Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


Another Asshole Epiphany

Turkey was eaten. It was the fried kind although as the number of our friends with infants/toddlers increases so does my uneasiness about the proximity of a huge cauldron of bubbling peanut oil heated to fuck-up-your-volcano temperatures. The other side of it is that I'm not a huge fan of holidays in general. I suppose there is too much fucked up childhood and clinging tenaciously to anti-whatever punk rock stuff for me to ever truly enjoy the ritualization of traditional American holidays. I do enjoy the gatherings (dislike people but enjoy gatherings -- go figure) but the psychosis that erupts in nearly every city in a mere few hours from now has always soured me on the entire season. In short, I have issues this time of year that feel approximate to Seasonal Affective Disorder. It might be depression if I wasn't so angry all of the time. Can you deepen disorientation?

Um, something a wee bit relevant?:

Diggdot is an ultra-mega aggregator of all things Slashdot, Digg, and and wrapped up into a giant wad of previously aggregated content. How much mileage can you get out of a link? Although I'm being as snide as I can be with a stomach that five hours later still feels like it might explode I'll probably still check this site out fairly often. That is one thing and possibly the only thing that I can say in favor of Slashdot: at least the front page isn't just a stack of links divided by CSS bars.

TopologiLinux is a Windows-friendly port of Slackware that will run on your NTFS partitions without any changes to the table. This will come in real handy if you've ever had the urge to run the oldest and most uncompromising Linux distribution on top of your spyware and virus biodome existing Windows install. With the number and quality of live CDs out there it's kind of curious that projects like these are still underway. Is this something that anyone reading this might actually do? That's a real question and I'd love to know the reasons why as well.

You can also buy a Lance Armstrong branded laptop from HP and part of your purchase price will be donated to his foundation. Unlike the plague of silicon derived bracelets that have invaded everything you can actually use this for something. I do wish that more products like these would abstain from plastering a logo on the top of the machine or at least give buyers the option of getting one without the huge model name emblazoned on the top. There is always the chance, however slight it may be, that I am just a crank.


And Then The Cat Ran Away With My Toothbrush

Too many mentions of the WSJ article about the $100 laptop folks at MIT declining Apple's offer of free OS X licenses have wandered into my field of vision today and the feigned surprise baffles me. What advantage could there possibly be in an option like that? School kids in economically underdeveloped countries aren't exactly a burgeoning market for Apple wares. Given the fact that the laptop was designed to accommodate a lack of available power you'd think most people would recognize the lack of demand for organizing digital photos or remixing audio or any of the other 'essential' iLife sorta functions. An operating system inexorably tied to (mostly) commercial software is next to useless in this application. I'm sure the ardent supporters will buy the next pointless iteration of an 'i' appended gadget, though, and that should cheer up poor old Steve Jobs. I wonder if they were really planning a build for that particular batch of hardware. I really hope that the included OS is indeed a Red Hat variant and not the latest version of Fedora Core. There is something a wee bit repulsive about that.

mooflex looks pretty cool but, then again, I'm making this judgement based on some screenshots and an incomplete list of features. Messing around with their own implementation of the site was impressive and I like the ideas behind its assembly. I'm going to file this one under Don't Forget so I can hopefully remember to check back on their progress in a month or two.

So, sleep?


Some Ills To (Potentially) Pay (Some Of) The Bills

Advertising. Sigh. I finally did it whether permanent or temporary. I've decided to try to let some of my toys run live on this site in the not so distant future. They're going to be expensive in terms of bandwidth so I'm doing a little investigative work out front to see how much of it I can pay for with doodads as opposed to the money out of my pocket. As always, I reserve the right to tell any and all parties to go fuck themselves whether they're paying me or not.

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The Time I Waste, At Least, Is Mine

Doing research for this paper, in one sense, means waiting for the creaking door of the divine holder of copyrights to slowly allow the PDF I need to hit the wires like molasses in Antarctica. I've been doing a whole lot of poking around tonight and these are some of the results or the ones I think are interesting:

A hack to get Audioscrobbler/ data out of iPods that requires a whole lotta work and some desire to have actual functionality but is a solution for all of our friends with too much disposable income and a jetsetting lifestyle that precludes listening to music while sitting in one place. This could be extended considerably I'm sure but it's definitely a step in the right direction. It doesn't do much in the way of convincing me that I need to spend that much money to take some music with me, but hey; I'm cranky when it comes to money and gadgets.

Oh, and if you're doing some graduate work in Computer Science, could you please not write spidering software? I've been getting my bandwidth ass kicked by robots that are very polite, obey the Robot Exclusion Standard, and usually leave an URL in the logs for me to check in with them. This is all great and I commend folks for actually doing what they're supposed to (this is the web and weblogs I'm talking about here) but the way that most of these 'bots work is entropy-rific. Looking through your logs and seeing that the same graduate student programmed robot that looks like it is powered by an infinite loop plowing through a couple hundred megs of bandwidth is not the recipe for happiness or cooperation. I've been fiddling with things on the server and my old pal robots.txt but this doesn't excuse being an enormous pain in the ass at the expense of someone who doesn't know you. Work some of the obvious bugs out of your software before you unleash it. During a brief and very angry moment (2.6 gigs from one robot), I considered writing a retaliation 'bot for the purpose of having traffic severed between hostile ranges and mine. Wasn't my best idea ever although I'm sure someone has come up with a similar pile of code.

I imagine that I will probably spend a weekend in the near future breaking my Linksys router by installing OpenWrt on it. It does look a lot more sane that the software installed on it by default. Configuration looks a little hairy at the moment but that is half the fun, right?

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Breadcrumbs, Dropped And Later Eaten By Birds

I always manage to wait until I have ten minutes left before I need to leave the house to want to post anything. This is mainly a link dump because I need to leave for band practice in fifteen minutes.

Suprglu apparently aggregates together all of your RSS and Atom resources into once place. Sounds like a fine idea but I can't figure out exactly what I would do with something like that. It sounds like it has some of the same goals as Flock. I hope it is more useful for people than Flock seems to be.

Peerflix is an idea that has crossed my mind on several occasions: why not just trade DVDs you own instead of renting them? Their system is a better design than the one I thought of because they actually provide insurance that you'll get what you're supposed to from other traders. I can't figure out what the cost per sale is from the site quite yet and I don't have a real reason to start an account there. I've signed up for so many accounts at various sites over the past year just to see how the guts work that I've lost the will to fill out forms and get bugged for doing nothing with my new account afterward. I'm sure someone else will have more salient commentary because that's all I have: straight out of my ass and straight to you.

Merge Records who I vaguely remember from the days when Superchunk was the next big thing has a fucking genius plan for dealing the divide between people who want to own vinyl and those who prefer their music in a more digital format: you buy the LP and there's a piece of paper inside that gives you instructions on how to download the whole record digitally. Sounds like a sane compromise to me.

I now have to leave in order to more totally destroy my hearing.

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Tuesday Is Only One Day Better Than Monday

CSS Reboot is a fantastic idea. It seems like most people made a last minute effort to redesign, sometimes with less than thrilling results, and managed to have something up. Reboot is, if nothing else, a good way to encourage people to abandon older designs and try to start again with an emphasis on web standards and give them a forum to show off the product of all the toil. I've been thinking about redesign myself given that someone in their Delicious bookmarks described Team Murder as arty. That term is usually shorthand for 'time to move on.'

Torn City was all sorts of cute for Halloween. The replacement graphic for my house was amazing:

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