Sunday, February 27, 2005

Free and Broadcasting in Las Vegas

Second times a charm -- just was on the PC Chat Show (The Linux Zone) for the second time. It's real radio, in Phoenix, no less. I find that one of the problems being induced by licensing, the bleed-over of free software onto proprietary systems and so on -- it's hard to talk about Linux and Free Software without mentioning that it does wonders for proprietary systems.

There's probably an article in there somewhere.

Regardless, I did a stint of internet radio broadcasting for (now Jupiter Media) in 1999. Ziff Davis gave us a really nice square of floor space and we setup our booth and computers. It was strictly to market LinuxToday and the channels sites. It was co-branded for ZD and we had a blast. Dwight Johnson coordinated a bunch of interviews, I ran the technical side of things (no small matter -- shoutcast was a rather testy thing in those days) and Emmett (the) Plant did the DJ/Announcer/Interviewer gig.

And we lost a bundle. Yeah, excess bandwidth charges and all, it was a dismal failure -- even though we'd been given the floor space. But man was it a ton of fun.

The PC Chat Zone is a traditional radio show and I'm still getting my bearings on what to say -- it took me a bit to decide how internet commentary was done so I'm sure I can wrestle something interesting here too. We'll see. This show was about FireFox (thumbnail sketch) and what a great piece of code it's turned into.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Keep on talking...

And today's article, worked up this weekend, polished at 4:00 am this morning and finally posted to sometime around 10:50 AM EST ... Is about what some community members thought about a Microsoft employee showing up at a Linux user group. You can read the article here. As usual, I had the typical problems keeping a straight face while writing it, so I put together another article that covers what not to say ;) when they show up.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Sammy the Snake

Well, playing tug of war with your dog can be more enlightening than you would think.

Sammy and I were tugging away and I found that he would (on carpet no less), drop down low to the ground, and rather than dig in, he'd hang on for dear life, continue growling and tuck his front legs behind him like a high-diver going for maximum aerodynamics.

Here's some video footage of him doing this in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Video of the Yap-O-Matic

Sammy (Samson now the official name) on video here. It's a bit on the grainy, low quality side, but his crazy personality shows through. He's really a punkin'. Unfortunately, he's still only sleeping about 3/4 of the amount needed to restore sanity, which makes the current ride a bit rough.

Two articles in queue for, just no time to finish at the moment.

And a couple of others for significant others...

Oh, and the usual joke articles for work. I finished two items over the weekend. Stuff I can't post to the web for professional reasons, but the usual insanity for anyone that knows me ;)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Oh Wow: Microsoft Anti-Spyware Tool Will Be Free

After reading this article and especially this quote:
"We've looked hard at the nature of this problem, and made a decision that this anti-spyware capability will become something that's available at no additional charge for Windows users-both the blocking capability, and the scanning and removal capabilities. Those are features we think should be available to protect every system," Gates said.

All I can say is Wow, so generous an offering by Microsoft. First, they create one of the most lax excuses for an operating system on the planet. Then, after letting the spyware problem fester for a few years, causing tons of people untold amounts of grief from stolen privacy to loss of the general usability of their machines -- after all of that, they come forward and say "I guess we'd better not charge you again."

Let me translate: "After we cost you so much in the past by our blundering about, I guess it would be a bad idea to charge you to clean up our mess at the same time -- especially when you consider that we've already plundered a lot in the past and now we're a company with several 10s of billions of dollars in the bank."

I think that kind of puts it in the right context...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Douglas Adams rides again (sort of)

The hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is about to make new rounds as a "new" movie! As a huge Douglas Adams fan, I can only hope that they haven't ruined it. What I've really wanted to see though is a Dirk Gently series -- the first book would make an awesome movie (even if they did try, without success, to make a Doctor Who episode out of it).

If you do get a chance to read this series though, I have to comment that Douglas really saved the best for last -- the final book "Mostly Harmless" stands alone as one of the best descriptions of quantum reality there is -- and it's funny as all hell to boot. It might take a few times through (read: multiple readings) to even make sense of what's going on. I know I laughed through it so much that I had to read it a second time so I could pick up the real plot line. It's a gas that he could create great science fiction and something hilarious at the same time.

And I miss him -- even though I never met the guy -- the world lost a dear soul when Douglas cashed out in 2001 :(

Guess I'll have to settle for this for now ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Monday Will be an Interesting Day

All I can say is to check for an interesting article.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Linux's Security Butt Says Old Mayo Jar Safer Than Windows

Linux Security Butt Paul Ferris opined at a press event in Cleveland Ohio that an old Mayo Jar with the right seal is more secure than a Windows box with an Internet connection. "I've seen it written many times that an old Mayo Jar, kept sealed on my back porch is safer than Windows. Especially after I write it a few times clearly. It's important to write clearly, because my handwriting isn't what it used to be." explained Ferris.

"I know it goes against conventional wisdom that an old Mayo jar would be secure and all", he continued, "But that's just the way it is." He then made a bunch of flatulating noises and clucked like a chicken.

Reporters were somewhat skeptical about the claims.

"Who are you going to trust? My word or your lying eyes?" He then stumbled about the room a bit and continued: "My Mayo jar is so secure -- just look at the seal on this baby!" He then held up the jar for all to see, opened it and took a swig from it. The jar appeared to contain some sort of clear liquid. Some questioned the digital storage capacity of the "device".

"It can hold TeraBytes of ... stuff." He explained after much stammering and slurring. He then fainted. A couple of the reporters sampled the contents and claimed it contained some sort of refined grain alcohol.

Questions about alleged attacks on Ferris' new security device were obviously left unanswered, which is a crying shame.

Any resemblance to this article referenced on (a true Linux community web site) is purely an accident, of course.

Friday, February 11, 2005

We're holding in there ...

The pooch has been slowly getting potty trained. /dev/son came by for the night and took over so Lisa and I could get some sleep for a change. It's been rather difficult as either Lisa or myself would lose a nights sleep on yard duty.

Unlike our previous dog (A boxer), this one is extremely vocal. I guess it's a trait of Samoyeds (very endearing, by the way, it's not like I'm complaining). We're very blessed.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Future Linux Game Eval Morphs

The new format is a virus warning. See this piece I submitted to for more. It's a new variation on an old theme. What are "viruses" in fact are trends in the news industry and Linux space, cast as malicious programs that are attempting to "infect" you PC.

The inspiration for my future Linux game and virus stuff was Arlan Leviton -- he used to write for Ziff Davis's computer Shopper, back when the thing would double as a weapon. Arlan was the sole reason I kept my subscription, and when he quit writing for them, I canceled my subscription, as the publication had marginal value as a resource for hardware at that moment in time.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Well, the pooch gets named Samson. Sammy. "The Yap-o-Matic" is the non-official title for now ;) Jet has been seen in full lurk/charge mode on the pup, which drew a last minute abort and diversion in course down the hallway. The mental picture I had of what Jet was probably thinking was "Abort! Abort Mission! Strange object does not respond to normal posturing commands!". The sad thing is the dog is constantly trying to play with Jet (and squeak). *sigh* they just don't speak the same gaming protocol.

Anyway, he's survived over a week here -- but we're another story. I get maybe 2 hours of un-interrupted sleep a night. Lisa and I have been swapping night duty with the dog and it's taken its toll.

But he's worth it :-)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The little guy

Well, he's a handful to manage, but worth it. Stole my heart, the little rascal.
Click on the image to see a bigger version. He's not doing bad in the potty training area, and 3 of the 5 cats have decided that he's not going to kill them, so that settles it -- he's voted in :)

Next comes training him to pull a sled, which we're probably going to need here shortly if the Winters get any crazier!