<M <Y
Y> M>

: I'm at my great-aunt's house, setting up Putty so I can check my email.

: The San Fransisco Giants portal has the same sort of appeal to me that I imagine your average portal having to someone who is new to the Internet.

The collab.net office (until it moves in August) is right down the street from Pac Bell Park. It's a really nice ballpark.

My time has been largely divided between driving the car and sitting in the car taking pictures out the windows while someone else drove. The resulting travelogue will therefore probably have a lot of poorly-shot pictures of things I think are funny and lots of paragraphs that just go "I drove from x place to y place."

"Why do you take so many pictures of signs?", asks Susanna. Because signs are funny. When you're driving down the freeway and someone wants to sell you something you don't need or convert you to their religion, they use a sign. And since you're driving past the sign at a fair clip, the copy on the sign needs to be snappy. And since it's so difficult to come up with snappy copy, signs are a gold mine of unintentional hilarity.

I-5 in Washington goes through some Indian reservations, and the inhabitants of the reservations set up these Quartzite-style booths on the side of the road and sell fireworks from them. They have names like "Ill Eagle Fireworks". I got some great pictures of that and of other things today, including a bizarre billboard near the Washington border that had a big Uncle Sam on the right and a plastic-letter "DO DEMOCRATS HATE MICROSOFT?" attached to the left. Do Democrats hate Microsoft? Well, it's pretty universal outside of Washington.

: Oh yeah, I turn 21 a week from today.

: Among the stuff that my great-aunt is getting rid of is a thing that came with a piece of software written to help you learn how to beat blackjack. (Blackjack, apparantly, can be consistently beaten; that is, there are strategies that result long-term in you gaining money and the house losing money.) The thing is basically a lookup table which maps the current state of the game to the action you should take. I guess you're supposed to memorize the table and then go to a casino and get kicked out because they can see you're playing according to the system.

It gave me an idea for a genetic programming type program which evolves a winning blackjack strategy by selecting for good lookup tables. The only problem is that some of the entries on the lookup table want you to calculate some function of the game state, a "count", and take one action if the count is positive and another if it's negative. I don't know how to calculate this function of the game state.

I've tried searching the Web but all I get is people wanting to sell me books on how to calculate this function; I don't get any actual explanation of the actual function. Is it such a complicated function? If I knew anything about genetic programming I'd evolve the count function as well as the lookup table, but I don't. Does anyone reading this have one of those books that they bought at some point and can explicate the function to me?

Also, I remember seeing a Python module containing deck-of-cards logic, but I can't find it. Anyone know where it is? Nevermind, I found it: cards.py.

: What better way to celebrate Independance Day than to go to Canada? That's what we did. We spent as much time on the ferry to Victoria as we did in Victoria, but apart from that it wasn't bad.

: As a preview of the travelogue I am sure to write, I put up about 30 pictures taken over the past five days. Enjoy.

: Everything in Washington and Canada seems designed for someone several inches shorter than myself. This is very strange, as I am not particularily tall.

: Pinball games suffer from incredible point inflation, such that even someone who is terrible at pinball, such as myself (I'm not a pinball wizard, nor must there be a twist) can score 17 million points over the course of a typical game.

In the car, Susanna read out loud a joke she was reading in Our Dumb Century, But I was sitting in the front seat, away from her, and when she said "cannibalism", I heard "catapults", which ruined the joke. The thing was, it not only ruined the joke but it also made the joke about ten times funnier, and I started laughing hysterically. After Susanna discovered that I was laughing at a misinterpretation of the joke, she grew sullen. "I tried to share my humor, and they laughed at me!", she said.

: I just put up 4 new pictures taken today.

: We're supposed to leave in an hour. My mother was going to wake everyone up. I'd better go wake her up.

: My mother was awake, but not out of bed. Just so I don't get accused of slandering my own mother.

I'm at collab.net now. Three... why did I type "three"? I don't know. I have a computer with a huge monitor. Lynx looks so good in it. I'm going to go publish some Segfault stories while I wait for Brian to get here.

: Ahh... now I can drink!

: The "Applets" icon for Helix-Gnome looks like Sputnik. Is it Sputnik? I assume it's not since that makes absolutely no sense. But what is it?

: Correction: Terry Chow does not use KDE.

: Wohoo! My cumulative UCLA GPA is 3.303!

: The boom box here is playing a reggae version of "Autobahn". It has stunned me into submission, like a large frog smacked on the head by a two-by-four.

: Too many portable MP3 players, not enough potable MP3 players!

: My current task is reading O'Reilly's Java Servlet Programming. The guy who wrote the book is sitting at the desk across from mine. This is weird.

: Got my birthday present from Jake: three CDs.

  1. Jake's own Ordem e Progresso
  2. Cat and Bird Hospital (Jake and Greg, who I do not know) Get Well Soon, which would be a lot better if the vocals were done in normal voices instead of sore-throat voices.
  3. The Interview with a Frankenstein audio issue, which I have not heard but which covers (?) my 68 Dead Ones, which slightly distresses me as Jake said he was going to cover Liza Dei.

: Whoops, it's not a cover, it's the original tape recording of 68 Dead Ones I sent to Jake years ago, with some samples dubbed on top of it. How emberraske (for me).

: What if I kept track of every single URL I came across in print and post them at the end of the day in a big list? Answer: there would be something seriously wrong with me.

: Microsoft's .NET not bid to control Internet - CEO See? Even the CEO says so!

: I forgot to mention that Celeste sent me a bunch of cool shirts and two very sweet cards for my birthday. Thank you so much, honey.

I was reminded of Celeste by the song Sara on One Hand, the Drug Store on the Other on the IwaF audio issue. It's the best song on that CD. It's so beautiful, it moves me to tears. The only problem with it is the inclusion of a sample after the song is over.

: "LinuxWorld Conference & Expo has moved the registration deadline to July 21 to accommodate the new software rage." Huh?

: MP3 of Sara on One Hand, the Drug Store on the Other. It's exactly the sort of song I would never, ever write (lyrics-wise, I mean; the music sounds very me-ish), but I wish I had written it, which makes me feel very weird, and may be why I love it so much.

Jake in his notebook: "everyone agrees- i should've removed the last "late afternoon" form the sara jon & the drugstore song. %#@$!"

: I find this very funny, although I probably shouldn't (from The Washington Post):

No nation provides so clear an illustration of the dangers of irony as France: You sit in a cafe long enough, wearing black and muttering ironic observations on the passing scene, and one day the passing scene is the German army, again. Isn't that ironic?

: Added Mark Fasheh, Michael Yount, and foaf's new weblog (One weblog, okay, but two???) to my outside-link bar.

: On the way back from the Bryant office, I saw a big red double-decker bus belonging to the same tour company that owned the big red double-decker bus we took sightseeing in Victoria. It must be a chain, or that bus is seriously lost.

: As long as I'm ripping people's songs off the IwaF compilation, I should rip my own 68 Dead Ones, which was not a premonition of the exploded whale, but which could have been.

: I finally got my laptop. It's {Mendocino County &tc., a Thinkpad}. It's faster than my desktop at home, which should make for some wild times.



How'd we pack so much FLAVOR and CRUNCH into something so MINI? One bite and your family will know this BIG TASTE is something DIFFERENT. QUAKER CRISPY MINI'S [sic] are OVEN-BAKED for a LIGHT, CRISPY texture you'll love to MUNCH. It's the SNACK that's a TREAT to EAT. At a party or simply watching TV, it's the only MINI that's BIG where it counts.

Wanna add some CRUNCH to the taste of CARAMEL? You've grabbed the right bag. CARAMEL CRISPY MINI'S [sic] bring to mind swirls of thick, rich caramel. And, better still, they've got CRUNCH! Now you can really satisfy your family's sweet tooth. So c'mon! Crunch into CARAMEL QUAKER CRISPY MINI'S! [sic]

This opens up so many questions. Like, why the unhealthy obsession with my family? Why the Pokeyfication? Why the apostrophe errors? Whose idea was it to write the copy as though "flavor" and "crunch" were cancer preventatives?

: This is incredible. I'm actually remembering peoples' names.

: Embedded Linux tsunami hits Tokyo, thousands drown

: Josh Lucas, who started at collab.net the same day I did, has a web page which meets my criteria for top-of-the-front-page placement, so I put it there. What a long, convoluted sentence.

: Nathan (a Segfault fan from way back) got my printing and my sound card working on the laptop. Woohoo!

: It may interest you to know that in the Nethack source there is an extensive routine for pluralizing English nouns.

That's just one of those things that comes to my mind once in a while and which I have to post here so that I'll stop thinking about it.

: For the first time in my life, I have a huge box of business cards with my name on them. I have a feeling that this is like handing me a machine gun that shoots candy.

: If you thought the tsunami of embedded Linux in Tokyo last week was devestating, wait until you read about the European outbreak of Linux devices. This stuff is dangerous, folks.

: perl.com Is Not www.perl.com.

: The fruit and nut trail mix here has chunks of dried mango in it. My, this is a yummy dried mango!

There is so much food here. Never before have I had so much food at my disposal.

This book looks very interesting, but somehow I came away from the review without feeling as though I had read a review of a book. Weird.

: Salon article about Advogato: Even Better Than Slashdot? There are certain assumptions implicit in that headline.

: I'll be at The O'Reilly Open Source Convention tomorrow. Their motto, "Innovate - Collaborate - Discover", is obviously a rip-off of mine.

I met Cameron Barrett today. He wants me to go to Webzine2000 on Friday. I normally forgo events which promote themselves via cartoons of girls holding cans of spray paint, but I may make an exception in this instance.

: Gnutella is very cool, but I don't really want anything.

: What comes to mind when you see the headline South African Attacked By Great White? That's probably why they appended "Shark" to the headline.

: I have a bottle of green hair dye from my first year at UCLA. I work at a place that doesn't care what color my hair is (Ed Korthof, one of my co-passengers on the trip to Monterey tomorrow, has blue hair), and my hair is now short enough (its darkness in color is directly proportional to its length) that the green would probably actually show up. So, the question is, should I try the green hair again?

: I think this is the funniest thing Scott (JR, not H) has ever written: (from his journal)

I mean, its not as if the Queen Mother is destructible anyway. If you blew her up, she'd reassamble and walk out of the flames Terminator style.

Happy birthday, Scott!

: The open source conference was great. I have pictures which I can't seem to get onto my laptop, including many pictures of Larry Wall making a fool of himself. Larry Wall has many of the mannerisms of Weird Al Yankovic, and he also had the Weird Al glasses and Hawaiian shirt (and old-school mustache). Also Brian, Tim O'Reilly, Richard Gabriel (me: "Is that the Richard Gabriel?" Jon: "Yeah, although I'm not sure what he's known for."), Andy Hertzfeld, and other greats. Actually, I think that's it as far as the greats go. But I also have lots of pictures of my friends.

: I got a paycheck yesterday. This is not good, as my money was supposed to be directly deposited into my UCU account. This means I have to go over to the BofA and open an account there so that I can make my car payment.

: RIAA:Napster::MPAA:Scour.

(I have an interest in Scour because I went to UCLA with the people who founded it.)

: Today's Zippy (which will only last until Monday) has a nice touch: the building in the cartoon is the Griffith Observatory in L.A.

: Does anyone know the original source of the fake news story "Metallica's New Album Is Napster-Proof"? I thought it was from modernhumorist.com, but it's not. Someone tried to submit it as a Segfault story. The story posits a Metallica album with one, really long, really crappy song.

: Thanks to Celeste for tracking down the Metallica article.

In other news, my CARROT/STIC Segfault story was profiled on Tasty Bits from the Technology Front. Woohoo!

: Segfault: DVD Zone Encoding Has Gone Too Far! I actually wrote that story a long time ago (on paper, waiting for the plane back to LA after my Zack interview), but it still works.

: Recipient of tiny heart pump goes home after transplant. Do they run a story every time anyone goes home after a transplant? Are they going to run a story about me when I go home?

: This organization is one of the SourceXchange sponsors: Future Captains of Capitalism. When I was a kid, it was Future Farmers of America.

: Wow, Mike cut his hair.

: I'm going through the DSL shenannigans again. Hopefully I'll have it within a week and I can start working from home.

: New features include...nuclear fallout

: Even before the merger [of Visio and Microsoft], [Visio CEO Ted] Johnson was an outspoken defender of Microsoft in its fight against the Department of Justice. He [sic] opinion hasn't changed.

I'm not sure what the expectation is. Do the CEOs of most companies acquired by Microsoft suddenly start supporting the antitrust action?

: Town Searches For Monster Snake. A truly monstrous snake would not require much searching for.

: Just spoke to Cameron Barrett again, at somewhat greater length than last time. He seems like a really great guy.

: It's gotten to the unfortunate point that every time I see news of a natural disaster, I think of it in terms of embedded Linux. I guess you ridicule what you don't understand, and I understand neither natural disasters nor embedded Linux. When San Francisco is destroyed by earthquake, my thoughts as I fly across the room will be "Oh no, an embedded Linux earthquake!"

: Since I moved here, I've been wondering why the fog clears up in the afternoon only during the week. The weekends are inevitably shrouded in perpetual fog. The only reasonable explanation is that the fog clears up in the afternoon in the downtown area, where I am during the week, but not in the hills, where I live and where I stay during the weekend.

: Hey hey. Taking BART knocks 20 minutes off my commute. And it's much more comfortable than the bus (but a lot more walking).

: Vivendi Chief Says He'll Crush Pirates. These poor people. They're banging their shoes on the table and threatening to crush their customers.

: Pictures from the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. Jon has a couple pictures of me. I'll add those when I get them.

I'm so behind on writing pages for all my sets of pictures. Now I know how my mother feels with all her scrapbooks. Except I don't clutter up my pages with stickers. If I did, it would take even longer for me to find all the appropriate clip art.

: Woohoo! Segfault has been declared a federal disaster relief area USA Today Hot Site! I took the opportunity to put up that old Linux Magazine Top 100 Linux Web Sites award, as well.

: Linux To Remain The Same Sized Threat To Microsoft, Study Says. Dang it! I mocked their headline and then they went and changed it! That's not the way it's supposed to work!

: Where does that bear bile you love so much come from? It comes from bear bile farms! Shame on you!

: Joe found some Linux games which I wish I'd known about earlier so I could have played them with Dan: Emperor Penguin (a clone of the fabulous old-school Empire) and Craft.

: Excellent. My copies of Peopleware and Open Source Development with CVS have come in. OSDwC has a starburst on the cover that says "Portions Of This Book Available Under The GPL". Yes, nothing sells books like the licensing of a portion under the GPL.


Rick: You put that back! That's my intellectual property!
Neil: You just said all property is theft, Rick.
Rick: Well, yes, it is.
Vyvyan: So I'm nicking it.

: Collab.net is getting lots of press coverage due to the Sun openoffice.org and Oracle developer exchange annoucnements, and I (along with everyone else) am getting lots of forwarded news articles. Here's a gem from the Wall Street Journal which demonstrates a form of understatement I find distinctly American (as opposed to the traditional British understatement):

Sun's StarOffice open initiative is a way to attack the ubiquity of proprietary desktop software such as Microsoft Corp.'s popular Office product, which wasn't developed using open-source models.

Not to be jingoistic about forms of understatement, not to wave the red, white, and blue of understatement, not to wear the big belt buckle and drive the gas-guzzling SUV of understatement, but this kind of innocent understatement is a nice compliment to the traditional dry, worldly British brand.

: What does it say? More importantly, why is "datanerd" not a word in English?

The banner ad for that page when I went there had epilepsy-fit-inducing camels flittering around it, so of course I had to click.

: Another great George Speight quote: "At least we're not killing people like in other coups." Why is he so sensitive about other people's coups?

: More lovely understatement: "They [the dinosaurs] dominated this planet for 140 million years yet never developed a technological civilization."

: I asked on IRC if "R2-D2" had a hyphen or not, and Jon pointed me to R2-D2's official character page, which reads like R2's resume. "As Skywalker's trusty companion, R2-D2 continues to play an important and ongoing role in helping the Rebels thwart Imperial forces, specializing in GTK development with C++."

: The reason I asked was that a guy submitted a Segfault story involving R2. As long as I'm linking to Segfault stories, don't miss the hilarious RFC 31337.

: Why is the History of UNIX spread out over twenty bazillion pages? The normal rationale for this behavior is to sell lots of banner ads, but there are no banner ads on that site. Maybe they've been paying too much attention to Jakob Nielsen.

: I thought I would be free of techno music when I moved out of LA, but no such luck. They play it even at work here! Argh. It's not as annoying as the stuff I was subjected to in LA, but still. Argh.

: I'm fleeing to mp3.com for music to listen to to drown out the techno. There are a lot of silly children's songs.

: Wonderful "Eclectic Science Rock" from Mike T. and the Trilobites. My only concern is that it seems that people who actually know how evolution works can't translate that consistently into a song.

I screwed up on that at one point (Liquid Crystal used to have a line that implied that evolution was goal-directed), and I just rewrote the song. Is it so difficult?

Sorry. Go there and listen to that music. It's good.

: My second Be Dope story in as many years. (here's the other one)

: I bet I forgot my sandwiches. Nope.

: An interview with my hero (in a Penelope Pitstop sort of way), Scott Fritzinger of gPhoto. If you like Garrett LeSage's Segfault icons, he's also the guy who does all the graphics for linux.com. Even if you don't like them, that's what he does. He's not going to stop just because you don't like what he did for Segfault.

: I love you too, Celeste.

: Crud. I really gotta write up descriptions for the O'Reilly pictures, as Cam has linked to them.

: People visiting from Camworld: you probably want me to pontificate about industry trends, so here goes.

The big push now, apparantly, is P2P. Pseudo-acronym for "person-to-person" (with Edward R. Murrow). This is by analogy with the previous big pushes, B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer). Note that Cs must share a 2-bond with a B, or they become Ps. It's like chemistry.

People are floating business plans for P2P schemes, which is interesting as P2P has no B in it, just Ps. So why the business plans, rather than just a standards document that Ps agree to follow? The answer is probably that the actual business plans are for C2B2C schemes, which are pointless because there's little or no value in them (versus a comparable P2P) for anyone outside the B.

Napster is a good example of a C2B2C business. Gnutella is a much better implementation of the idea (although it doesn't have as many users), and the reason is that it's P2P instead of C2B2C. This saves everyone a lot of trouble because it lets the Ps get on with their 2-binding without having to become Cs beholden to a B for their 2.

The one good thing that has come out of this silliness is a sort of taxonomy of business plans. Expect in the future to see P2C2B2C plays, C2B2C2B2C partnerships, and B2C2C2P2P2C2B2C supply chains.

: The problem with Carnivore is its name. If you're ZDNet, it's easy to take "Carnivore" and run with it in headlines. It would be much more difficult to expose the evil of Carnivore if it were called something like "LTOW".

: While at lunch I received 10 copies of the same spam mail.

: Some pictures of Brian and other dev people at collab, taken yesterday.

: And 4 more copies. I think this guy's spam-bot might not check for duplicates.

: Another 5 copies end the spam, at least for now. Mike says he got 6 copies.

: Time for some old-school understatement, from LWN:

Exactly two years ago, two new distributions were turned loose. One was "maXimum CDE/OS" put out by Xi Graphics - it integrated the AccelleratedX server and Motif/CDE, was aimed at corporate clients, and was expensive. The other announcement was for a thing called Linux-Mandrake - then a version of Red Hat 5.1 with KDE integrated. Two years later, one of those distributions is doing rather better than the other...

What's with the ellipsis? Why do people think their understatements need ellipses? Am I even spelling that right?

: The BART has a system where you put your ticket into a slot and then retrieve it to get in and out of the station. Every single ticket-taker has a handwritten sign on it that says "NO WET TICKETS". The inability of the ticket-takers to handle wet tickets has been independantly discovered at every station, and someone dispatched to put signs on the ticket-takers. It's not a warning label that came printed on the ticket-takers.

Whenever I see NO WET TICKETS on a BART ticket-taker I am reminded of the mythical (in that I've never seen an actual instance) T-shirt that says NO FAT CHICKS. Which is really a weird T-shirt because it implies that the wearer is constantly being propositioned by fat chicks. It says, "Fat chicks dig me to such an extent that I must take special measures to defer them."

: Java Modeling! In Color! Tonight's guest: UML!

: var'aq: the warrior's programming language!

: Wow. After a lifetime of accomplishments, you get a lousy obituary like this.

: If people want to say that I look like Howie Long, I won't stop them.

: Now that I've graduated, I was going to be mellow and lenient towards UCLA's wacky attempts to cheat me out of my money. But they're going after my mother as well, so tally ho! Behold the UCLA Santa!

I'd say there are probably 30 versions of those custom football Santas, each with its own customized form letter from the Dansbury Mint. Santa is spreading himself awfully thin, but then what else is new?

: Segfault Editor Makes Fool of Self

: The CSS Anarchist's Cookbook is corrupting our children!

: My site is now the all-powerful clearinghouse for O'Reilly Open Source Convention pictures. Here are Cam's pictures. (I should probably link to camworld on the top navbar; since I know him now, he meets the criteria.

: It is very hot here. And humid. Bleah. Manoj and I are united in our preference for cold, foggy weather. I think he's the only other person I've ever met who had such a preference.

<M <Y
Y> M>


Unless otherwise noted, all content licensed by Leonard Richardson
under a Creative Commons License.