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User Journal

Journal Journal: To the cow guy...

kgiii@kgiii-desktop-8:~$ fortune | cowsay >> /home/kgiii/Documents/moo.txt

kgiii@kgiii-desktop-8:~$ leafpad /home/kgiii/Documents/moo.txt

/ Just because the message may never be \
| received does not mean it is not worth |
\ sending. /
                \ ^__^
                  \ (oo)\_______
                    (__)\ )\/\
                      ||----w |
                      || ||

How very appropriate. Formatting is a bit screwed but still appropriate.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Vivaldi - it's not that bad.

I've been playing with Vivaldi a little bit lately. It is a pretty interesting concept and one I've not really seen before. Much of it is written in HTML5, it's fairly easy to customize, and has a lot of interesting features. It is currently in the Technical Preview Stage, consider it more of a concept, and there are plenty of bugs but it's workable and has some traits not seen in other browsers.

Probably the most interesting one is that here, on this site, it matches the green color that is Slashdot. Yes, it's just colors itself like a chameleon depending on where you are. You can, it seems, also change the colors on your own but I've not actually looked into that.

It currently takes a bit of work to get extensions installed but the extensions from Chrome (and also Opera) should all work just fine with it. It's built on the same code base as Chromium. Which means it also inherits some of the Chromium problems. Currently, for example, there's no H.264 support for Linux users and the work-around for Opera probably won't work for Vivaldi.

There's no switch to disable hardware acceleration so you'll need to start it from the terminal until Chromium gets off their asses and gets that squared away (the problem is upstream). You can start it from the terminal with:

vivaldi --disable-gpu-compositing

Give it a shot. You might find it interesting and, as it is still early in development, you may be able to help guide them into crafting a browser that meets your needs. Also, they're giving away free webmail but, really, who doesn't already have enough webmail accounts available? I can only assume that it will support POP3 and IMAP later in life.

What say you, Slashdot? Can we screw it up beyond belief? Yes we can! Seriously, give it a shot. You might find it an interesting browser. I'll keep playing with it for now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot (sort of): Anyone know anything about boats? 6

I have the chance to buy a boat. I don't know anything about boats. This boat is a big boat. It is 70' long, it has masts and stuff - it also has a couple of engines (one of which is a generator) and has stuff like onboard desalination (I guess?) and stuff. It has two masts. I'd show a picture but I've been asked not to - the reason given is that this market is considered competitive and they don't want people to know that it's for sale or an indicator of price or some gibberish like that.

I should mention the seller, while not a friend, is an associate whom I've known for a while and calling them eccentric would be fairly generous.

Now, this boat is in Barbados. It has taken some external damage and has 'severe' engine damage as well as needing a 'near total reconditioning.' I did find a company in Florida that will go get it for me and their price isn't too bad (I think?) so that's not a problem.

The person selling this boat let the insurance lapse and now the boat is damaged. They don't have the money to do the repairs. They've offered this to me at a price that is pretty damned high. (People pay that much for boats? Their asking price is in the 9 digit range but they paid much, much more for it not that long ago - like 15 years ago.)

Now they have estimates and statements of value. So the estimated return on my investment would be well over 200% though I'd need to "park" my money for up to a "few years" or more.

I mention, again, that they're kind of eccentric so details are pretty sparse. I've bought a lot of expensive things in my time but I don't even own a boat with a motor. I also don't know a damned thing about boats except that port is left and stern is the front. I also haven't ever piloted nor do I want to pilot anything of this size. Hell, I don't even like boats.

But it does seem like an awfully tempting investment. I tried to find a professional to deal with this but it would appear that I don't know the first thing about boats. All my searching has found me nothing. My research also indicates that the current market for boats is pretty slow.

I've also been told that owning a boat is akin to owning a hole in the water in which to deposit money. However, I don't want to really OWN a boat - I want to not even see the boat. This boat had a skipper but the skipper has run away. The exact phrase was, indeed, "run away."

They want me to call them back tonight. I've already sent an email indicating that it will take me longer than that to do some research. They indicate they have interested parties (why contact me?) and that it's a potentially quick sale (again, why contact me?) but I do know them personally and they do indeed have a boat - I have personally seen his boat before.

I suspect it's my ready access to capital and that they've no buyers "lined up" at all but are hoping to pressure me into making a quick choice. Fortunately (maybe) I'm a cautious critter and don't really want a boat.

Anyhow, I'd have to have this boat refloated, tugged out, put on the back of another boat, brought to Florida (or Maine - probably Maine), and have the damned thing fixed. It also appears the people who do these things are pretty busy so this won't be quick. I guess I can "afford" it (for a limited definition of afford) and all and I'm not one to shy away from taking risks but I honestly don't know a damned thing about boats and I've been researching and calling for a couple of days now.

I mean, if Slashdot can help me find my favorite Linux distro (and send me on a personal quest of wanderlust and insight) then how can they not help me when it comes to boats? You guys know everything. I'm actually willing to pay a boat expert (do they have a specific name?) to make this choice for me. I don't think that it helps that I'm not home and won't be home for the foreseeable future (subject to another journal post, perhaps).

Finally, boats have butt-loads of geeky stuff on them. At least this boat does. It has radar, GPS, radio, engines and a couple of masts for sailing I guess, and other assorted stuff. I suppose if the damned thing doesn't sell I can either learn to love a boat or just suck up my losses, learn to never buy a boat again, and give it to the University of Maine's oceanographic biology department. I can, at least, write it off and offset some tax liability but that's a whole other long and detailed subject.

By the way, I don't have a huge attachment to buying a boat. I do kind of like the idea of reselling the boat at a decent profit - that is what is attractive. (Don't worry, various charities - including EFF - will get some of the profit.) Sorry if my writing is unclear, I'm not an author and my grasp of the English language is not so very good. Sad, really, I've been attempting to speak it for the vast majority of my life.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Strange revelations - hacker manifesto, set to music? 2

So, it's a very long story but I'm still in Buffalo, I have my reasons. In fact, my reason is in her hotel room (again, a very long story) and nearly forty years my junior. However, one of the many discussions we've been having... And no, it's not that type of relationship, perverts. I may opine on this later but I'm due to go to the movies in a little while.

Where was I? Oh, yes... One of the things we've had discussions about has been hacker culture, code, mathematics, computer history, technology, etc... See, I met her when she was beating up her poor laptop and I opined that that was no way to treat a computer. She told me it was an "old piece of junk." Being who I am, well, I offered to take a look at her poorly behaving PC and it actually gets stranger from there. It's a very long story.

Where was I again? Oh yes. So, I got her computer running and got her convinced to give Linux a try and we backed up her required documents and were on our way. Then we were hungry and, well, I've been a gentleman ever since. That was some days ago but, I digress and am in a bit of a rush tonight.

Anyhow, I tell you that to tell you this. While we were having dinner (and I am skipping a lot of the story for the sake of brevity) tonight, I happened to be expanding on the history of ethical hacking - after a long conversation that hacking didn't mean doing nefarious things and that coders were, indeed, hackers. So, the conversation went a bit like this:

Me, "Yeah, it's neat. Lots of them have their credos." Talking about ethical hacking at this point. "You could say it's their hacker manifesto."

Her, "You mean like that old song?"

Me, "You'll have to narrow that down."

Her, "You know, some German band. My mom likes her. 99 Red Balloons."

Me, "WTF?"

Her, "Umm... Maybe I am not getting you?"

Me, "No, you probably are. I suspect I'm not getting you. Lemme Google this." (Goes on to Google lyrics and is quite surprised at revelations.)

So, her gift to me and now mine to you is this, the lyrics to 99 Red Balloons revisited with today's hindsight.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons
With the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Till one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message
"Something's out there"

Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here
From somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
99 red balloons go by

99 Decision Street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war

The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by

[Instrumental Interlude]

99 Knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a Superhero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify

Scramble in the summer sky
As 99 red balloons go by

As 99 red balloons go by

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenier
Just to prove the world was here

And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

I really wanted to add comments to it and whatnot but I'll leave that to you as I'm lacking time. I've got to leave at about 7:15. I bolded what was most interesting but there's so much more to bold and pontificate about... So much... How very odd.

If you want to watch it then, by all means, here's a link:

Anyhow, I... I... I had no idea? I'd never interpreted it that way (or even really paid attention to it). That song actually is deep and meant something? Or is it just deep and meaningful in retrospection? By the way, it could be construed as unethical hacking but that's not really the important part. The important part is her sharing this and my ensuing excitement.

Also, yes, yes she is a cutie... However, it's a long story. If you think THIS is a long post then, well, if I decide to type the rest it will make this seem like Cliff's Notes.

I'll try to peek in and see if there's a reply and then, of course, I'll be here later. After all, there are some things you ask your friend and family about. Then there are other things you just don't want to ask them because their opinions are all biased so you're stuck asking /b/ or Slashdot. I don't really want to post pics (or it didn't happen) so I may actually ask Slashdot just to see the replies.

Why not? I mean, you have given me great advice before. I'd have never tried Linux Mint without you guys recommending it, I'd have stuck with CentOS or something. Hell, I'm even on my journey because a Slashdotter sort of recommended it. You're a surprisingly wise bunch as a group. (And no, no I'm not drinking, drunk, or otherwise overly intoxicated - I might be a little high.)

Anyhow, I'm off to see a movie shortly. The theater is just down the road a spell and I'll obviously have my phone (on silent) with me. Me? Go somewhere without a computer? I don't see that happening. Also, she's smart and a budding geek. Life is too confusing. *sighs* I hate popcorn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mindless Linux Drivel... 6

So, as those who "know me" know, I am a long-winded poster who adds inane drivel more often than not. It is a pass-time and a lot of the time I simply can not say what I wanted to say in a short blurb. My thoughts do not fit on a bumper sticker. If they did then they would be so superficial that they would not be worth adding to the conversation. Also, many folks like to argue and this argument seems to come from them not actually understanding what I wrote. Replies frequently look like, "I agree entirely what you said. You dumbass!" This means I take care to include all of the information that I have because I can not reasonably assume that the readers will have that information. It is not like I am all the bright or anything - I just express myself poorly so I make up for it with verbosity.

Having said that I will add that I frequently type out long, well thought out (I think), replies only to stop and think about it before clicking the send button. (Imagine that. Thinking before posting? Life is strange after a few years of not drinking.) Sometimes, perhaps more often or perhaps less often, I will delete/cancel those posts. They usually address the subject that I am replying to but are only tangentially related to the actual subject of the thread.

Today I authored a response to a zing at Samsung for having disabled Windows Update recently. I finished it, typed it all out, and hit the preview button only to realize that it was so far off topic, and such a high word count (low for me), that it simply would not be a good response. Rather than hitting the almighty enter button and submitting my drivel to the thread's page I figured that this is my journal and I can post anything I damned well please in it.

Then I thought about how badly used the journal feature is here. It really is a nice feature for what it is. It is not much but it does what it does well. It allows you to post drivel in amongst other folks posting drivel and it is never consumed or lightly consumed meaning that you are only stroking your own ego by posting it. See? Simple. I defy you, nay - three of you, to spend an hour in my head! They tell me that I am sane. I tell them that is the same thing the voices in my head tell me. They'll take me serious when I blow up my own lawn gnomes!

Anyhow, I figured I would post that comment here. It is mostly being posted because I think I may like to come back to it and visit it again someday. It is not well written, it does not have witty insights or pithy sayings, and it isn't anything important. So, I am not going to edit my response to suit, I am just going to post it as it was originally authored. If you read it then I can only call you a sucker and say that you were warned.

I hope so. I am an old UNIX then various flavors of Linux user. I have alway, pretty much, had an open source OS on one of my partitions in the past many years. Somewhere, near XP SP2, I just stopped using FOSS desktops as my OS. I am not sure why. I still used Linux in the real world. But, I just stopped. I have taken my three most used compute devices (two laptops and a desktop) and converted them entirely to Linux Mint (I call it Linux for Retards - like me).

I have an MSDN subscription, a nice one too, and I suspect I will set a new system up with 10 on it and use that to do my dev play as VS, honestly, can not be beaten, yet. I will probably keep paying Microsoft many dollars for my subscription. It is automatic so... Well... I will never actually disable it. My heirs will be paying it long after I die.

So, I would like to say - yes, get rid of Windows Updates. They would bork up my Linux for Retards installs (I am now so intimate with the installer that I am planning on sexxing it tonight). It is good to be back though I keep dropping into the terminal to get shit done. I am not sure why.

Anyhow, I am an addict. But, today makes 13 days and I am so far behind on /. that I think I am first. (Woohoo! First post!) I wonder... If I send Mint a bunch of money if they will send me a living person to be my "enterprise support." She has to be cute and well versed in all things Linux that I have not noticed change over the years. Also, we need to work on that whole partitioning thing. I buy big laptops that have slots for two drives so I can avoid partitioning for now but they are almost as scarce as hen's teeth. I may need a Windows guru with source code access. I can get (and have) some Windows source but I can not restrap it and make my own bootloader that recognizes pre-existing Linux distros and installs around them. Also Grub has sucked, does suck, and seemingly always will suck ballsacks.

I am going to have to start hiding in closets and shooting up Microsoft Office too. It will run in WINE they said. It runs fine in WINE they said. Just use they said. Use the online Word they said. Those fuckers need to die a painful death.

Also, LinuxMint, it's for retards. As a user, I fully endorse this statement. It is nicely unified aesthetically. It's as stable as a female pop singer by the time I get to it. Cinnamon won't start? Revert to blind man status? Abso-friggen-lutely. That is what I want you to do. How about piping an error message to me as the default action? No... It will take me longer to figure the bug out, reinstall. Where did boot logging go, anyhow? You know what? I have no idea because nobody seems to care enough to point it out to me and my google-fu is lacking. It is a moot point now, I can just re-install the bastard in a half hour or so and be done with it. I lose a few settings and the next install means I did not go back and tick that box. (Though if I knew which box it was, I would break it. I had not even done anything special to it.)

Finally, I suppose, I am done with my rant. Instead of just dicking with Linux I am using it as my main OS for now on. I will probably switch distos. I have been playing with a lot of VMs so I have tried every one of the top 20 at the distrowatch site. I will, likely, be switching to Mageia next even though openSUSE gave me a handy under the table at a fancy restaurant. I will not be going with FreeBSD because the installer is stupid and I am stupider. ArchLinux, openSUSE, and even PCLINUX (better than expected actually) get a nod as well. Fedora, Ubuntu, and CentOS do not suck so much as I can not stand what is essentially a taskbar in the wrong spot. I am not going to change desktops to something different as I always end up wasting too much time figuring out the dependencies. I am sure there is an easier way but I am fickle and will just move along. Slackware looks really nice but I sort of did not play around with it as much as I should have so I will reserve judgment until I have done so.

What the hell were we talking about again?

Oh yes. Samsung was disabling Windows Update a while back. They stopped it. I read it here on this site. If they said it then it must be true. They can not post lies on the internet. Anyhow, at this point, albeit a bit flustered and exhausted, I would say that that is almost a good thing.

So, there it is. If someone should deign themselves worthy of calling me names, giving insight, belittling, or even just babbling about stupid stuff then there it is, in all its glory. I do wish I could disable moderating in journal posts. It serves no function.


Journal Journal: Email to SMS

I just blogged about a site that I had found that listed a bunch of the email addresses to send text messages with. It covers a lot of the providers, not just those in the United States. Rather than shamelessly plug my own blog the site's located here.

Then again, if you wanted to stop by the blog you can do that here. I'd rather you go to the original site instead of the blog though as the blog isn't ad supported or the likes.

Social Networks

Journal Journal: Troll Motivations 3

My karma is so high that I am now limited to waiting a rather long time before I am able to submit a new response. It seems to me that it would be the other way around but it isn't. This might be seen as incentive to make trolling/flame responses, if my karma were lower I'd get to post more often.

It must be getting time to have a drunken night of random reality posts.

"Sorry but Linux actually kind of sucks in some ways." (Then don't bother to justify it until several posts later.)

"GPL != freedom at all; GPL is about restricting rights." (Then don't bother to explain how it is more restrictive until a day or two later.)

"Smart people will vote Republican!" (Except I can't really explain that one.)

I just have to do it in a controlled manner so that I don't lose all of my accumulated good karma and have to build it back up again.

Hell, I don't even use mod points when I get them. That's no great loss. I do meta moderate a bunch but as a paid subscriber I'll get to still do that even if I had the worst karma on /....

User Journal

Journal Journal: **No Title**

Well, day three after paying /. a few bucks for a subscription without it being enabled. My response to the email they sent went unanswered as well. Five bucks is not at all important but, well... There is the principle. Suppose I should click the button to request a refund?

Update: This has been fixed as of a short while ago. Now I can play with the buttons.

United States

Journal Journal: Guess Where This Is?

Without actually clicking and reading the article, read this bit of information, and guess where this is:

According to a 36-page presentation given by top-ranking police officials in recent months, the entire area would be placed within a security zone, in which only specially screened taxis, limousines and cars would be allowed through "sally ports," or barriers staffed by police officers, constructed at each of five entry points.

Then take a look at this NYT article and read where they plan on doing this...


User Journal

Journal Journal: /. Perhaps?

I am curious, it is probably just chance but, well, who knows?

During so many of the discussions about the Olympics over the past year so many people have claimed that they'd be boycotting them.

I just finished watching the opening ceremony and I came back upstairs to bed (after lighting a fire as it's a tad bit chilly) and... Sure enough...

There is little activity and almost nothing new since I looked quite a few hours ago.

The ceremony was beautiful but the NBC coverage was seemingly eagerly awaiting some conflicts to report about. This was sort of silly after the announcers stated that the games weren't about politics or conflicts (or something similar as that isn't verbatim) but about the games themselves but, sure enough, they kept alluding to the potential conflicts.

Side note: It almost sounded as if there were people booing when Iranian team came in.


Journal Journal: Overclocking Cell Phone? 2

I'm an oddball, surely, but I'd like to try overclocking an older Motorola RAZR V3x. I don't use it to make phone calls any longer and it is just something that I use to play Pinochle and Golf on. I've done a lot of looking for this but, so far, I haven't been able to find any.

It doesn't matter much if I break it or anything. Thoughts? Anyone?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Flamebait and Troll 5

You know, I almost always seem to have a flamebait or troll mod in my list of recent modifications. I've been thinking about that, mostly passively, and I don't really mind one bit.

If I wasn't making people unhappy I wouldn't be making people think and it seems that that is my job. I guess it is that some people don't think and that's when I get modded down and that's okay too. Hell, I don't even spend my mod points.

I still have excellent karma and it is usually an up and down thing. I get modded down on posts where I don't agree with the current groupthink here and, well, that's okay. I posit ideas and rather than opt to argue the merits of those ideas they simply continue groupthink and usually it works out that in a day or so I'm modded back to normal.

In short, sorry but your favorite app isn't the best, your open source isn't the best, and your favorite OS is not the best. The best is what works for you and thinking that you can take away other people's right to choose is just plain retarded. FOAD

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: /. & Hypocrisy 3

There are a cluster of people who, for their various reasons, think that all software must be free and open source. They claim that the people who author this stuff have no choice in the matter or that they shouldn't and they follow the steps given to them by Lord RMS faithfully.

Then they do things like love Google who, by all accounts, is in no way open.

They talk of things like freedom... What about the freedom for the authors of the the IP to decide? We have the right to opt to not install something. We even have the ability to do anything we need to do without touching a single line of proprietary code (as yet untested in courts but for the sake of simplicity we'll all work with the idea that it is free code).

If a musician wants to join a lable who is a part of RIAA then that's their choice. They are granted rights. Why do people think that that they can take away those rights? Freedom ends at the tip of your nose.

I was looking at some FSF (I'm going with Full of Shit Foundation here) stuff today and they're insane. If I code up a handy dandy application and put it on my server to do my business on my personal property with my clients I have absolutely no obligation to hand that code over to anyone and anyone who thinks that I should have to is, well, insane.

The reality is that I'm far more likely to hand it over than to not but the idea that I should *have to* is patently absurd. Do your own fucking work if I don't want to share and if I patent it then I probably want to be paid for my work. (Patent trolls suck balls and shouldn't count.)

Do you fucking think or do you just do what they tell you and call it individuality?

User Journal

Journal Journal: My faith in humanity has been restored...

I was at the VA hospital (Togus) yesterday and left a wallet with about $400 in it in the canteen. I had to return today and we noticed it missing just prior to leaving the house. I wasn't worried about the money, it was the ID, canceling cards, and the general hassle.

It took a while but eventually we found the people who are in charge of the lost and found department (it is no longer the facility police should anyone actually ever need to go there) and they actually were able to help us. It is amazing but true - everything was still in the wallet.

All of the money was there, all of the cards were there, and it was safely under lock and key. I was very impressed and my faith in humanity has been restored.


Journal Journal: Can't Find a Parking Spot? Check Smartphone

From the New York Times comes this tasty bit of idiocy that takes tech too far.

San Francisco is preparing to undertake the nation's most ambitious trial of a wireless sensor network that will announce which parking spaces are free at any moment.

I envision more accidents as people check for spaces and then rush to get to the free spaces before they are available but I guess I'm a cynic.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.