Monday, July 31
Via LGF, the film Obsession on Google video.
It's 77 minutes long, and parts of it are extremely distressing, but if you care about what's going on in the world today you need to see it. Even if you've been following the stories, you need to see it.
Update: Watch it all, too. The best scenes come at the end.
Saturday, July 29
"UN members reach Mid-East deal"
Uh, what? Israel has expressly rejected a UN peacekeeping force (not suprising, that); the US isn't pushing for a ceasefire, and the countries that are pushing for one are of no consequence. (France, for example. Spain.)
So what "deal" could have been reached?
UN Security Council members agreed today on a statement expressing shock and distress at Israel's deadly bombing of a UN outpost in Lebanon and called for Israel to conduct a comprehensive inquiry.Y'know, when I was reading Keith Laumer's Retief novels, I thought he was making stuff up, or at least exaggerating for the purpose of humour.
The statement, distributed to council members, is weaker than one proposed by China and other nations and is expected to be read at public meeting today by France's UN ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere.
You can get a dual Xeon 5160 (that is, 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo) server from Dell with 16GB of memory and 4 300GB SAS disks for $10,000 (US).
That offers 90% of the SpecIntRate performance of a fully-loaded Sun E10K. (Assuming I've done the conversion right.)
If you happen to be looking for a compute node (say for a large-scale blogging app) and don't need huge amounts of memory or storage, you can get it for half that price.
Interesting point: The 3.0GHz chip is only $500 more than the 1.6GHz version. A dual 1.6GHz system is about the same price as a single 3.0GHz.
Oh, and AMD have responded with huge price cuts on Athlon 64 X2s. Not so painful if you bought one of the cheaper versions like the 3800+, but if you recently shelled out for a 5000 or an FX, ouchie.
Thursday, July 27
I've been trying to get networking functioning in virtual machines (this time, using Microsoft Virtual PC) on my notebook again.
I've decided to just enslave myself to Cthulhu. The end result is the same - your brain and soul get eaten and you become a walking zombie fish-monster - but it's quicker and less painful.
Wednesday, July 26
No - need sleep!
Read first! Then sleep!
The problem in the Middle East is there is never an attempt to bring about a long-term settlement. The fundamental cause of the current outbreak is the refusal of the entire Arab world to accept Israel's right to exist.(The Age)
Monday, July 24
LGF gets email.
Satirists get depressed.
The argument from authority is a well-known logical fallacy. It goes something like this:
A: ... and so, from samples returned by NASA and spectroscopic analysis, we have determined that the moon is made of green cheese.But to take it that step further, what you need is something like this:
B: That's total nonsense. The spectroscopic analysis data is available here and chemical and physical analysis of the returned samples is here. And here is a bibliography listing over 700 studies of lunar composition, based on physical, chemical, spectroscopic, gravitational, electromagnetic, and visual data. Not only is the moon not made of cheese, it's not even organic. Oh, and it's not green.
A: What do you know about it? Professor Frink proved all of this in his book, La Lune Du Fromage. And he's got a PhD.
B: Yeah, Frink has a PhD. In medieval history.
C: You "skep-tic" morons are alike. Professor Frink is a scholar and a gentleman, and his views on lunar composition are the talk of Helsinki.The circle is complete.
B: Yeah, right.
D: Did anyone notice that C only joined the forum today, has made only one post, and is using the same IP address as A?
B: How about that. And get this - the IP traces to Frinktown University's Medieval History department!
E: Having fun, skep-tic morons? Can't address the issue, so you resort to ad-hominem attacks!
No links. But you know what I mean.
Update: Okay, I said no links, but this theory needs to be brought to wider attention.
Of the demon that is Azumanga Daioh.
P.S. Pictures are borked.
Saturday, July 22
Not a DDOS attack this time; not as such, anyway.
We've been getting flooded with trackback spam, 2500 per minute at peak periods. This seems to have been causing Apache to go nuts. Or seemed to be the cause, at least. I zapped all the trackback scripts last night after rebooting the server after the latest Apache episode, and went to bed.
And then Apache locked up again.
Long story short: We're moving to new servers. That will give me a chance to rebuild everything properly, which is rather hard on a busy production server that is the constant target of DDOS attacks, hacking attempts, spam floods, and every other noxious event known to the 'net.
Last October/November, I built a statistical trackback spam filter called Snark. It worked very well, blocking about 99.8% of spam without requiring any attention from me, until its data files got wiped by accident during the DDOS attacks last month.
When I got Snark up and running, we were getting on the order of 10,000 trackbacks per day. Almost all spam, obviously, but Snark made short work of those.
In May, the last full month of Snark operations, we received nearly two million trackbacks.
So far this month, we have received four million trackbacks. It's gotten so bad that at the peak of a spam flood, just firing off a CGI script to log the requests was enough to melt Apache.
So I was scratching my head, wondering why my POST-Redirect-GET wasn't working. All I should have to do is to set the location header, set the return status to 303, and go. But all I got is a blank page, no matter what I tried.
Okay, yeah, it might help to actually set the status field rather than creating a new "Status" header.
Friday, July 21
And Saudi Arabia. And Pakistan. And at one point, South Korea. As Vinnie says:
Why couldn't we have been banned in Turkey instead? It would have saved alot of headache.
Thursday, July 20
Condemnuum, n. A spectrum of activities which at one end would hardly raise an eyebrow at a debutante ball and at the other would make a hyena blush.
Wednesday, July 19
To add insult to injury, the only browser that seems to work properly in this case is IE. That means my CSS is broken, of course.
Update: When starting with a "known good" version of something and attempting to develop a new system from there, it may prove worthwhile to verify that the "known good" version is, in fact, good. (Which it wasn't, though I'm not yet sure precisely where the problem lies. However, my cleanroom CSS doesn't exhibit the poopy behaviour of the borrowed CSS, so it's in there somewhere.)
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