Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

8Nov/05Off

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/Last.fm 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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