triadruid: Two stick figures from the webcomic XKCD, fighting with swords while they are supposed to be coding (compiling)
...which only exemplifies the problem.

To wit, I used to be one of those people whose First World Problems included "if I could just win the lottery, all of my financial woes would be solved and I could do whatever I wanted". Which, while true, isn't really the 'problem' anymore. Realistically if I could win/make/steal the same amount I take home NOW without having to go to work, I could do pretty much do what I want to do, I'd just have the time to actually do it! That, or somebody invents a 25 30 36-hour day... we'll see which happens first.

I have too many hobbies/tasks. I don't want to give up ANY of them. Hell, I've got ones I want to do I haven't even been able to properly begin (hello archery). I've been going to the gym down the street since cardiac rehab ended, which is AWESOME, but sucks up somewhere between 70 and 130 minutes of the days I manage to go. I've not done any real coding in months, and this week (hopefully) I'll reinstall All The Operating Systems and be ready to play Diablo III in my nonexistent free(r) time. And let's not even talk about costuming...

Anyway, lunchtime's a-wasting. Hope your life is as full and exciting as mine, but perhaps not moreso.
triadruid: Rat in a skinner box, pressing on the lever. Caption: Do Not Want! (do not want)
Originally posted by [ profile] solarbird at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [ profile] mdlbear at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [ profile] dejla at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [ profile] rodlox at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [ profile] sabaceanbabe at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [ profile] morgandawn at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups in getting the word out this week:

"Under CISPA, can a private company read my emails?

Yes.  Under CISPA, any company can “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property” of the company. This phrase is being interpreted to mean monitoring your communications—including the contents of email or private messages on Facebook.

Right now, well-established laws, like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, prevent companies from routinely monitoring your private communications.  Communications service providers may only engage in reasonable monitoring that balances the providers' needs to protect their rights and property with their subscribers' right to privacy in their communications.  And these laws expressly allow lawsuits against companies that go too far.  CISPA destroys these protections by declaring that any provision in CISPA is effective “notwithstanding any other law” and by creating a broad immunity for companies against both civil and criminal liability.  This means companies can bypass all existing laws, as long as they claim a vague “cybersecurity” purpose."

More details and what to do here.

[A Dreamwidth post with comment count unavailable comments | Post or read on Dreamwidth| How to use OpenID]
triadruid: Two stick figures from the webcomic XKCD, fighting with swords while they are supposed to be coding (compiling)
Anybody have (or had) one of these? Comments, good, bad or ugly?

We're thinking about upgrading next month...
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
"Living root" bridges being grown in one of the wettest places on Earth..

Courtesy of [ profile] bipolypagangeek.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Day Zero Flash/Adobe Reader exploit - note that it requires no direct action by the user, just visiting a malicious site (up to and including those ubiquitous Flash ads).

According to [ profile] solarbird, who I got this from, all O/S's are susceptible until this is fixed. What your computer will allow the vulnerability to execute will vary, of course, but this affects Macs and Linux as well as Windows.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
So my Grand Quest at work to repurpose some donated laptops into free Linux machines has run into a stumbling block. The first two laptops were easy-peasy, but the third (and apparently the fourth, which I haven't seen yet) lack optical drives (Dell 410s, if you're curious). I'd thought I could bootstrap it with a Linux-on-a-stick that [ profile] zylch already had and then download the full version of Ubuntu, but either the computer is lying about being able to boot from USB, or the DOD-level security on these is forbidding it at the BIOS level. I'm actually not sure which is more likely at this point, but nothing in the BIOS is set with a security password or other indicators, so I'm going for hardware incompatibility. I'm also unable to wipe the HD (which should have been done by the Army before they donated it), so it's kind of a moot question if it is a security problem. Still, I kinda doubt XP is affecting things at the BIOS level...

So my coworker inquired of the donating agency for the external optical drive they used with the laptop originally, and they sent us a bare drive. I am having a hard time imagining that this is the right drive for the laptop, but maybe it is. The bigger problem is that it came with no cords and I cannot find the right connector cord for love or money. It's not IDE, it's not SATA, PATA, or anything else I recognize.
Pictures of mystery connector behind cut )
Anybody recognize that sucker? It's almost, but not quite, the same style as a regular internal CD/DVD drive connection for a laptop, but twice as big in every dimension. Tom's Hardware, NewEgg, and Google Image Search have failed me (apparently it's illegal under the PATRIOT ACT COPPA Espionage Act of 1917 to post the backside of a CD-ROM drive), so I come with my hat in my hand to the Vast Unpaid Research Department. Help me, VURD, you're my only hope! Apparently solved.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
(actually that's not true, as I hope to make one more post with my book list, but I need to finish the Bataan Death Read first...)
Half-day at the office today and most people are out on vacation or at a going-away party, so I'm kind of wombling around getting things done.

First out of the gate, if you have the same sort of morbid fascination for the slow-motion demolition that our economy is undergoing that I do, I heartily recommend two things on LJ: [ profile] solarbird, who does an excellent job of translating econ-speak into things mere mortals can understand, and links like a mofo; and [ profile] reich_blog, the RSS feed for Robert Reich, former Clinton Secretary of Labor. He's got a pithy and admittedly liberal slant on things, but it's a lot more pragmatic than a lot of what I see out there.

Secondly, the Musical Death Star that is [ profile] featherynscale's iPod is now 50% more full awesome. I uploaded most of my collection onto it in preparation for our trip to Florida (yes, this'll be our third major road trip of the year), and while we didn't quite get to making the new playlists like No Crying in Baseball, it'll be even more train-wreck-happy on Shuffle All, I'm sure. Good thing we didn't get a Zune, by the way...

Finally, a to-do list of little relevance to anybody here but me:Read more... )


Oct. 14th, 2008 05:45 pm
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Barack Obama has bought virtual billboards. Again, this is a guy who gets the 21st Century. ::edit:: PDF link, if you're using a Mac or other instrument where that page won't load.

Courtesy of [ profile] matociquala, who is my favorite author today... although damnit, I just picked up (another) unfinished series. At least zie's young. :P
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
I would like to graph several pairs of RGB triplets (#FFBB99,#000020 for example), but cannot figure out how to do it properly without folding space and time in unfortunate ways.

Any ideas that don't involve six dimensions?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Spent some Quality Time this afternoon fighting with Microsoft Word, which apparently is structurally incapable of rotating a text box as of the 2003 edition. No word on whether they've solved that problem in Office 2007... ergh. I ended up finding a high-res image of the text I was after, but that was just duMb with a capital M (see?). I just checked, and not only can manage this marvelous feat, it can do free rotation around multiple points in the text box! Madness, I tell you.

Also, my dogs are INSANE. Bark, bark, bark... what's that? Nothing! I'll BARK at it! Neither of us surface dwellers got a whole lot of sleep last night, although I can't vouch for [ profile] zylch. The neighbor has a cat, but seriously... I don't want to use the bark collar on the Yellow Menace, because she's an outside-all-the-time dog now, but I had thought she was starting to get acclimated. Going out to poke her/distrupt her laser focus just seems to encourage her to make more noise so you'll come outside again. :/ At least our yard is big enough that the neighbors haven't complained.

On the other hand, it gave me a few hours of dark and relatively quiet (in the office anyway) night to catch up on a few things... more on that tomorrow. Now, dinner and a movie book about Nazis with mostly real hair, mostly winning World War II.

::edit:: Oh, right, the other Thing of the Absurd: We've finally gotten back onto the 'main thread' of the Amnesia Campaign that [ profile] featherynscale and I are running, which allowed us to look ahead more than a half-session. If they survive what's coming, they should... oh, double their XP before they're done. And if they don't, well... }:-)
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
To: Windows
Cc: PhoneTreePlus

Subject: Your security model still sucks.

That is all.

No Love,
The Penguinista
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)

Image courtesy of [ profile] theweaselking. I have no idea where that shot was taken...
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
We have a laptop again. I have called it George.

It's a low-end Dell, but it's totally sufficient to our purposes (GMing/Internet, and note-taking at some meetings), and only $300. It's already updated, networked with the Linux boxes (though that did give WinXP pause for a moment) and working on downloading some data for our trip. If you're local to KC and in the market for a computer, you could do worse than to call on the Laptop Squad in the West Bottoms (and if you're not local, they have an eBay presence). Bonus points because the tech/salesman was actually using a soldering iron when I walked in this afternoon.

Even still, access will be minimal, as we'll mostly be out and about and having fun. See many of you...soonish!
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Really, really, quietly loud.

That probably seems nonsensical. It's my work computer, so it has no speakers, right? So I brought in headphones... I can't tell if the headphones are just TOO good, or if something's bollixed up in this box, but it...hums. And clicks. And buzzes. All. The. TIME.

  • Scrolling a page? Buzzzzzz.
  • Animated GIF? Tick.tick.tick.tick.
  • Popup-text? Click.
  • Loading webpage? Whirrrrr.
  • Clock advancing by one second? Tick. (sometimes)
  • Maximizing/minimizing window? Whiiiine.
  • Been stationary too long? Roll 1d8, consult "annoying noises" chart.
Curiously, muting the computer's master volume control doesn't stop the noises. So today is a music-free day...
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Helzberg Diamonds officially gets the Bad Man Hat for their current "That Guy" ad campaign. If you haven't seen the billboards (I assume they're doing print and television as well, but we can avoid those), it's things like:
  • That Guy enjoys giving his significant other a pedicure. Since you're not that guy, there's Helzberg Diamonds.
  • That Guy makes a quiche for breakfast. Regular guys go to Helzberg Diamonds.
  • That Guy likes painting her toenails....
  • That Guy goes down on both knees...
The last one in particular is confusing, and we spent a good chunk of yesterday's evening commute trying to decipher it. That Guy gives oral sex, and therefore should be mocked? That Guy is a submissive? Eventually we decided it must have something to do with marriage proposals being done on one knee, with both knees indicating subservience to your Woman. Or pants.

I already think the entire diamond industry is a crock so I wasn't going to purchase from them anyway, but this sort of behavior from a local business calls for public mockery. So, mock I do. Mock mock mock.

In other news, my computer has developed revealed a few idiosyncrasies. First one came when [ profile] featherynscale could share network folders with me, but not vice versa. Turns out it was just being Really Slow in updating the network tables... but later, after a totally painless update to (K)Ubuntu 8.04, it refused to load PCGen when hers was working fine. After about an hour of cursing, the culprit turned out to be OpenJava, which was pre-existing from when I installed the first time. Her more-recent install had Sun's Java by default, which PCGen requires.

And the point of THAT story is that we're 99.7% ready to send out the character sheets for the Gygaxian Grinder on the 26th (we've scrapped the Friday start, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons and an all-day, single-day affair). As soon as my co-mod signs off on it, those players who will be starting us off should expect an email and another post in this vein.

Which brings me to the fact that Google Sites rocks my socks. That is all.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
When trying to mock-up website updates, Firebug is Your Friend. SRSLY; being able to update a website on-the-fly even when you can't login to it is nearly as good as a CMS.

Also, our Firewall/Proxy Server at work resembles Emmentaler much more than Sharp Cheddar. The latest 'hole' found is that it allows Google Docs and Google Calendar, but not Gmail or Google Talk. This is a good thing for networking/comparing calendars, of course, although it produces the option to have Yet Another Calendar to Update. It may actually work better than PBwiki in some ways... what do other people use their Google Calendars for, if you do at all?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Courtesy of the ever-weird [ profile] lady_kathana, an "Intervention with MySpace" video, from the folks who brought you the Internet Website Party,
cut for autoplay, language, girls kissing, boys kissing, and the general presence of 4chan )

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