matt | June 28, 2004
matt | June 26, 2004
So, someone has finally put 2 + 2 together, using vulnerabilities in MS's IIS to infect IIS servers, which then infect people who visit them through unpatched vulnerabilities in MS IE. The result? Identity theft, password snarfing, the whole deal.
Solutions: 1.) Buy a Mac. 2.) Install Linux (or BSD or whatever) on a computer you have already, or buy one with Linux (or BSD or whatever) on it. 3.) At least install a different browser and use it instead. FireFox is my preference for web browsing, and Thunderbird is my preference for email. It's MUCH safer than IE/OE.
In other news, the Senate has passed a bill allowing criminal prosecution of people who record movies within theaters. Now, I don't have a problem with this being a criminal offense. What I do have a problem with is that the penalties are 3-5 years for a first time, and 10 for the second. Isn't this a little bit out of the mold of “punishment fits the crime”? Don't you get in less trouble for various drug offenses? What about carrying a weapon without permit / illegal posession of a firearm? I would call those far worse on the “damage to society” scale than simply affecting some megacorp's bottom line, wouldn't you?
matt | June 24, 2004
So, the apartment is all neatened up; as much as it can be with not enough space. Now I'm just relaxing and playing video games. I fired up the wintendo and started using it to play video games again. Of course, since it sits idle for most of the time, I installed the United Device software to look for a cure for cancer or do smallpox research (whichever project they need it to work on). Unfortunately, it only runs on windows machines. Kind of silly of them – imagine how much work they could get done with a bunch of idle dual G5 boxen…
So, has anyone else noticed that the SK town water has gotten really bad recently? Liz says it always tasted like that, but I'm convinced that it has at least contributed to my stomach troubles of late – I've been worried about being dehydrated, so I've been drinking something like 2-3 liters of water a day, but I feel worse. I switched to bottled spring water a couple days ago, and I feel much better, and a lot less thirsty.
Mikey (Liz's cat) has been staying with me this week since I'm home. Being with Arthur gives him someone to play with, and I can keep an eye on them. It's good for them to play together, especially since they'll be living together in a month. It's going to be nuts this month: Back to work: 4 days Birthday: 14 days Historicon: 20 days Start painting the apartment/moving in: 25 days Big move in: 30 days
We need to have like 4 parties to rotate though the various groups of friends and invite everyone over.
matt | June 19, 2004
As some of you may know, I had 52 hours of vacation to kill, so I'm on vacation this week. Nothing special planned, just puttering around the house; cleaning up and organizing in preparation for the move. Liz and I have also been having layout discussions about stuff in the living room, and she has banned the big black rack from being in the living room next to the TV. So, it will not be an entertainment stack, but will be a computer rack next to my desk.
I started my vacation off in a grand fashion yesterday by going to Staples and ordering a 2 drawer file cabinet on casters to replace my plastic box-type one. Then I proceeded over to Shaws and bought an ungodly amount of food – after all, I'm going to be around all week; I can COOK! Oh, I also picked up the half-life anthology (half-life and all the expansions) for like $40. What can I say, it's a fun game?
Came home, played video games for way too long, and had some salmon in a Lawry's Baja Chipotle marinade. I wasn't sure about this pairing, but it ended up being quite good.
This morning, I am having a leisurely breakfast of a grapefruit, probably followed by cereal, and then I shall put on some coffee and start to organize the apartment.
As an aside – does anyone else find fruit juice to be too sweet? I'm talking normal, unsweetened, 100% juice? Except for citrus juices that are supposed to be tart, they are all just way to sweet. I end up doing half juice, half water.
matt | June 15, 2004
Okay, after running FVWM for like 5 years, I've decided that it's just too ugly.
Sure, I can use the fvwm-themes, or other stuff, but it's just not what I want.
Enough people have raved about XFce, so I gave it a whirl. It aims to be a light, fast, standards-compliant wm. It has a few glitches, but nothing really gating, and they're supposed to be fixed (namely, having a launcher that can set states of a window when loaded (like sticky) would be useful).
Then, in poking at stuff, the XFce fellows spoke so highly about GKrellM. I like…
matt | June 10, 2004
There's a really good article with Glenn Henry, founder of VIA subsidiary Centaur. They make the CPU that is in the board we used for the vw beetle project.
Anyway, he says:
Our next processor — I haven’t ever told anyone, so I won’t say what it is — but our next processor has even more things in it that I think will be just as quickly adopted by the open source software world, and provide even more value. It’s always bothered me that hardware can do so many things relatively easily and fast that aren’t done today because there’s no software to support it. We just decided to try to break the mold. We were going to do hardware that, literally, had no software support at the start. And now the software is there, in several variations, and people are starting to use it. I actually think that’s only going to happen in the open source world.
And that's really true. Look at modern computing – Apple has made 64bit mainstream. I could trivially do a 64bit box running Linux too (and plan to, sometime). I don't mean 64bit running 32bit software, either. I mean the real deal. And where is Microsoft? Oh, Longhorn will be out in 2005. Oh, wait 2006. Well, that's only the beta, the real product will be out…
The problem is that, with me, undercutting it all is this fear of being left behind, professionally, I mean. Driver stuff is career suicide, which is why the management thing is good for me, but like it or not, I'm doing Windows 100% of the time at work. Several folks have floated the idea of OSX and Linux drivers (and there is some commonality here – about half to three quarters of the code would be portable between the two platforms), but we always get shot down, because we can't put together ROI numbers that anyone believes. The problem is that Microsoft's market dominance numbers are overly inflated, and that no one believes that Linux is going to take off. Yesterday, the statement was made that “when I start seeing business ads about Linux on the desktop, then I'll be worried”.
Guess what – when you see those, it will be too late. It will take a year to write these, and if our competition is keeping a Linux/OSX driver in their back pocket, then we're screwed.
I really need to get into a company doing Linux stuff within the next two years. Otherwise, I'm going to be out of the game. I'm going to be one of the Windows wankers that, right now, I laugh at.
matt | June 8, 2004
In a nutshell, virus/worm/trojan infected Windows machines are being used to spam people.
As I've said before – Windows represents a clear an present danger to the stability of the internet.
Oh, and I love this bit:
“As a complement to existing mail server and client based tools, service providers need to arm themselves with network-based anti-spam defences and combat this growing form of malicious traffic.”
- Marc Morin, Sandvine (the guys who posted these numbers), quoted here.
Not anything akin to “we need to stop Windows Losers from getting their machines compromised” or anything like that.
Come on folks – these boxes are getting rooted and no one cares. It's like MS is completely off the hook here. WTF?
matt | June 6, 2004
I was doing two things at once and logged out not realizing that I still had logjam opened with lots of stuff written and hadn't hit submit yet, so I lost it all.
The nutshell is that Liz and I went shopping yesterday, and I bought some DVD's and a new desk to replace the old, ugly, too huge one, plus a bunch of plastic containers to attempt to organize my life.
And, I installed x.org. For you adventurous souls, here's the skinny:
(drop to a tty) /etc/init.d/xfs stop /etc/init.d/xdm stop emerge –unmerge xfree ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=”~x86″ emerge xorg-x11 wine (go to sleep) etc-update (or do it manually) /etc/init.d/xfs start /etc/init.d/sdm start
The only incompatibility I've found is with old versions of wine, hence why you need to install the ~x86 version.
matt | June 1, 2004
Saturday, I ran errands, paid bills, and cooked food for Sunday.
Sunday a spent the say with my parents at their house. My dad fired up his smoker and we had some wonderful smoked meats. I made potato salad and cucumbers/peppers in balsamic vinegar. Lots of folks showed up, including many of my brother's friends. There were LOTS of motorcycles (they're all in to bikes).
Monday (for those of you not in the US, Monday is a holiday here), I helped Liz strip old paint off her bureau. Not the most fun job, but it gave me an excuse to buy and play with a power tool (an orbital sander).