The previous month is:
The next month is:
1 April 2004
Is the bandwidth of broadband (ADSL) wider then the wingspan of a pigeon? A few days ago, an experiment took place near the Sea of Galilee, attempting to confront two technologies: ADSL vs. pigeons’ enabled wireless technology. During the experiment, 3 pigeons carried 4 GB (gigabytes) achieving what apparently looks as pigeons’ record in data transfer to a given distance. Will B2P (back to pigeons) save an endangered technology?
Which reminds me of Google’s PigeonRank Technology…
Google is interviewing candidates for engineering positions at our lunar hosting and research center, opening late in the spring of 2007. This unique opportunity is available only to highly-qualified individuals who are willing to relocate for an extended period of time, are in top physical condition and are capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.
The Google Copernicus Hosting Environment and Experiment in Search Engineering (G.C.H.E.E.S.E.) is a fully integrated research, development and technology facility at which Google will be conducting experiments in entropized information filtering, high-density high-delivery hosting (HiDeHiDeHo) and de-oxygenated cubicle dwelling. This center will provide a unique platform from which Google will leapfrog current terrestrial-based technologies and bring information access to new heights of utility.
Tell people not to think of a white bear for five minutes, and chances are they won’t be able to get polar bears out of their heads.
“Cell phone? It’s a hand grenade!”
3 April 2004
Wow. Mach 7?
4 April 2004
New Flotsam: home improvement pictures! With rabbits!
6 April 2004
Did our taxes this weekend.
- Time to do form 1040: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
- Time to do dividends: 4 hours, 45 minutes.
Apparently, we’re not the only ones with problems:
The new system for taxing dividends has caused serious disruptions for investors and accountants trying figure out which dividends qualify for lower tax rates. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants says it is the biggest headache facing their members this year.
“There’s a lot of people tearing their hair out,” said Tom Ochsenschlager, the organization’s vice president of taxation.
Congress last year cut taxes on some dividends paid by stocks and mutual funds. The change applied to dividends paid since January 2003. Taxes on certain dividends were lowered to no more than 15 percent.
Dividends that do not qualify for the lower rates can be taxed at regular income tax rates as high as 35 percent. Dividends still taxed at the higher rate include money distributed by preferred stocks, real estate investment trusts and some foreign companies.
7 April 2004
Consumers Union is asking the Federal Communications Commission to investigate and take action to stop the practice by many cell phone companies of artificially locking� wireless handsets, which prevents consumers from using their cell phones when they change cell phone companies.
The only reason wireless companies install these locks is to try and hang onto their customers by effectively holding their phone hostage, said Chris Murray, legislative counsel for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. While the locks take different forms with different technologies, they all have the same effect — putting another roadblock to competition in the wireless market.
Eliminating the artificial locks also will have a positive impact on the environment, as Americans discard millions of useful phones each year, equaling 65,000 tons of trash that includes toxic materials such as arsenic, mercury and lead.
8 April 2004
Using Cisco products? They have a backdoor, you know…
A default username/password pair is present in all releases of the Wireless LAN Solution Engine (WLSE) and Hosting Solution Engine (HSE) software. A user who logs in using this username has complete control of the device. This username cannot be disabled. There is no workaround.
9 April 2004
One bug, two bugs, tar bugs, su bugs, grep bugs, mew bugs, old bugs, new bugs. This bug has a little hack, This bug has a broken stack. Say! What a lot of bugs to track. Yes, some are in tar, and some in su. Some are old. And some are new. Some in sed, and some in jed. And some are even in parted. Why are they in parted, jed and sed? I do not know. Bugs should be dead! Some in jpeg, and some in TIFF This TIFF one has an attached diff. >From there to here, from here to there Test release bugs are everywhere. Fedora Core test 2 is available for x86 and x86-64 It should not be installed where production is hot; use it only for test, as we say quite a lot. If you install with the default SELinux will be the result SELinux is a form of MAC For more answers, check the FAQ [*] By explicitly stating what apps can use Unwanted accesses it will refuse [*] http://people.redhat.com/kwade/fedora-docs/selinux-faq-en/ So please test test2 in this mode; and please test it with your code. Plus it comes with a new GNOME; can you test that in your home? Also X.org is new, replacing XFree, test it too. And 3.2.1 of KDE We need to test, test, test, you see! So we will test it on our box. And we will even test out sox. And we will test it in our house. And we will test it with our mouse. And we will test it here and there. Say! We will test it ANYWHERE! Problems with Fedora Core 2 test 2 should be reported via bugzilla, at: http://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/ Please report bugs against 'Fedora Core', release 'test2'. For more information on just what the Fedora Project and Fedora Core is, please see: http://fedora.redhat.com/
This site is not about religion, nor about Christianity, nor about Republicans. This site is about how a small group of Republican strategists targeted a religious constituency to expand the base of their party, and how a small group of religious extremists targeted the Republican Party to bring the United States government under religious control.
Local Area Security Linux is a ‘Live CD’ distribution with a small footprint. Containing over 200 information security and administration related tools. As well as a full desktop environment and office productivity applications. With such a small footprint L.A.S. Linux can be optionally loaded and run from physical RAM (assuming there is 256MB or more). We currently have 2 different versions of L.A.S. to fit two specific size requirements.
12 April 2004
Hugo nominations are out.
Bystanders rated mobile-phone conversations as dramatically more noticeable, intrusive, and annoying than conversations conducted face-to-face. While volume was an issue, hearing only half a discussion also seemed to up the irritation factor.
13 April 2004
American Airlines’ announcement Friday that it shared more than a million passenger itineraries with four government contractors reveals that Transportation Security Administration officials have repeatedly issued false statements about the development of the passenger-profiling system known as CAPPS II.
American Airlines joins a growing list of carriers that have come forth in recent months to say that they have shared massive amounts of information about their passengers with the TSA. For the past eight months, TSA officials have repeatedly said they were not collecting this data. But American’s disclosure raises questions about why the department has given false information about its data collection.
American Airlines is the third major domestic airline to admit sharing vast amounts of customer information to aid government data-mining efforts, following JetBlue’s admission in September 2003 and Northwest Airlines’ admission in January. Both Northwest and American gave false information to the press in the wake of the JetBlue scandal, saying they had never turned over information about their passengers.
The TSA also apparently failed to inform members of Congress or the General Accounting Office, Congress’ investigative arm, about soliciting airline data for its contractors or testing CAPPS II with real data. The GAO released a report in February about the program. According to the report, the TSA told the GAO that CAPPS II has only been tested with 32 itineraries provided by agency employees.
2004 Jefferson Muzzles are out:
Since 1992, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has celebrated the birth and ideals of its namesake by calling attention to those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech “cannot be limited without being lost.”
Announced on or near April 13 — the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson — the Jefferson Muzzles are awarded as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment. Because the importance and value of free expression extend far beyond the First Amendment’s limit on government censorship, acts of private censorship are not spared consideration for the dubious honor of receiving a Muzzle.
But my primary objection isn’t the totalitarian potential of national IDs, nor the likelihood that they’ll create a whole immense new class of social and economic dislocations. Nor is it the opportunities they will create for colossal boondoggles by government contractors. My objection to the national ID card, at least for the purposes of this essay, is much simpler:
It won’t work. It won’t make us more secure.
In fact, everything I’ve learned about security over the last 20 years tells me that once it is put in place, a national ID card program will actually make us less secure.
My argument may not be obvious, but it’s not hard to follow, either. It centers around the notion that security must be evaluated not based on how it works, but on how it fails.
It doesn’t really matter how well an ID card works when used by the hundreds of millions of honest people that would carry it. What matters is how the system might fail when used by someone intent on subverting that system: how it fails naturally, how it can be made to fail, and how failures might be exploited.
April 15th: National High Five Day
Took a step towards solving Al-Rassan’s power problem by getting a new battery on ebay.
Hooray for eBay!
14 April 2004
The article in the Beijing Evening News told a shocking story of American hubris: Congress was behaving like a petulant baseball team and threatening to bolt Washington, D.C., unless it got a new, modern Capitol building, complete with retractable roof.
There was a problem with the story. Rather than do his own original reporting, Evening News writer Huang Ke had cribbed, nearly word for word, his text from an American publication. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Ke hadn’t bothered to vet the source he had plagiarized: The Onion.
At first, the Evening News stood by its story, demanding proof it wasn’t true. It finally did apologize, but stubbornly tried to deflect blame for having been duped.
The Recording Industry Association of America has long bemoaned declining sales, which it blames on illegal downloading. According to the association, the industry shipped almost a third fewer units in 2003 than in 1999. The industry is suing consumers to stop the free downloads.
“If illegal downloading is not the cause of the precipitous decline in sales of recordings, what is?” asks a six-page paper the recording industry group released in response to the study by Strumpf and Harvard’s Felix Oberholzer-Gee. “The results are inconsistent with virtually every other study.”
There could be many causes for the decline, Strumpf said. The economy is weaker. More entertainment choices might be drawing consumer dollars. Radio consolidation has reduced variety.
He says the industry’s response amounts to, ” ‘We have 20 studies, they have one.’ If 20 or 100 or 1,000 people say the sun revolves around the earth, it doesn’t make it so.”
Glad to know they’re on the ball - one of those critical flaws is only 8 months old. I’m still not patching Lower Corte (the only Windows installation left in my home); I have no desire to rebuild that system again.
New search engine from Amazon: A9.
Maybe playing around with it will show me why it’s a Google-killer. I just don’t see it yet.
Although the ads have angered voters, Charles Wayne, a professor of political science at Georgetown University, called them “a refreshing shift toward more honesty in the political process.”
“Emotionally manipulative attack ads obscure the candidates’ real positions and insult the intelligence of America’s voters,” Wayne said. “The fact that the major political powers are voicing their disdain for the public shows they are no longer hiding behind empty rhetoric. I see that as a positive step.”
15 April 2004
Science-fiction author Neal Stephenson’s latest 800-page dispatch, The Confusion, arrived in stores this week. But Stephenson fans hoping for another brain-wracking, cryptographic puzzle to solve will find a surprise instead: A central scene in the book provides a long, detailed description of the mechanics of 17th-century bills of exchange. Pivotal themes in the book involve the emergence of a cashless market at Lyon, France, and Sir Isaac Newton’s 30-year stint at England’s national mint.
On April 9, my mom and dad, Nick and Mary Yankovic, passed away in their home in Fallbrook, California. It was the result of a terrible accident — that morning they had started a fire in the fireplace with the flue closed, and were asphyxiated by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Suzanne called me that afternoon on the bus to give me the news, so that I would hear about it before the wire services picked it up.
Needless to say, I feel pretty much the way you would expect me to feel — shocked and devastated beyond words. I loved my parents so much, and this all still seems like a horrible nightmare that I can’t wake up from.
You have a right to buy whatever you want. You may not be able to afford a printing press to print it, but you have a right to buy it. That’s not something that’s often talked about in relation to the First Amendment. But civil liberties and individual rights are all we really have in this country.
That’s what upset me so much about the Patriot Act. We got right down in the mud with the terrorists. What we were doing was reducing ourselves to their level. We are the beacon of freedom in the world. For us to give up all of these freedoms to wage war with lunatics just isn’t necessary.
17 April 2004
18 April 2004
Yesterday, while performing the annual spring ritual of washing and waxing both YAH and YJM, I noticed that we have a lot of wasps and yellowjackets interested in my house. A lot of wasps.
So I spent a bit of time watching them this morning, as they flew in and around my second-story window, investigating drain pipes, occasionally flying off towards the woods behind our house. I then sat at that window from the inside until I figured out that they’ve moved into the exterior walls of my home. It’s only a matter of time before they figure a way inside, which means they have to die.
I’m willing to live and let live with just about anything so long as they stay out of my home. But once they cross that line, that’s it. If I can’t shoo them out, they have to go. I made my first wasp trap this morning; I just hope I don’t turn into Bill Murray’s character in Caddyshack trying to get rid of these bastards.
There’s another one! Brazenly flying up to my window and crawling into the wall, where do you think you’re going?
Natural wasp control has been added to the honeydo list, somewhere near the top:
You may be able to locate the nest by observing the flight patterns of the wasps: if they are flying in a straight line, they’re likely on a flight path to or from the nest. Wasps flying directly in and out of a single location may be entering and leaving their nest.
Before approaching the nest, be sure to wear protective clothing that covers the whole body, including gloves and a veil which covers the face, ears and neck. Wear several layers of shirts and pants. Tape clothing cuffs at wrists and ankles close to your body. Check carefully to ensure there are no exposed parts of the body; wasps may target even the smallest exposed areas.
Wait until well after dark before removing the nest. Wasps are drowsy and slower to react during the night, but you should still exercise caution during the nest removal process. Use a headlamp if you have one, otherwise have a helper to hold a flashlight for you. You’ll need both hands free. Filter the flashlight by wrapping the lens with red cellophane or thin red cloth, as wasps are attracted by yellow light. Step lightly and try not to talk when approaching the nest; wasps are sensitive to vibrations.
I think they might be paper wasps - they’ve got really long bodies, and some are orange and some are yellow. There don’t seem to be any short, stubby yellowjackets.
I thought paper wasps didn’t nest inside walls, though?
19 April 2004
If I could send a message back in time to myself, to before we opened this place, that message would be, “do not allow any computer in your club more complicated than a non-electric cash register. In fact, consider not having telephones.”
But I wouldn’t have listened, because I’m a dumbass.
20 April 2004
Oh! Snooker season’s almost over - that means the Crucible!
Just got a Netgear MA311 working on Arbonne — huzzah! Got it on ebay for $20 — huzzah!
Next up: installing SELinux on Al-Rassan.
Fedora Core 2 test2 is the first release of Fedora Core to feature full support for SELinux. The Fedora Core team has worked hard to provide a useful implementation of SELinux. To accomplish this, we have written a tunable policy, and have set up the tunables by default into a relaxed policy. SELinux has two modes it can run under, enforcing or permissive.
21 April 2004
Now you can get married on the Bridge of the USS Enterprise, have Klingons and Ferengi witness your vows and then have an out-of-this-world reception at Quark’s Bar & Restaurant.
Scroll down to view all the options below. Options include Starfleet Wedding, Captain’s Wedding, Admiral’s Wedding, JR. Officer’s Wedding, Continuum Reception, Andorian Reception, Haven Reception…
Have I mentioned that Ronnie O’Sullivan is my absolute favorite snooker player? (He’s Merrystar’s, too.)
Well, he is. Snooker’s always exciting when he’s playing.
Ronnie O’Sullivan said he was not worried about snooker’s authorities censuring him after he made a gesture during his win over Stephen Maguire.
The tournament favourite raised a finger to a pocket after missing a difficult pot during his 10-6 success.
“So what? Frustration’s good. It shows how passionate I am about the game,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.
“I’m here to win the tournament. If they want to fine me, they can, I’ve got plenty of money, so I’ll pay.”
Barry Pinches, the man who ended Jimmy White’s Crucible dreams for another year, made an early bid for fashion statement of the tournament with his fetching green and yellow-backed waistcoat.
Pinches had good reason for his departure from conventional snooker apparel of waistcoat, maybe with a hint of tartan, emblazoned as obviously as possibly with a sponsor’s logo.
Firstly, he has no sponsor. And secondly he is a proud Norwich City supporter.
And that’s just about the only acceptable excuse for wearing a green and yellow waistcoat in public.
What I don’t get is that this group of Trekkies somehow forgot that Klingons are ugly bags of mostly water, too!
A Klingon look at humanity, Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water, will make its debut at the Cannes Film Market held from May 12th-23rd.
A press release from the producers, which also promotes the film’s official web site, revealed that the film visits the Klingon Language Institute’s Annual qep’a (Conference) directed by professor Lawrence Schoen.
But I can say of
certain knowledge that nothing
was taken out
that would naysay what
I just indicated in my
response to the question
The tallest any tree could grow would be about 130m (426ft), say US scientists.
George Koch and colleagues climbed five of the eight tallest trees in the world - including the biggest at 112.7m - and examined their physiology in detail.
The researchers found these massive Californian redwoods pushed the limits to which water could be raised from the ground to support further growth.
The team tells the journal Nature that under present conditions, the trees are unlikely to gain 5-15m more in height.
22 April 2004
Mozilla 1.7 RC1 is out.
AINUR: Wow! Existence!
ILUVATAR: *blows pitch pipe* LA!
AINUR: LA LA LA!
ILUVATAR: LA LA!
AINUR: LA LA!
MELKOR: This sucks. BUM BUM BA DUM!
AINUR: Um. . . la?
ILUVATAR: Ahem. LA!
MELKOR: Boop bop-a-doo-bop!
ILUVATAR: LA, dammit.
MELKOR: Bwam bardle ningle boom.
AINUR: . . .
ILUVATAR: Right, you’re out of the band.
MELKOR: Fine, I was leaving anyway.
AINUR: . . .
ILUVATAR: What are you waiting for?
AINUR: Oh. Right. Newly created world. Sorry. Great jam session, big guy!
John Doyle, writer for the conservative Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, learns how to laugh at Bill O’Reilly.
23 April 2004
Shocked, Shocked, I tell you — Wired News: Damaging Drug Study? Bury It:
The risks for children taking some antidepressants could outweigh the benefits, according to an analysis of data that pharmaceutical companies did not make widely available to the public or to researchers.
Researchers in the United Kingdom analyzed 22 randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of antidepressants and placebos in children from 5 to 18 years old. Data on four out of the five antidepressants examined showed the drugs had the potential to do more harm than good in depressed kids, according to research published in the April issue of the British medical journal The Lancet.
A California voting systems panel recommended Thursday that the secretary of state decertify an electronic voting machine made by Diebold Election Systems, making it likely that four counties that used the machines will have to find others for the November election.
The panel discovered last November that Diebold had installed uncertified software on the machines.
The voting panel also recommended to Shelley that he ask the state attorney general to examine the possibility of bringing civil and criminal charges against Diebold for violating California election codes, which state that vendors cannot change software without notifying the secretary of state’s office. The codes also say that no vendor can install uncertified software on voting systems.
“This doesn’t solve the problems,” said Tab Iredale, a Diebold developer. “It just sets a tone of confrontation at a time when we should be working together to address issues with the certification process.”
26 April 2004
I know something’s been lost in translation.
Chirpy, smiley, full of beans - these are just some of the words which do not describe first-time quarter-finalist David Gray.
Ironically, in contrast, beaten Lee Walker was chirpy, smiley and full of beans.
“I’m going to lose some weight and go to the gym for a month and a half,” he beamed after the match - surely a pledge to wipe the smile off the face of the biggest optimist.
27 April 2004
I’ve got to conduct an interview later this week — time to brush up on the Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing:
First of all, the #1 cardinal criteria for getting hired at Fog Creek:
Gets Things Done.
That’s it. That’s all we’re looking for. Memorize that. Recite it to yourself before you go to bed every night. Our goal is to hire people with aptitude, not a particular skill set. Any skill set that people can bring to the job will be technologically obsolete in a couple of years, anyway, so it’s better to hire people that are going to be able to learn any new technology rather than people who happen to know SQL programming right this minute.
28 April 2004
Ronnie O’Sullivan turned in a magical performance as he became the first player to reach the semi-finals with a 13-3 demolition of Anthony Hamilton.
The Rocket left his opponent trailing in his wake as he rattled in four centuries on his way to victory.
Hamilton was always likely to be facing mission impossible after ending the morning session 7-1 adrift.
He managed to win two of the evening frames, but O’Sullivan sealed the match in the 16th with a session to spare.
29 April 2004
Argh! Stuck at work while O’Sullivan plays Hendry!
At least the BBC will hook me up: BBC SPORT | Other Sport | World Snooker | Live: O’Sullivan v Hendry.
Thank goodness for Firefox’s “Reload Every” extension!
Wasps all gone. Carpenter bee relocated.
Thanks, Beekeepers (800-496-2337)! (They may only be in the Washington DC area.)
New Flotsam: message.
Howdy Jim! I won’t tell anyone at work if you don’t.