Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Pointless Online Games

Here is another pointless yet entertaining online game from newgrounds. This one is called Dad 'n Me. This game was created by the same team that is responsible for the amazingly successful Alien Hominid.

The whole point of this game is to... Um... I guess beat up little children. But it is amazingly entertaining. You only have 2 punch buttons, but you can actually do some peaty nifty combo moves. On the picture here you can see a 3 punch combo executed with the week jab button. The character actually pulls out a knife and stabs the victim in this one.

Probably the most fun combo here is running strong punch witch throws the victim in the air, and lets you follow up with some areal punches - so you can actually fly with the little dude across the whole screen or two, and punch him like 10-12 times before he falls to the ground.

It's a perfect time waster if you are bored. Mindless fun :)

Ban Chimeras?

I just read about this bill on meta. Apparently some people want to:

prohibit any person from creating, or attempting to create a human chimera. A “human chimera” is broadly defined to include various methods of mixing non-human cells into human embryos.

First of all, this is dumb. I'm really sick and tired of people freaking out about the embryos. Do we always have to have religious wacko's holding back the scientific progress? And it's not like we can stop other countries from doing this. This will happen, sooner or later. Banning the procedure here in US will simply set us back. And in the end we will end up importing all the nifty stuff that came about thanks to experiments like this anyway. It's not like they are planning to implement the Island of Dr. Moreau (or it's remake for that matter). This is just research!

What really scares me is the fact that when I saw Chimera I instantly thought about Fullmetal Alchemist. Then I thought about the Chimera Troop Transport in Warhammer 40k game. Only after that I connected it with D&D and Greek myths... And eventually genetics. I'm such a geek :P

What is really funny about this bill is that it would actually make it illegal for some children to be born. Apparently, a human who absorbs it's twin at an embryo stage, and as the result has two sets of DNA is also called a chimera. Which would make Dr. Venture an illegal abomination :P

RSS advertising patent?

As you may or may not know, Google has filed a patent application covering RSS advertising. There is not much I can say here, beyond the classic: what the FUCK is wrong with USPTO?

I know they are having some problems lately but this is just silly! This should have been a really simple case, where the examiner opens the envelope, reads the description, chuckles a little and dumps it in the trashcan! Does anyone at USPTO even know what RSS is?

It's funny, but feedburner has a feature which allows you to inject AdSense into your feed. This has been available for a while now. Since they are using Google's technology, would this constitute infringement? And since that feature surely predates the patent application, could it be considered prior art?

How difficult would it be to hack a php script that would inject context sensitive ads into your feed? If you really want good parsing and context sensitive stuff then it could maybe take couple of hours to implement. If you are happy with just random ads, it's a job for 5 minutes. How is this even an invention?

Statistical probability of finding the right girl

This guy has done all the math so that we don't have to. Crap. It doesn't look all that good:

It is here, at a pool of 18 726 acceptable females, that we end our statistical analysis. At first glance, a datable population of 18 726 may not seem like such a low number, but consider this: assuming I were to go on a blind date with a new girl about my age every week, I would have to date for 3493 weeks before I found one of the 18 726. That's very nearly 67 years. As a North American male born in the late 1970s, my life expectancy is probably little more than 70 years, so we can safely say that I will be quite dead before I find the proverbial girl of my dreams. Come to think of it, she'll probably be dead too.

But still, it beats the chances of buying a winning lottery ticket. And I guess that's something. Cause I never won shit on the lottery...

BTW, I know that this thing is ancient, but someone just posted it on meta yesterday , and I found it really amusing. Especially the letter he got from some grammatically challenged woman - it is priceless!

Friday Night SciFi Lineup

I haven't really watched Scifi Chanel since they canceled Farscape. I made small exceptions for Peacekeeper Wars and the Dune miniseries - but that's about it. It started as a personal protest or boycott of the channel when they canceled my favorite show. Later on I realized that they really didn't have any good shows I would like to watch :P

But friends have been urging me to give BSG a try so I gave in yesterday, and I watched the whole Friday night block. And I have to say - wow, that's allot of Stargate there!

First thing first, though. I finally saw Ben Browder and Claudia Black in their new SG1 incarnations. Ben basically plays... John Crichton... No, seriously. His character really seemed like a carbon copy of John. Maybe little more stuck up, and less funny. Yes, as amazing as it is, pop culture jokes do not work that well, when most of the character's companions seem to understand them.

Claudia just seemed out of place the whole time. Maybe that's because it was some weird body switching episode. She also did not interact with Ben at all. MacGuyver showed up by the end of the episode and... Well, he looked heavily medicated and out of place too. His exchange with Ben was very wooden. Strange. I'm not a SG1 fan, so I actually have no clue why he isn't in the main cast anymore (or at least he doesn't seem to be). If someone cares to post some interesting factoids about this, and the way Ben and Claud ended up on the show, please do. I'm to lazy to look these things up.

Either way, the show doesn't seem to be the same without him.

BSG was actually watchable. I wish I saw the season from the beginning because I felt a little lost. But it seems that they do have some interesting plot lines going on for them. So I guess this BSG craze is not all hype. I think I might actually watch it again next week.

I still want to punch this guy in the head, but a little less now.

I actually did watch the mini that preceded the series. So this is not my first encounter with this show. After watching just one episode, I can't comment on how the show changed, but I can certainly point out things that stayed the same. I think that BSG suffers from the same condition as most Star Trek like shows (actually many many non SF shows as well): too many characters, too little time. This translates to lack of central focus. Farscape had a single point of focus - it was a story of John Chrichton. BSG is the story of who exactly? There is a bunch of prominent characters there, but I do not identify with any of them really. Maybe I'm wrong but this is how both the mini the episode last night felt.

I'm not saying this is wrong. Most of Star Trek shows had the same type of approach. There was really no main character (at least in the sense of Farscape's John Cricthon). Both Star Trek and BSG are doing well so far. All I'm saying is that I never got into ST, SG1 and I might never be able to really get into BSG. Or maybe I will.... I did like the episode yesterday, so I'll give it a chance.

Next stop - Stargate Atlantis. Yesterday was actually the first time I saw this show. I saw the ads for it, but I never really got around to actually watching it. It's because of that grudge I hold against SciFi channel. So I was interested how it will pan out. After all, spinoff's usually turn out to be bad. But since they had such a strong franchise and a chance to play around with the SG1 universe I figured that they really have a shot at doing something cool here.

I was wrong. The show is crap. I actually enjoyed watching some eps of SG1. This show however sucks big time. The cast blows, acting is wooden, plot is nonexistent. The only thing this show seems to have in common with SG1 is the concept of a stargate. Gah... Maybe the hard core SG1 fans get a kick out of this show, but it made me want to puke. Spinoffs suck!

Finally, at the end they showed Andromeda. This is one of these shows that gives me nightmares. When you take bunch of really bad (but relatively good looking/popular) actors, who should never be on TV, put them all on the most retarded set in the universe, and give them the cheesiest dialog ever - you get Andromeda, or as I like to call it "Hercules in Space".

The acting was so bad, it was painful to watch. I was cringing through the whole show. And I usually find bad acting amusing. Especially in old, crappy movies it is hilarious. But in this show the wooden or over the top acting is so bad, it's almost tragic. You can't laugh, because most of the line you can't even believe that a simple line could be butchered in so many ways at once...

I don't know if this show became a part of Friday lineup, or is it just a space filler but lord! This is the type of shows that made me stop watching SciFi channel! I can't believe they actually spent money on this crap. Not only is this old, but unbelievably crappy as well.

So there it is - my take on SciFi Friday lineup. Sigh.. Next week I'm tuning in for BSG and then I'm changing the channel. :P

Friday, July 29, 2005

It has begun... Patent office in trouble!

I told you this will start happening sooner or later! Patent office seems to have major issues with hiring, retention and employee morale. Jason Shultz from EFF nailed it:

The incredible surge of patent applications, especially in the software and Internet business method arena, is just crushing them, and the management problems are rising to the surface with greater visibility for those reasons

I said it before, and I'll say it again. The current patent system will either plunge us into a technological dark age, or will collapse on itself. And it seems that we might actually see a reform before USPTO kills innovation in the software industry.

The article also sheds some line on why software patents suck so badly. It seems that most examiners are swamped with work, and poorly prepared to work with technology and software patents. Yet they are expected to meet the work quota that were developed in an era when you could not patent mouse clicking...

The amount of prior art that has to be searched has gotten greater. The number of pages of specifications that somebody has to read is greater. The number of claims that an employee has to consider is much larger than it used to be. Those things all make it take more time. What has really happened is that people have been forced to do the job faster, and as a consequence, they've been forced to cut corners.

And this is where the problem lies. There is no proper prior art research anymore, because the examiners are so swamped, they'd rather blindly grant the patent, than read another 100 pages of mostly-made-up high-bullshit-grade techno babble.

This system is not working. It haven't been working for a while now. Something must be changed. Of course the simplest change would be to ban software patents altogether. This would solve many problems USPTO is facing now, and make our lives so much easier. But that's not going to happen yet - because it would piss off patent hoarding corporations.

But one thing is sure - something will happen sooner or later because USPTO already starts folding under the weight of silly patent claims.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pegasus is up again!

For several weeks now, our school login server has been down. Since most of my projects, my webpage and allot of backup stuff is located somewhere in the confusing NFS file system of the MSU CS dept setup, I was lost. What's worse - pegasus was also the login server, and a gateway to other systems on the network. To get to some of the school machines I had to establish an ssh tunnel through the good old peg. But ever since a bad university wire blackout, the machine was down. It had several hardware failures when the power went down, and it never came back up.

Fortunately I found a way to tunnel my traffic through another school machine that had port 22 open and no packet filtering. But this was not the nicest thing to do...

But they finally brought it back up. Wohooo! I can do stuff again! I seriously felt crippled without a remote shell account! God, I need to set up a nice linux server with decent upstream bandwidth somewhere before I graduate - or I'll go insane once they cut me off from pegasus for good...

Genuine Advantage can be disabled!

Remember that Genuine Advantage thing? Well, it seems that windows update maintainers are retarded in the head. They apparently left a javascript which disables the GA check on the server. According to boingboing, you can skip the verification procedure by simply doing the following:

HBefore pressing 'Custom' or 'Express' buttons paste this text into the addesss bar and press enter:


How long will this work? I don't know. But if I was Microsoft I would be removing this js script right now. Unless of course the windows update site is such a mess that they no longer know where it is located :P

Or maybe they do want to leave this backdoor in? Maybe this was left for sysadmins china and India and other countries which were kinda thinking about switching to Linux. As long as people can run an illegal windows copy, there is very little incentive for them to switch to alternative OS.

Once you cut off illegal copies from updates, all the responsible users in the poorer countries have to take drastic steps. They can either run unpatched OS, or switch to Linux (or they can actually buy the license if they can afford it). So I can see a big push from sysadmins in these countries to switch to alternative OS. On the other hand, if the GA can be easily bypassed these admins can still ride the system for another few years - maintaining market dominance of the windows platform. As long as windows is dominant, some people will buy it - even in the poorest nation. On the other hand, if Windows becomes a fringe OS, no one will be willing to pay big bucks for it.

If they wont fix it soon, you will know that I was right about this. MS loves "pirates" because they help them to maintain market dominance. GA is implemented not to curb "piracy" but to do unauthorized reg scans on unsuspecting users.

McAfee Chat Bots

I had an issue today with a McAfee product. So I got into one of their tech support chatrooms. I didn't really feel like calling their $2 per minute helpline. Shortly after the conversation started I have realized that I'm talking to a machine. What tipped me off? Maybe it was when he said:

I will be very happy to help you with ActiveX is not enabled and/or blocked

This was right after I told him that I have ActiveX enabled, and IE is on lowest security level imaginable. This guy sounded so much like ELIZA that it was not even funny. Live technical support my ass! Why wont they just tell us that they will connect us to a bot that will go through the standard troubleshooting routine with us? This way there are no nasty surprises when the "technician" suddenly fails the Turring test :P

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Inkjects do not spy on people (yet)

You know, sometimes I'm glad I use an inkject printer. At least the government can't easily spy on me.

Fortunately, identifying you with these micro dots is not that easy. You can (still) legally buy a printer for cash without giving the store or manufacturer any information. Of course police can collect information on documents printed with that specific microdot signature and keep it in a database. They would actually have to get their hands on your printer to check it. Of course this is not as hard as it used to be - now it is possible for them to search your house without a warrant (cause, you know - Patriot Act). So they can ID your printer relatively easily and match you to the paper trail they were collecting.

Now, interesting thing is - Microsoft can potentially find the serial number of your printer via the Genuine Advantage program. Now this might be a little far fetched but we really don't know how deeply they can scan your machine. Which means that MS can easily ID you given a microdot signature.

Scary stuff...

So far EFF written up some guidelines on how to find it, and identified several printers that do use this technology. If your printer is on that list, I recommend throwing it out the window :P If you do own a laser printer not on the list, print some test sheets and send them in to EFF.

Brilliant! Simply brilliant!

Steven Johnson needs to get a medal for his open letter to Hilary Clinton. All I can say is: "Fucking brilliant"!

Sigh... I think more gamers should start voting. If we would get that critical mass of voting power to register on political radar we wouldn't have this problem... Oh wait... What am I saying... I forgot that politicians do not care about voters when big money is involved. Let me rephrase it - video game companies should start lobbying American government more vigorously.

Btw - why is Hilary going ballistic over this? Is this prude and popper act an attempt to distance herself from Bill's indiscretions? Does anyone (excluding backwards bible beaters) still cares about that anyway?


I have a fever, and the only cure is more Cowbell!

Tags: , ,

Slax to the Rexcue!

The other day I was fighting with a really shitty desktop at work. All I had was an oldish HP monitor which for some reason did not want to work with WinXP. The frequency was wrong or something like that. Sad part is that I needed to log into windows to fix it - but I could not do that without a monitor (and the desktop was set up not to allow remote connection).

Fortunately, all I needed to do is to get in there and copy some files to the server. So after looking for a working monitor for half an hour, I pulled out my CD case... And realized that I gave away all my Knoppix CD's! (Note to self: burn more Knoppix!)

So I ended up using Slax which I had in my case for a while now. It was a godsend - the version I had was booting into text mode and I could simply access the public shares via smb from bash. But just for the kicks I tried KDE. Again - monitor could not handle it. I killed X and tried again - this time using slax script called guisafe. I'm not sure what it involved (I guess starting up X with the lowest specs possible) but it worked like magic! I had KDE running within seconds, and I was happily browsing network shares, and copying files where needed.

Today I had to do a total wipe & reinstall on that machine. WinXP installation held up nice on the shitty monitor all the way through install, configuration and until the first real boot into windows. And then it crapped out again. I actually had to drag the box to the next cube to get a working monitor and finish up.

Conclusion - my I would be dead without my live linux cd's. And my monitor is a piece of shit :P Oh, and slax is actually extremely useful. If you don't have Knoppix handy, Slax can be a lifesaver. And it is one of those minimalistic suites that will fit on the 8cm cd - that makes it more portable than a full sized knoppix cd.

Of course there's always DSL Linux which weighs in at 50 meg, and fits on a credit card sized cd :P Or course it is a little on the light side, application wise. Still, it is a fully functional, multi purpose distro.

If you don't care for flexibility, and need your h4xing tools you can always go with the infamous Knoppix STD which is a really bare bones system with some useful tools for cracking passwords and doing security audits. I actually used it at one point to reset passwords in a winxp box that got locked out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Interesting thing about Gorkster ruling

Mark Frauenfelder from boingboing just posted an interesting note about the Gorkster ruling. This was originally posted on Daily Kos by RadicalRuss. If you haven't noticed it yet - the Gorkster ruling is grossly contradictory to the new legislation shielding gun companies from liabilities! The Daily Kloss post has a side by side comparison of both statements.

And here is the gist of it all:

If a company makes a product that is inappropriately used to illegally copy a movie, that company is liable. If a company makes a product that is inappropriately used to illegally kill a human, that company is not liable. What's the common logic holding these disparate concepts together? Massive corporate special interest money. Welcome to your government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations

This is incredibly sad but true. If you ever needed a proof that our government and judicial system is corrupt, look no further. This really makes me sick...

Now the big question is - if this bill passes, can someone use this in a p2p defense case? Or is it gun only?

VGCats on GTA!

VGCats strip created and maintained by Scott Ramsoomair always makes me giggle. This time he takes on the recent GTA Hot Coffee Debacle in his unique, quirky, dirty minded way. You got to love it!

I wish he would publish a RSS feed so that I could subscribe to the strip. Actually, I just realized that a precious few webcommics actually uses RSS to syndicate their work. It's a pity, because I would love to have live bookmarks to my favorite strips on my toolbar.

So, if you are a comic strip creator, and you happen to be reading this: get with the program and start syndicating via RSS!


I emailed Scott about the same time I posted this. He just got back to me with a link to his new RSS feed. Awesome! Maybe I should start emailing some of the other commic strips that I like?

Windows Update will block "pirates"

It seems that Microsoft finally decided to make their Genuine Advantage "anti-piracy" checks mandatory. If I remember correctly, when this thing was first introduced, they said it will never be mandatory. So much for promises from MS :P

Don't you love how they give the most positive sounding names to things that are really evil? The Genuine Advantage is peaty much equivalent to having your car searched by police every time you take it for a tune-up. Before you yell at me for exaggerating, think about it. How does MS check for "illegal" copies? I don't know the details, but I'm peaty sure it involves registry scan because your cd key, registration and activation details are kept somewhere in your registry hive.

So, if MS can access that info, they can also access any other part of the registry. And guess what - that's where information about every single piece of software you have installed is kept, and that's where you can find clues about hardware you are running. If you have ever attempted to clean up your registry, you will also know that even after uninstalling, many programs leave traces in the registry.

Seth Schoen from EFF in an article at The Globe and Mail points out that:

Microsoft would not be able to identify customers personally through the program. But the data collected are unique to every customer, just as human fingerprints are unique, and the issue becomes how long the company holds onto the details and whether they could become personally identifying later on, he said.

This essentially means that Windows Update with Genuine Advantage check will exhibit spyware like behaviors. Could this be the reason why MS wanted to buy Claria? It appears that these talks did not go anywhere, and the deal is off - but it still makes you think. Was the real intention for that purchase to acquire Claria's spying technology for use in Genuine Advantage? This is a very scary thought...

But again, they do not need Gator tech to scan through your registry, and collect enough information to generate a unique signature for your computer. Then they can track how often do you update, what kind of software do you use, how often do you update your hardware and etc.

Hell, what is stopping them from grabbing some system logs while they are poking around, or running a file system scan to see what kind of pr0n do you watch? I'm not saying they will do it, but they could do it, and you wouldn't even know it!

I don't like this :(

Cantennas Illegal?

Cory Doctorow just posted this story at boingboing. Apparently some kid got busted for screwing with his school network. When they searched his house they found bunch of cantennas made out of empty pringle cans and such. The cops allegedly claimed that it is illegal to possess them!

Cory comments this in his post:

I'm not sure which law-book these two are reading, but this is simply not true. If there are cops from a "Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force" in Sacramento who think that making your own WiFi antenna is illegal, I think the Bee and other papers should be covering it, to be sure, but not because it's true: because it's a shockingly stupid and dangerous thing for a cop to believe, especially one who is billed as some kind of high-tech specialist.

Cory is my hero! :P

I guess according to the Sacramento "Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force" those who sell cantennas would be considered trafficking illegal goods. They would probably also need to arrest all these people posting instructions on how to make your own. Even one of the O'Reilly bloggers would have to go to jail.

This happens when you have people ignorant about technology working on "High-Tech Crimes Task Force". This reminds me the Hackers movie in which the clueless FBI agent gives the same spiel about evil hackers every time he is interviewed on TV. Or course the movie is silly, but the situation is similar. We have a cop who doesn't know any better, making stuff up for the media. Gah...

The same cop also claims that it is illegal to access a wireless network without proper authorization. This is also bullshit, but not as far fetched. After all, some people got arrested for that already. So the legality of using your neighbors access point is in question right now.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Wood Elves

The new White Dwarf just came in the mail. They are featuring a preview for the new Wood Elf range, and I must say they have some impressive miniatures there.

Look at the Wood Elf Noble shown on the pic to the left. That must be one of the coolest elf characters available in the GW range. I want that miniature!

On the other hand the Highborn on that same pic looks mighty retarded with these horns on his helmet. Ugh... What were they thinking? I would so use the Noble miniature as my Highborn! That mini is so cool, I'm actually thinking about getting it and converting into a Dark Elf character :P

Speaking of horns - this guy on the right makes horns look good! One of the best elf mage characters ever! I actually want to start collecting this army just for these two models! But then again, I'm broke and I don't have time to paint anymore :P My Dwarfs need a complete overhaul, and my nonexistent Dark Elf army needs more models. Eh... Not even mentioning my would be Eldar army... I just don't have money and time for these things anymore.

But that doesn't stop me from getting excited about the new minis. Btw - if you have seen these like last year on some tournament or GW event pictures, then good for you. I'm really out of the loop so this is news for me.

Featured on Computerworld's Blogwatch

It seems that I have been featured on Computerworld's Blogwatch page over my recent rip on Windows Chicken trademark dispute. Hehe. I'm glad I'm not the only person who finds this humorous!

It's official - I'm on a mission now. I will not stop until everyone will start calling Longhorn the proper name: "Windows Chicken".

Religion in Science Fiction

I found a very interesting post in the Very Small Doses blog. Marc Xavier points out that in most Science Fiction today:

there's this strong bias toward the view that people who are religious are ignorant, unintelligent or evil, and secular humanists are the "saviors" of true enlightenment.

I think there is some truth in this statement. There are countless examples of Science Fiction shows and movies which portray religion that way. Does that mean that most of Sci-Fi creators bigoted about religion? I don't think so.

The way I see this, is that we have this cultural archetype of a religious zealot. We all know that religion can sometimes get slightly out of control. Christianity is as guilty of past blunders as almost any other religion of the world. Who haven't heard of witch hunts, inquisition, and torture chambers? And who can forget about some extreme factions of Islam, which are willing to kill thousands of innocent people in the name of Jihad.

So we all know that religious fanatics do exist. They were here in the past, they are here now, and they will probably still be doing questionable things in the future. This is nothing new. Hence, many authors choose to use this archetype to create characters, and societies that we can relate to.

This is especially true for writers who grew out of Christian tradition. I guess all of Christians are aware of the less than perfect track record of our religion. We all know, that some pretty nasty things have been done in the name of god. But as the time passed, we have figured out that witches do not exist, and we really do not *need* to burn heretics... We also finally figured out that earth is not flat.

So stories about reason and science conquering superstition give us some sort of self-retrospective catharsis. So it's not really an attack on religion itself - just a critique of blind superstition, and rejection of common sense and scientific thought. We like this types of stories, because they remind us that we really came a long way, and it makes us feel better about our civilization, and our religion.

Of course we also have the archetype of a mad scientist. There are countless stories featuring characters who abandoned religious, ethical and moral values and took science to the extreme. We like to moralize about "playing god", "going against nature" and etc... In this type of stories we usually have a moral, and often even religious protagonist setting out to defeat the evil scientist, and his godless creation(s).

Again, science can be used to do some pretty nasty stuff. We developed nukes, biological weapons and etc... So this theme grows out of our fear of science technology getting out of control if left unchecked.

The stories about religious fanatics do no really attack religion, just like stories about mad scientists do not try to discredit science. What is attacked and demonized here is the notion of extremism. We fear both the fanatic zealot, and the insane scientist. These stories simply show that religion without science can turn into fanatic cult and that science without religion (or at least sound moral and ethical system) can also be very dangerous.

Massive Multiplayer Advertising?

You know, I never really got into that whole Massive Multiplayer Online thing. I don't have the bandwidth for it (ag... dialup! I hate dialup!). Besides, I do not like the idea of paying a monthly fee for a game on top of the $50 price tag. I'm a casual player so I'd rather buy a single player offline game for the same price, and enjoy it without some monthly commitment.

It seems that there is one more reason not to start playing multiplayer online games:

For the past few weeks, Massive Inc., a New York company that distributes ads in videogames, has been testing an ad with full motion and sound in a science-fiction game called Anarchy Online. Today, Massive will roll out the full-motion ad capability to advertisers generally.

Great! So now they will put adds in games? No thank you. I'll just stay with my single player/lan games without annoying advertising. Massive Inc. can kiss my shiny metal arse - I'm not gonna buy any games from them!

War on Terror using Bash

This is how would "War on Terror" look if it would be a bash session. Great find by Cory @ boingboing. This must be one of the silliest war commentaries I have seen in a while! I love it!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Deadly Sausages Battle Report

My friend just sent me a link to his new battle report. You have to give these guys some credit for writing all of this down, and taking all these pictures! Definitely nice job!

I'm wondering if they have used these paper-arrows to indicate charges during the game, or was this done specifically for the battle report. I need to email him and ask :P Because if they did, then I should probably introduce them to this thing called photoshop... Or in worst case MS Paint hehe

If they used it to indicate charges in-game then that's cool. I actually think this is an excellent idea. It nicely shows you what is going on while you plot and ponder you next moves.

This reminds me about that article in White Dwarf, in which some guy proposed using "wound rings" to indicate suffered wounds on multi wound creatures. Using counters other than dice in general is a good idea. Kill counters, flee counters and etc really help to visualize what is going on on the battlefield. I especially like the cartoonish dust cloud they used for the fleeing model in the report.

Oh, btw - I'm responsible for the logo of their gaming club - "The Deadly Sausages". So that image you have been staring at for the past 5 minutes is that logo. I didn't come up with the name - I just made the picture :P

Take a Speed Test

Speakeasy Speed TestThis is cool. The Speakeasy Speed Test measures your upload and download speeds in realtime. And it displays the results as a nice flash animation.

I'm on dialup and my download speed turned out to be 32 kBps while upload was 194 kBps. I'm not sure how accurate are these results but oh well. Somehow I find it hard to believe my up speed was over two times better than downstream. :P

It measures speeds with respect to the specific download sites. I chose NY because that's the closest to me. Still, if you don't live close to any of these cities, the results probably wont be that accurate.

Still this is a fun toy - something to do when you are bored.

Trademark war over Chicken?

Well, apparently Windows Vista/Chicken might not be such a hot name as MS figured. Apparently there is another software company called Vista who wants their chick.. er, name back. S

After they work Microsoft will still have to face lawsuits from Lithuanian chicken farmers, and produce companies. :P

Come on people! It's Chicken! You are fighting over a chicken! This is silly! I have this mental image of lawyers playing tug of war with a rubber chicken!

More people fired over blogs

Wow... I better keep my mouth shut about the students once I start teaching again. E-week reported that one guy got fired because he said a girl in his class was "incredibly hot" on a message board. Note - apparently no names were mentioned, or anything. Ack...

For me this seems I little bit to harsh. But then again I don't know the details of the case. E-Week people also don't seem to be able to distinguish between a blog and a message board... The site they link to is a discussion board! Which makes this even more crazy.

I could probably understand their concern if he was bragging about this in his personal blog (potentially linked from his own website that might be listed somewhere on the school site). But making this huge deal over a random post on a message board? Wow!

It just shows that if they are crazy about this kind off thing at your workplace, you should always post personal stuff anonymously, and register with throw away emails.

Doctorow's ideas implemented

I just wrote a short review of Doctorow's Eastern Standard Tribe. Those who have read the book probably remember his idea for a p2p system for sharing music on highways. It seems that he actually inspired some people to take this idea and implement it.

Cory found about one implementation based on an ipod broadcasting himself and he posted about it on boingboing last year.

Mostly Muppet found another one. Roadcasting (roadcasting.org) is an open source project created by students at Carnegie Mellon Human Computer Interaction Institute. Of course it seems that Cory picked up on this one as well.

I think we will be seeing more and more of these popping up all over the place.

Eeastern Standard Tribe Review

Some time ago I finished Cory Doctorow's Eastern Standard Tribe. I was meaning to write about it but I was preoccupied with some other stuff.

I'm reading Cory's books in reverse - newest to oldest. I reviewed "Someone Comes to Town..." earlier. EST is his 3rd book (counting from the beginning, and the second book of his that I read). I know this is retarded but oh well.

In short - I liked it. It wasn't as weird and as "Someone..." though. I think this book could be classified as a near-future fiction. It's not cyberpunk yet, but it is a little to heavy on technology side to be classified mainstream action/adventure novel.

There seem to be an interesting time line pattern forming here. I'm currently reading Down and Out - which takes place in somewhat distant future. Then comes EST which takes place in near-future. Finally we get Someone which happens now, but in kindoff weird alternate reality. Heh, I'm wondering if Cory's next book will be some kind of retro-sci-fi thing set in the past?

The book is enjoyable, but perhaps not as thought provoking as "Someone". I actually liked the main character who is a "user experience engineer." Which sounds like one of these dreadful pointless jobs that exists only to piss off software and hardware people :P He has some interesting ideas though. Besides, how can you not like a character who basically "lives" on irc :P

Doctorow seems to have a thing for bitchy, moody, touchy women with explosive temperaments. Both Mimi from "Someone" and Linda from EST are the most annoying love interests ever. Mimi is scarred, confused and disturbed, and Linda is a total whore :P If Cory writes these things "from experience" then ouch... I hope that as a successful writer he is now having more luck meeting women that are not as messed up as his female characters.

Deferred Success

Very Small Doses has posted an interesting story reported by yahoo news. Ok, so it's not as interesting as "bang your head against the wall for 5 minutes" type of story.

The word "fail" should be banned from use in classrooms and replaced with the phrase "deferred success" to avoid demoralising pupils, a group of teachers has proposed.

I really don't know if this is funny or tragic. What does "differed success" actually mean? No one likes to fail, but I think this is just pushing it. And I can't imagine this entering the common vernacular.

"What did you get on the test Bobby?"
"I got differed success."

That doesn't seem to work, does it? I think something like this actually could be harmful in a way. It kinfoff implies that there will be unlimited number of future occasions to succeed - which is unrealistic. When you fail, you are forced to face the fact that you messed up, take responsibility for your action and face consequences. When your success is "differed" you simply assume you will get a do-over at some point. In real life situations we all need to deal with failure at one time or another. I think that sheltering school kids from this kind of experiences is a bad idea.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

New Windows Saga Continues

Recently I commented on the new name for Longhorn. J. Marcus Xavier from Very Small Doses just sent me this spoof on the Vista promotional image. Click on the image for a larger pic. Hehe...

You can read his original post here. I agree completely! Longhorn is not much more than spiffied up XP with more DRM, and more eye candy. But we knew that for a while now. And we also could expect that they will be hyping the newest version of windows, like it's the best thing since sliced bread. Especially since there is very little incentive to upgrade. Win2k is rock solid (or as rock solid as windows can be) and XP is both cutesy and quite stable.

You can expect Longhorn/Chicken to be the most over hyped piece of software released next year. That is, if they do release it on time :P

Friday, July 22, 2005

Randomly Generated Talks

Remember that story about randomly generated tech talks? These guys actually did it! They went to the conference and gave a randomly generated talk! I didn't think they will ever make it this far!

Yet another proof that human greed and stupidity has no limits. I guess some "academic" conferences are neither academic or conferencess at all. I just feel bad for the few people who actually had relatively decent papers they wanted to present there.

On the other hand, this prooves that all you need to be published somewhere is money.

Sigh... Maybe I should just randomly generate my thesis, instead of doing all this research :P

Windows "Chicken"?

As you may already know, Microsoft announced the official name for Longhorn. They decided to call it Windows Vista. There is nothing wrong with that name in itself. It's just that... Well, it translates funny...

You see, in Lithuanian the word višta means chicken. Check it for yourself using this online English-Lithuanian dictionary. If you live in Lithuania, you are in for a treat. What would you do if you saw a"Windows Chicken" billboard on your way to work one day? I think I would piss myself :P

Can you imagine Lithuanian tech support in 2006? "Sir, you will need to reboot the chicken!" hehe

So it's official. I refuse to call the new release anything but "Windows Chicken" (chickendows?). I'm going to sell this to as many people I can. Le's see if it catches on!

So... Why did the (windows) chicken cross the road?

Damn! I'm getting popular!

I just got hit by a comment-script that posted 36 big messages to one of the entries here. This is why I turned off Anonymous posting. This should make it slightly more difficult to spam me. If I get more blogspam after this, I'm turning on the invitation-only mode.

The thing is - I'm not going to tolerate some script-kiddie flood posting vile, offensive racial comments on my blog. If I find crap like that again, I'm deleting it without a warning. You want to comment - stay on topic an play nice. I like to hear other people's opinions even when I don't agree with them :) If you want to post offensive crap, do it on your own blog!

On the other hand, it shows that my presence on the intenets is more visible now. If people can spam me, then it means they can find me relatively easy. This blog was lying dormant for a while here, and no one was posting. But ever since I started using technorati, and submitted to various blog listings, I can slowly see the traffic picking up. So I guess this was just a matter of time.

In conclusion: blog spammers are retards! script kiddies floodposting racial slurs should be shot in the face! No more Anonymous posting privileges on this blog!


heh... Now I know who crapflooded me. This is hilarious! Thank you for enlightening me kid! I think you have really proved your point. I must be a looser because I blog about things that I care about. I suck because I post on slashdot every once in a while. On the other hand you must be a really cool dude. You apparently spend your day flooding blogspot, and teaching people like me a lesson. Then you go and brag about it to your buddies on your BBS. Because when I do it, it's groupthink - but when you do it, it is.. I don't know. Activism? After all you are the big shit nihilist! Good for you! Whatever...

Oh well, I'm glad you had your fun. I bet you buddies really dig what you have done here. That site gave me a good laugh. Eh... I'm not going to waste any more of my time on this. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What is the deal with music obsessions?

Here is the deal about me: I do not listen to music. I have never bought a CD and never downloaded a song in my life. Yes, I bought CD's for other people, and I burned them songs. But mp3's get deleted from my hard drive within days of burning, and I give away my CD's to friends and family. I don't even own a stereo system, a walkman or an ipod. I have no need for them.

I do put the radio on in the car sometimes, and flip it to one of the popular music stations. I like noise in the background. I will listen to anything though - from metal, through punk to pop. As long as it's catchy, I'll enjoy it. But I don't care about this stuff enough to actually go and buy a CD, or download a song that I was humming along with. I do not feel the need to listen to music outside the car.

This makes me a freak of nature though. I know this because whenever I meet someone new, they always ask me the same thing: "what music do you listen to?".

Every single time, I need to explain that I have no preference whatsoever. Usually people do not believe me when I tell them. Most of them try to quiz me. They ask all kinds of questions, about my musical preferences trying to gauge which genre do I like the most. Everyone has their own approach to this little interrogation, and it is always awkward...

I have been trying to understand this phenomena for a while now. It seems to be a social thing. Certain groups listen to specific music, and share similar values. In many cases it is almost like a religion! It is a complete set of beliefs it's own fashion sense, proscribed lifestyle choices and specific attitude.

In effect, if I figure out what music you like, then I can immediately know what kind of person you are. I can guess what lifestyle you prefer, what clothes do you wear, and what are your political views! Furthermore I also know if it is ok for us to be friends, or if we should be mortal enemies (because if our music tastes are incompatible, it is not cool for us to hang out).

Sometimes I think I should just pick some type of music and claim that it is my favorite - just to make social interaction easier. But I just don't care about that stuff... And I don't feel like researching social implications of choosing one music genre over another. Unfortunately my lack of musical affiliation throws people off big time.

Some individuals simply can't function properly until they have me nicely categorized under some kind of label. It creates some sort of mental disturbance - some sort of state of restlessness and uneasiness. To avoid causing them some major psychological trauma, I sometimes ask to file me under the neutral, non music related "geek" label. That usually helps to avoid severe brain damage. In most cases however id does not stop the intrusive questioning.

I have actually noticed that the intelligent and educated people tend to ask less music related questions. They also have an easier time to accept my neutrality. On the other hand the dumb simpletons want to know what music do you like, before they even know your name. And if they don't get a clear answer they freak out. So I'm guessing this is some sort of mental shortcut mechanism. It probably evolved to allow the neo-nandertals of this world to devote their precious cognitive processing cycles for such important tasks as breathing and walking at the same time.

Personally I think this whole music-identity deal is silly. Yes, it is a very human to form social groups, based on shared values, occupation, political affiliation or religion. Why music though? Did my generation somehow managed to confuse musical taste with values? Why do I always have to feel like an outcast because I do not want to worship ONE chosen music genre?

So let me put this out in the open: I do not care what music do you listen to! I refuse to make assumptions about you based on who is your favorite singer, or guitar player.

Instead, why don't you tell me who is your favorite writer?

Oh, yeah - I forgot. No one friken reads books anymore... And that is somehow ok. But if some guy doesn't obsessively listen to music then he is a weirdo.

Online Entertainment

If you have absolutely nothing to do, and you are looking for some brainless online flash game, definitely check out Raiden X. It's great!

This is one of those arcade style, vertical scroll, 2D shooters. You can move your ship not only left and right, but also forward and back. There are tons of bonuses, and power ups and a pile of lives to burn through. It even has a "save" feature so you don't have to start from the beginning when you die.

I think it also might be addictive. If you want to kill an hour, or two you should try it :P

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Video Games and Violence

Finally, someone to decided to take this subject seriously and write a good, concise article about it! If you have looked for a good link to post whenever some whiny idiots try to claim that video games are the root of all evil this is it. Point your browser at pbs.org and bookmark this essay written by Henry Jenkins from MIT.

The author aims to dispel the 8th myths about video games, and does an excellent job at it. He is through, he cites his sources, and makes insightful comments. I find his arguments convincing and his facts sound. I will enjoy rubbing this into the faces of gamer haters :) Here are some juicy bits.

On video games and youth violence:

According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It's true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure.

On video games and aggression:

no research has found that video games are a primary factor or that violent video game play could turn an otherwise normal person into a killer.

On stupid parents that should know better:

parents need to share some of the responsibility for making decisions about what is appropriate for their children. The news on this front is not all bad. The Federal Trade Commission has found that 83 percent of game purchases for underage consumers are made by parents or by parents and children together.

How nice - this last quote plays directly into my recent GTA rant. Here is a proof. Parents are apparently not doing their job here.

In short, this is a great article. Definitely check it out!

A reason to watch BSG.

People have been telling that the Battlestar Gallactica series is awesome. I saw the miniseries, that spawned the show but it kinda annoyed me. So I never really got into the series.

Maybe I should be more open minded? I'm willing to give it another chance, now that Season 2 just started. Especially since I just figured out that Grace Park is kinda hot. I guess this is as good reason to watch the show as any :P

Windows user complains about OS X usability.

I don't own an apple, and I don't use OS X. I have seen it in action couple of times, and played around with it for maybe few hours in total. I'm primarily a Linux and Windows user. I use WinXP for play, and Debian for any serious work.

OS X is often used as an example of how things can be done right with respect to GUI design, usability and eyecandy. So I was naturally interested when I saw this headline: What could OS X learn from Windows on digg.

I was disappointed. The list is plain stupid. I don't use OS X, and I'm far from being an apple zealot. Yet I don't think these things are at all relevant or important:

  1. Um... Why exactly should mac adopt windows style CTRL+C, CTRL+V shortcuts? WTF? Dude, it's not like this is black magic! First time I used a Mac this was confusing. But after 10 minutes of working in Mac OS I got used to it. You are retarded! Geez... I wonder what would you do if I gave you a unix keyboard with the CTRL in the "wrong" spot. But yes. I think it is a great idea to have the whole user base to re-learn all keyboard shortcuts so that some windoze idiot is not confused. Not!
  2. You actually use a save button on toolbar? You actually take your hand off the keyboard, and click a button? Seriously? Wow... I guess you do have a problem remembering them keyboard shortcuts on a Mac...
  3. Go to the store, buy a new mouse. It's that easy. Geez!
  4. I don't use OS X enough to be familiar with this problem, but I would bet that there is a filter option somewhere. You are just to dumb to apply it! I mean my KDE does it! I can apply filters to a file dialog in Java... If OS X does not have that, I guess they do have a problem here.
  5. I guess that one makes sense - if that's not yet another user problem. Again, my KDE does it. Java does it. I can't imagine why OS X would not do it, if you wanted it to.
  6. Not sure what you mean here...
So there you have it. Only 2 out of 6 entries make any sense - if they are real problems. And I'm not even a mac user.

Sigh.. And I thought I will see some insightfully usability related article. What I got was a whiny rant of a casual windows user (definitely not a power user) who does not like the way OS X does things.

Big deal over "Hot Coffe"

I haven't played GTA:SA, nor have I tried the "Hot Coffee" mod. But I don't really see what the big deal is. Allot of people seem to be upset. Especially parent groups who want the game to be recalled and the rating to be changed. Now, I'm not a parent so I might lack the parental experience - but here is my take on this. If you bought this game for your child you are an idiot.

The label on the game clearly says that the game includes violence, drug use, sexual dialog and situations. The game is called Grand Theft Auto. If you think it is ok for your child, to play a game in which you steal cars, do drugs, kill people and either curse, or spew out sexual innuendos every 5 seconds then you need your head checked. If you think that your kid is mature enough for this stuff, then a silly sex mini game should not make a difference.

If you really want to shelter your 17 year old kid - don't let him buy the game! But by this time he should already know about the birds and the bees, and since you allow him to play this violent game he probably also saw some R rated movies too. Which means that this little game mod will not damage his value system any more than the late night HBO special.

If you ignored the rating and bought this game to a kid younger than 17 you are a retard and it is your own fault. He should be not playing this game in the first place!

As far as I know, the hot coffee content did not make into the final release, and was never intended to be unlocked. Simply some lazy developer probably forgot to rebuild the binaries or something like that. You basically have to patch the game to unlock this. So changing the rating makes little or no sense. The final release of the game does not contain any explicit content - and the ratings are based on the game play. No one in their right mind would want to investigate the binary code in order to rate the game. In fact this would probably be considered reverse engineering and violate the game's EULA!

I think the parents should shut up. Perhaps if they would do more of actual parenting, and less of parental activism, their kids would not be playing games like that in the first place.

Rowling's fear of piracy, spawns illegal Potter e-bboks.

Boingboing run this story yesterday. It seems that the newest Harry Potter book was available for download within 24h from the time it hit bookshelves. This is after

JK Rowling reportedly refused to release the new Harry Potter as an ebook, citing "piracy" fears.

Isn't this funny? The author is super-paranoid, so she decides not to do an ebook at all. She releases the book and the next day there's an illegal e-book circulating on the internet. Surprise, surprise! Welcome to the year 2005 :P What if someone wants to read the book on their pda, phone or tabletop? We have these things now, you know...

And you know what... If she released the book in electronic form with some evil DRM, it would be probably harder to break and copy than the paperback. I would bet people would still scan/ocr/proofread the stuff - even to simply just to avoid the double jeopardy of copyright infringement + DRM circumvention. And she could make some extra money selling the electronic copies. But no...

She does not have to give it away under CC license like Doctorow does. But I guess this is a good example where having a little imagination really helps. Doctorow knows people like to copy stuff, and that people like e-books. So he caters to his readers - and gives them what they want. Net result - people like Docrorow, and buy his books.

Rowling on the other hand got greedy. She wants to squeeze every last cent from the franchise before the Potter mania fades away. I guess that's reasonable - sooner or later people will get bored reading about the little wizard, or she will get bored writing it and the series will "jump the shark" (can a book series jump the shark? Or is that reserved just for TV series? Anyone?). But she fails to look ahead - she failed to predict the high demand for ebooks, and now her worst fears ("piracy") came true. I guess it's fair to say that an official ebook release, would certainly help to reduce the demand for illegal copies.

Doctorow is two steps ahead of most writers. He not only anticipates the technological progress (and growing popularity of ebooks) but also the new social trends which favor community interaction and sharing online. This is why I think Doctorow will be part of the literary future, while Rowling will pass into history as once popular writer, once Potter stories stop selling well.

The ignorant article by Frank Hayes!

I get bunch of shitty free technology magazines in my mailbox. They come both to my office, and stuff my school mailbox. Some of them I throw out, others I actually scan through for interesting articles when I have nothing else to do.

I found the newest issue of Computerworld in my MSU box today, and I noticed it had some articles on Linux. They seem to be making a big deal out of large scale worldwide adoption of the penguin - which is good, but not necessarily news. But when I turned to the last page I saw an article by Frank Hayes. You can read the online version here.

In short, the author claims that Linux is helping to export American values to different parts of the world. He is apparently trying to say something nice about the OS but he kindoff misses the point. Linux values are not necessarily ours to export them!

Yes, GPL was created by Stallman but Linux was always a global project. For god's sake Linus is not even American! Some of the biggest Linux companies are located abroad. SUSE is German, Mandrake / Mandriva is French. Knoppix is primarily based in Germany! I'm sorry, but Linux was not created in US or exclusively by US. It is developed all around the world, and we are as much importing Linux as we are exporting it. Claiming that we are "exporting" anything with Linux is ignorant to say the least.

Besides, since when does America has monopoly on Competition, Cooperation and Opportunity? And is opportunity even a value? Does Mr. Hayes assume that other countries do not have these things at all, unless we go there and smack them upside the head? Can we as a nation be a little bit less friken ignorant? If anything these are universal values promoted by Linux development model. These are values promoted by open source, and by the existence of the internet - and the ease of communication.

An American guy once made a cool software license. A Swede used it for his nifty kernel. Bunch of people from around the world contributed and built an OS on top of that kernel. The Linux community forms, and exists beyond national borders, and cultural divisions. It is not tied to a single nation, political system, culture or language. Linux has it's own culture, it's own language. It transcends political and cultural differences and allows different kinds of people to work on a project that can accommodate everyone. This is a very interesting phenomena in itself - a topic for an excellent article.

Instead or exploring that, however Mr. Hayes pops up and claims that Linux is exporting good old American values to the unwashed heathens out there in the world. Sigh....

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Update the Monkey!

Please go and update your Greasemonkey now! Authors warn that there is a very serious security hole in all versions < 0.3.5. Apparently some scripts can expose contents of your hard drive to the viewed site. Some user scripts can be exploited badly.

0.3.5 is a neutered release with the GM* API disabled. It might break some of your scripts, but if you are like me, and use GM sparingly, you should be fine. The little blogger script I use still works!

Please note the newest version didn't go through the automatic update feature yet. I had to go pull up the Extensions dialog and update it manually. The auto update might catch it sometime soon, but I figured I'll patch it as soon as possible.

Fortunately, there are no known exploits yet, but better safe than sorry :)

Dvorak on Creative Commons

John Dvorak attempts to completely trash the Creative Common license in his new article published at pcmag.com. It's an ambitious task, and he fails at it miserably. Over two pages, he does not manage convey anything else than "I don't get it".

In other words, a noncommercial site could distribute a million copies of something and that's okay, but a small commercial site cannot deliver two copies if it's for commercial purposes. What is this telling me?

This is telling you that I don't want you to sell my work, or use it to promote your proprietary garbage. What is so hard to understand here? I want to give people right to copy my word for non-commercial purposes only. I could write a disclaimer and describe it in few paragraphs - but I'd rather use a stock license that allows me that (which was written by people more educated in law and license writing than me).

In fact, the suggestion is dangerous, because if someone were sued by the Creative Commons folks over normal fair use and Creative Commons won the suit, then we'd all pay the price, as fair use would be eroded further.

I call bullshit on this. Creative Commons is a way of giving up my copyright in certain circumstances. I might be wrong here, but I think it is not supposed to supersede copyright. It is supposed to be a layer on top of it. In other words - it's like saying, I give permission to copy to group x (non commercial users), but prohibit use to group y (commercial users). I don't think this violates copyright in any way, and it does not erode fair use. As far as I know Creative Commons does not interfere with fair use at all.

If I write something on my blog, for example, and decide not to cover it with the general copyright notice, I can simply say that it is in the public domain and be done with it.

Yes, sure you can but then you are releasing your work into the wild. This is good, but not always desirable solution. If you want to allow copying for non-commercial purposes, but retain the copyright (for example you are waiting for that movie deal, based on your novel/story) you need some compromise. Creative Commons is this middle ground solution allowing you to give a little, without loosing all the rights to your work.

I mean my grandkids will own all my writing exclusively until 75 years after I'm dead, unless I sell all the rights to someone else. What more do I want from copyright?

I guess you don't need anything else Mr. Dvorak. But that's because you write for living, and you can't probably imagine that some people do this for fun, and like to reach out to people, without reaching into their wallets. You should talk to Cory Doctorow - he is a professional writer too, and yet he publishes his work under CC license. And he makes big bucks selling his books.

But Creative Commons has nothing to do with Picasso or anything else except new works.

In my best Stewie slow talking tone: Um... You do know that CC is relatively new, right? So... You know... You can't just... Um... For example re-license Picasso... Because... You know... Picasso stuff... Well, it... It was done long time ago... By this guy... Picasso... Who is kinda famous... I guess... I guess you wouldn't know...

Years ago, to gain a copyright, you had to fill out a form and send in the material to the Library of Congress. Now you just use the word "copyright," add your name and a date, and publish it. What could be easier? Apparently simplicity was more than some people could handle, so they invented Creative Commons to add some artificial paperwork and complexity to the mechanism.

Are we talking about the same Creative Commons license? Last time I checked all I need to do to apply CC to my work is to say - this work is distributed under CC license, yadda, yadda yadda. I can put a little image on my site that links to the appropriate license... I have no clue how including 1 sentence and a hyperlink, constitutes "artificial paperwork and complexity".

And it seems to actually weaken the copyrights you have coming to you without Creative Commons. Oh, brother!

OMFG! That is the point here! I don't want full blown, "do not touch my stuff you dirty pirate" copyright - I want the "here, share my work, but don't sell it" copyright!

Classic Anime

Anyone remembers this one? Apparently the Japanese name is Dashing Kappei, but I always known this one as Gigi la Trottola :P

I had the doubtful pleasure of watching the Italian dub, with polish voice layered on top. I never actually witnessed the original voice acting. Still, this show rocked! I think this must have been one of the first anime series that aired in Poland. We basically had this, and Yattaman. There was not much else...

Yattaman kinda sucked but it was entertaining in that silly repetitive, "you know exactly what is going to happen" way. Gigi on the other hand was hilarious :P At least that's how I remember it. I'm not sure if it would stand the test of time. For example, I could never figure out why people go crazy for Lupin. When I saw it on [adult-swim] for the first time I didn't really like it. It was old, it was not that funny, and not that exciting. But it is considered a classic, and as such I guess it's a decent show.

In the same way Kappei would probably look like total crap if shown alongside Bepop, or Fullmetal. Yet this is the show which started it all for me.