November 2002 Archives

Santa and Lawyers

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apple_santa.jpg"For the longest time, it was just Marry Christmas, but now it's Happy Holidays. For Legal reasons. Santa got hit by a lawsuit. I got my ass handed to me. .... My name is S. Claus, and I am a switcher.". (local mirror)

I had to check twice that this really is hosted at Apple. Apple making a parody of their own Switch ads; who would have thought.

They also made one with Santa talking about his iPod, but it's not nearly as amusing.

Will Farrell previously "starred" in a Switch ad at NYC MacWorld Expo 2002 (local mirror). Find other switch ads and parodies.

Slightly related, Matt asks why Americans think Santa lives on the Northpole when everyone else knows that he lives in Greenland (so he's sorta a dane like yours truly). This is of course ignoring Jarkko's silly claim that Santa lives in Finland. Ha!

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

twotowers.jpgTickets for Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers (trailer) went on sale today. We got tickets for for the 7pm screening the first Saturday it's out (the 21st). Nine great seats at the dome. The screen is huge. 32x86 feet of movie bliss. More than 800 seats well within the THX specifications. Yay.

They have reserved seating at the ArcLight; just like in movie theaters in Scandinavia (and at least most of Northern Europe; maybe all of Europe?), so we know we'll have our nice seats without having to be in line umpteen hours before. The ArcLight is a really nice theater. They have nice comy chairs in the bar, the theater seats are bigger and have more legroom than most other theaters and even the restrooms are unusually neat and clean!

We are planning to go and eat afterwards, or maybe before, so if you want to join then go and buy tickets already. Or you can get tickets for the 18th and see it only a week later than our friends in the UK where it opens on the 11th.

RealPlayer considered harmful

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Via Ben Hyde I found out that This American Life has a website with a full archive of all their shows. Awesome! There are so many cool programs to listen to. I am not very good at remembering to listen in, but I always enjoy the accidential encounter when I turn on the radio when the show is on; so this is so great.

noreal.gifThe RealPlayer One beta I had on OS X has expired, so I go to download a new one; but no such luck. They don't have a free player for OS X! They want me to pay $10 a month or something. Fair enough that they want to make money, but it shows how much it sucks to put your content in a closed format.

"This Life" cite rights to distribute (different than streaming, or so they say) as their reason for not providing mp3 downloads. You can however buy mp3s of some programs via I thought Audible was a sorta mp3 format with DRM crap? Hmn... I'd be more than happy to pay a few bucks for a download if I could preview say the prologue and keep the media in an accessible format.

fossil-pda.jpgThis beats the Casio wrist watch with address book I had when I was 13.

Xeni Jardin at boingboing writes:

Hip-and-affordable watchmaker Fossil is teaming up with PalmSource and Flextronics to produce two USB-synchronizable "wrist PDAs." The new models are scheduled for consumer release in spring '03, and will include address book, date book, memo pad and calculator, as well as the ability to beam data to full-size PDAs and each other.

USAToday story excerpt: The models, which sell for $199 and $299 but operate identically, each have a 1-inch backlighted screen, far smaller than Palm's usual 21/4 inches square but a bit larger than a traditional watch face. They have a tiny stylus in the wristband for writing information on the screen. The rechargable battery is said to last four days at 30 minutes of use a day. [...] Fossil says the watch has all the capabilities of the Zire, the recently introduced, lowest-priced Palm device at $99.

daemon.gifThe FreeBSD project has released a new Developer Preview of 5.0. New stuff since the previous DP includes, "The GEOM disk geometry module and the GBDE on-disk encryption system. A compiler toolchain based on GCC 3.2. A new extensible Mandatory Access Control framework, the TrustedBSD MAC Framework. The new UFS2 on-disk format, with support for larger filesystems and extended file attributes. Support for Firewire devices. Experimental support for the RAIDframe software RAID disk driver.".

Compared to FreeBSD 4.7, version 5.0 will also include a rewritten thread system, much better SMP support and many other goodies. They have taken Perl out of the base system; putting them with NetBSD and MS-Windows as one of few systems not having Perl in the default install. :-) It's really not a bad thing though. With FreeBSD 4.x it's generally a huge pain to upgrade the system Perl; hopefully it will work out better the new way (installable via the ports system).

Eventhough I only have one and a half FreeBSD box left I manage, it is quite exciting. Will it be too little too late? Linux is moving much faster. Spinning its wheels more than FreeBSD, but still moving faster in the end. Will Apples involvement with BSD be intimate enough that FreeBSD will get a boost from it?

Segway at Amazon

segway.jpgSegway are now marketing their Human Transporter at Amazon. $5000 seems pretty steep, although not as bad as it was priced when it came out first. If I had a huge warehouse or whatever, I'd much rather have a little bicycle to go around on. :-)

New Switch Ads; one in Icelandic

switch-iceland.jpgApple has made some new switch ads, with Yo-Yo Ma, De La Soul and a guy who's a dad. Apple Iceland made an icelandic switch ad with Einar Örn of the Sugercubes. Neato. It's really fun to hear icelandic. It sounds a bit like Danish, except that all the words are ranging from different to very different so I don't understand anything at all.

Apple US made take it down from their website, but they are still playing it on TV there. Or so the people over in the Mac Rumors forum says. (That's like going to USA Today for the truth). That sounds really damn stupid if it's true. The people there also provided a translation of the ad. It's about his friends talking about how difficult all the computer stuff is, but he got a Mac so he didn't have any problems.

(drinking too much of the kool-aid)

RealLifeAdventures-2002.11.13My dear Viridiana has dailystrips putting her favorite cartoons (and some of mine) on her browser start page, and she pointed me to todays Real Life Adventures.

Last sundays Dilbert was wicked funny cool - too big to post on this page, so click on the link already.

Writing tips

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lettersWriting other than "just the facts" or about not technical topics is much more trouble for me than it should be.

For a relatively recent expatriate I get by okay in verbal conversations, but it's amazingly frustrating for me to write in English. I can't find the eloquent words, I struggle with grammer beyond the most basic. I am thankful for articles like Gar's Tips on Sucks-Less Writing. And of course for

After not having written much Danish for almost 4 years, my Danish writing isn't much better. (Four years?! Wow! I had no idea it had been that long already).

(via boingboing)

(Yes, I also wonder what's with photoshoping an illustration for almost every darn entry here)

Switch Canada

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switch.canada.jpgReally funny new switch parody. Switch to Canada (original). ~8MB Quicktime.

On many occassions, I've heard someone say, "If you don't love the United States of America, then get the hell out."

I did.

One of the most popular searches from Google that ends up here is for the other Apple Switch thing I have written about.

(via boingboing)

Update: Via Elaine I found John's website with more mirrors.

Todays funny spam


... or maybe it's just a clueless mail. I received this to an address

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 16:13:53 EST
Subject: Re:My perl skills.

I work on perl programming. Like web sites with the CGI and othere perl programs on unix. If you will please give me a litter chance to work with you then I might give you The new ideas on perl.

For the request of my resume please fell free and email me at


Don't call us. We'll call you. Although I do wonder what "The new ideas on perl" are.

I almost feel a bit bad for this guy, but geez. You use AOL! And you are sending mail to the wrong address. And even if you had sent it to the right address, it would have been wrong (we don't hire people and you can't give us the new ideas on perl... Sorry!)

Fault tolerance

Joe Armstrong talked about the Erlang at the Lightweight Languages Workshop 2002 (LL2).

At the end of his talk he mentions a few products using Erlang, one of them an Ericsson ATM switch (AXD301). It's used by British Telecom and has a fault tolerance of 99.9999999% (9 nines!). That's 31 ms a year. As he said "Not bad". Wow. I wonder if we'll ever get used to the lower reliability of internet telephony or if the internet will get more reliable or if we'll just never switch.

Trailer for "25th Hour"


25th_hour_poster.jpgThe trailer for 25th Hour is bloody cool. I would be embarrassed to tell how many times I have watched it, so I won't. It sucks that the trailer usually isn't a good measure for the quality of the movie.

I look at these people around me, and I'm thinking - these are my friends? I don't even know these people.

It looks like 25th hour could be good though; the casting is great at least. Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian Cox...

Norton: She is the only girl I have ever kept fantasizing about after sleeping with her. Is that normal?
Pepper: That's a pretty good kind of normal.

It is directed by Spike Lee, but it doesn't look much like one of his movies. Maybe because I only remember Jungle Fever and Malcolm X.

Speaking of trailers, how come Interview with the Assassin can't pick up a distributor? The trailer is intriguing.

The AFI Festival is coming up, and I don't have much time to go and watch the two billion movies worth seeing. Sucks.

Rain rain rain

Not so many hours ago I was making a lame joke over at Jeremy's blog because he said it was about to rain up there. I should have looked closer, then I would have known it was going to rain here too. It is anyway. Lots of rain. In the southern California style pseudo building I live in, it sounds like being in a tent with the rain pounding down and water flowing everywhere (outside only luckily).

Police Violence

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Cops are rough on a black kid in the Subway in New York. Two teachers, a man and a women, sees it and he start taking photos. The cops go really violent on the teachers and arrest them. One cop to another while he was approaching the teachers "Hide your badge!". Seriously. That's what the article says. No, really. I am not making it up. Derek made a copy of the story so you can read it there when Yahoo expires it.

(via Derek)

Auto insurance

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jetta glx galactic blueI have been trying to get a new car insurance thing for the last week or so. First I tried emailing a handful of agents. They seemed to just ignore emails. A few of them faxed quotes back. Okay, so not a great success.

A few things learned: The online quote systems the various companies have all suck. It takes 8-12 minutes to get a quote on the phone. 21st century does reply to email (I sent them a mail about their phone system hanging up on me before I could talk to anyone yesterday). I loathe the process.

I also found out that when my speeding ticket (75mph on an empty 65mph freeway at 3.30am) goes off my record, my insurance will be ~$800 less a year.

As Josh said: "Veruckt!" Even more so because I barely even drive anywhere anymore.

If I ever move from here, a big criteria for my destination will be "Can you get around without a car?"

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

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