Archive for September, 2006

2006.09.30

Drunken Superhero

Imagine a superhero who gets his powers only when he’s all fscked up. He’s have the power to destroy a planet but he’d be too drunk to do it. He could fly, but he’d by too drunk to care. He could lift a building but he’d be too busy trying not to puke as he crawled to the site. He’d be impervious to a nuclear blast but his head would be spinning so fast he wouldn’t know where to crawl.

Ah yes, about the only thing this superhero would be good at is hitting on the female bartender, betting on sports, and pissing on or near the head.

Thanks to Mookee and The Defiant One for bringing this particular superhero type to my attention.

3 Comments | Catergorized: writing

2006.09.29

Yikes! Old Posts!

I have to apologize… I’ve either been too busy with working or too busy digging through old posts and cleaning them up a bit to write anything of actual substance. It’s been strange reading my old stuff. I was so motivated! At least it seems so now. When I wrote about copyright or patents I did research, gave opinions, gave solutions. These days it seems I don’t do as much. Mybe I’m just jaded or maybe my predictions that my previous job really did suck the life out of me are true.

One of the weird things I’m noticing is that some of my old categories seem to have been all migrated with the same timestamp. A lot of the books or music reviews, for example. I have no idea why that happened and I’m not about to spend the time trying to fix the dates at this point. Aside from many of the old old entries that were titled with a date I would trust the review dates before 2006. If you care.

One of the more amusing rediscoveries were the Satchel short colabarations I did with gTodd and NHK.

Anyways, I thought I’d post something since it’s been quite a while…

Comments Off on Yikes! Old Posts! | Catergorized: life  site

2006.09.24

Cleaning Archives

A couple days ago I imported all the old posts into this site and OOKEE.com. The articles for my site appear to have come through unscathed, but for some reason most of the articles at OOKEE.com are mangled. Probably because of weird formatting issues with the original text files.

I’m going through and fixing all of that, but it’s a long and slow process. There were about 2000 articles spanning three years. I’ve started at the beginning (January of 2003) and have been working my way forward in time. I’m currently up to September, 2003. Yikes!

So posting here and there might be slower than usual for while. Please bear with it!

4 Comments | Catergorized: life  site

2006.09.21

Old Content Now Imported!

As most of you will know, I used to run my blog at http://sp.ookee.com. I migrated to this domain at the beginning of the year. I had been looking for methods to bring over the content, tried a few things, and finally gave up; none of it was working as I expected it to and I didn’t have the time or patience to diddle and specifically learn PHP.

My friend Jason had a similar initial setup; an old Blosxom blog and a new WordPress blog. Being a much more tech-savvy netizen than I, he figured out all the tricks for migrating and at long last posted up how he did it. What follows is a personal note to him…

Jason, you so absolutely rock! I had been trying this and trying this over and over again, with the same script, to no avail. At one point I actually did get it to import a single category, but I saw the comments still said zero and assumed the comments weren’t brought over. I gave up.

Your SQL statements are the saving grace. Absolutely brilliant and, as I really am clueless about databases, very necessary.

Thank you!

I’ve brought over most everything and if you goto the categories or the archives you’ll see it’s a lot. I will have to go through most everything and find broken picture links, hard-linked references to posts on the old site, and fix a few categories. It will be fun to read all the old material while I’m cleaning house. Feel free to browse!

3 Comments | Catergorized: friends  geek  site

2006.09.18

Think of Terrorists as Pirates

Terrorists, like pirates, must be given their proper status in law: hostis humani generis, enemies of the human race.
– Douglas R. Burgess Jr.
I’ve always said you can’t fight a traditional war against pirates. Wars happen between nations. Terrorists are criminals and should be pursued as such. The problem is that too many nations out there view terrorists as a convenient tool for short term goals. Even the USA is guilty of this, funding Al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion.

I’m no lawyer, so I have no background to unravel how to legally define terrorism as a criminal act on a universal basis. Fortunately Douglas R. Burgess Jr. has the required background and has written a brilliant article called The Dread Pirate Bin Laden.

More than 2,000 years ago, Marcus Tullius Cicero defined pirates in Roman law as hostis humani generis, “enemies of the human race.” From that day until now, pirates have held a unique status in the law as international criminals subject to universal jurisdiction—meaning that they may be captured wherever they are found, by any person who finds them. The ongoing war against pirates is the only known example of state vs. nonstate conflict until the advent of the war on terror, and its history is long and notable. More important, there are enormous potential benefits of applying this legal definition to contemporary terrorism.

The article is long but engaging, giving a history of piracy in the context of nations supporting it, then universally declaring it illegal. A legal framework is tentatively proposed for equating terrorists with pirates with historical examples to give precedents to the idea.

To understand the potential of defining terrorism as a species of piracy, consider the words of the 16th-century jurist Alberico Gentili’s De jure belli: “Pirates are common enemies, and they are attacked with impunity by all, because they are without the pale of the law. They are scorners of the law of nations; hence they find no protection in that law.” Gentili, and many people who came after him, recognized piracy as a threat, not merely to the state but to the idea of statehood itself. All states were equally obligated to stamp out this menace, whether or not they had been a victim of piracy.

As Mr. Burgess concludes in the article, “Terrorists, like pirates, must be given their proper status in law: hostis humani generis, enemies of the human race.” I couldn’t agree more, and I agree with and support the idea that terrorism, like piracy, is a criminal activity.

Comments Off on Think of Terrorists as Pirates | Catergorized: political  thoughts

2006.09.17

Terms of Service Musical Chairs *

You know what would be a complete “fsck you” to all these companies that offer terms of service that are utterly (or even mildly) unacceptable? If when they accepted your money (a legal contract) they found themselves unconditionally accepting your terms of service the moment they take your money as their own. Lawyers change contracts all the time simply by crossing out, initialing and dating something they don’t like… Imagine the possibilities!

You could get rid of the DRM from purchased songs from iTunes if Apple accepts your ninety nine cents… Legally!

Amazon.com couldn’t say or do anything to you for using the videos you purchase from their new “Unbox” service (and read more about that here). Burn them to DVD! Charge for viewing!

Microsoft could cry all the way to the bank (because they would have to pay you!) for hacking their new Zune (warning: irritating Flash site) to be compatible with your iTunes store purchases or even simple Creative Commons songs.

The Federal Government might actually have to be responsible when they accept money from you in the form of taxes. No more “discretionary” spending you don’t like! Accountability!

The possibilities are endless! So when will a software patented and trademarked methodology be implemented that forces corporations to accept my terms of service and use when they accept my cash? (PS: I get 33% of any sales of said idea, right?)

* This article subject to terms of service and use which may or may not be updated from time to time with or without notice to you. By reading this article or visiting this link or site you agree that you are obligated to link to this article and site. Any disagreement with this statement will result in a fine (more than a joke email but less than the net worth of Steve Jobs) from you to me. Disagreeing with these terms of service and use means you are no longer allowed to speak or think (you transfer ownership of your brain!) about the contents of this page. We reserve the rights to sue the living crap for damages (real or unreal) from you and to your third generation (ascending or descending) for violating these terms of service, even if you and your lawyer have no idea what is written here. Please note: we have scanned your retina when you looked at this site so we know who you are. You got that? I ownz you, beeotch!

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  technology  thoughts

2006.09.15

The Bay Area Is (Not) Talking

In June, 2005 I went to an event hosted by KRON inviting Bay Area bloggers to talk to them about blogging and how they could get involved. It was a pretty good event, even if I only knew Uncle Roger (met him in person that day!) and didn’t much enjoy the blogger posturing I saw everywhere.

There was a promise then to build out a website that would do a couple things. It would blog about things going on in the Bay Area. It would have an aggregator of other Bay Area blogs. It would have a page with an index (blogroll, sort of) of bloggers in the Bay Area. I thought this was a brilliant idea, and I jumped on board.

The site was built and called The Bay Area is Talking. As promised, it’s main content was a blog, the aggregator is there on the side, and index (Hey! I just noticed I’m not there anymore!). Unfortunately, before too long the primary mover in this effort (on the part of KRON) became overwhelmed with other things. Brian Shields is this man and he did a pretty decent job of keeping things up and posting articles. To make up for this he invited other Bay Area bloggers to fill in the gap. Then those guys trickled and fizzled out.

I always hated the aggregator, partly because there was nothing there I was interested in and partly because the small bloggers were never there (can anyone say clique?), but I did love the idea of the site.

What happened? Loss of interest? Lack of support from KRON? Lack of feedback that disheartened those who built and ran the site? Well, regardless of what did or didn’t happen, I bid it a fond farewell until I hear they are back on and living. *sigh*

5 Comments | Catergorized: geek  san francisco  thoughts

2006.09.13

Increasing Volume

I love watching videos online, but one of the things that posses me off is too often the volume is too low. On my laptop that usually means dialogue is lost. Very irritating.

So here’s a tip if you run into any embedded Quicktime on a website. Click on the volume and you’ll see it maxed out. Now hold the Shift key down and click on the volume. You’ll see you can raise the volume 200%! Awesome!

Comments Off on Increasing Volume | Catergorized: apple

2006.09.13

Keith Olbermann is Mad

And I can’t say I blame him. He’s mad about a big, gaping wound still sitting in lower Manhattan and castigates the President in this commentary.I’d avoided most of the 9/11 speeches, memorials and made-for-television specials. I have no stomach for it. I don’t need to be reminded because I haven’t forgotten. I still remember watching the TV that morning, worrying that maybe my Dad had a meeting had a meeting in the Pentagon, not being able to reach my family on the phone because communications were swamped.I remember the desperation, the anger, the unity. I don’t need the reminders. But, like Mr. Olbermann, I think this President does. He just won’t listen. I doubt it’s because he doesn’t care, it’s just a matter of what he cares about. I don’t think he really cares about America, and that makes me sad because too many Americans have bought into his words and not his actions.

1 Comment | Catergorized: grrr  memories  political

2006.09.12

iTunes 7 Released

At long last Apple released iTunes 7 today. I’ve been playing around with some of the basics today. I’m not sure what I think about the new interface. I don’t mind the little icons (though the spacing could be closer), though on my laptop I’ve gotten rid of the Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Radio bits.

One of the things I do think is pretty cool is the ability to download album art if the Music Store has it. Of course you have to have an account (no surprise there). To get the artwork… Click on the middle View button next to the Search box at the top. For convenience I organized my Library by album. Right click (cntrl-click) on where the album art should appear and at the bottom of the popup menu you’ll see Get Album Artwork.

I found that sometimes the artwork would not download on the first try. If I was confident the artwork should exist in the Music Store I would try the download process a couple times. Usually I the artwork appeared on the second or third try. I was pretty impressed when My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult appeared.

I only had one glaring mistake, which was a Supertramp album cover appearing on the Magnolia soundtrack. I’m not sure how that happened since I would expect there to be a check not just for song structure but for actual album title. Weird. I tried getting rid of the cover (appears in the menu if you’ve got artwork attached to songs). It didn’t seem to work.

Still, I’m impressed with that feature alone and I’m sure I’ll find other items as I start digging around. Overall it seems to be a pretty good upgrade. Too bad I’m absolutely uninterested in the movie download function (from anyone’s service, really). Has anyone else tried the new iTunes?

17 Comments | Catergorized: apple  audio  geek
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