The result of a quip by one of the cow-orkers today, after a very useless meeting with some minion of the Evil Overlords. Sigh.

[ published on Fri 23.09.2005 21:10 | filed in brainfarts | ]

So the new Austrian Passport Law allows for biometric crap and contact-less reading; the Ministry of Truth is already planning to use this to create a central database of fingerprints of everybody. Bastards; and not with me (at least not until 2015 when my current passport runs out).

Link to the standard article

[ published on Thu 22.09.2005 13:29 | filed in interests/anti | ]

The weekend was blown out, with a few of us being hopeful and spending most of Sunday parawaiting at Mt. Tamborine. To no avail, of course, but it allowed me to catch up with last month's rumours and flying news.

Monday was better, I had one short but nice flight from Tambo: while I got to cloudbase without major troubles, I didn't make the transition across the valley to Mt. Misery and thus didn't go XC; only Richard and Ben did. A second try later in the arvo didn't work out as the sea breeze came in over the back of the hill just as I was waiting ready on launch, and rushing to Beechmont, the easterly site, was in vain as there was not enough wind over there.

Given that I'll compete(hah!) in the Canungra Cup in a few weeks, I decided finally to replace my old Garmin 12 with a mapping GPS, a 76CS. After long deliberations I ordered it in the USA, but made a mistake with the expiry date of my credit card. Got an email from the shop asking for correction (not surprising), and also a call from the credit card company for confirmation of "recent account activity". A nice feature, actually, given the fact that I'm using the cheapest company there is hereabouts, which doesnt't earn any interest from me.

Saw Mullet on disc yesterday, enjoyed it very much. I'll have to hunt for a soundtrack or some stuff by the featured bands soon.

In other news I've got a motivation problem: I urgently need to finish a paper (about my PhD stuff) I'll be presenting at the Open Source Developer's Conference in Melbourne in December but the writing just doesn't flow...

[ published on Wed 21.09.2005 22:02 | filed in still-not-king | ]

My sister complained about "not finding old stuff" on this site, so I changed things around slightly: the newest 30 posts stay on the main index page. If its not on the main page, look in either of the archives: by date or by topic. Let's see if that helps.

[ published on Sat 17.09.2005 22:29 | filed in about/site | ]

...time for some recap/wrap-up.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 17.09.2005 22:24 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Once Upon A Time, Polaroid made a nice simple elegant model of sunglasses. I had two sets of these over the years; of course they broke and no matching replacement was to be found. Grief struck Yours Truly.

I do occasionally browse Crazy Clark's and similar junk shops, and one day about four years ago they had a near-copy of said model sunnies for the unbearable price of $1. All hail the junk shop! Didn't I look great? bruahaha snif


But even such pricey high-quality gear has a definite best-before date, and so the sunnies went south a few months ago (metal fatigue near the hinge). Naturally this happened just before the trip to AT and I was stuck with my flying sunnies (which one of my sisters said remind her of "Puck die Stubenfliege"). I didn't find any nice sunnies in Austria. Maybe it's the weather or the people scowling from birth that render sunnies unnecessary, I don't know.

Back here I embarked on another quest for gear (my brain wasn't good for anything useful after the long flights anyway) - and found another reasonable model in Yet Another junk shop (The Reject Shop, IIRC). I was content, and the sunnies cost a reasonable $6. True to the shop's name the sunnies developed a crack through one glass after 15 minutes of wearing. Of course the shop had exactly one single set of this model so it was back to square one.

But finally some (likely) Chinese knock-off artists came to the rescue: in a "Cheap Designer Sunnies" shop (oh the irony!) I found a near-perfect "Armani" model among the tons of gargoyle-style stuff. $30 is a bit much but they fit, look like I want it and I'm happy. End of Story.

[ published on Wed 14.09.2005 18:53 | filed in brainfarts | ]

The recent vacation had its very positive sides as well: I brought back about 11GB of condensed music from friends and family.

Much of it was not neatly tagged/named, but &rw mentioned musicbrainz, a project similar to freedb but extended to fingerprints for MP3 and similar.

The stuff is partialy lunixified; Debian packages do exist but the docs suck big-time and the interdependencies between libraries and software are as clear as raw sewage...

The tagger app is a/v as Windows dreck only at the moment, but there's a "simple tagger application" (and Perl and Python interfaces). Do not try the "simple tagger application" tp_tagger from libtunepimp-bin: it sucks oh-so-badly (where have these idiots learned programming and interface design?!).

The perl version (only in the source package) sucks about as badly, but at least one can quickly rip out all the crap and make it work somewhat.

Rant done. The idea behind musicbrainz is very good and I'm sure the system will be used more and more once a reasonable tagger application and docs are available.

[ published on Wed 14.09.2005 18:24 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Some MS weenie tries to recruit Eric Raymond. Much hilarity ensues, including his response (where this entrie's title comes from).

[ published on Wed 14.09.2005 14:18 | filed in interests/humour | ]

This week didn't work out the way it was expected to.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 02.09.2005 22:35 | filed in still-not-king | ]

I do not miss at all in Oz. One of them: the Viennese weather.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 22.08.2005 06:11 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Bloody goddamn fucking flying around - and I'm not even in the air yet, let alone done with the three flights it'll take me to VIE.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 16.08.2005 08:55 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Ah, the joys of Scottish anarchopunk by Oi Polloi; comes quite handy when you read the mags on what the bastards in Redmond and Hollywood are cooking up again.

Ed Felten has an interesting (if you want to puke) piece on the unholy alliance at work: your Vista PC would be their PC. (Of course, if you're foolish enough to run their hole-riddled pieces of bloat you might very much deserve it.)

This recent Boingboing article outlines another goodie: your monitor will show fuzzy crap unless you pay the Hollywood Hoodlums.

Well, to that I say 'fuck them all!'. The MS Weenies and the Hollywood Hoodlums will certainly be the first against the wall when the revolution comes...

[ published on Wed 10.08.2005 23:57 | filed in interests/anti | ]

The "Australian International University" is a brilliant spoof by some pissed-off Oz academic. (Not me!) He made it into a variety of papers already (owing to newspeople without brains, humour and/or the necessary academic cynicism).

Some pearls to follow:

"The Australian International University website is produced by an organisation called Academic Jihad. Academic Jihad has sleeper cells spread throughout the Australian university system and is poised to unleash a merciless firestorm of pedagogy on unsuspecting students, both local and international."

"Here at the Australian International University we have rationalised the normal system of different university faculties into a single faculty. We realised that most of the other faculties were not generating sufficient income and were having a negative effect on the overall marketing plan of the university. As a result, the Australian International University only has one faculty - the Faculty of Business."

Cynical, me? No way!

Source: the ever-brilliant samizdata blog

[ published on Wed 10.08.2005 23:33 | filed in interests/humour | ]

...and I'm off for a few weeks in Austria. The schedules for meeting people are firming up already :-)
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 09.08.2005 14:54 | filed in still-not-king | ]

-- David Richerby on blacklisting blacklists

I don't like worms and other crap that hammers my ssh servers with nonexistant users and/or lousy passwords. Not that they would get in anyway, but it still pisses me off sufficiently to do something about it. This script blams all such suckers for a while. Share and enjoy.

The script tails a logfile (preferrably something low-volume like your auth.log) and looks for failed ssh entries. If the other side is not whitelisted and tries too often in a time window, an iptables command is issued. After a fair while the block is removed. Obviously all this is adjustable and I'll certainly extend the setup for other annoyances, too.

The idea came from here but that implementation I didn't like very much. The clean tailing of a log (safely across rotations etc.) was snarfed from logtail (part of logcheck) and the parsing of syslog messages came from Parse::Syslog (which doesn't work on your local data, only on full files. Silly thing.)

[ published on Sat 06.08.2005 17:12 | filed in mystuff | ]

Well, not just yet. But the data retention plans of the EU mean that all the things you do online would have to be stored and available to the uniformed fuckers unconditionally.

It would be a good idea to sign the petition against said lousy plan.

(However, realising that this world is currently in a very Kafkaeske downward spiral, signing won't help; we need something more like a plague that kills 99% of all politicians to improve matters. Gene tech wizards, that would be a good project for you fellows!)

[ published on Sat 06.08.2005 14:29 | filed in interests/anti | ]

"Satisfaction guaranteed - or your rubbish back"
Now that's going to make an unsatisfied customer happy...

The Sarah Blasko gig tonight was so-so: the two support bands were ok, nothing special, and unfortunately Sarah had a bad case of the flu and had to stop the gig after a few songs. Bummer. But (little consolation that it is) her voice is really as good and beautifully haunting as on her CD.

[ published on Thu 04.08.2005 00:43 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Kudos to Michael Lynn. Full Disclosure at its best and the corporate scumbags at Cisco and ISS deserve what they get.

So let's share this gem of corporate hushing up.
Links to Cryptome's comments and mirror, Bruce Schneier's comments and the latest Boingboing article on the topic

[ published on Tue 02.08.2005 00:26 | filed in interests/anti | ]

I think you must be Aussie to consider the above as a song title (unless you want to name a funeral march; northern Novembers are nothing short of suicidal).

Why am I pondering such silly questions? I'm just listening to Sarah Blasko's first CD, which contains a lot of cool stuff including a non-suicidal song of said weird name.

On Wednesday she's playing a gig in Coolangatta (which is nearby: 20-25 minutes per car). Hmm, maybe I can find the time.

[ published on Mon 01.08.2005 19:59 | filed in interests | ]

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 29.07.2005 00:16 | filed in still-not-king | ]

yesterday i watched the element of crime again, for the first time in at least 6 or 7 years: still as sick and intriguing and haunted a film as in my first impression. (lars von trier is a weird person.)

today i felt the need for speed and saw sin city - and it rocked! a blood opera of epic film-noir dimensions, done comicky and really cool. i loved it. that's one dvd i'll have to get when it comes out.

[ published on Wed 27.07.2005 00:30 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Boss-speak for beginners:

He/she/it says:

. Translation: "We have no clue."


means: "We've got a short memory and we lie whenever we open our mouthes and of course we've never said anything like that."


means: "We've got no plan, no clue, no skills BUT we've got a fumes-addled vision."

Do you really want to know more?

[ published on Sun 24.07.2005 13:35 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Kiwis are cool, and this kiwi and his kids are no exception. The embedded content sucks, however, so here's a link to the actual movie.

Evolve On!

[ published on Wed 20.07.2005 14:22 | filed in interests/humour | ]
"Wiens Erzbischof Christoph Schönborn setzte sich in der New York Times vom 7. Juli in einem Kommentar an die Spitze einer Bewegung, die die Evolutionstheorie nicht nur anzweifelt, sondern als unwissenschaftlich ablehnt."

Link zum artikel im standard

[ published on Tue 12.07.2005 00:24 | filed in interests/anti | ]

...include the fact that a broken headlight glass sets you back $35. This is the beast in question (which by now looks a lot more bent and used up).


Apparently I caught a stone the other week: the driver side headlight has a small hole, tiny on the outside but big on the inside. The deluges on thursday made it into the casing, and I saw the water beads on the inside yesterday. Went to one of the cheap spares shops today, and they got the thing in this arvo. Tomorrow I'll have some fun replacing the lens.

The "joys" of driving an old car of course also include the creakiness and general decrepitude of the thing. And with its worth estimated at about $2000, spending more than a few hundred bucks on fixes isn't real bright. Time to look for a replacement in the next few months...

[ published on Mon 04.07.2005 22:49 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Flooding everywhere. Couldn't even drive through to work: too much water on the roads around here. Uni has cancelled all classes today. The Pacific Fair shopping centre is closed. No mail. About 7000 people on the GC without power. 300mm of rain in the last 24 hours...

 2005_06_30-hill-water.jpg  2005_06_30-lake-backyard.jpg  2005_06_30-lake2.jpg

This here is not a lake but my back yard. I'm somewhat lucky to be on reasonably high ground, but I get all the crap flowing down from the hill and one of the storm drains (of course the most crucial one!) is blocked. The neighbours down the creek, a meter lower than me, are not in an enviable position.

I don't know when before (if ever) I slept as badly as tonight; got up and out at about 0200 to clear two storm drains of leaves clogging the covering grid, then dozed until about 0830. My attempt at getting to work at 0915 wasn't successful: after driving around a bit trying to avoid the worst obstructions, I gave up: the water was just a bit too deep for my Falcon. At least I made it back home without getting the car flooded, and my net connectivity works still fine :-)

[ published on Thu 30.06.2005 12:18 | filed in still-not-king | ]

(Not a surprise for anybody with a shred of common sense; but this instance at least is funny.)

On Friday, Ms Robertson sent a letter to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, near Los Angeles, asking directors to take fish off the cafeteria lunch menu, adding: "Serving fish at an aquarium is like serving poodle burgers at a dog show."

Now what's wrong with that? I guess if poodles tasted any good...

I hope the members of this "Fish Empathy Project for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" (Judean People's Front, anyone?) show their empathy with the fish by not breathing any more air. Soon, please.

Link to the news article

[ published on Wed 29.06.2005 17:26 | filed in interests/humour | ]

The murkins are one truly fucked-up society, with an even worse legal system. One of the recent bad moves of said legal system was to allow seizure of private land if giving it to another sucker would generate more revenue for the city/state/gvmt.

Now a private developer is using this decision to get a hotel built on one of the responsible judges' private land. How very sweet! I would so very much love to see that actually happening. (Yeah, as if there was any chance of the corrupt bastards bending over. But one can dream.)

[ published on Wed 29.06.2005 13:31 | filed in interests/anti | ]

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 27.06.2005 23:54 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Last sunday was pretty crap - (this weekend, too, but in a different way): rain, rain, rain, drizzle, rain.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 27.06.2005 01:32 | filed in still-not-king | ]

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