- The Great Library of Amazonia as they scan digitize hundreds of thousands of books. And there are groups digitizing books on which copyright has expired. But what about all the books that are still under copyright due to the Disney Protection Act of 1998, and which aren’t sold anymore? I have dozens of books that fall into this class, and trying to replace many of them would be a major effort. It would be nice to be able to digitize them before all the paper copies fall apart with age (which is a distinct possibility with many books from the 60s and 70s that were printed on high-acid paper. I’ve watched some crumble as I try to read them). [boing boing]
New York parking tickets become international incident as New York police are tired of having diplomats not pay their parking tickets and have started parking in the
reserved for diplomatsspaces. Seemed to me I remembered a picture of another solution and google’s image search turned it up pretty quickly. Now obviously this wouldn’t work in all parking spots, but it might be a start. [strib]
- On the other hand, our diplomats apparently need to be told to put on some clothes: US State Department cracks down on diplomatic dress code. Makes sense. Nobody needs to see Colin Powell in a bare-midriff halter top. [fark!]
- Bubble Trouble is an addictive little flash game. Dang. There goes the afternoon. [vowe]
- Actually, Thanksgiving Dinner for me was pheasant, rather than turkey. Still tasty, though.
- Hey, Bubba Ho-Tep opens next week at the Uptown here in Minneapolis. If I’m not mistaken, it’ll be the first time I have a chance to see a Bruce Campbell movie in an actual theater instead of on video. It might actually get me into a movie theater for the first time in years.
- How is it that we get things done? Well, a good dash of Structured Procrastination seems to help. Although for me, deadlines seem to be an awfully important part of the equation.
- I got invited into Friendster recently. It’s a really frustrating service. It looks like it might be cool, but it’s so damned slow to respond that I gave up trying to explore it after about ten minutes. Oh well, maybe some other time. I also wonder about who has access to the data, which leads me to…
- Do you feel the Orwellian eyes on you? Well, maybe not yet, but the technology’s all there for pretty much constant 1984-style surveillance.
The technology is developing at the speed of light, but the laws that protect us go back to the stone ages.Nothing really new here, but it's nice to see that I’m not the only one who notices this sort of thing.
- Broad Bills Stuffed With Lawmakers’ Pet Items and rammed through at the last minute before the Thanksgiving recess, leading the NYT to say Pass the Sour Grapes, Not Sweet Potatoes, and
If you were to judge this Congress by how it operated, the process by which it operated, and the quality of the legislative product, I would give it a D minus.
- One Man Against Secrecy talks about the Federeation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy. The article includes this swell quote:
The website is Secrecy News. [fark!]
In fact, the government’s classification chief, J. William Leonard, has bookmarked Aftergood’s Web site because it is usually easier to find critical national security documents there than on government Web sites.
- Counterprotest sign is unacceptable, offensive, but darned funny. A small group walked in front of the progressive rally and carried a sign, painted in black and white, which read
This Protest Needs Soap.The letter to the editor claims it’s a racist sign, and not a comment on the cleanliness of the protestors. [fark!]
- Wanted: [female] volunteers to test orgasmatron. They need eight more volunteers to round out the group of ten they want for the first trials. [fark!]
- Pre-storm buildup amplified post-storm letdown after last weekend’s snow. For me, I was doubting the doom and gloom predictions before the snow even started to fall, but I agree that at least a part of the problem is newsies who aren’t from around here and think that six inches of snow is the end of the world. Heck, it wasn’t even enough snow for me to bother getting out the Sorels since it didn’t come over the top of my tennis-shoes in most places. [press-patch]
- Texas sues telemarketers for violating do-not-call laws, but it’s under Texas law, not the federal law. It’s still nice to see someone sued. [fark!]
- The iPod’s Dirty Secret I linked to the other day isn’t exactly accurate anymore (except for the part about the battery only lasting 18 months). According to this iPod Repair Service page, Apple will put a new battery in your iPod for $99, but that hasn’t always been their policy, and from what I’ve been able to gather, the $250 charge for a new battery applied for at least a while. [some guy]
- Evan’s got a long post about Outsourcing And Its Discontents in which he looks more at the ideas he started to express about outsourcing a few days back. He says that outsourcing labor to countries where that work is cheaper will probably start to affect the programming world soon.
I think he’s missing a couple points. The first is that there’s already outsourcing happening that’s very successful. It’s what I depend on for my business. Companies from around the US outsource some of their programming to Minnesota, because I can afford to offer them my skills for less than I would have to charge if I lived in Silicon Valley. It’s not as dramatic of a savings as if they’d sent the work to India, but they get someone who’s only a couple time-zones away, rather than a dozen.
An even bigger issue in the long run is that good programming is hard. I’ve got almost twenty years of programming experience, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way (mostly by screwing things up). I don’t think that kind of experience is going to magically appear in places like India overnight. It takes time to screw things so you can learn from your mistakes. Maybe not the twenty years it took me, but I think I’ve got at least a couple years’ lead.
There’s also a value to being here in the US (at least today). It’s a lot easier to learn something new in order to stay ahead of the competition here. Evan thinks Flash programming might be the future of programming. I’m not sure if that’s it, or if it’ll be PHP or any of a dozen other higher-level languages that’ll eventually unseat C++ (if anything does, but I’d bet on it as much as I figured COBOL was a dead-end in the 80s), but I’d like to think that being in the US, and communicating regularly with a bunch of other smart people, I’ll have an inkling of what I’ll need to learn next in order to keep my advantage.
Or maybe I’m just building a better buggy-whip. I’d like to think I’ll realize if I am before it’s too late. [101-280]
- I got some feedback saying that it might not be smart to order from Andgor Toys, who I pointed to last Friday. There’s an update there.
- New Rules May Set Off a Cellphone Scramble as people move to new providers.
- Number Portability Tips for Consumers has some tips on how to keep the number from your cell-phone when you switch carriers. [boing boing]
- New U.S. Rules on Cell Numbers Create Uncertainty among cellular companies. Maybe one of ’em will actually start providing customer service. That’d be noteworthy enough that maybe I’d get a cell-phone again.
- And finally, it says here there was no rush for cell switch. Probably because the procedures aren’t clear and people still have time left on their contracts.
- In War Over Spam, One Company Is Happily Arming Both Sides, selling high-volume mail servers to spammers, and also having bought Spamcop back in July. But really, they have your best interests in mind.
- Fairgrounds all but closed: Winter use is quiet, tensive. I used to walk through the fairgrounds to and from work when I was working at ETA in the late 80s and driving bus for Ryder in 1990. I’d take the inter-campus bus to St. Paul for free, and then hoof it across the fairgrounds towards Como and Snelling. The only real problem was that very often the gates down on Como weren’t open so I’d have to detour a bit, but it was an interesting walk through there in the winter. I remember liking the fairgrounds in the winter much more than during the fair.
- Finally, last night and this morning, I added over a hundred new quotes to the Quotes I like file. I found a book of with quotations underlined that I hadn’t typed into the computer yet, and decided it was better to type them up now than pack the book and possibly never get to it. That’s how projects like “pack up the books” turn into multi-week marathons for me.
- No Snow Emergency this time, at least in Minneapolis. It’s pretty out, though. Today’s a nice clear day, with a fresh blanket of white on everything, and in a single weekend, I went from thinking of Thanksgiving as being too far in the future to worry about to suddenly realizing I need to get the Christmas cards in the mail soon. I really should get out today and take some pictures of the snow before I move and have to start shoveling the stuff.
- The PiPress asks What makes a good holiday letter? I’m thinking about that a bit, too. Thanksgiving weekend is when I usually bash out the one-page missive to the relatives and try and get the Christmas Card List put together. It’s going to be rougher than expected this year, since I’m busy trying to move. I also shut off the service to my Hiptop, which had a bunch of addresses in it that there was no way to get out, and now that the service is off, I can’t even read them out of the phone. I’m hoping I’ll be able to mine the posts from this year for a little material for the holiday letter at least, so I won’t have to think too hard about that part of the task. [press-patch]
- Unwanted Penis Web Ads Prompt Calif. Spam Rage. The man should be given a medal. And maybe one of those jackets where you get to give yourself all-day hugs, but with a medal pinned on it. [jr]
- Senate Bill Sticks It to Spammers just like the do-not-call list is sticking it to telemarketers (i.e. not much at all).
- The Gravity and Chaos Club at Western Washington University dropped over four-thousand superballs and shot videos of it. You may or may not be able to get through, as they’ve been slashdotted pretty hard.
- Here’s a geographical map of the internet. It ain’t perfect, but you can tell it where you’re surfing from and help make it more accurate.
- Imagine that! A couple games of hockey played outside! Erm. I’m not sure whether I’m happy or sad that this was such a big deal, but it would’ve been awfully cool to see Gretzky playing again. [colby cosh]
- Hear about the iPod’s Dirty Secret? (That’s a 6.9Mb Quicktime movie, by the way.) The non-replacable battery only lasts about 18 months, after which you either have to pay $250 to get it refurbished, or more likely, just throw it away and buy a new one. So one geek’s made a movie to publicize that fact. Update: According to this iPod Repair Service page, Apple will put a new battery in your iPod for $99, but that hasn’t always been their policy, and from what I’ve been able to gather, the $250 charge for a new battery applied for at least a while. Update 2: See also Neistat’s Dirty Secret. [boing boing]
- I’ve also been trying to spend some time lately cataloging and packing up my Book Collection so I’ll have a chance of finding things when I move. I’m 14 boxes (314 books) into it so far, and it seems to be going pretty well, if more than a little slow. But I’ve actually managed to box all the books that were in piles on the floor, rather than sitting on one of my bookshelves, which meant I spend a fair amount of time just picking up the books, knocking the dust off them, and getting them somewhat sorted so I could pack them efficiently into the boxes. I’ve also been dealing with a lot of big books that pack awkwardly. I’m hoping the pace will pick up when I start pulling books off the shelves, otherwise I’m not going to have them all packed this year.
- Last defendant sentenced in hockey riot. His lawyer’s not happy about it, claiming that his client was just standing near a car that later got damaged. Yes, I agree that the punishment should be differernt for people who actually did damage vs. those just standing around, but when there’s a riot going on, even spectators (and news crews) are contributing to it by providing an audience.
- Big Storm Is In The Cards: Shovel and ruler ready? was the warning before it started snowing. Beastly storm is also a beauty has today’s dire predictions of snow and doom. Last night was nasty for driving, but mostly because the snow started when the streets were still above freezing, so there was a nice layer of liquid water under the snow. It was slippery out there. There hasn’t been a snow emergency declared yet, but when there is, here are the Snow Emergency Parking Rules (2003-2004). If I were a betting man, I’d bet it gets declared later today, which would mean it would take effect at 9pm this evening, which means I’m parked on the wrong side of the street for tomorrow, and will have to move my car. Dangit. I thought I was okay until 8am Tuesday.
- Lawmakers Approve Expansion of F.B.I.’s Antiterrorism Powers. Sheesh.
- All of a sudden the Patriot Act isn’t just about terrorists anymore. Well, it never was just about terrorism. But it’s proving useful to prosecute topless dancers. Good thing we have that law to
save innocent American livesfrom boobies. [endwar]
- Who do you believe? Part 3 is Jim’s response to my flurry regarding an Iraq/Al Qaeda connection. Well, it took me a while to respond, but here we go:
First, Jim cites an official statement from the DOD which says in part:
which is not a denial. It simply says that there were no conclusions drawn. It’s still possible for a person to look at the information presented and draw his own conclusions.
The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, and it drew no conclusions.
Jim next cites a transcript of a press conference in January 2003, in which President Bush replies to the question:
One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
Again, there’s no denial. President Bush couldn’t make that claim at the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s true or false, just that he couldn’t talk about it. (By the way Jim, you used President Bush as your ultimate source, not penultimate.)
I can’t make that claim.
My take on the whole matter is still that there were connections between Saddam Hussein (probably via the Iraqi Intelligence Service) and Al-Qaeda. As another friend said in an email:
and I think that hits the nail right on the head.
I’ve been following the Osama/Saddam stuff too, and like you I think that there most certainly were connections–it would be ludicrous to assume there weren’t! But it’s a bit of a leap to assume that Saddam was “responsible” for 9/11, which fact apparently a majority of your countrymen believe. I suspect that certain elements within the House of Saud bear substantially more culpability…
But we couldn’t do anything about the Saudis without finding a backup oil supply first. And Saddam was convenient both for that, as well as being some unfinished business left over from Daddy’s watch.
The other factor that almost certainly figured into the calculations was that the other countries that were supporting Al Qaeda were unsuitable for being first on the list: the Saudis control a large portion of the world’s oil; the Pakistanis have nukes (and getting sucked into the dispute with India over Kashmir wouldn’t be in the US’s best interests anytime soon); the Iranians may change on their own; and while Syria may have been worth looking at, Iraq looked like the best place to start driving a wedge and making real change in the middle east.
I think the biggest thing that Jim (along with many others who think President Bush is too stuipid to tie his own shoes) misses is that there seems to be a long-term (and fairly complex) plan to make substantial changes in the political landscape in the Middle East. It’s a War on Terrorism, not just a war on Al Qaeda, or a war on Saddam Hussein. I fear it’s being used as an excuse for a War on Freedom within the US too, but from what I’ve been able to see, attacking Iraq made a lot of sense. [jim]
- Team sets out to find Japanese troops still fighting the war. It’s a quagmire, I tell ya.
- Now in Their Sights, the Hubble’s Demise. NASA’s already starting to talk about the death of the Hubble Space Telescope. If it isn’t serviced by 2008 (which might be tricky, given the lack of shuttle missions lately), it’ll have to be de-orbited by 2013.
- National Geographic Brings Mapping Back To Mac OS X, which is a good thing, as DeLorme doesn’t seem to care to ship an updated version of their mapping software. Then again, maybe no Mac geeks have GPSes. Schyeah.
- Mark Pilgrim’s got some news and a glum outlook on Weblog spam. Yeah, it ain’t pretty, but aside from the minor annoyance of some referrer-spam, I don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about it. Why? Well, I never actually got around to hooking up comments, and that makes a big difference, since it makes me a less attractive target. [jr]
- But hey, Mark Dayton says E-mail tax may help stop spam. I feel so much better now that Mark’s on the job. You know, he’s from the government, and he’s here to help!
- Here’s a nice little suggestion for dealing with junk mail of the paper variety. Heh. Heh. Heh.
- SCO To Expand Its Lawsuit Beyond Linux to the BSDs. Darl McBride, CEO of SCO says:
One of the biggest problems is that if you don’t have the ability to protect what you have then your value is next to nothing.Funny, that. I was thinking the same thing about SCO’s value.
- Here’s some more ideas about Why SCO will soon be going after BSD, even though everyone else was pretty sure the legal dispute over BSD was settled almost ten years ago.
- Says here SCO’s Legal Fees Could Jeopardize Its Software Business. SCO has a software business? See earlier comment about their value.
- AT&T Sues PayPal and eBay for Patent Infringement. Beauty. This one might be heinous enough that it will cause some patent law to be rewritten. [instapundit]
- Yesterday evening, my feckwit neighbor stopped by to say he was sorry for waking me up at 3am. After letting him ramble on for a while, I told him that I didn’t want his apology, I just wanted to be able to sleep through the goddamn night. Four more weeks until I should be able to start sleeping in my own house. I’m really looking forward to it.
- 3 AM this morning, and my stupid neighbor decides it’s time to crank up the stereo. If I weren’t moving, I’d have a talk with the landlord to get him evicted. As it is, I might do that anyhow, just out of spite. I can say with a pretty high degree of certainty that he won’t be getting invited to the housewarming.
- Hey, today makes 6 years. Happy blogday to me. Dunno if I’ll do anything special for it or not. I expect not, what with starting in a foul mood. But hey, that was a good week. All but three of the links on that page are still alive, and two of the dead ones still get you close. It’s nice to see other sites that have survived six years, rather than disappearing. I guess the web isn’t entirely littered with yesteryear’s castoffs.
- Light Up the Grocery List, or Nag a Child Fluorescently with the Lumi pad . It looks like a pretty cool toy.
- BUTIK.PL now has an English-language store, and can accept payments from folks here in the US much more easily than when I ordered from them which is a welcome thing.
- Need something a little festive for the holidays? Pick up a USB Christmas Tree, but apparently it’s such a hot item that you’ll need to order soon if you want it for Christmas. [boing boing]
- Update 24. Nov 2003 - I’m told via email that ordering from AndGor might not be too smart. Apparently there are folks who’ve ordered from them in 2002 and still haven’t gotten anything:
Hey, you can get Personalized Action Figures at AndGor Toy Company. I suspect it might already be too late to get one for Christmas, though.
You should not refer readers to Andgor Toy Company. I ordered a personalized figure form them in August of 2002. I paid in full so I would receive by Christmas. I don’t know what Christmas they were referring to. I have not heard form them since they charged my credit card for $500. I cannot reach them by phone, fax or e-mail. I have no idea whether or not I’ll ever get this doll. I’m moving and cam ony hope they receive the change of address I send them.
- Lucky for me, my mom doesn’t have a computer, so I won’t be screwed like this guy anytime soon. [papascott]
- Go vote in the This Year in Baseball Awards 2003, Bizarre Moments, or at least watch the videos. Voting ends Dec 2. [scottk]
- A guy descrbies his trip to the bunnyranch, complete with the only fitting ending. Not safe for some workplaces, but there’s no pictures. Just text. [WVSR]
- Here’s a funny eBay auction. I understand what it’s like to be surrounded by idiots this morning. [turly]
- Just for grins–Estimating the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow. But only a European Swallow, not an African Swallow.
- Advocate says Low-income housing problem will worsen in the future, blaming the federal government. I disagree.
- Over-occupancy is not about safety. I agree. One of the battles I was continually trying to fight in the neighborhood was over density. I think there are large parts of Marcy-Holmes which would be well-served by higher density, but the major problem is that there isn’t the infrastructure to handle the higher density. Because the public transit isn’t great, there are too many cars. Because there are too many cars (including those driven by commuters coming to the U every day), there isn’t enough parking. Because there isn’t enough parking, zoning codes are set up to lower density. As it is, rents are going to go up if occupancy laws are enforced, which will lead to more outcries about the lack of affordable housing. The affordable housing in this neighborhood is being zoned out of existence. The problem isn’t the federal government, it’s local zoning ordinances. Further, there’s the whole “no more than three unrelated people” bit in the zoning code. How is it that it’s “safe” for a family of eight people to live in a dwelling, but “unsafe” for four unrelated people to live in the same space?
- 2 months after fire, housing is still city’s focus, and the inspections are proceeding. Landlords are busy updating houses to meet code, and rents will probably rise. In addition, what seems to be much stricter enforcement of over-occupancy issues than ever before is going to make some people move. Talking with my landlord on Tuesday, we agreed that it looks like the changes are going to push the cheap end of the housing market near the U up from about $350/person to very close to $500/person. In addition, some landlords will probably be declaring bankruptcy, and you may see some houses sitting empty because they can’t be sold without being brought up to code, and the landlord (who over-extended himself in a booming housing market) now can’t afford to bring it up to code. I hope I’m not right about that.
- Benanav pitches tighter housing rules in St. Paul, with student-specific housing rules. I always thought the idea of discriminating against any class of renter was illegal. Guess that goes to show what I know. But hey, having a handful of non-student 22 year-old party-animals in a house is completely different from having the same number of students living there, right?
- Smelly surprise awaits tree thieves around the U of M. The spruce trees, of which seven were stolen last year around Christmas, have been sprayed with skunk scent. You don’t smell it when it’s cold, but when the trees are brought inside… No word on how that’s going to work out today, when the high temperature is supposed to be unseasonably warm at about 60F (15C). I expect the trees will be stinky.
- Finally, The Saddam-Osama Memo (cont.) from the Weekly Standard has more on the Hussein-Al Qaeda connection. James Woolsey, who was CIA Director under Bill Clinton says:
Anybody who says there is no working relationship between al Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence going back to the early ’90s — they can only say that if they’re illiterate. This is a slam dunk.The reason I’ve been hammering this for the past couple days is that I know too many folks who’ve been insisting it’s impossible that there was any connection, and it was entirely fabricated by George W. Bush (who besides being some sort of evil mastermind, is too dumb to tie his own shoes) as an excuse to get at Iraq’s oil supply, yet I always felt that if I’d been in Saddam or Osama’s shoes, I’d be looking for a little help from the other guy. Insisting that there was no connection at all just didn’t (and still doesn’t) make any sense to me. [instapundit]
- Hey. It’s National Ammo Day. Dunno if I’m going to get shopping or not, but I’ll see what I can do. [endwar]
- Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling allows gays to marry, and the legislature and governor have 180 days to get procedures in place for same-sex couples to get marriage licenses (or a suitable equivalent). The decision redefines marriage in Massachusetts to mean
the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others.[press-patch]
- Says here women are Blind to Mr. Right. I expect it goes both ways, and that’s probably about all I should say on the matter. But yesterday in the car found me listening to Pictures of Lily, which says something or other. [press-patch]
- Speaking of which, did you know there are Porn Sites Hiding Behind [fake] Blogs? They’ve been showing up in my referrers for a while. Heck, I just filter ’em out the the other referer-spammers. Unless they’ve got good porn, but none seem to have had yet. [scripting]
- Tougher Seat Belt Laws Save Lives, Study Finds, but they also encourage the growth of the nanny-state. Me, I wear my seat-belt, but I really don’t like being required to. And the way I figure it, a little natural selection wouldn’t hurt humanity…
- In Battle for the Booze, Modern Drunkard takes on sobriety checkpoints. In bars! That just ain’t right! [fark!]
- FullDisclosure: SSL Filtering says that SSL is now vulnerable to an off-the-shelf man-in-the-middle attack. Don’t let that little lock in the corner of your browser make you feel secure anymore, because not only was the vulnerability to a MIM attack discovered over a year ago, and discussed over seven years ago, with the advent of a pre-packaged application to take advantage of this weakness in SSL, it’s just way too easy for someone to snoop your supposedly “secure” communications. [reed]
- In the continuing noise probably only one or two of us care about: Case re-opened–How the Orwellian White House Continues to Keep the Saddam-9/11 Connection Alive, Even After Bush Debunked the Lie. They Are the Masters of “1984” Double Speak. from Jim and Case Open - Why is the press avoiding the Weekly Standard’s intelligence scoop?
You can bet the farm that if a mainstream publication had gotten the Feith memo first, it would have used it immediately.But then Slate is well-known for being a neo-con tool, as is John Kerry. There are more references at Osama’s Peace with Saddam and Independent Confirmation from the IIS, the first of which cites press releases from 1998, and the second which cites information found in Iraqi Intelligence Services headquarters by journalists Mitch Potter and Inigo Gilmore in April 2003. [instapundit]
- Labor pains: Shortages ahead talks about the labor shortage that will happen as boomers start to retire, and how the current policies encouraging early retirement just won’t make sense anymore. As someone who’s technically on the very tail of the baby boom, I never really planned on retiring from a traditional job. I figured there’d be work for me to do as long as I feel like doing it, and Social Security will be long bankrupt before I get a chance to collect anything from it. [press-patch]
- From soundgenerator.com news:
on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003 at 12:00 PM PST the MP3.com website will no longer be accessible in its current form.That’s a drag. [instapundit]
- Why Microsoft wants to buy - then trash - Google:
Of course Bill Gates has denied having any discussions with google, so who knows. Maybe google’s playing the hype game because they’re thinking of doing their IPO. Maybe Microsoft hasn’t had any discussions with google, but still wants to buy ’em up. Who can say? [vowe]
Search Google for Linux Windows That gets you about 14 million pages (I saw 8.34 million), even with the English preference or filter turned on. Now, go to msn.com and search the Microsoft way for the same two words. You get exactly 18 pages. (I got 16)
- A mini section on Medicare reform and Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs):
- For Middle Class, Health Insurance Becomes a Luxury, which is why I think the current proposals to change the health insurance system are good. The most important thing is letting people like me get affordable catastrophic health insurance, and pay for regular visits out of pocket.
- Congress Nears Medicare Drug Deal which looks like it includes medical savings accounts, which is the right direction they should be heading. MSAs would change the balance from the bureaucrat laden insurance companies that are the preferred choice today toward a system where people could make choices about health-care, such as buying insurance for catastrophic health problems, but paying small, routine expenses out of pocket, which I think is a better answer. A “Demonstration Project” = No Medicare Reform details some of the problems with current MSAs, but the biggest problem is that there are so few choices for a small employer like me.
- G.O.P. Begins Push for Medicare Bill, but the article doesn’t say whether the MSA provisions are still in there or not.
- Finally, in a follow-up to a post I made yesterday, an anonymous contributor says case re-opened. Well, the problem is that the original article didn’t mention
transfer of weapons of mass destruction,it mentioned
training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi financial support for Al Qaeda,none of which is refuted in the article from the Washington Post. Y’think it might be possible for both articles to be correct? All I know is that there’s a hell of a lot of spinning going on, and I still suspect a connection. If I were feeling more paranoid this morning, I’d probably figure the connection had been brokered by the CIA, which is why they’re not coming forward with evidence.
- Glock's New Model 37 .45 G.A.P.. Huh. I hadn’t even heard of the .45 G.A.P. but being a guy who prefers the big grip of the Glock 21, I’m pretty sure the only interesting thing about this is that it’s a mite more concealable. [endwar]
- Allison Gets Her Gun (Almost), in which a former dues-paying member of Hangun Control Inc. finds out that she’s pro-gun. [endwar]
It looks interesting, and may be a new source for some linkage here.
spiked is an online publication with the modest ambition of making history as well as reporting it. spiked stands for liberty, enlightenment, experimentation and excellence. Its priorities are content, content and content. (Although the design is not bad either.)
- Unique ID - The numbers that control your life explains how driver’s license numbers are far from random. The description of the encoding of the MN DL number matches mine exactly. [cryptogram]
- Free State Problems details problems in the Free State Project which shouldn’t really be a surprise. Their goals are like shouting
Anarchists, Unite!The real problem may end up being resolved by having two Free States (New Hampshire and Wyoming), due to the culture clash between left-coast and right-coast libertarians. [endwar]
- The Memory Hole is Peeking Behind the Curtain of Secrecy, publishing documents that wouldn’t otherwise be available.
- Dan Gillmor talks about AT&T's Anti-Anti-Spam Patent which patents a way of bypassing spam filters.
- Finally, Case Closed on the lack of a link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. It’s been going on since 1990.
But there can no longer be any serious argument about whether Saddam Hussein’s Iraq worked with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to plot against Americans.
- Optimization Week says Presidential Homepages Violate Speed and Accessibility Guidelines. Yes, even Howard Dean’s site sucks. [boing boing]
- Patent office to re-examine Eolas patent which wants licensing fees for browsers that can handle embedded objects. This is a good one to look at again, and it’s good that the patent office is, but I still wonder why the prior art wasn’t spotted in the first place. [zeldman]
- On Friday, as I was driving to meet some ex-co-workers for lunch, “Spam” came up on my iPod and I found myself singing along to it while in the car. Does liking the Weird Al version more than the original make me a bad man?
- Here’s a description of how to get your pictures off the DakotaDigitalCamera without having to take it back to Ritz/Wolf Camera and pay $12 to get a CD burned with your pictures. [gizmodo]
- The SH066P Personal Cell Phone Jammer looks like a cell-phone and will jam all cell-phone signals in a 30-50 foot radius. Just the thing when you’re not in the mood to listen to one side of a cell-phone conversation in public. [gizmodo]
- An aspect of buying a home that’s proving interesting is how my current neighbors are reacting. My landlord said that he thought it long-past time that I move into a house of my own (basically implying that it was time I started to act like an adult). Many neighbors have been very supportive and have offered warm feelings and assistance moving all my crap (I’m probably going to hire movers for the big stuff). But then there are a few whose first reaction was to worry about what would happen to the neighborhood association or the website with me moving away. See, my new house is in the Southeast Como neighborhood, and not in any of the traditional SE wards (PDF), since it’s north of Hennepin Avenue. It is, and will be in the first ward. I guess they’re right to be curious. I don’t know the answers yet, but I wasn’t planning to pull the plug on it just because I’m moving to another neighborhood.
- St. Paul’s river road ready to get rolling. They’ve finally (after 20 years) finished Shepard Road near downtown St. Paul. I’ll probably try and bike along it when the weather’s nice again, but it sounds much improved. [press-patch]
- As they’ve always told us: Guinness is good for you.
- Poor lighting raises concerns in my neighborhood. But one of the things that people need to do first is actually report existing lights that are out so they get fixed. That would make a pretty big difference.
- Riot preparations divert money from police needs, leading to increased costs at the University.
- Student housing forum focuses on student-renters and sends a petition to the city council to revoke the licenses of landlords with multiple violations.
- Ruminator Books in St. Paul is in dire financial straits. They’re having an Auction beginning today to raise some money, and you don’t even need to drive to St. Paul. [boing boing]
- If you’ve recently upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3, perhaps you’ll need to run this Panther Printing Fix. I know I did. But the ability to view .ps files in Preview and Exposé are worth the price of admission to me.
- Yesterday I had Ron from InspectaHomes inspect the house I’m looking to buy. He gave me a 14-page booklet detailing all of the house’s shortcomings, but concluded by saying that they’re all “petty” and there’s really no work I’d have to do upon moving in.
It’s been interesting watching my attitude change as the process of first finding, and then buying a house has moved forward. I started out thinking this was a pretty nice house, and figuring what I wanted to do to it (like ripping out the carpeting, refinishing the hardwood floors on the ground level, and getting new carpeting upstairs). I moved on to trying to think of the things that had to be done before I could move in, such as the carpeting, but only replacing the carpeting in the bedroom that will be mine (the other bedroom and the upstairs hallway can wait until later), and dealing with the old, noisy, but still working dishwasher in the kitchen (I’d like to get rid of it, but now that I know it works, I don’t have to). Now I’m trying to put together two lists: one of the things that have to get done before I start filling the house with my life, and another of weekend projects I’ll do when I get a chance. The list of weekend projects is already long enough that I don’t see having a free weekend anytime during the first year I live there.
the new house 398x298(29k)
I’m also starting to see myself living in the house. The vision hasn’t completely come together yet, as there are a lot of details I still need to work out, but I can already picture some of the ways a different living environment will shape my life.
I currently wake up and wander a dozen feet out into the living room to read the morning news on the computer as I go from conscious, but still fuzzy-headed to being wide-awake and ready to face the day. I can already see that my mornings will be different in the new house. The bathroom is on the same floor as the bedrooms, and the office will be down the stairs on the ground floor. I see that encouraging me to get showered before heading downstairs, which will probably mean that I’ll start working sooner in the day, as a shower is currently the line that divides my time from the day’s work. But where will breakfast fit into the picture? I guess there’s still plenty to discover.
I’m looking forward to that discovery, but I’m still worried. I’ve settled into a routine in the seven years in this apartment, and it’s going to change. I’m looking forward to the change, but it worries me. There’s a lot that’s comfortable about the rut I’ve settled into, and while I’m sure I’ll find an equally comfortable rut in the new house, I worry about the work involved in changing ruts, and whether the new ones will be aimed more in the direction I’d like to be moving.
- Lower drunk-driving standard finds new support with federal money at stake. It doesn’t matter much to me, since I generally walk to/from the bar when I go out (as I did last night), but I don’t like the way the feds blackmail states into changing their laws using highway money.
- Yep. These sure are The Worst Jobs in Science. Eww. [WVSR]
- Says here that United States v. Stewart means that homemade automatic weapons can’t be banned by the federal government unless you try to sell ’em. More commentary from Eugene Volokh too. Sadly, for now this just applies to the Ninth Circuit (as I understand things), but I’m imagining there will be people in other parts of the country trying to set precedents… [instapundit]
- This CD Settlement Update says the reason we haven’t got our $20 checks yet is that consumers in Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and Kentucky have filed appeals saying they don’t think the settlement is big enough. Oh well. One of these years… [fark!]
- Share ‘True Crime,’ do the time–copy a pre-release movie on the internet, and you could spend three years in the pokey. [fark!]
- CVS homedir is a description of how one guy keeps his life in CVS. I wish the command-line CVS on Mac OS X was smarter about not only permissions, but also files with resource forks so I could do this, but I’m thinking it’s going to take either the time to add that functionality to the tools or perhaps switch to a UFS filesystem (where resource-fork handling either works or doesn’t, and it’s more obvious when you’ll have problems). [boing boing]
- As I ponder all the work I’m going to have to do between now and the end of the year to pack up everything in my current apartment and move it to the house I’m buying, I find myself wishing I could just
cvs commitmy life here and
cvs updateat the new place. The Purchase Agreement got signed yesterday, so the next step is to get a couple inspections done. I think once the inspections come back okay, I’ll get a lot more excited about the move.
- Merriam-Webster to McDonald’s: ‘McJob’ is here to stay. Or as Fark said:
- Gossip…What people were overheard saying on the London Underground. Ten quotes every week. Funny! [holy schmoly]
- 10 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know about Google, complete with annoying spinny graphics! [scripting]
- The Ig® Nobel Prize site is well worth perusing. For example, I didn’t realize it was possible to rent the entire nation of Liechtenstein for weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc. [jim]
- So, here’s the belated explanation for yesterday’s lack of posting: Monday evening, I headed down to Keegan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant for dinner. I was thinking I’d grab a bite to eat, have a couple pints, wind down, and then home for some reading and some sleep. But a friend appeared as I was about to call it a night, and four or five shots and a few pints later, I was still at the bar, and we’d had hours of wide-ranging conversation. Good fun, but it meant that I wasn’t feeling particularly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed yesterday morning. Off to a client’s office for a meeting. Lunch. A bit more work, then off to the lawyer’s office for a 2pm meeting to help get some legal work done (one of these days I’ll go into the details). Home through 3pm,
what the hell, is rush-hour starting already?traffic and call my realtor. Spend a half-hour trying to get my printer to print out the map to the office where I’m meeting him, and then out the door to get there by 5, with no map printed. After two hours spent signing papers to make an offer on a house I want to buy (more details on that later, too), it was home again for dinner, a little TV, and then sleep. This morning, I find that they’ve counter-offered, and I think I can live with their counter-offer, so I guess I’d better get to work early so I can deal with house stuff this afternoon when me realtor’s done with his other meetings. Or maybe I’ll spend the morning trying to get my printer working again.
- Here’s a long review of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. The best thing about Panther? Computers seem faster. In my case, it wasn’t a huge speed increase, but it was enough to notice, which makes me happy. [vowe]
- I’m not sure what to say about the Church Sign Generator, but it certainly has potential for mindless amusement, especially when some folks out there haven’t caught on to the fact that the picture isn’t a real church sign.
- Greeks query city on new house rules that are a result of the historic designation.
- MSA project seeks cheaper, safer student housing, hoping that the University will pick up the cost. Affordable student housing is a real issue around here, but there’s not really much you can do to get the per-bed cost below about $500/month. If the prices are lower than that, you’re either renting a shithole, or you’re packing people in tighter than the zoning codes allow.
- The war on terrorism: Supreme Court Justices to hear captives’ case, and decide what (if any) recourse the prisoners who have been held without trial have. [press-patch]
- U.S. Senate actions degrade democracy. Hmm. I was not aware that the senate vote on the $87 billion for Iraq was a voice-vote with only six senators voting. That Just Doesn’t Seem Right.
- Ashcroft the Avenger and the politics of mandatory sentencing. And mandatory sentences have helped with the War on Drugs how?
- Patriot Act does not violate rights, state official says. Oh. Well, then it must be okay then. Oh wait…
[Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s homeland security and emergency management deputy director, Jeff] Luther said the Patriot Act is misinterpreted. He said the government does not have time to monitor each citizen’s actions.The point is not that they have time to monitor everything, but that they have the ablility to do so, and without having to go through procedures that might curb abuses. At the moment, we’re told
Trust me. I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.which I just don’t buy.
- The first National Bush in 2004 Supporter Meetup Day is tomororow at the Park Tavern on Louisiana in St. Louis Park. Sheesh, they coulda picked a venue where it’s actually possible to talk. [instapundit]
- Hop-On is going to be selling disposable cell-phones. I can’t find a price, but they’ll come with 60 minutes of time, and when it’s empty, you can either throw it away or take it back for your $5 deposit.
- Virginia tech has built the world’s 3rd fastest super computer in record time at the astonishingly low price of $5.2 million. It’s made from 1100 dual processor Mac G5s and was built by students. Labor costs? About 700 pizzas and a lot of Mountain Dew. [jim]
- Spammers Can Run but They Can’t Hide profiles Steve Linford, who runs spamhaus.org. He’s continuing to fight the battle against spam, but it’s getting tougher all the time.
- You might have noticed that I now have a link on every day’s picks that links to the weather history from the Weather Underground for that day, as well as the This Day in History page from the History Channel. It was a small bit of code, but I think they’re both kinda cool features. If nothing else, I’m often curious what the weather was like when I wrote something, and this will let me go back and check things. That’s one of the nice things about rolling your own blogging software — it’s pretty easy to add something like that.
- Cosh takes a look at The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jakob Levy’s look at the Political Compass and explains why the test probably isn’t all that good in much more detail than I did. Go read his thoughts. [colby cosh]
- John Ross has some dating Advice for men titled Understanding Women & “The Rules” For Men, or Think of it Like Driving in England which I found interesting, but also a bit discouraging. [endwar]
- Layne’s moving forward with her wedding plans, and the whole thing got me thinking about the problem many people have with same-sex marriages. I see it as a confusion between the two functions of marriage. One function is the religious, church-sanctioned, husband-and-wife function. Maybe that should have prohibitions on same-sex marriages. I’d say it’s up to the religion. But then there’s the parallel civil union function of marriage, which says that
these two people have a special legal status.
I think the two functions need to be divorced.
In this USA Today article it says that in 14 of the 18 states that have tracked data for any significant period of time since 1980, more than 40% of the marriages performed were civil marriages (up from 30% in 1980). That’s a pretty good sign that people are already starting to think that marriage doesn’t necessarily mean a church ceremony.
Activists often spend a lot of energy citing arguments about why same-sex marriages ought to be allowed, but to me, the most compelling argument is that if two people want to gain the legal benefits and responsibilities of marriage, essentially tying themselves together in the eyes of the law, they should be allowed to do so. They’re entering into a contract, and there shouldn’t be restrictions on who can sign contracts (at least as long as both folks are competent). There aren’t for most kinds of contracts.
The problem is that the special legal status conferred by the state on married people has been used in the tax-code for social engineering. The meaning of marriage in the eyes of the church (or of god) has been tangled with the meaning of two people joining their fortunes together. Maybe it’s time to clear up that confusion.
- The fun this evening lies in the stars. There’s a total lunar eclipse visible tonight about 5:30pm. [press-patch]
- 26 Years After Launching, Voyager Is at Crucial Border of the solar system, having reached (or nearly reached, depending on who’s analyzing the data) the termination shock in the solar wind.
- U.S. baseball team fails to qualify for Athens Olympics. Harsh. [scottk]
- Here’s a Cheap Night Vision system if you’re interested in seeing things in the dark. Note that I haven’t actually bought one yet. I’m still trying to convince myself I really need a night-vision scope.
- I’ve been thinking about Democracy and Majority Rule since the headaches with the Neighborhood Association a couple months ago. Aside from the usual criticisms about representatives elected by less than a majority, there’s a bigger problem that people miss. In our system, majorities rule only when they care to. What the majority wants really isn’t important. What matters is what the majority of people who show up want. Local elections here in Minneapolis are often decided by a few percent of the population (especially in years like this one when there wasn’t anything on the Minneapolis ballot earlier this week).
Or take our neighborhood association. We have roughly five-hundred members, but the typical meeting has thirty people at the meeting. And that’s from a neighborhood where we have roughly nine-thousand residents. On a month with huge turnout, we get one percent of the population at a meeting.
When turnout is so small, decisions are made by the people who show up. A special-interest group swings the decision, even if that group is just “the politically active group” who show up to meetings. Is this good? I don’t know. I’d like to see more people involved, but I also want the people who are involved to have spent enough time learning about the issues to make an informed decision, and few people have the time (or inclination) to do that.
- Governor’s Deer Opener aims to become tradition in Minnesota. This weekend marks the beginning of deer season, and Pawlenty’s going to go try and get a buck. [strib]
- Speaking of happenings “up north,” The Uncertainty Principle talks about the MINOS experiment being run by U of M scientists in Soudan, MN. Earl Peterson, who tried to teach me modern physics when I was at the U (my first sophomore year) and Marvin Marshak are running the show. The article also talks about the effect that the lab has on Tower and Soudan, and the bigger effect a larger lab will have.
- The ‘mouse’ that caused an uproar in China. A young woman who hasn’t been heard of for a year, and
authorities warn that it will not go well for her if foreign media are informed of her case.Her crime? Speaking out against the government on the web. [instapundit]
- Revisionist Thoughts on the War on Iraq from an Arab News columnist:
One of the ancillary byproducts of the US invasion of Iraq was the ouster of Saddam and the obliteration, clearly forever, of the totalitarian dungeon that he had turned his country into.
That, in my book, is enough to warrant extending my support for that invasion and for Washington”s projected plans to rebuild the country.
- On the other hand, Jim warns us to Be afraid. Be Very Afraid. I’m not sure exactly why, since none of us are draftable (we’re too old, fat, and cynical to make very good soldiers), but as another guy points out via email:
I intend to volunteer to serve on my local draft board. I see it as my patriotic duty to assist anyone wanting to avoid mandatory military service. After all our Dear Leader, George Bush, managed to skip out on his military service…
- SOHO Hot Shot: X-whatever Flare! Movies of the big-ass solar flare on Tuesday. It’s the biggest ever recorded. [doc]
- EFF: Federal Communications Commission Adopts Broadcast Flag. Boo. But I don’t think it’s the end of the world. Heck, most of the stuff shown on TV isn’t really worth watching anyhow. I can watch everything my TiVo catches over the course of a whole week in a single day. [boing boing]
- Mississippi marina idea floated, right next to the new Park Board headquarters in Minneapolis. I’m not sure what I think of the idea yet, but my first impression is that it would be a good thing to get more people on the river. I worry that they’d end up screwing it up somehow. [strib]
- Tower Heights Drop In ‘A’ Mill Plan. An update on the redevelopment right here in the neighborhood. I’ve said before that I don’t mind the tower height they proposed initially, but not everyone in the neighborhood feels that way.
- City’s Big Land Chance Is Here in SEMI, one of the few areas with space that can be developed in Minneapolis.
- The pitch takes a hit–AT&T is being fined for calling people who don’t want to be called. [press-patch]
- FBI Visits Cryptome:
I’m glad John Young took the tack he did. Sounds like he wasn’t intimidated and calmly explained that he was going to keep doing what he was doing. [endwar]
[Special Agent] Renner said there is no investigation of Cryptome, that the purpose of the visit was to ask Cryptome to report to the FBI any information which Cryptome
had a gut feelingcould be a threat to the nation.
- Jury nullification is now before the US Supreme Court – It’ll be interesting to see how this comes out, as the jury-nullification movement hasn’t been very popular with the government in the past. Which, if you want to get out of jury duty, could be a handy fact to have at hand. [endwar]
- Jim says:
Well, my take is that there are many businesses who aren’t willing to use Open Source software for business-critical things. Yes, it’s free to buy, but the cost of adopting software isn’t all in the buying, it’s also in the support costs. And while Open Office is pretty good, there isn’t the same commitment to updating it that’s present in a commercial venture like Ability Plus’. That makes a difference in some people’s eyes. [jim]
I’m confused. Dave linked to this story about Ability Plus Software yesterday. Why would anyone using Windows pay for Office Suite software when Open Office is free? For that matter, it’s available for many different platforms.
- Have you seen the versions of Pac-Man and Space Invaders that are implemented in Excel? Sick. I like it! [vowe]
- My new weapon of choice. Heh! Gotta get me some of those. [instapundit]
- Karaoke Porn…what more can I say? [some gal]
- Atomic Telephony is an excellent story by Laura Fermi (Enrico’s wife) about how telephones and the first atomic test interacted. [some guy]
- Here’s a spiffy Dialect map of American English that explains the different dialects in the US. I wasn’t consciously aware that the San Francisco dialect is a lot like the midwest, but it makes sense.
- Kim du Toit’s got a long essay on The Pussification Of The Western Male. It’s a good read, I think.
- I’m meeting a friend tonight for dinner. He’s looking to start his own business and wants to pick my brain a bit. This morning, which putting together the day’s entry, I started to think about Monday. I’d been working along and making pretty darned good progress, thinking I was going to have some new code ready for a client for the regularly-scheduled Tuesday morning release of the software. In mid-afternoon, I received word that the release had been pushed up to about an hour before I got the email (I wasn’t checking email for a couple hours). And right there, my enthusiasm plummeted. No longer was there an achievable goal in front of me, and I knocked off for the day, rather than working into the evening. Yesterday was lost to meetings, looking at a house that I could either afford to buy or to fix up, but not both, and then some mindless TV watching and web-surfing. Today I’m trying to recapture the ideas I had Monday afternoon, and I’m wondering if I’ll even have the things I was planning on wrapping up Monday evening done by Friday. I’m not sure of a concise way to put it, but one of the biggest problems I face anymore in running my own business is finding a way to get through gumption traps like the one that hit me on Monday. They’re devastating enough when you get clobbered by something you’ve done to yourself, but when they come from outside, it’s particularly rough — in addition to the loss of gumption, you get a feeling of helplessness to boot. Anyway. Time to get to work.
- Did you know there’s a Secret 9/11 case before high court? Wonder if the Supremes will make information about it public. [endwar]
- As I mentioned on Halloween , the military is engaged in some Nation-building on the double in Iraq.
Nice work, guys. [instapundit]
The 101st [Airborne] is furiously working to build civic institutions and kick-start the economy (while also making sure nobody blows up the oil pipeline)… What they have accomplished in the past three months is simply astonishing.
- It’s High Noon in England over whether people can hunt or not. The hunters are going to hunt, whether the government allows it or not. This could be interesting, as it’s the hunters who have the guns, but it also brings up other issues. The anti-hunt crusade in England is driven, at least in part, by class-warfare. Also, it may be the first time in quite a while that someone in England has stood up and asserted that rights are inalienable, rather than democratically decided. [instapundit]
- It’s interesting how the results of The Hitler Test have changed this year. I’m pretty sure many people I know would prefer candidate B from the descriptions given. [endwar]
- In Fables of the Reconstruction it says that Bush isn’t really favoring Halliburton and Bechtel.
…The conclusion of the [Center for Public Integrity] report, Windfalls of War, is that a clear quid pro quo exists between government procurement and campaign contributions to George W. Bush…
There’s just one problem: The CPI has no evidence to support its allegations.
Running the numbers, the good news for the Center for Public Integrity is that there is indeed a positive correlation between contributions and contracts. The bad news is, the correlation coefficient turns out to be 0.192 and not statistically significant. To understand how weak those numbers are, go to this Web site and move your cursor to 0.2. An old joke among statistically minded social scientists is that
the world is correlated at 0.3.
- Things were fairly quiet around here this weekend. Guess that’s because of the Minnesotans cited at UW-Madison. The trouble-makers were all out of town. I wonder how the U of M’s policy for riotous behavior will apply to students who were arrested in Wisconsin. [press-patch]
- This weekend saw what I think of as the official start of winter, and today’s weather confirms it. On Saturday, I did huge quantities of laundry, including blankets that I’d pulled out of storage for the winter. I also switched from the regular percale sheets to the flannel sheets, which is the signal to me that winter’s here. Today and tonight, we’re supposed to get the first snow of the season. I find it interesting how the change in the weather and seasons changes my thinking. I’d been thinking about taking a vacation sometime in the next couple months, and was looking toward Eastern Europe. As soon as I changed over to the flannel sheets, my vacation thoughts turned to more southerly destinations. Now I’m thinking that maybe this is the year for me to cross the equator for the first time, maybe heading to Australia. Of course it’s all up in the air until I finish up the project I’m currently working on, so maybe it’ll be warm again in the northern hemisphere by the time I have to worry about vacation.
- Beer mat flipping ‘perfected’, but by using non-standard beer mats. As someone who’s done some beer mat flipping in my life, I think using special coasters is cheating on the order of using a corked (or aluminum) bat for baseball, but I guess anything that makes the sport more popular is good for the game, right? [fark!]
- Microsoft Office faces British invasion from Ability Plus Software, who make a less complicated office suite.
- Saving Seeds Subjects Farmers to Suits Over Patent. The first US farmer being sued by Monsanto is in court. We’ll see what comes of it, but based on what happened to the farmer in Canada whose crop was cross-pollinated by a similar roundup-ready canola and then sued by Monsanto, it’s going to be a long battle before the situation gets cleared up.
- Cory’s got an Extended iCal rant from a timezone warrior. He’s got a point or twelve there. iCal has some serious time-zone problems, but last Monday, I had to recompile every file in a project I’m working on because daylight savings time ended over the weekend. Macs are generally okay at handling time issues, but there’s still plenty of work to be done, if for no other reason than the fact that our ideas of timekeeping have gotten pretty complicated over the years. [boing boing]
- The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a new use for LEDs, using infrared LEDs to heal wounds. [vinnie]
- Speaking of LEDs, I’ve been looking for a while for a good bike headlight that’s low power consumption and still bright. I’ve been using a LED flashlight, but this article on Powering Six White LEDs with High Efficiency Using the MAX1848 looks pretty interesting. Maybe I’ll dig out the soldering iron this winter and see if I can put something together. [vinnie]
- Geek humor has been a little scarce around here lately. These useful Resign Patterns for programming remedy that situation a bit. There’s also the Big Ball of Mud pattern, which is seen far too frequently “in the wild.” [some guy]
- The Kempt.net DNS Black Hole List is another black-hole list that can be used to help filter spam. With other black-holes shutting down it’s nice to see one that’s still hanging in there.
- Finally, bluejackQ with a Q tells about bluejacking, which is when someone screws with your bluetooth device remotely, doing things like adding contacts to your cell-phone. The whole issue of bluetooth security is one of the reasons I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. The idea of “connecting” peripherals without wires is very enticing, but I still don’t understand what’s to keep other people from connecting with my devices. The other missing link in bluetooth is that it doesn’t have enough bandwidth to be able to do stereo audio over the link, and the first bluetooth thing I thought I’d like was a set of bluetooth wireless headphones for my PowerBook. Nothing like that exists, and when it can (someone will do some form of compressed audio that’ll get around the bandwidth problem eventually), there will probably be multiple, different standards. [boing boing]
- The first Arrest over global internet scam I’ve heard of. A guy using the Nigerian spam/scam got busted. [fark!]
- The Spammers’ Compendium lists some common tricks spammers use.
- U.K. Plans to Extradite Spammers, saying they
are no longer an irritant, they are a threat.Well, gaol time for spammers might help cut down on the junk mail, but I’m betting the law won’t pass.
- Huh, Protection From Pornography Week, 2003 is ending today, and I didn’t even notice. Found all the porn I wanted all week long. [boing boing]
- If Guns Were Treated Like Cars,
You could kill and injure people with your gun while drunk and still have your lawyer get your gun back because you need it for work.There’s a lot more. Funny that guns are constitutionally protected, but there’s nothing about cars in there. [acidman]
- Dean Walks a Tightrope Over Positions on Gun Control, and in the process is making other Democratic candidates take a position that, while it may be popular with voters in Democratic primaries, probably won’t help the Dems in a presidential election.
- Last Month
Got nothing to say today, I guess. Maybe later?
Light posting today. Sorry. Life intrudes.
Wow. Twice this week that I’ve managed to sleep late.
I don’t know if I’ll have a real update today or not. I expect not. I got kinda busy.