The Consolations of Philosophy

The Consolations of Philosophy

Am currently three-quarters of the way through Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy. It’s good stuff so far. It dicusses a particular aspect of six philosophers’ work: Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Having looked up a couple of the texts covered in the book on Gutenberg I am happy to admit to being glad that de Botton explains it all so well. Indecipherable is not the word.

WordPress 2.0 Upgrade

very hot and finely tapering pepper of special pungency [x]

Well, I have upgraded to WordPress 2.0 and it was as seamless as always, no problems whatsoever. Will now get in touch with Rick and Chilli about getting theirs sorted out too.

Incidentally, the WordPress site has had a bit of a makeover. No word on the blog yet as to any details, and the link to the new version download hasn’t been announced, so I may have jumped the gun a bit. Never mind – if any of the WordPress guys read this, then they know it all works just fine.

A couple of great features I have just spotted, there are bound to be more as I investigate, are that the editing window can be dragged larger with the mouse, and that post previews show the post inside your chosen template, rather than just with text. Brilliant!

Businessman wins e-mail spam case

Interesting story from the BBC:

Businessman wins e-mail spam caseA businessman has won what is believed to be the first victory of its kind by claiming damages from a company which sent him e-mail spam.

Nigel Roberts, who lives in Alderney in the Channel Islands, took action against Media Logistics UK over junk e-mails in his personal account.

Under new European laws, companies can be sued for sending unwanted e-mails.

The Stirlingshire-based firm has agreed to pay £270 compensation to Mr Roberts, who runs an internet business.

‘Tiny victory’

Three years ago the EU passed an anti-spam law, the directive on privacy and telecommunications, which gave individuals the right to fight the growing tide of unwanted e-mail by allowing them to claim damages.

Mr Roberts received unwanted e-mail adverts for a contract car firm and a fax broadcasting business and decided to take action against the company.

The company filed an acknowledgement of the claim at Colchester County Court but did not defend it and a judge ruled in favour of Mr Roberts.

In an out-of-court agreement Media Logistics agreed to pay Mr Roberts damages of £270 plus his £30 filing fee.

Mr Roberts said he had limited his claim to a maximum of £300 in order to qualify to file it as a small claim.

He said: “This may be a tiny victory but perhaps now spammers will begin to realise that people don’t have to put up with their e-mail inboxes being filled with unwanted junk.”

No-one from Media Logistics UK was available for comment.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office, the watchdog who oversees the Data Protection Act, said it was the first case of its kind he had heard of.

He said: “What I can say is that I haven’t heard of anyone doing so and we haven’t taken a case under that legislation.”

Advent Calendar

A poem from today’s Guardian Review by Rowan Williams:

Advent Calendar

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

Extending FireFox

Have finally got round to installing the Performancing extension to FireFox, and it works a treat! Here’s a snapshot of me using it to write this post. It even drags in your categories and previous entries for you! I did at first find it a little irritating that the editor appears on every tab in your FireFox window, and not just the one you are commenting on, but it is simple enough to drag the editor down to a smaller size.

Perfomancing Screenshot

greasemonkey is another extension, one that allows you to add all sorts of scripts to make life easier. I’m sure most people are well aware of it already. However, the script I really wanted, the inline wikipedia viewer, doesn’t seem to work and just sticks on the loading messages. The page on the UserScripts site says it is broken too. Anyone have any ideas?