Well, I guess more accurately, it would be “exhausting weekend.” On Friday, I moved mom into an assisted-living home and then spent the evening with my good friend, beer. Saturday I went and picked up a trailer and informed the lawyer of various things that were up. Sunday, Mark and I went up to mom’s to grab the rest of her stuff, move it into my place, and then sent another email to the lawyer. This morning, I’m up early, waiting for said lawyer to get into the office so we can talk over all the headaches, and try to find a way around them. When that’s done, I’ll need to return the trailer and try and get on with the work-week. In any case, I’m pretty glad that February is done.
I suspect that much of this week will be spent wrapping up things to do with moving mom out of her house, rather than on paying work. The spring training vacation? Well, I’d still like to get that planned, but there’s a possible job coming, and I suspect just about the time I’m ready to go on vacation, the job will come online, and I’ll be busy working on that rather than taking some time off.
- More on the death of anonymity on the ’net: Publius, RIP? It’s actually nothing new, but companies are using the law to force ISPs to tell who their customers are more and more often. [boing boing]
- Reverse engineering is just one way of Protecting creativity that big companies like those in the MPAA and RIAA would like kill with intellectual property laws. But the story about the guy who got his iPod to dump its firmware out as audio is pretty darned cool. [boing boing]
- Hmm. Did you know it’s possible to not pay for Social Security Insurance? The Amish & Social Security explains how
the Old Order Amish, and any other religious sect who conscientiously objected to insurancehave been exempt from Social Security since 1965. I did not know that. [claire]
- In The Daily Bleed, Jim points to another online calendar that’s hard to read (red on black and white on red? wtf were they thinking? Oh wait, there’s even red on red! Bonus!) but has some good content. But the thing that really caught my eye was the graphic he used with it. Recommended! [jim]
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has aprofile of John Gilmore: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy. Interesting in that Gilmore explains just why it is that he’s fighting the federal government over having to show ID to fly:
Are they just basically saying we just can’t travel without identity papers? If that’s true, then I’d rather see us go through a real debate that says we want to introduce required identity papers in our society rather than trying to legislate it through the back door through regulations that say there’s not any other way to get around. Basically what they want is a show of obedience.
I’ve got a metric assload of stuff to do today, and the phone started ringing a few minutes after seven. This is about all the typing you get, I think.
- Dark matter? Astronomers find star-less galaxy made up of dark matter, perhaps. It might explain a buncha things. [slashdot]
- Wanna know about some small town somewhere in the US? Check it out with ePodunk. It’s not perfect. It knows about some fairly small towns, but didn’t know of either Hasty or Silver Creek up near Monticello. Both are pretty tiny, but Silver Creek even has its own zip code. Oh well, it ain’t perfect, but it’s still pretty cool. [doc]
- I talked about H.R. 418, a couple days ago. “Real I.D.” for an all too real world has more on the bill, as does Claire, who says she may have to become an American Refusenik. Me, I’m pretty thoroughly stuck in the system, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
So what’s the real problem here? Something’s rotten in Congress when the FCC tries to mandate how your TV is built, or the Department of Homeland Security can break the law with no other part of government able to review their actions. Yeah, that’s a provision in H.R. 418, too.
But looking back at the history of the government taking away our rights, a big problem is Corporatism and Socialism in America. The two are related, and what the right-leaning party of big government wants is not Capitalism or a free-market, but rather Corporatism. And most “Progressives” end up wanting Federalism, in the tradition of Hamilton and Adams, who gave us the Alien and Sedition Acts. I’d much rather see a third choice that more closely matches Jeffersonian ideals of limited federal government. [claire]
- Kim rants about how we Americans are Un-Lubricated, especially around the office. I had a “company handbook” put together recently, and it was like pulling teeth to get the lawyers to leave out things like
no booze on company premisesand
no guns on company premises. Hell, I encourage both, but I don’t have a typical business. [kim]
I had an update written about 6:15 this morning. As I was about to save it, Safari did the spinning pizza of death on me, and my save apparently never completed, so the links and commentary are all lost in a poof of electrons. I could probably recreate most of it, but I’ve just spent the past two hours trying to recover the file, and have had enough for the day already. I’m seriously thinking of just going back to bed and trying to start over.
Most of the time, I’m pretty happy with Mac OS X. It’s telling that my one major complaint is not with the core OS itself, but rather with the browser, but I run into the problem where Safari will just “go away” for a while, generally taking the entire OS with it as the HD is busily chugging along. I’m not really sure what’s happening, but I suspect it’s flushing its caches or something. I don’t really care, either. I just want the damned web-browser to work and quit annoying me.
That said, here’s my list of complaints with Safari:
- Whatever the farking problem is that causes the spinning pizza of death to appear while the hard drive chatters away for more than ten minutes has to be fixed. I wish I could reproduce this at will so I could write up a decent bug report, but it seems to happen randomly.
- Give me a setting so I can shut off audio from safari with a single click. After the SPOD problem, the next most annoying thing is having my speaker start blaring with some stupid farking web ad. If I want sound from my browser, I’ll enable it to view a single page.
- Kill off the damned popups for real. Safari’s pretty good at this, but there’s a new technique the bastards are using. Stop them. The problem was noticed last week. There was a security update from Apple this week. Fixing the new popup annoyance should have been included.
- Did I mention the spinning pizza of death? Make it stop.
Yeah, I’m a bit cranky. But more than anything, using my computer this morning was neither fun nor productive. Most of the day will probably be spent with the infernal machine off so I’m not tempted to take a crowbar to it.
I have nothing to say today. Life is good and bad. That is all.
No special meaning to the two-two-two beyond the frisson you get when you notice that your odometer is full of the same digits (only a couple more months until I see five fives on that). But hey, I notice stuff like that, and know folks for whom that number has significance.
Not so much with the work yesterday. Landed another hosting client, and spent some time setting that up, but mostly I was waiting for the phone call from a client offering me work that never came.
- Steph thinks she’s found
the perfect meld of home improvement and Mac geekdomfor me — the iPort. I dunno. I guess I’d be more interested if I listened to music more often, and had more money to spend on home improvement, but I spend most of my days basking in silence, so it goes onto the list, but pretty far down. [steph]
- From the Well, DUH! department, Office Sweeties Have No Secrets and if you expect to get away with having a secret romance using IM and email without anyone in the IT department noticing, you probably should put down the mouse and step away from the keyboard. [wired]
- The ChoicePoint Massive ID theft touches state (of Minnesota). They’re supposed to finish notifying people this week, but how are you supposed to even know if ChoicePoint has your personal data? You can’t know for sure, but they almost certainly do. And you may be one of the lucky 145,000 people nationwide, or 2400 in Minnesota whose data got leaked, and you just have to hope they’ll tell you if you were. Claire has more on ChoicePoint, saying the worst identity thieves aren’t the ones who take your wallet. [press-patch and claire]
- The Strib says Local officials blogging for readers far and wide, and then gives RT’s blog a single line, and no link. I wonder what other Minneapolis politicians they didn’t bother to mention. [strib]
- Speaking of elections, the Geek With A .45 has Thoughts On This Year’s Slate For The NRA Board of Directors, and recommendations for those of us without the time or energy to dig up any information at all on the candidates ourselves.
- Apple has announced that WWDC 2005 will be in early June, instead of in late June or early July like last year. I sure wish they’d settle down with their schedule for that. I’m not nailing a schedule down that far out, and I think earlier is generally better, but ADHOC is going to be in late July, and I’m having to mentally shuffle my schedule a bit. Both conferences now fall when the Saints are mostly out of town, or playing the Railcats for the couple home games I'll miss if I attend both. Since the Railcats have been in the NL cellar lately, those are probably good games to miss, but I was happier when WWDC collided with Mother’s Day, rather than baseball season.
- And a not-safe-for-work link early in the week: mr. heathen is a gal who’s experimenting with testosterone. You may want to go back to the beginning and read forward from there, but it’s fascinating watching a chick describing how she’s started feeling like a horny teenage boy. Don’t try this at home, kids. [boing boing]
It started with the snow on Friday, and wrapped up with more snow yesterday, with the snow finishing sometime during “The Great American Race”. Friday’s white stuff wasn’t very notable, except that it was heavy enough to make driving home from mom’s a challenge in dodging the idiots on the freeway. The snow that fell on Sunday was more of an issue, but one neighbor with a snowblower hit a bunch of the snow early in the morning, and the neighbor’s grandchildren burned off a bunch of energy in the afternoon shovelling more of my snow, and I really didn’t have all that much to do. Thanks to everyone for the help!
Sandwiched in the middle of the snow was a Saturday that seemed to be nice when I was asleep, only to turn gray and gloomy when I was awake and looking around. Low energy and much napping were involved.
- Last night, Author Hunter S. Thompson dies at 67, apparently from a self-inflicted shot to the head. RIP. There’s more at The Great Thompson Hunt and a good obit at the Denver Post. [strib, boing boing and endwar]
- Courts figure there’s No Protection for Bloggers, but then there’s no real first amendment protection for reporters or journalists at the federal level, either. Some states have more protection for “journalists”, though. [wired]
- The Smallest Minority points to a case where a CNN reporter committed a felony, flying out of state to buy a .50BMG rifle, then flying back to Atlanta with it. There’s more on the situation from The War on Guns: Did CNN Just Commit a “Gun Crime”?, and More on the Questionable CNN Gun Buy. And finally, much more from Technorati. The simple version is that they appear to have made an illegal purchase under current laws. Further, BATFE has overreacted in other cases in the past. Don’t expect BATFE to swarm CNN’s Atlanta HQ anytime soon, but there are a lot of us who think that wouldn’t be a horrible thing, since it would point out both the problems with journalists who break the law, and with the gun laws in this country. [instapundit]
- Here’s a reason why you should only trust the police to have guns, right? Um, not so much, perhaps. [claire]
- A Stillwater man is Taking on TSA over a $250 fine that he doesn’t think he should have to pay, and which looked like a scam when he first received the notice in the mail. [press-patch]
- Need Sudafed? Stock up soon. Anti-meth measures are sailing through Legislature and will probably restrict the sale of it in Minnesota by the time allergy season rolls around. [press-patch]
Had a fine day yesterday, capped off by a fine evening. The day, well, there was slackage involved, but also a meeting that might lead to some work. Followed that up with an evening out with Scott & Kat (and some other folks) with good grub at Ichiban, a loud and overpriced beer at Brit’s, followed by yummy beers at Town Hall. Hard to argue with that plan except for the stopping at Brit’s part, although I did put a couple spots on one of my nicer ties while eating the teppanyaki. It seems at this point that the rushed cleaning when I got home might have worked well enough, since it was a slob-friendly Jerry Garcia design (but mine’s in blue, which seems not to exist, according to google). Who’d have figured me for being worried about spilling soy sauce on a tie, though, eh? That’s what those mid-afternoon meetings looking for work will do to a guy, I guess.
- Steve Green’s got an article saying The Party Is Over/Just Getting Started, talking about the MSM feeling threatened by bloggers. I think it’s a lot more of a synergy, but there are a lot of journalists, including some locals, who don’t seem to see that. [vodkapundit]
- Here’s another case of little guys using technology to have big effects: John Robb talks about Small Groups And Global Warfare.
- A 50-year old with no savings asks What Retirement? and describes how he’s trying to plan for his golden years. Meanwhile, Evan’s got what he calls Merely A Theory about how to get rich enough to retire. [boing boing and 101-280]
- Our tax dollars at work: Agencies earn D-plus on computer security, with Homeland Security being one of the departments that failed. Meanwhile, there’s a new book that points out that the US is More Watchful, Probably Not Safer. Maybe some folks in the Homeland Security Department will read it. [claire and wired]
Sometimes I amaze myself with my capacity to get things done. Yesterday was one of those days. I guess I just need the pressure of feeling as though I have a lot to do in order to buckle down and get to it, but in any case, it worked, and all of the things that absolutely had to be done yesterday were done by about 5pm, when I knocked off for the day.
For dinner, I went up to BW-3 in Har-Mar and had some cheap chicken legs and then played two games of NTN trivia. Won them both. I won the first, the hour-long game, pretty handily (though I almost blew it on the last question), and the second with a come-from-behind win on the last question. Then I called it a night and headed home, with at least one of the other folks playing trivia happy to see me leave. It’s nice to go out on top.
Today, I’ve still got a fair number of things to do, but it feels as though the worst of the pressure is off, so I may end up slacking again. Or perhaps the productive mood will continue. Too early in the day to say for sure yet. The weekend will probably contain much running about and moving of boxes (including a huge pile of mom-crocheted-afghans, just in case I have a cute gal sleeping on the couch looking chilly sometime), so I suspect there’s at least a nap in the plan for today.
- In St. Paul, the Vulcans’ future [is] under fire. It’s still a while before the trial, but everyone seems to have decided that Tom Trudeau is guilty, and the Vulcans have to change their ways. Okay, I can see dropping some of the more risqué traditions, but there has been talk of shutting them down completely, and I think that would be a loss. [press-patch]
- I guess the world does need a blog on Geek Etiquette, if only because so many of us are bad at it, including the author. [accordionguy]
- The former “Governor Moonbeam” himself, Jerry Brown has a blog now. We’ll see how it goes. I suspect the fact that he started the blog is not unrelated to the fact that he’s running for Attorney General in 2006. [instapundit]
- As steveo said, this monkey has some enormous stainless steel balls. Takes a few seconds for the video to get interesting, so be patient. It’s worth it. There’s sound, but it’s not terribly annoying. [steveo]
I’ve been spectacularly unproductive so far this week, and am thinking that I probably need some time away from computers real soon now. That shows in the links for today a bit, too. They’re fewer in number, and probably lower in quality than I’d like, but what are you going to do?
For getting away, I’m thinking that this might be a good year to go see some Spring Training games, possibly in Florida (the Grapefruit League), but more likely in Arizona (the Cactus League). If nothing else, it’s nice to ponder the idea of sitting in some warm sunshine watching baseball in between catching up on some back issues of Elysian Fields Quarterly.
But for today, the focus has to be on the present. There’s much to get done, and a bunch of it that has to be done today. Plus a few things that I should have gotten done Monday or yesterday, but didn’t. It can be discouraging to look at the (computer-maintained) to-do list and see a sea of red-highlighted items (meaning past-due), but at least it should help me focus.
- This list of Random rules of thumb is a pretty good way to kill some time. And you might even learn something.
- I bet you didn’t know there was an alt.sex.hello-kitty FAQ. There is, and it’s awfully cute, too. But perhaps not entirely safe for work. [jwz]
- Looking for some light reading? A Million Random Digits With 100,000 Normal Deviates might be just the thing for you. If nothing else, the reviews are pretty funny. [reed]
- Jack Lewis asks What’s Google up to? after seeing something claiming to be googlebot crawling directories he’d excluded in his robots.txt. My first suspicion is that it’s not really a google search, but rather someone else mimicking google’s bots to crawl things people are trying to hide (poorly). [reed]
I overslept a bit, and am feeling lazy. No real update today.
A pretty rough weekend. If you want to read my take on it, here it is, but it probably won’t help you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.
- People Falling in Love in Three Minutes or Less (i.e. Speed Dating) seem to make choices that don’t necessarily match what they say they want, but that might just be the result of not over-analysing things. [doc]
- Hey! You There, at the Computer: Pay Attention, in spite of the 23 different things that are trying to distract you. I find that when I’m deep into a hard problem, I shut down just about everything but the one thing I’m working on. But normally, I’ve got the email client polling the server, a web-browser in the background, and a scheduling program that reminds me that I need to water the plants just as I’m trying to put a thought together. Yeah, it’s easy to get distracted. [kottke]
- Descendents of the original brewers were Lifting a glass to Schmidt Brewery on Saturday. The Brewery goes up for sale this Friday, and they and the city are hoping whoever buys it will keep the historic parts intact. [press-patch]
- Ron Paul says that HR418 is A National ID Bill Masquerading as Immigration Reform and goes on to explain all the things that are wrong with it. Hopefully the Senate will be the more deliberative body and shoot this thing down, but I expect another stampede as there was on USA-PATRIOT. [endwar]
- The Register has an interesting Interview with a link spammer. The link-spammers are one of the reasons I haven’t bothered to write commenting software for here. There’s plenty of hassles in life lately, and adding one more just doesn’t seem like a recipe for happiness.
It’s a linktastic morning, apparently. Some local stories need to be followed, and there are some disturbing developments on the national scene. If you’re looking for fun fare, scroll down. I’ve put the food, drink, and other fun links last.
Finally got through to the guy I mentioned on Wednesday who might have some more work for me. We’re meeting today, and it still sounds good. Plus I’ve had a couple ideas for things I might be able to do to generate some revenue. Yeah, the week is wrapping up today, but it seems to be doing so on a good note. I hope I’ll be able to carry the good mood through the weekend’s distractions.
- In the 2006 Senate race: the ins, outs, maybes. Franken’s out, Grams is in, as I feared. Everyone else is pretty much still a maybe, but there should be some more announcements today, most notably from Kennedy. [strib]
- More on Tom Trudeau and the Vulcans: Vulcan rituals are suspended, face review. At this point, everyone seems to be assuming Tom’s guilty, which seems a little premature. Perhaps it is time for some of the Vulcans’ rituals to be shelved, though. The St. Paul paper’s take: Vulcans out in the cold. Stpaulvulcans.com is the Vulcans’ official site. [strib and press-patch]
- Just one week before a possibly final decision is made, and European software patent law hangs in the balance. Poland isn’t going to stop the law this time, and if I had to bet right now, I would bet that there will be software patents in Europe next week. [boing boing]
- Crap. National ID Cards Coming Up For A Vote This Week, and it passed the house. One step closer to a Papieren Bitte! state. More in Bill Prompts New National ID Card Fears, including a statement from Ron Paul. Meanwhile, out in CA, Parents protest radio ID tags for students. There’s lots of good stuff linked if you google “papieren bitte”, including A Conservative Case Against Identity Cards. Also, don’t forget about Papers Please, even though Dudley lost his case, and Gilmore still isn't flying. [endwar and claire]
- The Shady Web of Affiliate Marketing is one way that spammers make money, but now people are going after the people with the affiliate programs, since it’s their money that’s driving the spam. [wired]
- What’s that going on down by the river? It’s an Extreme makeover, St. Anthony Falls lock edition. They’re doing periodic maintenance, including hauling out the crud that’s collected in the bottom of the lock, and patching and painting everything. [strib]
- Awesome cookery: a Rat Birthday Cake, complete with rat poop sculpted from brownies. [boing boing]
- Here’s a tutorial on How to Cut… just about every fruit or veggie you’ll need to in order to cook just about anything.
- Kim du Toit is a non-smoker who likes the smell of smoky pubs. Just a month and a half until that smell is gone (or at least no longer renewed) in Minneapolis. [kim]
- Turly forwards this invaluable training aid. I made 51 metres on my 4th try, and figured that was enough, but there’s some suspicion a special animation awaits you somewhere around 100 metres. [turly]
- Finally, I wonder why I didn’t think of this one? I Park Like An Idiot sells bumper stickers for the parking-challenged. You wouldn’t want to put them on anyone else’s car, now would you? [vodkapundit]
Yes, it seems so. The local political races are already gearing up for the 2005 elections. It should be an interesting cycle, with some incumbents already announcing that they’re not running again, others moving from one ward to another, a Mayor who’s taken up blogging, and other juggling to make the races more interesting.
On the personal front, a nice dinner with a friend last night, and that was about it. No progress on the prospective work during the day, but I’ll make some more calls today. I’ve also got a server to get configured again, now that it’s back from the shop. Unfortunately, since they had to give me a different model of motherboard, I may have to reinstall to get everything working again. Looks like I don’t have any worry of being bored today.
- A political shocker for 2006 already? Mark Dayton out; Senate race open. Interesting. I just hope it doesn’t encourage Rod Grams to run again. I think he’s fully capable of losing even if the DFL doesn’t run anyone. [strib]
- In the 2005 city elections, a University of MN TA announces candidacy for City Council in the Second Ward (where I used to live). It looks like an interesting battle over there, too. If you’re unsure what ward you’ll be in for 2005 (the boundaries have changed), look at the new map (PDF). Expect things to heat up on the Minneapolis Issues list soon (if they haven’t already), as well as at the Minneapolis Observer. The City Pages and The Pulse will probably have quite a bit of coverage, too. There will also be coverage of the Park Board elections at Minnepaolis Park Watch (which continues to convince me that the commissioner for my district needs to go). [daily]
- Mezzoblue’s DHTML ’05 takes a look at a cool Swiss mapping site (which works in Safari) and how they’re doing it. Almost as cool as the dissection of google’s suggest.
- Speaking of cool mapping sites, want to know more about how google maps works? It’s as simple as possible, but no simpler: Mapping Google describes it. Still waiting for Safari support, though. [kottke]
- The guy behind MP3.com is back: Michael Robertson Unveils Linux Music Service, Home Media Hub. The new service will sell music from CDBaby for 88 cents a song with no DRM. [boing boing]
- Brad Templeton’s Superbowl Commercials Party will be illegal next year because of the Broadcast Flag. It goes into effect in June, so I guess this is a warning to stock up on working hardware now. [boing boing]
So when you’re feeling a little sick, what’s the thing to do? Why, head out to the bar for dinner, and end up staying until around midnight, naturally.
But the plus of the whole thing is that I may have a lead on a bunch of work. Phone calls need to be made later today, but I’m feeling hopeful.
I also noticed a few things last night. It was Fat Tuesday, which makes today Ash Wednesday. Here we are in Lent. We’re also in the Year of the Rooster now. And I realized that I recognized the Vulcan King who’s accused of groping some gal. Now there are a few things about it that make me wonder. The first is that he doesn’t drink. The second is that the description of the “garter ceremony” has been going on for years, with relatively minor complaints. I’m not sure what actually happened, but something doesn’t smell right to me here.
- As the Big White Guy says, Kung Hei Fat Choy, which has something to do with roosters.
- The President and Congress are talking about taking away Amtrak’s subsidy, which would spell trouble for the Empire Builder. One thing that’s worth noting is that for some of the towns on the line, the train is the only transit available anymore, since Greyhound shut down a bunch of its routes. I’d like to see a way for the train to be profitable on its own, but a problem with that is that the rails are owned by the freight companies, and passenger trains have to pay for using the rails. It’s a case where government intervention back when the rails were being built created an imbalance and the only way I can see to keep things fair is by continued government intervention. [press-patch]
- Here’s an interesting experiment by Michael Buffington. He started a blog on asbestos, a subject which doesn’t really interest him, but which has pretty darned good pay rates for Google’s Adsense. [boing boing]
- Here’s an article on Mandatory health coverage - forcing the uninsured into the kettle too. I find it interesting, since it points out many of the problems I’ve seen with employer-supplied health insurance. Today’s follow-up is on the uninsureds which points out, among other things, that uninsured people spend 45% less on health care than do those with insurance. [claire]
- There’s an Update to Indiana Gun Confiscation Bill. It’s still lacking in due process.
In spite of the warm weather last week, I’m feeling a definite case of the mid-winter blues around here. There are a number of things contributing, but at this point, I’m definitely looking forward to warmer weather, and hopefully an improvement in my mood. Meanwhile, life goes on, and I still need to find some work.
To top things off, I started feeling all the symptoms of the crud yesterday. It’s been going around, and while I’m usually pretty good at dodging colds and the flu, I think the bugs are going to win this time. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been behind on sleep lately. Time for some better living through chemistry, I guess. Or maybe just a lot of sleep. Or both.
- You know, There’s a Reason Why They Call Us “Gun Nuts”. And the NRA seems to be backing a law which will allow a cop to disarm someone he thinks is insane, with no due process. I wonder if I can find a way to make asking all thirty NRA board members up for election the questions in this questionnaire something I could actually tackle. [endwar]
- Google has Google Maps, which are supposed to be pretty cool. Except it doesn’t support Safari yet. Guess I’ll stick with Yahoo! Maps for now. [boing boing]
- Wow. Talk about extreme photography. The Gigapxl Project takes four gigapixel pictures that have so much detail that a four by eight foot print shows detail all the way to within ten inches away. They’re using modified aerial surveillance cameras and film, and custom-made lenses. If you read through the technology section, there’s quite a bit of science involved, since they’re working at pretty much the theoretical limit at every stage of the process. There’s more in the Wired Article: Photographer Seeks Resolution. [wired]
- Wired says Hold the Phone, VOIP Isn’t Safe, and points to spam, spam over instant-messaging, and other attacks bad people do on good protocols. Me, I kinda figured that any VOIP worth using would have decent encryption and such, but apparently that isn’t the case. [wired]
- Mitch talks about the Digital Underground here in the Twin Cities, and is looking to know
why have the Twin Cities turned into such a center for right-of-center blogs?If you don’t agree that’s the case, go leave a comment for him. [mitch]
- Finally, thinking about warmer weather, and getting out and riding around, here are some handy tips on How to not get your bike stolen in New York City. Applies to other cities too. About the only thing he doesn’t cover is the lock. I’d like someone to point me to a U-lock long enough to lock my trike that can’t be picked with a ball-point pen, and isn’t a Kryptonite. Yes, I’m planning to get all my Kryptonite locks upgraded before it’s time to ride again, but I’d like to have a different brand of lock, too. [kottke]
- The Midtown Greenway expands toward U, and should reach the river this fall, according to the city’s plans. Cool. I don’t think it’ll be much better (or worse) for me than using the Cedar Lake Trail to get to Uptown and points beyond, but it’ll be an alternative. [daily]
It wasn’t a very restful weekend. I put over five hundred miles on the truck during the days, and didn’t get a full night’s sleep on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights. Plus there were things that needed doing during the day (thus the five hundred miles) when I would normally take a nap to try and catch up on the missed sleep. A grand total of one email sent between friday at 5pm and this morning. Today? A handful of phone calls I have to make in the morning, a few emails that have to be sent, and then I think I’m going back to sleep.
- I guess it could be worse: in I Think I Also Had A Headache, Skot posts a list of illnesses he’s complained of since 2001. I thought I was in rough shape, but I don’t think I’ve had the Estonian Raving Brain-Worms. Yet. [izzlepfaff!]
- CNN cites a study that says Spam costing companies $22 billion a year, but it also says that the average person gets 18.5 spams per day. When I checked my email this morning, I had two hundred messages. Eightteen were not spam. [slashdot]
- Meanwhile, the Online security threat evolves, with fewer viruses and more phishing happening. That’s probably because computers are already full-up with spyware. [press-patch]
- So Why Does Windows Still Suck? Why do PC users put up with so many viruses and worms? Why isn’t everyone on a Mac? Damned if I know, but I do know that my Windows XP machine spends 99% of its life powered down and off the net so it can’t get hacked. Even if it worked as well as my Macs (it doesn’t), I can’t see putting the thing on the ’net without spending more than the price difference on various software and hardware to keep the thing from getting infected. There’s probably a cheaper solution, but then that would take time, which is a different kind of expense. [slashdot]
- Speaking of spam, remember that even though pitchers and catchers report in just a over a week, those emails you’re getting about the Big Unit are probably still not about Randy Johnson.
- Good luck! Canadians Fight for Privacy, but their medical data is being held by US companies who would have to comply with requests for the data under USA-PATRIOT (and other US laws). The Canadian Government’s solution?
One thing legislation does is it tries to keep the actual physical data on this side of the border.Yeah, that’ll help, especially since that Canadian Internet is all firewalled off from the one in the US. [wired]
- There’s a Big Year Ahead for Como Zoo over in St. Paul, as a new visitor center is finished, giving the zoo new life. One of these days when I get a few minutes, I’ll probably go over there to look at it all and relax while watching the gorillas scratch themselves. [press-patch]
- For the past two years, Scientists [have been] Struggling to Make the Kilogram Right Again. Then again, it’ll take a while to count out 1025 atoms of gold. There’s more in the a pound of gold, a pound of feathers post over at mefi. [metafilter]
As weeks go, it wasn’t one of the better ones. I’m not going to list all the gory details, but there was plenty of crap flying around this week. While I brought some of it on myself, I had plenty of help, too. At this point, my plan is to just keep plugging along. Not much else to be done, as far as I can tell.
This weekend looks like it should be warm and sunny. I fear I’m going to end up spending too much of it in a car, but things are still fluid. Here’s hoping I’ll get at least a few minutes to get out and enjoy the warm before things get cold again next week.
- In Europe, JURI Votes: It’s Restart time for software patents. They’ve thrown out earlier proposals and are starting again. It will be interesting to see what sort of protection software gets in Europe when this is done. Hopefully software patents won’t be part of the deal. [boing boing]
- I like Claire’s Dark Satanic Cubicles: It’s time to smash the job culture! Don’t be part of the statistic: 180 Trillion Leisure Hours Lost To Work In 2004. [claire and doc]
- A February heat wave thaws campus and the areas around it. It was a nice day for a walk yesterday, as long as you could keep your feet dry. Many puddles around. [daily]
- I’ve felt this way: Beware Twin Cities drivers: You stink. My current favorite to gripe about is the left-lane bandit on the freeway who will slow down when passing another car, and then speed up when out in the clear so you can’t get past. On Tuesday, there was one guy who would drop to 65 (in a 70mph zone) when he was to the left of another car, and got as high as 90 when I tried to get beyond the rolling roadblock he was creating. [daily]
- This Ballistics photoset on Flickr has cool pictures of things being shot by a .22. Spiffy. Sadly, they’re old pictures and the guy doesn’t have the setup anymore, so there won’t be any more. [boing boing]
- Lovely. A New zombie spam technique may send spam levels through the roof because people can’t keep malware off their Windows machines. [jr]
- Regarding HTML-only email, jr asks Why Is Your Failing My Problem? and has a suitable response. It makes me laugh. [jr]
- Well, here’s the explanation! I haven’t been wearing Feng Shui Underwear lately. No wonder life isn’t all thorns and singing vultures!
- Then again, maybe it’s related to what I’m drinking, or not drinking: Waiter, There’s a Fish in My Wine! Yes, they’re making Fish Wine. I might just have to try it when it hits the US. [vodkapundit]
- As Steve Green points out, Law Barring Junk E-Mail Allows a Flood Instead. Nothing like Unintented Consequences to remind you that
There are few things worse than when the legislature decides to tackle an issue everyone agrees on.Me, I’m starting to look into SPF, which while harmful, is probably worth adopting. [vodkapundit]
- Speaking of things not quite working out as planned: according to the New Yorker, the Department of Homeland Insecurity not only gets in ordinary people’s way, but doesn’t actually make us any safer. [zeldman]
My mood this morning is considerably better than yesterday. Thanks to the friend who spent a couple hours helping to improve it yesterday evening.
Today’s list is pretty simple. A few errands that have to be done, a little work, and then spend some time learning new technology so I can hit a couple more bullet-points in my search for new work. If all goes well, I might update the work website a bit, but I don’t actually expect to get to that today.
- Yesterday, Minnesota has a rare bad air day. Today’s supposed to be better. More from the Daily in Pollution agency deems Twin Cities’ air unsafe. I spent most of the day outside of the metro area where the air was a little better, so it didn’t bother me too much. [daily]
- Joe Huffman (who’s the father of the BoomerShoot, too) proposes The Jews In The Attic Test to decide whether or not to support or oppose a new law. Sounds like a pretty good way to make that decision, and it’s why I oppose most of the laws that are supposed to make us “safer.” [claire]
- Jason talks about The loss of public social space and points to an article that blames it on the Walkman and the cell phone. Jason thinks the loss of interaction is more likely due to the automobile, suburbia, and TV. Me, I wonder if the loss of café-culture (or pub-culture) might not have something to do with it, too. But I really think there are a bunch of things involved, and it’s a loss. [kottke]
- With cell-phones and VOIP, Area Codes Blur Boundaries since you don’t have to have an area-code located anywhere near your actual location. Messes with places like Domino’s which verifies your address based on your phone number so they don’t end up delivering pizzas to people who didn’t actually order them. [wired]
- Suburban Residents fume at side-street rush hour, caused by folks avoiding the gridlocked freeways. Alternative transportation isn’t really a solution, either: Here’s a story of NYC bicycle abuse. During January’s Critical Mass ride in NYC, police arrested bicyclists who were riding in the bike lane. And if you’ve ever tried to ride a bicycle through the suburbs where people are griping about cars on their streets (unless there’s one of the bike trails handy), you’ll find a pretty cold reception, too. [boing boing]
I had written a big rant here, and while venting made me feel better, it would have just pissed people off, so it’s gone. No other commentary this morning.
- Yesterday, I got to call Roto-Rooter. There are tree-roots growing in the sewer line leading from my house out to the street, and they finally clogged things enough that doing a load of laundry would flood my basement. I don’t think any of my books that are boxed up in the basement got wet, but it was time to deal with the problem now. But I can think of a lot of ways to better spend $300.
- The Spamhaus listing for Brian Haberstroh / Atriks shows that yes, it is the same guy we worked with at LaserMaster back in the 90s. Thanks to the tipster who pointed it out to me.
- The TSA is working on Passenger Screening, Take 10, once again using commercial junk-mail databases. In a GAO audit last year, the system failed seven of eight tests, but hey, it’s much better now. In TSA’s Secure Flight, Schneier has more about why Secure Flight is just a bad idea. Among them:
the urge to use this system for other things will be irresistible.That’s my biggest fear. [wired and schneier]
- Here’s an Oblique Perspective from 1991 on the auto-hacking community by John Wharton. It’s a cool little bit of history about the guys who make cars go faster by tweaking their software.
- In an interesting twist, TiVo seeks new ideas from developers and is going to offer developer kits. Interesting, but overdue, I think. [scripting]