28 April 2008

keep your grubby hands out my pocket

not only is the city gubmint forcing the installation of polluting street lights, my neighbors are now trying to raise my already high monthly homeowners' dues to pay for 'prettier' lights. the same folks who didn't want them are now asking me to pony up for these polished turds.

the idea that these lights are going to make us safe is preposterous. the back of every house, complete with all-glass door, is bathed in darkness, providing ample opportunity for crime. these lights are just a feel-good non-answer. get a dog or get a gun. or better yet, a gun dog.

I don't like yardwork

Anyone who has been to my compound in the woods knows this immediately.

Chris Harding has a great webcomic that sums it up:

27 April 2008

flash is working!

i can't believe i have to put an exclamation mark in there! reminds me of seinfeld! i re-installed ubuntu 7.10 amd64 and installed the flash plugin with nspluginwrapper with no hitches this time. all my firefox plugins were hosed for some reason. it is unfortunate that i could only figure out how to fix them by re-installing. i just don't know my unix that well.

i also ran into an issue while beating my head on the flash issue: a bash script i wrote insisted that it didn't recognize certain system commands (e.g. find and ls) unless i provided a full path to the file. anyone got a hint for a noob?

26 April 2008

a firm grip on spending

i always get a huge laugh when companies spend millions on logos that a child of eight could create. at least her majesty's office of government commerce only spent £14k on this one. i will reproduce the effect that truly caught my eye:
it is not inappropriate to an organisation that’s looking to have a firm grip on Government spend.

web 2.0: BS or useful BS?

an article at inside higher ed offers proof of the validity of student ratings at ratemyprofessor.com.
A new study is about to appear in the journal Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education and it will argue that there are similarities in the rankings in RateMyProfessors.com and IDEA, a student evaluation system used at about 275 colleges nationally and run by a nonprofit group affiliated with Kansas State University.
i preferred professors that could teach me, even though i was not the best student, failing to take full advantage of my professors' time and office hours (take note, young uns!).

my favorite professor doesn't even appear in the listing. maybe his rank was so high that they had to build him his own site. my least favorite (no link as he has since passed) would read the text book to us in class, providing a wonderful opportunity to catch up on crosswords and news.

Li Wei

i was forwarded a link to some far-out photography. the claim is that
His work is a mixture of performance art and photography that creates illusions of a sometimes dangerous reality. Li Wei states that these images are not computer montages and works with the help of props such as mirror, metal wires, scaffolding and acrobatics.

23 April 2008

firefox running again

i'm back on the webs! once i turned off IPv6 in firefox, she ran fine.

20 April 2008


i've installed rockbox on my ipod, but it doesn't seem to be playing all that well with my 80G video model. while it's cool to be all open source (and be able to choose among themes and whatnot), i think i prefer working software. (hence my desire for a mac.)

the benefit is supposedly the ability to play ogg formats on the ipod, but i have no problem with mp3. i'll probably check back over time to see how the project is progressing.

17 April 2008

tune in, turn on, back up

i found a nifty little backup utility for xp: SyncBack (scroll down to find the free version). it actually has a slew of options such that i can be quite specific about how to perform my backup. since my goal is to move away from windows, however, i found a free utility for ubuntu: simple backups. i'll sure hate trying to repeat all the changes i've had to make to linux to make it work.

does adobe suck?

i'm guessing yes. i've been having difficulty with Flash, as it is apparently unsupported on amd64 builds. "but adobe is a member of the linux foundation," you say. hey, i didn't say they were members in good standing.

i sent a note to adobe support inquiring about the state of flash for my machine. i still haven't even heard back. even the ubuntu wiki suggests a simple one line command, which runs just fine, except that the desired result is not acheived.

now i'm donking with gnash, but without luck.

get your stopwatches ready...

Australian scienticians have determined that "men could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer through regular masturbation."

also of interest:
A similar connection has been found between breast cancer and breastfeeding, where lactating appeared to "flush out" carcinogens, reduce a woman's risk of the disease, New Scientist reports.
no mention of the health effects on the babies. draw your own conclusions.

14 April 2008

gdesklets has been pwned

i found some useful info on getting gdesklets to work in gutsy ubuntu (7.10). i'm finding that the forums have way more questions than answers on the whole.
replace the first line in these files:

that says "#! /usr/bin/env python" and just add "2.4" so it looks like "#! /usr/bin/env python2.4". Of course you would have to have python 2.4 installed to make this work.Good luck!

help a bruvva out

i have a friend in desperate need of a new job. if any of you are yourselves or know anyone who needs a lawyer or janitor, please give my bud a call.

12 April 2008

google app engine

google has released a beta of a free online application hosting environment/toolset, including BigTable support and automagic scaling benefits. they claim they want to support other languages in the future. maybe it's enough for me to get into python.

sorry if you can't get on the webs

11 April 2008

nvidia is my beyotch

i was having trouble with the nvidia driver on my ubuntu installation until i came across envy (download here). this app downloads, compiles, configures, and installs the latest nvidia (or ati) driver for one's system. sweet. now i have some fancy windows. is that hax0r or what?

i also managed to get wine installed finally (i think). took some command line foolery to make it happen. Boy's video game installed and even put a shortcut on the desktop. unfortunately, it refuses to run and i haven't found the cause just yet. maybe it has something to do with running a windows app in linux.

most importantly, i have located a solitaire replacement for Wife. that was her do-or-die demand.

06 April 2008

oh well

Wife decided that linux wasn't for us. seems the screen flicker bothered her. she was able to tell me once she recovered from the seizures. Boy needs to play his game, too, and since i couldn't get wine installed, i decided to put linux off for the short term at least.

the bad part is that, after re-installing XP, my network no worky. i can only use the linux boot disk to get on the webs. maybe linux ruined my machine! other odd bit: at no point during my windows install could i donk with my partitions. i had to use the linux boot disk. once it loaded, it took no more than a couple of minutes to find the appropriate tool and make it do its magic.

summary: if Wife could be more patient and Boy could forgo the game, i'da stuck with linux. the one sticking point for me was itunes and i discovered that it's no big deal to sync the ipod via rhythmbox or banshee.

05 April 2008

ubuntu 7.10 x64

as it is time to reformat and re-install my operating system on my home PC, i thought i would give ubuntu a try. i burned copies of the x64 and x86 desktop versions just in case.

i've already had some issues trying to get my monitor to get anything better than 800x600, and my mouse sprite disappears sometimes. i'm extremely rusty on my command line unix and i never knew how to go about installing stuff. am i too old to attempt this? or just too lazy?

next step is to see if i can replace itunes completely. once i convert all my protected AACs to MP3 i should be in the clear.

03 April 2008

more waste

before you start thinking that Ron Paul is above it, take a check on this site for some of his own pork. their engine isn't exactly accurate (since it doesn't account for people with first names of "Paul" as being materially different from a person with a last name of "Paul"), but you can sort by state and find TX.


i'm not sure how to take this, but Wife sent me an article from the often erudite, always gray lady, explaining that experts (perhaps true scienticians) have discovered that "the optimal amount of time for sexual intercourse [is] 3 to 13 minutes." obviously, the result included input from Homer. the piece goes on to discuss quality versus time, but i think i found the critical flaw that actually invalidates the metrics:
Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, cited a four-week study of 1,500 couples in 2005 that found the median time for sexual intercourse was 7.3 minutes. (Women were armed with stopwatches.) [emphasis added, or not]
somehow, the birds and the bees never mentioned timekeeping.

01 April 2008

firefox 3 it is

my aged twin sent me a couple of links that made me think twice about installing betas. or browsers for that matter. i am now installing a firefox 3 beta just so i can leave it running gmail and google reader on my PC without worrying if i'ma crash the machine.

thanks, yolanda. and a big FAB-U-LOUS to the firefox team.

O! that suburbia

my neighborhood association intends to have street lights installed on my street and every other that might have any stray darkness upon it. Wife and i do not want these things polluting the sky more than what we already have thrust upon us. i was tickled to see that at least one of my neighbors feels the same.
I agree with the negative sentiment on street lights. There is a yellow pipe outside my house right in front of both my master bedroom and second bedroom windows that was placed there without consideration to where houses would later be positioned.

Street lights cause serious light pollution (good bye starry sky). The problem is that they don't shut off at 10 or 11 when you want darkness for sleep, or even just to watch a move in a dark room. They shine into your house all night long.

I really don't understand people who would ask me to put a light shining in my bedroom windows all night long, every single night, so that the 3 minutes per week they spend near my house at night they feel more "safe". Perhaps they haven't considered the negative impact to others. The people impacted most are the ones with the duke wire pipes outside their houses, and they are the ones that should decide. Other folks don't have to live with the consequences of unwanted light or the expense and incovinience of having to cover all their windows with heavy drapes, and I think they should manage their own homes and mind their own business.

I know people who live both adjacent to and across the street from street lights, and they shine into their homes all night, even through the gaps around metal blinds. Don't be fooled by someone who tells you they only face "down". That is a just bunch of BS. One of those "face down" lights shines into my master bath all night from
chelsea meadows a couple of hundred feed away. The pipe in front of my house is only about 20 feet from my bedroom windows. I will not allow duke to put a street light there, nor directly across the street from me (and I would prefer not in front of my neighbors - but that is ultimately up to them).

Please do not ask duke to massively inconvience another homeowner by putting a steet light in front of their house, for your own benefit. That would be unbelievably cruel and selfish, and I'd like to think my fellow neighbors would never do such a thing.
consider my cockles warmed.