August 2002 Archives

Star Wars Land Speeder



Robert sent a link to the Star Wars Land Speeder auction at eBay.

Sometimes Dave Winer argues that you shouldn't give your code away (or rather that he shouldn't himself) because it's part of his brain, part of him. Via an argument that the genius is in the process and not in the resulting code he now says that giving the code out would be pointless because we wouldn't understand it anyway.

So maybe he isn't so big on open source because he can't write readable code? Maybe his code is a big mess that noone else could get any use of. Or maybe showing the code would just ruin his self imposed image as some kind of coding guru.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like Turboprint has drivers for the Canon S900 printer (and S9000 and all the others) for Linux. Yay, very cool.

I found the site from Canon in Germany. I guess they have more clue than their counterparts here in the U.S. (who are using so much javascript crap that I can't even get to their driver download page right now).

New OS X Features

Ken Bereskin, product manager for Mac OS X, is running a series on new OS X features in Jaguar.

The first one some days ago was about the new calculator.

Slightly related, Brent is updating NetNewsWire every few days it seems like. It just gets better and better. :-) NetNewsWire is a RSS aggregator for Mac OS X. It's great. It will change the way you read the web(logs).

idisk / mod_dav / web folders

Viridiana had to send me a file, so I setup mod_dav to give us a shared folder that easily works from both her Windows 2000 computer and from my PowerBook (and from Linux with mod_davfs if I bothered to set it up). And from web browsers everywhere. It's very cool. Much nicer than pushing huge attachments around. Everyone will have their own "iDisk" on their own server soon.

On OS X my sub folders seem to disappear randomly though; and likewise for contents in them. Sometimes it works; most of the time not. Hmn. I wonder if it's the brand new 2.0.41-dev I compiled or if it's something else. It seems to work okay with our DAV installation at

Update: Ah, adding

BrowserMatch "^WebDAVFS/" redirect-carefully

to the httpd.conf fixed it. Apparently the Mac OS X mod_dav client is just as broken as the Microsoft one (the default httpd.conf has an entry for their client already).

Update (September 5th): From the next version of Apache 2.0 it will be the default too.

Date: 6 Sep 2002 03:09:56 -0000
From: wsanchez
To: httpd-2.0-cvs
Subject: cvs commit: httpd-2.0/docs/conf

wsanchez 2002/09/05 20:09:56

Modified: docs/conf
Add Apple's DAV filesystem to list of broken clients wrt redirects.
Limit to shipped versions on the theory that this will be addressed in
the next version.

A bank robber talk about the jail time for a small time crook vs the big billion dollar white collar swindlers.

Keating, Boesky and Milken collectively swindled Wall Street out of more than $500 million. Yet together they served less than 10 years. I know a man serving 20 years for an $800 heist.

Americans say they want to see greedy, dishonest CEOs punished. But in truth, most Americans are more afraid of boys from the housing projects holding them up in an alley for 20 bucks than they are of having their pensions and portfolios gutted by Wall Street scoundrels.

(via boing boing)

ideas are worthless

Andre Torrez writes about writing community sites and software,

You can sit and document and outline and conspire with friends about how you're going to carry something out, but in the end you're just spinning your wheels.

ideas are fucking worthless. [...] The only thing special about the code is that it was written. The only thing special about the sites are the users.

Even you can do it.

Card games

I want to play Whist again. ~10 years ago I played it all the time with my friends in school. Lots of fun. I also want to play Risk again. And I want to try Cranium.

Lately Viridiana and I have played Worms World Party once in a while. We get overly competitive. "I won! I won!" "You can't use the rope; that's not fair. No rope!" "Oh, that was luck, pure luck!" "Sucker!" "Don't do that, don't do that!" "Ouch". "Hahahahahahahaha". "That was easy!".

War games rigged?

The most elaborate war game the U.S. military has ever held was rigged so that it appeared to validate the modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts it was supposed to be ing, according to the retired Marine lieutenant general who commanded the game’s Opposing Force.

As explained at boingboing where I found the story: The whole point of "war games" is to figure out what works and what doesn't. If you don't allow the "enemy" to exploit weaknesses in your system you are not being very efficient. Doh.

Food shortage survey

When I hear someone igoring the existance of the world that is not the United States, I usually quote this joke ....

Recently, a worldwide survey was conducted by the U.N.

The question was asked, "Would you please give your opinion about the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure.

In Africa they did not know what 'food' meant.
In Western Europe, they did not know what 'shortage' meant.
In Eastern Europe they did not know what 'opinion' meant.
In South America they did not know what 'please' meant.
And in the U.S. they did not know what 'the rest of the world' meant.

Three kinds of free

Ziggy wrote about an unusually clued article at CNET, Three kinds of free. It is about the different kinds of open source licenses (GPL and other more inclusive licenses).

Most importantly, open source is not just about code; it is about community. You don't make a project open source just with a license. It takes the costly and time-consuming birthing of a community of code, a trusted gatekeeper function and a series of symbiotic commercial enterprises to make true open source.

That's one of the mantras of the Apache Software Foundation, it's nice to see it in something as mainstream as CNET too.

Adam noticed other things, so be sure to read what he wrote too.

Yours is a Very Bad Hotel


At 2 in the morning two tired consultants arrived in Houston to their guarenteed rooms. Except there were no rooms; only a rude night clerk called Mike who couldn't care less. They made a powerpoint presentation Yours is a Very Bad Hotel (also available in html).

(also via Fast Company's print edition)

update: PPT / html

Airline Grub

airline foodWhen you travel (or when you don't) it's really neat to take photos as you go along. I find it very pleasing to look up my old photos a year or two later, remembering some of the small things that defined the time for me. Marco Hart took a photo of his food last fall to show his parents. Now he runs a website with nothing bit Airline food. (Also reported by CNN). 543 meals from more than a hundred different airlines.

(via Fast Company's print edition)

ns4logo.gifThey have created a 4.8 directory on the ftp server... Hmn.

Which will it be? "It just won't die!" or "Finally, it doesn't get everything wrong anymore!" ...

Update: You can actually download the Mac OS version if you just guess the url ... (from Jeffrey Zeldman) or you can download the Win32 version.

I'm behind on at least two movies I've seen since the last movie update and I haven't written about a billion things I wanted to write about the last week. But, I can't contain myself about this.

I've never digged Dave Winer; but now I understand even less why people bother to read what he writes. I don't know him personally (he could very well be a great guy in person), but since he seems to define himself rather strongly as a Weblog Guy, I guess it's not all that unfair to judge him on what he writes.

Via Doc Searls I saw Mr. Winer trying to Dismiss the work of Lawrence Lessig. Winer talks blah blah blah about Lessig asking people "what have we done about it!" and then writing that Lessig hasn't done anything (but that Winer himself has?!). Yes, you read that right. No, the context was not writing software and selling some of it, giving other things away.

The context was fighting the entertainment industrys control of our culture, the endless scope of copyright law, the DMCA and educating people about such issue...

Well Mr. Winer; if you gave your navel less attention maybe you would have noticed that Lessig has done lots of cool things.

Oh, and while I'm at it: If Lessig have had recent health problems, he would probably not get an empty get well board at a big conference for developers. (Okay, that was low, and to be fair it did get some names on it later :-) ). Read Doc Searls comments on who does what.

Freeing Culture

Leonard Lin is the hero of this week. He made Lawrence Lessig's excellent keynote available as a flash movie with sound. Thank you, thank you, thank you Leonard! :-D

<refrain> 1. Creativity and innovation always builds on the past.

2. The past always tries to control
the creativity that builds on it.

3. Free societies enable the future
by limiting [the power of] the past.

4. Ours is less and less a free society.

Organica saw 20 links to the flash movie in the last ~24 hours, so if I made the "recent rankings" available it would probably score really high.

Update: ~50 links now. There has been more than 5000 downloads of the flash formatted Lessig Keynote from the mirror in the last ~18 hours.

Dick Hardt has resigned as ActiveState's CEO. Jim speculates that it was the VC's kicking him out to grow faster. Hmn. They used to be closer to ~100 people actually, but cut down late last year. It could be bad news (evil vc's trying to get a short term profit) or it could be good (getting a CEO who doesn't scream at people).

(via trained monkey)

update: Dick Hardt comments on slashdot: " Thought I would post to clarify why I stepped aside. ActiveState is doing very well right now and we are about to grow out our management team and capitalize on our new product line PerlMx, [...]. I have never run a large management team and in discussions with my board, we decided ActiveState was more likely to be successful having me be part of the management team rather than leading it, [...]

One train may hide another

savanna.jpgI usually don't hear much poetry; much less read it. But occasionally when I do hear it, or I take the time to read, it is really nice. It makes you feel, makes you think, makes your mind wander.

About a month ago, I heard this poem on the radio which I really liked. I think it was just after the writer, Kenneth Koch passed away.

Over at they have a reading by Kenneth Koch himself (RealAudio; modem friendly 16Kbit only but it's nice).

One train may hide another

(sign at a railroad crossing in Kenya)

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line--
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,
If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love.

Unix fonts


Mark talks about using good fonts for unix. However, judged from my Linux box using Mozilla, his site looked much nicer before he changed the font. It was easier to read anyway.

Screenshots of how this site and his site with the new fonts below. Click for full size.

askbjoernhansen_screenshot.jpg     diveintomark_screenshot.png

In other news then I've been playing with a neato weblog related site the last few days... Did you know that diveintomark is one of the most popular weblogs around? From the weblogs that has been active in the last few days, movabletype seems to be the most popular weblog tool. More information later.

Update: Mark left a comment that he changed it a bit; and it looks much better now! (In my browser anyway).


Radio Fun

Hmn, on Metropolis on my radio station Jason Bentley is playing all sorts of old stuff. He opened the show with something from Massive Attack's Mezzanine album and just before he was mixing Underworld's Born Slippy into Fat Boy Slim's Right here, right now. Odd, but cool.

He also played Royksopp's "You Remind Me" which have a really neat neat infographics style video (realaudio). I saw the link at boingboing and in the first few minutes I wondered what the big deal was; but it got to me too. The music is so so; but the video really cool.

(Now Jason Bentley is mixing some old Radiohead thing. This is like oldies radio; just cooler).

Google PageRank

| 1 Comment

pagerankMark Pilgrim writes in Google is a harsh mistress about people loosing their good google rankings. My old page used to be number 3 in a search for Ask. That's right; just after those losers with my domain. Now it's not even on the first page.

A few days ago I got two thousand hits from people searching for Apple Switch Parody. And people keep finding my site and some odd discussion about when they search for Blackhawk Down.

As others have said before; google really likes weblogs. I frequently find my page highly ranked for a week or so after writing about anything. After USA Today got hacked my note on it was number two or so for a few weeks. Odd, but fun.

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