31. May, 2003 - shitty business
- “Hey SCO, Sue Me”: What’s Next? A petition that was circulated online says (in part)
I am a Linux user. I feel that SCO’s tactics toward an operating system of my choice are unjust, ill founded and bizarre. I am willing to be sued because I am confident that SCO’s tactics toward Linux will fail. If I have published my email address as part of this petition it is so SCO representatives can email me and begin the process of serving me a court order. The petition signing was cut off at 4000 people, but there were at least twice that many who wanted to sign, possibly opening themselves to litigation by SCO.
- SCO to Novell: See you in court SCO’s saying that it doesn’t matter to them that Novell claims to hold the copyrights on Unix. SCO says they bought ’em, and will probably sue Novell, too.
- See also Friday’s SCO News from Slashdot.
- Here’s a simple explanation of the SCO v world thing. [flutterby]
- Unlike SCO & the world, AOL & MS are Buddies Now. Which means that MSIE for Windows will become even more ubiquitous, complete with its box-model bugs that make using CSS such a pain in the ass.
- GM ads take high road while admitting bumps , admitting that they made some shitty cars in the 80s and 90s. And there were problems with things like paint falling off the cars. Well, yeah. But if they’d wanted to fix my gripe with them, they could have extended the paint warranty to cover the fact that the paint lasted five years and two weeks before starting to fall off in sheets, whereas the warranty was five years. [fark!]
- On a lighter note, BUTIK.PL is a Polish version of cafepress selling, naturally enough, Polish-language T-shirts. I still haven’t gotten around to learning enough Polish to be able to read the shirts, but there are some fine ones I’d buy if they made them big enough to fit me. Examples include this one from www.KURDE.pl, or this strange little man, or this dog. [marysia]
- Update: Wow. Within an hour after posting this morning, I’d exchanged a half-dozen emails with both Marysia and Marcin from Butik and Marcin and I are working out the details of him shipping shirts to me (they’re normal Fruit of the Loom T’s, so the XXL will fit as long as I’m super-careful to only wash it in cold). Since their business is only three months old, and they didn’t have any provisions in place to ship to the US, it’s not as simple as just ordering from the website. And apparently both Marysia and Marcin keep a fairly close eye on their referrer logs.
30. May, 2003 - Underachieving
- In other news, Jim reports that he’s home and doing okay. His sense of humor seems intact.
- In MLB striking out on QuesTec, Dan Patrick says the new automated umpiring system isn’t cutting it. First I’ve actually heard of the system, and while it sounds like it might be useful to help make umpires a little more consistent, I think it should be a coaching tool for umpires, rather than something used to determine who gets more work. Sheesh. Did I just come out in favor of umpires?
- Thanks to Jeff for the link to the Shoe Size - Penis Size Conversion Charts. This is where I mention that I wear an 11 ½ (US) shoe, and am single, right? I’m also apparently something of an underachiever, but I probably should have kept that to myself, eh? [WVSR]
- Another find by Jeff: The Porn Banner Showcase [not safe for work]. Dang! Someone critiquing porn banner ads. [WVSR]
- The Winners of Nerve’s Bad Erotica Contest [not safe for some work] have been announced. Yes, they’re certainly awful. [boing boing]
- WayTooPersonals claims to be for
when you’re looking for laughs, not love. Posts seem infrequent, but funny. [metafilter]
- Finally, The Big Ol’ Black Table Beer Run reviews twenty cheap beers, and has a sequel where they review another twenty. Useful! [WVSR]
29. May, 2003 - No Pictures
- Steph (whose birthday it is today) demands pictures from yesterday when I did basically zilch on the blogging front and exhorted people to get out and enjoy the day. Well, my day yesterday consisted of putting out fires all morning, then walking to Dinkytown to deposit a check and get some lunch, and getting so clobbered by allergies (the wind was blowing all kinds of things around) that I came home and slept until 6pm just to get my brain together enough to realize that I should take some allergy medicine so I could think again.
- ‘Conceal-carry’ gun law takes effect today (well, yesterday now), and efforts are already underway to repeal it.
- Windows Users Knocked Off Net by a security update from Microsoft. Which probably makes it pretty difficult to get the update that fixes the problem. Luckily it was an optional update, rather than an automatic one, so the damage was limited.
- Asia running out of IP-address room. Will it help get IPv6 adopted? Probably in Asia.
- In Apple force-feeds customers shit, calls it sunshine, Cory takes aim at Apple, and the way they have crippled iTunes in the most recent update. [boing boing]
- SCO Might Sue Linus for Patent Infringement? On top of their suit against IBM over the IP problems. But the biggest danger of all is that this will do to Linux what the OS Wars did to BSD. Meanwhile, SCO stock dropped about a third of its value.
- German Software Group Threatens to Sue SCO on Linux unless SCO produces evidence of infringement on the part of IBM by May 30. That’s tomorrow.
- And in further developments, Novell will challenge SCO over Unix ownership. This isn’t making the people at SCO look all that bright.
28. May, 2003 - not today, thanks
I know you’ve probably been frantically hitting “reload” waiting for the links for the day and wondering why I’m so tardy, but I don't have much for you today. Have a nice day, and get out and enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having in Minneapolis today, rather than spending your time reading the web. If you’re not in Minneapolis, I hope your weather is as nice as ours is today.
27. May, 2003 - back to work
- Major projects mean major headaches for metro-area motorists, including ones in the way to the one office I have to drive to most often. It’s in Eden Prairie, where I’ve worked on and off for about ten years, so I know alternate routes, but deciding which one to take is going to be the trick. I should probably just ride the trike, but my knees don’t like me lately. Blegh.
- Alchemy with light shocks physicists who are using photonic crystals and shockwaves to change the frequency of light in new ways. Cool stuff? I think so. [some guy]
- Civil Liberties Watch is Watching the Bush Administration rewrite the Bill of Rights.
- Excuuuse me! Is the world getting ruder?
There is almost no place that is a small town anymore, says Brothers.
When we’re identifiable, we’re nicer. Today, we’re not as ashamed to be nasty. [strib]
- Geeky Legal Beagles Nail Spammers in New York, as the Attorney General has started prosecuting high-tech criminals using exiisting laws, such as those against fraud.
26. May, 2003 - Saints Opening Weekend Recap
Friday night was the home opener. It was a pretty big deal for the local TV stations, with at least three trucks with big masts beaming live broadcasts back to the studio. There was lots of entertainment in the parking lot pregame, including this band that was walking about. They served as the backdrop for Dave Dahl’s first appearance on the KSTP news for the evening, and he and his cameraman stuck around near us.
Our group served as Dave’s backdrop for his other appearances on-air. Apparently we're more photogenic than I thought, but it probably didn’t hurt that we had a foosball table to go with all the yummy bits we were grilling up.
The Saints won the Home Opener, but it left me with a bit of an uneasy feeling. While they came into the 8th with a 9-0 lead, they gave up a run in the top of the 8th, and then another four runs in the top of the ninth. It’s nice to see them being an offensive powerhouse, but I’d also like to see them hold a lead, rather than letting the other team have a bit of hope again late in the game.
In other changes, the
Potential Breeders bit has now changed to
First Base Singles, and it’s much improved. But there are still some who complain about the
dark tone of the entertainment. It’ll be interesting to see how the bits evolve, and hopefully enough edge will be retained to keep me happy, while still not upsetting the folks who are there for more
family fare. I think it’s going to be a tricky tightrope for Eric to walk. There’s also the new scoreboard, which is nice in that you can see it from the parking lot, and which offers replays and other graphics during the game. It feels like whoever’s running it is still figuring out what all it can do, so maybe there are even more cool features awaiting.
After the game, we broke out the log and played some hammerschlager. Jody stopped out for one game, but needed to run off to get some food, so we didn’t make much of an evening of it.
The Saints won again on Saturday night after giving up three runs in the first, their offense got busy, and the defense buckled down. Eddie Pearson figured in the game again, going three for four, and scoring three runs. The fireworks show after the game was good as always, and I’m starting to think we might have a pretty good team here, though the defense still worries me a bit.
There were multiple false-finales in the fireworks display, but when they were nearly done I captured this movie (3.6MB). Sadly, my timing was a bit off, so I couldn’t quite capture everything to the end in one go. Here’s the very end of the Fireworks Finale (2.2MB). The still photos were tricky, since there’s nearly a one-second lag between pressing the shutter and having the camera take the picture, but I got a couple pictures that please me, which is probably pretty good, since this was the first time I tried taking pictures of fireworks with a digital camera.
The Sunday game of the opening weekend wasn’t a win, but it was an okay showing from the boys. The pitching was pretty good, but the KC pitching was better, holding the Saints to two runs on eight hits. It was a beautiful day, and I wasn’t the only one in the stands getting sun-baked.
One of the other changes in the on-field entertainment is a new St. Paul Sieve. The new guy’s got a somewhat unorthodox style of defending the net, but I like it, and he’s making an effort to talk to the fans.
Post-game we hung in the parking lot (almost three hours after the end of the game) and spent some time talking with Jody (#14) (pdf), Jon (#41), and Chris (#10), all relief pitchers from Florida, who were all a little tired form the autograph session on the field. Being bat-day, there were a lot of kids in attendance and they spent about an hour signing bats after the game. Jon was the one who gave up the four runs on Friday night (getting a save), and Chris shut down the T-Bones last night. 2-1 on the weekend is a pretty good home stand, and now the boys hit the road for a ten-game road-trip to Sioux City, Winnipeg, and Fargo before returning home on June 6th.
25. May, 2003 - not the pink meat
- Microsoft takes spam plan to Washington, and naturally enough, their plan wouldn’t actually stop any advertisements from being sent by email. The primary thing they’ve proposed is requiring the sender to be identified, just like the direct marketing industry wants. Go figure.
- A Spammer Speaks Out at the Congressional Hearings, saying that what he does is just like what other businesses and ISPs do, but he sends a couple hundred million messages per day.
- Evan posts a good essay about why Terrible Ideas Never Die (like the idea of an email tax, which Mark Dayton has been talking about, but in order to combat spam).
- Get your Free Spam for $21.95 / month!!! from EarthLink. It’s a minor complaint, but perhaps public embarassment will encourage them to change their policy.
- Tough California Anti-Spam Bill Passes in Senate, requiring people to opt-in if they want spam, but I don’t expect it’ll have much effect.
- Massachusetts Senate Bill, No. 1911 is another state-level attempt to deal with spam. But I don’t think laws are going to help. There’s already a law against sending junk faxes, but rather than being able to find a lawyer to help me enforce it against fax.com, I’m spending an additional $15/month to make it harder for everyone to call me. So far it’s working, but I expect that Qwest will probably start selling the junk-fax people a new service that lets them get through the roadblocks I’ve got in place, and then I’ll need to pay even more money to Qwest so I can have some peace and quiet. How does anyone think that a law against spam is going to be any different? [some guy]
24. May, 2003 - Geek out!
- I’ve got pictures from last night’s Saints game, but haven’t gotten around to sucking them into the computer yet. It was fun. The Saints won. I’ll probalby do all the pictures from this weekend at once on Monday.
- Microsoft Documents to be Shredded in Utah. The documents from the Caldera v. Microsoft case are being shredded. Sun got copies of some for their lawsuit, but most of them will be turn into toilet paper before the ink will be dry on the new deal SCO (formerly Caldera) and Microsoft signed.
- SCO official defends Linux sales after suit was filed. The reason is that while they may have distributed some of their own code with a GPL copyright on it, they weren’t the ones to put the copyright on the code they say was stolen, so they can still sue others who redistributed it.
- BusinessWeek asks Will This Be the Summer of Mac? and thinks the answer is yes. The reasons? New chips from IBM, a new version of Quark, and music sales. The chips and the new version of Quark are things I’ve heard rumbles about, and the music sales might boost Apple’s bottom line. But I’m still not convinced it’s going to add up to any big boost for Apple stock. They’ve found too many ways over the years to drive down their stock price in spite of good news.
- The UC Berkeley/Stanford Recovery-Oriented Computing (ROC) Project looks awfully interesting. It’s a nice addition to the features I already want in a server, namely that when something does go wrong, it gets fixed quickly.
- Shocking New Jacket Hits Street: The No Contact Jacket for women delivers an 80,000 volt jolt to anyone grabbing the gal sporting one. It’s powered by a 9V battery. It needs to be armed before it charges up, and once armed, it
emits a crackling sound. Also:
it would be hard for police to arrest anyone wearing one. Retail price should be around $1000. [boing boing]
- Mad cow case leaves an industry paralyzed in Canada. Bad news for beef. [strib]
23. May, 2003 - Saints Home Opener!
- Tonight is the Saints Home Opener. Another season of fun begins.
- New Saints manager: Game's the thing is the PressPatch’s story on the Saints opener tonight.
- Saints seek between-the-line success, looking to win their first title since 1996. Yeah, it’s about time for a winning club again.
- Remember, May 23 means The Defenestration of Prague, too!
- Shot to Hell tells the story of Duy Ngo, the Minneapolis Police officer who was shot first by an unknown assailant, and then after calling in for help, by a fellow officer.
- Have you been Protesting Against the War in Iraq? Then You Must Be A Terrorist. Well, there it is, then.
- Hey, the Minneapolis Photo Collection of the Minneapolis Public Library went online, and I just noticed it now.
- A Seth Eastman Sketchbook at the Minneapolis Public Library has the sketches of “probably the premier watercolorist of the upper Mississippi.”
- How does Dyson make water go uphill? on a fountain that looks like something M.C. Escher drew? [boing boing]
- Deal is sealed: 2 a.m. closing time for bars. It takes effect August 1. I like the idea overall, but I expect I’ll have to adjust my pace on evenings out.
- Finally, to make sure I have both a booze link and a sex link for Friday: How to Write Sex Scenes: The 12-Step Guide by Steve Almond. I haven’t been reading Nerve much lately, and apparently I’ve been missing out. This was a funny article, and probably informative, too.
22. May, 2003 - gone nuts?
- Jim has some sad news and wanted to share it with everyone while he still has the balls to do it. The news is that he appears to have Testicular Cancer (final diagnosis pending). For certain there’s a tumor in one of his testicles and it will probably be removed. For those of you who know him (and even those who don’t) be aware that it’s highly treatable.
For all you males out there–here’s info on how to do a Testicular self examination, though it might be fun to have your wife or girlfriend do it (if, unlike Jim, you have such a thing). [jim]
- When Jim told me about his news, one of the first things I thought of were prosthetics, since I’d heard the story of The Man Who Wanted ‘Canine Cojones’ a year or so ago.
- Since prosthetic testicles for humans have been outlawed by the FDA (see the previous story), here’s a rundown on the ones for dogs called Neuticles. Their website is down, but the Internet Archive has the backup. There was also a story I read recently about someone adding in a radio-tracker so you could find your lost doggie, but I can’t find the story again.
- On a more serious note, I’ve noticed recently that the crowd I hang out with is starting to get (or at least act) old. A couple weeks ago at the bar (we still haven’t shed that youthful habit), we were talking, and the topic of conversation turned to everyone’s various ailments. One gal was having a sore back. Two of the guys have sleeping disorders that require they wear things that shoot air into their faces while they sleep and one’s got hepatitis C. I’ve got bad knees, almost certainly made worse by sitting on my butt too much and carrying around 50 pounds more than I should. While we’re only halfway into an average lifespan or so, things are starting to break down, and it’s a sobering realization. But even worse was being surrounded by 20-somethings and realizing we were sitting around talking about our infirmities, which made me feel older than any of the physical problems. The conversation didn’t really get back to normal bar-fare the rest of the night, and it was one of the least satisfying evenings out in quite a while.
21. May, 2003 - Moo, damnit!
- U.S. bans Canada beef after mad cow disease found last January. There’s no explanation for the delay. But the USDA are busy reassuring people that BSE won’t spread to the US. More on the Mad cow case in Alberta, pointer courtesy Mr. Cosh. [colby cosh]
- RIAA Radar
is a tool that music consumers can use to easily and instantly distinguish whether an album was released by a member of the Recording Industry Association of America. Handy if you’re still buying CDs. [boing boing]
- There’s been a lot of talk [among the audio geeks, at least] about Apple’s new AAC compression format. Well, the AAC vs. MP3 comparision. Is it as good as CD? Not quite, but for many people, it’s good enough. Me, I can’t really hear the difference unless I turn many switches and knobs and stuff that’s generally more work than I go to just to hear some tunez.
- Pentagon changes the name of its new anti-terror surveillance system. See, it’s Terrorism Information Awareness now, so you’ll feel a lot better about it when you’re being spied upon, in spite of none of the details of the program having changed. You will feel better, won’t you? [fark!]
- Man Gets Ticket For Sitting On Milk Crate. The actual ticket reads
unauthorized use of a milk crate. This dangerous criminal was sitting on it outside of the salon where he worked. [jim] [He was probably a terrorist. Definitely up to no good. Can’t have people sitting. Don’t you know there’s a war on? -DaveP]
- BBC correspondent defends Lynch documentary that says (among other things) that Kelly Lynch’s ambulance was fired upon by US troops the day before her
rescue. Lileks [you’ll need to scroll down a bit] is not so convinced, and the InstaPundit collects tons of links if you want to investigate further. [fark!]
- In An appalling magic,
Jonathan Freedland confronts [Ann Coulter] and recognises a truth about the United States today: Bush isn’t an aberration and Coulter expresses what many Americans think. And she’s cute.
20. May, 2003 - Pfffft
- So I was sitting around on Monday, trying to set up my PC laptop so it would dual-boot XP and OpenBSD (which went about the way I expected: I’ve accidentally wiped XP, and can only boot OpenBSD on it), when suddenly I heard a pop and then a hissing sound from my trike. I hadn’t ridden it since last Friday, and for some reason the front left tire suddenly popped and went flat. Blegh. Now I have to remember how to change a tire before I can go for a ride again.
- They’re installing cameras everywhere in downtown Minneapolis. Since Target Corp is paying for it and that’s called
charity (perhaps the strangest use of that word I’ve ever seen). Go to Skyway News Online for the complete story. [jim]
- Military waste under fire / trillion missing -- Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting. They lost a trillion!? And 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. How do you lose 32 tanks? Or 56 airplanes? Or a trillion dollars? Sheesh. And people wonder why I think we shouldn’t give the government so much money.
- The Patron Saints Index Topic List can help you find the saint you need, whether it’s the patron saint of arms dealers, compulsive gamblers, or reformed prostitutes.
19. May, 2003 - one month to MacHack
- Last night we put up the new machack site with the unstoppable theme. I think this is the first year I’ve been involved in much of the planning for MacHack, and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good conference. If you’re a Mac geek who hasn’t registered yet, why the heck haven’t you?
- Dave Winer sums up the reason weblogs are so prevalent in google searches with If you want to be in Google, you gotta be on the Web. Nice work, Dave. This goes for companies like Logitech, too. They need to have a fixed URL for their Pocket Digital Camera if the want the ranking for their page to appear higher than my gripe about it. What Google Leaves Out is a study of exactly what it is google is indexing that might be interesting. [scripting]
- Citizen Reporters Make the News in Korea, with OhmyNews, a web-newspaper written by just about anyone who wants to. It’s interesting that OhmyNews [Korean language] seems to be a lot more successful than IndyMedia is. Is it just because seventy percent of Koreans have broadband? Dan Gillmor’s got more, but it’ll be hidden behind a for-pay firewall in a week or two, so you’d better read it now.
- Yeah, we’re probably living in a Surveillance State now.
Since September 11, a flood of federal legislation has reduced American freedom without increasing our security. But is it really a surprise to anyone at this point? [endwar]
- The Strib has Questions and answers about the new conceal-and-carry gun law. The new law goes into effect May 28th. [strib]
- What If SCO Is Right? What if Linux does include proprietary code? But what if SCO unintentionally released that very code under the GPL?
18. May, 2003 - lazy
- Scoble says that Google has been coming under pressure from its advertisers who are upset that weblogs have as much weight as they do. I guess there’s probably some justification there, since Logitech can’t be very happy that my page griping about their Pocket Ditigal camera rates as high as it does. Speaking of which, I’ve updated that page with information about their Mac OS X drivers. [scripting]
- I was planning on taking a bunch of pictures of the various “patron saints” at the game last night, but got lazy (much as I’m doing today). But at least we cooked our own food. Here are some folks who took the really lazy approach to tailgating, getting their food delivered.
16. May, 2003 - busy weekend
- This weekend, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association’s Art-a-Whirl brings creative storm to N.E. Minneapolis. I know some folks who’ll be participating, so I may actually make it to some of the exhibits over the weekend. [strib]
- Tonight’s the first pre-season game of 2003 for the Saint Paul Saints. I’m a bit excited about it, even though there are only four guys on the roster that I know from last year.
- Lunar eclipse viewing mixed around the nation as weather hardly cooperates, but the weather here was good. I stepped out to look at the dark moon about 10pm, before totality, and then decided that sleep was more important. [strib]
- Stupid Security tracks security measures that do little more than make people feel better. It’s a good read, and I might end up adding it to my morning news. [cryptogram]
- Saving Private Lynch story ‘flawed’, or more accurately, completely faked. In fact, as the Iraqi medical staff were trying to return her in an ambulance, American troops at a checkpoint open fired on the ambulance, nearly killing her. [holy schmoly]
- Korean Activists to Sue for Internet Snafu. They’re suing Microsoft for
introducing servers with security defects and failing to inform clients sufficiently of the risks. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, since it could be the first case of a company being held financially liable for bugs in their software. [cryptogram]
- A Woman’s Guide on How to Pee Standing has been revised since the original 1997 edition.
- Layne posted about a Friday Five from a while ago. It was about music, and since my musical tastes ossified back during the Reagan presidency (well, not completely, but it’s my blog, and I’ll make fun of me if I like), I’ll pass on commenting on that one. But this week’s concerns food so I don’t think I can pass:
What drinking water do you prefer—tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?
Bottled (or canned), with a bit of barley, hops and yeast.
What are your favourite flavor of chips?
My favorite flavour of chips? Probably potato. Gotta like the humble spud. I don’t remember the source or the exact quote, but I once heard a comment about the Irish and the Polish having three curses in common: subsisting on the potato, a love for strong drink, and the Catholic Church.
Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
Color me simple, but I like a big hunk of meat with a few accoutrements. Take a beef tenderloin, season it, sear it, slice thinly and serve with horseradish and roasted beet roots on a bed of lettuce. Mmmmmm. About a half-hour of work total, most of which can be done with a grill and a knife. Some would call it a carpaccio. Other spices work, too.
How do you have your eggs?
Mostly fried, and in a sandwich, for breakfast, but the beauty of eggs is that there are so many different ways to cook them.
Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
You mean other than the guy at McDonald’s, right? See, there’s this gal… The food was good. The company was better. But mostly, I’m the one who does the cooking, because I like to do it, and I think I’m pretty good at it.
15. May, 2003 - almost a new season
- Spammers Fight Back in Court, suing Spamhaus and SPEWS. See, they say they’re being libelled, and they don’t really send unsolicited email, people really want it, and besides it wasn’t even them–they were never even near the place.
- So now SCO says customers bear Linux legal risks because Linux is infringing on SCO intellectual property, so any company using it could be liable for damages. That’ll win them a lot of friends, I’m sure.
- Metro Transit fare hikes, route cuts coming. Gonna have fewer routes, and they’ll cost more during a longer rush-hour (which probably reflects reality a little better). Well, hopefully none of the routes I ride will get axed. [strib]
- I know the series isn’t over yet, but the Wild sure looked done last night. It didn’t help that Giguere was incredible in goal for the Ducks, but it looked to me like the Wild got outskated after Gabby’s breakaway went for naught. In spite of the raw numbers on shots, Anaheim played more of their defence right in front of Roloson and Fernandez. Roloson wasn’t in hoover-mode, and combined with the aggressive forechecking of the Ducks suddenly Anaheim looked like an offensive power. Even when the Wild had a power play, it looked like even strength hockey. I guess it’s possible the Wild could come back, but I think the only real question remaining at this point is how long Giguere’s shutout streak is going to last.
- Hey, tomorrow is the first pre-season game for the Saint Paul Saints. Time to break in the new grill and start working out some new entrees for the new season. I bought a grill that I’m hoping will be trike-portable, so I can ride to the games and have the pleasant downhill-run home along the nearly-deserted transitway after games. I just need to find a cute single gal who wants to come to ballgames with me, and I’ll be set for the summer.
14. May, 2003 - my expectations are low
- It’s rare that I update twice in a day, but I finally figured out what I thought about the legislators who walked out in Texas.
D.C. feels reverberations of Texas’ Democrats’ move, but sadly, not the kind of reverberations I’d hoped when I saw the headline. I think that DeLay’s off base in saying he finds no honor in the Dems’ tactics. Heck, they were facing an unwinnable battle, and they ran away to fight another day. In doing so, they’ve shut down the Texas Legislature (shut down means no bad laws will be passed). The Democratic spokesman made noises about how brave the Dems are for insisting that
the state House address real concerns like the education and health care. Pshaw. They were going to lose a big political battle and walked out. I just hope they have the guts to stay out until the next elections. Heck, someone who promised
If elected, I will not serve. and then proved it would have my vote in a heartbeat. But I also think that having None of the Above on the ballot is a good idea.
- So Buffy’s almost done as a series, and they’ve started a Buffy Auction to sell off the props. Nothing I’m especially interested in, but there’s some things that harder-core fans would probably appreciate, like a tank-top and jeans costume worn on the show that are already up to thirty-five-hundred dollars. Last night’s episode was a reasonably good one again.
- Spammers, Reveal Thyselves! or face bigger penalties under a new law. See, they’re going to be required to put real email addresses and physical addresses in their spam. Surprisingly enough, it echoes the wording favored by existing
Legal expert David Sorkin said the bill could legitimize much of what people now view as spam, leading to an increase in unwanted, if not deceptive, e-mail. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.
- In Jayson Blair and lost faith, Kim Ode writes about how she’s more shaken by the fact that people have lost faith in journalists than by Jayson Blair’s lies.
Encountering deceit no longer packs the same wallop. Being fatalistic feels the same as being realistic. Speaking up seems hardly worth the effort. We make a big deal about whistleblowers or those who buck the system, which only helps to magnify their rarity. Yeah, we don’t expect much of journalists because we don’t expect much of anybody anymore. [strib]
- Ftrain: My friend the Arb describes how Paul’s going to formalise all the bits that are currently living behind ftrain. It sounds ambitious, but it also sounds pretty cool as a way to organize a site. The organization is one of the things I’ve always liked about F-Train (beyond, the writing, natch), and I’ll be interested to see how it all comes out.
- Dave Winer says he got a note from google PR saying that they’re not removing blogs from their searches, but there’s nothing on the google site about it yet. [scripting]
13. May, 2003 - 12 years since system 7.0
- Thanks to the Today-in-History page of Scope Systems, I remembered (or was reminded) that it was twelve years ago today that Apple released System 7. I keep thinking that I should someday write one of those “on this day” things, but it never quite gets done. The hardest part is populating the database with interesting events, and not just everything.
- The Fault that could Fracture the Conservative Coalition talks about the differences between libertarians and conservatives and how the current alliance could be on shaky ground. The way I see it, it’s always been something of a shaky coalition. Sure, the Republicans are pro-gun, and that’s an important right. But they’re also pretty much pro-big-government, pro-stricking-their-noses-into-other-people’s-business, and generally a pretty reliable ally of the nanny-state. The Democrats aren’t any better, with their lust for an even bigger and more
- Feds Doing More Secret Searches under FISA. 30% more in 2002 than in the year before.
- I’ve wanted A TiVo Player for the Radio for a while, but unlike the writer, my primary use would be to replay something from a few seconds ago.
What was that? Oh, okay. Well, I’d probably set it up to record Cosmic Slop, too.
- SEC reaches deal in spam fraud case. The important bit was the fraud, not the spam.
- Sneaky virus spreading rapidly. Fizzer is a new windows virus going around. Glad I don’t much use Windows.
- 99 Bottles of Beer: programs in 515 different computer languages that generate the lyrics to 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. [boing boing]
- How could we have missed Modern Drunkard Magazine for so long? It includes the Clash of the Tightest in which dead celebrity drunks are competing for the coveted title of Greatest Boozer of all time. They’re down to the finals–Charles Bukowski vs. Jackie Gleason. Gleason’s favored, odds are 3-2. [jim]
- Well, I don’t know how Jim missed it, but I pointed to Modern Drunkard on December 20 last year and February 16 and April 13 of this year. But sadly, the search I have on the site doesn’t find words within URLs, so it’s hard to know that unless you can grep all of Dave’s Picks.
12. May, 2003 - follow-ups
- Is the move to selling music Apple’s exit strategy? Could be. Things don’t look all that good on the hardware front, but then again, there’s been signs that something is brewing and we’ll find out about it at the rescheduled WWDC. Then there’s this article about Carving up Apple into separate hardware and software companies. I’m dubious. I’ve said it before, but I don’t think a separate software company is something Apple really understands how to do. DenBeste has more on X86 Mac—getting from A to B, and says he doesn’t think it’s possible. [some guy]
- In response to my post the other day about finding good writing on the net, I received a pointer to unitedHeroes.net, which says it’s
Free original fiction stories with the cool taste of Real Pastrami.
- Baseball Blogs seems to be strictly oriented to MLB, and link to a number of blogs that are either really recent creations (which could be good or bad), or which publish infrequently. I’ve considered doing something just about the Saints more than once, but that sort of thing falls in the
well fine, but how would I pay for it? class of things that would be cool to do, but I’ve already got plenty of non-profit projects.
- There’s a discussion about the rumor that Google is doing away with blogs. Ev also had something to say about it, and what with him working at google now, he may have a clue. Russell Beattie thinks Andrew Orloski was right. Of course Russell seems to be the type of blogger who talks a lot and doesn’t have a lot of links. I’d be frustrated if google took me to his site on a lot of searches, too. Then again, other than bloggers pointing to him, I don’t find his stuff very often. Ole Eichhorn has some thoughts about Google and Blogs, including linking to some of the source documents. But he still thinks that google might want to exclude blogs from regular searches. I’m still confused by this, since I don’t see blogs doing anything but improving the results of the searches I do on google. [scripting]
- Trust Us: MS Admits Security Gap in passport and Flaw exposes Microsoft ID service.
11. May, 2003 - Mother’s Day
- So now what do I do? I was planning on driving up to my mom’s for Mother's Day , but she just called, telling me that the road to her place is in such bad shape that the only traffic so far this morning was the guy who delivers the paper in a four-wheel-drive truck. Even the neighbor, who usually stops by for a cup of coffee hasn’t made it over. A few years back they paved all but the last ¾ mile of the road to her place, but that last bit can get pretty soggy when it rains. With as much rain as we’ve had lately, I was planning on it being a mess, so when she says not to even bother coming up because I’ll get stuck, I guess I’ll listen. Which now leaves me with a big chunk of today that was previously unplanned. Not like there isn’t plenty to do, but I’ve suddenly got to figure out which thing on the long to-do list should get my Sunday.
- Whether fresh air or ill wind, change blows into Minnesota, as the state slowly turns from a blue state to a red state. [strib]
- Surfin' Safari is a blog written by one of the engineers working on Safari. Useful and interesting stuff if that’s the browser you’re using, as I am most of the time.
- css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design. A cool example of how using CSS will let you change your site’s look easily. [zeldman]
- I think I like Rich Kulawiec's Draconian idea to rid the Net of spam, forever. Yeah, it might be a little harsh, but maybe that’s what it takes. It mentions SPEWS.ORG - the internet's Spam Prevention Early Warning System. as the only solution that actually works.
- Saints try new games to attract more fans and keep the seats full.
10. May, 2003 - I don’t seem to have an eLife, either
- Don’t write off the net as far as good writing goes–it’s not all just h4×0rz writing L337–there’s actually some pretty good stuff out there, and having websites is probably helping a lot of people write regularly, which helps make more good writing. The biggest problem now is finding the good writing. [boing boing]
- Google to fix blog noise problem. Me, I don’t know that there’s really a problem, but then I’ve always had pretty good luck searching with google. And where would sites like mine that are part blog, and part long-term content get classified? It’ll be interesting to see how it comes out. [scripting]
- Blogger forces Irish domain registry into sunlight, which means that folks will finally be able to see why it is that .ie domains cost about 10 times what .com domains do. [scripting]
- People For Internet Responsibility announces TRIPOLI, a rewrite of the email infrastructure of the ’net in order to allow individuals more control over their email, rather than ISPs, so everyone can set their own tolerance for spam. It’s an ambitious project, but they seem to have thought about many of the tougher issues, and it would be nice if it can get implemented.
- The Segway drives Woz to drink! Cool. It’s part of the SEG STORIES part of Woz’s website.
- Music Industry Poised for Another Bad Move, moving more toward copy-protected silvery discs that only work in some CD players (they’re not CDs–and last I heard, Philips is still standing tough on that), which decreases demand by up to 76%. It decreases my demand for ’em by 100%.
9. May, 2003 - schedule chaos
- This morning my schedule got all kerfuffled. First there was last night’s Wild game to watch on the TV, leading to me being up past my bedtime. But this morning, starting at 8am, the city was going to be working on the water mains, so the water would be shut off at 8 (they actually shut it off at 7:55am) until they’re done with whatever work needs doing. The guy said
a couple hours, unless something goes wrong. Anyway, my normal morning routine is to wake up sometime between 5:30 and 7:30, spend an hour or two surfing the web and putting together Dave’s Picks for the day (if you guessed I’m normally attired in fluffy bunny slippers and a ratty bathrobe during that process, you’d be half-right), then a bit of breakfast, and the morning ablutions, which end up being between 8 and 9 am, and then it’s time to start working for the day.
But that wouldn’t work today. Instead, the schedule was: wake at 6:45, sit down to check overnight email, read message I’d sent to myself reminding me about the water, shower, breakfast, brush teeth, and then finally get to surfing around the web. All basically a very long-winded way of saying it’s the city’s fault I’m running behind on getting the stuff posted for the day. Sorry. But hey, at least I’m wearing pants!
- Wild stuns Vancouver 4-2 in game 7:
The way things are going for the Wild, the NHL should just spot the Mighty Ducks a 3-1 lead right now and let the Wild roar back and break that record, too. I don’t watch much NHL hockey normally, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of the Wild this year. Heck, I’m still a little bitter about the Sharks and the Stars moving out of town (when the North Stars got split into two teams), but I watched games 5, 6, and 7 of the series against Vancouver, and it’s been some good hockey. [strib]
|the wild’s chances?|
Colby Cosh NHL Playoffs Page says it best:
|the wild’s chances now|
Anaheim-Minnesota in the final? Haw haw—that’s a good bet in 2005, all right. Sometimes the great game of hockey makes delirious fools of us all. In Cosh’s case, it would seem he might still be mistaken, as Minnesota started out ranked higher than the Ducks. Time will tell. [colby cosh]
- Speaking of hockey, there are more updates on the Hockey Riot 2003. One explusion and the regents at the U are suitably concerned and doing something.
- Dinkytown revives with new businesses. It’s interesting watching it from my perspective. I’ve been living in the area for most of the past twenty years, and Dinkytown has always been the commercial hub for me. The resurgence lately has actually hurt it a bit from my point of view, since the hardware store has moved on, but it’s nice to see more businesses making a go of it in Dinkytown.
- Pawlenty offers a deal: 2 a.m. bar close and more cops, which seems relatively fair. A 2am closing time would probably be a big change in Dinkytown, and I’ve wondered for years why there isn’t one squad always stationed there weekend evenings at bar close. It might cut down on the drunks playing bumper-cars in the parking lot at 1:15am. [strib]
8. May, 2003 - all over the map
- Real World Technologies - Coding Challenge I compares various human optimizations of some code. The upshot? A smart human who can fix the algorithm wins hands down over small tweaks like loop-unrolling. There’s nothing really earth-shattering here, and the main reason I point at it is that it’s the same kind of work ETA Systems had me doing in 1984. It’s interesting to see that people are still wrestling with the same problems we were almost twenty years ago.
- MacMerc.com: Alsoft Releases DiskWarrior 3.0 For Mac OS X. Yet another of the utilities I depend upon is now native. I'm spending over half my time in Mac OS X now, and have found that I prefer it for a few reasons, most of which boil down to the fact that on classic Mac OS, with coöperative multitasking, well-written applications still run better, but applications that aren't so well-written run better on X. And I'm stuck running some applications (such as CodeWarrior) that just aren't done that well.
- Camera, cellphone launches hit by lens shortages. See there’s plenty of cheap-ass lenses and 640×480 CMOS sensors for bad cameras, but the actual glass lenses and CCD sensors you need for more than a megapixel of resolution are now in short supply, because Japanese cell-phone makers are upgrading the resolution of the cameras in their phones. Guess maybe it’s not time for a new digital camera just yet.
- A couple quickie updates on the hockey riots: Regents to consider riot policy, financial aid and Fourth felony is issued in riots, this one to a non-student.
- Stupid Sentencing Tricks: U.S. District Court Judge James Rosenbaum is coming under fire for having publicly questioned the new sentencing
guidelines passed by Congress with no discussion at all.
- Finally, a quick mental state update. I’ve been pretty busy, and more than a little out of sorts lately. I aimed to solve that by just taking yesterday off and not doing any real work. I caught up on email a bit, had lunch with a friend, spent most of the afternoon watching things my TiVo had grabbed for me, had a beer with another friend in the evening, and then watched the Wild keep their playoff hopes alive. Now it’s time to find out if the better mood can survive a full day of work and being a little farther behind on things. Wish me luck.
7. May, 2003 - Heat. Serve. Enjoy?
- It’s Tuesday evening. I’m tired, cranky, and hungry. I decide I’ll eat some frozen microwave lasagna. So why are the directions so darned hard to follow?
Heat 4 minutes in microwave. Stir sauce around edges. Heat two more minutes in microwave. Serve. Enjoy. Why is it that last step in the directions that’s always the hardest?
- Judge Rules Against Pooh Heir. A. A. Milne’s granddaughter never had the marketing rights to Winnie the Pooh, so she never could have sold them to Disney. Y’know, this wouldn’t be anything like a big issue if Disney didn’t spend so much time and energy trying to extend the term of copyright so none of their
properties would ever expire. [boing boing]
- Government, companies race to patent SARS virus, raising ethics questions. Okay, explain to me again how you can patent a virus. Hey! How about I patent Hydrogen? Feh.
- Cindy Cohn from the EFF gave a Report from FTC Spam Conference in which she mentions that a big concern is that there are legitimate mailing lists which are being blocked by spam-blocking software. Yes, that’s true. It’s also true that I don’t give money to non-profits who contact me by phone anymore. While I may like their cause, telemarketers have wrecked the phone as a tool for raising funds from me. Spammers have wrecked email. If some non-profit wants money from me, they’re going to have to send a letter on paper (and not 23 increasingly urgent letters beginning just after my yearly tithe telling me that my
annual membership is about to expire, either) [boing boing]
- U renters protest, sue landlord Eischens. Our neighborhood association also hears a lot of complaints about him.
- Glow is off Minnesota’s once-venerated tobacco deal, as the money MN received is now being used to make up general budget shortfalls, rather than anything remotely to do with tobacco. Not surprising, but disappointing. [strib]
6. May, 2003 - Grumbling
- Steveo’s got more to say about Blogshares cont. But there are other problems, too. If you buy up all the shares of your own blog (like Scott did), you end up actually driving the price down because it’s not being traded actively, so the price doesn’t move (either up or down). It doesn’t emulate supply and demand. And for whatever reason, putting in a buy-order above market value almost never seems to get fulfilled, so that doesn’t much affect the price, either. The artificial limitation on buying more then 12.5% of the shares of a blog just feels wrong, since if there are shares available (from whom?), why shouldn’t I be able to buy them? Grumble. It’s said (see the comments) that they’re fixing the system, but why wasn’t it fixed during beta? Grumble.
- High Court Ruling Blasts Telemarket Fraud. Basically it means that telemarketers can’t lie to you about where the money they’re collecting will go, even if it’s for a charity. [fark!]
- CNet’s reviewing the Color Sidekick (aka Hiptop). Doesn’t look like they’ve managed to hook up the IR port yet, or for that matter make any way for me to get my data from the SideKick to something else. Grumble.
5. May, 2003 - I got nothin’
- Okay, so it’s Cinco de Mayo and I could probably go on about how it’s a swell holiday and all and I’d like to see the Mexicans take the holiday back from the drunken white frat-boys, but I don’t really have the energy for it. Sorry to leave you with just three cheese sandwich posts today, but none of the news jumped out at me, and I’m not feeling all that jazzed about anything in particular. I’m still alive, and doing okay. I just don’t have much to blog at the moment.
- I spent yesterday taking care of the little things and decided to spend a little time writing about it. It was a pretty good day, I think. I guess the real test will be how today goes after I spent yesterday clearing the decks so I could theoretically have a productive day today.
- I was thinking about writing up some of my recent confusion about women. There’s actually been some, and I figured maybe some reader would be able to shed light on the situations that have left me scratching my head. But then I got an email containing The Top Ten Things Men Know and Understand About Women, and figured that pretty much covered it.
4. May, 2003 - last week - spam
- Radke, Ullger suspended, fined for role in beanball battle with Tampa Bay. That’s the ballgame that I went to on Wednesday with Steph, Tim & Jim. Steph commented about it on her blog (scroll to the May 1 entry), but I missed the biggest part of the hassles, as I was in the men’s room at the time. D’Ohh! But I was pretty sure the Tampa Bay pitcher who was warned in the first inning just had no control at all, and it really didn’t seem all that weird to me. I guess I’m too used to watching minor-league ball. [strib]
- I’ve been thinking about BlogShares (link takes you to my portfolio) and aside from it being a fairly time-consuming bit of entertainment, I had a feeling of unease about it. I mean look at the quantities of virtual money floating around in the system, and where the heck did it come from?!? This morning it struck me–the biggest problem with blogshares is that it isn’t a zero-sum game. It’s possible to make money in the game without anyone else losing money, and that’s led to some behaviors that just wouldn’t work in a real stock market such as being able to buy all the shares of a blog, thereby driving up the price, and then dumping them all at once. With no other person involved in the trades, it was possible for me to parley $500 into over $25,000 during the beta-period, and to turn that into over $30k in the first day or two of “real” play, without affecting anyone else’s balance. The thing I feel worst about is that it took me this long to figure it out.
- Last monday when my server had a kernel panic, and needed to be manually rebooted, I figured out how to make it restart by itself. Automatically rebooting OpenBSD after a panic is the result.
- OpenBSD 3.3 has finally arrived. There’s some pretty cool new technology in there to make the OS even more secure.
- Spam E-Mail Problem Worse Than Imagined:
If there are not immediate improvements implemented across the board by technologists, service providers and perhaps lawmakers, e-mail is at risk of being run into the ground. Yeah, it’s bad. But there are tools to filter out most of the crap, it’s just that so few email providers are actually running them.
- Spam Invasion: Your Cell Phone. If you get text-messaging on your cell-phone, especially if you pay per-message costs, things could get expensive real soon.
- Talking about spam, I’ve been using SpamAssassin, but here’s an article on how to Fight Spam with SpamProbe. It looks like another reasonable system. But I’m thinking pretty hard about switching to an email client that supports IMAP. Leaving the mail on the server is starting to sound like a better and better idea, especially since it makes it so much easier to train the spam-spotting tools.
- Finally, Steve Jobs: “It’s So Cool”. Steve’s talking about the iMusic thing. Thing is, I just can’t get that excited about it yet. Steve says that they’re going to be signing up independent labels soon, but they haven’t yet. But between the RIAA’s harping on DRM and piracy, and the way the labels screw most artists, I just haven’t had the urge to buy any new music for a couple years. But there’s no arguing that it’s the best music-download system out there at the moment if that’s what you want to do. In one day, Apple sold more music than all the other online music services did in the past six months (at least that’s the statistic I remember hearing that I can’t find the source for again).
3. May, 2003 - concealed carry in MN
- The Strib led today’s paper with three stories on the new concealed carry law in Minnesota. Most see handgun law making Minnesota more dangerous, in part because the poll doesn’t mention that to get a concealed carry permit you have to go through training. But the real issue isn’t whether people think it’ll make things safer or not, it’s whether it will actually make things safer. People also predicted that when Florida got a similar concealed carry law, it would lead to old-west style shootouts, and it didn’t. It decreased some kinds of crime. [strib]
- Studies inconclusive whether concealed handgun laws make states safer, but
What we’ve found is there’s been no significant increase in crime, because the people getting permits are law-abiding people. [strib]
- In spite of the title, Your neighbor? Coworker? Date? Look who’s packin’ now actually seems to be a reasonably fair look at the training required to get a permit. [strib]
- AlterNet: Patriot Raid. The fact that this is happening in America makes me feel sick. [endwar]
- Court blocks campaign finance reform, striking down the ban on special interest groups advertising in the 60 days before any federal election. This was probably the worst part of the law, since it would have prevented most issue advertising by anything other than a private individual in the months leading up to an election.
- U.S. says Canada cares too much about liberties. Someone in the US State Department seems to need a refresher in the Bill of Rights. [accordionguy]
- Heading off film piracy / Movie trade group staying one step ahead in lobbying efforts. The MPAA is doing a lot better job of lobbying than the RIAA had, and they’ve gotten legistlation passed in some states because the volunteers at the EFF haven’t been able to cover all the bases. Some of the state legislation that’s passed (and is proposed) could end up banning TiVo in those states.
2. May, 2003 - Only 7 more days until the weekend!
- I don’t see it on any US news sites, but the World Tribune says US Special Forces may have captured Bin Laden in Afghanistan. [jim]
- Fairly-Secure Anti-SPAM Gateway Using OpenBSD, Postfix, Amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, Razor and DCC. Better than the writeup I did on installing SpamAssassin on OpenBSD? More thorough, to be sure, but it doesn’t use sendmail.
- How To Make A Telemarketer Cry (or, Suing Bozos for Fun & Profit). Speaking of which, fax.com tried to send me their latest crap last night. I finally bit the bullet and am now paying an extra $7/month so everyone who calls me can be annoyed by having to press a button or two to get through. [boing boing]
- Every Unhappy Family Has Its Own Bilinear Influence Function. Expressing conversations as math. Cool.
- Size does matter: The top ultracompact cameras rounded up and compared by ZDNet. Come to think of it, I haven’t bought a new digital camera in a while…
1. May, 2003 - Mayday!
- The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is running A Survey of Blogs and Bloggers. [fark!]
- Steveo’s got More RSS Ranting. Here’s my take: I read the web using a browser in the morning. It’s my morning news, and I hit a few papers, a few comics, and a slew of blogs every morning. The results end up in Dave’s Picks at some point. Then in the evening, when I’m watching the TV, I fire up the laptop and use some RSS tool to browse through a different set of news. News that’s more geek-oriented. Sometimes links come of that, but more often it’s a matter of spotting something that looks newsworthy, and then I’ll see some neat commentary the next morning that I end up linking to. The RSS is more of a headline-skimmer for me, I guess.
- Why Blogs Haven't Stormed the Business World discusses the problem organizing the large amounts of text that most bloggers accumulate. I’ve been thinking about that problem for the entries here, too. But the author of the article seems to have completely missed systems that do offer better organization, like More Like This, b2++ or b2 ftrain (which source isn’t available, but the site works well most of the time), slash or scoop or any of the other technologies people have rolled together to solve the very problem the author’s going on about.
- Now everyone’s Licensed to War Drive in N.H., since a new law was passed explicitly making it legal to access a wireless network which has not been secured. Basically it means that if you connect to a wireless network without a password, the owner of that network can’t sue you. In other states, you’re a criminal if you access an open network. The NH law, if signed, will take effect in January 2004.
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