- First, to get the political news out of the way, It's official: Mondale accepts DFL nod.
- Ventura Upset Over Wellstone Service's partisan tone and may appoint an Independent just to spite the DFL. [fark!]
- I'm usually not a big one for dressing up and pretending to be someone I'm not. But the website can dress up a little for Samhain. Besides, it'll give Steph a chance to make fun of me for using the color pumpkin.
- Speaking of Samhain, gimme That Real Old Time Religion [warning: sound].
We will all bow to Hephaestus
As a blacksmith he will test us
'Cause his balls are pure asbestos
So he's good enough for me!
- Halloween, sweet tooth go together. A candy industry asssociation says that kids want candy for Halloween. I'm shocked, I tell you. [fark!]
- Tight replaces fright in adult costumes. Halloween has become an excuse for women to dress up slutty. Woo! Actually, given the weather we're supposed to have here in Minnesota today (a high of 34 and a low of 17), a guy'll probably have to go to someplace indoors rather than just being able to hang out on the front steps and watch the costumes go by. Bummage. But then most of the Halloween parties around here were either last Saturday or are tomorrow. [fark!]
- Last night I got A full day in Vancouver and It's Fall in Vancouver! done. The first week of the vacation is all there for you now. And that was after a pretty darned full day at work. Tuesday's usually my least favorite day of the week. Most weeks, Tuesday consists of meetings at my client's office, then since I'm in the office, other folks needing help track me down. While I don't mind helping them, it ends up with my day spent and me not having gotten any of my own work done. This week, I was helping track down a bug and ended up partially mashing my hard drive. It probably could have been recovered, but I needed to install Jaguar on that machine anyhow, so I scrubbed the hard drive and spent a couple hours reinstalling, only to find that one of the engineers who'd left for the day had the compiler CDs. That's actually a better Tuesday than usual.
On Monday, Reed stopped by and we hung out for a while. He's a friend who's moved to Colorado, and a fairly regular contributor of links. Here's a picture of him that I took with my phone.
- Mondale leads Coleman 47% to 39% before he's even in the race. Also in the story, it appears Tim Penny's slipping in the polls, which I guess is to be expected with a third-party candidate. Pfui. [strib]
- Tara Grubb earns ink that she probably wouldn't have had if she hadn't had a weblog. It's nice to see someone running on the Libertarian ticket who's getting some positive press, and doesn't seem to be a professional politician under whose watch the party became even more crippled. [scripting]
- Why Telemarketing Is Evil (as if we needed more reasons). But the article includes steps for you to get off some lists using the annoying tones from the phone company. Might not work if your answering machine doesn't have good enough fidelity. [fark!]
- More Dave's 2002 Vacation. I've got the Riding the Train and Hey, Mountains! pages up. That gets me to Vancouver, B.C.
- Spam Masquerades as Admin Alerts [warning: popup]. One of the guys I work with is getting these. Nasty. [some guy]
- Memorial services begin following tragic crash. They're at Williams Arena at 6:30 this evening.
- A truce in politics? Not for long. But with the election a week away you've gotta expect them to start campaigning again.
- Twins: Wells, Jackson out; is Hocking next? No mention of any other moves, but we expected the Twins to deal some players this offseason.
- Coffee achievers [warning: popups] are more creative and see colors more brilliantly. Unless they overdo it. And speaking of achieving, it's time to get my butt to work. [fark!]
- I've started putting Dave's 2002 Vacation online. I've got the Heading to Winnipeg, Full Day in Winnipeg, and I thought I was getting onto a train pages done so far, which surprisingly enough, cover the time I spent in Winnipeg.
- In Wellstone conspiracy theories Indymedia implies the untimely death of Senator Wellstone and the others in the plane may not have been an accident. If so, are they implying (ala Oliver Stone re JFK) that the Senator was assassinated by the Military Industrial Complex? Even the AP newswire wants to stir this pot. [Reed, via Instapundit]
- Last Friday at the bar, we got talking politics. One of the bartenders, who'd previously assumed I was a liberal was shocked that I wasn't planning on voting for Paul Wellstone in the upcoming election. When asked about it, I didn't have the best explanation at the tip of my brain, but Why Did it Have to be ... Guns? explains it pretty well.
- Today's Bleat eulogizes Paul Wellstone pretty well and points out that the Green candidate would probably be a better fit to
carry on Wellstone's idealsthan Walter Mondale. [lileks]
- A subtle realignment this fall in the nation's inscrutable tangle of phone systems could make Calling Cell Phones Could Cost More. Some informed commentary makes things a bit more clear. It's surprising, but almost nobody even wonders why I'm thinking of giving up my landline entirely as soon as I can get a good alternative to DSL. Phone companies suck.
- Trying -- carefully -- to learn the risk of chronic wasting disease at the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center. If it turns out that it does spread to humans, these will probably be the people to find that out. [strib]
- When the Spam Hits the Blogs in the referrer list. Well, I'll just add a little code to filter them out (or shut the list off), but what will other people do? [flutterby]
- Oh, and Anaheim wins first World Series crown. It was a pretty good game that I couldn't watch at home because someone dorked up the cable and all the broadcast stations have ghosts. Boo! So I sat at the bar, watching the game pretty much by myself.
- If you remembered to Spring Ahead, Fall Down, you might ask yourself What's the purpose of daylight saving time? If you didn't, consider this a little reminder. I didn't exactly forget, but I didn't get around to resetting the two clocks in my house that need manual changing until after I went through the following process:
- Wake up partway, look at clock. 7am, might as well get up.
- Oh wait, wasn't I supposed to change the clocks?
- Yes, I still need to change the clocks. It's really 6am.
- Crap. Now I'm wide awake.
- World Series Game 6: Anaheim wins, forces Game 7. It was a pretty good game, I thought. And I'm glad to see that there'll be a game 7. [strib]
- Not everyone wanted to be Switched. A funny (though perhaps not safe for work, due to profanity) counter-ad.
- Ask the pilot what happens when you dump dry-ice down an airplane toilet at 33,000 feet. Oh my. It hurts to laugh so hard.
As he steps away, the pilot hears a deep and powerful burble ... It's similar to the sound your own innards might make if you've eaten an entire pizza or, perhaps, swallowed Drano, amplified a thousand times over.[boing boing]
- Have you seen the PowerBook's new PC rival--designed by Porsche [warning: popups]? It's a pretty spiffy looking piece of hardware. I wonder if it runs OpenBSD as well as the TiBook.
- Paper Blowgun Darts look like an awful lot of fun. Almost as good as the tinfoil-from-a-stick-of-gum thingies I'll sometimes roll up and shoot across the room with my hands. And rolling the paper darts isn't all that complex. First try out, I got one that's nearly perfect. And I've got a lot of suitable paper... [doc]
- Faced with both possibly having company I wanted to impress (or at least not scare away) last night (of the cute-gal persuasion, but her earlier-in-the-evening-obligation didn't get done early enough, dangit), plus the onset of winter (I know it's only fall, but temperatures below freezing change my mindset) so I'll be cooped up inside for a while, I went on a flurry of cleaning the past couple days (mostly yesterday). Here are the raw statistics:
- Loads of laundry done: 6
- Drainers of dishes washed: 2
- Bags of trash hauled out (tall kitchen bags, 13 gallon capacity): 5
- Bags of shredded paper (receipts, old code listings, etc) which will not be accepted for recycling: 2
- Trash carts filled: 1
- Trash carts to be filled once the full ones have been emptied: 1
- Grocery bags of office paper and junk mail for recycling: 2
- Document storage tubs filled with papers to be filed: 1
- Mean thickness of stuff piled on kitchen table before cleaning: 4 inches
- Maximum thickness of stuff on kitchen table before cleaning: 15 inches
- Months since I'd been able to eat at the kitchen table: 2
- Number of unneeded computer keyboards found in the pile: 2
- Thickness of the stack of flattened cardboard boxes for recycling: 6 inches
- Computer CDs found and filed: 17
- Floppy disks found and discarded (the last four computers (three Macs, and one PC) I've bought have had no floppy drive): 11
- Audio CDs remaining to be dealt with: approx 6 dozen
- Big Brother is watching: Not in 1984 but in 2002. Apparently the Metropolitan Police in London are trying to make people feel better with this poster (or it's a hoax pointing out how the metro police are trying to make people feel better by watching everything, which is almost as good). It's almost worth scheduling a flight over there to see the kind of police state we're headed toward. [boing boing]
- The Canada.com coverage of Wellstone's death still doesn't seem to have the fact that the situation is: Jesse the Gov can appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Paul Wellstone's term (but since Congress is not in session, it doesn't mean much in the long term). The DFL will almost certainly run Walter Mondale against Norm Coleman, and if elected, he'll serve six years. And with the sympathy vote and name recognition, he'll likely win. If Mondale refuses to run, look at this article by the Strib and pick your favorite. Martin Olav Sabo is a choice I hadn't thought of who might do pretty well.
- My biggest complaint with Senator Wellstone over the years was that he actually believed the federal government was around to help people (
I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.was something he'd not only say, but would believe). True believers like that frighten me, and I was ready to vote for Norm Coleman, who I consider a complete sleazebag, in order to keep someone with more deeply held (but in my mind, dangerous) beliefs out of the Senate. Now, I'm not so sure. I don't see Fritz as anything like as dangerous as I think Wellstone was.
- Also check out the extensive coverage of Paul Wellstone by the Strib. It seems to be pretty thorough coverage.
- Issues 2002 is the BEST SITE EVAH for evaluating politicians' stances on various issues and how they mesh with your own. Also, one of the best-organized web sites in existence. [behind Dave's Picks, that is]. [Tim]
- In Hostage Drama in Moscow: Fighting Breaks Out, PapaScott has information on the Chechens who were holding hundreds of people hostage in Moscow. You heard almost nothing about it in the news in the US, but this was a pretty big story in the rest of the world, and it should have been here, too. Remember, Big Brother not only watches, but he also decides what you should hear.
- Middle of the day update:
- Sen. Wellstone Dies in Plane Crash from Yahoo News
- Senator, family members killed in Minnesota plane crash from CNN.
- Sen. Paul Wellstone killed in plane crash.
- There's also a Paul Wellstone Tribute site up already.
I'm not sure what happens at this point, but as I understand it, there are two possibilities:Sure enough, Jim comes through with the information contained in http://www.sos.state.mn.us/election/laws2000/00el204b.pdf which says that the state DFL gets to pick a new candidate, and we'll get a supplemental ballot on election day.
- The MN State DFL gets to appoint a new candidate, who will run as normal.
- Wellstone's name stays on the ballot, and if elected, Gov. Jesse Ventura gets to appoint a replacement.
- Greek scientists say Index Finger Length Can Predict Penis Size [warning: popup], so it must be true. But they do think they need to study more to be sure. [boing boing]
- The Ladder Theory explains a lot about men and women, except I seem to be pretty good at not falling off the ladder when I get kicked in the head. [fark!]
- Perspective: Waiting for the Net meltdown is commentary by an old friend. [Jim]
- Another possible meltdown would be a super-worm like Curious Yellow and it sounds plausible enough that we'll probably see such a thing floating around in the wild soon. And then what? [boing boing]
- Davezilla has started the Tarot of the Blogger. Hopefully he'll see it through to completion (so we don't have to say Davezilla's not playing with a full deck). [davezilla]
- Check out the (in)Famous Gun Nuts [warning: flash, slow animation]. Someone griped that I hadn't been posting enough gun-nut links lately, so here ya go. [endwar]
- As as to why you might want to be a gun, nut, Jim offered the following: John Trudell [warning: popup] is a poet, author, musician, and activist. Once the co-chair and spokesperson for the American Indian Movement he burned an American flag on the steps of the FBI headquarters. The next day his wife and mother-in-law were killed in a house fire in AZ. He has a right, perhaps, to be more paranoid then most of us. (But that doesn't mean he's wrong)
With that in mind, please read these excepts from an interview him regarding the current "War on Terrorism".
If you like you can listen to the entire 30 minute interview. [Jim]
- Feeling a little grumpy? Go ahead and slap a mime. It made me laugh. [davezilla]
- What European Tribes Think About One Another in a few handy charts. I can't find any part that's enough better than all the rest to excerpt to convince you to go there. It's all good. [boing boing]
- Let the River Run is a City Pages article from a couple weeks ago. It talks about the possibility of removing the locks and dams from the Mississippi above the confluence with the Minnesota. The only real snags are that the City of Minneapolis gets all its water from the pool created by the dam at St. Anthony Falls and the Falls are unstable so without a dam there, they'd erode into a long set of rapids. I wonder what that'd do to Nicollet Island....
- U helps put 1880 census online which is a swell thing for people researching their family history. Not so helpful for me though. The Polascheks didn't get to America until 1889. [strib]
- Ventura may resign early, make Schunk governor for a few days. She doesn't think that's the right way to become Minnesota's first female governor. [strib]
- The Free State Project's goal is
Liberty in Our Lifetime. The plan is to do it by having liberty-minded folks all move to one state, and elect a better kind of congress-critter. [endwar]
- P2P hacking bill may be amended. At least that's what Berman's aide was saying. And the assistant secretary of commerce said
I do hope and believe that government can play a constructive role.Ah-HAH! There's the crucial misunderstanding. They're thinking
I'm from the government and I'm here to help,which is right up there with
I'll respect you in the morning.[scripting]
- Angels 10, Giants 4. Angels lead series 2-1. If you've been watching the World Series, perhaps you've noticed that the California Anaheim Angels have been playing some pretty darned good baseball lately. It makes me feel a little less bad about the Twins losing to 'em. Heck, they batted around two innings in a row, got sixteen hits and ten runs and still left fifteen men on-base. Sheesh.
- James Lileks has the flu and a new PC, so it's no wonder he's feeling a bit cranky.
- The ElectriClerk is a fully functional Mac SE that has an Underwood typewriter for a keyboard. Spiffy, and Brazil-inspired. [boing boing]
- Cray to use AMD's Opteron in supercomputer. Intel's probably not so happy about that. [fark!]
- How to Make Lava Lamps for the home tinkerer. [boing boing]
- Things you shouldn't be able to build with Legos, but can if you think about the problem differently. Cool Escher-esque constructions. [flutterby]
- I had a fairly big plate of turkey, mashed potatoes and veg for dinner Monday night and ended up taking a power nap for a couple hours. Now, it's the wee hours of Tuesday, and I'm wide awake when I should be getting sleep before a day of meetings with a client. Ugh.
- I got a phone call this afternoon from the Paul Wellstone [warning: popup] campaign. They seemed certain I'd support Wellstone over Norm Coleman based solely on the abortion issue. Which got me thinking. The question I generally have for people who are in favor of abortion is: if a pregnant woman were shot through the belly, killing the spud inside [I'm using
spud, rather than
unborn child, as those are both loaded terms], should that be considered murder? Even if she's on her way to the abortion clinic? I'm not trying to be offensive -- it's just a question I've pondered and I haven't come up with an answer that I find entirely satisfactory. As for the actual candidates, they're both bad in so many ways that I can't decide between them. The popup ad on the Wellstone site might be enough to sway me to Coleman, though. I don't really know anything about either Ray Tricomo or Jim Moore [warning: popup], but maybe it's time to learn more. Like the fact that someone thinks it's okay to pop up new windows in my face when I'm trying to learn about a candidate.
- I had a fairly productive Monday (didn't spend much time surfing). I'm actually caught up on the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association website again, and even finished up a list of churches in the neighborhood that I'd been meaning to get posted since July. Of all the items on my todo list, that was the longest-standing that I hadn't given up on, so it's nice to get it finished.
- I also almost finished the upload a picture script I've been working on for the past couple weeks. It was probably only a day or two of work, but I've been busy enough that it's taken three weeks to get it this close to finished. It now
- accepts a picture I've uploaded
- verifies that it's really a picture and isn't going to overwrite an existing one
- makes a thumbnail
- watermarks the full-size version with a copyright
- builds up the HTML so I can drop it into a page
- Central Minnesota buried by snow; storm warnings issued and we're supposed to have temperatures hovering in the 30s all week. Winter's here about a month early, it feels like. No snow on the ground at my house, at least. Layne seems to be a lot more excited about winter than I am, but my gripe is that we missed spring this year, going pretty much straight from slushy to summer, and now we're missing out on fall, too. I don't mind winter, and I can endure summer, but I really like the transitions of spring and fall, and this year I just feel ripped off. [strib]
- Gas Station Decoys Live in the DC beltway and fear getting shot while pumping gas? Display a cardboard cutout while you crouch. Alternatively, you can Serpentine! Serpentine! to avoid the bullets. [Reed, via Everlasting Blort]
- I stumbled onto A Reasonable Complaint while cruising around Dave Ray's website the other night. Dave's last health update didn't sound all that encouraging to me, so if you're inclined to prayer, sending a bit his way would probably be a good thing.
- So I've been keeping track lately... Every crash my Mac (still running Mac OS 9 here) has had in the past three months has been due to Internet Explorer. And sad to say, it's still the best of the browsers out there. I find myself wondering, just how hard is it to write software that doesn't suck? Then I remember what I do for a living.
- Speaking of Microsoft, Microsoft Piggy Bank Tops $40 Billion and it's a good time to be buying companies, what with the prices being cheap and all. Now if only there wasn't that pesky anti-trust law in the way.... [evhead]
- When the Net's Backbone Is Out of Joint [warning: popups] talks about what went wrong with UUNet a couple weeks ago, and how it could be much worse next time. See the problem isn't that the net can't route around damage (or censorship), the problem is that the big players take forever to change their routing. Why? Because they're big.
- About three percent of the people coming to Dave's Picks (or five-hundred of the fifteen thousand in the past month) do so while searching for the Logitech Pocket Digital Camera. I've gotten a fair amount of email about it, some people saying I'm just a whiner, but the most fun are the messages from people who've either bought the camera and are pissed off because the drivers on Windows XP don't work either, or who drop me a note thanking me for warning them away from the product. So here's a big ol' smooch out to Logitech for all the swell traffic.
- Hey! Speaking of search engines, I've got the number one hit for the Google search for "works as implemented". Woo! And it's such a handy (and meaningless) phrase when you're a coder responding to a QA person who doesn't like the way something you wrote works. We made it up while I was at LameRasters as something of a parody on the bug-status of "works as designed".
- Female or Shemale. A photo quiz from B3ta. Disturbing. I'm not even going to say how badly I did, but let's just say I'd better use the Crocodile Dundee test if I pick up someone in a bar. [some gal?]
- Aaron Swartz has posted the Transcript of ERIC ELDRED, ET AL., Petitioners v. JOHN D. ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL, No. 01-618, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. Important stuff on the intellectual property front. And now we'll have about a half-year to wait for the ruling.
- Oh, and Jim's birthday worked out pretty darned well. He might even remember this year (he only had two or three shots, instead of the ten or so he had last year). On top of that (and on a more personal note), I got to discover that my neighbor's sister works at the Triple Rock (and is a darned fine waitress, besides being a cutie), and I got to hang out with some cute gals in our group, one of whom gave me a big hug goodnight. I like it when that happens. (And I don't need to apply the Crocodile Dundee test.)
- I don't want to sound like I'm completely obsessed with sex, but to pull one of my favorite quotes from Buffy:
Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?
I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex.
As far as I can tell, it doesn't get better as you get older.
- But thinking about it at six in the ayem, wondering why I can't get to sleep, I think maybe I woulda been better off staying home. But at least I found a tagline for the day.
- It's Jim's birthday and we'll be celebrating at the Triple Rock Social Club [warning: popups] this evening. We're not going to get him quite as drunk as we did last year.
- So apparently I caused some trouble for Aid to Southeast Asia. I wasn't aware that Steve had started telling everyone that he was using the domain name that I'd never configured, rather than the one I'd set up for him months ago. And because I didn't have a default entry in the configuration for my server, when someone tried to go to asavn.org, it brought them to Dave's Picks. But the person apparently flew off the handle saying the site was full of adult content and ads for condoms. Yep. That's what I've got. Condoms and adult content. But still no pictures of Julia Roberts' tits.
Anyway, there are two lessons here:
- If you have a website, don't tell people the domain name without making sure it works, especially if you have multiple domains pointing to the same site.
- If you host websites, make sure you have a default entry for the server, or the server software may end up pointing people to one of the other sites you host using virtual hosting.
- Joe Biernat faces additional charge fo mail fraud. Once the redistricting is done in Minneapolis, I'll be living in his ward. But if he doesn't finish his term (which seems likely), I don't get to vote for his replacement. Until 2004, Paul Zerby's my councilmember, and I think I'm pretty happy about that.
- A thaw in winter parking rules? Well, a small one. We'll get to park on a street as soon as it's been
fully plowed, whatever that means. (Normally the city doesn't plow all the way to the curb, and it's seldom done in a single pass -- how you're supposed to tell if it's
fully plowedseems to be the biggest question everyone has about the plan). [strib]
- Firewalking Infomercials What do 'est', Landmark Forum, neuro-linguistic programming, Tony Robbins seminars, cults like Scientology and the Monkee's Fan Club (okay, I made that last one up, and it's not Reed's fault) have in common? They are all different forms of Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT). Though many will swear by such programs and point to the positive ways in which their lives have changed, those who are thinking about attending a seminar should be wary. The solutions offered are one-size-fits-all and may be too simplistic for the complex problems of individuals. The trainers are salespeople who receive a commission on each book, tape or course enrollment sold. The claims of success may be based on faulty reasoning, such as anecdotal testimonials and subjective validation. [Reed]
- It's been a long week, but I think I've actually gotten enough done that I can relax some over the weekend. The todo list is still big, but it's down to a manageable size. I think I've got all the horrible bugs fixed on the contract I'm working on. I managed to get most of the "upload an image" script written last night, and maybe this weekend I can get a bunch of my vacation stuff posted before spending tomorrow night helping Jim celebrate his birthday and Sunday feeling hung-over. Oh, and everything today is reasonably safe for work.
- Alabama ban on sex toys is struck down as unconstitutional. Vibrators are once again legal in Alabama. On the other hand, France to Slap 93% 'Supertax' on Porn Films. So Alabama is better than France? [fark!]
- Biological clock strikes for men too - at 35, so I guess I'm over the hill. Apparently the little swimmers don't swim so good as a guy gets older. [fark!]
- Singleton society (adults living all alone) is becoming the norm around the developed world.
The problem is not solo living. Single society is only a problem when it becomes a substitute for constructing cooperative relationships and for sharing experience with others.[hindsight]
- Miracle Shirt Turns Losers Into Babe Magnets! says the Weekly World News. Pheromone drenched and scientifically chosen colors. [fark!]
- 'Delay' condom proves popular in the UK. Apparently some guys like not being able to feel anything because their condoms are filled with an anaesthetic. [fark!]
- Yesterday ended up being a not very productive day. I got some work done, but spent most of the day waiting to get a file from a customer so I can try to reproduce the problem they're seeing. I did manage to get four loads of laundry done (which leaves just two or three more before everything's clean again), finally get to a real grocery store to restock the fridge and freezer and finish watching the DVDs of season two of Buffy [warning: popups]. I also managed to update a few pages on the website, and take my email inbox down from 70 to about 30. But overall it was a slack day, and felt pretty good, especially since there were a few snowflakes in the air, and there's supposed to be more today. Still two weeks to Halloween, and winter's already in the air.
- Maiden Flight,
Iron Maiden's lead singer switches on the seatbelt signas a commercial pilot. [boing boing]
- The Checker-Shadow Illusion Here's an optical illusion that can be best be described as stunning. You can almost feel your brain processing shadow. Is the 'A' square the same grayvalue as the 'B' square? [Reed, via James Randi's Swift]
- Gifts for the beer minded. Thought this was a cool idea, a little pricey. [some gal]
- Pepsi Blue Surprise A newsblog chronicling the introduction of the Pepsi Blue soft drink reveals that should you decide to sample this beverage, you can expect a Frankenberry Stool. [Reed]
- In local news, one of the small grocery stores in my neighborhood was robbed last night. An ugly business that. Hopefully the surveillance tape and description by the clerk will give the MPD enough to catch the goblin.
- Microwave melting of metals in a home microwave oven. Feel like making your own foundry?
- Physicist says "demons" can explain UFO phenomena
Secular society is gullible about the possibility that extraterrestrial life exists without having scientific evidence to prove it,says Physicist and Evangelist Hugh Ross appearing on the 700 Club.
[Ross] explains that humans remain physically restricted to the dimensions of the cosmos and cannot account for the unexplained phenomena. Angels, or fallen angels, remain as possible links.[Reed, via Best of the Web]
- What happens when it rains DEER. Ouch. [Reed]
- The halfbakery has some product and business ideas you might be able to make some money on. Or perhaps not. [evhead]
- Travel Brochure Graphics from the 1920s and 1930s. Pretty pictures. [lileks]
- A busy day ahead of me today. Client meetings, neighborhood meetings, finally restocking the foodstuffs after my vacation. All lie in my future, and all need to happen before I get to sleep again. Good thing I woke up before 6am to get started, eh? I kinda wish it were closer to Christmas so Target would be open earlier for my shopping convenience, but that would bring a whole new set of problems to deal with. As it is, I find myself sitting awake, but stuck for a while, since none of the places I need to go are open yet.
- A Lego Harpsichord. Some folks have way too much spare time. [boing boing]
- TiVo, We Hardly Knew Ye says
Sorry fans, but it's destined for the ash heap of history.He might have a point, but I still really dig my TiVo, and am thinking about getting a Series 2, as much for the increased capacity as for a backup so I could start hacking my original one without worrying so much.
- Welcome to Mac OS X, Indeed. Hopefully this wasn't a real conversation, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.... [some guy]
- Google Needs People, even though they're touting that their news service doesn't use humans. It still does, in the form of people finding stories and linking to them. They just don't get paid (except in the form of showing up higher in the rankings) by google. [some guy]
- Hey, speaking of search engines, I'm number 162 in the Yahoo! Search Results for assholes. Woo! Sometimes I really like that last 10 referrers thing.
- Angels' 10-run seventh ends Twins' season. Well, it was a heck of a run and it all came apart in one inning. Baseball's a funny game sometimes. The bottom of the seventh in yesterday's game was not one of them. [strib]
- Know Your Place! Shut Your Face! - A series of wonderful propaganda posters. [Jim]
- The Exploratorium's Science of Cooking page offers to help you
discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking.
- Shaping San Francisco is a mostly "alternative" history of San Francisco - including Labor history, ecology, transit, gay and more. The web site is amazing, but I'm told the CD-Rom (available for purchase - Windows only) is even better. [Jim]
- Periodic Coffee Table Original concept by Dimitri Mendeleev; recent winner of the Ignoble Prize at Harvard University. Newer version here, which fully rocks, because Theo (who built it) is a good storyteller, and has categorized the element samples in interesting ways (including "Elements you can buy at Wal-Mart"). Lots of links for the science geek here. [Reed]
- Some Escher Type Stuff at Flutterby. Cool work in Photoshop, I'm thinking. [flutterby]
- A Plan for Spam, identifying it by the content. Not unlike iFile, which I mentioned back on the first of the month. [some guy]
- It's been over a week that I've been back from vacation, and I still haven't gotten to some of the fairly basic things I need to do around the house. My laundry from vacation, plus the past week is all piled up. I haven't gone to a real grocery store (just the corner market) since returning home, and the fridge has been barren as a result. I haven't updated the neighborhood association website for over a month, and I haven't gotten the scripts written that I want to have to put all my vacation photos online. I still need about a week of vacation to catch up from my vacation. Blegh.
- It's been pointed out to me that this is the first time ever that all four teams in the League Championship Series have been from west of the Mississippi. But if the Twins don't win today, it'll be all over for Minnesota.
- Ramblings from Rocco has a take on Critical Mass in general and the SF 10th anniversary ride in particular. Scroll down to the entry for Saturday, September 28, 2002. He also has a page just about the Mass. [Jim]
- The Future of SUVs: When your Ford Exhibition isn't big enough, get yourself a Kenworth Pilgrimage. I think it's a joke. [flutterby]
- Mexico City Says Adios To The Bug. The last place the original VW Beetle is still being produced is Mexico, and it probably won't go on for much longer.
- Model irons out traffic jams. The trick? Make 20% of the drivers smarter about how hard they jam on their brakes. [fark!]
- Terror drill gives megamall a jolt [some guy]
- I mentioned The Museum of Russian Art a while back. Someone finally sent me the link, so here it is. [some guy]
- '96% of Net Radio' to close after backroom deal screws grassroots 'casters. Hrm. [doc]
- Lawrence Lessig describes the ideas behind Eldred v. Ashcroft, with his thoughts on how they did. [scripting]
- Working for The Mouse is a play about one man's experiences working at Disneyland. The Story of how the show's poster came to be is pretty amusing, too. Y'know the copyright on the mouse was set to expire in 2003? Well, this time around. [boing boing]
- Supreme Court considers protection for Mickey Mouse, Casablanca, other classics. The suit is Eldred v. Ashcroft, and aruguments were heard October 9th. A decision probably won't come until sometime next year. Mr. Swartz Goes to Washington gives a first hand account of the arguments.
- Webcasting: It's a deal!. Apparently the RIAA and Congress have decided not to shut down all webcasters and have come up with a new fee schedule that looks like it might actually make sense for everyone involved. The only snag is that it doesn't give artists any money, but what did you expect from the record companies anyhow? [doc]
- Toilet Paper Novels Hit Stalls. I can think of a few books that should be printed on TP....
- Trial and Eror has a good possible way to frame the Digital Rights Management debate that's going on. Send your lawmaker a book that you've glued shut because you've read it. That's exactly what proposals by the RIAA et al and laws that are before Congress are trying to do to digital media. [doc]
- John Robb talks about Trust-based Advertising and some of it makes sense. But unless such advertising is drawing thousands of interested customers, it's impossible to get paid for it. And there's where I'd like to see a real breakthrough. I occassionally write about a product that I really like or hate. But it would mean hundreds of people looking at my comments (rather than thousands) -- I got about 900 reads on the page griping about the Logitech camera -- and only a few actually making a buying decision based on my comments (I also tend to get more traffic on the negative reviews). It'd be great to get a few bucks for each purchase, but how to collect when it's not even worth signing a deal for less than a hundred bucks in expected return?
- I found myself wondering this morning why it is that companies that do annual releases of software (i.e. 2001, 2002, 2003, etc) tend to suffer more horribly from software-rot than companies who don't schedule releases like that. And I think I've got a hypothesis. A year sometimes isn't long enough to do the real engineering that's periodically needed to refresh a product and bring it up to date, especially when you've become driven by the revenue that annual upgrades bring. New features get emphasized over base functionality, and eventually the core goes rotten.
- On to the fun... Jill always wanted to be in Star Fleet [not safe for work]. One way to get the attention of geek-boys. [some gal]
- Asia Carrera fixing her computer topless [not safe for work]. More appealing to geeks. [fark!]
- I think I can safely say that Women Behind Bars would fall into the "looking for love in all the wrong places" category. [davezilla]
- Women's Top Ten Sexual Complaints. Bitch bitch bitch. At least the ones complaining here are getting some. [fark!]
- Sex with a Twist ... Lemons Provide Protection? Apparently they do, and folks have known lemon juice worked as a contraceptive for years. The fact that it also kills the AIDS virus is relatively new knowledge. Oh, and this is one of the first entries I've blogged from my Danger, which is why it's the WAP format, which is actually more pleasant to read, anyhow. My only real complaint with it is that it's lacking the paragraph breaks that I'd appreciate even on the Danger.
- For the First Time in France, Johns Convicted. Those oh-so-progressive French.
- Hi dad, says call-girl at the door, leading to a heart-attack and a divorce.
- Layne is having Fun with Lesbians in a literary sort of way.
- Risque 'puppet' catches KRON unawares. I was actually watching that broadcast the morning before flying home from San Jose (at least I think that was the morning I saw it). Real live penis on broadcast TV. It looked to me as though the cameraman or editor was just a little slow to pan away, but it made me laugh, too. The four female newscasters' reactions were something to watch, too.
After a while, you forget that's a penis in front of you.[flutterby]
- Once again I've got a big pile of links. I think that's due in part to the fact that some built up while I was on vacation (and yes, I'm still working on bringing you my vacation photos, too) but it also seems that there have been more contributions since I've been back. Some sort of synergy thing going on that I could probably ramble on about if I didn't have to leave for work pretty soon.
- The Antikythera mechanism
An ancient piece of clockwork shows the deep roots of modern technology[some guy]
- In When an engineer flaps his wings, dive into mark explores the changes in google. They don't all seem to be for the best. [scripting]
- Search engine bulks up to handle Internet jungle - Copernic Agent 6.0 is supposed to ship on October 8, 2002. And yeah, Joel says it doesn't make sense to ship software for the Mac, but if it's Windows only, my chances of buying it are exactly 0.
- sword swallowing From this week's commentary by Magician and Skeptic James Randi:
Do sword-swallowers dilate that low esophageal sphincter voluntarily?[Reed]
Yep. The learning process involves tying a tiny baby potato to a string, and getting accustomed to be able to swallow it and pull it up again. Lots of retching and such, of course, but eventually the "gag" reflex is conquered. Sword swallowers use very clean and very polished swords. But BLUNT!
- In what might be the first test of North Carolina's Anti-Spamming Law, Elizabeth Dole Sued For Spamming. The Dole campaign claims the emails aren't commercial, and they quit sending them, but then why did the guy get eight emails to sue them over?
- Even Goodall's chimps have a Web site now, but the strib doesn't see fit to actually point to it in the article. Is it the Jane Goodall Institute? Nope, it's the Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota [strib]
- And in the "random thoughts in the morning" category, I sometimes think about shaving my head. I have a lot of hair. A fair amount falls out every day (more from the front than the back, recently), and I sometimes wonder just how much time I spend on it. Shampoo. Picking out the clumps that have accumulated in the wheels of my chair. Mucking out the sink drain (which is what got me started thinking about it this morning). It's been almost 20 years since the last haircut. I've decided I'm going to make the full twenty before doing anything rash. Beyond that? I just don't know.
- Today was an ugly day at work. I had to go into the client's office for meetings, and the topics were not so pleasant. I could go into details, but suffice it to say:
- But on the brighter side: Twins 2, Angels 1 Woo!
- Reason: Artifact: Dolled Up has some commentary on the The Information Awareness Office logo. [flutterby]
- Protesting the Big Brother Lens, Little Brother Turns an Eye Blind talks about how to temporarily disable video surveillance cameras. The website has more details. [some guy]
- In an article from 5 years ago, John Ashcroft said: keep big brother's hands off the internet. [some guy]
- A Simple Spam Filtering System for OpenBSD that I should look at more closely.
- Law firm out $2.1 million in African fraud. The Nigerian email scam got someone real good. [some guy]
- The Eleven Commandments For Controlling Your E-mail. Going on vacation for two weeks and simply ignoring most of it seems to have worked for me. [some guy]
- Retailers Experiment with Human Pop-up Windows:
Retail sales at the Galleria have declined by 68 percent since the campaign began.and the only thing that seems to work is naked girls. Woo! If only it were real news.
- Link-heavy today. I've got plenty to say, but no time to write it up, so here's a bunch of links to keep you going for the next day or two.
- I don't think I realized The Truth About Canadians while I was on vacation. Sheesh. [davezilla]
- Nevada Voters to Gamble on Legalizing Marijuana. Another reason one might want to visit Nevada.
- Mark Frauenfelder's OS X Keynote was fun, if perhaps shorter than folks expected. [boing boing]
- Hurry up and respond to the Evite: War on Iraq!! You don't want to be left out, do you? [some guy]
- Likable Sidekick is priced right. I'm pretty happy with my Sidekick so far, but Anil Dash isn't so thrilled: Hiptop Hooray? Nay.
- Fritz's Hit List at Freedom To Tinker lists devices which will be regulated under the CDBPTA, since they reproduce digital audio or video. Frequent examples showing why the proposed law is just bad.
- Music Industry in Global Fight on Web Copies. They're trying to sue Kazaa, but may have some problems, since the developers, corporation and code are scattered around the globe in multiple jurisdictions. [some guy]
- RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music. Yeah, it's from the Onion. [scripting]
- First Blood is Spilled at Record Industry Hearings - The War is On! It sure looks like things ought to get real ugly for the record companies real soon now. [scripting]
- Learn for free online from MIT. You can't get a degree, but you can do some learning. [some guy]
Well, I've got a fair number of links built up, but instead I'm just going to ramble a bit today. I'm back from vacation, and recovered from my night out on the town Friday night. I returned from a vacation that consisted entirely of summer-like temperatures to find fall in full swing in Minnesota.
And I find myself settling into an autumnal state of mind. Fall is definitely in the air, and one of the first things I did when I got home was set the thermostat to 68 for the duration. The furnace kicked in immediately, telling me that the landlord is thinking about winter, too. It feels like time to hunker down for the winter already.
So what's new? I moved Dave's Picks (and all the other sites I host) to a new server before I left on vacation. But I don't have all the tools in place I'd like to do this blogging thing on a daily basis. Changing servers is meaning a change in the way I do things, especially since this new server isn't sitting in my kitchen with a basically unsecured appleshare connection waiting there for me. I'm currently editing things with vi and that's slowing me down, mostly due to the lack of cut and paste from one file to another (and yes, I do know how to do that in vi, but it's a lot more tedious than having two windows open in BBEdit). I could probably do the editing via ftp, but I'm thinking about the long-term here, and want to build more tools that will make life easier and those tools want to live on the server, I've decided.
On the top of the list for tools are some scripts to make it easier for me to upload a batch of pictures, such as the ones I took while I was on vacation. I know how to write scripts to take an uploaded image, resize it to make a thumbnail version, stamp the original with my copyright, and build the HTML so I can include it in a page. There's no rocket science there. But it'll mean the better part of a morning or afternoon getting all the pieces written and debugged, and I don't have the energy for it at the moment, especially with both a NASCAR race and a Twins game on TV this afternoon to divert me from anything resembling work.
So that's the long-winded explanation of why there aren't a handful of links for you here today. Sorry about it, but between the impending change of seasons, catching up on reading a few folks blogs, and the need to write some new code, I just don't feel very link-a-rific today. I'll try and have a fresh batch for you on Monday.
Oh, and I'm probably going to spend some time playing with my new Danger Sidekick that I got yesterday, too. Which will mean more scripts to allow me to email links to myself, plus some tweaks to the style sheets so Dave's Picks looks better on that box. Besides, it seems I managed to squeeze in a few links anyhow. The picture of Scott over there on the right is one of the first photos I've taken with the Danger. That's full resolution, not a thumbnail. Need to account for photos like that in any tools I write, too.
- I'm still at the conference, but have found a little time between sessions to get some blogging done. There have been a lot of interesting talks in the halls and sessions here, and some of those talks have even fit in with the links I was planning to use today.
- Microsoft claims to have found The First Smiley, but according to Smileys and Emoticons on PLATO in the 1970s, it was on PLATO in 1972. Guess some fact-checking might be in order. [some guy]
- General Magic to cease operations. It was a pretty cool device originally, but I haven't seen any updates for so long that I thought they'd already ceased operations. [some guy]
- CD Settlement Sweet Music to Utah Libraries, Charities -- while not admitting any wrongdoing, music companies coughed up over $67 million to settle the price-fixing suit. [some guy]
- Unchained melodies discusses what happens when you (or specifically Janis Ian) make music available for free. [some guy]
- We Can Run, but We Can't Hide: How BayTSP is Enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. [some guy]
- On a related note, The media titans still don't get it, and think the internet is like some fancy television. [some guy]
- Opposing Copyright Extension, Protecting The Public Domain. Infinite Copyright actually makes works unavailable. As Tim O'Reilly pointed out in the keynote at Mac OS X Con, obscurity is a lot worse problem for most publishers than piracy. [some guy]
- FCC to Announce Hollywood's Controversial Broadcast Flag - it's a big deal, and the EFF is fighting it. You can use the Electronic Frontier Foundation Action Center to generate letters to your Congress Critters. [some guy]
- For those who have been worried about the lack of updates, I'm not dead, I'm just on the road. I took a little vacation. I'd been meaning to write about the vacation from the road, but I guess I needed a vacation from the computer, too. This week is Mac OS X Con, so the updates will probably be pretty light, too. But I have met a few folks I hadn't before: Cory and Glenn (who looks nothing like his photo), among them.
- Just one movie review from last month: Hollow Man (2000) is a fairly typical Paul Verhoeven movie. Really good special effects, and an okay plot. It's Invisible Man updated. Rated R for violence and sexual themes and a tiny bit of nudity. Decent mind-candy. Kevin Bacon gets to be a bad guy.
- ifile looks like a useful spam-filtering (and also email-expediting - since it can find email that you might think is important and route it differently, too) tool.
- Deep links spark fight on content at Web site, specificly, the information at Ellis Island.