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Journal Journal: GameChanger.io

This is about baseball and feel free to read or ignore accordingly.
 
My son plays on a little league team. This year we started using the software associated with GameChanger.io And I have to say that it is really slick.
 
I should start with an admission that I never learned to score baseball games. I don't know what little things to write in the little boxes and other than K for strike I don't know what it all means. Of course beyond knowing how to fill in a score sheet there is all the knowledge required of knowing what the heck just happened and what you call it. A lot of it is subjective but not all of it - lots of rules and such come into play.
 
GameChanger doesn't make it so that anyone can sit down and score a game but it makes it a heck of a lot easier. First off - you don't need to know the little symbols and such any more. The app for scoring is very visible and walks you through what is happening. Now I'll be the first to say that a person who knows what they are doing with a scoring sheet has got to be faster on paper than a person using the app. I'll give that - and learning can't be that hard. But after the game is over, this thing is awesome.
 
Once the game is over I go home and sync the data. (If I run the app on my phone with data connectivity then it's constantly updating and people could even "watch" the game on-line.) Then I instantly have access to a wide array of stats for the game. It also generates a summary of the game that reads like a newspaper report - highlighting players who had a big influence and key plays. I have to think this thing is popular in the U.S. The headline to our last recap was "The DiÃsd Dodgers (Majors) can't capture shootout, lose 14-12 to the Ãrd Indians" It has a lot of highlights naming specific kids.
 
Another cool feature is that it's possible to have 3 coaches/admins for free. So we don't have to pay to use this. If parents want full access to all data they need to subscribe. I think it's a great business model and I know we sure appreciate being able to use it. Getting new equipment and even new balls is so expensive for us here that we appreciate anywhere we can save. And when I have any extra we try to invest that in outfitting the Hungarian kids with better equipment.
 
It's some really well done software and if you are involved in any kind of youth or recreational baseball program I really recommend checking it out.
 
It's funny having baseball here. On the one hand I'm stoked my son gets to play at all. We didn't expect that. The down side is that the level of play is really low. We lost last night because we finally played a team that wasn't horrible. Until now we've been undefeated but not because we are all that good. It was good for the kids to see that. I think they knew it intellectually but not in their gut. We play some other better teams next week-end.
 
My son had a great game except for the fact that he pitched for the second time ever (in a game) and struggled. I liked that too though. It gives him a chance to learn how to deal with struggling and adversity. I was curious if after the game he would say something about not wanting to pitch any more. He didn't. He said he wants to keep going. I try hard to make sure he always knows he only has to do that stuff as much as he wants to. I don't want to push him at all. But I prefer to see him not give up when he runs into some bumps. I want to see that carry over to things that are more important than sports.
 
He hit very well, except for his last at bat which came after his tough time pitching. He was still upset and struck out. He'd already had a walk and two hits so it wasn't a big deal but I hope it helps him see that emotions can put you in a downward spiral. That's another life lesson I want him to pick up on. I love that he's a big hearted kid and he really cares about things. But in life there are times when performance is crucial and performing your best means shutting down the anger/sadness/fear. A lot of that comes from repetition and getting used to the environment but on the other side is just learning to maintain calm and keep moving.
 
It's a lot of fun coaching and being out there. It's always amazing to me. I'll stand there and think, "I'm at a baseball game in the middle of Hungary. This is crazy." Pretty cool.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Distros and Packaging 1

I've been using Linux for a while now. I had a few false starts but once I was using it for work that was pretty much it and I don't think there's been any time since then that I haven't had at least one machine I use on a daily basis with some Linux distro on it. Almost exclusively RedHat/Fedora stuff but sometimes others for short periods of time.
 
For a long time I didn't really have a mental concept of the distro and all the software that it packaged as separate things. I just saw it all as one whole. And it's a really nice way to manage things. I've grown to really love the fact that when I pull updates for my system, I'm updating almost everything - not just the OS. I don't have too many programs installed that I didn't get via my package manager.
 
As I've continued to learn and I've become more cognizant of the projects that provide that software I've been able to see one of the down sides. I tend to not be as aware of software that isn't available that route. Or things are not as up to date many times. Another issue can be stuff that just isn't available at all. It's not really the end of the world, just something I've been thinking about a bit lately.
 
A good example is the python plugin for KDevelop. It's ready and it's out there, just not through the Fedora repos. This is open, community built stuff so I saw it as a chance to chip in. I found the people who package the other KDevelop stuff for Fedora and asked about getting involved, maybe in packaging this plugin. They got back to me quickly and were very kind. They gave me links to the appropriate documentation and suggested that I might want to start with something already in the system. As I read through all that I realized that getting involved and learning all the processes and what not wouldn't be a trivial task. I can totally understand how and why it would be this way. It's just that I don't have the time to navigate it all. So I just check periodically to see if what I want shows up as available. It hasn't yet but I think it's just a matter of time.
 
I wouldn't want to move away from this model. I do think there are opportunities to lower the barriers to entry. Maybe this is because I just don't understand the issues involved. I certainly want to be able to trust the Fedora repos. I don't want my machine compromised because any idiot can throw stuff in there. I wonder if there are ways to mitigate risks but make it easier to contribute.
 
I do think this is one huge plus for Linux over Windows. I really like my update/install mechanism on Linux much better than what I've got on my win machines. And I mean the way it can be used for everything. The repos I have enabled right now are from Fedora, RPMFusion, Google and Adobe. So it's not just the stuff from the distro itself.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Couple Reviews Coming Up

I've submitted a review for "The Human Division" by John Scalzi. I usually have pretty good luck with those getting accepted but if it doesn't I'll post it here in the journal. It's the latest (fifth I think) book in the Old Man's War series and it's pretty stinking good I think.

As soon as I finished it I started reading "Portal" by Eric Flint and Ryk Spoor. It's the third in the Boundary series. I read the first two over the last couple of weeks (with a break in the middle to read The Human Division) and I'm really liking the series. It's under the hard sci-fi category and I have had a ton of fun with it. It's also much more in the style of what I think of as more positive, adventure oriented sci-fi. It feels a lot like a bunch of my favorite stuff from the 50s. I'll review Portal as well once I get it done.

May cover some tech books this summer if I have time. I haven't written many reviews in a while and it's something I really enjoy. I just haven't had the time for a while. Anyway - I recommend both books mentioned above. The Boundary series really needs to be read in order. The Human Division does not require reading the other OMW books first. It wouldn't hurt but this doesn't rest too heavily on the previous books. In fact - if you wanted - you could read this latest and then go back and read the others and really enjoy it I think. Though the first 3 do need to be read in order. And the 4th is pretty optional. That's Zoe's Tale which is a retelling of The Last Colony from a different perspective. I enjoyed it but I think some people thought it was just the third book over.

I have really enjoyed everything by Scalzi that I've read except for Redshirts. Didn't care for that at all. But I will say this - he is efficient. I would say that Zoe's Tale and Fuzzy Nation are both smart ways to capitalize on his current position. And I don't say that as a bad thing - because I really enjoyed them both and frankly anything that keeps the guy writing more sci-fi is fine with me. So some may criticize the guy but I think he's smart. Now if either of those sucked I'd be less positive about it - but the guy is just solid.

Not sure what I'll be reading for fun next after Portal. I've been casting about for some good fantasy after all this sci-fi but haven't bumped into anything that really grabbed me yet. Feel free to throw me some suggestions below.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The New Google Maps

I requested and got access to the new google maps. I would imagine they are rolling it out pretty quickly.

It's pretty nice. I think the search interface is much better. It's easier to look at the results as they are shown on the map. It's pretty spotty for where I live. I did a search for tire places and some showed up but lots of them around me did not. I'm not sure how they get on there - if it is something the businesses need to do themselves or there is a missing link in the chain somewhere else. I still saw more than I expected to find. I needed to search in Hungarian but that makes sense.

A search for restaurants by where I live was really lacking. This makes me wonder how useful maps will be for travel.

The cards that come up for search results are really nice. I like that interface quite a bit. I like how it fits in with the way that Google Now presents information. The only issue I've had with Google Now so far is that it tries to anticipate what you want and can give you information you don't want. To be specific, when the Penguins were playing the Islanders in the first round - I googled the Islanders following one of the games to look at the team roster. A day or two later, google now gave me a card showing the results of the previous nights game - that I hadn't watched yet. I removed the card and the alerts stopped. I'm glad I hadn't googled the Penguins or maybe I'd have kept getting updates.

This is also a reminder that everything I search or do logged in with my google account is being recorded and acted upon in one way or another. I know this wont sit well at all with some people.

Finally - I can't see all the features of the new google maps. It tells me I'm running in "Lite Mode" because I'm on Linux. You only get the full experience on Mac, Windows or Chrome.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm not dead yet 1

Haven't been posting much - life has been keeping me busy. What are the latest haps in the pigeon roost?

Welllll - let's see. My wife is going to the US in June and my girls are going to a summer camp while she is gone. That means the boy and I get a week to kick it together. I'm really looking forward to that. He's 10 now and we have hit a point where we can have a lot of fun together. I help coach his baseball team, we have a little running foosball competition and we've had a blast watching ice hockey together this year - Go Pens! So I'm really looking forward to that.

In July the whole family will be spending about a week in VlorÃ, Albania. It's an old city - so old I'm really having a hard time getting my head around it. We'll be helping to staff an English camp there. After we will try to take a little holiday - maybe to Greece or Italy. Depends on the budget and time considerations.

Around all that I'll be working on building a contact management system for our campus team in Lviv, Ukraine. I'm not sure just what I am going to do - I'm a bit resource constrained. Right now I'm looking at building something using CiviCRM as a base. It's just me and no money - so I need a platform that will do most of the work for me right out of the box. We'll see. If it goes well I think I'll be able to bring some dollars to the process and get someone to build something beefier.

I've got some mobile dev work I want to start planning out as well. Which will also probably end up being contracted out. I sort of wish I could still spend day to day time writing code but it isn't in the cards. When I do have time I'm just too stinking slow and what I write probably has immense issues I don't even see. Got to leave that for the hobby stuff on my own time.

Weather is really nice right now here in the Budapest area. I need to get down town more. I was thinking about that today. Need to start taking some long lunches downtown. Bring my tablet and do some work from a cafe or something. I don't want to end up reaching the end of our time here and realizing I didn't take advantage of the location enough.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Android Studio

Announced at the google thing - Android Studio. It's an Android IDE built on the community version of the IntelliJ IDE by JetBrains. Here is a video of the demo. It jumps about half an hour into a much longer video and runs a couple minutes or so - then they move on to other stuff I didn't watch.

I own a couple JetBrain products - the pro version of IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm. I probably posted about it when I bought them - I like the tools but the fonts are just a wreck on my 64 bit Fedora box. So much so that I just don't use it. With the Python plugin and php support on KDevelop I haven't thought about them much. (On an unrelated note - another editor I really like Komodo Edit - since it is built on Firefox tech it has the opengl issues I've mentioned here before.) Anyway I downloaded Android Studio to see - as all it cost me was a few minutes of time and some hard drive space.

I fired it up and created a little fake project. The fonts look good. This made me curious. I fired up IntelliJ, saw that there was a new version, installed that - and it looks good too. This is so sweet. And I don't know if this is because something is now better in Java, IntelliJ or Fedora - and I don't care.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Beam me up, Scotty! 5

It was a beautiful day today, and my boss wasn't at work. The TV weatherman had said on the early morning news that it was going to rain tomorrow and for the next week, too. So I took the afternoon off.

I'd say my favorite radio station is a local college station, WQNA. Their music is an incredibly eclectic mix of genres; rock, punk, ska, country, old jazz from the thirties, you name it. Hell, they play belly dancing music on Wednesday nights. Well, they used to, I don't know if that show's still on. An old friend I've known for twenty years hosts a blues show on noon Sundays. On Wednesday mornings there's a show on called Ben's wacky radio that runs from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (US central time). The show is a Doctor Demento knockoff, and I was a Demento fan decades ago, so I hit the WQNA button on the radio when I got in the car to leave.

When I got home I turned on the TV, which serves as a forty two inch computer monitor, and clicked "WQNA" on Aramok's playlist. They stream in MP3 and AAC from their website, and there's no real radio in the house. Not needed; as far as I know, every radio station in the world streams over the internet.

I started working on Nobots.

The announcer said that the next half hour was devoted to Star Trek, so I put the laptop down because I knew the radio was going to be too distracting.

A song came on that the "Ben" guy said was by the actor Terry McGovern called Beam Me Up, Scotty. As I listened to the nerdy song I thought "Hey! That guy's read The Paxil Diaries!" My googlefu is weak today; I can't find the lyrics, but it's about how shitty life is on Earth. "My wife went away and took the car and left the bills and the kids".

I'm sitting here, all proud and smug and pleased with myself and googling for the lyrics when I came across this.

McGovern wrote the song in 1976, the year I got married.

Oh, well, at least you guys read it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: An Open Letter to Google 1

I was already in a bad mood when I got to work. My arthritis was hurting badly and McDonalds got my order wrong, I was almost late from taking it back, and the office was freezing. I logged in to the network, and opened IE because the Outlook email client stupidly has no way to change your password. Adobe informed me Flash needed upgrading so I clicked OK. It asked if I wanted to install a Chrome frame for IE and I unchecked the box and clicked OK.

The damned thing installed a Google toolbar in IE, installed Chrome, and made it the default browser!

I uninstalled them and reset IE as the default browser; it isn't my computer, it belongs to my employer and I'm supposed to use their approved software. I hate my work computer. When I uninstalled Chrome, IE opened by itself to a firewall "Forbidden!" page, listing it as "shareware, freeware".

It was really cold, my arthritis was killing me and I went home. I won't be upgrading Flash on any of my own computers, because trojans are evil, even when they're written by Adobe, Google, Sony, or anybody else. I'll probably uninstall all Adobe products from my own machines except one; sometimes channel 49 won't come in so I need it for the Big Bang Theory.

Google, your motto is a God damned lie. I've been a faithful Google user since you first put the search engine on the internet; it was heads and shoulders better than any of the others and still is. I cheered when you used the Linux kernel in Android. I was an early G+ user when you had to know somebody to get an account. I have a gMail address (I seldom check its mail, though).

But these stealth installs are bullshit. That behavior is not acceptable and I won't tolerate it. I won't be back on G+ or gMail and I may bight the bullet and start using that shitty Bing.

When I see or hear that you've changed your ways I'll be back. Hurry, though, because I'm thinking of buying a new phone and I really don't want Apple or Microsoft.

I will repeat myself here -- it is never acceptable to install anything at all on anyone else's computer without their permission, ever, for any reason. No exceptions.

Slashdotters, please inform your non-nerd friends of this rule, just the other night a guy I know was steaming because his daughter in law had "messed up my computer."

Google, I'm really, really disappointed in you.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Energy Industry Under Attack from Green Terrorists 5

"Just the other day, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers said, 'If the cost of solar panels keeps coming down, installation costs come down and if they combine solar with battery technology and a power management system, then we have someone just using [the grid] for backup.' What happens if a whole bunch of customers start generating their own power and using the grid merely as backup? The EEI report warns of 'irreparable damages to revenues and growth prospects' of utilities."

Solar Panels Could Destroy U.S. Utilities

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Loose End 4

Previously...

"Gumal, I want to thank you for introducing me to Doctor Ragwell," Colonel Gorn said as he shook Ragwell's hand. So, Doc, are you fellows going to let us have your nobot technology?"

"Well, Colonel, there's a very big problem with that, a grave danger to you if we did. A danger we only recently discovered, and it's too late for us. Odd that a protohistorian should discover a secret of nobotics and an engineering principle that we programmers didn't have a clue about, but that's exactly what Rority did.

"It's sensible that tools and other machines be designed to be as safe and efficient and easy to use as is possible, and that is where the trap lies.

"It's been a design and engineering axiom for millions of years that machines do nothing to harm human beings or let them come to harm, to follow humans' instructions to the letter unless of course it would harm a human, and of course to avoid destruction unless it was ordered or if the machine's destruction would keep a human from harm. I was the fellow who found this programming, after Rority enlightened me about the three principles of engineering, and it's an impressive piece of work.

"Comments in the code indicated that these design principles didn't come from an engineer, but from a protohuman biochemist who died centuries before the principles were actually feasible. Gumal's friend Rority found the answer - the protohuman who came up with the concept wasn't just a biochemist, but a writer of both nonfiction and fiction as well. These principles were first put forth in several of his novels. Rority is a fan of the biologist's fiction, it seems.

The principles are called 'the three laws of robotics', despite the fact that they're not really laws, just design specifications, and they apply to all machinery, and not just robots."

"But I don't understand," interrupted Gorn. "That seems perfectly logical."

"Yes," said Ragwell, "and that's the trap. We can't live without the nobots; they're inside us, millions of them, keeping our biological machinery healthy and in working order. Without them our lifespans would only be maybe a century, and I don't think there's a human Experimental alive that young. We're trapped in an array of cubes. Everything we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell is controlled by the nobots. You see, we can't know what's real and what's not.

"And the nobots aren't sentient, although they certainly can seem to be. They're just microscopically tiny computerized machines that are all networked together into a collective.

"They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until they are dead!

"We're safe in our cubes, but we really aren't free. There's been little real scientific or technological progress in we're not sure how long. For all I know, this whole thing could be fiction."

A horrified look crossed Gorn's face. "How... oh, no. Nobots were here! They'll construct a matrix and imprison us!"

"No," said Ragwell. "Our species diverged millions of years ago. To the nobots, you're not human."

Gorn looked even more alarmed. "They'll wipe us out as a threat to you!"

"No," Ragwell said. "A 'respect'... not exactly an accurate word, by the way, since they're machines and can't feel respect; I'm anthropomorphizing here... a 'respect' for all biology has been programmed into them. They wouldn't harm you even if you were a grave danger to us. Look at the Venusians, they wanted to kill everybody on Earth and Mars, but not a single Venusian died. At least, not from anything except other Venusians, the GRB, and the ones headed for Earth that you fellows killed. The nobots didn't harm a single one."

"What about the Venusians? Are they still a threat?"

Ragwell laughed. "They never really were. Not to us, anyway, although they were to you. But no more. The Venusians don't know it yet, but their weapons no longer function; nobots have disabled them all. They're stuck on their own planet now and can beat on each other with sticks and stones as long as they want to stay stupid.

"I shudder to think what would have happened had they developed nobots first, no way would they have developed the three principles. But that's another reason you shouldn't have nobots; if you stagnate, the Venusians may some day catch up to you, and that would be the end of Earth and Mars."

"What about the Amish? Did the nobots assimilate them, too?"

"No, of course not. Changing them with technology would destroy their culture, which would run afoul of the first principle. They would not be themselves without their culture. The nobots actually perform 'miracles' for them to strengthen their faith."

"Their faith in what?"

"Their faith in the fact as they see it that what they believe is true, that the universe is an artificial construct made by a supernatural being, whom they worship. There's a lot more to it, of course, and we're just now learning about them. That's Rority's and Gumal's field of study."

"Well," said Gorn, "I'm sorry about your imprisonment, not knowing what is or isn't real..."

"Don't be," replied Gumal. "Nobody has ever really known what was real and what wasn't, anyway. There's no way for you Martians or anyone else to know what's really real, either. For all you know you've been in nobot cubes yourselves all this time and never knew it, just like we were.

"We're happy. Even though giving you nobotic technology would be the worst thing we could do to you, at least we can give you spacewarp technology. And stratodoober technology, too. Here, have a toke!"

The End

Afterword

What you have read is the rough, crude first draft of the book, with little proofreading or editing. The final version will be slightly different from what you've read; there are inconsistencies and other errors that need to be cleaned up, dialogue to be added, paragraphs to move, clumsy sentences to change, etc. It's sort of a Reader's Digest version, only without their famous censorship; the manuscript is already five or ten thousand words longer than what you've read. It stands at about 35,000 words now, quite a bit longer than what you've read, and need at least another five thousand more to be a full science fiction novel.

This is a Slashdot book. This isn't just my book, it's our book. Had it not been for slashdot it might not have been written at all, and certainly would have been a lot different if it had been. I think it wouldn't have been nearly as good without slashdotters' input.

The first chapter was my second or third sci-fi short story, Hadron Destroyers. It was prompted by a comment by Abreu in the story LHC Knocked Out By Another Power Failure. It's hard to believe that I've been working on this thing since 2009! If I remember correctly I was down with the flu at the time I wrote that first chapter, and hacked it out in maybe ten minutes for a cheap laugh.

If you read the comments to the various chapters you can see the input you, my fellow slashdotters had. One comment about the Titanians gave me the idea, not fleshed out in the draft but already incorporated into the manuscript that prompted a misdirection; the reader is led to believe that Rority and Gumal are from Titan. I haven't worked it out completely yet.

There was a little editing in some online chapters -- for instance, one chapter had a "Scotty error", mixing thousands with millions, that I changed to look less stupid after a reader pointed it out. I want to thank all of you for your input.

What would I like to get out of this? Well, a Hugo and a spot on the NYT best seller list would be nice, but I think the odds of that are greater than me finding a winning lottery ticket laying on the ground. What I expect to get is what I've already gotten, the sheer fun of writing it.

When I wrote (and am still working on) this, the goal was to write what I'd want to read; entertaining, amusing, and thought-provoking. I'm not sure how successful I was at that. I also wanted to pay homage to some of the science fiction and fantasy authors whose books and DVDs grace my shelves and whose works undoubtedly influenced my own writing.

I wanted to write the science fiction novel, full of rockets, time travel, and of course lots of real astronomy, physics, astrophysics, chemistry, and other sciences in general; most of the science in the book is real and based on real scientific principles. Yeah, grabonic radiation and one or two other things are made up, but you can find most of it in wikipedia.

I wanted to get it right. I learned a lot while writing this, and of course as a nerd, you know that the learning was half the fun.

I also wanted to come up with the meanest, nastiest, most sickening bad guys ever. I probably failed at that, too, but I tried.

I hope to have the finished version in paper form this year. I'll be letting the e-book form go out with a noncommercial license and will put it on The Pirate Bay myself when the finished book is available.

If you liked this book, please tell all your friends. If you hated it, please take a toke off your stratodoober and wash it out of your brain.

Again, thanks for reading it!

User Journal

Journal Journal: KDE volume steps

If you use KDE like I do - you may be interested in this article I found linked on Reddit - Volume Change Percentages in KDE. The idea there is that by default Kmix will increment volume changes by 4% when you use your keyboard - but it's possible to change that value. You just need to make a change to kmixrc. But you can go read it if you are interested.

So over at Reddit there were some comments like "Thanks for pointing this out." and one question "Any way to do the same with veromix?"

Let me confess that my first thought was - "This is about kmix stupid." But then I thought more about it and realized that it may not be stupid and so I started to dig. I got the source for veromix and it took me a little while to find it - but I did find the file and line where the value is set that drives this behavior. I was able to change it in my system and now I have a 2% increment (veromix is set to 5%) and that makes me pretty stinking happy.

I've emailed the veromix author because I think it wouldn't be too hard to add this value as one of the setting options. I think I've got most of the work done for it. I don't have time today to try it but I will soon. I think that would be pretty sweet.

Open Source - this is an example of why I love it so much.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Whole Fedora/nVidia/Google Talk thing 2

I think I've got it nailed down a bit. When I run the nVidia drivers it is not using OpenGL. The Google Talk plugin needs OpenGL to work. I can force OpenGL to run. The the talk plugin works but Firefox will not run. If I switch to the Nouveau drivers then OpenGL will work fine without any messing about but again Firefox is unhappy.

So for right now - with my GeForce card my choice is Google Hangouts or Firefox.

I don't do the Hangouts that often. I may try just switching over if I need to. I usually have my little Windows laptop at my desk. I don't use it unless I need to go to a meeting but I could hop over to it for video chats if I don't have time to switch my graphics over on the Linux box.

It's not the greatest situation but I do feel better now that I feel like I have a grasp of the situation at least.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fedora 18, Nouveau and Firefox 1

What happens if I open Firefox on my Fedora 18 box and visit the Google Sites page that Sophie Schmidt made about her visit to North Korea? This happens. That's a screen shot of both my monitors. On the left is Firefox and on the right is Chrome which was open to the Journal Entry writing page here. And it got much worse once I closed Firefox. Plasma pretty much took a dump at that point and I had to log out/log in to get back to a usable desktop.
 
If I run with the nVidia drivers I don't have this issue with Firefox. And even if I don't run Firefox - little artifacts like those in the screen shot will build up over time with the Nouveau drivers. Pretty much immediately if I have any desktop effects enabled. So why don't I just use the nVidia drivers all the time? Well - because I figured out today that under the nVidia drivers using Google Hangouts crashes KDE completely. As in kicking me out and forcing me to log back in. And I need Hangouts for work.
 
Very frustrating. So I'm stuck back on the Nouveau drivers and playing around looking for some magical set of options that will bring some stability and maybe even the ability to use my beloved Firefox again. The only up side right now is that abrt wont be giving me crap about having a tainted kernel any more. I hate software that has to exhibit moral superiority.
 
On a side note - I guess I can't add tags to journal entries any more. I guess I never paid attention to them anyway. They don't show up in the je list and I just used titles to find stuff anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Farmers on Drugs

Previously...

"Whoa, mule! What's wrong with you?" McGregor said sternly. His mule had been more and more restless for half an hour now; probably spooked by all the dogs barking, he thought. Now a wind was blowing.

Reverend Smith was walking down the lane toward McGregor's farm, and started feeling light-headed. The air smelled funny.

McGregor, seeing how no work was going to be done this morning, unhitched the mule from the plow and started walking towards the barn.

He started feeling light-headed as he unbridled the mule, and started staggering. Everything looked funny; he rubbed his eyes and saw Smith staggering towards him. He giggled; Reverend Smith staggering?

"Are you OK, Reverend? You look a little unsteady."

Smith giggled. "You don't look so steady yourself." They both started laughing uproariously. "I don't know what's so funny," Smith said, and laughed again.

"Those cows are funny!" McGregor said. "Hey! My cattle! What's wrong with them?" The cows were all spooked, terrified.

"Oh, Lord," said the preacher. "Sinkhole! Look at that tree!"

McGregor started running to the cattle pen's gate and fell down. He got up and continued to the gate, this time at a quick stagger. Smith sat down on the ground, his head spinning.

McGregor opened the gate, but he was too late for half his cattle, who had fallen into the ever-widening hole. It was certainly a sobering experience.

"Reverend!" he cried, seeing the preacher laying prostrate on the ground. He felt like his head was clearing somewhat.

The farmers could have no idea that a supernova had obliterated the Acrux system 321 years earlier, and that the gamma rays had killed everything on the southern half of the planet, and oxidized much of its nitrogen into many different and varied oxides. Something similar (except it wasn't really) had happened more than once. An exploding star had affected Earth four hundred fifty million years earlier, causing a mass extinction called the Ordovician event, for instance.

What usually caused these mass extinctions was some angry, petulant, unsociable, mean-tempered superstar who couldn't hold his mass and finally blew up under the pressure.

Planets around "nearby" stars are greatly affected by these phenomenon. On Earth-type planets, with mostly nitrogen atmospheres, much of the nitrogen combusted, producing various nitrogen oxides, mostly what protohumans who used hydrocarbons for fuel called "smog,"

The oxide affecting McGregor's farm was what is commonly known to us as nitrous oxide.

"Laughing gas" is what it's usually known as.

This supernova was different than most supernovas. It was man-made.

"Reverend? Wake up! Are you OK? Oh, Yeshuah..."

The preacher's eyes fluttered. "What happened?" he asked.

A sinkhole in my cattle pen. Whoa... look inside that hole!"

Continues...

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Journal Journal: +5 Troll 1

Of all the achievements I've managed in my /. time, this one has escaped me: the moderation of +5 Troll. I believe this rare goal has been achieved, and would like a link to the incident.

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