Category Archives: geek links

maybe i’m just being slow or something

i’ve recently (as in the past month or so) been discovering feeds. a friend of mine mentioned them about a year or so ago, but i didn’t have the application that caused them to be rendered as anything other than plain text, which meant an XML document or something like that, instead of a rendered page. then i upgraded to a new operating system a few weeks ago, and the old standard, Kmail, which has been my email client for almost 10 years now, has been integrated into a new application called Kontact, which is a combination of Kmail, Korganizer, Kaggregator, Kontacts and a few other things which i don’t use, such as the K groupware suite, and other suchlike things. the legacy standard is RSS which stands for Really Simple Syndication, and the newer standard is Atom, and it is apparently a series of HTML or other SGML-child documents, the XML documents that represent them, and a little client-side reader that goes and fetches those XML documents on a regular basis. basically it’s just like your “Friends” list on livejournal, except that it updates itself automatically, and you can “subscribe” to more than just livejournal stuff. it makes me wonder why i stayed at livejournal for as long as i did…

The Battle of The Computer is over, and, once again, I have won!

i’ve resurrected my computer: i got the operating system installed: i’m now running a shiny new version of Feisty Fawn, despite what walt mossberg says, kubuntu linux is vastly preferable to anything micro$not ever produced, if for no other reason than it is free, but there are many other compelling reasons it is preferable as well, such as it installs more quickly, and is easier to configure than any version of windows that i have ever worked with. not only that, but apparently SCO has filed for bankruptcy, which means, at least for the moment, that we can continue to use free, open source software with impunity, while having a hearty laugh at the expense of those who would have made it otherwise. after i got feisty installed, i searched around and discovered that sigrot isn’t a part of debian any longer (for what reason i know not), but signify is, however signify isn’t as easy to configure, so i found an archive that had sigrot on it, installed it, and now i have my email signature, complete with rotating, random quotes again. i even got xscreensaver working better than it was before.

meanwhile, SixApart has seen fit to let barak berkowitz go and get themselves a new CEO, which makes me even more glad that i bailed from livejournal when i did.

i didn’t make that much money at the punk rock flea market, despite the fact that i was there for almost 12 hours, but i did manage to make $30 without realising it (it was 6:30 in the morning when i arrived, and there’s a good chance that i was, for all intents and purposes, asleep when i did it), which makes me wonder if i could do any better in tacoma. if nothing else, it would mean not having to get up at a ridiculously early hour and drive fourty-fiive minutes before getting there. my boxes of stuff are still in the car, but moe’s car is blocking the driveway, so i’ll have to get them out tomorrow.

i’ve also got some “i am a terrorist” articles to post as well, but they’re going to have to wait until tomorrow as well.

And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

boy am i glad i got out when i did… it just sounds like it’s going from bad to worse…


This journal may disappear at any time. But, guess what? So could yours.

LJ admits they have no legal training re “Bible-based” child abuse communities

And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
2007-08-06
By insomnia

Looks like Brad is leaving LJ… to the wolves.

He tries to reassure us by saying “LiveJournal’s in good hands — I’m not worried about it.”

Except, of course, that he doesn’t really believe that. He knows LJ is dying, and he’s been openly upset about the unwillingness of 6A to keep its promises to LJ’s users, about LJ’s obvious shrinking, and about the direction the site has been heading in for quite some time. Continue reading And don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Brad Bails!

in other words, it’s only gonna get worse… 8/

oh well…

EDIT: yep, it’s true, more or less…


LiveJournal creator leaves as Six Apart fails to spin
AUG 6 2007
BY OWEN THOMAS

Word is that Brad Fitzpatrick, the founder of LiveJournal and chief architect of Six Apart, is leaving the troubled blog-software company. And the fact that you’re hearing about from a gossip blog rather than the transparency-loving company is itself a sign of how deep the problems run. Continue reading Brad Bails!

1018

blurdge

Anything is their carbonated soda which comes in six flavors: Cola with Lemon, Apple, Fizz Up, Cloudy Lemon and Root Beer. Whatever is non-carbonated teas that come in Ice Lemon, Peach, Jasmine Green Tea, White Grape, Apple, and Chrysanthemum Tea flavors, but the cans aren’t labeled beyond the names of ‘Anything’ and ‘Whatever’, so you truly don’t have a clue which flavor you are getting beforehand.

whatever… 8/

there are more bizarre drinks from japan including kimchee drink and mother’s milk.


Genuine Windows is Ubuntu

blurdge

Can cyborg moths bring down terrorists?
A moth which has a computer chip implanted in it while in the cocoon will enable soldiers to spy on insurgents, the US military hopes
May 24, 2007
By Jonathan Richards

At some point in the not too distant future, a moth will take flight in the hills of northern Pakistan, and flap towards a suspected terrorist training camp.

But this will be no ordinary moth.

Inside it will be a computer chip that was implanted when the creature was still a pupa, in the cocoon, meaning that the moth’s entire nervous system can be controlled remotely.

The moth will thus be capable of landing in the camp without arousing suspicion, all the while beaming video and other information back to its masters via what its developers refer to as a “reliable tissue-machine interface.”

The creation of insects whose flesh grows around computer parts – known from science fiction as ‘cyborgs’ – has been described as one of the most ambitious robotics projects ever conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), the research and development arm of the US Department of Defense.

Rod Brooks, director of the computer science and artificial intelligence lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is involved with the research, said that robotics was increasingly at the forefront of US military research, and that the remote-controlled moths, described by DARPA as Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, were one of a number of technologies soon to be deployed in combat zones.

“This is going to happen,” said Mr Brooks. “It’s not science like developing the nuclear bomb, which costs billions of dollars. It can be done relatively cheaply.”

“Moths are creatures that need little food and can fly all kinds of places,” he continued. “A bunch of experiments have been done over the past couple of years where simple animals, such as rats and cockroaches, have been operated on and driven by joysticks, but this is the first time where the chip has been injected in the pupa stage and ‘grown’ inside it.

“Once the moth hatches, machine learning is used to control it.”

Mr Brooks, who has worked on robotic technology for more than 30 years and whose company iRobot already supplies the US military with robots that defuse explosive devices laid by insurgents, said that the military would be increasingly reliant on ‘semi-autonomous’ devices, including ones which could fire.

“The DoD has said it wants one third of all missions to be unmanned by 2015, and there’s no doubt their things will become weaponised, so the question comes: should they given targeting authority?

“The prevailing view in the army at the moment seems to be that they shouldn’t, but perhaps it’s time to consider updating treaties like the Geneva Convention to include clauses which regulate their use.”

Debates such as those over stem cell research would “pale in comparison” to the increasingly blurred distinction between creatures – including humans – and machines, Mr Brooks, told an audience at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science.

“Biological engineering is coming. There are already more than 100,000 people with cochlear implants, which have a direct neural connection, and chips are being inserted in people’s retinas to combat macular degeneration. By the 2012 Olympics, we’re going to be dealing with systems which can aid the oxygen uptake of athletes.

“There’s going to be more and more technology in our bodies, and to stomp on all this technology and try to prevent it happening is just? well, there’s going to be a lot of moral debates,” he said.

Another robot developed as part of the US military’s ‘Future Combat Systems’ program was a small, unmanned vehicle known as a SUGV (pronounced ‘sug-vee’) which could be dispatched in front of troops to gauge the threat in an urban environment, Mr Brooks said.

The 13.6kg device, which measures less than a metre squared and can survive a drop of 10m onto concrete, has a small ‘head’ with infra-red and regular cameras which send information back to a command unit, as well as an audio-sensing feature called ‘Red Owl’ which can determine the direction from which enemy fire originates.

“It’s designed to be the troop’s eyes and ears and, unlike one of its predecessors, this one can swim, too,” Mr Brooks said.