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Hurricane Recovery

We got lucky. But the people in New Orleans didn't. Here are a couple of thoughts on how you can help, if you're inclined to (and we're Americans, eh what? :-)

If you want to contribute, send money, not goods.

If you want to send money, send it to The American Red Cross. They've got the best infrastructure to make use of it, and the best leverage (36:1 unpaid volunteers) to make *efficient* use of it.

If you want to contribute personal labor in a skilled field, check out, among other places, the KatrinaHelp wiki and don't go anywhere unless you have a specific invitation; extra unexpected bodies are *not* what they need out there right now.

Keep your head up and your eyes unlocked. If they'll snipe at hospitals, scamming *you* isn't gonna scare them.

Way, way more on this at BoingBoing, and in Craig's rollup post (with other good places to send money, if for some reason you don't *like* the ARC at Instapundit.

The White House's page itemizing what they say they have mobilized is here.

Feature Story: Return-To-Flight -- A Sigh Of Relief

STS-114 successfully re-entered and landed this morning about 5ayem, at the Big Flat Dry Lake Bed at Edwards. (Actually, I think it's a real runway now, but who cares.)

The Virtual Launch Control Centeris probably idle now, but I believe live RealVideo stream of NasaTV is still here. And courtesy of a Metafiltarian, lots of mission updates here. And, of course, Wikipedia has a page on the flight, with a bunch of good External Links, some contributed by YT, including a link to WMFE-Orlando's live coverage by NPR's official spaceman, Pat Duggins, which probably *still* hasn't been updated.

Here's the best NASA link yet: Launch Dashboard - live countdown, weather, and 3 video feeds.

Now let's see if NASA can get their feces realigned.

That noise you just heard?

That was the marketing department at Verizon Wireless having a collective spontaneous orgasm.

The Communications Director for West Wing presidential candidate Arnold Vinick walked out of a building, and said, to his cell phone... (wait for it)...

"Can you hear me now?"

Sunday, October 9, 2005 @ 07:06 p.m. - Comment

It's October

Which means that Halloween is coming soon, and the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show performance at Tampa Theatre...

has been cancelled.

My interpretation: theatre director John Bell is insecure about the size of his wang, realized he really has no power over this (always a sellout) show... except to cancel it, and did so for reasons that (as they were related to me) are a crock of shit.

In any event, you can still get your freak on (or your freaks off; howmever you look at these things) at Hallowe'en; the St Petersburg cast, Interchangeable Parts (that name my only remainining contribution to that cast from 1997 or so) will be playing a show at Necronomicon in Tampa, Friday the 28th, and the Tampa cast, The Tampa Plain Dealers (an original cast name that I just *love*, and whose cast, from their website, look hot as fuck :-), will be playing two, two, two shows that weekend at their fairly new home at the Channelside Cinemas and IMAX. Props also, of course, to IP's home theatre, The Beach, er, um, excuse me: "Film Paradiso". <le sigh>

And if you click that link and it still says "expired domain on hold; please renew", yes, I've notified the theatre.

Sunday, October 9, 2005 @ 01:49 p.m. - Comment

George Bush is not Jack Ryan

which will really suck if bird flu makes it to the US. Do you have your face masks bought yet? I do. And remember: hell is other people. Literally.

Don't Panic (:-)... just be sensible.

Sunday, October 9, 2005 @ 01:38 p.m. - Comment

Gratuitous Google Link

1990 Jazz Holiday poster.

I'll be going to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday next weekend. Their website is still pretty mediocre, but what can you do...?

The poster is sold out because, at least I part, I sold one of the last available copies in 1998... to the couple who were getting married in that sailboat

Friday, October 7, 2005 @ 09:32 p.m. - Comment

TV season is here

What am *I* watching?

Tier 1: Boston Legal/House/TWW/Grey's Anatomy

Tier 2: Veronica Mars/How I Met Your Mother/E-ring/Scrubs/Commander in Chief

Tier 3: Joey/Everyone Hates Chris/Num3ers/Bones/Close to Home/Medium/Kitchen Confidential

The only one we've lost so far this season was Head Cases, which was also Tier 3.

Movers: CinC may go tier 1 if it hangs in, and KC may jump to tier 2. We'll see. Reviews to follow.

Friday, October 7, 2005 @ 08:08 p.m. - Comment

A Girl And Her Dog.

Well, actually, someone else's dog.

No, I didn't take the picture; I just cleaned up the horribly-out-of-focus a bit. I really want to reshoot it sometime, with the right dog, though. It's a great pic, and she's just Meryl Streeping on out, isn't she? :-)

Friday, October 7, 2005 @ 05:10 p.m. - Comment

It seems like a good time, again

(which mostly means "I'm reading his stuff again" :-) to point out one of my favorite authors of Internet erotica: Michael K Smith. (Not to be confused, of course, with Michael W Smith, who does other things entire.)

He's been doing this since the late 80's or early 90's, and I was responsible for at least one of his rennaissances; maybe I can drag him out again...

And on re-reading some of his stuff, I remember why I like it so well. Not only can he write sex well, he gets love, and people, too.

Friday, October 7, 2005 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment

Lost on the Interstate?

The FDOT has a set of interchange charts for all the Interstates in Florida.

Who knew?

Nice one, guys, even if the mile-numbered exits are *still* a bad idea.

Friday, October 7, 2005 @ 10:58 a.m. - Comment

Having trouble with your Nextel service?

Click to go to Sextel's new online trouble report form.

Send them a message every time you have a problem.

Thursday, October 6, 2005 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

Verizon FIOS fiber internet install

Step by step, by Dan Bricklin.

Yes. That Dan Bricklin.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 @ 10:45 a.m. - Comment

Life is Weird

So I look in the song book at the karaoke joint I frequent, and which Joshua Kadison song *do* they have?

Beautiful In My Eyes


Tuesday, October 4, 2005 @ 11:15 p.m. - Comment

From the E-Ring: More sanity than I expect

Shame it's the fake one...

"You're a warrior. That's why you're here... If we don't have warriors in the Pentagon making the big decisions, fighting for what they believe in, then we have good men dying for stupid reasons out there."

Tuesday, October 4, 2005 @ 07:12 p.m. - Comment

Hey, John

Don't buy another camera until you look at the E-500.

First hint from the E-blog.

[ Update: Olympus maven Andrzej Wrotniak has a preview. ]

Monday, October 3, 2005 @ 03:27 p.m. - Comment

Microsoft lies again.

Shocked, I tell you.

MS Lies about HD-DVD v. BluRay.

And we're putting this in Air Traffic Control, Nuclear warships, and health care equipment?

Unh, unh; not on *my* body.

Saturday, October 1, 2005 @ 02:18 p.m. - Comment

The Broadcast Flag Still Isn't Dead

The media companies who own and operate the US Congress continue to attempt to find technological ways to deprive 'Murricans of their rights: specifically, the right to tape music and TV shows and movies off-air for their personal use.

TiVo is working on the ability to flag shows so that you *can't* save them permanently (though, of course, MythTV won't -- which is why they're *also* trying to make it illegal to manufacture unlocked TV tuner cards for PC's), but the real action is somewhere else

Friday, September 30, 2005 @ 04:54 p.m. - Comment

More on the $100 laptop -- plus pictures

in this CNet story.

My favorite quote? "Software has gotten too fat and unreliable, so we started with Linux."

Friday, September 30, 2005 @ 04:20 p.m. - Comment

And, just to prove that big ad agencies

aren't the only ones with great AfterEffects-fu... photos.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 @ 06:13 p.m. - Comment

You're a little late...

I'm already torn...

[ Who *is* that guy? ]

Thursday, September 29, 2005 @ 06:09 p.m. - Comment

Does anyone want some


Thursday, September 29, 2005 @ 05:33 p.m. - Comment

My opinions about Resident Bush

stem not solely from his clear appointment by Big Tony and the Supremes to his first term, nor the purchasing of the second term from the Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, er, um, the president of the largest electonic voting-machine company in the world...

No, they stem from this:

Brown, whose calamitous performance during the early days of the Gulf Coast catastrophe focused white-hot criticism on the Bush administration and led to his ouster, is a White House loyalist who took the helm at FEMA in 2003. In the eyes of the Bush administration and legislators, Brown's little more than a year as the agency's general counsel and then his stint as deputy director qualified him to lead the nation's response to disasters, even though he had no previous emergency management experience.

That's from this piece in GovExec magazine. Combined with "Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job down here!", these things demonstrate to me a level of lack of judgement that just makes me want Geena Davis as president, instead. Or Martin Sheen. Or even Morgan Freeman.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 @ 12:50 p.m. - Comment

The Power

of Lutefisk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 @ 05:35 p.m. - Comment

The picture of the Sunshine Skyway

that I keep wanting to take is here.

I think that picture is a cast-iron bastard to shoot, involving either a *really* long lens, or a boat, and *lots* of patience.

But I will get it myself, someday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

You know all that spam you're getting about

"Hoodia", aka hoodia gordoni?

Sounded like some mad-scientist cross between Viagra and gangsta rap, no?


I presume some scientist in the chain is named Gordon...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 @ 09:56 a.m. - Comment

Talk to Catty

I think artificial futility describes it well.

Monday, September 26, 2005 @ 12:28 p.m. - Comment

If you thought your vote counted in the last two elections

and you're smart enough to understand the implications without my having to explain them to you, go here.

Perhaps then you'll better understand the 2000 soldiers who died in Iraq. Or the 2000+ dead people we're going to end up with in Louisiana. Or the... oh, never mind. Just go look.

Monday, September 26, 2005 @ 12:16 p.m. - Comment

Your Government at Rest

Apparently, AG Alberto Gonzales -- remember him? He's the guy who thinks torture is a pretty neat idea -- has decided that stamping out porn is more important than catching Osama... which is maybe why we *haven't* caught Osama yet, eh what?

Best quote:

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Saturday, September 24, 2005 @ 12:11 p.m. - Comment

Live Stream of KHOU-11 Houston

with all the crap ripped off the outside here.

Many more at the obligatory Wikipedia page.

Friday, September 23, 2005 @ 01:54 p.m. - Comment

I like to tell a story

about an IBM analyst who finally figured out why a user could log in sitting down, but not standing up (a three-way interaction between his password, his touch-typing abilities, and the fact that a cleaning person had inadvertantly swapped a couple of keytops on his keyboard), but even that didn't prepare me for this:

"We can't send mail farther than 500 miles from here," he repeated. "A little bit more, actually. Call it 520 miles. But no farther."

"Um... Email really doesn't work that way, generally," I said, trying to keep panic out of my voice. One doesn't display panic when speaking to a department chairman, even of a relatively impoverished department like statistics. "What makes you think you can't send mail more than 500 miles?" ...

"...why didn't you call earlier?"

"Well, we hadn't collected enough data to be sure of what was going on until just now." Right. This is the chairman of *statistics*. "Anyway, I asked one of the geostatisticians to look into it--"


"--yes, and she's produced a map showing the radius within which we can send email to be slightly more than 500 miles. There are a number of destinations within that radius that we can't reach, either, or reach sporadically, but we can never email farther than this radius."

Delightful stuff. And if you're a pedant, see the associated faq.

Friday, September 23, 2005 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

BackupBrain on Microsoft

My reading: I'm right, but it might take them an extra year to die.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 @ 09:09 p.m. - Comment


You'll put your eye out with that!

A computer tracked sentry BB pistol. From Flutterby.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 @ 08:56 p.m. - Comment

JetBlue has a plane in the air

with its front gear down and locked.

And turned 90 degrees left.

Live KABC-TV stream is here; thanks to Akamai.

[ UPDATE: Give that man a cigar. And a raise. Right down the centerline, didn't run out of runway; doesn't even appear to have popped the plugs on the main gear, even though he didn't use reverse thrust. A textbook emergency landing, just as Alan predicted. ]

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 @ 08:47 p.m. - Comment

Affinity Donations

Everyone loves to donate money *in the name of their favorite* whatever.

So, in keeping with that tradition of affinity, I was unsurprised to find out that someone's started Boobs for Bourbon St.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 @ 08:20 p.m. - Comment

Bush, Perry: "We won't fuck up this time"

Preparations are underway to make federal, state, and local officials look less like morons in the upcoming wake of Hurricane Rita, only the second hurricane named R-something since storms got names in 1953.

BoatUS's tracking page, linked below, seems temporarily down, but I've notified them, and hopefully they'll be back soon.

If you're in Gulf Texas... take your shit and go west.

[ Steve Gregory, from Weather Underground, is blogging here. ]

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 @ 10:03 a.m. - Comment

Tire sizes


Sunday, September 18, 2005 @ 06:55 p.m. - Comment

BoatUS is now tracking

Rita and Philippe; one of the 5 tracks on the Rita spaghetti map comes hard up the west coast of Florida. I'll keep an eye out. You should too.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 @ 06:37 p.m. - Comment

The happy stories

of the New Orleans diaspora are starting to roll in from around the country. I suspect that people will start to be able to believe that this might be the best thing that could have happened to the Untied Snakes in the last 50 years, Real Soon Now.

If nothing else, a lot of poor black people are going off to other places where they're going to get a free pass, or at least a honeymoon, and maybe that will break some of the poor-rich, white-black cycle we're stuck in in America.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 @ 06:18 p.m. - Comment

A lulu of an idea

Lulu is the self-publishing company started by the guy who co-founded Red Hat Software. There's some decent looking stuff on their top 100 page.

Check 'em out.

Sunday, September 18, 2005 @ 01:56 p.m. - Comment


I love geeks.

The Serenity.

constructed entirely from Lego Blocks.

[ This site exposes the dark underbelly of Geekdom: Adult Fans of Lego ]

Saturday, September 17, 2005 @ 11:05 p.m. - Comment

Best abuse of the format

Over at Kuro5hin (howmever you pronounce that): "New Orleans: Choose Your Own Adventure".

[ Warning, adult content. If you're not an adult, though, what are you doing *here*? ]

Saturday, September 17, 2005 @ 02:27 p.m. - Comment

How many blades does *your* razor have?

The Onion, and CNN.

Saturday, September 17, 2005 @ 12:27 p.m. - Comment

Hey, Alan

Look at this. :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 @ 05:15 p.m. - Comment

Half a Loaf

Or less.

Went with Alan, Liz, and Maddi to see Meat last night at Ruth Eckerd Hall, at (I am contractually obligated to mention) the Richard B. Baumgardner Center For The Performing Arts.

Great show.

Execrable sound.

I couldn't decide whether the problem was that his wireless mic wasn't working right, or that it was only fed into the monitors. Or maybe that it was just that he is on that long, slow downhill slide as a live performer.

It's hard work; especially the way he does it.

It would have been a pretty hot show -- I would have thought it as hot as everyone around me did -- had they been able to get the sound right, at *all*. But they didn't. Well, maybe once or twice; just often enough that we knew that you could actually *do* it.

Jeers to the FOH engineers.

[ My review, should they ever have the balls to publish it, will be here. ]

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 @ 06:44 p.m. - Comment

Um, "oops"

National Geographic, on the big New Orleans hurricane...

that didn't happen.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 @ 02:50 p.m. - Comment

New Word: Blegging

Nope, no explanation.

If you have an old used laptop that is new *enough* to get on the net (that's ethernet or a PCMCIA slot and card included, and probably Pentium-300 or faster), donate it to the Louisiana NAACP so evacuees can use it to check in with family members, etc. It's even tax-deductible.

[ Thanks to the dregs of Howard Dean's presidential campaing: Blog For America. ]

Saturday, September 10, 2005 @ 10:15 p.m. - Comment

Ok, it's *officially* a national disaster, now

All 6 major (and not so major) TV networks are doing a joint concert tonight, and a bunch of the cable networks will be carrying it as well; just on our local analog cable feed, I count 10 listings for it. It's at 8pm.

And on top of that, what is billed to be every radio station in Tampa Bay is out live at Raymond James Stadium (that's the top Google hit for them; nice to see the corporate webmaster has a clue) doing a collection drive for the Red Cross called Tampa Bay Radio Relief.

That's *every* radio station: Clear Channel, Cox, Infinity, and all the others. All in one place. And admitting to it.

That's pretty remarkable.

If it even trumps corporate greed, maybe there's a silver lining here, too.

Friday, September 9, 2005 @ 09:24 a.m. - Comment

The BoatUS Tracking page for

Ophelia, Nate, and Maria.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 @ 07:05 p.m. - Comment

The Customer is Always Wrong

EFF's guide to digital rights management in consumer digital music and media.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 @ 06:38 p.m. - Comment

So, not only can you run Linux

on your mainframe... you can now make your Linux box look like a mainframe.

Geeks are so cool.

Turns out the current maintainer is Jay "You Ignorant Splut!" Maynard, whom I run across every so often...

Thursday, September 8, 2005 @ 06:20 p.m. - Comment

Oh, my, ghod.

Geeks, giving back. The $100 laptop - one to a student.

Not to mention they'll be useful for lots of other things.

Disaster relief, anyone?

Thursday, September 8, 2005 @ 05:46 p.m. - Comment

Aha! News organizations do still do


Keith Olbermann rips the government a new one.

The Law and Order and Terror government. I like it.

Thursday, September 8, 2005 @ 08:25 a.m. - Comment

Is Poly going mainstream?

I dunno; is this source mainstream? :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 @ 10:04 p.m. - Comment

The Military has a tradition

they call the After Action Report, or, more lyrically, "Lessons Learned". I think we're going to learn a *lot* from the response to Hurricane Katrina, and I'd hate to see those lessons get lost.

So I've started a wiki page to collect them at www.katrinahelp.info. I hope it will acquire some traction.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 @ 09:05 p.m. - Comment

Mark Cuccia is Fine

Telecom wonk Mark Cuccia was living in an apartment in New Orleans (or somewhere near it), and went missing after the storm.

It took everyone a couple days to figure out that he hadn't checked in, and start worrying about him. But it turns out he's ok. This just in (I always enjoy saying that :-) from David Leibold:

Mark Cuccia is safe and sound. Mark called me at 8 AM this morning (Wednesday). His apartment did not get flooded and he is fine.

Today has been the first day that he has been able to get a cell signal since the hurricane and subsequent flood. He is still without electrical power.

However, please do not call Mark right now, as he is saving battery power on his cell phone and reception is still spotty.

He plans on leaving New Orleans to stay at his aunt's in New Iberia, LA. He said he will call me when he reaches his aunt's house. If he is still not able to send out a message, I'll send a message at that time that he has made it out of New Orleans.

Please let others know that he is safe and sound.

Good to hear. Posted here for everyone else's benefit.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 @ 08:05 p.m. - Comment

I haven't been spending a lot of time posting

about Camp Crystal, mostly because I didn't have anything to say that Mike isn't already saying.

But I *do* feel the need to point out last midnight's posting, wherein a US Marshal and his squad of 82nd Airborne picked the wrong guy to play soldier with.

It is the funniest true story I've heard all month.

If you don't understand why it's funny, or you think it's just mean... it's you. Really. :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 @ 05:55 p.m. - Comment

Spider Robinson Updates

He's going to be doing an inside passage cruise next August; he got a new computer from David Crosby (yes, *that* David Crosby), no thanks to FedEx, and he's starting to figure out why we don't like Microsoft very much.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 @ 07:24 p.m. - Comment

One thing that might happen in New Orleans


What happens if the government decides to just buy everyone out? Cut them a check, and say "find a home near family you have in another state, and move there." The outcome might be that (modulo what Pam likes to call 'militant New Orleneans') there won't be any New Orleans residents to resettle... which makes the "what do we do about the below-water-level parts of the city" problem much easier to solve than, as my friend Alan puts it, "trucking in multiple gigatons of dirt".

Sunday, September 4, 2005 @ 01:53 p.m. - Comment

Leap Second this year!

Yes, that's right. For the first time since 1988, 23:59:59 will be followed by 23:59:60 this New Year's Eve -- at 6:59pm EST.

RISKS has the rundown.

Sunday, September 4, 2005 @ 06:28 p.m. - Comment

Blinding Flash of the Obvious

Why doesn't someone do an American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund *affinity credit card*.

Blank white. With a big red (duh) cross in the middle.

I'm sure they'd have *no* difficulty placing them.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 07:26 p.m. - Comment

Well, it looks like gas is gonna cost you

an arm and a leg no matter *where* you buy it.

(Do amputees get offended by that idiom?)

Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 02:49 p.m. - Comment

From Agony to ...


The government has chartered 3 Carnival cruise liners to bed down about 7000 people for the next 6 months. Your $10.5B at work, I guess.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 02:01 p.m. - Comment

Attention Urban Design Professionals

You now have 3 big new chances.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 01:31 p.m. - Comment

A good solid link

to the live webcam at Camp Crystal is here, courtesy of advection.net. This is a really big webcam stream; 320x240 and 30fps. Yesterday afternoon, they apparently did a TV interview on it, though we don't seem to know with whom.

Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 12:33 p.m. - Comment

Mike Barrett

(the Interdictor of New Orleans) is here.

GoogleMaps "hybrid" mode is *kickin'*.

Friday, September 2, 2005 @ 03:06 p.m. - Comment

Well, it's becoming pretty clear

that Command & Control continuity pre-planning in the North Gulf states is not all that it might be.

This leads me to want to go to a lot of city and county commission meetings, and ask a lot of local people a lot of *quite* pointed questions. You might want to, as well.

As I think up those questions, I will post them here.

Friday, September 2, 2005 @ 12:53 p.m. - Comment

Live Blog from a New Orleans datacenter

This guy is apparently on the 10th floor of some building downtown, and they've just gotten approval to truck in more fuel for their genset.

Sounds like they'll be there a while.

[ UPDATE: This sounds like *exactly* the right guy to be stuck in a colo in downtown NOLA right now. From yesterday midnight:

Since it's war out there, I figure it's time to go back to my military ways.

Camp Crystal is locked down for the night. Team SOTI (that's the crew up here) has broken up into 3 squads. Squad 1 is on diesel detail. Squad 2 is on patrol. Squad 3 is on service and support.

The Final Protective Line is Poydras Avenue. All avenues of approach are secure. Stand to is at 0600.

Noice. ]

Thursday, September 1, 2005 @ 12:28 p.m. - Comment

When everything else fails...

Amateur Radio Works.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 10:48 p.m. - Comment

Ok, I have to brag on this...

I've been a community access producer/crewmember approximately since God was a lieutenant. 1988, I think it was. It got taken over by the county in 2000, and, though they're getting better, their website still sucked.

Until now.

The splash page is questionable, and the formatting needs a tiny bit of tuning. But it's very spiffy, nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 @ 09:35 p.m. - Comment

Instant Messaging... changes

Cause Google's getting in.




Monday, August 29, 2005 @ 11:28 p.m. - Comment

I'm watching New Orleans' WDSU

Who had the foresight (or snapshot reflexes) to get a stream up and get Akamai to mirror it. They bugged out to Jackson Mississippi last night around 11pm; they're broadcasting from a spare studio at WAPT, Jackson (which is delightfully community-access lookin' -- nice work on the blue wash spotlight, someone) and they're running lots of videotape; aerials and boat footage of people being pulled out of holes in their roofs.


It's an unChristly mess, and it's going to take a stupid amount of time to clean up... but the death toll looks like it will be comfortably low (though, I suppose, not to the people who lost someone -- got experience with that one), and compared to the 10-50,000 people they were expecting to lose if it hit head-on... I think we gotta call this one "not as bad".

For non-windows users, use the mms: link, with mplayer or your favorite

Monday, August 29, 2005 @ 11:04 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Katrina

I haven't been blogging it much, except to keep the StormBar up to date, though I am working on the Wikipedia page about the storm, mostly with image update, external links, and damage control.

But this illustrates why I love Wikipedia for current events: it's distributed newsgathering. Everyone has their own hobby horse, just as I have mine, and we're located all over the world, so you get 24/7 coverage for updates.

My best to those in the path, particularly Amber; hope it's burned out by the time it gets to Nashville.

Sunday, August 28, 2005 @ 05:31 p.m. - Comment

Scary cool

Wanna look over Bob Clearmountain's shoulder?

For those whom (as my sister so lyrically put it this week) aren't playing along at home, Bob Clearmountain is one of the best -- and best known -- mixdown engineers in the music business. The link above is to a Panasonic BL-C10 power-pan-tilt webcam mounted over his left shoulder as he stands at the board in his "home" studio. I *think* it's a Midas XL, but it could be an SSL or a Neve.

[ looks at other parts of website ]

Nope, it's an SSL 4000G+. For those who *still* aren;t playing along at home, it's a \$75K+ console. The wages of sin, apparently, are pretty damn good. :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 @ 06:18 p.m. - Comment

Here comes another change in the world


Sunday, August 21, 2005 @ 02:39 p.m. - Comment

I think I want to move back home

Why I like small towns...

From the Westwood Press police log:

1) At 9:09 a.m., police went to 45 Putting Drive after getting reports of someone being dropped off there with a basketball while no one was supposed to be home. The man turned out to be the homeowner's 18-year-old son.

Saturday, August 20, 2005 @ 12:39 p.m. - Comment


That's the word I use to describe 'organizations' like the Karaoke Anti-Piracy Agency, which appears to be a front website setup merely to look good enough to couch one idea:

If you're a KJ, you aren't permitted to make *one* copy of your discs, and take those copies on the road: that's illegal.

And, of course, no, it's not illegal, not the least little bit. Their argument that it's a "commercial use of the copy" doesn't hold any water, so far as I can see. That's intended to cover selling the copies. Or making multiple copies, or using the copies (and) the originals. Fair Use is not limited to non-commercial use.

And, of course, they a) don't bother to Shepardize it, so you can read the cases they purport to depend on yourself, b) don't give any Who We Are or contact information of *any type*, and c) don't have a valid contact record in whois, either.

So d) they're full of shit; ignore them. That you are exploiting the recording commercially does not make your use of a copy a "commercial" use of that copy, in the meaning of that word in that part of the copyright statutes, at all.

It's just a front for the labels, who want to sell you multiple copies of the same disc cause yours got scratched. Counter-citations welcome, as always.

Friday, August 19, 2005 @ 05:05 p.m. - Comment

So... from whom do I get my

Karaoke license?

Friday, August 19, 2005 @ 04:52 p.m. - Comment


Or, how to save people from themselves, without their noticing you're doing it. A nice piece from Don Marti.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 @ 11:23 a.m. - Comment

Picasa: A Home for your Photos

Since I got a digital camera in March, I've done a lot more photography. (Free is a nice price, and of course, I didn't pay too much for the camera, either...)

This leads me directly to a lot of what you'd call photo editing... by which I more mean "what photo editors do at a newspaper", rather than photoshopping and retouching.

You do occasionally need to do some of that sort of detail work, but for everything else (why do I feel like an advertising copywriter? Oh: it's because I *am* an advertising copywriter... silly me), there's Picasa.

Learning how to best use Picasa takes a little longer than you'd expect; there's a lot more power hiding under that pretty exterior than you might think from looking at it. But it manages to do about 85% of what I need to do to burn 350 shots down to 125, very quickly.

Some notes on my workflow in Picasa to follow; after I write them. :-)

Oh, and if you share your computer, and you keep your smut on it: don't tell it to watch the entire machine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 @ 10:25 a.m. - Comment

Feature Archive: STS-114

STS-114 successfully re-entered and landed Tuesday morning about 5ayem, at the Big Flat Dry Lake Bed at Edwards. (Actually, I think it's a real runway now, but who cares.)

The Virtual Launch Control Centeris probably idle now, but I believe live RealVideo stream of NasaTV is still here. And courtesy of a Metafiltarian, lots of mission updates here. And, of course, Wikipedia has a page on the flight, with a bunch of good External Links, some contributed by YT, including a link to WMFE-Orlando's live coverage by NPR's official spaceman, Pat Duggins, which probably *still* hasn't been updated.

Here's the best NASA link yet: Launch Dashboard - live countdown, weather, and 3 video feeds.

Now let's see if NASA can get their feces realigned.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 @ 10:25 a.m. - Comment

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