Posts Tagged ‘suck’

Snow: not threatening enough

February 11th, 2011 No comments

We’ve had a more interesting winter than usual here in New England this year. Average snowfall in Boston is around 40 inches per year, and we’ve had nearly 70 this year (as of January) spread across 10 or so snowfalls. So I’ve had some time to watch how people react to snow (whether I like it or not). I’ve noticed something this winter about the driving habits of the unwashed public. I’m sure its always been this way but for whatever reason I haven’t really noticed till now. It’s going to sound obvious, but it’s a newish perspective for me.

I’ve noticed a trend that drivers could care less about how much snow there is on the roads. Don’t get me wrong… the smallest amount of snow in the air turns most people into either terrified retards barely capable of breathing, or into trailblazing juggernauts of fury who drive where they want when they want (ATTN: Every SUV driver – this is not you: clicky). What I mean is that the decision of whether or not to stay home from work due to snowy conditions seems to have nothing to do with how much snow there is outside. It has only to do with how much hype the storm received before it hit. You’d think the sequence would go something like “get up, look outside, become terrified of conditions (or not), call into work (or not)”. But no. If a storm was heralded as a Ragnarok-like event scheduled to end all life, everyone stays home regardless of actual conditions. “The news said it was gonna suck, so it’s ok if I call in”. If the storm was predicted to fizzle out but ends up dumping 6-10 inches on us by morning, people look outside and say “Ha ha holy fuck, that is a TON of snow… fuck me, this commute is gonna suck”. Every time the news predicted the second coming of Snow Christ, my commute was great. Terrible road conditions, but no drivers around to cause trouble. Any time we got a crap-ton of snow we didn’t expect, nobody seemed to pay attention to the tundra outside. Refer to the following scientific analytic analysis chart:

As you can see, so long as a huge deal has been made about the storm during the week prior, an inch or so is all it takes to keep mere mortals cowering indoors. But without this hype, the number only gradually goes up, mostly due to people actually being physically incapable of getting their cars out of their driveways. This “Fusion of Conditioning and Timing Arising in Responsibility Degradation” (or the “FUCTARD effect”) makes even lesser storms complete hell to drive in if nobody makes a buzz about it. I blame the internet. No, really. Everyone’s so used to information being shoved in their faces that they really can’t recognize a poor condition outside their own doors unless their iPhone or Weatherbug or Weatherbug on their iPhone tells them “hey bro, you better watch out lol!”

Floating around on the internet is a rant about the naming of hurricanes:

“Who the fuck is the one naming hurricanes? They somehow manage to give them the least threatening names ever. If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Erin was coming I’d think to myself, “Erin? I could take that slut.” If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Dicksmasher was approaching, I’d grab all the money in the house, shove it in my pockets, and get the fuck out of there.”

Every time I’ve seen it it’s looked like copypasta, so I can’t credit the original author. But I’d like to see snowstorms get this treatment. I know if it was Snowstorm “Assured Fatality”, Blizzard “Blood Orgy”, or “Icefest the Great Deductible Nightmare”, I would really assess the situation before getting on the road.

This Just In: Texas Still Batshit Crazy

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

On the subject of the the following article,

Full Text (via Huffington Post)

I often think I could have been a lawyer or a politician. I think a lot of this generations bright and well meaning potential politicians have been scared off by how much BS and red tape there is in the way of “doing good” in office. And they ended up engineers like me. I think if there wasn’t an ez-mode vote-for-your-party bipartisan system, people would be forced to investigate issues more before voting. It would be inconvenient, but in my opinion people aren’t entitled to an easy voting process. If hard issues come up, you should have to think about them before putting your hand in.

Criminalizing gay marriage, and laws prohibiting it in general, are wrong. I can’t find any argument not religious or at least reasonably tangentially/implicitly religious (EG, “that’s the way we’ve always done it”) that holds any water in this area. I’m not into dudes, but I don’t see why that should be the next dude’s problem if he is. In fact it’s nice to know that option is there, because that tells me my peers are good free thinking people, not squirming under the thumb of fear or authority. I’m tired of seeing words like “abomination” and “unnatural” trying to keep people from the lifestyle they want to pursue.

In fact, I’ve gone to the trouble of re-hosting PDF copies of The Constitution and The Bill of Rights for your convenience. A quick search shows zero results for the words God and Christian. But go on and see for yourself.

The Constitution
The Bill of Rights

Separation of church and state is out there. From what I gather, there are political parties that refute that. But they’re wrong. It’s on the books. In a number of places. Each instance and incarnation of it being put as a reaffirmation of the facts that we were not founded on any religion, that the political powers in this country have no place making decisions on peoples’ religion, and that political powers in this country have no place using religion (popular or not) to make laws. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc all converge towards the idea of freedom of thought… so long as expressing those freedoms doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights. So long as such freedoms don’t interfere the next guy’s set of those freedoms. I don’t see how two consenting adults of the same sex doing what they want in the freedom of their own homes* encroaches on anyone else. Or even how such a couple getting married encroaches on anyone’s rights. No matter how much you want it, and I have no idea why you would want such a thing, you are NOT entitled to the company of purely heterosexual peers. You’re just not. Like it, hate it, it’s your right to harbor any opinion you want. But you don’t get to inflict it on someone else’s desire to live a lifestyle.

Now forget, if you’d like, everything I’ve said here. Just using that pair of links above, reconcile the following proposals for the Republican platform in Texas.
(Keep in mind, I make no claims for or against Republicans or Democrats in general. As I’ve said before, I think the bipartisan system is stupid. I merely put in “Republican” as a qualifier of the source)

* “We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”

* “Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have beenordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

* “Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”

My point should be obvious and I think any more flavor text would just serve to bore. So I’ll finish up here. If those above points in the Texas GOP platform doesn’t horrify you, it really should. By all means, feel free to holler at me if you find some huge holes in my what I’ve said here. I always welcome opposing opinions.

EDIT – Before punching submit on this article I decided to go to The Texas GOP’s website. The place reads like it was written by a bunch of ignorant vindictive 16 year olds.

Yes, that’s for really reals. Adults wrote that, for other adults to think about and vote on. On a site for a potentially authoritative political party.

Disclaimer: I’m not telling you to vote democrat, or that republican is bad. Again, see the first paragraph of this post. I’m simply commenting on this platform for this party in this state.

*FOOTNOTE: When I wrote this, I meant “in the privacy of their own homes” as a meta statement meaning “in their own lives”. But as was pointed out to me, this implies a few things I did not intend. Taken from Asinine in this thread:

“My one gripe with what you’ve said is the mention of “in their own homes.” I think the “in their own homes” qualifier (your next sentence notwithstanding) really needs to go the way of the dodo bird when talking about gay rights for two reasons: 1) it implicitly, no matter how inadvertently, reduces a gay “relationship” to simply sex. Think about it for a second. When we say, “do what you want behind closed doors”, isn’t that the “between the lines” implication? And 2) why should it be a dirty secret?”

Which is a very valid point, and a very good caution about using popularized statements. I leave my initial post unedited as a good example of how these things can be misconstrued, and why things should be stated carefully and specifically.

Returning to the intertubes

June 13th, 2010 No comments

So I’ve been away from blog-land for a while.  I recently migrated my main server for from FreeBSD to Ubuntu, mostly due to lack of CUDA support on FreeBSD.  The details aren’t important, and you probably aren’t here to listen to techno-babble.  Unfortunately during the move, a Bad Thing happened and I managed to lose my WordPress database.  This sort of put me off to blogging in general for a while since WordPress has been my main medium for a while, and I really wasn’t motivated to start from scratch.  Recently though I was looking around the software again, tinkering with the idea of starting it all up again, when I found that WordPress had a quick and dirty livejournal import tool.  I’d been crossposting to LJ since I started using my own blog, simply because I’ve been on it for so long.  It never even occurred to me that I more or less had a backup copy of everything sitting around.

So the upshot of all this is that not only did I get all my posts back, but I have my entire livejournal history imported into WordPress.  All the way back to 2002 when I first hooked up to LJ to keep in touch with Brian.  To boot now I have all my comments from people sync’d up as well.  The only downside is that my imported posts now have that little “you can comment over at too!” footer from my crossposts.  I can’t think of an easy way to zap all of them, and its ironically self-serving ugliness serves as a scar to be more careful with my backups and server migrations.

Anyways, it’s good to be back writing on my internets again.  Moderate cleverness and tolerable complaining are coming soon to an internet near you!

What did you think was going to happen?

February 18th, 2010 No comments

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools’ administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins’s child was disciplined for “improper behavior in his home” and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.

Click for full story ( Clicky

I don’t even know where to start with this. But Lord knows I have a lot to say on this subject. This is legally and technically very close to a lot of things I do. And is not ok in any way imaginable. Seriously… What did you think was going to happen? To the school admins: You all are lucky that (as far as anyone knows) you didn’t catch anyone undressing or something of the sort. And that aside, I hope you have a strong door and decent defensive fighting skills, because you’re going to have some very angry parents. There’s a Noah Bennet inside of most fathers I know, and he’s best not provoked.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

Protected: No more ghosts

August 5th, 2009 Enter your password to view comments.

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Good night, sweet prince

June 30th, 2009 4 comments

I don’t think I need to elaborate on the information below.

According to gaming company Global Gaming Factory X, it is in the the process of acquiring The Pirate Bay for $7.8m (SEK 60 million). The acquisition is scheduled to be completed by August and will see the site launch new business models to compensate content providers and copyright owners.


There’s always Mininova…

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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Project crash override

May 27th, 2009 No comments

Saw this article on Digg today (clicky for full text): U.S. Military are now looking for ways to weaponize hacking.

From the article:
U.S. Defense Department officials were so impressed with the level of coordination between ground military ops and cyberattacks against strategical targets during the recent conflicts, that they are now looking for ways to weaponize hacking. Aviation Week glanced at such a device and reports that it is being designed to be easily used even by non-techy soldiers.

Apparently, there are several devices currently being developed behind closed doors specifically for such purposes, but the one Aviation Week talks about is intriguing. It is basically a highly complex hacking tool designed for the unexperienced that is to turn soldiers into veritable script kiddies. Granted, script kiddies with a lot of firepower.

Script kiddies are widely regarded as being at the bottom of the coding barrel. Whether the government means to refer to soldiers using such devices as such, they basically are making script kiddie boxes. Just as their namesake, script kiddie soldiers would be useful against most civilian targets and most non-hardened or haphazard websites. The irony here being that the stimulus for making these hacking boxes was more sophisticated or coordinated attacks against our own government or military. Any kind of hardware “hack box” that joe blockhead soldier could finger mash would be useless for such an attack.

The device is easily able to map out all the nodes of a given wireless network and, if necessary, cause them to disconnect, then watch them getting back online in order to identify weak spots. Once the best target is determined, the soldier (slash hacker) is presented with several attack attributes and can adjust their respective level by using sliders on a touch-screen. These attributes include, but are not limited to covertness, speed, or collateral damage.

I’m no hacker, and all of those things are quickly and easily accomplished with free tools. Ther are live linux distros that fit on a keychain USB key with all those wireless tools. I don’t think Backtrack has any tools to drop wireless clients, but ARP poisoning is a technique that’ll do it on most wireless nodes. But to do that you’ll need a little talent and patience to learn why and how it works. Ethernet, wired or wireless, is a dumb and gullible protocol. It’s trivial in most cases to fool it into telling you more than you should know, or making it do what you want it to.

I really hope the government is still thinking of employing hackers to do our cyber defense and offense. You can’t weaponize an abstract talent. that’s just not how it works. I’ve always advocated this and I’ll do it again, hacking is a love based skill. A real hacker is a very highly trained and very disciplined person, even if it’s all self taught. You can’t distill that and drop it in a box for anyone to use. Deploying script kiddie soldiers against an enemy with even a couple moderately skilled personnel would be like beating a tank with a baseball bat. And about as good on defense when the tank fires back. Never mind when (not if) any enemy gets their hands on these devices and analyzes them.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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It’s still repulsive

February 11th, 2009 9 comments

Apparently there’s a resurgence of 80’s “style” going on. Some broken mind somewhere decided it’d be fun to make the 80s happen again. I was out earning boyfriend-points with Emily on sunday while she was clothes shopping, and some of the stuff that was on the racks there was pretty dreadful. Below is an example (clicky for larger):

Yes… Jeans with day-glow tips. Who decided that’d be a good idea? Also on the plate were: pants with stirrups, oversized trashbag sweaters, and black stonewashed jeans (I guess these never really completely disappeared, but they were at stores other than hot topic). I don’t think anyone wants to remember how they dressed in the 80s. Perhaps it’s novel to some people that were born in the 90s… but dammit learn from the mistakes of those before you!

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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Protected: More like fail-out

October 8th, 2008 Enter your password to view comments.

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Protected: The plague, for reals

July 21st, 2008 Enter your password to view comments.

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