Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


Stupid Finder/Quick Look Trick

I swear to God that I won't try to climb the social networking ranks by offering a list of things that are marginally related but nearly interesting when compiled into a numbered list or, even more 2.0, a bulleted list. Instead, a rare moment of brevity:

When you're working on the desktop, as I tend to do when dealing with a number of files that are destined for deletion once manipulated and put away somewhere, you tend not to have a finder window open with desktop contents. Sometimes you need to get a Quick Look preview: Select the file, hit the spacebar, and then wish this was made obvious since it's actually pretty handy when working with a hojillion PSD files that you'd rather not crank up PS just to get a quick glance at.

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The Laziest Bastard In The World

These days I just feel like posting videos that have very limited shelf life. Enjoy or not.

Filed under: General, Sights Seen 1 Comment

No Reason, Really

Yes, this is really old but I stumbled on it the other day while searching for something else and watched it a couple of times. Any video I watch more than twice usually ends up in one of these semi-pointless posts so I can refer people to the video without the "search for x-x-x-x on YouTube" spiel that usually accompanies this sort of stuff. Instead, just fucking click the play button.

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It’s Time For Something (Anything) Else

Since Demonoid is currently being hassled out of existence I'm forced to use less savory sites to get my fix of unanthologized (or at least not published in the canonical graphic novel form since only pulp/noir wannabe gritty detective in the mean streets bullshit seems to earn that honor these days) comics from the 1990s. Unfortunately, they're not very well organized, have a user base slightly brighter than a chipped Pet Rock, and are really, really focused on pornography instead of anything remotely interesting for folks older than say nineteen. It involves a lot of sorting and a lot of advertising images that make the markeetering done on Myspace seem brilliant and innovative in comparison. In short, pornography is basically tedious shit cranked out for morons who are willing to deal with the formulaic construction so they can, completely heterosexually of course, watch all glassy eyed as giant throbbing penises spurt bulk rate semen over bored and listless faces that desire only moist towelettes and one more chance at graduating high school. Bleh.

What I'd like to propose is a consolidation of by-idiots, for-idiots exploit-tainment and bring together competition-based reality shows and pornography to create a bulletproof fucktard-geist of a hybrid (new) media entity. Seriously (sort of), why not combine them into something like American Bukkake Idol where contestants must pit their 'skillz' against one another competitively while struggling against a ravenous pack of fellow competitors and being humiliated by a panel of useless but vicious (or just plain drunk) judges only to ascend to the heights of the final round when one lucky participant gives it their all on the line shot at momentary and transitory glimpses of dignity. Then the bukkake and a bright future similar to that which all reality show contestants can look forward to with the possible exception being a possibility of more porn work perhaps as a fluffer. Reality shows have plenty of room for these sorts of annexation. Just keep away from that magician show with Uri Geller. No one needs to see that man naked, now or ever again.

The best part about all of this is the potential for the consolidation of slack jawed attention to be drawn to other places. While this might spell a sort of doom for Fark and Digg I think it is totally worth it and hope that the effect is lasting. If that fails we could always go the porn/crime scene investigation route, right?


Blogsnow Is Taking Another Nap

Looks like my favorite 'list of popular stuff' sites, BlogsNow, has to take a nap (he says "put to sleep" but most of us get all teary eyed with memories of our childhood pets when that term is used) until November 20th due to some hardware difficulties. I'm glad to hear that it isn't more spam related outage although I'm sure Andreas would rather hack some code than buy more hardware. Looking forward to it coming back up.


Funny But Unessential…

There is a new and funny post at Dive Into Mark that parodies another article about installing MySQL on OS X from source. I'm a little baffled about both articles since MySQL is a dead easy install on either platform provided you use the binaries either from the uglier but freer version of your distribution or the installers available directly from MySQL.

I'm equally confused by why anyone would compile MySQL to begin with or why anyone would think that signing up for ADC to run an installer that is freely available directly from the developers. You can really, really crazy and download MySQL Administrator for any fucking platform that you hold close to your heart like a golden badge of moral kevlar and happy click, point, and squeal away. Strangely, I've done both binary installs recently first on a new install of Debian (which consequently comes free of any onerous licensing restrictions) and Leopard without problems. I'm going to chalk this up to OS patriotism and let the chuckles lie where they might.

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An Analysis Of Piracy’s Effect On The Use Of Windows

I was really impressed with Dave Gutteridge's look at how piracy benefits MSFT in terms of Windows use and Linux adoption. This is something that we've all discussed to some degree before but I haven't really seen this degree of thinking through the entire process. The huge amount of home (and business users although they're usually more careful about casual disclosure) users of Windows really do think of it as something that is either obtained free by purchasing a new computer or something that a friend has a copy of that is two steps away in personal relationships for having in hand. Pair that with the fact that many people don't do their own installs, upgrades, or break/fix support once the computer is actually set up and you've got a fair amount of distance between the average casual computer user and what operating system they're using. Anyway, his breakdown is much more interesting than my halfass summary. He's using this as way to look at the perceived slowdown of Linux adoption:

This idea that Windows is, to most everyone, effectively free, is in my opinion the single most significant factor in explaining why Linux isn't doing better than it is.

I'm not even saying that Linux would or should necessarily dominate or wipe out Windows. I'm only saying that if the market for operating systems operated under the same rules as other consumer goods, then Linux would have a larger share of the market.

If every user who had a cracked copy of Windows had a legitimate version of Linux instead, what would the percentage of computers running Linux be? More than there are now, that's for sure.

Go check it if this is something you've ever thought much about or if using Linux is something that you've hemmed and hawed about because you're still staggering around under the assumption that Linux won't do most of the things that you need to do for general desktop computing. It seems strange that this is still such a popular conception but, hey, the OS market operates under its own set of completed tweaked rules.

Filed under: General 1 Comment

The Unusual Weirdness..

I've spent the last couple days writing on someone else's weblog for money. This is probably one of the worst ideas that has ever come to fruition. I feel like I'm lying as I write nothing but sparkly clean and sarcasm-free copy for whatever reason. The topics are all things that I'm overly familiar with but it still comes out sounding stiff, fake, and like I'm talking through a horrible Pollyanna sock puppet. On the other hand, it paid money. I profit from folks who think verbosity is somehow related to quality of writing. Lucky me. It's done but I'll probably have more to do...

Minutes later...
I forgot to mention that the people I've worked for recently have been incredibly nice, paid me about what my work is worth (which is killer for freelance), and give me a startling degree of freedom to make whatever they've asked me to do into an utter train wreck. Maybe it's just me or suddenly people have abysmally low expectations and are unusually kind?

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Demonoid Down Again…

The groans were again heard around the world as (apparently) the CRIA threatened the hosting company where Demonoid hangs its collective hat. Now where will all of the comic books come from?

The actual placeholder text on the front page is kind of alarming:

The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding.

and I may be reading too much into a statement that was hastily phrased but it sounds like the takedown might be a longer outage this time. Ack.

Filed under: General 7 Comments

Fish, Barrel, And The Media-Rich IntarWeb

I'll readily admit that I am a sucker for alarmist exploit headlines. I can't help the gleeful clicking through because more often than not they're either terribly funny stories of human incompetence or employ the use of some extension of an application that I didn't know existed for nefarious purposes. Delivery systems are often the most interesting because they usually rely on tricking users into action. This is nothing new as most of us have probably helped a friend or two rid a machine of the damned purple monkey that won't shut up. I'm often impressed by how clever some of the manipulations are and wonder if I hadn't read about the exploit before ever encountering it in the wild whether I might be a likely victim assuming that I was working on a platform that had a huge number of exploitable holes features or wasn't suspicious to the point of paranoia about pretty much everything.

Attacking Myspace accounts is about as challenging as mugging a baby so it's much less interesting. There isn't a whole lot interesting about people buying (yup, search and you will find) suites of scripts and trying clumsily to convince people to pwn their machines into a botnet by pretty colors, atrocious spelling, and offers of free shit that no one wants. It's fucking boring. What I'd like to see is a war between the folks who slop together botnet scripts and the people who do the Flash programming for the equally blinking/flashing/annoying advertising. You're both annoying hacks so kill each other and thin out the herd a little. This will save me some absent minded time wondering why I would want to help Santa Claus outdrink an elf in what is apparently an egg nog drinking contest. Seriously, consider a declaration of all out war against each other.

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The Stupid Solution Is Most Often The Correct Solution

I've expended too many keystrokes raging about browsers over the past few years but I think I've found one curative measure, at least on the Apple side of the fence, to keep me from force quitting another application or needlessly rebooting another machine. While I was enraged at yet another Opera versus both of my processors battle to the death, I opened the Disk Utility application and ran a Verify Permissions on my main drive. What I discovered was a gazillion item list that basically pointed to the Flash plugin (something I've often suspected was the cause of more than its fair share of spinning beach ball grief) as the wrong permissions having culprit of this particular caper. I know that Repair Permissions is the reboot of OS X troubleshooting and that often it is the waving of chicken bones over a problem in hopes that it will resolve itself but, in this case, it actually worked.

1. 60-80 percent CPU usage attributable mostly to Opera.
2. quit Opera. It doesn't quit. Force quit Opera. Hope that the hate doesn't over come me and drive me out to the streets where I will Force Quit people at random.
3. Repair permissions. Sigh audibly as I try the idiot solution.
4. Fire up Opera again and reload my entire session.
5. Reload a couple of pages just to make sure.
6. Nope. 4% CPU usage even when I open a couple more tabs with a couple of Flash heavy sites. Sweet victory.
7. Cats are rudely awakened by the sound of my palm impacting my forehead.
8. Remind self that sometimes the stupid solution is often the correct one.
9. Consider formulating my own novelty theory something along:

Idiot's Razor: A law that defines the most ideal solution to any problem can be found by following the advice you would offer an idiot.

but reconsider and instead eat potato chips.

Filed under: General 1 Comment

Leopard Cups Shared Printer Fix

I'm glad that someone figured out a definitive fix for this kind of annoying behavior in Leopard: If you've got a shared printer connected to a *nix box via CUPS then Leopard will not see the printer. This annoyed the hell out of until I fixed it by copying all of the necessary fields from another Linux laptop and adding the correct info via the ever reliable http://localhost:631 interface but if you're not inclined to acknowledge the existence of CUPS or you just want it fixed quickly (a direction I would've taken if not preoccupied by consuming rage) then check out this post for a guide to enabling the necessary protocols for CUPS to act like it ought to. Thanks for thinking it through and making it available.

As a side note, I would love to hear the rationale for disabling this by default and making my Linux machines more capable out of the box than my MBP. Any clues what might prompt disabling it?