Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dozier Internet Law: Top Ten Blogger Personas

According to Dozier Internet Law, whom I am expressly prohibited from linking to, mentioning, or quoting, bloggers fall into ten categories, all of which seem bent on defaming businesses. What about the "not-insane-and-won't-take-crap-from-idiotic-lawyers" bloggers? Also, if you view their web site's source, they will sue you.

I present my review of Dozier Internet Law. All facts in this review are based on Nobel-prize-winning research, and the word of the Almighty God.
Dozier Internet Law is run by Satan. It killed my family, ran over my dog, took candy from small children, and is responsible for the election of George Bush, the attacks of 9/11, and global warming.
Also, they smell. And, they can't do law. All they can do is make castle-in-the-air cases and send angry letters.

Since their job is, apparently, to send angry letters to unhappy bloggers, telling them to stop being unhappy at once or they will be sued for large sums of money (see here), I should be getting some mail from them shortly.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This should end well...

Because US courts totally have the authority, a US judge has ruled that Iran (yes, the nation) must pay $2.65 billion dollars to the families of U.S. troops killed by Hezbollah in a 1983 bombing, because Iran funded the terrorist group.

Apparently, Iran ignored the suit, and didn't send a lawyer.

Since when did US courts have the authority to rule on international disputes? Aren't we a bit biased in such matters? I agree that Iran is at fault, but the case should be tried in an international forum if the defendant is a foreign nation. Do we want the US bound by the decisions of foreign courts?
[via Fox, your source for up-to-the-nanosecond news about the U.S. war with Iran, even though it hasn't officially started yet.]

Sunday, September 30, 2007

War with Iran?

Why is part of the country (I'm looking at you, Fox News) trying to go to war with Iran? We've already been to war in Iraq, which doesn't seem to have worked out too well. There's no pressing need for us to be in Iran, as well (except that, falling directly between Iraq and Afghanistan, we would win in any game of middle-east tic-tac-toe). So, if there's no good reason for us to attack Iran (other than the fact that we don't like their government, which isn't a good reason anyway), why are we going there? I don't want another war. I don't support another war. I highly doubt that the American people, the United Nations, our increasingly alienated allies, or anyone else want us to enter another war. So, ideally, we can hope that the President asks Congress for a real declaration of war first, this time, so that someone has the opportunity to speak up for the people, and say "no". Or, if we're in the business of taking over countries with bad governments, why don't we try another region instead?

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Comp Sci Project

I'm in my school's Computer Seminar class. Guess what I get to do as a school project! From my proposal:
For my design project, I plan to create a simulated model of foot traffic that is applicable to various traffic situations. I plan to use this model to examine traffic flow in and out of my school's main building, and traffic flow through the cafeteria.

Basically, I'm going to make some virtual environments, walk some virtual people through them, and see what happens. This should be fun. I'm doing it with the Swarm toolkit, which is quite useful for modeling simulations of "agents"--little people or things that interact with each other.
I'll eventually put my project up for download somewhere, so people can play with it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

PDF Vulnerability Discovered!

As of yesterday, some guy going by "pdp" has discovered a serious vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat (and also, supposedly, my beloved FoxIt Reader) that lets a malicious PDF file run arbitrary commands. However, his blog post is quite short, and gives no real info at all, except for a warning not to open PDFs on Windows, unless you have Vista.

More on this, as it develops.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Shaolin Temple Starts Flamewar

[via Reuters] China's Shaolin Temple, which is well-known for the kung-fu skills of its monks, is trying to get an apology out of someone going by the handle "Five Minutes Every Day" (I suppose in Chineese), who posted on some forum somwhere a story about a Japaneese ninja coming to the temple, challenging the kung-fu monks, and winning. Rather than taking the normally accepted course of action to insulting forum posts (ignoring them, or posting back), the temple has instead brought out their lawyers to demand that this fiendish criminal "apologize to the whole nation for the wrongs he or she did."

Guess what I have to say to China's Shaolin Temple:
Once upon a time, there was a ninja who had gone to visit China. He had heard of the skill of the monks of the Shaolin Temple, and went there to see whether they were really as good as he had heard. When he arrived, he challenged one of the newest monks, who had trained for only a year, in single combat, and defeated him. He then went on to challenge another monk, who had trained for ten years, and defeated him also. He defeated monks who had trained for twenty and thirty years, and defeated them also. Finally, he challenged the grand master of the Temple, who had trained for his entire lifetime, and defeated him also. The ninja then went back to Japan, and told of his journy through China.
I'm sure China's Shaolin Temple is very wonderful, and kung-fu is downright awesome. I think their monks probably would stand a chance of beating a ninja. But "zomg an 'internet user' posted a story in which ancient Shaolin monks were defeated by Ninjas!!!!!111111" is hardly a reason to send your lawyer to the Beijing News. It's not a crime, a horrible deed, or even particularly disrespectful.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Paper Box

I found a nice paper box tutorial, when I was trying to make a fake food money donation box for one of my friends. (I got tired of him stealing my food).

Go follow it and make little paper open-topped boxes. For whatever you might use a little paper open-topped box for.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Paul has a Blog

Go check out my friend Paul's blog. It's mostly about... well... Paul. Given that it's called Channel Paul News, that's not particularly unexpected. But, if you know him, you might want to read it. If you don't know him, you might still want to read it--especially if you like maps.

So, go read Channel Paul News!

xkcd Wins!

I just love xkcd.
This one deserves a T shirt.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

NY Police Comissioner's Biggest Threat to the US? Muslims on the Internet

According to the Police Commissioner of New York, the Internet is the "new Afghanistan" when it comes to fighting terrorism. His general argument seems to be that unhappy Muslim-American (or Muslim-English, or Muslim-French) people who go online get "radicalized" and decide to blow stuff up, after they read information put on the web by terrorist groups. This may be a partially sound conclusion--I have no doubt that terrorist propaganda put on the Internet has caused at least one person to become a terrorist. However, the good Commissioner sounds as though he believes that it is imperative that we keep every person of Islamic faith away from computers, lest they all become "radicalized" by invisible radicalization beams and come to kill him and his city.
Furthermore, might someone tell the commissioner that, if his goal is really to stop Muslim-American people from developing a hatred and resentment towards the US, he might want to stop making them feel angry and alienated them by his comments? The report which the Commissioner released while making his inflammatory remarks stated that Western people who practice Islam may become more radical because they are "looking for an identity and a cause." What better way is there to ensure that Muslim-Americans in the city of New York are unhappy, and in need of an identity and a cause, than by having the city's Police Commissioner try to convince everyone to be afraid of them?
This is not a very humorous topic, but what I have to say to the good Commissioner is probably expressed best in this image macro:
(Image shamelessly stolen from: SpikedHumor)

The bottom line: Complaining about the radicalization of Muslim-Americans sends a message of fear and distrust. We want to send a message of friendliness and acceptance (and probably remorse for anything ever done by the CIA in the Eastern Hemisphere). See image.

See also: This guy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Authoriy: 1

According to the wonderful folks at Technorati, my "authority," whatever that might mean, has increased from 0 to all of 1 point. Wow. 1 point.

I think that Technorati's "authority" figures are based on "blog reactions"--that is, how many other bloggers link to my posts in their posts. So, the more controversial or interesting posts I make, the higher my authority gets. I have no idea why it went up to 1, because I still have 0 blog reactions. I am also, apparently, the three million, nine hundred fifteen thousand, seven hundred and fifth most awesome blog on the Internet.

Looking at your Technorati scores really makes you feel good inside, doesn't it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Adobe Acrobat Reader Sucks

I'm sorry. I just have to come out and say it. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a crummy piece of software. Now don't get me wrong: PDFs are a good idea--I'm very happy that we have a cross-platform way to specify exactly what a document should look like. And Adobe's professional PDF making tools are, in all probability, the bee's knees and the cat's pajamas and all that. But Acrobat Reader isn't. It's a bloated piece of software, with millions of features that absolutely no one uses. It takes 30 seconds to load in a tab in Firefox, and, while it's loading, I kick myself for being so dumb as to click on yet another PDF link, and frantically yet unsuccessfully try to abort loading the program. Part of the reason that Acrobat Reader takes so long to load is that, whenever I start it, it has to phone home to Adobe, and then, just when I've started reading the document that took 30 seconds to load, it tells me how important it is that I update from version 7.0 to 7.0.1, and install the Yahoo!® Toolbar® and some kind of trial of Photoshop®. Every. Single. Time. I. View. A. PDF. I don't want to waste my time downloading the 30 megabyte new and improved version (how many of those bytes are '®'?) when the old one is viewing a PDF perfectly fine, and all I wanted to do in the first place was read the stupid document.

Enter Foxit Software's Foxit Reader.

A two megabyte download (compared to a whopping 30.7 MB for Acrobat Reader, including the Photoshop trial that comes with it by default), Foxit Reader is an alternative PDF viewer which has, so far, perfectly handled any PDF I've thrown at it. It loads in about a second, and, while it doesn't integrate into Fifefox tabs, it does one essential thing that Adobe Acrobat Reader does not do: it gets out of your dang way and lets you actually read documents.

You can get the miraculous Foxit Reader here. You'll thank me later.

Monday, August 6, 2007

MSNBC is Staffed by Idiots

I bring you a couple of choice quotes, from an article with the headline "Game piracy runs rampant on the Internet". If that's your idea of news, you need to come out of your cave.
On game console modding:
Early on, enterprising hackers also figured out how to modify consoles, disabling the copyright protection in the hardware and then reselling the machines with pre-loaded, pirated software. This process is called “modding.”
Apparently, there's no such thing as Xbox Linux.

A quote used from "Ron Teixeira of the National Cyber Security Alliance":
“A hacker needs only to find a way to get a malicious program into a computer and use it as a network,” he says.

I guess he misspoke, but, what? That quote didn't make any sense at all, yet it managed to find its way into a news article.

Mod Chips Illegal?

Apparently, Federal agents are going on anti-mod-chip raids. Mod chips--small pieces of circuitry that can be attached to gaming consoles in order to convince them to run games that they would not otherwise run--are apparently barred under the DMCA as copyright circumvention devices. While it is true that installing a mod chip will cause a console to play home-burned copies of commercial games, it is also the only way to cause the console to run non-official, unsigned games, known as "homebrew" software. This second use of mod chips-running unofficial software, or even copies of the Linux operating system, constitutes a "substantial non-infringing use" for mod chips, and that anyone fighting a case in court over mod chips would probably win--assuming they have a decent lawyer.

Maybe someone should talk to the EFF?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dugg: Drunk Guy Kills Internet

At least, that's what Digg says about this post on a blog called Valleywag, which tells us that, quite recently, a drunk employee at 365 Main, a datacenter in San Francisco, has knocked out a whole bunch of web sites, including Craigslist, Technorati, anything that ever came out of Six Apart, and a site called Yelp that I've never heard of. What's more, the whole city seems to be having power problems in general, which is probably why Second Life is down as well.

The data center in question is, apparently, also being mobbed by angry customers.

It's amazing what happens to the Internet when there isn't any power to run it on.

I think the datacenter may be back online now, but Six Apart's stuff is still down, so the issues may not be completely resolved.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Monk: The Randy Disher Project

In the latest episode of Monk, one of the characters dropped a is supposed to be the web site for his (fictional) self-promoting rock band. Lo and behold, actually exists. Currently, it serves up a web page that looks quickly smacked together using some sort of site builder, promising the following:

This site will be dedicated to the greatest rock band in the world. THE RANDY DISHER PROJECT. News, photos, gossip, tour dates and much, much more. so stay tuned everyone!

Favorite Band Member: randy disher
Favorite song: don't need a badge

The domain was registered on June 27 to a company called Weeny Entertainment Ltd. (which, according to Google, doesn't exist), and (here's the interesting part) to one "Jason Gray-Stanford," the actor playing the fictional Randy Disher who dropped the name of the site. The admin contact looks to be an ISP standard mailbox from Adelphia.

Could there be a Monk ARG in the works? Someone should try the e-mail addresses and phone numbers in the whois info.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Media Rights Technologies Needs to Get a Business Model

Media Rights Technologies needs a new business model. Their current model, which appears to consist of threatening legal action against people who don't pay them money, probably isn't working all that well. A while ago, MRT threatened to sue media player manufacturers for not including their streaming media DRM technology, which supposedly amounted to condoning "stream-ripping"--recording a digital media stream for later playback. Now, they're going after the other end of the stream, asking the Library of Congress to revoke the statutory licenses of major Internet Radio broadcasters for streaming non-DRM'ed music, despite the fact that they are perfectly allowed to stream said music without DRM, and that the broadcasters pay royalties to boot.

From their letter to the LoC:
MRT developed and disclosed to the Subject Webcasters a technical measure that protects copyrighted material from being downloaded and copied. That technical measure is known as the X1 SeCure Sound Controller. MRT's X1 was investigated and found by the R.I.A.A. to be 100% effective in preventing stream ripping and protecting the rights of copyright owners without the slightest degradation of sound integrity. The Subject Webcasters have refused to accommodate the X1, and some of them have affirmatively interfered with the X1 by designing their new systems in such a way as to disable it, all of which constitutes a violation of a statutory licensee's duty under the Act.
So, because webcasters don't use their "100% effective" solution, they shouldn't be allowed to broadcast. Like I said, I don't think that that business model will get them very far. And, what's more, stream riping, like recording radio to cassette tape, is perfectly fine. It's not immoral, and, if it's illegal, the law needs changing.

Given that today is Fair Use Day, I say that we should all go out and, in spite of Media Rights Technologies' protests to the contrary, rip some streams. No amount of angry letters can change what is right and wrong, and people are certainly less--rather than more--inclined to pay you money when you try to bring the force of law to bear against them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Ok. I'm a little late with this one. ;)
Katharine Berry's AjaxLife is, quite possibly, the coolest thing ever from anyone on the TG. It serves as a web-based interface to Second Life, and although functionality is limited right now (as Katharine is trying to stop her server from imploding), a more complete interface is coming soon. It's already been written about over at Second Life Insider, New World Notes, and, most recently, 3pointD. I advise you to head on over and check it out--it's quite cool, although it's been under heavy load lately.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why so Many ED Ads?

Why are there so many ads for medicines to treat ED? If that many people actually had the disease, we as a species would have died out long ago. I think, personally, that the drug companies are trying to push the pills to people who don't really need them. And it's getting on my nerves. I don't really want to hear how this pill has helped you. If I were a parent, I wouldn't want my children subjected to it, either. People who have a problem can talk to their doctors and buy your pills. People who don't shouldn't have to listen to you wave them around and say how great they are.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Why are people so dumb? Does anyone know? It would be great if you would all just be a bit nicer to each other, thanks. No more Cold War, please. It might be nice if you stopped invading random countries, killing random people, and generally making a nuisance of yourselves.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Quantum Computing Progress

The folks over at Ars note that some people have been making progress towards practical quantum computing. I still think that if this ever catches on, God is going to start complaining about lag.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I own an integer

I am now, according to the DMCA, the proud owner of the integer
83 00 FC D2 47 2F 80 96 D4 41 4A 23 43 DA A6 3F
Anyone else who distributes this number would be officially violating the DMCA (at least, that's what the AACS people would have you believe), as this number is an encryption key which could be used to decrypt a copyrighted work.

You can get yourself an integer, too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

HD DVD Master Key Found

Apparently the HD DVD master key was found a while ago. However, due to the well-thought-out decision by the MPAA to attempt to suppress the spread of the key, it is now spreading all over the place. Digg has been especially fulkl of stories about the key, but Digg admins are trying to suppress them as well. So much for unbiased news sites.
Anyway, nice work, MPAA. Suing customers, trying to assert ownership over numbers--I think you're doing a great job of being "the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries" ( I especially like the part where you make people hate you.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I recently took the ACT test. In order to do this, I, unfortunately, had to deal with the ACT website, and the ACT corporation, which seems to want to charge you for everything they can.

I first had to figure out where to register for the test. So I went to the ACT for Students page. The thing immediately starts an annoying flash animation, with sound, thus distracting me from whatever it was I was doing in order to find the mute control. If you go to another part of the site and come back, the music starts again, and you have to mute it again.

So, I mute the Flash movie, and look around for the "Register" button. It turns out it's about halfway down the page, on the right side, and a lot smaller than everything else. To add to the confusion, right next to it is a form where you can choose a city and state and hit "Go", probably to find test centers. So what do I click?

I click the button, and I have to battle an annoying, multi-step registration process split across multiple pages. I've forgotten most of how the site was supposed to work, but I can tell you that it didn't work well.

I eventually get to the part where I get to select the optional components of my ACT experience. Do I want the Writing component? (Yes). That's extra. Do I want to see what questions I got wrong? (Yes). That's also extra. Do I feel like giving money to the people who made me go through all these hoops to register? (No). Too bad, you need to take this test to get into college!

After I filled all that out, the site tries to sell me test prep books. Isn't that a conflict of interest or something?

When I come back to their site later to study for the test, it's actually a lot easier. However, I do notice that the scores for the sample writing section essays seem to vary directly with the number of words written.

I eventually want (well, not want, but need) to take this test. So I go into the school gym, sit down, and do the thing. Afterwards, I have to write out and sign some sort of statement that I won't talk about questions ever as long as I live or something, which I find dubious legally because most people taking the test are minors who can't sign contracts anyway.

A couple weeks go by, and I sit down at my computer to see if I can't have a look at my scores. So I go on Google, look up the ACT, and go to the first result. This is, unfortunately, their corporate site, and I have to find the right link to click to get back to the annoying Flash sound page. I mute the thing, find the little link to "Scores" in the section menu bar, and then... I don't get a page where I can see my scores. Instead, it's some sort of page about when I'll get my scores. Not what I wanted. But I see a link labeled "See scores" in small text at the top of the nav bar, and follow that. That takes me to another page with a link that says that maybe, this time, I'll be able to see my scores. So I click ion that link, and it brings me to a page of text, with a completley different layout, and a "Continue" button. Getting annoyed by this point, I hit "Continue", and am prompted for, rather than the login information for the account that I was forced to set up when I registered, some sort of ID that the ACT corporation issued me (which, I think, was printed on my admission ticket), and my credit card information. Apparently, if I want to see my scores during the "Early Viewing Period," I must, in addition to going through five levels of pages and links reading "See Scores," pay them $8.00--which I am, by this time, in no mood to do. It doesn't help matters at all the dates which define the "Early Viewing Period" are not listed (as far as I could tell), and, as I later found when writing this post, the annoying Flash animation on the front page is actually an ad which tries to bother people into buying the Early Score Viewing Service by hinting that they don't really know how well they did.

I don't take kindly to being treated this way. Just because the ACT people control an important test doesn't mean that they can ignore website usability and try to guilt/annoy me into paying them money. I'm sorry, ACT Inc., but it was a displeasure doing business with you.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who drank all the Joost?

I just got invited to the Joost beta (thanks, Katharine!) yesterday. So, I installed the software on my computer, started it up, created my account, and was greeted with a nice "you have been disconnected from the Joost network" message. So, I go on the FAQ and find out that the thing uses non-standard ports. Wasn't this thing made by the Skype people? I know they know how to get around NATs and firewalls with a p2p app, so why does Joost require certain ports?
I didn't really care that much about the ports, though, so I took my laptop down to where I had an unrestricted connection available, and tried again. It seemed to work, but almost every show would give me an error 121: "This program is not currently available," after watching it a while. I looked on the forum, and it seems this is a bug with the new v9.2. I tried downgrading to 9.1, but then I got the "you have been disconnected" message again.
The shows it has seem nice, although the channel catalog seems heavily balanced towards boxing and race cars. I like the National Geographic channel, and I tried to watch this cool show about the Secret Service, but then it 121'd on me and I couldn't finish it. Also, some of the channels are only available in Europe, or "Worldwide, except US and Canada," for reasons that I cannot fathom--probably having to do with legal Issues (with a capital I).
So, as soon as Joost gets the 9.2 error 121 bug fixed, it'll be pretty good.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech E-mails Emergency Warnings

33 people were killed in a bloody shooting spree at Virginia Tech yesterday, for those of you who don't already know. Apparently, the people in charge at Virginia Tech believed that the best way to inform students of a rampaging killer on the lose was via e-mail. And I quote from the above linked news article:

At 9:50 a.m., a second e-mail went out warning students and staff to "stay put."

"A gunman is loose on campus," it read. "Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows."

This sort of situation, in a high school, at least, calls for what is called a Code Red, or Shelter-In-Place condition, where someone sounds an alarm and we all hide. Apparently this sort of thing is done by e-mail in college. Who sent these out? Did they really think that students sitting in class would read them and take cover? If the students knew there was some sort of emergency, do you think that the first think they would do would be check their e-mail to find out about it? Isn't there a PA system, or a tornado alarm, or a fire alarm, or some sort of alarm they could have pulled when they noticed the rampaging killer gunning down students? There is a time and place for e-mail, but this is most certainly not it.

If only the university had a Code Red alarm system in place, perhaps some of these people could have been spared. Instead, they attempted to send emergency warnings via e-mail, and 33 people were killed.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Unification Proposal Makes Progress

Well, whether Pizza and I want it or not, it looks like the Grid Unification thing is taking off. It recently made it's way from the TSL Forums, through the Global Kids blog, and onto the front page of Second Life Insider. As I see it, it's only a matter of time until Hamlet weighs in on the issue (he may have already done so on a forum somewhere). I think LL is going to have to do something soon, and, from what I've been hearing, they want to do this. I'm not entirely sure what's holding them back, though. It's probably the fact that they're too busy stopping the grid from eating inventories to start a big project.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More "Security"

Now MySpace is locking down their site, according to Ars Technica.
MySpace to content providers: it's OurSpace, we're in charge


Looks like Sony is another company that thinks something is "secure" if they control it. On a blog called Three Speech (which is an interesting name), Phill Harrison talks about Sony's upcoming Home virtual world, which Terra Nova calls 2.0:
"Home is about entertainment, it has a game focus, and it’s about sharing with a like-minded community. We don’t give users the level of influence over the environment, behaviour and object definitions that Second Life does – it’s as secure as any other PS3 game. With some of the operating system protocols that are built into the Cell chip, it’s about as secure as you can be on a consumer device."
So something is "secure" when Sony rules the universe, and it's invulnerable to fiendish people who want to change the color of their character's boots without paying the required Boot Upgrade Fee of 100 SonyPoints. I guess it makes sense to say an MMO is secure when people can't hack the client up to send them halfway across the map, but I don't think anyone's ever sold an MMO by telling users they can't influence it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I don't like the AACS people.
Apparently they think that a computer is "secure" if the user can't access the data on it, which is the most perverse definition of security that I've ever seen. If I couldn't access data on my computer, I'd call it "broken".
I wonder how key expiring works? Is there a limit to how many keys can be revoked? What if someone compromised thousands of keys--would it be possible to revoke them all?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Ooh lookie!

Apparently, the Electric Sheep Company has sent a search spider onto the SL grid. Looks like something we might want to get for the TG, as well. It detects for-sale items, and allows you to search for them. It passes the Hat Test (TM, Patent Pending), and diligently returns results for hats to buy in SL. However, it doesn't look like it can access the various types of interactive vendors that are common on the TG.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Have fun with There

There is too expensive.
$1 USD buys you 1,800 "ThereBucks" or T$.
However, it costs 5,000+ T$ to submit something to the catalog, and the "wholesale price" that There charges when you sell an item to someone is, for the cheapest item (a "kincknak"), T$200. This means that, for all practical purposes, nothing in-world can be sold for less than T$200, and nothing can be given away free.
That's probably why all the SL people don't like There. I hate to join the long tradition that Second Life Insider has of slamming various virtual worlds, and I haven't actually seen what this does to the There world, but There certainly seems far more expensive than it ought to be. Especially when compared to SL, where uploads are L$10, objects can be built for free, and there is no per-item cost.

I wish people had done more research on virtual world economics in non-game worlds. Castornova, the only person in the field, as far as I know, seems to only be interested in game-type worlds.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Why do my A-life projects never come out this cool?

So this is what the psychic artist drew

Apparently, I have mousy brown hair, and look like this when threatening toast:

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Sunday, April 1, 2007

"Democratic Republic"

What do all these countries have in common?
  • Republic of Cuba
  • People's Republic of China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
Give up? They are all countries which are known for oppression, violence, and/or war, and they all have names talking about how democratic and republican they are. I guess if you don't have a democratic country, you can try to convince people that you do by saying that you do.

It's more likely that whoever named these places wanted them to be democratic and republican, but the system broke down, or, in some cases, never really got off the ground. Why is it so hard to put together a good democracy?

Thursday, March 29, 2007


It turns out that I found something interesting after all. This is an "official document" used by the RIAA in order to decide how bets to harass their customers--I mean, combat piracy. Then again, it's from BBSpot, which, as far as I know, is about as trustworthy as, well, somebody who makes stuff up.


I don't want to do my homework, so I'm posting instead.
But I don't know what to post. How about a link to this site on Vista "premium content" copy protection suckiness which every blog but me has posted. It's why I wrote the post below this one.

That's enough posts for today. I'll post again when I'm inflamed with passion. Or when I think of something else interesting to say. Whichever comes first.

A Declaration of the Rights of Users

I got mad at Windows Vista copy protection, and decided to write this up.

A Declaration of the Rights of Users

  1. Computers are tools. Computing hardware belongs to its owner. It does not belong to the creator of the hardware. It does not belong to those who have an interest in the manner in which the hardware operates, or in what the hardware is used for.
  2. No computer program is capable of making judgments about what is right and what is wrong, what is legal or illegal, what the intentions of humans are, or what constitutes fair use. No computer program should attempt to enforce any such judgments.
  3. Computer programs are the agents of the people who ordered their execution. They are not the agents of their programmers, or of any third party which may have an interest in their operation.
  4. The owner of a computer or electronic device has the right to determine how they will use that device. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to modify the device in question, and the right to control what computer code is executed by that device.
  5. Any program that, by design, acts against the intent of its user is a malicious program. Any program which interferes with a user's use of their own computer is a malicious program.
  6. These rights are the inalienable rights of computer owners and software users. They cannot be waived, signed away, or otherwise interfered with by any license agreement.

Google Docs

Google Docs is supposed to be able to post to blogger blogs. However, when I'm logged into Google Docs (using the same account that logs me into blogger), and I try to set it to post to my Blogger blog, it demands a blogger user name and password. I enter my Google Account user and password, and it says I'm not authorized to post to my blog.

It turns out I'm actually using " (beta version)," which is apparently Google's term for what Blogger calls "new Blogger". Somebody ought to change the UI, or, better yet, make it recognize that if I'm logged into my Google Account on Google, I should be able to post to the blogs in my Google Account on Blogger.


How's this for a logo?

Testing. Testing. 1 2 3

I'm testing out my new blog here on Blogger. I've discovered that choosing blog names is very hard. At first I wanted to call my blog Full Bright, but that was taken. So I tried x`, but that was taken. I went through a couple other variations on calculus jokes before deciding on dEarth/dx, which can't be adequately expresses in linear text. I'm going to have to make myself a nice logo to put at the top to replace the single-line title.