Why do people believe in fortune tellers?

Filed under:Random Thoughts — posted by Svein Kåre on 28 October 2005 @ 01:13

Looking through my log certainly can be interesting. I get some nice overview of what people are searching for when they arrive at my pages, which again can prompt me to look a bit deeper into stuff, maybe to make things I’ve written clearer, add something to old pages, or write something completely new.

Now, I just found that someone found my pages by searching for the phrase that makes up the title of this post – why do people believe in fortune tellers? What he/she found was not the answer to that question, but three methods to tell the future yourself…

Am I able to answer the question if someone comes searching for it again? Well – not really. Personally I find the topic interesting, even fascinating, and also fun. I wouldn’t mind having my own fortune told in various ways, but I must admit, I remain highly sceptical of it. For the sake of this article, I did use my numerology calculator to ask “Does fortune telling work?” and got a highly positive answer, but… You do need to believe that it works to believe the answer 😉

But – why do people believe in fortune telling? Is it because it can give them answers science can’t? Because of a belief that there must be something more than just what science can tell us about life? Maybe some want to believe just because they think they can use it to control their own future? Or the opposite, that it doesn’t matter what they do because all is destined?

One think I’m sure of, is that if I’m lucky and people answer here why they believe, there will be different answers – not just one, common reason.

Google base?

Filed under:Web anything — posted by Svein Kåre on 27 October 2005 @ 17:59

If you publish something on the net, you most likely want people to find it. Search engines, directories and links from other pages are very helpful here – but can things be made even better? Is it possible that your content can be found even easier?

Google started testing a new service, Google Base, and a few days ago rumours started spreading about what this will all be about. Competitor to Ebay? Classified ads? At the time of writing the site is unavailable, but some have managed to get in when it has been up, and it looks like it can be a database over, well, pretty much anything.

Those who should know, would be the folks at Google themselves, end they do have an entry about Google base over at the official Google blog.

Don’t know it it is much clarifying – so it will be interesting to see what it turns out to really be, when it’s ready for us. Considering their other services, it might be very fun to join in on. 😉

Opera 9, Preview 1

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on 21 October 2005 @ 00:52

I mentioned just a couple of posts ago how I found Opera 9 in my logs. I didn’t expect anything to be released in a good while yet, but once again I’m pleasantly surprised. Today (or yesterday, considering it’s past midnight already) a preview ofOpera 9 was released. It’s still in the early stages of development, but there are some nice things the developers just ached to show us so far: 😉

  • support for XSLT, Canvas 2D, and Web Forms 2.0
  • rich-text editing on Web pages
  • site-specific preferences
  • a new IMAP back-end
  • access to Opera’s preferences via opera:config

For a full overview, see the changelog and download links for Windows, Unix and Mac

Of course, by releasing this preview Opera invites users to discuss it in the forums – they are particularly interested in feedback about:

  • speed and stability
  • IDing as Opera by default
  • rendering regressions since Opera 8.5
  • problems connecting to secure sites using TLS 1.1

One thing any have looked forward to, are the site specific preferences. Who’s better to tell us about those and more than the Opera guys themselves, in their blogs? Such as HÃ¥vard, Peter Karlsson, Rijk, Tim Altman, …

I could go on, but I’m sure you want to go test it yourself, as soon as possible. I will, at least. So go ahead! 😉

You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.

Filed under:Games — posted by Svein Kåre on 14 October 2005 @ 03:17
You are on a page which tells about the IF-Competition 2005.
> Read blog entry
You read the blog entry. You feel compelled to try the games.
> Click download link
You are instantly taken to the download page.

The era of text adventures, or interactive fiction, is not yet over. Not completely. I wrota a little while ago about playing Hamlet, as an interactive fiction story.

Interested in more? Well – there is a competition each year, to write the best interactive fiction. If you want to download and play this year’s competition games, go here! You can of course also read more about the competition, and give your vote.

If you want to see a more “adventurous take” on the competition, and links for last years games, have a look in this blog post.

Merlin: Opera 9

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on 10 October 2005 @ 00:33

Opera is continually being updated and improved. While Opera 8.5 was released just a few weeks ago, work is well underway withthe next incarnation, codenamed Merlin. And I expect it to work its magic as the name implies – if only in the sense “Any science advanced enough will seem like magic” (who was it that said that, by the way?)

From time to time we read some small snippets by the developers about this browser – but when can we expect it to be released? I have no idea – but someone is obviously testing the internal build, because in my web log today I found that someone have paid me a (short) visit with a browser that identified itself as Opera 9! 🙂

Of course, that someone is testing an internal build doesn’t mean that it is anywhere near a public release, but it’s a nice little reminder – should we ever need it – that Opera ASA is constantly improving its browser so that we get the best possible experience out of it. And it is a bit titillating to see the entry, teasing me with a promise of what is to come. 😉

Danger on bittorrent?

Filed under:Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on 1 October 2005 @ 03:51

Harvey Danger album coverHave you heard of Harvey Danger? I hadn’t, until half an hour ago or so. Had it not been for one specific thing, Harvey Danger would be nothing more that at most a name to me, in all probability. The one thing that changed the situation for me, is bittorrent.

Harvey Danger is a group, which recently released their third album: “Little by Little”. Being independent, they’re not bound by RIAA and their demonising of the P2P file sharing model – and so they wanted to do an experiment. They put out their album for download. It’s their complete album, DRM-free, in ogg vorbis and MP3 formats – and it’s free. We’re even encouraged to share it with friends. Not quite the view of the RIAA juggernaut, eh?

Of course, they don’t give it away just to be nice – they do sell the album, too, and would like to make money on it. The result they’re hoping for is to get some contribution for the downloads, and/or to sell the physical album (which includes a bonus CD) and more. History has shown us (those of us that don’t close our eyes) that people find new artists via file sharing, get curious and search out previous albums to buy. Other artists have noticed higher sales as they’re being shared – let’s hope the same is true for Harvey Danger, and that this experiment turns out to be a viable model.

Me? I’m listening to the album as I’m writing. I like it – how much I like it remains to be seen. 🙂



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace