What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here.
Boom. Sooner or later... Boom!
Wednesday, April 30
James Lileks wants a new iPod too.
Great minds, and so on.
What he actually got was a swing.
I gotta get me one of them iPods.
The new models are cooler than ever, even if the "dock" looks worse than useless. 30GB of storage, 6 ounces, 8 hours playing time. Connects via FireWire or USB; doubles as an external hard disk for my perennially full Sony Picturebook.
You can even play Solitaire!
Clearly, what Apple and/or Sony need to do is smoosh this thing together with the nifty Sony Clie NZ90, which wonderful as it is, is direly lacking in storage. Then add a multi-system cellphone and GPS and you'll have the ultimate geek gadget.
Except by that point it will weigh as much as my Picturebook, and still do less.
Never mind then. I'll just take the iPod.
Tuesday, April 29
Meanwhile, Google has picked up my blog! If you search on "Stupid Stupid Blogger" I'm right there. On page 2.
Funny how that works, considering that no-one links to me and it took months to pick up my other site.
I'm part of the Blogosphere Ecosystem!
'Course, I'm an Insignificant Microbe, coming in at number 1964 out of 1966, but you have to start somewhere, right?
The other problem with Whuffie, of course, (and Doctorow does touch on this in the book and in the interview) is that it is controlled by positive feedback.
And we all know how well that works.
For those who don't, consider your favourite economic boom-and-bust - from the tulip craze to the Great Depression to the dot.com bubble. Or lynx and hare populations in the Arctic. Or consider a nuclear explosion, which is a great example of positive feedback. If you're lucky, positive feedback will give rise to boom-and-bust cycles. If you're unlucky, you'll get a boom-and-splat.
Not a good way to run, well, anything, really. Unless you want to make a very large bang.
Monday, April 28
To be fair to Mr. Doctorow, he does point out in this interview that his society would not function as described; and that it would need:
some kind of antitrust law or garbage collector that periodically comes along and randomizes Whuffie
Whuffie is the measure of respect in the society of Down and Out; more than that, it's that society's equivalent of cash - as much as it has any equivalent.
Of course, unless you've brainwashed 100% of the population, the anti-trust laws or garbage collectors will need to be backed up by the men with the you-know-whats.
Episode 5 of Rizelmine went plooie too. Sigh.
As always, by the light of day it's neither as original nor as interesting as it was at 4 A.M. But here goes:
When you are designing your Utopia, remember this: People will be people, and to make things work, somewhere there will have to be men with guns. And it does not necessarily make things better for them to be hidden from view.
But the society described in the book simply wouldn't work - unless there are, somewhere behind the scenes, men with guns.
Read it anyway.
I had an interesting an original thought last night that I wanted to share with you.
Unfortunately, I've forgotten what it was.
It's raining. How... novel.
Sunday, April 27
The problem with downloading stuff from a filesharing network is that you don't know what you'll get. The episode of Buffy that I downloaded using BitTorrent proved to be a dud - after I'd dragged all 433MB back to my PC over my sorry excuse for broadband. One episode of Jungle Guu was plagued with video glitches. One episode of Azumanga Daioh dropped out with a minute or so to go.
In case anyone is listening: I'd pay to be able to download these files directly from the source. That's pay as in actual money.
You'd have to get the price right, though. A DVD box set of Buffy runs about $120, or around $5 per episode (Australian prices). A download would have to be cheaper than that, and if quality is significantly below DVD standard, it would have to be significantly cheaper.
Saturday, April 26
So, just how often does Easter coincide with Anzac Day to give a three-day working week?
I'd work it out, but I think I'd rather take a nap.
Friday, April 25
You know that headache you get just because you're tired? And all you need to do to make it go away is get some sleep? Only you can't sleep because you've got this headache?
I've got one of those.
Thursday, April 24
Hale's mother's name is Weda.
Just thought you'd want to know.
The Internet is a time machine.
I did 18 out of my 20 impossible things, and of the remaining two, one can't happen before the end of the month and no-one has actually decided what the other one is yet. So I can say that they're done and no-one can prove otherwise.
In other words, I'm blogging from work.
So why is the Internet a time machine, you ask? Well, you could (and indeed should) take a look at lileks.com and spend a happy - if somewhat dazed - afternoon lost in the 50's and 60's. It's well worth the effort, particularly if you missed them the first time 'round.
But what I was actually thinking of is this: Tonight, when I go home, I'm going to watch next week's episode of Buffy.
Which means I can spoil it for the guys at work. Hahaha! Not that I'd do that, of course.
The thing I have to remember is: Don't get greedy. No-one likes a greedy time traveller.
Wednesday, April 23
I have 20 impossible things to do before I go in to the office today, so I won't have time to blog.
Of course, now I have to download next week's episode and watch that too. No minutes! No waiting!
But this time I think I'll leave it to run overnight so that it doesn't chew up my precious peak-time badnwidth.
Meanwhile, kAzAa is chewing up all my upstream bandwidth, since I dropped Azumanga Daioh and Jungle Guu into my share folder. (And Rizelmine.) But I don't pay for uploads, so I don't care. Nyaa!
I'm working from home today. Yay me!
On a less cheerful note, I forgot to watch Buffy last night. Well, poot. And episode 10 is well and truly history as far as BitTorrent is concerned. Fortunately, Kazaa (well, Kazaa Lite) found it for me and is happily downloading now. Unfortunately, this is costing me, depending on how you want to look at it, $12, $60, or nothing at all.
I'm sticking with "nothing at all", thanks.
Monday, April 21
Don't get greedy.
(via Dave Barry)
Family dinner last night to celebrate my brother's 35th birthday. Since it was his birthday, he got to choose the restaurant, and as expected we went Thai.
I hate Thai food.
Probably because I'm a supertaster. Coffee tastes horrible to me (for all its wonderful aroma) as does pretty much anything alcoholic. I thought for years that wine was an acquired taste, until I learned that most people can't tell that it tastes nasty.
Anyway, everyone else in my family (with one exception) loves Thai Red Beef Curry. To me, it tastes like it's been boiled in dishwater. Some other dishes are even worse. We had a fish curry dish once - I'm not sure exactly what it was - that everyone loved so much that they ordered another serving. I had to restrain myself from spitting out the single fork-full I tried.
My nephew Lionel feels no such constraints. If he doesn't like something, it's gone. Of course, he's 18 months old and cute as a bug, so he can get away with it. Fortunately, he loves rice (though he wasn't too impressed with the saffron rice) and prawn crackers. When we'd finished our basket of prawn crackers and were waiting for our entrees, Lionel was eyeing the baskets of crackers being delivered to other tables. They're going the wrong way! Prawn crackers over here!
Oh well. The Massaman Lamb was actually pretty decent, as were the curry puffs. And rice is rice, so I didn't starve.
We had dessert at my brother's house - chocolate cake and coffee for everyone else; chocolate cake and hot chocolate for me. Mmm. Chocolate.
Oh, and remember my little internet rant, wherein I mentioned a company called Comindico? Turns out that my brother's company is a Comindico reseller, and he'll put me in touch with someone there. So I can hope to have real internet access soon! Fingers crossed, as I said.
Stupid Stupid Blogger™ ate my post. In fact, Stupid Stupid Blogger™ has been effectively down for hours, at least as far as updates go.
Fortunately, I'm smarter than Stupid Stupid Blogger™, and I copied my post when by Geeksense™ started tingling. Just as blind people tend to be more alert to sounds, working as a programmer for [mumble] years helps develop a sense of when an application is going to barf in your lap.
Anyway, the BloggerPeople™ have fixed whatever it was, so I'll post my post now.
Sunday, April 20
Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a0005'
Invalid procedure call or argument: 'mid'
//functions/doAutoLogin.inc, line 15
Ah, that explains it.
It's still raining. Knock it off already, will ya?
Has Blogger always been this buggy? My archives are broken. I can't regenerate them. I can't fix them. I can't even delete them. I've seen no shortage of other server-side errors either.
I'm new to this blogging thing, and thought that this was the easiest way to start. Now I'm thinking it might be less painful to write the whole thing in Python, if not 6809 assembler.
The phrase "stupid stupid Blogger" springs to mind for some reason.
Steven den Beste has an interesting analysis of just why the French are such weasels.
One thing that it fails to take into account is that the French have always been weasels - or at least for the past thousand years or so. Charlemagne doesn't seem to have been a weasel, but then again, he wasn't French.
Irregardless of which, you should read it, and this piece by Guy Milliere titled France is Almost Finished as well.
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