Saturday, September 26, 2009, 7:23am
So Quark Expeditions is having a blog your way to Antarctica contest. Allie and I want to win. So far, the winner has 10,000 some odd votes. We need to go viral or whatever it is kids do these days on the intertubes to get enough votes to win.
If we don't win this, by the time that we've saved up enough money to go, global warming will have melted everything. Here's a picture of us (with penguin!) now go vote!
Thursday, September 24, 2009, 5:00am
So I've been MIA for a few months. My Spring 2009 class turned into a Summer 2009 class, work has been extremely busy (but going well, I got my gold star) and my freelancing business is doing quite well. And we're finally getting around to finishing the kitchen cabinets in the apartment.
Monday, March 2, 2009, 12:28pm
I've been around the Drupal community in one form or another for five and a half years now. This past weekend was DrupalCamp6. I didn't get to go because I didn't register fast enough and they are at capacity. While the past DrupalCampNYC events have been big, I don't remember ever thinking that I needed to register sooner rather than later due to capacity issues.
Now I see the NYT has an article on the event. I guess Drupal has hit the mainstream. How did it get so big so fast? It seems like every week now someone is pointing out a large organization that is using Drupal to power their website along side the dozens of smaller operations that have been for years.
This year I want to take a more active role in the community and make sure I actually go to the next DrupalCampNYC.
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 10:48pm
I live in East Meadow. There is no West Meadow. This is not the eastern half of a town (more accurately hamlet) called Meadow. No, the full proper name of the town I live in is East Meadow.
I also live on East Meadow Avenue. Kind of like how there is a York Avenue, New York, New York. Anyhow, since the street is named after the town, there is no West Meadow Avenue. Unsurprisingly, this isn't the eastern portion of a street called Meadow Avenue. The street, all of it, is just East Meadow Avenue.
So please stop calling it E. Meadow Avenue. This isn't the eastern half of a street called Meadow Avenue. Thanks.
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 9:05am
Here We Go Magic, found by The Rawking Refuses To Stop's review, and verified to not have been produced by a member of the RIAA, I just bought this album in iTunes for $8.91 without DRM encoded at 256 kbps since it's an iTunes Plus album.
It feels so weird, but my concerns (RIAA support, DRM, low quality audio) are all done and it's nice to just go about this in such a convenient way.
Sunday, February 8, 2009, 9:36pm
I use suPHP for security reasons where applicable. Today, I ran into a situation where my Linux distro's package manager installed a php script, but did so in
/usr/share/something, which is fine because a quick symlink of
ln -s /usr/share/something /home/sitenamedotcom/web/something took care of the issue. (Yes, I keep my sites in
/home/sitenamedotcom.) But this won't work at all since this is
/usr/share/anything is way outside the
docroot that suPHP is configured with.
But wait, suPHP supports multiple
docroots as of the December 2008 suPHP 0.7.0 release, awesome. But none of that matters since my distro doesn't have this version. Sure, they will soon, since they're aware of the issue, but given I tend to jump from their long term support releases which come out every two years (as to avoid getting sucked into a six month cycle where it feels like all I do is update operating systems and spend time fixing the configuration that broke) it looks like I'm stuck without this for about 18 months.
Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why things are done the way they are. But switching to a packaged program as opposed to subscribing to yet another security list and keeping things up to date myself was supposed to make my life easier. Sigh.
Oh and if you're going to go ahead with this anyhow, the default suPHP configuration has
check_vhost_docroot set to true. You'll need to set that to false or your
error.log will be littered with lots of
foo is not in document root of Vhost of bar errors.
Friday, December 12, 2008, 9:25pm
My Safari uptime never manages to hit a week. It's very annoying since I live in my browser. Maybe if I keep submitting bug/crash reports such as:
As most heavy internet users do, I leave my browser open all the time. I open numerous tabs in a single window, maybe as many as twenty. A dew days and several suspends/resumes later and I'm closing a tab and my browser crashes. It seems I can't go more than a week. I'd appreciate it if Safari became more stable.
Really, it's practically 2009 and we can't have web browsers that don't crash because you left them open too long?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 10:09pm
Safari used to crash on me several times a day ever since I got the iPhone. Since iPhone 2.2, I was able to not only wait for my train for half an hour, but make it the entire way home, Penn to Westbury, a 50 minute ride, without a single crash using the browser non-stop. Fantastic!
Now if only the battery would last longer.
Saturday, November 22, 2008, 9:04pm
I've been really busy lately between school work and the new business I've started (parttime on the side). School is going well, a B in my Waves and Optics class and an A in my Suburban Studies class is what it looks like for this semester. I also changed my major, I'm now a dual major, physics and math. Not because I'm looking to delay my graduation but because work added math to the list of degree programs which qualify for tuition reimbursement, and they'll pay for my entire degree.
Saturday, September 13, 2008, 3:11pm
I'm at the Drupal and Multimedia session at DrupalCamp NYC 5 and they were briefly going over the modules that there are (a) there are a lot and (b) there's usually several ways to do something. One thing they pointed out was that by Drupal 7, the plan is for image module and imagefield module to merge. Great, this will cut down on redundancy and it will give site-builders a clear solution that will hopefully do everything they need it to do.
I also think that MAQUM should be migrated to imagefield and a lot of the metadata should be shoved into a CCK field.
Friday, May 1, 2009, 7:40am
NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the current court term. The vacancy will give President Obama his first chance to name a member of the high court and begin to shape its future direction.
Sunday, April 26, 2009, 12:28am
New York City's Bronx Zoo, the largest metropolitan wildlife preserve in the United States, is being hit hard by the economy. To prevent a $15 million budget shortfall, zoo officials are closing four exhibits and evicting all their occupants, estimated to number in the hundreds of animals.
Zoo officials admitted in a New York City Cultural Affairs Committee meeting today that they are forced to relocate the suddenly homeless deer, bats, foxes, antelopes and other animals to zoos around the country.
This is sad. Allie and I are going next week, I'll be sure to donate extra (not that it will help).
Saturday, April 18, 2009, 1:03am
The judicial panel hearing Coleman's challenge against Franken in the Minnesota Senate Race has made its decision: Franken is the the winner of the election and should be certified. The procedure is this: A ten day period occurs after which the Governor certifies the election. Unless there is a challenge in the State Supreme Court.
Greg Laden has been covering Al Franken and Norm Coleman extensively. Thanks so much Greg!
Friday, April 17, 2009, 6:13pm
In response to litigation filed by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Justice Department today released four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture. The memos, produced by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), provided the legal framework for the CIA's use of waterboarding and other illegal interrogation methods that violate domestic and international law.18-page memo, dated August 1, 2002, from Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA46-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counse20-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counse
Friday, April 17, 2009, 9:50am
Now everyone in the US can buy Muji things: the Muji US online store is open for business.
Right now it looks like they don't have everything they sell. I don't see any of their furniture or their polypropylene storage cases, which I love more than anything.
Friday, April 17, 2009, 8:09am
President Obama promised on the campaign trail that he would have the most transparent administration in history. As part of this commitment, he said that the public would have five days to look online and find out what was in the bills that came to his desk before he signed them. It was his first broken promise, and it's the promise that keeps on breaking. He has now signed 11 bills into law and gone, at best, 1 for 11 on his five-day posting promise. The Obama administration should deliver on the Web-enabled transparency he promised and post bills for five days before signing.
To the thrill of technology and transparency advocates, candidate Obama promised sunlight before signing: "As president," his campaign website said, "Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days."
Members of Congress are highly skilled political risk balancers, and the president's firm insistence on leaving bills sitting out there, unsigned, after they pass Congress would have a significant effect on congressional behavior. It would threaten to reveal excesses in parochial amendments and earmarks, which could bring down otherwise good bills. Recognizing the negative attention they could draw to themselves, representatives and senators would act with more circumspection, and last-minute add-ons to big bills would recede. A firm five-day rule at the White House would also inspire the House and Senate to implement more transparent and careful processes themselves.
There should be a standard location on Whitehouse.gov -- a standard URL structure -- where the bills presented by Congress are posted for comment. With a standard location in place, members of the public would know where they could return to look at each bill the president receives.
Friday, April 17, 2009, 7:56am
The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.
Several intelligence officials, as well as lawyers briefed about the matter, said the N.S.A. had been engaged in "overcollection" of domestic communications of Americans. They described the practice as significant and systemic, although one official said it was believed to have been unintentional.
The legal and operational problems surrounding the N.S.A.'s surveillance activities have come under scrutiny from the Obama administration, Congressional intelligence committees and a secret national security court, said the intelligence officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because N.S.A. activities are classified. Classified government briefings have been held in recent weeks in response to a brewing controversy that some officials worry could damage the credibility of legitimate intelligence-gathering efforts.
The Justice Department, in response to inquiries from The New York Times, acknowledged Wednesday night that there had been problems with the N.S.A. surveillance operation, but said they had been resolved.
As part of a periodic review of the agency's activities, the department "detected issues that raised concerns," it said. Justice Department officials then "took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance" with the law and court orders, the statement said. It added that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. went to the national security court to seek a renewal of the surveillance program only after new safeguards were put in place.
In a statement on Wednesday night, the N.S.A. said that its "intelligence operations, including programs for collection and analysis, are in strict accordance with U.S. laws and regulations." The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the intelligence community, did not address specific aspects of the surveillance problems but said in a statement that "when inadvertent mistakes are made, we take it very seriously and work immediately to correct them."
And they call it overcollecting?
Friday, April 17, 2009, 7:35am
Four men connected to The Pirate Bay, the world's most notorious file sharing site, were convicted by a Swedish court Friday of contributory copyright infringement, and each sentenced to a year in prison.
Pirate Bay administrators Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde were found guilty in the case, along with Carl Lundström, who was accused of funding the 5-year-old operation.
In addition to jail time, the defendants were ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to a handful of entertainment companies, including Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros, EMI and Columbia Pictures, for the infringement of 33 specific movie and music properties tracked by industry investigators.
The defense largely hinged on an architectural point. Because of the way BitTorrent works, pirated material was neither stored on, nor passed through, The Pirate Bay's servers. Instead the site merely provided an index of torrent files -- some on its servers, some elsewhere -- that direct a user's client software to the content.
But prosecutor Håkan Roswall argued successfully that the defendants were culpable anyway, citing past prosecutions of criminal accomplices. In a Supreme Court decision from 1963, he noted, a defendant who held a friend's coat while the friend beat someone up was considered culpable.
The verdict could shatter Sweden's reputation as a safe haven for content piracy, coming just weeks after a new law that took effect that allows content owners to force internet service providers to reveal subscriber data in piracy investigations.
Saturday, April 4, 2009, 9:10am
URL shortening services have been around for a number of years. Their original purpose was to prevent cumbersome URLs from getting fragmented by broken email clients that felt the need to wrap everything to an 80 column screen. But it's 2009 now, and this problem no longer exists. Instead it's been replaced by the SMS-oriented 140 character constraints of sites like Twitter. (Let's leave aside the fact that any phone that can run a web browser and thus follow links can also run a proper client, and doesn't have to hew to the SMS character limit.) Since TinyURL, there has been a rapid proliferation of shortening services.
Aside from the raw utility of allowing URLs to fit within a Twitter message, newer services add several interesting bits of functionality. The most important of these is that let the linker turn any link into THEIR link, and view metrics on how far it's spread and how many clicks it's gotten. Showing a user how popular his actions are is inevitably addictive. Shorteners are relatively easy and lightweight to set up. Adding a simple interstitial before the redirect provides an obvious way to monetize. And maybe someday all the link data will be worth something.
So there are clear benefits for both the service (low cost of entry, potentially easy profit) and the linker (the quick rush of popularity). But URL shorteners are bad for the rest of us.
Ugh, most annoying thing ever. I can't stand clicking some URI only to find out I saw this already. And would have known since the site was probably using some URI scheme where I could tell the content without having to click.
Coming as soon as I can get some modules updated to Drupal 7.