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Journal: OTH: 9-17-08

Journal by Rob T Firefly
On behalf of the show and myself, I'd like to thank the Off the Hook listeners among you.

For one thing, so many of you are coming through with an awesome show of support during the current WBAI fundraiser, allowing us to thunder past our pledge goals like a crazed herd of sweaty community-radio-supporting buffalo. Some of us had to leave the studio partway through last night's broadcast and help out the volunteers taking pledges in the phone bank, it was that busy. :-)

Even if you aren't among those willing or able to pledge, thank you for listening. Were it not for you, we would all just be a bunch of strange people closed up in a soundproof room talking to ourselves, which wouldn't be nearly as fun.
User Journal

Journal: They've killed my Metamod! 1

Journal by Rob T Firefly
At work I'm stuck using MSIE6 for Windows XP Pro (I know, I know, but I'm not IT and I have no power here, nor do I wish for any.) Slashdot's Firehose feature never worked in it; the +/- buttons simply fail to do anything. I never minded, since I didn't really dig sifting through the Firehose.

Now they have suddenly gotten rid of the old meta-moderation system and replaced it with an extension of the Firehose functionality.

Since I do most of my Slashdotting form work, this basically means I have to go from metamodding regularly in the course of killing time at the office, to metamodding during the occasional evening I'm Slashdotting from home.

Bumtastic.
User Journal

Journal: OTH: 8-20-08

Journal by Rob T Firefly
Among other things on last night's Off the Hook, we had the privilege of speaking with Michelle Kempner, wife of James Powderly. There wasn't all that much new info to report, but it's well worth a listen to anyone interested in the story. You can listen to the segment here or the entire show here.

Updates on James and his situation will be posted to his Free Art & Technology blog.

Off the Hook will be off the air for the next couple of weeks, making way for WBAI's coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The show will return on September 10.
User Journal

Journal: Random plug of the day 1

Journal by Rob T Firefly
Not sure if anyone got any pictures or video of me during the closing ceremonies at The Last HOPE, but I just so happened to be wearing my beloved Slashdot 10th Anniversary t-shirt during it.

This clip of the closing ceremonies is worth watching because A) I'm covered by some guys big head in the shot, and 2) Emmanuel finally answers the burning question "is this really The Last HOPE?"
User Journal

Journal: Grand Theft Auto: The Text Adventure

Journal by Rob T Firefly

You are on a generic city street.
There are pedestrians here.
There is a car here.

> STEAL CAR

You force open the door of the car, pull out the protesting owner,
and sit in his place. The victim gesticulates angrily at you from
outside the car.

You are in a car. There is a rap song playing on the stereo.
There are pedestrians here.
There is an angry car-theft victim here.

> DRIV CAR

I don't know how to DRIV.

> DRIVE CAR

You put your foot on the gas pedal, and the car moves forward.

You are in a moving car. There is rap music playing on the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> CHANGE STATION

You change the radio station.

You are in a moving car. There is country/western music playing on
the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> KILL PEDESTRIANS

What would you like to kill the pedestrians with?

> KILL PEDESTRIANS WITH CAR

You deliberately drive over some of the pedestrians. Their horrific
screams of panic and anguish drown out the radio. Their broken
bodies fly off in various amusing directions. Other pedestrians flee
in terror at the carnage-laden sight, while still others ignore the
situation entirely.

You are in a moving car. There is country/western music playing on
the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> CHANGE STATION

You change the radio station.

You are in a moving car. There is talk radio loaded with subtle
social commentary playing on the stereo.

There is traffic here.
There are pedestrians here.

> _

User Journal

Journal: The Last HOPE to feature over 100 talks.

Journal by Rob T Firefly
We've posted the full schedule of talks which will be featured at The Last HOPE.

The conference will feature an unprecedented 100 talks, squeezed into three tracks over three days. There will also be an unscheduled track, where anyone who shows up and claims a timeslot can speak about anything they wish, and various ongoing activities and presentations in other areas of the con space. I think it's safe to say there will be a far broader and more eclectic spectrum of things to see and do at this hacker con than ever before.

The Last HOPE will take place from July 18-20, 2008, at New York City's Hotel Pennsylvania.
User Journal

Journal: RFID Tracking Games at HOPE 1

Journal by Rob T Firefly

As a social experiment, attendees to The Last HOPE hacker conference will be issued with RFID badges, which will track their movements throughout the event.

As discussed by HOPE staff on last night's episode of Off The Hook, the badges will serve as the entry point to a series of multilayered games which will run throughout the conference. Players will be able to connect with participants with similar interests, find and exploit vulnerabilities in the tracking system, negotiate with an artificial intelligence for clues via SMS, and more, all while deciding how much of their own privacy to protect and/or violate in pursuit of their goals. The results will be publicly displayed in real time throughout the conference.

The RFID badges and participation in the game will be limited to the first 1500 preregistrants. The Last HOPE will take place July 18-20 in New York City.

User Journal

Journal: Steven Levy to speak at HOPE

Journal by Rob T Firefly
Journalist and author Steven Levy is our first confirmed keynote speaker for The Last HOPE. As a fan of his work, I'm pretty excited about that.

According to a top-secret inside source on the HOPE staff (myself) there is lots of other neat stuff in the works. For instance, check out these projects we've announced so far.

Stay glued to the con's website for updates, and check out the various ways in which you can participate. Additionally, please join in our discussions at the HOPE forums.

Hope to see you there!
User Journal

Journal: Snow Crash

Journal by Rob T Firefly
I know some Slashdotters will get a kick out of this.. among other classics, "Snow Crash" made the AV Club's list of fictional drugs. (article / printer-friendly version)

From its entry, #16 in their list: "In Neal Stephenson's breakthrough novel Snow Crash, the titular substance is both a drug and a computer virus, as well as an ancient Sumerian curse of sorts -- in fact, it's practically a floor wax and a candy mint too."
User Journal

Journal: Large good things

Journal by Rob T Firefly
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is an amazing image of the Large Hadron Collider, CERN's contribution both to cutting-edge science and Slashdot's "hardon" jokes.

In other news, local pranksters Improv Everywhere have posted a new stunt in which their agents went into Starbucks and set to work not with laptops, but full-on desktop systems with CRTs.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

Working...