October 2002 Archives

Amazon Apparel

amazon.gifAmazon are doing public beta ing their new Amazon Apparel store. I can't see myself buying clothing online, but they do have some good names (Nordstroms, Urban Outfitters, Gap, I heard Lands End has a good reputation). I guess they should just add Banana Repuplic, then I could buy my t-shirts there. That's more or less all I ever buy anyway.

The whole Amazon site is awfully sloooow today. Some poor techies must be really busy trying to make it not suck again. :-)

Auto Focus

autofocus posterI went to see Bowling for Columbine, but I got there too late, so I saw Auto Focus instead (trailer). It's based on the life of Bob Crane.

Lenny, Crane's Agent: You know Bob, sex is not the answer.
Bob Crane: That's right, sex is not the answer. It is the question. Yes, is the answer.

Crane is a family man. Doesn't drink. Doesn't smoke. Couldn't pick up a woman even if she threw herself at him. He gets to star in an unlikely TV show set in a German POW camp(!). From there his addiction and self-destruction sets in.

It's provacative at times, and disturbing most of the time. It gets a bit repetitive, but I think that's what makes it so disturbing. Crane has no self-awareness, no perspective on his life and his actions, no good judgement for much of anything at all.

autofocus dafoeGreg Kinnear is great as Bob Crane. I really really enjoyed Willem Dafoe in th role of John Carpenter. I finally watched The Last Temptation of Christ the other day where Dafoe plays Christ. On the commentary track of the DVD he says at one point "oh god, I look so young". Indeed he did. :-)

Auto Focus is directed by Paul Schrader who (co-)wrote the screenplays for Last Temptation of Christ, Bringing Out the Dead, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and many others.

Ebert's review is a bit of a spoiler, but very accurate. It also includes some fluff about the inaccuracies from the real Bob Cranes life. I couldn't care less. In a Beautiful Mind it bugged me because it was so obvious that it was to make the movie sweeter and nicer. Here the changes were to make it a better and more interesting movie.

Where Danish means lunch


smørrebrødNew York Times writes about smørrebrød (free registration req.), usually explained to English speaking people as "open faced sandwiches", which doesn't really come that close. This article does it more justice. (Yeah, there is actually bread under the mountain of food in the photo).

No More Power

Argh. A few days ago the electricity company turned off my power for half the day. Now they are out there going at it again and my UPS is beeping me awake. Suck.

They had put a note in my mailbox telling they'll turn off the power in the morning on the 26th. However, apparently their mornings apparently are from 9am to 6pm! WTF?! ..... Gaah! I'll be watching them from my window, they better not eat lunch before their "morning" is over.

Quit geeking; herd sheep


peaceful mountaindeus x: Also on the drive home, I was thinking that I'd like to take a break from being a geek and a software architect altogether, and maybe raise sheep and make sweaters for awhile.

I am so with him on that. I have always been a city person, never imagined that I would want to live far from the nearest 24 hour anything. The last years though I've been increasingly dreaming about living far away on some mountainside or by a lake noone else knows about or some such. But I really loathe driving[*], so I am not sure how I would ever get anything to eat (eat the sheep?) and I'd miss my DSL connection and movie fix too much, so here I am...
[*] Really #$%^$ clever that I live in Los Angeles then, is it not?
(photos from Santa Barbara and from the hills above Sunset Plaza in Los Angeles)

Traffic is very dangerous and today Michael Moore points out that every day at least 8 children gets killed by a gun in the US. Every day. Tick tock. 30 to 40 people are murdered every day. 40 to 50 people use a gun to kill themselves. Every day. Tick tock. What's the big deal with the sniper again? When almost a hundred people die from gunfire EVERY friggin' day! Please explain it to me, because I truly don't understand.

happy duckBrent added support for Etags and If-Modified-Since headers to the la NetNewsWire beta. It's very cool. He added it after hints and pressure from among others Joel, Phil, Sam and Mark; I'll refrain from pointing out that I suggested it to him several months ago, although my justification was to make it faster for people on slow connections. :-) I noticed in my logs that a new version of Radio Userland is doing the right thing too.

Charles Miller wrote "HTTP Conditional Get for RSS Hackers". In his section about dealing with it on dynamically generated pages he suggests to just do a string comparison between your calculated last modified date and whatever you got from the client. But why, I cry! It is so easy to do it right.

A while ago Doonesbury was wardriving. This week he is writing a weblog. ETOOCOOL.

"Wait, don't you have to have something to say?"
"A common misconception."

(I usually read Doonesbury every day, but today via Mark)

Newton: Models are dumb


newtonPhotographer Helmut Newton, famed for his portraits of beautiful naked women, said on Wednesday he had met far too many stupid models in his career.

"Either they are so dumb that they can only sit there silently staring straight ahead with vacant looks on their faces, or they get on my nerves because they can't stop blabbering"

Mike Keller: "Gosh, I thought the vacant stares in his photographs were on purpose?"

(via d1scussion)

Which or That?

Nathan wrote a comment on use.perl about how to use which or that recently. Or someone else wrote the comment. In either case, I couldn't find it tonight while editing some stuff from Janus. (Me editing?! Big Trouble!). This which, that, who quiz helped me remember how it works again. Google has really been giving some weird results lately, but for this search it was helpful.


‘Twas bind, and the socketpair times
Did glob and grep in the wait:
All msgget were the binmode,
And the map rand opendir.

Beware the Perl 6 early-morning jogger!
The shoes that trip, the skin that blinds!
Beware the Java bowler, and shun
The Ruby gymnast in tights!

-- by Allison Randal

Martin really needs to fix his Jabberwocky pages. He used to have translations to many languages and other goodies there...

Who needs flash for animation? These guys don't.

$ telnet blinkenlights.nl

Very cool! (thanks to Masahji)

Naked Skydiving

naked skydivingNaked skydiving. They also have a Mile high club. As one of the captions say, probably not what you'd call safe sex.

The naked skydiving FAQ is fun too.

(via Jeremy via Kasia)

Who's counting?

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Seven killed, eighty injured by bomb made by a teenage kid studying chemistry. (via kuro5hin). Sniper may have killed 9th victim in Washington. Almost a thousand people killed and sixtyfive thousand injured in auto related accidents last week. And that's only counting in the United States. News at eleven.

Radio email in Africa

Linux Journal writes about Radio E-mail in West Africa. It reminds me of the good old days when we used UUCP over ssh (for the compression) to fetch mail for everyone while skiing in France. Of course they have more important goals than just trying to make your customers not notice that you are on vacation.

Expecting this isolation and general lack of connectivity, I was quite astonished when we arrived in Kissi. Here I found the radio operator using his equipment to make a binary file transfer from his desktop PC to another field office, wirelessly!

I had a radio modem for my 27MHz radio way back when. It was only 300 baud or something like that though; great fun. Packet network in a point-to-point world. Of course now packet networks are everywhere. Generations growing up now in our end of the world will never know a world without them.

Bushmail, a commerical provider of Radio email, writes on their products and prices page: The annual airtime subscription for unlimited use is around $1000 - countries at war being at a much higher end of the spectrum. How is that for price differentiation? Makes dividing your customers into who favors which color face plate on their new gadget seem a bit irrelevant.

IBM chips in our Macs...

It seems like we will be buying Macs with IBM processors starting sometime in the second half of next year. Last week Mac OS Rumors had more speculation on the new powerbooks...

We are settting up drums!

Doonesbury is too much fun.
Today it goes from the white house:
"Five minutes to your press conferece, sir. Now, remember, stay away from the recession, the stock market, unemployment and the deficit. The message is war, war, war!"
"Okay. I think I got it... What if the press goes off-message?"
"We are setting up drums. Just stay with the beat."


Uhmn, Cooking. Real. Food.

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I haven't been very good about eating since Viridiana started at UCSD some weeks ago. Sure, I eat. I've made smoothies of anything fruitlike I could find, chop and freeze. I have been eating icecream. More fruit. A sandwich. Gorditas. Salads. No pizza, I think. Corn flakes. Yoghurt. Gorditas. GaJols. In fact so many of those that I ran out; but my dad sent me like 200 packages from Denmark which I should receive any day now.

I had a really slow day today. ETOOTIRED. I hate being too tired. Everything just turns into a big waste of time.

Too hungry too. So for the first in what seems longer than it propably is, I went to the store and bougth vegetables, and a bunch of other stuff. I almost went to bed instead of cooking it though, but I am so happy that I didn't. It Feels Really Good having had nice fresh food. And pasta as usual. "Linguine fini" today.

Is it a bad sign when the tomatoes on your tomato plants looks like dried tomatoes? What do you say? You don't make sundried tomatoes by killing the plants? Anyway, I gave them water today. If nothing else then because I otherwise will run out of fresh basil.

Okay, I am rambling, sleepy time.

powered by mod_perlmt logo
Like everyone else I upgraded to Movable Type 2.5.

Just to be different then I also upgraded to mod_perl 2.0. And Apache and mod_dav of course. And I wrote a couple of neato Apache modules for integrating everything a bit better than I had before. Fun fun.

$ lwp-request -e -d -S //www.askbjoernhansen.com/ | grep ^Server
Server: Apache/2.0.43 (Unix) mod_perl/1.99_08-dev Perl/v5.8.0 DAV/2

I also moved Janus weblog to weblog.janus.dk...

Do I really have to go through the templates and change <$MTCGIPath$> to http://... manually to use the host name of each site for the comments links etc? Hmn.

The Early Days of Tech Support

The tech support problem dates back to long before the industrial revolution, when primitive tribesmen beat out a rhythm on drums to communicate:

Tech Support: Fire help. Me Groog

Lorto: Me Lorto. Help. Fire not work.

Tech Support: You have tinder?

Lorto: Ugh

Tech Support: You have flint and stone?

thiefFirst Blood is Spilled at Record Industry Hearings - The War is On!!!

The recording industry are cooking the books when they calculate the royalties the artists are to be paid.

"But surely the artists have a right to audit them and see that things check out?"

Nope, not really.

By contract, artists are prohibited from showing royalty statements to third parties. Normally this would not include their managers, lawyers, consultants, or others who could aid them in getting paid, but apparently this is not necessarily the case.

The artists must use an auditor from a short list the industry kindly provides them. Oh, and the auditor can only work for one artists at the time. And they can't audit the manufacturing records. And ... their auditors are required to meet with label executives BEFORE they can release findings to their clients.. Grok that!

Read the article in MusicDish for tales about Back Street Boys never getting A CENT from royalties. Read about recording companies claiming no overseas sales when they had made 22 pressings on foreign subsidiaries. What a buch of crooks.

Being a computer programmer sounds like a pretty good deal.

(via Aaron Swartz)



My street is being cleaned on Thursday and Friday mornings. I can never remember which side is when of course; and even if I could then I'm never quite sure where I parked. What does that mean? That I go down to check at some odd hour way too often.

So I just went down. What I learned:

  1. I don't remember the last time I went outside. Maybe I went to the store yesterday, but I am not sure. Before that? Who knows. I am not sure I have been outside since Sunday.
  2. It's getting cold outside at 5am.
  3. When you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt anyway.
  4. I didn't remember where my car was at all. I found it because it said "beep" behind me when I pressed lock on the remote.
  5. That felt a bit odd.
  6. The moon looked wicked cool.

So cool that I had to go up and get my camera. Does it look like this every month? I vaguely recall having raved about it before. You see, back in Denmark the moon doesn't lay down.

I couldn't find my tripod mount, so the photo is handheld. (Yuck). Handheld D1x at 180mm in the middle of the night isn't fun.

Color correction nonsense sucks so badly. I Photoshop on my Powerbook; so the moon photo looked bright and nice there. Now on Linux it's all fuzzy grey. But still neat, no?

Okay, sleepy time. Really.

Mail.app limitations


mail.gifI am considering putting all my mail on an IMAP server and then sometimes using Mail.app to read it. I would then be able to read mail while not online. Yay. Usually I ssh to the various servers where my mail is stored and then use pine there. (Go away you fancy mutt users; if I could make myself learn new keystrokes I wouldn't be using emacs anymore either).

Back to my mail plans. I have a lot of mail. Easily 50-100000 mails in a bunch of folders. I wouldn't need to syncronize them all to Mail.app. I can even delete thousands of mails by just junking the junk folders; but there would still be a lot left. I wonder how many mails Mail.app can deal with before breaking horribly. If it's a bit slow at opening some of the big folders then that's okay; but if it can't deal with 5-8 thousand mails in my inbox then it would be a mess. Or maybe I should just get better at getting rid of old mail. Hmn.

Does anyone have any actual experience with Mail.app and lots of mail?

Google is doing what Real Names tried to do. Just this morning I heard an NPR "sponsor spot" where the text went "For more information call 1-800-FOOBARZ or Google FOOBARZ". Everyone knows google; and it's easier to type the name there than trying to get the URL right. Heck, I use google instead of the location bar all the time.

Did people ever worry that Yahoo was too powerful? I can certainly see how you can worry that Google is getting too important. What would you use if you couldn't get to Google? Bookmarks again? I didn't think so.

Jeremy is sometimes commenting on stuff like this.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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