Archive for August, 2005

Katrina & New Orleans

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

Update: Not suprisingly, WikiPedia has an evolving article covering Katrina and related topics. It is being updated regularly.

As of Sunday AM, the forecasts for Katrina striking New Orleans indicated just about the worst possible situation; a category 5 storm featuring 175MPH sustained winds slamming a huge storm surge right into the mouth of the Mississippi river.

The expected result of such an event is a breach of the levees surrounding New Orleans and a total flooding situation within the city. The folks who choose to found New Orleans in an area that is well below sea level, in the Mississippi delta flood planes, and right next to a major lake (natural? Man made?), were about as bright as your average rock. Awesome place. Stupid location.

Katrina took a slight turn and weakened overnight, sparing New Orleans a direct hit. But that didn’t end the risk for New Orleans. Once Katrina passes New Orleans, the Mississippi river system is subject to a massive inundation of water. Katrina has and will dump dozens of inches of rain throughout the incredibly huge drainage system that all flows into the Mississippi.

And it sounds like the worst case scenario has happen. Breaking news indicates that a major levee has failed. Reports indicate that water is rising as fast as an 1 inch every 5 minutes [corrected] in some parts of the city and that 80% of the city is flooded.

To put this in perspective, this site contains a cutaway view of New Orleans.

It is the lake side levee that has failed. The Red Cross is already calling Katrina the biggest recovery effort in its history.

Bush & .XXX: no progress can be made

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

About two weeks ago, the press reported howthe Bush administration objected to the formal creation of the .XXX domain. As the name implies, the .xxx domain is intended to be the primary root level domain for pornography related businesses and content.

Of course, the WhiteHouse’s objections were largely to support the various completely clueless conservative groups that requested said blockage.

For example, the Family Research Council demonstrated their complete and utter cluelessness through these statements:
Read the rest of this entry »

RIAA (Almost) Grasps The Obvious

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

The RIAA has finally figured out that recordable media is a much bigger tool in the industry of music piracy than P2P.

Well, DUH!.

Every bit as much as the RIAA’s members have a long history of taking talentless artists and turning a huge profit through the art of “creative marketing”, every statement released by the RIAA in regards to piracy is more “creative marketing” with the goal of preserving a failing business model.

Spinning the clock back to a post I wrote 3 years (and two weblogging engines ago), I said:

Until I see any evidence that the RIAA/MPAA actually cares about real acts of theft of their materials that happens every day on the street corners of major cities around the country– as well as through mail order and online– I cannot take anything they say regarding piracy through downloads even remotely serious.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wikipedia and The Daily Show

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I have come to realize that WikiPedia has become an absolutely indispensable tool on the order of Google. Now that I think about it, I use wikipedia all the time.

This should really come as no surprise. When growing up, we had two sets of encyclopedias and a huge dictionary in the house. I can remember frequently looking up interesting topics or simply browsing the various volumes for fun.

It dawned on me exactly how valuable WikiPedia is while I was watching The Daily Show. Jon was interviewing Trent Lott and mentioned the ‘controversy’. I instinctively grabbed my computer and brought up the Trent Lott page on wikipedia. Question answered, context determined.

Thinking about it, this happens all the time and it is an incredibly valuable resource. WikiMedia (the foundation) is looking for funding. I’m going to commit $50 and feel bad about being so stingy in comparison to the knowledge I have gained.

Natural Patterns

Sunday, August 21st, 2005
Root

Pictured to the right is a root that was sticking out onto a trail in Castle Rock State Park.

What an amazing bit of fractal-ly patterns!

WordPress &”rel=nofollow”

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

In the previous post, I speculated about the market for offshoring comment spam.

Jack asked:

Maybe I’m missing something, but it isn’t it a bit odd for ‘Carter’ to include a rel=”nofollow” in the link they left, thereby making Google ignore the link?

Good question. I wasn’t aware of the rel=nofollow and did a bit of research. Little did I realize that I was wandering square into a bit of controversy….
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Offshoring comment spam.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

WOW! beautifull images.I like this.
Most i like that line “Living in California is like living in a botanical garden”.You write such a nice article.
<a href=”http://tension-headaches.info” rel=”nofollow”>Carter</a>

That was the comment text I received on this post. Nice enough and English is certainly not an easy language to learn. The metadata and inlined link were highly suspicious. In particular, the email address and name is completely generic of characters and the domain name on both the post’s email and the embedded link pointed to a typical domain squatting “ad / link partner” sites.

In other words, the post was effectively comment spam. I could certainly envision a piece of software that could parse out the text and create such a post at random.
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PyObjC Article at ADC

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

ADC has published Using PyObjC for Developing Cocoa Applications with Python. It is an excellent article that gives an overview of developing Cocoa applications using Python via PyObjC.

This article breaks some new ground for ADC, too. Specifically, it is the first article on ADC to use movies to help to explain the content. Jonathan ‘Wolf’ Rentzsch has posted an article explaining the details.

Good stuff.

DUH!

Monday, August 15th, 2005


I’m all for teaching DUH
in America’s schools!

Beer Butt Chicken

Sunday, August 14th, 2005

OK– so, apparently, Beer Butt Chicken is dangerous and a waste of time. I have noticed, doing it a few times, that there really isn’t much liquid lost. But the resulting meat quality is pretty damned epic. Roasting the chicken upright with a bunch of herbs and spices under the skin is totally yummy, though, and it should work exactly the same without the can.


Beer Butt Chicken

I have been insanely busy lately. Writing lots of lots of code. Insanely busy requires a bit of down time to maintain what is left of sanity. So, we had some friends over last night and I made beer butt chicken.

Juiciest, most flavorful, chicken meat ever. And it isn’t hard to do, either.

Recipe/instructions can be found by clicking through to: Read the rest of this entry »