Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

30Mar/04Off

Old Games For The Newly Patient

I bookmarked World of Spectrum a while back intending to venture back into the "The official world archive for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the largest on-line gaming center on the Internet" sometime when I had a little expendable free time. Of course, that is a fantasy. In any case I came back home from a short round of $2 you-call-it-drinking and noticed it in one of my temporary bookmark directories. There's a search feature for all of the InfoSeek type horror you could ever want. I messed around a little bit with the Java based interface until I stumbled on the Thompson Twins Adventure and felt really hep and geek-rific until I did a search and realized that others have been playing with and weblogging about this stuff for a lot longer than I have. The games don't move terribly quickly but they're funny enough to go poke through for a while

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30Mar/04Off

I Feel Conflicted. Allow Me To Introduce My Bludgeon

Huh. I didn't know that there was a name (albeit a clever one) for the fuckton of spam I get to my .edu address which I necessarily check for both school and work purposes from various activist groups. Tofu is apparently the name of the new plague and I get ten to fifteen pieces a day at the other account. For the most part I'm probably pretty well aligned with many of the groups that inundate me but with all of the usual penis enlargement and freeze dried, 2nd day air steaks spam that I get already I don't read the actual contents of the spam as much as the headers. I'm incredibly stubborn about mailing abuse addresses especially in cases where the spammer is obviously not the one responsible for the domain it's mailed from. I've been lucky enough to get a couple of *agra hustlers unceremoniously dumped from their providers (to, of course, show up a week later using a different ISP) but the activist mailers are pretty indifferent about whether or not you care about a rally going on six or seven states away.

Things like this are incredibly aggravating because I agree with the message but not the methodology and have less than zero patience with cries about censorship when I blast crap (with 2mb attachments) right back at them. I guess I need to run out of patience and go another snipe hunt like I did last year. It was cathartic if ultimately unproductive although it did get a couple of free hosted websites pulled as well as the email addresses attached to them. One thing that I've most definitely noticed is the predilection for tofu'ers to jack up neglected listservs and start blasting everyone one them. I'm lucky enough to only subscribe to a couple that are absolutely necessary but I feel kind of bad for student organizations that actually have to rely on them for communication. Unfortunately, I have nothing to do with that category of administrivia so I can't really help out. The one thing that I did do tonight was forward all of the university mail with full headers to their admins with vaguely threatening allusions to laws which may or may not exist. I don't know if anything good will come of this but it certainly was a good way to blow off steam.

Oh, and if you're wondering why I so seldomly log on to any sort of chat network (excepting IRC because it's at least partially policed by live, nude real live people) it's because of this trend in annoyance. I guess that will be a project for the doldrums of summer.

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28Mar/04Off

For Love Or Larceny

I didn't have much time for messing around today. There are just too many thing due in the next couple of weeks for me to have any fun at all. That said, we had a three hour band practice tonight so I'm exaggerating, obviously. Instead of trying to make sense out of what I might ramble about in this space go spray paint something obscene or otherwise amusing on that bridge. Sometimes that seems the more productive and rewarding option.

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27Mar/04Off

Run! Bite! Run Some More. Bite!

We finally caught the Dawn of the Dead remake tonight. I was pretty nervous about this as the original is easily one of my favorite movies and the usual philosophy for remakes/updates is nothing short of butchery. I think this was a pretty good reinterpretation on the whole.

A couple of things: I'm wondering how much longer the "fast zombie" is really going to be scary. 28 Days Later took great advantage of the fact that we're not accustomed to seeing zombies and predators that resemble zombies moving fast. Dawn of the Dead uses the same tact and it is still somewhat startling. I thought the other parallel between 28 Days Later and the remake was also interesting. This iteration of Dawn of the Dead also uses the infection paradigm that 28DL used. Corpses aren't erupting from their coffins and the recently slain, if they weren't bitten or something, don't automagically come back to life. This seems a little more plausible although when you're weighing that against the whole "dead people eating the living" it really doesn't seem that important.

Initially I was a little bothered by the exclusion of the criticisms of consumerism that were so important to Romero's version but a half dozen hours later has changed my opinion. I'm not sure that the humor and critique would've translated very well and I'm much happier with a scary movie than I am with a faithful copy.

The use of newer special effects is well done as well. The highway scenes really create an atmosphere of confusion and panic without being completely over the top with it. The sheer crush of numbers is also effective -- the scene with vans which is also on the site and some of the promo crap is completely crazy looking and when constrasted with the smaller numbers of zombies in the wild that you see earlier in the more conveys a sense of a rapidly accelerating plague. I was very happy when I left the theater. Maybe it was just the relief after the incredibly brutal first fifteen minutes of the movie.

I'm a little less sure about the credibility of the zombie baby and the guy who played Max Headroom being involved in the whole mess but it's really late and I really need to see this again preferably after the DVD comes out before I form any real opinion about the parts that detract. The ending was also kind of disappointing as Yoon pointed out on the way home. I like the actual cinematography but the ending is just too revealing. That's one of the things that I've always appreciated about Romero's movies -- the ambiguous endings. It really is worth your movie dollar though so don't take my word for it. Also, if you have children please don't take them. We had a couple of kids who could not have been more than eight sitting in front of us and I imagine that they're going to have some harsh dreams tonight.

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25Mar/04Off

Pick Up Your Hammers/Bring Out Your Dead

The title of this post should really be: TypeKey: It Really Doesn't Fucking Matter but I'm not following that up with anything at all. This is mostly because it is so utterly insignificant that I really am having a hard time reading through some of the criticisms of it even the reasoned and thoughtful criticisms. So, I lied:

Why Not To Give Two Shits About TypeKey (In A Nutshell)

I hate, hate, hate off site stuff bloating up the sites that I like to read. Waiting for some remote blogrolling server (I'm not going to blast the big one here because I've found them all to be pretty unreliable) to cough up a list of links that the site's author isn't willing to invest the energy in maintaining her/his self before I can see any of the site content provokes nothing short of insanity from me. There is basically one site that I'll wait for in cases like this otherwise I'll be absent for a week or more in all likelihood. That's sort of the gist of how I feel about the whole thing. I visit sites mainly to read what people have to say and it's not terribly often that I bother commenting unless the post in question is obviously and demonstrably making some grave error in fact or I'm really in the mood to kill a few minutes filling in the required fields to leave a comment. I'm far more likely to fire off a quick piece of mail if I find something irksome or startlingly original in what I'm reading. I'm probably not very representative of the average reader in that sense but I think the feeling of frustration when half the page loads leading the reader in question to wander off somewhere else in search of quick titillation is a pretty common one.

If TypeKey sucks as much as some are predicting it will or if it ultimately requires ankle grabbing just to conversationally shoot your mouth off on someone else's dime it will disappear. It's simple. Inconveniencing people who have the attention span of a sugar addled nine year old is not good planning if you're trying to create some kind of two way flow of communication. In some ways I think that the demise of comments might be a good thing. How many times have I read a really insightful comment posted by a person who normally posts nothing but cheese sandwich fluff to their own organ of expression? Too many and I'd love to encourage people to sit on that comment for fifteen seconds, open up a text editor, and ping the entry in question when you're posting it to your own weblog. I'd be a much happier reader of weblogs if their authors posted more reflective/critical entries and less 'this is cool and here is a link to that cool thing' filler. I've said in the past that I'd just disable everything that can be pinged or commented on if janitorial duties became too time consuming or otherwise annoying. I will and it won't make a bit of difference to anyone. Social networks or no annoyingly bubble-esque buzzwords social networks, sometimes you really do need to pick your friends and if you're really dependent on things like TypeKey or Orkut or any of the other coffee table networks to do that I'd say that I'm sorry I'll never get to know you but I wouldn't mean a word of it.

I'm really hoping this all makes some kind of sense because I'm really, really tired.

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24Mar/04Off

The Sound Of Jerking Knees It Is Like Distant Thunder

Mark Pilgrim, per usual, has the only sane response to all of the hand wringing and terrorist invoking perpetrated over TypeKey. He reminds all of us panicky freaks that
1. TypeKey is optional.
2. TypeKey isn't released yet. It's just talk. Talk cannot hurt you.
3. Dave Winer is still irksome.
Thank you, Mark. Fuck off, almost everyone else. Well, either that or read (meaning read and understand most of the words and their relationship to one another) the FAQ.

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23Mar/04Off

My List Runneth Over And Onto The Floor

I'm taking a break from all the papers I should be writing to mentally drift a little. I've been trying to get caught up with everything which is intimidating because my to do list has gained significant mileage over the past couple of months despite valiant attempts to pawn some of it off on other folks and ditch the items I'm not really feeling. You get the point, no doubt. One thing that I've been meaning to do for over a month is post some lyrics over at the Midcentury site. Nothing is ever close to as painless as it sounds but lyrics to all of the recorded songs are finally up. This task also reminded me that emacs is the closest thing to an HTML editor that I can stand. I really want to like Quanta but it's a little too helpful and I haven't wanted to invest the time figuring out how to turn all of the annoying features off.

I picked up our library's copy of the Punk Planet interview book We Owe You Nothing. It's pretty weird reading because I sort of know some of the people interviewed and know a few of them a little too well. Given enough time and distance all of it starts to get surreal. Matt Wobensmith's interview really hit home for me. He talks a lot about distancing himself from punk rock mainly by shutting down his label Outpunk. It's strange because I moved away instead of quitting everything but I agree with so many of the points he makes otherwise. The continual arguments that records somehow need to be dirt cheap and all people who make things must live hand to mouth could not fall onto more jaundiced ears.

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21Mar/04Off

Quiet! An Old Man Is Speaking.

I've been trying to go to more shows lately. All too often I'm pretty cranky about the whole procedure especially given the diminutive size of the Denver music scene and more specifically the microscopic post-hardcore scene. The upside of this, of course, is that you don't end up with weird genre schisms where x group of people might know or even be friends with people from group y but they probably won't be attending the same parties and their bands will never play together. San Francisco is exactly like that which makes playing music there frustrating and far too much work (and by work I mean the most loathsome type -- the schmoozing and compliment dropping sort that I am absolutely terrible at) to be fun or rewarding. The absence of that rock ickiness is one of the aspects of Denver that I've really grown to appreciate. I'm still a little disappointed that I can't get Indian pizza here but I imagine I'll recover.

We're also pretty lucky here because over the past couple of years some of the venues open to those of us who are not interested in creating promo packages or having head shots taken have either made huge improvements in equipment/space or have entirely new management. I went to one of the newer spaces, The Hi Dive, last night and had a really good time. The problem with the Denver scene being so small is that incredibly bad bands (as in totally derivative and/or rock star posturing) get booked more frequently than they should and if you're either in a band that plays out around here or you attend a lot of shows you'll get very tired of the joke that wasn't funny anymore thirty minutes ago. Call me a prude or a purist or a cranky old punk rock kid with a receding hairline and very little patience and I won't contradict you. Unfortunately part of being a punk rock dinosaur is watching generation after generation of bad bands and sub genres endless reiterate into new horrible incarnations again and again. That joke I was talking about a couple lines back, it actually stopped being funny in about 1995.

That's one of the reasons that I really like Red Cloud. If you read the promo fluff at their site you might think you're in for some post-post-post crap with a heavy infusion of irony to crappify the mixture. That isn't the case. If there's any irony in the style of Red Cloud's music I'm not cool enough to get it. They're convincing live and the 3 song CDs they were passing out last night carries the same gravity. I'm trying to resist the urge to emulate rock critics here because that really isn't the point that I was trying to make with this whole rant. I guess the point really is that sincerity in music, rock without smirk, sounds incredibly refreshing at this point and that is a bad omen in general. This isn't to say that Red Cloud is lacking anything but maybe we need a few more bands like this and a lot less puppet shows and smug motherfuckers who can't tune a guitar much less play anything interesting on it.

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20Mar/04Off

Robot Killing Bioexperiments!

Wow. Go check out Casshern. The fellas over at Penny Arcade mentioned this a little while back but I guess that was before this site went up. Most of it is in Japanese as well but there are some parts with English translation and those are clearly marked. This movie looks amazingly cool.

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19Mar/04Off

Novell Does The Right Thing

It made me really happy to hear that Novell opened up YAST. It always seemed strange to me that SuSE was so protective of something that would benefit immensely from other folks hacking on it. This is also pretty good timing given the number of folks that are migrating away from RedHat now that they've basically alienated everyone by killing support for retail/boxed versions of the distribution.

I worked with YAST a little bit on an older SuSE install and found it tremendously frustrating then because it demanded an absolute stranglehold on files in /etc and would overwrite manual changes. This may have changed since then (this was 7.1, I think) but it will get fixed or at least have some options added to it once more people can kick the tires and take it on a spin around the block without violating EULAs and whatnot. I'm curious if this will mean downloadable basic ISOs instead of the FTP installs of the past. There's plenty of mirror bandwidth out there so this might be a chance for SuSE to impress people who were formerly put off by the somewhat steep price tag attached to it for anything other than a live CD.

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17Mar/04Off

Charles Starkweather Might’ve Really Been On To Something

A very simple rule: If enough people at work are screaming at each other and all for different reasons you will be very tired at the end of the day. It's helpful to ask questions so you can be a target instead of a passive observer. Things like this will come up on your performance evaluation. Attempts at rebuttal will be rewarded with a promotion from target to "the Man." You know, like the Man who keeps us all down. Later you'll be quizzed about your knowledge of the black arts of PHP. Tell them that you know nothing even though you actually mean that they know nothing.

Bonus points will be awarded for accusations of "hacking" a server that you knew nothing about. Your accuser will speak loudly into either a cellphone, PDA, PDA/cellphone, or a stunt kite with a threateningly large antenna while threatening you. DO NOT stare at the whirling, swirling pattern affixed to their lapel or you may wake up in a filthy cage surrounded by others who made the same mistake. Try to keep your feet dry if possible.

The only possible strategy at this point is to drop smoke bombs and disappear into the night and/or late afternoon like a ninja after reminding everyone that you're a fucking English major and know next to nothing about their Tron-like perspective on the world and their terrible God-like power over the machines that your beady little brain, braised by Melville, Balzac, and other polysyllabic hate breeders, could never comprehend. Buy cotton candy and coffee. The next day is the perfect day to call in dead.

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17Mar/04Off

Like Always, I’m Totally Wrong

I was all prepared to hate the Jay-Zeezer mixes but several (like several out of four) are actually pretty good and more interesting (at least texture-wise) than The Grey Album mixes for the most part. The best part is really the story of the DJ learning to love like rap music as a result of working with this stuff:

But, I do admit that it takes certain talent to remix a song. And having never done it before, I figured this was probably going to amuse me for a few hours, get a few laughs from my friends and then I'd be back to planning my trip to Coachella. Instead something completely unexpected happened. No, not the part where I found out that I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. The part where I realized that I actually liked to listen to Jay-Z rap. I couldn't believe it. Sure, it didn't happen right away. There were still some "mwa mwa-mwa"s in the beginning. But in order to make any sense out of the song and remix it over Weezer, I really needed to listen to the words and their rhythms, and how they landed on certain beats yet flowed across others. That may sound obvious, but it's not when you take away the rest of the song. Just check out the acappella version of the Black album and you'll see for yourself. The more I listened, the more I liked. I heard clever rhymes popping out and staggered phrases falling into perfect cadences. There were amusing pop culture references and lyrics filled with cynicism. Were these not some of the same qualities that I loved about Steve Malkamus' vocals? Holy shit! Did I actually just say that? This could be the beginning of a whole new me.

Go grab the songs -- they're funny and worth listening to simultaneously which is more than I can say for most music. I'm nearly ready to take back what I said the other day about 1000 clones making 1000 records based on bad puns.

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16Mar/04Off

Asking For It…

Beahm, Corey [email protected]
3671 East 200 North
Rigby, Idaho 83442
United States
8015922137

I'm offering the above up to the spam harvester 'bots because he's phishing with ebay-supportupdates.com and has legitimate WHOIS info. I'm assuming he'll be in either court or jail soon enough.

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16Mar/04Off

When You’re Finished Having Sex With Your Computer You Might Want To Read Something Worth The Pixels Required To Render It

I'm fiddling around with Bloglines which is one of the more effective ways to postpone your bedtime by an hour or two. It always amazes me that resources that are supposed to be efficiency boosting and time saving always end up being worse than crack. The upside is that by wading through all of the feeds that no one in their right mind could possibly care about and the crap deluge of LiveJournalistas you occasionally find something really, really cool. I've been harping a lot lately on how I think even the most technically oriented weblogs need some personality infused into them in order to be worth reading. This becomes more important as meta tools like Bloglines and the thousand other headline scrapers become more ubiquitous and easier to use. It's pretty easy for me to keep up with cockfighting CEOs and which new gadget fell off the turnip truck today but compelling reading is a lot more rare.

Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain is a shining example of this. It really doesn't take much digging to realize that Derek is really funny and also intensely interested in what he is talking about. His entry about attempting to install a CD burner is hilarious:

So, certified 4X media in hand, I set about taking apart my PC. Now the HP Kayak XM600 series implements that great invention: the tool-less chassis. This means that its supposed to be taken apart with your hands. However, lacking the strength of ten men, it means that you'll need to use tools to take it apart, but because it wasn't designed for the use of tools, that you'll scratch it up doing so. Anyway, with a screwdriver and pliers, I managed to get it apart and plan my attack.

as are most of his entries that don't simply pass links on. When I'm thoroughly absorbed in a post about welding you're doing something right.

I've mentioned A Note To Myself before and he also writes really fascinating posts about things that could otherwise be pretty mundane. Bob's recent post the UCLA cadaver fiasco versus his own experience was one of those things that I felt really privileged to read. It makes me think of those revelatory late night conversations with someone who you're accustomed to thinking of in a particular context and you find out something totally amazing about that person that forever jars that confining context. I think that has a lot to do with how people forge enduring friendships.

I'm going to try to find at least one site like this a week and write a little about them. It scares me after looking at my logs for the month so far that I get as much traffic as I do for basically being opinionated and abrasive. It's kind of a shame.

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15Mar/04Off

Cooking Fish And Hating The End User Filibuster

I spent most of today doing water related things that I've been putting off for far too long like laundry and dish washing. Yoon financed a day off because I've been varying degrees of sick for over two weeks now and completely reluctant to take any days off because I just don't have any money. It was nice to just catch up with the boring, dumb, stupid, but necessary stuff without feeling like I was sacrificing a weekend day to do it.

I actually did some cooking tonight and confirmed my own suspicions that I'm actually beamed cooking knowledge from orbiting UFOs. I have no idea how to cook fish other than the trout-on-a-stick over a campfire method that I used in high school almost every weekend but I somehow figured out how to make a decent (albeit from a frozen half fish) salmon filet tonight. Instead of just marinating, I let the filets soak in a mixture of vegetable oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and some lemon pepper for about twenty minutes and actually cooked the fish in the marinade. Normally I'd love to let anything marinate for a bit longer than twenty minutes but it worked out surprisingly well as the brown sugar caramelized a little and worked more like a glaze. I'll never be able to repeat that exact procedure but it worked well enough for minimal preparation. We still have a couple huge chunks of the salmon in the freezer so this may be fish laboratory week at my house.

Taking a stroll through the usual hangouts I noticed that Librenix (which is way underrated and not mentioned nearly enough) had a link to this short opinion piece about the author's preference for the Gnome DE over KDE. This isn't interesting in itself but look at the fucking comments attached to that post -- it still amazes me that people get so pent up about about thing like desktop environments. I'm a little startled and then the magic word appears in the discussion: end users. Yet again, people who don't develop and don't participate in the community except to engage the caps lock key and flame on pick up the bloody shirt and start waving it around, presuming to speak for everyman. I might not be the most friendly person to the Joe Sixpack enduser but I would never presume for a second to know what he/she wants or what aspects of an interface are going to be problematic for that sort of user. I don't know what point I'm trying to make bringing that up but it certainly is irritating.

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14Mar/04Off

Another Day, Another Feverish Ordeal

I'm definitely confined to the Dumbo Hut after fretting about Things That Cannot Be Named eating up all the meager memory of my laptop and later discovering that I have over 30 separate buffers open in emacs. Things seem to have sped up considerably now that I don't have the equivalent of an encyclopedia set of crappy weblog posts gumming up the works. I guess that's karma lashing out at me for crimes I don't really remember. Go figure.

I also heard from a pretty reliable source that Bill Owens, Colorado's ventriloquist dummy-looking excuse for a governor, is about ready to take the shitslide to hell riding a pregnant intern. This may or may not be bullshit but it certainly is fun to pass along. Do I fucking look like Matt Drudge? It doesn't really matter.

From what little I've heard of it, Double Black is pretty damn good. Good enough to put some money where my big mouth is if only as a bit of money towards legal defense. Although I'm sure we're going to be flooded with trivial remixes based on vocal only tracks until we're collectively sick of them but it's good to see projects with a fair amount of thought put into them now. I hate to think of the number of mixes of this same vocal track that will flow from p2p'd copies of Garageband because the owner of aforementioned laptop discovers another "funny" combination of names. "Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and the Jay-Z record! We can call it the Black and Tan Album! I'm a genius!"

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11Mar/04Off

In Case You Were In Doubt About My Sanity

I am waiting for Yoon to get home so we can sit around together and wait for Matt, our drummer, to finish his final exam (which I guess will make him a real live licensed principal) so we can pull a quick practice before the show tonight. After that we'll load in an hour before we play and wait until it's time to make loud noises.This is usually the perfect time for me to down like six beers but I'm not allowed to do that anymore and for good reason. Since we're playing first we'll then wait for two more bands to play during the course of which all of friends will leave. Then we'll wait around for some money.

We do this, at best, twice a month or, at worst, every other month. I cannot imagine how "professionals" endure this crap. I feel lucky because I can walk away from it anytime I want while Alternative Rock Sensation #90909012 spends a large portion of their lives waiting for things to happen.

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10Mar/04Off

Slum Church To Slum Church

One of the most interesting things about being so perpetually connected to a network is that you find out things about people in the oddest ways. Two of my oldest friends in the world are in a new band. The funny part is that I found this out because one of them declined ona wedding invitation (ok, so it was an E-vite) and mentioned the new band in the comment section by leaving the URL of the aforelinked site. Not sure that I'm a fan of the musical style at all (the reverb knob travels in both directions) but it's cool to see old band mates (and room mates) doing new stuff.

I'd entirely forgotten about raving about this since it was Sunday an eternity ago but sweet potato waffles are fucking supreme. Get some by whatever means necessary.

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9Mar/04Off

Shadows And Tall Trees…

A couple of things that are actually funny because I'm going to be at school/work for nearly twelve hours today and don't have any time to generate anything clever today. Title swiped from some old straight edge zine. Hated the actual zine (like that was a complicated process coming to hate the usual formula of 'ripped' photos of sweaty Xed up guys and nearly weblog-like self indulgence transferred to dead trees) but always loved the name. I stole it without doing any of the work to figure out where that guy stole it from.

The new BOFH may be the funniest deconstruction of the SCO situation that I've seen. Yeah, all of the clever retoolings of nursery rhymes that we've seen over at GrokLaw are more than appreciated but the terminology of shit is what the kids really need.

This Slashdot article is such a blatant attempt to drum up controversy that it's funny, at least to me. CA has admitted that they're stupid and made a mistake. All we need now is for CmdrTaco to admit that he's functionally illiterate and the whole enchilada will be complete. Fuck you, I just woke up.

Matt Haughey has opened wide the gates of hell by pairing that infamous JayZ stuff with the other last initial dork, KennyG, and giving us the evil KennyZ. I'd say thanks but I'm too busy scouring my ears. I'm kinda glad that Michael Bolton wasn't the easy pairing. His site give me a "refused the connection" error instead of loading earlier this morning so I was a little worried about the usual takedown threats but it looks like server belches instead of torchbearing lawyers cornering anyone at the old mill.

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8Mar/04Off

One Hundred And Ten Percent Apathetic

Another midterm down today and a decent nap with the kitten but I'm still a little baffled why instructors in 1000 survey courses feel entitled to give bluebook exams. That is the one distinct downside to the required minor thing -- it's less than minor and falling rapidly into "I don't fucking care." I have another equally useless class to fulfill an arts and literature requirement since my English classes, used to fulfill the major, can't be counted towards that stuff.

This post over at Word Soup is so spot on that I nearly laughed coffee through my nose.

I played with Anygui at work today while waiting for the insulin to creep into my bloodstream so I could actually think. I wrote a simple calculator in like ten minutes even with pretty high blood sugar and very little sleep. That probably is not the sort of endorsement that the folks behind the project were looking for but was ridiculous enough to make me chuckle. For my next trick, I'll make a tic-tac-toe game...

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7Mar/04Off

Rising, Phoenix-Like, From Burning Bridges

We tried out a new drummer tonight and startingly it looks like he's the new guy. It's a sharp contrast to the pre-Matt days when Jose and I tried out any number of drummers who either couldn't cut the mustard technically or were complete jerkoffs personality-wise. It's utterly bizarre to have things just sort of work out quickly and start making plans months before Matt even leaves town.

I think the plan is to play the show this Thursday and one more sort of final-show-with-current-drummer. After that it is nothing but work until Dave is up to speed with the old stuff. Then we get to work on new stuff which is looking something like four or five new songs that no one but me has heard.

Teaching old songs to a new person is a little bit weird and it's actually been a very educational process for me. We messed around with three songs tonight and I realized how sloppily I'd been playing them. When you're enveloped in the certainty of knowing exactly how the other people you're playing with are going to react to your mistakes or a song started too fast it lulls me into this lazy sloppiness. In that sense this process feels a little bit like relearning all of the songs myself. It's going to be an exasperating amount of work but well worth it. Blah. It's shit to be talking about at the moment and makes me feel like I'm preparing to concentrate the output of Team Murder on cats and what x I am quizzes but, unfortunately, Team Murder is subject to my whim. In short, fuck off.

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7Mar/04Off

Sometimes It’s Better Not To Know

I'd heard mention of The Fedora Legacy Project over at PC Linux Online and places on similar wavelengths but didn't really think all that much about it. I finally took a look earlier tonight just to read the FAQ and poke around a little. The FAQ confirmed my first suspicion that RedHat was unhappy with Progeny's Transition Service that did basically the same thing that this project is doing only for money. Guess that would irk those folks given their recent exodus from doing support for piddly non-enterprise customers. Anyway, that's hardly even that interesting. The pissing matches will rage on, largely in my imagination, regardless.

What is interesting is that one of the supporters of Fedora Legacy is Ev1.net. I moused over the list of project supporters and was pretty surprised to find that Ev1.net was involved. Well, not that surprised but I did actually start giggling when I noticed that Ev1.net also figures in to the Progeny Customers and Partners page. Can you guess what they're listed as a customer of? Oh hell, I'll just paste the whole paragraph in:

EV1, the largest independent ISP in the U.S., uses Progeny Transition Service to help ensure a stable and secure hosting environment for 15,000 Linux dedicated servers.

Sometimes I need to stop following links and go to bed at a reasonable hour...

Update (sorta): I just realized that for some the name Ev1.net doesn't have any real meaning. I'll just link up this article about their recent purchase of a SCO license and stagger off to bed dragging a half-asleep kitten behind me.

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6Mar/04Off

Blame It On The Flu Or Something

A little bit of clarification about a post I made yesterday. I wasn't as clear as I though I was being and one of the people I was talking about in a positive sense actually commented on the post. In this post I should've mentioned that Die Puny Humans gave finder's credit to the person that pointed out the site but since that person doesn't operate a weblog, of course, couldn't provide a link. That's what I was thinking when I wrote that post but reading it again today I can see why Warren wasn't 100% happy with the way I told it. Same with the images that he posted -- when I mentioned it I was thinking that I was praising him for taking on some of the bandwidth but it really didn't sound like it. Read his comments attached to that entry for the real deal, curse the common cold for making me bleary and irresponsible, and if you're Warren Ellis, accept my apology.

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6Mar/04Off

Seconds Consumed By Spammers Are Seconds You Will Never Ever Get Back

Get your comment spam under control without doing anything. MT-Blacklist Updater is a nice PHP script that will update your blacklist and make sure that you're deflecting all of the newest scum as they spam. You do have to edit the actual script and probably set up a cron job on your server if you don't want to manually run the thing so it isn't a "duh" solution but for those of us that are completely phobic about repetitive tasks it actually saves a lot of work.

I actually use a Pythonic implementation of the same idea but I think that if you have no plans for hacking away on the script a couple of minor edits that are clearly outlined in the instructions might be the safer approach.

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5Mar/04Off

Pot. Kettle. Kettle. Pot.

What wonderful timing! Slashdot does the exact thing it was accusing webloggers of doing and even on the same day. How opportune. I heard about the excellent Chernobyl photo essay earlier today as posted on Die Puny Humans and actually got there earlier enough to see the photos (although Warren Ellis actually included a few of them in his post) before the inevitable crushing began. You'll note that the person who pointed it out to Warren Ellis was credited at the bottom of the entry. That is a pure text credit and doesn't wink to a weblog. Next, boing boing picked it up from Die Puny Humans not only crediting Warren Ellis for the link but adding some additional recommended reading into the mix. Next stop, Slashdot with no credit given except to the submitter and a string of comments gleefully gloating that the site will be down in a matter of minutes.

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5Mar/04Off

Crime Pays When Pigs Die

This Wired article has been getting a lot of play at least on the larger news sites like Slashdot. Amazingly, the /.ers equated this with plagiarism which is very creative semantic juggling coming from that site in particular where people compete to get stories into consideration and whine about having their submissions rejected while another submission of the exact same story is added to the main index. I guess it's only permissible to be sloppy and stupid when OSDN is footing the bill.

Anyway, the original Wired article, thankfully, doesn't throw around terms like plagiarism (which is really the wrong term to apply in this instance) and if you look at the crawl data they're talking about, you might come to the same conclusion that I did: none of the alleged memes listed there is particularly original and doesn't exactly come from a source that is going to whine about receiving credit for the initial idea. The thing that everyone (with the exception of people who actually write weblogs) seems to be so bent out of shape over is the lack of linking to the source of the link. Sigh. Again, coming from Slashdot, this is more than a little suspect since the people who get paid to run the pigsty can't be bothered to spellcheck the items others have submitted before posting them on the front page.

On a side note of sorts: I'd really love to set up a project that examines the burden of bandwidth that Slashdot dumps on the sites it links. It would be interesting to figure out exactly how much real money it costs to pay for each link that appears on the front page of Slashdot. It would be pretty easy to equate to a sort of Tragedy of the Commons situation because I'll be damned if I can come up with a single instance of Slashdot giving anything back to the community it sucks dry.

Ugh. Take it easy on me if any of the above is less coherent than usual. I took the day off from work for a little recovery and I feel like I watched the entire day whiz by me while I watched through a sheet of gauze.

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4Mar/04Off

Lose An Hour Of Sleep At Any Cost

For some stupid reason I assumed that I overslept a little and vaulted my sick ass out of bed an hour early. I wish I could transplant that hour into an area of the day where I really need it. bell hooks is speaking on my campus today while I'm in a class with an incredibly strict attendance policy (4 absences in an entire semester?!?!) and Yoon will be there with some of her students while I hallucinate through another round of Benito Cereno and wish I could be elsewhere. Hopefully we'll be able to grab some lunch. That's where I want to spend my extra hour. Plus with all that money we saved using E-vite for wedding/reception invitations we could supersize the hell out of lunch.

Because that just isn't going to happen I'll mention a couple of things that I forgot to get around to yesterday:

I redesigned the Midcentury site a week or so ago before this evil pox descended on me. I say "redesigned" when I actually mean "wrapped a newish style sheet around the mess and added a weblog for show postings and whatnot." I still think it looks a whole lot better and also has alt tags and the like for those of you using text browsers or screen readers. Cssed is a kick ass little application and really sped things up since my memory for CSS is limited at best. I guess the impetus for it has a lot to do with Matt's impending exodus and the doldrums (ha!) that are sure to come with trying to find a new drummer: "Yes, it really is in that time signature and we're actually playing it a little slower than we normally would..." Argh.

I didn't realize that Lollicup was national. This is great because more people need to experience the boba milk tea love. It helps that boba is chewy so people will usually shut the hell up for a few seconds while chewing. According to their site, Lollicup came from CA just like me and has a whole bunch of stores spread out all over the US although concentrated in the western half of the U.S. Utah could definitely use some "shut the hell up" balls in their tea I'm thinking.

This Amazon list is brilliant and hilarious but given Amazon's attitude towards anything that doesn't sell more books I imagine it will disappear sooner rather than later.

Groklaw has the AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler complaints in glorious, readable text. Maybe later this afternoon I'll have the opportunity to do more than notice that they exist.

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4Mar/04Off

What Else But Totally Random…

I've spent a little time today minus the obligatory studying for next weeks gauntlet of midterms looking into all the commentary about SCO's newest blunder and, of course, the two new suits. It really isn't all that interesting this late in the game but I still feel somewhat duty-bound to read it all. I also worked my way through part of the forum thread that this article is about and I'm not quite sure what to make of the whole situation as I'm not a customer and the defense was mostly sensible.I see his rationale but I couldn't see choosing that business as one that I'd prefer to be associated with.

Something I should probably mention as well: after this month (I think) I won't be selling the unstable branch of Debian anymore. The set has ballooned up to thirteen CDs now and the amount of time that it takes for me to refresh a set just isn't worth it. That said, I'm going to try to start carrying more live CDs and Gentoo for all supported architectures.

I have no idea how seriously to take Halloween X but I have precious little patience for the cloak and dagger schtick.

CIO Magazine's got an article about the real world benefits of using FOSS in the real world of business. I'd rather stick a rusty pin in my eye than have to read this stuff often but it's nice to have around when some MBS-without-a-clue starts in with Marketing 1010 terminology that no one cares about glossolalia. This will save the trouble of driving a stake through his heart.

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