Archive - 2005

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12/27: Time: Battlestar Galactica named Best of 2005

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Time Magazine has named Battlestar Galactica their best television selection of 2005. I'm just here to throw down a w00t and spread the word. It's my favorite show.


http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1141640,00.html


Here's the official website for Battlestar Galactica:


http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/

12/21: Linux Laptop, Multiple Networks

Category: Linux Posted by: Bryn Add comment

I've messed with a bunch of different script packages and approaches to having a laptop running Linux and carrying it around to multiple LANs. In the end I always just ended up using DHCP by default and making scripts to run ifconfig, route, etc. for each LAN where I needed a static address or something.


I saw this on the Debian Administration website today though as I flew by it.


http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/312

11/11: IT Joke

Category: p00p Posted by: Bryn Add comment

(Posted not because I think it's that funny, it's just got that "truth" to it.)


A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces

height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and

shouts, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"


The man below says, "Yes. You're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet

above this field."


"You must work in Information Technology" says the balloonist.


"I do," replies the man. "How did you know?"


"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically

correct, but it's no use to anyone."


The man below says, "You must work in business."


"I do" replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"


"Well," says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're

going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position

you were before we met, but now it's my fault."

10/29: If you fall for something like this, we're all fucked

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

You're the idiot that would open the exit hatch at 30K ft. for some fresh air, aren't you?


You would click on something like this in your e-mail:


http://www.free-ftp.org/youretard/costpard.gif.ex_


Hello friend !


You have just received a costpard from someone who cares about you!


This is a part of the message:


"Hy there! It has been a long time since I haven´t heared about you!


I´ve just found out about this service from Claire, a friend of mine who also told me that..."


If you´d like to see the rest of the message click here to receive your animated costpard! 



===================


Thank you for using www.retard1000.com ´s services !!!


Please take this opportunity to let your friends hear about us by sending them a costpard from our collection !


==================

10/22: Mid-game Review of F.E.A.R. (Monolith 2005)

Category: Games Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Been playing all day, and I'm having a lot of fun for the most part. It bogs down from time to time into office-to-office hallway fights but the spooky element is done quite well. I've had goose bumps more than once and the story is at least compelling enough to drive you on through the few areas that get tedious.


The squad AI isn't breakthrough but is definitely above average and can surprise from time to time. The pacing is good, almost every time I've found myself wanting something new to see or do it pops up around the next corner. There has only been one real disappointment so far in the rogue's gallery, an enemy that just doesn't fit the game IMHO and is really nothing but annoying. I don't want to ruin any surprises as that's one of the best features of the game so far.


The sound is really good and the weapons are very satisfying, which is punctuated by the gore. There are some nice adult touches like dismemberments and decapitations that keep it from feeling like a kids'

game if there was any speculation. To earn the M rating, the voice tracks are full of profanity, sometimes it feels forced though. The implementation of "bullet time" is about the best I've seen yet: Running up and unloading a shotgun blast to center of mass in an enemy yields a billowing cloud of crimson that floats with a non-spritey volume. There's a gun called the Penetrator that fires what I can best describe as railroad spikes and can pin enemies to the wall like a butterfly collection. Sometimes they'll even be pulled right off their feet and stapled to the wall by the force.


Gunfights tear up an area with objects being destroyed, sparks flying, and some very convincing wall and floor destruction. Apparently this was accomplished using an offset shader. It totally sells the "action movie" feel. Well done. My only complaint on this point is that there's a "reaper" function that comes through and removes most of the surface damage after about 30 seconds so if you hang in an area it's like watching an invisible janitor come through to clean up. Maybe it's in keeping with the supernatural though? Ghost custodians? =)


One neat thing that stands out is that melee attacks actually work. You can punch bullet time if you've got a guy in your sights and run up and deliver a lethal roundhouse kick or a jumping forekick and actually take 

him out. It's very satisfying when done right and the physics are good enough to send the body reeling with a feeling of force.


Visually, the effects are very good but some of the levels are a bit washed out and low detail. It's forgivable as the lighting is nicely done and specular highlights and light diffusion keep the eye candy appealing. They did a nice job with the dynamic lights overall and there are neat features like shining a light through a window will both reflect in the window, picking up glass surface features, and pass through to the opposite side. The Lithtech engine isn't bleeding edge in certain respects and some things like skyboxes and just general detail feel a bit behind the times. It's not anywhere near as painful as Area 51 though (visuals from the year 2000 anyone?).


So far, I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good single player FPS. I have yet to try multiplayer.


The official website can be found here.

10/13: Linux Counter: Information for Bryn Wm. Moslow

Category: Linux Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Does this make me cool?


10/08: True Portable Computing

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

For years, I've been waiting for personal computing to become data-centric: Where the hardware and software environment are arbitrary and the focus is on the user and individually owned and created content. Live CD's and the use of USB flash drives have been much more of a beginning than floppies were but there needs to still be a lot of work done. 


Hopefully someday, you'll carry around your own personal data conveniently and securely and the input and output devices will be discretionary. You'll be able to carry a small computing system that can be used all on it's own but if there is a need for other specialized hardware, you'll be able to dock it or connect wirelessly to "terminals" that are optimized to perform certain functions. Want to play a game? Dock your device with a terminal that has high-end graphics hardware and the necessary data to run the game is uploaded to it. When you're done playing, any progress or saved games are downloaded back to your personal device. Want to listen to some music? Your stereo and personal device network wirelessly and your music is available on any sound system you walk up to or drive around with.


There are some interesting efforts out there like the aforementioned Linux LiveCD distributions (Knoppix being one popular example), but you need to carry around a CD with you. If you want to save anything, you'll probably need to copy it up to Internet based storage or carry around a USB flash drive. There's also a technology preview available ofMetropipe's Portable Virtual Privacy Machine - a Linux system that boots under emulation on a host operating system (Windows, Linux, with Mac OSX support promised soon).


However, IBM is now conducting live research on what they're calling theSoulPad. This is closer to what I'd like to see, where the system exists and runs outside of a single computer and can follow the user around, preserving a constant environment and state. While it's somewhat similar to carrying around a laptop with a suspend and resume feature this could be a device the size of a small IPod or even a wearable multi-function device such as a wristwatch.


IBM has a website here with more information about the Soulpad Pervasive, Mobile, Wearable Computing project:


http://www.research.ibm.com/WearableComputing/SoulPad/soulpad.html

09/03: I Offer a View

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20050901a.html


Mind you, the rent is a bit steep.

08/17: Red Pen Outlawed

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Microsoft is disappointed that certain security researchers have breached the commonly accepted industry practice of withholding vulnerability data so close to update release and have published exploit code, potentially harming computer users. We continue to urge security researchers to disclose vulnerability information responsibly and allow customers time to deploy updates so they do not aid criminals in their attempt to take advantage of software vulnerabilities.


Yes, please, don't tell us when we (inevitably) make mistakes because we're fat and stupid from our feast upon your wallet and can't move efficiently.

08/16: Crying Wolf

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

I had the TV on in the background and between 11:30PM and midnight the Emergency Broadcast System came on. So, I turn to channel 24 as instructed, trying to remember if I have enough bottled water and where the duct tape is... Only to find out that they've issued an "Amber Alert" because they were looking for a lost kid but that they've called it off already because he was found.


Assholes.


Seriously.


After this, my mind still racing through images of everything from earthquakes to terrorist bombings, all I can think about is who do I call to make sure they take the kid away from these parents for good and the EBS button away from the turbo-asshat who issued a state wide emergency alert.


Assholes.


Seriously.

07/25: Summer Security Fun

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

First, a funny story from one of my favorite pit stops, the Internet Storm Center or isc.sans.org...


I've copied my favorite excerpt into the extended text below.

» Read More

07/18: McBride a liar?

Category: Linux Posted by: Bryn Add comment

In other news: 1 + 1 = 2.


SCO knew Linux doesn't infringe - memo | The Register

07/17: The Wisdom of Randomized Web Fortunes

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions. 


-Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)

07/01: Land of the Dead

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

New definitions of death? The deceased wander the earth, on four legs and sniffing butts no less.

06/12: Anything for a Buck

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

I thought prostitution was illegal. Talk about peddling your honor...

06/10: S.O.S. - Democracy

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Please support the effort to ensure accountability in elections. Even before they rolled out electronic voting I had serious doubts about the technology. The system that is presently being used is horribly flawed, dangerous, and open to fraud.


CommonCause.org: Standing Together for a Paper Trail


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org): Transparent Lobbying for E-voting Reform This Week


EFF E-voting Report


One of my favorite figures from the links included:


"In one voting precinct in Gahanna, Ohio, 4,258 voters supposedly cast an electronic ballot for George Bush while only 260 voted for John Kerry. While it is vaguely possible that over 94% of voters in the precinct supported George W. Bush, it is a hard number to believe considering that only 638 voters were counted at the polling center."


Now, come on, even multi-million dollar bank transfers from deposed African leaders are more legit. And, yes, your penis is even more likely to grow another 3 inches while your mortgage rate shrinks to 3%, and you can actually "click here" to be removed.

06/09: The Latest from Minitruth

Category: WTF Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Does anyone else notice this stuff? Did America pick up and move someplace else?


Senate panel votes to expand Patriot Act


"...the proposal appears to grant the FBI more power to seek information from banks, hospitals, libraries, and so on through "administrative subpoenas" without prior judicial oversight."

06/06: Debian 3.1 Released

Category: Linux Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Well, I'm thinking about going and buying a lottery ticket too...


Here's the official word from the Debian project home page:


http://www.debian.org/News/2005/20050606


I've been running Sarge on a few machines and it's quite nice. The new installer system is much improved. I'll be really happy to not have to install tons of backports or maintain source installations to do anything "modern"... At least as long as it isn't so many years until the next "stable" release.

05/03: In Other News: Pigs Fly through Frozen Hell

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Debian Sarge is frozen and we might see an actual release this summer! Although Slackware is my favorite Linux distribution of all time, Debianis specifically my favorite for no-muss/no-fuss low-maintenance server installations.

» Read More

04/01: This Year in April Foolishness

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Great Interstellar question, mystery of life on other planets: Water Found on Mars!


Refreshing, thought provoking new beverage: Google Gulp

03/31: Minor Adjustments

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

Been home sick the better part of a week now. I'm really starting to get cabin fever. As much of a homebody as I am I do need to get out and around once in a while. I'm hoping this bug works itself out soon. I'm so bored I'm actually playing with the website. Now that's bad.


Just testing out some theme changes and the like. Trying out a new CMS. I was running PostNuke for ages and ages but it may have been overkill. This one is Nucleus, it might actually be too simple. I'm still planning on trying b2 and maybe one or two others.

01/25: Test Retro

Category: General Posted by: Bryn Add comment

The wayback machine is...

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