February 2006 Archives

‘Lo, many moons ago, I put some counterinsurgency measures in effect to cut down on direct linking of images in the Mighty Genehack Web Empire. Some time after that, for reasons I don’t completely recall, I turned it off (I think I was trying to pare down the .htaccess parsing to speed up the site, or something). It turns out that I missed it over on the .net province — something that I’m now aware of because I got a phone call tonight from an adult acquaintance of a 13-year-old that had posted a link in a forum, which changed from something mildly amusing into Goatse — and apparently the forum software didn’t have support for editing posts once they were made.

So, the image redirection has been changed to point to something a bit more benign — for the moment, at least — and some small micro-segment of the net has been taught an important lesson about bandwidth. I feel as if I’ve made that world just that little bit better today…

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A reminder to download and install perlnow.el, which looks like it could be useful.

Jessamyn’s ‘on the “A list”’ is recommended reading for anybody interested in theory and practice of weblogging.

There are some people, some sources that are established authorities on certain subjects — in some cases, quite broad categories. For example, Consumer Reports is widely considered authoritative on all sorts of consumer goods purchases, and William Safire is generally thought of as quite the grammarian and lexicographer.

Yet, when I’ve found myself in the position of reading Consumer Reports reviews of some product category that I’m knowledgeable about, I find that they’re generally bogus to some extent or another — and, recently, when Safire addressed “Blargon”, he got major points wrong and completely misrepresented others — I seem to recall Brad coining ‘blogosphere’, for example, not that other guy, and being completely tongue-in-cheek about it.

The other aspect of this is that if Safire is talking about weblogs, we’re at the point where the carcass is being dug up and tossed over the shark — so where’s the next thing?

(NYT link via Wes, who has a couple of corrections of his own.)

Tossing this in so I can grab it the next time TheChild’s teachers want to “express concern” over her interaction skills: Introverts of the World, Unite. (Via Medley’s Furl-stream.)

Nerve runs a regular “Sex Advice From…” feature, with tips from a group of similar people — “Sex Advice From Snowboarders”, “Sex Advice From GOP Lobbyists”, that sort of thing. The type of moderately amusing thing that works well over coffee in the morning, which is when I usually read it. This week was Sex Advice From Cellists, which was interesting mainly because two of the four cellists featured were in poly relationships. Sampling bias or overlooked resevoir of alternative lifestyles?

A “peppering” of good links on the subject of the vice-president shooting a fellow hunter:

And of course we have the “make your own joke here” foreign policy metaphors that still need to be fully explored.

Something to think about playing around with when I have a lot more time on my hands: BCFG2.

Bcfg2 is software that provides a declarative, proscriptive interface for managing system configurations. It has several key features:

  • All complex specification logic is executed on the server side. This makes the system easy to modify, debug and repair.
  • All architecture-specific functionality is embedded in the Bcfg2 client. This makes server-side specific specification portable between systems.
  • Bcfg2 is designed to be the primary interface between administrators and their systems. To this end, Bcfg2 exposes detailed information about actions taken and their results, and also stores current state information about all client machines. This information is all made available through a series of reports.

Developed at, and in active usage at, LANL. Might fit in the “something like cfengine but less scary” slot that a number of people seem to think needs filling.

Tomorrow is No Love For Google Day (in addition to some other holiday nonsense — maybe the launching of LovePerl, or some such — I’m teaching tomorrow night, so I’m a bit out of the loop at the moment.) Here are some alternatives to consider dallying with. (Hat tip to Dan for the pointers.)

/. published the review of Time Management for System Administrators review that I sent them back in December. Must have been a particularly slow day in /. land…

You can’t really tell from the press release, but $ORK is fairly heavily involved in the GAIN project. Helping get the hardware and system-side software infrastructure for that designed, configured, and/or written is one of the many things that has been keeping me busy recently.

New research claims to show computer use doesn’t cause carpal tunnel syndrome:

The popular belief that excessive computer use causes painful carpal tunnel syndrome has been contradicted by experts at Harvard Medical School. According to them, even as much as seven hours a day of tapping on a computer keyboard won’t increase your risk of this disabling disorder.

So, all I’ve got to do is get it down to under seven hours (i.e., cut it by around 50%) and I’m good. Right-o…

I’ve tried to sign up for 30 Boxes multiple times, using two different email addresses. I’ve never been able to get through the confirmation step; they appear to be trying to do some sort of input validation after I hit the confirmation URL. That sort of logic doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the rest of the application — not that I’ll be trying it out…

Best wishes to the Flutterbarians on turning eight! Dan was one of my role models in starting Genehack, and the community he has fostered continues to be an inspiration.

A co-worker made this analogy yesterday:

Perl4 : Perl5 :: C : C++

Don’t know that I agree; don’t know that I disagree — just thought it was an interesting way of looking at the development of the languages over time.