I repeat, nothing happened in Sector 83 by 9 by 12.
Saturday, September 25
Instapundit suggests that Paypal are becoming the Web Morality Police:
Beginning Friday, PayPal will begin penalizing users who buy things it doesn't want them to: prescription drugs from unverified pharmacies, material with even a whiff of sex and gambling or lottery services. . . .I rather suspect that this has nothing at all to do with morality - and everything to do with customer complaints. Unverified pharmacies? Read "scam artists". (And spam artists, judging from the state of my inbox.) There are legitimate (if that's the word) adult services online - Playboy now has an online service - but the area is rife with scammers and spammers as well, because it has a solid track record of actually making money. I don't know whether online gambling is profitable, but it has attracted the spam-and-scam crowd too.
Its policy on adult materials is especially stringent, banning not only any material or services suggesting sexual activity but also "non-adult services whose Web site marketing can be reasonably misconstrued as allowing adult material or services to be purchased using PayPal."
I don't think Paypal give a damn about what you spend your money on; what they do care about is giving refunds. They hate giving refunds.
And note these paragraphs from the article at inernetnews.com:
A year ago, eBay paid $10 million to settle charges by the U.S. District Attorney that it violated the U.S. Patriot Act by transmitting funds earned through online gambling. When it announced the acquisition, eBay said it would stop PayPal's gambling payments.
Merchants using PayPal to sell pharmaceuticals online must be certified by the National Association Boards of Pharmacy's Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Site program.It's not about morals, it's about money.
Friday, September 24
After two injections of the vaccine, sheep burped 8 per cent less methane in a 13 hour test.(New Scientist, 25 September 2004)
See you in a week or so!
The drivers for my new RAID controller are on floppies.
My computer does not have a floppy drive.
(You're supposed to feed it the floppies when you're installing Windows, so just downloading the drivers doesn't actually help very much. How it can then find the drivers when it needs the drivers to access the hard disk which contains the drivers is one of those unanswered questions.)
So, I bought another gigabyte of memory for Kei, my Windows XP box, mainly so that I can play with virtual machines (which gobble memory like candy).
I thought I'd see if it made any difference to performance when I wasn't running any virtual machines.
Windows XP is quite noticeably faster with 2GB of memory than it is with 1GB of memory.
For what it's worth.
And no, I'm not going to go out and buy another 2GB of memory to see what that does. It won't fit, for one thing.
I have three disk drives playing up at the moment. None of them have actually failed, but they are all causing errors often enough to be annoying.
So I've bought four new disk drives.
And a RAID controller card.
Um, and a gig of memory, because Virtual PC goes through memory like a rabbit through a carrot patch.
And a gigabit switch, because Windows networking is utterly retarded.*
And a bunch of fans, because Summer is just around the corner, and I'd rather all those new disk drives didn't melt.
Alas, my copy of The Sims 2 hasn't arrived yet, so I'm stuck with my old Sims for now.
* It's a long story.
Thursday, September 23
So, as well as the huge party and all the money (thanks guys!), I also got several new computers, a house, a family, and a new job.
Curiously enough, all of them are virtual.
The party was on the MuNu forums (big thanks to Susie and Renata); the money was pengos, the Munuvian currency (slightly pointless since I own and operate the mint, but the thought is appreciated), the new computers come courtesy of Microsoft Virtual PC, the house and family come bundled with The Sims 2, and the new job is...
Well, the new job is interesting. I'm now working for an ISP again, after a break of several years. But I haven't left my old job, it's just that we now have an internet division. Except that we don't really have an internet division; it's all, well, virtual. All we do is run a web server and handle level one tech support* - and billing - and everything else just sort of happens.**
Strange place, this 21st century of ours.
* Is your computer turned on?
** Yeah, right.
Tuesday, September 21
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
All hard disk drives suck,
As does Windows XP!
The nicest present I got today was this:
20-year-old girl at office: (Sings) Happy birthday to you!
You're a hundred and two!
Girl: So how old are you?
Girl: No, how old are you really?
Sometimes you have to read between the lines:
After days of expressing unfounded confidence about the obviously bogus documents used in a deeply biased "60 Minutes'' report that might have raised new questions about President Bush's National Guard service were the evidence in question not transparently false, CBS News officials finally have admitted to grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night.(For the irony impaired, the words in italics are mine. The words not in italics are not mine.)
The officials, who asked not to be identified because if this gets out they will lose their jobs, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins which was obvious to any reasonably bright nine-year-old. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from although here we are using the word intensive as the direct opposite of the term extensive, and people at the network said it was now finally possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report when anyone with the intelligence given to the average jellyfish would have canned it in the first five minutes. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air and that Dan Rather may not, in fact, have brought the commandments down from Mount Sinai as he previously claimed.
But they cautioned that CBS News could still pull back from an announcement and resume their absurd attempts at a bluff when they no longer hold any cards. Officials met last night with Dan Rather, the anchor who presented the report, to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before making a final decision and see if he was willing to go quietly. Mr. Rather was not available for comment late last night as he had to be restrained following the meeting.
Saturday, September 18
There must be roses. (What the hell is a brickbat, anyway?)
So, a big un-pox to the guys who wrote rsync, which un-sucks about as much as any piece of software could.
Oh, and likewise to the creators of Cygwin which lets me run rsync on Windows.
Hmm. "File has vanished". It's never said that to me before. Probably not a good sign.
Hmm hmm. Maybe I could delete some files? Half a million on this disk alone and still scanning like mad. No! Ack! Urk! What am I saying?! I haven't deleted anything since 1996 and I'm not about to start now!
Hmm once more: 741,241 files. On one disk. One out of... Uh, several. Rsync is now considering these 741,241 files, or so it tells me.
Hmm for the last time. I forgot how pathetically slow rsync is on Windows. Argh. Yuck. Bleah. Foo. This is going to take forever.
A pox on all makers of disk drives and designers of file systems!
Yes, while I was backing up everything on my Windows box so that I could attempt to convince it that the boot disk was not the G drive and that the system disk was not that spare disk I installed one day with a certain amount of comfort that I would not lose every last one of my files, my trusty* external disk decided that it didn't want to play any more. Well, it decided it was going to make some unhappy noises and refuse to write anything more and Windows decided that that was a good enough excuse to lock up completely.
So I've now pressed my emergency back-up Linux box into play. It's built up out of all the spare parts I have lying around from previous systems, and it has so far stubbornly refused to die. Of course, it's old and clunky and slow, but it actually works.
So now I can copy all my files onto that, reformat everything attached to my Windows box, reinstall Windows for the third time in a week, and then copy everything back again. Joy.
Then I'm going to buy me a UPS.
* It hasn't suffered massive file corruption for, like, months.
Friday, September 17
Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (news - web sites) made a brief stop at the airport as he concluded his two-day bus tour to locations in West Virginia and Ohio. (AP Photo/Randy Snyder)(Yahoo! News via comment at Ace of Spades)
Update: LGF has more. Sharp-eyed lizards noted that the guy at the left is holding part of the girl's sign.
Update: Okay, everybody in the world had this story before me. So here's a picture of a kitty.
Andrew Sullivan may be a little slow, but he's not completely insane:
When I first read the CBS story, I thought the docs were "devastating." I'm not backing this president for re-election. But all that is completely beside the frigging point. Journalists are supposed to provide accurate evidence for their claims. CBS didn't. And its response to the critics is to stonewall and try and change the subject. The correct response - the one they'd teach you in kindergarten journalism class - is immediately to check the authenticity of the documents as best you can, and if the doubts persist, to apologize immediately and yank the story.(His italics.)
Compare and contrast with this roundup of your favourite bottom-feeders courtesy of Dr. Rusty.
Thursday, September 16
From: Reverend Pixy Misa
To: Dan Rather
You're dead. Fall down.
Harvey's not the only one celebrating a birthday.
A Lady Who Thinks She Is ThirtyHappy birthday Jennifer!
Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.
Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.
Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.
Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.
Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?
Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
How old is Spring, Miranda?
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