18 October 2007

Driving Gripes!

Goobers who think STOP is spelled Y-I-E-L-D, and think YIELD is spelled S-T-O-P.

Goobers who think it's OK to make a left-hand turn on a green light...FROM THE OUTSIDE LANE on a 4 lane road. In front of traffic.

Previous Goober's other brother Goober who thinks it's OK to make a right-hand turn out of the LEFT-HAND TURN LANE. At least they're only crossing 2 lanes, now.

Goobers in monster SUV's who come to a complete stop before crossing over parking lot speed bumps.

Their distant cousin Goober Andretti who treats a parking lot as their own, personal Indy 500.

Goobers so wrapped up in their cell phone conversation that they don't notice that they're going 15 MPH under (or 40 MPH OVER) the speed limit.

Goobers who think they're the only one on the road...and drive like it.

Goobers who think that if they tailgate me really, really, closely that I'll speed up.

Goobers who tailgate me closely in order to get me to speed up on a 6 lane road, where the other 2 lanes in our direction are totally empty. PLENTY OF LANES ARE OPEN. PICK ONE THAT I'M NOT USING.

Goobers who decide they need to pull out in front of me, and then go slow. Usually THERE IS NO ONE BEHIND ME AND THEY COULD HAVE WAITED.

Goobers who drive with only their parking lights on at night, or when it's pouring down rain. HEY, GOOBER...YOUR HEADLIGHTS HELP ME TO AVOID HITTING YOUR STUPID ASS CAR.

11 September 2007

September 11, 2001

Six years ago, on a Tuesday much like today, terrorists attacked the USofA. This is how I found out.

Shortly after 9am, our office manager knocked on my door. She was obviously upset, and said that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. I had no additional information - what plane? how many dead? - and continued on with work.

Then the email trickled in, particularly one mailing list I'm subscribed. "Wow, sucks to be in the World Trade Center". That piqued my curiousity. What was going on? There was insufficient website information - Google News didn't exist, as I recall. So I wandered upstairs where the other staff members at my workplace was trying to set up a TV to get a broadcast signal. I helped jury-rig an antenna, and we got a somewhat grainy, but viewable picture. CBS, as I recall. Shortly after, the second plane slammed into the north tower.

I knew then that the first plane was no accident, and that we were under attack. I speculated that this was the handiwork of Osama bin Laden and al Queda. Then the towers fell, the Pentagon was hit, and the FAA ordered all flights landed immediately. Then UA-93 was reported as being missing, and then finally reported as lost in a crash in Pennsylvania.

Kudos to the FAA, all the air traffic controllers, the airlines, the pilots, and the airports and their crews who managed a nearly impossible job of landing all airborne flights now. Some how, they managed, and did it well.

05 September 2007

Appalachian State, Michigan and the ridiculousness of pre-season polls

I would hope that Appalachian State's stunning 34-32 victory over the University of Michigan in football would point out the ridiculousness that is the pre-season poll.

Such a poll represents, at best, a guess as to what the season will finish looking like. At worst, it represents various biases - for or against certain schools, or regions - and nothing objective. Let's call these polls for what they are:



04 May 2007

Tale of the "tar baby"

Advanced Access Content System Licensing Authority (AACS-LA) must not have paid attention to the "Uncle Remus" stories, particularly the one about Br'er Rabbit encounter with Br'er Fox and the tar baby that was bait for Br'er Fox to capture Br'er Rabbit. Seems they think they can intimidate the blogosphere with cease and desist notices.

A row erupted on the internet after popular website Digg began taking down pages that its members had highlighted were carrying the key.

The website said it was responding to legal "cease and desist" notices from the Advanced Access Content System.

Digg's users responded by posting ever greater numbers of websites with the key, and the site eventually sided with its users.

AACS-LA should pay attention to Ed Felton, who in an blog piece entitled Why the 09ers Are So Upset wrote:

The second part of the answer, and the one most often missed by non-techies, is the fact that the content in question is an integer — an ordinary number, in other words. The number is often written in geeky alphanumeric format, but it can be written equivalently in a more user-friendly form like 790,815,794,162,126,871,771,506,399,625. Giving a private party ownership of a number seems deeply wrong to people versed in mathematics and computer science. Letting a private group pick out many millions of numbers (like the AACS secret keys), and then simply declare ownership of them, seems even worse.

[Emphasis mine] Ok, I hereby declare ownership of all prime numbers. All of them. Thus AACS is in violation of my intellectual property and they need to license the use of this number - or, since it has been revoked, whatever numbers they choose to use. I think a license fee of 1 billion dollars is adequate. Pay up, you losers.

Ridiculous that I claim ownership of all prime numbers? perhaps. But not that much more ridiculous than AACS-LA claiming ownership of one prime number. Here's a free clue: your precious key has been found out. It's been published. It's no longer a trade secret. Just deal with it. I also happen to think your DRM system is inherently flawed. But trying to intimdate the blogosphere? oooo, them's fighting words.

At this point, my dear reader is wondering how a children's tale relates to this current event. That is quite simple. The best way to interact with it is on a level of mutual respect, or if not that, then ignoring the goings-on. But much like Br'er Rabbit, that AACS-LA can't do that. No, they have to attack. Br'er Rabbit did the same thing, and got himself stuck to the tar baby. Which left him unable to flee from Br'er Fox, which was Br'er Fox's goal.

Now it remains to be seen if AACS-LA has enough sense to cry out "oh, no, Br'er Fox, don't throw me in the bramble patch". That's what Br'er Rabbit told Br'er Fox, who bit on that bait and threw the poor rabbit into the bramble patch.

Out of reach of Br'er Fox and in a place where Br'er Rabbit would have the time and resources to extricate himself from a...sticky situation.

20 April 2007

My Aggie Muster, the Hokie edition

April 21 is Aggie Muster. I posted about this event last year. This year, I'll be calling a few names. Here's the list:

Ross Abdallah Alameddine Here.

Christopher James "Jamie" Bishop Here.

Brian Bluhm Here.

Ryan Clark Here.

Austin Cloyd Here.

Jocelyne Couture-Nowak Here.

Daniel Perez Cueva Here.

Kevin Granata Here.

Mathew Gregory Gwaltney Here.

Caitlin Hammaren Here.

Jeremy Herbstritt Here.

Rachael Elizabeth Hill Here.

Emily Jane Hilscher Here.

Jarrett Lane Here.

Matt La Porte Here.

Henry J. Lee Here.

Liviu Librescu Here.

G.V. Loganathan Here.

Partahi Lumbantoruan Here.

Lauren McCain Here.

Daniel O'Neil Here.

Juan Ortiz Here.

Minal Panchal Here.

Erin Peterson Here.

Michael Pohle Here.

Julia Pryde Here.

Mary Karen Read Here.

Reema Samaha Here.

Waleed Mohammed Shaalan Here.

Leslie Sherman Here.

Maxine Turner Here.

Nicole White Here.

See y'all on the other side. This may make y'all honorary Aggies, tho... ;-)


Today is supposed to be we are all Hokies day. Wearing maroon, that I can handle. In fact, I manage to do it on a routine basis.

But orange? orange? ORANGE??!!! I'd rather have a dull stick poked in my eye. At least their orange is a fairly bright orange, not like the burnt orange of a secular college in Austin.

17 April 2007

Beware of the Simplistic Solution

In light of the heinous crime committed at VaTech yesterday, I predict that we will see even more simplistic solutions than we've already heard in the last 24 hours.

Further prediction: these solutions will do nothing positive, but will make you feel better about things. Like many of the reforms proposed to increase flight security, they only restrict what the law-abiding are permitted to do. And let's face it, if you're determined to kill someone, you're not going to feel a lot of remorse about taking a weapon into a weapons-free zone.

One last prediction: anyone peddling simplistic solutions are also looking to sell something.

12 April 2007

Spitwad of the Day...

Today's spitwad concerns my secret to personal happiness.

Step closer, please. I'm going to whisper the secret in your ear. This is for you only. No sharing!


Ok, here's the secret of personal happiness:

Don't worry, be happy.

That's it. Just be happy.

Will you always be happy? no, of course not. Some events in life are not happy occurrences. Death, illness, injury as well as external things like job satisfaction, money or relationship issue intrude into daily life. But don't sweat the details, put your efforts into the big picture. Things have a way of working themselves out.