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Imperial Chronology, following my world line. Note that this may not be colinear with yours. If you have trouble following the hex dates used in the Empire, a converter is available.


August 8, 2014:

How to clone and align a Windows XP partition from a Linux command line

The problem: You have an XP filesystem that's almost full by now, between the need to keep around a pile of craptastic Windows-only dev tools that you hate but might need to use someyear and the need to keep a copy of every game ever, plus scratch copies of the data for games you're actually working on. So you get a terabyte on sale. You've now got a blank Big Hard Drive and an old Windows drive.

The Maundering begins here. If you just want to clone windows WITHOUT the rant, skip to the 'END MAUNDERING' section.

It's possible to just partition the new drive, dd the old partitions over, and hit them with ntfsresize to expand the filesystems to fill the new partitions. The problem is that, for performance reasons, XP aligns filesystems to start on a cylinder boundary. This gives a major performance boost when you install XP on a drive that exposes its real CHS geometry to the OS, like exactly no drive still on the market when XP was released. If you've taken apart any recent drive, you'll have noticed that none of them actually have the 32 platters that a 63-head CHS geometry implies.

Modern hard drives tend to have a 4K physical sector size. (SSDs have a much larger physical sector size for reasons - but they tend to be aligned to powers of 2, not powers of 512*63.) And an assortment of random people on the Internet say that an unaligned partition will have shitty performance on a newstyle drive, which seems credible to me.

So after getting XP to boot on the new drive, I promptly turned around and tried to move the partitions to be properly aligned. Everyone says that XP boot partitions really don't like being moved, because they store a bunch of geometry information in the filesystem somewhere. Everyone is very, very right about this. A few hours and a few permutations of parted, fdisk, ntfsresize, and ntfsreloc later, I'm actually beaten down enough to try a GUI tool.

gparted is recommended by a lot of people, but the fact that the documentation has been rendered unreadable by dodgy SEO makes me less than comfortable using it. So I take a look at the Acronis Alignment Tool that everyone's recommending, because apparently Western Digital gave it away free to everyone - even non-WD customers - when they introduced 4K sector drives.

Western Digital's site is a pain to navigate. Ooh, they have 6GB drives- but I shouldn't be distracted by Big Hard Drives, I already HAVE all the Big Hard Drives I need. The form to download Acronis is broken - it asks a bunch of questions about the system I intend to use it on, then sends me to a page of search results instead of a download page. Blundering around their site further, I finally find an actual download link. <clickety>. ... It's an exe file. According to various peoples' instructions, I need to install it on a Winbox to burn the ISO to actually move the partitions. What? This sounds dodgy, but I *suppose* actively distributing malware would do enough damage to WD's rep that they wouldn't... So I recreate the unaligned clone of C I'd been using, boot the new drive into Windows, click 'ok' to all the unsigned drivers it wants to install to access the drives that it's... er, already accessing, turn the network back on, download Acronis from my Real Computer. Scan it for viruses. Nothing that $VIRUSSCANNER recognizes, though that doesn't mean much. Run it. Read the EULA.

Bluh bluh bluh legalese bluh bluh customer agrees to provide Feedback to Acronis about the operation of their tool bluh customer agrees that Acronis may collect and transmit information in secret and without further notification (Whaaat? Right, packet logger ON, I want to see what secret information this thing is transmitting) bluh bluh commercially reasonable efforts to notify customer of changes in terms of service, but... (Well, I can uninstall it when I'm done) bluh bluh several pages about backup services ... Will not disclose information unless required by law or regulation or government request (So basically Acronis can only turn over the information they collect to the NSA if the NSA asks them to.) also we can disclose any child porn (Huh? Well, I don't have any child porn.) content must comply with US law, Swiss law, and any other applicable law (... So no criticism of Putin or Erdogan or whoever your local authoritarians happen to be, check. Good thing I'm not under the jurisdiction of a country where it's illegal to criticize the leaders - oh wait, Swiss lese majeste laws also protect foreign leaders.)

So, by now I'm rather confused and uncomfortable about their EULA - it's pretty clearly the EULA for a private-sector panopticon thinly disguised as a cloud backup service, not a disk alignment tool. Did I download the wrong file or something? (Legal disclaimer: I'm summarizing the contract from memory. There may be errors in my summary. Don't rely on it.). But I kind of want to see what this damn thing tries to upload, and I can uninstall it when it's done, so... finishes skimming contract, clicks agree, waits... Slow install is slow. Slow install is still slow. Slow install wants to install a driver which has not passed WHQL testing for 'System Device'. What, no, no you cannot install fucking drivers, you're just there to save a fucking ISO, cancel.

Installation fails. Apparently it really doesn't like not being allowed to muck with the kernel. It saves an install log. Which locks up Notepad. What the hell is this thing, anyhow? A post-install Spybot scan finds an Ask.com toolbar - should check with the person who actually uses this machine to see if it's intentional or something Acronis dropped.

Do further research. Find out that actually, everyone who said WD made the tool available free to everyone is full of shit (or, more charitably, perhaps it was available to everyone at the time the wrote it and NOW is only for WD customers.) Apparently the random search page was WD's user-friensdly way of saying 'You are not logged in. You need to log in to download this. You need the serial number from a Western Digital drive to log in. Also you need the serial number to be from a drive old enough that we think using XP on it is OK, not one of our new NAS drives.'

Upon consideration of the wisdom of jumping through hoops to install unlicensed probable malware, I decide 'screw this, I'm going to try gparted.'

So I install Debian, flail about for a while with grub and parted and fdisj (Because after enough flailing and argh, my typing kind of suffers) and ntfsreloc and ntfsresize, install gparted, start trying to move the partitions around. Resizing them doesn't make it clear whether they'll be aligned or not, and the fact that maxing out the size causes gparted to say I'm doing nothing at all makes me think it probably isn't actually going to align them. Maybe if I shrink the partition and move it to the end and then back to the beginning it will be properly aligned? Dunno, may as well try.

Beginning read-only test, 2:30:14 remaining.

... Screw this. My flailing has left the new drive's partition arrangement a complete and unholy mess, with an sda5 that Linux doesn't recognize, an out-of-order partition table (most of which is unaligned), no free space, and filesystems that have a good chance of STILL not booting even after I finish mucking with 'em. Hastur only knows what Acronis has left on the drive. Screw this. I'm going to delete all the partitions and start over.


So, here's the actual FAST instructions.

Make sure the new drive is the only one connected to the computer.

Boot from the Debian netinst CD. I used the standard (non-graphical) installer to create the partitions - which gave me properly sector-aligned partitions starting at 2048. (The extended partition it created was unaligned, but the logical partitions within it were properly aligned - and it's only the logical partition alignment which matters performance-wise IMO.) Finished the install, making sure to disable the 'Debian Desktop' and 'Print Server' options when selecting default package sets (no point downloading those for my purposes - the Debian install on this box will be used for sysadminly tasks, not as a desktop. If I need desktop stuff on it it'll probably all have updated _anyhow_.

Make sure you mark your C: partition bootable. I don't remember when I did it or whether I used fdisk or the installer's friendly partitioner, but.

Boot Debian on the new drive. apt-get install ntfsprogs. mkfs.ntfs on your shiny new NTFS partitions. (Note: By default, mkfs.ntfs will zero the entire partition. You can use the -Q option to skip that step if it's not needed. I see reports that zeroing is needed if you're planning to install Windows on the drive, as otherwise it may decide it needs reactivation or something. It started to zero the C: drive but was taking too long, so I ^C'd it and tried again with -Q. The data drive wasn't zeroed at all.)

Plug the old drive back in. Make sure the computer will boot off the new drive, not the old one.

Boot Debian. Mount your old Windows partitions. Also mount your shiny new Windows partitions. This example assumes that the new C: drive is mounted on /c and the old one on /old-c/ .

cp -a /old-c/* /c

SERIOUSLY THAT IS IT. Format the bootable NTFS partition under Linux and cp everything onto it, and IT WILL BE BOOTABLE.

Repeat the cp for any other Windows partitions you're copying over. Umount them all. Shut down. Unplug the old drive. Boot Debian. Run update-grub. Optionally, edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg so the default option is your XP install.

The only weirdness I've noticed so far is that it opens the desktop.ini files from the startup items folders in Notepad at boot. Depending on how you arranged the new partitions, there's a possibility you might wind up needing to manually reassign their drive letters.

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May 4, 2013:

The city lights twinkle underfoot
wreathed in tendrils of mist
and still further below
dendritic inclusions of quartz
arc piezoelectric discharges
as, aeons-long slumber disrupted
the mountains shift uneasily

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November 21, 2012:

I see time travellers, and they work in 'journalism'.

Bloomberg is happily running a puff piece under the headline "Wal-Mart Shoppers Seen Overrunning Black Friday Protesters" (never mind that the timestamp on the article is November 19th, and today is the 21st, and the protests they're talking about? Haven't happened yet, thanks.)

... I have to wonder how much of Wal-Mart's marketing budget goes to clandestine memetic manipulation - this isn't the first time I've noticed 'news' coverage of them that reads like advertising content.

Meanwhile, from the other direction, Docstoc sends the following gem:

Docstoc Newsletter - November 20, 2012 - SMB Stat of the Day

61% of Small Business Owners Plan to Vote for Romney
Romney is favored by small business owners over President Obama by a 35% margin.

Who will small business owners vote for in November?

... Hmm. I wonder who WILL win the election? Personally, my money's on Dewey.

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November 15, 2012:

So, my X server has BUGS. Specifically, it tries to use hardware acceleration for things, and for reasons I haven't yet figured out, one of those things is the cursor - and the accelerated cursor will occasionally turn invisible. When it's invisible, it's still possible to *click*, and the server *thinks* it's drawing the cursor - but the cursor itself is gone.

And the cursor will not come back unless I reboot. (Not restart X. Reboot the entire computer.) And even if I do reboot, there's no guarantee it won't disappear again in a week or a day or an hour.

Trying to fix X bugs is a massive arsepain (especially when I don't know if the real bug is in Nouveau or the onboard GeForce 5100 that my Summer Computers have), and rebooting is aggravating. That being the case, clearly the easiest thing to do was to write my own cursor-displaying app (or, rather, an app that draws a picture of the cursor at the location the mouse pointer is at.).

There are a few minor visual warts, but overall it seems to work - even if I did have to blunder about in the Xlib APIs for a while to figure it out. Once I've used it for a couple of days (and possibly drawn a less-sucky cursor) I plan to release a proper version - feel free to poke me if it's after the 20th and it's not up for download.

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November 4, 2012:

So, the election is almost over. Tiring, that.

My predictions, all applying to the period between election day and January 2017, unless otherwise noted - and all testable, so in 2017 I can look back and either gloat or be very embarrassed, follow.

Regardless of whether it's Obama or Romney who wins:

The Feds will continue to prosecute intrastate marijuana sales under coopted Commerce Clause authority, regardless of whether they are legal in the state in question or not.

The government will still insist it has the power to conduct warrantless searches at airports.

The government will run pilot programs aimed at extending warrantless random searches to trains, interstate busses, and metro areas

A Tea Party/Republican/conservative Democrat coalition will pass a bill watering down those clauses in the health care bill that place restrictions on insurance companies. The individual mandate will be preserved.

The government will not investigate or prosecute allegations of illegal mass electronic surveillance conducted prior to September 11th, 2001. If such are brought before any US court by private groups, the Federal government will argue that the case should be dismissed and the plaintiff's evidence sealed.

The government will not prosecute any government employees or contractors who tortured prisoners after September 11th, 2001.

If Obama wins:

He will publically oppose the bill to deregulate insurers, but sign it anyhow.

Employment will improve at least slightly (to make this testable: jobs/population will be higher for at least three out of four years of the 2013-2017 term than the same figure for the 2009-2013 term.).

In spite of the fears of some nutjobs, the US will not become a Communist or Muslim state.

The world will not end (unless a methane bloop switches us over to an anoxic atmosphere, but even then the green sulfur bacteria will survive.).

If Romney wins:

He will not initiate any new economic sanctions against China. He may, however, attempt to claim credit for sanctions initiated during the Obama administration that did not become effective until after his inauguration.

He will applaud the corporate-friendly amendments to the health care law before signing them.

The national debt will pass twenty trillion.

Romney will attempt to get Congress to pass a tax plan that raises taxes on the poor while cutting them on the rich. If it passes into law, revenue and real employment will go down, but the richest 1% will get richer.

If Congress provides him with a bill to cut taxes on the rich (for testability - any tax cut that affects people making over $1 million/year), or to cut the capital gains tax, he will sign it.

The world will not end (unless a methane bloop switches us over to an anoxic atmosphere, but even then the green sulfur bacteria will survive.).

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August 1, 2012:

I was thinking this morning as I prepared to come into this room of a discussion I had across the country in the United States about my perceptions about differences between countries. And as you come here and you see the GDP per capita for instance in Israel, which is about 21,000 dollars, and you compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like 10,000 dollars per capita, you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality - Mitt Romney

Now, since Republicans often argue that high tax rates are a drain on the economy (in spite of the fact that the US historical record suggests the opposite), I decided to compare the tax rates in Israel and Palestine.

VAT is 14.5% in Palestine, 16% in Israel - not that significant a difference, though high when compared to US sales taxes.

Israel's income tax rates range from 10% to 48% for individuals, and have recently been raised from 24% to 25% for corporations. (Source). Passive income (rents) are taxed at 30% to 48%. Israel taxes income from the transfer of real estate, but not (as best I can tell) from the ownership of it. (Source (PDF))

Palestine's tax rates are 5%-15% for individuals, 15% for corporations. Property is taxed at 17% of assessed rental income... but 60% of property tax is directly applied to your income tax and the remaining 40% is deductable from your income. (Source (PDF))

GDP per capita, according to Romney's figures, is approximately twice as high in Israel as in Palestine.

Other figures give different numbers: the CIA gives Israel $31,400 in 2011, and the West Bank $2,900 (as of 2008). I suppose that it's not impossible that the numbers have changed drastically in four years, or that his source is more accurate than the CIA, or that he included Palestine when calculating the Israeli GDP per capita... but really, his numbers seem fluffy. This is the man who wants to bring his business expertise in to help him run our economy?

Romney's commented on the impact of culture in economic divergence before, citing as examples the pairs US/Mexico, and Chile/Ecuador, and Israel/Egypt. Mexico has a somewhat lower top income tax rate than the US (30% versus 35%; the 30% rate also applies to corporate income). Egypt, again, has lower tax rates than Israel (20% corporate, 10-20% income). Chilean income tax ranges from 0-40% on personal and corporate income, while Ecuador's rates are 0-35% personal and 25% corporate).

Egypt's per capita GDP is $6600 (Adjusted for purchasing power parity.); Chile's GDP per capita is 17,400; Ecuador's is $8,600.

In the end, though, all this research is a load of bollocks. While his dataset suggests that, of pairs of adjacent countries, the one with the higher tax rate is richer, it doesn't determine whether the higher tax rates *cause* wealth, are a *response* to wealth, or completely unrelated one way or the other. More importantly, while GDP per capita can be a useful means of measuring the wealth of nations, it does not reflect meaningfully on the standard of living within a nation - a ten-person economy where two people make 100,000 and the other eight make 12,500 each is very different from one where five people make 35,000 each and the other five make 25,000 each. His pairing also seems to assume that adjacency corrects for differences in available natural resources.

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June 5, 2012:

Is election day too late to officially endorse Mike Strimling for Senator?

... Probably a bit late to *meaningfully* endorse him, but I've been rather distracted of late.

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May 3, 2012:

Too many things! Too many things at once!

I *want* to write a semidecentralized encrypted instant messaging program. (Yeah, I've done it before, but this one's BETTER and ALL NEW and PYTHON and people might actually be willing to use it. Well, one person. But she's worth coding custom crypto for.

Instead, I have work (game almost done, it's awesome, buy it!) and work (game engine in progress) and work (A Secret Project that I won't tell you about. Ask Ceiling Cat if you want information.).

In news *completely unrelated* to the Secret Project, I have had the dubious joy of working with Windows and learning about C++. Apparently C++ does not have a standard ABI. Which means that C++ thingies (technical term, that) built with one compiler are probably incompatible with C++ thingies built with another compiler.

Unfortunately, while the ABIs are incompatible, apparently the compilers don't actually bother to TELL you that, so I think I just wasted three days pursuing weird bugs actually caused by 'development environment not the same as vendor's development environment'. I need like, fifteen drinks.

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April 27, 2012:

Oh look! The Republicans are trying to get rid of Obama/Gingrich/Romneycare again.
... and by 'get rid of' we mean remove one of the bits that should directly benefit people, while keeping the individual mandate that they claim to hate so much in place.

Slightly earlier than I expected. But not actually surprising.

Prediction: they'll ram through a piecemeal repeal; by the time they're done, the individual mandate will remain, but most of the pesky restrictions on insurer behaviour will be gone.

Further predictions: Obama will pass part of the piecemeal repeal and claim that the Republicans are forcing his hand and that the only way to save the rest of the regulation will be to reelect him. (Won't work - once reelected, he won't have to worry about tacking to the left to gain votes.) And within a decade or two, we'll come upon strong evidence that the corporate leaders planned it this way all along.

(Paranoid much, moi? Yes. I'm writing it down so I can check to see if my paranoia is ACCURATE in a few years, since memory is notorious for adjusting itself to be what you believe it to be.)

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April 19, 2011:

How I fixed the dread 'AWC.dll load failed.' error.

So, today I installed Dragon Age II. It went reasonably straightforwardly; I took the obligatory cheap shot at the file extensions; I looked confusedly at eulas in tiny boxes, then blinked in slight surprise at seeing the LGPL in there. Good, I can cite that as precedent if anyone's ever complaining that they don't want to distribute LGPL-containing games.

Then came the moment of truth, to see if the box I cobbled together is actually good enough or if I need to run out and buy video cards (or build a whole new box). With trepidation, I entered the regcode and clicked The Button...

A window popped up: Exe Loader: AWC.dll load failed.

(Note: There is an answer at the end of the maundering!)

So, I searched the Internet. And the Internet gave me many solutions. Unfortunately, most of these were for Mass Effect 2, and (unsurprisingly), none of them worked on Dragon Age 2. One commenter observed that eir friend's pirate copy (I think e was talking about DA2) worked fine, but eir legal copy was useless. While I wouldn't feel guilty about warezing a usable copy to replace a useless legal copy, the notion of downloading a DVD and then having to spend a few days reverse-engineering the hacks to make sure that the only security they broke was EA's does not really appeal to me.

So, internet unhelpful. Hm. Well, this is a virgin XP install... so I installed a pile of updates. No luck; however, the service packs did make the configuration utility crash (just like Origins' configuration utility crashed.).

Much arghing later, I remembered something. The event viewer. It's Windows' version of syslog, and IT IS YOUR FRIEND. Control Panel (assuming classic view): Administrative Tools: Event Viewer.

Event Viewer told me that there were errors loading an assembly. Microsoft.VC80.CRT, to be specific. So I searched the Internet again, but installing the relevant runtimes also didn't help.

But searching my computer for the files DID help.


In Dragon Age 2\bin_ship\Core\imageformats\, there are a handful of DLLs and a manifest. After copying those into the bin_ship\core\ (not overwriting anything that was already there), the game now gets as far as asking me to sign in to my EA account.

... of course, this isn't MY computer I'm working on, and it being well after dawn Greenwich time, the accountholder is now asleep.

(postscript: ... on the bright side, I don't feel quite so worried about the possibility that I might wind up burning a run of installers that don't actually work right anymore.)

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January 14, 2011:

So, trying to log in as adm (per some of the examples) dumps me at a rather messed-up hugetext GUI screen (sans most of the 'UI'), and adm's homedir is missing. Hm.

... Trying to log in as 'fnord' does the same thing.

Logging in as glenda gets me to a weird GUI that actually has a UI. Shokku! Scroll lock gives me a Weird Glyph That I Don't Recognize, which is sort of irritating because I use scroll lock to trigger my KVM.

I miss tab completion already. The terminal cursor is nice, though.

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January 14, 2011:

And just as I'm reveling in the fact that ls is no longer no, the screen goes black and it refuses to display anything no matter what I input. ^T^Tr does, however, reboot, so the OS was still running.

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January 14, 2011:

Today, I tried to install two OSes I'd never seen before.

Why? Because I want to set up a pair of backup servers to rsync my code to every day (alternating on a weekly or monthly basis, so whichever one I'm not using can be off and unplugged for lightning-strike protection).

The attempt to install ChaOS did not go well - it booted, got far enough to tell me to press anything but shift to reload the bootstrap, then refused to respond to input. Oh well - I'm not sure if ChaOS was the best choice for a backup server anyhow, but I wanted to try something WEIRD to see if perchance one of the many people whose idea of a good time is writing their own OS has come up with something that meets my definition of 'AWESOME!'.

So, time to try something likelier.

Plan 9. A vaguely unixlike thing (it's more unixlike than, say, Windows XP is Maclike, but less unixlike than, say, Linux/HURD/GNU/OS X.). It's apparently the origin of procfs (which I've always found unaccountably interesting to peer at). It's got filesystems I've never heard of, UIs I've never used, a weird shell that allows treelike redirection constructs, and treats EVERYTHING as files.

The first frustrating thing was that it hated my DVD drive - it worked enough to get a large chunk of the way through the installer, but not enough to actually detect the installer data. I'm not sure if that's Plan 9's fault or my DVD drive being crappy, though. I put in an old CD drive and it installed happily enough.

The documentation was frustrating, though I think part of that was that I was stumbling around in entirely the wrong set - a collection of occasional step-by-step instructions buried among a large number of academic papers discussing the behaviour of a jukebox full of worms that they were using for a fileserver (with 320 gigs of storage and, IIRC, 128 megs ram - BIG IRON indeed!)

So, I blundered around the filesystem trying to figure out what to do next for a bit. The /n/dump filesystem is YAY and pretty much settles that Plan 9 will be one of my backup servers if at all possible (unless it winds up requiring so much storage that I can't back up ~/code/ to it.). I'm somewhat worried by the fact that I don't know what happens when the storage fills up *and* the docs were happily announcing 'Don't worry, by the time you fill it up storage costs will have come down!', though.

Blundering was frustrating, because I hate having to touch-type qwerty on a dvorak. So, I went looking for instructions for how to change the keymap, and found them. kbmap.

Which is a GUI app, that lets me use a mouse to select keyboard type by clicking on it- no, wait, clicking does nothing. Escape does nothing. Hm. The apps in the installer would let me do things to the windows by right-clicking... *right-clicks in a blank piece of the window.*. Nothing. Maybe if I right-click on one of the keyboard type buttons? Yes! It selects! And stays selected.

Websearching eventually disclosed that kbmap is dismissed using the Q key.

... of course, I haven't bothered to find out if rsync runs on this beast yet...

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December 1, 2010:

I've been learning new things about POSIX filesystem reliability guarantees (or lack thereof) in the event of an unclean shutdown. Fun.

This isn't as bad as it sounds - I plugged my new terabyte drive into my box last night. I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to switch away from reiserfs (primarily because I really don't enjoy seeing a murderer's egowank every time I type 'mount', thankyouverymuch; secondarily, because the increased complexity adds more room for bugs; tertiarily, because last I checked (this may have been fixed), the default debian grub configuration was unbootable on reiserfs root drives after an unclean shutdown.), and so I wanted to figure out what filesystem would be best.

Unsurprisingly, that's quite the flamewarbait.

Things I've discovered:
Data from a partition 150gigs or so into the disc can be read almost twice as fast as a partition near the end of the disc. (I haven't bothered testing the very beginning, because at the moment that's occupied by a devtest workstation install that I don't want to wipe - ultimately, I intend to try to move the old install onto my old disc, but for now I'd rather have two copies of my main system and one copy of the workstation than one copy of each.)

fd = open("file.new",O_WRONLY|O_CREAT);
is wrong. And not just because I left out all the error checking for clarity and forgot O_EXCL - posix provides no guarantee as to the order of operations ON DISK, so a crash that happens before the disk is completely synced can wind up leaving "file" with neither its old contents OR the new contents. Sigh.

I also did an assortment of benchmarking tests on various filesystems. Which consisted of untarring and then rm -rfing kernel source on them. It's not all that scientific - first of all, I didn't take steps to flush either OS-level or hardware-level caches between tests, and I wasn't working on all that large a dataset. Integer figures were obtained using date;(command);date; floating point figures were obtained using time;(command); each command was usually tested thrice, starting with a newly-created filesystem on sdb14. Since I was benchmarking anyhow, I decided to also test filesystems that I'd ruled out for one reason or another.


Filesystem tar xfj /usr/src/linux- rm -rf linux-
bfscould not mount new fs
btrfs 16, 16, 171, 1, 1
ext213, 13.3, 13.60.4, 0.2, 0.3
ext3 13, 15, 13 <1, <1, 1
ext4 15, 13, 13 1, <1, <1
jfs 32, 28, 29 10, 6, 6
jffs2 29, 28, 276, 8, 5
nilfs 18, 17, 27 1, <1, <1
ntfs 18, 18, 18 1, 1, 1
reiserfs14.3, 16.4, 17.20.9, 0.9, 0.9
vfat (sdb9)16.8, 14.5, 15.02.4, 12.5, 0.5
xfs48>50 *
zfs (sdb9)26.2, 26.1, 26.17.7, 7.3, 6.7

So: the differences between ext[234] are well within my margin of error.

Reiserfs is lagging slightly but could be within the margin of error. My benchmark does, at least, make me feel confident that moving to ext[34] won't give me a major performance hit.

The poor performance of xfs and jfs on my tests surprises me, given that they seem to be intended as high-performance filesystems; the rm in xfs was interrupted partway through, since I didn't feel like waiting for it, and the reports of data corruption after power failures in xfs were enough that I didn't intend to use it for anything unless it was drastically faster than other filesystems.

NTFS surprised me twice - first by offering the most consistent timings of any of the filesystems, and second by lagging noticeably when I unmounted the filesystem. Given the bizarre behaviour of ntfs systems when mounted from rescue CDs (I've frequently seen the filesystem itself apparently lock up, and found deleted files still appear to be present after a reboot), it wouldn't be my choice even if it appeared to outperform everything else by a factor of ten, though.

bfs just plain refused to mount a new filesystem. (I suspect, given the 512 inode maximum, that it probably couldn't handle the 1gig volume I tried to put it on.)

UDF's slowness was not entirely surprising - I've mounted udf disc images in the past, and never been happy with them.

I'm not entirely sure that I got the zfs pool set up properly, and it's on a different partition than the other benchmarks. However, the partition I put it on is on the faster end of the disc than the one I've been benchmarking everything else on - and being confused by the filesystem setup is probably a sign that I shouldn't be using it.

If I wrote a benchmark that better simulated a real load, I'd want to revisit btrfs, nilfs, and the various exts and see how they performed; as it is, I suspect that I'll wind up using ext4.

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November 3, 2010:

It's now illegal to sit on the sidewalk. Great move, guys - now the cops will have to waste time making bums move around all day when they COULD be chasing down criminals. I wonder how many times I'll be cited? I know I would have been in violation of the ban more than once last month.

The bathroom is unaccountably full of dead hymenoptera (I found a parasitic wasp last night, and a honeybee today - am I being invaded by ZOMBEES or is there a wandering spider attempting seduction? Actually, that last might be the case, as I have a tentatively-identified Steatodes Grossa living in a web there.

Nineteen apparently lost. At least one media outlet is reporting a 'very slim' victory for 19 in San Francisco, though the official results say 65% of SF voted for it.

The supervisorial races won't be decided for a while yet. And somebody's run off with a bunch of ballots.

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September 23, 2010:

Pesto Mushroom Pizza


Preheat oven to 425. Put foil in oven, edges turned up to catch the Ooze.
Wash the Mushroom. I wound up getting water in the gills and trying to shake most of it out; if you've got more patience, you could prewash it and let it dry a bit before cooking.
Break the stem off the Mushroom. Set it aside for something else, as adding mushroom to the Mushroom pizza would be redundant and not really necessary given the fact that you still have the rest of the Mushroom to use.
Turn the Mushroom upside-down and slather the gills with pesto.
Cut cheese until you have enough to cover the shroom, then cut some more. (I used a colby jack cheese brick; I suspect it'll be a little dull if you use a homogenous cheese brick, but mixing two or three bricks would likely get the same effect.). Crumble the cheese so it's a bunch of chunks instead of slices, then cover the mushroom with it.
Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating it about halfway through.
The result should be a Mushroom buried in bubbling cheese. Allow to cool until it doesn't burn your mouth too badly.

* Mushroom was a 6" or so portobello cap.

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August 15, 2010:

If you need me in the next few hours, I'll be arguing politics with fascist zombies (LaRouche town hall meeting - I expect to be thrown out for bringing up inconvenient facts at some point, though.) Hopefully they won't kill me. (If they do, a MESSAGE FROM THE GRAVE will show up shortly!)

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August 4, 2010:

In the news today-

Proposition 8 has been rejected. (Though, as expected, it's being appealed.).

And the AIs are doing something... interesting.

The ask and bid prices are apparently public, but that's just the committed ones - an AI trader could easily be waiting to see the prices it was programmed to want rather than just offering stuff at a fixed price. (And probably would be - otherwise, why not just put the ask/bid out manually and not waste time paying for high-speed links?)

Or they could be using the market data as a covert communications channel. Paranoid? Moi?

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June 19, 2010:

Whee! Another game release! The Linux/Mac port of Cute Knight Kingdom is finally out.

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June 14, 2010:

So, someone posted There Are No Famous Programmers and it wandered into my datastreams somehow. And proceeded to sort of baffle me.

I mean, I think I get the point he's aiming at. It sucks to pour your heart and soul into working on projects only to find that nobody actually cares about what you did. It can be soul-crushing, depending on just how important your projects are and how much they rely on a userbase to give them life.

But he's looking for appreciation in the wrong place and the wrong way. This guy makes stuff that, *if he does it right*, the airheads who actually care what *parties* some startup's founder went to won't be capable of understanding anything more about than 'it works'.

If he's lucky. If he's not, they'll change the spec under him or be unimpressed because it doesn't integrate with Facebook.

Let's try an experiment. Think of a project you use all day. Maybe it's Rails or Python or something. Now, name 4 people on the core team without looking them up. I can't do that for anything I use. Alright, let's say you can do that. You know a myriad of things about the people who make your tools, but can you honestly say you know as much about them as you do about the tools they made you? Be honest with yourself and really look at how much you know about the people behind your gear as you do about the gear itself.

I admit, that's a bit of a headscratcher. Four people? Off the top of my head, the only project that I use that I can think of four core devs for is the Linux kernel - Linus Torvalds, Theodore T'so, Andrea Arcangeli, and Alan Cox - and you know what, I don't know that much about them. Genders. I think Linus is married. IIRC T'so works on filesystems and I may have misspelled his name. Alax Cox does security fixes. Yeah, I know a lot more about the kernel than I do about the people behind it. And other projects - I may know snippets of peoples' personal lives, politics, theology, mannerisms, but actual in-depth knowledge of the people? No.

But... let's try his experiment on a different subject. Think of your favourite authors. Look at how much you know about the stories they wrote, and how much you know about the people who wrote the stories. You'll likely find that you know a lot more about the story than the author. Is this shallow? Or eminently logical and quite possibly right?

Would I rather be famous for the fact that I wrote an awesome game or the fact that I wore an awesome hat?

The famous programmers aren't really famous for programming anymore, but instead because they created some business or non-profit. Their code can't stand on its own as awesome, it has to be paired with some non-code fame formation and then people can grok their concept.

John Carmack. Do we know him first as 'someone from iD, the first company to make a million dollars from shareware', as 'that guy from Armadillo Aerospace', or 'that guy who wrote Doom and Quake'? Until Armadillo starts launching manned flights, I'm pretty sure we'll know him for his game engine work first and iD and Armadillo second. Sid Meier. Is he famous for his *company* or his *game engine*? (The fact that many of his games are called Sid Meier's ______ probably helps.).

There Are No Famous Authors

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June 11, 2010:


... er, actually, it was released more than a couple weeks ago and I've been horrifically bad about announcing it (self-promotion isn't my forté. Putting random bits of unicode where they don't belong is.)

Anyhow, Date Warp is available, and I can't actually say that much about it because it's rather strongly plot-based and I don't want to emit spoilers.

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May 25, 2010:

THAT was a weird recording.

Newt Gingrich apparently recorded a spot stating that Republicans are poised to take back Congress from Nancy Pelosi - but the only way they can do that is if they have Meg Whitman for Governor.

The least disturbing interpretation is that he simply thinks that Republicans are too stupid to realize that the Governor has little influence over the composition of Congress.

Alternatively, he could be implying that a Whitman victory will lead to her fudging the next round of congressional elections, or that they expect Whitman to appoint her allies to replace dead Congresspeople.

Which message did you want to send, Whitman? Were you telling us that you think we're gullible, were you telling us that you think we LIKE election fraud, or were you telling us that what you believe to be our goals are best attained over the dead bodies of your political opponents?

None of these would be good things, you know.

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May 23, 2010:

On beyond Newspeak

Over the Sun, LLC would like to teach you a new language.

They've invented it themselves. Or at least the support infrastructure for it; the basic concept is approximately as old as writing.

It comes with an EULA, of course.

Some highlights:

You may only have one user account and must provide the Company your legal first and last name, a user name, your email address, your preferred language, and password at the time of registration.

you shall not use the Services to transmit any content that is: unlawful, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, lewd, offensive, defamatory or otherwise objectionable;

you shall not use the iConji characters with any other software program or through any other medium; modify or create derivative works of the iConji characters; or copy or publicly display the iConji characters other than in connection with the use of the Services for the purposes set forth and as permitted per the terms of the end user iConji application license agreement; and

For example, iConji characters used to identify a particular brand of product or service may be created by and paid for by the owner of such brand. The Company tracks the use of the iConji characters by users, including use of branded iConji characters. The Company may share, sell, license or exchange the nonpersonally identifying, aggregate information it collects about such use, including information about the date, time, and location of use of the iConji characters to the brand owner.


iConji characters may be changed, modified, altered, deleted or removed at any time by the Company. The iConji software application on your mobile device will update your library of characters from time to time.

you may submit requests to the iConji character team at www.iconji.com/support/ requesting alteration or removal if you believe the character is lewd, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, or in any other way infringes your rights.

You expressly agree and personally submit to binding arbitration, to adjudicate and resolve any dispute with the Company, its affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, contractors, officers, members, managers, telecommunication providers and content providers or in any other way relating to the Site or the Services. Any arbitration claims shall be submitted to binding arbitration before the Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc. (“JAG”) located in Denver, Colorado. The parties shall mutually agree to an arbitrator within 10 business days of submission of a claim for arbitration with JAG. If the parties cannot agree to an arbitrator within such time, JAG shall appoint an arbitrator. The initial filing fees shall be paid by the party filing the claim for arbitration. Thereafter, the costs of the arbitration shall be shared equally by the parties, and each party shall be responsible for his or her own attorney fees and costs. YOU HEREBY IRREVOCABLY WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL OR TO CLAIM THAT THE STATE OF COLORADO IS AN INCONVENIENT FORUM TO HEAR CLAIMS AND DISPUTES.

These Terms are subject to revisions by the Company at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion. You agree to be bound by subsequent versions of these Terms as posted on the Site. You should check regularly to ensure that you are aware of any changes to the Terms.

So, let me get this straight: their system tracks every character you send so they can get their usage counts. You're not allowed to use the language with any other software. They may edit the language at will. They give every impression that they WILL edit the language to remove concepts - based predominantly on the impression that they are objectionable in some manner or might be subject to lawsuits. Their own software auto-updates. You agree not to involve the courts in any disputes. They may change not only the language, but the rules which you submit to arbitration under, at any time they please.

And if I pay a fee to them to have them make a 'Deekoo' glyph, I can then be told when and where everyone using iConji to talk about me was at the time. Probably to GPS resolution, since that's what the target devices provide. I wonder if they support glyphs for longer concepts?

If this were in widespread use, I expect that pressure groups and cults would register terms they care about to attempt to detect enemies, sympathizers, and apostates - targeting within GPS resolution is enough to identify a specific person if a term is in infrequent use and you know who'd be likely to use that term in that region. (Hmm... and I suspect that sub-GPS resolution may be attainable over time, though I don't know for certain.) Identifying vulnerable targets does not necessarily require high resolution, either - if I know that one person in a one-block radius probably believes in the Magic Bean From Jupiter, flyering the whole block with invitations to a Magic Bean From Jupiter seminar is a lot more efficient use of my marketing effort than flyering an entire city. If I know that a given bar has a high rate of communications related to gay sex, I can be reasonably sure that sending a squad of twinks to flirty-fish or a squad of jackbooted thugs to start the auto-da-fe is likely to be productive.

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March 21, 2010:

A killer has been stalking the night.

Not very effectively, because the only place to hide from the night is in plain sight, but...

Or, in plainer language, a little while back I woke up to find that the oomkiller had started going crazy in my sleep and killed a number of perfectly innocent xterms full of perfectly innocent vims.

A lesser person than myself might have given in and taken the DIMM currently resting in the aidsbox (... turns out there was a REASON why someone threw out a working dual-core 3.5GHz 64bit pentium computer. And not the usual 'windows is full of viruses' one - the motherboard model is notorious enough for problems that google offered it up on autocomplete partway through my typing it and Fry's was giving them away free if you bought a CPU a few years back. AND the power supply overheats due to a dodgy fan.) and thus upgraded his main machine to 2gigs. However, even with 2gigs I'm still plagued by occasional ooms just because I do harmless things like try to have fifty tabs open at once.

So. Oomer is a Linux app to check for low memory and, when it finds your memory is low, kill and/or freeze processes. All user-configurable, if you're reasonably technical, and much more suited to the typical desktop user than the Kenny-killing kernel patch that was suggested a few years back. And I learned enough of the Xwindows API to make it actually pop up alerts when it's killing things (because having your browser pause for no apparent reason would be almost as annoying as an oom.).

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February 28, 2010:

Ars Technica is running a story about how a BBC licensing change is locking open source users out of iPlayer content.

Ars Technica is also running an ad-script that makes it so following links on their website in Konqueror gives me a nice fat blank page instead of the actual content. Idiots.

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February 22, 2010:

Debian is becoming increasingly frustrating these days.

First Konqueror instructs me to upgrade the web browser and call tech support to FIX A 404. Yeah. The ACTUAL problem is that Netscape added a not-in-the-RFCs 'Refresh:' header to HTTP and either the remote website is broken for using the stupid refresh extension or Konqueror is broken for not obeying it.

Next, I decide to fix a problem that's been nagging at me for some time. As you know, I'm a size queen - I found a 1680x1050 CRT that some silly person had thrown out just because it weighs as much as a small car and drains almost as much power as a hovercraft made out of hairdryers. I had to do some gymnastics to force it to actually do the desired resolution (or perhaps that was one of its predecessors? It was some time ago, so I don't remember for certain) and that wound up disabling keyboard mode-switching. Some upgrades ago, I noticed control-alt-backspace failing when an X app had somehow hung the system. I cursed and hit the Big Red Button on my dead computer.

So, today I get a bug report that hits when an app scales down to accomodate a smaller-than-default screen. Okay, time to actually fix everything that's been naggingly wrong with my X installation. Close everything, control-alt-backspace (and as I push it, I think 'ah wait, I should be '/etc/init.d/gdm stop'ping instead, but ohwell.) Wait, that's funny, it's not... come to think of it, wasn't it failing before? Control-alt-backspace. CONTROL-ALT-FUCKING-BACKSPACE.

No response. X is working, cursor movements work, I can start new apps, I can switch into TTYs and start and stop GDM. I just cannot control-alt-backspace my way out of a running X session.

Okay, now it's time to edit the config file for real.

Nothing controlling control-alt-backspace in the comments in it. Huh. There is, however, an admonition in the comments at the beginning to 'Type "man /etc/X11/xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.' Which, unsurprisingly, tries to display my xorg.conf as a manpage. *shrug* That's not important, it's just an obvious typo. man xorg.conf works, explains that I need to turn off the DontZap option. The default is 'off'... wait, if it's not in my config, and the default is off, why isn't control-alt-BS working? Maybe someone made a harmless little typo in the man page and by 'the default is off' they meant 'the default is on'.

So I try various arrangements of the DontZap option. None of them enable me to actually Zap. ARGH.

... A websearch finds the answer. Apparently someone was worried that newbies accidentally pressing control-alt-backspace would lose their work. So it's been disabled by . IN XORG. Great. Ya know, I could have lost some work red-buttoning my way out of X hangs that control-alt-backspace SHOULD have gotten me out of - and I seriously doubt that I'm the only one. Oh well, there are pages telling me how to reenable control-alt-backspace, and the instructions are on this link here. *follows link* *watches Lynx explode with a malloc problem*. THAT, at least, goes away when I upgrade Lynx. And I'm tracking testing, so an app crashing isn't completely horrible. Now I can read the instructions!

... which tell me to DontZap to false. Which apparently works great. At least, it did last year for several people who aren't me. Pity I'm me and it's not last year, innit.

(To be exact, the webpage actually tells me to set “DontZap” to “false”. You will note the curly quotes. Using curly quotes instead of real quotes enables me to kill the X server! However, killing the X server with a parse error in xorg.conf doesn't actually meet my requirements. I'm DEMANDING. I want the server to stay unkilled until I tell it to.)

There's more advice, revolving around reconfiguring console-setup (which doesn't actually do anything relevant), installing dontzap (which isn't in Debian), using magic sysrq (... which also seems disabled).

There's something that looks plausible on linuxquestions.org, but the link is an infinite redirect loop on Lynx. I see they're firm believers in the principle of designing against the target audience.

Luckily, google cache gives me access to linuxquestions.org. Turns out that the ACTUAL fix is to run 'setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp' at a shell prompt once I've started X. Okay, I'm sure I'll be able to find a place to put it... lessee... /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc - no. Doesn't do anything. At least, not if I start X with xinit, which one would presume from the comments in the config file would work. OH WAIT, someone decided a few years ago that systemwide config files were unfriendly because changes made to them would affect all users, possibly breaking their customized .xinitrc.

I fiddle around some more. I remove my .xinitrc to see what happens when I run xinit without it. Somewhere in my ten zillion start-stops of X I manage to get the system stuck on a black screen (though control-alt-BS wouldn't have helped with that one, as X wasn't running - luckily, sshing in and 'kbd_mode -a' did fix it).

My .xinitrc now reads

setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp
exec /usr/bin/fvwm
This won't, of course, help any other users on my system (and I DO have other user accounts. Most of them are me with a different login so I can fuck around with software I don't trust on my main account for one reason or another, like maybe it's a Windows game that I want to test without exposing all my files to any backdoors, or maybe it's a daemon that I'm writing that I don't really want to discover a remote-shell bug in by having my .bashrc throw me into a dark dream.

But I now have control-alt-BS!

... as long as I start from xinit and not gdm.

Putting the setxkbmap into /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99x11-common_start, though, lets me control-alt-backspace after I've logged in. Which is enough, really - control-alt-BSing a running GDM is pointless even in my opinion.

Closing thoughts:

The fix might have gone faster if I hadn't ranted about how annoying it was while doing it.

It would be a good idea for upgrades that ignore previously-honoured systemwide config files to either delete them or (preferably) move them to, say, /etc/old/(oldpath). That way we wouldn't waste time editing them. Might be an impractical task, though, especially for things that use the something.d/00dofirst, 01dosecond.sh approach.

... oh gods, I still need to fix mode-switching.

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January 28, 2010:

While I don't normally post charitable appeals, the amount of harm caused by a mere 7.0 earthquake in Haiti is disturbing enough that I will make an exception and encourage you to donate to Save the Children.

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January 20, 2010:

We all know that scammers love to try to sell us sildenafil citrate. (your spamfilter knows it as V1agra) They'll do pretty much anything to try to sell it to us.

Including, it seems, put it in fake weight loss drugs supplements.

What the hell is going on? Is this stuff some sort of mind control drug that these creeps get a bonus for infecting people with?

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January 16, 2010:

New versions time!

Science Girls! now has walk animations. (The underlying engine actually supported them from the beginning, but we didn't have suitable walking sprites. Now we do.)

And the newest Bincache alpha now has the ability to open multiple simultaneous NNTP connections, which will drastically improve download times on lookup-bound servers. (Please, use this for good, not for evil, 'k?)

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January 6, 2010:

The bunch of crooks at the National Republican Congressional Committee seem to have decided that a good fundraising strategy is to call everyone on the Republican voter rolls and drop 'should I renew you for two-fifty or one hundred?' into the middle of what sounds like a coked-out stream-of-consciousness ramble about tax cuts and taking back congress in the hopes that the mark is too stupid to realize that they never actually had an NRCC membership to renew. Is this their standard script or is one salesguy just desperate for his commissions? I did at least get in a good rant about the idiocy of cutting taxes without matching spending cuts, though, even if I doubt he actually _heard_ any of it.

On the other hand, the fundraisers for John Dennis (running in the primary for Pelosi's House seat) are pleasantly lacking in that aura of sleaze which is generally considered Good Salesmanship; and while I think his tax policy is improvident, he actually supports the Bill of Rights. He's got my primary endorsement unless someone comes up with evidence that he's secretly (or not-so-secretly) EEEEEVIL. For that matter, if he winds up running against Pelosi in the final election, he's still got my endorsement - Pelosi voted for retroactive telecoms impunity, despite making a pretense of opposing it in interviews.

Tags: #WHARGARBLE, #primary, #tagsarereallyabitsillygivenhowlittleIpost.

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December 9, 2009:

Most biologists are familiar (and sometimes, for a brief time, all too familiar) with the vertebrates that make use of lures to entice unwary prey into their maw, such as the angler fish, the snapping turtle, and the water-horse or each uisige that once represented the dominant predatory check on the human and near-human populations of Eurasia.

Scientific research into similar behaviour in invertebrates has been largely sidetracked, owing to the difficulty in obtaining reliable footage of the colonial sky-jelly or that cryptozoologist favourite, the False (or Heimer's) Condominium, the search for which has claimed countless lives since that first dread monograph was published in the Journal.

It has often been suggested that the dwarf krakens of the continental shelves excersized a primitive cunning that is unobserved in their larger brethren due to a process similar to muscular atrophy. While the sheer physical strength of the deep-ocean kraken enables them to feed by brute force upon the teeming shoals of blue, green, and blue-green whales that our fertile oceans bring forth, and the demonstrated technological prowess of the swamp kraken leads to their being able to sustain themselves fully off the flesh of those degenerates whose ancestors were unlucky enough to be captured as breeding stock for their factory farms, the dwarf kraken is an anomaly. Much smaller than its brethren, the adults would need to hunt in packs to take down the larger whales - and unlike the swamp kraken, the dwarf kraken does not posess the industrial basis necessary to construct the disintegrating and enervating rays that have proven so devastating to lowland settlements.

In modern zoology, the dwarf kraken has been an anomaly. It is a principle older than history that that which abides in a state of life must consume that it may survive, but our submersibles have failed to observe the feeding of the dwarf kraken, even when, in a not-inexpensive orgy of prudence, deepwater exploration craft were fitted with indigestible 'black boxes' similar to those used in dirigibles and aërodynes.

We are indeed fortunate to have recovered these photographs, blurry though they are, from an expedition to the shallows of the White Sea, for they have contributed to filling in holes in our understanding of biology left by the natural, but regrettable, tendency of research institutes to focus their attention primarily on those organisms whose activities have proximate economic effect.

Above, you see what first enticed our submersible to descend towards the continental shelf in spite of the ever-present danger of infestation by trivalves burrowed into the pallid mire - long tendrils upon which were what could easily be mistaken for human artifacts, waving gently in the current.

As we descended, the tendrils seemed to retreat in the current - an illusion which our skilled navigator was quick to reject, for the motion was almost perpendicular to the current against which our engines laboured. The dark patch captured the imagination of our gunners, whose educations, cut short by grueling combat training beginning in their early teens, were necessarily stunted in favour of more socially necessary traits. They began to make wagers on whether the dark patch would turn out to be a functioning Floridian machine, a localized area of pollution caused by a sunken nuclear liner, the long-rumoured Southwest Passage into the hollow Earth, permitting us to trade directly with the peoples of the core without the need for Antarctic intermediaries, or that perennial favourite amongst the military mind, Something That Will Try To Kill Us. I took the precaution of routing the fire control overrides through my console against the potential that that lattermost suspicion would lead to the premature destruction of something of scientific import.

When I returned my attention from the necessary mundanities of expedition management to the scene outside, I was able to note a distinct change in the dark patch. The tendrils, with their possible artifacts, were curled up much closer to what I could now see was the maw of a cave - and there seemed a shadow cast from another source that our submersible's illumination at the entrance to this cavern!

As I gave the order to stay course and approach no closer (a cheer and a groan indicated that that, too, had apparently been the subject of a wager amongst the gunnery crew), what had seemed at first a shadow flowed out of the cave with sinuous grace. It is no shame on my assistants that one of them whispered an entreaty for his continued survival to those gods that it has become our people's lot to tremble before, for the dwarf kraken lacks none of the majesty that her greater cousines display, and if her threat to humanity may be any less than that posed by the others, it owes solely to her choice of habitat leading to fewer encounters, and no weakness on her own part.

With the kraken's emergence, we were able to see that those tendrils which had first attracted our attention were in fact artifacts under her control, rather than a part of her body - a fact which explains the almost metallic gleam of the devices at their tip, and casts doubt on the assertions by some among our community that a land-based mode of existance is a necessary prerequisite for the development of metallurgy.

In fairness, the reader should be aware that the student whose involuntary entreaty broke the silence within the submarine has advanced a quite logically sound argument for the position that the metallic artifacts were acquired through trade or through the subjugation of a heretofore-unknown land-based or boat-dwelling race of servitors; while this hypothesis would explain certain anomalous observations, it is our opinion that accepting it at this time would be premature, and much more observation is needed before the economic hypothesis could be accepted into the hallowed body of accepted theory or consigned to the dustbin of history with so many other leaps of insight that proved to be mere errors of the digestive process.

We conclude with the last picture taken before prudence dictated that we withdraw from the area. The shifting patterns of colour that have so far eluded the clear understanding of our linguists are clearly displayed, as is the shameful fact that, despite the existance of a zoological tradition dating back to before the most recent Fall, we still do not understand the function of the great jewel-like nodules that are found upon the bodies of the aquatic genera of kraken. Are they mnemonic organs as popular myth would have? Are they naturally occuring gemstones prised from the seabed and implanted in the body for decorative, religious, or functional purposes - or for some reason that our minds are inherently incapable of comprehending even in the merest approximation? It is all the more humbling to be reminded that even when we meet the kraken not as surface vermin, nor as livestock in the factory-farm warren, but as two beings from vastly different habitats passing fitfully in the depths, we still understand little more of their nature and purpose than we did in the darkest days of the millenial interregnum.

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November 26, 2009:

It appears that CVS pharmacy (one of the internet's more spamtastic drug dealers) has been hiring (or, I suspect, pretending to hire - I wouldn't expect a paycheck to actually ARRIVE from these guys.) actual humans to post their ads, as they figured out that my Addendát demo blog's password was 'postcode'. Since I'm tired of scraping spam off the demo, I've closed it. You can still download Addendat - if you don't post your password publically, I think it's still reasonably spam-resistant.

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November 22, 2009:

What's ANSWER's opinion on the use of checkpoints in law enforcement?

The national branch is happily announcing that the District of Columbia's checkpoint program was found unconstitutional.

The San Francisco branch, meanwhile, is screening a pro-Prohibition documentary produced by a pair of men who helped run a roadblock in 2007 to attempt to keep alcohol out of their 'dry' jurisdiction. I haven't seen the documentary yet (screening in SF is in December, and it doesn't appear to be available as a download)

(Quotes added to 'dry' because a nation with a population between 15,000 (US 2000 census) and 40,000 (tribal government estimate) that drinks 12,000 cans of beer a day from ONE border town alone strikes me as rather more wet than dry.)

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August 27, 2009:

“President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security,” (Dick Cheney, via: ABC).

Dear Mr. Cheney: while I applaud your newfound dedication to the concept of separation of powers, you do remember that the CIA is in fact nominally under executive jurisdiction? You were sitting in the White House recently enough to remember that they were following your and/or Bush's instructions, ya know.

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August 13, 2009:

A fragment of something for a new project.

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June 29, 2009:

Dear Kaiser Permanente:
I can understand if you want to have robots call your existing customers. That's all fine and dandy. Calling a guy who moved out SEVERAL YEARS ago (I don't recall if he had service with them or not, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on it.) to ask if he would like information mailed to him is a little odd.

Doing this with a voice-recognition robot whose script does not provide any way to talk to a live person calling outdated customer numbers is obnoxious. While its script did give a number to call back, (866-984-1075), that number just led to another annoying robot, also without a live operator option. It did, however, recommend I call 866-464-4000 to talk to customer service when it couldn't figure out from my answers what it was supposed to do.

866-464-4000 in turn recommended I call another number to connect with singles in my area. I guess that's what they mean by 'thrive'.

A websearch turned up their sales number, but the salespeople insist my phone number is not in their database. Which would be fine if it were true, but obviously I wouldn't be getting robocalls if they didn't have my number. (And the robocall asked for someone I do know used this number once, so they definitely had the number in a DB under their control. Unless of course the survey is phishing, which is vaguely possible.)

Summary: Don't use Kaiser unless you like dealing with brain-damaged robots. If their customercommunications bot will redirect me to a singles line, BFD - I already called their AI a goatfelcher half a dozen times. However, I suspect that if you were using them as a source of medical care rather than a source of aggravation, having to spend twenty minutes talking to braindamaged robots before giving up and using the Internet to find their contact info would be counterproductive at best - and possibly actually dangerous, as I can just imagine trying to explain some important medical authorization problem to a poorly designed decision tree.

Interestingly, while Sales answers immediately, a websearch shows somebody saying that they needed to wait on hold *40 minutes* (and yet ranking the service quality as good?) to speak to the Virginia branch.

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June 9, 2009:

If you didn't notice, Science Girls! is out. I'm probably supposed to put some Marketing here to get you to buy it, but I haet Marketing and this is my own site, so instead I will tell you to Play The Free Demo (which, in addition to the obvious Linux support, also runs on Windows or MacOS) and hopefully become delighted enough to Buy The Full Game.

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May 17, 2009:

The Night Headaches are back, but now I think I know what they are. The only symptom of Cluster Headaches that they _don't_ come with is the pain being the Worst Pain In My Life - the hernia surgery was worse, thankyouverymuch.

Also, the Governator would like to borrow five billion dollars (as if we weren't in ENOUGH debt) so he can pretend that the budget cuts and/or tax increases necessary to balance the budget are his successor's fault. And that's if I'm being charitable. The uncharitable guess is that his buddies just want the state making payments to them forever.

And Obama's promised Change continues apace. So far, the Changes are:

- Immunity for telecoms companies that spy on Americans at the behest of the President, whether or not it was legal at the time. Justified on the grounds that not giving them immunity would discourage them from breaking the law if the President found it necessary in the future.

- Subsidy of the bankrupt megabanks, at taxpayer expense, while they buy up every other bank in sight.

- The assurance that the government does not consider minor functionaries to bear any responsibility for torture they participated in, on the grounds that if they were following orders it's only the fault of those who gave the orders.

- The assurance that there will be no commission to investigate accusations of torture, on the grounds that investigating torture might lead to partisan arguments.

- The assurance that Guantanamo Bay will be closed.

- The suspension of military tribunals in favour of civilian trials.

- The reinstitution of the suspended military tribunals.

- The assurance that a legal framework authorizing indefinite detention without trial will be created, justified on the grounds that we need a law allowing us to run Gitmo-style facilities on US soil.

I told you so.

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May 11, 2009:

Well, now I know why FontForge won't work.

It seems it uses (25.4*WidthOfScreen(DefaultScreenOfDisplay(display)))/WidthMMOfScreen(DefaultScreenOfDisplay(display)) to determine screen resolution.

And what's WidthMMOfScreen? It's a macro that returns the width of the screen in question. Perfectly reasonable math to use to determine screen resolution. Assuming WidthMMOfScreen is reported correctly, you can actually draw text at a fixed REAL size and have it displayed on the screen at said REAL size.

What's WidthMMOfScreen returning, then?

... 1.

Unfortunately, having a one-millimeter screen makes the widget set used to draw the open file dialog box break down rather oddly.


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April 15, 2009:

From S. 773, introduced on April Fool's Day and currently in the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

Section 2: (13) President Obama said in a speech at Purdue University on July 16, 2008, that `every American depends--directly or indirectly--on our system of information networks. They are increasingly the backbone of our economy and our infrastructure; our national security and our personal well-being. But it's no secret that terrorists could use our computer networks to deal us a crippling blow. We know that cyber-espionage and common crime is already on the rise. And yet while countries like China have been quick to recognize this change, for the last eight years we have been dragging our feet.' Moreover, President Obama stated that `we need to build the capacity to identify, isolate, and respond to any cyber-attack.'.

Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President, or the President's designee, shall review, and report to Congress, on the feasibility of an identity management and authentication program, with the appropriate civil liberties and privacy protections, for government and critical infrastructure information systems and networks.

The President--
(1) within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, shall develop and implement a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy, which shall include--
(A) a long-term vision of the Nation's cybersecurity future; and
(B) a plan that encompasses all aspects of national security, including the participation of the private sector, including critical infrastructure operators and managers;
(2) may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network;
(6) may order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security;

Section 23: (3) FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND UNITED STATES CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS- The term `Federal Government and United States critical infrastructure information systems and networks' includes--
(A) Federal Government information systems and networks; and
(B) State, local, and nongovernmental information systems and networks in the United States designated by the President as critical infrastructure information systems and networks.

It was sponsored by John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and cosponsored by Evan Bayh (Indiana), Bill Nelson (Florida) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine).

The ringing endorsement of China's network security infrastructure (which, while reasonably effective at stopping political speech, does not seem to me to have much effect upon organized crime - US criminal enterprises operate with impunity on Chinese servers) in the Findings section of the bill hardly fills me with confidence in Obama's good intentions. Fundamentally, though, the problem is that 23(3)(B) permits the President, with no oversight, to designate a system 'critical infrastructure' and then invoke 18(2) to order it immediately censored to his or her specifications.

Additionally, section 17 calls for a feasibility study on the integration of identity tracking into communications infrastructure.

(a) IN GENERAL- Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall develop or coordinate and integrate a national licensing, certification, and periodic recertification program for cybersecurity professionals.
(b) MANDATORY LICENSING- Beginning 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, it shall be unlawful for any individual to engage in business in the United States, or to be employed in the United States, as a provider of cybersecurity services to any Federal agency or an information system or network designated by the President, or the President's designee, as a critical infrastructure information system or network, who is not licensed and certified under the program.

Section 7 will, at a minimum, give the government the ability to vet prospective employees for certain positions at major backbone ISPs. Given that the government decided to drop contract awards to Qwest when they refused to cooperate with Bush's illegal surveillance program, it would not be all that surprising if material and political support of the regime became a precondition for a 'cybersecurity service provider'.

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December 4, 2008:

Slime Colours: Brown, Red, and Yellow.

I seem to have leveled up in malware management - I now have a standard procedure for dealing with Cutwail infestations when I control a reasonably powerful router between the infected machine and the Internet. Also, I've reported a New Trojan to the clamav virusdb maintainers (it stole WoW passwords for a pack of goldfarmers hosted in Texas). Unfortunately, they seem to have listed my two samples as two separate pieces of malware, when they're fairly clearly a single polymorphic one, which doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Other odd tasks: implementing things that I thought I'd already done (too many times), and both typesetting a language that I don't understand (Russian) and devising a 7-bit character encoding for it. (Why 7-bit? Well, the target OS for that project is Windows; I don't actually have access to a Russian Windows install, so debugging any problems caused by windows being Smart and actually paying attention to font encoding directives would be a veritable nightmare - and I really don't look forward to the notion of installing a dozen different versions of Windows in a language I don't understand to check for bugs that I might not be able to recognize without understanding the language they're in.).
... and then, a day later, going through and correcting a case problem in the original translated document. I'm not sure WHY every B at the beginning of a word was capitalized...

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October 15, 2008:

A blatant allegory Mighty nice place of business you have here. It'd be a right shame were something bad to happen to it. Real flammable, all this paper you have here. It'd go up in the snap of a finger. No, I'm not with the maphiya. It really hurts me when people assume a big guy in a suit has to be a crook. Look, I'm here to help you. I'm selling insurance. Fire insurance, theft insurance, vandalism insurance, the works. I wish Guido over there would stop playing with his lighter. It makes me nervous. Little guy like you, if you asked him to stop he'd probably just laugh. Hey, Guido, knock it off, would you? That's better. I mean, I know you say you can't afford insurance, but you can't afford NOT to have it either. Some firebug comes by when I'm not here to tell him to quit it, the place goes right up. Good, you're a smart man, you can see we'll work well together. ... About that loan your friend wants... well, look, I'm not made of money. You already owe me more than I care to think about, and a nice guy like you, I wouldn't want to have to put you in collections, if you know what I mean. But you're a good guy, and I know you're good for it. The real problem is that I'm strapped for cash myself - you know Joe who usedta live down the street? Yeah, the guy with the Porsche and that big house? Always talked of making it big on the daily double, so smooth you'd figure sure he'd win it? Nice guy. Stunning guy. His pension wasn't up to the payments on the car and the house, and you know how he loved them. Couldn't choose between 'em. So he came to me for a loan. Figured he'd refinance, and when he made it big he'd pay me back, we'd all be happy as clams, him with his fast car in his big garage, me with the satisfied feeling I get from making other people happy. So to cut to the quick, I lent him more than was a good idea - you know how I'm a soft touch. And, well, you know how it goes with Joe. If he's short on cash, he bets it all on the long shot - helps him out big when it comes through, but sometimes it doesn't. And even the best of guys, there comes a time when you've got to say no more - if I'd let him slide back in August, I wouldn't've been able to help you out that time you missed work for a couple weeks. So eventually I wound up having to collect. Trouble is, the long shot didn't come in and Joe didn't have any cash - and now I'm stuck with this house and this car. And look at the market these days. Nobody's buying. I'll be lucky if I get half what I gave him back. So, let me get right to the point. I don't have any cash on hand now. But you've worked with me a long time, so you know how the insurance business goes, if you know what I mean. If you'll just help me land a few stubborn sales, I'll be able to help people out again. You'll be doing everyone a favor, trust me - those misers who won't buy insurance just wind up costing everyone else money, so the sooner we take them under the wing the sooner we won't have to worry that some fire's going to spread and take out other people's stores too. ... I must say, this has been a wonderful partnership. Wouldn't you agree, Senator? ...

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July 25, 2008:

Summer Session, the dating sim I've been working on with Hanako and Tycoon is finally Done. (Well, actually, it was Done a few days ago - I've been frantically debugging the Secret Project and not actually updating my website in spite of repeated unsubtle nudges to do so. *grin*). It's a Ren'Py project, so it's also available for Windows and Mac as well as the obvious Linux version.

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May 16, 2008:

My trackball finally died a couple of days ago.
('died' might be a slight exaggeration. It still works. For about fifteen seconds out of every minute; the rest of the time is spent deciding that it's a new USB device.)
Being a cheap bastard, and at any rate wondering if perhaps there's something out there better than a trackball (I hate mice. Can't use a mouse on a desk that you've piled every flat surface on with random objects. Can't use a mouse on your lap without some sort of stiff pad.), I decided that it was bloody well time I made some of the many joysticks lurking in the garage actually earn their keep.

Despite having several of them show up every time I went looking for a power supply in the past, now they are all hiding. It took maybe fifteen minutes to find a pair (why a pair? Somewhere I've got one with a hat that I was thinking would be niftier.).

Okay, joysticks here. Now it's time to bend over the computer and plug them in to the...
Er, the...
... There isn't a game port connected. Fine, I'll find one and plug it in.
After much looking, I find the Box Of Things That Plug Into Motherboards (Organization is helpful, really.) after being distracted thrice by the similar-looking but unrelated Box Of Old Floppy Disks. Also after coiling up a few kilometers (... slight exaggeration...) worth of unsorted cables.

And, of course, there are no game ports in it. Fine. I'll check the bag of cables and such in the garage.

Which also doesn't have them. However, I find one in Yarm's old case and bring that up and shut down Transfinity to plug it in to the sixteen-pin spike that... isn't there. Oops, I'd been looking at the wrong motherboard manual before shutting down. There is no game port spike anywhere on the motherboard; there is, however, an amount of dust so large that it has been ordained lurking in the CPU fan. Which would be a good idea to clean out, the weather having recently wandered past 'too hot' and into 'melting lead flows through the streets, not even marked with the reproductive-harm-and-cancer warning that california regulations require on all lead-containing objects. Such as mugs, keyboards, and mice, to name the last three places where I noticed the warning labels.

Shoving an extra sound card in has no particular hitches - all the PCI cards that do not explode when plugged into things are in a box over by the eyeball tree.

Using the joystick also has no real hitches. It works great in the joystick tester after I reboot into a kernel that actually has joystick drivers. (Well, not quite 'great'. Button 1 doesn't do anything. But the other three buttons detect, and it does notice when I move the joystick.)
I seem to recall GPM had an option to use it with a joystick - unfortunately, while it handles button presses fine, it doesn't seem to notice my joystick _MOVING_. Which is kind of what I wanted it for.

Okay, now let's see what happens in X...

X proceeds to whine that the driver version numbers in the nvidia 3D driver do not match the driver version numbers, and I eye closed-source kernel-mode code with Suspicion and Grumpiness.

It turns out that the proprietary nvidia installer had clobbered Xorg's nvidia driver when I installed it. (Why? Well, I had been trying to use a kernel rather more recent than the one in Debian, and someone had decided that some functions should be reserved only for use by GPL drivers...).

Okay, that fixed, I start up X, with the joystick lines added to the config file like everyone says that they have to be to use the joystick as a mouse, wiggle the joystick, and...


Poking the server logs discloses that the joystick driver that debian stable ships on xorg doesn't actually WORK. So I go look in the bug database, and oh look, it's fixed!

Except the fix is in experimental. And by 'is' we mean 'was, several months ago.'. And it never actually got added to stable - instead, they just kept working on it in unstable, and the current version wants me to upgrade all of X. And somehow I suspect that moving over to unstable/testing will mean moving _EVERYTHING_ over because of dependencies, just enough of which will matter to be annoying.

Okay, fine. Debian must have a spot I can download old versions of things.

... well, it has a source repository. Using something called git.

Okay. So I will install git and learn how to use it enough to retrieve the old version, right?

... I mean, I'll install git-*core*, as 'git' is a transition package for a file manager.

... and now to look at the help for it. Okay, lots of commands, which have their own help and can also be invoked as git-whatever...

Okay, I'll look at their help. git-[tab][tab]

Display all 124 possibilities? (y or n)

Maybe git-reverse or git-rebase does what I want?

git-rerere doesn't seem relevant. git-blame is cute, but also not relevant to the problem.
... Okay, I'll do this the way I'm SUPPOSED to and look at the docs.

Tutorials for new users. Maybe reading the docs like people are supposed to won't be so bad.



... Except that the tutorial seems to imply that what you want to do is move all your source to git. No, I do not. I do not want my source in an RCS that I do not yet understand, I want to get SOMEONE ELSE'S source OUT of an RCS that I do not yet understand. I do not want to commit changes. I do not want to update the latest branch. I do not want to merge-octopus or to set up cronjobs to repack things or to checkout an individual file a second time.

Eventually, I give up on it and go looking to see if there are any saner pieces of documentation. Finding same, I roll the joystick input driver back to 1.1.1-1 and try to compile...

And find that it breaks partway through because the x development packages aren't installed. So I install them and run it again. And it breaks partway through because the X development packages aren't installed.

A bit of headbanging later, I determine that what it ACTUALLY wants is a file containing the server's ABI version (or possibly the minimum ABI version supported). Changing the check makes it willing to build, and now I have a joystick driver in X! Yay!
(Anyone want me to put it up for download?)

So I start X, wiggle the joystick, and... nothing happens.


I poke at various options. No effect.

I start a Ren'Py project I've been working on and look in the prefs. Joystick's enabled. It notices buttonpushes. It lets me move the cursor. I'd just made the mistake of thinking that when people post 'This is what I did to make the joystick work as a mouse' that they actually meant that.

Sigh. Well, there's a few people posting about js2mouse, which is supposed to let them use the joystick as a mouse...

And lo and behold, THAT takes FIVE MINUTES to install and JUST WORKS.

... Now I have a new pointing device!

... but it doesn't do curves or diagonal well. Sigh.

At least it's better than the bloody trackball.

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May 14, 2008:

Do you ever dream of escaping to exotic, exciting locations? Want to get away from the office but are strapped for cash? Make your dreams come true by signing up as a Medical Escort for DIHS!

'Medical Escort' being the nurse whose job it is to travel with a sedated (at least sometimes involuntarily) deportee and keep them doped up until they've reached wherever the government is trying to send them. For this purpose, they've been injecting mixtures of Haloperidol, Lorazepam, and Cogentin. I'd presume the medical escort's job also involves trying to keep the deportee from falling down, since the drug dose given is high enough that at least some deportees were unable to walk. Or talk, which seems to have been the point in several instances.

Charming. Haloperidol (Sold under the brand name Haldol) is one of the nastiest psychiatric drugs on the market, usually reserved for patients crazy enough that tardive dyskinesia is considered an acceptable risk. Shipping them in chains with armed guards would be LESS invasive.

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March 28, 2008:

Today I was presented with a much prettier Google homepage, for it was on a black background, in an effort to promote http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/earthhour/ . This in turn linked to a blog entry in which they reported that a study had shown the power consumption difference between a black-background page and a white-background page to be negligible, for an assortment of reasons - most notably, that market penetration of LCDs is estimated to exceed 75%.

The original study (http://techlogg.com/content/view/360/31/) came to much the same conclusion.

"There’s no argument that on CRT monitors, Blackle does reduce the power consumption but it’s not by the 15-watts claimed. We tested the four CRT monitors we could get our hands on and found that only one unit, an older 22-inch Compaq, showed the 15-watts or more power differential." "But with the LCD monitor market penetration worldwide now beyond 75%, it’s the LCD monitor power consumption that’s just as, if not more, important."

Of the 27 monitors they tested (23 LCDs, four CRTs), the average power consumption change was +100 milliwatts - displaying mostly black, on an LCD, uses a tenth of a watt more power than displaying mostly white. And almost all monitors sold nowadays are LCDs. So... open and shut case in favour of white backgrounds?

Not so fast. The average power consumption change on the CRTs they tested was 10.8 watts.

So... what web design standard really saves the most power?

If we take their numbers as an acceptable generalization for all monitors installed worldwide, a black background saves power (on average) as long as CRTs make up about 1% of the total installed monitor base.

Mostly, it's the magnitude of the difference. It's impressive on the CRT, it's genuinely negligible on the LCD.

Granted, this does ignore the main thrust of both Google and Yates - that we would save much more power by turning off things when they aren't in use more often. Which is true - but remember not to fall into the trap of assuming that since Y is more important than X, nothing need be done about X until Y is solved. Because most of the time, doing something about X does not actually prevent you from doing something about Y.

A final note - while Blackle presents itself as a power savings over Google, has anyone calculated the serverside and routerside power cost of routing search requests through Blackle on their way to Google?

(The above is a slightly snotty question; I don't _know_ what the results are. I suspect, however, that the power cost per packet is truly negligible and so the most significant extra cost of using Blackle is Blackle's own electric bill.)

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March 13, 2008:

There's nothing like 1) releasing a new project (Tentacularity is done!) and starting a last-minute submission of Yeemp to Google's Summer of Code project to make my DSL go down. Le sigh. Oh well, it's back up now, and I suppose I wasn't entirely prepared to send Yeemp out to Google. I've also finally done the thing I was putting off (getting my bloody tickets.) so I'll be back in the US in April instead of being exiled.

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February 17, 2008:

Rather belated update
Yuri No Yume: Wet Night is now available. It's the second episode, picking up where the first one left off; chapter 3 is available as a free demo.

And the Secret Project is also under development, projected release date March 2008.

(See? Deekoo.net is no longer outdated!)

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December 19, 2007:

We've finally started work on Chapter 3 of Yuri no Yume... too soon to have a launch date for the second episode, but I've been experimenting with Drawing.

Drawing has induced giggling and I have been informed that the face I did is a very good face. A very good _cranky_ face, which isn't what it was supposed to be, but...

Meanwhile, bincaches are finally talking to each other.

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December 12, 2007:

The Secret Project is in progress (Projected release: February 2008), so I won't tell you what it is - instead, I will just vaguely mention that I'm working on a game loosely derived from Fanny Hill while I wait for the art for the Secret Project.

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November 28, 2007:

Late at night, the BBC sometimes rebroadcasts US news sources.
Recently noticed: a story announcing that a wanted terrorist had been captured disguised as a bride. Complete with a picture of someone in a bridal gown with some guy's face image-edited over the original photo's. Badly. I take it that ABC is doing its part in the war effort...

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November 13, 2007:


Er. Pardon my H1s.

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November 9, 2007:

I've finished the English language interface patch for Princess Maker 4, and it's now up for download. Enjoy!

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November 6, 2007:

I have arrived safely in England. Intact. Undamaged. (Mostly). Things I realized upon setting up my computer: SOMEONE (who shall remain nameless, because Deekoos like anonymity) forgot to pack my Dvorak keyboard. So I am stuck on a Qwerty. At the moment, there are four known options:
Korean keyboard. It has Hangul letters taped to it. The space bar is FUCKING LOUD and doesn't always work.
Microsoft Natural... oh, wait, Logitech natural... With a tiny right shift and the one I'm currently using is UK. Oops. And I keep missing keys unless I bang it really hard.
Keyboardkeyboard. It has a keyboard attached to the keyboard. Unfortunately, while the midi keyboard works on some windowses, it doesn't on Linux, and the keyboard part of keyboardkeyboard is only slightly less owie than a laptop keyboard.
And other Logitech Natural, which I shall probably p[lug in shortly but which for some reason has ins/del/pgup/pgdn reversed.

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October 27, 2007:

Most of the voice for chapter 2 is in. And has been added to the latest alpha.

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October 24, 2007:

A while back I found a Casio synthesizer on a garbage can. If you've worked with such beasts, you probably have your suspicions as to the nature of the synthesizer I found. No midi, no sampler, just 40 or 80 built-in samples and an apalling rhythm bank.

So, the newest Yuri no Yume alpha has a Deekoo's attempt at music in it. Be afraid.

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October 21, 2007:

I've been a bit distracted from game design by Other Forms of Work these past few days. And ear infection. Ow.

I have, however, finally gotten around to adding the newest pieces of Choronzon's soundtracking and Phoebe's voice samples for chapter one to Yuri no Yume.

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October 18, 2007:

In the event you have a hairball, you are required to evict it in at least two places. These places must be located on top of something else. In the event the first target location is too easy to clean, you may atone for improper selection by choosing a more difficult one for the second half.

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October 17, 2007:

Moore's Law is not a law

This public service announcement triggered by a Gama Sutra story in which various chipmakers muse on it.

"We are outstripping our engineering resources and we cannot produce all the things we are theoretically capable of producing, because of Moore's Law."

... But Moore's Law isn't a law. It's an _observation_ based on the speed of technological development in the early stages of chip design. It will not hold true forever, no matter how much chipmakers would like it to.

Okay, Random And Irrelevant Rumination Over.

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October 16, 2007:

Alpha offsetting bug in the PM4 resource patcher is fixed! W00t!

(I'd been reading the header into the bitmap data, which caused the original bitmap data to be off by 4px/load.)

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October 16, 2007:

(girlfriend): "YAY! We've gotten somewhere!"

(girlfriend): "... it's upside-down, though.

(me): "Oh yeah. Windows draws bmps from bottom to top."

(me): "Try this one."

I've been writing a program to run on Windows and edit titanic data files that I don't actually have. This makes for a rather slow debug cycle, especially given that our sleep schedules are slightly out of whack so the first build had to wait until my girlfriend awoke before she could test it. So it actually took more than a day from project start until completion.

And showcased the sort of embarrassing overlookments that are normally caught in the first run and not seen by anyone but the author.

It also gave rise to comments like 'bmps have formats?' and the addition of format conversion code.

And it's still got one weird bug where it seems to offset the image's alpha channel.

However. It WORKS.

So we now have a partial English translation of Princess Maker 4.

(Why partial? Well, this technique only works with the graphical data. The textual data seems to be stored in an encoding we don't recognize; we suspect from the data and the fact that some of it is supposed to be bigger than the archive it's contained in that it's compressed.)

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October 14, 2007:

Looks like there's call for BSproxy, so I've finally gotten around to publically releasing it.

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October 8, 2007:

Microphones are strange and bizarre beasts. After much tweaking, the one I sent to Phoebe finally worked - plugged into the line-in and at rather low volume, but it works. Preliminary experimentation indicates I can get at least some of the mic noise out and bring the volume up straightforwardly enough. The current beta build of Yuri no Yume has the first ten voice samples in to verify that voice support works, but they haven't been edited - waiting on that until I have the finished soundtrack so I can match the volumes. I've also gone through and changed all the 'scene expression' calls to use preloadable images instead.

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October 6, 2007:

... When I was a child, I wanted to be a writer.

... Two hundred petameters on, I find that I'm doing just that. It's strange to see a forgotten dream come to light. (And with such a wonderful collaborator, too! *grinblush*)

The last pair of CGs for the first episode of the visual novel I'm working on came in, so I went through converting everything to use background dissolves before scenes when possible (and, in the place where that wasn't possible, figured out how to make it happen without making it happen. Yay me!)

And I reluctantly went through and brought the text size back up to what people who aren't me find comfortable to read. (Perhaps that should be a user preference; Papillon thought the small text was terrible, I thought it was good - but then, I also think 1600x1200 is an acceptable monitor resolution. The textbox does become shorter in the scene where it's Totally In The Way, but this doesn't need textshrink because all the lines there are short.

The italic font for narration is back, but this time as an actual font so it will be spaced decently.

And I've finally learnt how to style the menus properly, though this is a disappointingly global operation so I won't be able to use menus in multiple places without writing my own menudisplaywrapper - but at the moment there's only one.

So, I think I'm on track for a release by the end of November (Actually, I think I'm on track for a release by the end of October, but things always take longer than we expect.).

This morneven, I was woken up by:
a jet fighter,
a phone call,
and a jet fighter.

This is an improvement over yesterday, in which I was awakened by:
a jet fighter,
a jet fighter,
the feeling that I should see what time it was since I worked that evening,
a jet fighter,
a dream that I was way late for work,
a jet fighter,
a jet fighter,
and the phone, saying I didn't need to come in that evening after all.

(Note - 'yesterday' may not mean what you think that it does.)

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August 23, 2007:

This guy should be the next mayor of San Francisco. VOTE FOR HIM! Wait, the election's not until November. Send him money!

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July 1, 2007:

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April 18, 2007:

I should be working on my game. Instead, today's Visible Progress is... Unmask, a web-based program to extract the alpha channel of a PNG.

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April 8, 2007:

Addendát 1.1 is now up for download. It adds a quick-and-dirty commandline comment-page editor, some more rational error messages, and better checking for runaway loops.

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November 30, 2006:

So, a couple of weeks ago, Yarm became erratic. Random memory corruption leading to crashes in all manner of places - a symptom of dying hardware, typically.

After a little futile dicking with kernels in the hopes that it was not a hardware problem, I finally gave up and moved Yarm's drives into their new home - Transfinity, which is a 2GHz Athlon 64 (Nametagged as '3000+'), in a cute yellow-and-black Wanker Case that some silly person threw out.

That being the case, some things may well be Broken. Please let me know what, if anything, they are.

So far, the only things I've noticed being Broken is that my shiny new nVidia card's closed-source driver won't let me go above 1024x768, which I should get around to fixing at some point - not to mention figuring out some way to keep the driver from doing anything it shouldn't, because I don't trust code I can't inspect in my kernel, and that Lluzhionne would no longer talk to my webcam, pleading ioctl errors. It works when I ignore the errors, though, so that's what it does for now. I really should figure out the real problem at some point, though - probably a change in the size of some struct members.

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October 20, 2006:

Test post

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October 14, 2006:

So, I'm planning a plane trip across the Atlantic, to visit G. and P. in the balmy British winter. Results of my pricing research: Heathrow might be cheaper than Gatwick, depending on whether or not the site quoting Lufthansa and Air Canada fares thereto for $390 was lying. However, train fares from Heathrow to $DESTINATION are, if I understand National Rail's site, about $45 US. Air Canada's own site quotes 486. EVERY airfare search site appears to be using the same software; all that seems changed is what company logo is on the skin. Oddly, it works on a fair number of them - they usually break other things instead. Argh! (CONFUSED DEEKOO)

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0x7D6 September 0x11:

Well, you can tell they were fish...

(This is the only picture from my crap digital camera that came out. Sort of. At the ridiculously overpriced aquarium in Fisherman's Wharf (okay, so the location and the price-descriptor are redundant).)

Audio samples not available. I did, however, get to pet a ray and a shark and starfish (Nodular!) and urchins both spiky and wanton.

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0x7D6 August 0x14:

Obviously, the IAO is in charge of the National Park Service, as their cookies contain precognitive affirmations. (cookie received: 'ForeseeLoyalty_MID_ssIssMltZM')

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0x7D6 August 0xD:

For Reasons Perverse and Unmentioned, for which the Pretext shall be an upgrade to the Nyarm, I seek defective CPUs and memory. Specifically, an LGA775 CPU and a DDR400 or 533 DIMM. Why? I have a motherboard (a NICE one) that takes the above, but I don't know if it works. So, if you've got some unreliable parts I can play with (say, a CPU that errors erratically under heavy load or DIMMs with a couple flipped bits) so I can verify that the thing _works_ without risking letting the blue smoke out of a shiny new _good_ CPU, I'm interested.

The surgery (the voluntary[1] one) is done.

The doctors thought I was entirely joking when I requested the leftover bits as souvenirs, though. They were translucent and magenta and looked like they were made of plastic.

Also, there is the name of a gay porn producer emblazoned upon my crotch. And the back of the Prescription Underwear is, er, 'accessible', you might say.

Now, I must busy myself Healing, peering at every post-shaving bump that materializes and accusing it of being something frightening, and rearranging the furniture.

This is far, far less painful than the hernia surgery was.

[1]: The hernia surgery was voluntary, but under pressure, given that the alternative was letting my intestines engage in a terrible misinterpretation of their etymology.

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0x7D6 July 0x16:

[to] Drave, v. the state between want and need.
Draven - past tense
Dravening - the feeling of drave for something.

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0x7D6 May 0x1B:

Llluzhionne 1.2 has been released. It adds a better uploader, --height, --width, and --device options, a --jpegqual option (actually added in 1.1.6, but I didn't get around to releasing 1.1.6), and support for v4l webcams using RGB24 palettes. That last enables it to work with the Logitech QuickCam USB.

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0x7D6 May 0x11:

To paraphrase Orrin Hatch: "We're not surveilling you by the millions, and two of the judges on the panel knew anyhow!"

To paraphrase Verizon: "We didn't start giving up your records after 9/11!"

To paraphrase the Weasel-in-Chief: "We aren't listening to the phone conversations that we won't confirm or deny whether or not we're analysing!"

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0x7D6 May 0x9:

Hot anal outdoor sex on jaguar! Jenny like to be fucked hard in the her tinny ass!

The things one sees in spam.

I took some dead Spamforo botmasters out of Nematocyst's target list and added some new active ones.

Also, while I was at it, I made chunks of my site look Not Hideous in Dillo. This is not an easy feat; however, Dillo is _FAST_ and fits on a cellphone, while Mozilla and even Konqueror crawl by comparison (and don't fit on cellphones, as far as I know.)

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0x7D6 April 0x5:

So, one of the staffers in the public relations department of the transportation security administration of the department of homeland security (henceforth to be referred to as PRDOTTSAOTDHS, pronounced exactly unlike it's spelled) got arrested for trying to seduce an ersatz fourteen year old.

The AP story gives his title as 'Deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security'; an older report, on Silflay Hraka, has him answering email questions for the TSA on matters of boobfeeling. He doesn't evade nearly as much as Shrubbery minions usually do (I gather one of the tricks in Rove's bag is to steadfastly repeat the same statement in response to questioning, whether or not the statement has anything to do with the question.).

I'd find it amusing that perving at an apparently willing sheriff's deputy is a crime and arresting someone for watching an arrest (scroll to the bit about Rajcoomar) is allegedly heroism, but I have to live in the same country as this comedy of buffoonery. Le sigh.

One other thing to watch for - if they're turning into the sort of organization they appear to have been designed to be, this is how they will handle involuntary resignations. Discredit the target with some behaviour intended to outrage Decent Folk before they eject him, so fewer people will take him seriously if he troubles them. And so fewer will mourn if he shoots himself in the face twice in a row.

- A sleepy Deekoo.

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0x7D6 April 0x3:

As a member of the world's largest religion, I, of course, attended the St. Stupid's Day parade yesterday. (I do so every year, though, sometimes, the parade is rude enough to happen in the middle of the day in spite of my not being awake then, or to take off before I arrive. In fact, the latter is not very unusual, given my laggard nature.)

A few pictures of my outfit that day have been uploaded to Tentacled (Specifically, to pr0n/deekoo/shiny thereon.). Note: while none of the shiny pictures are porny, I don't guarantee that I won't add something pornier on that URL later. And almost everything _else_ on Tentacled is artpr0n; which is to say, not work-safe unless you work as either an artist or a pornographer.

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0x7D6 March 0x1E:

I am wrestling with DRI on an old Mach64 card. Rage XL, specifically. It's not going well. This is intended in part to allow me to play with various game-engine systems and see how insane they drive me - I did, after all, intend to write video games when I got my first computer, back in the mists of time, and perhaps it's about time I got started. Monde and I went to see V for Vendetta today. I won't deliver anything resembling a review, however, because it was great and anything actually said about it could contain spoilers. Instead, I shall be as the dustjacket blurbs which so annoy me wherein you hear a zillion famed authors quoted saying "1T RUL3Z M4N!!" (albeit not in those exact words, unless, of course, the 'l33td00dz demographic is being targeted.

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0x7D6 March 0x18:

Yarm was built aeons ago, by a race of three-eyed, three-legged giants who inhabited the twisted surfaces of a volcanic island now sunk beneath the Pacific and spoken of only in whispers by the descendants of the Inca, who bide their time amongst the Polynesians.

Yarm is, in addition to a town in Britain (perhaps in Qwghlm; I am not certain), a computation device. An electronic brain, if you will. He is based around a K6/2-300. One of the ones with a 66*4.5 multiplier, not one of the 100*3 ones.

There was no real reason to upgrade it. Sure, Gimp would be lugubrious working with 300dpi full-page images, but I don't do that often enough to _need_ something faster. And all of Konqueror's lagginess (to say nothing of Mozilla's) could be blamed on loose coding practices.

That being the case, I held off on upgrades until something absolutely dirt cheap dropped on me.

This droppage happened recently. A PIII/933 with 256megs of PC133 RAM. Plus various and sundry minor cards that weren't factors in the decision to obtain.

Selection modus: Because it had MORE SLOTS than the next one up speedwise in the same pile (A Celeron 1100 or 1200 with everything onboard). I like to throw cards into my hardware in copious profusion. (Unfortunately, it has no ISA slots. Another reason for holding off. I couldn't really justify the cost of a new hardware modem. This one comes with a PCI hardware modem, though, which I hadn't known when picking it.)

I've been testplaying Hanako's new game (Since I don't see anything about it on their website, I'll be completely cryptic about it, though). Which testplay is erratic, because I need to wedge Monde off her machine to run GameMaker apps.

So. I need to do some huge compiles anyhow to test my new board, and the Wine website said something about Direct3D-related fixes, if I recalled correctly. So a stack of patches download, apply, compile...

And there's a typo. In the released version of Wine. I change the $ to a space, compile it again. And there's a segmentation fault.

Which, on a second make, isn't.

Buggery. Something is Wrong.

Many more compiles later, I determine that turning on the L2 cache doesn't help, that putting the drive I've been compiling on on a 40-pin IDE cable by itself doesn't help, that there's another spurious typo in which a C has become a G, that turning off the L2 cache doesn't help, and neither does turning on ECC for the L2 cache; that bad sectors fail to show up on non-destructive read-write tests, and that a cdefs.h has become a cdefs.l in a Makefile. Grr. So it is looking to me like something likes to set bit 4. Sometimes. It might be the CPU. Might be the motherboard. Might be my sole PC133 DIMM.

On most recent swap, it appears that that last might well be the problem. *crosses his toes and compiles Wine twice more.

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0x7D6 March 0xC:

After the war, we lived in hovels, eating roots and leaves for our enjoyment...

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0x7D6 March 0xC:

For those who may disappear - a fragment of an answer.

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0x7D6 February 0x17:

Corporate image propaganda meets search engine pessimization*:

As we all know, bad information on the internet is usually provided by people or groups that have an agenda to accomplish, when in fact they really don't have any bad Walmart news to report at all.

There has never been a precedent in Wal-Mart history for a union to be necessary. Other organizations feel that a Walmart Anti Union stance is born from greed or negligence to our employee's needs. In actuality, there has never been a need for unions at Wal Mart due to the close, personal relationship between Wal-Mart associates and their managers. As you can see, there is no Walmart Anti Union state. We have positive and profitable relationships with both associates on the floor of each Wal Mart facility as well as the managerial staff. There is no need of an intermediary to resolve disputes because the disputes are handled face to face between the necessary parties.

Both snippets were snagged from Wal-Mart's new propaganda project. I suppose it beats I always had an free cum covered faces on my asian tgp japanese school girl asian girls hot asian in underwear teens sturgis webcam I japanese upskirt my asian big tits asian model My anal rape is a asian girls hot beautiful latina buns milk squirting titties wife next door natural tits a asian oral She is also blonde butt religious and goes to cartoon fisting twice every week and is free hand job pics nudist photo gallery in female domination smother She is not asian ladies resident evil hentai oral sex techniques gay marriage So she ebony cumshot ebony xxx free amateur sex videos our asian tgp say as asian exotic models and japanese beauties black and asian lesbian sex a brunette blow - at least this particular search engine pessimizer handwrote their sentences, giving them the much-desired 'contrived' look instead of the passé 'fridgemagnets in a blender' look.

* 'optimization' would imply an improvement.

And, of course, that first paragraph just cries out for the second 'bad' to be stricken.

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0x7D6 February 0x8:

And here's the discretionary non-security budgets in better perspective, albeit without anything before 2000.

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0x7D6 February 0x8:

Recently, Monde leeched a bunch of White House PDFs. One of them contained a neat little graph intended to demonstrate how frugal the shrubbery is.

However, the dimensions they chose are a little off. The original graph doesn't show _spending_, it shows _percentage of increase_. Per year.

I took the liberty of changing the graph to show percentages spent compared to 2000, instead of just to the previous year.

Damn borrow-and-spend neoliberals.

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0x7D5 December 0x16:

And, while I'm at it, Nematocyst 1.1 fixes a typo and now escapes all the funny characters in the spam it collects.

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0x7D5 December 0x16:

Lluzhionne 1.1.5 has escaped. Er, been released, I mean. Changes from 1.1.4: --version, and it no longer tries to upload completely blank files, and almost all its messages begin 'lluzhionne: ' to make it more clear which errors it's spewing and which the apps its using are spewing.

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0x7D5 December 0x10:

After an inordinate amount of inconvenience caused by a collection of trojans which included a Spamforo variant, which was happily using the infected machine to peddle dodgy pr0n and dodgy pharmaceuticals (such as Cialis and Prozak(sic)), I decided it was time to Do Something.

Nematocyst is the something: a tiny perl script that mimics an infested machine, but doesn't actually send any spam.

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0x7D5 December 0xF:

Tonight, I registered a domain.

In theory, this should be a fairly quick procedure.

One feeds in a domain name, unselects the pile of checkboxes wherein the registrar decides that I of course really wish to buy the same domain in every TLD they work for, feeds in some nameservers, contact information, and billing information, no?

I used to use DirectNIC, Dotster, and OpenSRS. However, if I recall correctly, the last time I bought something through them, they had a list of customer credit card numbers to choose from. I don't _HAVE_ a credit card; on those rare occasions when the use of one is called for, friends and/or people who owe me money supply the requisite numbers. I don't want a slip of the mouse a year later to wind up doublecharging my friends, so I haven't registered anything new from them since noticing that.

A while back I found a registrar in Monaco called Namebay; however, the last time I tried to order something through them, their webforms were completely unusable. So this time, I decided to see how Joker was.

The first thing one notices upon visiting their site is that Konqueror has never heard of the authority who signed their certificate. As the leading certification authority, Verisign, is run by incompetent twits of prosimian parentage, I go ahead anyway. Their interface, while lugubrious, was intuitive enough that I could figure out the navigation in spite of their stylishly unreadable buttons.
Who needs visibility when you have STYLE?
Having run the gauntlet of Joker's webforms (at least, so it appeared), I finally reached the point at which it asked for the relevant credit card details. Feeding them in, I am presented with something along the lines of 'Your order is almost done! To continue, turn off any popup blockers, enable Javascript, click on the link below, and enter some information to confirm your purchase. Visa and Mastercard now require us to ask for all this.'. And a request for most of the customer's SSN, along with some other identifying information. Sigh. So either Joker has been replaced by cracklets, or the credit card companies actually have come up with the STUPIDEST IMAGINABLE response to widespread phishing.

The good news is, Namebay works again. Even if the process of ordering does inexplicably switch over to being in French partway through...

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0x7D5 December 0xF:

The old man coughed weakly, his eyes focused on the great ball of fusing hydrogen rising above the horizon. For a moment, it seemed he could hear the voices of millions crying out in rage. A hallucination, he assured himself. This long after the last pilgrimage, and still he remembered it. The fires of sunrise on that last afternoon. The period of mourning. The horrible fevers that had racked him, through which he had somehow retained the will to continue. All lost now.

"They care nothing for will."

"Yes, Father."

The old man turned angrily, jerkily. "Nothing, flesh of my flesh."

The younger man sighed. "He hopes to come to an accomodation."

The old man's chair whirred as he spun, turning his back to the dawn. He spat. "The President hopes to hide from the clouds as he has these past fifty years. He has no honor, no pride, no courage."

"Grandfather warned us of that."

"Still, your grandfather honored his word. Stopped at the agreed border."

The younger man bowed his head a moment, turned away from his father. The red globe seemed to sear into his memory; in the distance, he could hear the chants to the the Destroyer, the Creator, the Fire. He shivered. "They would burn in hell and call it Paradise."

"And they are the harmless ones."

"What do you mean, Father?"

"You will understand soon enough." His fingers clenched on air. "They admit their enmity." He withdrew a small cube from a compartment at the arm of the chair. "It will all be over soon enough." He laughed bitterly, tossed the iridescent cube to the sand. "I must meet with the doctors. Make the final arrangements." Sand, already hot, flew from beneath the chair's wheels.

The younger man's face was hard and bitter as he turned. He had never appreciated losing, but he hated even more to surrender without a fight. The Abomination came, and all men trembled before it, or, worse, flew with a terrible love in their eyes to join with it. There were choices, and all of them were anathema. He picked up the tiny data cube. His father had spoken often enough of the device as his senility advanced, so unnaturally soon it seemed - not all men were susceptible to the life extension viruses. A small kink in chromosome 14 overrode one of the most important aspects. He knew it all too well. Ghosts of shapes seemed to dance from the cube as he fit it to the projection socket; then blackness descended.

The young man froze, trying to determine which way to run, as a voice familiar from a thousand speeches resounded in his ears. Resonant, carrying; a voice that men could die for. That men had died for in the crusades. The blackness faded away, becoming a checkerboard across his vision, glimpses of the desert showing through. "My son. I will miss you. Do not mourn me; for the things I have done, I deserve far worse than have happened to me. I do them all for our people, and for you. Know, then, that you are the only man alive to whom this device is entrusted. Only one other living man knows the truth, and none would believe him if he told them."

He wondered if the cube would help in the fight to come. Perhaps. His mind ached as he went through the slow, familiar patterns - the evocation that would permit the device to use his own mind for to answer limited questions; the evocation that, he knew, was perilously similar to the patterns that - but he could not think of those, so he stopped, feeling as if he stood at the brink of a precipice.

His grandfather's ghost twinkled in the eye of his mind. He felt himself kneel in supplication. "I must know. The Abomination comes, and it cannot be stopped, but it must be."

The ghost pled for information, about the Abomination, the world, the time, himself, itself. The Prince ignored its questions, for they could not be answered. Ghosts were always terribly hungry for memory, but they could never store new ones; what was explained to them was forgotten again before the sentence was even completed. He regretted mentioning the Abomination, but only briefly; he asked it a question that it could answer: "Tell me. The heretics were stronger than we, but we won them. How?"

In answer, a memory flashed before his eyes. His grandfather's face on an archaic display, a television. Gunfire crackled in the air; a celebration, a battle, who could really have been certain? His grandfather had watched his old records, viewed directives that he could barely remember giving anew so that he could store the information in memory less volatile than flesh.

The man shuddered as the new memory flowed through him, accompanied by a certainty of its own rightness. Unseen, but still remembered images drifted through the mind's eye as he listened to himself/the old man speak of the organization of the factories. Factories that, a decade later, his armies would raze to the ground in revulsion, salt the soil with uranium that nothing might grow there.

Dimly, he could feel tears running down his face. The factories had had but one raw material, and that was humanity; and they had had but one product, and that was pain. The heretics had built them all across the borderlands, and when that which went on within them was discovered, even the enemies of god rebelled in horror; they overthrew their masters and let the armies of God in. And here was the leader of the armies of God, speaking in private to his lieutenants. Telling them how the factories would be organized, a decade before they were ever built. How the only way the Kingdom of God could be would be if the enemy was exposed for what they truly were.

He did not remember that he was weeping when he removed the cube from its socket and placed it in his pocket. He remembered only the bitter certainty that drove him, enabled him to bring his empire to rule half the world though arrayed against a superior foe.

Turning, he walked through the morning, the sound of blasphemous hymns leading him to the platform where a crippled old man awaited the arrival of the conquerors. He could not have said how it was that he knew that his father was dead. Perhaps he could have said how he knew the codes that would cause the silver machine within to release the feelers that had so long traced out his father's life, glasssharp wires detaching as the shadow of the abomination passed above. Perhaps, he could have said how it was that he alone knew that the reactor the heretics worshipped could be controlled by a tiny switch within the implant, switched off forever or detonated as the most powerful bomb of them all. And perhaps, as the wires sank into his brain, extracting the directive of his will, he could have said what that directive would be.

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0x7D5 November 0xE:

Someone just sent me a petition to raise the tax on cigarettes (IIRC, the tax is currently about 50% of the purchase price) by another $1.50. This money is supposed to be used to improve emergency care (thus mitigating terrorist attacks - well, I suppose at least spending money on the hospital system will work better than spending it on a Department of Homeland Security that took most of four years to notice that they hadn't bothered to come up with evacuation plans...), discourage kids from smoking, and reduce tobacco tax evasion.

Yep, people will definitely be less likely to evade a 160% tax rate than a 100% tax rate...

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0x7D5 November 0x7:

Oh, look, election time again.

All the people are rather dull this time, at least in my district. There is a write-in candidate running for Assessor-Recorder who hasn't actually bothered to make a single statement of position that I can find other than 'vote for Anthony Faber, he's none of the above'. Which is cute and all, but when your record consists of saying nothing in particular at little length and being entered into official minutes as having said 'Ditto!'... sigh.

The propositions make up for it.

H wants to ban handguns in San Francisco. (Rentacops and government agents may still carry handguns, however.). As a member of an endangered species, I would rather have the task of wiping out _MY_ ghetto be as difficult as possible.

The Won't-Somebody-Please-Think-of-the-CHILDREN faction wants to use unwilling underage girls to bear Christian children, so they can have somebody to think about who presumably isn't having sex for at least another twelve years. I'm sorry; I dislike abortion, but anyone who isn't sufficiently responsible to decide whether or not to have a baby _on their own_ is not sufficiently responsible to spend nine months carrying it, either.

The breeding programme, er, parental consent amendment dovetails neatly with the really big trojan horse on the ballot: Proposition 79. When I first encountered it, the petitiongatherer wouldn't let me read the text (side note: there's a really long preschool funding bill now in petition phase that the gatherer wouldn't let me read more than a quarter of floating about. I wonder what's hiding in that? She also claimed not to know that there could be things in the full text not found in the summary.). 79 carries in it language creating a regulatory board, whose jurisdiction seems to be 'making healthcare cheaper'. Said regulatory board has permanent emergency powers and is expressly exempted from having to show cause before enacting emergency regulations.

Fuckheads. Fuckheads all around. I'm off to puzzle over what sort of android I like better and what the power reconfiguration one REALLY does.

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0x7D5 October 0xE:


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0x7D5 September 0x15:

I wonder if the militia units the Iraqi police were going to transfer a pair of British spies to are any relation to the militia units that just _happened_ to capture and murder the son of an American dissident shortly after his arrest by US security forces? No, this is obviously just paranoia. Next thing I know, I'll suspect that a President might order his opponents burglarized or sell weapons to the Ayatollah or give money to the Taliban.

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0x7D5 August 0x1A:

Tonight, we interview noted foreign paleontologists Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Rush Limbaugh on a topic of grave importance to the security of our nation.

Jerry: Thank you, sir, and you have a really pretty mouth... ah, where was I? The young man in a miniskirt pretending to take notes isn't really taking them, is he?

Host: No, of course not. As you can see, his notepad is covered entirely in the loops and squiggles of the ancient language of the native Greggs, which our stenographer is studying in the hopes of convincing the local Gregg chieftan to permit him to marry one of his daughters.

Pat: Well. I am not sure if this is a good idea, this interbreeding with the Greggs. Between their unnaturally strong libidos and their regrettable tendencies to engage in unspeakable rituals in the wondrously shining light of the full moon... ah, but I digress. Forgive my impudence in presuming to dictate the lifestyles of your employees.

Host: Oh, no, it's nothing like THAT. The Greggs, being our archivist caste, breed only within their own unwashed tribe. The chieftan has said that, if our stenographer will read a short piece at their semi-annual burlesque convention, he will find the section of the ancient scrolls of lore that permits males of the stenographer caste to marry their own daughters.

Pat: Isn't that in Leveticus somewhere?

Jerry: No, I'm positive that that was in the Gospel of Mark Antony.

Rush: Would you two just SHUT THE FUCK UP? You spent the entire plane ride over here talking about nothing but sodomy, oral sex, bestiality, incest, and fistfucking. You're worse than Bill Clitton! At least it took HIM ten years to get to the point where I had to take painkillers to get over it!

Host: Language, Mr. Limbaugh! We do NOT talk about painkillers on the air!

Rush: Goddamn it.

Pat: You really should watch your mouth, Rush.

Rush: You're one to talk, motherfucker.

Pat: Listen, you...

Jerry: Hey, why don't we find out what we're here for?

Host: Oh, yes. That. We were doing a panel on terrorism and wanted to know what your opinion on fork bombs was?

Rush: Fork bombers are, pure and simply, evil. I know those so-called liberals (or, as we know them, COMMUNISTS) don't like it when we talk about evil, but they have to face facts sooner or later.

Jerry: I agree with Rush. Except that I don't think liberals are really Communists; they're really Satanists pretending to be Communists, just like it said in the Gospel of Paul, 2:13,

Pat: Could you please stop misquoting the Bible? I understand that, where you grew up, the King James version was read, but surely you must recognize that the Strong Bible is better and stronger than the King James version.

Jerry: No, I will not stop quoting the One True Bible, you fucking unbeliever.

Host: Would you care to elaborate on how the liberals plan to set off fork bombs?

(All talking at once)

The host turns to the camera with a big smile on his face.. "And there you have it. We cannot agree on much, but we can all agree on the importance of respect for the Dear Leader and the fact that Liberals are all Satanists and/or Communists."

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0x7D5 August 0x1A:

The Night Headaches
are a mysterious, excrutiatingly painful condition. They seem to be allergic in nature; at least, the copious amounts of slime, sudden onset, optic pain, and feeling like one's sinuses are going into anaphylactic shock seem to support that theory.

And they only appear at night. What photovore releases its germ plasm in copious profusion between 10PM and 1AM and then stops?

This message brought to you by the new, more frequent, but still uninteresting update program.

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0x7D5 August 0x17:

A bug in the perl Yeemp client that would cause it to crash when it received a file offer from an ICQ/AIM client has been fixed.

In case you're wondering why Yeemp updates have been stunningly infrequent, it's because I'm currently working on rewriting it in C. Which, because every GPL/LGPL GUI widget set I can find is some mixture of bloated, broken, unable to handle UTF-8, or unix-only, means that I'll shortly be stuck writing a UI library for it. Sigh.

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0x7D5 July 0xE:

Look, if you're just going to ignore memos that clearly come in labeled "IMPORTANT" and "CONFIDENTIAL" with genuine fake handwriting scrawled across the fool's gold leaf crest on the overleaf, why are you even bothering to show up to the Secretariatry meetings? I mean, it's not like we demand that much of our minions; for example, our brain implants displace less than half of the right temporal lobe, while most pranking syndicates require at least two thirds of a lobe to be occupied by their control devices and ettiquette postnodes, we permit our employees up to three one-minute personal phone calls at their home on off-duty hours, we allow the retention of the entire left kidney by health plan participants with a credit rating of gold or higher, we let you have six hours of sleep a week, and after fifty years' employment, your soul and identity documentation may be retrieved from our vaults.

Really, you don't understand how much we bend over backward to support our effective community teams, even to the point of sacrificing the bottom line for employee good. Why, when the recession got bad last week, where the competition was laying off their security personnel and purchasing robots, did Our Vice President in Charge of Efficiency call RoboCorp, grovel out an apology for sneezing on his cufflinks, and lay in a purchase order for the sixteen automated pain production devices that the accountancy division recommended? No, he stuck by his guns and his personal hatred for the neatly manicured campus of RoboCorp, and actually laid on three addition human employees. Who, I might add, were selected in large part on charitable grounds; few other companies are willing to give a prison guard an eighth chance after conviction for inappropriate sexual conduct, abuse of inmates, and voluntary manslaughter, and most of those who would would force the poor men to abandon their life's work and learn a new career that did not require them to carry a taser and a semi-automatic machine pistol. Or what about the time when, hearing of the escalating drug-related gang violence in his hometown, our Vice President in Charge of Acquisition risked public censure and legal action and hired private specialists to eliminate the loitering problem? Need I remind you that he was fined fifty thousand dollars of the company's money for failing to abide by recommended standards for the use of lethal force, which it was necessary to deduct from the company's taxes as a business expense in a line-item that could have otherwise gone to the civic beautification program, wherein we, out of the goodness of our corporate heart, devote our hard-earned money to the demolishment of drug-riddled playgrounds and the construction of uplifting, attractive statues of men that the youth can look up to as examples of leadership, such as Our Chief Executive Officer?

While we are on the topic of leadership, don't you think that you should strive to emulate the example of Our Chief Executive Officer, whose unshakable loyalty to His employees is such that He has permitted them to remain in positions of power despite criminal investigations that, in a less people-oriented corporation, would have undoubtably led to reduction of privileges. Why, when Our Director of Marketing was wrongly accused of fraud by shortsighted and smallminded government officials envious of His position, rather than display distrust, Our Chief Executive Officer trebled his pay, relocated Him to a lovely tropical isle, and transferred the Audible Products division to His personal control. Now, while we make allowances for the fact that Our Workers are of a lower moral standard than Management, as exemplified by their consistant failure to earn promotion or maintain a reasonable level of annual productivity increase; however, that does not mean that We do not expect you to at comport yourself with a proper level of gratitude for the fact that we continue to employ you, in spite of the fact that you currently are in severe debt to the Company for use of conditioned air, work-related depreciation of facilities, and projected loss of productivity increase caused by your consistant failure to meet our quotas for continued improvement.

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0x7D5 June 0x11:

Paleontologist evidence pointing the quest for the identity of the Piltdown Man hoaxer in startling new directions

For decades, a rather low-energy controversy over who exactly was responsible for the fabrication of the fossilized remains of Pithecanthropus Dawsonii, popularly known as Piltdown Man, has raged whenever paleontologists have had too much to drink and succeeded in running all the dinosaur freaks out of the room.

Perhaps most galling to the scientific community is not the fact of the hoax, but rather the fact that it took so long for them to discover what was, in fact, a rather amateurish job of falsification.

Recently, professor Sirawaddi Chardon, working for the Maryland Institute of Technology (no relation), took some time aside from his thesis project ("Phrenology: a science ahead of its time?", available in hardcover this fall) to reexamine the infamous controversy. Using electron micrographs and computer-aided reconstruction, he was able to examine the ersatz fossils in greater detail than possible using only physical analysis. His conclusion is that the very crudity of the forgery is the key to uncovering the forger's identity. To quote his paper (full text available to subscribers): "The erosion of the chewing surface of the creature's molars was definitely performed using primitive stone instrumentation. Yet, at the same time, the erosion shows a precision difficult to reproduce without late twentieth century machinery not available to any of the initial researchers. It was clearly carried out with great delicacy over a long period of time. Interestingly, the patterns of simulated wear on the molars show distinct variation, implying that at least two separate individuals were involved."

It appeared, at the time of that writing, that the paper was doomed to vanish into the obscurity of pithecanthropological journals, raising only more questions. Then researchers engaged on an unrelated project inadvertantly uncovered what would turn out to be the pivotal piece of the explanation. Or, in Dr. Chardon's words, "I was relaxing in my study, leafing through an old issue of Scientific American in a pleasant state of intoxication, highlighting those of my colleagues articles which I felt to be poorly researched, when I came across a picture of a stone awl that bore a striking resemblance to my sketch of the tool used to erode the pithecanthropus premolar. For a moment, my heart raced - someone else had beaten me to the discovery, perhaps aided by research stolen by the graduate student I had to dismiss after her wildly exaggerated allegations of inappropriate sexual advances threatened to tarnish the reputation of my Institute. I turned to the beginning of the article and read it carefully, relieved to discover that the impudent strumpet was uninvolved in this research. I immediately set out to Flores to discuss further the implications of the discovery to my studies. Upon arrival, I made several detailed sketches of the stone tools found at the site; while I was unable to obtain approval to remove any of them from the site, I did obtain enough information to enable my computer models to conclusively prove what I had at first believed merely a wild speculation, scarcely worthy of spending departmental funds on the first-class airfare to investigate."

Dr. Chardon took a deep breath and concluded, thrusting a ream of printouts at this researcher, "It is now clear that the Piltdown Man was the first, overlooked, clue to a hitherto unknown human species - but not to the ancestor that that wretch Dawson had first suspected. For the erosion necessary to manufacture the teeth of Pithecanthropus Dawsonii was, in fact, accomplished using a type of stone tool identical to those manufactured by Homo Floresiensis, and with a delicacy that no Homo Sapiens hand could have ever managed."

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0x7D5 May 0x1B:

Drum roll, please.

Addendát 1.0. Which has entry editing and deletion, along with sundry bugfixes. Presumably, it also introduces several new bugs, so contact me when you find them.

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0x7D5 May 0x19:

And still another Wibble.

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0x7D5 May 0x19:

Yay! More testing!

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0x7D5 May 0x19:

Yet another test.

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0x7D5 May 0x17:

Blah. Spammers are in my comments.

Time to test countermeasures.

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0x7D5 May 0x12:

I would like to take this opportunity to gloat.

I finally made my open relay *work*.
For values of "work" that are a plausible approximation of work, but don't actually do what the user wants.
As a result, I was able to destroy a significant fraction of a spammer's output.
About forty thousand, to be vague.
And, as an added bonus, I injected a fair degree of false information back into their mailing list. So they'll, ideally, remove a fair percentage of the real people and sell a bunch of bogus addresses as 'Verified Deliverable'. Because, as far as they're concerned, they WERE verified and deliverable.
*fills his honeypot with FIRE ANTS*
*cackles maniacally*
Oh, and if you're a spammer and you want to avoid my honeypot, it's somewhere in the range. HTDH.
Alternatively, they *could* stop portscanning the globe looking for open relays to use...

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0x7D5 April 0x1:

I just installed Windows XP on my machine. It's so much less annoying than Linux...

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0x7D5 March 0x1A:

Masochism is when your hobbies are more Work than the paying joblike activities.

Perl is a nice language, but I'm absolutely terrible at writing XS, and there doesn't seem to be any decent, portable, unicode-supporting, free, small, fast, and cross-platform GUI library available that anyone else has XSified suitably. And, at any rate, Yeemp was getting rather sluggish in many places (due, I suspect, in part to various bits of overhead both in perl and in my algorythms. Including my overuse of objects and 'my $whatzis = $_[0];' in an attempt to keep my code comprehensible.)

For that matter, I'm not sure if such a GUI library exists even in non-XSified form. And if I want TEH HOLE WHIRLED to use Yeemp, I need *something* that's bearable in a GUI.

That being the case, I'm porting Yeemp to C. (Why not C++? Because watching large C++ projects compile makes my eyes bleed, and as near as I can tell the important differences involve both run-time slowdowns and compile-time slowdowns.)

And, for procrastination's sake: a prototype x86 emulator written in 386 assembler completes a naive loop in a little under a third the time it takes dosbox to complete the same loop. Of course, since the prototype only implements eleven instructions, gods only know if it'll still be faster if it's ever finished. Whee.

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0x7D5 February 0x17:

Hopefully, this will behave - a series of abnormally large moths have recently expressed a desire that I adjust the hroool'aq modules, so that I shall do shortly. In the meantime, presentamos a la new Yeemp that fixes a bug that would crash the X client if it tried to wordrap a message, can receive Japanese from GAIM, has arrow keys in the console client (they don't interact well with doublewidth characters yet, however.), and is a little closer to working on Cygwin. We (Monde and I) successfully managed to overlook the entire concept of Valentine's Day. Yay us! (Although I suspect it may have been the day when an incident involving a shoggoth, three girls, and a Naarptikone occurred. In which case, it was all the more day-apropos for us not noticing the date until well afterwards. *grin* And did I mention that Naarptikone have Interesting Tendrils?
Now viewing this post in the 17" monitor that I found in the rain and carried home.
I've been spending an inordinate amount of time fucking with Addendat, too. The next version (and the version deployed on my blogs) will have comment previewing that works, though there's some ormphnorgle overlap with the spam filter that fucks things over. But then, there's five or six such ormphnorgles at any given time. Go try to break my blogs for me, would you?
Wait, that's supposed to be in the green-graph-paper background. I will blame the MOTHS or my INFESTED FINGER. It's off to sleep, which unnatural act will spread ripples across the Surface of the Universe.

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0x7D5 February 0xE:

I always thought something like this was doable.

Thanks to Shiny Happy Links for noticing it.

It's off to build a leadlined cellphone case, it is...

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0x7D5 February 0xC:

So, my webhost had a glitch.
The glitch has since been recovered from, but for a while, much of my stuff was inaccessible. (Incidentally, if you cannot access my site from some locations, the reason may be that their new location is currently behind a firewall that blocks connections from machines with TCP ECN (Explicit Congestion Notification) enabled. Which is annoying, because all *my* machines have it on by default. Oh well, I digress.)
I took advantage of the glitch to embark on some much-needed reorganizations of everything in site that I'd been putting off because I didn't want to break everything when it wasn't already broken.
That being the case, much of the stuff on deekoo.net is currently broken. My blog's back up and should be as it was before.
The web-yeemp client works partially, but all the old weemp accounts have been clobbered. (Old Yeemp accounts on tentacle.net will still work.). Good Sex For Mutants has been started with a fresh database so that I can try to track down the Weird Bug wherein it seemed to be screwing up distance calculations; all old accounts have disappeared. (I probably should include an 'autoexpire profile at' option at some point, but it's on the back burner.)

Anyhow, if anything's broken, *TELL ME*. While breaking, er, reorganizing everything, one thing I noticed was that it looks like Pseudai's been nonfunctional for MONTHS. If you don't tell me when something's broken, *I will not fix it* because I probably won't know about it. Insert exclamation marks here. !!!!! Not THERE, dolt!!! Er. Anyhow. Um. Errrrrr? </whine>

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0x7D5 January 0x15:

So, Six Apart has bought LiveJournal.

As I am inclined to mistrust any company that's reached the 'buying other companies' phase of existance, and Monde has already reported that they've apparently been known to relicense things in unpleasant manners, all two or three people who read my blog regularly should be warned that my LiveJournal may spontaneously disappear if I don't like the new terms of service when they appear.

That being the case, be thou reminded: My real blog is on http://deekoo.net/ and posted using Addendat. My LiveJournal is merely a pale shadow that exists to test Addendat's LiveJournal compatibility feature. So if I vanish, that's where to find me again.

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0x7D5 January 0x9:

I am Dr. Herbert West, from "Reanimator."
I'm right. You're wrong.

Which Random Cult Movie Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well, most of the time I'm right.

A couple of days ago, I realized that, what with Monde's computer's recent obscene upgrade, it can play Return To Castle Wolfenstein.

I promptly shoved that knowledge into a Dark Pit of Foreboding after discovering that, while I can find the *box* quite well, the *game* is Fnohlkhonlyknowswhere. Fnohlkh being the patron deity of keys when one's most of the way out the door.

(At this point, the Aow on my lap is interrupted in his sleep by the fact that a Miyu, standing below the chair, has noticed that his tail is dangling temptingly.)

And then, yesterday, I find... Return To Castle Wolfenstein. Not the lost one, but a new copy. No box, but it's definitely a commercial print run, and if I can find the box again, I can use its serial number, no? Written all over the CD are an assortment of badgery. 'iD' and 'Mature Audiences' and various software companies' logos.

So, I take it home. Shove it in the machine. Autoplay starts. I make a mental note to turn it off. Something that sounds like it could be Wagner, sans Valkyries, starts up. Miscellaneous and sundry reviewer quotes scroll across the screen. And, after a stream of those, it comes to the install window.

And the install window has buttons.

And I look at the buttons. They look something like
'Trailer'. 'More Trailer'.
'Screenshots from the trailer'.
'Maxim's website'.
'Install Girls of Castle Wolfenstein Screensaver'.
And a bunch of logowise graphics promoting Maxim along the bottom.

Something is missing here.

... like, maybe, Wolfenstein.

It turns out that the CD is nothing but a pile of ads for the game and Maxim, coupled to a 'screen saver' that merely scrolls pictures of three blondes and a redhead around your screen, whilst it burns an unmoving Wolfenstein logo into the upper left hand corner of the screen. And the 'Girls of Castle Wolfenstein' are ex-Playboy/Perfect 10 models wearing US uniforms.

Blah. Someone please hand me a CD rated 'Immature Audiences', kthx?

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0x7D4 December 0x1F:
We have a technical...
Or, in this case, a new Yeemp release. I've cleaned up (or mangled, as the case may be) the Gtk UI significantly - xeemp can now be controlled without once touching the mouse, and no longer fills the screen with a zillion tiny windows, and multiline text entries now get the line height from the font instead of assuming that it's 30px high, and it will try to force itself into a UTF-8 locale automatically. The oggslave behaves a little better, only falling back to a console beep when it can't play the ogg it was trying to. Account creation behaves better. Yeemp is happy with perl 5.6.1 and GPG 1.0.6 again. The interactive clients will respond to SIGUSR2 by enabling debug messages, which hopefully will enable me to poke the infinite loop bug(s) a little more effectively. Reconnection works better. In the console client, w and /w now accept regexes for more manageable output with long contact lists. And the AIM plugin will now strip spaces from contact names, in the interests of sanity.
Be warned. Tentacle.net will be moving soon, which means that I'll be sans email for a while (probably a couple weeks) as it does. Also that the public Yeemp server will cease to exist for those two weeks.

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0x7D4 December 0xC:
Giant salamander!


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0x7D4 November 0x19:

Yeemp 0.9.11 is up for download.

If you joined a superhero group.. by Uberdude
What kind of powers would you have?
How did you get your powers?
You joined the team because...
The leader of the Team would be..mjstone
The angsty loner with tons of psychological issuescaffeinatrixx
The spunky mascothpapillon
The well intentioned but volitile mad geniusshippo
The reformed supervillian 'turned-good'honorata
Your personal arch nemesischroma_if
The overwhelmingly evil and powerfull supervillianluxton
The pesky fan or reporterhpet
Quiz created with MemeGen!

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0x7D4 November 0x5:
I've added win32 binaries of the sample trojaned voting machine code.

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0x7D4 November 0x4:

I've written a sample voting machine program to show off just how trivial trojaning the 2002 and 2004 elections could have been. So, can you tell which of these two is trojaned?
So the Bonesman has bowed to the Bonesman and conceded the lead to him.

I was expecting something a little more dramatic, like a nuke on the west coast and a temporary state of emergency. But I *was* expecting Kerry to surrender to his cohort partway through.

Reportedly, at least one piece of mass media reported the anti-war/anti-Bush demonstration in SF as a protest for health care.

An ES&S tech is being sent out to fix the fact that apparently their machines couldn't count the instant runoff ballots in those situations where there wasn't a clear majority on first-choice votes alone.

And the voting machine code is SOOPER SEEKRIT.

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0x7D4 October 0x18:

From Miyu's guide to being Miyu:
Jump into whatsoever lap in which an interesting event is taking place.
Shouldst that interesting event be eating of noodles, feet and/or tail may be placed in the dish as needed.
Shouldst thou get spaghetti stuck to thy tail, panic and run around wildly.

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0x7D4 October 0x14:

The Bush/Cheney campaign has a new endorsement, it appears.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find transcripts of Iranian state television anywhere. Not being able to read Farsi doesn't help in this task, though.

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0x7D4 October 0x13:
Whee. It was a template bug.

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0x7D4 October 0x13:
And yes, I have an ulterior bug, but I'm not telling you what it is. In the interests of integrating properly with my peers, I have decided to take large quantities of silly quizzes! Yay! You are Farouk Bello. You are Executive Director
of Commercial Bank of Africa. Your client was in a car accident along the shagamu express
road. You can't find his relatives so you want to share his $25.4 million with me. You
require my positive response.
Which Nigerian spammer are You?

You are .cgi Your life seems a bit too scripted,
and sometimes you are exploited. Still a workhorse though.
Which File Extension are You?
And this one's actually accurate!

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0x7D4 October 0x13:

Yesterday, I encountered an interesting programming language with elegant syntax and an interesting technique for flow control that seemed both utterly absurd and brilliant.

I was quite puzzled by why any language that made so much sense could have been abandoned, for it turns out the language in question was none other than COBOL.

However, I can't remember any of the syntax anymore. Just that it was nifty.

And, unfortunately, the version of COBOL that exists in the waking world isn't nearly so interesting as the one I dreamed.

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0x7D4 October 0x8:


If you are using Yeemp 0.9.9 or earlier, upgrading is recommended.

A security hole has been discovered in the Yeemp instant messaging client. Yeemp uses public keys both for message encryption and to provide a degree of round-trip authentication for messages - each contact is given a unique public key. Unencrypted messages are considered to be probably spoofed in most circumstances; messages which are decryptable are checked to determine if the key used to decrypt them corresponds with the public key supplied to the claimed originator of the message. The initial public key request, however, cannot be encrypted, and is implemented as a file transfer request. The client was not checking the encryption on inbound files. As a result, anyone could send a Yeemp client a file purporting to be from any sender.

While this by itself cannot be exlpoited to execute arbitrary code, Yeemp accepts and attempts to display several media files with standardized filenames by default; in conjunction with security holes in external libraries or utilities, this could lead to the execution of arbitrary code. Yeemp uses several external utilities, including netpbm and ogg123, to handle certain media files.

Yeemp 0.9.10 fixes the spoofing vulnerability. In addition, if you have Yeemp set to use subterfugue shoggoth sandboxes, 0.9.10 will use them around netpbm and ogg123 calls, which should significantly mitigate the impact of any unpatched or as-yet-undiscovered vulnerabilities in ogg123 and netpbm.

To the best of my knowledge, Yeemp 0.9.9 and all prior versions are vulnerable. This vulnerability has been verified specifically on 0.7.2, 0.9, 0.9.4, 0.9.7, 0.9.8, and 0.9.9.

Nota Bene: 0.9.10 breaks the sendyeemp and weemp utilities. I'll fix them soon. (Sendyeemp especially, as it's important.)

Update your Yeemps.

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0x7D4 October 0x5:

I came home.

and something was in my chair.

Monde got me the first pummelo of October!

(It's a pummelo, not a pomelo. I know this because the sticker on it told me so.)

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0x7D4 October 0x4:

The other day, I found someone clinging to my jacket in the middle of the night and looping along my shoulder.

Naturally, I took them home.

They promptly wrapped themselves up in a coccoon.

Today, they emerged.

And I got pictures.

A crowded lap

Aow, of course, had his own idea of who should be in front of the lens. (In fact, since I had jar, lens, and keyboard on my lap, the addition of an Aow triggered the fall of the lens-bearing device.

After assorted shufflings, though, I was able to get these pictures of my new houseguest.


Moth! 2!

Moth! 3!!!

Of course, I'm still not sure what he is - though he looks rather like the pictures of the Large Maple Spanworm, the caterpillar phase looked rather less similar. And the leaf of choice for wrapping in was not the maple, though I don't know if that's significant.

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0x7D4 September 0x1D:

There are THREE Addendat blogs in existance that I know of.

Two of them are me.

Guess what I found in the comments?

No, guess.


Oh, OK. This.

Which has been somewhat edited and buried in tests, but still... still. It appears that either a spambot thinks Addendat's comment form resembles one that it's already programmed for, some fucktard actually edited their spamware to target Addendat, someone's spamming by hand, or the spamware just hits EVERY gods-damned form it encounters. The amount of progetplus.it spam found in a websearch indicates that it's probably not hand-done.

That being the case - Addendat 0.9 has a comment spam countermeasure hook. If someone tries to post something matching a user-defined regex (the default is probably not comprehensive enough, though), the poster will have to confirm that they've Read Something first. Confirmation text and the required response are both adjustable (and should be adjusted, of course.) The default is an annoying contract obligating 'em to give you money if they're a bot.

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0x7D4 September 0x17:

After hearing for the oompty-ninth time about the bugginess of whatever webring.org (or was it com?) had morphed into, I finally got a round tuit. Which I promptly turned into a moebius tuit and used as the basis for my newest reinvented wheel: Loops. Which is essentially a webring script that makes Möbius-strip-shaped webrings. Which have "over" in addition to the expected forward/backward/random/list options.

Let me know if there're any bugs, as it's not all that thoroughly tested. (though the tentaclesex webloop appears to work.)

[Edit: Especially when I type 'loops.cgi' where I had typed 'loop.cgi'.]

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0x7D4 September 0x15:
[click] [click] Is this thing on? [click] Oh. Um, yes. Well, carry on, then. [click]

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0x7D4 September 0x9:

The annoying bug that would cause Addendát to automatically create 0-byte blog entry files has been fixed. Now obscure b0rken search engines that nobody uses (like this 'yahoo.com' thing) can index my blog to their hearts' content without getting winding up dumping a blank file in the way of my pending comments.

(That way, also, nobody can use up all the inodes with stupid comments. Instead, they'll have to settle for posting the same stupid comment over and over to use up your disk quota.)

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0x7D4 August 0x1E:

Lluzhionne, my webcam app, has a few new filters and a couple added twiddles as of today.

And, while I'm at it: there's a new Addendat beta to play with, and Vertica Smile now supports inline assembler, Brainfuck, Fuckfuck, and Ook!. Ook.

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0x7D4 August 0xE:
For the handful of people who haven't yet seen the story about the CDC's new HIV guidelines: Yes, they're stupid. No, it's not quite the way the newspapers reported it. Go read about it.

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0x7D4 August 0x9:
This is in the technical section. Newline follows and precedes. Double newline follows and precedes.
A br precedes.
Fnord. Fnord. Fnord.
Testing style control. A newline separated the word 'newline' from 'separated'. A double newline will follow. And precede.

Now, here's a paragraph in a P tag.

And a paragraph with a
<br> in it.

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0x7D4 August 0x9:
From the truth-in-labelling department comes a pump-and-dump spam entitled "swindle,Trading Opportunity - NTVI". Another one for the Short List, I guess...

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0x7D4 April 0x10:

Am tired of banging my head against Windows' unwillingness to link, tendency to segfault, and apparent incomprehension of select(). That being the case, Yeemp 0.9.3pre7 (beta for Yeemp 0.9.3) is now up for leeching. Changes: a crash in the stdio (not Term::ReadKey) interface has been fixed. It errors loudly if it's just fucked up your contact list. It can deal with ICQ auto-away messages to a degree. A bug that simulated an extra click in the Gtk interface's fixed. A couple other minor bugfixes. There's a possibility that the console client may lurch erratically along in a vague semblance of functionality under Cygwin. But still no Windows GUI. *sigh*. I don't suppose anyone reading this has succeeded in getting a decent substitute for select() on stdin working under Cygwin?

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0x7D4 April 0x4:


The Atlanta Gazetteer-Reporter today reported the arrest of several unidentified Texan vagrants on suspicion of crossing state lines, conspiracy to commit hate crimes, resisting arrest, and public drunkenness, lewdness, obscenity, and loitering.

The victim, noted public figure and one-time Presidential candidate David Duke, was watering his gardenias when he heard a loud clattering noise from his front lawn. Rushing inside to look for his shotgun, he tripped over an abnormally large pink stuffed poodle that he alleges that either the vagrants or his estranged cousin placed between a buffet and an empty liquor cabinet. By the time he reached his front door, the vagrants had succeeded in erecting an enormous stainless-steel Dobbshead and were attempting without much success to set fire to it.

Mr. Duke said "I then waved my shotgun around wildly and fired in their general direction in the hopes of dispersing these disturbingly dressed persons. Unfortunately, I had neglected to load the shotgun; it was sheer luck alone that caused them to become immobilized with laughter long enough for the police to arrive.". He asserts that he intends to prosecute this "egregious offense against the public morals to the fullest extent permitted by law and then some.".

But a member of the town Klan chapter was doubtful. "While I certainly agree that a White man has the right to live in peace without freaks burning religious symbols on his property, I've gotta say that if anyone deserves it it'd be Dave. Ever since that incident last summer, he's been driving the rest of us bonkers. This is the fifth time this year that he's called the vigilance comittee about freaks on his property. First it was Mormons burning an ummim on his lawn. Then it was Satanists burning a pentagram. Then it was Atheists, and when we got there they weren't burning anything at all. Then it was Nazis burning a swastika, but when we got there it was just some punks having a barbecue. Then last week he called us about witches burning bras. I've gotta tell you, the guy's a couple beers short of a six-pack."

"You mean he's nuts?", this reporter asked.

"No, not that bad. It's just that last time he was s'posed to bring the beer, half the six-packs he'd bought were five-packs when he got to the picnic. He's a fuckin' LUSH. Pardon my French."

But a representative of the sheriff's department was a bit more decisive: "Sure, Duke's been wasting taxpayer dollars on stupid calls for the past few months. But these vagrants have a record a mile long. Priors for everything from drug smuggling to double-parking to downloading music. I'm just glad we've finally got a one-strikes law down here."

A noted expert observed that the vagrants will probably go with a variant of the irresponsibility defense. "They will probably argue that these impressionable drunks were led astray by exposure to the image of a flaming Dobbshead in a popular screen saver for the Linux operating system, which is popularly used by hackers, pirates, and other low-lives.". The expert went on to observe that "This is a more and more frequent pattern. Unlicensed copies of the Linux operating system are encouraging dangerous behaviour. We are particularly concerned with reports that adolescents are using this software in growing numbers, and encourage concerned parents to seek professional help if their children are using this operating system."

Resources for parents:
Linux licensing helpline: 1-800-726-8649
Purchase non-Linux operating systems: 1-202-895-2000
Unix diversion control: 1-800-882-9539

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0x7D4 March 0x15:
A post on behalf of my friend 'Architeuthis', whose very pseudonym is being rendered pseudonomous for these purposes. I'd stick it behind an LJ-cut if this was LiveJournal, but it's really Addend´t so I won't. It just looks like LJ. Besides, if it's too long you can always skip past it, and if Architeuthis likes LJ-cut he can always use his own blog when he's back from San Diego.
I went to sleep a little after dawn. And awoke, oddly, a bit after 11. Spent a while deciding What To Do and prepping, then rolled out the door (for 'walking' values of 'rolled', though the geometry *IS* a bit closer to the wheel than most imagine.) in the general direction of the Big Peace Rally (which was to begin at Dolores Park.). Dolores Park was empty. So I followed the estimated trajectory northwards, passing random outflows and vendors of Things. (Some of which Things were nifty.). My sign was liked by passersby. Which is good, because that was its final voyage. Next time the flag of the Illuminated Order of Chaos shall flap from my standard, methinks, and I should have some proper propaganda of my own. So I arrive near City Hall in time to find that the march is moving somewhere. Where, I'm not entirely sure. Neither is anyone else, though it's fairly clear to an observer that the crowd is following the portable noisybox and the red-and-black flags, and the red-and-black flags and portable noisyboxen are following the crowd. As the anarchistas seem to be short on their usual collection of people I suspect of being government agents today, I engage in an uncharacteristic display of organization and follow the anarchists. From the rough geometric centre of the formation. We go Thataway. Where exactly thataway is is unclear; the crowd moves faster when the organizers start instructing 'em to slow down, and makes a few random turns and about-faces. Thataway winds up being on Market Street and going Up. Which is apparently something that we aren't supposed to be doing, if the staticy wording from the loudspeakers can be believed. So Up we go, at least until a fairly large roadblock starts to accumulate around us. Ahh, breakaway marches. (I did look for signs of shitheaded windowkickers, that I might ask them to please refrain from kicking donut shoppes, seeing as how I like donuts. But saw none, though that doesn't mean they were absent.). At some point, I wound up surrounded. (Along with about 80-odd other people.) The cops wanted us to move back; their behaviour varies from rude pushing to quiet marching, and one gets the most distinct impression that many of their hearts aren't really in it. (Though the guy who waved his hand and said 'bring it on' got a polite declination and an explanation that, if I wanted to fight, I'd've already charged.) I milled around, made sure my sign got on every conceivable camera operated by both factions (after all, the computer that Deek calls Apparat needs to see my sign. I think.). When I finally tired of standing around showing my ability to Not Move when ordered to Move (a weakness, actually - had more of the breakaway march ensidewalked itself immediately upon command, they would've surrounded the tac squad. Allowing the more-dramatically ensigned to be surrounded turned situational control over to the forces of Order. But I digress.) attempted to move sidewalkward. By that time, the surrounders were cutting off sidewalkwards access as well (or maybe they'd been from the start. I couldn't quite see.) and didn't wish to move aside for an "Excuse me". Matterafact, after my second attempt to convince them to permit me to pass out of the street, a dead-eyed triple chevronbearer whose shirt said he was J. Fox instructed the linemembers to strike me if I stepped forward again. *sigh*. Ahwell. So I stood around a while more and discussed random things - (Aleph: "The cops've shutdown traffic on Market Street themselves!" Architeuthis: "It's the middle of the day - who'd even *notice*?") and snippets of ISPconfig and the like. So. Off to jail. Which is a bumpy ride - no seatbelts in the paddy wagon, and we're cuffed with those unpleasant plastic things. The ones on my rightward appendages bind like all hells. Stupid RSI - it's hard to find a keyboard that works underwater *and* is ergonomic, so I've been using a set of six broken "Internet keyboards" from 1999 or so, bypassing the broken keys with clever spaghetti scancodes. One of the vehicle's pilots observed that they don't support Bush either. Then it's into The Holding Pen. Stand around and around and mill as it gets colder. One of the organizationally-inclined types in the adjacent pen (we're gender-segregated, presumably to prevent extemporaneous fornication and the like.) calls all the John Does over and asks 'em if they'll support the Jane Does, as there're only two of the latter. She uses the word "Solidarity" several times, although what exactly Solidarity involves is extraordinarily vague. Were I relying on her for a definition, I fear that I'd've gotten the impression that the word meant "doing things together because girls're, like, helpless, and stuff" or possibly "doing things because girls want you to". By the time they run the last of us in the Jane Does and six of the original eight John Does have demonstrated their "Solidarity". "Solidarity" means to them "Not rolling your eyes when the girls talk about solidarity, and accepting inconveniences for as long as is convenient.". The two remaining John Does get the brunt of the Good Cop / Bad Cop routines. (Which have been displaced a bit because people're onto them. Instead it's Parental Cop and Rowdy Cop, and not as a Matched Pair. PC Talks Sense, and after PC tires of it RC makes snotty comments pertaining to things like the observation that we'll wind up as somebody's girlfriend. Rough paraphrase of the PC bit: "If you're homeless, that's nothing to be ashamed of. Just give your info and you'll get fed." "Why won't you give your name?" "Because it'll go into the computer." (Derisively) "What are you afraid of? There's no giant Big Brother here. All you do is give a little information and they let you go." "Your system's basically harmless. The data goes to Poindexter's, though, which isn't. And in a few years, it'll probably be worse." (Disgustedly.) "Why are you making this hard on yourself? If they book you, they'll take all your fingerprints and they'll know everything about you - your name, your address, your medical records." [Wow, no Big Brother here. Nosiree.] "So? They'll get the same data if I give it to 'em the easy way. At least this is more work for the machines." (At which point she launches into a guilttrip about the city's deficit and how she's on overtime, yadda yadda. And finally gives up when I point out that that essentially means that not giving my information's economic pressure.). So the Nameless and I get to sit in a cell for a while. The Nameless has a name. Two of 'em, actually, but I don't remember the one the machines turned up, and his handle may or may not be my business to release. Anyhow, he didn't wuss out, unlike me. So we sit in a cell. This cell is occupied in part by a succession of random people. Sleepy looks like a random hustlertype, pulled in, processed, reprocessed, rereprocessed. Drunk In Public is more talkative, and honestly doesn't seem as drunk as Iggy's Friend (later mentioned.). Yadda. The cell churns on, and much of the conversation overhearable from the front desk is about the John Does. Apparently they cannot send someone upstairs to the real prison unless they've got a name to put there. In the past, apparently this has occasionally been resolved by putting in fake names and changing 'em later, but they'd rather not do so (i'm guessing), though Tweedledum and Tweedledee are floated. After much time I wind up fingerprinted on the Big Machine, which'll take for-bloody-ever to turn up names. And apparently baffles them for at least a bit by NOT turning up anything for either of us. We do not exist, it seems. Funzies. Somewhere in the midst of this the Brilliant Man enters the cell. He's naturally curious as to what his cellmates are in for, and is pleased that we were protesting. You see, he's very familiar with the flaws in the current system. Studies have shown that there's a better way. It's called the "Commodity System" (The current system is the Conveyance System.). In the Commodity System, instead of imaginary shit and money and buying things, one gets everything at the store, and works to grow enough food for the store. Fifteen kingdoms used the Commodity System in the past, and they had none (or very few) of the problems that the Conveyance System has. The Brilliant Man has spent a great deal of time studying the problem. In addition, he also taught us many other things of which we were unaware: - There is a cure for any drug addiction, and a cure for the side effects of the cure for any drug addiction. This cure is methamphetamine, which is so powerful that it can even cure the addiction to pot in only one day. - He has told the Muslims that, if they were to build houses and showers, they could get lots of money. Which would be worthless in the Commodity System, so should be just thrown into a dumpster. He'll be the garbageman. - Many of the problems with society stem from the fact that uncivilized, violent people, most of whom are black, are allowed to interact with others. - The psych ward must be abolished. Psychiatry must be either abolished or brought back, he cannot remember which. Social work must be brought back. This emphasis on curing criminals is the wrong way to go about things; criminals should simply have what they did explained to them, be made to confess, and think about it in jail. - Touching someone in their sleep is one of the worst things anyone can do. Sooner or later, the priests are going to get tired of it and kill all the molestors. - Butthole inspectors touch people in their sleep. If anyone tries to inspect the Brilliant Man's butthole, he will (something violent I can't quite remember.). - Society would be so much better if so much of its resources weren't wasted by uneducated people on wrong solutions that just make the problems worse. Now that the solutions have become obvious to the Brilliant Man, it is rank stupidity and uneducatedness that keep people from recognizing their truth when they're explained to them. - The Brilliant Man is, in fact, a genius, who would score very highly on all tests. He understands everything. - Pot weakens maleness, causes impotence and infertility, and destroys marriages by causing women to become unsatisfied in them. This is unlike methamphetamines, which also weaken maleness. However, you can still satisfy your wife by whacking off a bit first and looking at a porn mag if you're on methamphetamines. - He doesn't understand butthole inspectors, or how they can stand to inspect a butthole when there's a poopie coming out. - America is a hell full of demons who won't let you do anything. - Nobody should smoke pot unless they're doing it for well-thought-out research purposes, as (in addition to the sexual problems) it makes you mildly retarded. - If the cops don't do something about the people who touch him in his sleep, he'll have to get a gun and do it himself, assuming that the priests don't. And quite a bit more maundering about the uncivilizability of blacks, the brilliance of his understanding, the evils of the butthole inspectors, how touching people in their sleep makes women engage in sexual practices that men don't understand, and the apalling stupidity that keeps the system in place in spite of all his knowledge to the contrary. It was actually overexposure to this that caused me to decide to give up and admit my real name (Jonathan O'Rourke, if you're curious; Adrian Falcon if you're just slightly eccentric, and Reginald DuBois the Third if you're average.). So be warned: should you intend to use Time In Jail to wear down the establishment, they may have thought to inflict verbose kooks upon you. So. The Nameless is still in the cell; mehopes that his current roommate is neither a butthole inspector nor one posessed of the whole truth about Everything and the burning need to teach everyone about it. A police officer have complimented me on sticking it out so long before giving up my RdB. Another has asked if Discordianism is like Qabbala. I should've thought to tell him to look up the Principia Discordia online; oh well. I wonder if they'll deliver letters to alia, and if a letter from a wuss'd be desired or not.

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0x7D4 March 0x14:
And, coupled with the new layout, I've used Windows for longer in the past two days than in the past two months[1]. Not out of some desired to be coddled interfacewise, you understand. I find command-lines friendlier than GUIs, as I'm sure anyone who listens to me is utterly tired of hearing over and over. Nor out of a New Game. Rather, it's because I'm busy Embracing and Extending. Which is to say, I'm working on a couple segments of the Pumelo. (Or maybe I should call it the Pomelo.) Fltk-utf8 compiles under Cygwin on Windows Me. Now all I need to do is learn XS (and possibly fragments of C++) so's to write the wrapper necessary to get Yeemp to run it. (Why not GTK? Because the Windows version of GTK really doesn't like my attempts to get the perl wrapper to work. And, not knowing XS, it's easier to write my own wrapper for something that seems like it might do a chunk of what I want than to read enough of perl's GTK module to fix it. I suck.) Now, to go hammer the Really Stupid Segfault some more. Finally tired of having to pole-vault over a piano to fold myself into my desk. So The Desk Layout has been reorganized for better feng shui, and I'm now using a Desk Covered In Tinfoil.

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0x7D4 March 0xF:
:-9 48 B-) 0
:-9 57 B-) 7
:=9 64 B=) b :=) B=) 1
:o9 20 Bo) 6 :o) Bo) c :*9 a B*) d
:-9 2c B-) 5
:-9 6c B-) 2 B-) 3 B-) a :-) :-) :-) B-) 4 B-) 8 :-) :-) :-) B-) 9
:-9 4 :=9 1
:o& 0
:*9 e
:P 80
:-9 1
:P 80

It compiles.

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0x7D4 March 0xD:
Lluzhionne 1.0. Now able to set frames-per-second so it'll actually do resolutions over 160x120 without using an external app to initialize the camera. And, whilst I'm at it, my apt repository should behave a bit better.

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0x7D4 February 0x1C:
I got a New Toy.
Specifically, a Phillips USB webcam (which says Logitech on the front.).
That being the case, Lluzhionne now supports at least one USB video device (thanks largely to code ripped from Camstream.). And that being the case, my webcam should be updated much more often - downloading images from the Casio was annoying, mostly because the serial port'd start timing out if I decoded oggs/mp3s whilst transferring.
If I don't get told it's broken, 1.0pre1 will become 1.0 in a few days. You have been Warned. And randomly capitalized, As well.

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0x7D4 February 0x8:

Yeemp 0.9.2pre3 inflicts itself upon the universe. 0.9.2pre3 adds ICQ web-pager messages, assorted bugfixes, more keyboard controls, and make the docklet themes work the way they were meant to.

Barring major bugs, this will become 0.9.2 sometime Tuesday.

The theming instructions that Rank & Serial-Numberless User wanted have also been added.

Also, does anyone know why "use POSIX; system('blah');" causes perl (5.8.2; handcompiled; not using vfork) to sit there forever under Cygwin on Win98? (And, more importantly, what a good workaround would be.)

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0x7D4 February 0x2:
Starting sometime in the last two or three days of January, my spam disappeared.
Wow. Did someone shoot Alan Ralsky? Was there a sudden attack of good taste that caused the hundred zillion offers to enlorge yr littul weenee to disappear? Had Chinanet's old admins been reassigned to gulagnet?
No. Tentacle.net's mailserver was down.
It's back up now. Reconfigured, too. Maildir is dead. (It deserved it. Gah, one file per spam?). So on the one hand mutt (at least in default config) doesn't work anymore. And the imap server seems to be being funny. (I say 'seems to be' because it might be the chaos-side pine config instead.) On the other hand... mail works now.
(Mail, for the nonunixy, is a command line interface that's only a tiny bit more user-friendly than telnetting into the IMAP port of your server. It's beautiful.) It doesn't support MIME. I love it. If it didn't already exist, I'd have to write it.
I see Atkins has discovered targeted marketing. At least, that's the only explanation I can think of for why they have an animated banner ad on an article about a man who claims to've made himself seriously ill by eating an all McDonald's diet. (Warning: The link wants to pop up crap if you have Javascript enabled.)

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0x7D4 January 0x12:
"... They smiled as she took off the generator electrical t-shirt almost exposing those firm thermocouple generator electrical information. ...". Found whilst looking for data for $PROJECT.

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0x7D4 January 0x11:
Yeemp 0.9.2pre2 is now up for download. Highlights are some interface polishing, and a new (skinnable) dock-applet-like interface for the X client. You can also put contacts into groups, and set different popup settings, so messages from contact group "Aardvarks" always pop up a window on top of whatever you're doing, while contact group "Cow-orkers"'s members just blink the applet.

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0x7D3 December 0x18:
Whee! Yet another point(less?) Yeemp release.

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0x7D3 December 0x16:

After far too much lag, various bugs in Yeemp have been duly buggered. The newest Yeemp now sends messages that that gawdawful nightmare disguised as an IM program known as 'AIM' can actually display. (It seems that 0.8's AIM compatibility only actually worked with the *nixish AIM clients I was testing against.). The Yeemp ICQ plugin is also a bit better, there's a new Kana input table (Apparently the names of the kana in the Unicode standard are not exactly quite anything at all like those used in actual Japanese.), the infinite loop in FreeBSD has been squished, and there've been various user-interface (mostly input) improvements. So, Get Thee to Yeemp 0.9 and let me know what else I broke.

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0x7D3 December 0x15:

ZDnet announces that MSNBC reports that FuckedCompany has uncovered internal memoes that indicate that IBM is planning to issue a press release on Monday. According to analysts at Forbes, Reuter, and Howe, it is highly probable that this press release may be an announcement of the fact that they plan to declare that they are going to release another press release Tuesday. Or possibly Wednesday.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled ormphnarghle.

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0x7D3 December 0x11:
<%technical%> DO COME FROM (69)

A valid statement in Intercal.

Tasks for beforenextweek:
Learn enough Scheme to add a fairly trivial feature to batchgimp. (which is a bunch of perl programs that write scheme programs to control gimp. Which'll be fun, as that means Lluzhionne will be able to do Gimp filters soonish...)
Requisite Discoveries: OK, so I guess I'm *not* the only person who thought 'condition data data' would be easier on the parser than 'data condition data'.


Going out, one thinks. Will one need one's purse? No? Then leave it home. Eight blocks out, one passes a box containing a brokenwinged avatar of what seems to be a Hindu diety (or possibly a syncretic angel) amongst Energy Rearranging Coils. Stuff all the Energy Rearranging Coils into one's pockets and go onward.

Go a block further than you had originally planned after endpoint, no point in mind. The coils interact with the forces to produce a steady downward vectorpressure. And finding, found, a pair of computers that had been thrown out. P166 and 486DX, respectively. Not boxen I want to drag all the way through the subterranean passages leading to the cavern in which my base has been constructed.

Thence begins the Quest for a Screwdriver-Equivalent. None of the plugs in my jacket will turn a screw; neither will my keys (which is just as well. Breaking one's front door key retrieving a bunch of old HDs is probably not a worthwhile tradeoff.). However, a 14.4 modem (The only card not screwed down.) turns out adequate, at least to get the netcard out so's I can then use it to take the metal plate off the modem's arse and bend that around to make a less-awkward jabby screwturner.

Of course, when I finally do get the whole mess off, I find the coils have filled all the pocketspace. (Unless I want my pants falling off from gravitic excess, at least.).

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0x7D3 December 0xA:

Banshees are the largest predators on S'trawn. Reaching a length of twenty meters, the land-based variant is one of the most common causes of death in the human settlers. Only killer bees and falling trees are more likely causes of untimely demise. Banshees can change colour to match their surroundings in seconds. The cladistic grouping to which the term applies is, as is common on newly-settled planets, quite large. (Although, unlike many new colonies, all banshees on S'trawn do actually appear to be no more distantly related than, say, spiders on Earth.)

The banshee is an adorable, lemurlike primatoid, named for the incessant wailing it emits at high noon during the mating season. Banshees have three large, solid blue eyes, although they primarily identify their prey by means of scent receptors located in their fingertips. The hand of a banshee is suprisingly similar to that of a human infant in proportion, although the smooth, pleasantly scented grey fur has no parallel among the human-descended settlers.

The keening wail associated with the banshee is generated by the lung complexes of the colony. Large infestations of banshee have been known to result in human insanity, especially during the time of the fetid marsh winds when they release their spores. Active damping technology is not effective; they can hear the dampers, and vary their frequencies accordingly. The Ministry of Tourism has ordered all banshees within a hundred pfarths of the capitol city and the military space facilities exterminated; the gas used is a variation on a standard xanthobenzine trimerase exemplifier.

Banshees are worshipped by a splinter sect of Theosophists, who hold that their unusual stalked eye-clusters are in fact signs that they are the Old Ones referred to in prespace writings by messrs. Blavatsky, Lovecraft, and Zeming. While their citybuilding activities indicate sentience, the opinion of the majority of xenologists to examine the so-called "Banshee Worlds" is that they were a spacefaring race that succumbed to the temptation of using evolutionary engineering to improve their adaptation to their social environment. As they perfected their bodies, so the theory goes, the stresses necessary to produce strong mentalities faded.

The warrior caste, referred to as "Banshees", is a modification of the basic stock that emphasizes strength, speed, and emotional brutality above mentation, dexterity, or long-range planning. Even in mourning, the ferocity of a Banshee is such as to make them a byword among their neighbours.

It is the most common, and most elementary, failing of archivists: to assume that commonality of terminology implies a common root. The Banshee of S'trawn is twenty meters long, covered in chitin, and unusual in that it can actually digest human flesh. The Banshee of the Celestial Haven is a primate derived from the human, with a maximum size only a little over a meter. The inhabitants of the Banshee Worlds devolved to animalism long years before the first protobanshees of S'trawn appeared in the fossil record. The sessile Howling Banshee of Drept is an immobile photovore.

Yet, analysis of the records does show one clear link between some of the Banshees listed above. The "Lemurlike" banshee was apparently named after the inhabitants of the Banshee Worlds - but not for any similarity to them. Rather, research shows that at the time they were named, "Lemur" was a derogatory term for unmarried Theosophists.

We urge the student to remember this at all times: There are over a hundred thousand planets habitable to our race in this galaxy. Derivates of our stock can live with minimal protection on at least a hundred times as many planets. The most fertile of worlds can have several billion sentients and several thousand languages, which can be expressed through means as diverse as direct neuromuscular stimulation, patterned binary interaction, ordinary speech, reflectivity variation on surfaces, or modulated atmospheric vibrations. It is wildly unlikely that words that seem identical across languages share a common origin, much less ones that merely bear a similarity of form or function to their imagined counterparts in another language.

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0x7D3 December 0x5:


From the Big Appropriations Bill (pending before Congress):
(In the District of Columbia appropriations section)
SEC. 423. (a) None of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative.

(b) The Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998, also known as Initiative 59, approved by the electors of the District of Columbia on November 3, 1998, shall not take effect.

And, from the transportation section:

SEC. 177. None of the funds in this Act shall be available to any Federal transit grantee after February 1, 2004, involved directly or indirectly, in any activity that promotes the legalization or medical use of any substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812 et seq.).

The exegesis thereon being:

Transit agency advertising.--The conferees are concerned that transit agencies accepting Federal grant funds may be providing their advertising space to organizations that encourage the public to break the law. For example, the conferees note with displeasure that public service advertising space in Washington, DC's Metropolitan Area Transit Authority rail stations and buses has been used to advocate changing the nation's laws regarding marijuana usage. WMATA has provided $46,250 worth of space to these types of ads; therefore, as a warning to other transit agencies, the conferees have deleted funding totaling $92,500 from projects and activities for WMATA in this bill.

While the conferees applaud the efforts of many transit agencies to prevent ads that promote marijuana use, the conferees remain concerned that the opportunity exists nationwide for transit properties to run similar advertising. Therefore, the conference agreement includes a provision (Section 177) that prohibits Federal transit grantees from obligating or expending funds that would otherwise be available in the Act, if the grantee is involved directly or indirectly with any activity, including displaying or permitting to be displayed advertisements on its land, equipment, or in its facilities, that promote the legalization or medical use of substances listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act.

Meanwhile, the ONDCP is granted $526,856,500. Of which $1,500,000 is earmarked for the "National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws", and $145,000,000 for a propaganda campaign.

(Also present is $90,000 for "Official Entertainment Expenses of the Vice President"...)

Original source: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/T?&report=hr401&dbname=cp108&

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0x7D3 November 0x17:
plane 0x0: Well, it looks like the Yeemp 0.8 AIM plugin only actually worked with GAIM. Is there anyone out there actually masochistic enough to use AOHell's AIM client that I can test Yeemp against it? plane 1: ... interesting ... dreams.
plane 2: ... my back hurts less than it did yesterday. Use of gametrance to distract from it is suboptimal, though.

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0x7D3 November 0xB:
Picture a mottled marble - green and brown and grey, speckled here and there with points that glow a furious blue. It hangs in front of a backdrop of swirled red clouds, looking more than anything else like a page from an elementary planetology text, with a caption along the lines of "The larger gas giants hold storm systems large enough that an entire Earthlike world would be lost inside them.". But this is an illusion; a terrestrial planet in such a place would plummet to the core. What seem like raging frozen winds are, in fact, a great nebular cloud of ionized hydrogen, compressed by the raging solar winds of a blue-white sun lurking somewhere in the wings. Peter viewed the sight with some trepidation. Beautiful, yes. But deadly. Of late, messengers had born rumours of rising tensions. The ideological schism dividing the Gorwhol had grown worse of late; influential philosophers had been heard to argue for pacification of the colonies. Riots had occurred in the human quarters of several Gorwhol cities. Worse, a large fleet was reportedly being assembled near Earth, for purposes as yet undisclosed. And then there was this mission. To investigate the murder of a Guild inspector on the Gorwhol homeworld, in the very tunnels wherein the alien rulers decided the course of their scattered empire. He turned away from the window. It would be subjective days yet before the transport docked; in the meantime, there was little point to staring stupidly at his destination. Reaching into a pocket, he removed a small round disc. Peter gripped it between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed it. No sensation betrayed the first check: the disc tasting the oils on his hands. A faint scraping sensation noted that that check had succeeded: he tasted like Peter, not some other human, and now it was checking the bioelectric modifications to his nervous system. Were that check to fail, a milligram of antimatter would destroy the container - along with anyone luckless enough not to have a few feet of rock between them and the self-destruct mechanism. He wondered if, perhaps, Guild command ever used these devices to eliminate agents who became liabilities. Probably not often, he decided. The machine could be programmed to destroy agents, but the logic to distinguish genuine betrayal of the guild from an attempt to, say, convince a hostile agent that you agree with their aims would be awkward. Unmanageable. Placing the translucent object therein on his eye, he proceeded to immerse himself in the distorted logic of Gorwhol Interaction Simulator, version 19.4.1, (Diplomatic Special Edition). His reverie was interrupted by the door opening. A mottled trapezoid faded from his vision, clearing the way for the off-white chitin of one of his shipmates. "I sense a thousand thousand liars in our future, my friend. Care for a last drink before they slit your belly and hang you from the flagpole?" "Gladly, on one condition." "And what would that be, soft one?" "A respite from your melodramatic posturing." "Moi? Posture? You wound me, human; I assure you that my melodrama is entirely, completely, totally, utterly sincere." "In that case, perhaps I shouldn't. It might shake the conditioning." "Well, if that's the way you see it... follow me and I'll see if the crew are willing to substitute your spleen for an olive." Peter grinned as he placed the little lens back into its case. "Better. You sure you'll be able to survive down there for a month?" "Certainly. I'll just keep my mouth shut as much as possible." Peter dogged the cabin bulkhead and looped a shiny bluish toroid over the handle. "Check. Any message you want me to give your heirs?" Striding off in the general direction of the observation cylinder, Sloan said "Yeah. Tell them to rip out your spleen for me." "Spleen. What is it with you and spleens, anyhow? Don't you have plenty?" "Oh, didn't I tell you? I'm an organ merchant, specializing in spleens." "Fun. And gall bladders, too, I take it." "Gall bladders? GALL BLADDERS? How *DARE* you accuse me of such!" "Oh. Not licensed, I take it." "Hmph. The things I put up with, just so's I can have company that doesn't run screaming..." "As I recall, they weren't running all that fast when I left..." "True.". The chitin-coated being smiled disconcertingly. "Maybe I don't need company after all..." "Oh, I'm as capable of running screaming as the next guy." "Really?" Sloan asked. "Care to make a bet on it?" "Not really." "Wuss. Afraid that you won't be able to match 'em?" "No. Afraid that the next guy'll be Cynthia." "Hmph. You wound me." "Not without more armament than I'm willing to use on ship." "I reiterate my earlier accusation." "Which one? The one where you questioned my ability to outrun a soldier morph, the one where you claimed I was breaching your integument, or the one wherein you accused me of being a spy for the Bictrixi?" "Do I have to choose just one?" "Yes." "Oh, all right. In that case, I accuse you of being the most insufferable, nitpickingest, obnoxious, slowmoving, painful Bictrixi spy I've ever encountered. And having the most implausible disguise ever." "For abnormally large values of one?" "For cubical values of one." "One cubed is still one." "Ah, but with eight salient points." "Point." "Points.", said Sloan as the observation ring's bulkhead opened. The human on the other side went pale. "Sharp points.". The human suddenly decided to walk the other way. "Scaring the humans again, Sloan?" "You're one to talk. Why, you're ugly enough, I think your mother might have been a human." "She was." "I'm sorry, it doesn't really show that much; I was just kidding you." Peter rolled his eyes. "Now I know why I hang around you. It's to make dealing with the Gorwhol seem like a relief by comparison." Sloan settled into a chair at one side of a triangular table and grinned. "I'm going there, too, remember? Just think. You'll have me *and* them to deal with." "I *did* think of that. Why do you think I suddenly feel the need to kill brain cells?" "A plot to make your company less attractive?" "A plot to make me forget where the hell I'm going until I'm already on the shuttle down."

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0x7D3 October 0xA:
Determination: A wheelchair is indeed the easiest way to get a 17" monitor up the hill to the Secret Underground Base. Said New Monitor is now attached to Monde's machine. It's nifty. (And Nethack looks *great* on it!). SillyContestTime - Whomsoever correctly guesses how much the shiny new 17" CRT cost me wins their choice of a kiss or a pomelo. Ich bin luminescing. *gryn* Bouncybouncybouncy. Ask Monde why. *bouncybouncybouncy* Unrelated events: YESTERDAY: A tentacle demon walks into a bar. There was actually a good reason. I had a question, you see. I needed, for religious reasons, to learn the answer to an important question. Specifically, when the pumelos would return. The dollar had become separated from my Note, so the eight-balls were consulted to divine the answer. The three balls Spake. And one said "You may rely on it.". Or something to that effect. It was clear that the pumelos would return. TODAY: Whilst walking down Evangelism, or possibly Purpose, Hybrids were seen. Plums merged with apricots merged with nectarines. One entered in Quest of Fuel and found: Huge. Green. Limelike in colour. Eight inches across. Pumelos. On top of pomelos. There were some shaddocks mixed in. And a few pummelos. NOW: Atop my monitor, a great green pomelo sits next to the security lesion.

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0x7D3 October 0x4:

Seen, some days ago:
Alien shrieks fill the air as they wheel
the green psittacines settle in a photovore
and begin to stroke its genitalia with their hooked beaks.

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0x7D3 September 0x1B:
Request for testers
The last Giant Yeemp, as mentioned, adds AIM support. However, I'm not entirely sure if it's working right, so if any AIM users want to send messages to my test account (ookeed) that would be appreciated.

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0x7D3 September 0x1A:
What did the priest say after completing the inventory at the Vatican's Fungus Research Laboratory?

"Cogito ergot sum".

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0x7D3 September 0x14:
I wonder - did anyone else notice the oddity in the fields a couple hours ago?

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0x7D3 September 0x10:

Right. Time to finish up the decentralized resolver, then.

While most ISPs seem to be blocking it, I noticed that the same web designer seems responsible for bountyongwbush9.com, worldslargestpedophiliaporncollection.com, and ashcroftfelchesgoats.com. Along with a large number of other anti-government domains. Which might've been amusing if they didn't also have nukedeekoo.com, and, adding insult to lameness, deek00.net (note the 0 instead of o).

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0x7D3 August 0x1D:
Today's giant Yeemp adds AIM support, fixes various bugs, and shouldn't lose your contact list when your disk fills up. It also adds Cyrillic, Kana, Ogham, and Runic (Although that last is something of a mess, as the Unicode Consortium tangled three or four different futharks together. Someone who actually uses runes and can help me untangle the mess would be appreciated.) input tables, and support for using input tables in X as well as console.

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0x7D3 August 0x12:
Dreaming behind dreams the recursion produces an elaborate gallimaufry of specious vapours

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0x7D3 August 0x12:

For immediate release

White House Office of Strategic Data

Weekly terror threat briefing

First off, let me begin by reminding you all why we're here today, we're here... because, because the terror threat level has been raised to, to pale mow-oov, and we think, I think that the people, the American people, have a right to know what's going on.

And what's going on is, we're winning. And the, certain people, don't want you to know that, want you to think we're losing. But we're not. We're winning in Afghanistan. We're winning in Iraq. We're winning at home, with the new ID program to help us, help us catch the criminals, criminals and the terrorists, who threaten our homeland. We're winning everywhere we go. We're winning in the Fillipians. We're winning in Columbia. We're winning in Quebec. *audience chuckles nervously*.

And we've been winning, and our enemies are- we're winning. And they don't like it, they don't want us to win. So we, we have to be on our guard, or they'll try to do something. And we're on our guard. We're on our guard in the schools, on our guard in, in the gym lockers, in the lunchrooms, against those who would hurt our children.

And... I won't lie to you, to the American people... it will be hard. And, and sometimes part of what we have to do is, we have to get them before they get us. That's what security means, keeping us safe even when it's hard. And they're losing, and that means they're getting desperate, that's what it means. So they'll be trying to attack us, hurt us and our allies again, scare us. We have people, friends that report this to us, when they know our enemies are up to something.

So, what this means is, that we know they're up to something. And there are some people, people who just won't cooperate with us on protecting you. They just let our enemies set up terrorist training camps, recruit people, try to use terror against us, try to divide us.

And one of them, is a country that's been supporting terror for a long time, that's been helping terrorists like bin Laden plan new attacks, attacks that could use biological or nuclear weapons, is still helping him.

I have reports, good reports, from people I trust, that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were, still are, planning a new attack against me, against the United States. And they, you've seen the pictures Karl gave out, they have a new weapon, a weapon of mass destruction.

*pause while reporters look at papers*

Mr. President. Sir?

Yes? I don't remember seeing you at the briefings before, miss...?

Yes, uh, I have a question. I'm not that good at science, but this looks really bad. How do the spores turn people into apes?

Monkeys, not apes.

Sorry, sir. But my ques-

Just a minute. You there, in the blue.

Mr. President, could you tell me where they got this technology? It seems to advanced for them to have made on their own.

Yes, yes it does, and thank you for bringing that up. Now, the enemy, they have been getting help from evil dictators for a long time, and they work with other terror groups, groups that we don't always see in the news. And one of these other groups developed it, with the help of the Tibetan government, help at the highest levels.

What are your plans for dealing with them?

I, I always think we need to be firm, be strong. I already demanded that they hand over the terror groups to us, and they just lied, said the people we asked for are not a terror threat. We have good reports that the people we want are a threat, a danger, and I'm sick of their lies!

Mr. President. What terrorists are they currently harboring?

Well, I don't rightly know *ALL* of their names.

*the audience titters nervously*

But, but I do know the main ones, the ones we've got to have. And they are, they are Sodom Hussein. And, and his grandson, and Osama bin Laden, and Golobulus.

We haven't heard much about Saddam's grandson or this Golobulus person. Can you tell us what they've done or attempted to do?

Well, Sodom has been molding his grandson all his life, even more than his sons. He's a little monster, even at fourteen. If you'll look at the photo Karl is handing out, the porn photo, *more nervous giggles*, you'll see what Sodom Junior does.

Mr. President, are you sure that this picture is OK to print? It's very, er, bloody.

Yes, I'm sure. Sure it'll scare people, but they need to know, know what these people do.

And Golobyu... whatever. What sort of monster is he?

Well, he recently took over, took command of Cobra. And that's a well-known terror group. And their old commander, has quit, has volunteered to inform on them for us. And he says that they have a gas, a spore that reverses evolution... now, I don't believe in that fancy science, but I do believe in what I see. And what I see is, is that gas turns people into monkeys.

Mr. President. Where does Tibet come into this?

Well, you all know the IAO, darpa. And they do some great things, some things that help us stop terror. And one of those things was a market, a market to help predict terror. And it's clear, really clear now, that Golobulus's base is in Tibet. And since Tibet keeps lying, we asked China about it, China is our friend and they told us to go ask the ruler of Tibet, and that ruler, the Dalai Lama, says that Cobra is not really a terrorist organization. And they are, so we're massing troops, moving soldiers into manayar, whatever that place is called, they're our friends, and they're going to let us use their bases to strike, to liberate Tibet.

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0x7D3 August 0x2:
Why is it that large corporations prefer to hire web designers who wouldn't understand cross-platform compatibility if it was compatible with their rectal cavities?
I can understand banks and governments doing dumbfuck things like making the SSL bit of their websites IE-dependant. They're neither technical nor do they expect their users to be concerned with security.
And I gather some companies think that nobody uses Linux on their home machines, and suchlike nonsense... but for Ghods' sakes (Made from the finest fermented souls!), you'd *think* that you should be able to use Lynx-SSL or Konqueror to sign up for Linuxworld.

Meanwhile, back at ~: Yeemp 0.7.1 is up and will be inflicted upon the rest of the universe shortly.

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0x7D3 July 0x14:
I wanted tomatoes. So I set off up the mountain for them.
When I had gotten high enough that they would grow, I planted the seeds
that I had brought with me.

I was not certain that tomatoes, or indeed anything, would grow. The sun had faded the packets so that I could not tell what was in them, and it had been a very long time indeed.

On the mountaintop, I waited and watched for the seeds to grow.
The sun beat down.
The wind blew.
The rain fell.

I do not know how long I waited, as the sun beat down on me, the wind blew, and the rain fell. At times I would become immobile as I waited. When I was immobile, sometimes the seeds would grow. They would sprout. Tall things would grow, and short things, and things that were good to eat. Perhaps there were tomatoes while I was immobile, but I could not be certain of that.

[read on...]

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0x7D3 July 0x12:
Fixed a bug in the Yeemp prerelease that made it hang on FreeBSD.
Also inflicted a new Lluzhionne version upon the world a few days ago.

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0x7D3 July 0xC:

I've thrown a prerelease of Yeemp 0.7.1 up for download. It fixes an assortment of bugs in the ICQ plugin (including one that made the X client soak up insane amounts of CPU time if the server disconnected you). It adds support for using subterfugue to sandbox the SSL shoggoth as a defense against possible undiscovered security holes in OpenSSL (though note that a security hole in subterfugue or your kernel could be used by an OpenSSL exploit to crawl out of the sandbox.). It fixes some bugs in the Yeemp client, including one that soaked up extra bandwidth and disk space.

In addition, I finally remembered to put the prototype Good Sex For Mutants CGI up. I will expect Federal funding for it, as I believe it meets the criteria for faith-based charitable activities. Suggested addenda to the question-list or code will be welcomed; some good maps with latitude and longitude marked that I can use in it would also be.

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0x7D3 June 0x14:
I would like to make an official announcement:

Thank you for your attention.

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0x7D3 June 0x3:
Addendat 0.7 released. Now with Documentation That Might Even Make Sense.

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0x7D3 May 0x8:
A quartet of minor Yeemp bugs have been fixed.
Probably the most important one being to make the client choke on server-less addresses; I'm getting public key requests from someone whose Yeemp address has no server, so I can't reply to 'em.

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0x7D3 May 0x8:
Blip. Bleeeeep. Blibble bleeerp.
Addendat 0.7pre4 is now out. It no longer depends on mkstemp (Thanks to Joshua Nichols for Doing It Right.). Various bugs have been fixed, and it's grown a manual.

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0x7D3 May 0x3: Yeemp 0.7pre3 is now available. Important changes: ICQ works better. Plugins can be configured from within the clients. THe shoggoths are happier. Various message-related problems were fixed. Now works with openssl 0.9.6b and gpg 1.0.4 again. Yeemp no longer chokes on clock-skewed keys. The console client can control whether or not it beeps. Shoggoth caching has been added, which, at the price of increasing traffic analysis vulnerability, significantly increases message delivery speed. (This is user-configurable, of course.) Sendyeemp can send files. Deekoo is asleep, so this may be fairly broken. Let me know if any bugs're found.

In other semirelevant news, weemp's been fixed and now works properly again.

And this entry contains no references to bumblebees. Well, except that one.

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0x7D3 May 0x3:

Seen today, on the way home from communing with Lirazel:

The big one staggers along happily as the two smaller ones fuck her. Or try to, as the topmost male seems not to be able to dislodge the middle one sufficiently for proper insertion.

Bumblebees are *cute*!

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0x7D3 April 0x1C:

I've learned something:
Before you pray, make sure you know what you asked Her for.
I've finished Schrödinger's Cat.

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0x7D3 April 0xC:
Debating with internal organs:
The silly-cog say "blip vnirrrwhpt quuuwuuuhlmnnaarg"
The sleepy bits say "Sleep", perhaps due to only having gotten four hours or so of sleep.
The stomachs are demanding various mutually conflicting things, none of which the have room for since the Pizza Storage Organ is currently at capacity.
Monde's comma is in a funny place.
The embedded springs are bouncing.
My otic sensor is Holy.
I cannot remember whether it was Today or Yesterday that my middle ear became Enlightened, but a Renamed Tarball full of Config Files emerged emergently.
Some say that that means Memory Holes. But I don't remember any memory holes. Diagnostic Procedures are conclusively inconclusive.

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0x7D3 April 0x7:

I'm ba-aaaack!

OK, that was actually a couple days ago, but now that I've returned to my Secret Underground Base (located in Panama; it used to be Manuel's whine cellar, so-called because he had vaguely lycanthropic tastes. The decor's nice aside from that incredibly tacky "Dogs playing poke-her" painting, but a colleague was quite overjoyed to trade it for something with rather more tentacles. But I digress excessively.

So, as you heard, my domaine was annexed by a Portal Potty. (You can still see a copy if you want.). One of those "Five billion utterly useless links to stuff you don't need, don't want, and can't be paid to click on" type places.

This was... unpleasant, to say the least.

So I decided to Do Something about it.

First step was to ask an acquaintances of mine working for a rather unsavoury employer, whom I have previously done the favour of accidentally failing to provide photographs of to certain law-enforcement agencies, to take a look through their employer's billing records. So after a couple minutes we disclose that the Portal Potty, while their whois information has them at 1602 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC (with a technical contact in the British Virgin Islands), actually paid Verisign for the domain using a credit card signed up for from a maildrop in Chicago. While they were at it, I also had 'em renew the certificate that lets me sign ActiVex controls as "Microsoft Corporation". It's so pleasant to be a Trusted Third Party, isn't it?

Right. So I've got the maildrop. Now, it happens that the US has been making maildropomats collect the physworld addresses of people that sign up for them, the better to track criminals who had become used to using them as anonymous snailmail addresses. But this information is only for law enforcement use, so I can't get to it. Right. So I have my secretary place a quick phone call to another acquaintance of mine; let's call him Mr. Poindexter. No, that's too recognizable. Call him John. Right. The press doesn't find out what chemical that triggers pulmonary embolisms was found in a certain corpse upon autopsy, and I get a reel-to-reel tape (They're actually fairly good as storage media, believe it or not) containing the maildrop address records for the central US. In a plain brown wrapper, delivered by air courier to my Colombian subsidiary.

My agent encrypts the thing using a US-made commercial encryption product that sends the private key in the headers of all messages, introduces a little corruption in the Nebraskan section of the tape, and sends the whole mess to me. It's necessary to keep some traffic moving on that link, or the International Bankers will realize that I know they can read that link. Besides, when the TIA mole in their organization feeds the tape of my tape back to "Apparat" (that's what TIA calls their quantframe - yes, most of their budget went to the construction of a self-aware quantum computer last year. This year, it's going towards implanting control chips surreptitiously in those of you dumb enough to submit to body cavity searches. The 'self-aware' bit was an accident, and renders their work almost useless; they know it, but they spent too much not to use it... but I digress most excessively, komrades mein...) So, closing the parenthesis and resuming the primary thread, "Apparat" will note that the tape is mostly, but not entirely, the same as one in their records. They will then attempt to determine what the hidden message in the Nebraska section is. It's a series of ASCII dobbsheads, with subtle differences enclosing a small message pertaining to the cephalic sutures of certain orders of ornate benthic trilobites from the early Ordovician.

I grab the tape, feed an extra copy to Apparat via my private link (Maybe going with the low bidder wasn't the smartest move when building the Sooper Seekrit Aitch Queue for DHS.) just to confuse 'em. Apparat asks me a few questions pertaining to etiquette, and I provide it with answers. Should be interesting when it reports everyone who places the salad fork on the left as a 'suspected lysergic acid user'. New tape. Fun. Check the quantlink signature to see if it's been tampered with; it has, but that's just a couple KGB deep-cover moles trying to figure out where in blazes to send their reports now that there's no Soviet Union and their immediate superior was first attached to the Khazakhstani intelligence network and then executed for treason to the Party; their dilemma is whether the Khazakh authorities are to be considered their new superiors or Enemies of the Movement. I twiddle a few bits to add an indecent proposition to their message (steganographically hidden in extra whitespace) and let the IRS's monitors pick up the tape, as that's where the mole to whom the message was intended to be seen by currently works. Right. That little bit of business dealt with (that, and seeing to the placement of a couple video cameras at the rendezvous point - the elder of the moles is both cute and deserving of a spot of blackmail, and I'd rather use sexual pecadillos than let on that I've been snooping through Khazakhstan's copy of the old Soviet employee records, though of course that's self-explanatory.).

ANYHOW, getting back to that tape. OK, the mail drop's associated Real Address is.... a mail drop a little east of Chicago - about 14 kilomiles, give or take. I don't need to blackmail anyone to get that maildrop - Beijing's firewall is centrally controlled, central control tracks all traffic containing Falun Gong references, and there's a buffer overflow in the software they use to track 'em. So what looks like a couple teenagers doing Happy Fun Teenager things (cracking South Korean government servers and covering 'em with porn, then discussing the impressive way they Fucked The Foreigners up the Ass by Hax0ring them most el33tly) is really the result of a few K of malformed VBscript being 'tracked'. And it contains the records, which show that no establishment exists at the address recorded therein. Right. My databanks recall something else at the Beijing maildrop-house's address, so I double-check - send an override out to the monitoring camera that would normally have a view of said address.

My screen lights up with a nifty little VR picture, zooming and swooping through brightly coloured polygons and such. As the viewpoint passes "KERNEL SYSTEM SECURITY BARRIER" and approaches "MAIN CONTROL OVERRIDE", I sigh and smack a key. The screen-saver vanishes. Replacing it is a small message in my terminal saying "No response from remote host." What - did they fix the bug that lets me into their cameras? A short commandline grows on my screen.

Nah. The cameras in that part of Beijing are controlled by a bunch of West African script kiddies. The author of the three-year-old exploit they used included code to fix the security hole that it uses. So I go in through the front door, using their user-level password (no sense alarming them by showing that "eastwood", the collective personality that their leaders use, logged in when they know damn well everyone who was "eastwood" was getting drunk and/or laid at a diplomatic reception.). So, I type "buttboy" at the login prompt and "bend over" and the password prompt. Let me see... hmm. Looks like "eastwood" is in two places at once again - maybe these script kiddies should stop telling their passwords to MI5-employed prostitutes whenever they get drunk and feel like impressing their Service Providers with their clever choice of access codes? Oh well, not my problem, but I'll take a note of it just in case I ever want a favour from one of them. That, and I change buttboy's password to "BEND OVER", as I notice that someone is trying to login unsuccessfully from a static IP belonging to an MI5 agent's boyfriend, said boyfriend having a severe caps lock problem according to my records. Take a look through the camera. Right. The mail drop establishment is actually a whorehouse patronized by high-ranking Communist Party members and run by a certain organization originally based in what is now part of Deutschland and originally bearing a name indicating their enlightenment. They list it in their records as a maildrop so that they can tell their handlers they're just transacting Dubious Spy Business.

OK, so the portal-potty operator gave a bogus address. Not exactly a world-shaking surprise.

Anyhow, they want a few hundred to get my domain back, and they've already made me look dumb with their appalling web design and utter lack of taste.

So... bugger that. Call up the maildrop place, type 'voxchange -oprint /usr/local/share/biometrics/usa-id/illinois/c32911291' (that being the command that converts your voice to match an Full Common Biometric Interchange Format voiceprint loaded from a file, and the path indicating that the file to use is, big surprise, located in the US biometric ID database. The ID number being that of Joseph Talon, regional director of Maildrops-R-Us-USA (not the real name of the company, but you can figure it out on your own.).


<chirpy female voice> "Hi! I'm Ariel! How can Maildrops-R-Us-USA help U today?"

<Me> "Joseph Talon speaking. Have the system pull up the video records for box 3279 and dump them to tape. A courier's on his way to pick them up."

"Yes sir! Right away sir!"

(In which there's clicking in the background: First, the single click of a porn site being minimized, then the fifteen or so fast clicks of the resultant popups boing closed, then a man's voice shouting "SPANK ME HARDER!!", an "eep!", some clattering, the noise of something falling to the ground, the staticky click of a monitor turning off, a sigh of relief, a strangled-sounding "ack!" as the noise of slapping flesh is not stopped by turning the monitor off, a scraping noise, the splintery crash of a monitor shattering, the somewhat staticky noise of a paddling in progress in Flash, silence, a sigh of relief)

"Um... sir... I'm sorry, we're having a little computer trouble" in a quite-fake voice.

"So I heard.", dryly.

And the computer screams "I WANT YOUR COCK!"

"Sir, please hold, we have computer problems, I mean, a customer is..."

(The hold button pressed, my phone automatically runs the Smart Amplifier program that I borrowed from Stage Whisper Inc. when they went bankrupt after investing all their VC money in so-called "stealth popunders", which were like regular popunders in that they could waste memory being run and time being downloaded, but unlike them in that they were 1x1-pixels in size and located off the screen to protect them from being possibly seen by users (which meant, according to the sellers of "stealth popunders", that authors of ad-blocking software would be unable to see them and hence unable to block them. The Flash designer they'd hired to do the graphics had, when the company said $50 an hour for two and a half hours was Too Much Money, offered to take only 80% of gross earnings instead. The Director of Marketing agreed, the contract was inked duly, and somewhere out there an ex-ad designer is boating around the Bahamas telling attentive island girls about his past employment (as a contract killer, as he had learned that "I invented the stealth popunder... you know, like the X10 popunder but harder to get rid of" tended to get him kneed in the testicles.). </digression>

<A bit high-sounding - the hold button on this phone cuts off more sound in bass than treble> The girl yells "QUICK HOW-DO-I-TURN-OFF-THE-COMPUTER?"

The computer's Rugged Macho Male Voice says "Oh Yes, Suck It.".


(Door slamming and a muffled "Oh go fuck yourself then" from someone who is evidently a co-worker well and truly tired of computational incompetence.)

(The noise of footsteps and some guy walking up and going "Wow, look at all this broken glass. Just hit the power switch on the computer."

A girl's voice yells "YES! SHOVE THAT CUCUMBER INTO ME!"

<Unknown Guy> "Huh?"

<Staffer> "NO! That wasn't me, it was"

<Computer> OH! YES! OH! YES! NOW! OH! YES! NOW!

<Unknown Guy> "Want me to turn it off for you?"

<Staffer> "Oh please"


<Staffer> "yes yes yes yes"

<Computer> "NOW NOW NOW NOW"

(Crunching noises as the guy squishes some glass on his way to the offending machine. A more cohesive breaking sound as the something that fell to the ground earlier makes a sound as of glasses under boots.)

"See, there's the power button, miss... what was your name?"


"just turn it off quick"

<A distant female voice, the same frustrated one as before> "LEILA! Key the tape safe for me, wouldja?"


<Leila> "Oh god she's coming!"

(Some more crunching, some frantic motion noises, and the crash of a computer falling from desktop height to the floor.)


(A sputtering cracking noise from the computer, most likely something sparking out its life.)

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

(A door opens.)

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Woman> "More stupid tapes. How many do they need, anyhow?".

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Woman> "LEILA! Customers aren't allowed behind the counter... FUCK! FREEZE OR I SHOOT!"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Leila> "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Guy> "I didn't do it she did!"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.


" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

(A series of sharp gasps)

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Woman> "GET DOWN OR DIE!"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Leila> "I'm down, I'm down, don't kill me please."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Guy> "Now wait just a minute here.."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Woman> "DIE BASTARD!"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Guy> "Why are you pointing your car keys at me?"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Woman> "You're trying to rob us!"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Leila> "He isn't! Um, some guy came in and tried to take the money and was"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"... just about to shoot me when this customer scared him off."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Guy> "Guy? What g?"

" COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"Shut up" hisses Leila.

" COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"Oh. You two get up then. Did anyone call 911?"

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"Um, no, I mean yes, they said they're on their way."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Woman> "Well, someone better call the regional director's office."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

<Leila> "Right".

" COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

(A click, and Stage Whisper disengages as hold is disabled.

" COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"Sorry sir, but you'll have to call back."


So much for that. However, AT&T's override switch works just fine, and the password on the CEO's account is still his daughter's initials.


And ANI says that that's now Joseph Talon's office.

"Maildrops-R-Us-USA, Illinois Division, Joseph Talon speaking."


" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"Right. I'll have a courier over to pick up your security tapes. Pull the tape for box 3279 while you're at it."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.


" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

"Use the computer - no, wait. Have your supervisor use the computer."

" COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC COC" goes the computer.

When the courier returns to my Chicago branch, he has eight weeks or so worth of tape records. Plus the observation that the staff didn't even know who Joseph Talon was, and were firmly convinced that Joe Seth was the regional director. However, the tapes for 3279 were in there. (Along with a hand-pulled box labelled "today" and another hand-pulled box labelled "3297 records".

Feeding them into my system's fairly efficient - I've got a high-speed tape reader, having dealt with this sort of thing enough times in the past not to feel like using the Bloody Slow Custom Drives the NSA uses. The courier is a bit confused, of course, as the High Speed Tape Reader is, to all outward appearance, a bulk tape eraser. (To add plausibility, if you tap on the top in certain patterns, you can turn on or off a feature that will destructively wipe the tape after reading it. A cheaper model that doesn't have this control is in use in several government offices in eastern europe - it always wipes after reading, so it's a little less reliable - no retry. OTOH, I don't have to worry that someone will accidentally turn off the wipe function and then catch on that the thing is not a true eraser.

So, the tapes for 3279, when I finally get to them (my own quantframe helps, of course. The things are indispensable, even if a bit dishonest. Which is why I always double-check against the Original Document before following up on data it outputs.), show the person responsible. Or, at least, their hand.

A check against the nationwide handprint database shows that the owner is one Jenna Bush, Esquire, 54 years old, unmarried, and owning a bar in eastern Kentucky. This is ever so slightly fake; however, the CIA's records show the guy's handprint as read from the left buttock of a monitoring robot disguised as a high-priced female escort. The escort's records show the owner of the box as one Neil J. Ralsky, at a specific location. Traffic cameras at the location confirm the identity.

So I hop on a plane to Chicago. Not literally, but close enough. A midnight landing, and I'm just about awake enough to pay the guy a visit.

"Howdy, Neil. I'm here about a domain you're selling. It expired recently and I wish it returned."

"Yeah? Which one, gimme five hundred and I'll transfer it back."

"I'm afraid you didn't quite hear me. I said I wish it returned. I didn't say anything about wishing to pay."

"Listen, pissant. You pay, or you don't get it back. I paid the nationalized network service good money to give me domains as they expire."

"Really. And you think this is a good idea how?"

"It's legal, and I don't care whether it's a good idea or not."

"Right. So, you will return said domains."

"Yeah, right. Don't make me laugh."

He draws a gun and points it at me. That's rather dumb of him.

"And that's supposed to change my mind how?"

"I pay good money to the cops, too. They won't investigate me."


And the son of a bitch pulls the trigger.

Kind of stupid, that, but most people aren't familiar enough with holograms to recognize the things, nor to notice the projectors held by black-clad beings whose sillhouettes would be odd by human standards on a couple nearby rooftops.

The bullet pierces a BMW belonging to a certain well-known politician, whose daughter gets her cocaine from Neil. At present, she owes him a bit of money. That's called "motive". It hits her gas tank. Now, it happens that octane, at high temperatures, will engage in an ectothermic reaction with oxygen-based atmospheres. That's called "boom".

The fireball is impressive. Wonder what she used in her engine?

While Neil rolls around on the ground putting his eyelashes out, one of my disposable physical bodies enters his house and yanks all the hard drives. Reading them into the Leech (a portable computer about the size of a couple bundt cakes. Most of it's hard drives. Okay. Here's his password with the registrars he uses. It's "password". Oh well. The Leech fills the browser cache directories with fake semen-on-face photos of various members of the ruling family and replaces the voicemail jail software on one of the machines with a program that will fax some of the choicer pictures to the new Presidential palace (the one in a bomb shelter in Texas) along with inane questions about what the person in the picture felt when they were taken. And then re-faxes them to the Attorney General with an overlaid scrawled note saying "B. said to look into this; it's probably some whacko.". (Which is their Sooper Seekrit Code for "Have the death squads visit this guy."). Right. The teleoperated body reinstalls the hard drives and leaves. On the lawn, it stops to make Neil stop rolling (he's kinda not sure how long you put a fire out for) and slap his face. The tiny little camera that had been between the body's fingers burrows into the soft flesh of the cheek, creating a stinging sensation not much different from an actual slap. After all, the identities of the death squad members are useful blackmail materiel...

The robot body walks off into the distance. Behind me, a politician's daughter sleepily wanders out of Neil's house, where she'd been crashed out.

Some people say the Mayor made those big Xes in that runway.

Some people say that Neil Ralsky's disappearance was obviously just a flight to the Bahamas and safety.

Some people say that the surveillance state has made them far safer than they were back in '04 or '05.

Some people say otherwise. Not when they know they're being watched, though.

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0x7D3 February 0x1B:
The shoggoth's coming along well, but I ran into a minor catch: Yarm's certificate has expired. Now, that by itself is harmless - just spew a new cert and be done with it for a year (or whatever my expirytime is.). But that brings up an interesting hermetically sealed jar of annelida: How should I handle cert-management? Yeemp currently uses SSH-style single eternal certs, set to expire a year after generation because I figured that, given a year, I'd've gotten around to the rekeying code by now.

A single eternal certificate, with no expiry this time. Upside: Implementationally easy - probably less than a line to change. Downside: no easy way to deal with rekeying in the event that the server cert gets exposed.
A single eternal CA per-server, issuing expiring certs. Upside: Can have CRLs; and five-year-old total-backup-of-server tape handed to The Spooks becomes less of a threat. Downside: increased code complexity. Which is both more annoying and has more room for bugs.
Or perhaps something else?

Meanwhile, and likely more important (one may get the idea that Deekoo has delusions of grandeur here, but the voices in my head assure me that I'm perfectly sane...), the Department of Justice has been apparently busy drafting something they call the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act". This bill would significantly increase the power of the executive branch of the US gov't. Most dramatic feature: Remember when El Presidente authorized the disappearance and execution of noncitizens? The DSEA provides for the expatriation of anyone who provides 'material support' to a terrorist organization. (Which means that if a Confidential Informant reports that you have a quarter-ounce of FARC-supplied primo gypsum^H^H^H^H^H^Hcocaine on your premises, you're off to Antarctica, or wherever the prison camps are planned for...)

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0x7D3 February 0xC:
Ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble ibble.

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0x7D3 February 0x2:
So I upgraded Yeemp on namodn. Noticed that the upgrade made the Expiry Weirdness that was making large numbers of status requests from the Weemp panel pile up in my spool go away.
Noticed a couple days later while checking something else in my error logs that the reason was that &Yeemp::Client::decrypt_message() was being used inside Weemp, and it's now &Yeemp::GPG::decrypt(). Fix that and update the keyring, and Weemp now works again. Messages sent in the last two or three days may've been muched, though.

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0x7D3 February 0x2:
Typing random crap into a search engine sometimes gives interesting results. So says he who entered "Gliir" into Google and was presented with a page explaining their use of ÿ in Cymru orthography. Also seen are Swiss pages in German, and one page in what is either Elvish or script for a shell not in common usage these days. Statitistics are being anomalous.
BLARGH. Morning. So I turn on. Plug in. Into Weemble I load the hler'k and the plooornht (My dev copies of Lluzhionne, Yeemp, Makrokosmos, and the test Shoggoth.). Downloading, they are, in a manner most rapid for I have 10megabit connection to download them on. From the Very Far Away Place that is Across The Room from me. OK, so it's not across the room. It's on the other side of the couch. Oh well. Throw Weemble in my purse *. Throw an SE, a book, and a Non-Toroidal Donut in the other pocket. The latter ceases to exist during the process of attaining the locii of the Trains That Ride On The Triune Track.

I get on the train. Asleep. It's an ungodly early buttcrack of dawn (I blame Someone's vocabulary for that.) type time. It's not even NOON yet. Have to be at destination at noon. I take Weemble out of my purse. Open it up. Turn it on.
Turn it on.
Turn it on.
And the light doesn't go green.
And the screen doesn't turn on.
And the logo of a corporation which was once ubiquitous does not display. And the red Menu Of Choosing doesn't offer me the choice between the OS that's on the machine and the one which isn't.
And it doesn't even do that flicker in the nuhr-heep'wu-zeemle-zeemles that announces that I let the battery run down again.
And I smell it.
Thicker than the gawdawful cologne of the guy destined to occupy the adjacent Buttock Support Device two stations down the line.
More pungent than sliced onion in a nerve gas factory.
"The cursed aluminium tin smells like blue smoke. Eat it? (y/y)"
Weemble is probably gone. I'll try to bring him back up again when I feel like butting my head against it. It's not likely to work.
Oh well, I suppose I did need a better laptop...

(* So the other day, I'm like ** carrying my computer home from $CLIENT. It's Cal Game Day and $CLIENT's in Berkeley, so on the ride out one overhears the person who falls into a random knot of people announce "Oh, I thought we were packed in too tight to fall". But anyhow, I've been in Berkeley all day bludgeoning recalcitrant HTML into place and molesting innocent Windows networks. And it's fairly dark, and I'm walking home, for values of 'walking home' that may include crossing a train or two. And there's this gravelly-voiced guy talking real loud to his girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever on a cellphone behind me. Apparently they're having trouble of some sort, as I hear a couple repetitions of "We were meant to be together.". After about a block of this conversation, I become curious enough to glance back. And the owner of the gravely voice a few feet behind uses it to say "I thought you were a girl." and uses his locomotory appendages to cross the street.

(** I'll sound like a valley girl if I'm talking about my purse, of course. It's, like, a really big purse. With computers in it. It should have a tool but I keep putting it somewhere stupid and not being able to find it.)

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0x7D3 January 0x17:

Sync-Separator exposed a bug in Weemp that was eating messages to subuser accounts. I've fixed the bug in Yeemp 0.6.2, and also polished the interface on the clients and ICQ plugin slightly.

While looking in my error logs to figure out what was going on, I noticed that another Yeemp (YeempBBS, no relation to the Yeemp-that-was-once-YeempEMP) was 500ing. This should be fixed now.

I've also made an apt repository available for other Debian users. (And likely other apt-based distributions as well.).

Went to the anti-Iraq-war protest on Saturday. To counter the preaching-to-the-choir effect, I circled around the edges some and made sure that all the security cameras outside the Federal Building got a good view of both sides of my sign. (And the pro-war protesters, too. They seemed rather downcast about the number difference.). Didn't think to bring our camera, which's a pity as there were a few surrealisms-worth-photographing (Like the IAO (NOTE: The IAO removed the Illuminati imagery from their website a while back, so it's now rather more dull. And it won't load from anywhere where Der Enemies Du Das Reich dwell, like England.) Mobile Detention Unit).

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0x7D3 January 0xF:
So, I started work on a Secret Project which was to make use of a world map...
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Truth has already corrected all the maps to match George II's conception of geography, so this was the only findable map. *sigh*.

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0x7D3 January 0xD:
A new Yeemp version has been inflicted upon the world. It adds webcam support and an ICQ plugin.
Apres, der sonnensystem...

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0x7D2 December 0x1B:
Pac-pumelo wants to EAT YOUR BRAIN!

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0x7D2 December 0xC:
Too many happenings for the timeframe.
Aerr-aerr's gone as of a week ago (You probably already know that.)
Aerr-Aerr in chair.
We've relocated to a Secret Underground Base.
I've determined that Citibank is Evil.
The sky is brown.
It feels empty.
Not enough stuff gets knocked over here. Perhaps I should go shove something to make up for it.

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0x7D2 November 0x14:

My newest toy, Bright Noise, is working on perl 5.8. It's a terminal wrapper which continuously morphs the colourmap (Yeemp users will have already noticed something similar.) and distorts the screen font. The purpose is to make it more annoying to try to read the user's screen via either Tempest machines or standing around otsing.

I suspect, somehow, that my nanowrimo thing will not be finished by the end of the month.

This is what comes of starting on the tenth and writing every third day.

(Writing a different story every time I sit down probably doesn't help continuity anyhow.)

And of dwelling unduly on quarter-century weltschmerz.

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0x7D2 November 0x7:

First Awakening: A thunderclap that goes on and on.

Second Awakening: The sky is dark blue. Brown clouds float in it. Whilst staring puzzledly at the clouds (for they're usually not brown at night, here. Yet, anyway.), I notice a Truck. This Truck is funny. It has a blank white sheet coated in rivets, where most Trucks have license plates instead.
They roll up the back door, and a bright flourescent light emerges. There's a white counter inside; one man is setting up a white machine on the counter.
One is standing around outside talking on his phone.
He keeps yelling "I'll call you back later" into his phone, which would be less silly if he didn't answer (or make, I couldn't see which) three calls of that nature in about ten minutes.

The Truck sits there; its three occupants mill about a bit. One spends all his time in it; another floats idly from Here to There, hanging out with PhoneGuy on occasion.

Suspecting a Tempest machine or suchlike, I am naturally curious. It's not every day that one sees spies (especially REALLY FUCKING INCOMPETENT ones - they'd be less conspicuous wearing bright red grunting warthogs for hats.), after all.

So I take some pictures.

A dark blue car with a melted look to it, this one with plates (3VHX067) drives up. It parks in slow, leisurely fashion. Three shady-looking men and one woman (or transvestite) get out. They stand around for a while jawing, calling people, playing with radios, and adjusting Femme's purse and chest. Calibrating, I guess.

Walking away for a bit, and returning to the Place of Monitoring, I am greeted by the actinine flash of their own cameras. Fair enough, I suppose: I've gotten fifty or so of 'em.

However, this Annoys nonetheless. If I wanted a spy on every street-corner, I'd go to China. So I head out to take a a few more.

Le Femme Fatale demurely hides when I take her picture. Not happy with it, but not freaked out.

Spooktruck has no license plates in front, either. It does have the number "161 G 600" painted on the back door and sides.

It also has occupants who seem disturbed by me photographing Plateless Vans. They tell me that I can't take pictures of the inside of their van because it's supposedly private property. (It's the most brilliantly lit place on the street; You can see into it from a few hundred feet away if your eyes are good. They also claim that the reason it has no plates is that it, being a commercial vehicle, doesn't need them. And that they're police investigating something. One of 'em has a badge, though I'm not familiar enough with police subsystems to tell whether it's an obvious fake, an unobvious fake, or a real one. I'm not exactly sure how it is that government property is private, but they seem certain enough of it to tell me that if I keep standing around out there, I'll go to jail. For allegedly disrupting their alleged investigation.

And people who think they're being watched are paranoid...

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0x7D2 November 0x5:
Aerr-aerr has returnéd
And doesn't like amoxicillin much.
The Waa still purrs.

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0x7D2 November 0x3:
What will survive
when the humans are gone?
what manner of beings
could crawl beneath the poison sky?
What is the silent voice
waiting for its time to come?

Waiting for the Aerr-Aerr to return.

Mood: Worried.

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0x7D2 November 0x2:
MY keyboard is better because, being Dvorak, I can type faster on it. Lesser-minded people would point out that typing in dvorak would make my typing slower on everyone else's computer. Which is true. And a good thing. Because, every time I use someone else's machine, I forget how to type on mine. Which means that I type slow on mine. And everyone else's. This is good for my poor, tormented wrists.

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0x7D2 October 0x11:
Lluzhionne has been put up for download.
The next Yeemp release (currently being tested on Yarm and Weemble; will be released after a few more usability improvements; if anyone actually wants snapshots, I'll start making them available.)
Addendat can now post to LiveJournal blogs. And it can count comments, although how to do it is not yet decumented.
And a bunch of pictures from the Mysterious Trip I didn't tell anyone about are now up. Including photovore porn.

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0x7D2 October 0xF: I have a pumelo on my keyboard.

0x7D2 October 0xA: I send you this advice in order to have your file.

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0x7D2 October 0x2:

Yeemp 0.6 is now available for download. It fixes a triplet of security holes (one of which is Really Bloody Embarrassing, right up there with the M$ and Konqueror 'Oops... what do you mean a cert chain needs validating?' bugs. Sigh.).

In other news - loyal stalkers will have already heard about the Waa. If you haven't, you aren't stalking me well. Ultrasound tomorrow to see if there's a mass. Am worried. (Although, in the Good Signs department, Waa likes Weemble's screen.).

In other other news. I'm quite asleep. Woke up at 09:15 yesterday. Oh, look, it's 10:25. And the muzzyheaded feverish thing is down to muzzyhead and bloodymucus. Go sleep soonlike no?

Wake me with Yeemp Installation Reports. I inflict it upon Freshmeat if there's nothing giant broken by the time I get up.

Blorp eem fnord hlera xlat?

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0x7D2 September 0xB: SCENE: Deep within the bowels of the Pentagon, a pentagram glows in colours not natural to a sane earth.
Blood flows over the altar. DOKTOR MUNIHAUSEN JUNIOR presides, bearing a lightening-motif dagger.
At the other points stand DAVID MISCAVIGE, GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH (currently in his younger Form), SADDAM HUSSEIN, and VLADIMIR PUTIN.
The sacrifice dissolves into a particularly noisome cloud.
The visage of OSAMA BIN LADEN appears, grinning from ear to ear.
MUNIHAUSEN speaks thusly: "Have you any news of the Ancient Enemy?"
OSAMA responds, in a voice echoing of subway gas attacks: "They remain shielded to me. I need more power."
GEORGE states: "What's to assure us that ya'll deliver if'n we change you more, huh? We gave you eighty billyun and a whole lotta sacreefice over the last two years, and ya'll still as useless as you were in why too kay!"
VLADIMIR (in Russian): "My servant, although inarticulate as ever, is right. We will provide you the sacrifices necessary to finish your transformation only after you provide demonstrable results."
OSAMA's visage: "And you expect me to succeed where even the lloigor have failed, but will not give me the power necessary to do so?"
SADDAM: "I was wondering. How is the propaganda campaign going? How many people now believe in you?"
OSAMA (laughing): "More than ever before. The Americans are actually stupid enough to go along with making September 11th a holiday."
GEORGE (also grinning): "They acterly bought it! A party for their own funeral!"
VLADIMIR: "Enough. Are the plans in place?"
SADDAM: "Yes. When our nuke hits Congress next week, any survivors will be in such shock that they'll embrace their own obsolesence."

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0x7D2 August 0x1A: From the List of Bloody Annoying Things: Clients who come up with absolutely harebrained Master Plans, then not only expect me to want in on the plan, but seem disappointed that I think it's less than brilliant.
Whilst I'm at it, insert gratuitous grumble about people who try to bait me into doing Something Stupid with the lure of nice, warm, shiny, soft money.

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0x7D2 July 0x18: I send you this file in order to have your advice. Please check the attach, it has Klez removal tools and a pretty screen saver about friendship with goldfish, plus if you open it RIGHT NOW you will have GOOD LUCK from all the Hawaiian Tiki Totem Gods and get a MAGIC BEAN from our sponsors?

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0x7D2 July 0x7: Big Honking Security Hole found in yeempd, and fixed. Sigh. How much nicer life would be if there were an explicit "untaint" function instead of regexp matches (as the problem was that someone who shall remain nameless (but whose friends all call him Deekoo) didn't have a meaningful pattern match in a Fairly Important Place.

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0x7D2 June 0x1D: Addendat 0.7pre1 is now downloadable. 0.7pre1 adds better compatibility with old versions of LWP::UserAgent, makes the installer interact better with preexisting Addendat installs, allows for repeated %-codes and %-codes in entry separators, and adds automatic paragraph breaks (which you can turn off if you prefer the Old Ways, of course.). It's an alpha version, (hence the pre), so don't be surprised if it explodes or if the undocumented templates need undocumented modifications to actually use the undocumented features.

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0x7D2 June 0x3: IDs are an evil conspiracy.
(Is not happy that he missed KMFDM. Not at all happy.)

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0x7D2 June 0x2: Wibble wibble wibble wibbly wibble wibble wibble wibbly.

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0x7D2 May 0x5: And verily, it hath been seen, that there are Things.
Things that enable the sendings of the messages in the most manifold of the scripts.
And the things do work in a functional manner in the console.
And the interface that is the GUI will not input the text.

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0x7D2 May 0x2:

We've finally regained network access - MonkeyBrains' dialins were eaten by MCI salesfolk a few days ago. Fifteen minutes after I finished configuring [$OTHERMACHINE] to act as a temp dialin ISP (which took two days) Monkeybrains announced that they now had a temporary access number which should remain valid until their real lines are installed.

Meanwhile, Berkeley's phone system is being eaten by their telco. (Details unknown, but I suspect it's so they can stick an audio grepper on all the lines. Of course, I also think that the gov't's why news.bbc.co.uk fails most of the time.)

Now that the net's back, of course, Chaos has changed IP addresses. So my email and Yeemp servers are down...

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0x7D2 April 0x18: The thing in the river swims ceaselessly downward
keeping pace with the boat
the blind river dolphins know what it is
have known for millenia
but prefer not to speak of it.

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0x7D2 April 0x6: Various bugfixes to YeempEMP (now just plain "Yeemp") have been inflicted upon the planet. Amongst other changes, it no longer freezes under FreeBSD.

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0x7D2 April 0x3: Outside:
day stretches onward
searing sunlight growing blue
sidewalkglare snowblinds
the fields thickening
they hover for the power
turned to our goals

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0x7D2 March 0xE: Addendát now supports the long-awaited archives. (The sudden growth of archives was triggered by the realization that all the Annoying Code to support them that I was putting off had already been done for the comments. Total changes to the script necessary for archives: One line.). It's also using LWP::UserAgent instead of telnet as an HTTP client (big improvement, no?), and it should now work on SunOS and Solaris out of the box.
And a bit more autocorrection of corrupt storables has been added to Pseudai; it no longer crashes every other time it tries to say something. Whee!

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0x7D2 March 0xA: The Oracular Maze has been extended somewhat, in preparation for a scheduled upgrade that should occur sometime in the next eight thousand orbits of Klmnak II about its primary... And I suppose some of the qode should be adjusted to accomodate for the fact that der AOLers ehre (or is that somethingk else?) demivertboten from certain regions. Blargh; the reduced-redundancy components want to simplify things by just blocking 'em from the whole labyrinth, but that'd be excessive. Maybe I should read up on CGI ErrorDocuments, but labyrinth extension took far longer than it should've as is. Things should look less stupid on Mozilla, as my CSS no longer calls for link cursors (they don't seem to be handled in any browser I want to use, at any rate.). (Speaking of Mozilla thingies: It supports modifiable CSS image opacity, which would be a really cute feature if it worked in any browser fast enough to use.).

Now, if I could just figure out why Dillo doesn't seem to like colspan'd tables...

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0x7D2 February 0x17: Work sucks.
More later, possibly. Or not. A surfeit of bloody morons seems to be pending. Bah.

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0x7D2 February 0xE: Silly programmers - while they've finally come up with a replacement for silly online micropayments (Yes - you too can now help keep your favourite sites up by sending a generous donation through the Oral Sex Donation System, their code assumes a default, singular physical configuration. What about compound entities? And tentacle demons? And compound entities including tentacle demons as components?

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0x7D2 February 0x8: The Monitoring Device has been reactivated. Now you can view a holding cell for political dissidents from the comfort of your own holding cell.
Overheard at a neo-Aristotalian rally in Macon, Georgia: The Polyhedron Shall Rise Again!.

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0x7D2 January 0x1F: It's time again for the obligatory Fuzzy Blog. In this case, my brain feels like it's full of noodles. Oodles and oodles of slightly translucent noodles. And numpad 2down seems to have wandered off again. The Joy of Sicks: I have no attention span for any but the most passive or menial of tasks (Which is leading to an unusual spate of VOLUNTARY cleaning!). Slime oozes from five or seven major bodily orifices. (You WANTED to hear that, didn't you?). Even my spelling has wandered off, and my Stacks I have not the presence of mind to Stack in.

Meanwhile, external reality seem more than a little hazy. As all the helicopters in the city circle searchfully, The News is a "God Bless America" sign behind someone talking about Sports. Which comes to an end for live coverage of a restaurant which is famous for being famous, or something like that. Or was that a week or two ago? Realizing that I'd somehow managed to mix up this plane with MFUPA, the plaint that, if I must live in a surrealist pastiche, I'd rather be in Schrödinger's Cat (More sex, less megadeaths) appears to have been Heard. Hail Eris, Praise Discordia, and I swear I won't ask for the reconstruction of the universe to my own whims because the next one might be less suitable. (I can tell it was Heard because it disappeared from even the eternal /tmp).

Signs that the Eschaton is beirg Immanentized:
The President (or possibly the Other Guy, I'm still not sure) has Speechified. And he Spake unto the Masses Thusly, that they were at War still, and that the Enemy was now the Recession, or possibly the Economy, and that the Enemy was also the Axis of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Presumably they intend to fight them using different tactics. Like sending tanks against people shorting Enron (which, incidentally, donated a sizeable sum to BOTH the Shrub and Bore campaigns in 2000), and wildly manipulating the interest rates of IMF loans to the Axis countries. Whoops. Back in MFUPA again.
An unknown number of people in the US have disappeared. The charges are secret (National Security). The numbers are secret (National Security). The conviction status, or lack thereof, is secret (National Security). Before they decided that National Security precluded admitting how many prisoners they held, the count had exceeded a thousand. Presumably National Security also precludes announcing how many have been released, if any.
And we're growing a new bureaucracy, too.

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0x7D2 January 0x16:

This is a test of the emergency typecast system. Had this been an actual emergency, your brain would've been cast to void * and Quuz memcpy()'d over it.

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0x7D2 January 0xF: So, a day after releasing (and sticking on Freshmeat) YeempEMP 0.4.3, I go to install it on $CLIENT's machine (They used to page me via ICQ. Now that micq no longer works, that's not an option... so they get to use Weird Clients to talk to me.)... and I discover that the bloody thing doesn't work right. Problems: Someone who shall remain nameless [but is known to his f(r)iends as Deekoo - ed.] typoed in the daemon, rendering it unusable. And the installer didn't bother to setup the default config properly unless you were replacing a previous YeempEMP install. The interaction between that and a stupid daemon bug caused the server to loop interminably and coat the console in error messages (at a rote of a few dozen a second. Thankfully, to stderr rather than syslog.). sigh..
YeempEMP 0.4.4, made immediately upon return from $CLIENT, should fix the problems. At least, a test clean install permits my test account to send messages to itself instead of spewing errors...

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0x7D1 December 0x11: Yet another bug in the Pseudai rebooter is hopefully fixed. And a Stupid Bug in Mozilla's table handling has been worked around, making the thing actually Look Right in it.
Does anyone know of a FAST open-source browser for Linux? Something that, on a K6-2/350 with 128 megs of RAM, won't give me enough time to whine that it's being slow while it's loading webpages off localhost?
(And someone's confused by my testing this assertion.)
(And someone's retaliating by confusing me with the announcement that they've made a working object.)

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0x7D1 December 0xA: Ranting, conspiracy-theorising, and software releases, in that order:

Ranting: My relatives have gotten ahold of my URL. And are roaming through it. While it's generally innocuous (as *most* of them have the sense to stay out of chunks of it that are obviously unsuited for their consumption, and my brother teaching Pseudai pidgin Japanese is an improvement over most of its inputs), one uncle seems to have come to the conclusion that my choice in lovers is Not Tenable and that I should be instructed to leave her. Grumble. I don't particularly care for advice that I should leave my lover of these past six years (modulo time distortion) just to accomodate his personal moral tastes.
However, in the interest of preserving family input into my personal life, I will provide them with a chance to Vote On It. I'll even give them two candidates to choose from, just like our politicians do: Monde and Monde.

Conspiracy Theorising: How many people think market forces made IE a better browser than Netscape? Raise your hands. OK, now give me your credit card numbers - AOL wiped your account information by mistake and I need it to, er, reactivate it. Here's the little bit of evidence that convinced me, for once and for all, that the Netscape browser was deliberately killed by a conspiracy between Microsoft and AOL...
I'm wandering about, using my usual browser to engage in Important Classified Work. Switching over to some Paying Work, I accidentally click a quarter-inch too high whilst trying to change the URL in Netscape, and hit the stupid "Netscape" button instead of the little text window. I get dumped in some kind of braindead "My Netscape" excrescence. Said excrescence is not as glitzy and hideous as AOLHell-ruined pages usually are, for one reason: It's an error message. An error message entitled "Bad Browser". An error message telling me that I cannot see the page for two reasons: One, I have my Javascript turned off. Two, because I am not using the right browser. Apparently I must be using either Microsoft Windows with Netscape 4.0 or IE 4.0 or higher, or a Mac with IE 5.0 or higher. The message continues to inform me that I may be able to view the page with another browser if it has Javascript turned on, but that I won't be able to configure said page unless I 'upgrade' to one of the browsers listed above. Said list being conspicuously lacking in any browser that isn't either written by Microsoft or running on top of an OS presumably bought from them. And also being conspicuously lacking in any indication that anything not owned by M$ or AOL is supported.
I suppose I'll just chalk this up as one more bit of evidence that one should never expect a publically traded company not to screw you at every turn.

And now for the software release:
YeempEMP 0.4.2 is out. The most significant feature is a CGI that lets visitors to one's website exchange yeemps with the site's admin (or whomever the CGI's configured to send messages to.). Of course, the one installed here is configured to chat with me.

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0x7D1 November 0x11: So, the newest beta of Addendat can blog onto POST forms. (At least, it seems to work on Geek-Ware. Haven't yet tested CGI leaf propagation on anything else...)

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0x7D1 November 0xF: Back on a stable server. Let me know if anything new is broken.
New code: YeempEMP 0.4.1, which now uses SSL certs in a somewhat more logical manner, has been released.

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0x7D1 November 0x9: Proof of nonhuman biological components has been obtained.
The newer, smarter Pseudai is back online, but lost its database. *sigh.*

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0x7D1 November 0x3: YeempEMP prototype version 0.4 is now available for poking. Still needs key/certificate caching to be secure, though.

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0x7D1 November 0x3: Pseudai v1.5 is fixed.

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0x7D1 November 0x2: The server hosting deekoo.net suffered a disk failure; I'm temporarily on another machine while they get a new HD. Some of the CGIs may be broken or malfing; let me know if you find any problems.

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0x7D1 October 0x19: Suspicions.
What smells suspiciously like a government front is probing on the telephones, trying to collect biological data. Did someone launch a second biological attack on San Francisco? (What? Second? You didn't know about the first one?)

Prince Shrub's approval ratings are sky-high, at least among the anomalous subset of the populace who respond to polls voluntarily.

The Internet got Really Really Slow after the attacks. Maybe it's just Ghost ISP Syndrome. Somebodyorother spewed an Official Explanation involving nimda probes. A fairly implausible explanation, as I haven't noticed any sharp changes in Odd Traffic to Yarm over the past two months. In fact, if anything, the amount of port 80 probes I get has gone DOWN since the attacks (fairly gradually, though. Probably a sign that some enterprising script kiddie rooted all the Code Red-infested machines. Omnivores, now, that's plausible. Nimda? Unlikely.

Probes, Distillate:
What I get seems to be dominated by: port 80 - IIS exploit worms.
Port 53: a zillion simultaneous DNS queries, purportedly from different IPs, over a few seconds to a minute. Probably something looking for vulnerable binds with spoofed sources in an effort to hide the real origin.
Port 1214: Kazaa. Which, according to its site, 'is built on standardised p2p technology from FastTrack. Already other networks are using the FastTrack p2p technology.'. FastTrack's page describes it as 'FastTrack is a Peer-to-Peer technology company. FastTrack conceives and creates next generation scalable peer-to-peer networks all based on one core network stack.'. Scarily, the first KaZaA poke of the night is from an AOLer, sharing an assortment of hymns, national-anthem type stuff, and treacley pop... Now, one might assume from this corpspeak that KaZaA (Yes, they spell it that way. *sigh*.) is a new protocol, only accessible using their software. One who makes said assumption knows bugger-all about corpspeak - while I haven't mucked about with their own client (the source isn't available. And I doubt that the Don't Reverse-Engineer This clause in the license will keep the crackers from exploiting anything that can be done with the strcpy, sprintf, and strcat calls...), the part of their protocol that their machines keep trying to talk to mine is Plain Old HTTP. Kazaa, unlike the websites of certain brain-dead governments who went for a Microsoft "Solution", works Just Fine with Lynx.
Port 111. An RPC worm that afflicts Linux, I think. Fairly infrequent.
And random ICMP crap whose numbers I don't remember.

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0x7D1 September 0xE: The Afghans are digging trenches.
The Americans are on the march.
And none of them dare guess why.
I'm surprised I didn't see this earlier.
It should have been transparently obvious.
Total world domination.
But not what we expected.
Who really won the cold war?
Was it Vladimir Putin, former head of the KGB, now President of Russia? (And who'd have dared guess *THAT* a couple decades ago?)
Was it the Skull and Bones fraternity?
Was it the Bush drug cartel?
Was it something that you could never understand?
Blood and fire amongst the flower fields.
Flowers waving in the breeze.
You think you're fighting for your lives?
You think you're fighting for revenge?
Go ahead. Believe it. They want you to.
You know what you're fighting for.
Deep down, you know.
The poppies waving in the breeze
heads red as the blood you'll spill
thirsty roots await your gift of life.
Blood for the poppies, blood for the shrubs
blood for the bushes and blood for the subs
blood for the trenches and blood for the fires
that burn like little suns at night.
You think you're stopping there, my friend?
No, no, can't stop now, can't rest in the flower fields.
The Enemy escaped to Burma.
We're losing on the Colombian front.
And poppies in China waving whitely.

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0x7D1 September 0xD: A new peeve has been discovered: An outfit called "Gulf State Credit", which has discovered a revolutionary new technique to improve their debt collections: collecting on fictitious debts.

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0x7D1 September 0xB: "Four cities have been hit."... "Further attacks"... "World Trade Center". Huh? Sleepy. Change channel on radio to see if this is Yet Another War Of The Worlds... Other channels're blaring the same thing. Switch to television, and (once the MIPS stops covering the screen with game-console boot sequences) watch the propaganda.

Things determinable from the news:
The 'America Under Attack' banners indicate that Someone wants a frenzy.
The fact that they keep talking about the Taliban being responsible indicates rather clearly who those-who-rule want us serfs to blame.
If the statements being made on the news are true (and I can't verify them), then whatever group was responsible had to have been piloting at least three of the four aircraft reported attacked. You don't get two planes hitting the same building without a pilot. So either the Ambiguous They sent suicide pilots to help take over the craft, or the Ambiguous They had some kind of control over either the pilot or the machine's navigational devices.
I find it a bit odd that the Pentagon didn't shoot down a Really Huge Object approaching at a few hundred miles an hour.

And, of course, you can bet like anything that FedGov will use this as an excuse to tighten their control over the general populace as soon as they figure out who to scapegoat, er, assign responsibility to.

Of course, the question uppermost in my mind is "Did our government do this themselves?". If you see large chunks of our remaining freedoms start to trickle into nothingness, with the nicest and best of reasons, then you'll know that the answer is probably "Yes.". If this comment disappears from my blog without an explanation, then that, too, will be a "Yes".

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0x7D1 September 0x7: Shocking news:
The Earth is round!
Water is wet!
Monsterhut are lying spammers!
- Brought to you by the Dog Bites Man school of journalism.

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0x7D1 August 0x1B: Pseudai's working again, after a while spent in a nonfunctional state because some coder who will remain (Deekoo) nameless wandered off partway through updating the source.
(SleepyDeekoo is staying up all day today.)

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0x7D1 August 0xB: YeempEMP version 0.3 has been released. It fixes an assortment of bugs (the most important being one where the server'd go into an infinite loop relaying to localhost.). It's accompanied by a revision to the forking OpenSSL patch to ensure that the undead are put to rest. (The last version of the patch left zombies lying around.). Oh, and it's grown a GUI.

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0x7D1 July 0x13: Real Networks, makers of RealAudio, have always been rather prone to invasion of privacy. However, these are a little unusual even for Real...
IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC= DST= LEN=45 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=43 ID=2370 PROTO=UDP SPT=32610 DPT=53 LEN=25
IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC= DST= LEN=45 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=53 ID=63504 PROTO=UDP SPT=40790 DPT=53 LEN=25
Anyone have any idea why Real wants to look up A records for '.' on my dialup? Some weird interaction with a Windows client behind the masquerading? Worms? Blue things?

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0x7D1 July 0xE: Addendat, at the request of both 8080 and Addenda Agenda's owners, has grown an experimental comments system. I haven't tested it fully, and the documentation is midway between nonexistant and irrelevant, but they should work.
It's also grown file locking and a propagation toggle in the command-line blogging script so I don't crawl to the top of the tracker every time I test...

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0x7D1 July 0xC: So, I'm updating Addendat to add a comments system (and no, I haven't forgotten about the Geek-Ware diary link code, I'm just procrastinating... And one of my changes causes Addendat to crash with a taint error. Fine, no big deal. Go fix.
That's odd. It was letting me do almost the same thing six lines up.
Hmm... odder, and rather more disturbing, is the fact that the thing it was letting me do is, at best, not properly documented, and, at worst, a nasty hole in part of the typing mechanism.

0x7D1 June 0xA:

YeempEMP version 0.2 has been released. It can now retrieve messages from a remote server. This makes it useful to those who don't control (or trust, for that matter) their own server...

0x7D1 June 0x7: Pseudai is becoming the first artificial unintelligence to develop multiple personalities.

0x7D1 June 0x6: Addendat version 0.3.2 released, with fixes for stray bugs that materialized with the latest version of perl on Yarm.

0x7D1 June 0x6: Makrokosmos 0.2.2 released.

0x7D1 May 0x12: For some unknown reason, Yarm is unable to reach any AOHell-controlled server. Since ICQ is in the benighted Black Hole of Bisks (not to be confused with the Great Router Clusterfuck that was psi.net, or the Spontaneous Mass Combustion that was Northpoint), YeempEMP is seeing actual Necessitated Use sooner that expected. My YeempEMP address is deekoo~cthulhu.tentacled.net. Assuming that the rolling outages haven't rolled over Cthulhu again, at least.

0x7D1 May 0xF: After decades of research, Tentacular Industries unveils the most important productivity application in the history of computing. Countless millions of worker-hours that could be spent frobbing widgets or buffing counters are wasted each day on the arduous task of deciding what to eat.

How many times have you heard this conversation? "What're we eating today?" "I dunno." "Um... food." "More specific?" "Edible food." "Yes, definitely Edible food.".

Remember, time is money. Time spent making decisions is time that could be spent making money. Tentacular Industries has a full line of solutions to all your decision-making problems. So check out the free demo (note: by clicking on this link, you agree to license at least $10,000 worth of Tentacular Industries' products in the coming month, as per the DMCA. This notice is encrypted using the low-contrast SmallTypeTM system; any attemp to decrypt is subject to prosecution) today, and take the first step towards freeing yourself of the arduous burden of decisionmaking tomorrow!

0x7D1 May 0x2: YeempEMP is finally unnarbly enough to release in an alpha state. Woohoo!

0x7D1 March 0x1D: And, just in case I haven't blogged enough today: April 1st. The base of the Pointy Building in San Francisco. Noon. Assuming my memory is intact. Be there or be stupid. ('|'!='^'). The Empire will be there. So will various other entities.

0x7D1 March 0x1D: Makrokosmos version 0.2 released. Most important additions since 0.1: Charting (already seen in the snapshot), looting of captured fleets, and various and sundry bugfixes. Including a new system-generation algorythm that should produce somewhat saner systems; the one in 0.1 liked to make stars of 40 solar masses with planets orbiting 600,000 kilometers out from 'em. (Which would've been inside the star if it'd been properly calculating radii.).

0x7D1 March 0x1D: Since AOL has reenabled my ICQ account (presumably due to a few well-placed bribes enabling them to avoid prosecution for selling the demographic information that states that I am eight years old), account 35848456 is operational once more. And will probably shortly become erratic, should I get around to encapsulating micq in imd.

0x7D1 March 0x1D: *maniacal cackling* My evil plan is soon to come to fruition! As soon as my Stupidity Virus disables the corporate presence on the Internet, my Army of Gigantic Millipedes (not shown) will secure the objectives...

0x7D1 March 0x1A: Addendat 0.3 released. 0.3 supports leaf blogs, so you can add one entry to two blogs at once (like the way my front page has the first few blog entries on it), multiple blogs in a single config file (including multiple blogs on the same HTML file - see the DualBlog demo or Movements), and a script that lets you add entries from the *nix console using your favourite text editor (or, if the $EDITOR environment variable isn't set, vi.). That last is the Final Step necessary to make it so that I can use Addendat on my own site, as I find both vi and pico more pleasant than netscrape's text input fields. Your kilometerage may fluctuate.

0x7D1 Mar 0x14: It's got a purpose. Really.

0x7D1 Mar 0x13: Addendat 0.2 released. It no longer depends on Lynx as an HTTP client. Which means, should you find any Exceedingly Stupid behaviour attached to the "Addendat/0.2" user-agent, you know where to report it...

0x7D1 Mar 0xB: Successful transfer of encrypted messages from server Y to server Cth. However, the key exchange necessary to render the message readable failed to occur.

0x7D1 Mar 0x1: Faced with the risk of actually finishing Makrokosmos soon, I have discovered a sudden urge to pull the imd project out and redo it from scratch. This time in perl and with the Good Crypto first. *sigh* I need several ancillary ganglia to devote to projects. And maybe one to devote to Work, so I can have some time for more interesting projects.

0x7D1 Feb 0xE: More porn has materialized on Tentacled.net.

0x7D1 Feb 0x3: The snapshot version of Makrokosmos now includes charting.

0x7D1 Jan 7: Get vital trace amounts of Uranium, Praseodymium, and Thorium with "Fresh Start" brand dietary supplements! Next time, I read the ingredients *before* taking pills...

0x7D1 Jan 6: Makrokosmos 0.1 released. Yep, more incomplete Deekooapps. Yay.

0x7D1 Jan 1: Jesus said to tell you all that he's sorry, but he'll have to cancel again. (Rumour has it that he's got a hot date and can't be bothered to deal with an anticlimactic apocalypse.)

0x7D0 Dec 0x14: In their ongoing efforts to enforce linear time and outmoded models of causality, AOHell has disabled the Imperial ICQ account (formerly 35848456) for having a stated age of 0. Anyone wishing to open a realtime connection to me should use talk instead 'talk deekoo@yarm.tentacled.net'.

0x7D0 Dec 0x12: The American Royal Family categorically denied allegations that they were connected to the eugenics movement. According to a spokesperson, King George II is living proof that they do not engage in the controversial practice of 'culling', or removing family members considered unsuitable for breeding.

0x7D0 Nov 0xB: The screens in the Imperial Embassy rippled mysteriously at about 00:24 PST. EMP weapon screens and ABM systems have been placed on full alert. haarpvax denied responsibility.

0x7D0 Nov 0x5: Imperial polls created.

0x7D0 Sep 0xF: A mysterious individual requisitions the Imperatrix's assistance in the Search for the Golden Onions.

0x7D3 Apr 0xA: A spokesperson for Microsoft blamed the April Fool's Day announcement of T5 support in Win2004 on "Unidentified Russian Hackers" working for Discordian agitators.

0x7D0 Oct 0xE: I have obtained a new rotary cooling unit for Yarm's Banshee. My system no longer hoots. Naturally, this is the signal for Reprint to lose its routing tables again. *sigh*. On the other tentacle, I'm becoming used to Dvorak, which means it'll soon be time to change the keyboard layout again.

0x7D1 Jul 0x1: The day sacred to awbsutcliffe (mhm 16x3)

0x7D0 Oct 0xA: It's Yarm Day

0x7D0 Oct 0x7: Today is National Gynomammophallitis Recognition Day in Uzbekistan.

0x7D0 Oct 0x6.B: PPC RPMs of imd 0.5 uploaded.
0x7D0 Oct 0x6: imd 0.5 released. A few segfaults and a DOS attack vulnerability in the server have been fixed. Strings can now exceed 255 characters.

0x7D0 Sep 0x1B: The government of the Phillipines recently filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation (MSFT: Redmond) alleging copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property. According to the government, the code that enables MSN Explorer to send ads to every address in a user's inbox was lifted from the ILoveYou virus. The authors of the ILoveYou virus, when queried, confirmed that they had signed an agreement granting the government full title and copyright to any code created during their period of enrollment. A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment.

0x7D0 Sep 0x10: Adopt a peeve - they make great pets. Today's special: bioweapons, government harassment, and rigged elections.

0x7D0 Sep 0xA: imd development version 0.4 released. Amongst other things, it's grown an X-based client.

0x7D0 Sep 0x6: Jerry Falwell issued a press release publically denouncing Yahoo Corporation's planned redecoration of the White House. According to Falwell, the planned yellow-on-purple colour scheme for the new Y! House would amount to nothing short of a governmental endorsement of homosexuality. The administration vehemently denied Falwell's allegations, stating that the redecoration was solely for branding purposes and that the United States would continue to oppose homosexuality, extramarital sexual relations, and 'cooties'.

0x7D0 Sep 0x3: A spokesyup for Yahoo Corporation issued a press release confirming their acquisition of Amazon.com. With this latest acquisition, Yahoo has also obtained all of the coveted realworld and Internet properties held by Amazon.com, including Barnes and Noble, AOL, Microsoft, and the .shop and .gov top-level domains.

0x7D0 Aug 0x1C: A stray Christian proseletyzer, endeavouring to convert Monde, wound up accidentally declaring that Monde is the Christian version of the monad. I'm still waiting for them to build a church window depicting me sodomizing God...

0x7D0 Aug 0xC: imd development version 0.3.1 released. The server is significantly more functional now.

0x7D0 Jul 0xD: Deekoo.net moved to namodn.

0x7D0 Jul 0x6: Plasma Creatures have joined the Empire.

0x7D0 Jul 0x2: More MondePix added to the pr0n section of Tentacled.net.

0x7D0 May 0x14 or so: webhosting no longer offered. I don't have resale rights to the space I'm on anymore. All 0.0000000000000 of my customers are reduced to looking for hosting elsewhere. However, I am hirable as BOFH-in-a-box should you need someone to run your webservers. (Yes, this *is* supposed to be between 0x7D0 Jun 0x1E and 0x7D0 Jul 0x2.)

0x7D0 Jun 0x1E: Infuriating segfault bug tracked to failure to #include <string.h>. gcc -Wall now compiles imd without complaints.

0x7D0 Jun 0x1A: A development release of imd has been made available for download.

0x7D0 Jun 0x14: `man biot`:

BUGS: The -f option may cause permanent psychological and/or neurological
side effects when used with some individuals.

0x7D0 Jun 0xE-0xF: Atmospheric temperatures in the area surrounding the Imperial embassy reached 104 degrees. We recommend that Earth residents develop reliable evacuation plans as soon as feasible.

0x7D0 Jun 0x2: Chaos moved on the night of May 0x1F-Jun 0x1. Most CGIs on chaos-hosted sites will need to be reconfigured (or recompiled, in some cases) to accomodate the new directory structure. Should you encounter any bugs, please remember that it is treasonous to fail to report bugs.

0x7D0 Jun 0x1: On the Philosophy of Service, inspired by webhosting research which turned up a dubious-seeming hosting provider offering 'web hosting or webhosting'.

0x7D0 May 0x1A: An agent in the top-secret Bavarian Theological Research Division (Exact name given because none of the Bavarian Illuminati will be able to figure out *WHICH* of the three dozen or so Theological Research Divisions we refer to, due to their internal security system's implementation of Perfect Deniability) reports that the BTRD (pronounced 'buttered') is researching the secrets of the 4103 Apple. The apple (greenish-red in colour) is not to be confused with Eve's quasi-apocryphal apple (although they do bear a numerological connection - the 'apple' in question was, in fact a 4103 Zucchini) - the 4103 Apple is the physical manifestation of an Objective C construct which typecasts Macintosh to the Unix command line. It was, most notably, instrumental in shaping Steve Jobs' management of NeXT during the Black Hardware Phase - and, coming to fruition in the forthcoming red-and-chartreuse iPower 43xx server line, will dominate MacOS development for decades to come.

0x7D0 May 0x11: an unnamed Jordanian scientist recently obtained political asylum in the United States after convincing INS officials that he would be economically persecuted if returned to Jordan. Reportedly, several corporations are interested in purchasing the results of his research into transplanting aphid brains into human females. According to US General Barry McCaffrey (a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon, which is a wholly 0wned subsidiary of Melissa Virus, Inc.), the demonstration versions would "Suck on wood all day long.". The agent who gathered this interview vacated Colombia shortly thereafter, and was almost terminated by customs agents upon his reentry to the United States (this was largely forestalled by the fact that artificially induced cardiac failure is more effective on persons who have retained their biological hearts.)

0x7D0 May 0xD: Imperial researchers have uncovered reports of some particularly interesting uses for KY jelly.

0x7D0 May 0xC: Contrary to many popular Windows troubleshooting manuals' advice, sacrifices can actually be detrimental to the stability of your computer. In particular, blood is conductive and can short-circuit delicate electronic components.

0x7D0 May 0x3: In the interests of bearable download times, I have converted most of the .pngs on one of tentacled.net's pr0n sequences to jpgs. There's still a few .pngs elsewhere, but all the remaining (known) ones are under 100K.

0x7D0 May 0x2: Guardian 2000, Tentacular Industries' new parental control program, has been made available for purchase by concerned parents everywhere.

0x7D0 May 0x1: Makrokosmos source has been released. Current game status: Navigation, battles, and looting work. Colonization and ship/item construction still need to be written.

0x7D0 Apr 0xE: An examination of my hitlog showed (in March) no fewer than 29 visits from the Extractor Pro user-agent. That being the case, the plerps are once more being prominently featured.

0x7D0 Apr 0x9: the command line

locate tentacle|grep -c tentacle
(as root) shows that there are two thousand and fifty-nine (decimal) files on Yarm containing 'tentacle' somewhere in their name and/or path.

0x7D0 Apr 0x7: I've begun work on a space conquest game called Makrokosmos. The prototype (which currently only has orbital and spatial navigation) is available on Yarm via telnet in /home/deekoo/code/makrokosmos/.

0x7D0 Mar 0x3: YeempBBS has been released to the universe-at-large under the GPL. (And earned the dubious version number 1.0.) Enjoy...

0x7D0 Mar 0x2: All Hail The Sock Exchange!

0x7D0 Mar 0x1: The Imperial leaders will attend the St. Stupid's Day parade (Noon localtime, starting at the Pointy Building in Sodom-By-The-Sea). All Imperial citizens within 200 miles of the Capitol's Earthly embassy are invited. As the fusion reactor is currently set on Hot, we recommend bringing dihydrogen monoxide and umbrellas.

0x7D0 Mar 0x28: It Has Been Discovered that the current version of Konqueror (the KDE file manager/web browser/ftp client) does not require colour numbers to be enclosed in the "#" crap. Instances of "# will disappear from these pages unless I run into confirmation that an older version of kfm does require 'em.

0x7D0 Mar 0x28: I have recently become once more unemployed, so I now have time to work on Useful Things. Such as websites and world domination plots.

0x7D0 Mar 0x14: Eye of Chaos migrated to YeempBBS.

0x7D0 Mar 0x2: pr0n site added to tentacled.net.

0x7D0 Feb 0x1D: Noted news site (mis)defines yeemps as yttrium enhanced expansion memory peripherals.

0x7D0 Feb 0x14: Human researchers confirm the existance of the particle family including yeemps (referred to in their initial papers variously as "Weakly Interacting Massive Particles" or "Neutralinos".)

0x7D0 February 0x9 through 0xA: The site was down during a Huge Upgrade. It's now a PIII-500.

0x7D0 January 0x1D: Another failed assassination attempt. You'd think the KGB'd've gotten SOME new ideas since the poisoned umbrella thing, or at *LEAST* a new poison. On the plus side, I've learned that ricin doesn't give me hives anymore.

0x7D0 January 0x1C: The Empire is moving to Our new domain.

0x7D0 January 0x17: swrap.cgi released. (And later pulled back due to narbles.)

1/0x14/0x7D0 (1/20/2000 decimal): YeempBBS test commenced.

1/0x13/0x7D0 (1/19/2000 decimal): Large numbers of Yarms with hyperspatial abilities reported to be herding in Arizona.

1/0xF/0x7D0 (1/15/2000 decimal): State The Obvious day.

1/1/0x7D0 (1/1/2000 decimal): Imperial reports posted in the Vortex.

1/1/0x7D0 (1/1/2000 decimal): The resemblance between the Examiner/Chronicle (Sodom-by-the-sea's two mainstream newspapers, for those unfortunate enough to live far from the Panarchic enclave here) and the Weekly World News becomes more obvious than usual. After TVs all over New Zealand failed to attack and kill their owners, the doomsayers now say that the billions of dollars spent on 'Y2K' have postponed the problem and we shouldn't see anything serious until next week or next quarter. The only pieces of hardware that failed dramatically were a few boneheaded credcard machines in England, and one of the KGB's mind-control devices (Hence Yeltsin's resignation).

0xC/0x19/0x7CF (12/23/1999 decimal): Jesus returns to celebrate his birthday with a few close friends. Unfortunately, he is run over by a harried mother of three making an illegal left turn in an effort to reach Albertson's before closing time.

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