21.50.42 - Mark

Bush just made a comment suggesting that american lifes are move valuable than any other lives. I want to know why the hell he thinks he's justified in that statement. Racism all over again.

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Free Money

20.44.10 - Mark

Or something close to it.

Survey Savvy

And yes they do pay with real money. I've collected close to $50 from them in only a couple months for a handful of surveys.

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3-6 Business Days

16.00.46 - Mark

My iBook and iPod have been ordered and I just got the email saying the order was processed, my business plan has been submitted into the Chamber's business plan contest (tho' I serious doubt it will win anything - it does get the idea out there), and my class tomorrow should be enjoyably brain dead. I've very happy going into the weekend.

I even opted for bluetooth built in (something I wasn't really planning on). I figure I'll have a bluetooth enabled phone before I'm done with this system so it will be nice to not need a dongle. Especially since such a combination will most likely be used for remote control.

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21.39.18 - Mark

Ahhhhh!!! The frustration is getting to me MAD! I've been saving up for an iBook for over a year and I am within 24 hours of ordering it. I'll have the last of the cash at my bank tomorrow morning before I go to class and have every intention of buying it soon after I get home.

12"/1GHz G4/ Combo DVD CDRW drive/256MB/40GB/Airport. At least 4x faster than my current desktop, multitudes faster than my best powerbook.

Until then I'm going nuts. Hell I haven't spent a dime in the last month (literally!) I can't wait to be able to spend money again.

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16.40.34 - Mark

It passed. The Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004 passed in the house I already bugged my congressmen about it because under its very loose legal definitions I can go to jail for having over 1000 legally acquired files and knowing that there is a possibility that someone else can access those files over a network. Furthermore it will take tax money and use it to fund "education" about copyright and Intellectual Property. IOW The government's goons have passed a bill that will take my money and use it to force feed me propaganda created by the RIAA and MPAA.

With my luck Burr will get elected to the senate and the same asshole who voted Yes for me on this issue in the House will get to vote for me in the senate. Next thing you know INDUCE will get passed and iPods will become illegal.

Be informed. Defend your rights.

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From the I-am-your-father's-brother's-nephew's-cousin's-former-roommate. Dept.

16.25.05 - Mark

Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money

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The real countdown begins

15.57.16 - Mark

Spaceshipone has been successful in its first passenger flight The question now is how fast can the make the encore come. With a few other teams nipping that their heels they should make it pretty quick. At least we shouldn't have to wait too long, October 12 isn't that far away.

Sidenote: my non-blogger web space got bumped up to 250mb today. The email limits are still a little sparse, but still better that many free email services.

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16.42.05 - Mark

I have a new addition to my favorite Apps list. Wiretap from Ambrosia Software. It doesn't do anything especially exceptional but the simple task it does it dose very well. It records all the sound coming out of a system and leaves the file alone. No editing, but a simple interface that I had up and running in a few minutes. Its the perfect app for recording streaming audio broadcasts, like those on BBC 4 Radio

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What the....

01.27.30 - Mark

Lasers for your iPod Griffin Technology is a cool group and I really recommend doing business with they - I have first hand experience with them and they rock, but I still have to wonder if its taking the iPod thing a little too far. I mean a laser? Seems like its going a little far, but a novel idea none the less.

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Photoshop haiku

11.14.12 - Mark


labs been done an hour
web graphics very boring
wish the class was done

Marquee tools easy
healing brush somewhat harder
neither takes that long

Edited to fix error: happy ivan?

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Fun with google:related

08.33.27 - Mark

TouchGraph.com's GoogleBrowser

Visual Maps created in a Java applet based on google relations. Supprisingly, the map for homepage.mac.com/g3head isn't that bland. Anyways if you need to waste some time, this is a neat site to play with. Don't know if it works at home yet. I haven't tried since I installed 10.3 and the latest Java update (I know it doesn't work on most of my systems, but hope lives on.)

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Bush mocks Kerry, noone's supprised

17.37.39 - Mark

"He could debate himself!"

Bush is a *&^%ing dumbass, I mean that's the type of comment I expect from a kindergartner. Granted Kerry isn't much better but this election is going down the toilet.

Bush is too stupid to weasel is way out of the simplest of loaded gun questions, and kerry is too fascinated with his purple hearts and bipolar campaigning to take notice of anything else. What's scary is that those two clowns are supposedly the best options for our international figure head.

Statistically it gets even worse. First some assumptions, All presidents will be between 35 (minimum age as defined in the constitution) and the oldest elected president took office just before he turned 70 (Regan, but about two weeks) So pull up the census numbers for those age demographics. That gives us 122,821,011 or so (Census.gov numbers, mostly 2003 estimates). With the foreign born population about 30 Million (all ages) let's make the field 100 Million. I won't take into account things like gender, minority status, or criminal records, but you could find that easily enough. Do your own math

So out of 100 Million people, Bush and Kerry are the best options the bipartisan system can come up with?

We're screwed.

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16.18.07 - Mark

I already have a USB flash drive I love, and its built right into an Ink pen, but damn these are nice. The only downfall to them is the $250+ price tag. Even so they put a lot of force behind USB Drives as Fasion (Original New York Times link for those so inclined)

I was playing with the idea of hacking a thumb drive into a pen a few months ago, but now I'm tempted to get a small drive just to do something like that, I mean they look like they came out of an older FPS like Marathon.

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AOL: Ignorance for the Next Generation

21.15.01 - Mark

I'm getting sickened by these rash of ads helping spread the misconception of hackers as the epitome of bad guys. Norton, AOL, earthlink and others keep spreading this image when its blatantly false. the AOL ad I just saw posed the question "How do you stop hackers from sending you viruses" Thats what one, two seconds of a 30 second spot, and its riddled with errors!

First, hackers do not launch attacks, crackers do.
Second, Crackers aren't stupid enough to launch automated attacks, skript kiddies are
Third, Skript kiddies aren't smart enough to write viruses, programers do.
Lastly none of the above send the viruses themselves, your fellow inept PC using friends do because they can't be bothered with trivial things like security.

And contrary to popular belief, people are able to tell the difference. Hackers, crackers, and virus writers have all been reported on in the various main stream news outlets (The New York Times comes to mind first) in the last year. My message to these dumb corporations, treat people like they have brains (even if its questionable on occasion) and stop vilifying me

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Insomniac Surfing

02.30.48 - Mark

Its late, I'm bored, and I can't sleep. As the ultimate sign of my boredom I present Windows Version 1.

It's DOS with a cursor.

This post spawned by lack of sleep, a slashdot comment, and a conversation in my networking class last Wednesday, and brought to you by the letter Z, the number 42, and The DigiBarn Museum.

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21.07.02 - Mark

I knew this would happen. The first copies of the Mount Airy News's Flash Edition are starting to show up on eBay.

Edition of Mt. Airy News featuring Andy Griffith 9-24

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Stupid *&^%ing paper

02.06.36 - Mark

Its been a long day so I don't give a damn if this turns out as a full blown rant but the Mount Airy News is screwed up. At least this week they seem to be doing some good, with their first special edition in over 30 years (11,000 copies, all gone, very popular). The reason I'm a little pissed off about it is because they're using some of my photos with out credit. Sure I don't really care about having my name on stuff but I like some recognition once in a while - especially with my current attempts at stating a business. Anyways I've got a photo on page 2A of Saturday's paper (Andy and Opie Statue @ its permanent position) and had one in the special section (again statue, but this one has a guy working with the foot plate thing) Combined with the existing butchery of my pages I don't know why I bother doing stuff for them, Insanity I suppose.

On the flip side my dad's column on Blogging seems to have sparked an interest in the area because by my count at least 5 new blogs have popped up. Add in the dozen existing blogs and you're starting to get up there (there are several more in surry county but they're a little harder to find - not that I've gone digging too much.)

Speaking of the News and Blogging: A rip from the epaper since it will disappear in a couple days (due to technical ineptitude) Note that it isn't entirely correct (some dates are off), but its close enough for all intended purposes

"Future Tense: Public diaries

††††Rick Korthals was one of my best friends in grade school.
††††Rich had a sister. Iíve forgotten her name and what she looked like, but all the boys in the neighborhood thought she was a glamorous older woman.
††††We were 10 or 11. She was in high school ó probably 16.
††††Richís sister kept a diary. It had a pink plastic or leather cover and a strap with a lock to keep out her snoopy brother and his friends. In the diary she wrote bits of poetry, dished up gossip about her friends and boys and school, mused about her place in the world and chatted about going to games, movies, dances and dates.
††††How do I know what she wrote?
††††I had a lock pick.
††††Rich would sneak the diary out of his sisterís bedroom, Iíd unlock it and weíd laugh ourselves silly over what she wrote. If we understood it, that is.
††††One night at supper, Rich innocently asked, "Whatís a ëFrench kiss?í"
††††His parents quickly learned that (a) t Rich read the phrase in his sisterís diary and (b) his pal, Steve, had opened it.
††††I donít know what happened to the sister. I do know that Mrs. Korthals called my mom and I was banned from ever going back to the Korthalsí house.
††††That lesson gave me a healthy respect for peopleís privacy, especially in their personal papers. However, itís breaking down under the temptation to read blogs.
††††Blogs are the diaries of the 21 st century, often intensely personal, sometimes wonderfully insightful and other times thoroughly dull. They may be, by turns, silly and smart, sad and happy, inspiring and dreary, a great comfort and truly worrisome. Iíve seen a published estimate that there are 4 million blogs on the Internet. I doubt it; I believe the number of active blogs is closer to 1 million. Maybe 150,000 are worth reading. However, like the World Wide Web a few years ago, the blogosphere (the self-declared universe of blogs) is growing at an exponential rate.
††††High school students fuel the phenomenon, writing diaries much like Richís sisterís.
††††The difference is, you donít have to pick a lock to read their blogs. Unless theyíre closed to outsiders, these diaries are open to anyone with browser software and a computer connection to the Internet.
††††The earliest Mount Airy studentís blog Iíve found is Sarah Gittís. Now a student at UNCChapel Hill, Sarah put up her blog in February 2002 when she was a junior at Mount Airy High School. My oldest son started a blog a year after Sarah when he, too, was a junior.
††††Since then, eight to 10 others have appeared (and at least one has disappeared; more about that in a moment). Iím not going to publish their addresses ó we all get too much spam already ó but theyíre not secret and if you send me an e-mail explaining why you want to know, Iíll share the information. Actually, trading links within a group is a blog tradition.
††††The blog that disappeared belonged to one of the Mount Airy High School students arrested for under-age drinking at a party Sept. 10. She wrote in detail about the party, one or two of her encounters with boys at that party and the arrest. And also about her motherís reaction and her fatherís. It was the last entry on her blog. The site came down a few days after we referred to it in an editorial. (By the way, nothing ever dies on the Web. Parts of her blog remain accessible on the Internet.)
††††I donít know, but I can guess, that her parents did not know she had an on-line diary. Some other Mount Airy parents may not be aware of their own kidsí blogs. I will repeat the same caution I give every parent: be involved with your children and pay attention to what theyíre doing on the Internet.
††††That said, I donít apologize for reading the studentsí blogs. They are, after all, open to the whole world. Also, I enjoy the opportunity to learn a little more about what todayís teens think. My son knows I read his blog and has never objected; sometimes he uses it to share his interests with me and to point to links weíll both appreciate.
††††However, I really donít spend much time reading kidsí blogs. Weíll talk about the others ... in the future.
††††óóóóSteve Welker"

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Wow, a monkey can do it

22.47.50 - Mark

Monkey bypasses security on windows PC

I'm not really surprised by that fact, but I'm fearful because the PC security the monkey (Baxter) bypassed is the same security that is used by diebold systems. For the uninformed Diebold is the wonderful company making electronic voting systems that will be used in 30 states this november. Anyone else see shades of Florida 2k?

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14.34.12 - Mark

My network is acting up so I hope I can publish this. Anyways the Andy thing was chaotic. You'd think Andy Griffith Fans are friendly but some of them are full blow bitches. I was taking some photos for the paper (outside the press area) and one lady snapped at me because I was trying to get past her. On the flip side there were a lot of people who were very kind about the whole thing (thankfully this was the majority of the 2000-8000 people there) The special "flash edition" of the news should be out now, but I don't know if any of my photos are in it, don't really care either. New different experiences and stuff. The statue looks really good at its now permanent location.

Now off to find large quantities of stuff that is cold wet and of a very low viscosity.

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I love bad ideas

23.40.43 - Mark

Congress is trying to destroy checks and balances Specifically those of the judicial branch. Apparently Democrats rallied against it, but republicans succeeded. As long as it dies in the senate we're fine but this has serious social implications. For one it would remove judicial review, and will basically merge them into the executive branch (bad idea, the judicial branch was created with few restrictions so it could adapt to the power of the other two branches). Secondly it would help Congress in avoiding new issues rather than tackling them. The article quotes a Missourian representative as saying "The simple question is whether school kids are going to be able to say the pledge the way we have done it for the past 50 years."

Excuse me? Times change, the government is supposed to change as well. 50 years ago religions were growing faster than they had been in centuries. Now religious participation is dropping faster than ever. So why should we keep holding onto a dead dog? If they can explain why we shouldn't change the pledge to represent new trends, that I won't have a problem with keeping it as is, but removing a branch of the government to fix a specific problem is like using a pound of thermite to kill an ant.

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The Stage is set

22.45.29 - Mark

I don't know why I let myself get drafted into stuff, nor why I tend to enjoy it. Anyways today's experience was helping set up the stage for Andy's visit tomorrow. I've got to admit event organizers have an knack for creating something amazing with little to nothing. The stage is based on a cement platform poured last week, from there its a giant tent (14' up before the fabric even begins). A thick wire is strung over it and held in place by nylon straps. A crap load of lumber (2x4s and 1x2s) are supporting all three of the giant 12' tall vinyl banners. Connecting everything are staples, duct tape, a few feet of rope and zip ties give or take a dozen cinder blocks. Then there's the green astroturf stuff...

Sure it sounds ghetto, but this stuff is done well. There's a yellow stripe running over all three banners and there's a fraction of an inch difference between the height of each banner. Anyways it looks great, especially with the podium that was stolen borrowed from city hall

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Trust, US

19.28.07 - Mark

As someone has pointed out Republicans and Democrats both send the same message. "You can trust us to Run your life"

This exemplifies that point.

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Rollercoaster Weekend

23.52.00 - Mark

I just finished repairing the assorted code at mtairynews.com Thanks to style sheets I was able to fix the mistakes I had made fairly easily. That's not saying anything about the errors the papers official tech monkey added in. The dope added in all sorts of extra tags and broke the class separations in the style sheets (non-techies are free to bug me for a translation, but don't expect it anytime soon). Then he had the nerve to take away my stats meter and my byline (encoded in the source code) Last time I'm making that mistake! This go round I make it nice and clear on the bottom of every page and won't be giving the corrected code until I get access to some form of server logs. I want to be able to see how many people are accessing pages and what systems they're using (since it helps me become a better webmaster) If they don't like it, well they aren't getting the code.

That's just the beginning of what is sure to be a long weekend. Tomorrow I''ve got one class then will be helping the arts council for the rest of the afternoon. Friday I'm not going to my class in favor of helping cover the hordes of people coming to see Andy Griffith and his statue. Then I'll be helping the newspaper with the special flash edition they're doing for Andy, helping the arts council, or both, with the added possibility of doing something for the relay for life fundraiser (and least my mom's bank pulled their booth out of the event and I won't have to help them set up all afternoon).

Saturday my uncle is coming (assuming the hurricanes don't scare him off...) so my family will have that so we may end up doing the tourist thing will all the other lunatics. And since I've been withdrawing from my sleep bank I'll probably crash hard sometime saturday or sunday.

At least I don't need to worry about my DOS test on Monday - I know most of that stuff.

And if you've got a morbid interest in this impending fiasco, I'll likely be posting some images and sound bytes over the course of things. We shall see...

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09.09.16 - Mark

Are Slide Rules Back? Probably not but its a neat article. Furthermore I know I've got one (or two) floating around in my lab, likely in close proximity to my old abacus. I wonder if I get retro geek points for that.

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Life is Good

20.24.00 - Mark

I've got hot Pizza, cold Bawls, a classic movie on the TV and I'm hashing away at some code. Life is good

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Circus Fun

16.35.40 - Mark

Damn america is a great nation, We've got two "different" presidential candidates who couldn't be closer to the other if they were born as conjoined twins. Thanks to our 2 party circus, we do a wonderful job of removing nearly all hope for 3rd party and independent candidates to the point where 5% of the vote is a mind-blowing success We're lucky to get a 1 in 3 eligible citizens to vote, AND now we're discouraging more and more people from voting Like I said isn't our government wonderful?

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Which OS?

16.12.07 - Mark

Apparently I'm a like linux. I'm OK with that, except I'm not in the habit of opening up my skull and recompiling my neural networks or tampering with my source code. Those homebrew DNA splicing kits still cost a little too much.

src="http://www.bbspot.com/Images/News_Features/2003/01/os_quiz/debian.jpg" width="300" height="90"
border="0" alt="You are Debian Linux. People have difficulty getting to know you. Once you finally open your shell they're apt to love you.">
Which OS are You?

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13.32.57 - Mark

Now listing to the new HHGttG series, a few seconds in and they already covered themselves for some of the changes - mainly the new voice of the guide, and have been splicing in old pieces of the series. My only grief is that I'm listing on the single, stock speaker, and HHGttG is supposed to be listened to in stereo. Oh well

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Welcome, maybe

12.21.39 - Mark

Since it's now running on the presses, and I'm sure that there are a few people that will take up the offer printed in the Mount Airy News today - welcome. This is my blog, one of the older ones in Mt. Airy to the best of my knowledge, I use it as an extension of my website, I post links to groups like the EFF which try to protect civil rights in the 21st century, post about books, various technical stories, the occasional comic, generally whatever.

If you like it, let me know, comments are open to everyone and my email address is out there. If you think I'm a stupid, naive, left wing, hippy, punk this is the web, you came here of your own free will, no one is forcing you to read this, so if you want to vandalize my site remember I have control over it, and I have no problems with removing other people's junk from my pages.

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Badnarik Answers

23.07.32 - Mark

Last week /. interviews did their spiel with questions for Michael Badnarik and the answers were posted earlier today Some interesting stuff, especially about voting reform and "wasted votes" I'll admit I'm a bit skeptical about some of his proposed policies, but hey, if he gets enough votes it will send a (well deserved) bitch slap across both the democratic and republican parties. If nothing else I can probably fall back on the singularity and social cycles in the next few years (me hopes)

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Hurray for thermonuclear war!

09.12.07 - Mark

I find scary that more people are worried about hidden (read: nonexistent) WMDs and supporting research centers in the middle east when we've got enough FUBARed and SNAFUed programs in the wonderful US of A. Aside from the medical waste sources of dirty bomb material, and the often lax security around chemical stores, Las Alamos is a lax, insecure, delusional, condescending, unwatched, and hopefully a no nuke zone.

And this isn't anything new, I was reading an excerpt from Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman about him picking locks and cracking safes at Las Alamos. Geeze who needs a research facility when we've got a perfectly open one out in Nevada. ::) Of course the even cheaper method is to find one of the 50 missing nukes out there and keep messing with them until they blow up.

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Soon, very soon...

18.07.25 - Mark

The Third Phase of the HHGttG radio series begins tomorrow, mere hours away. At 1:30 PM EST (assuming my math is good) I'll be happily listing to the new series. I can't wait :)

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Oooh, Thinking Required

16.40.25 - Mark

Just stumbled over a philosophy site with some interesting blends of quiz, game, and analysis. Not only is this a good waste of a hour it could open up your eyes. And some philosophy not in the games section:

Does darkness exist?
Does cold exist?
Do good and bad exist?

How do you know?

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Gotta Smile

01.10.10 - Mark

From the Rockwood Comic files, this:

Personally I think it describes my brother Matt perfectly, of course I could be wrong, since [sarcasim]he's always right[/sarcasim] :)

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Let's make SPAM legal! ::)

07.47.08 - Mark

Thanks again to the government for *&^%ing around with the internet. In the latest round of competitive bull excretions throwing the FTC is suggesting that in addition to CANSPAM (one of those lovely laws where more time was spent on a clever acronym that the text of the law) we're going to start forking over 6-digit rewards for tips leading to the arrest of spammers. What is this REALLY going to do? Likely international spammers will keep doing their thing, and American spammers are going to get rich. They're complying with the CANSPAM loopholes (which conveniently bypass most spam filters) AND they're going to ratting out on their non-complying friends taking those 6 digit rewards away from the government. So now they're taking money from me and they're flodding my inbox with crap.

Excuse me but WTF?! Government, stop messing around with private businesses, 'cuz you're missing them and messing with my inbox!

Link to news story

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Belkin Nostromo n50

01.47.43 - Mark

I finally have my Nostromo n50 hooked up to my primary system (got tired of it sitting there and took the USB card out of the family system) Its real nice but the problem is configuring it, lots of possibilities and its a little hard to set it so its intuitive. And it is possible to use it as a chording device, tho' I don't know that I want to use it for that purpose. We'll see, but not tonight, I've got an early call in the morning (sneaking in on a group of business leaders before I got to class, assuming classes aren't canceled)

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Almost forgot

01.11.00 - Mark

I now have proof that there are some truely stupid people living in or around Mount Airy, NC. Julia, a local girl who used to have a blog with blogger, was arrested recently for underaged drinking, that was about a week ago today. Saturday another blog made a reference to a big party, and inside twenty four hours, Julia posted her own interpretations of the events, including a lot about her own arrest. That was posted Sunday Sunday. When was the police report filed? Try Tuesday or Wednesday. Slow cops, slower students. Wonder what she had to say?

You can try the google cache here
Google's text only cache of it here
Or my copies of it Here and Here (Graphical and Text only respectfully - both are rips of google's cache incase it disappears as well)

What's especially satisfying about this is that her blog (rationalfunctions.blogspot.com which is ironic in its own right) was taken down in hopes that no one would see it, and therefore never know about her comments. I love how internet pages never really disappear - they just slip into obscurity :)

Link | 3 Comments |



17.22.47 - Mark

Latest National Hurricane Center Map for Ivan tracks it as coming within miles (30?) of my town. Wouldn't supprise me if I loose power this weekend (IE saturday). The top soil isn't that thick around here and heavy rains would take loosen it up enough to let tree tippings begin. What's worse is that Jeanne it tracking towards Scouth carolina, when it has the potential of finding Ivan (Can you say Perfect Storm 2?)

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P2P Web surfing

10.41.24 - Mark

Wish more people would use Coral. For those unfamiliar with /., Coral is a Peer to Peer web application, unlike more popular p2p applications (Napster, Limewire, Bearshare, Kazaa, etc) Coral provides pages to other users, essentially mirrors of different pages. No copyright violation, no permenent storage of files. It takes sites that would be off line and keeps them up, helpful when you want to view a page that's getting DOS attacked or simple slashdotted (thousands of visitors a second for periods up to and exceeding 48 hours) Google provides some caching, and Archive.org provide similar services, but often loose images and other multimedia content. Why do I bring this up? I saw a link to a bog that sounds interesting, but can't access it because the source (who has enough traffic to make Coral work effectively) didn't use a caching or p2p link. The site:librarian.net, librarians against some of the BS, no rights permitted, laws the wonderful US government has passed in the last 3 years

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09.52.35 - Mark

Google is great, but there's always competition, and A9 looks good. Now out of beta the design is much cleaner, plus it pulls in more sources including IMDB.com and Amazon (who happens to be the parent company) I was messing around with it a little in intro to internet while regurgitating some facts about email (nice and drain bead) and throwing out some stuff the instructor didn't know, like threading. I think it looks like it could take some traffic from google, but we'll see. Amazon has a history for some shitty search engines (Alexa)

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Beware the updates of 2004-09-07

17.54.43 - Mark

Apple releases secutiry update, I use it, I restart, I lose my system for 24 hours. I upgrade to 10.3 and avoid the patch like the plague, until version 1.1 on the 13th. I download I install I restart - no problem - I restart again and its the same problem, even the directroy map looks FUBARed in the same manner, so I'm doing the same thing I did last time, and I'm at two hours into the solution (last week it took 3 hours to fix the drive) Conclusion, avoid Apple's latest secutiry update, that or I've got another Western Digital drive on the verge of failure. Hope thats not the case.

Anyways an update on librarian.net, its online again, pretty good stuff. Be cool if I could put this up at the local public library (picture clickable)

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How North Carolina Education is Failing

23.04.46 - Mark

I won't hit them too hard for the over-centralized educational system where every school in North Carolina, then a few more, are controlled by the state government (since I've ranted on that several times) No this post is a little more general and is based on my experiences in schools in two different states that rate at two different ends of the spectrum in terms of competence (Iowa - one of the best, NC, one of the worst)

IMO schools are failing because they don't teach the skills required to succeed anymore. Schools, like they have for millennia stress memorization and regurgitation of facts. Generically and undiscriminatingly force feed these facts into millions of students daily. To force feed a fact to anyone reading this THIS NO LONGER WORKS My generation, the same generation that will be fixing the screw ups of the last three generations (not counting Xers) have managed to produce. My generation needs to be taught how to learn, how to think on their own, how to tear something apart, analyze it, reassemble it, and some where in there make it better. Do I know how to do this? No, but there are people who do. Look at Montessori education, it lights the fire that needs to be lit in this generation. Home Schooling can yield similar results, assuming the parents aren't whacked out religious nut-cases. Teach basics, math, language, science, civics, and then delve into the good stuff. Throw in some psych, ethics, maybe classes on teaching and communications. Teach the basics, and get kids to figure out what works for them at an early age, then help guide them. Once they have their feet, let them explore

Simplified, give kids the basics, Read, Write, combine. Then give them a tool box, teaching them to take those basics and explore: this will be analyzing, improvising, create. Then help them in their pursuit of knowledge. Set up schools that know alot about tele comm and robotics, or another dealing with medicine, in the end you get well trained, well motivated individuals who can quickly excel in whatever they want to. The additional plus is that schools are no longer these advanced day care centers, since smart students take off (as opposed to being idle sacks of mostly water)

I'm sure someone is asking why free thinking isn't taught already, and to be honest it is, but not until college or elite schools (private or otherwise). However thats way too late, by waiting until college (even community college) you're potentially missing everything from High School Graduates, down. For everyone else it doesn't have time to be hard wired into the mind. You start hitting kids with this in grade school and it sets in. Any constructive criticism of this idea welcome

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11.05.22 - Mark

I feel like I'm half asleep in this uncomfortable office chair. I finshed the assigned tutorials in almost no time flat (certainly no thought required) - and why not I do this stuff all the time. 'couse the class is stuck on the projects and I'm left here reading /. and Wired. Only an hour left in here, then 3 more hours of class until I'm home. Definatly going to get a lot of sleep tonight, cause I know I need it...

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Sweet JOT

01.54.32 - Mark

I love this Joy of Tech comic

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Fahrenheit 9/11

23.42.16 - Mark

The cinema run by the local arts council is showing Fahrenheit 9/11 this week, and I went to see one of the showings tonight, appropriate for 9/11. While Moore made some decent points , and all of them established facts, he did dramatize some. I knew I didn't wan to vote for bush, but Kerry isn't much of an option either (Happy Mike?) Kerry Acts too much like bush, with double speak, questionable military history, no workable plan for the country, pale face that looks like his campaign managers have been botox-ing him at every stop....

If this nation fails to elect Bush, thats a half step in the right direction, if we fail to elect Bush AND Kerry we've progressed a whole lot in the last 4 years. Anymore I think I'm waiting for two things, the Singularity, and reform of this nation and its government (which may or may not include election of a 3rd party/female/minority candidate)

BTW, what did you think of it Ivan?

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17.11.10 - Mark

Take a few pages of these and don't bother calling me in the morning.

gaspumpclassics.com - Humorous photos of car, trucks, planes and other vehicle related stuff, and this text is a blatant attempt at fooling google into driving some more traffic this way, kinda like my fictional 'bout of tourettes syndrome. So sue me if you have a problem with it I could care less. Now I wish I could force myself to make some updates to the rest of my site.

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14.02.06 - Mark

Ivan is set to hit the last bit of Florida Monday then spend some time in Georgia and South Carolina. After that NHC sats its on track to tear though Western NC, or IOW, a few miles west of myself, Tuesday Morning. Finally I'll get to see what the big deal is about this Hurricane stuff...

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Sweet Site (possible pun not intended)

01.37.38 - Mark


Don't know about the taste but there's a lot to be said for the way he hands out the recipes. Cooking is a science, not an exact one but science none the less. Its time someone ditched the english department approach to recipes and picked up the flow charts

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18.50.37 - Mark

Goddamn it. They took the stereo from me. Family property, sure but I'm the only person who has ever, repeat EVER used it for anything other than listing for school cancellations once or twice a *&^%ing year for the last TEN years. My MP3s played on my computer, pumped into the Stereo, and though its much better speaker system. And damn it they didn't even bother to 1) tell me or 2) ask me unhook it from MY computer, let alone 3) argue my side of the case, which is undisputed. Did they still do it, duh, and I rightfully pissed about it, hell yeah!

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Last Nail?

13.27.53 - Mark

Last nail in TechTV's death, methinks. I'm watching a encore of The Screen Savers, and it sucks. When I started watching the show there was tons of energy and excitement, I mean one episode was dedicated to how high they could OC a 3GHz P4 chip using Liquid Nitrogen Cooling. Geek stuff strewn all over, the wall dedicated to their LAN party stuff, an alcove with tons of gear, and case mods dripped all over. That was then. Now G4 has taken over and its gone to pot.

The new stage looks like a retro newsroom minus the shades of shit brown and piss yellow, the stage is segmented with some really ugly LAN party boxes. No class, they try way too hard to pump the audience and the new guy acts like one of these l337 $kr1p7 k1dd13$ to whom you wouldn't trust a burned up 286.

Tech TV used to be good because it was fun and informative. Not its a shit network pushing video games and pop/boy band music videos. Thank you comcast, for truly $#@*ing up a really good thing

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22.46.51 - Mark

I love how disaster can yield rewards. Two days ago I was trying to install the latest Apple Security update, first two times resulted in failures to install, last time resulted in a pretty nasty crash. So it was out of commission Tuesday, Wednesday I spent recovering a backup (~2 hours) and trying to rescue the disc (~6 hours - some serious damage) I succeeded, but rather than trying to go back into my old 10.2.8 install I downloaded XPostFacto and installed 10.3.5. Doesn't mean too much but at east its relatively current. Not to bad coming out of a total disaster.

Of 'course, no one here really cares. Maybe I should go back to pissing people off with polisci posts...

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15.02.30 - Mark

Damn it! The serial board for my Newton still isn't here and I'm running out of eBooks to read - and I really don't want to transfer another 2MB of data over a null modem AND IR if it doesn't show up in a UPS truck in the next few hours...

At least I don't have to deal with intro to computers anymore. Took three weeks to get it set up but I finally tested out of it this morning. It was almost as bad as confruiter apps (see also: this blog 6-8 months back)

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17.18.19 - Mark

Latest project is done. Took longer than expected but I like it. I need a fun little project this weekend. Writeup will come later but for now, a picture (sorry the quality sucks, I was using my brother's digi-cam and it isn't exactly high end stuff)

If you're wondering what it is, it's an old modem gutted for a few parts, the case drilled with 4 holes, a dozen LEDs w/ resistors wired in parallel. LEDs dropped into Bawls bottles that were then attached to the modem case. Press the switch and the LEDs light up.

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Damn it!

01.31.01 - Mark

I can't find my bastard file.

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New project.

02.05.48 - Mark

Started a new project a few hours ago. I'm only using stuff I've had laying around and I'm snapping away photos while I'm scavenging the parts. Not something an average joe can do but nothing really advanced. Kinda plays off concepts of circuit bending mixed with William Gibson's sandbending concept (Idoru) I may have to wait for morning (read: early afternoon) to finish the physical aspects. As of right now all my electronics scavenger hunt is done, a few parts are soldered together, basic math calculated and I'm left at amazed by the fact I had enough electronics floating around to complete this project. (No I'm not saying what it is, I need to upload something to my main pages...) I guess the only downside is that my eyes are dry and blurry (due to soldering) and my right index finger is in mild pain due to a cut caused by a sharp edge on the to-be project case. Hopefully I'll have a finished project and a write up online by the end of the weekend.

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Why am I not supprised?

22.41.23 - Mark

From Dubbya's website:

Service Unavailable

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22.15.57 - Mark

Is our president really this dumb? I've been watching bits and pieces of the NRC this week, and right now Dubbya is on - dishing out the brown stuff. Before he started offing proof that he is as dumb as he looks, NBC offered a brief glimpse of the now infamous "Free Speech Zone" that Bush requires to make an appearance, so I looked it up, not that I really needed to. So I'm asking myself a question.

Where the hell did this nation go awry?

Last I knew the government existed to protect our rights, not disperse them. Its all covered in a little document I like to call The Constitution. Specifically that top ten list known as the Bill of Rights. Of course this is where it's hard to continue, sure there's precedence for reclaiming personal rights, aka our Declaration of Independence but that can get messy, that document sparked a war. I doubt it would escalate to that level today, but chances are the instigators would be shot, beaten, tied up, or locked into a padded rubber room in a strait jacket (or any combination)

All I can really do is hope Dubbya is sent back to Texas. I'm sure there's a village that's been missing their idiot over the last 4 years.

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+1 Insightful

21.21.34 - Mark

Now this is what I call required reading. Especially for you Jake, it makes a good compliment to some of your favorite books

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13.27.02 - Mark

This is not good. On the other hand it's old and needs to be retired (and its been that while for a decade or two). If the complex is damaged beyond repair, and the various vehicles are put out of commission, we will almost certainly look at new alternatives.

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16.33.51 - Mark

As I've blogged before the BBC is making two more series to the HHGttG radio series, with a good number of the original cast (and I think they're excellent in the first two series) Of corse the question at the time was wether or not they would be broadcasting in the USA. Well I took a look today and they support streaming broadcasts, so BBC4 will be broadcasting the third phase of the HHGttG radio series. Even better the dates and time of the first airings match up with my class schedule perfectly (the episodes will air at 1:30 PM EST on Tuesdays, and repeat 6 PM on Thursdays, then online for 7 days after Thursday's broadcast) They've also started adding some neat content for the radio series at BBC Radio 4's website including video and audio previews of the upcoming series.

Now the only hard part is waiting the 3 weeks between now and the first episode. Guess I could listen to the first two series again...

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