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03/08/05

Permalink 19:35:26, by matt Email , 15 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

Ah, 42-Below, you crack me up

Link: http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2005/britain-42-below-p1.php

Yet another brilliant propaganda piece by those subversives who brought us this gem.

Go Kiwi!

Permalink 19:04:17, by matt Email , 64 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Transportation, International events

Someone give that man a beer

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4740381.stm

Well, more likely women, with a couple of men thrown in.
Who'm I babbling about? The cabin crew. With no notice of impending disaster, they managed to successfully evacuate almost 300 passengers without a single death. That is an absolutely stellar performance, and I hope that they're all given commendations for their efforts. I'll feel in safe hands if I'm ever flown by Air France.

02/08/05

Permalink 19:04:31, by matt Email , 614 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary, Internet, blog

The seedy world of t3h Intarweb - two sides

So I get this e-mail from Haley:

Subject: What do you think about this, gimmie a response im curious &amp;#58;&amp;#80;

Quoted :

I still wonder if the internet is all that it's cracked up to be.

It's opened the minds of many a great thinker, aided in communication and i'm sure it has saved lives.
However since i've been online i've felt like i'm watching a utopian society crumble into a cesspool. I wonder how long it will be before it's no longer about the greater good, but more about who's tits are the biggest.

It bores me, but still manages to entertain me. I get to see things on a global scale and enjoy the things that are so strictly governed and scorned by the people who we elect to "watch over us" that without it i would not know what i know now about the people who for a better word fester on this dieing planet.

Maybe it would have been best left alone, to have lived before it all and have the ability to believe the earth is indeed flat.

To simpler times, when the girls weren't internet "groupies" and the guys were gentlemen with decency and morals.

What do I think? Well, it's a loaded post (from someone's LiveJournal), and frankly it's pretty airy-fairy. Chicks as internet "groupies"? The fuck? When did that happen? Geeks are cool?!?!?!?! Man, I've been GYPPED!
But, anyway, I gave a considered response:

That's yours? It's very cynical. I'm impressed &amp;#58;&amp;#80;

The 'net wasn't a utopian society for very long. As soon as it was commercialised it was doomed to being ground down to the lowest common denominator. As it has become ever-easier to get online, that LCD has been getting dumber, and stupider, and more ignorant with every passing hour. Spam survives because people buy the wares that're peddled - no market, no spam. Intrusive advertising survives because people don't use browsers that prevent it - MS are in too tight with the spam world to make IE do the things that Firefox et al do all the time.
The problem with progress is that it's gone both ways. Sure, the 'net is full of stupid morons who don't know the distinction between the Internet and Internet Explorer, but it's also made available vast resources of information that never existed in the more-innocent days when I got online. Collaborative encyclopedias? Corporate blogs? Not even pipe dreams when I first got online.
15 years ago, it would've been unthinkable for a nobody from an opposing camp to have an informal, but in-depth, discussion with the national CTO of one of the largest companies in the world - I'm currently waiting for him to get back from holiday, so that we can finish the discussion and I can see if he's OK with it going on my blog.
Everything comes with trade-offs, nothing is immune. The 'net is no different. Avoiding the seedy underbelly just means steering clear of the bad neighbourhoods. Locking your doors. And always being aware of where you're going and where you are.

Maybe I've just been online too long, but I only long for "the good old days" for as long as it takes me to remember 14.4k dialup, byte-charged data at $6/MB for international traffic, and fairly limited options for finding what data you wanted amongst the pretty slim pickings that there were.
Faced with a choice between then and now, I'll take now: spammers, porn and all. Oh, and can someone send me some organ-enlargement pills? My last ones got flogged by some Nigerian general, who took them as a down-payment for the 30% of USD20m I'm helping him smuggle out of the country.

01/08/05

Permalink 18:49:45, by matt Email , 33 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

Look out world, it's Foster junior

Link: http://www.blakjak.net/node/view/262

I'm told that Mark and Liz will be starting Laura Kate on "Teach Yourself to Take Over the World in 21 days" in a couple of years &amp;#58;&amp;#80;
Congratulations mate, and good luck &amp;#58;&amp;#68;

31/07/05

Permalink 14:20:57, by matt Email , 703 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary, blog

Them Satanic computers

Link: http://www.lemis.com/grog/whyadaemon.html

 Newsgroups: alt.humor.best-of-usenet
 Subject: [comp.org.usenix] A Great Daemon Story
 From: Rob Kolstad <kolstad@bsdi.com>
 Newsgroups: comp.org.usenix
 Subject: A Great Daemon Story

Linda Branagan is an expert on daemons. She has a T-shirt that sports the daemon in tennis shoes that appears on the cover of the 4.3BSD manuals and The Design and Implementation of the 4.3BSD UNIX Operating System by S. Leffler, M. McKusick, M. Karels, J. Quarterman, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, MA 1989.

She tells the following story about wearing the 4.3BSD daemon T-shirt: Last week I walked into a local "home style cookin' restaurant/watering hole" in Texas to pick up a take-out order. I spoke briefly to the waitress behind the counter, who told me my order would be done in a few minutes. So, while I was busy gazing at the farm implements hanging on the walls, I was approached by two "natives." These guys might just be the original Texas rednecks.

"Pardon us, ma'am. Mind if we ask you a question?"

Well, people keep telling me that Texans are real friendly, so I nodded.

"Are you a Satanist?"

Well, at least they didn't ask me if I liked to party.

"Uh, no, I can't say that I am."

"Gee, ma'am. Are you sure about that?" they asked.

I put on my biggest, brightest Dallas Cowboys cheerleader smile and said, "No, I'm positive. The closest I've ever come to Satanism is watching Geraldo."

"Hmmm. Interesting. See, we was just wondering why it is you have the lord of darkness on your chest there."

I was this close to slapping one of them and causing a scene--then I stopped and noticed the shirt I happened to be wearing that day. Sure enough, it had a picture of a small, devilish-looking creature that has for some time now been associated with a certain operating system. In this particular represen- tation, the creature was wearing sneakers.

They continued: "See, ma'am, we don't exactly appreciate it when people show off pictures of the devil. Especially when he's lookin' so friendly."

These idiots sounded terrifyingly serious.

Me: "Oh, well, see, this isn't really the devil, it's just, well, it's sort of a mascot.

Native: "And what kind of football team has the devil as a mascot?"

Me: "Oh, it's not a team. It's an operating--uh, a kind of computer." I figured that an ATM machine was about as much technology as these guys could handle, and I knew that if I so much as uttered the word "UNIX" I would only make things worse.

Native: "Where does this satanical computer come from?"

Me: "California. And there's nothing satanical about it really."

Somewhere along the line here, the waitress noticed my predicament--but these guys probably outweighed her by 600 pounds, so all she did was look at me sympathetically and run off into the kitchen.

Native: "Ma'am, I think you're lying. And we'd appreciate it if you'd leave the premises now."

Fortunately, the waitress returned that very instant with my order, and they agreed that it would be okay for me to actually pay for my food before I left. While I was at the cash register, they amused themselves by talking to each other.

Native #1: "Do you think the police know about these devil computers?"

Native #2: "If they come from California, then the FBI oughta know about 'em."

They escorted me to the door. I tried one last time: "You're really blowing this all out of proportion. A lot of people use this `kind of computers.' Universities, researchers, businesses. They're actually very useful."

Big, big, big mistake. I should have guessed at what came next.

Native: "Does the government use these devil computers?"

Me: "Yes."

Another big boo-boo.

Native: "And does the government pay for 'em? With our tax dollars?"

I decided that it was time to jump ship.

Me: "No. Nope. Not at all. Your tax dollars never entered the picture at all. I promise. No sir, not a penny. Our good Christian congressmen would never let something like that happen. Nope. Never. Bye."

Texas. What a country.

Ah, classic. I think I've seen it before, but it's still brilliant.
Only in the US

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Shocking as it may be, I think, and sometimes those thoughts are almost worthy of public contemplation. So, here are those some thoughts, with no guarantees as to their validity, worth, or utility to the cosmos. All thoughts are my own, representing only my thoughts, opinions and positions, unless explicitly otherwise stated. This blog is not an official or unofficial outlet for any company or government body, or for person other than myself.

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