Hmm, first of all, railway control and reporting systems need better bug checking. The LUAS light rail system in Dublin was today giving mad values for time of next train (5mins,5mins,5mins, and 10mins,5mins,2mins). They're meant to be in order of arrival, and three in one minute is completely out of the question. Yesterday, the reporting system was scrolling an error message. Think the system is showing its age; it's a whole year old! Also, LUAS uses about a kilowatt-hour per 30secs while moving.
Outside work, there's a large water feature thing, with ducks and so on. On my first day, as I entered... I was watched by a heron. Didn't see it again for a while. Then there was a flock of ducklings... and the heron was back. Apparently herons eat ducklings sometimes; I'm now a little scared of it :). You can get at least two products for removing unsightly herons; one is a device which detects the offending waterfowl through infra-red and fires a machine-gun water-jet at it. The other is a plastic heron. How that one works I'm not sure...
They've re-rated that game in America, because it contains a non-user-accessible sex-scene. Amazing; it's perfectly okay for children to play a game where they shoot police-men and drug dealers, and pimp prostitutes, but soft-core consensual computer-animated porn? Call out the National Guard! Get the President to Cheyenne! Institute martial law! Just goes to show the Democrats are nearly as weird as the Republicans; Hillary Clinton is a big campaigner to keep sex out and violence in.
Was playing with Plan 9 (on a 386 virtualisor, on my 386; who can be bothered rebooting?). It's sorta cool. It was the planned successor to UNIX, but never really caught on for historical reasons. The world is left running either archaic UNIXy systems or somewhat archaic (and IMO generally worse) OS2/WinNT derived systems. The really adventurous are using BeOS. Strange how few fundamentally new operating systems there've been...
Don't read this if you're not a) a Bridget Jones fan and b) a big nerd. I can't be the only one, surely?
Anyway, Verity Stobs (who you really should read if you enjoy sarcastic English people) has written a lovely parody. Enjoy. It's creepily similar syle to the original (though the central character is addicted to coffee, not cigarettes, obviously; programmers rarely smoke, for some reson).
Now, Microsoft has poor representation on the web servre market; roughly 20% of servers use IIS, according to Netcraft. Why is this?
Well, recently I had the enviable task of converting a the backend of an ASP system from MS Access to SQL Server. Basing a website on an Access database is weird in itself; the reason for this particular transition was that the database had started to break.
So, two products from the one manufacturer, with similar purpose, marketed as being compatible. Transition shouldn't be hard, right? Well... Access has a tool for moving data to SQL Server. The databases I was working on were Access 2000 and SQL Server 2000. Access 2000's version of this tool doesn't support SQL Server 2000. And Access databases aren't directly compatible across versions; in a newer version of Access the import tool choked on my database. So, reproduced table structure, and wrote queries to transfer data. Over a 128kbit up connection. (SQL Server has the facility to move its own databases more efficiently, but you have to be SA (admin) to do that. This was a shared host).
An hour later and all is done. Except half the indexes are missing... Because, SQL Server doesn't allow indexes on field types that Access allows indexes on; creating indexes seems to fail silently. So, pull out SQL Enterprise Manager (a piece of software written by people who don't believe in keyboard shortcuts), and fix things. Yay. Ooh, the system's stored queries rely on some sort of weird sorting thing that Access does automatically. Fix them.
Now, the ASP. Oldfashioned, pre-.NET ASP, with lots of on error resume nexts. ASP is ugly. When people learn ASP, they seem to almost universally agree to pretend SQL injection doesn't exist. Fix that .... Oh, some Access queries (with odd syntax, admittedly) aren't valid on SQL Server. Obviously. Fix. Yay! Working now. Except for putting in actual SQL Server details. Search and replace over hundreds of files? Command prompt? What's a command prompt? Download, do it on desktop, re-upload.
You want to read-protect a directory? What cheek. You'll need to use a graphical tool available only to the administrator. What, you're on a shared host? Sorry, I'm not going to help you.
Yay! Finished. Hope SQL Server 200-whatever is delayed indefinitely.
Really, remote-access to a Windows machine is incredibly unpleasant. Hopefully they'll fix this in longhorn.
Well, it seems as if the guy the police shot in London was more or less innocent, as far as anyone knows. His major crimes were wearing a jacket in the summer and running from a gang of plain-clothes policemen. Oh, and he was Brazilian, and therefore presumably a bit Arab looking. As someone who freqently wears a jacket in warmish weather (it often takes me a while to register the temperature) and gets nervous when confronted in public, this really, really scares me. Better not go to London anytime soon. Which is a shame, because apart from the risk of being shot by the police I really like the place.
And the UK police wants powers to "attack terror websites" in other countries, along with child porn websites and a few other things. Good idea, but how they plan to do it is unclear. Perhaps a server-seeking ICBM?
Mary: Well, he was a gentleman, wasn't he? (about a police detective) Mrs. Someone: Mary, a policeman is not a gentleman; he is a person. Mary: Yes Mrs Someone.
Sex and the City - Charlotte: Oh, me and Trey never shout. We're WASPs*. WASPs never raise their voices. It's genetic.
Notice in Pearse Station: It is not permissible to take large items or things on the train.
Sky News RE most recent London Bombing: 1.5 million Moslems live among us. How can we deal with this threat? (Yes, really. Sky News is a racist tabloid now, apparently)
Copyright warning in cinema: People recording this movie may be subject to UNLIMITED fines. (this one seems to have disappeared lately; someone must have pointed out it was silly, and not legally accurate for this country).
On one of those cardboard things for holding take-away coffee-cups: The Irish Times - (Advertising Babble) Eventually, you understand, advertising will be beamed directly onto everyones' retinae vfrom birth ia lasers implanted for the purpose. The advertisers will pay the government roughly 20cents per person for the privilege. (This is also roughly what spyware distributing cretins pay websites to infect your computer)
On a packet of chicken: Farmed by: John O'Connor 1, Mayo Presumably he has clones, also in the poultry business. The whole practice of telling people where the particular chicken they're chewing on lived is odd, really.
On a metal carton of ground cumin seed: Cumin Seed On a transparent plastic container of whole cumin seed: Cumin Seed Both from the same brand. Apparently, the modern shopper is required to know that metal carton means ground, while plastic carton means whole (except for "Coriander Seed", which reverses the rule).
Madonna - American Life: I'm not a Christian and I'm not a Jew. Madonna, is, of course, a member of the less silly celebrity religion, Kabbalah (the more silly ones being Scientology and radical Christian Fundamentalism). Kabbalah is a Jewish sect. Silly Madonna!
* WASP: White Anglo-Saxon Protestant; in context used above, wealthy respectable American with said background
Read half of the Irish times weekend review today. I really shouldn't; it annoys me. The front page was a surprisingly balanced article on the London suicide bombings; no major problem there.
Page 2 was about the US Airforce being full of crazed evangelical Christians; the chaplains have been told to tone it down a bit, but it's still acceptable to harrass anyone who doesn't go to a religious service. There was also a lovely bit of doublethink from the head chaplain (who's a friend of the White House shrubbery) about how they didn't want to convert the Middle East to christianity, they just wanted to show it the light of Jesus. And the official line from the air force seemed to be: "we don't approve of this, but we think that it's a good thing. Praise Jesus!" or something.
Then there was an article about debt. Someone-or-other, 31. says something like "My credit card bill is full of charges from Brown Thomas, restaurants, Brown Thomas, only a few reasonable things like flights and car rental". And below it, some half-wit writing about how global warming is a good thing because Ireland can become a beach resort, like Spain.
After much frustration looking for a domain valuation forum that wasn't trying to scam money out of people, I have decided to make one. Right now it is just a forum, but I'm going to add scripts to try to automatically figure out the value of a domain (Google Web API to the rescue) and other cool stuff. Right now, it suffers from being new and lacking content. It has a somewhat cool domain of its own, though; it's at SiteValuer.com.
Said of Nixon: "Like most red-blooded American males, the President is a horseshit and asshole man from way back" - from Herman Wouk's "Inside, Outside", which is a wonderful book, quite apart from its Nixon comments (Spoiler: they were talking about cussing).
Grr, as a perma-single ugly guy I'm vaguely considering becoming one of those dreadful angsty people who infest LiveJournal. It'd be expensive on the black clothes, tho.
More weird things that people search for and get my blog. (People only search for boring things like "mysql c api" and "don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me" to get to my other sites). the supreme site of randomness -Wuh? Silly Google. teenweddings - This is the name of one of the partners of the silly domain name porn site I made fun of recently space shuttle based heavy rocket - There's a decent chance they actually got what they wanted this time. They would have if they were looking for NASA's new moon-rockets or something Energia-based. Not if they were looking for a Centaur, tho. Sorry! possums burned - Hmm, well, they got here through my Dame Edna thing, but I can't help wondering about the terrible Australian ecological disaster that prompted them to look for burning possums insane fucking - They were probably rather disappointed insane blog - ditto hello possums - Apparently, I'm more important than Dame Edna; I'm first for this in Google. I think that makes me a terrastar, or something. fucking fundamentalists - Hmm, were they just venting, or were they looking for hot George W Bush on Osama Bin Laden porn? duck lift - Now, when I saw this, my first thought was; what sort of deranged person searches for that on the internet, or indeed even thinks that phrase? Then I remembered that it was me. Writing about the eccentric Peabody hotel in Memphis. They call it a "duck elevator" there, so I can rest happy that I've helped some Commonwealth English speaker find out about the crazy duck hotel.
Yay, I dispense knowledge about silly things to weird people! And that's what the internet is all about.
My sister is into horses in a big way. I have before me one of her magazines on the subject. It contains a lovely article on things that its crazy, crazy readers want to be invented. Yes, seems like everyone's getting in on futurology; there's some bookie taking bets on when the graviton will be shown to exist, for instance. Here are some of the wonderful ways the horse people want to help humanity:
"A pony who bends down so you can get on and off him without the strain" - Could be contracted out to that company that makes the kneeling buses.
"Horseshoes that never wear out" - advanced materials research
"Fields that regulate grass growth to the length you choose" - Bin-dun; GM
"Centrally heated riding hats" - Wuh?
"Voice activated water-taps" - I'm not sure what this has to do with horses
"A pony with removable coat" - Shows cartoon of smiling person skinning horse, or something :S
All seems doable so far. But wait, there's more: "A forcefield, for bad weather" - Shows horse with huge glowing ball around it, all death star like.
Okay, another website project. Frighteningly ugly, for the moment; definitely needs work; am not the greatest at design... It's a thing for making and sharing mobile phone backgrounds; it's by no means complete tho...
I just found out I'm listed on BlogShares. My blog is worth a fairly lacklustre imaginary $1300; by comparison one I link to is worth a few billion. Aparently I get a fifth of the 'value' of my blog for having written it. Yay!
Well, I was browsing the web aimlessly, last night, avoiding being productive. (I do this a lot). I was initially trying to find out about something terrifying called an "All-day breakfast"; it lives in a can. I am still not much wiser; I do know that it's meat-based and heats itself, so fairly terrifying altogether.
One of the sites I came across looking for this was actually talking about an American non-canned ready-made breakfast, containing (rather terrifyingly) over 1000 calories. Anyway, elsewhere on this site, "firstname.lastname@example.org" was used as a fake domain name. So, that looked fun (I used to have a friend who had a vanity domain along the lines of nunmail.com, but not actually nunmail.com; that belongs to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.)
So, what is myaunt.com? Why, it's a porn site (NSFW, obviously), of course. But not any old porn site! It doesn't contain dirty pictures, movies, sound files, flash animations or other obvious porn things. No, this porn site is filled with nothing but MicroSoft Word WordArts of naughty domain names. Most of which lead to more WordArts of naughty domain names. WACKY naughty domain names, too; "oldsecretaries.com, mrpantyhose.com and mrspantyhose.com, cheapamatures.com (sic), teenweddings.com"... They're SO naughty that it warns that it's only suitable for over-21s! I hope they don't notice me and put me in internet jail!
This isn't a temporary thing either; while the owner gets his vast array of dirty websites up and running; he's had these domains since at least 2002. So, what's this about? Well, as you may or may not know, new regulations have been brought in in the US requiring purveyors of dirty pictures to post the birth certs of everyone involved to everyone who views the site, or something; the idea is to confirm over-18-ness, and it's required even for elderly models! This of course creates substantial administration costs. So instead, this genius has hit upon the concept of titilating domain names. Presumably, if you like the names on display, you post a money order to the address on the whois data (no contact details on the site) and Brian Wick will send you a few pages more of naughty domain names he's made up by return of post (wacky colour 3d-effect fonts and all). And think; these are only the previews; no doubt his for-pay domains are REALLY filthy!
Sandra Day O'Connor, one of the two moderate judges in the US Supreme Court, is resigning, at a time when issues separation of church and state and abortion are increasingly going to that court. This will allow Bush to nominate a right-wing judge as a replacement; yet another recent disaster for democracy in the US. O'Connor was in the 5-4 majority on a number of decisions enforcing separation of church and state, and a 6-3 majority for Romer v. Evans, which prevented a state from making laws banning regional equality laws for homosexuals, and on Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 ruling that legalised homosexuality across the US.
The American government is being lobbied to liberalize human experimentation laws, and it looks like this will happen. Also forced labour in prisons is on the rise there. They'll be producing economical family cars next...
Also, these people. Homosexuality exists, and it not a big deal. Accept it, you stupid Americans. (Also, those cretins search is provided by Google, as a custom search (that is, they pay Google for the service). Another point against Google's "do no evil" thing. Stop aiding lunatic fundamentalists, Google! Why can't you be more like the Co-op Bank?)