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Journal Journal: Poltics action center 2

First, I wonder why I can't select politics as a topic.

Second, now that Slashdot has a politics section, I wonder if there will be any thought to turning the fury of Slashdot comments into actual change. The EFF has an action center that allows people to contact their representatives on important issues. Why can't Slashdot do the same?

For instance, Slashdot has tirelessly covered Diebold and touch screen voting problems in general. It would be ludicrous to say that Slashdot is providing neutral coverage. Since they have taken a position, why not take the extra step and provide a way to make change happen?

For instance, on this Diebold story why not add a link to a form that allows people to congratulate the California Attorney General or let their own AG know that you support CA's action. It would be the Slashdot effect applied to government action.

Third, thank the maker that the politics section isn't as ugly as Games or IT (or YRO, or Apache)

Internet Explorer

Journal Journal: Save the U.S.A. - Don't Use Internet Explorer! 3

From Yahoo! News:

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team touched off a storm this week when it recommended for security reasons using browsers other than Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

Personally, I use Mozilla Firefox. It's in version 0.9.1, so theoretically it is in beta, but I have no problems with it. It is as easy (if not easier) to use than Internet Explorer, it (of course) lacks all the security holes present in IE, and it includes many more features, such as Tab Browsing, which lets you open multiple web pages in tabs at the top of the screen rather than opening a pile of new windows for each page. It's very nice. It's also much faster than IE, and it is more standards-compliant--so it almost never shows pages wrong.

You can also get Mozilla Thunderbird, which is an email client to complement Firefox. (Mozilla still has a full-blown suite, and Firefox and Thunderbird are standalone, faster, better versions of the browser and mail components of the full suite. They really are much better, they're not just part of the full suite in a separate program.) While it won't replace Outlook, it could probably replace Outlook Express, and it is much more secure than Outlook (which isn't very hard to be) so you won't spread email worms.

Read about it on Yahoo! News or Slashdot.

Journal Journal: Searching my comments? 1

I'm trying to find a comment I posted where I bitch about how the story had bad links, and then suggest general rules for linking. Does anyone know of a way to search through all my comments? I scanned the subjects in my profile but they weren't helpful.


Journal Journal: **No Title** 12

I have decided to keep a journal of my thoughts and deeds over the coming year; a daily chart of my progress through the echelons of command so that, perhaps, one day, other aspiring officers may seek enlightenment through these pages. It is my fond hope that, one day, this journal will take its place alongside 'Napoleon's War Diaries' and 'The Memoires of Julius Caesar'."


Journal Journal: SongBuddy

So, I just launched the public beta of my new site, SongBuddy. It's a social networking/mp3 recommending site. Think of it as either Friendster with links to mp3s or as LiveJournal with mp3 links instead of journal entries (and without the drama). For more info, check out my writeup where I talk about some other geeky things like FOAF and Creative Commons licenses.

User Journal

Journal Journal: blogs are boring

Why even have this here? blogs, oh excuse me, journal entries, are usually pathetically boring.

Journal Journal: Freenetting Slashdotted Sites? 5

Now that paid subscribers can see into the Mysterious Future, I assume that TotalSlashdotters see many sites before they are slashdotted. Would it be possible for someone to post a mirror of the site to Freenet and then post the key in the discussion? Freenet responds to a slashdotting with more bandwidth, so wouldn't that get around the problem of slashdotting altogether? And yes, I'm aware that everyone and his brother points out that Freenet stops the slashdot effect but no one seems to be using it to combat the big S Slashdot effect.

Update: It seems Ian Clarke has some unfinished code to do just this at

America Online

Journal Journal: AOL sucks.

Let's just leave it at this--porn spam, getting booted offline, that screeching modem, "you've got mail," the stoopid luser tech support people who won't let you get ahead of their feeble, pea-sized brains and scripts, a crappy browser, "Free AOL and Unlimited Internet", "Make $$$, Refer A Friend", "AOL is downloading new graphics. You will not be charged for this online time. AOL will disconnect when finished." while keeping your phone tied up, the little people on the logon screen, the popup "Video Professor" ads, the down-home "huge corporation" feel, the "easy to use, hard to get anything done" feature set, their theft of WebMD's quote: "the chat rooms, I love the chat rooms!", the "okay, just reinstall half your hard drive and you'll be online again" tech support script, the endless reboot-dial up-it doesn't work-yell at tech support-reboot... cycle.....

But life is good!


Journal Journal: Why Perl ROCKS! 1

Perl is the freakin' GREATEST LANGUAGE EVER!

Perl is awesome!!!!! (sorry) It's just great. Here's why...

  • Built in hashes--this makes programming ten times easier!
  • Built in regexps--okay, it's not the only language with these, but they make stuff so much easier, especially processing email messages to find commands.
  • everyone's written everything already--a trip over to CPAN will find a module for any low- or medium-level interface to other stuff you need, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel
  • super-"flexible" syntax--okay, this one drives me nuts sometimes, but perl has many cool syntax features like

    while (<>) { print; }

    and various permutations of that kind of thing.

  • everything returns something--tons of functions (like substituting with regexps) return true or false depending whether they worked, rather than forcing the user to check some other way to find out if it worked.
  • I dunno, the syntax just flows off your fingers, and it keeps the keycaps on the number row from getting jealous!

obey the camel


Journal Journal: DRM Sucks.

DRM really sucks. All this stuff about companies making secure BIOS's and OS's so that they can keep you from copying music is just insane. This is just like a lot of weaker encryption systems; John Doe can't break it, but a dedicated hacker could. Unfortunately, it's a dedicated hacker, not John Doe, who's going to be fighting this.

I think the only way to keep this from happening is to basically create a grassroots movement against things like it--but involve regular, non-geek types, not just "us." By getting everyone else worried that they won't (they probably won't, it's not a lie) be able to listen to music off a friend's CD or do stuff that seems perfectly fine, nobody will accept these, and the companies that try to be exclusive and only grant access to those who use DRM-protected hardware/software will have nobody waiting for them.

Just my three cents (hey, it's my journal, I say three cents!),


It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Addictive websites (other than this one)

My latest addiction is to a website called the half bakery. It is a communal database/weblog of "half baked" ideas. The kind of stuff Rube Goldberg or Prof. Farnsworth on Futurama might dream up.

Here you will find such things as Custard Filled Speed Bumps and Poetic Legalese.

Give it a look, and if you create an account (which is simplicity itself) be sure to visit my ideas (which include such winners as CPU Mounted Lava Lamp and Gleam in your Smile) and vote on them.

Journal Journal: I have fans?

I just noticed the latest enhancements to to the friend/foe system, including "fan" and "freak". I note that three folks I've never heard of are in my fans list (which means they list me as a friend). Interesting. I guess I must do some good posting or something.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Stuff & Things

Just felt the need to have something here.

So there.

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Everybody needs a little love sometime; stop hacking and fall in love!