Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


Projects Built On Broken Packages

I've always wanted apt-build to work the way it's supposed to but unfortunately there seem to be other more pressing bugs that need to be squashed in Debian. The DebToo project seems to be depending on that for the future of their project which is named after a cramming together of Debian and Gentoo. I've often thought that I'd love to recompile and optimize packages for i686 if only for my underpowered little laptop's benefit but I'm pretty stubborn to keeping largely with software within the Debian repository and the current tools tend to be pretty underwhelming in correct function. Here's hoping that DebToo does have a future and someday will give a viable option for compiling some packages optimized.

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I'm not sure that I even really care about this but it looks like some folks are gathering evidence about the non-existence of the way too oddly named Phantom console. Someone has an in to their actual office space and reports that their office only has a desk and a couple of phones. The article quotes a HardOCP editor:

Steve, a HardOCP editor, talked to Tim Roberts (the CEO of Infinium Labs) as he told comic/weblog site Penny Arcade:

I talked to the Tim Roberts guy on the phone when he returned my call ( 22 days after I left a message ) and when I asked him about all this...he HUNG UP ON ME. I asked him if he was looking for investors, he said "We are actively recruiting investors". I asked him if they had any consoles on hand, he said "We have several hundred prototype models here in the office". So then I asked him where the prototypes were made, he said "right here in our facility". Then I told him I had seen his 100ft x 100ft office space conveniently[sp] located next to Missing Link Art Gallery in the strip mall ( located at 5380 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Longboat Key, Fl 34228 ) and he went NUTS!!! "WHO THE F*** IS THIS!?!?! BLAH BLAH I'LL SUE YOU". (Our censoring)

A Penny Arcade reader also points out that he can't find any records of Infinium Labs registering any trademarks for their "revolutionary" product.

I try not to care about the entire world of console gaming (I stick by my antiquated PS1 console more out of lack of money than high moral ground) but if this is indeed a hoax or at least vaporware the backlash has gotta be interesting. This of course assumes that any of the rumor mongering has any substance which is equally sketchy.

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I *Heart* Good Propaganda

This may well be the best user created banner I've ever seen.

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The Check Is Totally In The Mail

There are a number of very good reasons that I distrust Libertarian leaning folks (although the Libertian hot dog stand in Berkeley was at least funny); just how often they tend to use the imagined effect of decisions as the primary litmus for political endorsements is one of the biggest. The market won't fix everything (the Irish Potato Famine is a fan-fucking-tastic example of just how bad the determinations of the market are for dealing with human problems) much less itself. Even here in the US we have financial shamans like Greenspan tinkering with things all the time. With the incredible amount of effort exerted in reducing taxes for larges business to virtually nil you'd think that the coffee would eventually hit the cup about specious (at least to those benefitting from tax cuts) reasoning behind those cuts. Biggest.Deficit.Ever. There aren't any jobs. There is very little hope unless you're a Christian fundamentalist sitting on an oil well at this point.

Doc Searls is apparently embracing the "well if we just eliminate taxes we'll all have rocket cars" philosophy of sleep walking through an economic situation that is eating other people alive:

: But I actually find his "agenda" kind of agreeable, especially as Cruz Bustamante goes around stumping for market-stifling constitutional amendments and gas price regulations. CB lost me right there.
Businesses are leaving the state and taking jobs with them, Arnold says. And it's true. California has become a hostile place to do business. That's why, as Rich Karlgaard points out, businesses are bailing out of here.

To be fair, Doc doesn't explicitly endorse Arnold but says:

I'm still gonna vote against the recall. But I'm not sure I'll be bothered if The People vote for the guy with the biggest pecs.

which bugs me enough to mention it. It's the creepy blind faith in the market to police itself that irks me. I guess that and the whole "gay marriage should be between a man and a woman" thing. Silly me.

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Are You Calling Me A Fucking Liar?

I lied. I said no SCO related stuff but then noticed this mini-interview with the grand wizard of SCO and got all agitated. It's a little obvious at this point that the various public voices representing SCO can't seem to coordinate their stories and often make wildly disparate claims to different news holes on the same day. This quote from Darl is interesting in that sense:

We've stepped up with 80 direct lines of code and derivative works that amount to thousands of lines - and we're saving the rest for the courtroom. How many clothes does Winona Ryder have to steal before it's not OK? You get to a certain point where property rights are either valuable or they're not.

How much spin can you possibly put on things until the stockholders start laughing at you as heartily as the coders? Apparently Darl will have to lapse into some ranting fit a la Joe McCarthy during one of his teleconferences in order for that to happen. SCOX is still above $14 right now. It makes me wonder if we're entering a whole new era in crack fueled business economy; the internet bubble has been replaced with the litigation controversy investment bubble. I'm the most curious of all about how the SEC is going to evaluate this. I think it's a matter of time before it's looked into especially given the number of folks who have filed complaints.

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Annoying Things Come In Small Packages And Are Transported In Mini Vans

Our neighbor in the duplex (and that means the sharing a wall and porch sort of neighbors) staying over at her place. This normally wouldn't be a problem but the person who actually lives here is out of town and there are what sounds like about ten children in the posse. I'm sure these people normally live in a fifty bedroom house in some suburban cul-de-sac where this sort of door slamming closed every two minutes, soda cans on the lawn, and high decibel yelling is either far enough away from the other people who live around them or is drowned out by their own screaming children. I'm a little annoyed. It seems like the whole clan is loading out right now so this is little more than a cranky sigh of relief. I guess the pho I slurped down earlier today wasn't the insulation against all forces of evil that it normally is.

Brain Explorer is cool although the dissected disembodied head that follows you down the page (at least in Mozilla is a little disturbing. Absolutely nothing SCO related today as I'm cranky and whiny enough today as it is.

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Thief, Steal Me A Kidney

I'd advise you to go see Dirty Pretty Things. We just returned from and despite my bias against it (given the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" pedigree working against it) I really enjoyed it. One of the single most important movie blunders was not committed; the everything works out in the end ending. Yoon and I being the youngest people by far in the entire theater also made me a little nervous. Must go drink beer and forget all about this whole blaster week...

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Fish Born In A Barrel

I started in on some stupid rant about user interface. This was mainly provoked by this ungainly lump of bullshit getting onboard the linky-go-round for the second time in the last handful of days. It's essentially the same insipid argument as always in increasingly tighter circles. If it was RTFM I'd sympathize, when it's "But the buttons between application a and application b are not exactly alike therefore this environment is unusable" I have a hard time summoning the energy to adequately roll my eyes. Linux is not for you now, wasn't started for you, and won't ever be for you. Feel free to locate a rolling doughnut and do your best.

I did give Ximian Desktop 2 a short whirl today. This actually says a lot since I had to install the experimental version of X and jump through some other potentially flaming hoops just to take a gander. Granted there are indeed debs for it because spending the evening manipulating tarballs to eyeball a desktop environment I'm never going to use again just isn't efficient. It's exactly like Gnome only a little slicker and the applications and DE seem more tightly integrated. The only bad thing about the whole process is that it somehow broke Galeon which sucks since it's the only browser lightweight enough for the laptop that doesn't drive me bananas. The Ximian implementation also seems more responsive although that might just be my lack of experience talking since the last time I logged into a Gnome environment on purpose...well, it was a long time ago but this still seems snappier than I remember Gnome being in the past. It's pretty but I don't have any real use for it. How about you?

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Sleep Stupid Sleep

I got sick today. I thought I was actually coming down with a flu variant or something but I skipped my second class today and came home to crash out very hard for a couple of hours. I guess I was just stretching myself a little too thin in the exhaustion department. I'm accustomed to existing on bare minimums of sleep but I guess there's always a breaking point. Yoon bought me some super yummy crispy duck for dinner and we finally watched Ringu. We've been trying to watch the original for a long time and always end up empty handed at the video store. I'm spoiler free of course but I did enjoy the extra twist at the end. It was startling how similar the first half is the gringo remake. A lot of the scenes are literally duplicated in the American version at least until the halfway point. I'm going to pick up the translation of the novel that it's based on as soon as my bank account is out of negative numbers. I wish I was exaggerating about that...

Speaking of bank account emptying consumerism I would really love to have the Flyboy Zombie (scroll down) figurine but the old ledger just isn't saying yes. The other zombie figures are cool but the Flyboy one perfectly duplicates even the posture of the character and the ridiculous limply dangling pistol. Very nice.

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Burn The House Down

Overall this has not be a particularly rewarding day. I'm still trying to struggle through all of the work stuff that was pushed aside to deal with worm damage so I feel like I need to actually work at work no matter how heretical that idea seems. People are getting angry and there are fifteen machines that I know about that are basically non-functional. I'm hearing a lot of complaints about anti-virus software not working. This is probably because prior to this last logjam most people had never used it before.

Just read that Zippo took down because they were afraid of legal liability. I didn't know that Zippo actually owned the site much less that they purchased it late in the game. I think releasing the site and name back to the original creators would be the wiser move here. Allow the resource (as dorkrific as it might be) to exist while distancing the thin skinned suits from legal drama nightmares. All they'd need to do is slap a disclaimer on the site (even a click through "I agree" button a la pr0n would work) and walk away while others promoted stunt piloting their product. Stupid.

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A Recall I Can Endorse

Since I'm not all that hep to happenings outside of technology I didn't know about Bush Recall until this morning. I signed the petition because I didn't vote for the fucker and neither did you. I too am pretty disgusted with the money toilet that our government has set up in the name of business interest with no benefit to those who fork over a huge percentage of their meager income to finance. If you support this administration you're either rich, crazy, or stupid. Given that these seem to correlate...

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Couldn’t Have Happened To A Nicer Operating System (Literally)

I spent most of today cleaning up more worm mess. I'm looking forward to finishing this up so I can start in on the 70+ normal non-screaming and tearing out hair help calls that have piled up since this started. Meanwhile our security slug sits on his ass and does nothing while I watch the pyrotechnics display that used to be a network via Etherape. I don't give a shit about any staplers but I'm really feeling the "burn the building down" vibe these days.

Oh. The Full Bleed Portal is the craziest use of embedding I've ever seen. It takes a little bit to load but I was surprised enough to crack up laughing when it finally did. Hats off to the pound on that shit until it breaks or something really cool happens school of site building.

GrokLaw has the lowdown on the SCO server upgrade. Um, yeah, just create a press release that says whatever the magic eight ball says. If there are any further questions ask the toy monkey with the cymbals.

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Please Clear All Ideas With Their Respective Owners

Ugh. I know I'm being baited with speculative paranoia like this but given the current uber litigious climate of the technology industry I'm sure the ridiculously vague technology patent market is going to boom. If you read the text of the patent it really is one of those wide open patents on ideas that slipped through the cracks in the early 1990's. I'm wondering what this is going to mean for commercial browser developers like Opera and if this is going to turn into another SCO-style, Keystone Kops chasing the missing booty type ordeals. Ugh.

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Please Don’t Make Them Right

So, unfortunately the SCO site was hit with a DDoS attack. ESR's earlier plea to stop the attacks apparently got through and the sites knocked offline will see some relief when his bots time out. I'm going to agree with Raymond's assertion that this should not happen again. I know all too well how tempting actions like these are especially when they're well conceived and more clever than a simple script kiddie attack but this kind of stuff needs to stop. All we need as a community is to confirm SCO's own paranoid rantings about all of us being paid stools for IBM out to shock and awe their crappy company.

Think before you deploy your merciless ninjas. Vindication will more than likely come legally in court and SCO will be driven back under the bridge from which it crept. They have absolutely zero chance of survival without success in court. When you're basing your business around lawsuits your already weak product tends to suffer. If you've ever had to suffer the indignities of Unixware you already know what I'm talking about.

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I’m Really Not Very Funny

The really wonderful part about stepping away from chunks of code for weeks at a time is rediscovering all the little surprises you left for yourself and all of the things that seemed really funny at three in the morning popping up to remind you to go the hell to sleep on occasion. This is my current favorite that I discovered this afternoon while trying to unbreak a broken database.

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Sliding Down The Slippery Slope

Uh, since this is rapidly becoming a zombie movie fanboy site I might as well let it all hang out and mention that I'm seriously uncool and out of the loop. I had no idea that a Dawn of the Dead remake was filming. I saw the first mention of it over at Savini's site. I'm a little worried.

There's also an incredibly goofy Resident Evil: Apocalypse site that is so overdone that it's funny as hell. There are a few pictures. I'll wait for the release, thanks.

Oh, and if you're still lacking go check out the Zombie Infection Simulation it does indeed require the use of accursed java and functions more like 28 Days Later and less like classic Romero. I just wish that it rendered a little larger. It's a pretty complex model. I've watched a couple of cities fall and was pretty impressed by the mechanics of the thing.

Sorta Related
Hey! Zombies inhabiting the real world. This would be just another hoho offbeat story if not for the mention of a scene so familiar to the fans of the zombie genre:

"I was shocked and frightened when I saw the blanket that covered my father moving," Quan's daughter was quoted as saying.

That's when you're supposed to shoot them, right?

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Be Careful About How Often You Abuse Your Customers

It's pretty difficult to believe that anyone would pitch the pop-up ad as a fruitful method of advertising at this point. I've watched users click frantically at seas of them all over their desktops and swear that they're going to avoid using the w3 whenever they can possibly avoid it. That is not exactly powerful testimony to the selling power of shoving things in peoples faces. The recently minted business major point of view seems to be:

My intuition tells me that ads that have more a traditional advertising format are viewed differently than telemarketing or spam," she says. "Consumers feel that when they watch television, ads will appear. It's part of the consumer process. My intuition is that pop-up ads are more like television ads that we're used to.

Um, yeah, your intuition seems to be flawed. I don't remember the last time that I had to physically get and intervene between advertising and what is on the television nor do I ever remember having my television crash because too many ads tried to load simultaneously.

I'm admit that I bruise easily from this particular pea beneath the mattress but I've also learned to use tools that facilitate what I want to do and not what asshat salesmule #80090 wants me to see. Mozilla is especially suited for blocking pop-ups you don't want to see while still allowing the functionality to clicks that you send. I use Galeon more often than not and have requested pop-ups sent to a new tab. Unfortunately with IE (which most folks are stuck with including some who choose it) the pop-up blocking software that I've seen usually disables any functionality at all and probably installs all manner of spy ware that you'll need yet another piece of freeware to rid yourself of. I've often seen criticism of tabbed browsing as some kind of violation of standard user interface but whatever. If you're not really using the web for research or aren't doing a few too many things at once I guess the hunt and peck method of using multiple windows isn't so irritating. One of the design features of Galeon that I really enjoy is the lack of a close button on individual tabs while this drove me crazy for a little while I realized that being able to call up a context menu of all open tabs with the same mouse click might be the killer feature.

There are a few good sections of the above referenced article. I do think that speed has everything to do with the potential annoyance of pop-up ads. There is nothing worse than waiting for an empty pop-up window to open while other content is stalled. Television can get away with kind of delay between advertising and content because at least something is happening on the screen while you're battered by advertising. Pop-ups just rip the controls out of your hands and leave you passively waiting for whatever it is that the advertiser wants to do with your desktop to finish. Or the person using the browser simply starts closing windows (which in the case of the less ethical advertiser might spawn even more pop-ups) and eventually ends up with a terminated application and absolutely nothing to show for it other than a lifelong loathing for discount travel.

Relevance is a weird one since most advertising is complete and total shot in the dark stuff. The likelihood of any of the ads you're assaulted with having anything to do with the site you're visiting is slim unless of course you're surfing porn which I think falls under the "you get what you pay for" category.

: Says Reibstein: "One real danger is if people get annoyed, they may not want to come to your Web site anymore. If you're running a Web site, you have to be careful as to how much you abuse your customers."

Yup, be careful about how much you abuse your customers...

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Bad Things

My department learned a lesson today. When you disable ICMP packets at the router level your Windows security policy also goes nowhere. When you disallow ICMP traffic for a couple of days under these circumstances bad things can happen. The fun part is finding all of these bad things.

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Mutterings From The Bunker

SCO issued an interesting rebuttal to recent criticisms of its increasingly weak and fradulent appearing case against IBM: Darl says that the whole thing is a conspiracy funded and orchestrated by IBM. This is a novel approach and maybe in response to SCO's own collection of licensing fees from companies who would benefit the most from Linux being hindered by litigation hysteria. I imagine that Lindon, UT smells like fear about now. The truly choice quote:

McBride declined to reveal the sources of his allegations, but he claimed that IBM was involved in Novell's and Red Hat's responses to SCO's lawsuit. "Even though IBM looks like they're not really involved in it, they're very involved," he said. "From a PR standpoint, they're able to extract themselves from (the dispute), and so they throw Red Hat at us, they throw Novell at us, they have (Open Source Initiative President) Eric Raymond on their payroll. They have all these guys that they fund and then they just step back and watch the fracas go on."

I imagine that a WMD accusation is next. The trick bag seems to be pretty empty but the entertainment value is rising yet again.

Also worthy of note:
Greg Lehey posted his own analysis of SCO's code exhibition. It's interesting in that it suggests a connection of the displayed code to the third edition.

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Select. Clip. Confuse.

I love the confusion that results when people start mixing up the ideas of clipboards and selections under X. Jarno mentally mixed the two a couple of days back and was corrected by Juri Pakaste who pointed to the clipboard spec at FreeDesktop. I kinda figured out that X doesn't use a regular clipboard a while back. It confused me that a selection made in a terminated application wouldn't paste into a currently running application because the middle click didn't have any text to yank. You can get around the intricacies of differentiating between selections and clipboards with nice little applications like xclip (which will also do lots of cool redirection and whatnot) or de/wm specific utilities. I tend to use an empty emacs buffer for this sort of stuff but that only works if you live in emacs which I increasingly do. Wmcliphist is also very handy if you need multiple selections. The lack of a consistent clipboard is often the subject of much whining and complaining about Linux for the UI consistency trolls. I suppose I'm equally whiny and cranky about the necessity of hitting two key combinations to simply copy and paste something in Win32 environments.

It's also kind of funny that folks accustomed to the Windows clipboard paradigm are really confused by the "select-middle button" combo that I use continually. They seem mystified that I don't need any keystrokes to do the operation. The other big one is of course virtual desktops which I abuse to the degree of fifteen or so on most boxes that I work on. Nothing like hauling ass through a bunch of desktops that all have separate pieces of documentation on them and having someone ask you if your video card is acting up. Nope. Just being efficient although my tendency to leave IRC and IM clients languishing away logged in and swiftly forgotten is a side effect of that capability. One of these days I'll reenable sound on the forementioned applications and actually get IMs in the same hour that they were sent. You may lead me to the information age but I'll kick and scream.

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Dragging Your Text Around Like One Of Those Annoying Little Rich Lady Dogs

I played around a little bit with PyGE today. It's a Pythonic suite of applications to download, convert, and view Project Gutenberg texts. There is actually a Debian binary file available for download but I had no luck getting it to work correctly so I just grabbed the source package and was in business in a couple of minutes.
One thing that I liked in particular about this implementation is that it's set up to work out of the box. You hit the "Acquire" button and a listing of available texts starts downloading. I've used Gutenbrowser in the past but it always needs so much fixing post-install that I quickly lose interest and start reading real live books. That probably isn't the worst possible outcome but it doesn't make for real exciting software.

I can't decide whether the modularity is good or annoying with this suite. It is indeed three separate applications: one that searches and grabs files, one for viewing (and speech synthesis with the appropriate plug ins), and another for converting plain text files into something more workable for this particular reader. The end product looks pretty good. A lot of Gtexts are chopped to pieces in the readers that I've seen almost to the point of making me want a PDF to avoid weird stray characters and formatting tags that escaped assimilation.

Setting it up is a pretty simple process. Install the applications which for me involved typing "python install" as root, download the index files (which are pretty big and even at a pretty zippy broadband connection speed took nearly 30 minutes to finish), and then browse away. You do have to convert the downloaded text files from raw text into the Ztxt format but there is a separate utility called PyGEMZ for those conversions which are performed more quickly than I expected. I'd suggest adding an option to do those conversions during the download which wouldn't be that difficult to implement and would come closer to the stated goal of the project -- a tool for most folks nevermind that you need Python installed to even get started. It also supports annotations which is nice. That's one of the things that has always bothered me about PDF files and the like the inability to mark up the text for later reference or whatever. I'm more inclined to want to do this with technical books than say literature but it is a nice feature to have at your fingertips. wxPython has spawned a really amazing amount of GUI interface Python applications and this is no exception with everything being really menu and button oriented. I'm normally not a fan of mouse driven anything but the interface is uncluttered and most of the widgets seem functional and self-explanatory.

I can also see this being useful for folks who need some kind of cross-platform compability between machines as well. The Ztxt format also works for PDA viewing which is a nice plus although it confused me as an option the first time I used the utility to convert raw text. If I didn't have nearly identical Debian installs on the three machines I spend most of my time in front of I'd love to able to shuttle texts back and forth between the two. If my laptop wasn't a ten pound monster from the golden age of luggables I'd love to be able to read from it on the bus. The PDA option seems particularly appealing in that context. So, thumbs up -- easy to use, modular design, and very lightweight. I'm curious where this project will be six months from now and have set a mental alarm clock to check back in sometime around then.

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The Turning Of The Worm

I spent a good deal of the morning just watching the help calls roll into the report generator and chuckled absently when the new calls for my workgroups hit 40. As is to be expected at my place of work, none of the patches that could've prevented bringing the entire network to its knees were applied and the asshat in charge of security just told us to download patches from someplace and apply them manually. Sheer genius. I imagine that tomorrow will only be worse. All of the things I'd intended to do today were superceded by incompetence (by admins not users) and finger pointing. There are times when I'm very happy to not be in charge of anything especially given the stab the wounded until they stay down atmosphere in the office. Cynical? Not really but having a heavy academic load again gives administrivia the necessary perspective. If I hear one more person tell me how innocent "wicked screensaver" sounds I'm going to scream. Maybe I'll scream anyway.

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Sleep? Is That Where People Go When It’s Time To Get Real Work Done?

Man, I'd almost forgotten how punishing the continual lack of sleep can be to the human body. I didn't sleep in wholesale amounts during the summer but now that I'm pretty much confined to the five or six hour range by school I feel like I'm eighty years old.

I switched all of this stuff over to MySQL today since performance-wise Team Murder has been laggy long enough for me to start to resent loading my own site. It was a little trickier than I thought it would be going into it but that complication actually turned out to be an overly zealous timeout setting on the server which my wonderful, wonderful hosting co fixed in like half an hour. It's very satisfying to watch someone in the root account wheedling with your script ten minutes after you file a help ticket. The zero downtime when the place caught on fire was also very impressive although a little worrisome. Anyhow, if anyone notices any strange behavior on the part of the weblog please let me know.

via Anil's Amazing Link Bar comes exactly the droid I've been looking for: a weblog about the nightly Mozilla Firebird builds. I've become pretty obsessive about that browser even if it started with sour grapes surrounding the conflict in naming with the Firebird Database project. I'm not sure that it was ever resolved but since the Firebird has usually been mentioned with a Mozilla prefix tacked onto the front of it I'm feeling a little less creeped out. In any case it's sort of the painful epic poem of a huge project hacked out in bug fixes that break other things and grinding slow development of less breakable stuff. It's pretty incredible how far the project has come in such a short period of development but it's nice to see that the folks behind it are sweating the bugs just as feverishly as the early versions.

Mr. Torvalds on the SCO code show fiasco:

Torvalds: They are smoking crack. Their slides said there are [more than] 800,000 lines of SMP code that are "infringing," and they are just off their rocker. The SMP code was written by a number of Linux people I know well (I did a lot of the SMP IRQ scalability myself, personally), so their claims are just ludicrous. And they claim they own JFS [journaled file system technology] too. Whee. They're not shy about claiming ownership of other people's code--while at the same time beating their breasts about how they have been wronged. So the SCO people seem to have a few problems keeping the truth straight, but if there is something they know all about, it's hypocrisy.

The first sentence of this quote says more than all the jackass analysts in the world could.

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Unfortunately I'm a member of a very small geek clique. I'm a huge fan (in the uncomfortably self-aware way where I know it's all very cheesy but I watch it religiously anyhow) of zombie movies. I've seen most variants including those weird ass Italian zombie movies that came out in a gory flood in the 80's. I realize exactly how deep my geekiness runs when I find out that the House of The Dead trailer is available from Fangoria but cannot get it to load even when I employ questionable hax0rish tactics. The geeky part is that I'm about ready to scream with frustration. Please. Kill me. Make sure it's a shot to the head though because I really don't want to become one of those things.

Speaking of which, I'm seeing a lot more speculative journalism about Resident Evil: Apocalypse. It's supposed to be released next year and if the crew sticks with the program and doesn't totally cheese the thing out I'm guessing that it might be as entertaining as the first movie. I'm not so sure about the inclusion of characters from the game but I guess it's to be expected.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake looks really, really lame. No shame. What's next -- a remake of Martin? Stick to the Leprechaun sequels guys.

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By Order Of The Red Queen

It must be because Resident Evil is my most recent default movie to run in the background while working but this story about an elevator decapitation really, really freaks me out.

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Unlock The Word-Hoard

I've been trying to catch up on mail and CD orders and other stuff that's fallen by the wayside in my most recent fit of coding that will seemingly never end. The start of the Fall semester today was just the sort of pimp slap of reality that I needed to remind me that if I don't do some of these things now they may never be accomplished. It's still amazing to me how quickly things can pile up and how soon the garbage begins to smell. If I owe you something small, expect something in the immediate future. If I owe you something big or you're some kind of co-conspirator, wait patiently for me to finish having this minor nervous breakdown.

I did spend a good half hour breaking from reading epic poetry (I assure you that I'm not joking) to read the past couple weeks worth of GrokLaw. If you have interest in the legal factors surrounding the SCO/IBM case then point your browser and start digging. I have no idea why it's been so long since I checked in there.

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My New Friend

Root Prompt pointed to an article over at Unix Review about yet another command line tool for Debian called apt-iselect. It's pretty damned cool. It wraps around the normal apt-cache search command and builds a series of ncurses (I'm assuming ncurses anyway) disply screens from queries on it. In many ways it's a compromise between a couple of different Debian tools with a lot of the terseness and steep learning curve (I can't believe I just typed that) removed. Instead of the usual truncated list of packages that apt-cache returns you get a slightly less truncated list with a long description available from the next screen. Essentially it gives you the long description of a package and its installation in two steps. Just drop it in your home directory or whatever and much more powerful searching of apt's cache is available to you or any other sudoer. Simplification without annoying bloat!

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Lobotomy For The Sake Of Sanity

It seems like I've got zero sleep this weekend which is entirely wrong since Saturday's wakeup time was a very reluctant one o'clock. I basically didn't sleep more than a few hours last night and I'm still groggy and grumpy hours later. We (meaning Yoon and I) went out to dinner with her parents last night. It's amazing how much more relaxed things are between us only a few months after "the big talk." Her dad bought a suit for me yesterday in the five minutes before the store closed with almost no input from me. Sometimes I don't know what the hell I'm doing or what anyone else is doing for that matter. Sometimes it's better to just give up trying to understand everything going on around you and just let the momentum of others guide your confused ass through obstacles. Any other day I'd be furious at myself for even thinking that but today I'm really, really tired.

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