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Quickie Fu 104

Let's get the serious stuff out of the way: chrisd put up a survey to track what trade shows Linux Coders think are a good idea to go to. With the proliferation of cons, its nice to know what ones matter. Oh, and if you're looking for beer, you should try Heineken's BarTrek. its a PDA proggie with maps to bars and reviews of beer. And if you have GPS, it'll even lead you to it. My guess is after a few beers, it better be a really user friendly app or you might wind up in a desert or something. k-rist sent us linkage to Pulp Simpsons! which I highly recommend. An anonymous reader pointed us to a 15 pound Millenium Falcon made of legos. CK-2 pointed us to what looks like the most impressive real life light saber money can buy. dave pointed us to the site worth it. notjenni, a parody of jennicam. An AC pointed us to a Swedish site has a photo of the Daytrading Yucca plant. This plant is wired up to a computer to trade on the Swedish stock market in response to its electrical activity. If it makes a profit it is rewarded with water and light, if it makes a loss it is unwatered and sits in the dark. The plant has made an 18 percent profit in the last three months! God I hope this is true ;) Effugas pointed us to a pretty good parody of the Matrix. regs pointed us to MonkeyBagel which outta win an award for something. I don't really know what tho. Random merchandising: at0m noted that Copyleft now has Slashdot polos in grey and green. Finally, what would quickies be without some porn? Tolath sent us something graphic... if you happen to be an electrical cord.
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Quickie Fu

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  • Didn't you see the text on the Web site?

    Resumes should be submitted to H2G2 publishing ( []. No ex-Sirius Cybernetics or Encyclopaedia Galactica employees need apply.

    Vovida, OS VoIP
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • the computer?
  • From Terms and Conditions(on About []):

    IV. Any resemblance of any character to any person living or dead is coincidental. Some freakazoid left a comment on Slashdot claiming to know "Beth" from Geek Fantasia. Look, SHE DOESN'T EXIST. I named her "Beth" after an old friend. I gave her the body of a dancer I dated in college. Hey, Slashdot-comment guy, does the "Beth" you know have a strong background in SP/2 systems administration? I didn't think so.
  • Actually, technically, it's neither "Legos" nor "Lego".. it's "LEGO".
  • Putting smart quotes in web pages in indeed a heinous act.

    Problem is, they do actually look quite nice, so if you ask people to remove them they probably won't. And the ‘ and ’ entities aren't very well supported either.

    The solution is to keep pages smart-quote-free and change the sexless quotes to smart ones on the fly at the browser end. You can also have the browser display " - " using an em-dash, "fi" and "fl" using ligatures, and so on. There is already one web browser that does this, but it's, er, a bit obscure.

    You can detect whether a quote mark should be open or closed using my Patented Smart Quote Algorithm[*]. If the previous character was a space, open quote, open bracket or start-of-input, use an open quote, else use a closed one. It ain't perfect (words with an apostrophe at the start come out wrong; they don't happen very often), but it looks pretty good.

    [*] I didn't really patent it. Obviously. The sad thing is, I probably could. :-(

    This comment was brought to you by And Clover.
  • Heh. heh.

    I've seen worse linkage from slashdot, just be glad they didn't post my mention of Asia Carrera's new computer. ;0

    To be fair, the last time they posted some pornstar-related linkage, other people got in a huff about 'content warnings' and whatnot. Obviously they had clicked on the link faster than they could read the description.
    pb Reply rather than vaguely moderate me.
  • The music from the Morpheus-Neo fight scene (the first segment anyway) most certainly was on the soundtrack. It's Lunatic Calm - Leave You Far Behind (track 6). The second segment of the fight scene was orchestral and I believe (but I'm not sure) it was on the score.

    Interestingly enough a different remix of this song was heard in the movie "The Jackal" (and it's on the soundtrack there, too). The parody also mentioned the song playing in Neo's headphones -- this isn't (unfortunately) on the soundtrack, but the song (Dissolved Girl by Massive Attack) was also heard in, guess what movie? The Jackal.

    I think not.
    You decide. :)

  • Well, we don't know for sure what cord that is descending from the ceiling... it could be a network connection...

    Is there a web page up about this thing, or just the picture? I can't find one anywhere.

  • Is it just me or have half of these sites already been featured in quickies a while ago???
  • what? popular cartoon characters sodomizing one another, engaging in violent behaviour, and abusing drugs isn't condoned at your office? hehe, those were rather explicit.
  • I find it a very disturbing development that we are beginning to allow yucca to influence the stock market. Sure, it's made a profit so far. That's no surprise; the stock market has always rewarded its most subhuman participants with the greatest wealth. The problem is, the better the yucca does, the greater the long-term risk. As more and more of the money in the stock market starts to be traded by plants, a new set of risks begins to emerge.

    You see, a yucca plant doesn't care about the overall health of the economy, only about whether it gets watered. Moreover, it can't possibly get less than no water, so as soon as its profits have dried up, it is more and more likely to make risky "double or nothing" bets to try to get back to a positive cash-flow situation. The market will crash - or worse, the government will be forced to step in with a massive "yucca bail-out" and the taxpayers will be left saying "yuck".

    Our only hope is that maybe - just maybe - yucca really does have the moral fibers to resist this temptation.
  • Quoted from the exhibition's homepage:

    With this we are getting close to the subject of Ola Pehrson's latest works: the Market. We are fed daily with reports about the state of the financial markets: The market reacted thus and thus to the statement of the Prime Minister; The market reacted negatively to a forecasted reduction in unemployment, etc. If it has long been claimed that political decisions are increasingly being made on the terms of capital rather than on ideological grounds this is at least evident today. Ola Pehrson's Yucca Invest Trading Plant can be seen as a picture of the market's logic, or lack of logic. A Yucca palm has been coupled to a computer using electrodes, and the electrical currents that are registered govern purchasing or selling indications for a number of shares. If the Yucca palm does not give a positive result it gets no water, whereas if it succeeds it is given water and can grow more. Here the market undeniably appears as the nervous and irrational system that it is, in which every decision is as dependent on gut feeling as on intellectual and technical calculations. The work also links to the terminology that pervades economic language -- growth, offshoots -- words that seem to indicate a natural law. The 'market' is increasingly depicted in this fashion by the frequently paradoxically servile media. Was it not Fredric Jameson who said: We are living in a time when it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to conceive of a non-capitalist economy.

    Ola Perhson works with various techniques, often conceptual, even though painting is his base. In one of his paintings he has, for example, tried to recreate every brush stroke of Zorn's self-portrait with a view to being able, in due course, to reproduce the 'genius'' painting mechanically. Simulations and translations are two recurring concepts as in the works in which the artist has played with computer simulation of imagined physical objects but which do not necessarily have any simple physical reference. In his Desktop Ikonostas [Desktop Iconostasis] we meet, instead, a physical model of a normal icon-based Windows interface. The religious terminology causes me to think of what Sherry Turkle in 'Life on the Screen' (1995) calls the 'Macintosh Mystique': users in an interface constructed in accordance with a simulation aesthetic remain on the surface, at a level of visual representation, without being able/needing to know anything about the underlying mechanisms.
  • Oh dear... they have gone the way of 3DFX (3dfx) and NVIDIA (nVidia)... or maybe it was the 3D guys that followed LEGO :-)

  • "HTTP Error 403 Forbidden: Directory listing denied This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed."

    I'd say "another wonderful Microsoft innovation", but, although I have the impression that "Virtual Directories" may be an IISism, I think I've seen similarly useful responses to other attempts to trim URLs on sites not obviously using IIS.

    <rant>After all, the purpose of a Web site isn't to provide lots of information - where's the profit in that, to a corporation or other organization providing a Web site - it's to provide lots of advertising and persuasion to get you not only to buy the stuff the corporation sells, but to get you to buy the particular stuff they want you to buy.</rant>

  • "HTTP Error 403 Forbidden: Directory listing denied This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed."

    I'd say "another wonderful Microsoft innovation", but, although I have the impression that "Virtual Directories" may be an IISism, I think I've seen similarly useful responses to other attempts to trim URLs on sites not obviously using IIS.

    <rant>After all, the purpose of a Web site isn't to provide lots of information - where's the profit in that, to a corporation or other organization providing a Web site? - it's to provide lots of advertising and persuasion to get you not only to buy the stuff the corporation sells, but to get you to buy the particular stuff they want you to buy.</rant>

  • This guy is a friend of a friend up in Seattle, and I completely agree, they are WAY over the top! I assure you, though, they are in fact productive members of society, hold down jobs, have families, etc. Just don't get between them and their blocks :). Their main thing is, in fact, trains, you may see many more anal-retentive LEGO models at []
  • There's a shockwave plugin for Linux, too. Just
    go to Macromedia's web site. I used it successfully to navigate the site (and download bartrek and the maps)
  • Holy crapola... I've always wanted to make a Star Destroyer out of Legos, but thought it impossible... seeing this thing, with real working turrets, missile-launchers and landing gear, has moved me closer to my ultimate goal.
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Thursday November 04, 1999 @05:43PM (#1561729)
    I'm not suggesting that /. needs to censor, but at least two of the items in this block of quickies are ones you definitely don't want your boss to see at work (unless he's a geek too).

    Might I suggest that whomever posts the quickies place an obvious warning label as to objectionable content so that users don't click where they shouldn't while at work (but are free to do so at home?)

  • What causes that stuff anyway? Is it a MS program like Frontpage or what? In Windows, it looks just fine, but in Linux I seem to get those ? sometimes. How come does it do that?
  • I HATE embedded sounds too. I don't mind a link, but I hate having my MP3's interupted by terrible sounding music.
  • Gawd. Made me spew Dr. Pepper on the monitor, it did.

    I'll never look at electrical cords the same again.


  • Living in southwest Washington, I really wish I knew something!!!

    Originally they were saying it would be April 6-7 (I think). Then, just a few weeks before then (maybe less than a month), when I was really getting excited about it, they "rescheduled" it for late August. I checked the site in mid-August, and it then also said it was down for some changes.

    Something is *really* screwed up with those guys. I also would very much like some more details!
  • sweet good godamn fucking goddamn sweetmeats of Christ served up in a pita pocket, that's fucking funny! I could not stop laughing, and fell out of my chair.
  • old fuddy-duddy.. :P

    Seriously though, this would be a good idea. I about had a heartattack when I saw the electrical cords having sex. Then notJenni in a french maids uniform, my my.. that's enough to make anyone's heart twitterpate. I assume those are the ones you're talking about, unless its the Millenium falcon and light saber which were equally erotic. ;)

  • Yes but the Falcon is real-sized compared to Lego people. If you want to keep the scale with a destroyer you'll need more bricks, and since it is supposed to be 1 km long (the super destroyer is 8 km long...)
  • I thought the survey for developer conferences was really interesting. I would like to know which conferences are worth taking time from classes to go see. Since I am still a student, it is pretty hard for me to take time off to travel. Also, since I am looking for a job, I feel that an expo is a good place to get an idea what companies are doing and who are looking for more people. Are expos a good place to find jobs?

    The impression I get from the campus career center is that I should accept a job offer by Janurary. But there are so many jobs out there and a lot of companies don't want to wait five months while I finish school. Should I get a job with a company that can hire five months in advance or should I wait and see who is looking for jobs in April and can wait a month or two? Would it be a good idea to go to an expo in December and ask companies for interviews?
  • The Yucca can't select the stocks for you, and that's an important part of trading. The Yucca only trades in a small number of stocks that the artist selected. So saying that the Yucca has made 18% profit is useless unless you compare it to the average profit you would have made by random trades of the same set of stocks. (I'm not sure what the effect of random trades would be, but my guess would be a "random effect".)

    As an example, say that the Yucca was set to trade Ericsson, Nokia, Effnet, Switchcore, Framfab, Icon medialab and other Swedish IT/telecom stocks. These stocks have probably averaged 80% up the last three months, and they certainly averages more than 20%. That means you actually lost money on the Yucca trading.

    But hey, perhaps I can let my goldfish select stock for me...
  • or should the guy who built that Millenium Falcon be working for LEGO? I mean, wow. Like wow. Really wow. I've only recently quit being the LEGO version of a heroin addict, and seing that thing gave me the shakes . I want.

    itachi, who wants to work for LEGO
  • Those cords bring a whole new meaning to 'plug and play'

  • It must've been the most hilarious pr0n i've ever seen on the net ;>

  • That wasn't the specific one that I was talking about. The "Pulp Simspons" one, for example....
  • In the Millenium Falcon bit.... who the #$@^ is Obi-one? It's Obi-Wan... WAN... wide area network. Obi-WAN...

    *mantra of waaaaaaaannnnnnnnn wannnnnnnnnnn*

    But a damn fine job on the lego Falcon. :)
  • Do ya think she'll be sent to jail for threatening violence. I stopped looking when I got to the gun pics - I don't want to sent up for conspiracy to threaten violence.
  • Does anybody know where I can buy a daytrading Larch tree?
  • Actually, it's Lego Bricks.
    Long day at work. sorry. :)
    -= Making the world a better place =-
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone have any more information about the Day Trading Yucca? It's about time I made my fortune, even if I have to exploit a poor, defenceless yucca to do it. And while I'm asking: * What would they use to control the light? I mean, how would they connect it to the computer, and have the computer give results? * Could this be done with colonies of bacteria? I'd just love to breed a safe organism that predicted the stock market. * Any other information on the subject you can give me? Thanks, 3CC.
  • Hehe, i love quickies. I just like Chris Dibona's website. Ok, maybe I'm biased because he took my picture at ALS and called me Redhat. ;)
  • Dude.


    It was cool =)
  • by -stax ( 34630 )
    While the lego model is amazing, the attention to detail seems to be a bit extreme... I don't know if it's just me, but this guy went ALL out!

    /. poster #104543567
  • ...isn't the list missing two serious "geekfests"?

    Shouldn't Gencon and E^3 be on this list as well?

    I mean, what self-respecting geek would miss the mother of all RPG conventions.

    Not to mention the "beer and booth babe bonanza".

    I mean, no tour schedule should be without these on the list.

  • It's made of Lego ... there's no such word as Legos.
  • I bid USD$100 for the daytrading plant!
  • Anybody stop to think about the plants rights. I think the plant should get a equal size profit from the trade. It has rights!
    Also -- did you notice the big NO PICTURE sign in the picture. heh
    -= Making the world a better place =-
  • Is it just my failing memory, or has there not actually -been- a Linux Northwest conference yet? Yet, it is getting votes. The only information I have on it is a website that is currently down for changes, []

    Does anybody have more useful information, like if such a conference has occured in the past?
  • I found a copy of it here []; I don't know if there's an "official" site for it or not.

    Oh, uh, dude.
  • I tried to find anything about the plant on that site... it appears to be an artsy-type site, not a bunch of geeks connecting local fauna and flora to hardware. Besides that, anybody else notice that the computer (1) does not appear to have any cables besides power going to it (i.e. no net connection) and (2) seems to be a circa-1985 IBM PS/x?

    Am i just an idiot or is this a joke?
  • oh GAWD..
    as neat as these quickies are, i would like to request of the /. admins: In future, PLEASE warn us of any links with embedded MIDI beforehand! Just so that we will have some time to prepare-- say, turn off whatever music we happen to be listening to on the computer speakers before we click on the link.

    I love the simpsons pulp fiction thing, but in my eyes embedded MIDI is the most evil thing a webpage can do.. maybe i'm overreacting a bit. i dunno. I hope i'm not the only person who had this reaction, if so i feel pretty stupid. :P

    why web browsers suck: tml#discontent
  • And what's that second plant underneath the desk? The Yucca's broker?
  • The site is in ASP .
    Man , next time warn me when I get directed to a set of Active Server Pages ...

    I can feel the evil eminate , the licensing just shines through !!
    Your Suqire
  • "Might I suggest that whomever posts the quickies place an obvious warning label as to objectionable content so that users don't click where they shouldn't while at work"

    Umm... He did mention the word "porn". How obvious does it have to be?
  • The Linux show that I consider most worth going to...

    ... is the one that's near where I live.

    Fortunately I live in the Silicon Valley (grin). I wonder how many of the votes are based on geographical proximity.

  • If it is true, it could be controlled using a printer port connected to relays.
    My dad's company developed a medical "washing" machine that did that. It opened relays, and used floats and temp sensors.
    Best of all it ran on a 286/16 with 1mb RAM. and DOS5.0
  • That whole site rocks. Been on it for the last hour. (Loves sig.s)
  • It's a smartass editing "feature" that replaces certain symbols in sequences that are recognized as "quotation" with other symbols that are supposed to make quotations look "prettier". In particular single quote (ASCII 0x2c) is replaced by 0x92, quote-like symbol that exists in Microsoft fonts but isn't defined in any standards. Browser on Unix sees charset iso8859-1 in the header (or has it by default) and uses standard iso8859-1 font (without Microsoft's "additions"), replacing all undefined symbols by question marks.

    This is potentially more harmful than it looks -- comparison of text before and after editing with "smart quotes" turned on will see difference even if the text remained the same, so, say, databse handling program may be seriously confused about that.

  • I knew it! I've always said that those tie-wearing, hair-moussed, suspenders-wearing, armani-wearing, wannabe's on Wall Street where as brights as plants. There is my proof! :

  • Here's what you do: set up a few hundred plants like that. The ones that do well get the light and water so they live and go to seed and breed with each other. The ones that don't die.

    Pretty soon you'll have a super race of market savvy yucca plants!

  • Applause to the moderator with a sense of humor...

    My experience is that the best way to get moderated as Offtopic is to mention that you are in the body of your post without mentioning it in the subject line. OTOH, people who include (offtopic) in the subject rarely get moderated down -- in fact, lots of them get moderated up.

    Of course, the secret's out, so this post can't prove anything. Then again, /. karma is like money; life is pretty boring if you never spend it.
  • OK, if you think this guy went all out, visit [] which is linked to at the bottom of the page. He made a model of just the exterior of Millenium Falcom out of thousands of individually cut polystyrene pieces and plastic pieces from model kits. He actually got the name of the manufacturer for the model kits that the ILM guys had borrowed parts from for their models. The then got the manufacturer's catalog and tried to match the parts in the catalog with details found in photos of ILM's model.
    If that is not scary.. then what is.
  • This Millennium Falcon model is nice... There's another one [] at Lego Purists [], as well as a gorgeous Tyberian Shuttle [], complete with instructions []... Well, kinda.

    Also, new Star Wars Lego are coming out in 2000. And we're talking classic trilogy, here! These models include:

    X-Wing Technic

    Vader's TIE Fighter Technic

    B-Wing []

    Bobba Fett []'s Slave 1

    Mindstorms AT-AT *drool*

    And... The Millennium Falcon [] itself!

    There's also some new TPM models, but who cares about those?

    Man, it's great to be a Lego Maniac with money!

    "Knowledge = Power = Energy = Mass"

  • Comparing the Yucca palm's 18% to

    Stockholm Exchange VA IT index - up 24,24% last three months
    Stockholm Exchange VA total index - up 14,31% last three months


  • Oh, here's the picture of the Slave 1 [].

    "Knowledge = Power = Energy = Mass"

  • Man oh man, was that 'abridged' Matrix script hilarious! Dude! Like, totally! I'm gonna have to watch the movie again now that I've thought about it again...

    BTW, as much as that may have sounded like sarcasm, it really wasn't. It *was* funny!

    The one and (thankfully) only,

  • Damn, a slahsdot polo I can wear to work, but it will be about five months before it gets warm enough to wear short sleeves. I really wish they had some long sleeve polos, maybe a slahsdot tie too!
  • There's also some new TPM models, but who cares about those?

    I thought that would be a good source for lots fo green, and the wide windshield. []

    And you forgot the Tatooine Air Skiff" [], with yet another Luke.


  • There's also some new TPM models, but who cares about those?

    I though the Nandoo Flash Speeder [] would be a good source for lots of green, and the wide windshield.

  • Why don?t people look at their shit before looking very foolish by leaving MS quotation marks(?)?

    Because their browser uses only Microsoft fonts with those quotation marks.

  • Read the Geek Fantasia on MonkeyBagel.

    I know that girl. 23. 5'3". 125 on a rainy day. Green eyes to die for. Wavy, thick, chessnut hair. Name's Beth. I went to school with her. I had the biggest crush on her known to man! ;-) Then she broke my heart and moved to Colorado Springs to go to school. Last I heard, she was moving to Boulder.

    God, I'm freaked out now...
  • Off-topic this may be, important yet it is.

    Hate midi do I.
  • I'm sitting here, reading /. at work, and if my manager would have seen that electrical cord thing, I may have ended up looking for a new job. Man, that's graphic. :-)
  • by Zach Baker ( 5303 ) <> on Thursday November 04, 1999 @04:21PM (#1561789) Homepage
    Halfway down on this page [] is the story behind Ola Pehrson's Yucca exhibit.
  • I so badly wanted to see that site, but I'm getting a 404. Must have been slashdotted or something. Anybody got a mirror?
  • Isn't LegOS a programming thing for the Midstorms gear?
  • Looks like Heineken needs some more researchers- it's either drive to New York or fly to Europe to use that program- where do I submit my resume??

    Oh yeah, and the reliance of that site on Shockwave sucked. Good thing Vmware was keeping Windows in a nice little cage for the occasion...
  • Actually, the site is peaking at a whopping 400b/s. Woohoo.

    From what I can see it's a long glass tube with a form of plasma generated up the centre. That sucks. How can you put on old croaky voice "stike me down Luke". The thing would break in half!
  • That's what I was thinking. We need to toughen these things up. Plexiglass? Transparent Alunimum? ;)
  • I laughed my @$$ off!
    Smithers finally gets his!

    I'd love to see more of this sort of thing....
  • This is not such a bad idea for research.
    Either you do get superior market predictors
    or you prove that market activity follows
    no pattern. Either way the end result would be
  • The SANS confrence is the only conference worth going to. Sys Admins, and Network Security gurus have plenty to learn here. Stephen Northcutt is speaking at the one in December, and he, IMHO, is the foremost in network security, these days.
  • I wouldn't go so far as to say that a failure of that particular experiment would prove that the market is perfectly random. Actually, it would be quite frankly amazing (and extremely cool) if you actually ended up with plants that could beat the market.

    The original comment I made was an attempt at humor. It is my hope that it made some people laugh...

  • What do you expect when you click on a link described as "porn"?

    Vovida, OS VoIP
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • I don't know if there's an "official" site for it or not.

    The official site is The Editing Room [], which is the site where the Matrix parody was (geeze, doesn't anybody try trimming down URLs from the right to see what else is there any more?). They have an archives page [], and the The Phantom Menace [] link takes you to the official home of that particular parody.

  • Well, you know us Brazilians only have one thing in mind........ Electrical cords! ;)
  • ..if that's the same place that makes light sabers I'm thinking about, a friend of mine borrowed one to use with his Obi-Wan(Guiness, not Ewan. ;)) costume. Really cool--the hilt is a very close replica using aluminum, and it's got a power pack. The blade is several feet long and is a plexiglass tube with Indi-Glo strips down it, plugs in with a stereo jack. Even more amazing is that somehow the hilt, not the blade, determines the color(they've got blue, red and green, but the red doesn't work very well). Really quite amazing, it even leaves a bit of motion blur. We were wondering if we could wave it in front of drunks and see if they'd fall down. ;)

    As for the plant...why am I reminded of the "breeding for luck" discussed in Ringworld?
  • If its good beer anywhere in the world what you're looking for, take a look at []. Lots of reviews of beers and places to drink.
  • Dude, the guy that runs that site is warped! That bit about the Implementor and the monkey in a bagel doing the taxes had me pissing my pants off! Damn, I haven't laughed like that in a while!
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Thursday November 04, 1999 @05:02PM (#1561809)
    But what about the OTHER plant! Look closely at the picture - see the other plant underneath the table? That's the one actually doing all the work! You see - the one above it, on the table, with the computer, is the Plant Manager! You see? Even in the plant kingdom there's managers. Kinda a depressing thought... they haven't evolved in millions of years much. And ever since we had that industrial revolution... I guess neither have we. *rimshot*


I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.