Archive for May, 2003

It's a simple matter

May 30, 2003

“…a simple matter of implementing the algorithms,” said the British-accented voice on NPR as I turned my radio off. Sure, I said, “and of algomenting the implerithms.”

Dutch Uncles. Steve – beard,

May 30, 2003

Dutch Uncles. Steve – beard, jesus, Monokokolokis
Doug – saab, Eames chair
Dale – elusive
real uncles

That ain't the problem. I

May 30, 2003

That ain’t the problem. I have no shortage of things to write about. That ain’t the problem. That’s never been the problem.

Sell, sell!

May 28, 2003

Tom Coates has de-listed RFB from his coveted small blogroll over at Plasticbag. Thus we may have reached a high point in our blogshares standings after a fairly steep runup this past month or so.
Hey, I warned y’all work was going to cut into my blogging!

Spoonfeeding the NYT

May 27, 2003

David Kolodney sends us an update on a suspicion he had:

Good Eye!

This is mainly of journalistic interest, but I’m sending it around anyway, (It won’t be on the midterm):

I guess I’m gloating. In the Washington Post yesterday, it came out that the NYT’s main WMD reporter, Judith Miller, has been channeling the Pentagon’s protégé Ahmad Chalabi, for most of her big stories:

By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post Staff Writer, May 26, 2003

“Judith Miller … acknowledges that her main source for such articles has been Ahmad Chalabi, a controversial exile leader who is close to top Pentagon officials. Could Chalabi have been using the Times to build a drumbeat that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction?” … Miller: “He has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper.”

So, why gloating? Because I was so incensed by her article last week that I actually “wrote a letter to the Times.” Good eye! And nose!

Re: 5/11/2003 article: “Trailer is a Mobile Lab Capable of Turning Out Bioweapons, a Team Says,” by Judith Miller

It is very odd, as if a different person wrote the first paragraph, the only place where it says just flatly: “A team of experts … has concluded that a trailer found near Mosul in northern Iraq in April is a mobile biological weapons laboratory….”

Everything else in the article is more circumspect. The headline says only: “a Mobile Lab Capable of Turning Out Bioweapons.” So we can all agree it is a mobile lab of some kind.

Further in the text, it says: “The members acknowledged that some experts were still uncertain whether the trailer was intended to produce biological agents.” Even the phrase “intended to produce” is much weaker than “is a … weapons laboratory.” Was it ever actually used as intended? How long ago? Etc. And they were “still uncertain” even of whether it was so intended.

Worse: “… the lab contained equipment that could be used to make vaccinesas well as deadly germs for weapons….”

And again: “… the equipment he took apart would support the production of peaceful germs, as well as those for weapons.” What then proved it was weapons? “… the presence of equipment to contain the emission of gasses … indicated that [they] … did not want traces of what they were making to be detectable.” Highly interpretive for a smoking gun!

“The team did not find any protective clothing or biocontainment system…. But the team leader said he was not surprised by the absence … ‘We’ve already seen what a low regard for human life this regime had,’ the leader said.” Well, they had protective gear in immense quantities everywhere else in the country, except in this weapons lab.

“Finally, they considered the possibility that the lab was intended for chemical production. ‘There are still some experts who think that … we haven’t totally ruled it out….'”

So it is indisputably a germ warfare lab, unless, of course, it was for chemicals.

Please take another look at this.


David Kolodney

Radial Freemasonry Blocked

May 22, 2003 ate my word endings.

[via Zeldman]

Dave damns Six Apart with faint praise

May 22, 2003

Dave often complains when people praise Six Apart products that Userland offered whatever feature in discussion years ago. Maybe that’s not the point? Or maybe people are just jealous because he’s rich and influential?
(He also likes to use Manila sometimes as his counterexample against Movable Type when people make comparisons, but Manila is not simply a CMS.)
I’m not sure what he means (hmm, Radio’s autopost didn’t pick up the permalink… oh well), when he writes

Hosting is a tricky business, as we found out, there are ISPs who now host MT sites that must somehow be included in their plans, yet there seems to be no mention of them in the FAQ. [Scripting News]

Since TypePad isn’t MT, why must ISPs who now host MT sites be included in plans for TypePad? I’m missing something.
But, hey, that weblog search thing looks cool. Does it depend on Manila (the power behind Dave’s weblog) or will it work with Radio Community Servers like Will we ever be able to search the comment hosted there? I was looking for a very kind comment Tom Coates of posted once, to cull out as a little testimonial (something like “very useful” but better), but I couldn’t find it via Google and got tired of hunting randomly through my old comments looking for it.

TypePad design comps

May 21, 2003

[thumbnail image of TypePad comp for photo albums]TypePad’s newsletter has sent out its first message including answers to some frequently asked questions, such as, “Is TypePad just hosted Movable Type?” (it’s not), and so on. The contents of the newsletter are also posted at the TypePad site along with some tantalizing screen shots that give a fairly good idea of the user-interface direction that Mena and Ben et al. are moving toward. No firm word on pricing yet except that there won’t be a free option.

Visio ate my homework

May 20, 2003

I’ve been drawing wire frames (also called virtual blueprints) depicting schematically how a number of different page views and portlets and popup windows show look and function for a portal project, and I’ve been drawing these pictures in Visio. It’s an old version of Visio (2000) and I’m running it on a fairly old Dell laptop issued me by the consultancy that hired me to do this project, and between these two old geezers of hardware and software my life today has been a bleeding nightmare.
First, the Dell freaks out if I move it around, and I’ve had the blue screen of death four times today. Worse, this old version of Visio has a special file-corrupting problem that renders the doc I was just working on (and sometimes even earlier versions that should not even be open anymore) unreadable by Visio.
In hunting around with some help from a very smart systems guy, I learned that this is a known bug, there is a Microsoft patch (but it’s for SR-1 versions and later only – the Visio I have is actually pre-Microsoft acquisition), but all it does is minimize the error in the future. It does nothing to help recovered the munged files.
A discussion on an info-arch website convinced me that this is a common problem and that it’s exacerbated by keeping a large number of drawings in a single file (I have over 50 drawings in the file in question). A google search on “recover corrupt visio” however helped me find a shareware product called RecoverMyFiles.
Man is that thing good. They claim they can find things you never saved, things you’ve already emptied from your recycle bin, and even files from a disk you’ve reformatted. I set the little bugger to work checking cluster by cluster and it found 47 lost Visio files on my machine! (Many of them are iterations of my work in the last few days, especially since I started obsessively saving backups and moving on to copies to try to put interim files beyond the clutches of the diseased application, but some go back years.)
The recover tool is very smart: Once it finds your files for you, it requires you to buy it ($59.95) and enter a registration key to actually save the recovered files. I had my credit card out in no time flat.
You also need a separate disk to save to. I’ve actually had to upload over 10 files of nearly four megs each through a VPN connection over DSL to a network-mounted drive, but they’re almost all saved now, so I’ll be able to drag ’em back soon and get on with my work.
Yep, looks like it’s done now. A small test file opened just fine. Now it’s time to go for one of the meatier ones. … Shazam!
Best $60 I ever spent.

Were the Grateful Dead Freemason Satanists?

May 19, 2003

As seen on the Freemasonry Watch Discussion Forum.