Category : Uncategorized

Today is the longest day of the year

And it’s also the first day of summer, which means that the sun will set very late tonight. But it also means that we’re starting our long, slow slide into the abomination of winter. God, how I hate winter. But there are a few months of warmth left before the northern hemisphere freezes over again and frost and snow and death cover the wretched land. Aye, we should embrace these few warm months because the weather generally sucks up here in Minnesota, and winter seems to be longer than the other 3 seasons combined.

Up here in the north we like to say, “Winter is the best 7 months of the year!” (ironically) and then we go back to drinking, shivvering and wishing for a quick death. It’s safe to say that I wish I lived somewhere warmer, but MN has it’s charms. The mosquitos can’t survive in the winter, so at least while you’re freezing your ass off and cursing the 23.45 degree tilt of the earth’s axis you don’t have to worry about wind-borne, blood-sucking, disease-carrying parasites drinking your precious life-juice.

But I don’t just let the planet push me around (is a “no spin zone” possible on a planet that spins on it’s axis every 24 hours? Discuss.) like some insignificant lifeform living at the pleasure of a spherical host. Nay! I spray CFCs into the air like there’s no tomorrow. I drive an SUV big enough to fit a smaller SUV in the back seat (sideways). I light forest fires for no apparent reason! I’ve developed a tractor beam which slowly pulls the earth closer to the sun with each passing day! That’s right; I’ve encouraged global warming; nay, I created it!! Muhahahaaaaa!! Sweet, sweet warmth; you will be mine!!!! [/insanity]

Okay, I’m kidding, but I really do enjoy global warming. The winters are dramatically milder than they were when I was a kid, and I love it. Of course, there’s much less snow so it looks ugly as hell, but at least it doesn’t get below zero as much.

Anyway, enough winter-talk. I’m going to enjoy these last few months of warmth and sun before they’re gone. Pull yourself away from the computer and get outside if you can.

Happy Weekend

Happy weekend, folks. Ain’t it great to have some time off from the saltmines? Unless you work on the weekends, that is. In that case, may your earthly overlords grant you mercy and let you off early on this fine summer day. As for me, I’m running around trying to get the things done that I couldn’t get done during the week. But tonight we rock. More later.

This doesn’t mean that Bill Gates is leaving the company; he’s just reducing his role. He will stay on as chairman and he will continue to be Microsoft’s largest shareholder. But I think this is the beginning of the end.

The man who has come to define the PC revolution has decided to walk away — very slowly — from his creation. Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates III said June 15 that he will give up his day-to-day role at the company in two years to focus on giving his vast riches away through the $29 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Personally, I think this is great news. I’ve long hated Bill Gates for his sleazy business practices, but I think what he’s doing with his foundation is great. If he concentrates his efforts in poverty-stricken areas of the world he can really make a difference. And that will come in handy when it’s time to answer for his crimes to the big man upstairs.

I think it’s questionable whether he can be redeemed, but I’m willing to give the guy a shot. I think his wife, Melinda, has really had a good influence on him. She may be stealing him away from the boys, but at least it’s for a good cause. His dad is quite the philanthropist as well.

It’s always nice when a filthy-rich scrooge-type realizes what it’s like to be poor, and to have virtually no chance to pull yourself up by your bootstraps because of country-wide chaos beyond your control. If Bill didn’t have access to education and enough money to enable him to pursue computers as a hobby would he have even gotten a chance to jump into the software business? I sincerely doubt it. Whenever some free-market, laissez-faire business geek says something about there being a “level playing field” I wanna puke and laugh at the same time. Only a rich person would say that.

In reality, people from poor countries (or even poor people in the U.S.) have vastly limited opportunities compared to the rich. Bill Gates’ parents, while not nearly as rich as their son, were quite well-off when they were raising Bill. Not all of us can afford to go to Harvard… or drop out of it for that matter. And Bill’s prep school tuition actually cost more than Harvard, and that prep school had a computer — a rarity in those days. Bill certainly had some advantages. But I give him credit for making the most of those advantages, something not everybody would have done.

New web browser: Flock

I’m trying out the new web browser on the scene, Flock, which is based on Firefox’s code base. Flock is different, though, in that it integrates Web 2.0 functionality into the browser itself. That means, blogging, photo-sharing (flickr) and bookmark-sharing ( are included in the browser and are supposedly made easier. I just installed it, so I can’t tell you if that’s true yet, but I can see how it will make things a little handier. I’ll let you know how my little experiment goes. Seems pretty fun at the moment; check it out if you’re the early adopter type.

Scoble leaves Microsoft

Microsoft’s top blogger, Robert Scoble, has decided to leave the company for a tech startup. This is a major blow to Microsoft as Scoble was good at putting a public face on the stubbornly secretive company.

Scoble’s blog is considered to be among the A-list of blogs. Obviously, this blog is not even considered to be on the D-list. However, I can still throw tomatoes if I want to (it’s good to be a blogger). But unlike Armando the fuckhead Scoble is a pretty decent guy from what I can tell. Sure, he’s a bit of a tool, but I think he sincerely believes Microsoft is a good company. As an Apple-user, I can assure you that he is insane, but at least he’s a nice guy.

The thing I wonder is: Will Scoble keep his same blog? What kind of deal did he work out with Microsoft when they first hired him? Was it always considered to be his private blog even though he commented about ’softies all the time? Kind of a delicate situation it would appear, but hopefully Scoble thought of this beforehand and made sure the blog was his exclusive domain; otherwise he would lose part of his identity. I guess we’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow for more details.

Damn I'm exhausted!

I just ran like 10k, and I’m pretty pooped. Been mixing up tracks that we recorded a few weeks ago. It’s noisy and of shitty quality, but it’s pretty fun and there’s some interesting performances. Hope to bust out something solid one of these days. We’re getting better and better all the time.

Slashdot’s redesign finally went into effect today. Creepy, isn’t it? Slowly, the old design will be erased from our memories and replaced with this new, graphic-heavy design. Don’t get me wrong; I like it, but it’s not that great. I think it captures the spirit of slashdot, and the new way that articles are blockquoted it cool, but I also think it looks a little too “clean.”

The cool part of the old design is that it was confusing enough to keep a lot of trolls and noobs away (or at least keep them confused about what the hell the purpose of the site was because it wasn’t immediately obvious that it was a community-tech-news-aggregation-blog). I remember when I first started visiting; I had no idea what the fuck was going on. I didn’t know that all the stories were submitted. I didn’t know they were simply linking to stories all over the net rather than doing proper write-ups (or any actual reporting) of their own. In a way, the old design hid the site’s flaws behind a facade of crappy design. Now that facade has been stripped and I daresay that slashdot will have to step it up a notch.

They’ve added some web 2.0 yumminess, like collapsable nav structures, but that alone will not compete with Digg. I think the biggest problem on the site is the editors who routinely ignore good stories (such as the ones I submit!) and post shitty stories on obscure tech bullshit that nobody cares about. Cheap Printed Official Ubuntu Linux Documentation is exhibit A. Currently the story has 10 posts (and no one has a post modded above +2). An unpopular story rarely gets below 100. I know everybody loves Linux on the site, but do they have to post a story everytime Linus takes a monster dump? Sheesh.

There’s lots of good tech-related stories out there, but many of them have the taint of politics, which seems to scare the editors, especially that tool, Zonk. He’s just an idiot gamer if you ask me. Of course, I might be bitter ’cause he constantly rejects my stories. But my stories are good, dammit! 🙂 Ah well, that’s why this blog exists. No longer can my inchoate ramblings be squelched by the privations of an idiot gamer. Nay, I will post my worthless thoughts for the world to see if they accidentally stumble across them through a search engine! Yes, it’s good to be the king of this castle.

Seen anybody wearing those red contacts?

I have. We played against his softball team (and lost). His eyes were a little freaky; I thought maybe he’d had a serious eye problem that caused a bunch of blood vessels to burst or something. Turns how he was just wearing these new contact lenses for athletes:

When Camille Walters plays soccer, her normally brown eyes have a spooky red tint. That’s because the 15-year-old wears tinted contact lenses that block certain wavelengths of light and help athletes see better.

Oh, and they look cool, too.

“It gives me more confidence because you feel intimidating and bigger and stronger, kind of an ego-booster,” said Walters, who plays for Father Ryan, a Catholic high school in Nashville.

Walters and a growing number of other athletes are wearing the MaxSight lenses, which were developed jointly by Nike Inc. and contact lens maker Bausch & Lomb Inc.

The lens – large enough to extend a ring around the iris – comes in two colors: amber and grey-green.

The amber lens is for fast-moving balls sports, such as tennis, baseball, football or soccer. Grey-green is better for blocking glare for runners or helping a golfer read the contour of the ground.

They’re pretty creepy. I wonder if they really work. Anybody know?

It's late and I'm tired

But I shouldn’t be. I woke up at like 11 am this morning. How the hell can I be tired already? Must have something to do with disc golfing and then partying for 6 hours plus. Just got back from a friends place; little bonfire and shindig. Fun time, but not enough chicks. Ah well…

Listening to: Dirty Little Girl by Elton John. Damn good song. Very underrated in my opinion. Sooo nasty.

Goodnight everyone. The weekend’s ending fast.

Stalin's take on this:

“He who casts the votes decides nothing. He who counts the votes decides everything.”

— Joseph Stalin

Ancient scroll from Greece soon to be decoded

From ABC News:

More than four decades after the Derveni papyrus was found in a 2,400-year-old nobleman’s grave in northern Greece, researchers said Thursday they are close to uncovering new text through high-tech digital analysis from the blackened fragments left after the manuscript was burnt on its owner’s funeral pyre.

Large sections of the mid-4th century B.C. book a philosophical treatise on ancient religion were read years ago, but never officially published.

Now, archaeologist Polyxeni Veleni believes U.S. imaging and scanning techniques used to decipher the Judas Gospel which portrays Judas not as a sinister betrayer but as Jesus’ confidant will considerably expand and clarify that text.

“I believe some 10-20 percent of new text will be added, which however will be of crucial importance,” said Veleni, director of the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, where the manuscript is kept.

“This will fill in many gaps, we will get a better understanding of the sequence and the existing text will become more complete,” Veleni told The Associated Press.

The scroll, originally several yards of papyrus rolled around two wooden runners, was found half burnt in 1962. It dates to around 340 B.C., during the reign of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.

“It is the oldest surviving book, if you can use that word for a scroll, in western tradition,” Veleni said. “This was a unique find, of exceptional importance.”

Sounds pretty sweet. Check out the rest of the story, it’s pretty interesting. I didn’t know that Anaxagoras was thought to be Socrates’ teacher. I hope they can get as much of it decoded as possible.

Holy shit, it's hot today says it’s 97 degrees Fahrenheit right now in my neck of the woods. It’s hot! Sweaty-ass hot. Real hot; damn hot!

But, personally, I like the heat. Even when it’s that sticky heat where your clothes are stuck to your skin by virtue of the fact that your skin is completely covered in a fine layer of sweat. Yeah, it’s awful, but I like to think of it as my own personal, portable suana.

It’s supposed to hit 100°F soon. I can’t wait! 🙂