Saturday, July 30
|Your Hidden Talent|
Yup, and as soon as I finish barfing, I'm going to take over the world!
(via the Llamas)
Or in my case, the Chicken with Cashew Nuts.
Wednesday, July 27
WWII for n00bs.
(via Peeve Farm)
Tuesday, July 26
No, that's next door. This is getting shot in the head lessons:
Heavily armed police swarmed a double-decker bus packed with tourists in Times Square today and later shut down Penn railway station after an irate passenger said he had a bomb.Well, that one we can chalk up to nerves following the attacks in London, but the second case is something special:
In a dramatic sign of the city's edginess since the London bombings, police evacuated buildings, shut Midtown Manhattan streets and forced about 60 terrified tourists to march off the double-decker bus, with their hands up, in the heart of Broadway.
Officers in riot gear handcuffed a group of apparently harmless South Asian-looking men with British accents because a jittery tour bus worker thought they were suspicious.
A Gray Line dispatcher called police saying the men had backpacks and their pockets "stuffed" - a possible warning sign of suicide bombers, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Later Penn Station was paralysed when a disgruntled passenger walked up to a ticket counter, put his suitcase on the counter and declared he had a bomb, authorities said.Not too bright, as Best of the Web would say.
Meanwhile, what the hell is this?
By the time the bus neared Times Square, cops carrying heavy weapons decided to cordon off Broadway and stop the vehicle, a decision police officials defended as appropriate.I know that you try not to repeat particular words too frequently, but I don't think that "cops" has any place in a serious news article outside of a direct quote.
Sunday, July 24
Happy days are here again,
The sky is (checks outside) bright and clear again,
I've got ADSL again
Throw that modem in the bin!
P.S. Ten pengos to anyone who can place the reference in the title.
Friday, July 22
It seems that I have broadband again. In stereo. I decided to get two ADSL connections at Pixy Central Mk II (via two different ISPs), because what with MuNu and everything, I'm online about 28 hours a day and just can't have outages.
Problem: I only have one working ADSL modem right now. Darn. I guess I'll just have to make do.
Thursday, July 21
And just as there is a best size for every animal, so the same is true for every human institution. In the Greek type of demoÂcracy all the citizens could listen to a series of orators and vote directly on questions of legislation. Hence their philosophers held that a small city was the largest possible democratic state. The English invention of representative government made a democratic nation possible, and the possibility was first realized in the United States, and later elsewhere. With the development of broadcasting it has once more become possible for every citiÂzen to listen to the political views of representative orators, and the future may perhaps see the return of the national state to the Greek form of democracy. Even the referendum has been made possible only by the institution of daily newspapers.J. B. S. Haldane, On Being The Right Size
To the biologist the problem of socialism appears largely as a problem of size. The extreme socialists desire to run every nation as a single business concern. I do not suppose that Henry Ford would find much difficulty in running Andorra or Luxembourg on a socialistic basis. He has already more men on his pay-roll than their population. It is conceivable that a syndicate of Fords, if we could find them, would make Belgium Ltd or Denmark Inc. pay their way. But while nationalization of certain industries is an obvious possibility in the largest of states, I find it no easier to picture a completely socialized British Empire or United States than an elephant turning somersaults or a hippopotamus jumping a hedge.
Haldane was a biologist, and the problem with socialism is really one of information, but nonetheless he nailed it. Socialism suffers dreadfully from scaling problems. It works fine for small, close-knit groups (families), and inevitably collapses into ruin for large heterogenous groups (the Soviet Union).
Haldane - a socialist himself - pointed this out in 1928. It took several more decades for others to realise just how right he was. Some still haven't grasped this fact.
Wednesday, July 20
Good: Found the controller for my sound system.
Not so good: It was in bag number 15.
Not good at all: Fell down the stairs while carrying a box of books and landed on my head. Good thing I don't keep anything important in there...
Tuesday, July 19
You know that rat's nest of useless old cables you threw away because you didn't have the time to untangle and pack them? Recall that odd-looking black thingy caught up in the middle of it all? Well, that's the controller for your 4.1 channel speaker system. Yes, the good one, the one you carefully packed and moved all the other parts for, the one that won't work at all without that controller.
Where is it? Well, it's in a white plastic bag. Which is in a black plastic bag. Which is in the garage, along with 17 other identical black plastic bags. Which the nice men are going to take away tomorrow afternoon.
That will make for a fun start to your day, won't it?
Monday, July 18
The move was a mitigated disaster (the movers did a very good job, but I wasn't ready in time), but at least it happened, and I am now up and running - ish - from Pixy Central Mk II.
I'll be busy for the next few days (now I have to go back to the old place to clean it...) but after that it's all MuNu all the time, excepting short breaks for my day job and sleep.
P.S. I'm still on dialup. Dialup, Pixy says, is slow, really slow. You won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindboggling slow it is. You may think it's slow when you've gone over your monthly download limit, but that's just peanuts to dialup.
P.P.S. Multi-purpose appliances are great until they break. If you have, just by way of an example, a combined washer/dryer, it's really good because you can put dirty clothes in, turn it on, and come back later to find them clean and dry. But if it breaks down, you end up hand-washing everything and then hanging it up to dry in the bathroom.
Friday, July 15
These people are opposed to what we believe in and what we stand for, far more than what we do. If you imagine that you can buy immunity from fanatics by curling yourself in a ball, apologising for the world - to the world - for who you are and what you stand for and what you believe in, not only is that morally bankrupt, but it's also ineffective. Because fanatics despise a lot of things and the things they despise most is weakness and timidity. There has been plenty of evidence through history that fanatics attack weakness and retreating people even more savagely than they do defiant people.John Howard to ABC Flack Maxine McKew
Tuesday, July 12
Can't be. Still twitching.
The ironic ambience will return from an all new undisclosed location next week. Until then, why not try one of these fine blogs:
Friday, July 08
Thursday, July 07
Is the Gigabyte 8I945GMF:
Okay, so it's a micro-ATX motherboard. Things are a dime a dozen.
Okay so it supports 4 channels of SATA II. And 4GB of DDR2 memory (533 or 667 MHz, your choice). And has gigabit ethernet built in. And video. What's so special?
Here's what's so special: It also supports the new Pentium D. Dual core, up to 3.2GHz, in a micro-ATX case. (Well, I'd limit myself to the 2.8GHz if I didn't want things to melt.)
If you happen to be in the market for a small but powerful web server - on a budget* - this is it.
Now, where is that ram disk on a card, Gigabyte peeps?
* Which I am, for obvious reasons.
Wednesday, July 06
Just got the written quote from the removals company.
Uh, can I change my mind now?
Update: My boss is friends with some guys who do removals - they moved our office - and they can do it much much cheaper, probably about one third what I was quoted.
Tuesday, July 05
I'd say more, but dammit Jim, I'm dead again.
Sunday, July 03
I was never that impressed with Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, because it seemed to me that Diamond had come up with the conclusion first, and then carefully sifted through the facts to select those that supported it. It's perfectly reasonable to create the hypothesis first, but what you then have to do is search for facts which don't support it. Karl Popper and that whole falsification thingy.
What I hadn't realised before now was that Jared Diamond is a complete loony. Andrea Harris has the goods.
Saturday, July 02
Is the Palm LifeDrive. It's a Palm Pilot with a 4GB disk drive stuck in it.
I sort of want one, but I already have a T3, so I'm waiting for a higher resolution screen, more memory, and a faster processor. The 416MHz Xscale is fine for most tasks, but falls flat when it comes to displaying video. Apparently the LifeDrive is better at this than the T3, but the T3 is complete crap for video, so that's not necessarily much of a recommendation.
On the other hand, 4GB! On the third hand, disk drive. Just what I need, more rapidly spinning mechanical components in pocket devices. I have a 1GB SD card in my T3; 2GB cards are available though not, as far as I can see, in Australia, so while 4GB is cool, it's not that cool.
On the fourth hand, I've been listening to the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy again recently, and it struck me that with something like the LifeDrive, you could, well, do that.
I still want at least a 480x640 screen, though.
Friday, July 01
If George Romero and Cubby Broccoli had been switched at birth*
From Russia with Death
You Only Die Twice
On Her Late Majesty's Secret Service
Diemonds Are Forever
Die and Let Die
The Zombie with the Golden Gun
The Spy Who Killed Me
For Dead Eyes Only
A View to a Corpse
The Dying Daylights
The Afterworld Is Not Enough
Die Yet Another Day
Never Say Nevermore Again
* Tricky since they were born thirty years apart...
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