- Google News: Mr. Rogers, R.I.P. Time for a new neighborhood.
- Missing U student found in Mississippi River. A body was found in the Mississippi yesterday. There’s a good chance it’s Chris Jenkins, but folks are still waiting on the final word. [strib]
I walked near the spot where the body was found yesterday. Not close enough to notice anything, though, and a couple hours before anyone noticed anything. I had gotten frustrated with work and with some prodding from Steph who pointed out that it was a nice day, and the Minneapolis Public Library was in
The Minneapolis Public Library
an interesting state of deconstruction, I decided to take a walk. So I walked around and took some pictures of the library, had a nice lunch at Tugg’s River Saloon where it was pretty quiet (but what do you expect around 2pm on a weekday). After that I walked home and napped. It wasn't the most productive day.
- Then in the evening, in a fit of frustration, I wrote about Being on Time and why I think it’s an important thing.
- FT.com columnists talk about patents. Lawrence Lessig says the US system is broken (which I agree with) and Richard Epstein argues that innovation is still happening, so what’s the problem? The problem is that the patent office grants stupid software patents for things like a discussion group for which there’s plenty of prior art, and those patents will keep little guys from working on new discussion board software that might infringe. Also, little software developers (like me) typically don’t get patents because even something genuinely new costs more to patent than it’s probably worth, because once you’ve got a patent, you still need to defend it, and that costs even more money. [scripting]
- Google apparently has trademark concerns over people using their name as a verb. So apparently I can’t google for something anymore. Or maybe I just have to Google™ for something. I understand why firms want to protect trademarks. Heck, if you don’t, you can lose it. But losing your trademark because it’s become generic doesn’t seem like that bad of a thing to me. [boing boing]
- Government Takes Piracy Web Site. For the first time the government has seized a domain-name in a criminal proceeding. Somehow that doesn’t seem right to me. [doc]
- New Telemarketing Tool Trumps TeleZapper and can send fraudulent caller ID information. Lovely. Could someone remind me why I even have a phone? [fark!]
- Scoble’s got some ideas on how to put on a great conference. Some of them apply to MacHack (one of the best conferences I attend), and the conferences I’ve been to that I didn’t especially like did almost none of these things. [flutterby]
- Mac User Fights for Quieter Life, and may have been the reason that Apple’s now exchanging noisy fans on the mirrored drive door G4s. [doc]
- Dozens busted on drug paraphernalia, including Tommy Chong’s company, which sold glass artwork. If freaks can’t smoke their tobacco out of fancy pipes, then the terrorists have already won. [fark!]
- 55 Charged With Selling Drug Gear Online has more details. Most of the indictments came out of Des Moines and Pittsburgh. [scripting]
- Even more: U.S. raids firms selling items used by pot smokers / Ashcroft blames Internet for paraphernalia. [flutterby]
- Okay, we’re in a war on terror, in a high state of alert, busy busting folks selling pipes for smoking herbs, and Nuke Lab Can't Keep Snoops Out. Seems you can just walk right in to the Los Alamos National Lab.
Before I got to Los Alamos, I figured it would have at least the (security) level of a military base,Doran said.
Now I know better.This reminds me a lot of the day in late September or early October 2001 when I biked past Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and discovered that there wasn’t even any security fence between the road and the runways all along the west side of the airport. They were doing construction, you see, and the fences were down. In fact there were nice hard-packed dirt roads made by the construction equipment leading from the Cedar Ave. Frontage Road all the way to the runways. The security? A National Guardsman napping in a Humvee at each end of the stretch of frontage road adjacent to the airport. [boing boing]
- In United States Patent: 6,525,747, Jeff Bezos claims to have invented discussion-group software. And the patent office seems to have bought it. Yet another reminder of why software patents are a bad plan. [scripting]
- On a lighter note: Daypop Top Word Bursts track words that have become more common in weblogs recently. It’s a way of seeing inside the commentary, rather than just seeing what bloggers are linking to. [scripting]
- And finally, some good news: Michigan Man Uses Junk FAX Law to Sue Sears Over Spam. See his computer receiveds email via a phone line, and he prints it out. Like a fax machine. In fact, enough like a fax machine that the court awarded him money. [fark!]
- Lights, camera, distraction. Apparently iMovie 3 isn’t quite up to snuff yet. At least if you’re putting together anything longer than a music video. Since I work in software development, that doesn’t really surprise me. Products ship as X.0 all the time without actually being ready to ship. It’s the reality of the software world today, and until customers quit paying for X.0 versions and waiting for the X.1 version that actually fixes bugs, there’s no reason for software vendors to quit shipping buggy software. The problem is made worse by reviewers who simply offer a checklist of the new features without mentioning whether or not those features actually work (which would require a more in-depth review). [some guy]
- The Gun Protest Ban Against Dr. Edward Hudson. An update on Canada’s war on guns. They’re using some fairly harsh tactics against the people who aren’t complying, but it’s about the kind of stuff I expected. Tyranny isn’t pretty. [endwar]
- Here’s a good collection of pictures of War Protests Around the World from 2⁄15. [Jim]
- Photos put peace marchers at 65,000 in San Francisco. Accurate numbers for protests like this are notoriously hard to get, but by putting together information from photos and counts of people who got on and off at the Bart stations nearest the protests, it sure looks like the numbers were about 1⁄3 what was initially reported.
- Mean Mr. Mustard has some thoughts on Human Shields who are going to Iraq. [some guy]
- In Rome wasn’t built in a day, Colby Cosh explores why going to war is justified.
We no longer have the luxury, certainly, of waiting for hussars to mass on the border. And so we plunge into the dilemma thus presented.Go read it. It’s long, but worth the time spent.
- Finally, check out The horror of blimps over at the Straight Dope Message Boards. Don’t have liquids in your mouth that might come out your nose. Beware of things that go blimp in the night. [flutterby]
- Surf’s up—on Lake Superior! In February! I’m pretty sure this proves surfers are nuts. Also check out the Superior Surf Club for more information about surfing in Minnesota in winter. [strib]
- Sister’s Camelot was fundraising in my neighborhood again yesterday. Their food distribution bus needs a new transmission, so if you can afford to give something, a few dollars will go a long way in this case. They get food free from organic distributors in town and then give it away to folks who need it. But without the bus to haul around the food, they can’t distribute the food, so bus repairs are a pretty important thing.
- I wrote up some Text-wrangling help for the new functions I’ve put into the Suggest a Pick page. There’s also a link on the page if you forget. Why does this matter to you? It probably doesn’t, but it gives me pages that look more typographically correct without having to think much about the typing, so things will look a little prettier. Like the curly quotes instead of straight quotes in the text today.
- Soylent Green is made of people! The Movie Pooper contains spoilers for those movies you won’t risk $8.50 to see but whose surprise endings you may want to know. Tip: ignore the Amazon links in the orange and instead click on the movie titles in the lefthand frame.
sometimes that guy in Marketing who’s such a jerk to everyone needs to be put in his place…and how better than to ruin the ending of the movie he’s been looking forward to seeing for the past three weeks?[reed]
- Last night The Auto Body Experience played at the Whole at the U. A short walk from here, and I haven’t been inside the renovated Coffman Union yet. Seemed like a show there’d be no excuse for me to miss. Instead, I sat home and watched TV until I fell asleep.
Why the lethargy? Well, it had been a busy day of sorts. I went over to the U to do some usability testing for their redesigned home-page. Afterwards, I went to get a late lunch with the money I’d been paid for shuffling index cards around and explaining what I was thinking as I did it. I was joined by a friend who I haven’t seen much lately. We ended up talking for a couple hours, mostly about someone we both know (and used to call a friend) who’s crossed the boundaries of social propriety one too many times.
I’m usually against legal solutions to interpersonal conflicts, but this situation’s gotten to the point that a restraining order might not be a bad idea. Probably the best solution is going to be having someone explain,
You’re acting like a nut-job and pissing everyone off. Cut it out,but I have doubts that’ll work. Explaining something rationally is fine when the person you’re explaining it to is rational. But how well are rational arguments going to work when someone’s acting irrationally?
That said, I think I’ll probably end up spending today suckling at the comforting nipple of the glass teat again. It may be escapism, but sometimes that’s just what a guy needs.
- Evolution Endorsed by Steves Denver, Colorado, February 16, 2003 — A first-of-its-kind statement endorsing evolution signed by over 200 scientists was unveiled at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual convention in Denver, Colorado. All of the signatories are named Steve. [Reed]
- Government’s figures exaggerate number of terror convictions. Apparently half of the ones they’re claiming shouldn’t be counted. [some guy]
- For a freshman senator, hot commodity Coleman sure has a lot of clout because he’s out schmoozing. I still find it somewhat surprising that people can talk with Norm Coleman in person and not experience the same revulsion I've felt every time I've seen him in person, but maybe he's found a new cologne that covers the reek of politician slime. [strib]
- Last night, Jim & I went to Dulono's to see Cousin Dad. Like most weekends there, the place was packed at 8pm when the music was scheduled to start, but we eventually got a table, chowed on some pizza, and generally had a pretty good evening. It felt good to get out and see some live music, even if we couldn't see the band from our table because we arrived too late (I showed up at 8pm). We also stopped at the Herkimer Pub & Brewery since we'd mistimed the bus. I wasn't impressed by the beers, and Jim & I were probably the oldest folks in the place. Not that I mind that, but when the beer's no good either, it leaves little reason to return.
- SpamAssassin 2.50 Released. Time to upgrade, since the spammers now seem to be tweaking their messages to sneak 'em past spamassassin. [holy schmoly]
- Burningbird: By their own words shall they be known. Cool. If you comment on it and point to it, plus send a ping to their server, it'll snarf up your comments and include them in the comments section of the original article. [emptybottle].
- Nauru loses contact with the world. What happens when a government rapes the country to make lots of money and then the resources run out. Ugly. [boing boing]
- Disney suffers blow in Pooh case and it's looking more and more like they'll eventually have to pay that $200M to $1B in royalties they owe. [fark!]
- This Letter from an Iraqi exile to Tony Blair offers another perspective on whether or not to invade Iraq. [some guy]
- The City Pages: Dragnet talks about CriMNet, a Minnesota-only version of TIA. Ugh.
- Protesting the Protesters has a video of a guy asking people at one of the anti-war protests questions. Like
if you're against war, how do we solve the problem?using Michael Moore's interviewing technique of asking pointed questions of people who aren't expecting them. [accordionguy]
- Canadian in passport fiasco. She got deported to India by way of Kuwait after the US INS destroyed her passport in Chicago. If it wasn't for the kindness of Canadian officials in Dubai, she probably wouldn't have made it back to Canada. Heck, she probably wouldn't have even been let into India, since her passport had been destroyed. [accordionguy]
- Civil indignities / A liberty-squelching sequel?. The Star Tribune finally notices Patriot II, which I rambled on about almost two weeks ago. [strib]
- Ready.gov - From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Am I allowed to panic yet? Oh wait, there's nothing to panic about? [boing boing]
- Homeland Insecurity offers some commentary on ready.gov. [davezilla]
- Microsoft acquires Virtual PC from Connectix. Hmm. They probably won't kill it, but I feel a lot better having VirtualPC owned by someone independent of MS, especially since I prefer to buy a version that doesn't include Windows. [some guy]
- Reply Comments Of Raffi Krikorian is in reply to the MPAA's contention that they need the broadcast bit in order to keep people from emailing movies around the internet. It's a pretty good refuation of their claims. [boing boing]
- Spy looks kinda cool. Serve up your Mac desktop (live, even) over the web so people watch you do something. [some guy]
- Microsoft going after Hotmail spammers.
The defendants are accused of using aThe defendants are currently listed as John Does, but now that the suit is filed, MS can get subpoenas to track down the spammers. [fark!]
dictionary attackto discover active Hotmail accounts.
- Theater companies sued over commercials that they run before movies. The suit asks that theaters either publish the actual starting time of the movie, or compensate customers for watching the commercials. [scripting]
- The update's late today. Not sure why, but I overslept pretty severely.
- St. Paul man buried investors in spam, feds say, mostly spam pushing stocks. [strib]
- Hacker gains access to 5.6 million Visa, MasterCard numbers, taken from a credit-card processing company, but nobody will name the company, so there's no real way to know if yours is one of the card numbers. [strib]
- Out of Phone Numbers? Add Digits. Phone companies think we may be running out of numbers in the next ten years, and are blaming it on voice-over IP. So they need to start thinking about turning phone numbers from ten digits to twelve soon. [fark!]
- Danger to release beta form of SDK finally. Yay! [boing boing]
- Not a lot of commentary today. Work's intruding again.
- Weblog Watchdogs Nip Coble. I think this might be a good thing for “traditional journalism” in that they might start hearing opinions from someone other than the one “expert” in the rolodex. [scripting]
- Comeback on tap for Pig's Eye beer. Hopefully it'll still be a reasonably-priced drinkable beer. We'll see. [strib]
- Monty Python's Terry Jones has commentary supporting a war on Iraq. Well worth the read. [Jim]
- College Offers Degree In Stripping:
We're taking education into the new millennium, one lap dance at a time.[holy schmoly]
- Today is Presidents Day (actually the official name is “Washington’s Birthday”). I find it a little interesting that it gets less notice (other than as an inconvenience because the Post Office is closed) than St. Valentines Day does. Of course there aren’t millions of dollars worth of chocolates to be sold today. It’s also interesting that the first useful page I found was published by the US Embassy in Sweden.
- Legislative duo takes on archaic state laws, trying to get at least a few of them repealed every year. Now that’s good government. [strib]
- Paul Graham has some thoughts about why Why Nerds are Unpopular, especially during high school.
- Over the weekend, there were a number of Protests Around the World. Jim hasn’t left any commentary, so I’ll just leave you with the pointer. There’s also plenty of news at IndyMedia.
- This photo made me think of Neville Chamberlain almost immediately (especially ironic because the photo is from London). [some guy]
- There’s talk that Bush planned Iraq “regime change” before becoming President, but the PNAC themselves say it was a position paper they wrote, and admit that the people from the Bush administration who read it
made it clear that they did not agree with our analysis and recommendations.[some guy]
- I probably should have pointed to this earlier in the weekend: Inspiration Through Inebriation! Fine posters in the spirit of the demotivators [holy schmoly]
- crab vs. pipe
This is a video taken in 6000 feet of water. An undersea robot is sawing a 3mm wide slit (1/10th of an inch ... remember that width) in a pipeline. The pressure inside the pipeline is 0 psig, while the pressure outside is 2700 psi, or 1.3 tons per square inch. Then a crab comes along....[reed, via goodshit.phlap.net] [reed]
- Salon warns it may not survive beyond February. They're out of money, and not enough people are paying to read their news. [fark!]
- The User Friendly Programmer. It's a good thing for programmers to have worked tech support at some point in their lives. [holy schmoly]
- Hepatitis-like virus protects against HIV. The connection's not clear enough to suggest people get intentionally infected, but it seems to help people survive longer. [holy schmoly]
- Can You Turn That Down, Please? One of the few things I don't like about living in the city is the noise. There was a guy down the street who drove his boom-car by multiple times per day. There's my next-door neighbor who cranks the bass on his stereo so you can hear it through the whole house (sometimes late at night). There's the electronic carillion on the church next door. Bleagh. [boing boing]
- Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time. Huh. I think maybe it's time to watch what Google's doing a little more closely. They're starting to own bigger and bigger pieces of the Internet. [scripting]
- Government warns 'patriot hackers': Don't be breakin' into other people's computers. Only the gummint's allowed to do that.
- There are anti-war demonstrations planned in over 600 cities worldwide today. The Anti-War Committee has info on Twin Cities events. For a list of events world-wide (including what's predicted to be the largest demonstration ever in London) go to United for Peace. [Jim]
- Now-famous shuttle photo snapped by researchers using an old Mac. The blurry photo taken at the Starfire Optical Range [warning, spooky terms of service] was taken using a 3.5 inch telescope, a webcam, and an 11-year-old Mac.
This is the blurriest picture we've ever taken of anything, and this is the one that makes the front page of the newspapers.[some guy]
- Def Con Alerts: Collect them All! Finally an explanation of the colors with helpful reminders on how to behave! [boing boing]
- Google as Big Brother talks about the snooping Google does. And suggests that you nominate Google for the The 2003 US Big Brother Awards (which doesn't seem entirely unreasonable). It's probably not going to make me stop using google, but I might think about my searches a little more [scripting]
- Twins 2003. Hey, spring training begins on Monday. And like a few of us have been discussing in the hot-stove league, the Twins did what we thought they had to. Hang on to the guys who got 'em to the playoffs last year, and make room for a few new guys. No big trades, just keep using the talent that's already in the organization and do everything you can to help the guys already on the lineup have good years. [strib]
- Energy Challenge 2003. Think paper airplanes. Think paper airplanes carrying humans. [flutterby]
- Well, apparently folks running on windows machines didn't think much of the Tasteful Muted Colors I used yesterday even though they didn't look too bad on my Mac. Pretty sorry about that. But angry colors seemed like the right thing.
- This list of Alternative Holidays tells us it's Horned Lizard Day.
- The ACME Heart Maker lets you send little messages with pictures of candy. It's what I used for the snazzy background image. Well, that and about a half-hour in photoshop. Probably would've been easier to write a new one from scratch. But the Recent Hearts display lets you watch what hearts other people are making, and that's kinda cool (though it appears it's pretty popular this morning -
503 Service Temporarily Overloaded). There were a lot of them I saw that I thought about using that just didn't make the cut.
- The How to Lose a Dozen Men (and One Woman) in 11 Days part from the City Pages section I pointed to yesterday is pretty work-safe. Tales from the (ugh!) dating scene.
- The Strib has their six degrees of desperation series. It's a gal trying online dating for a couple weeks, writing up the story every day. [strib]
- Cupid finds work as office romance no longer taboo - just a really bad idea if you want any chance of being happy at your job after a bad breakup. [fark!]
- The Strib thinks Valentine's day is a guy's holiday. No, it's just the guy who's expected to spend the money. [strib]
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: Love. Note that the page has music (which hopefully this link will avoid) and popups and you've probably heard the urban legends before (which is why they're urban legends after all). [fark!]
- From the Strib, there are Love tokens: Valentine's Day comes in small packages. Strib-approved stuff you could buy before tomorrow. Feel like helping out the economy? Hell, given the current kerfluffle in Washington, it might even be your patriotic duty. [strib]
- City Pages: The Sex Issue, just in time for Valentine's Day. Warning, not safe for work if your boss doesn't approve of talk of sex-toys, because the first two sections mostly talk about those. It's probably too late to mail-order anything, but if you feel a need to give your sweetie something in a plain brown wrapper and you live in Minneapolis, you could always head down to Sex World.
- Then again, if you're not into that commercial thing, and still want to express your feelings, Corporate Mofo offers up some Non-Commercial Valentine's Day Ideas that are sure to please someone.
- Hmm. I don't think anyone has recommended me to GreatBoyfriends.com yet. Where's the love? Perhaps the fact that some of the ideas from the previous link sound good to me explains the situation.
- On the domestic front, Terror alert spurs limited U response, which is a good thing. It feels pretty normal in my neighborhood, as long as you don't look at one of the cable “news” channels.
- Finally, New technology sees through objects. X-Ray specs are now closer than ever to reality. The technique uses terahertz radiation, which falls between light and radio, and which is emitted by all matter out there. Tune carefully, and you can see under someone's skin. Or just their clothes. There's a lot more information at the ESA website. [fark!]
- In good news, the House and Senate have agreed to prohibit e-mail surveillance of US citizens. It's not a big win, but it's a win. [strib]
- Thanks to the folks who expressed concern about my furnace problems that I mentioned yesterday and suggested various ways to keep warm (sadly, the emails from the cute gals volunteering to snuggle seem to have been lost), but changing the filter on the furnace seems to have solved the problem. There's heat now, and the landlord's supposed to be back in town today. If it goes out again, I can set him on fire.
- Cato Legal Scholars File Second Amendment Challenge to Washington, D.C. Gun Ban, saying it's unconstitutional. Now we get to see whether Ashcroft's Justice Department will back up their boss' statement that he believes the Second Amendment is an individual right.
- Handgun bill on the move again in House. It's a “shall issue” law, and there's a chance it'll pass this time around. [strib]
- The Stupid Security contest is running until March 15th. Send in your stories of stupid security measures. [some guy]
- Experts doubt terror warnings will do much good. Like I said yesterday. Lileks has something to say about it, too. [strib]
- On a lighter note, Friends Don't Let Friends Use Camera Phones. The dangers of cameras in bars, especially when they're built into a phone so you can send it off to all your friends before you think about what you're doing. [boing boing]
- Over at Technorati, Dave Sifry has written scripts to identify the Top 100 Interesting Newcomers. A few comments: first, this is a Cool Thing. Second, I think the list could be trimmed to 20 or 50 without losing much. Yes, it's nice to see 100, but I'm seldom going to make it past the top 10. Unless I hit the list somewhere in the 90s, in which case, I'd naturally want it to show the top 100. Finally, it's a new tool. There are a few problems that still need to be shaken out, like duplicated entries and such, but it's got potential. [boing boing]
- Major suckage on the home front. The forced-air furnace in my place crapped out (due to a dirty filter that was supposed to be changed over a month ago) yesterday morning. The highest the temp got inside was 60F (15C), and it got as low as 50F (10C) inside my apartment (and into the low 40s in the basement, where all the water pipes are). After leaving a half-dozen messages on my landlord's answering machine, and spending the afternoon sitting in a coffeeshop and bar to stay warm, I finally ran into my next door neighbor about 8pm. He told me that the landlord's out of town until tomorrow sometime. The guy who usually fills in for the landlord is in jail. The other “helper” is out on a bender and useless around the furnace anyhow.
My neighbor and I headed down to the basement to see what's up. After partly disassembling the furnace to figure out where the filter is on it, we found it. There was a half inch of dirt clinging to the old filter. Pull that out, put a new one in, slap panels back on the furnace until all the safety switches are satisfied and it fires up, and there's heat. Only took until 5 this morning to get back up to room temperature in here.
The most annoying part about the whole affair was that I lost a lot of work-time to distractions last week, and was planning on spending this week catching up. Instead, I got four hours work done by noon, and then had to quit because I was too cold to type anymore. I'm not sure what it is, but so far this year, every time I start making real progress on the paying work, something has come up to sidetrack me, and it's getting pretty old.
- In case of terror attack: Food, water, duct tape… Okay. Is the government trying to get me to panic? Frankly, I'm too busy trying to keep from freezing to worry about terrorist attacks right now. [strib]
- New biometric ID cards may be needed for Canadians who want to enter the US:
Under the USA Patriot Act, passed by the U.S. Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants will need ID with either a fingerprint or an eye scan to get into the U.S.Of course we won't stand for that sort of thing here in the U.S., so we'll still be able to go to and from Canada with just a driver's license. Hmmm.... [boing boing]
- The London Obeserver investigated Colin Powell's “poison gas factory” in Northern Iraq. It's a cinder block compound full of heavily armed Muslims. No signs of any gas. [Jim]
- Orthodox Church Takes On Rasputin. See there are those who want Rasputin (as well as Ivan the Terrible, and perhaps even Uncle Joe Stalin) canonized. The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church thinks that might not be such a good idea. I dunno. I kinda like the sound of "St. Ivan the Terrible".
- [Soyuz-6] landed right besides a children's school Should the remaining shuttles be unavailable, the present crew of the International Space Station will have to evacuate and deorbit via a Soyuz capsule. While these Soviet-era capsules are considered reliable, their history is sufficiently mixed to make one think twice. [reed]
- Hey, Stavros the Wonderchicken's been back for almost a month over at Emptybottle.org. Why was I not informed?
- Yesterday afternoon I updated my quotes-page and wrote up a quickie about how I maintain my quotes file. It's not a great explanation, but it's a mix of sed, awk, and make to turn a plain-text file into both the signature file I want for my email program and the HTML file that lives here on the website. Now I only have to maintain things in one spot, and hopefully things will be easier to keep up to date.
- We've Got to Stop Eating Like This [popups] talks about how the food industry (and the fact that we can't stop shoving their products in our pie-holes) is making America fat.
- Apropos of hardly anything at all, other than stuffing my pie-hole I offer My cupboards overflow. It was something to write on a Sunday, rather than getting anything useful done around the house.
- Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act. They haven't really shown it to many legislators, and have been publicly denying that it was in the works, but having it all written up would sure be convenient if there were to be another terroristic act to put a scare into everyone, wouldn't it? And yeah, this one's worse than the first. The full text is available as a PDF and it's got some spooky shit in there:
- Section 201 would prohibit disclosure of information about people detained as suspected terrorists.
- Section 202 would restrict distribution of "worst case scenario" information from EPA filings.
- Sections 301-306 would authorize the creation of a DNA database of suspected terrorists.
- Section 501 would allow the government to take away the citizenship of people belonging to "terrorist organizations".
- Eric Raymond has released The Art of Unix Programming for public review. It's been good reading through the first five chapters. [holy schmoly]
- According to the Current Weather Conditions at Crystal Airport, it's 13 below, Fahrenheit as I write this. That's -25C for you more metric types. Downright chilly. Cold, Cold, Cold, one might say. Yesterday was cold too. And it's put me in something of a "hunker down for the winter" mode. I haven't been spending as much time surfing and the things I'm reading don't seem as interesting. Plus I'm a bit behind on work, having lost Monday and a fair bit of Tuesday, so I'm trying to play catch-up there. Thus the light linkage again.
- I realized I've been slacking off on putting up recipes lately, so I typed up my generic fried rice recipe. It's nothing fancy, just the base recipe that I modify depending on what my taste-buds feel like tasting that day.
- Shaving habits linked to stroke risk. Men who shave at least once a day are less likely to have strokes. But they didn't include men with beards in the study, so I don't have to worry about my head exploding just yet. [holy schmoly]
- The Minneapolis Bill of Rights Defense Committee is trying to introduce a resolution opposing USA-PATRIOT at the Minneapolis City Council meeting a week from today. While I like the cause, I don't think that this is City Council business any more than I thought resolutions opposing war in Iraq were City Council business.
- Groups call on Coble for apology for saying that the Americans (of Japanese ancestry) who were locked up in concentration camps during WWII were put there for their own protection, never mind their rights. Is this going to turn into as much of a problem as Trent Lott's comments did? Could be, especially since Coble heads up the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, the group in charge of writing laws to take away our freedom in the name of illusory safety. The thing that I think is going to hurt Coble the most is that, like Lott, rather than coming out and saying "what I said was wrong", he tried to spin it. Is it overly optimistic to hope that Americans have gotten fed up with politicians trying to use terminological inexactitudes to explain things away, and want to hear the truth?
For more on the story, go check out Is That Legal?
- If you're going to order some BitterSweets(tm) for St. Valentine's Day, you'd better do it soon.
- According to the Sweethearts FAQ, you can get your own candy hearts made, but you'll have to do a whole production run (1.6 Million). I'm betting it's too late to get that done for this year.
- I'm sure the invitation to your Tequila and Porn party for Valentine's Day is on the way, but I haven't received it yet.
- State Sen. Marty introduces tougher telemarketing bill. It sounds like it might be closer to right, but I guess we'll see. I don't expect it to pass, since the old telemarketing bill took effect so recently. [strib]
- City Pages: We Smoked 'Em. The City Pages will get to look at the documents that came out of the $6.1 billion Minnesota tobacco settlement. Mostly they'll get to look at the billing informaiton for the attorneys who led the case, but who knows what else will turn up?
- Sneaky Toolbar Hijacks Browsers on Windows. Don't think there's a Mac version to worry about. For that matter, this might be the thing that's needed to encourage some browser diversity out there.
- Network Solutions (aka Verisign) is arguing that Sex.com case heralds end of Internet. They gave away a guy's domain name (sex.com) in 1995, and he's suing for $100 million. [boing boing]
- Digital cameras vs. film is a nice comparison between digital cameras and film, comparing resolution and noise. [holy schmoly]
- I never did get around to updating things yesterday. So here's the explanation. Monday afternoon I had an appointment to apply for a mortgage. There are a few places in the neighborhood I'd like to buy, but I haven't tried to apply for any financing until now because I knew I wouldn't qualify. But with four years of running PCI, I figured I might have a shot.
After the interview, the wind had picked up, and I didn't feel like walking across the river, so I decided I'd stop by Kieran's for a drink or two and some dinner. I did that, and then caught a bus headed toward home, but the first bus by just got me across the river, rather than all the way home. It was chilly enough waiting for the bus, that I grabbed it, rather than stand around waiting for another bus.
So I stopped by Keegan's to have a beer and not think about the mortgage situation. I was just about ready to leave there and head home when who should walk in but Scott & Kat. So we sat and had a couple beers and chatted. Then it was after 9 and the half-price Guinness was flowing again, and I had another and they decided to head home. So when that beer was done, I was ready to leave again. But Terry Keegan (the owner) bought me a beer. Okay, I'll have one more. Then a guy down the bar asks if I want to play some cribbage. Sure. And he wants to play for a beer. Okay. I win. More beer. D'Ohh! And then for last call, the bartender buys me yet another. I actually left the bar with over half of that last beer still sitting there, and was reminded of that Batman quote:
Me, Scott & Kat at Keegan's 1200x1000(213k) 640x533(31k)
Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb.Except in my case, it was beer.
So after stumbling home, I remember that it's a snow emergency and my car's in the wrong place and I have to have it moved by 8am. After moving the car, one of the neighbors is outside walking off some insomnia and wants to talk. It ended up being after 2am when I finally got into my nice warm bed.
Tuesday morning, I wake up at 8am (with no alarm), and head off to work where I have to spend the morning in meetings. When I get home, there's a phone message telling me they couldn't use my most recent income for the mortgage, but had to average the past three years. So I could qualify to buy a refrigerator crate and not much more. I called it a day and just went to bed at about 6pm. Thus, no update yesterday.
Well, we've had a bunch of snow, but Minneapolis has just declared (at 9:33AM) a Snow Emergency, which means starting the great car shuffle beginning at 9 tonight. In any case, this is a good day to not have to try to drive to work in morning rush-hour. Instead I get to noodle with my digital camera a little, trying to recreate what I see looking out my front window. The street and trees are only lit by the streetlights, and the orange color on the snow came out almost right in this picture, but I can't scale it up much more than 640x480 or the sensor noise plus my unsteady hand become too obvious. It should probably be a little darker, but then again, the sky is pretty birght with reflected streetlight. Maybe another stop darker would be enough.
Looking out my window 640x480(61k)
- Mark Pilgrim's No clock explains one of the big dangers of working from home. I manage to avoid the problem by shutting off my computer. Or by going out to relax.
- The SuperGuard3 looks interesting. It's a FireWire hard drive enclosure that supports encryption and has a separate key you plug in to access it. I wonder if the encryption is actually any good, or if it's just snake oil.
- Telemarketers Sue to Stop [national] Do-Not-Call List. Me, I don't think it goes far enough. I want to be able to pre-emptively shut out all telemarketing and charity calls, too It's people calling who don't know me, and have no idea what my schedule is like and who usually call at a bad time.
- Humans are toxic. Bummage. [boing boing]
- The Houston Chronicle's Special Report: Columbia's Last Mission seems to be the best coverage out there if you want to read about yesterday's
bad day. Between having the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and having been under Columbia as it came apart, almost all the news came out of Texas.
- Technology keeps Brevard's economy humming talks about the impact of Columbia's explosion on Florida's Space Coast (which has area code 321).
- Bookends in time is a personal look at the shuttle Columbia, and a good story.
- In lighter news, Chris Riemenschneider has issued a correction [scroll almost to the end of the article] saying the Auto Body Experience isn't actually defunct. Good deal. [some guy]
- City Page's Calendar includes "A Midwinter's Night Scream" this week. It's a benefit for TC Punk's MoldyRamone (Steve Modenhauer) - a friend of Jim's who's battling cancer. Moldy was also last year's champion of Tubby's punk karaoke.
You can also hear Steve sing lead on Plate-O-Shrimp's cover of Alice Cooper's Sonic Reducer [Jim]
- Rum deal as US bans 'Cuban' Glenfiddich. See, Glenfiddich Havana Reserve is aged in rum barrels from Cuba, so it's illegal to buy it here in the good old U. S. of A. [boing boing]
- The Top Ten Digital Photography Tips didn't really contain anything I hadn't heard before, but it's good to be reminded sometimes. [holy schmoly]
- Last Month
Okay, tomorrow's Valentine's Day (as if you could have possible not noticed). I'm not going to have anything even remotely romantic going on tomorrow, so I'll inflict some stuff on you today so you have a chance to get ready.
I'm playing a bit with the layout for a daily entry here. Not sure how this is going to work, but it's a different look today. Why? Mostly because I want to be able to include blockquotes, and having each entry embedded within list items doesn't allow that. Suggestions for alternatives welcomed.
In We're a Happy Family! Stavros the Wonder Chicken talks about how people don't take responsibility. For much anything. He's talking specifically about happy-making drugs, but it wanders a bit (as his better postings do). Specifically:
But I've got to think that there are way too many folks out there who are just too goddamn lazy and irresponsible to take responsibility for their own mental states, just like there are too many people who think of themselves as victims, who blame their parents or their spouse for their problems, who refuse to take responsibility for their actions, who don't vote and then complain about the government they get (and so richly deserve), who drive an SUV because, hey, if I get into an accident, it's the other guy who'll get hurt, who dismiss concerns about environmental degradation with a wave of the hand and a demand for incontrovertible proof...
I tend to agree with Stavros here. I think people need to take responsibility for their own happiness. Yeah, there are some folks for whom that's not the total ticket (and I've dated some of them), but expecting drugs alone to fix your life probably isn't going to work, either. There's some effort involved, and if you're not going to make your own life happier, who is?
Got some spare time? Go check out Rocketpack, a humor and creative writing magazine. The layout doesn't like Mac IE (I had to view source to see the first couple links), but there's some fun reading there. There's also some pretty disturbed writing there.
How do I find things like that? Well, Phil Ringnalda's got this handy Take me to a Random Blog thing (if you want to bookmark it, you'll have to drag the link from here, since it does its magic via a redirect) that will take you to a blog that's been updated recently enough that it's on the weblogs.com list. I'll sometimes spend a few hours just surfing around seeing what there is to see. The one feature-request I have is that I'd like some way to specify what language(s) I'd like to see blogs in, but weblogs.com doesn't have a language field for the submissions, so there's not much Phil can do about it, I think. It's not that I want to restrict my reading to the US or anything, but I can only read English, German (slowly), and a little Dutch (even more slowly), so seeing a blog in Russian just doesn't help me and burns a little bit of someone's bandwidth.
The update today will be late. I'm running a bit behind this morning.
Happy birthday, Maw. If you're looking for linkage, go check out Boing Boing today. Good stuff there.