November 2001 Archives

i should really fork a journal, eh?
Days two and three of the MJD experience were just as good or better than the first, and it looks like his web site is chock full of tasty goodness. One of these days I need to make some time to write some code and put some of the stuff I learned into action — but I’ve got several other dragons to slay first…

mail overload
Lyn, I, and a few other people had a brief exchange about email management the other day. I wish there had been more participants, because I really am not completely happy with the way I’ve ended up managing stuff (but I also can’t think of any better ways to manage it, either, so…) Maybe all the people who get as much email as I do (around 300-500 emails a day, mostly mailing list traffic) are too busy keeping up with it to respond, or something.

freedom downtime, indeed
Yesterday was not a good day for a couple of important court cases. First 2600 got bitch-slapped on their appeal of the DeCSS case, and then Ed Felten et al. got shown the door after only 25 minutes worth of argument on the chilling effects of the DCMA with regard to academic research. El Reg has the overview.

it’s good to have goals
Let’s just sum up last week by saying that I sat down Monday afternoon at work to rewrite my TODO list, and I finally finished said rewrite Sunday evening, at home. Boy, oh boy, whadda week — but I survived my first period as solo frontline Linux admin at work without destroying any hardware or any users, so I’m marking it down as a success.

Turkey Day was fun, good friends, good food, good time; hope yours was the same — not much more to say about that because it already seems so long ago… The long weekend was nice in that I got a few minor longstanding pesky things taken care of: the webcam might be showing up soon (once I get scp working to move the captures to the server), and I finally switched to ext3 (lemme hear the geeks say ‘w00t w00t!’ Um, anyway…)

While I’m blathering about personal meta stuff, I’ll also pass along that at work today, I attended a class given by Mark Jason Dominus, a name that should be familiar to the Perlers in the audience. Good stuff — I’m looking forward to the next two days, which feature two more classes and probably some face time with MJD. Meta question for the bloggers in the house — in such a situation, do you mention your weblog, or not? Mail me with your opinions.

flame tree
There’s a tree in the parking lot of my apartment complex, right next to a globe-style street light. All the leaves are off the tree, except right around the globe of the light — I guess that extra illumination is keeping the leaves around just a bit longer. Anyway, the leaves have turned, and it looks pretty cool at night — like a little flame ball hanging in the tree. Here’s a couple of cruddy pictures — I couldn’t really get the flash right, but you can at least sort of see what I’m talking about:

Looks like Bruce Sterling’s weblog cum online zine Infinite Matrix is back on the air.

he will, he will, HOST YOU
Here’s a big shout out to Cornerhost, the sort-of new hosting company being run by Michal “Sabren” Wallace. Cornerhost is home to and, which will have all sorts of fabulous content one day real soon now. Michal’s been great with getting everything set up, and I recommend him highly if you’re looking for some hosting.

attack of the clones
Medium level flap over human “cloning” yesterday — here’s the company’s press release, as well as a news story that gives a bit more context. Near as I can tell, this is just the application of techniques that are known to work with other mammalian oocytes to human eggs — not exactly ground-breaking visionary stuff. It also sounds like they don’t have all that much. Finally, I think people might be mis-understanding “embryo” — that’s an extremely early stage after fertilization. This is still a long, long way from producing anything that even has a calculable chance of possibly turning into a human being.

you can’t trust what you can’t see
Here’s an interesting article about a bioinformatics researcher that has a condition in his employment contract that allows (not requires, mind, allows) him to release software he writes as Open Source. It’s very encouraging to see people standing up and pointing out that unless you can review the source, you can’t be sure something is algorithmically correct — and in scientific software, that’s a pretty damn important thing to be able to tell. I’ve been saying this for a number of years now, and I usually get “huh?” looks in response. Maybe that’ll get better now.

If you feel the same way about the importance of making sure publicly funded scientific software remains open, make sure to sign this petition over at OpenInformatics.

walking the walk
Linus Torvalds filed a bug report against the development version of KDE the other day — he gives pretty good bug report, I’d say.

in the on deck circle…
If I can continue to manage my schedule such that I actually have the time to do it, I’ve got several book reviews that really want to be written — and I’ve still got one or two links in the queue as well. I’d really like to not feel guilty about describing this site as “daily”, just for a change… I guess we’ll see what happens. Thanks for reading.

but then what else is new?
Urgh. Busy, busy, busy. Work has me up against the ropes and is giving me the business. Occasionally, some non-work project, like getting ready for our Thanksgiving spectacular, tags in and gives me nuggeys for a while. Grumble. Should get better soon…

the anchor is here, baby!
Occasionally, however, the non-work nuggey projects work out okay. Tonight’s post-work task, frex, was to secure beer for the previously mentioned Thanksgiving spectacular. Now, ‘round ‘bout this time of year, a special task befalls me. The missus and I have this beer bottle collection, you see, a very special beer bottle collection. Every year, the Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco makes a special Christmas beer. Every year, the recipe is different, and every year the label is slightly different as well. Our collection has a bottle from every year since we started dating — and obtaining the current year’s bottle is, like I said, a special task.

It’s pretty hard, going to the beer store every week, checking to see if the Anchor is in — especially when other beers fall into my basket and have to be purchased. But I persevere. And this year’s vigil has paid off: we secured a case of the 2001 Anchor Christmas earlier tonight. Haven’t sampled it yet, but I’ll try to report once I do.

We also got something new this year: a “Magnum” size bottle of Anchor Christmas. It’s pictured below, with a normal sized bottle for comparison. I had a pretty crap day at work, and finding this big bottle of joy brightened my outlook considerably.

enough with the sherman jokes already, okay?
obI’mMoreOldSchoolThanYou: Genehack from May 6, 2000. The Archives here go back much further than that, but I think most of the formatting is FUBARed. I should really do something about that one of these days…

aisle or window, either way
Cool picture of Columbia haulin’ another load, but all I can think of when I see this is “Boy, I wish I could get a seat on there, because things are starting to get scary down here. Boy, if this goes on…”

sense of humor or hackery?
All may not be totally lost, however. Either somebody at The Economist has a sense of humor, or somebody with a sense of humor has hacked The Economist’s story engine. Either way, a positive sign — as long as we can keep laughing at them, we haven’t lost to them.

On the off chance that the second possibility turns out to be correct, here’s the text of that page as of 11 pm EST or so:

An election correction
Nov 15th 2001
From The Economist print edition

In the issues of December 16th 2000 to November 10th 2001, we may have given the impression that George Bush had been legally and duly elected president of the United States. We now understand that this may have been incorrect, and that the election result is still too close to call. The Economist apologises for any inconvenience.

If I don’t get back before then, have a good Turkey day if that’s your custom. See you when I see you…

worship the chunk.
Major thumbs up for the new Superchunk long player here’s to shutting up. Just thought I’d share.

how come we never just talk anymore?
I’m running off at the mouth about webloging, and why it ain’t like it used to be (least for me) over here on Flutterby.

it’s getting scary out there, part #541
From my cousin in KCMO comes this story, about a group of part-time small town cops that decided what their town really needed was a SWAT team — and since you can’t have a SWAT team without machine guns, well… you do the math.

minor meta
I had to remove some sites from my Daily Dose pages — I’m pretty short on time these days, and I just wasn’t reading everything. No offense intended to people who got dropped. (You’re not really dropped, just commented out for the time being…)

And since I haven’t got my ‘ping’ solution in place yet, I’ll remind you about the update mailing list, in case you must know when the site gets updated.

busy busy bees
Sorry ‘bout that little break there. Work has been kicking my ass really hard, and when I stumble home, hitting the computer to update this site hasn’t really been the first thing on my mind. Finally got a bit of a chance to catch my breath this weekend, and realized that I missed doing this — so here I am again. Got some plans, but no time to implement them, so expect things to stay basically the same for the foreseeable future.

(Thanks for the shout out, Dave. It’s not that I wasn’t pinging ya, it’s that I wasn’t updating. 8^>=)

okay, bed now.
Well, I was going to try to reduce some of my link backlog, but then I remembered I don’t really have any link backlog. I haven’t been saving pointers to most of the conflict-related stuff I’ve been reading, and I haven’t had time to do much surfing, period. Hopefully that’ll change, or it’s going to get pretty journal-ish ‘round here for a while.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures from this weekend. First, a shot of a house guest sacked out on the Big Blue Couch of Sloth:

beware the big blue couch of sloth!

Second, the book pile that I made in our living room while I was re-arranging bookcases in the den:

hey, i like books. sue me.