August 01, 2000

Advogato Entry 14

I hate Solaris. Well, maybe that's a little strong. I'm just so used to Linux, and it bothers me when things aren't where I expect them to be. Oh well, I'll get over it.

Saw that links browser. I'll have to try it out sometime.

Work is pretty slow, though it's not like I don't have anything to do. I really need to reinstall WinNT on one of my boxes. I suppose I may actually have to sacrifice some RAM from one of the Linux boxes I have -- I think the NT box only has 32 right now, which means it's dog slow. Personally, I don't need NT, but I have users who run it on their own systems, and I need to test out software for them (PuTTY and other stuff).

Lately, I've been organizing a lot of documentation. Clearing out old cruft from The Big Manual that we have for all of our systems here. At some point I actually have to use it to re-install a database or two.

I saw David Boies on Charlie Rose last night. He was talking about the Napster case, and was very good. I knew that he exaggerated some things, but he cited the 1989 Audio Home Recording Act when saying that it's OK to sample music and to share music with your friends noncommercially. I think I'll have to do some reading. I haven't decided if I'm going to buy any music this month, but my musical mind seems to be withering. I think I'll have to go get a few (or a lot) of CDs.

The commercial advertising actor strike is really bothering me. Very few ads are being made, so advertisers do not have any variety in their ads anymore. My mind is going numb after seeing the same ads over and over and over. It's becoming sickening, and I've been avoiding TV.

Posted by mike at 01:12 PM Central | Law , Music , Old Advogato Diary , Software , TV , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2000

Advogato Entry 21

Entry 20

Late/Early

It rained tonight, quite hard. It rained much harder a while back, and there was a small leak. Today, it seemed as though the entire wall was leaking, seemingly coming throgh the window, streaming down the walls, and dripping all over. It actually wasn't as bad as that sounds, but I'm sure it will get worse if I don't say something. I'll have to talk to the management tomorrow. Sigh.

Noonish

I had trouble getting up again this morning. I took a long nap after work yesterday, but then I stayed up very late mucking on IRC and doing other stuff. I decided to telecommute and have ended up having a very unproductive morning. I'm sure I'd be much more productive if I could just find some extra stimuli in my life. At least in High School I was forced to interact with people every day. At college, people aren't crammed so closely together, so they don't interact as much, or at least I don't.

Anyway, spent too much of my time reading Sinfest, which is really funny if you don't mind poking fun at God, swearing, and references to the sexual mentalities surrounding us these days.

I'm going to head out to actually work at work soon. The boss and I are a little worried that our developers are going to start using Microsoft J++ for communicating with the eventually-will-be-installed Oracle database. He gave me a copy of J++ to try out, in order for me to see if it's possible to actually produce something resembling pure Java with it. Unfortunately, my NT box is fairly underpowered, at least for NT4SP5 (P133 w/ 64MB RAM). I'm feeling masochistic, so I'm going to give Win2k a shot. My P166/128MB Linux box is extremely nice and snappy in comparison, though I really need to find a good video card for it (800x600 is becoming tiresome).

Late Afternoon

I'm displeased with my building's management right now. As I was walking out, I saw that we had a notice slid under the door stating that we owe $50 plus $25 penalty. Dunno what it's for, but I'll have to bring up my leaky wall when we talk to them about it.. Unfortunately, they keep relatively inaccessible hours like 9:00-4:30 or something, so I'll have to come to work late or leave work early some day. Blah.

I think I finally found something to hack on -- porting Secure Locate to Solaris. It's a small codebase, so it shouldn't take too long, though I'll have to read a bunch of man pages to refresh my memory about all of those functions. I think I'll be annotating a lot of source, too..

I'm annoyed with [X]Emacs, and *vi*, so I was looking around for decent editors. gIDE seems to be coming along nicely, and the syntax highlighting actually works (though it seems slow...). Finally, a text editor where I don't have to have a QWERTY keyboard (*vi*) or learn horrendous keystrokes ([X]Emacs). Not perfect, but it's something I can live with.

Oops.. I'd better quit before I start an editor war..

Evening

Somewhat disappointed that there was no mention of the multi-State suit against Big Music on the national news tonight. I guess it's not surprising, but it sure seems to prove the biases we believe to be out there these days. In a similar vein, it's amazing what is happening in China. I mean, the son of the President of the country is running a Linux company over there. It's basically impossible for interesting things to not happen because of this.

I've said too much today.. I'll be quiet now.

Posted by mike at 04:26 PM Central | Abode , Comedy , Law , Music , Old Advogato Diary , School , Software , Weather , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 18, 2000

Advogato Entry 31

Early/Late

I shouldn't have, but I wrote something to Fred Moody. Cripes. The guy has `sources' that span a continent of hatreds. NT guys that hate Linux. BSD guys that hate Linux. Security guys that say having source code is a risk. Guys that say having source is a good thing. He has managed to make just about the most self-contradictory article ever. Is he insane? Well, I wouldn't blame him for going a little nuts after having to read what many /. trolls sent him, but this goes above and beyond...

Anyway, I shouldn't waste my diary entry on that.

schoen: Yeah, I felt pretty much like that. Didn't get much work done today after seeing that. I was hoping for a good outcome, but the judge couldn't or wouldn't try to test the Constitutionality of it. It'll pretty much go to the Supremes whether we like it or not. Hopefully, the MPAA won't try to completely stall the case (though I expect they will).

On the radar data front, I have been slowly digging up information about data formats. There's a bit here and here. I'm not sure if the data available over FTP is currently being encrypted or not. Apparently, they have designated times when it is not encrypted to facilitate testing of software. The encryption will be removed once everyone is able to receive over FTP or some sort of multicast. There's an older system called NIDS that has to be phased out before everything can be publically available.. Kind of strange. The RSL system apparently can't decode the products that NOAA is currently releasing, and I don't know if it ever will -- it seems to understand a more raw form of data.

Anyway, I hope I'll be able to find some software to decode the stuff that will be available over FTP. Either that, or I'll just have to keep hunting for decent documentation about the file formats...

Afternoon

Grr. I wish Mapquest had an option for making biker-friendly maps and directions. It should basically ignore interstate highways (which are illegal to bike on, unless you have a permit or something), and add bike trails.

I want to go see The Cell tonight. I am still pissed about the MPAA-DeCSS debacle, but I'm in need of some mind-bending.

Posted by mike at 01:58 PM Central | Law , Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Software , Weather | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 05, 2001

Advogato Entry 228

Need to study today. Probably skipping a class to do it.

Wow. It's over 60°F outside! That's not right for December in Minnesota.. It's still cold up north, though.. A big front must be sitting right on top of us, so it's probably going rain a fair bit today.

Didn't see Sarah yesterday, so nothing to speak of. I thrive on news and facts, so my lack of ability to know things in this situation drives me a bit batty.. I have to get thinking about other things, or I over-analyze the little tidbits I have.

Put together a simple webmail CGI script for a class in a few hours last night. I could have made a better script if I'd just spent more time on it, but I've done too well on my other assignments in that class. I think I still managed to do everything that was required of me, except for trying to encode the username and password of the user somehow rather than just having it in plaintext in the HTML that got spit back out.

The Unix Users of Minnesota are hosting a talk at the University tonight with an assistant to the Attorney General of MN. The discussion will be centering around the Microsoft case. It'll be pretty interesting after hearing the Wine talk on Saturday from the Codeweavers CEO. I guess the AG's office got in contact with Codeweavers, asking for some input on the case. One suggestion from them was that a third party should review Microsoft's code, and document the API, which would then be available freely. Probably better than telling MS to do it themselves..

Posted by mike at 08:13 AM Central | Law , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 06, 2001

Advogato Entry 229

I'm a citizen of the United States, I was born here and I'll probably die here, but I'm feeling more and more that I don't belong here. I don't support the military action taking place these days. I didn't vote for the President we currently have, and he's not getting my sympathy for having fallen into the situation we have these days.

I'm still proud of the fact I voted for Nader. Yes, I actually did think about the Middle East before I voted. Yeah, it's crappy that the US's current voting system made the last presidential election a big mess. I hope more people will work to fix it..

I feel I have little voice these days as the rights of me and my friends are slowly being eaten away. Still, I have to try do to a little. I'm going to try to see if I can come up with decent reasons why the Microsoft settlement sucks. After that, I'm planning on working with others to try to put together a summit on Intellectual Property (and some related subjects).

I've felt stressed about these things for a while, but I've avoided thinking about them because it's so hard for one person to change things. It's not impossible, but it really helps to have the support of others.

This leads me back to the feeling of being in the wrong place. I feel like I'm in a tiny minority. And, well, apparently I am (if you watch the polls out there). I'm really suspicious that the pollsters are somehow skewing numbers. I just can't believe the numbers that I'm seeing.

And, well, since I haven't heard anyone say it for a while..

Screw you, President Shrub..

Posted by mike at 02:49 PM Central | Law , Old Advogato Diary , Politics , Ralph Nader , September 11th , War | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 28, 2002

Advogato Entry 268

I've done a lot of browsing today, picking up little bits about the updated Microsoft settlement. I don't even know where the settlement is, though.. I guess I don't feel like reading that now anyway ;-)

Reading about some networking stuff. I'm getting kind of concerned about the lack of IPv6 deployment, but I was amazed at the fact you can just do `apt-get install freenet6' on Debian Woody and get an IPv6 address. With a little fiddling, you can have your very own /48 prefix (sort of, it goes through some ISP in Canada). At any rate, it's a good stepping stone. I saw that it's now possible to set up reverse DNS entries for the IPv6 addresses you get through Freenet6, which would be a good thing to work on and see if IPSec/IPv6 works.. I guess I need to look into using a USAGI patch..

I need to get my roommate to plug into our Linksys WAP11 access point so I can get IPv6 going over the 802.11 connection in my apartment.

I wonder if I'll get a chance to fiddle with IPv6 on our wireless gateway at work.. Not sure if I want to play with that or not ;-)

Posted by mike at 08:09 PM Central | Internet , Law , Old Advogato Diary , Wireless , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 09, 2002

Advogato Entry 271

Should really watch C-SPAN more often. I've seen some interesting discussions about civil liberties going on in the last few days.

It sounds like people are starting to wake up, looking past the war propaganda out there these days and starting to really talk about the laws that have been passed, and what might get passed in the future.

I read Michael Moore's book, Stupid White Men, the other day. It's pretty good, pretty funny. I wrote a review of it, though I don't know if it'll show up anywhere.. The book is a bestseller, though, so hopefully this means things are looking up.

I'll be busy tomorrow trying to figure out how to write an OpenGL program in my Computer Graphics course. I really didn't give myself enough time to get it done...

Posted by mike at 11:09 PM Central | Law , Michael Moore , Old Advogato Diary , Politics , School , TV , War | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2002

Advogato Entry 276

Well, I was hoping SpamAssassin would reduce my junk mail to zero, but it's still managing an 88% hit rate. Razor was probably only getting about 1/4 to 1/3 of the junk mail coming in to my mailbox. I get a lot of spam where there's some randomly-generated string in the message body, so comparing MD5 checksums doesn't work against that..

So cool that all it takes is an `apt-get install' on Debian (testing) to get both Vipul's Razor and SpamAssassin..

My computer graphics project got pushed back a few days, which is good, but I really need to make sure I use the time, rather than waste it.

Glad to see that the CBDTPA is pretty much being criticized from every direction. Even more pleasing is that people actually wrote into their congresscritters about it! I wrote to my representatives recently, but I was criticizing the idea of reducing restrictions on how many TV/Radio stations can be owned in a market, and I also threw in a few bits on how adding copy protection capabilities to HDTV sets is bad..

I'd like to get into a habit of writing my reps both in Washington and in the Minnesota congress on a regular basis. I haven't checked if my state reps have e-mail, though..

Posted by mike at 08:02 AM Central | Internet , Law , Old Advogato Diary , Politics , TV | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 15, 2002

Advogato Entry 287

Every so often, I come back to thinking about Microsoft's finances. Their accounting techniques have been widely used, most prominently at Enron (or so I hear). Couple that with the new licensing schemes they're coming out with, and I think they've found a recipe for their own demise.

There's this Bill Parish guy that has said that MS is actually losing money these days. I'm not sure I believe him, though -- his grammar and spelling is too poor to be very credible ;-) He also has some ideas that stretch the imagination, such as a Microsoft pyramid scheme that caused a global downturn in the economy. However, if it's true that MS is losing money, that could be one of the reasons why they're changing licensing methods.

From the reading I've done, it sounds like MS pays people with stock too much. Apparently, the SEC doesn't require a company to deduct payment in stock from their profit numbers. If you take that out, Parish says that the company is in the red.

Microsoft has a lot of money in the bank, but it might be to cover their ass when employees start cashing in. The company has been criticized by people like Ralph Nader for not paying dividends to their stockholders (of course, I guess Nader is mostly just annoyed because MS isn't paying very much in taxes).

Personally, I figure Microsoft will probably stick it out for quite a while. They might go down in five or ten years, probably after Bill Gates has made a graceful exit from the company.

In the wake of Enron, I bet the accountants at MS are busily working to find a way to hide financial issues that doesn't look like they're hiding something..

Or maybe I'm just paranoid..

Posted by mike at 09:31 AM Central | Corporations , Law , Old Advogato Diary , Politics , Ralph Nader | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 08, 2003

¿Que?

Okay, I don't know what the hell is up with this. Some judge decided to award $104 million to September 11th victims. Okay, fine. The strange bit comes when you find out who the defendants are. In addition to the expected Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban, and Afghanistan, we have Saddam Hussein and Iraq. What the hell is up with that?

The judge even acknowledges the frailty of the evidence:

The judge wrote that lawyers relied heavily on "classically hearsay" evidence, including reports that a Sept. 11 hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague, Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites)'s remarks to the United Nations (news - web sites) about connections between Iraq and terrorism, and defectors' descriptions of the use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists.

*sigh* What is this? Juvenile court? I thought hearsay was not considered in our court system.. Bah.

Posted by mike at 06:25 PM Central | Law , September 11th , War | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 20, 2003

I SCOld You!

So, this dumb company SCO is busying its lawyers with a lawsuit against IBM regarding some supposed intellectual property theft. SCO says that IBM took source code that SCO owns and cut-n-paste it into the source code of Linux. SCO hasn't really been very specific about what happened, and from some of what I've read, it sounds like they may not be concerned with Linux itself (if you want to get technical, Linux is just the kernel of an operating system—you can't really do anything useful with it until software is loaded on top of it), but with the surrounding libraries of code.

Many people say that the case is moot because even if IBM stole code from SCO and put it into Linux or the assosciated software, SCO probably took that code and redistributed it under the GNU General Public License, meaning that SCO effectively relicensed the code to be free. While that may technically free IBM from any wrongdoing, it would still be a nasty thing if it happened, and I'm sure people would want it to be corrected.

Of course, an interesting implication of the code being licensed under the GPL is that the Free Software Foundation has been granted control of the license. This isn't what always happens when code is GPLed, but many people do it.

Anyway, some people at SCO are still being jackasses and making all sorts of grandiose claims. Fortunately, Eric S. Raymond (ESR) has written a position paper that shows just how arrogantly they are acting. Of course, the position paper itself probably goes a bit too far at points, but it seems to be largely correct. It makes for interesting reading for anyone who likes learning about computing history.

SCO seems to be claiming that it has a great market share, has the only Unix-on-Intel implementation ever created, has software that is scalable to 32-CPU machines, and other outrageous statements. Many of their claims could be said to be merely filled with too much bravado, but the idea that they made the only flavor of Unix that runs on Intel-based processors is an outright lie. I can't blame ESR for getting a little worked up in response..

There are some rumors floating around that IBM may hire ESR as a Unix historian to help on their side of the case, so we'll see what happens. I'm not sure what effect that would have on the paper he wrote..

Posted by mike at 11:48 AM Central | Law , Software | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 13, 2003

Stranger than Fiction

Heh. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court got kicked out of office over that whole Ten Commandments thing. Well, technically, it looks like he got kicked out for failing to comply with court orders to remove them. I'm pretty amazed that he got kicked out—and in Alabama of all places.

I'm glad he's out of office, though I imagine he'll be kicking and screaming for years to come.

Posted by mike at 01:21 PM Central | Law | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2004

Dead Presidents

Well, my family went to the funeral service for my step-grandfather yesterday. They had a lot of people show up both from my grandmother's family and from his first wife's family. I suppose that goes to show that if you want a lot of people at your funeral, you should get divorced ;-)

So, there were lots of people I didn't know. I vaguely knew my grandfather's kids and grandkids, and there were some old friends of my grandmother who showed up that I had met at one point or another. Mostly I just stood around, then smiled and nodded when people told me I looked like my uncle (except for the lack of curly hair).

I was happy to see my aunt, who usually visits for Christmas but had decided to stay in New Mexico this year. My mom had been up in Fargo since Friday, but my dad, brother, and I just stayed Tuesday night.

Anyway, we headed home around 5 in separate cars. My brother and I were split, so we could trade off in the driver's seat with our parents. We met for supper about an hour later, and then stayed in close formation on the highway until my brother and my mom pulled off to a rest stop.

My dad and I mostly listened to NPR last night as we drove. For one of the shows, a guy who researches the loopholes in the tax system came on. There was discussion of how the people who get taxed the most are in the middle class to middle-upper class range of people earning $50-500,000 a year. Below that, people have lower taxes (which seems pretty fair to me), and above that, a lot of tricks emerge for hiding money away from tax laws. I guess my memory is getting a little fuzzy, but I think he said that there were 2400 people last year who earned an average of $170 million, and paid no taxes. Lots of other people can defer taxes for decades. They may pay the actual dollar amount that they owe, but it ends up being much less significant because of inflation.

A lot of discussion also centered around companies that use offshore tax shelters. I think people and businesses that do that are a big reason why it's hard to balance the Federal budget. The guy on the radio mentioned that Ingersoll-Rand, a company that makes jackhammers and other construction/destruction equipment has a mailbox in Bermuda that serves as their headquarters. They pay $26,000 a year in fees for that, but they don't pay any taxes on their income here. Just because it's a name I've seen a lot around campus, I was thinking of mentioning this in a letter to the editor in the Daily—I figure that contractors to the University shouldn't be supporting companies that are based offshore. I think the U already restricts contractors from using materials from certain companies that use child labor, etc., but my memory might be failing me. Companies shouldn't be punished for using equipment they already own, but I wouldn't want the money that the U spends on construction to end up on some unnamed Pacific island…

Now, today, there are a bunch of stories popping up on Google News discussing a new International Monetary Fund report telling us what we already know but often ignore—the U.S. is deeply in debt and running a large deficit. My growing opinion of many Republicans (and some Democrats, I'm sure) is that they are really anarchists in disguise. They pass laws designed to reduce the income to the Federal government and then spend more money on extravagant defense initiatives. As the guy on NPR was saying—and as the IMF is implying—eventually, the U.S. won't be able to borrow money anymore. Nobody knows when that will be or what the consequences will be, but it won't be fun. I think that a lot of things we take for granted will break down.

If you think Y2K was a scary proposition, just wait.

Posted by mike at 12:28 PM Central | Corporations , Family , Law , Money , Politics | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 25, 2004

Void 90 Days After Issue

I just pulled my CD settlement check out of the mail. It had actually been sent home, but my mom mailed it here. $13.86. About what I expected, I guess.

In other news, Wired has a pretty awesome issue this month, though it bugs me that it is the third place I've seen the military-funded desert-traversing AI robot project story. I think I've also come across in in IEEE Spectrum and Scientific American. Someone wants to get more funding…

Update: Oops, it was SciAm and Popular Science.

Posted by mike at 06:00 PM Central | Law , Music , News | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2004

Whaaaaa?

I don't know what it is, but I've come across a lot of weird blood-pressure-raising crap today. I considered posting a few items earlier today, but decided against that. Just writing it down was enough. But this one takes the cake:

108th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 3920

To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 9, 2004

Mr. Lewis of Kentucky (for himself, Mr. DeMint, Mr. Everett, Mr. Pombo, Mr. Coble, Mr. Collins, Mr. Goode, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Mr. Hefley, Mr. Doolittle, and Mr. Kingston) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004”.

2. CONGRESSIONAL REVERSAL OF SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS.

The Congress may, if two thirds of each House agree, reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court—

(1) if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(2) to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.

3. PROCEDURE.

The procedure for reversing a judgment under section 2 shall be, as near as may be and consistent with the authority of each House of Congress to adopt its own rules of proceeding, the same as that used for considering whether or not to override a veto of legislation by the President.

4. BASIS FOR ENACTMENT.

This Act is enacted pursuant to the power of Congress under article III, section 2, of the Constitution of the United States.

The text of the bill: [1] (It's an XML file, so I don't know how well it'll work in everyone's browsers)

A tracking page: [2]

The only page I could find through Google News that was not made by conservative windbags horrified by the so-called “Judicial Activism” going on: [3]

Update: Here's a great little entry discussing all of the other crap Congress is trying to do these days: [4]

I also have the note I sent to Rep. Martin Sabo below (LiveJournalers might have to click the “Comments” link to see it)

Mr. Sabo,

I was very recently informed of a bill currently in committee, HR 3020, the “Judicial Activism Act of 2004”—“A bill to allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court.” I'm appalled to see that twelve Republican representatives had the guts to put their names on that thing. The bill is so shocking to me that it makes my head hurt. The bill itself is most certainly unconstitutional—blatantly so. I almost believe that its proposal is an intentional act; a way for conservative representatives to fan the flames around what they have been calling “Judicial Activism” if it was struck down either in Congress or—ironically, yet unlikely, since I doubt it could ever pass—in the courts.

My mind is just completely boggled by this bill. If I give the representatives the benefit of the doubt and believe that they wrote the bill in good faith and without any strange plotting or scheming in mind, then I am left with the conclusion that they lack basic understanding of how American government works and that they hardly have the right to represent themselves in Congress, let alone the hard-working individuals who voted for them. It is a strong thing, but my morals require me to must ask you to request the removal of those representatives from Congress.

Thank you for your time,

Michael Hicks

Maybe I should have just asked for “censure” or something. Whatever. They're idiots and deserve to be spanked.

Posted by mike at 11:06 PM Central | Law , Politics | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2004

…And Then the Monkeys Came

It's time for Presidential Daily Brief Fill-in-the-Blank!

Here are my guesses based on the length of nearby text strings in the document (plus the fact that the second one was an “an” rather than an “a”).

told followers he wan
a British intelligence

an Austrian
exploit the o

te some of the more s
a Spanish intelligence

But, I really have no idea.

I listened to a few of the most recent episodes of This American Life today. The first two were really good, though I didn't really feel comfortable with the third one. I guess the first two were somewhat interrelated, since they deal with the current political climate. Actually, the only part of the third episode I liked had a political bent to it.

Episode 260 was largely focused on dissecting the court case that the Bush administration has been using to assert that they have the ability to hold Americans in this country who are accused of being enemy combatants. Back in World War II, the Nazis landed two groups of people in Florida and New York who were supposed to sabotage the aluminum industry in the months after the U.S. entered the war. One of the people was an American of German descent who found himself in Nazi-held territory when Germany declared war on the United States. The story goes that he just wanted to get home, so when he was given a chance to be part of an operation that would bring him to America, he took it. Anyway, he was tried in a secret military court. An appeal was made to the Supreme Court, requesting that the case be tried in regular criminal court, but the justices were pressured into quickly giving an opinion without any supporting arguments.

There's also a look inside the Zogby polling operation later in the episode, which kind of tells you what you already knew, but often forget.

Episode 261 is TAL's response to the whole gay marriage debate, though they handle it by spending more time examining the more traditional version. Adam Felber has a good little satirical story, which pretty much sums up the whole thing for me, and shows how the whole debate has been blown out of proportion for the most part.

The final episode I listened to today was pretty weird. The main story was not something I could identify with, though it's necessary to listen to it at least a bit to fully understand the title of the last story, which was much more interesting to me. Always good to know that the pharmaceutical companies seem to be charging about 40 times what they need to be on certain drugs…

Posted by mike at 04:11 PM Central | Corporations , Law , Money , Politics , September 11th , The Media , War | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2004

Fade to Grey

I'll never remember all of the stuff that happened today—not that it was especially interesting.

My late-morning job interview at MCAD went okay. Just okay. I think I've really lost a lot of my confidence in how quickly I can learn computer software, hardware, and whatever leftovers there are. The job would be interesting and I'd be at a school, one of those places where the mythical female is rumored to spend time. The job would largely involve Macs running OS X, which means I'd have to spend the first few months learning a lot. My Unix/Linux experience would be both good and bad.

It sounded like the job would be a semi-management position, where I'd have to direct others to do things. I've never really done that before. The job would also involve some significant amount of communication with other people. At Carlson, I didn't really talk to many people other than my boss, so I don't know how comfortable I would be with it. Heck, I know it would be a challenge to talk at least some of the time. I'm quiet—that's just the way things are for me.

Both the MCAD job and the Secure Computing job would require a lot more interpersonal communication than I'm really used to. Well, I don't really know. I got to be very bored at the Carlson School since I was pretty much stuck in a corner by myself in a room with a hevay door. I didn't have other people to work with, I just had other people sitting in the room with me. At Adaptec, I did more stuff with the other testing guys there. We all spent the bulk of our time in the same room without any partitions between us, so there was more free communication.

I'm certain that I do better work when I have to interact with other people on a daily basis. I think this is why I did better in high school than in college. I know that I've felt in the past that work should feel more like high school than college—at least in the sense that you get more interaction between people where you're working with others rather than just sitting next to them. Well, maybe my college/high school experiences were just weird…

Anyway, on the way to MCAD, I found myself to be lost and found at the same time. I was trying to follow the driving directions they had on their website, but ended up going by what you get on Mapquest. Instead of taking the 11th/I-94 exit and staying on I-94, I got off on 11th. I took that until I ran into a one-way and was forced to turn (Portland, I think). That took me to Franklin, which I used to get across 35W. Then I went south on 3rd (the way you go to Little T's).

I guess I was supposed to stay on I-94 and get off at another 11th—or the same 11th, if the road just has a break in it somewhere. Whatever, I found a new way to Uptown.

After the interview, I headed over to the U. I looked around in the Elmer L. Anderson library, though I wasn't all that impressed by the ambience. I guess it's meant more for researchers slowly perusing archives than the general visitor who just wants to browse through stuff. I once had a professor who was involved with the Charles Babbage Institute, and he invited us to visit the stuff there, though I didn't really know what you were supposed to do once you got in the building. Maybe I'll figure out the process one day.

I wandered over to CSOM to talk to my old boss, but he wasn't around. I wandered next door to see if Sarah was around, though I couldn't tell if the red-haired person I saw from the back was her or not (she was busy with someone, so I didn't intrude). I wandered back to CSOM and talked to a few more people, then finally ran into my old boss as he was coming back from the Hard Times.

We chatted for an hour or so, something that used to happen perhaps a little too often when I used to work there. He kind of reminded me that I used to have all sorts of new ideas for getting things done there. I had mentioned a bunch of different software packages to him for all sorts of different things, including Fink on the Mac. That kind of boosted my confidence in the possible MCAD job, though that's still a way of making OS X a better Unix rather than making it a better Mac OS. I showed him Wikipedia, since I've been spending too much time editing pages on there rather than playing with new code lately.

I guess NTS will be taking over CSOM's network in about a year. Kind of on-campus outsourcing, so it's possible some people at the school will lose their jobs. In the very least, they'd have to get some new responsibilities. Turns out that the backup tape library hasn't been getting used at all, though there are plans in place to get IBM's Tivoli working over the summer, I guess.

After that, I checked again to see if Sarah was around, but maybe I chickened out too much before I did an adequate check. Whatever. I went across to the IT Career Center to browse their jobs. Mostly outside of Minnesota, it seemed. Secure Computing had a posting, though I can't remember if it's basically for the same job I applied for or if it was a testing position. I'll have to ask them about that when I call tomorrow and inquire about my status for the job I interviewed for two weeks ago.

I chatted a bit with Dan since I was in the neighborhood. I suppose I should see his new place at some point. We discussed the court case against Joe too, not that anything has changed on that front. Still, when I got home, I had a summons in my mailbox for the upcoming court date. I don't remember getting anything on our previous tries, so I'm surprised that something showed up this time.

Well, that's pretty much it. Except, when I was walking home, I was thinking that maybe there's a criminal offense that Joe committed in the course of this whole thing. I'm curious if there would be any way to get the police to drag him in for not having valid contact info on his properties. Ripping down the unlawful housing notices was theoretically some sort of offense, but I suppose it's not enough to arrest him or anything.

I mentioned to Dan that it might be a good idea to try one of those person locator services on the 'Net, but I guess I wouldn't want to be the person to potentially sacrifice my credit card info on some random website.

So, a lot of mediocre stuff happening today. Not exactly one for the record books.

Posted by mike at 05:42 PM Central | Dan , Law , School , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)