It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.


Back from Lunch the Other Day
The other day my father and I were coming back from lunch. As we headed back to work, we work in the same building, my father noticed something.
We were taking a right from West bound Westhimer onto the North bound Beltway. As my father looked left waiting for traffic, he noted "There is a .45 shell in the street. Right there."
I chuckled and said something like "Just one? They must not have meant it."
He hit the gas and said "What kind of neighborhood is this? Lets get out of here." He said it in a half joking voice. Mocking the seriousness of the episode. It is one of those things you do at a time you don't like what is going on.
This was only a block or so from the place where I had the gun pulled on me while walking down the street. A friend noted finding shell-casings in the bushes when he was growing up in that area many moons ago. It has never been a great neighborhood.


I step outside wanting to go to the stop and rob up the street for a snicker bar. Something tells me it is a bad idea. So, I stand there and look at the sky for a moment. There is no moon. The stars look as far away as they should. For just a moment I feel like a piece in a game that looks up at it's master for the first time. Which way should I go next? Do you have my interest at heart, or your own? Do you know I look at you and see? For one moment I know you. For one more moment I feel you look back. Then, it is all gone.
Then I came in the apartment and ordered some wings. I plan on breaking my diet tonight. I am in an awful mood. I fear life and death and God and people all at once. The great fallacy to chess is you can only move one piece at a time. Life is more like a game of chess where you don't know the rules, you can't see the pieces on the board, and you play against every other person in the world at once. Oh, and there is no way to win, only stay in the game if you can.

Water is next commodity

"Water is blue gold, it's terribly precious," says Maude Barlow, who chairs for the Council of Canadians, an Ottawa-based citizens' watchdog. "Not too far in the future, we're going to see a move to surround and commodity the world's fresh water. Just as they've divvied up the world's oil, in the coming century there's going to be a grab."

Isn't there something in the bible about trout and water shortages being a sign of the end of the world? In Texas we have "the Law of the Biggest Pump". He who pumps the water owns it.

I've always said I intend to work until AI drop.

Anecdotal evidence among my family and acquaintances is that people who work longer live longer. My grandfather worked until he was 86. A geriatric specialist recently told an aging relative that his primary medical advice was "don't retire". Of course it helps if you love what you do.

I'm going to buy some items from an eBay Store. This place has a bunch of mobile accessories for good prices. If I get robbed, you will definitely hear about it. I had a buddy take a look at the place and he says nothing really shows up to him. Since I don't know the potential outcome of this, I'll wait on publishing the link.


Technology Stuff

With millions of guns in circulation, South Africa is fighting to contain a culture of criminal violence. Police chief Jackie Selebi says he will use his new post as head of Interpol to wage war on the spread of guns in South Africa and abroad.
At his farm northeast of Pretoria, Nic van Zyl is busy inventing a "smart gun," as he has been doing for 15 years.
With a computer circuit board concealed in the butt and a revolutionary laser firing mechanism instead of the traditional hammer, the "South African Intelligent Firearm" would not look out of place on the set of a science fiction movie.
The really clever bit is in the handle, which reads the user's thumb print so only the rightful owner can fire it.
[Jason Roper's] system uses free wiring already present in most office networks. As soon as a computer is removed, the system sends a text message to the owner's mobile phone -- and blasts out a high-pitched alarm.
"It's not quite as loud as your car alarm, but somewhere near it," he said. "The PC itself screams at 97 decibels -- it just goes crazy."
Most ideas -- however clever -- fail to make the grade commercially. Inventors would do well to bear in mind the experience of crime-fighting Charl Fourie.
Almost as soon as he launched his flame-throwing car to deter hijackers six years ago, it was banned.

I keep hearing things about smart guns. Those are guns that only fire for the intended user. There are inherent problems with the idea including who is aloud to shoot, when are they aloud to shoot, and where are they aloud to shoot. So many problems come up when you look at specific technologies. The one mentioned above works on a thumb print. What if you get a cut on your thumb? Can you cut someone's thumb off to get it to fire? Another technology plants a chip in the hand of the user. That leads to all other kinds of questions. As for the screaming computers, ear plugs are cheap. When is the last time you raised a finger to investigate a car alarm?

I would really like Apple to suddenly and overwhelmingly take over the market and become the next Microsoft. I think I could live with Macintosh computers on every desktop. The folks at Apple just seem to have a better grasp of the human factor in the world.  They are a bunch of shocking liberals, but who cares if it means less tech support hassles?
Apple takes the time to research the user interface. Microsoft focuses on numbers and mass output. Linux is all about reliability and automation. It would be great if they could work together. Imagine the Mac user interface on a machine with the reliability of Linux/Unix and the proliferation of Microsoft. That gives me a woody.
Macintosh OS X (10.x) is built on a BSD kernel (on of the most reliable Unix systems ever). Only one more step to go. Get them to the desktops and dorm rooms of the world. Mac lovers of the world unite!


Yes, it is a diet. I've said I will try it for three days and let you know how it goes. Well, I have only cheated once (a coke at lunch). I'm drinking only black coffee and water. I'm not watching my food intake. I eat whatever. It's been frightfully easy so far. I think three days is going to be a snap. Two weeks thought may be the breaking point. after long term exposure, the cravings will get the best of me. I'll keep writing about it.


Survivors in seven countries on the shores of the Indian Ocean scrabbled frantically through debris and devastation for their loved ones on Tuesday as the death toll climbed inexorably toward 40,000.
The United Nations said the disaster was unique in encompassing such a large area and so many countries.
Aid agencies struggled to cope with the enormity of the disaster. The International Red Cross said it may have to treble its appeal for funds.
"The enormity of the disaster is unbelievable," said Bekele Geleta, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Southeast Asia.
The United Nations said hundreds of relief planes packed with emergency goods would arrive in the region from about two dozen countries within the next 48 hours.
Sunday's giant 9.0-magnitude earthquake cracked the seabed off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. That tectonic movement triggered a tsunami that raced across the Andaman Sea and struck Sri Lanka, southern India, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar and resorts packed with Christmas vacationers in Thailand.
Officials fear the figure could rise above 60,000. Indonesia said its toll could hit 25,000, while Sri Lankan officials warned up to 25,000 people may have died there. Thailand said its toll may exceed 2,000.
"There are lots of dead foreigners because it is during our high season and Christmas. It is a family vacation time," Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told reporters.
On some of India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, located almost atop the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake, rescuers found only a third of inhabitants still alive. A hundred air force officers and their families vanished from one island base.
Sunday's huge waves were tracked by U.S. seismologists who said they had had no way of warning governments in the region.

The emphasis in the above article  is mine. I guess I should have quoted the whole article. This article had allot of quote from survivors. They should rewrite the definition of the word disaster.

The extraordinary loss of life from Sunday's earthquake and tsunami waves is prompting Asian governments to consider developing a more comprehensive and effective warning system.
Scientists nearest the quake's epicenter knew shockwaves could create tidal surges that would threaten coastal regions and shipping, but said Monday they had no way of measuring the size of the danger because a warning network like one used in the Pacific is not installed in the Indian Ocean.
The technology might have saved countless lives Sunday by giving residents in coastal areas — especially in Sri Lanka and India, the hardest-hit nations hundreds of miles from the quake — time to flee to higher ground.
"Unfortunately, we have no equipment here [see below] that can warn about tsunamis," said Budi Waluyo, an official with Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. "The instruments are very expensive and we don't have money to buy them."
"They won't tell you how high the waves will be, but they can tell you when they will hit. Local authorities can warn citizens to get off the coast," said Waverly Person, director of the U.S. Geological Survey's national earthquake information service.
Such a system presumes, however, an organized communication system and widely understood procedures and discipline by hotel operators, fishing villages and local authorities to clear the coastline quickly in case of a coming disaster.
Most of Asia lacks such infrastructure, and casualties were highest in three very impoverished areas  the coasts of eastern Sri Lanka and southeastern India and the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island.
The warning system in the Pacific was started in 1965, the year after tsunamis associated with a magnitude 9.2 quake struck Alaska. It is administered by the U.S-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Member states include all the major Pacific rim nations in North America, Asia and South America, as well as the Pacific islands, Australia and New Zealand.

Do we have this "equipment" on the Texas gulf cost? =\
Poor people take the brunt of the death and destruction.
I haven't heard tell of any video or photos of the waves themselves. I'll keep my ears open an post anything I find here. ... Well, CNN has them, but CNN charges for online video (bastards). A dozen other places have obviously been swamped (bad pun =\) and have taken the videos down. I'll keep up the effort.

Year End Quiz 2004
My Points
A big 0
1 (easy)
0 (glad I missed it)
9 (yeesh)
For all the news I read, you think I should have done a bit better than that. Way less than half (almost one third) pretty much sucks. What did you get?


Someone doesn't want blood chilling slow roasted revenge on spammers.

One Billion Dollars
More troubling, and unaddressed by the Maryland court, is the concept of statutory damages for automated emailing, which can lead to serious disparity between the severity of the activity and the fines imposed.
Nowhere is that more that more clear than the recent case in Davenport, Iowa, where a state law entitles plaintiffs to compensation of $10 per spam message. An Iowa ISP sued 300 spammers in federal court for the amount of spam it received on a single day in 2000. The spammers did not show up, and the ISP, CIS Internet Services, obtained a default judgment against three spammy companies: $720m from AMP Dollar Savings of Mesa, Arizona; $360m from Cash Link Systems of Miami, Florida; and $140,000 from TEI Marketing of Florida. That totals to more than $1,000,000,000.00 - that's a Billion with a "B".
To put that award in perspective, the Bhopal accident a decade ago cost Union Carbide about $470m - less than half the claimed "damages" suffered by a small Iowa ISP.

The Can Spam law is so full of holes, it resembles string theory.

But some antispam activists assert that the law has aided spammers because CAN-SPAM requires recipients to opt out of unwanted commercial e-mail by contacting each sender, instead of forcing senders to get opt-in permission. The federal law also hurt spam-fighting efforts by preempting parts of some tougher state laws, including a California opt-in requirement, said Laura Atkins, president of the SpamCon Foundation.
CAN-SPAM also prohibits private citizens from suing spammers, instead allowing only state attorneys general or ISPs (Internet service providers) to file civil suits. People like Atkins, who operate their own mail servers and receive thousands of spam e-mail, have no recourse against spammers under CAN-SPAM.
"CAN-SPAM has not made it any easier to find spammers," Atkins said. "It has not decreased the amount of spam."
About 30 percent to 50 percent of spam came through zombie spam relays in April, MX Logic estimated. In a three-week survey in November and December, the company found 69 percent of spam sent through zombies.
"I think CAN-SPAM caused spammers to change their tactics significantly," Lochart said. "The spammers got even more creative at hiding, and they've always been pretty good at it."
Despite these efforts, antispam vendors predict more spam in 2005, not less. "Even from a service provider perspective, after all the lawsuits and convictions, we still have not seen a deterrence effect happen," said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer at MX Logic. "Spam has continued to increase and saturate inboxes, and we've not seen a decline whatsoever. From that perspective, CAN-SPAM is pretty toothless."

However, the constant legislation and deep seeded hatred by, well, everyone except that guy in the above quote (who is just trying to buy some links with an opposing opinion) may actually have a positive effect here.

Better spam-blocking technology and stepped-up law enforcement may be having a deterrent effect on spammers.
Time Warner Inc. (TWX) unit America Online said Monday it has seen a big decline in overall junk e-mail volume this year, in a dramatic reversal of a five-year escalation in spam targeted at AOL members. AOL said the drop is evidence its multi fronted fight against spam is working.
"We used to be the largest target," said AOL spokesman Nicholas J. Graham. "The target's becoming a lot smaller," in the face of aggressive filtering and spammer prosecutions that have made sending junk mail to AOL members less financially rewarding.

So, 75% of emails is spam at the moment. What do we do when it is 95% or 99%? What happens when we cannot use email the same way we use it today? The company I work for at the moment uses email on such a scale, that the company would suffer if it were to fail on a long term basis. Whatever replaces email will just fill up with spam as soon as all the dumb-asses who buy that crap move over to whatever new system comes up. The only way to stop spam is to take the money out of it. I'm not sure how to do it in such a way that hurts the spammers without stopping legitimate business. I don't think spam is legitimate. I just don't. If I have any say, it will not be legitimate.
A buddy of mine got the Blackberry. This thing does all those cool things that phones were meant to do in the first place. You can surf the net, check all kins of email, play games, run real software, monitor your corporate network, check stocks, IM, control your home PC, It even makes phone calls. It looks snazzy too. It is only $450 or so for the unit, and $50 or so a month. I could sacrifice, oh, food. That might be enough to afford it.

Witness to Disaster
One interview said "it was like a movie." Another said only "Why?" Others franticly search for loved ones. There was an account from a man who was holding his child in hs hands and running when the wave hit. When it was over, he only had a hand full of cloths.

Witnesses described a series of about five waves -- with the second being the most powerful, ripping along the coast.
"After the first wave, there was almost like a sucking sound and the water almost disappeared from the bay," said German tourist Kartsen Otte, who was about to board a small boat to go diving.
"Then it rushed back. It came so quickly it was incredible. It just kept getting higher and higher," said his business partner and fellow traveler Alexander Braun. "We ran up the steps of this nearby building onto the roof. It blew the first floors away of everything around."

The death toll in a tsunami that slammed into coasts from India to Indonesia topped 21,000 on Monday as rescuers scoured the sea for missing tourists and soldiers raced to recover bodies amid growing fears of disease.
Sri Lankan military spokesman Daya Ratnayaka said 10,029 people had been killed in Sri Lanka alone.
The addition of more than 5,000 dead in the Indian Ocean island nation brought the total number of people reported dead from the waves unleashed from the world's biggest earthquake in 40 years to 21,559, with some 5,200 injured


Artist: Emiliana Torrini [ Search RP ]
Song: Fingertips
Album: Love In The Time Of Science [ Search RP ]


Autonomous Choppers

University of California researchers are tinkering with technology that will, ideally, let helicopters fly themselves.
The Berkeley Aerial Robot (BEAR) project passed a significant milestone earlier this month, when a 130-pound model of a helicopter successfully guided itself through a course that included random obstacles that weren't on its internal map--a first, according to the university.
The project, funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is part of a larger effort to create robots that can get to places too dangerous or difficult for humans to go.

Yes, yes, when can I crawl into one of these things at my home on a mountain top and say "Work please." and be whisked off, while I sleep the hour or so flight time away, to some place of business? That will be the litmus test as far as I'm concerned.

Good old Sony
Sony DVD v camera
This is the kind of product my parent's would like.It is a Sony video camera that records straight to a DVD (+-R or RW).

DCR-DVD7E, features an unusual round body design that provides room for the DVD-R inside, the lens and little else. The unit reportedly features a 10x optical zoom, a 2.5 in. LCD screen and weighs some 360 grams.
The release said the Sony DCR-DVD7E would be available in May, but it didn't say how much it would cost.

So, Cynthia has a good thing going. She is doing this thing where she only drinks water during the day. She doesn't worry about what she eats really. I don't have the self control for that. I'm addicted to caffeine. So, I'm adding black coffee to the list. I'm going to try it for three days and count how many times I cheat. I'll report back here. Wish me luck.
Iraq blogging and phones

I'm back to using Internet cafes since the phone isn't working, so sorry if I am behind in responding to emails.
As to the mobile phone network, specifically that of Baghdad, horrible doesn't even start to describe it. The service is totally unavailable during the day and only seems to work after midnight. All you get is 'network busy', 'unknown error', 'weak signal', 'service unavailable' and things like that. Most of the time if you are trying to call someone your voice just echoes back to you. Of course there is an array of other problems with the service but Orascom should at least ensure that subscribers can effectively call each other.
A mobile phone is extremely invaluable because it is the only way you can locate a family member if there is trouble somewhere in the capital. Nabil's school is very far from our neighborhood and if he runs late for some unpredictable reason we can be reassured about his safety by calling him, the same for others. A few days ago I was holed up till dark at my old college because of roadblocks following an attack on an American patrol. I couldn't call home because there was no signal the whole time I was there. When I returned home I found them crazy with fright.
The Kuwaiti MTC Atheer network in southern Iraq is much more reliable, even though I saw many people in Basrah complaining of the service as usual. MTC recently announced that they would soon be available in Baghdad, in fact MTC subscribers in the south can already use their service while in Baghdad whereas Orascom/Iraqna subscribers can't make use of the service outside the capital. I haven't heard anything in regard to the northern network but it looks like it's going smoothly.
Nokia phones are the most popular in Baghdad, especially the 6600 model. Iraqis have already nicknamed it dabdoob (fat) because of its peculiar size and shape. The classic, cheap 1100 model is called taabuga (brick) because of its durability. Some people claim they have ran over it in cars, dropped it from the roof, or attempted to smash it with a hammer and yet it still worked.
'Phonejacking' is not an uncommon practice these days. Similar to carjacking, a criminal would force you to give up your prized phone at gunpoint.

I remember stories of kids steeling each other's necklaces and watches at school. There was an incident that made the news while I was in high school. These gang members entered a school stole some property right off kids walking down the hall and then left. All this happened in front of teachers and a security guard, but there was not much they could do. The hoodlums were clearly armed and they didn't want to start a gun fight in the middle of the school.
While I read this, I think about the new phone I just ordered. My father has a similar phone and had a bunch of trouble with his. He had to have it replaced three times. I didn't know this before I picked the phone out. Great. I should have checked with Iraqi blogs before picking out a phone. There is alot more to this whole blog. You should stop by and check it out.
You know what I'm probably going to do today? I'm going to sit here, in front of the computer, surf the net, watch old X-Files episodes, drink Dr Pepper, and not go outside. It is a shame really. I just read on the weather page that it is a nice day outside.

This is from CNN. The headline reads "Asian Quake Kills Thousands". My question, "Is this the best frigging picture you could find?" This guy really looks suspicious. Maybe it is a bad picture.

What is worse?

The U.S. military said it appeared likely that an individual in an Iraqi military uniform, who was probably wearing an explosives-laden vest — carried out the attack.
"That is possible because uniforms of National Guards, police and army are available in the market," said Zebari. "It is not difficult for a person to wear one."
He suggested that the bomber could have been someone who frequently came in and out of the base, such as the numerous local workers who did cleaning, laundry and other chores.

Let me get this straight. Some guy, and insurgent, gets a job washing dishes, or sweeping the floor at the base. Then, picks up a uniform, readily available to whomever has a couple of bucks in their pocket, in the local market.

Artist: Greg Brown [ Search RP ]
Song: Who Woulda Thunk It
Album: In The Dark With You [ Search RP ]


It is 11:23 or so. I was thinking about walking up to the Stop-N-Rob for some sweet-tarts. I'm afraid the Arabic chick who usually works Saturday night will have the day off. I had an offer to take a plate home after Christmas dinner. I didn't think I could carry it, so I declined. It isn't like I'm waisting away. I could skip a meal now and then. It would only help the blubber situation. There is like nothing "good" to eat in the apartment. It is either sweet-tarts or one of those mystery meat sandwiches. It is supposed to be in the sixties tomorrow or Monday. I'm still buzzing about the snow.
Decisions, decisions. Do I stay or do I go?

University of Phoenix
I was looking at going to the University of Phoenix They have some cool programs. They offer great weekly classes that are designed for people who work for a living..Well, I just got spam from the University of Phoenix, so Fuck them. I refuse to give them my business.
Christmas 2004
Snow House
Christmas was great. I spent time with the family. It was cold and it snowed. Can you believe it? It snowed. Some one said on the news that it has never snowed Christmas Eve or Christmas day since they started keeping records. I took a ton of pictures.
Christmas dinner was excellent. We chased the dogs with the RC truck and drove it through the snow for fun. That truck was the best present I've ever given my parents (last year I believe).
I visited with some friends down the street I hadn't seen in years. These were friends I used to hang out with before I became a working stiff. No Rice Crispy Treats this time. You can't have it all.


Partum vel intereo
It would be great if I could write some fiction. I'm not sure how to begin. I might take another creative writing class. What the heck would i write about. You are supposed to write about something you know. Hmmm. I know computers, but not how to tell people about computers or things that happen on computers. At least, not in a way that would not put people to sleep in five minutes. I can know something if I need. Thanks to Google, any one on the planet can be a top information aficionado in moments. Try reading some Trivial Pursuit questions and look up the answers on Google. I bet it doesn't take you very long to find the answers.
You know what show has good story lines? The X-Files. They put as much effort into their stories as the old Outer Limits, or the Twilight Zone. OK, The original Twilight Zone blows the X-Files away, but still, The X-Files has Blossom beat by miles.
Oh, fiction. So, where do I begin? I took a creative writing class many moons ago. I learned at once that you must have a test audience. I also learned that you must put some piece of yourself into the fiction or you won't get any where. At least, I must. I suppose it is a bit different for everyone. I enjoy putting the words down on the page. I love it when the screen slowly fills with text. I like the feel of the keyboard tapping. I like the sound the keys make. I used to think I liked loud keyboard, but I like the quiet ones as long as they give that tactile and some kind of auditory stimulation. Visual, audio, tactile, I suppose I like the smell and taste of the coffee that I normally drink while writing. Put it all together and you have a feeling of existence, a purpose. It is something that I do that really makes me feel like I am here. There is not much that can do that for someone.
It is difficult to look for something that pleases us. When we find it, we typically hold on tightly.
That is a bit too deep. I mention again that I have nothing to write about. I enjoy reading scifi and fantasy novels and graphic novels, but I don't think there is one inside me trying to come out. Frankly, there is not much in there. There is something there. It is under a tarp in the middle of a baron floor. I don't know why, but it will take someone else to remove the cover.

Lets cover one of the big questions.
Why are we here? or What is the purpose of life?
This question, it is the same question stated differently, exists really as a means of discussion. So, without further to-do, lets converse. (That means leave comments.)
Why are we here? Shell we consider the alternative? How boring would it be if there was no one to ask? The lions would eat the caribou. The grass would grow. The sun would shine. But, no one would ask. I say we are here to ask. The planet was getting boring to God. So, here we are, the instrument of the destruction left in charge of all that is worth anything. Sometimes I wonder if we are the acid designed to clean the Petri dish-dish. That is a typical answer though.
Lets look externally to Earth and humanity. I'm trying to think of something to say to that. All the thoughts I try to come up with are human centric. What possible advantage could there be to the universe as we know it that life, much less humans,  exists at all? There are theories that say not every attribute of a creature (Darwinism) is advantageous. Some attributes are just there and not very harmful, thus don't go away. That has got to be what life is to the universe. We are just here, and not that harmful, so we won't go away.
There, done. That was easy. Now, you can all stop asking the same tired question. and get on with, well, life.
Background Check
It is said the person who set off the explosion at the dining hall a couple of days ago wore an Iraqi uniform.

The torso found at the scene of Tuesday's blast at a U.S. military base in Mosul was wearing an Iraqi military uniform, and authorities believe it was the torso of the bomber, Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, spokesman for the U.S.-led Multi-National Forces in Baghdad, told CNN on Thursday.
"We have had a suicide bomber apparently strap something to his body, ... and go into a dining hall," he said. "We know how difficult this is to prevent people bent on suicide and stopping them."
Evidence at the blast site includes components normally associated with bombs. There was no physical evidence of a rocket or mortar, according to a military statement Wednesday.

People complain about background checks. They are done for a reason.  It turns out one of the people killed in the bomb blast used to be a co-owner of a bar where a friend of mine works.
Samsung E105
I called my mobile carrier and ordered a new phone. My old one is a low end Nokia and it has been turning off unexpectedly lately. I'll pick it up and it will have the "enter the security pin" prompt on the screen. It was a pleasant experience. I called T-Mobile and asked them which phones I qualified for and they read off a list. The lady explained the one's that don't qualify are ones that are not in stock. The E105 is an older phone, but I know there are plenty of peripherals and cases made by third parties. It hooks to the computer via infrared. It has a little planer (beeps when you tell it to) and handles a bunch of names. I'm sure I'll gripe about it in the future if it pisses me off. If you don't hear anything consider it a good endorsement. =]

Now, that is some scratch
Have your heard about this? A group of armed gunman kidnapped some family members of bank official's families and made the bank officials run in to the bank headquarters and grab a bunch of money totaling around $43,000,000.00 or so. The BBC has a timeline of what officials believe happened. How heavy is 20 or more million British Pounds?

The gang which carried out one of the biggest cash robberies ever appear to have planned every detail with great precision. They escaped with more than £22m after a robbery on the Northern Bank's Belfast headquarters

Artist: Venus Hum [ Search RP ]
Song: Hummingbirds
Album: Big Beautiful Sky [ Search RP ]


For God's sake Kelly, There will always be something in the world that you can use as an excuse to make your self depressed. I'm reading a story about these two teenagers who filmed themselves (with a phone) having oral sex and tried to sell it in India on their form of eBay. The story is really about how the rules need to be defined on who is responsible for the content of these sites. All I can think is how I missed something when I was a teenager. I didn't have oral sex until I was in my twenties. I haven't had any parts of sex in over two years. my last girlfriend has gotten married and had a kid. This isn't the first time it has been this long. Get over it Kelly. If it is so damn important to you, get off your ass and do something about it. Stop your incessant whining.

I did a support session with a guy in Brazil this morning. At first I thought we had a language barrier. However, his English was find. I think we had a bad connection. I was listening to the BBC in one ear and him in Brazil in th other. I felt so international. We did a Timbuktu (remote desktop) connection during the call and my laptop was connected (via Timbuktu and online radio) to a combined 10,000 miles or so of the planet Earth, across three contents. It felt kind of like the time I telneted around the world in the early nineties. The phone call probably cost $50, but the online radio and Timbuktu session were basically free (or paid for by paying for the internet connections).


Am I proud of myself!
So, how do you run a script at shutdown in Windows? I've finally tracked down one answer. I broke down and looked it up. Here is the answer. What the heck is Group Policy?
There are so many uses of this information. I've noticed a couple of programs that will remain nameless Real Player that sometimes stick a command in the boot sequence of Windows  every time you run them. I finally got the programs I use to stop it through their own settings, but not all programs are that nice. With this info, I can write a script that physically deletes the registry entries that kick off the offending programs before the machine boots. Just one more tool in the arsenal. I should not be proud of myself. It didn't take very long to look this up. I've been thinking about it for days.
Oh, one thing you can only find out by testing this method is that you must use full paths in your program/script. Apparently, the script runs in a different location than it resides on the system. Relative paths all break.


Authorities said Smathers, who was fired by AOL in June, used another employee's access code to steal the valuable list of AOL's customers in 2003 from its headquarters in Dulles, Va., and sold it to Internet spammers for more than $100,000.
Brian McWilliams, a journalist who published "Spam Kings," a new book about e-mail spammers, said AOL subscribers were particularly targeted for unwanted sales pitches because spammers consider them to be Internet newcomers and less sophisticated. He said one well-known spammer, Davis Hawke, compared AOL subscribers to hunted deer.
"An AOL user is like a deer with a red ribbon in its antlers," McWilliams said. "They tend to be newcomers to the Internet, perhaps more naive or gullible, so they're very desired customers. Those guys target a lot of AOL members for that reason."

I really hope they throw the book at this creep.
I remember a news article from over a year ago where a company denied selling emails to spammers. Some group was able to prove the emails were getting out. The CEO denied doing it and was speechless when the group said "Your company may not sanction it, but some one at your company is selling the addresses."
But wait, there's more.

A federal judge on Tuesday refused to accept a guilty plea from a former America Online employee accused of selling the Internet provider's customer list to a "spammer," saying he was unsure a crime had been committed.
The judge, who said he once used AOL but quit the provider because of the amount of spam he received, asked prosecutors to submit a legal brief by Jan. 12 with more information.
"This is a new statute," the attorney, Jay Goldberg, said. "He is questioning whether the conduct here met the standard of deception."

But, but, but does this mean the bad man goes unpunished?!?


A juror has ended up behind bars. Rachelle Thomas told a judge in Cincinnati last year that she couldn't serve on a jury because she had to take her son to a doctor's appointment. But she had already filled out a juror's questionnaire and wrote she had no children.
Thomas was sentenced to nine days in jail for contempt, but moved to Nevada. This week she returned to Cincinnati to clear up the matter. She pleaded no contest to the contempt charge. Thomas was ordered to complete her jail sentence, perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine.

I hear people all the time gripe about having jury duty. My mom walks in with a bible under her arm. Many people have ideas on how to get out of jury duty. Don't lie though. I've played the blind card myself. It worked. I'm afraid to update my license address because I'm registered at my parent's address in Missouri City. I've already received a judge's note to get out of jury duty there. If i update my license to Houston, I'll have to deal with Hares county courts and Houston courts and probably Texas courts all over again.

Gmail Error
Gmail Oops error
I understand the want of Google to be user friendly and leave people feeling like they actually care that there is a problem. I have to say, it gives me a feeling that Gmail is unprofessional. When things are not working, it just pisses me off that they are "making light" of my trouble. I know that is not their intent, but that is the first gut feeling that comes over me.


Holiday Loneliness.
Someone had a breakup earlier this year. They recently meat someone an they mentioned to me that they were very glad to have some one over the holidays. I thought for a moment. I've never had a relationship over the holidays except for my short marriage. That was a bad relationship. I can't blame any one but myself. I don't like me. I can't expect any one else to.

I just had a conversation with someone about monitors. I want to smash that damn monitor. I think I will order another one and take $400 worth of pleasure smash the fucking thing to bits. I should video tape it and post it here.
This monitor fiasco has me so upset I can't see straight. It is affecting my life far more than I should allow it.

Artist: Patty Griffin [ Search RP ]
Song: Little God
Album: Silver Bell [Unreleased; 2000] [ Search RP ]


Modern Soldier Based Weapons


Caliber: 5.56x45 mm NATO
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 838 mm in basic configuration, butt extended
Barrel length: 318 mm in basic configuration; also 229 mm in Compact and 508 mm in Sharpshooter and SAW versions
Weight: 2.659 kg empty in basic configuration
Rate of fire: ~ 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds (STANAG) or 100-rounds double drum in Automatic Rifle/SAW role

They say this thing will be the next replacement for the M16. If you watch the movies you get the impression this is a well thought out design. The best way in my opinion to tell if a design is well thought out is to look at long term operation and how easy it is going to be to keep the mechanism working even under duress. This system makes replacing parts a snap. If two weapons are damaged in different areas, odds are they can be assembled into one working rifle. There is more here. This system has already been combat tested in a limited capacity and will be standard issue in about 2006



The XM-29 is a combination weapon, which has the 20mm semi-automatic, magazine fed grenade launcher as its primary part, and the 5.56mm compact assault rifle as its secondary part. Both parts are assembled into the single one-man portable unit, with the addition of the target acquisition / fire control system (TA/FCS), which is an essential part of the whole system. The XM-29 will become an integral part of the future Land Warrior system, capable of communicating with the other parts of this system, including the tactical computers and helmet-mounted displays.

This is the one after that. The military is testing explosive rounds that will allow soldiers to program where the round will explode.  Call me crazy, but the optic site on this gun looks way to far back. It seems to me the site should be moved toward the front of the weapon a bit. Read more here, here, and here. This thing is basically a source programmable, light weight, precision, sniper grenade launcher with a range of half a mile. The user / soldier will be able to program the range at witch the projectile is to explode, program it to explode on impact, or set it to detonate just beyond a window, or thin wall. Look for these to hit a battlefield near you in 2008

What's Next?
It won't be long before our soldiers look like the Borg, oh, and are part of a collective. That thing is called the Future Force Warrior System (FFW).

FFW is designed to provide ten-fold increase in lethality and survivability of the infantry platoon. Such dramatic increase will be achieved by enhanced situational awareness, precise and effective firepower and netted communications, far better than current standards for tactical communications. Individual dismounted soldiers will get direct access to network-centric information and access any relevant service required and made available for their mission. Another key issue resulting from this process, is to lighten the soldier’s load. From over 100 pounds currently carried by combat soldiers, to around 45 pounds.

FFW will be implemented in stages starting with the weapons above and systems already in place, like GPS guided mortar shells. Look for something sifi-ish by 2010.


Friday Evening
I took the day off. It has been a blast so far. I slept until 1:00 and then chatted with some friends at work. They had a little Christmas party today. Frankly, I'm glad I missed it. It is the same people bringing the same food and saying the same thing. Every year, it is the same thing. Oh well, moral is so low in my department that no one really notices the attempts any more.
I polished off the last of the cookies that I made yesterday evening. Man, those were good. It is more the fact that I made them than the actual taste. You know how it is. Cynthia mentioned wanting her own apartment (place). I mentioned that the first peanut and jelly sandwich you fix tastes better than any you have ever had before in your life. It isn't the sandwich. It is the fact that you made yourself a PB&J in your place.
I had left over boxes from the computer. I packed them all up in a pile and drug them to the dumpster. One the way back, I took a long side trip to the local quick mart for some soft drinks and sweet tarts. When I got there, there was some girl about thirteen trying to buy cigarets. The oriental lady behind the counter would have nothing of it. She told the kids (the thirteen year old and her buddy) to take it outside. While they were walking out the door, they ran into some one they knew. Not two seconds of conversation later and the guy (maybe 18) was in buying the same brand of cigarets the girls wanted. The lady behind the counter gave him some crap, but eventually made him swipe his ID. Not only that, but his debt card was rejected. Now, I'm standing in line with two 2 liter bottles digging holes in my fingers. Ah, children. Must you affect my world?
I had a friend come over and pick up some data DVDs that I burned for her. She worked today like every one else in the world. She told me that her bank services all the ATMs at once on Friday afternoon. She had to buy something at the store to get cash. Her hubby called during the visit to clarify what was needed to cook dinner. I also got an invite for dinner tomorrow (pot roast, mmm mm m). This is the same person who's two year old I played with the other day. It promises to be fun.
Right now, I'm watching a movie I've seen 15 times. It is animated and involves super heroes.
I got some cookie doe. I speared it out on some aluminum foil. I put it in the oven. And in ten minutes out came cookies. How cool is that?!? I remember my mom backing cookies. She was both a saint and an angle while passing out cookies. She used to do this thing with the cookies that made the unique. She smooshed them flat with a fork. That left an impression on the cookies after they cooked. It left an impression on me. There is nothing like hot guy cookies, that have just the right crunch on the edge and a fork mark in the middle.


I hate Christmas, Bah Humbug.
Workplace Christmas
Poem about hating Christmas
The Forums Miserable person with a legitimate reason to hate Christmas.
Poem that I wish I could have written
Hands up if you hate Christmas is available, hmmm.

The best link

The closest that one can come to a link is that Saint Nicholas is regarded in some countries as the patron saint of children.  That role is largely based upon the stories that, due to his inherited wealth, Nicholas of Myra had purchased many children out of slavery and returned them to their parents.  The real Nicholas was also reputed to have sometimes tossed a bag of money into the window of a starving family, and disappeared around the corner before the thankful father could see who had done the act of charity.  Those acts were done in Christian love — something that is totally obscured by the modern “welfare state” Santa.  Even so, many well-meaning people perform charitable deeds in the name of Santa, while the name of Jesus is verboten in many modern settings in the “land of the free”.  (We, as a nation, have forgotten our history.  And, we have forgotten that, “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” [John 8:36]) It is not only the “morphing” of the name of Saint Nicholas that I want to address.  I believe it is not without significance that the name Santa Claus has a morphology of its own.  When we “morph” the letters of that mythical name, we get a mythical title:  Satan Lucas.  The first word is obvious.  The second one has a hidden meaning.  The word “Lucas” is a proper name, which appears to have as its root the Latin word lucaris.  That word means “of or belonging to a grove”.  The most common usage was the lucaris pecunia, or forest-tax, which was used to pay actors.  (You see, the Leftist subsidizing of the arts is not a new concept!)  Thus, the “Satan Lucas” is a term related to trees.  Are we beginning to see the problem?  There has already been much written about the fact that festivals involving trees are often pagan in origin, and are prohibited by the Bible. Why is the use of trees in celebrations prohibited by God?  Well, let’s see.  When the perfect creation was corrupted by sin, it was after the serpent (Satan) planted the seeds of doubt (Gen. 3:1) regarding God’s prohibition about a certain tree.  Then, sin entered the world because Eve — and then Adam — ate forbidden fruit from that tree.  God then posted a guardian angel with a flaming sword (Gen. 3:24), so that Adam and Eve could not return to partake of the Tree of Life.  (Having already been introduced to sin by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, if they had then eaten from the Tree of Life, they would become immortal — like the angels — and thus incapable of being redeemed.  Many regard the flaming sword as a punishment, but a wise priest pointed out to me that God put it their for mankind’s protection.)  Early in human history, it was a severe form of capital punishment to hanged upon a tree for humiliating display (Gen. 40:19).  God commanded that the Hebrews were not to do that to people, “for he who is hanged is accursed of God.”  (Deut. 21:23)  The curse of God was also upon the nations that worshiped other gods, “...on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.”  (Deut. 12:2)  The ultimate separation from God occurred when Jesus — a carpenter in His earthly life — was hanged upon a Tree to pay the sin-debt for mankind.  There are more of what Joseph Farah calls “little coincidences” like this, but you get the idea.  Christmas has been hijacked by Santa and his trees.
The Hijacking of Christmas
December 25, 2003

So many people are bastardizing a religious holiday (holy day) for money. Everybody is going to hell. HA! See you there.


Reason for no Christmas
Goddammit!!! This day is one of those that just makes you want to beat the next person you run into to death. Everything is taking an ounce out of my ass today. I cannot continue like this.
All I wanted was a digital monitor. I can't do it right. I got a great deal on a monitor from Dell. I sold the monitor for what I paid for it and went and got a monitor that I specifically thought was digital. Well an HD15 connector is a FUCKING VGA connector. The whole fucking world is out to get me. I swear every company just wants to trick me into giving them my name and information so they can sell it to spammers. The electronics industry makes things so confusing that no one can possibly figure it out. You have to higher a consultant to buy a fucking TV any more.
I quit. I give up. I can't take it any more. I'm never giving in to corporate bullshit again. (That is a lie. I know I'll cave.) I don't like being in this time. I've said it before that if I were born long ago, I may not have survived, but I bet it wouldn't have mattered as much that I cannot see like every one else. If I were born in the future there would have been a cure. There is no cure. There is no miracle. There is only suffering. I hate this. I hate being ignorant more than not being able to see fully. If it comes right down to it, not being able to see fully has little to do with modern life. If I had perfect vision, I would still be a misfit. I would still have no prayer of fitting in or reaching any sort of achievement. I just don't have what it takes. The lack of vision is just an excuse. I know this. It doesn't make me feel any better. I tried. I really tried to figure out which monitor to get. I failed, again.
You do not know how close I came to throwing this thing out into the middle of the parking lot just to watch it smash. I cannot believe I stopped myself. I hate this. I'm sick of being me. I don't like me. How am I supposed to get up in the morning every day and have to be some one I don't like?
No Christmas
I'm not doing Christmas this year. Forget it. It is too much of a pain in the ass. I was going over to my parent's house and doing it, but I'm just not going to. I give up.

New Year's Resolution
Well, so far so good. I must be the only person in history to have kept a new year's resolution and didn't even want to. It seems like yesterday that I wrote the words in the blog entry. I can't tell you why I did it. Between depression and pessimism I wrote a tongue in cheek promise. Now that it is nearly one full year later, I don't feel one way or the other about it. I don't believe in jinxing yourself by saying something. I do believe you can affect your own attitude greatly by what you say. I have not been on a real date all year. I've not gone out and made myself available very much. At some point, I think I stopped caring. I'll have to remember when I'm on my deathbed, at <cough>123 years old, that I stopped making the effort at 35.
So, what should my next years resolution be? I seem to have good luck making them work. How about typing slower and making less mistakes. How about reading more, take a vacation, get proper amounts of sleep, or eat properly. I might be able to pull one of those off as well as I did this year's resolution.

It is a beautiful day outside. It is ice cold, the coldest day of the year. I feel pretty good. Some one at my day job was complaining about having to buy several bereavement cards lately. Praise God, I haven't needed one in a while.
I have oatmeal raisin cookie doe sitting on my desk. I bought it from one of the parents at work who's kid needs money for school that my taxes won't cover. It was over priced. I may leave it in the freezer until I forget how old it is and throw it out.
The music on Radio Paradise is good. They do a good job.
I felt depressed at work. I cannot explain why. Between other's happiness and my lack of drive, I just fell apart.
It seems like I have to fix everything before it will just work lately. Some things are supposed to work properly out of the box. Not for Kelly.It's one of those days.


Outsourced Santa
Outsourced Santa
Don't get me started about outsourcing. I can't think straight when  I think about Americans out of work because of short sighted managers and CEOs who only want to impress the stock holders so they get their bonuses and can bail before the whole place burns down. I'm already hearing about price hikes in China and India for labor. Ya [insert ethnic name], you need a raise. Tell them "Show me da Rupees!".

I use AVG (Anti Virus Group) software. They have a free version. Go to AVG click on downloads > Products. Then click on the free version about half way down. If you are a not commercial (home user) entity, you are within your rights to use this software.

AVG Free Edition is the well-known anti-virus protection tool. AVG Free is available free-of-charge to home users for the life of the product! Rapid virus database updates are available for the lifetime of the product, thereby providing the high-level of detection capability that millions of users around the world trust to protect their computers. AVG Free is easy-to-use and will not slow your system down (low system resource requirements).

My Dell computers all came with a pay service virus checker. The license always expires after six months. That kind of crap makes me sick. AVG is pretty good and it's free for the home user. The commercial version is well priced.

Wireless in Courtrooms
I don't much care what happened to Scott Peterson. I trust in the jury of twelve. However, something interesting did happen during the read of his sentence. Someone in the court room sent a wireless message to their employer (a TV station) with the verdict while the court was still in session.

Peterson's death penalty sentencing was covered live via a wireless device, adding a new dimension to TV news coverage. A reporter from KCRA-TV in Sacramento used a laptop to send reports from inside the courtroom back to the TV station's newsroom, using an existing wireless network inside the courtroom.

This action seems to have sparked as much debate as the death sentence. Honestly, if it doesn't disturb the court, what is the harm? Well, that is part of the debate. There are bans on phones and cameras in the court room. Why not all forms of communication and recording other than hand written drawings or notes? Anything else has to be pre-approved by the judge. That might do it.

CIA in Afghanistan

The report in Monday's New York Times, citing anonymous American officials familiar with the operation, said the CIA had concluded that bin Laden was being sheltered by local tribesmen and foreign militants in northwestern Pakistan, and was suspected of controlling an elite terrorist cell that could be aiming to launch a "spectacular" attack against America.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who has faced heavy criticism at home for his strong ties with Washington, has previously acknowledged that a small number of American experts were working with Pakistani troops in their operations against al-Qaeda militants. But he has denied that U.S. forces – deployed in their thousands in neighboring Afghanistan – are actively hunting bin Laden on Pakistani soil.
"There are no CIA cells in Pakistan ... in our tribal areas, and there is absolutely no truth in this New York Times report," said army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan.
Both U.S. and Pakistani generals have said the trail in the hunt for bin Laden has gone cold in the more than three years since U.S. forces toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan for harboring him. The al-Qaeda leader, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, is still suspected to be hiding some place along the rugged border.

I cannot find the original New York Times article. Frigging NYT requires a subscription to do a news search, the bastards.
It sounds like our governments spend more time squabbling Over semantics than trying to hunt down the current Antichrist. He is there, he is not there, he is a ghost, we want to find him, he is nowhere. he never existed. One man has turned the U. S. in to a nation of shoulder shrugging lost scaredy-cats. People Just don't want to admit that it is going to take more than is currently devoted to fix the problem. There are five major conflicts currently going on in the Middle East. All I hear in the news is how schools are banning Christmas plays so as not to offend any one. I'm sure that contributes to cultural understanding between groups.
When did religion become a race anyway? I keep hearing religious intolerance referred to as racism or racist. That can't be the right term.

Artist: Venus Hum [ Search RP ]
Song: Hummingbirds
Album: Big Beautiful Sky [ Search RP ]


Quote of the day
I laughed for ten minutes after reading the following line.

... actual negotiations with Iraq, which has the world's second largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, are unlikely to start before elections there, which are due to be held in late January -- violence permitting.

"Violence Permitting", Oh, tell me I'm dreaming. Only a diseased mind could come up with this as fiction. Today's reality makes me yearn for a bad book.I read quite a bit of news and let me tell you, it would not be believed as a plot in a novel.

finally, some one has invented the truly wrinkle free shirt.

Flight Simulator
I have a flight simulator running on my computer in the background. I'm doing something on it I've kind of always wanted to do. I'm making the run from north Cuba to Florida in a Cessna, at 100 feet. Thank goodness for autopilot. I can just watch the scenery glide by. I'm not sure why this intrigues me. No harm I suppose.


Artist: Chris Isaak [ Search RP ]
Song: Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
Album: Forever Blue [ Search RP ]

Artist: Lucinda Williams [ Search RP ]
Song: Can't Let Go
Album: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road [ Search RP ]


Mobile (Cell) Phones
Brian: a loner antisocial (in a "something was happening" sort of way)  misfit. Smart guy. Has cats. (Engineer)
Adam: Married, Smart guy. Plays allot of DND. (Engineer)
Laurie: Married (to Adam), Smart woman. (Engineer)
Ethan: Single, but girlfriend has a Mobile. (Engineer)
Alexis: Teenager, Single, taking classes at UT.
Adam, Ethan, Alexis and even Laurie (by marriage) are all in the same family. I can't think of another person who I communicate with at all who does not have a mobile phone.

While older Americans like Harger-Gedeon are catching on to the fact that not having a cellphone could actually be considered socially obtuse ("A call ahead while stuck in traffic is no longer a courtesy but a given," she says), teenagers say leaving the house with the cellphone is as basic as having a wallet or purse and house keys.
"Everybody I know uses it for just everything, everything," says Melinda Burroughs, a 17-year-old in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Besides keeping her a ring away from her parents, Melinda says her phone serves as alarm clock and watch. It lists movies, text messages from friends, and latest sports scores. When cellphone use reaches a critical mass among teens, say experts, everyone suddenly has to get one.
... the need to always be connected to others may naturally settle with time. "Those who used to complain that they couldn't get away from their boss at work or find any peace, are doing much better in taking control by turning off their cellphones whenever they want," says Dr. Blinkoff.

"Mobile" vs "Cell"  I listen to the BBC allot and they say "Mobile" over there. I find myself using that term over "Cell". I've had people look at me funny once or twice. They all knew what I was talking about. I find myself just saying "phone" more and more these days.
My parents have mobile phones. Every one at my office has a mobile phone. That group of friends above are the only ones who have not moved into this century. I went out to lunch with them yesterday and forgot my phone. While standing in the Starbucks line, I noticed and felt naked and cut off for a moment. Then I thought, "No one is going to call anyway." and felt much better.
Satellite TV
A hacker was busted. Apparently, it is illegal to sell the devices that are out there to thwart the security on satellite TV signals. They encrypt the signals for a reason. I don't have a problem with a company defending it's property. I also do not subscribe to cable or satellite because it costs too much.

A Canadian man was sentenced to seven years in a US prison this week after admitting he led a sophisticated satellite TV piracy ring that produced and sold thousands of hacked smart cards in the US and Canada.
In his plea agreement with prosecutors, Mullen stipulated to heading a network of over 100 distributors throughout North America that sold thousands of hacked cards granting free access to all of DirecTV's channels.
Mullen's daughter, Nicole McKenzie, said she believed the government coerced her father into pleading guilty by threatening to prosecute his family. "My parents have been married for 31 years and my dad is my two children's only father figure," McKenzie wrote. "You hear about these things on TV, but this is real life. In my opinion he was completely set up."

I do hope the judges in the case that comes up next year will remember that the people of this country actually run the place, not the corporations.

The United States Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case on whether P2P companies are responsible for the piracy of their users. The court will hear an appeal to a lower court ruling that concluded that Grokster and StreamCast were not responsible for the activities of their users. The ruling was a blow to music companies and movie studios, both determined to stem piracy online.
The ruling in the previous trial had rested on ruling in a case brought against the movie industry twenty years ago. The movie industry wanted to ban VCR's because they would allow film piracy. They lost the case, with courts ruling that VCR's had substantial other users than piracy. Michael Elkin, a copyright litigator said that "What's at stake is basically the future of a close to $500 billion copyright industry, specifically the music recording, motion picture and video industries which have been completely hammered with the advent of the Internet."
Representatives from the Electronic Frontier Foundation reject this; "The copyright law principles set out in the Sony Betamax case have served innovators, copyright industries, and the public well for 20 years," said Fred von Lohmann, IP lawyer at EFF. "We at EFF look forward to the Supreme Court reaffirming the applicability of Betamax in the 21st century." The Supreme court will hear the case in March of 2005.

Tom reminds us the corporations tried this back in the eighties with VCRs. I know of a couple open source software development projects that use BitTorrent  as their official deployment  method. There really are other uses for pry-bars, matches, and butcher knives. Lets face it, Criminals find the most use in tools that are the most useful. How many lives would be saved every year if we banned personal automobiles?
Personally, I wish someone would devote as many resources to combating child pornography as the corporations throw at copyright infringement.


OK Adam I put lines between the posts and an extra line break between the date and the first line (uaually a subtitle). What do you think? Not every post shows it. I'm not going to investigate.
Fog of War
I recently viewed the documentary Fog of War. It is definitely worth a watch.  I have to say I will not sleep as calmly tonight after viewing it. While watching it I could not help but draw parallels between Vietnam and Iraq. The first months of Vietnam had some similar troop killed and injured numbers as those in today's Iraq.

Artist: Jem [ Search RP ]
Song: Come On Closer
Album: It All Starts Here... [ Search RP ]


So, I send in six requests to our support at my day job. Two out of the six had problems. One of which was basically just not done. These are not complex requests. I need a file renamed on a bunch of servers. I need a software package distributed (copied) to a bunch of standard servers around the world. I need an XML file edited to make text changes show up on the web page. It is all standard every day stuff for these guys. We make these requests all the time. I'm the one who makes the changes, they just distribute them over the network. I make the software install properly, they just copy the files. Two out of six fail. Come on.

More on Dell
Drive Swap
Tonight comes the big move. I am pulling the DVD reader out of the Dell (cheap drive) and I'm putting in a DVD burner from my other machine. I'm also adding the second 160 gigabyte hard drive that I have laying around. It never ended up in one of the other machines because I don't trust their power supplies to handle it.
Man, this thing is hot. I can feel the heat coming from the side of the machine during normal use. When I run BOINC, The fan kicks into high and the heat radiates from the machine. I could bake cookies with the frigging thing. Maybe I should write a cookbook for geeks.
1/2 cup of butter.
1 cup of sugar.
1 cup of flower.
1/4 cup of milk.
Stir, put table spoon sized lumps on a sheet.
Put in bottom of case and run Doom III for 25 minutes.
The case has a nice processor cooling system. There is a shroud over the processor leading to the back of the case. Fresh air is blown over the processor and into the box. There is a grating on the side of the case to let warmth out and the power supply pulls more air out. It is still not enough. When are they just going to throw in the towel and put liquid cooled systems in these boxes?

I've been offered a computer mouse, a car calender, a paid trip to Dave and Buster's, and trip to some Chinese restaurant for lunch. I had to turn down the lunch and D&B because I needed to get some things done before the weekend.  I turned down the calender because I don't use paper calenders. I don't really get into D&B. besides it was an all afternoon trip.

While out with the friends this past Saturday, the ones who were playing Ever-Crack, we stopped in to pick up the Strategy Guide for the game. The store was packed. We were not the only thirty-somethings in the store. Now I find there is quite a market for the strategy guides.

Hint-filled strategy guides now can sell more than 1 million copies, and long-awaited games are being given the kind of "making of" treatment typically bestowed on blockbuster movies.
Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar (Prima Games, $34.99). The 288-page hardcover coffee-table book was written with the help of game developer Valve Software. The book describes the creative process and includes hundreds of color images.
In creating the hardcover Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, Prima Games worked directly with the game's developer, Valve Software.
"Valve has had quite a rich history in game development and a following that is phenomenal," says Debra Kempker, Prima Games' president and publisher. "We thought it would be very important to give the background of the development of the game and the drawings, the history, the works."

I remember when I was about thirteen buying a pamphlet sized book for the game Pit Fall I think. It was a game for the Atari 2600. I was stumped at this part where you had to jump off a mesa and snag a branch with your parachute. It turns out there was some trick to it. Now, most of these games are online with/against other people. If these books give you some advantage, I say go for it. You are paying for the privilege of being there.
Sales are up for games overall. Like movies, it is the blockbusters that make the headlines.

 Citing data from the NPD Group, analysts said "Halo 2" from Microsoft Corp. sold 3.3 million units in November, while "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. sold 1.5 million units.

Yee-gads, that is some scratch.