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User Journal

Journal Journal: Okay, this is it then

The day has finally arrived. At 2130 UTC on the Tuesday, 08 June 2004, I will board El-Al Israel Airlines flight 318 from London to Tel Aviv, with the intention of meeting my girlfriend in Acre.

Not having met her in person before, instead choosing to opt for the so-far easier and more discreet route of either talking on the internet or running up huge international phone bills, it is no exaggeration to say, I am incredibly worried about the prospect of seeing her for the first time, but more so, the strong possibility of ultimately having to make love to her. The usual problems apply in this situation. What if she is ugly? What if I am ugly? Do I smell? Should I use contraception? What if I go limp just before?

There also remains the additional concern of being kidnapped by the Mossad, getting blown up on the bus, and receiving an Israeli stamp in my passport.

On the up side, I've almost finished frugally packing my single, Spartan backpack with a few unremarkable items of clothing and basic essentials (computer equipment, copies of The Independent and so forth). We intend to go shopping in Acre or maybe Haifa for additional supplies of clothing if required. Securing a news stand that sells international papers (in other words, The Independent), and Haaretz, will be a very high priority, as well as securing somewhere to stay for the week. I do not know yet if she intends to stay with me, if she would prefer to stay in another room, or even if she intends simply to stay home.

Back here, I still have yet to receive my postal voting form from the postal voting form people, so unless it arrives tomorrow, I might have to arrange for someone to mark a big 'X' next to Liberal Democrats on my ballot and mail it on my behalf. So far it seems, the postal ballot scheme has been on the whole, a complete farce, though by British bureaucracy standards, it's been a resounding success!

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Colonel Gaddafi on Weapons of Mass Destruction 1

"This takes us to conclude that the most lethal and inhuman weapon any state would think of using, is that of the mass destruction weapon. In a worse scenario such weapons might fall in the hands of irresponsible individual decision maker."
              -- Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan leader

Journal Journal: Score:-1, Redundant

Another week, another set of modpoints.

I'm finding moderation harder and harder to carry out. I'm just finding it difficult to find any posts worth moderating up.

Since they were due to expire around midnight tonight, this time I decided to blow my modpoints moderating stuff -1, Redundunt.

In the meantime, I'm unchecking the 'Willing to Moderate' box until my current apathy blows over. In any case, since I always read at -1, for me moderation is in itself '-1, Redundant'.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Subject 2

Since I'm in lazy mode, I'll only write a few sentences for this JE.

Firstly, on 30th October, it was my birthday, and I was able to increment my age by one more year, which was very nice.

On 31th October, after spending almost a month waiting for BT to install a new phone line, I got ADSL installed on it, so that was very nice too. It took a bit to persuade them to supply it (as digging up the road was in order), so I think a grudging thankyou to BT for making the effort to supply it, instead of just sticking a line-sharing device on the neighbours line, rendering ADSL impossible.

And finally, on 1st November, I stayed in and.. well.. played with the 1Mbit connection, which was very nice as well.

Just gives you some idea of how exciting life is around here.

Oh, and why is is such a pain in the arse to think up subjects?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Extortionate Bride Prices 1

According to Leviticus 27:3-7, the Recommended Retail Price of a woman aged between 20 and 60 is thirty shekels of silver. With about 0.364 Troy ounces to the shekel, at current market prices, that works out at about $56. Younger girls can be had for as little as ten shekels ($19). Seeing the extortionate mark-ups on most mail-order bride websites, the bible ones are a bargain in comparison. I think I might invest in a few. It always pays to shop around.

Journal Journal: 500 Internal Server Error

An internal server error occurred. Please try again later.

500 Internal Server Error

An internal server error occurred. Please try again later.

500 Internal Server Error

An internal server error occurred. Please try again later.

500 Internal Server Error

An internal server error occurred. Please try again later.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pyne 1.0.0 Released

Last night, after almost a year of heavy devel^W^Wsitting about doing absolutely nothing, the author, Tom Morton, let loose "stable" Pyne 1.0.0. Pyne is an e-mail client and newsreader written in Python, and designed for offline use.


Journal Journal: Mail (probably) Dead 1

And what a pain in the arse way of discovering so. I use (used to use) a email address, for (among other things) my email address for IRC networks.

Today, I tried to identify on an IRC network with particularly poorly thought-out services, and found that it did not work. A few hours later, after an argument with a terminally stupid and largely unhelpful IRCOp in #help, it became apparent what had happened. Last night, an unknown user tried to crack my registered nick. After three attempts, it automatically generates a new password, replacing the old one, and mails it to the email address provided at registration (which if it isn't a security vulnerability, it's extremely poor design).

Ok, so I try and log on to the Netscape email address, and find it no longer functions. Mailing a 'test' email from an account yeilds a fairly standard Unknown User bounce. Now, whether they killed Netscape Mail when they killed Netscape and didn't update the website, or whether they killed the account because I hadn't logged in for a while, I have no idea. What is for sure, is that I can now no longer access my email, and most importantly, I'm not able to recieve my supposedly "new" nick password.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: The George W. Bush Speech-o-Matic(TM) 1

Just spent the best part of the afternoon perfecting The George W. Bush Automatic Speech Generator. Basicially all you do, is go to The George W. Bush Automatic Speech Generator, and it generates a speech on the sort of subjects President Bush is currently interested in. Not terribly productive, but a great way to waste time :-)

The Internet

Journal Journal: Bonding two VPN connections?

I posted a similar story a while back to Ask Slashdot, but it's pretty dull so it got rejected. But I'll post it here anyway. I've changed it heavily since I can't remember exactly what I wrote originally, and I've made it more specific to me (this is my journal after all).

I use ISDN, and my current internet connection utilises just one of the two availiable channels, with the other free for phone, fax etc. I use a flat-rate (unmetered) ISP, and like all inexpensive flat-rate ISP's, they only support one of the channels, bonding channels for a speed of 128k is not possible.

I could easily obtain a second account with a second ISP, and call both at the same time. However, this of course only yields two 64k connections, which is not as helpful as the one 128k connection.

The question is, is it not possible to create two VPN connections, one via each connection, to a colocated server (that I happen to have access to), and bond them from there, thus giving a maximum theoretical speed of 128k? And if so, how could it be done? All systems are running Linux, and before you suggest, broadband is not availiable :-)


Journal Journal: Al Jazeera English Up!

I've just noticed that one of my favourite news channels, the infamous Qatar-based Arabic satellite news channel Al Jazeera's English website is now up, and a very nice design it is too! Al Jazeera is very liberal and frank in its reporting (which is exactly why I like it!), which makes a change from within the Arab world, but this has got it into trouble on a couple of occasions in the western world, and banned from reporting in a few authoritarian Arab nations.

Hopefully the Al Jazeera English satellite channel will follow soon.

The Internet

Journal Journal: URLs and the Stupid Internet User

I feel very privileged to use Slashdot. The overwhelming majority of Slashdot readers can see this:

and know instantly it's a URL of some sort.

To make things more convenient, I could even make it clickable:

But I constantly speak to perfectly intelligent, but computer-illiterate internet users, on ICQ, AIM, MSN etc. who do not understand the concept of URLs, clickable or otherwise.


hotgirlie69: do u have a pic?
Me: sure, it's
hotgirlie69: what is that?
Me: it's a link, follow it
hotgirlie69: send me u're pic!
Me: I have! Click on this link:
hotgirlie69: u havn't sent me u're pic yet

I have often spent ages and ages explaining to people, that the address I have given is a link which will be displayed when downloaded/followed/clicked on etc.

To a large extent it is understandable for a new or casual user not to recognise a URL at first, and they get it instantly when it is explained to them, as it's hardly a difficult concept! But many never grasp this idea, and continue to live under the belief that the only way to transfer files on the internet is via email.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Achieving world peace 1

I've spent all of last night thinking about this, and have come to the conclusion that world peace is indeed achievable - and even likely - in the forseeable future, however, not without one minor prerequisite - everyone is dead.

Back to bed...

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"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)