Monthly Archives: April 2002

17 Comments

Update:

Microsoft has found it in its frozen heart to grant our school district a reprieve until January. Also, check the Slashdot thread.

***

In a technically legal but still outrageous move, Microsoft "randomly" audits the nine largest school districts in Oregon.

The schools must audit 25,000 PCs in 90 days. If they can't find the staff, Microsoft will thoughtfully send some people free of charge--unless they find one computer out of compliance. Then the district has to pony up.

There is a blanket licensing agreement available where the district counts computers and pays about $42 each. The catch? They have to count all computers--not just PCs. The cost adds up to about ten teaching positions.

The solution? Local Linux user groups are scrambling to help. It is my sincere hope that MS has made a fatal error.

Dave sez:


JAR JAR extends his hand to YODA.

JAR JAR
Meesa you fadda!

YODA inches further back on the beam, sobbing.

YODA
No! True it is not! True it cannot be!

JAR JAR
Meesa sooo happy if yousa coming with meesa backin to Naboo! Yousa must hide from the bombad eeevil jedi!

YODA looks down below, and back to JAR JAR.

YODA
To the Dork Side never will I turn.

YODA releases his grip on the antenna, and falls back into the endless pit.

4 Comments

Succaland, home of my friend Nick, has been stolen. It's easy to steal a domain name from some registrars. All that's required is a fax. They don't even bother to check with the owner--a simple, simple matter.

I recently moved all my domains to Dotster. While they double-checked via email, my current registrar, Verisign, did not. They just handed over the keys. I'm so glad I switched.

But that won't help Succa. His domain was stolen by a place called Ultimate search, and they do this on a regular basis. I wouldn't recommend writing them, as it rarely does any good to reason with a criminal. You might yell at namesecure for him, but the best thing is to spread the word! Talk about this issue on your blog! Get the word out there about unsafe registrars! And most of all: move your domains.

3 Comments

Looking for outtakes from Phantom Menace? Wacky Fight Club merchandise? A bikini-clad Aki? Grab your DVDs.

Easter eggs, a common term for fun, secret stuff thrown into software, have become common on DVDs. You can explore on your own, but some are tough to find so you may need a little help from the experts. My favorite site so far is DVD Easter Eggs, with the usual suspects you'd find on a DVD site, plus a thorough list of hidden extras. Another good site just drops the S. A bit more on the edge, you can post and discuss DVD eggs at DVD Reviewer's Easter Egg Forum.

For me, this stuff is hours of fun on nights when I'm procrastinating. Some DVDs just have one or two real gems, while others are packed stem to stern with surprises.

Now I'm off to break my DVD player.

3 Comments

Portland Police Chief Mark Kroeker is going back to LA. His first act in Portland was to instate a dress code prohibiting personal adornment and facial hair, making sure his cops didn't look like the people they served. His second act was to treat protesters like rioters, causing more violence than he prevented. His third act was to explain that his homophobia didn't affect his job.

Before Kroeker, the city had a good relationship with its police force. Community policing and working with protesters (who are common in these parts) was important. Kroeker was all about enforcing a Stalinist authority that doesn't fit here.

Don't let the screen door hit you on the way out, motherfucker.

I watch a movie nearly every day. Some people read, some people watch sitcoms, I watch movies.

I'd like to blog at length about all of them, but I find I simply do not have the energy. Instead, I've added yet another side bar doo-dad, over on the left where the other movie stuff goes. The Daily Flicker is just a quickie 1-5 star rating of the stuff I watch all the time. Enjoy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Frytopia combines four blogs and two different types of archives for the main blog on one page.

In 1967, Stanley Milgram sent packages to random addresses in the Midwest. He asked the recipient to pass them along to the person most likely to reach a target address in the Boston area. On average, it took about six people for the package to reach its destination. Thus the idea that we are all separated by six degrees of separation was born.

While fascinating, the experiment has been difficult to duplicate--especially worldwide. Columbia University is giving it a shot with their Smallworld program. Using email only, they hope to get thousands of participants to target a few final addressees. Because of the prevalence of spam and chain mail, it's difficult to get the emails forwarded.

Let that be a lesson to everyone who has ever forwarded chain mail. It really does damage trust in the medium!

In any case, you can participate by accepting an email or by being a target. Just sign up at the site. We'll see how many degrees there really are. After all, it is a small world.

5 Comments

Think me cheap or populist, but I love, love, love the work of Dale Chihuly.

I've always had a soft spot for glass art. Combine that with massive scale, complexity, shimmering color, and installations that look like they stepped out of a sci-fi movie, and I'm utterly hooked.

If I ever had extravagant amounts of money to spend on something non-utilitarian, I would have one of his chandeliers, and a house big enough to hang it in.