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User Journal

Journal Journal: my .sig

I started wondering if my current .sig was a bit too offensive

You elected the shrub again, way to go idiots

Then I realized that statisticly it'll only piss off slightly less that 6 out of 10 people (at least in the states, I suppose it'd have a lesser chance of pissing off citizens of other nations).

So, fuck it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: googlism chatbot, etc

So, I was sitting on irc a few days ago and for some reason I thought about googlism.com. The first time I had ever seen this site was because a clue to some webgame (I think it was the one for the matrix reloaded..) involved a googlism result and finding the site it was from. Anyway, I went to there and started messing around. The idea came to me that it'd be interesting to write a little script that would generate a stream of consciousness style output from googlism's results.

Here's how that works: You start with a term, let's say "George bush" Query googlism, and the first result is "George bush is a monkey." take the last result (in this case monkey, obviously) and get the first result for it. Loop ad nauseum or at least until googlism returns no data or you get stuck in a loop.

So, I wrote this up and slapped it into an irc bot to provide an interface for a few people to screw around with. A hours go by, and I start thinking.... Hey this would be interesting to use for a chatbot.

The way the chatbot works currently is this:

A person messages the chatbot, let's say they say something like "how are you today". The bot first picks out the longest word in the message, hoping that it is the subject. Yeah, I know that's a cheap hack and there are better ways to do it, namely a NLP but I'm lazy. Sue me.

The bot takes that word, then returns the shortest result that googlism spits back. This if for a couple reasons, but namely that people on irc tend to become suspicious quickly of something that's spewing extremely long sentences at them. Another is that the short the message the more ambiguity there is, and the more ambiguity the more a person can read their own interpretations into the bot's output.

Also, with the exception for keywords like "hi" and "asl" the bot ignores one word messages, since people tend to flood the bot if they become suspicious of it's humanity.

Over on my blog I've posted a few conversations the bot's had with people on dal.net. This was before I made the modifications concerning message length and result filtering.

Sfter I clean up the code and get it to where I'm happy with it, I'll release the code for anyone to play with.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Goa Trance

For some reason, I'm in the mode to sharpen up my psychedelic goa appreciation. Streamripper is VERY good for this.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Good day for karma

Today was a good day for karma, must have been making some sense. Usualy my posts just sit at +1, So far today I've recieved 4 mod points, karma sits at positive.

I'm such a damn geek that I'm actualy thinking about this crap... Jeeze, I need a life.

Journal Journal: SCO's motivation 2

An oft-asked question is basically, "What do SCO think they're doing?"

I can't say when they started, but the plan was to repeat the success of the DR-DOS Microsoft case. Caldera obtained the rights to DR-DOS in 1996, and in the same year brought a suit against Microsoft for unfair competition, which was settled in 2000 for an estimated $150 million

news story

That is quite a pattern: buy a product which is obsolete and going cheap, and sue a major IT player for impairing its value.

Caldera effectively bought SCO Unix with the money it received from MSFT in the DR-DOS settlement!

Caldera buy SCO Unix

I don't think Linux was at all a central part of SCO's strategy. AIX was the target, as IBM was to play the part of Microsoft in a replay of the DR-DOS case. The big initial threat SCO went in with was the termination of IBM's Unix license.

The thinking went:

  1. Use UNIX rights to sting IBM
  2. How? Find some pretext to yank IBM's license for AIX
  3. What pretext? Oh, say they leaked code into Linux.

Remember SCO's early statements were that they weren't going after Linux users or distributors, their beef was with IBM and AIX. I believe this reflected their initial strategy.

Quote from March 2003 Caldera press release:

Caldera press releases

"The complaint alleges that IBM made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's new Linux services business."

Again, this echoes the MSFT anti-trust suit far more than any claim over Linux code.

For some reason, they got rattled and changed approach. I'm not sure why. They should not have been shaken by IBM's choosing to fight; after all, it took them four years to screw their settlement out of MSFT.

For whatever reason, every step they took after that point looks hurried, desperate, and ill-thought-through. The facts that they seemed ignorant of the terms of the GPL, and of their own release of the 32V code under a BSD license, indicates that they hadn't done any homework on the issues.

The mode of thought behind these ill-considered maneuvers is quite a common one: you get carried away with the possible gains from a course of action and simply forget to weigh up the odds or estimate the possible downside. I think SCO, rattled for some reason, waved around for new angles they could find and rushed ahead with a disastrous course of action like medieval cavalry pursuing a beaten enemy off the battlefield.

The last question is what rattled them and threw them off their original plan. I really don't know, but here are three suggestions:

  1. IBM's response to the suit was much stronger legally than they expected
  2. They were expecting a sympathetic "David vs Goliath" press background similar to the one they had in the DR-DOS case, and were taken aback by the opposition coming from the Open Source movement. This theory has the recent "IBM is out to get us" ranting to back it up.
  3. They just saw the Linux attack as a great opportunity they hadn't really considered, and charged ahead thoughtlessly.

I'm really open to other suggestions, because that's the best I can do on this question.

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"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe