May 2003 Archives

For those of you having trouble following the SCO/Linux situation, this summary of events might come in handy.

Been a bit quiet aronud here of late. Combination of long hours at work, being a bit under the weather, and starting to dislike the MT interface (and the way it makes me have to work) more and more. I have various bits and slips of paper and notes jammed in the Visor, about how I’d like a blog tool to work and what features I want; I’m just not sure when I’m going to have the time to start coding any of them, or what I’m going to use as test bed blog to try them out.

(This is all Rafe’s fault; he linked to some webloging software design specs and got me thinking about the topic; in thinking about the topic, I started considering all the things about MT that rub me the wrong way, and now I’m finding it hard to bring myself to use it. sigh It helps that I have a bunch of other stuff I need to do, most of which isn’t very interesting — so it’s more exciting to daydream about — err, I mean, draft design specifications for — an idealized weblogging system…)

Several performance-monitoring related links, since I seem to have been seeing a lot of this stuff recently:

Via Mike Gunderloy’s Daily Grind (Mike’s been back for a while, and it’s been nice to hear his “weblog voice” again…), we have Levels Of Abstraction, which asks:

So if we are moving up a level of abstraction, from HTML to XHTML, I expect to lose someting and subsequenly get something else in return. And there’s the rub. What do I get in return for moving from HTML to XHTML? I already know what I have to give up, I have to have well-formed documents. Thus, no leaving those br tags open, and make sure all your tags nest properly, etc. And that well-formedness constraint means tools. Sure you can enter valid XML by hand, but if you want to guarantee that the code is well-formed you will need to check it against a tool. Maybe pass the document through an XML processor, or a tool like Tidy, but either way you need a tool. And if you want to generate not just well-formed XHTML but valid XHTML then you will definitely need a tool like Tidy. So what do I get in return?

The author conclues the essay/rant (rassay? essant?) in a non-pull-quotable fashion, concluding that you get nothing for your troubles. This, of course, isn’t true: what you gain in making sure you have valid documents of the latest spec is the ability to blame any display issues on the client side of the equation. There is nothing more sweet than the phrase, “Well, my HTML is valid, so it must be your browser”.

In the obvious irony department, the page fails to display correctly for me, with the left-side body text running into the right-side menu stuff; it probably goes without saying that the page is invalid.

Well, I’m no longer the number one hit for ‘SARS sequence’, but I’m still paying attention to the story.

The infection may be more lethal than initially reported. Given that it has (so far) disproportionately affected care providers, and that the people who pull through mostly require fairly intense treatment (nobody ends up on a vent for the joy of it), there’s the potential for a postive feedback loop here — once enough care-givers are out of action, the virus potentially gets more lethal.

I also sent in a reply to a a recent Politech posting this morning; don’t know if it will make it to the list or not. To do that, I had to Google up some quick info about the coronavirus family; I found this course page at the University of Leicester to be rather helpful, if a bit busy in the design department.

On a more humorous note, The Boondocks did a little “I got the SARS! story arc last week that was amusing in a Sanford-and-Son sort of fashion.

Earthquakes, tornados, and now we get word that God’s Official Spokesperson thinks our elected leader President is the Anti-Christ:

Bush’s blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs, and his constant references to “evil doers,” in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations - the anti-Christ. People close to the Pope claim that amid these concerns, the Pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations. John Paul II has always believed the world was on the precipice of the final confrontation between Good and Evil as foretold in the New Testament. Before he became Pope, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla said, “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.” The Pope, who grew up facing the evils of Hitler and Stalin, knows evil when he sees it.

When asked for comment, sources inside the Beltway scoffed at the Pope, saying “Everybody knows the Anti-Christ is really Ari Fleischer.”

One of these days, I’ve got to get a real bookmark system going… for later usage:

Maryland Real Estate Valuation Database.

Gnus had the traditional May 1st release of a new version (it’s up to 5.10 now), and Lars Ingebrigtsen, the lead Gnus programmer, is selling Gnus t-shirts to mark the occasion.

Despite my calm, easy-going demeanor and my tolerance for my fellow human being (ha! I kill myself…), upon occasion I find myself involved in on-line discussions involving somewhat, well, controversial topics. Like why — just to pull an example out of the air, you understand — why the Republican party is overrun with fundamentalist religious wack-jobs.

Anyway, this budding flame-ware discussion that I’ve been participating in lead to me doing some Google searches, and I picked up the following links along the way.

Liberals Like Christ
Evil GOP Bastards

The haxor handle of genehack is “Crash Dream”.

In the “why does real life continue to resemble the ‘Nightwatch’ story arc from Babylon 5?” category, did you know that yesterday was Loyalty Day?

Canada begins to look like an attractive place to ride out the Crazy Years: US says Canada cares too much about liberties.

Ira Herskowitz, 56; Geneticist, Yeast Expert (1946-2003)

I’m not of the Herskowitz lineage (scientists count lineage like vampires: you descend from those what made you), but I know there’s a lot of people out there who are. For all of you people who have ever said “the awesome power of yeast genetics”, Herskowitz invented the phrase.

Climber amputates his arm, hikes to safety

The funny thing is, when I saw the headline, I clicked through mainly to see if it was somebody I knew…

So, the Transportation Security Administration is going to cut another 3,000 airport screening jobs in the next several months. Counting the 3,000 positions that were elimated about a month ago, that’s a 10%-plus reduction in the number of airport screeners. Your tax cut at work, I guess.

Not a lot of hard numbers in the review, but the overall tone of this Windows 2003 review isn’t what I’d call postive:

I honestly don’t understand what Microsoft thinks they’re doing. Server 2003 is pitched at large business but without significant application server support, Server 2003 simply can’t work for users or resellers. As an operating system itself, it’s fine, but as the crown jewel of what Microsoft calls the “Windows Server System,” Server 2003 is zircon, not diamond.

The “faster than Linux” claims are interesting. I wonder how it would benchmark against some of the newer development series kernels…

The Boondocks has felt a bit uneven lately, but today’s strip was pretty damn funny.

Just when you think the only place you’re going to see baseball used a political metaphor is a George Will column (and really, who has the time for that anymore? The mental cleansing exercises afterwards just take forever), along comes something like “At The Turning Of The Tide”:

In George W. Bush’s America, being even moderately liberal these days is like being a Red Sox fan. You know what needs to happen, you know what is right, and yet some cosmic force akin to the lingering shade of Babe Ruth always manages to ascend from purgatory and batter you into dust right at the moment when something good and great is within your grasp. If you do manage to get your lineup together - home run issues, grand slam arguments, All Star players - you will get completely outspent by the damned Yankees who are sitting in your division with more money than God and the will to use it. Baseball, like politics, has no spending limits.

(Make sure to check out the list of Bush’s accomplishments towards the end of the article.)

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