the unauthorised “authorisation dialogue” dialogue went away. i didn’t change anything locally (i did use NoScript to automatically block flash, but that was after i noticed that it was gone), or on the blog, which means that somebody must have noticed that something was wrong at the twitter end of things.
i’m not exactly sure how to approach this subject, but since i already have the reputation of being a little weird, i’ll start with an explanation of where i’m coming from:
POINT 1) for some time now, i’ve been under the distinct impression that my view of “reality” differs pretty significantly from just about everyone else’s view of reality. the most recent example of that is this public display, sponsored by a musem in california, which contained a tapestry house from a hindu family, that contained a swastika. the museum got complaints from the general public, so they posted a sign that basically said “this is an ancient hindu symbol, not the relatively recent nazi symbol that everyone seems to think it is, and we’re not going to remove it, thank you”, and even went so far as to get the local rabbi to say that he didn’t object to it, because it was a hindu symbol, and not a nazi symbol, but the museum continued to get complaints from people who were probably not even born when the swastika was actually used as a nazi symbol, and the museum finally caved in and removed the tapestry. when i pointed this out to a friend, he said “people are dumb”, but i think it’s more than that. philip k. dick said “reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” and that’s the kind of shift in reality that i am seeing here: i “believe” that reality is one way, most of the rest of the world “believes” that reality is something completely different, and people who i would expect to not only know the difference, but who are supposedly expert in teaching dumb people how to be smart, actually go along with the “dumb” people and remove something that is decidedly not nazi, simply because these “dumb” people thought it was.
but it goes back a lot further than that. i pretty regularly find myself totally at a loss to determine why someone who was faced with an eminently apparent and logical choice to do one thing, deliberately and blatantly chose to do the exact opposite, and was cheered by society for doing so.
POINT 2) ever since i first started learning about spirituality, i’ve heard one basic message from every single bona fide spiritual teacher i’ve ever met (there are a number of scam artists who people think are spiritual teachers that don’t teach this message, and they’re not the ones i’m talking about), which is that you don’t “pretend” to to something, you don’t “try” to do something. it’s like yoda said: you either do, or do not. there is no “try”. you don’t “pretend” to be an artist, or an engineer, or a truck driver: you either are, or you’re not. in the same way, you don’t “pretend” to be enlightened: you either are, or you’re not. and (a very important point to remember) nobody can say conclusively whether a person is, or is not enlightened: they generally have to rely on what the person claims for themselves. my experience, in general, is that you don’t often get people going around saying that they’re enlightened, and in general, i would be extremely suspicious of anybody who was doing so (so don’t expect me to make a big thing out of this), but you have to start somewhere, and this as good a time as any (rabbi hillel said that).
POINT 3) for a long time (upwards of 35 years now) i have been learning a lot about spirituality and have developed what i believe to be a unique path. i’m not interested in finding other people who agree with me spiritually, much as i’m not particularly interested in what people think of me when i walk into home depot wearing a kilt, a pink long sleeve shirt, and a fez (and, believe me, there were definitely some eyes cast askance in my direction when it happened, but at the time i was totally oblivious to everything except the project that i was working on). i’m firmly convinced that the path i have discovered is exactly the right path for me, in spite of the fact that, when it comes to explaining that path, many have come to the conclusion that i am totally crazy. i don’t let opinions like that dissuade me from pursuing that path, however, and so far (again, for me) i haven’t been wrong.
POINT 4) i experienced what i can only describe as a “shaktipat” moment (specifically, तीव्रमध्यशक्तिपात tīvra-madhya-śaktipāta) while i was driving in the car this afternoon. i was thinking about the fact that my perception of “reality” appears to be so skewed and i realised that either there is something “wrong” with society, or something “wrong” with me. as i find no compelling reason to think i’m crazy, seeing as how my perceptions tend to be more “what people should do” than what they, themselves, do, i was forced to this conclusion:
i get the distinct impression that i am “enlightened”.
this was such a profound revelation to me that, in spite of the fact that, during the time when i was experiencing shaktipat, traffic in my lane (and only my lane) suddenly went from 65 miles per hour to a dead stop in two seconds, and the guy behind me layed on his horn when we didn’t move forwards quickly enough to suit him, i was really enjoying myself, turned up the radio (which was playing classical music) and laughed out loud.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
there is a famous zen saying, which goes: before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
what i take this to mean is, that it doesn’t matter whether or not you have enlightenment. you get no special powers or priveledges from being enlightened: it is a purely spiritual experience, and can only be appreciated on a spiritual level. anything having to do with my body, or my physical surroundings will not be affected by my enlightenment in the least, and very likely nobody else will notice…
but the way i perceive “reality” will be drastically altered forever.
instead of wondering why society is so screwed up, and why i’m so different, i have an entirely different view: one where it’s okay for people to do screwed up things that don’t affect me, because people are going to do screwed up things whether i am here or not. of course, i will do my part to make sure that people don’t do screwed up things, and to help people see the screwed-up-ness of what they have been doing, if they ask, but if they don’t, i won’t worry about it.
you don’t have to be a monk to be enlightened: Shyama Charan Lahiri was an enlightened householder, and one of his main messages was that anyone could become enlightened. i feel it is quite an honour to follow in the footsteps of Lahiri Mahasaya, which i have been doing for 25 years…
my impression, based on the behaviour of people i suspect to be enlightened, i would guess that i will develop ways to “trick” people into doing things that i know will be more beneficial to them than the things they were going to do, but my guess is that it will take a while and i’ll probably face abject failure more than once before i get the knack of it.
i’ll probably get frustrated and angry about injustice, but i got frustrated and angry before i was enlightened: before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. nothing has changed on the physical level.
other than that, i don’t know how being enlightened will affect me, because i have never been enlightened before. if anything interesting comes up, i’ll be sure to clue you in. 8)
i don’t use facebook for a large number of reasons. primary among these is that, despite the fact that a lot of my current friends are facebook members, there are certain people from my past that might want to get in touch with me, and i would prefer it a great deal if they did not know how to get in touch with me. not being a member of facebook is a good way to accomplish that. among the other reasons, in no particular order, are these: Facebook users ‘are insecure, narcissistic and have low self-esteem’, Understanding the latest Facebook privacy train wreck, Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook, More Reasons Why You Should Still Quit Facebook and Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook? i’m not going to rant about this, despite the fact that i could rant for quite some time about facebook, because whatever i say, people are going to do what people are going to do, and one of those things is to use facebook in spite of it’s obvious and blatant flaws.
reminder: THIS is the reason why i am no longer using LiveJournal for anything remotely blog-related. i know enough about how these things work to realise that there’s probably a lot going on that i don’t understand, and that i don’t know about, but there’s one distinct advantage to having a blog located on a server over which you have exclusive control, and that is that you don’t have
perverts sysadmins stalking poking their noses in where they’re not supposed to be. if you’re looking for an alternative, i can host your domain and you can run your own version of wordpress there, and i promise i won’t comment on flocked entries. contact me for more details.
Death by iPod – this is directly related to last week’s link detailing people still falling for scams, despite the fact that they’ve been running essentially the same scams for at least ten years… society needs a collective brain upgrade. examples: Google squirrels into human brains with Scribe experiment and Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent
Windows malware dwarfs other viral threats – “The vast majority of malware – more than 99 per cent – targets Windows PCs”. another very good reason to use linux.
Stuffed Pony Blown Up By Bomb Squad Suspicious ‘FurReal’ pony blown up near elementary school – it was a battery powered, stuffed pony, in the vicinity of an elementary school… because the clowns at clownland security didn’t have anything better to do…
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Unconstitutional – this actually happened a few days ago, but i haven’t seen it in any of the regular news at all. the “christians” will say that it’s further evidence that they are a “persecuted minority”. meanwhile Self-Described ‘Christian Counterpart To Osama Bin Laden’ Arrested In Plot To Bomb Abortion Clinic and Self-labeled ‘Christian counterpart of Osama bin Laden’ allegedly planned clinic bombing – “christians” are the real terrorists.
What does it take to be happy? About $75,000 – money can’t buy happiness, but apparently $75k a year will get you pretty close…
New research restores psychedelics’ medical respectability – first they were used as medicine for thousands of years, then they decided that they have no medicinal value, now they’re saying that they might have medicinial value after all… i wish they’d just make up their minds and stop decieving us. sign The Vienna Declaration to advocate for evidence based drug policy and strengthen the call for policies driven by evidence. join the movement to end the failed war on drugs!
Cannabis Yoga – to help you come down from your stressful life. this is not a joke.
Noam Chomsky to become new X-Factor judge – this is a joke.
friday i played linda lee’s open mike at the gypsy trader café with hobbit, and while i was there, i met another open mike musician named marshall who had already finished off one 40-ouncer and was well into his second (he had finished the second and was well into his third by the time it was his turn at the mike) when we came in. he immediately fixed his bleary gaze on me and my tuba, came over, introduced himself, and proceded to gush over my tuba, and how he had a “miniature tuba” that was exactly like mine, which had belonged to his grandfather, which he had determined that i should want to buy, because it was exactly like my tuba, but little. i payed little attention to him, becuase he was drunk and because i always get people raving about my tuba at open mikes anyway, but i gave him my business card and thought no more about it.
it was really nice to play music with hobbit, and it made me realise even more acutely the fact that snake suspenderz has been on far too long a “break” and i’ve got to get back into playing tuba for some band, because i really miss it… and tuba isn’t much of a solo instrument unless you’re The Tuba Man…
last night i (#32) went to a fez-up with hobbit (#8) and fez-monger (#13) at the elephant and castle, an upscale “british” pub (although despite the “british” ambience and decor, there wasn’t a single brit in the entire joint) on 5th avenue that has been there for at least 20 years, but i have never been in it before last night. once again, it was great to be out with hobbit and another fez-wearer in public, and the fact that it was the fez-monger himself added honour and prestige to the whole evening, even if i was the only one who noticed it.
i’ve been playing email tag with fez-monger for a week now, and i still can’t figure out where the link to order an “order of the fez” fez is. jason assured me that it was on the order of the fez web site, and he said that he emailed me with the information, but i haven’t received email from him, and the only mention of it that i can find on the order of the fez web site says that you should contact jason at fez-o-rama, and i can’t find anywhere on the fez-o-rama web site that even mentions the “order of the fez” fez. perseverance (or, possibly, perseveration) is key when approaching things like this.
yesterday, before the fez-up, i got a call from marshall, who was still obsessed with the idea that i wanted to buy his miniature tuba. he gave me enough details about it that i was able to determine that the instrument he had was probably very simlar to this one. he said that it had “engraving” on the bell (which i later determined was actually stamped there, rather than engraved, but i can’t expect him to know the difference) that said “J.W.Pepper, Importer, Philadelphia and Chicago” and that it had a serial number #24320. i determined that it was most likely manufactured around 1910 by John Distin for J.W.Pepper – a company that is still in business. i called him back and asked him if he could send me pictures, but apparently he is not technologically savvy enough to do such a thing, so i made arrangements to meet him today, to take pictures of the horn so that i could do some more research on it.
at 2:00 this afternoon, i met with him on dearborn avenue in seattle, and what he showed me was almost exactly the same as the horn that i picked out on the web, and it looked like it was in pretty good shape, for a 100-year-old silver plated instrument. it had some problems, but none that were not almost immediately overcome-able by a person with a bit of intuition and the correct tools, so i offered him $75 for it, and came away with a pepper tenor horn that is currently in the workshop with penatrating oil soaking through 100 years of corrosion on the tuning slides.
once i get the horn playing (which shouldn’t take too long, because all it really needs is a good cleaning and lubrication, and to have the lead-pipe soldered down where it’s come loose), it’s very likely going to join my menagerie.
A QUICK REFRESHER FOR BRASS PLAYERS
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER TRY TO REMOVE A STUCK MOUTHPIECE WITH PLIERS OR A PIPE WRENCH
a public service announcement brought to you by Hybrid Elephant, dba Nataraja Music Service
real musical instrument repair technicians have a nifty little device called a mouthpiece puller. it is a screw-and-leverage gadget that pulls from the center of the mouthpiece, while, at the same time, pushes on the edge of the leadpipe: a method that is 100% guaranteed to free the most stubbornly stuck mouthpiece in existence, without marring the finish of either the horn, or the mouthpiece itself.
seriously, you could actually solder the mouthpiece into the reciver, pull it loose with the mouthpiece puller, and not mar the finish of either the mouthpiece or the instrument itself. i’ve done it. 8)
the proper way to insert a brass mouthpiece to avoid getting it stuck is to place the mouthpiece, gently, into the reciever and then, without putting pressure on the mouthpiece, twist it a quarter turn. this places the mouthpiece firmly enough that you can actually hold up the horn by the mouthpiece, but it can be easily removed by twisting it the other direction, and pulling straight out. if you put your mouthpiece in this way, it will never get stuck, and you will never have this problem, but if you do, this to warn you that you should never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece with pliers or a pipe wrench.
these are examples of mouthpieces which have been removed “the wrong way”. they are scarred by wrenches or plier jaws, and ruined beyond repair. if they had been removed the right way, they would still be usable. when you try to remove a mouthpiece “the wrong way”, all you accomplish is ruining your mouthpiece, and about half the time, your entire horn is an unintended casualy: a stuck mouthpiece is notorious for being stuck so firmly that it pulls loose solder joints or twists tubing instead of being removed by pliers or a pipe wrench. instead of using the correct tool and pulling your stuck mouthpiece in under five minutes, you have completely ruined your mouthpiece and have to figure out where the money for several hundred dollars worth of repair to your leadpipe is going to come from, before you can play your horn again.
a decent quality mouthpiece can cost anywhere from $20 to $200, and a new horn can cost upwards of $2,000. getting your mouthpiece stuck is not uncommon, even if you are very careful. removing it the right way can insure that you have a mouthpiece that can still be used afterwards, and can save you a lot of money and headaches.
i’ve subscribed to a number of anti-evolutionist blogs (for entertainment purposes only, mind you). this one, from It’s Harvest Time typifies the combination of laughable, and frightening ignorance which i frequently find so disturbing that i question my own sanity in subscribing to wingnuts like this. i originally wrote “freaks like this” but then i realised that it would be a significant put-down for freaks – like myself – and i decided that a hardware reference would be more along the lines of what the guy actually is.
Stephen Hawking’s Recent Stupidity
British Professor Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s most noted professor [sic], was quoted recently giving his explanations on the origins of the universe. Let me give an EXACT QUOTE – “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” FROM NOTHING! This man believes that the universe was created BY ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I don’t [sic] who you are – that’s STUPID! Don’t laugh, though. This is a quote from the atheists’ best! This is a prominent professor of theirs [sic]! This is not one of their uneducated paupers on the streets of downtown Detroit; this is the VERY BEST THEY HAVE TO OFFER! And, rather than believing in a Creator who created the universe with nothing, for a specific purpose, they would rather believe that the massive amount of matter and order in the universe came from nothing! How pitiful!
NPR (National Public Radio) has been trying to figure out recently how humans became the dominant species. Again, instead of believing in an intelligent Being who created the world with a divine plan, they believe that over a period of BILLIONS OF YEARS, the human race evolved from primates. That is the most laughable theory I have ever heard. Evolution is philosophy, not science. It is not science because it has NEVER BEEN OBSERVED. No species has even been witnessed to evolve into another. No organism has ever been witnessed to reproduce another organism of a different species. IF IT HAS NOT BEEN OBSERVED, IT IS NOT SCIENCE. As laughable as it is, they are “making it as sure as they can.” It’s weak, but it’s the best they have.
to say that he disagrees with stephen hawking would be one thing, but to say that the man is stupid is another thing entirely, and when he offers no proof whatsoever that stephen hawking is, actually, mentally deficient in some way, it borders on libel. personally, i have a tendency to think that it’s possible that stephen hawking may have thought about these things a fair amount more than i have, and, while i don’t completely agree with him about the creation of the spiritual universe, i have a tendency to think that his theories about the creation of the physical universe are more correct than not.
i would point “rev.” bob board (who doesn’t have a wikipedia page, to give you an idea of how significant the world considers his opinions) towards something like this:
since i get the impression youtube is where he has gotten most of his current ideas about evolution. i also believe that he’s a lot more likely to watch an animated cartoon, even a poorly drawn one, than he is to read a book, no matter how simple it is…
but i doubt it would make any difference in the way he thinks…
An Introduction to Text-To-Speech Synthesis by Thierry Dutoit. like new condition, bidding starts at $75, auction is 3 days.
i guess that means it’s okay for me to advocate burning bibles…
of course, he should be entitled to burn qur’ans; it’s his right to be stupid in this free country. it’s also right for me to organise a protest against him, which will be just as offensive to him as his is to me.
seriously, i think the proper way to protest this is to organise a mass bible burning on christmas, to protest the stupidity that brought this qur’an burning on september 11th into fruition.
No-one has the right not to be offended.
— John Cleese
Where books are burned in the end people will burn.
— Heinrich Heine
i’ll even contribute my collection of gideon bibles that i have stolen out of every single hotel room that i have ever stayed in (there’s at least a dozen)… that oughta’ get the protest rolling…
Twitter bug creates account hijacking peril – i’m not sure that this is exactly related to what i have been experiencing, but it does explain a lot, especially since i didn’t start experiencing a problem until after i had “disabled” my twitter account…
now to determine whether or not there is a way to prevent cross-site scripting in wordpress…
growl, grumble, gripe, complain… 😡
ETA: it is as i feared: WordPress 3.0.1 – Cross Site Scripting Issue and Twitter XSS Proof of Concept – it doesn’t work if you’re running NoScript (which i am), but there it is… i suppose now it’s just a matter of waiting until somebody comes up with a fix for it…
apparently either something was “stuck” in my computer that i deleted when i deleted and re-uploaded my blog yesterday, or something else is going on, because so far, the unauthorised authorisation dialogue that has been plaguing me for the past three days
has now flown the coop… grr. it’s back again… 8/ it’s like it waits until i’m actually typing a post before it shows up… weird!
apparently the process of disinfecting those two files that i discovered yesterday completely re-did the way the blog “plugins” work, because when i booted up this morning, i suddenly discovered that wordpress does, in fact, keep track of things that it seems to have been forgetting for a while now. maybe the thing that is supposed to email commenters when there’s a new comment will suddenly start to work now…
also, i’m sorry to say it, hobbit, but i have miraculously discovered a bidding war over the collection of conan books which is now up to $22 and the auction still has 9 hours before it’s over…
i’m fairly sure that the authorisation dialogue message that (still) won’t go away is somehow connected to my blog. when i shut down my computer yesterday, there was an authorisation dialogue box on my screen, but when i started up this morning it wasn’t there. so, i paid very close attention to what i started up, and the order i started things up, and kept track of the processes that were running on the computer. it didn’t show up again until i logged into my blog, at which point it showed up almost immediately.
so, i deleted all of the files except for the database and re-uploaded everything. in the process of re-uploading the files, i discovered a couple of files that were infected from last year, that i probably missed when i was cleaning up last year. 8/
of course, when everything was uploaded and the database got reconnected, the first thing that happened was that the authorisation dialogue box came back, so i’ve got a couple of other options, the first of which is rebooting my local computer, to see if there is something that is stuck in my local machine.
we’ll start out this week’s post with a public service announcement: National Chronic Illness Awareness Week is coming up 13-19 september. be nice to somebody: one in two americans has an invisible chronic illness or condition!
Predator drones patrols of southern US border start Wednesday – this is now a police state, where only the priveledged live, the starving refugee is given temporary status, and the illegal immigrant is hunted down and summarily
example: California Cops Taser Senior Citizen in His Own Home – couple returns home, man falls, wife calls 911, cops show up and taser man when he refuses to go with them. beware – this could happen in your home, to you.
Oil Rig Explodes Off The Louisiana coast – didn’t we already go through this once? and, by the way, we now have a BP ultimatum: Let us drill or funds will dry up – considering that it took them all of a week to make the money that they have spent on cleaning up the spill, i think that they could go a little while longer before they are completely out of money…
More War Lies – war is peace, love is hate, lies are truth… business as usual.
Stephen Hawking Breaks Atheist Rules – yep, he said there doesn’t have to be a “god” in order for everything to be here. broke the rules, indeed… Is Stephen Hawking’s New Book Science or Science Fiction – “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi
Top Web Scams of the Decade – in other words, if you don’t know that you shouldn’t respond to random, sketchy-sounding email from someone you don’t know, you probably shouldn’t be online at all. Pew Study Claims One Fifth Of American Adults Don’t Use The Internet – i’ve got an idea: make it so that you have to have a license to use an internet-connected device, in the same way that you now have to have a license to drive a car. kill two birds with one stone…
Budget cuts bring end to Stockton narcotics unit – hey, let’s move to stockton! 8)
California pot legalization ‘could end Mexican drug war’ and Marijuana activists stage Mexico City smoke-out to protest prohibition – hint: legalisation of cannabis could go a long way towards ending the war on drugs everywhere…
The Pain-Killing Power of Marijuana – especially with people like this guy’s brother pumping out new research…
Two new scientific studies reveal hallucinogens are good for your mental health – another thing hallucinogens are good for! 8)
Ancient brew masters tapped drug secrets – another thing beer is good for! 8)
Mind-Altering Parasites – toxoplasma gondii on the loose!
Vox is closing September 30, 2010 – that didn’t last long… they started vox after i left livejournal, which was a little more than two years ago…
i’m intrigued, though… they’re moving people to typepad and flickr rather than to livejournal… i wonder why…?
i went to the twitter web site and quickly determined that there wasn’t a way to connect with a tech-support drone who had any hope of giving me a cogent answer to my (primarily twitter-related) problem – one of the reasons i was so hesitant to get wrapped up in this whole thing to begin with… 8/
anyway, i went to the #kubuntu IRC channel on freenode and met up with someone who, once he had seen the picture of the dialogue box, had the idea that it might be a gnome dialogue, which is odd, considering that i am running KDE. admittedly, i do have a few gnome applications installed (synaptic, for example), but as far as i know, none of them are using the gnome-keychain application from which this seems to be a dialogue box, so he suggested that i remove it, which i did.
after logging out and logging in again, it looked as though the dialogue had vanished (a good thing), so after waiting around for half an hour or so, i quit the IRC client.
almost immediately the authorisation dialogue came back… 8/
i then began shooting down processes that looked suspicious, starting with anything even remotely gnome-related. eventually i shot down enough processes that my system became unstable, so i had to completely shut down the machine and restart.
at this point, the dialogue hasn’t come back yet. i’m not sure whether it’s because of the fact that i removed software, or whether it’s because of the fact that i hadn’t actually shut down the computer, or if it’s because both of those things happened… at this point, i’m not completely convinced that the dialogue won’t come back again.
ETA: it’s back… 8/
another thing i learned about was the existence of yet another browser, rekonq, which has some interesting quirks and probably won’t replace firefox any time soon, but it’s an interesting addition to the collection.
i didn’t want to, but i signed up for a twitter account, allegedly so i could “keep in contact” with the previous host provider…
no, this isn’t going to be another gripe about my host provider, although it starts out seeming that way, bear with me…
of course, it didn’t work, and i don’t have services provided by that service provider any more anyway, so i decided to cancel my twitter account. after all, i never used it, and i only signed up for it in the first place because i thought it was going to facilitate something that, in fact, it didn’t. however, i found that it’s not so easy to “cancel” your twitter account.
you can – allegedly – “deactivate” your account, which is a “permant” method of “temporarily” disabling your account (whatever that means), but your account might still be visible for up to 48 hours after it has been “deactivated” due to “network propagation” (whatever that means)…
so i decided to “deactivate” my account, since there doesn’t seem to be any way at all to cancel it outright. it was actually deceptively simple. i say it was “deceptively” simple because, although i did it this morning, and my computer has actually been shut down for most of the day, i still keep getting an “authorisation dialogue” from something i didn’t install, but which says that “twitter api” at “twitter.com” wants access to something on my computer…
i click “cancel” and it goes away, only to come back about 5 minutes later. i don’t enter anything, and click “OK” – which i would assume would produce an error message, and… it goes away, only to come back about 5 minutes later…
it’s 11:00 at night, and i don’t have time to try and figure out what’s going wrong, but you can bet that i”m going to have a stern conversation with a couple of tech-support toadies at twitter tomorrow.
i am writing this from portland. to be specific, i am writing this from the back yard of my mother-in-law’s house. when i booted up my battery-powered laptop, it automatically found a network, and logged me in. it also found 3 other networks, for which i don’t have the password stored in my computer.
my impression is that i can go pretty much anywhere in pretty much any metropolitan area in this country, and be able to log on to the network with not an awful lot more than a password. this particular network’s password was (probably) supplied by my wife, who set up her mother with wireless ethernet last christmas, but it shouldn’t take any more than asking someone to be able to log in to any network. i just heard someone on the radio this morning who was saying that, inevitably, they’re going to include wireless networking, or wifi hotspots in new buildings, the same way that new buildings currently are wired with electricity, sewers and running water. i shouldn’t have to do more than ask someone to get free access to internet, in the same way that i shouldn’t have to pay someone to get water, or go to the bathroom.
and yet, that’s what google – the “don’t be evil” company – is out to make happen. it’s not bad enough that google anticipates the keywords that you type in, based on information that they have gathered from your previous searches, or that google is willing to sell that information about you to other people without your knowledge or permission, but on top of all that, they want to make you pay to get what should be equally free to everyone.
yeah, i know that you can go into a restaurant and get a fancy glass of water, but you’re also going to get quite a bit more than that in a restaurant, if what you’re starting out with is water, and when water is all you need, paying for all of that other, admittedly desirable, stuff, is starting to be more of a “luxury” item than anything else…
here’s an option: give free high speed internet to everyone, but let google and verizon build their “private, for-pay” internet and have them deliver that “private, for-pay” internet in a way similar to that in which fine food is delivered at a restaurant, and see how long it is before people realise that “private” and “for-pay” means that regardless of how raunchy, evil and nasty they want to be, someone is going to be aware of their actions.
the further back you go, the more dramatically my memory fades, but because of my injury, i have a significant gap in specific memories between about 1985 and 2003. because of the fact that i was not taking very many pictures during that period, i don’t remember much, but i recently came across a whole bunch of negatives and slides, the earliest of which were taken in the late 1970s, before i graduated from high school, and the most recent were taken when i lived in mt. vernon, which ended in about 1994.
i’ve put a whole bunch of pictures up, but i only linked to a few of ’em.
we’re making an emergency trip to portland tomorrow. whee…
FOR SALE: ELEVEN CONAN THE BARBARIAN PAPERBACKS – no reasonable offer refused. get them while they’re hot…
i know there’s got to be some classic, old-school geek who can’t resist an offer like this… i just wish it was me. 8)
this morning i woke up convinced that it was thursday and it took until about noon or so before i was disabused of that notion. then i sat down with my synthesizer and played around with an idea i’ve been toying with for the past couple of days and before you know it, it’s 7:30 and i’ve got most of a piece of music finished. this is the result, which is considerably lower quality than the actual file, but i wanted to get it in less than 4mb to save space. i’m not sure it’s 100% finished yet, but it’s fairly close.