Older blog entries for ask (starting at number 138)

California Recall election
Don't forget to vote today if you are so enabled. The Sacramento Bee is reporting that recall polls are differing widely so your vote just might actually mean something! Too tired to write anything sensible now, but in brief according to me you should vote:
  • No to proposition 53 (which will tie money to construction projects and thus make the politicians unable to juggle the budget from year to year -- no wonder they can't balance it with stuff like this). In my ignorance I didn't know about this, but Viridiana just explained it to me, of course it's entirely likely I got it wrong... mmnn).
  • No to proposition 54 (Racial Privacy Initiative). At first it might sound like this would give less discrimination, but it's the other way around. Please say no.
  • No to the recall. It's just wrong that anyone with a couple of million dollars can make this kind of chaos.
  • Vote on someone. With the current polls I'd probably put a not very enthusiastic vote for Bustamante. If the Arnold-Riskā„¢ wasn't looming over us I'd suggest voting for Camejo as his values fits much better with mine.
In any case, it'll be exciting to see how it goes. If Davis is recalled, when will the next election be? (assuming we won't get yet another recall). Entirely unrelated, I was listening a bit to Henry Rollin's Think Tank again tonight. So much fun, so much energy. :-) I don't think I've listened to any of his spoken words for a couple of years, but listening to it again I memorize all too much of it... mmmmn, maybe I shouldn't have had it (and the other albums) on repeat so much in the past. :^)

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1 Oct 2003 (updated 1 Oct 2003 at 18:58 UTC) »
iSync my stickies
<sticky>iSync is great. I use it very happily to sync phone numbers to my mobile phone and to keep bookmarks, calendar and the address book the same on the 'book and the mac at home.

I usually don't keep my todo list in iCal. It just doesn't quite work for me. Stickies are much better for me. But they are not synchronized. The alternative the stickies for me is to just keep the list as a text file on one of the Linux or FreeBSD boxes, but those tend to "get lost". So what I do is maintain the list in a sticky or three and then "sync" those once in a while with a text file... No, it doesn't work very well.

It would be so very nice if the stickies could be automatically synced between systems... Maybe some day.

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29 Sep 2003 (updated 29 Sep 2003 at 22:30 UTC) »
LoTR: Return of The King trailer
A few days ago the new Matrix trailer was exciting. Ha, that was then! The trailer for the last movie in the Lord Of The Ring trilogy, Return of the King, is out! But why oh why is the "large" version a puny 480x208... If I'm going to play these three minutes in loop from now to Christmas, at least they could have made it in a higher resolution. Oh dear, it looks so cool. Where's that time machine when you need it most?

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25 Sep 2003 (updated 25 Sep 2003 at 11:03 UTC) »
This American Life - Unusually Amazing Radio
Since I don't have a tv I listen to the radio quite a bit. I really like the radio. There are so many awesome programs. And I'm not even thinking of the cool music programs my radiostation are running (sadly often late at night - I need a radio TiVo).

While looking for the story I linked in the last posting I got reminded how many amzing stories they have at This American Life. I can't emphasize this enough. I want to include language they can't use on TV to make it clear to you, dear reader, how great this program is. But I'm not the cursing type unless I'm unusually upset, so I can't today.

I've listened to maybe 50, 100 or maybe even more of them over the last years and it's rare it hasn't been 59 very enjoyable minutes. I was considering linking to a few of my favorites, but if I had started you'd still be downloading this page because there'd be so many links. If you haven't heard the show before then read their introduction and then check out some of their own favorites.

Or you can go to their front page and just browse the archives for stories catching your interest. If you don't think you'll relate well to something called "American Life", you should reconsider. "This Life", the name in their URL, is really more accurate.

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25 Sep 2003 (updated 26 Sep 2003 at 02:46 UTC) »
From the minds of the Direct Marketing Association
Some confused judge in Oklahoma decided that Congress had given the FCC but not the FTC authority to make a the Do Not Call registry. So it's temporarily being blocked; otherwise it's supposed to take effect from October 1st. (Of course the legislators are saying that everyone is behind it and they'll get any legislation needed set up in a matter of days).

The best part of the NYT article:

The Direct Marketing Association acknowledged that the court ruling did not solve its public relations problem.

"We're pleased the court has agreed with us. On the other hand we're concerned about consumers who think we want to make calls when they don't want to receive them," said Bob Wientzen, chief executive of the association.

So we shouldn't be concerned that they want to make calls we don't want to receive? What kind of awkward spin is that? Of course it can't be easy to be the head of an organization of companies that everyone hates (act five, about 41 minutes into the show).

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If you liked Verisign's Sitefinder ...
For those of you who liked Verisign's Sitefinder .... huh? Noone? Alright then. For the rest of us: Mark Fowler brings us Acme::VerySign - make unused subroutines useful! "Useful" in the ever popular VeriSign sense of course. In related news, ICANN asks VeriSign to suspend sitefinder. Geez, just revoke their contract already! (via CircleID)

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16 Sep 2003 (updated 16 Sep 2003 at 20:49 UTC) »
metamark.net hijacked
Grrrh! Deutsche Telekom AG hijacked my domain metamark.net.

They requested a domain transfer from OpenSRS. We may not have rejected it, but we (as the owner) never requested the transfer and we never approved DTAG to do it! They are only allowed to do the transfer on behalf of the owner (duh).

OpenSRS told me that they are required to do the transfer and Deutsche Telekom are required to keep on file the old information and the new information and then document how we requested the transfer. Which we didn't of course, so they'll have to give it back. But what a fucking pain!

I can see in the OpenSRS log that the theifs, Michael Schoenemann (aka Metalife.de) and DT tried to transfer it some months ago where we rejected it from OpenSRS. No problomo, they'd just try again and again and again....

In the meantime the Metamark service is also at Metamarks.net; and the urls at xrl.us are of course unaffected.

I can't find a phone number on the Deutsche Telekom registrar site (maybe I could have if any click didn't lead me into frame and popup hell), but I sent them a mail in their contact form and when it's business hours there again I'll call and ask for their "compliance department" (on advice from OpenSRS). The T-Systems page is saying maybe we'll call you if you ask nicely. So I did, and other wise their press office has a phone number: +49 6151 680-22 10 (press office).

Any advice from someone who's parsing german better than I would be welcome.

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Grand Theft America
Really neat flash movie about how Katherine Harris stole the vote in Florida. Based on Greg Palast of BBC's Theft of the Presidency. (via David Weinberger)

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12 Sep 2003 (updated 12 Sep 2003 at 09:40 UTC) »
The properties of ideas
Thomas Jefferson said:

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself, but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it.

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breath, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

(via politech)

So in that spirit I've picked up Tony's idea of marking blockquote's with a line before the indention. Thanks Tony! :-)

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5 Sep 2003 (updated 5 Sep 2003 at 23:24 UTC) »
Funny Open Firmware bug
You can't use uppercase "U" in your open firmware password on most modern macs. Lowercase "u" and anything else is fine apparently. How weird is that. Not that it matters, who is using it anyway? Except to clear the nvram and as a poor mans System Profiler I haven't even booted Open Firmware since '97 when you had to do odd hacks to boot Linuxppc.

(Hold down command-option-O-F just after turning the computer on to boot into Open Firmware; it's fun! Programmable in Forth and all.)

Ah, you can set the password with a nifty tool. Brave new world.

PC Magazine are reviewing the giant 17" laptop I made fun of a while ago. "Pushes the Limits of Portability" they say. I thought even the 17" Powerbook did that! I need to stop mentioning powerbooks in every entry I make here.

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