Foreseeable flamewar...

20.43.57 - Mark

I know this is going to piss some people off, but after looking at a transcript of Osama Bin Laden's speech, I can't help but wonder if he's got a point. I mean the only country that terrorists have actively attacked has been the US of A. Sure there have been attacks on Spain and any number of kidnappings that have affected the European Union, but none have been actively attacked, and none of the EU hostages have been instantly and unmercifully killed.

He is a little full of himself, but he raises points. America "land of the free" is getting to the point where we are no better than the 3rd world countries our government is claiming to liberate. Stripping away personal freedoms, deceiving and tricking the public, etc.

And here we our, watching CNN and Fox News, listing to them claim that OBL is endorsing Kerry. What bullshit. It's scary that they seem to have a better understanding of our government, things like the PATRIOT act than our own elected officials.

All in all I think the message is dead on. Bush and Kerry won't be able to end the war on terror. If we leave them the frell alone maybe they'll leave us alone. If I'm wrong, well I'm wrong, but show me someone attacking Switzerland or Sweden. You won't find much. What's the difference between the US and Sweden, one doesn't go fucking around in other countries without an invitation.

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17.34.09 - Mark

So according to this I am a very confused person. Something like a pushy, non-commiting, crowd following punk who thinks individuals should solve their own problems while charging businesses, and loves ease of use despite the fact that I count in binary 1100100% of the time.

I guess thats what I get for using several linux distros ::)

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21.23.06 - Mark

Google says they're going to release a mac version of Google Desktop. The question is when...

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PATRIOT is just such a goood idear

16.41.25 - Mark

More problems with the Do Not Fly List because you know I'm soooo worried than a 70 year old grandma is going to hijack my flight...

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19.48.39 - Mark

One of my favorite books is Travels with Charlie, but John Steinbeck. I like it despite the fact that I'm not a big fan of Steinbeck (just never liked his fiction). Its a good non-fiction novel about his travels though America with his dog, and I love it because of the wandering. As diversified as I like to think I am, I love the idea of living without a fixed geographical area. It just seems dull.

Still there's a social stigma about it, for some reason the "homeless" (don't like that term) are dirty, unethical, drugged up, homicidal, anarchists. Counterculture certainly, but there are some great minds that don't rent or own real estate, and do quite well. Adrian Lamo was doing OK as the "homeless hacker" before a company decided to press charges for letting them know about network security hole, there are college professors that took time off to be "homeless," and there are countless other examples of people living outside the norm who are exceptionally brilliant. Society is just another system, and its sometimes appealing to break away from that system. Maybe that's why I'm a long haired freak with a bunch of stickers and buttons on my satchel ::)

Anyways, here's a neat blog I just stumbled across, and I plan on reading it periodically. Some interesting stuff.
Survival Guide to Homelessness (a Blog)

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The Boondock Saints

18.10.49 - Mark

My brother recieved his Amazon shipment, which means there's a copy of The Boondock Saints DVD in my house (as well as a copy of Donnie Darko) We just finished watching the boondock saints and its still good the second time around, and probably several more times in the future. Plus, unlike the first copy I watched, this DVD has extras beyond cruddy descriptions of the plot. IE deleted (or rather edited) scenes, outtakes, the trailer, and filmography crap. I'm happy. Its an awesome film that is severely underrated. I'm not as sure about Donnie Darko, since I never finished watching it. I'll probably know Sunday since it seems like the best possible time to watch it (Darko is set during election year, and IIRC, ends on October 31st)

Oh and the photoshoped Steve Jobs image I posted about was taken from The Boondocks saints, in case anyone was wondering...

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Long time gone

14.15.04 - Mark

More missing votes, and to think it isn't even November yet...

There isn't going to be much of a reason to stay up late on November 2nd.

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13.25.42 - Mark

I was going to post this as a reply to MEs comment in "Bush's true colors" below, but decided I'd post it here instead.

I'll give Bush this - he's not Kerry and he does have a (slightly) better Veep. Hell if I had to choose Bush, Kerry, Cheney, or Edwards to be President, I'd be a more inclided to go with Cheney than any of the other dip-shits. Past four years aside- just going on they're past government positions I'd prefer Bush over Kerry.

Bush was a governor, while Kerry has only been a legislator. In my mind Kerry is going into this election expecting the presidency to be similar to his positions as a lawmaker, which isn't the case and will offer him many chances to screw up if he wins the election. Granted I don't like Bush's record as a Governor, but at least thats in the right branch of the government.

Still, plain and simple, I'm not supporting either leading idiot. I'm not going to support bush, he's done a lot of things I don't approve of, and I'm not going to support kerry, who thinks that being a legislator is going to help him be president.

If anyone is reading this, has a say in the matter, are still undecided, and are crazy enough to take me seriously, I hope that they will look at third party candidates, which we all know I've brought up on several other occasions.

Whichever *&^% up we get after the smoke clears sometime in december (maybe January the way things are shaping up) is going to screw up the nation for four years.

In the end I'm still voting for someone, which is a lot more than I can say for other people my age. I'm even voting on a third party because I feel its the right thing to do, as opposed to the vast majority of voters who seem to be casting a vote for the party not the candidate.

Those that don't vote scare me almost as much as the inept candidates the Democrats and Republicans has offered to us in this election (and the last one come to think of it)

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Bush's true colors

23.24.09 - Mark

My question? Why hasn't the american public seen this video before?

As usual I'm waiting for someone to provide me with a good image or movie of the equally inept Kerry. I doubt I'll get one since Kerry's botox treatments are probably preventing him from raising his middle finger to the american public...

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Support Your Resident Geek.

21.47.43 - Mark

I've been accepted to google's adwords service, and am going to be incorporating the code into my pages over the next few days. for now its just the blog. In any case give me money or a caffeine junkie doesn't get their fix ;) Come on, its only a click or two, a few seconds of your time to provide me with the funds needed to continue my assorted projects.

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Americans suck

08.30.45 - Mark

Look at what we can't get because a few idiots choose to sue big companies rather than admit to their own character flaws. I'm not saying I'd use a lot o these features, just that I don't even get to choose because of fat people and idiots who brew coffee while driving their RVs at 60MPH.

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We've, uhh, found the missing explosives

16.50.50 - Mark

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18.15.36 - Mark

OOOOOh, Pretty....

You can see how some places are cut deeper than others. I've seen some people suggest that you pass a blow torch over cut plexiglas to make it clear, but I don't have a blowtorch and a lighter isn't hot enough. Thickness of my bit aside I think this has a lot of potential (more so if I buy a couple more bits).

Like I said in my other engraving post, I don't have a lot of ideas for it - yet. I know there's a lot of potential tho'

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Why must you taunt me!!!

14.13.00 - Mark

Time line

T=0 Mark buys iBook and iPod
T+1 week Mark recieves iBook and iPod
T+2 weeks Apple releases new iBooks
T+3 weeksApple releases new iPods

In the words of homer D'oh!

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Web Privacy

23.33.06 - Mark

I was going to write out a non-fiction piece about my brothers and the issue of web privacy. I've just deleted it.

Just to let people know, your blogs could be read by anyone from a complete stranger to a close friends or family members. Not only is it possible its likely. Unless you have a very good idea of what you're doing you can't delete all your tracks. While the history is easy to clear you still have the cache, the logs, the logs of any hardware between you and the WAN and then you've got ISP files and even server tracking numbers. Take some time and make yourself aware of these things.

While big brother isn't out to get you, its possible to learn about you, even if you think you're careful. Blogging is a powerful tool, and can lead to many good things, but it - short of running you're own server is an offshore data haven with heavy duty encryption - is undeniably public. Treat it as such.

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Why Youth Don't Show in November

19.29.37 - Mark

Its because our favorite parties, the gasterous old pigs and the dummycrats, are too stupid to use their funds to attract the youth vote. The lost demographic is 18 - 34 year old men, they consistantly don't vote and frankly we're not given much reason too, so how do politicians woo those lost voters? TV of course!

I can't wait for their campaingne advisers to realize that that demographic may have the TV on, but there's no one watching There isn't even a real big push to get this content to them though the little TV they do watch - cable. No matter how much they want it the top 30 broadcast markets won't hit a lot of that market, so spending more money there won't help. Network TV will. I know a slew of people who watch Adult Swim and comedy central, but pepole stopped watching Survivor after what, the first season?

Still TV isn't the answer. You place some cheap but tasteful ads on a few high traffic websites and you're going to do a whole hell of a lot to promote yourself than if you stick to the TV ads in a few major markets. Bush, Kerry this isn't rocket surgery, even a couple dunces can figure that out - oh wait, you're the idiots that are running internet privacy into the ground and helping Ashcroft and his buddies arrest 73 year old grandmas and suing 12 year old girls. If they took a fraction of what them recieved though that new fangled "internets" thing and put it into a few well selected Google AdWords and maybe a few tasteful banners well they might pull a few more votes out in November. Of course with a hot race going now, in addition to a few incentives, we may see a massive influx of young voters next week.

Doubt it. The system is rigged to favor two parties and only two parties. people will adopt one or the other fairly blindly (like they often do with religion) and stick to thier guns, even if the underlying beliefs are drastically different. People are stupid, electors and elected. Speaking of which...

InDUHvidual piece of the day

from An NPR story on yellow ribbon car stickers -
Reporter: "He [Dwain Gullion] insists that this isn't political"
Dwain Gullion: "I am very patriotic and for the most part we are going to stand behind and support what our president is doing"

How is that not political? Yellow ribbons are about supporting our troops, not our president.

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17.47.41 - Mark

I know about PearPC, I know about Linux and Unix, and I know a little about *nix on 68k macs, but Danamania is booting OS X.3 on a Quadra 630 (We're talking about a system released a solid 10 years ago) Right now the guess is that the install will be done sometime next week! I'd call this insane and pointless, but danamania has posted at some of my usual forums at various points, so I realize that she's a little more than obsessive than most about old beige macs. I'll admit they are nice systems, I just don't know that I'd go off and install OS X on one, although I do have that IIci (15 years old) in the basement...

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Sick and Twisted

15.35.59 - Mark

How many ways can people distort the image of Steve Jobs? Apparently there a lot of ways.

I like this one, but only because of the movie the original came from (extra points to those who know what movie it is now, I'll blog the answer entry in a few days when I receive a copy of it from Amazon)

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Etching. It's Just Plain Fun

22.59.50 - Mark

I did some etching today, both a simple proof of concept design and a more complicated logo design (Penguin Mints :) The only large design I had that didn't need printed out) I'll try and post photos in a day or two.

I only have one fairly thick bit, so the detail in the letters was lost and some of the edges are round. It's also a challenge to control it, IE straight lines. I was getting better towards the end so a couple more practice designs should fix that real fast.

No mods planned around the technique quite yet, but I'm messing with a couple ideas for stand alone projects. The problem is depth of the etching and to some degree the transparency of the plastic post-etching, but I've got ideas to solve those as well. With wads of plexi floating around I should be able to create a few nice pieces just for fun before I need to restock my supplies. Honestly, I see a bigger problem with finding suitable designs...

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Return of the Dremal

01.10.46 - Mark

[wanring, this is a writeup (sortof) that I'm too lazy to do in a how to style and put on my site, mainly because I don't have photos and I'm lazy. If you don't want to read about one of my projects skip this post]

A long time ago my Dremal's speed controller went out, meaning my wonderfully broken dremal had two speeds: off and 35,000RPM. Which is fine if I want to cut or grind metal, but sucks if I want to use a sanding bit or say using an engraving bit. So The first time I tried to fix it I thought that it was burned out and there was no chance of repairing it, so I threw together a dimmer box but that didn't do the trick. So I put it aside except for metal work. recently I just got an engraving bit and while I can use it at 35,000 RPM its a little unwieldily, especially with plastics, so where does this leave me - another reason to fix my dremal. So I take it apart and start poking around. Turns out the switch was misaligned and gunk all over the contacts

Basic steps remove screws in casing, seperate main body, remove motor assembly. From there find the switch that controls speed and look at it. With mine the switch was off center and there was gunk all over the metal contacts used a a variable resistor. Clean the tracks and metal contacts on the switch (I had to remove the switch plastics to clean everything) then replace the switch and get it realigned. Then reassemble everything, and be careful when reassembling it, there are a couple parts that are a real pain to put back in correctly, but make a whole lot of difference.

Anyways with it cleaned out and reassembled its working so later I may try and etch some patterns into some scrap plexi I've got floating around, and maybe adding adding in some LEDs for a nice lighting effect. Maybe.

Now if my server would return to the active (note to self don't sent 'shutdown -r now' commands to servers you won't have access to for two days)

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Wrong, So Very Very Wrong

12.39.46 - Mark

Where baby electroncis come from, umm, sort of.

I have no clue what that's rated so be careful when viewing

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12.17.11 - Mark

Yeah. I just absolutely needed another reason to hate bush and kerry.

From what I could bear reading Kerry faired a bit better, but I didn't get the impression that either one had much of a stance on technology. At least they both admitted that technology exists, not that it will with all the BS legislation in congress these days...

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23.28.43 - Mark

I now have proof that the electoral eollege system is broken - there is a site getting people to trade votes talk about bullshit. Seems like a lets elect the liberal dumbass scam.

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Now hear this...

22.05.36 - Mark

NPR's site is a PITA. I wanted to link directly to the content but they wouldn't let me, so I guess you're gonna have to RTFA. Funny stuff from a group called The Capital Steps who are a bunch of ex political aides creating satire. Good stuff to. If you don't want to RTFA then here's a direct link to the skit that inspired me to find the clips.

Anyways, Bush and Kerry audio satire:
The Presidential Fourth Debate (mp3 format set to open in a new window if your browser does embedded MP3s)

Bush's response to the question cracks me up, almost as much as "I'm a good steward of the land" in the second debate (see also: offroaddieselengineemissions.com)

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> man shutdown

17.35.34 - Mark

I'm trying to fix apache on my colocated linux server and I've done a remote log in as root but I think I need to restart my pretty little box so I've been browsing and I think I've got it, just need the command and syntax for the shutdown command so I've been hitting the man files. Personally I like this entry...

shutdown - close down the system at a given time

shutdown [-] [-fhkrn] time [warning-message ...]

Shutdown provides an automated shutdown procedure for super-users to
nicely notify users when the system is shutting down, saving them from
system administrators, hackers, and gurus, who would otherwise not bother
with such niceties.

Available friendlinesses: :snips out flags:

I think that's unfair, admins and hackers give all sorts of warning. I know I'd give people a warning - maybe a nice little yell after I've hit the enter key...

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01.22.10 - Mark

I'm getting tired of my server mess. Drupal won't play nice with the installs of Apache2 and PHP I've been mucking with for the last couple of weeks. I think I'll go down and see trificient will hook up the server I dropped off months ago, despite the fact that I've been putting serious tho' into getting a shared server at a server bank, considering the price they quoted me a few months ago was a little on the high side for me. Muck, muck, muck. I guess I'll see how I'm doing after the business plan awards ceremony thing tomorrow. It'd be nice to have something loaded on my iBook.

Maybe if I brain wipe the server tools and load up one of those all in one installs the mac web hyped a couple weeks ago...

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The Next Lot... The United States

18.12.22 - Mark

Some one is selling the United States Of America and is trying to get canada included. Pretty amusing considering the image included. Since the auction is likely going to come down in a flaming fireball like Bush and his lumber a couple weeks ago, I took the liberty of acquiring a screenshot

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Run for the hills!!!

13.46.42 - Mark

The Japanese have WMDs!!! (view all four pages)

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I love a good ethics debate

12.32.10 - Mark

There's nothing like a good ethics debate to see the true nature of people, be it in large groups or mano a mano.

Here's a good one

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Wardriving in Mount Airy

23.30.19 - Mark

Since picking up my iBook and loading up a war driving program I've been taking it with me when driving around. Some basic numbers

Hotspots downtown (parts of main and Renfro): About 25
Hotspots on Highway 601 (some on the interstate) about 10
Other hotspots (business and residential areas) about 20.
Dobson near the Community college: 3 or 4 (only one pass so far, haven't tried on campus quite yet)

17 WEP enabled
~40 not using WEP

From the IDs I'd say at two are medical offices, and neither of them is using WEP

By no means complete numbers nor do I have exact numbers and locations (at least until I get my GPSr hooked up to the iBook) Thats not too bad for a lowtech mountain town with somewhere around 9k residents but I think its interesting.

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HSU Hell

09.46.35 - Mark

High School University @ Dobson (Yes mike I'm borowing that term)is driving me nuts. My internet tech and net graphcs instructor is fine, guys knows enought - isn't stuck up about his knowlege and limitations - and is a good enough instructor, but the class is a drag. The rest of the class was scratching away at FTP for the second day in a row, and frankly they don't get it and I doubt they will. I'll just be hearing moaning and whining come the next exam.

Personally, I know this stuff, hell I'm using it on a daily basis, and am almost as good at the command line version as I am with a client, let alone the OS GUI version. So I'm just sitting back here rolling my eyes and nodding my head, but *&^% these people are supposed to be in the same degree program as I am and there's no *&^%ing way they're ever, let me stress EVER, going to use this knowlege in any way shape or form.

I'm starting to wonder if my program is even going to exist for me to complete (or even get into the fun stuff)...

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But isn't that society

09.17.00 - Mark

Dogbert always has the best business plans - find idiot, find a bigger idiot, combine and charge.

Sidenote: Blogger's been slow recently, wonder why...

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Double Take

16.56.45 - Mark

Wait Kerry too liberal for democratic states? How the hell can some one bee too liberal compared to Bushy? I mean he's the one thats burning though billions of dollars a day supporting a big government. Maybe some one needs to give W a big book of words and explain to him the difference between conservatives and liberals.

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Beat this

02.02.21 - Mark

I'd like to see a Micro$oft system do this. Linux might, but it has its own cool GUI tricks (and no that image is not photoshoped)

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New iBooks.

13.49.22 - Mark

Not as bad as I thought all I really lost was 200 MHz, and a little money. I guess I would have picked up an 80GB drive if I was buying it today, as opposed to the 40GB I have, mainly since Airport is now built in and would have freed up $80. All in all the differences are few and mostly insignificant. Certainly not enough reason to run off an return it.

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Damn it

13.34.28 - Mark

Stupid bbstop.com Distracting me for 2 minutes too long, there by keeping me from recording H2G2 at its first broadcast. Now I'll have to listen to it again while so I can record it in its entirety. Thats what I get for not listing to the news. Stupid Stupid Stupid, almost as stupid as not installing Wire tap last week.

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Let the battle begin!

23.31.40 - Mark

Lets see T -14 days until November 2nd and the screw ups are already beginning?

We are sooooo screwed...

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ummmm, okay...

20.23.32 - Mark

We've seen the days of USB enabled aquariums, USB enabled satanic rubber duckies, USB enabled xmas trees, even USB enabled crap. Now I'm sure you're asking whats the point, right?

Well someone has gone out and made up a batch of USB enabled Sushi.

I think this takes "The dog ate my homework!" excuse to a new level...

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RSS and Atom Part Dos

17.17.39 - Mark

A good discussion of syndicated feeds between some mac developers Good read. I agree with a lot of what they're saying, specifically about the finances of posting feeds and enhanced readership. Out of the 20 some feeds I'm polling every half hour, I was only checking 6 or 7 of them on a regular basis. 3 or 4 on occasion, and the other 10 were bookmarked as kinda neat but would rarely visit. Its a good thing, and I'm still adding in feeds to watch.

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Aww Frell

16.37.25 - Mark

This was inevitable, technology is constantly pushing forward and that always means that your a generation behind. The best someone can do is try to find the sweet spot between bleeding edge and yesterday's old news. I even acknowleged that fact when I still wanted a powerbook over an iBook.

But I didn't expect it to take two weeks! So far its only a rumor, but a fairly plausible one (Look at Apple's product cycles, the count matches up) We'll see, but just in case I'll be off working on my flexibility - I may want to be kicking myself in the ass come tomorrow...

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Which one?

22.58.24 - Mark

Since I've been accused of being a Bush basher...

Which one is smarter?

Kerry or the Pumpkin?

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Clone away!

22.45.24 - Mark

British scientists are moving in favor of cloning more so now since Bush is encouraging (well, closer to strong arming) the british into a stronger ban on cloning of any sorts. If they want to start cloning themselves I'm all for it. The world needs more intelligence, and back bones - the US at least is lacking in both those fields.

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Really Sweet Syndication

23.12.44 - Mark

RSS and ATOM feeds are sweet. I've been using Net News Wire for a couple days now and I've come to love RSS and ATOM feeds. I won't bother pushing the details, RSS is widely accepted, ATOM is well, competition. However I need to take in ATOM as well since that's what google's services support.

I forget who pointed it out, but now its easy to check a hundred sites in the time it takes to check ten, which is true if everyone had an RSS or ATOM feed, which they don't mainly because they're lazy

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Homebrew Digicam

01.59.15 - Mark

Digital Camera from a Scanner

Impractical but neat. I think I've got a couple working scanners and an old manual SRL lens if I really wanted to try this

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Google Bugs

23.58.28 - Mark

I'm starting up a new blog to see how much content I can find for it. The FP is a quick description of it but basically I'm looking for google screw ups, mainly at Google News but any Google Labs Project will do. The second two are bug screenshots. If you want to dig up a few I don't mind adding team members to that blog.

Google Bugs

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Software time

22.25.43 - Mark

Since I'm bored (despite being a DirectTV sponsored free movie weekend of all the movie networks) I thought I would post a few nice software applications - with none of those irritating features like windows compatibility...

Konfabulator Undescribably useful desktop utility. half eye candy half remote control and monitoring.
NetNewsWire RSS and ATOM feed Reader
SideTrack Driver replacement for my iBook's trackpad, giving me some nice features like horizontal and vertical scrolling

Oh yeah, my brother and I have a free 1 year membership to the Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, sort of. No clue to why we'll need it but we have it, or rather will in a couple weeks.

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Jolt Gum : Chewable Caffeine

19.49.36 - Mark

I was out buying some soda at one of the local gas stations and when paying I noticed they were now carrying Jolt Gum so I picked up a pack. haven't tried it yet but its got to be better than the Kola Energy Gum I got last time I picked up Penguin Mints. I mean at least the Jolt stuff has sugar...

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Cheap Wearable Displays

16.51.45 - Mark

I know I've got my wearable monocular display but there are a few new models out there. Mitsubishi has a prototype that according to Gizmodo will sell for $400 as soon as next year. Kinda doubt that but if it's VGA compatible it will go a long way into introducing AR to the masses - aside from the bulk issue. Smaller is better.

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Just How Dumb is Bush?

23.28.46 - Mark

by now most people have seen the presidential debates/infomercials but the question of exactly how dumb is bush remains.

I'd say this is a good indicator - you have got to be pretty dumb to fall of a segway

To anyone who wants to call me a bush basher, I'd be more than happy to link to a Kerry falls off segway story if such a thing exists

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Killer Robots

21.51.59 - Mark

I, for one, welcome our new robotic overloards

OK, not quite. Its just fun to make a Futurama reference once in a while. Anyways supersapians are pretty cool, wish I had some cash to drop on one. That one is pretty simple considering that someone hacked a PDA and camera onto one a few weeks ago.

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Bad google

17.13.24 - Mark

I want this for the Mac hell I'd pay for it if they can tap into MP3/ACC tags and PDFs. The big problem with information management systems is that they can't easily tap into PDFs (Google already can to some extent - but not with the desktop utility) and image/movie files - especially those nasty jpeg images that are nothing more than text scans. To some extent it would be nice if they can get the lyrics or script for movie/audio files and search those as well but tags help a lot in that format.

I'm sure google can do it, the question is when. Tho' right now I want them to pump out a mac version. Stupid Windows monolopy.

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15.48.01 - Mark

Forget the MP3 players, I want this table:

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15.32.39 - Mark

I'm not entirely nuts for wanting a biodiesel/electric hybrid They're just better. Cleaner emisions, better mileage, and the fuel costs are on par with regular gas, much less if you play mad scientist in the garage to make biodiesel. Now if I can convince my parents of those facts...

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22.02.14 - Mark

I've gotten tired of the debate. I was taking notes but its gotten to the point where there's no point in watching. TVs still on, but its the same old crap. Instead I'm reading some of the stuff at 3rd party sites. I won't bother linking to Badnarik's page again, but they're urging people to harass CNN's president. I'm casually searching for the real address since emails, faxes and phone calls are oft ignored. Sent something via a carrier - and one that doesn't give them money isn't as easily ignored. Too bad some of these people don't realize it.

As an interesting side note, W and Kerry are wearing the same getup. Black Suit, collared white shirt, red tie with white does and a flag pin over their hearts (assuming they still have that organ) Talk about clone wars...

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Loads of shit

21.11.44 - Mark

Just watched I, Robot at the downtown cinema, holy shit thats a bad movie. They didn't even need to film it it was so bad, they could have creatively edited clips from other films and it would have turned out better. Anyways now that that shit is done and over with, I'm onto the debates, sorta taking notes again, but its going to be the same old crap me thinks. Bush and Kerry, from the Department of Redundancy department.

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14.21.52 - Mark

Bush, Kerry, and Nader have posted replies to questions prepared by /. and New Voters Project

Be warned, there's a lot of bullshit in their answers and unsurprisingly hey all manage to avoid the questions. Some are downright scary. IE W's comments on the death penalty in minors, the draft and "When is it acceptable for a politician to change their opinion"

Meh. I guess I should keep the hip waders on since I doubt that the Badnarik campaign and the rest of the Libertarians will be able to stop tonight's debate.

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I want one of these

22.38.04 - Mark

Stowaway Bridge

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I'm so glad to be gone

15.57.34 - Mark

There is a certain location in Mount Airy that is an absolute hell hole. Mount Airy is a wonderful place to live, except for a noticeable lack of fine dining and better forms of entertainment. This location is a High school run by a bunch of idiots who are worse than your average "civil servants". I always made it a point to avoid the chief idiots and don't think I ever spoke with the principal and made it a point to avoid the inept guidance councilors - partially because they are completely useless when it comes to college information (I once named a top college in the nation and they didn't know anything about it) and secondly because they are very effective at pissing people off. I don't know anyone who has had a good experience with them as guidance councilors (as human beings they pass as acceptable)

Unfortunately my brother hasn't been able to avoid the void of intelligence know as the guidance office and this afternoon was force feed a combination of Baghdad Bob misinformation and CIA style interrogation. There' was no doubt in my mind that that school refuses to recognize student's constitutional rights, but now there's no doubt in my mind that they are perfectly willing to actively infringe on those rights.

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PoliWonk time

12.28.24 - Mark

I wonder how hard it would be to get NC to pass a law reforming the way our electoral votes are distributed. Something similar to the way the votes are distributed in New Hampshire. IE one electoral vote from each of the congressional districts, with the additional electoral votes then based on the majority of votes in NC.

So if 5 districts in NC voted kerry with a landslide, 1 had a majority vote for Badnarik, 7 for Bush by only a few hundred votes, then Kerry would get 7, Badnarik 1 and Bush 7

Seems like a better system to me.

Even if you had it so that the candidate with the most district wins collect the extra 2 votes you'd still have a system that is closer to being far and balance than the current system. Pulling the last example, Kerry would have 5 votes, Badnarik one and Bush 9.

Since the Senate keeps killing electoral college reform at the national level, doing it on a state level would stand some chance of passing.

Not that it will happen in NC. There are a bunch of good old boys goofing off in the capital building. Then again I'm not entirely sure how NC regulates its electoral votes. Something to look into, more so depending on how Nov. 2 turns out.

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23.56.07 - Mark

Been playing Halo today. As much as I despise Bungie for going to Microshaft then ditching their famous Mac Support I gotta admit that halo is sweet. A worthy successor to Marathon and its brethren. I suck at FPS tho' not that there are many LAN parties in the area.

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A true loss

16.10.54 - Mark

Society has lost a great man today.

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15.53.03 - Mark

Yeah right.

As soon as I have my iPod back in my custody, I'm going to be very tempted to hack it. Its bad enough that I'm already thinking about stuff to do to my iBook, I really don't need to be thinking about the iPod as well. We'll see tho' I haven't had significant inspiration for either one yet.

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Murphy's Law, Now With Equations

19.05.55 - Mark

Some scientists have devised a formula to calculate Murphy's Law you know anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and if it can go wrong at a worse time it will. Well the formula is:

((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10))

Where urgency (U), complexity (C), importance (I), skill (S) and frequency (F), and each given a score between one and nine. A sixth, aggravation (A), was set at 0.7 by the experts after their poll.

Personally I haven't tried to punch in numbers yet, but it looks cool.

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18.00.38 - Mark

Someone didn't want the debates last night They also lack an understanding of the way rigged debates work, trivial things like no props.

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Surefire Free iPods

13.20.25 - Mark

Since you're always mentioning it Brad:

Free iPods Fast delivery too

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Jibs and Jabs

13.10.43 - Mark

Political satire of Bush and Kerry thats funny as hell (regardless of who you want to be top idiot this November)


I like This Land best, followed by DC Land. However some of their other works are equally as funny (can you say Governator)

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1200 words

23.31.34 - Mark

I don't think I'll force 1200 words of my notes on you, but there were some truly stupid comments made by both candidates. I think it was a little rowdy as well. Tex kept rushing the moderator and argued with him on a few times. Kerry came off as being a little more

Bush's comments on the Patriot act really scare me. First "I don't think your rights are being watered down" and followed up by "Doesn't infringe on your rights at all" There was also something about warrants being needed but I didn't catch the direct quote. I think he simply doesn't understand what the Patriot act does. kerry has a slightly better understanding of what it does and was able to make some corrections spinning it in his favor (Bush looked like he shat a brick when he heard them and didn't make a rebuttal)

I'm not entirely sure but the comments on the possibility of replacing supreme court justice. Bush was making suggestions saying that judges shouldn't look at the context of a case (his reference to disagreeing with the Dread Scott Case and the Pledge Debate are disturbing to say the least) I thought I heard him say that he didn't want someone who strictly supported the constitution, but half of me knows that that sort of comment is way too deep for Bush to have spewed out. Maybe he wasn't very clear since he was avoiding that issue with a good deal of effort. I think Kerry's requirements for a justice are exceptional - the problem is that the person he described doesn't exist.

Bush also showed a great deal of ignorance in science and technology, and he relies heavily on ethics as an excuse for his detrimental decisions. One comment he made was "I'm a good stuart of the land" which is BS. Oil aside his administration hasn't done one thing to help the environment or even science. If you need more evidence of this pull up his space plan.

Domestic issues aside, foreign relations are still hazy pipe dreams (or in W.'s case nightmares) Bush happily said he'd keep blowing off other countries and their treaties. Kerry had a good quote on that - "The President's job is to win the peace." It is heck our friendly president dragged his "Axis of Evil" back into things

I liked that last question, about 3 bad decisions. Bush mucked that one in a way. He showed that he stands by his decisions, but couldn't admit that he is in fact fallible (bar that vague line on picking some bad people)

All in all I liked this debate a little better than the first, but both candidates are weak in many ways, from personal freedoms and liberties to official policies. I don't know who won, but the American people are loosing.

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21.58.27 - Mark

Badnarik and Cobb have been arrested.

Back to watching the clowns

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Rules of Engagment

21.11.49 - Mark

Even if Cobb and Badnarik can get into the debates (which they both doubted) the questions are rigged well enough that there would be no point. I'll look up the charges against them later

I'm making notes but the first thing that's hitting me is that people only care about terrorism and Iraq. Ignorance is bliss.

More later

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More election fun...

19.07.22 - Mark

The blurry line between sane and nuts, and make it a double

Presidential nominees Michael Badnarik and David Cobb are going to demand to be included in tonight's debate between indifferent candidate one (Bush) and indifferent candidate two (Kerry). I don't know how well the stunt will do for either candidate, but I'm mostly sure they won't get in. The real question left is how much the major news outlets won't cover it. I'm guess 3 or 4 snippets over between the major networks, but I hope I'm very wrong.

Even without that little bit of chaos thrown in its going to be interesting to see how the new Bush spin on WMDs/Iraq comes out. I'm also waiting to see how much they fumble around with domestic issues. Bush will likely tie everything in with 9/11 or Iraq and Kerry will just be clueless beyond saying that the issues have nothing to do with Iraq.

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22.50.15 - Mark

My brother's happy, he just received his Spamalot tickets. I think he's still a little sore about not getting opening night tickets, but we'll still be seeing one of the first showings ever.

I should be fine unless he goes out and buys the soundtrack gets his hands on the soundtrack, its bad enough he's gotten "Camalot" stuck in my head I don't need to be waking up to it (or knowing Matt, his own rendition of the scene).

Edit: I was sampling the soundtrack at the iTunes Music store and ended up buying it. Now I want a ... Shrubbery!

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So we're all going to die...

21.10.55 - Mark

I'm officially tired of this limited flu vaccine crap. Sure science is great and we're bettering living conditions and all that stuff but come on but the media is over hyping this one.

First, we've gone for a long time without a flu vaccine, and many people do without it even now that it exists. Influenza on its own isn't even lethal. The problem is with the uninformed masses hogging up doses. I'm not going to pull up statistics for this one but I bet there are a lot of people getting the vaccine who very clearly don't need it because they aren't at risk. The average idiot needs to realize that they don't need (prescription) drugs to live a long happy life. (slight tangent) With over the counter stuff many people swear by a good deal of it has to be placebo effect.

Secondly there's no guarantee that it will protect you. Lead time is a minimum of 6 months, and with stuff like SARS popping up overnight anymore that won't cut it. Drugs are just compounding medical problems. Disease exists, then we made basic drugs, diseases adapted and we made stronger drugs, diseases adapt again and we make stronger drugs - repeat cycle ad nauseum (pun not intended)

At least there's some humor to be had in all this. I'm sure there are some vegans and other vegetarians out there who are getting these shots without realizing that they're coming from chickens.

Meh. I guess people are just as medically ignorant as they are politically.

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But the true question is...

18.04.36 - Mark

can I use it as a towel, which is well known for being the single most useful thing in the entire universe.

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For a bad day, this is pretty good

09.23.19 - Mark

I didn't sleep well last night, stupid fcsking crickets in the basement keeping me up again so I think I only got 3 or 4 hours sleep in 30 minute intervals - which sucks. Then getting up and moving took more than a little effort, especially since I was (and still am) straving and there wasn't anything worth eating. Supprissingly class isn't to bad, the topic sucks (internet phonebooks and referance sites) but at least my political wonk was able to get out and argue/research (I love doing those at the same time - much more fun than each individually) about the electorial college, the party problem, and chain of power. Its scarry how many people are politically ignorant - I mean its all printed out in the constitution. This great nation is seriously screwed this November. Wonk tendincies aside I just checked the location of my iBook and iPod - and both are on the truck out for delivery :) With anyluck I'll have them this afternoon, or at latest tomorrow.

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18.31.03 - Mark

My music and other documents have been transfered, same for most of the apps - now for the fun stuff (currently downloading America's Army) so I can blow stuff up. Still need to reconfig some of my favorite apps, but I'm making progress. Plus I'm just now plugging in to AC, 3.5 hours under average to heavy use ain't bad.

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Happy Happy Joy Joy

14.48.20 - Mark

Talk about user friendly. Apple sure knows how to ship a computer. When I got home my iBook and iPod were sitting on the porch just waiting to be opened. I didn't make them wait long (the iBook at least - iPod is still in its box) The getting started stuff was sitting right on top of the box, and the molded styrofoam just lifted off revealing my pretty little white slab. Unlike my brothers HP everything was ready to go. Even the battery was charged! Which is why after 5 minutes of filling out registration forms and reconnecting my wireless network I am sitting outside typing away at its very responcive keyboard posting my first impressions. Hell I'm blown away at the fact that even the battery was charged - that never happens.

Apple - you have one very happy customer.

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Stupid People

23.02.29 - Mark

Yeah, I guessed it. The Moderator, and the candidates all managed to avoid things that the veeps might have some sort of power over, even if it isn't much. For everything else Cheny was much stronger, but only because of his experience. Edwards is mostly inept. He was answering questions a round late. If he was semi-intelligent he would have stayed on point.

However considering that the most important function of veep is to represent the american people I don't think either was very strong. Cheney wants us to be fearful of the terrorists. Edwards, well I can't really say much about Edwards, he didn't seem to have a point.

Still, they were just regurgitating what the presidential candidates were saying last week. I suppose its reasonable - it is a package deal - but I'd like to see some independent thought.

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All Politicians Suck

20.45.20 - Mark

Currently watching the NC gubernatorial debate.


Thankfully they're really going after major issue of education (I think that's the scope of this debate tho' - that could be why they aren't veering off into other topics), but neither is really presenting a convincing argument - especially with the finances that will be required fixing a truly FUBARed education system (that I have slammed several times before) Towards the end Easley (the incumbent) squeaked ahead with a comment suggesting that we needed to encourage cultural diversity which is something I strongly support. Other than that they went after the wrong answers to the wring questions. Education needs to have localized controls with state and national pockets of money, and I don't think either candidate is ready to realize it.

Now on to the closet position of the federal government - the Vice President. $5 says the moderator fails to ask questions about things VEEPs can actually control

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En Gaurd Microsoft

17.17.34 - Mark

The Ultimate Microsoft Insult

Take one XBox, install a mod chip (insult one) install Linux (insult two) install PearPC, then install Mac OS X (insult 3)

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I wish I were somewhere else

09.17.00 - Mark

The Mojave Airport, in specific. 100 miles north of LA. I so wish I could be present at so X Prize attempt. It's redundat to say, but it would very easily beat out being in class today. Few hours and we'll know if the X Prize is going to be awarded to SpaceShipOne, hope it will be. The prize needs to be awarded to someone, it would be a waste if it expires unclaimed at the end of the year.

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Racist Pride

19.22.09 - Mark

:: redneck sarcasm ::

Yep. We sure do know how to discriminate against them stupid Muslims.Yet, do it real good - and you know what bubba it a damn good thing we do too its our responcibility as Americans!

:: end redneck sarcasm::

(link summery - ~1 in 4 US citizens have Anti-Muslim feelings. )

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22.31.44 - Mark

Wikipedia is an excellent resource and its simple to run a quick search if you need to fill in a tidbit of information (I do it all the time in class) I guess I bring it up since I just donated a few bucks to them, helping them reach their goal of $50,000.

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Site vs Blog

01.35.08 - Mark

I blame you for this Ivan, but there are others that are equally guilty.

Mark's Blog - g3head.blogspot.com
Mark's Site - homepage.mac.com/g3head

Quick link to both (which I have every intention of changing) g3head.tk

Links are appreciated, but get it right.

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Evil Henchmen

23.17.56 - Mark

I want to know what motivates the evil henchmen, or even their evil overlords to hire them. I mean who has ever seen a movie, TV show, or comic with evil henchmen that had much of anything.

They are constantly being put into danger, and are never trained because a force of 1 to 4 heros (however inept themselves) can overthrow vast armies. That's not a lack of knowledge in upper-management either, since the leaders always escape. Presumably they don't get any health benefits, any minor injury kills them off. I won't even get into the mental health issues that must come into play.

They've got to be frustrated as well - they're given names are completely ignored, its always "Hey You!", "Henchmen!", and "You imbeciles". You've got to guess that the lifestyle isn't that great. Cramped, shared, living quarters, usually located near dangerous materials nuclear material - weapon or generator, chemical weapons, or walls lined with regular ordinance - who has ever hear of a evil lair without a self-destruct feature. Weapons all over the place. Locations are never enjoyable, always a volcano, underwater, or in some other remote undeveloped area.

Then you've got the long days suffering though evil overlord speeches or getting shot at - or both. Depending on the Evil intentions there's a strong chance they don't get paid. I mean what's the point in getting a paycheck in any given currency when your job is to destroy the country behind it? There's no personal say. Same uniform every day, and its usually something over the top, depending on the evil overlord's specific fetish.

With every major government pissed off at your organization of choice you can't exactly use it as a pickup line. Its not something you can point on a resume either. The position of henchmen isn't exactly a position that can transfer out. You don't get fired, you get shot, you don't quit, you get shot. Promotion isn't a good thing either, it only seems that it increase your chances of getting shot.

Even the cause can't be that good. Usually the goal is to rule the world, and the types that go after that don't share much if at all. So why bother being a henchmen? Wouldn't it be better to become an evil leader, make a partnership and find your own elite forces so you can get close to evil overlord X and kill him when he's accomplished his goal.

So what's the point? No benefits, no money, great personal risk. Maybe henchmen are just a bunch of out-of-work comedians and jocks who can't find an work any other way.

I guess it could be mind control, but it can't be possible for ever evil overlord out there to have mind control abilities, can it?

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Forget that

18.21.19 - Mark

Forget my last post. I found an RC helicopter simulator, so I've been busy flying inverted helicopters and doing barrel rolls (and crashing, lots of crashing)

Unfortunately they haven't added the fireballs and death tones for when you crash.

Now if I hook it up to my monocular display and run a no background mode... Can you say augmented reality?

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Which day is it again?

17.07.19 - Mark

For whatever reason today feels like Sunday, specifically Sunday around 2PM when you realize that there's a good 8 to 10 hours you have to waste and yet there's absolutely nothing to waste it with, constructively or otherwise. TV seems exceptionally brain dead, there's nothing very satisfying online, and there's no fun project to be working on. I guess this may just be compounded by the fact that I don't have any money, but I kinda doubt it, its just that kind of day.

I know I could clean up the basement or something else along those lines but I just can't drag myself to be motivated.

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New reason to read EULA's

14.57.21 - Mark

You know that irritating End User Agreement that pops up when installing software? You might want to start reading it a little closer now since courts are now ruling that they constitute a legal contract - that, if you're reading them, your have already agreed to.

Slashdot has a good thread going on it tho' may of the points are older arguments to EULAs, and the original EFF link is here

Blizzard is on of the better companies out there, and do a good job with fair use, they even offer refunds if you don't agree with the EULA and replacement media should the CDs become damaged. However they are one of the few, and most stores will not accept returns on opened software. Therefore you accept the EULA blindly, or you don't and keep your coaster. (Note: since its a contract you can't sell it legally, therefore you're stuck with it)

Don't you just love the implications of bad legislation?

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Pissing on the media, literally

11.52.47 - Mark

Ever want to just take a wiz on an advertisement a la Calvin?

Now you can.

(link to NY Times, free reg. required)

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23.17.53 - Mark

I've been messing with PHP today, and its pretty fun. I know I haven't even begun to tap into its power but in terms of picking it up I think its within my reach. I'm only running a couple of very simple commands but I've already programed a simple list maker. If I was real bored I could even look up the ASCII codes for brackets and make it output cut and paste HTML code I haven't looked into combining its power with MySQL yet, but if I can do that as easily as I've been making pages it wouldn't be hard at all.

However methinks database design will be much harder than basic PHP or even connecting a database with PHP enabled pages. Maybe I should spring for a book or two when Apple finishes tapping my checking account...

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21.07.03 - Mark

And I got one, for free :)

I've actually had it for a week, but I'm just now getting around to posting it here. Uses a SFX PSU, Mini-ATX Motherboard, and half height cards. I've speced out a configuration that will make a nice DVR, but I need $500. Maybe after maybe Matt and I get our site up I can build it. Still its a real nice case at an impossible to beat price.

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Stupid Bank

13.02.30 - Mark

I'm getting seriously pissed with my bank (The Community Bank). They have been merging with another company and its been fucking up my account. First their ATMs were down in one manner or another for close to three months when they only way I could deal with my bank was the ATM. They're internet banking is so screwed up I have only been able to access it once, and I have tried every password I have ever used to try and get back into it. Now they won't manage my money like I want them to.

Apple is getting transaction declined messages when they try to transfer the funds for my iBook, because of some BS daily spending limit. This leads me to having to make a number of calls to them, only to find out that "there's nothing we can do". So now I've got a message floating around in Apple's Payment Department's Mail server to see if they can split payment over two days to get around my daily limit. Doubt it which means another friendly yelling match with my bank next week.

Furthermore when looking up their policies I discovered that my checking account is no longer free. The merger wiped out the account type I was set up with so now I have a standard, pay account. I haven't been hit with any fees because of my balance has been high enough, but NOW I'll be hit with maintenance fees. I got a nasty feeling I don't have overdraft protection anymore either.

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