Team Murder No Brain No Headache.


A Project Proposal For All Of My Masochistic Friends.

An idea occurred to me the other day that sounded fun but next to impossible when I initially mulled it over. I've been super excited about recent articles like this one from Smashing about building media sites using WordPress and other how-to-ish stuff like it that explores the topic in some depth and doesn't drop the subject with a bullet pointed list of features and hints at possible uses for the default features. That stuff gets linked and twittered endlessly, but at the end of the day, it isn't useful other than as device to hype a given CMS or an attempt to hitch your wagon to $stuff.

I had a different idea and, as always, to do anything remotely like this it would require more than just me driving and a fair amount of scheming on infrastructure, etc. Here's what I would like to do: A website (weblog variant would be fine for the sake of presentation) about doing real world projects in different CMS's. An errant thought occurred to me regarding doing this work for non-profits and organizations in need, but I think I'd like to keep the focus of this unimplemented and poorly considered idea on doing medium complexity website projects involving different CMS's, sharing what we learn along the way, and generally being truthful about how the process worked or didn't. This theoretically would include sharing code customization, plugins or external resources used, and the whole shebang. I realize this is beyond ambitious and staggers right into the realm of biting off more than a person or two could possibly or responsibly chew.

The killer for me about the traditional 'Make x CMS into z really cool and useful thing is that the process of adaptation is almost never covered in any depth by folks who present the aforementioned types of articles. I'd always stumble on them and wonder while reading through the write up why the folks playing with it made their decisions or how you might make slight changes to achieve something completely different while using most of the same steps. Why? I dunno, but I know this would require a fair amount of commitment from its participants and wouldn't be easy by any means.

Anyone interested? Let me know either in the comments or by sending me some mail goneaway at this domain here. If you've got a better or less sprawling idea or alternative I'd be interested in hearing about that as well. If something like this already exists I would love to help out.


Flagrant Attempt At Getting More DropBox Space

I'm going to post my Dropbox referral link here in hopes that you'll sign up and we can both suck up some more space. I keep an unholy amount of crap there. Help me keep more crap around!


You Strange, Terrible, Old Thing

Question posed to no one in particular:

Has anyone ever seen an actual implementation of the Coda file system. I started reading the CM site sometime in the past couple of weeks and noticed that it was updated within the past year. You couldn't tell that from the available documentation though since most of it is nearly ten years old and does its comparisons with Linux based on ext2 and seems pretty ambiguously hostile towards file systems that are actually used. Just curious if anyone knows about any actual uses of it and how it fared under real world stress and being accessed by the usual gamut of applications.


Because Midlevel Administration Is Serious Business

Had a particularly poignant moment of realization this afternoon about the real reasons that I loathe searching for a job when I saw one re-listed. I interviewed (well I thought) for the position and was operating under the assumption that I was at least in the top three. Today the exact same position was re-listed on the major job site site with $10,000 knocked off the bottom level salary they'd posted a month or so before. I imagine that I will see it again in the weeks to follow listed as a paid internship or something. I'm glad that this search is out of wanting something better and not necessity or desperation. If I were in the market due to hand to mouth issues I would be in some shitty bar drinking myself stupid.


Trying To Look Smart Often Makes You Look Stupid

It's a snowy day so I'm doing snowy day things like playing with Oscar and reading twice my RDA of stupid crap on the web. One of the things that I've truly enjoyed (other than chasing the little monkey around) is a post by Ted Dziuba entitled "I don't code in my free time" which is a spectacular summary of all the reasons that even the whippersnappers ought to think of languages as tools instead of canned solutions to a given problem. I also agree that solving actual problems (and getting past that particular problem) is much more rewarding than trying to rush ahead to learn every flavor of the month that might be really, really useful in a hypothetical situation in an imagined future.

That said, if I were charged with hiring programmers I don't think I'd really bother with folks who did obsessively learn new languages. That seems to me more the earmark of an intern who is viciously underpaid because they need to get the 'this new widget will cure cancer if only I can get through a few more rote exercises using it' syndrome worked through their systems. Despite the fact that the old guys might not follow each and every twist and turn on dev mailing lists, the old guys have an alternative approach to throwing everything at a problem to see what sticks: they actually know a bit about how to solve problems with tools they're actually skilled at using. I don't hate questions but I hate people that answer any given question/problem by posing a hundred other problems. Sometimes trying to look smart makes you look really fucking stupid.

To Ted, good work and thanks for being cranky. That's something the world could use a lot more of. Dealing with cranky fuckers who know what they're doing adds some pressure to the showboaters to actually get things done. God forbid.


Drive Space Is Never Cheap When You’re Crazy

I was reminded again today how oblivious I am about drive space despite the fact that my smallest HD in any machine is 160 GB. Matt mentioned OS X optimization and in a post and linked Monolingual. It basically just disposes of unnecessary language packs for OS X which are numerous and space hungry. For me, this meant 19.3 GB of freed space.

This might be the old guy in me talking who can still remember 2 GB drives seeming like a universe of drive space but that guy would also be talking about a time before less expensive (I almost said 'cheap' but that never seems to the case in the United States) high speed access and the proliferation of bit torrent driven files that eat up huge amounts of space for files you're likely to forget about in the span of a week. Still, nearly twenty gigs of space isn't something I should be forgetting about. Ouch.


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.


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.


At Last…A Plan

Mark your calendars, kids: MySQL has a release plan that doesn't look like soup and likely won't add totally broken (they call it alpha but hey) shit into stable releases. It's quite an innovation. All sarcasm aside, whew and good work.


Hard Drive Enclosure Recommendations?

Yet another drive enclosure piddled out this morning making Time Machine throw a bunch of errors and making me feel like the data on my MBP is somehow irreplaceable. This marks something like the third enclosure I've blown through since the Leopard upgrade.

Things I need:

capacity for drives up to/above 1 TB

controllable fans are always nice so I don't have to listen to the ever revving sounds of cheap components grinding away while I'm trying to think.

USB2/Firewire. either works but both are nice

A fairly standard power cable so when Bug inevitably chews through it I can replace it without buying a model specific cable. I can't begin to estimate how many MagSafe adapters I've purchased in the past couple of years thanks to Sir Gnaws-A-Lot.

Things I don't need:

Any of that one touch crap because it's nearly useless

Pretty lights.

Raid capability. I'd buy a Drobo if I thought it was worth the expenditure.

Any clues would be appreciated.


The Definition Wasn’t Entirely Wrong

Since I'm setting up a huge amount of new workstations, need to use IE as Charon's ferry from the world of the living to the dark regions of Windows Update, and tend to read if not absorb text that flashes before my eyes, a lot of news bits I wouldn't ordinarily seek out have crossed my periphery. The only one that has made me chuckle so far today is the accidental inclusion of Windows Explorer in Kaspersky's virus definitions. The inaccuracy of this is arguable and I would actually consider purchasing a product that effectively quarantined explorer.exe. Maybe it's time to break off that chunk of functionality and market a brand new product? The down side is that it hosed machines that were set to delete infected files rather than quarantining them as you're not doing a whole lot in a Windows environment without explorer. Good stuff.


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?


How Tired Of This Shit Do I Need To Be To Actually Doze Off At The Keyboard

So, I love, love Opera. It, generally, is a force of good in my life and works exactly the same across operating systems and whatnot. What I've having trouble understanding, and there is actually a question hidden in this rant, is why the fuck I have such an impossible time quitting out of the browser under OS X. Seriously, you would think that a browser that otherwise performs magnificently on this platform could successfully terminate itself. No. No, it can't. I end up choosing quit from the menu, wringing my hands for a few moments while the dreaded beach ball chases its tail a few hundred times, and pounding on the balky bastard with cmd-option-escape (force quit, in case you're not familiar with that dreaded key sequence) and a string of curses.

This has happened with every version of Opera that I've used on a Mac over the past year. I'm willing to deal with the less than optimal start up times and the weird disappearing act it pulls when you switch applications when it's starting up: the application never shows up, you click on the icon in the dock, and, pow, it is up instantaneously.

Anyone have any tweaking clues or possible adjustments I could make to avoid nuking the application from outer space whenever I need to quit? If you say switch to some other browser I will track you down and stab you. Repeatedly. In the face.


With Luck I Will Not Be Eaten By A Bear

Being the unemployed loser with too many spare machines and too many hours between 'honing my resume' (the flash banner that writhed infinitely suggested I do that) before having yet another conversation that is a half step above trying to have a conversation with one of those automated switchboard 'bots (Please say the last four letters of the extension you are trying to reach. When finished hit the pound key) I did a quick install of Sabayon last night and am trying to clean up the end result tonight. The previous sentence is a work of evil.

I really like Sabayon because I really like Gentoo. Initially I even liked the total lack of installer that sort of defines Gentoo as the super cool go fast, fast, fast distribution. Like any other process that eats up the better part of two days, the third or forth time you begin to wish that when something went awry with a huge emerge that your machine would also detonate like an atom bomb and spare you the misery of fiddling around with USE flags for a while and hoping that the end result (a couple hours later) will be less catastrophic. This is really the usefulness of a meta-meta distribution. If possible I would like to avoid another manual Gentoo install but I love the way the distribution is assembled otherwise.

I installed the mini version that fits on a single CD after spending fruitless hours trying to satisfy the bottomless pit of torture that the full DVD seems to be for me. The md5sums were fine but I had spectacularly inconsistent results every single time I tried to use either anaconda or the text based installer. Sometimes the install would hang when trying to configure network cards, sometimes it would hang 'preparing the live CD environment', and sometimes I would see the installer in a language only H.P. Lovecraft could dream up and then when it seemed like progress was further along (more screens of gibberish than when anaconda was spitting out English) it would hang. After nearly giving up I decided to just download the mini CD and it flew right through the install in a matter of 20 minutes (slower machine with minimal RAM) without a single complaint.

All of that was fine, I guess. It was only after I realized that was down as of sometime today that the despair really kicked in. Manually scrolling through the Escher-esque levels of directories that compose the portage structure I realized that I really, really dislike the ports system. I will never again complain when the Gentoo packages site lags a little or takes forever to cough up search results. I miss you dear friend. Please come back soon before my fingers are worn down to nubs after typing cd .. for the nine hundredth time in a twenty minute span. Oh, and curse you FreeBSD for making the idea of digging through a trillion directories seem like a sane way to manage software installations.

Nearly forgotten:

The full story about what the hell happened to a bunch of Gentoo services has been sitting there in the limbo of a opened and immediately forgotten tab for a long time. I'm posting here to undo that bad hoodoo.


Discussing A Problem That Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With An Erection Lasting More Than Four Hours Really

I've always been fascinated by the rapid adaptation of spam 'bots to get past most of the common spam filtering techniques. I shudder when I hear about people using the old 'block sender' and then wondering (and, believe me, I hear about this at least once daily) why that methodology is not only less effective as time, in seconds, passes. The randomness injected into the messages has always amused me at least while the technique is fresh and it isn't the typical tedium of waiting for enough pieces of spam to be correctly tagged in order for filters to start picking them out predictably.

The semantic war between spammers and filtering is more than a little viral in nature which makes this article about the 'mutation' of spam and immune response to it pretty interesting stuff if a bit on the bionic dodo bird side of theoretical. One thing about the theoretical approach is that the author actually spends some time thinking about how spam could be more intelligently constructed:

Something else to keep in mind is that spammers could choose to improve quality rather than increase quantity. One conclusion I took away from my sodden experience of reading 10,000 spams was that if we can't have less spam, we really need better spam. And there's no reason why it all has to be so monotonous and unpalatable. Just because someone is selling a sleazy, counterfeit and probably illegal product doesn't mean the advertising has to be verbal and visual sludge. On the contrary, it's the worst products that need the best marketing (think of cigarettes). I suppose this is a way of saying that the end of spam is not death but transfiguration.

This at least brings back some measure of competition between spammer and filtering software whereas the canonical approach these days, other than trying to poison Bayesian filters by filling them with suspicious garbage, is to flood every available opening with the hope that in an instance or two there will be no filtering or that they'll hit retiree gold.

The whole thing does make me wonder though after all of the combat with filters that requires huge amount of gibberish, special characters, and spelling reconfigurations just to emerge from the other side unscathed who actually responds to this crap. I'd love to see a study of that: who merrily clicks through a link that is completely encapsulated in trash text and other typographical litter? Obviously it works for someone and the cost of entry is next to nothing but still...


Open And Unavailable

Ian Murdock has a great post on his weblog about the promise of OpenSolaris, as a project, versus its failure as something that someone without prior experience and access to Sun 'ware has any opportunity to mess around with which has needed discussion by someone inside of Sun for a long time now. I'm glad that he brought it up although I'm unsure if there is any history behind this. I haven't eyeballed much about OpenSolaris since I figured out that it was not distributed in any useful format. I was initially pretty excited about the announcement of the project until I realized that it meant utterly nothing to me as someone who no longer owns any Sun hardware. In that sense it works less as a promotional tool (assuming that the promotion of Solaris use or familiarity is the purpose for its release) and more as a toy for current Solaris users. If that is the case, then Sun should just lock the sandbox and let the discussions about how enterprisey Solaris is with no outside intervention.

The comments attached to Ian's post raise some good points although many of them are more a matter of semantics than anything else. One that came up over and over again was why Sun should develop a distro given the handful of smaller distributions based on the OS kernel already. I think that is pretty obvious: if Sun is going to benefit from the time and effort shoveled into assembling a sane installation path then they should help, either financially or with man hours, to make that a more straightforward process. Then maybe they could work on supporting hardware...


The Fox That (Sometimes) Sucks

I've always had a love/hate relationship with Firefox but lately, at least since the last holy shit! you need this update update I've seen an unusually high number of stability problems on three platforms and I've actually been defaulting towards Camino on OS X and Opera everywhere else. It lacks a few features but also seems less buggy and less frequently exhibits behavior that leads me to curse loudly at work in a room full of people. Unfortunately, I have to support browsers as well as rely on them for 85% of the crap that I do which makes me pretty acutely aware of problems with browsers.

Here's what I'm seeing lately:

1. Clipboard badness: I've seen most of this behavior on my Windows XP machine at work. Ironically, this is where most of the work I'm paid to do happens. For some reason, FF will not respect the copy buffer. It just uses whatever version it remembers or nothing at all or, sometimes when the planets are all correctly aligned, actually uses the buffer that every other fucking application on this machine seems to have no problem playing nice with. I paste a lot so this is a total show stopper for me. Enough to make me switch to Opera and stick with it for more than a couple of days at a time.

2. Loitering. Under OS X where I do most of my fun stuff at work, FF likes to slide into catatonia randomly and become completely useless. Does it show up as an unresponsive application in the Force Quit dialog? No, it just sits there and refuses to do anything useful with any clicks. You click on a link and nothing happens. This is HTML here and no pop up fanciness. I end up force quitting because the 'Quit' item in the 'File' menu has no effect either. Woo.

3. Stored gibberish. This is one that I've seen exclusively under Linux and specifically the Debian package of FF and it is beyond irritating. Saved passwords probably aren't the best idea in the world to begin with but when they are summoned up in seemingly random order I get confused. About one third of the time the saved name and (presumably since they're concealed in a password field) password don't have any relationship to the site that I'm actually attempting to login to. I have a number of different default user names that I will use if goneaway is not available. I was a little surprised when one of them popped up when I was attempting to login to the WordPress admin interface and saw one of those logins fill the login name and password spaces. Too bad because no account on WP would use an email address as the login name. Forcing a page reload makes everything all right for the moment but I've seen it happen with other sites.

The bummer about all of this, accepting the bad behavior of course, is that I'm unable to consistently reproduce it. I'm reluctant to file bugs until I can formulate a way to reproduce it but it maddens me nonetheless. The point to this more or less is to see if other folks are seeing similar bugginess with the current version. So, like, are you?


The Apology That Wasn’t

I realized that my earlier post, a kneejerk reaction to a final paragraph that I placed into false context (reinforced by the block quoting of the paragraph I wanted to be something else), was a horrible mistake even after the faux retraction I posted below it a mere handful of minutes before I rushed off to the bus. I was thinking about this in terms of news sites like Digg and Slashdot and feeling a little embarrassed. I continually rail on both the aforementioned sites for their tendency to under-read and over-comment and the moment I steal a moment or two away from work I do something even more stupid and annoying and without the tempering of some smarter people around to mention that I'm an idiot and need to pay a bit more attention.

I guess this is an apology, sort of, without a direct recipient. This was not by design but is telling nonetheless. Oops.


Go Daddy Is Not A Go Apparently…

If you're dumb enough to use the Go Daddy name servers your domains might not be resolving. I guess cock sure certainty beats patching or contingency plans...

Angry users:





a PCWorld article that brings us this evidence of brilliance:

"Thank you for contacting Online Support. As Daylight Savings [sic] does not apply to our servers, since we are on Arizona Time and our time zone does not change, our servers wouldn't update," reads one of the replies he received, and which he provided to IDG News Service.

He wrote back to GoDaddy, saying that despite being in Arizona, their servers needed to be patched, otherwise timestamps would be wrong when communicating with computers in other areas. He even provided them with the code he used for his test, but didn't hear back.

The Whatever
Um, okay, so apparently there are either a whole lot of fans of Go Daddy out there or some underpaid support monkeys are being drafted into the service of defending the honor of the mother ship. DST wasn't my guess either but I linked some writeups by people who gasp actually use their DNS service as opposed to just pimping it. Multiple hours of DNS failure isn't exactly convincing either.


Add Another To The List

I'm posting this as a separate entry because I didn't want it to be buried in the zillion comments attached to the Fuck Websense post, wanted it to be attached to the newer post about the same topic, and because I think Rob is doing good work for the benefit of anyone who actually wants to use a network connection as something more than a modernized AOL.

Here is his comment in full with URLs to follow:

Fuck Websense. Websense is not just a kid or teenager problem. They use this shit software everywhere. I cannot do shit at my job, email, yeah right, game reviews, as if, political discussions, not likely. But I screw the fucks over. I have many many domains and a nice little piece of software that lets me surf anywhere . Of course they find it now and a again but that is no big deal I just switch out the domain name on my proxy site to one of my others and boom no problem surfing once again. As I said before fuck websense and the assholes that put that shit on networks! Website is posted above, who knows how long it will be working but enjoying while you can. Maybe if I get a big enough response then I'll come up with a way to get emails and then when websense blocks the site and I make a new one I can just do a mass email and let everyone know the URL. Yes I am an adult and hate fucking websense just as much as any 15 year old in high school!

His tool to avoid evil is currently located here but will probably change over time as the dicks in control ferret out the connected domains. Thanks Rob!


Avoiding The Holiday Creativity Slump

One of the most disappointing things for me about vacations is that I really do default to doing a whole lot of nothing. Yes, there is the relaxation part but as someone who feels like they're wasting their life when something productive isn't either on the board or on the horizon I feel a little like an untied balloon, whizzing all over the place with no apparent goal or direction while I watch all of the things I swore I was going to accomplish during the break gather dust. When under the pressure of the work week with little time or energy to spare I'm less likely to freeze when confronted by a little time spend doing nothing but when that nothingness is sanctioned I freeze and spend huge amounts of time doing absolutely nothing and feeling like any relaxation that might be the result of this slack being offset by the guilt of being lazy.

My question to the void is this: How do you keep yourself on track or at least feeling like you don't need to accomplish things during vacations? Do you leave projects on the shelf or take some alternate action to balance play and work?


Mostly Talking To Myself Here

I started thinking and later writing about this knowing full well that most folks who land here via Google searches like 'fuck websense' will never see it. The post they're reading is four years old and has something like eighty comments attached to it. At one point I was going to take it down simply because some of the information is outdated but relented when I realized that there are a ton of kids trading workarounds through the comment section of that post. I'll skip being the dutiful janitor for that sake as it is the very least I can do.

What is most often misunderstood is why I loathe Websense so much. To be absolutely clear about my motivations for leaving that post up and for generally trying to work against filtering software whenever I can be lazy about it probably requires more explanation than is really appropriate for this space but I'll give it a miserably tired and weeknight shot: I don't begrudge any administrator setting limits on what their resources can be used for. Restricting use is the only sane way to keep your network from being bled dry and to keep your well padded fanny out of the court system. File sharing is increasingly treacherous for large networks and the organizations that support them.

What goes nearly without saying and opening the floodgates to any sort of legal liability really isn't the business that most large organizations are in. Hell, I can even sympathize with the deployment of software like Websense to some degree. It's an easier fix for limiting access to questionable content than most solutions and is very appealing to admins already overburdened with the usual work necessary to keep a bunch of outward facing boxes running and a bunch of users from whining any louder than they already do. In fewer words, I don't necessarily blame people for rolling out things like Websense when they're trying to make the best of limited resources (like people who have a clue, a breed nearly extinct in IT) and save themselves from lawsuits and being car-bombed by right wing Christian activists for allowing children access to blasphemous information not brought to them by Charlton Heston and the Hooah! bar. It is difficult to discount self-preservation as a viable motivating factor in the decision making process.

My problem with Websense is that it doesn't work as intended. Does it block access to sites? Of course, I am in and out of the blocked list as a 'sexual' site which is just incorrect. Should I be blocked because I show so much affinity for four letter words and refer to heads of corporations as 'pigfuckers'? Maybe but I don't think sexual has anything to do with it. The obvious problem here is that human eyes don't review things filtered by Websense even when complaints are filed. I tried communicating with Websense support more a few times four years ago about properly categorizing Team Murder as something offensive other than sexual with no reply, acknowledgment, or consideration otherwise. My case is trivial to say the very least but when you apply this same set of criteria to institutions, like public schools, that should facilitate research on topics like breast cancer or the the abolitionist movement before the Civil War you run into problems. Of course I generally have a problem with broad content filtering because it just doesn't work but I would generally be more accepting if Websense wasn't so clearly marketed towards education and the filtering was properly maintained. It isn't, so I'm not. All this was prompted by a number of new comments attached to the four year old post that seemed generally sympathetic but still thought that crippling research opportunities for the sake of 'the children' was a good idea.


Enclosure Recommendations Anyone

I need some external drive advice. I'm not necessarily opposed to buying a package deal with a drive baked into the package but I've generally not had good luck with hard drive enclosures and spent more time trying to get them to recognize the drive encased in them one more time so I can extract a few crucial items than I have actually using the thing for more than a crossed fingers while knocking on wood backup of this laptop. I don't like doubting the media I'm using for backups. That actually causes more unease than I would endure without doing backups at all.

Here's what I'm thinking:

1. At least three hundred gigs of storage and that would be a pretty minimal configuration.
2. USB2 and Firewire connections would be nice as I will possibly migrate this drive between the two Apple machines and the ever increasing horde of Linux boxes. Firewire-only would end up being a colossal pain in the ass that would require buying even more shit which works against what I'm trying to avoid doing.

I can read specifications as well as the next guy who blows too much money on gadgets so what I'm looking for is recommendations from people who have either had terrible experiences with external devices or have found one that is magically delicious. Any words of advice?


At Least They’re Working On It

There's an interesting write up on the work being done on the Linux port of the Flash Player which not only summarizes the work they're doing on the actual application but also talks about some of the aspects that make it so difficult to get right. If you've had the misfortune of trying to deal with Flash under Linux you're already familiar with this pain and all of the stupid tricks you have to employ, like running the browser under aoss, in order to get sound working with most distributions. There is also the crazy, crazy concept that perhaps 87% of a modern processor paired with gigs of RAM should be more than sufficient to render a piece of animation. I also love that Firefox builds are making something already complex into an utter train wreck. I mean, aim high, developers, aim high.

As out of character as it might seem I really do hope that the developers manage to rein in the cross platform wackiness of Flash especially given the popularity of YouTube and other sites where it's an essential component. Any work is good work.


Where Is My Cut?

While I'm happy that Zango is finally getting something they deserve though a federal ass pounding prison should be included in this settlement somewhere I'm also wondering where the fuck my check is at. When I think about all of the wasted hours I spent manually removing Hotbar which ranks high on my 'holy fucking christ! this adware was obviously crafter in hell by angry and spiteful damned souls because it is next to impossible to cleanly remove' I would like some money. Generally I would like some money but it would also be nice to actually compensate organizations that were blighted by this and the other products of Zango. Maybe when this is all sorted out in a court ordinary citizens like you and me will be able to line up to personally cock punch one of their executives. Yeah, I'd settle for a simple cock punching festival in this case but when wouldn't I?


So Nearly Working

I've spent some time fiddling with Fairgame and the settings required by the software to accomplish what it is supposed to but I've yielded nothing but errors in the end. I usually end up with a copy of what seems like a complete .wav file on my desktop but always after this:

error. I've tried waiting (per the instructions) for fifteen or so minutes to see if this is some bit of scripting that I just didn't catch but it seems to hang up there. I may try it later this morning with virtual desktops disabled but otherwise I'm about out of ideas. Any clues?


More Workaround Action For Websense

I don't normally mention this sort of thing but I really admire the work and the sheer hilarity of the interface for Ground Sniper's Bypass. The popup when loading the page says that it is currently broken but the funny as hell tribute to corporate web presence is still there. I'm glad to see more efforts like these being made. Hats off to routing around damage...


Posts Gone Missing

Yoon noticed earlier tonight that I was missing a post and when I actually looked into it I was missing two posts. Right now I'm too groggy with a dose of Nyquil to go digging any deeper than this but I restored both posts from draft copies and twiddled the data stamps in WordPress for what I hope will be the last time. Any clues why this might have happened? I'm tempted to blame on of the weblog clients that I use but I don't think they're at fault. I may post something over the WordPress forum when I'm feeling a little less bleary as I'd love to understand what actually happened and not deal with it by posting drafts that may be missing later edits. Urgh.

Seems as if some MySQL table data was corrupted and my host had to restore from a day old backup. It figures.