Archive for January, 2003

Date: January 31st, 2003
Cate: Geekism
3 msgs

A descent into madness

Four related links about typefaces:

The Scourge of Arial
Sidebar: How to Spot Arial
arial or helvetica?
And finally, don’t miss this one, Typecasting.

Date: January 30th, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

American Typewriter

Everybody update your sites:

The new cool font is American Typewriter!

Date: January 30th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

In Soviet Russia INTERNET logs on to YOU

I’ve always found this slogan a little unsettling. That’s all. Now it’s of course extra funny because of the whole In Soviet Russia NOUN verbs YOU meme.

Which reminds me of this strange US government pro-exercise propoganda: Verb: It’s what you do.

Date: January 29th, 2003
Cate: Kung Fu
6 msgs

Shaw Brothers Expo In Hong Kong

Shaw Brothers Expo!moremoremoremore

This picture is considered particularly good. Super old school stars posing with posters from their old movies.

Shaw brothers is remastering and releasing lots of their old movies on DVD, one of my friends imports them all and we watch. Just the other day we saw The Three Smiles, the poster in the middle of that particularly good picture.

The Three Smiles (三笑) is an example of Yellow Plum, or Huangmei, Opera (黃梅戲), which it turns out is great fun. Lots of music and funny misunderstandings and complicated situations.

When we watched it it led to Jenny and I talking about Dream of the Red Chamber which she just barely managed to read recently, which then led to searching on the internet for the answers to all sorts of questions, which she keeps wanting me to report on here. Maybe she’ll appear and write some comments.

Date: January 28th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

I’m a sucker

I watched the whole thing to see if the rumors of PROJECT PROMETHEUS were true. They were not. Instead I got this:

All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. And many others have met a different fate. Let’s put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.

Date: January 28th, 2003
Cate: Regular

New-to-me feature on Amazon

Amazon : Instant Order Update

A reminder that I already ordered it, with quick links to order status and order update pages. NICE! Let’s see what that little box does when the book actually ships.

Date: January 27th, 2003
Cate: Meta
4 msgs

It worked last time…

Here’s my new idea, now that my previous two are done. Not really an idea for this weblog, but a project I want to do.

Recently I got into the whole RSS thing big time. I use Feedreader at work to keep up with various sites. It works great, except for a few problems:

  • It isn’t integrated with my browser well enough. Sometimes I want to read news items right in the newsreader. Sometimes I want to open up individual items in a page. Sometimes I want to click on links in news items and open tabs. Sometimes I want to go to the home page of the site that the news is from since their feed is plain text only. All these things are inconvenient/impossible in Feedreader.
  • I don’t want it to sit there reloading feeds all night when I’m not there. There’s no way to “pause” it, all I can do is close it, and then it loses its place the next morning and everything is marked unread. Not cool. This is a minor problem, I know.
  • A bigger problem: What about when I get home? If I used an RSS client here too, it wouldn’t be in sync. Stupid.

To get around all these limitaions, I want to make a browser based RSS client. Since it’s right in my browser, all the different ways of navigation I want will just work. I’m thinking of making it only update the feeds, if they’re out of date, when I load the page, so it won’t sit there stupidly updating all night. It will then be in sync wherever I go: I can just load my feeds page and see the latest news, kind of like Livejournal’s friends pages, or News Is Free. But I want it to keep track of what I’ve read, and of course be free and Free. If I do it, I’ll make the code available so others can set up their own versions on their own servers.

I would set it up here so random people can log in and set up personal lists of feeds, but I don’t think minutillo.com could handle the strain. Maybe if it gets good enough some nice person with a big honking server will set up a public version, ready to go.

I think with a little PHP, and a little MySQL, and Magpie to do all the heavy lifting, it shouldn’t be that hard. Wish me luck!

Date: January 27th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Shock and Awe?

There’s news all over the place that the Pentagon is planning to hit Iraq with 800 cruise missles in 48 hours. They call this plan Shock and Awe. CBS News did a story on it, and at the end Dan says: “We assure you this report contains no information that the Defense Department thinks could help the Iraqi military.”

How can that be?

There is no such thing as the Office of Strategic Influence.

Oh wait, or is there? Did you catch it when Rumsfeld said this:

And then there was the office of strategic influence. You may recall that. And “oh my goodness gracious isn’t that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall.” I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I’ll give you the corpse. There’s the name. You can have the name, but I’m gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.

I guess it’s the same thing Schwarzkopf did before Gulf War I, wasn’t there some sort of trick where everybody thought there would be a beachhead, and then they attacked from a totally different side or something? I forgot the details.

Date: January 27th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

It’s a thing of terrorbeauty

More information about the SQL Slammer worm. I really like the word terrorbeauty.

Too bad he doesn’t say which mailing list though. I thought maybe it would be Interesting People, that seems to be where all the net.gods hang out, but it isn’t.

By the way, I just realized that it is possible for normal people to subscribe to IP! I used to think that you had to send a personal email to Mr. Farber which I was always too scared to do.

Date: January 27th, 2003
Cate: Class

Sometimes dumb is better

I got a copy of my transcript here at school and it turns out I took a course that I totally forgot about! So I’m 3 credits further ahead than I thought I was.

I guess that’s the good part of being really dumb, sometimes you find out about things you should have known all along, and are pleasantly surprised.

Date: January 26th, 2003
Cate: Regular
5 msgs

is.isaka.net?

is.isaka.net. How about that! Whoever it is links to me and everything. Now, don’t get the wrong idea, they didn’t copy my site, we’re just both using something pretty close to the default style that comes with b2.

Like him.
Or him.
Or Zagula.
Or the Smiths.
Or them.
Or even her.

So anyway, is is.isaka.net the mysterious Dogzilla’s site?

Date: January 26th, 2003
Cate: Class

HOMEWORK

I’m doing homework! RIGHT NOW! Well, actually I just finished.

My class is OK so far. It seems like it will be mostly lecture and some pretty simple homework assignments, no code.

The first assignment is just to see if you remember enough math. The questions ranged in difficulty from “something is going x miles an hour, how far does it get in one hour” what? is this elementary school? …to… “2 to the x is 800, what’s x” ok, took me a little while to remember about logarithms …to… “you have an unfair coin with probability p of getting heads, what’s the chance of getting exactly m heads out of n flips” YO! that one took me a while.

We also just saw SIGNS which is GARBAGE.

Date: January 23rd, 2003
Cate: Video Games
4 msgs

NES -> SNES -> N64 -> GC -> ???

Nintendo says their next console is coming out in 2005 or 2006, at the same time, or even before Xbox 2 and PlayStation 3. Will this be the first Nintendo console that actually comes out on time?

More at The Register and Planet GameCube.

Date: January 23rd, 2003
Cate: Regular

Rodeo Monkey

Hot off the monkeywire:

Rodeo Monkey

Full story and video. The monkey’s owner said that Whiplash often gets crazy in the ring so he never knows what the monkey will do when the show starts.

Date: January 21st, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere
2 msgs

DEADLOCK!


DEADLOCK!

This should be what computer science textbooks show when they try to explain what a deadlock is.

That picture is by Chuck @ China who has TONS AND TONS AND TONS of other pictures and stories about China. He seems to especially like high strangeness phenomena:

Hail to the... Wha?

That picture was taken in America World, which he found near Hangzhou. They have a full size White House, along with replicas of other American monuments.

He also has a weblog, ch-ch-ch-ch-china.

Date: January 20th, 2003
Cate: Meta
4 msgs

Comments in RDF

RDF of the last 10 comments to this weblog.

This should really be integrated into the main RSS feed, but technically that’s a pain in the neck, since comments and posts are in seperate tables.

I also made a thing that shows my top 10 referers, and last 10 referers.

Date: January 17th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere
3 msgs

Shinjuku again

Shinjuku

I think this picture that I took is every bit as good as that fancy Reuters picture I linked yesterday.

Date: January 17th, 2003
Cate: Meta

More Minutillo domain news

New to me: patrickminutillo.com (I mentioned him before, but the domain seems new), markminutillo.com, and minutilloennio.com. Not all work or have content yet.

Date: January 16th, 2003
Cate: Meta
6 msgs

Zeldmanized for your protection

Just the other day, I was going on and on like I usually do, this time about how I don’t care how this site looks in Netscape 4. Well, today one of my friends told me that A) he is stuck at 4.x at his technologically-backwards place of employment and 2) my site like TOTALLY DOESN’T WORK.

This will not stand.

So, I’ve Zeldmanized it! Yeah that’s right, on 4.x browsers you’ll get all the content, with none of the style. It’s like being back in 1994.

Here’s the how and the why.

Those of you on Mozilla-based browsers can simulate this effect, if you like, by saying View|Use Style|Basic Page Style.

Date: January 16th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Date: January 16th, 2003
Cate: Meta

Idea 1 done – Search term RDF feed

An RDF feed of the last 20 searches that led people to this weblog.

The URI of each item is the exact referer URL I saw.
The <title> is the search query they used.
The <link> is the URL on this weblog they ended up at.
The <description> is the domain name of the search engine they used.

I think this is a cool idea because:

  • I spend too much time eye-grepping through my logs seeing what search terms people are using to find me. Now the information is available in real time in a convenient format.
  • This is the big one: Imagine if all weblogs, or even if all sites, made this same information available. That would mean somebody could aggregate them all together, and we’d have the equivalent of the Google Zeitgeist, except updated in real time, and the data would be Free.
Date: January 15th, 2003
Cate: Meta
4 msgs

Embarrassing myself into ACTION

I had two ideas for this weblog recently:

  • Create a RDF/RSS/XML/whatever feed of search terms that led people to this site. I’ll explain later why I think this is cool.
  • Create some sort of department where people can see the code running this site, with my mods to the standard b2 distribution highlighted somehow.

I am sharing this with you so that the longer I am lazy and don’t implement these ideas, the more embarrassed I will become.

Date: January 15th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Copyright = Infinity

SCOTUS rules in favor of the mouse, 7-2. Way more links at Copyfight.

Lessig is sad.

Stevens and Breyer dissented, saying that the court was “failing to protect the public interest in free access to the products of inventive and artistic genius.”

Majority opinion by Ginsburg, dissent by Breyer, dissent by Stevens.

Now I understand why Boing Boing turned black earlier today.

Date: January 14th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
4 msgs

GOBBLES employed by RIAA? – update: HOAX!

GOBBLESCheck out this story on The Register. I’ll wait while you read it. Here’s a link to the Bugtraq posting in question.

Think it’s true? Could it be true? There doesn’t seem to be much reaction to this around the internet yet.

GOBBLES is a pretty well known anonymous hacker/hacking group who appear now and then on various mailing lists with wild boasts about incredible expliots. These boasts are then usually followed up by running code that sends thousands of developers and sysadmins around the world into a frenzy of patching and updating. They seem to be extra good at turning theoretical vulnerabilities that seem unexploitable in the real world into working, easy to use canned exploits. Here’s his/her/their home page.

UPDATE 1-16-03: Confirmed hoax!

A wisecracking group of hackers confirmed its claim this week that it spread an antipiracy virus was nothing but a hoax aimed at garnering fame.

But members of the group, known as Gobbles Security, conceded that a program it released to demonstrate the problem was a Trojan horse capable of destroying files on the computers of unwary Unix users.

Date: January 13th, 2003
Cate: Meta

Memeufacturing

Memeufacture is a neat idea. John Wehr is scanning weblogs (probably RSS feeds) and seeing who links to what, and more importantly, who links to what first. Then, he’s figuring out which weblogs tend to have the best (most propogated) links earliest. These he deems to be “most influential”. Right now in the popular category, the top three most influential are Blogdex (which is another meta- site and should be filtered out, or maybe this problem will take care of itself as he adds more “real” weblogs to his spider list), Slashdot, and Boing Boing. Sounds about right.

This is another important tool for those of us not satsfied with getting our memes recycled, second or third hand, and who are always backtracking up the river, following the flow, and trying to find the True Source.

Date: January 12th, 2003
Cate: Regular

More propoganda!

一定要解放台灣 — MUST LIBERATE TAIWAN!

Of course we must liberate Taiwan!

From a collection of Chinese propoganda posters put together by Stefan Landsberger. Yes, there are also desktop wallpapers.

???

Coming to you via Geisha asobi, who also currently has a link to this site which would be a perfect way to explain the essence of the “world wide web” to somebody who has never seen it before.

Date: January 11th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Cookie bug still not fixed in Safari v51

The problem with cookies in Safari is still not fixed in the new v51.

Date: January 10th, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

All your base are belong to DAVID BRANCACCIO?

You have no chance to survive, make your time.

Marketplace surprised me on my way home from work today by doing a report (somewhat belatedly) on the ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US internet phenomenon. The business angle was how the little kids who popularized it thought that maybe marketers would try to co-opt the meme, so they pre-co-opted it. Marketplace even put a pretty good web resources page at the auspicious URL marketplace.org/allyourbase.

How are you gentlemen?Take off every Zig!For great justice.

Date: January 9th, 2003
Cate: Video Games
7 msgs

Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore – secret menu?

Lei Fang

I played DOA2:HC (thanks Toto!) long enough to open up the CG Gallery, and at the same time some sort of other secret option opened up on the mode select screen. It’s in between Options and CG Gallery, and it says “???”. When you select it, nothing (apparently) happens. What is it?

(by the way this DOA2:HC is the sort-of-prequel to the game I almost got the poster for at the Tokyo Game Show, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, which comes out in the US at the end of this month, but only for the stupid Xbox.)

Date: January 8th, 2003
Cate: Meta

New kid on the netblock: Hello Alessandro

What is Minutillo.NET?
Why is there another version of the page with more content on Tripod?

And the big question, now that .com, .net, and .info are gone, how long will it be until somebody grabs up .org?

Date: January 7th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
10 msgs

Safari and b2 = not good kind

Like an obident little geek, I immediately downloaded Apple’s new Safari as soon as I got home today. Just as advertised, it is super blazing fast, and does render all the sites I tried with it correctly. (well, except for dive into mark but he’ll probably have it fixed by the time you read this.) I’m pretty impressed with the rendering engine, pages come right up, look nice, and fluidly relayout as I stretch and shrink the browser window, just like those first few demos of Raptor before they went and coded the whole GUI in HTML and JavaScript or whatever. Overall the application feels really solid and responsive.

But, as I went to make my obligatory “THIS WAS POSTED USING SAFARI” post, I found that it wouldn’t let me log in to b2! It seems the problem is with cookies. After a successful login, the b2 login page sets some cookies for your username and a hash of your password and then redirects you around to the edit page. Safari gets the path wrong on those cookies (/steve/weblog/b2login.php instead of /steve/weblog/), and doesn’t send them back when it requests the edit page, which says “dude, you need to like, log in, or whatever” and redirects you back around to the login page. Too bad.

The other problem with Safari is there’s no tabbed browsing. I’ll never be able to use a non-tabbed browser again, I don’t think.

Date: January 7th, 2003
Cate: Video Games
1 msg

Game Boy Advance SP

GBA SP
It seems Nintendo has a new version of the Game Boy Advance. Now it’s smaller, backlit, square, and guess what: proprietary battery pack! (but they claim super long battery life.) $99, available March 23rd.

Compare with original GBA | USA Today story | More pictures at Gamespot | Official press release from Nintendo

The backlit screen is a big plus, but it looks really uncomfortable to hold and play. Maybe I’ll just wait and get the Gameboy Advance Player instead two months later for half the price.

Date: January 6th, 2003
Cate: Regular

Does not compute… Does not compute…

These are the top two stories on my Yahoo news headlines page right now. They appeared just like this, one right after the other:

U.N. Agency Says Nothing Suspicious in Iraq So Far

VIENNA (Reuters) – The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Monday its inspectors had found nothing suspicious in Iraq so far, but added that it was too early to draw conclusions.

Bush Putting Together Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Bush administration is putting together a plan for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq that would involve an extended American military presence and use of oil revenues to feed the Iraqi people, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Date: January 4th, 2003
Cate: Meta
3 msgs

New features

Check out the bottom of the sidebar over on the right: I added a new section that shows the 5 most recent comments, with links to the associated stories.

I also updated the steve(1) man page. And my home page too, adding a link to this very weblog.

Next up to fix: Make the permalink and archive URLs look nicer. Get rid of question marks. And fix the Last-Modified and ETag headers to be more accurate by incorporating the most recent comment post date as well as the most recent post so people don’t keep double posting all the time.

Date: January 3rd, 2003
Cate: Kung Fu
4 msgs

KILL BILL TEASER

Gordon LiuKill Bill Teaser at Apple.com

Do you know about this movie? It’s by Quentin Tarantino, his attempt at a total exploitation / grindhouse / kung fu / Shaw Brothers style action extravaganza. It’s got David Carradine, Sonny Chiba, and the one and only GORDON LIU in it. Gordon Liu is playing the evil priest Pai Mei even! You may remember of course, the classic FIST OF THE WHITE LOTUS where Gordon Liu fought Pai Mei, remember that one, he had to learn “woman style”? Of course you do.

Oh yeah, Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, and somehow Darryl Hannah also appear.

And the action director is Yuen Woo-Ping, of Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Iron Monkey, Once Upon a Time in China, Drunken Master (and Drunken Master II) fame. How can this movie go wrong?