July 2003 Archives

We’re back. We went through here, on the way to here, and then came back via a slightly more normal (and boring) route. Some trip notes and some pictures will be forthcoming, probably sometime this weekend — it’s going to take that long to get dug out of the email/newsgroup hole — why is that groups wait until you go on vacation to explode in traffic? A few quickies that I’ve picked off the top already:

  • In “SCO’s Shell Game”, old Computerworld hand Frank Hayes outlines one reason SCO might be pulling the crazy stunts that they are. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…
  • We snuck in enough time this evening to watch the TiVo’d penultimate stage, the second time trial — which, like the rest of the Tour this year, was simply incredible. I noticed a lot of commercials for “BuyMusic.com” zipping by in the fast-forward segments (you know, those parts of the show where the poor TiVo-less people have to watch ads for stuff), so I plugged that URL into the copy of Mozilla Firebird I have running on my workstation (which, of course, runs Linux — Gentoo, to be precise), and I was met with this response:

    In order to take full advantage of BuyMusic.com’s offerings you must be on a Windows Operating System using Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.

    So here’s a hearty “fuck you very much” back to the BuyMusic folks; I’ll be continuning to send my downloadable music dollars to emusic.com.
  • In the “crazy but cool” section: XEmacs Window Manager (XEWM).

More on the way…

I cleaned up a bunch of old email, and plowed through some older bookmarked stuff, and presto! Another crop o’ quick little links.

Look ma, I’m blogging, I’m blogging!

  • I’m going on a road trip in a few days. Reading some of the passages at the beginning of “The Naked and The Deadheads” made me really eager to get out there. It’s been too long since I did nothing but drive for 12 hours.
  • Another Warren Ellis interview, over at Technoccult:

    What’s your greatest advantage as a writer? What gives you the edge that makes you work interesting and unique?

    These are the questions you never ask the writer because, in general, they simply don’t know. I can tell you what makes Morrison work, and Moore and Ennis and Bendis… but me? I don’t have the genuine tap into my subconscious that Morrison has. I don’t have Alan’s gift for complexity. I can’t do that real unaffected likeable storytelling of Garth’s, and I can’t do dialogue like Bendis. If anything, I’m in the spaces they’re not. When I’m on my game, I’m nasty, and angry, with angles on the contemporary world that no-one else does (much), with ways of telling stories that no-one else does (much).

    I dunno. Rian Hughes thinks I’m the last of the modernists. Most other people think I’m just a horrible old man.

  • Firebird seems like a decent browser, and it’s much less clunky than Mozilla, but I can’t select-and-paste URLs out of it in the normal X Windows fashion — which makes it damn near useless for 90% of the work I want to do with a browser. Feh. And while I’m bitching, why the hell does Xinerama eat up all available RAM + 15%? Having a 1GB workstation get all glitchy because it’s swapping is just wrong.
  • Dan gets all old skool and cranky and drops some funky NNTP science on the asses of the “syndication/aggregation” camps.
  • Television is the catnip of the masses. Bite the power!
  • Save Sluggy. (Wet slappity of doom!)
  • Look at this for possible future work deployment (yeah, as if): Glow the groupware client.
  • Just in case you missed it last week, the current administration acknowledged that this year’s deficit will approach a half a trillion dollars. When you consider the change from the surplus that prevailed for all eight years of the previous administration, the delta is well over that point. I just feel all tingly and fiscally responsible now, don’t you? (That sinking feeling in your stomach will go away if just say “one trillion dollars” in a Dr. Evil voice. Really. Try it.)
  • Meanwhile, down on the state level, GOP Attorneys General appear to have re-invented the protection racket. How in the name of Ghu is this even legal? IANAL, but this seems pretty much like what you’d think “malfeasance in office” would amount to. link via Ghost in the Machine.
  • I’m also late to this party, so I’ll just say fuck Pat Robertson. Hate mongering bastard.
  • El Reg talks Hardware virtualization and Linux. People have a pretty powerful feeling about “their” servers. I get the feeling this sort of thing could work, but you’re either going to have to hide it or force people into thinking about computing resources in a different way.
  • Three cheers for Al and “No more Davegeld”. Personally, I quit reading Dave years ago, because of now imfamous ‘changing content’ bullshit.
  • Webloging is not Journalism. Discuss. (scroll as needed)
  • Via an assist from Medley, the INTJ FAQs The “dealing with the INTJs in your life” section is a must-read for tech- and knowledge-worker types. I now know that the collective noun for INTJs is “an argument”, and I feel a strange need to try to work that into a conversation.
  • Continuing with the “that’s so last week” theme, I assume everybody saw the masturbation prevents prostate cancer thing. I only have one question: does this mean lube is going to be covered by my HMO now?
  • I started working on a new look over at the genehack.net annex. Actually, I started working on re-writing the diary scripts, but got sidetracked into reworking the interface for them, which lead into noodling around with fonts in gimp, as well as a drastic expansion of my todo list. Whee.

Whew! As I said back up at thet top, I’m off on a road trip Real Soon Now, and I don’t expect to have much (if any) ‘net access while I’m about. If things get quiet ‘round here, check out the sites listed in the sidebar — they’re all pretty wordy bastards. Failing that, there’s always the daily dose database.

lefteye flying the tux flag

And so another week starts…

  • Probably as a side effect of the whole Echo dustup (about which, well, whatever), I’ve been hearing a lot about RSS readers, which is (again) making me wonder what I’m missing. So I tried a few of them out, just to see. Amphetadesk is really slick, and Morbus has clearly dropped a lot of love there. It just doesn’t fit how I work, though — if I’m going to do the RSS thing, I want something that works a lot more like an MUA or a news reader. Once I read something, I don’t want to see it again (unless, that is, I tell the software to keep it around). The only thing that I’ve found that looks like it approaches that is Straw, which is, well, okay, I guess, but nothing that really gets my juices going. I tried the ‘nnrss’ backend in Gnus, too, but it’s complaining about a missing ‘xml’ module, which probably means I need to read some documentation.Anyway, enough whinging — anybody have RSS client recommendations for a Linux user?
  • I was going to drop a pointer to Danny O’Brien’s summary of this cool-looking

    bit of agenty software called dashboard, but then I read a few more of Danny’s entries about OSCON, and realized you should just go over to Oblomovka and read them all — start with the 13th of July, and go back to the 7th. People of the data-crunching sort would do well to look at ‘blog census’ entry, which could just very well make you famous, albeit in a very small circle of rather odd people.

  • I’ve been avoiding a certain section of the blog world for a while, so I just became aware of this “BloggerCon” nonsense; the irony of an invitation-only gathering to bullshit about the most democratic and egalitarian form of publishing ever invented is making Monday morning just that much more tolerable. I’m just wondering who’s putting together the “AntiBloggerCon” (or the “BloggerAntiCon” or whatever) and whether it’ll be via IRC or Jabber or just in everybody’s comment threads. (AntiBloggerAntiCon?)
  • Last week’s Bob The Angry Flower was pretty damn funny.
  • I got a new cell phone last week — a Sony Ericsson T300 — which seems to be okay (I’m not really a big cell phone user, really). As seems to be required these days, it came with a camera, which seems a bit crap:

    i'm not normally this pixellated

    But since I’ve got it, I’ll probably throw it in the car, just so I’ll have something for those “damn, I really wish I had a camera” moments. (And why is it that I never have the corresponding “damn, I’d glad I brought the camera” moments? That doesn’t seem fair.)

Slim pickings the past couple of days, so I’m digging out some old stuff that I never got around to (as well as a few choice new nuggets — it’s all about the mix, y0.)

  • File under superhero sex organs, and page Brody.
  • Growth of a sneaking sense of betrayal — Get Your War On some more.
  • It’s always a good time for The Story of Mel.
  • Warren Ellis did the /. interview thing a couple of months back. Good stuff:

    I couldn’t care less what other creators “should” consider, and if you ever say something like that within my physical reach I will slap the life clean out of your little body.

  • Remember Patriot II? That further erosion of your basic liberties (to make you more free, natch). Yeah, the one that Ashcroft said didn’t exist a few months back. Well, now it exists, and the evil little bastard Mr Ashcroft wants it passed ASAMFP:

    Among other things, it would remove court-ordered prohibitions against police spying on domestic groups; expand the FBI’s ability to conduct searches and surveillance without first obtaining a court order; and create a DNA database of suspected terrorists.

    Attorney General John Ashcroft told a congressional committee last month that he intends to seek prompt passage of Patriot II.

  • I love this picture of Danese Cooper.

I’m finding I really like this “quickies” bullet point format. I’m not saying every entry here is going to be like this, but it does let me get over the “must have something big and weighty to say” hump of posting reactive energy, and that’s really the important thing, isn’t it?

  • The Linux Journal’s 2003 Reader Poll is open for voting.
  • OS News has the first of a promised three parter on package management in Slackware.
  • The DC Metro Blogmap hit the big time in Slate. No mention of weblogs-social-dc, of course… (Props to Missy on the Slate link tip.)
  • Pages Within Greg has the most important info about the Demo candidate field: what OS and web server they’re running (or, rather, were running as of 1 July 2003).
  • The Public Library of Science gets a big boost from the Sabo Bill:

    “We must remember that government funded research belongs to, and should be readily available to, every person in the United States,” said Sabo in his remarks to the House of Representatives when introducing the bill. “Lifting restrictions that prevent the widespread sharing of federally funded research can only speed scientific advancement.”

  • Never hurts to remember about The Perl job site. Not lookin’, just sayin’.
  • You know you’ve been screwing around in shell too much when you want to close an <li> tag with an </il>.
  • Tyler Hamilton is staying in the Tour with a broken collarbone. Go Tyler.
  • One (ex-)military viewpoint on the “Bring ‘Em On” gaffe.
  • This week’s Economist has a great, stunning Lexington column, titled “Red George”. I can’t link directly to it, as it’s “Premium Content” (maybe only for this week?), but I will pullquote the best bits:

    Every year Mr Bush has either produced or endorsed some vast new government scheme: first education reform, then the farm bill, now the prescription-drug benefit. And every year he has missed his chance to cut federal pork or veto bloated bills.

    There’s even a bit for the Frog-haters:

    As Veronique de Rugy of the Cato Institute points out, federal spending has increased at a hellish 13.5% in the first three years of the Bush administration (“he is governing like a Frenchman”). Federal spending has risen from 18.4% of national income in 2000 to 19.9% today. Combine this profligacy with huge tax cuts, and you have a recipe for deficits as far ahead as the eye can see.

    Anyway, worth looking at if you happen to find yourself near a newsstand; it’s on page 30, and is only one page long.

Hope everybody had a nice holiday; we sure did. After several years of involuntary retirement, the ole’ genehack kettle grill came back strong:

that there's a whole mess of flesh

  • Lots of strange stuff remaining in the sea.
  • Business 2.0 talks to Leroy Hood about the forthcoming mapping of the interaction networks that let the genome work. (Ignore all the crap about how impossible it is; sequencing the genome was impossible too, until we up and did it.)
  • After this week’s Dean-themed Doonesbury run, I now hear Medley’s voice in my head when Mike’s daughter is talking…
  • Nu-skool A-list in town next week — anybody going?
  • Installed SpamAssassin yesterday, finally. Feel much better about myself. (Doc link, for lunchtime reading.)
  • Happy Mailman Reminder Day!
  • Emacs Code Browser looks nice and shiny, if you’re the type of person that prefers a lot of ‘I’ in your IDE. (Check out the screen shots, and curse the frame-based design that prevents a direct link to same…)
  • Another reason to be sorry that the New Belgium Brewery doesn’t ship to this part of the country: their aggressive use of new, environmentally friendly tech. We’re back in the MidWest in about a month; I need to remember to stock up on Fat Tire if the chance comes up. Tasty, tasty.
  • Finally, for any of the guys out there that might have just broken up with somebody, it’s possible that “Sex tips to my soon to be ex.” is intended for you. Do take the poor girls advice to heart, eh?