I Can’t Say No

So it looks like I’ll be reprising my Purdue LUG talk at least two more times — once for the Canterbury High School student body (March 8 — email me for time and details if you’re in the area), and again for the Fort Wayne LUG for their March meeting (March 16, 7:00pm).

Obviously the content will be slightly different each time. The entire discussion of metadata and RDF will be excised for the high school presentation, and the copyright background and context beefed up. The goal is to leave students with a better understanding of what copyright is and why they should be outraged.

Slides as usual will be forthcoming.

date:2006-01-30 21:02:36
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slug:i-cant-say-no
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category:geek

Coolness Smackdown (or “How Much Does the Communist Party ♥ You?”)

Apparently I’m cooler than Mike — more accurately my domain is: yergler.net’s FCR of 2.86 easily best’s gondwanaland.com’s measly 0.95. Personally, well, not as cool as Mike (more accurately the set containing all Yerglers is less cool than the set containing all Linksvayers): 2.66 for Yerglers, stomped by 4.57 for Linksvayers.

date:2006-01-27 15:27:04
wordpress_id:382
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slug:coolness-smackdown
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category:culture

Purdue Talk Slides Available

Slides from my Purdue Talk are available. As an aside they were generated using rst2s5.py, a handy tool included with recent snapshots of docutils.

date:2006-01-25 13:21:23
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slug:purdue-talk-slides-available
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category:aside, geek

Debugging XUL and Javascript

Firebug is a wicked cool extension for Firefox which rolls the Javascript console, DOM Inspector and logging console all into one. I can see this will be an essential tool for any Gecko development I do in the future.

date:2006-01-24 09:31:09
wordpress_id:380
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slug:debugging-xul-and-javascript
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category:aside, development

mozCC on addons.mozilla.org

mozCC is now hosted over at addons.mozilla.org. I’ll be distributing all future releases from there — it’s just easier to have them manage the update information, even if there is a slight delay to go through their approval process. So you may want to reinstall… or just keep reading this blog.

date:2006-01-24 09:16:57
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slug:mozcc-on-addonsmozillaorg
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category:aside, mozCC

Sign me up!

Well when you put it that way, who wouldn’t want the job?

date:2006-01-22 12:44:59
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slug:sign-me-up
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category:aside

Upgraded Internet Access

Aaron wrote about dumping Earthlink DSL for Time-Warner cable internet service. I feel his pain, except I just did a different sort of upgrade. I’ve been a Comcast Cable internet service customer for years. And it hasn’t been half bad. I’m not sure it’s been half good either, but that’s a different story. But two days ago I traded one evil incumbent monopoly for another with the installation of Verizon FIOS internet service. This is fiber optic based service — 5 Mbps downstream, 2 Mbps upstream, $34 per month. For an extra $10 per month you can get 15 Mbps downstream. The savings per bandwidth aren’t as dramatic as Aaron’s, but hey — it’s freakin fast. Which is interesting if you think about it, since Comcast also claimed a downstream speed of 5 Mbps on my cable service.

date:2006-01-20 14:19:27
wordpress_id:377
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slug:upgraded-internet-access
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category:geek

Amoebas

Went to Amoeba Records on Haight Street with a local friend last night. Wow. It was pretty cool on lots of levels. I mean, just the shear number of artists was impressive. But it was also fun to flip through the used Pet Shop Boys section and realize that I’ve managed to collect most of the rare releases (Very/Relentless) and limited editions (the lego case for Very — not exactly limited, but a complete relic of a more interesting time in music packaging) over the years. I picked up three items — two used, one new:

  • “The Creek Drank The Cradle”, Iron & Wine (new)
  • “30° everywhere”, Promise Ring (used)
  • “Hopes and Dreams”, Keane

I bought the Promise Ring disc mostly for completeness — it’s been on my Amazon.com wishlist for months. My friend was playing Keane in the car; I guess it as Travis, and he commented “well, close; they’re the new Travis”. Sort of, although perhaps more consistently bright. Overall very very good. And then the Iron & Wine disc, well, it was a total impulse. I’ve been really digging his joint EP with Calexico, “In The Reins”, so decided to take a chance. Listening to the soft, lilting sounds now, what an amazing album.

G gave me guitar lessons for Christmas. Its a long story, but I was already excited, and listening to the stripped down, spare guitar and vocals of Iron & Wine raises the expectations. My first lesson is the Monday after I return from San Francisco, January 9.

Finally, I’m listening to all of this amazing music using Banshee, a music management application for Gnome. I hadn’t used it much before this, but since I can’t sync my iPod with my laptop (it’s tied to my iMac right now), this was a good excuse to try it out. And I really, really like it. It has iPod support so maybe I’ll try to move my music over and sync to Linux. That’d be cool. And since I really like it, maybe this is finally an excuse to look at C# and see what all the fuss is about.

But really, who cares what the fuss is about when you have music like this?

date:2006-01-04 01:42:48
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slug:amoebas
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category:my life

To San Francisco, by way of Dallas and lovely Amarillo

I’m working at Creative Commons San Francisco office this week. I had a 7AM flight out if Indianapolis yesterday morning, which made for a very, uh, short night. It would have been a short night any night, but one where I’m hanging out with fraternity brothers and drinking? Yeah. Short.

I had to make a connection in Dallas-Fort Worth, and I made it without a hitch. Of course, one hour into the flight from DFW to SFO, I felt the plane shift to the left and bank slightly. It wasn’t a feeling I usually associate with “normal” plane operations, but I figured it was just windy or something. And then we started to descend. About this time the pilot comes over the intercom and just says “275”. The flight attendants, who had just finished the beverage service immediately began collecting cups, trash and cans. And we were still descending. So the pilot comes on and says “Well folks, you can probably tell we’ve begun to descend. Uh, how can I put this delicately? The plane is not responding to the inputs my first officer and I are making, and it is making changes that we didn’t order. So we’re going to make an emergency landing in Amarillo and see what’s going on.” 15 minutes later we were on the ground. I have never felt a plane descend so fast, or seen a full cabin so incredibly quiet.

After we landed we found out that the rudder had started making moves that weren’t ordered. That seems like a bad thing. So we waited. And waited. It took about 7 hours for American Airlines to get us a replacement plane, and after that we were on our way. I have to say that the crew and pilot were complete professionals — cool, collected and very efficient at their jobs. The ground staff at Amarillo? Bitches. Being told that we just need to stop asking questions and that she’ll tell us when something occurs is not a way to make friends (she didn’t tell this to me directly, rather announced it over the intercom after interacting with customers apparently interferred with her job). And i Amarillo has a convention and visitors bureau, they might look into putting some sort of amenities into the airport beyond a soda machine. I’m just saying.

date:2006-01-02 14:02:50
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slug:to-san-francisco-by-way-of-dallas-and-lovely-amarillo
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category:my life