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: I got nothing. Here's that IRC chat I did about the Launchpad web service.

If It Doesn't Fit, Resource It: "If there's a concept that's causing you design troubles, you can usually fit it into the ROA by exposing it as a new kind of resource." --RWS page 233.

"The solution... is to provide a resource that reflects all of the changes on Flickr during a given time period." --Roy Fielding

"[A] simple and compact 'ping feed' that web services can produce in order to alert the consumers of their feeds when a feed has been updated." --Simple Update Protocol

His fate? Still unlearned.: At last, New York has a not terribly-well-scanning filk of "Charlie on the MTA." Unfortunately it's missing the final verse that tells us who we can elect to make the fare calculations more reasonable.

: Speaking of Boston, I'm just back from a weekend there, where I did many things including meeting Ned Batchelder and ending the senseless war between our weblogs.

[Comments] (2) Check For Party Traps: Behold! Pictures from Sumana's surprise Boston picnic, as mentioned on her site. It was great meeting Kirk and Ned and Moss and Julia's friends.

Keeping the picnic a surprise was nerve-wracking. I invented a fictional retro-videogame-themed event to explain where Moss and I would be meeting Kirk and why Sumana wouldn't want to come. Julia took Sumana shopping while we set up in the Common Garden, then arranged to casually stumble upon us while taking a walk. Surprise: achieved!

: A while ago some streets in our neighborhood got blocked off to film an episode of some TV show I don't even remember. I mention it now because today the same thing happened again, except they're filming the American version of "Life on Mars". Which will probably be lousy, despite Colm Meaney, but at least they redecorated the local Irish bar to look like an ugly 70s bar called "Along Come Marys".

I took some pictures this morning. All that space was just used to park support trailers, including a wardrobe trailer full of 70s gear. It never ceases to amaze me how many logistics vehicles get brought out for big-budget location shoots. It's like your country gets invaded by tactical trucks and cargo planes and they're all just delivering hot meals and bullets to the one soldier with a gun.

[Comments] (1) : Recently under Adam P.'s guidance I bought a Nintendo DS. It's proven its worth on long trips already. Not under Adam P.'s guidance I bought a little plugin card that lets me run homebrew DS software, like robotfindskitten! Way to go, Trevor Wilson!

Don't Waste It!: Sumana and I spent some time listening to these old Superman radio serials where Superman takes on the Klan. Sample dialogue (paraphrased): "Someone burned a cross on my lawn!" "Gee, that sounds like the Clan of the Flaming Cross!" Thanks, Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen. Caution: six episodes in, Superman has yet to actually bust any heads, and the thrilling action is frequently interrupted by hilarious super-earnest cereal commercials for the kiddies. Also, the first couple episodes have the same basic plot as The Music Man, except with hate groups instead of marching bands.

[Comments] (3) The YEAR 2000!: I borrowed a book from Hal a long time ago and now it's time for the book report. The book is The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years, published in 1967. Here's what Hal had to say about it (and also Anathem).

I have lots of disorganized things to say about this book, so here's the first one. One of the coauthors is Herman Kahn, the court jester of nuclear war, subject of Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi's on-my-wishlist biography. So it starts off with a lot going for it. As Hal says, it is "not a bunch of pie-in-the-sky pronouncements, but a sober attempt to make plausible predictions and draw up likely scenarios for the future." But the book does contain three tables that pronounce the pie to be at various altitudes, and I thought it would be fun to audit those. Go check out what Herman Kahn thought was likely (and unlikely) to happen between 1967 and 2000.

More on this book later. One thing I want to point out is that the book's discussion of nuclear war (and Kahn's analysis in general) would be very different if Kahn had known about nuclear winter.

[Comments] (8) : Sumana was talking about the proportions in Bill Clinton's presidential portrait. I went and checked out the portrait, and started wondering what are those circular things in the background of the portrait. I thought they might be Boy Scout merit badges, but Clinton was never a Boy Scout. Are they the seals of various government departments? A collection of handpainted state quarters? The Internet is no help. Any ideas?

[Comments] (1) : James Rolfe, not content with his character of the Angry Video Game Nerd, has cultivated an obsession with film that culminates in visiting the mall parking lot seen in Back to the Future and, the real point of this entry, a completist aesthetic that is leading him to do little video reviews of every Godzilla movie. Hell yeah! He's like Adam Kaplan, except making films instead of getting a doctorate in computer science.

[Comments] (5) Don't Blink Without Thinking: "We accept the cut because it resembles the way images are juxtaposed in our dreams." -- In the Blink of an Eye. Okay then. But also, ItBoaE posits the blink as the "cut" we experience in waking life, which is really interesting.

Rule 34 Strikes Again: In the window of the Museum of Sex they've got a big drawing of the two lions from the New York Public Library goin' at it.

[Comments] (1) Content-MD5: I'm a little surprised that the HTTP standard defines a Content-MD5 header rather than a generic Content-Hash header that supports different hashing algorithms and provides a method for extension. That's how other HTTP headers work when there are a lot of ways to do something and there might be more in the future (Authorization, Cache, Accept-Encoding, TE). It's a little less surprising given that Content-MD5 is taken wholesale from a different RFC, one with only one wacky comment at the bottom of its faqs.org page.

Looking around I see only a couple nerds wondering about this, about as many as in 2005 were wondering why HTML forms don't support PUT or DELETE. But it's at the intersection of two trends: growing interest in putting metadata in HTTP headers, and growing interest in not using MD5. Has anyone else wanted to send a non-MD5 checksum in HTTP headers? If nobody says anything I'm going to go ahead and make a X-Content-SHA1.

Uh, and in keeping with the peurile theme established by the previous entry, here's my current favorite wacky faqs.org comment.

: The invasion of my VP class into the SF world continues with the publication of the excellent Chrono-Girl Versus Kid Vampire.

[Comments] (1) : Went to a fancy high-rise restaurant with wine cages. Bottles of wine confined in little cubbyholes in the wall, prominently labelled with the names of high rollers. I don't know what those people did to be turned into wine, but it must have been pretty bad.

[Comments] (3) : I'd forgotten about this cool hack until it showed up in a book I'm reading. MIDI Maze was a sixteen-player game that you networked by daisy-chaining your computers' MIDI ports. In an even more inappropriate use of technology, there was also a version for the Game Boy.

Immediate update: Not even the first time I've written about MIDI Maze.

[Comments] (4) : Why did someone send me a letter from Hong Kong certified mail? The answer tomorrow, when I go to the post office. I'm kind of apprehensive.

Update: It wasn't a letter at all. It was a little package containing a gizmo I ordered. I didn't expect them to ship it direct from China.

: So yeah, I went to Portland. More about that later, but the thing I want to mention now is that I bought a copy of The Big Idea, my favorite Cheapass game. The last time I played The Big Idea I kept wanting to play long after everyone else was tired of it, so Sumana was suspicious. "Come on," I wheedled, "it's like Once Upon a Time, except with capitalism."

: I don't usually enjoy writing critiques for my writing group, especially when I miss the meeting by being out of town and my critiques are late anyway. But they are, I hope, useful to the people whose stories I critique, and sometimes when writing them I manage to put into words something about science fiction. Today's object lesson: "in an alien environment, the natural object of empathy is the alien."

: At last, I've recieved funding for my political satire/kaiju movie, Harrison Barugon.

: Two books that had a formative influence on my sense of humor: How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr, and The Non-Runner's Book by Lewis Grossberger and Vic Ziegel. Two more or less random books that my parents happened to have lying around the house. That's pre-Internet life.

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