2004.11.30

Because we all know knowlege is dangerous...

20.19.06 - Mark

Wonderful, apparently the USA didn't force my high school to fork over enough information about me so now they're going to force my High School Univeristy, and every other college in America to dig up dirt on me. OK so it has more to do with tracking money in relation to college but don't they do enough data mining already? What happened to freedom?

That said ::dons tin foil hat:: I wonder if this has anything to do with my terrorist plot ::takes off tin foil hat::

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What bis H&R Block?

20.03.27 - Mark

Ken Jennings just lost, after 70+ episodes on Jeopardy! Only by a single dollar too. And while this has no meaning I knew the answer to the final jeopardy question before Nancy showed her answer. I bet it will show up on slashdot in a few minutes.

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Another one bites the dust

16.17.00 - Mark

Homeland Insecurity director Tom Ridge is the latest Bush Cabinet member to resign

Its like rats fleeing a sinking ship...

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Dell In Mount Airy

15.44.26 - Mark

I've had my completely insane never going to happen even if it may be a good idea idea of the week. Dell is coming to the piedmont area of North Carolina, Most likely Greensboro or Winston Salem (60 minutes away and 30 minutes away) and they're preparing these jumbo size packages (we're talking $60 to $120 per resident in the respective countys) and while this stands to be a good thing for Mount Airy, especially if they choose Winston Salem (still close enough for some people to commute) However it isn't in our own backyard.

Now we need jobs in the area, too many red neck hicks who refuse to get retrained because they expect the textile jobs to come back (hint to the oblivious: they won't unless you want to pick up espanola and move south)

Dell is also known for liking one thing most cities can't provide: free developable land. They're happy with the state's proposal but in Tennessee, where they build a previous factory, the deal killer was one community offered free land.

Ya know what Mount Airy has, almost completely undeveloped (bar shell building - which has been idol for ~ a year now) and just waiting for some one to move in? An already surveyed industrial zoned, next to the interstate Industrial park! Perfect for say a certain medium impact manufacturing business like a certain company that rhymes with hell and a number of its parasitic support businesses.

Not to mention Surry County and Mount Airy are ranked in the state as weaker economies than Forsyth/Winston and Guilford/Greensboro which means one thing Even more tax breaks to dell and its yes men. (and for the inept that means more money for dell, and 12 out of 10 accountants agree that thats a good thing when you're trying to smudge numbers on SEC filings)

Too bad no one at the city is thinking about this, because this thing would have approved by the city council and be filled with Dell in the next 136 minutes (ooops) (5PM CST)

Oh well.

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2004.11.29

Retail Drugs

12.23.48 - Mark

Target is selling Marijuana online for $25.25.

And no- I am not stoned.

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Finally the perfect t-shirt

21.24.21 - Mark

OK not quite since it doesn't have a secret iPod pocket and a Scott eVest like Personal Area Network for the headphones but the message is dead on. If I could be described in a few words, those are probably the big ones. Insane might be applicable too, but those 4 words have a slightly less "Run and hide" reaction.

So if anyone needs to get me a gift, I'll take that in a large with a side of Bawls

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Muwhahahahaha!!!!

18.15.35 - Mark

I got my USB thumb drive today and I only bothered plugging it in for a second to see that it worked. I had to run an errand but as soon as I was back I cracked the case. The beauty of cheap consumer electonics is that they don't uses any of those fancy methods of sealing stuff up, like security screws - or any screws for that matter, ultrasonic plastic welds or epoxy. Just a little force known as friction. These guys didn't even bother putting a hole in the board to keep the board in. All I had to do was open it up like a clam, shake it and watch the board fall out.

I almost wish I had two of these, because the board uses the same memory chip on both sides (or at least has the pads for one) so I could potentially make it a 256 drive rather than a 128. One annoying feature is that comes partitioned for "security" which means there's a switch that toggles the larger partition on and off (bleh) I just dubbed the driver/security file over onto the other partition in case I need to use it on an older mac or take it to school (Win2k and older mac OSes handle multiple USB drive partitions in a funky manner)

Anyways on to the hack concepts. ATM I'm thinking part electronics, part case. Electronics I'm thinking of adding a transistor to the existing SMD LED (really weak) and using that to trigger a T-1 3/4 Blue LED that draws power directly from the USB port. I may need to probe a bit but a bright Blue LED will be a world better than the weak red one on there now.

As per a case I'm kinda wondering about doing some at home, kitchen appliance, metal casting. I'm sure I can find a way to make that work. If I'm really feeling creative I might find a way to grind down part of a bawls bottle and incorporate some blue glass into the design.

I'll say this much - this is going to be a very fun hack - I'll be sure to try and document it real well.

:)

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Evil Overlord stuff again

15.17.37 - Mark

People are using bows and arrows to launch cell phones into prision

See also: Item #23 on Peter Anspach's List of The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

As dogbert would say in an uncaring tone "It serves a duel purpose."

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2004.11.28

Who...huh...what?

23.17.33 - Mark

I feel completely and totally detached from everything. Not zoned out, just like I punched out about three days ago and didn't tell myself. Hell I'm even having a hard time with realizing that this is Sunday (wonder where Saturday went...)

I think I'll blame MySQL and linux. I'm trying to figure out how to install the fcsking thing and I can't find a strait answer anywhere. Maybe because I'm trying to install it from command line, and maybe because I'm trying to figure out how to use a couple supposedly helpful linux commands and can't get my head around the syntax. Its not like I can DL them from my computer then FTP them where I need 'em no, for some strange reason Real Player is trying to claim the extentions. I don't know maybe I'll surrender and go crash, 'cause I know my head isn't going to remember hitting the pillow tomorrow...

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Holy Cheese Sandwich Random Reporter Guy!

17.42.56 - Mark

OK, the Vigrin Mnay Grilled Cheese Sandwich thing was old the first time eBay took the auction down. Now its been killed three times, run over by a long haul trucker and beaten over the head repeatedly by a 2x4 made out of cast iron because there is a Miami Herald columnist driving the thing across the country in a white (guess he couldn't rent a pink) Cadillac Deville and blogging his experiance. Who is the lucky bidder of this overhyped trash can filler? An online casino based in Las Vegas of course - who else would be stupid enough to buy an old grilled cheese sandwich from some south florida trailer trash hick?

Official Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich authenticity tests include bribing cops (failed), doing 90 MPH and not getting caught (failure) Ability to win craps (success on second attempt) attempt to win lottery (presumed failure).

::Yawn:: Call me when he decided to eat the thing

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2004.11.27

I so need more books

22.58.54 - Mark

Everyone knows that college students decorate with old pizza boxes, cinder blocks and the infamous 2x4s but I can see this working.

Now where to find a bunch of old encyclipedias and some long threaded rods

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2004.11.26

My wrist hurts..alot

23.53.20 - Mark

This is a recuring theme when ever I get the latest Ambrosia Software Game, but my right wrist hurts like hell.

Apple stuck a deal with them at some point in the past so ever since I got my iBook I've owned a full licensed version of Demos Rising. That said I haven't fired it up until this weekend. I can get though two or three rounds than have to quit because I'll either 1) smash my iBooks keyboard to smithereens or 2) break my right wrist or do something equally painful to it. It sucks with every gamepad configuration I've tried so far but its sooo addicting...

Off to smash my keyboard a little more... (please don't stage an intervention)

Link | 2 Comments |


How to Manage Smart People

20.24.54 - Mark

Or how not to be PHB.

Neat little article on how to be an effective project manager

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Black Friday Finds

20.05.31 - Mark

OK, forget the last post, I went out to bear the untamed masses and came back, unscathed, with several decent deals. While Walmart was packed it wasn't worse than most Fridays at social hour, and for me efforts I got 4 DVDs for next to nothing. (Blade Runner The Directors Cut, AntiTrust, Space Cowboys, and 3000 Miles to Graceland : Justifications I'm a geek, I'm a geek, I have a thing for space based cold war relics, and whats wrong with guns vegas and elvis impersonators?)

I also went by staples and got 50 CD-Rs, 25 CDRWs and 1 new satchel that almost comes close to fitting my requirements for a quality satchel.

However my bank account is a little more (but thankfully not much more) anemic than it was a few hours ago, so I need to hold off on restocking my minifridge with Bawls. :'(

Link | 1 Comments |


Sigh

18.01.39 - Mark

I hate day after thanksgiving sales. Its not the crowds, it happens as much on line as it does in meastspace, its not the stuff the sell, for the most part its high quality stuff at junk level prices, no its my lack of money. I can pick up some uber cheap computer parts for chicken feed but I don't have the money right now. RAM for $10 a stick, 120GB to 200GB drives for $40 to $80. DVD-r spindles for $3, CDR and CDRW packs for under $10. Some cell phones at $40 after $300 rebates! And I don't have any cash. *&^% maybe I'll find some and go get some stuff when the hordes go home (for the most part) tomorrow

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2004.11.25

Why Linux won't be adopted - yet

04.23.17 - Mark

I like Linux, its free, its fun, it isn't Microsoft. I even have a few
distros I play with. But I've found one big ass problem with it.

Installing and upgrading software can be a bitch.

There's a reason why only geeks have adopted it, it is a pain. I spent
a number of hours a few weeks ago trying to get Apache Working on it,
I'm spending more time trying to figure out how the hell I upgrade
MySQL to something that doesn't break half of my CMS software. All the
more progress I've made on has been giving myself minor cramps, blurry
eyes, and a headache. That's not exactly a success for the
captain-obvious trainees out there.

Of course there are hardware issues to boot, when I was first setting
it up a few months ago I spent several hours trying close to half a
dozen ethernet cards before I found one that worked (tho' I think the
inital OS install was a significant part of the problem in retrospect)

Anyways, Blogger is acting up so I'm pounding this little rant out in
my mail client and I'm sending it off. Have a happy turkeyday in
advance, I'm off to get catch some zzzs (It is 3:35 after all)

Link | 0 Comments |


Talk about gluttony

15.31.09 - Mark

Homer Simpson would be proud:

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm......href="http://www.thesalmons.org/lynn/turducken.html"
target="_new">turducken
(Chicken in a Duck in a Turkey and baked to
perfection)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm......target="_new">Stuffed Camel (1 Medium Cammel, 1 Large Lamb, and
about 2 dozen chickens, boiled I think)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm......href="http://www.google.com/search?q=deep+fried+turkey&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF
-8" target="_new">Deep Fried Turkey
(1 Turkey Deep Friend in
gallons of scalding hot oil)*

I'm going to leave out the href="http://www.freshtofu.com/tofu_turkey.html">Tofu Turkey,
stupdi vegans. However I hear tofu is good when fried.

* What? Deep Fried Turkeys is one of the best turkey
preparation methods out there, and yes damn-it that is from 1st hand
(or is that mouth/tongue/tastebud) experiance


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For the Anarchist who has it all...

14.38.33 - Mark

...or maybe the survivalist - they've both hard to shop for during the holidays.

A 737 with the military upgrade

While there aren't any fully functioning 737s on eBay right now, they are available to private buyers, and IIRC Boeing does do custom fabrications if you've got the money. I think it might be a little challenging to get them to do the MMA conversion but it might be doable.

Link | 1 Comments |


Shit

01.36.54 - Mark

I'm outta Bawls, I don't have a project to work on, and I'm stuck at home with my family, of which one member would love to find a half decent to serve me with a groundless lawsuit.

[sarcasm]This is shaping up to be a lovely weekend[/sarcasm]

(and yes I'm mildly irritated that I can't find something better to blog about...)

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More of God's Gun Lovers

01.25.29 - Mark

Same thing, different faith.

However their tinfoil hat brigade is a little more understandable than the other one I posted, I mean they have faced active persecution in the last century...

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2004.11.23

American Jihad!

18.42.45 - Mark

Looks like Jesusland is mobilizing. We've got them fighting an information war with SPAM and we're got others seeming to yell "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition". (apologies in advance to my more realistic gun toting christian readers)

America really seems to be acting more like the middle east than the middle east...

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/me grumbles

15.36.03 - Mark

So much for this long weekend's hacking plans

I was planning on doing a recasing project with the USB thumbdrive I ordered from Staples since I'm now into a extra long 5 day weekend, but nope. The item was delayed coming out of the warehouse so instead of receiving it today or tomorrow, I'll be getting it Monday. Wonderful. Now I'll have to find another project to work on this weekend. At least they will still honor the rebate, unlike a certain computer company I've delt with recently...

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Apple II of robotics?

14.26.26 - Mark

As I appended to my midnight rant on a shitty day I think Robosapians are the Apple IIs of robotics. Just look at this interview with its creator (which is the link I was going to post last night) I mean these things are one more advanced mechanically than any other commercially available robot, seem to cost less and are extremely hacker friendly. Among other tings there are people attaching PDAs and video cameras to the things. Its sweet.

Sure Battlebots introduced advanced RC machines into popular culture a few years ago but those system relied on custom fabrication and expensive controllers. Fastforward to now and here I am sitting down looking at robosapians (as low as $60) and RC planes for $24 (and fighting every urge to break out the debit card and order one) trying to think of 1) a reason to justify the purchase, and 2) crazy hack idea to preform after item one expires or I completely blow off item one and break out my hacker's toolbox.

Then there's stuff like this coming out of Japan. Honestly I think this is the Apple II of robotics.

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Such is life

01.01.17 - Mark

I don't know why but today (and by today I mean Monday) sucked. I was tired, just kind of zoning out all day. Some days I'm OK with that, but it's pretty rare that I am so out of it I actually fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon (see also: these post) On top of that I'm starting to get some of the holiday blues. I know that Thanksgiving means I've only got two more weeks of classes this semester, I know it means I'm 4 weeks away from going to Chicago with the family, and it means 4 weeks, 2 years until I can legally drink in the US. Unfortunately it also means having to put up with said family, dealing with xmas hordes, and the overly religious pushing their views on the world (although I like Virgin Mobile's Christmahanakwanza take on the holiday season - if I feel like it I might try and do a video and or audio capture later this week.) and other assorted lines of crap. Maybe it's having my birthday, xmas, new years, and other lesser know holidays thrown into a period of time not exceeding 12 days but I've always found it hard to enjoy the season as normal people might put it

And then there's my brother addressing me as "ass" and its respective variations while threatening (probably/hopefully idol) that he's going to sue me over what he has admitted has no real cash value. Its groundless considering I've offered to sign over all existing value (small thank you package we received since we entered it into a business plan competition) which legally is more than fair compensation for his efforts to date. Sure he can argue that he had a larger part, but if he did I can name off a dozen other people in two states who would have equal claim. In a way I almost want to see him sue me - the family is behind me, meaning he'd have to pay his own legal fees with another lawyer, there's no way a judge would rule in favor of him, meaning he'd have to pay my legal fees and possibly damages for lost time, he makes an ass out of himself and I walk away free of charge or with a profit.

Bleh. I won't even touch how big a pain blogger has been in the last couple hours. Come to think of it if blogger wasn't acting up over the last couple of hours this probably would have been about robosapians and how they're quickly becoming the Apple IIs of robotics (maybe I'll draft that one and post in in the next day or two)

Anyways I'm gonna drift back to sleep and hope tomorrows string of consciousness is a more positive (or at least neutral) one

Link | 1 Comments |


2004.11.22

Silly Europeans....

15.00.01 - Mark

I can't believe they're paying to take a sledge hammer to stuff. On the other hand, if Americans are dumber than most Europeans....

Link | 1 Comments |


2004.11.21

If we gotta drag god into this...

20.02.28 - Mark

A message to Jesusland:

"I call on every man and woman of good will all over America today
...to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book
may close. Don't let anyone make you think that God chose America as
his divine messianic force, to be a sort of policeman of the whole
world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgement, and
it seems that I can hear God saying to America 'You are too arrogant!
If you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of
your power! And I will place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't
even know my name. Be still and know that I am God.'"

-- Martin Luther King, 4 April 1967

Link | 4 Comments |


Scrambled

01.58.38 - Mark

My brain feels a little scrambled. Been futzing with Drupal for my website part trying to get the modules working part adding content. I almost can't believe how many websites there are for Mount Airy and Surry County without getting to business and personal sites. I mean I knew there would be a lot of websites for the area, we're not as backwards as it seems (despite some of the redneck hicks) but I wasn't expecting so many local sites for just government and non-profit groups. I've got about 20 links entered in, and looking at lists that could total another 60? While those cross over into businesses I know thats not where the list will end. Wouldn't surprise me to get up into triple digits pretty quick.

And thats just the link project. There's craploads of more information I want to pump into the site before going live. I kinda feel like I'm excavating a needle from an iceberg. At least I have a content management system. This would be a bitch if I hand to hand code all of this as opposed to filling in a few forms...

Link | 0 Comments |


2004.11.19

Thank you sooooooo f*&^%$g much...

17.58.37 - Mark

Apple's rebate processing center rejected my valid claim because of some BS about when I took ownership of the system. I give them some extra money purchasing extras because of the rebate, was planning on reusing some of the rebate to buy some accessories from apple, and they screw me over with some sort of BS.

Fuckers.

Still like the iBook and Apple as a whole - and I sure as hell ain't moving to windows, but I'll be thinking a whole hell of a lot harder about my next Mac/mac related purchase, especially those direct from Apple..

Link | 2 Comments |


Mobile Storage Units

14.18.31 - Mark

I don't have an office, sure I've got a decent desk in my room and a over-packed table for my lab (both of which need reorganization) but I don't really use them like an office. I'm just as libel sprawl out on the bed/couch/futon/floor/ground as I am to sit down at my desk and do some work. When its warm I love going outside to find a nice place to work.

This decentralized office thing works fine as long as I'm got my laptop and whatever supporting items I need at the time. My problem comes with something to haul my gear in. I find I just don't like backpacks, well I've got one backpack I like and thats a small ultra light day pack - that seems to be falling apart. I've patched it twice and I really don't like carrying it half of the time because it doesn't go well with the satchel that I plain and simple love.

The satchel I have was a freebie for working at Raven Knob in 2003, it's black, durable, doesn't look like I'm carrying a small office - not that it has the capacity of doing so. Its pretty simple but after folders, a notebook and a laptop there's no room in the thing. Meaning I resort to some clunky backpack.

So I'm finally getting frustrated with it and I go off to look at similar bags at ebags.com which doesn't have bad prices. However I can't find a bag that does what I want it to. Anything that seems large enough look like the owner if towing a VW beetle or a Harley, and the bags that don't look like small passenger vehicles would probably have a hard time holding a DVD case. At least that seems to be the situation in my price range.

OK, so I may be exaggerating a little but why doesn't anyone make a strong, inexpensive laptop bad (satchel or even a backpack) that can hold a laptop (with some padding) and a couple of books and keep the thing from looking like it has an 2 stroke engine in one of its compartments? Maybe I'm just too frugal.

Link | 0 Comments |


2004.11.18

Feed Envy?

17.03.00 - Mark

I've posted before on how much I love feeds, but someone has proposed the idea of "feed envy". Personally I've got 50, which I guess isn't too bad as I'm adding something like 5 a week anymore (and really I'm averaging something much higher than that since I haven't been using RSS for 10 weeks now) I'm certainly not at the 200 - 400 feeds those people are at. Still I figure I'm seeing 250+ posts/day. It really makes the web more enjoyable. Skim most of my favorite websites in 30 minutes and then - well I'm still trying to figure out the then part; all this time just came out of nowhere...

Link | 2 Comments |


2004.11.17

Closer

12.25.03 - Mark

I finally have Apache working on my remote server, and can pull up pages, but now the database connections are fubared. Dosen't really matter since I'll be doing a complete reinstall. If I can do that in under 30 minutes I'll reconfigure the domain names and have the mountairync ones point to the server. We'll see...

Link | 0 Comments |


Online, kinda sorta

01.58.49 - Mark

Its online. A little file shuffling and database exports/imports and it was up by 1 am. No change on the domain names. I tried to hash it out for about 40 minutes before I said screw it and started typing this up. I'll talk to trificient and see how I need to set it up.

In the mean time - Go ahead, mess around with it @ 12.145.85.11 (gotta type it, I don't want 'bots picking up on it yet) Nothing stupid like a DoS attack tho' - I'm getting this bandwidth free for the time being, and until I've got real advertisers I'd like to keep it that way. But go ahead join up (or don't - there's some permissions granted to ACs), explore see what you can do and make suggestions on structure, functionality, what sort of things I should consider for the final design in terms of conetent and design.

Post feedback here or, better yet, there.

Now off to bed...

Link | 2 Comments |


2004.11.16

Anda's Game

12.33.43 - Mark

Cory Doctorow, who is fast becoming one of my favorite writers and bloggers, has published his latest short story under a Creative Commons Liscence. Which means I could post the entire text here and be encouraged to do so. However, I won't be, because I think its only fair thatSalon.com should get some more traffic out of this since they're the ones hosting it and while you need to see some ads to read it, they do provide some good content outside of fiction. its not an extremely long read, so turn off the TV (or at least turn it down) and spend 30 minutes or so touring a world that doesn't exist quite yet...

Link | 1 Comments |


Clinton Presidential Center

22.16.20 - Mark

OK, so the Clinton Presidential Center is opening up in the next 26 hours or something like that, and I stumbled across the official site a few minutes ago. I admire Clinton a lot, I mean we need more policy wonks in Washington D.C. Hell a couple of 'em would keep some of the BS bills out of congress or at least very far away from official policy. I mean without Clinton and Gore I probably wouldn't be posting this with blogger, and we wouldn't have any really useable form of encryption. Now what goes on with his personal life, well it is his life and the public really didn't need, or want, to know...

That said, I don't think he wants to be remembered for those acts, but after seeing the design of his presidential library I'm wondering...

Link | 0 Comments |


what huh?

09.46.22 - Mark

Anyone else see something innately wrong about this? Mac software powering MSN channels?

Link | 1 Comments |


Tubes Rock!

20.28.25 - Mark

Ok the story behind the post fury has been I was in Winston Salem most of the day, never bothered taking out the laptop (and completely forgot to war drive - oh well) and I'm catching up on a days worth of RSS feeds. So the last item for a couple hours is Tubes.

Today has been deemed the 100th birthday of Vacuum Tubes.

Tubes for the uninformed masses were the retro devices that transistors, and subsequently ICs, replaced. Analog solutions to digital problems, and recently they've been making a comeback with more audio applications, from motherboards to car steros. Now for my tribute to the things:



Images from an old radio my family owns, and supprise, it runs on tubes. I only turned it on for a few minutes to warm the tubes up, then powered it down again, but at least I can. Not many people have working tube radios. :)

I'll be claiming my retro geek points now...

Link | 0 Comments |


There goes the franchise

19.52.46 - Mark

A friend speculated on the future of Disney and Pixar in his blog the other day. In the post made a comment along the lines of its a good thing that Disney won't be able to deface the existing lines when the break up happens next year.

Unfortunately it looks like he spoke a little too soon.

5 bucks says Toy Story 3 is sued into oblivion or turns out so bad its forced into a direct to video release (or a fate far worse, a cheesy Friday night Disney TV movie)

Link | 0 Comments |


Can't Wait

19.36.55 - Mark

Do-It-Yourself-Currency-Redesigns with analysis; for those who can't wait for the Fed to do it

Link | 0 Comments |


2004.11.15

Mad Scientist Labs, Or...

21.44.09 - Mark

How to Pack a Brain

I'll let you infer your own jokes about addresses with a 20500 Zip Code

Link | 1 Comments |


Blogger Bashing

09.06.29 - Mark

"Our credibility is suffering with so many people rushing to publish things without checking them out," McAdams said after Cox's speech. "Blogging is really great. I like that more and more people have a voice. That's good ... But it doesn't give people who call themselves journalists an excuse to not check out the information." -- Mindy McAdams, some professor
From WIRED

What a load of crock. If anything the blogging movements helps disciminate crap faster than the traditional media. I'm not disputing the fact that a lot of crap is posted, but we correct it a hell of a lot faster. I don't think many of us even call ourselves journalists, at least not in the traditional sense. Don't even argue bias, the blogging movement isn't unbiased and dosen't pretend to be - insted we present many view points very fast.

Link | 0 Comments |


The sound of 50,000 volts zapping

13.54.40 - Mark

Go America - The only country that doesn't seem to have a problem with tasering young children.

Link | 0 Comments |


2004.11.14

Attack of the bad TV movies!

21.20.04 - Mark

I love predictably bad TV movies. Like the one CBS is running now. "Category 6 Day of Destruction". Inept government scientist, massive killer storms, random uninteresting subplots whose only function is to canon fodder. Cheesy stories with lame actors and, anymore, decent special effects.

Granted this one is a little interesting, in 20 minutes its brought up hackers, nuclear reactors, the chaos theory, oil tankers getting blown to smithereens, shown damage in Chicago, Vegas, and all over the midwest, has produced a slew of government scientists and about half a dozen people 1) with children 2) expecting children or 3) preparing to fornicate.

I needed a cheap comedy to watch :)

Link | 0 Comments |


Mad Scientist Log

15.35.39 - Mark

Duh.

Over the last week I've been fighting with an old POS PC trying to get Fedora to take, unsuccessfully, so I can steal a fresh copy of its apache httpd.conf file so I can get my cohosted webserver working. As I said its been spectacularly unsuccessful. So I'm lurking around at home and all of a sudden it hits me - the best PC in the house, aside from my brothers, is my iBook.

Macs unlike those dirty Microsoft boxes, love emulation (linux does too, but not as much as Macs). So I'm pulling out my copy of virtual PC and have my fedora discs in hand. With luck I'll have the files in an hour or two.

Link | 0 Comments |


2004.11.13

New Terrorist Plot of Doom

21.36.37 - Mark

1) Invade candy maker
2) add chocolate exlax into vats
3) steal exlax enabled candy bars
4) install toliet hogging robots of doom into the bathrooms of office buildings
5) Give candy to unsuspecting office employees.
6) PROFIT!!! Laugh!

Link | 1 Comments |


I Blame Fanatical Christian Nutcases

01.05.58 - Mark

Kids sing song, get busted by Secret Service thanks to tip phoned in by overzealous religious nutcases.

I've listened to Dylan's "Masters of War" its a generic protest song. Take just about any warmongering leader in the last century and you could probably fit them into the song's context, at least the aspect that has the religious faction up in arms.

Link | 2 Comments |


2004.11.12

Silly Republicans

19.55.21 - Mark

Oooh, MSNBC has some republican analyst calling bloggers irresponsible punks for "sending smoke signals from hell" Cool.

Now MSNBC and Best Buy think I'm the devil >:)

The reason they're digging into bloggers is that 3rd party candidates (Nader, Badnarik, and Cobb) are calling for an Ohio recount and have raised the funds to do so. I'm glad too. Either we see Bush eat his hat (maybe thats why he's loosing cabinet members left and right), or we see that the red contingency in our purple nation definitively wants 4 more years of fuck-ups.

Kerry did the right thing in conceding, he isn't hurting the democrats by dragging this thing out, and he'll expose a nasty flaw in the system should Ohio turn blue. It's also going to give the thirds some inexpensive publicity, and if nothing else it will help them strengthen their position of trying to serve the American people, and getting over that spoiler thing.

Info on the recount

Link | 4 Comments |


Uber Cheap USB Drive

19.03.22 - Mark

Staples has a 128MB thumb drive for a whooping $6 (after rebates) Thats a dirt cheap price so I couldn't resist ordering one (actually been waiting a week to pick one up)

Info oon the deal


Now the question remains, which hack to emulate

or


I'm leaning towards the latter, I really don't need any more body parts. I'm kinda wondering about other stuff tho'

Meh - I got a week or more to think about it.

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2004.11.11

Scotty woulda be proud sir

18.11.29 - Mark



Some star trek geeks have too much time on their hands. (Thats not a comment I should be making - I'm libel to make something similar myself) I'll admit its pretty cool, and he is getting some major compensation for his efforts, right now its close to $400

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2004.11.10

I luv stupid shit

08.36.07 - Mark

Wow, I guess confruters can kill you. Or at least that seems to be the latest college policy. Last week someone died doing some unsupervised work in the welding shop, so now no students can be left unattended - period. Seems like BS to me. Excuse me? This is college not high school and people should be held accountable for their actions. Have me sign a frelling waver saying I won't sue the hell out of you, but wake the hell up. One person dies doing arguably dangerous work fine. But suggesting that computers are so dangerous that I can't use them without supervision - what drugs are you on?

Sure I'd rather be on a nice laptop, namely mine, with an open wifi connecton, but if I gotta use a PC I'd rather use one where the software has been somewhat personalized, mostly virus free, and allows for some shread of privacy which most computer labs intentionally destroy.

Now off to the BS assignment, because I just adore IMs. I especially like the way my head feels after randomly banging it on a keyboard to translate my toughts into something IM users can understand. Those square indentions that appear on myforehead post facto are so cool looking too...

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Take this pill and shove it

14.31.20 - Mark

This is sickening. Vigilante injustice at its best.

Pharmasists refusing to fill prescriptions on "moral" grounds

What a load of bullshit. first they are pharmacists, not doctors, and have no right denying an individual a prescribed medication because you don't agree with the effects of such a drug. Maybe I'll deny people a drug that helps them overcome smoking habits because I think smoking is fine, or maybe I'll refuse to distribute anti-depresents because I think people need to have a bleak outlook on life. And after the questionable moral issues, we've got states protecting these assholes?

Sure you wanna get fucked fine, but we're not going to let you have birth control because we don't believe in it and then we're going to make it illegal for you to have an abortion, and after we've forced you to give birth we're going to make you take care of the child and don't expect a dime from us.

Yeah, whatever happened to the government protecting the people from tyranny?

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I love mobility

14.11.44 - Mark

I've heard of some people being uncomfortable with making blog posts
from computers that aren't their own. Thats never been a real problem
for me, as I'm almost always switching between my own computers. iBook
here, Beige G3 there, PC or two thrown in on occassion. I've even made
a far number of posts from school labs and libraries. But until todays
little mess with no student/class unattended I never felt uncomfortable
posting from an unknown computer. Maybe because while I'm aware of
monitoring software and the such, I've always had enough physical
privacy to make a post or type out an email.

Anyways I fired off that post a few minutes ago, and by then most of my
class mates had left the lab, opting to go to Burger King. I passed on
that and moved over to the library. I've got my laptop so I skimmed
over the RSS summaries, read my email, and I'm now prepping this in my
mail client and will send it off when I get home (or an open wifi
hotspot - wish the college's wasn't WEP enabled). Until then I'm going
to work on the assignment. Despite being more open, the library seems
to offer more privacy than the computer lab. Go figure.

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2004.11.09

Let's see, 4 down, How many left?

18.56.03 - Mark

John Ashcroft has resigned, making 4 Bush administration resignations since november 2nd. While I'm glad he's gone (he's been reenacting the hacker crackdown from the early 90s at the whim of the RIAA and MPAA) I fear Bush is going to place an even bigger ass in his place, and with the likely replacement of up to 5 supreme court justices its could be decades before America will see any of that freedom thing again.

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Please leave all armaments at the homepage

15.30.51 - Mark

Please don't attack me for this one but:

Dude! We're getting a Dell!

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random video of the day

13.30.55 - Mark

The House that Apple Built

Link | 1 Comments |


2004.11.08

Gene War

23.40.53 - Mark

I was browsing various blogs, and among the more enlightened there is still a fair bit of commentary on where this nation is headed for. One of the blogs I stumbled across mentioned how the atomic age is over and that the new threat is biowarfare, for the sole reason that it is easier for an individual. While thats questionable I remembers a pair of short stories I read close to 10 years ago. I'll admit they're kind of out there, but if biotech is the new bleeding tech sector, and todays "terrorists" can get 2nd hand medical gear if they look in thge right places, how long until this fiction becomes fact?

Gene Wars by Paul McAuley
Our Neural Chernobyl by Bruce Sterling (aside: his blog and non-fiction are pretty good. I haven't gotten around to his fiction yet.)


[disclaimer: if this posts makes any sense, its gotta be luck.]

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Space or bust

09.59.58 - Mark

10 Million for suborbital flight and now we'll see $50 Million for orbit.

Of course critics are still attacking the idea of prizes to spur development. Personally I think they're wacked. First space technology has a proven tickle down effect, meaning that even minor advancements in space tech leads to significant developments in terra bound technologies.

Secondly they tend to gloss over the fact that these prizes barely even scratch the R&D funds pumped into these projects. Space Ship One supposedly cost $30 million+ to develop, and won $10 million for the efforts. Sure they got a contract with Branson to offer private flight, but they got into space because they wanted to, not because they felt they could pick up a quick $10 million and turn a proft. I'm sure it's true of all the other xprize compeditors now that SS1 has won.

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Cool, I'm a devil...

20.07.31 - Mark

At least by Best Buy's standards

>;^)

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I'll admit it

19.40.58 - Mark

There are days when I sympathize with these people 110% And while I don't think I've collapsed on a sidewalk and I know I haven't called it quits on a subway, although - I'm not going to deny that I've done it in the occasional class.

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How the hell?

19.11.50 - Mark

Sometimes this state amazes me. Despite being filled to the brim with ignorant masses and nightmarish public education systems it's still able to produce gems like iBiblio and WXYC radio whose claim to fame is doing a web simulcast for over 10 years..

Its even more amazing that we're hosting these services at UNC Chapel Hill, a school that is rated as one of the worst schools when it comes to cyber liberties.

Go figure.

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2004.11.07

These people don't know what they have

17.07.14 - Mark

Since I got back from seeing the movie I've been sitting outside just admiring what North Carolina offers.

My mind knows that the middle of November is barely a week away, I know that most of the trees in the area are loosing their leaves, and I know that the sun is nearly down a few minutes after 5 PM, but its a temperate 72 degrees and I'm comfortable in jeans, sandals and a t-shirt. Just over two years ago when I was still in Iowa I would have been nuts to dress like that. Early October meant it was time to break out the sweatshirts (and sometimes even the gloves) November menant the snow would start soon. I think all the more I've done in the last couple weeks has been put on a light long sleeved shirt when going out at night.

I don't think the natives appreciate that. November and 70 degrees. Mindblowing.

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Wow.

16.46.01 - Mark

Just got back from seeing The Incredibles at the new Creekside Cinema and wow.

Both the movie and the new theater are wonderful. There's a huge scene and extremely comfortable seating (to a small degree you can lean back in them, but not too much :P ) I mean there are only two things I can complain about - one the sound seems off, may have been my location or the movie, but considering how much it was happening I think it was tech stuff. Even then it just meant you couldn't pinpoint where the sound was coming from. The other thing was the cup holders. The cup holder was too small to hold a large drink. Maybe nit picking but if I fork over for a large drink I expect it to fit in the cup holder.

The movie itself was another wonderful creation by Pixar, and definatly not catering to kids. There's a lot of adult humor in it. While there were a lot of kids there, I think the older masses were the ones getting more out of it. In any case I hope Pixar can find another good distributer since their Disney contract is running up after Cars IIRC.

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2004.11.06

Pizza

19.35.48 - Mark

I love canadian bacon pineapple pizza. That and a bottle of Bawls - now that's a meal.

Link | 1 Comments |


2004.11.05

Apache is a bitch

22.53.29 - Mark

I have domain names, I have a decent set of CMS software and modules, I even have a server online and accessible through just about everything except HTML. My linux box is working and I can access the MySQL databases and leg in though SSH, but Apache is giving me no end of problems. I think its in the .conf file but I can't see to get it set up. Keeps saying it can't use a port that there's no reference to. I'm kinda wondering if it would be easier to have it DL and compile the code, but I don't know how to do that. Be nice if I could get it up.

That aside I'm making progress. Talked with David Bradly at the chamber about Mount Airy's web presence and there are going to be a few of us sitting down in the next week or two to map out a plan. Once mine's up there's going to be 3 significant Mount Airy Websites, visitmayberry.com for the tourists, mtairyncchamber.org for those potentially relocating to the area, and mountairync.net for locals who don't think the internet's the devil. some overlap of course, but the idea of sitting down and mapping out the master vision is the next step (plus it helps give me creds when going off to beg for money from potential advertisers.)

/me wonders about forgetting about this site and considers adding google adwords to the g3head.net pages...

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America isn't as Bright as I thought it was

10.29.13 - Mark

As more and more people are publishing content relating to the election results I find a lot of people expressing my opinions better than I probably could. Here's another one warning NYTimes link, DNA must be on file to access site...

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For the would be Billy Sunday's out there...

19.58.50 - Mark

...I present a reality check.

Our Non-Traditional Wedding by Steve Silberman

Now, why the hell are you so threatened by alternative lifestyles? Is your system of beliefs so flaky that you can't accept others for who they are?

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Whoa.

01.26.35 - Mark

Surprisingly, all of my domains are working - I would have sworn it would take a day or two. Mountairync.us is the registar's parked page, but my temp should kick in in the next day or two. I'm really amazed, I always thought registering a domain would be a tricky task, but it really isn't. I'm glad I did.

As for the websites behind them I'm convinced that tomorrw I'll go and talk to some people about it and see if I can move some stuff along. I've been telling myself that I'll have the Mount Airy site online by January 1st in a significant extent, hopefully including a good deal of content and a custom theme (I'm using the Drupal Content managment system)

between that project and another idea a friend floated by me a few months agoI hope to really get into PHP and MySQL - and now that I have a book on the subject I hope to be well into that project by the end of the year as well. lets see 4 weeks (or so) left in the semester, 7 until I got to Chicago, and a couple more before the next semester. I think that should be enough for me to really work on the projects...

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2004.11.04

Me@mydomains

16.19.18 - Mark

I've just registered 4 domains.

g3head.net
markw.us
mountairync.us
mountairync.net

The first two will be forwarding (with masking) to My web site and this blog respectively

The other two are registered for a community website I'm planning on launching in the coming months. $30 for the first year (.us domains were only $5 apiece)

Just give 'em a couple days before you start using them. DNS propagation and all that stuff.

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2004.11.03

.

15.28.22 - Mark




In the end I know it will be better for america since Bush will fuck the nation so bad we won't see another republican in the position of head asshole until I'm in my 50's But it still means 4 more years of wars, poverty, and communist style social oppression of the masses. I was driving home when I heard Kerry's concession speech, and was at home watching Bush's acceptance speech. I turned Kerry off and left before Bush finished since I was literally sickened. I know I've blogged a lot of politics in the last few months, and I know I've been munching on as many numbers as CNN analysts, but this is what it has come down to. Bush Cheney. Today I fear the draft more than yesterday, today I fear attacks more than yesterday, today I fear my own government more than I did yesterday.

Some claim Bush will unite the nation. The only way our nation will unite is if all of us discenters leave for the Canadas and Australias of the world. There is a post at BoingBoing that seems to say it right. The again the same can be said for content at Cult of Mac, Joy of Tech, Blackstealth.net, and many, many other sites.

Sigh. How do you sing Oh Canada again?

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What a difference

02.16.06 - Mark

For anyone interested here's how the vote would have turned out had the colorado split electoral vote measure passed
4 CO votes to kerry, 5 to bush. Assuming Bush wins Ohio an new mexico, and Kerry gets the remaining states (IA, MI, WI, NE, HA, and anyone else remaining at 2 AM EST) We'd be looking at 269/269 (keep in mind this is rough math crunched mentally at 2 AM so it's likely wrong)

This is how important it is to split the electoral vote. Plain and Simple

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Fuck.

01.13.10 - Mark

Some media outlets are saying Bush is going to take Ohio, which means Kerry is going to need all the remaining states. Sure there are the massive number of absentee and provisional ballots left to count in pretty much all 50 states, but kerry's people seem to be pretty down.

But you know, I don't care at this point. For the next four years I'll be able to say I didn't help either asshole get into office since I voted Badnarik. I may not agree will his policies 100%, but its a good enough margin to support him. Hell The margin in NC between Bush and Keryy is so great if every 3rd party voter in NC went with Kerry Bushy boy would still win.

Now with some states like Iowa divided by only a couple hundred votes, I still think we'll see some lawsuits. If Kerry can pull New Mexico (he may) along with the remaining states (like he's expected to) we'll get the infamous 269/269 tie and we'll be fucked since we then get the mess with the legislative branch picking chief ass.

Plus now I'm stuck with Burr (asshole who hands my rights over to the gov. and big business - then has the nerve to explain to me why it was a good thing) and Foxx (questionable, but republican)

We'll see in the next week or so, but I think Bush will win in the end. I just hope the USA is still here in '08

:'(

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2004.11.02

Disturbed

22.34.15 - Mark

I love america. I love how we fight unprovoked wars to give people the right to vote, and who happily take it - risking their lives to cast it (partially due to our guns and bombs no less) yet the minute you step back into the good ol' US of A we're doing just the opposite, fighting to keep people from voting.

Only in America. (That would be a good thing)

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From the InDUHvidual files:

19.58.12 - Mark

First dumb quote of the evening

"With No precincts reporting, these numbers are very preliminary"

Nah. I would have sworn that noone in the state of North Carolina cast a vote today ::)

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You gotta be kidding me

19.33.50 - Mark

The polls haven't been closed more than a few minutes in NC (maybe 30 minutes in some locations) - maybe 5% reporting in each AND THE FUCKING MEDIA IS ALREADY DELCARING STATES! CBS and NBC are already handing bush 39 electoral votes (4 states), Kerry 3.

Didn't they learn ANYTHING from 2000?

Well?

They're still claiming that they're holding out on guessing, but come on. You can't call it in 5 minutes! Hell the 700 Club (religious wackos) called it in favor of Bush earlier this afternoon.

CBS just claimed that Easlly is going to win NC, but I bet if I go down to my polling place there's still going to be a line. Hmm, maybe I'll go do that...

EDIT: Just checked, lights were on and I saw a couple people leaving. The Media make me sick.

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2004.11.01

Hours away

22.57.33 - Mark

To anyone over 18 and living in the USA and may be reading this, think seriously about your vote. Do you really support the main stream candidates, or are you voting based on "he's not X" Think about it, because it isn't too late to look at 3rd party candidates.

(and yes I know my main webspace is down, its should be resolved soon - I hope)

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Powerpoint's Loaded Question

09.56.10 - Mark

"Effective use of Powerpoint"

Now that's a loaded question if I've ever seen one. What the hell quantifies "effective use of powerpoint" does it look predy? How about bloated with annimations that effcitivly double the lenght of the presentation (sometimes triple) Ooh, ooh how about how wel the presenter can read their slides to the audiance? Does that quantify "effective use of powerpoint"?

I just sat through a handful of awful presentations where the content was just read off the screen, one was only a few seconds long. They could't even manage a minute and this was supposed to cover a 3 page report written and turned in last week. One was 23 slides lng, animations doubled its length, and nothing other than what was written on the slide was presented.

Powerpoint presentations are abused horribly. They are supposed to quickly and clearly present material and (if nessicary) act as cues for the speaker. I've yet to see a powerpoint that could stand on its own, all of them need some sort of help from a 3rd person. People don't get that. Because o that our society is unable to adequatly communicate ideas.

And we wonder why so many bad ideas thrive...

(side note WTF i blogger so *&^%ing slow today?)

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