Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

31May/03Off

I Sort Of Dug It

Finally caught Matrix Reloaded tonight and my opinion is split. The fight scenes do get a little tedious at times no matter how many copies of Agent Smith you throw in. The Twins are the new Darth Maul with a decent amount of hype in the trailers and whatnot with very little development in the movie itself. They look like extras from an Urge Overkill video or something. Like Darth Maul they were much more interesting in the trailers. I'm sure they function very well as sunglasses models though so the marketeers will be stoked out.

Other upsetting elements:

1. Don't fucking end movies like that. This is not the Batman television series. The audible groan from the rest of the folks in the theater echoed my feeling. It's cheap, cheap, cheap.

2. The bringing Trinity back to life by reaching into her chest cavity stunt was terrible. Why not just punch the cheese throttle all the way up and show up stop motion shots of flowers blossoming while you're at it and then Neo can find his way back to Zion by following a trail of Reese's Pieces. Then we threw up.

Pissing and moaning aside I will see the next episode. I'll give the Bros W some breathing room to drink a little of their own Kool-Aid this time around. I probably need to see this movie a couple of more times before I can absorb all of the details. Yoon did notice that the Oracle's candy was red. Red pill. Hint. Wink. Nudge.

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30May/03Off

We’ll Sue You And You And You

Man. If I read about the whole SCO fiasco in some Clancy-esque thriller yankfest I'd have called it completely unbelievable. It's still pretty unbelievable but keeps getting more surreal each day, each time one of the board members shoots their mouths off about who they'll see next in court. If they aren't MS pawns they're so fucked that no one has to worry about them. SCO will be out of money before the case with IBM actually sees a judge. Trying to trace the chronology of the whole thing makes me feel like I'm going crazy. So now SCO is threatening to sue Novell which is utter insanity on top of the (indirect) threats against Linus and whoever else isn't paying up. I imagine Lindows is next.

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30May/03Off

Waste But Never Wasted

Since Kenneth was kind enough to share a copy of the freshly Slashdotted and accordingly disappeared Waste (link for reference only because the file itself is long gone) I will do the same and offer it here for your downloading pleasure. Grab yourself some source cow[boy||girl].

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30May/03Off

How Will You Activate This Product If You Cannot Type, Mr. Anderson?

Although I still have not seen the multi-gazillion dollar version of The Matrix I have indeed seen Matrix XP in all of its goofy glory. At very least all of the laughs in Matrix XP are intentional. Well worth your 2 minutes of downloading until it gets Slashdoted into oblivion that is. It still isn't posted there as of this second but I actually submitted it which is a fine example of my own bipolar behavior or at least a geek imperative to share even if it destroys the site.
Nevermind
Per usual any time I actually bother to submit something to /. it is quickly rejected and later accepted in typo laden format submission by someone else. Go figure or rather not...

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30May/03Off

Go Forth And Download

Oh yeah. Just the thing to further skew my bedtime: Movable Type 2.64. I did it in under ten minutes not counting the rebuild and nothing appears broken. I wish upgrades were always so smooth. Big old changelog is in the usual place. Looks like bugfixes which is fine with me since I'm about two releases away from a bloat reduction change of software. This isn't to say that MT is not a totally fucking fabulous piece of coding but it's probably way too big of a hammer for what I'm doing here. I don't suspect that the kids will be recalling this release unlike a shadowy apparition to the NW we're all tired of hearing me rant about.

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30May/03Off

My God It’s Full Of Porn

Yesterday's problem child (the help call I referenced in the previous post) was all about rampant porn consumption. If you're going to surf pr0n at work I suggest using an account that isn't yours. That way when you call tech support and they look at the machine when you're logged in a simple scan of your browser history won't give you away. Threatening to permanently close Port 80 silenced all protests. My patience is limited.

I've seen a flurry of posting on news sites about Lindows having agreements with Caldera (the larval SCO) that may invalidate the lawsuit claims against the entire Linux kernel. I'm not buying that since loadable kernel modules (like the Nvidia drivers) are not necessarily covered by the GPL. I hope the Lindows deal is less superficial than that. I hate to wish well to a company that I openly despise but in this case I'll punch the moral time clock and stick with the lesser of evils. We'll get back to the exorcism when this lawsuit blows over. The press release in question in case you haven't already clicked through three dozen times already.

Hey. Go grab yourself some Shavian fonts. I'm typing up scads of utter gibberish in another console right now. Or you could just buy a t-shirt in honor of Shaw's (mostly) forgotten alphabet. If I had more than a few paltry dollars in the bank I might buy one myself just to be annoying. You can also grab IPA alphabet fonts if you're more practical. The geekery just doesn't stop.

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29May/03Off

High Priority Means After I’m Finished With This Coffee

Linux Planet has a nice summary of the friction between Novell and SCO and the connections they share. The more facts surface the more I've got to wonder if Boies hasn't considered bailing from this sinking ship before the whole thing goes under. The continual vague threats probably aren't helping matters at least in terms of public opinion which is going to haunt SCO regardless of their actions post-lawsuit. This is of course assuming the company will exist which is doubtful.

Gotta go clean up some more ad ware -- the same computer as last week. Time to crank up the security settings in IE to "useless." Silly kids...

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29May/03Off

If $Company != Us {Publically Threaten Else Die “Could Not Sue”}

I've speculated a whole lot on exactly what genus of assclown the SCO CEO belongs to since the beginning of this whole SCO vs. IBM train wreck but it seems like the folks that move dollars around with bulldozers have finally pricked up their ears as well. Right now SCO's stock price is taking a shit slide back into hell from whence it came. Someone posted that link in a comment over at Slashdot and I think it's very telling about the general confidence people have in SCO's ability to shoot itself in the foot over and over and over again.

The whole ballyhoo started when everyone started linking this news story where the head clown says very stupid things to the tune of:

McBride added that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement.

The "fwhoooo" sound that came out of me when I read that paragraph sort of hurt.

One of the readers over at PC Linux Online pointed out (by research into SEC filings and quarterly reports mind you) that Novell has a valid point about the intellectual property SCO claims to own. The comment says:

his is so cool! If you read Novell's 1995 and 1996 annual and quarterly earnings reports filed with the SEC you see that Novell acquired UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. (USL) by issuing approximately 11 million shares of Novell common stock valued at $332 million in exchange for all of the outstanding stock of USL not previously owned by Novell and assumed liabilities of $9 million. Bear in mind they were already part owners of USL.

Then they sold Unixware to SCO for stock that only amounted to a 17 percent ownership in SCO common stock. The agreement also called for Novell to receive a revenue stream from SCO based on revenue performance of the purchased UnixWare product line. This revenue stream was not to exceed $84 million net value, and ended by the year 2002. That's certainly not a $340 million dollar plus value. In addition, Novell was to continue to receive revenue from existing licenses for older versions of UNIX System source code.

All of that indeed looks like they were only swapping the product line for part ownership in SCO - while retaining the licensing rights to the UNIX IP. That last sentence at least indicates that the Novell executives certainly thought they were retaining permanent rights to at least some of the existing UNIX IP and made public representations to that fact with the SEC. That contradicts SCO's claims today that all of the Novell and SCO executives who were involved at the time thought that SCO was acquiring all of the IP rights.

Even when Novell mentions selling BOTH it's UNIX AND Unixware product lines, it specifically mentions the continuing revenues from UNIX licensing.

You've gotta love folks who do their homework. I'm pretty curious at this point if there is any legal plan on the part of SCO or if they've given up any hope of a real lawsuit in hopes of finding a magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I hope Darl McBride finds himself out of a job in the near future especially as a representative of the company that causes stock value to plummet simply by running his mouth. I'm sure the countersuits have only begun. Microsoft still might play a role in this somehow by throwing more money into the mix but hopefully they'll see past their blind hatred for all things not Microsoft and recognize a losing horse before dropping a load at the bet counter.

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28May/03Off

Slowly Eroding Patience

Things keep breaking today and unfortunately they're largely things that I depend on. For some reason during the usual round of updates today Evolution broke which isn't the biggest deal in the world but was pretty annoying. I ended up setting up Sylpheed Claws because Kmail has got one too many problems for me to get my head around. So, yeah, minor setback that took ten minutes to fix but grrr...

The New York Times is also climbing up the petty annoyance ladder by turning its NewsTracker service which is marginally handy to begin with into a subscription based commercial service. This in itself is not as annoying as the four pieces of mail I've recieved today informing me about all the great features I'll be missing out on. Tedious. Very tedious.

Fresh News is also broken at the moment. I'm more sad than angry about because I actually went directly to Slashdot for the first time in like a year.

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27May/03Off

Game Ported To Macintosh. Now There Are Like 3.

So there's a Macintosh port of my old pal Uplink which is really, really fun for like two days. It was a great two days, though. This is probably going to be a big hit with the Mac folks if only because it's relatively new and runs on the pretty hardware.

I think that the actual playing interface needs to change at some point. The "desktop" gets to be a little tiresome after a while. I do enough of telnetting from server to server and destroying important (albeit accidentally and ones that belong to me) documents in real life. The lack of mouse stickiness also drives me crazy. I've never been a fan of sloppy focus in windowing environments and the "softness" (now I'm just making shit up) of this emulation of a sloppy focus desktop is maddening. Surprisingly the looped pseudo-ambient music is not at all irritating. I was pretty excited about it a year or so ago so I imagine newer versions are probably better. I actually tried to play the game a couple months ago but it would just segfault and die. Not like I need to be wheedling hours away gaming in the first place but still..

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27May/03Off

Guess Those “Lick Bush” T-Shirts Are Out Too

Uh, this is kinda cheap but I'm too weak to take the high road here. From an article about another "threat of terrorism" arrest comes this blue ribbon motherfucker:

"Since Sept. 11, you pay more attention to what people are saying," said Sgt. Randy Horton, a 28-year veteran of the Emeryville Police Department. "Unless you know the person you're dealing with, you have to take everything a little more seriously."

Last month, two Oakland High School sophomores got a visit from the Secret Service after their teacher heard them make comments about "getting" Bush.

I'm sure that's precisely what they were talking about.

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27May/03Off

We’re Going To Need Bigger Cattle Prods

Why does stuff like this always get turned around into some apocalyptic rant about the mean spirited nature of open source/free software developers? What I'm talking about it this thread on the PHP.net buglist that I've seen linked a few places already usually with commentary about what assholes developers are. Not really. Would-be developer places bug report about an old version of the software. Bug bot says: upgrade! Developer gets all bent out of shape about the lack of ready and willing support (despite having his question answered) on a bug list. That should end the story. Don't call an ambulance when you need the police. Or a hug. Or one of the many books out there on the subject of PHP. Or a steaming hot mug of shut the hell up.

I love that he brings up the free software angle -- if I'd paid for this software you'd have to deal with me differently -- sort of approach. Do you want polite mediocrity or do you want solid code and the truth? Look at your desktop and tell me you want function.

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27May/03Off

Awake. Napping.

After the departure of guests and all of the weird boring yet tense sitting around that marks the first day of school I'm pretty happy to have no work waiting for me. After three hours of sleep and no real food yet I'm ready to just sit around for a while. That doesn't happen often enough. That said there is a coming storm when we convert all of the mail (for thousands upon thousands of accounts) and calendaring to iPlanet next month. While it's going to be kinda comical watching the piece of junk break and the usual cast of pointy-haired ledger huggers tearing their hair I'm not looking forward to the onslaught of help calls that will follow. I'm glad that I'm a toolkit robot and not a telephone robot. Add oil. Add loose screws and peanut oil. Stir not so gently.

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26May/03Off

Idled Hands

I was going to try to finish up the book I'm reading (DeLillo's Underworld -- it's a million zillion pages and doesn't seem to fly right by in a couple of bus trips) but we'll soon have a house full of sweaty people so I'm assuming not much of anything is happening tonight although I did get some much needed laundry done. So much for the summer vacation...

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26May/03Off

Marketing Causes Violent Thoughts

I'm finally getting around to reading that paper on Gator that everyone's been linking the shit out of. This week was not the week to get any reading done and for some reason I thought the article was a lot longer than it actually is. I spent some time Friday afternoon cleaning up a particularly nasty infestation of Gator among other things that was locking a Windows 2000 machine up. I watched the CPU usage surge up to 100% with no active (visible) applications and wondered how people put up with this kind of bullshit without going completely insane. It's irksome to have to fix this sort of train wreck by running some other application to dig all the crud out of the registry when you know the same shit is going to happen a week later. Windows is simply obsolescent out of the box and this is all in the name of ease of use.

What kills me about this particular problem (other than being haunted by the thought that I am going to have to duplicate this effort a gazillion times if the right sites are hosting that nasty hunk of code) is the amount of money that clients pay for a Gator campaign. How is that money well spent? I doubt that the clickthrough on a hovering swarm of pop ups is a very representative litmus for potential sales. I may be particularly sensitive to this sort of invasive flooding as marketing but I have a strong feeling that if I met a person who worked for x10 that I'd crack them in the jaw. I've never understood how annoying the fuck out of people is going to sell them anything. I understand that there's a sort of war going on to catch people's attention with advertising and the easiest way to do that is to blast them in the face with advertising or animate the advertising in a seizure inducing pattern or any other enraging tactics but how does this sell anything? It probably does...

Gotta love the sales pitch though:

Since all data from the Gator Advertising and Information Network (GAIN) user base (over 35 million users across over 40 million domains) is captured, we can also identify and communicate with potential respondents based on their past online behavior.

That quote comes from here although I loathe linking that up. It's ugly, ugly stuff that makes me nearly as angry as Satan's Own Little Purple Monkey. Has anyone ever successfully uninstalled that nastiness? I had a list of registry keys that it created but things have changed since then so I'm forced to reimage machines when they get infected with it. I think when school starts on Tuesday I'm going to pull one of the future bright young blades out of a marketing class and slap them around a little. That would make me feel a whole lot better.

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25May/03Off

Mutations For Everyone!

When nothing else is going on and you don't have the necessary attention span or concentration to read or play guitar or even play video games it's good to have toys like Genomixer to mess around with. The sound is of course headache inducing in a matter of seconds but once I muted it I spent a lot of time playing with and resetting it. It also reminded me that I'd coded up some mutation-ware in perl many moons ago but I don't think I ever backed it up. I might try hacking it together again since the only thing that kept me from finishing it was midterms or the equivalent. Meanwhile, go check out Genomixer. Future versions are going to allow you to use your own DNA as the source. Nice.

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25May/03Off

Kitten Hunting Moth

Again no time for anything here related. Spent the evening eating Korean BBQ with Yoon's parents and then reinstalling Debian over the ALT Linux install I did last week. There was nothing wrong with ALT but I was continually thinking that it was almost Debian and why not just go the distance especially when I've got like 20 gigs of ISOs sitting on my hard drive. I've whittled the default install down to about an hour anyway so it's not exactly a big deal. For some reason my network connection is really flakey and is not making me a very happy kid.

Just noticed that Marie's weblog is selling for $112 over at BlogShares. Damn. I'm thinking about upgrading my account over there. This isn't because I need any of the benefits of a paid account but it seems like the proprietor is really killing himself to build the best site possible. Sacrificing sanity/sleep for quality -- that will attract my dollars every time.

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24May/03Off

Friday Night Ain’t Right For Fightin’

This is the arbitrary long weekend before the start of a hot and unfriendly summer semester. I actually made a semester GPA of 4.0 for the first time. Too bad that everything else is just a mess.

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22May/03Off

More Days Late

I'm plowing through a Ruby book which means headaches and wishing that people who wrote introductory programming books would stop piddling out on detail after the first chapter of comparisons between the programming language they're concerned with and the languages they're actually familiar with. I guess I should refrain from buying "In Eight Days" titled books no matter how cheap they're priced on the clearance shelf. Needless (probably) to say I've learned more from the web site (and the other web site) and watching the Interactive RuBy shell chuckle at my fixation on perl syntax. On the whole I'm pretty willing to break my brain to learn more Ruby despite my dread of object oriented anything. It helps that the useful book on Ruby is available online and generally the Ruby dev community is the friendly bunch of folks that Gentoo users always claim they are.

Speaking of my favorite GPL friendly time killer, I've been pretty amused to see two separate instances of compiling stuff arbitrarily == l33tn355 break out on Apple specific sites over the past couple of days. This normally would tedious troll behavior but it's so novel to see the PPC fixated to vehemently advocate a different brand of Kool-Aid™ that I'm willing to let Slackware cheerleader behavior from six years ago slide for sake of sociological study. One discussion thread starts here and is a Debian bashing thread which is equally old hat (especially from Gentoo folks who will build root jails just to install their operating system but refuse to understand the basic concepts of any other distribution... oh, need I say that this schism of an otherwise fantabulous (meta)distribution are in the teeny, tiny minority? Did I need to say that?) but this is interesting because it approaches bashing from either extreme of misunderstanding what separation into branches is all about by lambasting Debian as simultaneously outdated and broken. The reason that I classify this specific instance as humor and do not get out the divine flamethrower of correction (the invocation should be accompanied by the sound of angels bursting into song but I gotta be work in like 40 minutes so pardon my lack of effort) is that someone in the same thread offers this in correction which is more factual and kind than I'm capable of at < eight in the goddamn morning:

Gentoo is swell, but you don't need to ignorantly bash Debian. Having run both, I can say that I prefer Debian on my servers since it is rock solid reliable, and far better tested than any other distro. Gentoo is a fun platform, but fun is not always what is needed. And trust me when I say that Debian's "hand holding" can also be viewed as Debian's "saving me wasted time setting up crap that should be scripted and automated." As for the communities, your views of either will necessarily be tainted by a limited experience. I saw enough flaming from gentoo snobs to swear off #gentoo.

Thank you anonymous coward for your patience,insight, willingness to deal with children like an adult. I have almost none of these qualities and make my community look equally bad on a pretty rountine basis.

The other PPC specific flame fest was regarding someone who switched from OS X to Yellow Dog Linux which is something I've done myself when stuck on the architecture for many of the same reasons although less out of frustration with lock and feel issues than wanting x specific tool lacking in Fink. The same war of tainted logic ensues which is normal for the site in question but also interesting for its platform specificity and spoiled little child insistence that the author of the original piece needs to get with the program and buy newer and sexier hardware. Yup, this position has all the typical "Daddy, buy me a new pony" rhetorical sheen that we've come to love and expect. It's good stuff that follows a similar line of fanatictal belief that enables Space Jam and Willow to rack up rentals.

Yeah, I know this was supposed to be an example of arbitrary compiling but it isn't. I'm sorry I'm not sorry. If you've made it this far without chewing off your own leg and escaping I count you among true friends anyway.

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21May/03Off

Huh. Maybe Debian Isn’t The Only Thing That Works

So after coming home from work all tired out and ready to simply sit on the couch and fight off a headache I ended up installing ALT Linux on my laptop. I've been reading bits and pieces about it here and there for the last couple of months and the verdict has generally been positive with the exception of some Mandrake fanboys who can't seem to deal with the spin off factor. Yeah, it is spun off of Mandrake but with what I think are significant improvements and despite the fact that the installation looks exactly the same with the exception of ALT logos pasted in the appropriate spots I think it works a whole lot better. Oh, by the way, there is a reason that I'm not including an URL for ALT -- their web sites (both the Russian and US flavors) have been down for at least a week. I'm not sure what the deal is there but the ftp servers are working fine.

Synaptic is the package manager of choice and I have no problems with that. ALT includes a list of sources for you and the first time you fire up synaptic it automagically updates your lists of packages. I thought it was pretty slick and beats the pants off vanilla RPM packaging. Between the repositories there are something like 3500 packages available which isn't anywhere near the mass of Debian unstable but is still pretty damn impressive. The first thing to do was install gcc which is a pretty unforgivable exclusion especially when you discover its absence when trying to compile a PPPOE client. I did the full dist-upgrade with only one minor breakage which cleared up immediately when I did the fix broken packages thing from one of the menus. This was of course before I realized that I could just use apt from the command line. This is disturbingly familiar.

Rather than go on and on about features and whatnot I can sum it all up by saying that I assembled a machine comparable to my main Debian box without breaking a sweat. That speaks volumes for the amount of work that's gone into ALT. I'm really impressed.

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20May/03Off

Waiting For Silence

I like games but I hate gamers. I've been listening to the network monkeys playing whatever first person shooter is "the shit" at the moment and it's pretty fucking annoying. Some event in the game keeps triggering a slow motion macho-ized voice (think of that "Ooooooooh yeah" voice) that says "Holy shit." The first 3200 times I heard it I was somewhat amused and continued to code. Now I'm just listening to the morons and wondering how many hours of my life will be consumed waiting for silence.

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19May/03Off

H.G Wells Rides Again

Jesus fucking christ. I've about given up on reading any of the usual news sites today. I had an equally "deer frozen in headlights" moment last night when I read about Microsoft licensing from SCO until I realized what the words said and not what my paranoid imagination wanted the story to say. It's a little bit of nose thumbing charity work by the Redmond folks. The funny part is that it really worked as a public relations move mainly because as a community we're a pretty kneejerk bunch that pounces on what things might be instead of what's actually happening. Take a couple of deep breaths. It's going to be all right.

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19May/03Off

Wet Clean Up Aisle Three

Lessons learned today:

1. When people who normally spend their work hours playing first person shooters decide to undertake a major project only bad things will result.

2. When said people undertake project it must replace a resource used by a gazillion other users and without backups.

3. When people who seldom deem you worthy of a passing hello start talking about teamwork throw down smoke bombs and disappear into the night like a ninja.

4. When aforementioned "teamwork" is the result of the person in charge of this work warming their chair for the past four months you will realize that the "team" they are referring to is actually a team of pack mules. Guess who gets to wear the bridle?

5. When all of these things loom over your exhausted head your own consolation is to start mentally pricing out kneecappings and car bombs.

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19May/03Off

Geeky On Soooo Many Levels

This is it for tonight. I promise. I've killed so many emacs buffers that I'm starting to get achey pinky but I had to link up this way too detailed theological (specifically Christian) examination of The Matrix films. I think a good deal of it is really reaching but it's interesting and arguable analysis nonetheless. The glossary that follows the main body of the article draws some really out there comparisons between Matrix characters and biblical characters. Is Morpheus a front for John the Baptist? Um, prolly not but makes for some interesting reading from one of the better papers out there. No registration required thank jeebus.

Earnest effort to deconstruct the movie began with a question. On Superbowl Sunday 1999, "Matrix" filmmakers tantalized TV viewers with a commercial trailer that asked, "What is the Matrix?" After the film made its auspicious Easter debut, "Matrix" viewers began answering the clever marketing query in personal terms. Sci-fi fans, philosophers, Buddhists, and even evangelical Christians have found resonant themes in the story.

"There are hundreds of Matrix [websites] out there, and they're not about how cute Keanu Reeves looks," says Mr. Yeffeth. "The Christian parallels, the philosophical underpinnings - this is a movie that ... captures people's intellectual imagination."

One More Thing
NY Times article on the corporate adoptation of wiki-ness. Pitifully late and tentative as always but I guess all of the pillaging of the middle class and under has emboldened suits to move beyond the sure thing because having the government shake us down by proxy makes every thing a sure fucking thing.

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19May/03Off

Bowing Inevitably To Peer Pressure

I grabbed the deb of the new Firebird release and installed it which required uninstalling and purging of my old installation. This is what all the FAQs say but I'm used to dpkg being a little swifter than that. In a nutshell: it looks good with all the promised fixes implemented the most annoying of which was that horrible scrolling stickiness that made my already weak and underpowered laptop feel more like a 486 than a 366. That looks all the way fixed and that was my major peeve with the earlier builds. I'm wondering when it'll make it into unstable since typing MozillaFirebird already has me pretty annoyed. The scrolling really is that much better though so I'm happy that I did it despite the invocation of 'dpkg -P' which I'm usually reluctant to do for non-apt-gettable software. Good job. I have no idea how the Win or OS X builds are shaping up. I'm sure there are a hundred zillion posts that I've already blearily zipped by. This is the hypocrisy of weblogging.

For waaaay more Moz/Firebird info and links than you could ever possibly read check out adot's notblog for linkage so complete it's a little on the surreal side.

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18May/03Off

Things To Cross Off The To Do List

Skimming a few weblogs I haven't read in a little while and finding too much good stuff:

Kasia has a righteous rant about the overuse of the -9 flag with kill. It's true that 99% of the time that is a way bigger hammer than you'll ever need for the job. I usually just zap individual processes starting with the lower numbered ones associated with the job. The first one is usually it with none of the usual zombie processes floating all over the place and slavering for the flesh of the living.

Mark Pilgrim gets hitched and everyone in the weblog (and Python and on and on) world gets all misty eyed and sappy and starts randomly adding unions to their code just because they feel so warm and fuzzy. It's a nice thing to read at the end of a too short weekend. The photos are worth checking out. Awwww.

Doc Searls has a whole series of posts under the umbrella of "Printwash" addressing the issue of Google pollution by weblogs. His position is that more dead tree type publications with a presence on the web need to open up their content to the googlebots instead of hiding everything behind registration only interfaces or worse yet subscription only meta-databases. This is the best argument that I've heard yet and definitely gives some much needed perspective to the still raging debate. I'm very much in favor of a meta tag or something that would allow voluntary exclusion from regular search results. There are simply too many words in this site for it not to pop up regularly (and often times irrelevantly) in searchs on pretty common Linux related terms. I'm not here to help you out but I'd sure like to remove myself from the trainwreck. Doc's thread starts here.

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18May/03Off

Singing Good, Explosions Bad

Yoon and I went to check out the stage production of Les Miserables today. We went to the matinee and sat in the last row of the balcony which is literally the last row of seats in the entire hall. Actually the entire row was just a row of free standing chairs that we had to do a fair amount of wriggling to fit into. Live cheap and get nosebleeds I guess. Not sure how I feel about the musical all the way through musical meaning that there is not a single line of spoken dialog in the entire three hours. It makes you long for spoken lines if only to ease the occasionally awkward faux-sung sentence.

I was also taken aback as a huge fan of the book by the re-theming of the story as a love story. Sure, there is definitely a love story aspect in the novel but it dominates the stage production and makes me feel a little cheated. The Thenardiers are also portrayed as sort of ha ha funny swindlers. I hate to admit it but they remind me a little of the "we got a bill of sale right here" step parents in Pete's Dragon. Don't ask me why that particular reference popped into my head but it did. If you've read the book the idea of portraying them in this particular light might also bother you. It bugged the shit out of me. In my mind they're sort of epitomize how tussling over small sums will eventually transform relationships into a form of tussle.

The sets were amazing. The barricade was particularly impressive. It came out in two pieces from either side of the stage and flipped horizontally and slid together all Voltron stylee. The entire stage also has a mechanized lazy susan thing that actually spins during the act at times. The fact that the motor was audible when it was moving at a quicker speed was a little unnerving but nothing was as bad as the flash pots at the upper mezzanine level. I'm sure the bright light and explosion was all dramatic at the orchestra pit level but when the explosion is at eye level and fifty feet away I start having drive-by flashbacks.

My deal: I need to deal with adaptations and the fact that encapsulating a 1000+ page book into a three hour stage production is impossible. As Yoon said at dinner, you need to think of them as two entirely separate things. I imagine I'd enjoy this much more with less exacting expectations. Other people were crying and giving standing ovations so I'm guessing that I'm the Don't-Be here. The songs were actually pretty good with some of the performers giving pretty stellar vocal performances. Those performances made up many of the shortcomings for me. Well, that and the cool as fuck sets. The lighting effects for Valjean's rescue of Marius through the sewers were also excellent. I'll always be a special effects hoe excepting the "whoops, there goes my excellent incontinence record" flash pots exploding way too close for my tastes. Good stuff. It's a shame I hate everything.

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18May/03Off

Boobs, Pee Pees, Swastikas

I just stopped by the Blograffiti Wall for the first time in a couple of days. I avoided it because I found myself spending crazy amounts of time making incredibly intricate little paintings. It's a pleasant reminder that all of those dumbed down paint programs can yield a lot of fun stuff. The count of submitted graphics is in the upper eighty thousands with boobs, pee pees, swastikas, and back and forth namecalling being the predominant themes. Fun.

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