a language, but it is a fascinating site if you just want a brief look at the greetings, farewalls, and pleasantries of other places.
Constitution Free Zone (October 24, 2008)
The ACLU brings us news of a "Constitution-Free Zone", where the rights of American citizens can be even further compromised in the name of border security. Of course, this "border" covers most of the American population...
Paleo Future (October 23, 2008)
Paleo-Future is a look at how people used to think the future was going to shake out, organized by decade, starting as early as the 1880s and going up through the grandiose predictions of my own childhood. It's sometimes an even mix of what people were far too optimistic about... and what they completely underestimated.
Furry Sociological Survey (October 22, 2008)
David Rust's "Sociology of Furry Fandom" is perhaps the most commonly cited quantitative resource on defining furries, but it's a bit long in the tooth--the responses all date from the Clinton administration, some getting on a full decade ago. Australian Kyle Evans has redone it for the modern era, with the results producing a few interesting changes.
ValleyWag (October 21, 2008)
ValleyWag chooses to make it's name by reporting on the only Valley that really matters. Like, uh, the one with Google? And then, like, they totally scoop everyone? Way cool.
Ask Dave Taylor (October 20, 2008)
It really depends on what your questions are, but Dave Taylor--despite having an icon that makes him look sort of douchy--is a good resource for people with questions ranging from CSS to Outlook. It's a pretty impressive range.
Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science (October 17, 2008)
The Public Library of Science brings us this rather wordily-titled article, which suggests that the publishing of scientific papers may, for a number of reasons, be subject to what in auction terms is called the "winner's curse". True? I don't know; I just thought it was interesting.
Intel vPro (October 16, 2008)
It has come to my attention that I probably grew up around a couple of ECHELON bases, which is weird to me, I guess, seeing as how I care deeply about the sanctity of information and don't think the government should be able to acquire it willy-nilly. I'm so naive sometimes.
Some E-Cards (October 15, 2008)
SomeECards provides us with the opportunity to say the things that we always wanted to say without having to go through the messy and unseemly business of talking to people.
Flash Cookies (October 14, 2008)
Adobe has produced some good stuff--Photoshop, for one. Then they produce, or acquire, things that appear to exist for the sole purpose of tormenting people. Here I am thinking about the PDF format, or hey Flash. I run a 64-bit browser which does not have native Flash support. Thank the fuck Christ, I only had like four cookies. But what the hell, Adobe? What the hell.
RFC3251 (October 13, 2008)
Browsing RFCs is a good way to find interesting things, and impenetrable things, but not generally amusing things. Here we have a way to bridge the gap, with an inspired and formal vision of a replacement for our existing godawful power grid.
Sci-fi book covers (October 10, 2008)
I think this is an interesting application of Flash, which is a technology I normally hate. The author has a couple of additional pieces, one with comic books and one with MAD covers. Interesting concept.
Abandoned and Little-Known Airfields (October 09, 2008)
I don't know exactly why all the descriptions are written in the form of free-verse poetry (well, or they appear to be at least). But the website itself is a nice mix of nostalgia and very interesting information. Plus, it's constantly being updated, which is a nice feature for webpages.
Garfield Minus Garfield (October 08, 2008)
Garfield Minus Garfield answers a simple question most of us have already asked: "wouldn't it be cool if Garfield didn't exist?" And now, we learn that it would be a dark but compelling strip about the travails of a lonely, lonely man. It's amazing how well it works.
The Register (October 07, 2008)
The Register is one of the black-ish sheeps of the IT world, with a reputation as a take-no-guff outlet known for mixing wit with their reporting. This having been said, do I trust them? I do indeed, and not just because I wanted to work for them.
Chris Harrison's Visualizations (October 06, 2008)
I found Chris Harrison's website by way of looking for a map of the Internet, but the entire page is really quite fascinating. The Internet map is fun, but so is the Google word spectrum and the wiki search results. Cool stuff.
Strange Maps (October 03, 2008)
I don't remember how exactly I found Strange Maps, but it's since become one of those things that I check in on every now and again because it's simply so interesting. Everything from a map of the world done in text and then justified, to population comparisons of Chinese provinces... it is a different way of looking at our wonderful world.
Fail Blog (October 02, 2008)
Fail Blog is run in the same network as the lolcats people so this is more of the same: nominally amusing picture + text. It involves making fun of people, however, rather than laughing at cats, so I can certainly get on board.
Understanding Moore's Law (October 01, 2008)
Moore's Law is not, actually, all that well-understood by the laiety, who mostly take it to mean strictly an increase in processor power driven by [something]. Ars Technica, with a grounding in history, has republished their 2002 explanation of Moore's Law, where it comes from, and what it means to us.
CDT (September 30, 2008)
Imagine an Internet that was open, accessible, and free from censorship. This is more or less what the CDT imagines, as a group seeking to blend the law with the cause of civil liberty in cyberspace, a worthy cause.
Web Urbanist (September 29, 2008)
Web Urbanist is mostly a collection of interesting pictures with their attached stories, on themes from geeky cakes to abandoned automobiles to bizarre theme restaurants. It's a fun site to browse through.
Consumerist (September 26, 2008)
American is an indisputed and unabashedly consumerist culture. Part of the Gawker network, the Consumerist blog offers perspectives on the consumer experience, dealing with companies, etc. It's a good thing to keep up with.
Have a Slogan! (September 25, 2008)
This is not the first site to put random associations of phrases to good use. But personally, I'm partial to this one and rather enjoy the things it puts together. Awesomeness.
Sumotori Dreams (September 24, 2008)
The demo scene is pretty awesome, although it's not something I spend a whole lot of time following. In this case, I'm simply popping by to spotlight Sumotori Dreams, the large version of which is 180kb and the small 29. It's a sumo game with a fully-implemented physics engine of sorts. What more do you want? That's fucking nuts.
Mighty Optical Illusions (September 23, 2008)
Optical illusions are awesome. Technically not everything that is collected on Mighty Optical Illusions is an illusion, strictly speaking, but it has a lot of them, most of them are cool, and it has a random illusion feature.
Thomas (September 22, 2008)
Thomas is mostly useful for searching bills and other bits of legislation that are referenced by people in online debates who want you to get angry about something or another. This is a good thing to have in your back pocket because, the vast majority of the time, they will not have read the bills themselves.
Retro Thing (September 19, 2008)
I stumbled across Retro Thing when I was researching the PXL-2000 camera by Fisher Price. It is an excellent resource for things like this and, more importantly, a fascinating way to spend some time.
Cats That Look Like Hitler (September 18, 2008)
Cats that look like Hitler is a website devoted to cats that resemble our favourite dictator. Possibly because the Nazis and Naziism in general are so verboten, Hitler is funny. Cats are funy. Cats that look like Hitler are double plus funny.
CSS Zen Garden (September 17, 2008)
The CSS Zen Garden is a demonstration of what you could do with CSS if you were talented. It is the exact same webpage, rendered in many different styles using just a different sylesheet. Is that not awesome? Oh it is.
Speech Accent Archive (September 16, 2008)
The speech accent archive out of George Mason University is an awesome database of people reading the same phrase, with IPA notation. It's great if you're... I dunno. Trying to learn an accent?
Stupid Questions Answered (September 15, 2008)
Stupid Questions Answered is a website devoted to providing you the answers you need. Answers to questions like "why don't cows give chocolate milk?", "what time of day is the best to see a rainbow?" and "what's up with the foxes?"
furryne.ws (September 12, 2008)
It describes itself as a "social news website for the furry fandom". I guess that works. It's a collection of links and news stories of interest to those following the furry fandom. If you are one of these people, consider checking them out.
Halfbakery (September 11, 2008)
It is presumably intended as half-amusement, half-innovation, but I think it's awesome so I tagged it as "amusing". Some of these ideas were created by people on crack; others (like the panic PIN, an idea I had many years ago) are so obvious it's hard to see why they're not implemented.
Overheard in NY (September 10, 2008)
People--especially those who commute through the city on foot or on public transportation--are familiar with this, the things you hear people say that make you go "huh". In a good way or a bad way. Overheard in NY collects these and redistributes them to us.
Daily WTF (September 09, 2008)
The Daily WTF is a collection of the more terrifying and inexplicable aspects of the IT community. Between examples of terrifying code, interviews gone terribly wrong, and some of the most fucked up error messages I've ever seen, it's both a valid resource and a self-indictment of the VB.Net I love so much.
Time Cube (September 08, 2008)
I do not really understand the Time Cube, or what it is supposed to mean/do. Wikipedia says the guy is serious. So, if anyone can explain it, please drop me a line.
GamePolitics (September 05, 2008)
GamePolitics is probably nominally an IT site, but it's most useful for its consistently well-informed summaries and commentaries on the often somewhat muddled social and political issues surrounding the gaming industry. Pretty cool stuff.
Line Rider (September 04, 2008)
Today's entry of "things you already saw a long time ago, thank you very much" brings you Line Rider, which most of you already know about. Tomorrow, I'll spotlight the new phenomenon of "el oh el cats," with the classic "can I have a cheeseburger?" image macro.
Nation States (September 03, 2008)
Based on Max Barry's Jennifer Government, NationStates is a tongue-in-cheek political simulation that allows you to manage your own country. It's been around forever; I've been playing it since the beginning. I don't know if this is a point of pride or not. Probably not D:
Ars Technica (September 02, 2008)
Ars Technica has a nifty logo, which helps, but even without the logo it's one of the premier intellectualish tech journals--not as Rolling Stone-ish as Wired, yes, but also not as profane as the Register. Say. Always a good source for information about technology--and its non-techy social implications.
The Catorialist (August 29, 2008)
I am not the world's biggest fan of cats, I suppose. This is however pictures of cats, written in perfect referential send-up to the famous fashion blog from which it derives its title. And I guess some of the cats are cute.
flightsim.com (August 28, 2008)
FlightSim.com has been around forever, and I have been visiting it nigh since its inception, back when it looked like this. It is, in my opinion, the premier resource for flight simulation fanatics such as myself--not just for Microsoft Flight Simulator, either. If you don't care about flight sims, you probably don't care about this. If you do, and you have not heard of it--which is possible--give them a look.
Musings Inspired by a Quagga (August 27, 2008)
Olivia Judson is an evolutionary biologist at Imperial College London who also happens to write for the New York Times. I enjoy Judson's writing on the whole but "Musings Inspired by a Quagga" is simply put one of the most eloquent, well-written, beautiful defences of biodiversity I have seen. It's detached, not preachy--and haunting.
Go Fug Yourself (August 26, 2008)
Like Cake Wrecks, Go Fug Yourself comments on something I actually know nothing--or next to nothing--about, namely fashion. Actually we'll go with 'nothing,' which has the advantage of explaining my own personal mode of dress. Also like Cake Wrecks, I can countenance when the commentary is catty and humorous, as it is here. So, read.
The Story of Mel (August 25, 2008)
Unreasonably I consider myself a computer programmer, at least by hobby. And as a member of that august body, so we must respect to the end those who came before, the archetypical code junkies--the Real Programmers, of whom Mel Kaye must surely lead the pack. Although it's said Bill Gates had some similar tricks up his sleeve...
Global Security (August 22, 2008)
Global Security is an awesome website if you follow global politics with an eye on defense. They keep you up to date on foreign military action, mostly, but also a comprehensive level of reporting on the American defense industry--contracts, deployments, usage, etc. It's really pretty awesome if that's your thing.
Stuff White People Like (August 21, 2008)
Stuff White People Like skewers a culture that may or may not exist with brilliant incisiveness, examining the yuppie coastal white person in a way that borders on the delicious. It's "Stuff White People Like," but it could just as easily be "Stuff San Franciscans" like. Except the homeless people.
Steampunk Workshop (August 20, 2008)
The Steampunk Workshop is a must for anyone with even a passing love of the steampunk genre, or of arts and crafts, or of--well, anything, really. The person (persons now I guess) behind it is an absolute visionary. My favourite at the moment remains the keyboard, but there's so much awesomeness there it's hard to know...
WikiFur (August 19, 2008)
Imagine if Wikipedia had less focus on planets from Star Wars and more on webcomics with readership in the dozens. Actually, honestly, anymore WikiFur is probably the best source of information you can get about the fandom these days. Modulo the State of the Fandom anyhow ;)
Long Now Foundation (August 18, 2008)
Technically, the Long Now Foundation is invested in a couple of projects--all of them fascinating, to be quite honest. Leading the charge, though, may be the Clock of the Long Now, the completed prototype of which ticks every thirty seconds and is engineered to last for ten thousand years. The website lists its founding in 01996 (five digits to "solve the deca-millennium bug"), the project is awesome. Give 'em a look.
Wired (August 17, 2008)
I mean, it's Wired--what more do you need to know? In the event, though, it's a tremendously useful source of information and a good place to find the news on new gadgets, IT developments, and... uh, well, wife-killers, I guess.
Cake Wrecks (August 16, 2008)
All of the cakes dissected on this blog were paid money for, which either makes it better or worse depending on your perspective at the time. The site's author has a sharp wit, which helps, but the cakes really speak for themselves.
The Straight Dope (August 15, 2008)
Cecil Adams, nom de guerre of person or persons unknown, has created an institution in "The Straight Dope," originally a Chicagoan publication and now read all over through the magic of the Internet. On one site you can find out how to keep bugs off your marijuana plants, why the shower curtain blows inward instead of outward, and whether your life insurance will pay up if you get executed. Written with a keen sense of humour and a mountain of facts, the Straight Dope is a must-have for anyone looking to be informed.
Wordle (August 14, 2008)
The brainchild of someone with better aesthetic sense than me, Wordle is basically a letter frequency analysis tool. Give it a chunk of text, and it produces a word cloud, with the most frequently used words appearing real big. Most of my big words are four letters :\
Achewood (August 13, 2008)
Achewood is the comic to end all comics. Blending absurdist, wry, and incredibly intelligent humour with long, compelling story arcs, Chris Onstad's talent borders on pure genius. His gift for characterisation, wit, and storytelling makes Achewood less a daily comic than an experience. Like the Perry Bible Fellowship, it's something you either "get" or you don't. But if you can get it, you're in for a treat.