Friday, September 27, 2002

Note to self: don't accept Word 97 files from other people.
Well, hell. I always wanted to see "Debbie Does Dallas" anyway. As Eminem says, "I'm going to hell ... who's with me?"
BWA-hahahaha! The editors of The American Heritage (tm) College Dictionary excreted a list of 100 words that all high school graduates should know. It was (and is) full of ridiculous crap of the sort spoken by the self-selected "intelligentsia." Luckily for me, I don't have to flame it: Amish Tech Support beat me to it.
Well, I guess so. Deterrence can work ... you just have to choose your targets carefully.
How many people did this piss off ?
A very interesting read. Religion's Misguided Missiles
I couldn't agree more. Please read more of Dawkins work, it's extemely interesting and thought provoking.
From Douglas Turnbull, a set of interesting essays about template-matching weapons navigation and GPS jamming. Cool stuff.
dipnut opens up a whole can on the idea of proportional response to violence and aggression, and argues (convincingly, I opine) that appeasement is an astonishingly bad idea. Go read, already.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

It's not really new, since it was written waaaay back in July, but here is an article from a guy who claims to have been there about how Palladium and TCPA got started at Microsoft.
What? No more Banjo-Kazooie on GameCube? Hmmmmm. I still haven't found a reason to buy an XBox, but it now appears at least theoretically possible that a reason could appear.
Ed Felten is trying to create a list of things which will be regulated as "digital media devices" under the onerous Hollings CBDTPA bill. Most, of not all, of them are selected for their amusement value in showing just how far-ranging this travesty really is.
"That's my boy!" said the proud papa.
Holy Crap !
A guy is adrift at sea for four months and finally gets rescued. He lived on rainwater, fish, and sea birds, grilling them using wood from his own boat !!
In the midst of the rest of the world asking why we're so het up to institute regime change in Iraq, why isn't anyone asking why the U.N. is so opposed? Surely it can't be about ... oil, can it? I thought that GWB was the only schmuck beholden to oil-derived largesse. I guess I need to broaden my political horizons, huh?
Another CSS sample book, albeit a bit twee: CSS Colouring Book
Scroll way way way down to the bottom to read a sportscaster (!) explain why Gore wasn't going to win the recounts either. It's amazing to me that this is still going about ... the <scare-quote>disputed</scare-quote> vote totals are lower than the margin of error in polling, there were procedural errors all over the counting process, the Florida Supremes violated the "due process" clause in a huge way, and ... it wouldn't have made a damned bit of difference at the end. Get over it.
Speaking of baiting the God-people, Colby Cosh weighs in on "Touched By An Angel." Damn you and your impertinent logic-chopping! Bad human! No biscuit!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Waaaaah!!! We did all the hard work, and we deserve all the credit, and some parvenu corporate munger is stealing our glory!!!!! My heart bleeds.
Lego themselves are making a Star Wars Star Destroyer kit. It's a metre long, and contains about 3000 bricks !! Complete with display stand. :)
Continuing my list of lego goodies. Here is a lego Harpsichord, and you can actually play it too.
Includes audio tracks.
Some people have way too much time on their hands.
Enron's assets are being auctioned off, and you can bid online or in person. I also understand that they'll be auctioning off their big "E" logo things. I wonder if my neighbors would mind if I put one of those up for humorous and/or satirical purposes?

Update: Whoops! Too late .. the online proxy bidding closed yesterday. Now you have to bid in person. Drat. I wanted a big "E".

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

And look! Here's the next-next-next-generation 5 megapixel camera, just like the antique I'm using; by "antique", of course I mean nearly three years old.
Holy crap! Coming soon, a 13.8 megapixel camera. The good news is I'm about ready to replace my old workhorse camera, and this suggests the 4 megapixel cameras will be dropping down into my comfort range.
And now, in the Microsoft bashing department, a Microsoft V.P. admits their operating systems are hopelessly insecure, and really can't be fixed. Having just read the Multics security audit for the first time this week, I can only shake my head and continue to hope that it gets better before it all implodes.
Hey! P.J. O'Rourke is still alive and writing!!! Hooray!
I don't know Jim Treacher personally, but I do know people who write like he talks, and they're also similarly exhausting and hilarious. Here is Jim trying to review a television show. I'll have to TiVo up an episode, I think.
Military truisms:
Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than there are submarines in the sky.

If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter and therefore unsafe.

When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.
You know that you're in trouble when Dave Barry starts taking potshots. At that point, it's clear that all rational defenses have been overthrown, and all that's left is refuge in sulky silence. As an ex-smoker, I can say that we collectively have known for years and years and years that tobacco was bad for you; how you get from there to "they're killing me, and should give me cash money" just boggles me.
Here's a guy right up Lee's alley: The Raving Atheist. I have given up baiting God-people for sport, but I must admit I still enjoy (a bit) seeing it done by others on occasion.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Is it really paranoia if they're actually out to get you? Sounds like the sysadmin's guild is about to get the same wakeup call that the programmer's one got in 2000: the schlubs who bought the "Teach Youself <computer-skill/> in 24 Hours" will be on their asses. Only the strong will survive.

On the other hand, nothing ever works right in version 1.0, so the day of reckoning might not be at hand quite so much.
Ken Thompson gave a speech a long, long time ago describing an invisible trapdoor in /bin/login, accompanied by a matching invisible trapdoor in the C compiler. He mentioned that he got the idea from an Air Force document. The document has resurfaced, and the authors have written a followup. Excellent, if disturbing, reading for computer security people.
I haven't been keeping score, and for all I know he's 0 for whatever, but Nicholas Negroponte is at least entertaining to listen to. He says 3G doesn't mean jack, but 802.11 does. A single point of reference: I have my whole house networked via 802.11b, but I don't know that I've even seen a 3G phone for sale. In fact, the only 3G phones I've seen have been the GAIT phones I've been using during live call-testing.
Finally, the news everyone was waiting for: The Apple Switch Video Spoof Awards are out.
Once again, IBM shows they're on the side of the little guy by providing sound clips of drive failures so you'll know just how to cringe when it happens to you.
Ever wondered why DVD reviews are all about the extras, but never include any clips of said extras? Ernest Miller explains all.
Oh. Dear. God.
Look! A HOWTO on Mayan Hieroglyphic Writing! Plus you can get a t-shirt!
Woo-hoo! You go, girl!
Just how bad was the "American Idol" contract? I haven't seen it, but it sounds horrible. The show left me a bit ... um ... unmoved, mostly because all the competitors cast themselves into the smooth R&B Whitney/Maria/Celine mold and I've already had some, thanks. However, I wouldn't have expected them to get raked over the coals, if the contract is really as harsh as it sounds. On the other hand, I'm led to believe the music business is singularly unappealing to any of us who are used to parity in contracted behavior.
Nearly half a million Brits show up for a march in favor of fox hunting. As Professor Reynolds notes, it must be embarassing for the anti-war crowd when they can't even outdraw fox hunting here in the 21st century.
Oof. Some maroon claims we should regulate Google for the public good. I am completely boggled. Where do these cretins come from?