XScreenSaver 5.02

XScreenSaver 5.02 out now.
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Nazi Robot Attack!

(Also note that LJ now lets you embed anything, as long as you wrap <lj-embed> around the <embed> or <object> tag. Why it doesn't just do that automatically, I don't know.)

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firefox hover

I changed the layout of the DNA Lounge calendar. The page is less wide now, since all the real data is down below the left-side menu. The top part is taken up with a calendar-grid summary. What do you think?

(I'm not real happy with how the text in the "All events are 21+" box looks, but I'm not sure how to re-arrange that.)

Dear Lazyweb, fix my CSS:

In Safari, when you move the mouse over one of the clickable calendar boxes at the top, the background color changes. In Firefox, this doesn't work. The CSS in question is
.ccell:hover { background: #040; }
Please tell me how to make this work in Firefox too. (Does it work in IE?)


To make Firefox work, add a <!DOCTYPE>. To make IE work, only use :hover on <A>.

Next question: can someone tell me why the "Calendar Overview" table on the front page is not wrapping its text in Firefox? Works fine in Safari. It should be constrained to be 180px wide, but it's not.

Update: That table needed "white-space: normal" in its CSS after I added the doctype; no idea how it got auto-set to "nowrap".

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main screen turn on

'Talking' CCTV scolds offenders

"Talking" CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be extended to 20 areas across England.

Home Secretary John Reid told BBC News there would be some people, "in the minority who will be more concerned about what they claim are civil liberties intrusions".

1984 Chapter 1:

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

George Orwell, Big Brother is watching your house

On the wall outside his former residence - flat number 27B - where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.

Orwell's view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights. The flat's rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place.

Within a 200-yard radius of the flat, there are another 28 CCTV cameras, together with hundreds of private, remote-controlled security cameras used to scrutinise visitors to homes, shops and offices.

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Current Music: Atomica -- Larsen ♬

DNA Lounge: Wherein SFPD says "no live music for you."

As many of you who have been following along from the beginning are aware, the reason I bought this nightclub was to support live music. By 1998, many nightclubs had closed, and there were very few small-to-medium-sized venues left that were pleasant places to see a live show.

DNA Lounge had been lying fallow for years, so I began the process of buying and revitalizing the place. This took, all told, almost exactly four years from when I made my first offer to when we opened for business in July 2001. That included six months of political battles to allow the transfer of the operating permits, followed by a year-and-a-half-long multi-million-dollar remodeling project. (We only had to do that much remodeling because of new requirements that were being imposed on us during the transfer of permits. Had DNA's previous owners simply continued operating, they wouldn't have had to spend a dime, but because I bought the existing business, the city forced me to spend a fortune before I could even open the doors.)

Fast forward six years, and we're still here... but remember that original goal, the live music? Well, we don't really do very much live music. It averages out to around three live shows a month, and that's counting the "house bands" at Bootie at Bohemian Carnival.

The reason we do so little live music is that we're a 21-and-over venue, and, it turns out, it's really, really hard to book bands in such a venue. Successful live music venues are 18+ or all-ages. That's because the unforunate demographic fact is that the people who attend live shows are in the 18-to-25 age bracket, heavily skewed toward the lower end. For many bands, performing at an 18+ venue instead of a 21+ venue will double or triple the attendance. And their booking agents know that, so a lot of agents won't even talk to 21+ venues.

And that's why, despite the fact that our finances are tight, we spent another small fortune this year to build a kitchen. (As I explained earlier, all under-21 concert venues in California are technically restaurants, so food is a prerequisite.)

With construction on our kitchen complete, last month we finally pulled the trigger on our plan to go all ages: we went down to the ABC and filled out the paperwork to convert our Type 48 ("bar") liquor license into a Type 47 ("restaurant") liquor license.

(It turns out that there are 340 residences within 500 feet of our building. I know this because we spent an evening stuffing envelopes and sticking labels to mail them all notification of our permit application: a letter saying, basically, "KICK ME".)

A few days later, we had a meeting with the SFPD officers responsible for permitting to discuss our license application. We showed them our kitchen, and they said, basically, "What's this tiny thing! This is a joke! This doesn't look like a restaurant!" We said, "Hey, we're not trying to be Denny's, we're trying to be Slim's", and pointed out to them the obvious fact that there are a bunch of all-ages concert venues in this city (off the top of my head: Slim's, Great American Music Hall, Bottom of the Hill, Cafe du Nord, Bimbo's, Glas Kat, The Warfield, The Filmore, City Nights, and I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch) and we just want to do the exact same thing that those places do: live music, while serving meals.

This was not a pleasant meeting. Every time we tried to talk about specifics, they'd bob-and-weave from one complaint to another: they'd say, "Your kitchen is too small!" and we'd say, "No it's not, we can serve a totally reasonable volume of food from there." Then they'd respond, "But there will be under-aged kids drinking!" And we'd try to talk about our security plan and how we are going to prevent that, and then without missing a beat, they'd switch right back to, "But this doesn't look like a restaurant!"

They were basically unwilling to discuss it at all. I hoped they'd be reasonable about it, but I didn't really expect that at all. They have no incentive to say "yes" to us, so why would they? It doesn't benefit them. It would be fine with SFPD if this city had no bars or nightclubs at all; the Chamber of Commerce might have a problem with that, but it would make SFPD's job easier if everyone just stayed home.

Liquor licenses are issued by ABC, a state agency. But they always ask the local authorities for their opinion before issueing a permit, which in this case is SFPD. And, predictably, SFPD's recommendation was... not. This letter from ABC arrived a few days ago:

From: State of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Dear Applicants,

The purpose of this letter is to advise you of the status of your pending type-47 application. Please be advised that we have received protests regarding your business plan, the most important from the San Francisco Police Department, asking that we deny your application for a type-47 license. Normally, the SFPD Vice Unit will suggest various Conditions that they believe will mitigate any circumstances arising from the premises operation. However, in this case, they have recommended a simple denial. After discussing it at length with the SFPD officer in charge of permits, it is quite clear that they do not want any changes in your establishment that will result in allowing patrons under the age of twenty-one to enter and/or remain on the premises.

I am continuing my investigation of your application and will keep you apprised of any developments. Of course, it is very rare that we decide to contradict the San Francisco Police Department on matters such as these. At the very least, you should expect the processing of this application to take considerably longer than the three to four months normally allowed for this type of application.

Considering the aforementioned developments, it may be in your best interests to withdraw your application. This will prevent an Administrative Hearing, as well as eliminating the possibility of having a formal department denial in your file. I have included a Withdrawal form, should you decide this is in your best interests.

That says, "SFPD said 'no way', so you should give up. Here's the form to fill out to give up."

Our next step is to figure out how to cause SFPD's recommendation to ABC to be different. We're still working out the details on how exactly to do that, but apparently it's time to lawyer up. Again.

What a gigantic pain in the ass.


stupid gov't web sites

Dear Lazyweb,

I am curious to know how many businesses in San Francisco have both an ABC type 47 license (state-issued), and a Place of Entertainment license (city-issued). So I want to get both lists, so that I can compute the intersection. I'm pretty sure this is all public information, and I think I've even seen it before, but I can't find it now. ABC has a search form, but it won't give me the whole list. And I don't see anything on sfgov.org at all... Can you find it?

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Back to 18? A new chorus of critics says it's time to lower the drinking age.

Billboard Liberation!

Billboard ban in São Paulo angers advertisers
    [...which gets my vote for most shocking! headline of the year.]

The law is "a rare victory of the public interest over private, of order over disorder, aesthetics over ugliness, of cleanliness over trash," Roberto Pompeu de Toledo, a columnist and author of a history of São Paulo, wrote in the weekly newsmagazine Veja. "For once in life, all that is accustomed to coming out on top in Brazil has lost."

But advertising and business groups regard the legislation as injurious to society and an affront to their professions. They say that free expression will be inhibited, jobs will be lost and consumers will have less information on which to base purchasing decisions. They also argue that streets will be less safe at night with the loss of lighting from outdoor advertising.

"This is a radical law that damages the rules of a market economy and respect for the rule of law," said Marcel Solimeo, chief economist of the Commercial Association of São Paulo, which has 32,000 members. "We live in a consumer society and the essence of capitalism is the availability of information about products."

"What we are aiming for is a complete change of culture," said Roberto Tripoli, president of the City Council and one of the main sponsors of the legislation. "Yes, some people are going to have to pay a price. But things were out of hand and the population has made it clear it wants this."


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all your base

"This is a time-lapse photo showing the paths of the multiple re-entry vehicles deployed by the missle. One Peacekeeper can hold up to 10 nuclear warheads, each independently targeted. Were the warheads armed with a nuclear payload, each would carry with it the explosive power of twenty-five Hiroshima-sized weapons."
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Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:
Ricci Revs Up Speed Racer

Christina Ricci is joining Larry and Andy Wachowski's live-action adaptation of the 1960s cartoon Speed Racer. Emile Hirsch, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman already have boarded the high-octane project, which is based on the anime series created by Tatsuo Yoshida for Japanese audiences and later imported to the United States.

Speed centers on a young race car driver, Speed (Hirsch), and his quest for glory in his thundering, gadget-laden vehicle, Mach 5. Ricci will star as Speed's girlfriend, Trixie, his formidable ally on and off the track.

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