Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


Hell Yes I Cheated

As much as I'd like to avoid yet another boring and endlessly repetitious rant about using licenses without understanding that even the most super duper legal of them is open to some degree of interpretation. Tim Bray posted something today about someone basically aggregating his and others content into their site. Unfortunately they've already taken it down so I can't actually see how it was presented or anything but according to the copyright info over at Tim's this is probably permissible given that they weren't using his writing to drive sales (non-commercial) nor is it being sold. I'm wondering if Infrae just forgot to include the stipulated copies of licenses or what as they seem pretty aware of FOSS issues and develop some pretty Pythonic software. They also have a clearly marked contact page as well so go figure. Ugh. This all sounds so weird but I'm more curious about the circumstances and how the licensee might've (or not) violated the CC license in redistribution than anything. The fact that I'm at least 64% asshole might have something to do with it.
Tim pointed out in an update the above referenced post that it looks like they might have been including his stuff as part of a demo application. That makes more sense than simple Planet-like aggregation being an issue of anything but bandwidth.

Any of you types with extreme (that blink tag is going to have to do until something really eye gouging comes whirling out the w3c) corporate influence should seriously investigate floating FreeZope some cash money especially in the interest of getting the FreePlone project out of the planning stages. It's one of the few opportunities that most people have to play with Zope that doesn't involve a pretty major overhaul of your web server or the installation of a whole lotta stuff. Zope is an endless configurable and infinitely useful piece of software and Plone. Buy yourself some street cred and do the rest of us a favor by advertising the existence of your company/product in a way that is neither annoying nor offensive to non-CEO types who can actually generate their own thoughts and opinions about technology without virtually hosting the Gartner glory hole dollar orgy.

Obviously I'm really tired.

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Problems Faced When Your Head Is In The Code

I'm having a fit of apathy towards the web at least as an entertainment medium and continual fixation. I sit down in front of my computer with the intent of reading some sites and hours later I notice that I'm in an entirely different desktop debugging code. Unsure of what exactly is causing this sudden outburst of productivity, I'm going to go with it.

I did install PCBSD on my laptop since I was having odd problems with some of the Debian-based Linux distributions I was running on it. It seems like every distribution has its own broken-ness that it brings to Debian. So, for lack of a better idea, I decided to give PCBSD a whirl. I haven't had time to do much but install it (dead fucking easy even on an elder statesman of laptops with some hardware that can be problematic to configure. There isn't a whole lot of available software listed on their site but I'm thinking that after a few essentials (like a browser that isn't Konqueror) I'll probably just install the ports system and be done with it. I need development tools that are definitely not packaged yet so that gives me plenty of opportunity to see how that process plays out.

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Best Bouncy Castle Ever.

This thing was enormous and was filled with cartoon characters. The owner didn't seem to think that I really wanted to go in. I'm still a little sad over the wasted opportunity. The little girl who was running around inside it looked like she was having the time of her life. Grrrr.

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Fish Market

Of all the dried fish being offered for sale these were the most fascinating to look at. I think part of it is that rays aren't particularly familiar and the opportunity to examine them up close (albeit dead and dehydrated) is a rare one. They aren't like fish that you can drag out of the water on fishing line and hold comfortably while removing the hook. There's something about their structure that blurs the line between aquatic and reptilian things gliding through the sky. I have no idea what they taste like dried and prepared for consumption but the photo is still satisfying in a creepy way. The eye sockets and their placement are really what makes them look so deeply alien to me like they're intended for a planet with a single dimension.

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Request For Sympathy More Than Anything I Guess

MySQL decided to permanently check out from my work machine yesterday and I had a whiz bang of a time trying to figure out why or what caused it to fail so oddly and spectacularly for no apparent reason. I didn't realize until I'd been fiddling with it for nearly an hour that I hadn't actually used MySQL for anything in at least a month. The all important user table was plain old empty and for some reason I could log in as the root user without a password but had no other privileges other than connecting to the server. Has anyone else seen this happen lately? Just curious because, for once, I'd love to think that it wasn't something stupid that I did.


Why Cereal Is Exclusively Marketed Towards Children

Most of you in less hick cereal markets have probably already chuckled and walked right past the boxes of Chocolate Lucky Charms without thinking any more about it. I bought a box a while back and I can truly say, without reservation, that leaky brown cereal with brightly colored marshmallows (to distinguish it from Count Chocula I suppose) is much more delicious than you can imagine. It's as sharp and grainy as you might expect excepting of course the slow ooze of artificial chocolate coloring into the milk which is less appetizing than the imagined vampiric spread of chocolate vampirism and more reminiscent of something that might happen after Lucky had a really rough night with the boys. In that case I require no explanation about how the colorful rainbow of marshmallow bits collected in the bowl. No, really, I don't.

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Updated My Spam Karma Install

I did a little house cleaning tonight to see if I was current on most of the tools I use regularly. The only thing that was sadly outdated was Spam Karma. I kinda knew that there had to be a new version since the master blacklist update has been expiring with a 'not found' error for at least a couple of weeks. Anyway, new version so let me know if there are any problems. This is, of course, assuming that people actually read this site instead of just spam 'bots. I have my doubts.

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Foot Slowly Extracted From Mouth

Although I've already apologized to Andreas in email for inadvertently (through shoddy writing) accusing BlogsNow of being useless but that shoddiness and inattention is probably worth a little consideration. This is a habit that I need to break. Although I believe in being totally merciless in the criticism of something that I dislike it's about damned time that I started being friends with things I like rather than assaulting them unintentionally. The worst part about this particular instance is that not only had Andreas taken the time to leave a comment on my more flawed than usual post but he'd already fixed the problem I was having with BlogsNow by then. I didn't like the redirection that obscured URLs and either did he apparently.

Even worse than being an asshole is just feeling like one. In his email Andreas also mentioned his thoughts on some of the other niggling problems (more conceptual and less about functionality) that I had with the site and it looks like the BlogsNow of the future is going to be substantially more interesting and less annoying. Those are two very admirable goals.

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Every Opinion You Have Is Based On Self Interest

I've been absent lately due to the insane heat wave that I'm still not accustomed to even after x years of being tempered seasonally for my eventual trip to hell. That isn't the whole deal though. After the London bombings I developed an aversion to weblogs especially of the political bent. Say what you will about partisanship on either side of the right/left divide but I have a phobic reaction to death and suffering being used as a launch pad for whatever sorry agenda you're trying to push. I've had enough preaching from atop a coffin for a lifetime and then some. You've earned your Bulletproof Ideology merit badge now try some empathy.

I've been working on a really old lump of code so old really that I don't remember what pieces of it do. It's easier to debug half forgotten scripts than it is to try to understand people. This post by Blake Ross about his grandfather evangelizing Firefox to the head Rabbi of Israel is funny and sweet enough to dispel that feeling of disconnection somewhat. Sort of.


At Least A Couple Of ‘Em Anyway

I was kinda busy doing other things some of which are only tangentially interesting to anyone who isn't me when I started thinking about that rant I wrote a while ago about how often I heard people arguing against the inclusion of many different editors in a Linux distribution. I've always been kind of offended by the logic behind that sort of reasoning simply because I love text editors. I have a use for almost all of them. I took a screen shot of my editor menu:

Yes, it is really that obsessive and complicated. Suddenly the implied roar of the masses makes a little more sense than it did.

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Worthwhile Investment Of Time Off

I usually don't pay much attention to the threats people send to spammers through mailing lists because, for the most part, they're usually a variation on "take me off your list" that range a wide spectrum of grammatically challenged, incoherent, and completely capitalized. This one, sent to the debian-cd list, is chilling and perfect:

I have located you and will be coming to visit you
very soon. I will burn my vacation time gladly to put
a stop to you, and I won't do it a legal way. Just
wait for my knock at your door..... I can't wait, but
I'm I want you to know I'm coming.........

Yes, there are a fair number of errors and the ellipsis abuse is pretty rampant but reading it gave me pause for just a second. I think all 'out of office' messages should be as ominous and threatening as this.

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My Imminent Place In The Sun And Taking Applications For Cabana Boys (Non-Union Please!)

This might be the first time I've ever liked anything flaky (outside of music, of course) but Pyflakes is pretty damned cool. It does the same essential stuff as PyChecker but a bit faster and without all of the style checks. Go to their site and read the full description instead of my truncated derivative. Actually read all of the product descriptions 'cause some of them are pretty damned funny.

My god. Four lines! Am I an A-lister yet? I'll work on reducing the amount of content here in the near future so I can go to conferences in exotic locales and scream at innocent bystanders. That sounds fan-fucking-fabulous.

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Those Ugly XML Buttons Are, Unfortunately, Clicked All Too Often

Ben Hammersley has a great article up over at The O'Reilly Network on how to pretty up your feeds which assumes, rather correctly, that people are clicking on them and getting zero feedback after being presented with a screen full of gibberish. This is strictly CSS though Ben mentions the possibility of using XSL if say you really wanted to spend some time, thought the blind lungers for the pretty orange button needed desperate attention, and were relatively sure you were going to live to be a thousand years old. If nothing else, it is worthwhile for reminding us that users clicking on feed links isn't helpful to either them or us when they don't have a clue why the resulting page isn't sanely formatted (for human reading, I mean) or nothing else happens. I'm going to work on implementing at least the 'this is not a web page' part sometime this weekend. This post is a reminder to do that.