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Journal Journal: More O'Reilly Goodness 20

O'Reilly put out a press release to announce my deal with them!

This is pretty damn cool:

Any honest computer geek will admit that his obsessive coding is, at heart, a futile attempt to create a world as cool as those depicted in science fiction. New evidence of the symbiotic relationship between Sci Fi and geekdom surfaced today, as O'Reilly & Associates, the geek publisher-of-record, announced plans to publish three books by Wil Wheaton, blogger, geek, and the actor who portrayed Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"This is a very exciting relationship for me, for several reasons," said Wheaton. "First, I am a huge geek, and without O'Reilly, I wouldn't know HTML from LMNOP. I never would have been able to get Linux running, and Perl would be one of the not-quite-as-good-as-Mrs.-Garrett replacements on Diff'rent Strokes. Now, I'll be able to get my books into more stores than I ever was with my own Monolith Press. I can't wait to see how Dancing Barefoot does when it's got a major publisher behind it."

Wheaton's first two books, Dancing Barefoot and Just a Geek, are almost unbearably honest tales of life, love, and the rigors of being an ensign on the Starship Enterprise. First self-published by Wheaton in May 2003 and available only on the Internet and in select independent bookstores, "Dancing Barefoot" quickly sold out its initial run of 3000. The O'Reilly edition will be available in all major bookstores in early 2004.

Books

Journal Journal: Epic News in a Nutshell 13

I posted this announcement at my lame website, but I'm so excited about it, I'm gonna repost it here:

I have totally signed a three book deal with a major publisher. O'Reilly and Associates, to be precise.

Okay, I'm totally trying to play it all cool, but . . .

HOLY MOTHER OF CRAP!! WOOOO!!!!!! ROCK!

YEAH!!! KICK ASS BABY!!! UNGH!!! UNGH!!!

*pant*

*pant*

Sorry. I've been getting those massive rushes of excitement with alarming frequency. I hope you all understand.

This is a very exciting relationship for me, for several reasons. First, I am a huge geek, and without O'Reilly, I wouldn't know HTML from LMNOP. I never would have been able to get Linux running, and Perl would be one of the not-quite-as-good-as-Mrs.-Garrett replacements on Diff'rent Strokes.

This means I will be able to get my books into more stores than I ever was with Monolith Press. It means I'll be sent out on a real book signing tour. It means I'll be on national television and radio to promote my work, and maybe even get a review in major newspapers or magazines.

Dancing Barefoot sold 3,000 copies in less than five months, without any of that, and I can't wait to see how it does when it's got the power and budget of a major publisher behind it.

It also means that I will never royally screw up days worth of orders again, and I will be free to work like crazy on Just A Geek because I won't be running the business any more.

I spoke with my editor at O'Reilly this morning (" . . . my editor at O'Reilly!" that sounds so cool!), and he told me that O'Reilly is so excited to carry Dancing Barefoot, they're going to have a printing available in time for the holidays. They are currently working on a plan with Powells to get it out there right away, and I understand that they are in talks with Amazon as well. If you've been kicking yourself in the pants, or punching yourself in the back of the head because you wanted Dancing Barefoot for a holiday gift and missed out, you can stop the madness right now!

It should be in most major book stores very soon and y -- Oh my god! I'm going to walk into Vroman's and see my book on the shelf!!! AHHH!!! That RULES!

RAWK! \m/

Oops. There it goes again. :)

O'Reilly will also publish Just A Geek in Spring of next year, and I'm going to write a currently untitled technical book on personal website design that I think will come out in Summer.

So, you see, when I made my audioblog post back in July, I had just gotten off the phone with Brett from O'Reilly, who had called to tell me that none other than Tim O'Reilly himself had come back from OSCon talking about "the Wil Wheaton phenomenon" and instructed Brett to tell me that he wanted to be my publisher. Since that day, we've been working out the details. They were actually finalized a few weeks ago, but we all decided to wait until today to release this epic news, because I guess December 2 is a good day to release news, and there's a good chance some mainstream media outlets will pick this up.

I want all of you who read WWdN to know that none of this would ever have happened without you. Many of you have been here since the early days of Where's My Burrito?. In this strange, impersonal-but-personal way, you've gone with me through the ups and downs (mostly downs) of my Sisyphean struggles in the acting world. You were excited with me when I was added to Nemesis and cried with me when I was cut. You have been there when I've loved, and when I've lost. I've introduced you to Ryan and Nolan, Ferris, and Anne, who is more than my world . . . she's my entire universe.

You've supported me so much . . . I can't tell you all how wonderful it feels to share my tremendous joy with all of you now. Everyone who has read Dancing Barefoot, or come to see me at a show, or left a comment on this site, Soapboxers, Farkers, Slashdotters . . . I'm sure I'm forgetting people . . . but every single one of you owns a piece of this amazing new chapter in my life.

United States

Journal Journal: Diebold Drops C&D Lawsuits 7

Over at bOINGbOING, Cory Doctorow writes:

"Diebold has withdrawn its lawsuit threats against the sites that republished the leaked memos demonstrating its gross malfeasance in its voting machine business. Having had these memos exposed by whistle-blowers, Diebold sought to use copyright law to censor websites that published them. Then EFF took up the cause of one of the site-operators, the Online Policy Group, and now Diebold is slinking away with its tail between its legs, off to plot the downfall of democracy in some rancid warren of its own devising. Don't let the courtroom door hit yer ass on the way out."

Full Story Here.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Windows and The Borg 6

I guess this has made the e-mail rounds before, but it's new to me. I think it's hilarious.

(thanks to Shaun for the e-mail!)
Windows and The Borg

Picard: "Mr. LaForge, have you had any success with your attempts at finding a weakness in the Borg? And Mr. Data, have you been able to access their command pathways?"

Geordi: "Yes, Captain. In fact, we found the answer by searching through our archives on late Twentieth-century computing technology."

Geordi presses a key, and a logo appears on the computer screen.

Riker looks puzzled. "What the hell is 'Microsoft'?"

Data turns to answer. "Allow me to explain. We will send this program, for some reason called 'Windows', through the Borg command pathways. once inside their root command unit, it will begin consuming system resources at an unstoppable rate."

Picard: "But the Borg have the ability to adapt. Won't they alter their processing systems to increase their storage capacity?"

Data: "Yes, Captain. But when 'Windows' detects this, it creates a new version of itself known as an 'upgrade'. The use of resources increases exponentially with each iteration. The Borg will not be able to adapt quickly enough. Eventually all of their processing ability will be taken over and none will be available for their normal operational functions."

Picard: "Excellent work. This is even better than that 'unsolvable geometric shape' idea."

. . . 15 Minutes Later . . .

Data: "Captain, We have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the command unit and, as expected, it immediately consumed 85% of all resources. We however have not received any confirmation of the expected 'upgrade'."

Geordi: "Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU capacity to compensate, but we still have no indication of an 'upgrade' to compensate for their increase."

Picard: "Data, scan the history banks again and determine if there is something we have missed."

Data: "Sir, I believe there is a reason for the failure in the 'upgrade'. Apparently the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not sending in their registration cards.

Riker: "Captain, we have no choice. Requesting permission to begin emergency escape sequence 3F . . ."

Geordi, excited "Wait, Captain I just detected their CPU capacity has suddenly dropped to 0% !"

Picard: "Data, what do your scanners show?"

Data: "Apparently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module named 'Solitaire' and it has used up all the CPU capacity."

Picard: "Let's wait and see how long this 'solitaire' can reduce their functionality."

. . . Two Hours Pass . . .

Riker: "Geordi, what's the status on the Borg?"

Geordi: "As expected the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate for increased CPU and storage demands, but each time they successfully increase resources I have setup our closest deep space monitor beacon to transmit more 'windows' modules from something called the 'Microsoft fun-pack'.

Picard: "How much time will that buy us ?"

Data: "Current Borg solution rates allow me to predicate an interest time span of 6 more hours."

Geordi: "Captain, another vessel has entered our sector."

Picard: "Identify."

Data: "It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo"

Over the speakers "THIS IS ADMIRAL BILL GATES OF THE MICROSOFT FLAGSHIP MONOPOLY. WE HAVE POSITIVE CONFIRMATION OF UNREGISTERED SOFTWARE IN THIS SECTOR. SURRENDER ALL ASSETS AND WE CAN AVOID ANY TROUBLE. YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS"

Data: "The alien ship has just opened its forward hatches and released thousands of humanoid shaped objects."

Picard: "Magnify forward viewer on the alien craft"

Riker: "Good God captain! Those are humans floating straight toward the Borg ship with no life support suits ! How can they survive the tortures of deep space ?!"

Data: "I don't believe that those are humans sir, if you will look closer I believe you will see that they are carrying something recognized by twenty-first century man as doe-skin leather briefcases, and wearing Armani suits"

Riker and Picard together, horrified: "Lawyers !!"

Geordi: "It can't be. All the Lawyers were rounded up and sent hurtling into the sun in 2017 during the Great Awakening."

Data: "True, but apparently some must have survived."

Riker: "They have surrounded the Borg ship and are covering it with all types of papers."

Data: "I believe that is known in ancient vernacular as 'red tape'. It often proves fatal."

Riker: "They're tearing the Borg to pieces!"

Picard: "Turn off the monitors. I can't stand to watch, not even the Borg deserve that."

Books

Journal Journal: Take the F Train 7

I think that, of all the writers named "Paul" who I have ever read, Paul Ford is my favorite.

I don't know how I have gone this long without someone I know telling me to go and check out his writing . . . but I stumbled across this at Fark today, and that lead me to read this and this. I know that I've just scratched the surface here . . . but Mother Jesus Balls. It's brilliant stuff. Just brilliant.

User Journal

Journal Journal: To Honor Trueman 6

This doesn't need any introduction. It moved me, and I'd like to share it here.

From: "William R. Granberry"
Date: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:21:28 PM America/Los_Angeles
To: wil@wilwheaton.net

Wil-

I'm a daily reader of your site as well as a fellow blogger, filmmaker, and writer. Something happened recently that changed my perspective on, well, life. At the very least, it solidified a notion that had already taken root in my psyche.

I give you a transcription of an entry from my own blog (http://lj.theobsidian.net) (already in HTML format) in the hopes that you might consider crossposting it to your website if you feel it's as important a thought as I do.

If not, then I thank you at least for being the insightful and creative individual whose material I have come to enjoy a great deal, and hope that you enjoy my entry and get something out of it. I loved, by the way, what I read of a friend's copy of Dancing Barefoot. I hope you have another printing soon.

Best wishes to you and yours.

--------
A good friend of mine, Trueman Muhrer-Irwin was injured by a homemade bomb in Baghdad as is detailed here. His wounds are serious and he will require a lengthy rehabilitation.

Everything is relative. When you choose to think that things are bad, think to the dead, and those who face death every day; who don't really have a choice other than to wallow in their helplessness or press on. Think to those who are wounded fighting a war that they didn't start, for those who fight in wars often do so because of duty rather than passion. Trueman is such a man- he disliked his lot in life in service, but was resolved to do his duty and serve his country. He followed through in his resolution through to its end. It cost him what will now be years of his life, his health, his mobility, and a man who was by all accounts a dear friend.

I've made the mistake of choosing unhappiness. We, of course, all have unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and disenchantment forced on us. That's life. There is no option. But we have the option to wallow in it or to press on. I've almost died five times in my life. Realistically. Very close to death. Three of those times it was at the hands of another human being. Those three times I fought and survived because I chose to press on. And yet later in my life, this lesson which I have been forunate enough to learn first hand escaped me, and I've opted for depression. For despair. To whine. Shame on me. Shame on those of us who make that choice. We all falter, but we don't all have excuses.

So let's learn a lesson from Trueman when we refuse to look on the brighter side of life; when we choose to wallow in misery and unhappiness instead of resolving as countless of people do every day to execute the tasks at hand in order to find happiness and satisfaction, because it's a privilege to even have a goal to work towards. Here is a man who made a decision and the result is not his own happiness and satisfaction, but hopefully everyone else's.

Let us honor him and others who pressed on, and hope to learn from him. Keep him in your thoughts, and let's all hope his reward is a quick and complete recovery.

Star Wars Prequels

Journal Journal: R2D2 elected to Robot Hall of Fame 12

At long last, R2D2 has taken his rightful place next to HAL 9000 and Mars Pathfinder in the Robot Hall of Fame.

The jury cited R2's "ambling, lackadaisical manner," his "spontaneity, affability, and loyalty," and observed "R2-D2 is crucial is [sic] assisting Luke Skywalker in a rescue mission to free the Princess from the Death Star. The little droid navigates the complex computer system to provide the rescuers with timely assistance and status updates."

The Media

Journal Journal: Kevin Sites: How I do it. 1

Kevin Sites is a journalist. He's currently in Iraq for MSNBC (he was there for CNN earlier this year, but they made him pull the plug on his blog.)

He's been photo and audio blogging, and filing all sorts of amazing reports on his website.

This awesome story that I read at bOINGbOING today is all about how he does it.

I had a teeny tiny brush with journalism when I covered the recall election for BBC last month, and I have developed a ton of respect for people like Mr. Sites who go that much farther to make sure the story is told.

Hardware

Journal Journal: Belkin routers spam users 23

I just read this Register UK article at bOINGbOING:

Belkin's new router firmware "upgrade" automatically redirects http sessions to a Belkin sell-page for some bullshit censorware filtering crap. That's some upgrade: from a router that routes packets to a router that pushes the antithesis of free expression.

I'd be furious if my router, that I purchased to enhance my internet experience, effectively siezed control of my connection to spam me. It's even worse because they're pushing censorware!

Belkin says that you just have to click an "opt out" button one time to be left alone, but that's one click too many for me. I'm sick to death of advertising that's shoved down my throat, and the marketing monkey at Belkin who came up with this should be pelted with balls of spam for 40 days.

Announcements

Journal Journal: Get your kicks 15

I dunno if anyone who reads this journal reads my website, or even visits my website . . . but my wife and I did this major road trip to Tulsa last year for a big old Star Trek convention. Along the way, we took about 600 pictures, and I've been steadily adding them to my gallery.

Last night and this morning, I uploaded and captioned a TON of photos in the Eastbound New Mexico and Eastbound Texas Roadtrip galleries, and I think they don't totally suck. There are also links in some of the captions to AudioBlogs I did along the way, and if it works out to look at the pictures and listen to me talk about them, I may do some sort of multimdeia e-book someday about the trip.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Set Phasers to Kill 25

Some mothefucker calling himself Bruce Cook (myspecialworld2001@yahoo.com) thinks that it's okay to misrepresent me and my wife:

I had opportunity to go to a Star Trek Convention recently and Wil Wheaton was there. He has always been one of my favorite actors and I so looked forward to meeting him. Anyway, I did not know he sold his autograph. I bought a picture for $5 and,when it came time for me to meet him, he told me he needed $10 for the autograph. I was brought ,by my brother,in a wheelchair and it was explained we did not have $10. But,instead of showing compassion, his wife,who was there,said, "then wheel your crippled ass out of the way,we're here to make money,not give out charity!" I looked at Wil and he said "You heard her,now fork over the 10 or get the hell out of here!"

It's bad enough that this bastard made up some stupid lie about me. That I can ignore. Anyone who knows me or who has spent fifteen minutes at my website can tell that this is bullshit. But he crossed a line when he lied about my wife, who is the most loving, compassionate, caring and thoughtuful woman on this planet.

Bruce Cook, if you're reading this, you have one chance to set the record straight. Nobody tells lies about my wife and gets away with it, you son of a bitch.

United States

Journal Journal: IEEE Members: Please Read! 9

This was just sent to me by my friend Cory Doctorow, who works for the EFF. I'll be posting this at WWdN Monday, but I wanted to get maximum exposure as quickly as possible. This is a SERIOUS issue. If you're reading this, and you know an IEEE member, please make sure they see this. If you have a weblog of your own, please consider copying this post and putting it there, too.

IEEE members: save democracy from a broken standards-committee!

The IEEE, normally the sobersided epitome of integrity and accountability, has had one of its standards-committees jump the tracks. The people who are writing the IEEE standard for voting machines have been doing their best to rig their deliberative process ot exclude input from non-vendors who want the standard to include performance metrics that will guard against electoral malfeasance. This is heavy stuff: the standard this committee produces will likely form the basis of the US goverment's voting-machine purchases (as well as those of governments abroad), and if there are holes in the standard today, they will be biting our democracies on the ass for decades. There's never been a clearer demonstration that "architecture is politics."

IEEE is better than this. If you're a member of the organization, please take a moment to read up on this disaster-in-the-making and then use the form at the EFF's action-center to write to the IEEE and ask them to investigate this -- before it's too late.

...instead of using this opportunity to create a performance standard, setting benchmarks for e-voting machines to meet with regards to testing the security, reliability, accessibility and accuracy of these machines, P1583 created a design standard, describing how electronic voting machines should be configured (and following the basic plans of most current electronic voting machines). Even more problematic, the standard fails to require or even recommend that voting machines be truly voter verified or verifiable, a security measure that has broad
support within the computer security community.

To make matters worse, EFF has received reports of serious procedural problems with the P1538 and SCC 38 Committee processes, including shifting roadblocks placed in front of those who wish to participate and vote, and failure to follow basic procedural requirements. We've heard claims that the working group and committee leadership is largely controlled by representatives of the electronic voting machine vendor companies and others with vested interests.

Here is a link to the EFF, with more information.

America Online

Journal Journal: Translating the Best. Email. EVAR! 9

Over at bOING bOING I picked up this link to a script that translates English to 12-year-old-AOLer.

I ran that e-mail from my last entry through it, and it makes much more sense now.

FARE AND BALANC3D IS NOT WUT U AER!11!!! OMG TEH REAL HOST OF SCREN SAEVRS NEVER BUSTED ON WINDOWS LIEK U HAEV!1!! OMG LOL I AGRE LINUX HAS ITS PLAEC BUT MAN U JUST LOST FAN WHEN U BUSTED HARSH ON WINDOWS!!!!!11 OMG WTF LOL U SHUD RAALIEZ PEOPL3 WRIET VIRUSAS FOR FME AND WUT OS IS DA BST 2 GET FME ON IS WINDOWS!1!!!!! OMG U SHUD ONLY HOP3 TAHT LINUX DOESNT BCOME DA MANE OS OF CHOIEC FOR TEH DESK2P SOMEDAY B/C IT WIL B ATAK3D IN DA SME WAY1!1!!11 AL I GOT 2 SAY IS OP3N UR MIND MAN BUT U WERE RILLY NEGATIEV ON TAHT SHOW 2WARDS OTHARS AND 2 PRO LINUX111! OMG WTF IF U WERE TEH PERMAENNT HOST ID S2P WATCHNG TAHT SHOW FARELY QUIKLY
A!1!1111 OMG WTF FAN U LOST
MIEK

After re-reading this, in its native language, I have to agree with our pal miek. WINDOWS FOREVER MAN!!!111! OMG WTF LOL WINDOWS RUL3S1!1!111 OMG LOL LINUX SUKS TEH MOST!111 OMG LOL

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Seriously. Best. Email. EVAR. 52

Honestly, I can't make this shit up.

From: "Michael Bedford"
To: "Wil Wheaton"

Date: Today 20:00:06

Welcome to WIL WHEATON dot NET.
Fair and Balanced.

Fair and balanced is not what you are. The real host of Screen Savers never busted on Windows like you have. I agree Linux has its place but man you just lost fan when you busted harsh on Windows. You should realize people write viruses for fame and what OS is the best to get fame on is Windows. You should only hope that Linux doesn't become the main OS of choice for the desktop someday because it will be attacked in the same way. All I got to say is open your mind man but you were really negative on that show towards others and too pro Linux. If you were the permanent host I'd stop watching that show fairly quickly.

A fan you lost,
Mike

Let's go to the Big Board, shall we?

FUD: 1
Sanity: 0

We'll be back after this message.

The Internet

Journal Journal: Rogue's Gallery 13

A buddy of mine just sent me this page. It's a huge gallery of people who have contributed to the evolution of the Internet, and hacker culture.

People range from Lary Wall to Taran King.

Really cool.

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