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Journal of ask (83)

Thursday September 25, 2003
05:59 AM

This American Life - Unusually Amazing Radio

[ #14898 ]

Since I don't have a tv I listen to the radio quite a bit. I really like the radio. There are so many awesome programs. And I'm not even thinking of the cool music programs my radiostation are running (sadly often late at night - I need a radio TiVo).

While looking for the story I linked in the last posting I got reminded how many amzing stories they have at This American Life. I can't emphasize this enough. I want to include language they can't use on TV to make it clear to you, dear reader, how great this program is. But I'm not the cursing type unless I'm unusually upset, so I can't today.

I've listened to maybe 50, 100 or maybe even more of them over the last years and it's rare it hasn't been 59 very enjoyable minutes. I was considering linking to a few of my favorites, but if I had started you'd still be downloading this page because there'd be so many links. If you haven't heard the show before then read their introduction and then check out some of their own favorites.

Or you can go to their front page and just browse the archives for stories catching your interest. If you don't think you'll relate well to something called "American Life", you should reconsider. "This Life", the name in their URL, is really more accurate.

# | Comments

05:31 AM

From the minds of the Direct Marketing Association

[ #14894 ]

Some confused judge in Oklahoma decided that Congress had given the FCC but not the FTC authority to make a the Do Not Call registry. So it's temporarily being blocked; otherwise it's supposed to take effect from October 1st. (Of course the legislators are saying that everyone is behind it and they'll get any legislation needed set up in a matter of days).

The best part of the NYT article:

The Direct Marketing Association acknowledged that the court ruling did not solve its public relations problem.

"We're pleased the court has agreed with us. On the other hand we're concerned about consumers who think we want to make calls when they don't want to receive them," said Bob Wientzen, chief executive of the association.

So we shouldn't be concerned that they want to make calls we don't want to receive? What kind of awkward spin is that? Of course it can't be easy to be the head of an organization of companies that everyone hates (act five, about 41 minutes into the show).

# | Comments

Saturday September 20, 2003
03:24 PM

If you liked Verisign's Sitefinder ...

[ #14807 ]

For those of you who liked Verisign's Sitefinder .... huh? Noone? Alright then. For the rest of us: Mark Fowler brings us Acme::VerySign - make unused subroutines useful! "Useful" in the ever popular VeriSign sense of course.

In related news, ICANN asks VeriSign to suspend sitefinder. Geez, just revoke their contract already! (via CircleID )

# | Comments

Tuesday September 16, 2003
03:45 PM

metamark.net hijacked

[ #14741 ]

Grrrh! Deutsche Telekom AG hijacked my domain metamark.net.

They requested a domain transfer from OpenSRS. We may not have rejected it, but we (as the owner) never requested the transfer and we never approved DTAG to do it! They are only allowed to do the transfer on behalf of the owner (duh).

OpenSRS told me that they are required to do the transfer and Deutsche Telekom are required to keep on file the old information and the new information and then document how we requested the transfer. Which we didn't of course, so they'll have to give it back. But what a fucking pain!

I can see in the OpenSRS log that the theifs, Michael Schoenemann (aka Metalife.de) and DT tried to transfer it some months ago where we rejected it from OpenSRS. No problomo, they'd just try again and again and again....

In the meantime the Metamark service is also at Metamarks.net; and the urls at xrl.us are of course unaffected.

I can't find a phone number on the Deutsche Telekom registrar site (maybe I could have if any click didn't lead me into frame and popup hell), but I sent them a mail in their contact form and when it's business hours there again I'll call and ask for their "compliance department" (on advice from OpenSRS). The T-Systems page is saying maybe we'll call you if you ask nicely. So I did, and other wise their press office has a phone number: +49 6151 680-22 10 (press office).

Any advice from someone who's parsing german better than I would be welcome.

# | Comments

Monday September 15, 2003
02:38 AM

Grand Theft America

[ #14705 ]

Really neat flash movie about how Katherine Harris stole the vote in Florida. Based on Greg Palast of BBC's Theft of the Presidency. (via David Weinberger )

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Friday September 12, 2003
04:40 AM

The properties of ideas

[ #14667 ]

Thomas Jefferson said:

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself, but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it.

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breath, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

(via politech )

So in that spirit I've picked up Tony's idea of marking blockquote's with a line before the indention. Thanks Tony! :-)

# | Comments

Friday September 05, 2003
06:22 PM

Funny Open Firmware bug

[ #14529 ]

You can't use uppercase "U" in your open firmware password on most modern macs. Lowercase "u" and anything else is fine apparently. How weird is that. Not that it matters, who is using it anyway? Except to clear the nvram and as a poor mans System Profiler I haven't even booted Open Firmware since '97 when you had to do odd hacks to boot Linuxppc.

(Hold down command-option-O-F just after turning the computer on to boot into Open Firmware; it's fun! Programmable in Forth and all.)

Ah, you can set the password with a nifty tool. Brave new world.

PC Magazine are reviewing the giant 17" laptop I made fun of a while ago. "Pushes the Limits of Portability" they say. I thought even the 17" Powerbook did that! I need to stop mentioning powerbooks in every entry I make here.

# | Comments

06:18 PM

Funny Open Firmware bug

[ #14528 ]

You can't use uppercase "U" in your open firmware password on most modern macs. Lowercase "u" and anything else is fine apparently. How weird is that. Not that it matters, who is using it anyway? Except to clear the nvram and as a poor mans System Profiler I haven't even booted Open Firmware since '97 when you had to do odd hacks to boot Linuxppc.

(Hold down command-option-O-F just after turning the computer on to boot into Open Firmware; it's fun! Programmable in Forth and all.)

Ah, you can set the password with a nifty tool. Brave new world.

PC Magazine are reviewing the giant 17" laptop I made fun of a while ago. "Pushes the Limits of Portability" they say. I thought even the 17" Powerbook did that! I need to stop mentioning powerbooks in every entry I make here.

# | Comments

Wednesday September 03, 2003
02:42 PM

No new Powerbooks just yet

[ #14472 ]

Apple lowered the price on the powerbooks in early june to clear inventory (or so the story goes). The new PowerPC 7457 based 'books were supposed to come out in late June. Since then the rumor has been "Any Day Now". Apparently Motorola are completely unable to supply the darn things, because now the story is that they won't come out until October.

That's almost a year after the last update of the 15", and ... well, also almost a year after the 12" and the 17" came out. And the retain channel and the distributors are almost completely out of stock.

Unless they have a contract that makes this hurt for Motorola, then Apple is in a really bad spot.

Apple: "Make the darn things already or we'll change chip supplier!"
Motorola: "Er, you already did."
Apple: "uuuh... Because you suck!"

Of couse, maybe this will make G5 powerbooks and iMacs come out sooner... (the G3 in the iBooks is produced by IBM).

# | Comments

Sunday August 31, 2003
03:33 AM

www.cpan.org distributed

[ #14410 ]

We are planning to load balance www.cpan.org a bit. I'd like to find a http mirror or four for this.

If you might want to volunteer to setup your well connected httpd to answer requests for www.cpan.org, then send a mail to ask at perl.org.

A well connected mirror in Europe would in particular be interesting.

# | Comments