Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

30Jul/09Off

No, You’re Glacial, Pal!

It looks like Debian has finally caved (at least a little) and moved to a time-based release schedule. This is always a little weird because if you're really looking to run stable then the current version (presumably with some backports) is about as up to date as you need barring anything new and sexy you might need. Otherwise, the testing and unstable branches are always there with newer stuff. You take a slight stability hit there but if you're working on a server then new and flashy isn't what you need in any case.

The idea of Debian releases and the ensuing and tedious commentary about how slow they move along has always been confusing to me. The commentary obviously comes from folks who install from media and can't bring themselves to type: apt-get update after the initial installation. Do the installation, pick your branch, and keep using it until the hardware stops working. What more could you want? Apparently something to mark on your calendar? Regardless of the stupidity that drives user demand for it, hats off to the Debian team for committing to meet this goal.

Filed under: General No Comments
24Jul/09Off

The Gun Didn’t Know I Was Loaded

It isn't often (enough) that I mention writing here that I'm happy with or agree with entirely but the Linux Magazine article about MSFT's potential contributions to the kernel is one of them. This might be a sign of me getting a bit older and more reluctant to shake hornet nests simply for the sake of watching the rage and confusion play itself out afterward but I'm becoming a huge fan of writing about FOSS that is more measured and, um, professional, I guess. The inverse is that I'm pretty fucking tired of reading poorly considered screeds that serve little purpose other than to cherry pick sources and textual evidence to further bolster an opinion that won't change or consider the third option (maybe neither option in a binary standoff is the best possible answer).

There are ninety different ways to spread out what I just said but I'm pretty happy leaving this as is. Sometimes extrapolation on the fairly obvious gives you, the person theoretically reading this, less credit than you are likely due.

11Jul/09Off

If You’re Famous And Die You Should Take All Of Your Relatives With You.

Oscar decided to wake up at 5 a.m. this morning and I haven't slept since (it's currently 10 p.m.) so the really cutting and mean spirited thing I was going to write about the Playboy acquiring rights to Nabokov's unfinished last work but all of the thoughts I had on it earlier have since turned to some kind of brain mulch. Here's hoping that their decomposition will bring fruit during the course of the night and tomorrow I'll be able to tie my shoes without stopping to think about the sequence of events beforehand.

The Extremely Short Version
Nabokov request that The Original of Laura not be published. He stated it explicitly and the reason that his family decided to ignore his wishes boils down to a dream that his son had a dream in which the old man told him to hitch his wagon to a star or some bullshit like that which he decided was rationalization enough to publish the damned thing. I think the son being the only remaining heir to Nabokov's literary goodies might have more to do with it than some Macbeth-esque haunting but I'm sort of mean like that. The sad part is that I will more than likely purchase the December issue of Playboy just to read the excerpt. Stupid me.

6Jul/09Off

Won’t Someone Please Consider The Fate Of The Trolls?

No matter what personal opinion you may hold about Miguel de Icaza (and it seems like most opinions actually spoken on are the product of laziness and ignorance), you have to admit that the man gets an extraordinary amount of shit done. MSFT relinquished possible patent control on the ECMA specifications that Mono builds on top of which have caused more than a few to soil undergarments about and made others who probably haven't used any other Linux distribution swear they were going to switch away from Ubuntu in response to the community attitude towards the hallucinatory demons of patent enforcement that were circling around their hands, brandishing pitchforks emblazoned with the grim visage of Microsoft Bob. This isn't the end of either side of the discussion or controversy but it does mean that most people can stop worrying about Tomboy rearing up on its hind legs, slapping the hockey mask, and terrorizing the fuck out of Crystal Lake. By the way, this is good news for all parties involved especially those who move across platforms continually and like to have the same application on all of them for specialized jobs.

Thanks again, Miguel for being determined and apparently infinitely patient.

2Jul/09Off

T Virus Containment Problem In Marketing Section.

So, Heinz is supposedly* putting together a USB mini-microwave so you can heat up a lot of beans at your desk. Jesus. Beanzawave?!? Really?

Imaginary Heinz Marketing Conference Call

Drone A: We've come up with a brilliant plan to sell more beans to office workers?
Drone B: Really? Edgy new ad campaign? Deal with office building convenience stores.
Drone A: No. Fuck that! Think really big. Like huge but smaaaall at the same time.
Drone B: Does this have something to do with Wal-Mart?
Drone A: No! Shit. This is about a computer powered mini microwave that revolutionizes the way that people eat beans at work without ever leaving their desks.
Drone B: shoots Drone B. Turns gun on self.

Pure, unadulterated awesome! I'm sure a Nobel nomination will be forthcoming as soon as the ether wears off.

* I say supposedly because part of me is fairly certain that this will surface within the next few days as a viral campaign instead of the comedy gold marketing that it is now. Curses.

2Jul/09Off

Writing Poorly Makes Me Feel Horribly Old

In another lifetime, when there was no child in the house and no earth shattering financial obligations threatening to annoy us with calls from wronged creditors, I wrote a lot. My recent posts have demonstrated that straying away from writing anything more substantive than Post-It notes for years at a time does not make attempts at resuming aforementioned practice seem much more than a contest against the inevitability of a vacuous middle age entirely removed from academia. I don't mention academics because I feel they're necessary in order to write well enough but because focus is much easier to attain when driven by the fear of humiliation and failure.

There may be an admission of mortality concealed in there somewhere -- the not so devastating resignation that comes with the realization that you're never going to do anything great or interesting to more than a handful of people that you already know. I'm trying to disprove the (my own) notion that this surrender to suckiness is inevitable yet still avoid editing like the curse on the drinking class that it is. Is the moral of the story to gleefully embrace mediocrity? Not really but I'm coming to terms with the idea that it beats an utter lack by a wide margin. 'Missing' fear and failure as a sincere motivator that produces the good stuff is another thing entirely that I'll avoid discussing for the sake of keeping up the whole dignity facade.

2Jul/09Off

More ‘Our’ And Less ‘Yours’

I'm guessing that I'm one of the few who finds the news that WordPress themes are also included in the GPL license that covers its original release. I originally switched (in a matter of hours) from Movable Type to WordPress because of the MP licensing flap. I don't like using tools that can be yanked out from underneath me. I'm sure someone is going to bring up my generalized ambivalence towards Mono here as a point of argument but they're two different animals: ambiguous threats to act on unnamed patents on a project that generally uses the more permissive FOSS licenses for its work and something that seemed an awful lot like a bait and switch at the time.

Again, all the folks who do the actual smashing of thumbs work on WP are to be thanked and congratulated for sticking with the license and checking with SFLC to clarify how the GPL impacts third party themes. Theme developers who are all pissed about WP.org 'fucking you over' should consider that staying true to the spirit of the GPL in the organization of promoted plug-ins and themes has less to do with you than 'us'.

1Jul/09Off

This Suitcase Nuke Is Going To Get Me On The Local News

Very little of the exciting variety happened today so I'm forced by laziness, apathy, and the ridiculous notion management types have that actual work-related work be performed while at work to just dump some links. I'm also trying to get to bed earlier this week as my band is playing its second show this Friday and the holiday weekend doesn't foster a whole lot of extra sleeping opportunities especially when the loudest member of the household refuses to sleep later than 6 a.m. Bummer.

1. Illinois town is ditching those annoying cameras to catch red light runners. I think this is a good thing. Not because I think that arrogant sons of bitches have some deity granted right to drive like the slack jawed cromagnons that they're socially related to but because they don't do anything positive in terms of safety. I guess if you count higher incidences of traffic ticketing as safety because it provides a larger pool of funds to put more fucking pigs police on the streets then you might be a bigger fan of this idea than I am. It seems like the installation of cameras at dangerous intersections has become a panacea of sorts for removing them from public discussion. I don't understand why more haven't converted these installations into ways to gather information about how actual accidents happen and allowing engineers to fix faulty designs.

2. Rumors are brewing about Apple severing ties with Nvidia. This might be good as even the dedicated cards in the MBP laptops are kind of anemic. I'm hoping that they'll introduce a better choice or encourage an upstart to come up with something interesting or innovative rather than incremental 'more frames and fifteen fans' bumps in speed and memory. None of that will ever happen but it's sometimes nice to think about. Either way, maybe a rift would do something to shake Apple out of the complacency it has towards video performance. Well designed and implemented doesn't just mean the case.

3. While trying to clean up and de-cruft my WordPress install (like the one the makes the stuff you're reading || local) I found a draft that I wrote just before I quit my previous job. It's hard to recall how much I hated that environment and how hopeless it made me by the end of each day but reading that spilled cup of bile certainly helped. I'm not going to publish it because it was just angry/bitter ranting and I'm 100% positive Jonathan Livingston Fucking Seagull style these days. Also, I don't exaggerate. Ever.

That said, my cat snores really fucking loudly.