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jweveland (1446)


yet another perl hacker...
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Journal of jweveland (1446)

Friday March 03, 2006
03:22 PM


For those whose sense of humor runs to fake manpages, I offer kpanicd , the kernel panic daemon for linux. If you find this funnier in a more visual medium, I also offer a screenshot. Suggestions for improvement welcome!!!
Wednesday June 08, 2005
08:40 AM

.sig block, new low achieved...

My next-cube neighbor showed me this gem yesterday (sorry no link). This guy had replied to a mailing list. His post comes with an attachment... which turns out to be a Microsoft Word document... which contains an ActiveX script... which renders his e-mail .sig!!!

And ironically, the mailing list was some kind of AIX user support forum. Wonder what percentage or the readers ever see his .sig? Didn't look like anyone bothered to flame him over it. I can't decide if the other posters are just that civilized, or it was too silly for words, or if the post never made it through their filters :-)

Friday February 11, 2005
10:50 AM

Amusing Digital Rights Management Article

"... Call me crazy, but I truly believe there should be no copy protection on digital audio. People will pay to download music, so why restrict what they do with that music once they buy it? Especially if they'll pay what is, really, the exorbitant amount of $1 per song. That's one dollar per digital audio file. This unholy alliance of hardware and digital audio must end. Until it does, I'll keep buying CDs, and I'll keep ripping my friends' CDs and loading 'em up on my iPod while my iTunes Music Store account goes untouched. Come and get me, RIAA."
     source: ZDnet Anchordesk

The first thing I find amazing is that someone is willing to openly call out the RIAA in a newsletter and column with a circulation the size of Anchordesk.

The thing all the talkbackers miss here is much more simple though, and true of any media (music, movies, TV, etc). It is this: DRM is doomed to failure as long as the human body comes equipped with analog-only inputs. To put it another way: as long as there is a digital-to-analog conversion required to "consume" these products, DRM is at best an inconvenience. Because in the end, all the "consumer" needs to do is playback the product, record the analog content stream, and then convert back to digital form (which is now "clean", i.e. without the DRM).

Has no one noticed that analog technology has improved right along? Has no one noticed that 99%+ of consumers are not audiophiles and / or videophiles, and are more than willing to accept the (increasingly small) degredation that comes from a single D->A->D conversion cycle? Has no one noticed that MP3s are hugely popular, despite the fact that the sound quality is "degraded" by the lossy compression scheme?

True, paying $0.99 for the one song on a CD that's worth having beats paying $15.00 for the entire CD. But, I'd bet that if the music publishers charged $0.25/song, they would sell well more than 4x as many songs as at $0.99/song. Because let's face it... for a quarter, you could buy the one "good" song that you really want, and the 2 marginal ones while you're there, because after all, "it's only a quarter". You'd feel like you got a better deal, so you'd be more inclined to buy more music while you're there (which you probably were going to anyhow, did you really go just for the one song?).

Of course, all this breaks down if you take me as your sample case. I buy very few CDs, and most of the ones I do buy are 10+ years old. And, I'm too lazy to be bothered searching out the illegal MP3s, or ripping CDs, or burning MP3 CDs (even though I have an MP3 CD player in my car, thinking perhaps that would motivate me to do more than turn on the radio). So the RIAA doesn't care about me anyhow... I'm not their target market :-)

Thursday November 18, 2004
10:28 AM

testing google indexing speed

I'm curious to see how quickly google indexes things after they post. This entry will hypotheoretically give me one data point.

This search will show us if it has been picked up yet. As of the time of this entry, there were two hits under usenet plus two hits from the web (plus a spelling suggestion :-)

Monday October 25, 2004
01:49 PM

converting pgp to gnupg

I have a large installed population of pgp keys that want to migrate to gpg / gnupg. This turns out to be easier to automate than I would have guessed... just run the following script over each set of keys:

gpg --import </dev/null      # force existence of dir, options, perms, etc.

KEYLIST=`pgp -kv 2>/dev/null |grep ' 0x' |cut -f4 -d' '`
KEYRINGS=".pgp/pubring.pkr .pgp/secring.skr"

for KEY in $KEYLIST ; do
    for RING in $KEYRINGS ; do
        pgp -kx $KEY $TMPFILE $RING
        if [ -r $TMPFILE ] ; then
            gpg --import $TMPFILE
            rm $TMPFILE

Tuesday September 14, 2004
11:11 AM

linux kernel 2.6.x, cdrecord breakage

Symptoms: Upgraded to Fedora Core 2 and/or linux kernel 2.6 or better. CD recording to IDE CD's using cdrecord is now broken. CDs burn fine, but throw I/O Error at the end of the CD. An md5sum never quite matches, and a dd back to disk results in an .iso file slightly smaller than the original.

Fixes: Add -dao flag (very important for burning .iso files, and nobody seems to say this ever). Change dev=x,y,z (SCSI format) to /dev/hdx (IDE , i.e. rational format). Note that IDE-SCSI is no longer useful under kernel 2.6, so make sure that's not in modules.conf and its kin. Make sure you have your distro's current cdrecord .rpm or the like. Burning the CDs either root or setuid=0 seems to help also.

Amazingly, google has a hard time answering this question, so I'm dumping this in to see if I can help grease the skids.

Notable non-fixes: downloading the "real" cdrecord package from Mr. Schilling's website. Probably any usenet or mailing list discussion about cdrecord, they all seem to fall back to arguments about Mr. Schilling's strongly held opinions. Asking google (which in this case is poisoned by the above arguments).

I can't tell if the strongly held opinions are valid or not, they just were unhelpful to my personal situation. And I'm not sure I care... I had some .iso files to burn into CDs. Some of the opinions in general (i.e. the 2.6 kernel is broken, GNU make is broken, thus-and-so libraries are broken) do make me wonder, but I digress :-)

10:50 AM

magic start pages

Andy has one, and Greg has one. At least I can say I knew a good idea when I saw it.

So now that it's quasi-complete, here's mine.

Friday May 28, 2004
01:37 PM

Turbo Cola

Here's a recipe that someone here is bound to enjoy :-)

To a 16 oz glass, add:
3-4 ice cubes of frozen, high quality coffee
2 shots of espresso
fill with cola beverage of choice

This guy says it's very good - I haven't worked up the nerve to try it myself. Seems like it might be OK... before noon...