Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Chicken sexing is the method of distinguishing the sex of chicken hatchlings, usually by a trained person called a chicken sexer.

It turned out that Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa by simply walking out the door with it hidden under his coat.

The theft was master-minded by a con-man who had commissioned a French art forger to make copies of the painting so he could sell them as the missing original. Because he didn't need the original for his con, he never contacted Peruggia again after the crime. After having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia grew impatient and was finally caught when he attempted to sell it to a Florence art dealer.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pediapress sells print-on-demand compendiums of wikipedia articles. Hopefully it's the first in a minor ecosystem of companies repurposing wikimedia content: that's what the GFD Licence specifically allows.

But wait! The name Wikimedia isn't free; it's trademarked. And the names of the subprojects, too (Wikipedia, Wikibooks, etc.). But repurposed copies have to use that name to show where the content's from. And how's Wikimedia going to prevent scam artists from using its name (for example) to sell articles peppered with implanted ads for real estate?

The GFDL and trademark law collided to produce this byzantine debate on the mailing list.

In semi-related news, the Library of Congress and Wikipedia might share content.

A paternoster is a doorless elevator which consists of a chain of open compartments (each usually designed for two persons) that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers who are agile enough can step on or off at any floor they like.


(addendum: Hong Kong Island is dominated by steep, hilly terrain, which makes it the home of some rather unusual methods of transport up and down the slopes.)