Quick Comments and One Liners

D'oh! It'd be nice if I could spell acumen.

How about some choices we can actually get behind, like Joycelyn Elders, for instance? http://www.thewhitehouseproject.org/vote_ballot.html is running a poll on possible female presidential candidates. (Those suggesting Annie Sprinkle will be applauded for their foresight, then clobbered for their complete lack of political acument.)

Oh yeah, http://www.mouthorgan.com last week was a cool look at customer deception and internet porn sites.

In Salon Magazine, a neat little essay on why Playboy has become pass . Although this focuses on how changing feminism has left the controversy over the "College Girls" issue behind, it hits a lot of points that came to mind when I asked Catherine to drop my subscription (it was a gift).

Another Dan passes this along:

The Everest IMAX film shot in 1996 by Ed Viesturs/David Breashears expedition will open at the San Jose Tech Museum on November 3. Advanced ticket purchases are recommended.
Another interesting site on a 1998 Everest expedition...

A neat article in Salon on deception and birth control has started some good conversations in several mailing lists.

On the Burning Man BBS, a long rant about the downsides of Burning Man .

"The wages of sin aren't much but the benefits are fun" -- Joe Thompson

If this doesn't get the pucker factor up: Ziff Davis reports that two companies are planning on selling the InterNIC whois database on CD-ROM for the purpose of direct marketing. It is for this reason that the founders of our great nation felt it necessary to give us the right to keep and bear arms.

More catching up: Susie Bright in Salon magazine on how the Starr report has taken all the fun out of talking dirty .

Hey y'all, I'm back. Nothing earth shattering, but there'll be some rants in a few days. In the mean time, stuff I missed or stuff that happens today.

A new Helen, Sweatheart of the Internet , Need To Know , Marylaine does the My Word's Worth thing including information is not enough which I missed last week.

And lots else I probably missed, but more will be coming.

Once again, Flutterby™! will be without Dan until sometime next weekend. If mail stops flowing, you know it was some lowlife spammer with forged headers. I don't expect many updates, but check back next week.

iMac watch redux. Taking anim a little bit too far... http://www.din.or.jp/~toy/tb/tb20ea.html

iMac watch: http://www.vasher.com/istapler/istore.htm

Pixar's A Bug's Life release date is November 25th. Go see it, and sit through the credits to see my name, or I'll be forced to thrash you soundly. http://www.calendarlive.com/HOME/CALENDARLIVE/t000084810.html

A new Need To Know

In Salon this morning, spell checkers see the truth in names . The results of the latest 21st challenge aren't quite as funny as I'd hoped (the challenge was to come up with fictional geek gadgets), but did come up with:

Laptop Humidor
Since no one at the office is fooled anymore by your possession of a portable computer (there are techs and secretaries to do all that scut work, for Christ's sake!), you might as well keep your illegal Cubans (a REAL status symbol) close at hand ... and it still sends e-mail, plays Freecell and corrupts Excel spreadsheets as well as a non-humidor laptop.
-- Keith Welch

Who are you guys? If the logs are to be believed (and they may not be complete) some interesting stats. We thought we had tops 10 regular readers. Requests of the document at http://www.flutterby.com/ per IP address per day (excluding Dan):

 Aug19 - 10 Aug24 - 25 Aug29 - 23 Sep03 - 21 Sep08 - 24 Sep13 - 30 
Aug20 - 22 Aug25 - 26 Aug30 - 27 Sep04 - 17 Sep09 - 35 Sep14 - 33 
Aug21 - 25 Aug26 - 23 Aug31 - 37 Sep05 - 15 Sep10 - 34 Sep15 - 40 
Aug22 - 17 Aug27 - 25 Sep01 - 35 Sep06 - 17 Sep11 - 38 Sep16 - 32 
Aug23 - 16 Aug28 - 15 Sep02 - 24 Sep07 - 18 Sep12 - 23 Sep17 - 24 

And just to spit in the face of growing success, Flutterby™! will probably once again be without updates next week.

A new NetFuture

Salon this morning has an interview with Donna Dubinsky , head of the new spinoff of 3Com to do PalmPilot stuff. Another article on why teachers go postal . And an older article that I missed earlier claiming that universal higher education is a response to the failings of high school .

mouthorgan tackles the Starr report .

Sorry about the mailexcite ads, I've got e-mail issues and the closest update was via my mailexcite account. Maybe I ought to write a filter for those into Newwwsboy .

In the New York Times, a quick note on Jane Healy's Failure To Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds -- For Better and Worse, and how people are embracing computers as a panacea for educational problems despite evidence that suggests otherwise.

On Good Vibrations , Pat Califia has a new Quickies which, among other things, talks about an attempt Cal Poly Pomona's attempt to evict a transgender student from the female dorms and how the cultural beliefs of various ethnic groups account for as much of differences in treatment of breast cancer as economic status. And Carol Queen's Queen On-line writes on coloring books for congress, how Tee Corinne's Cunt Coloring Book is being used to derail James Hormel's ambassadorship to Luxembourg.

And a Burning Man essay: http://www.prehensile.com/does/bm.htm

I wish I had a better way to compile all these Burning Man picture links: http://www.cockybastard.com/bm/bm.htm

According to News.com, Microsoft apologizes again for their arrogance towards developers. In the spirit of extending the olive branch back, does Visual Studio 6 correct any of the gross shortcomings of 5, or just add megabytes of new redundant libraries?

More pictures from Burning Man, bandwidth burners, but good ones, at http://www.scumby.com/~wes/Bman98/ , these were the guys who built the awesome horse pictured at http://www.scumby.com/~wes/Bman98/fruitof.htm , although that doesn't do it justice at all.

In Nerve Magazine, the Starr report and Garcia Marquez' Autumn of the Patriarch at http://www.nerve.com/JacksNaughtyBits/StarrReport/

Whoops. That sculpture I liked at Burning Man mentioned yesterday was the lower right corner of this page: http://www.elwing.com/BM/burning2.htm

Still more, but I think these folks use JavaScript to do the slideshow thing, so I didn't see all the pix. http://home.earthlink.net/~dmarr/

More Burning Man: We met this man in the dark outside a sanctuary. Cool wheels, neat pictures of places we valued. Thanks! http://www2.southwind.net/~mrscienc/bm1.html

More burning man pictures at http://www.elwing.com/burning.htm including a picture of one of my favorite static sculptures, the gold woman and silver man on the bottom right of http://www.elwing.com/burning2.htm

Marylaine this morning says: PLAN AHEAd in My Word's Worth .

Is anyone else getting excerpts from the Starr report as spam? I've gotten three or four pointing me to various mirrors of the report. I think it's interesting that (apparently) Republicans have to stoop to such levels to get things distributed out of context.

From comp.risks , Bear Giles points out that Microsoft is using as a defense against the current Caldera suit against them regarding them deliberately sabotaging DR DOS that they've lost the source code:

No word on whether Microsoft's next defense will be that it stored the source code for Windows 3.1 in an Access database.

I keep saying the camera toters weren't in the spirit of things, and that I left my camera at camp so I could participate more, but I keep posting these URLs. Hypocrite me. More Burning Man pictures: http://www.vortexia.com/ http://boole.stanford.edu/~rvg/pictures/BurningMan/1998 http://www.dnai.com/~kcs/BM98

More Burning Man pix: http://www.laurencecook.com/burningman/98esplanade.html

More Starr report stuff, I finally got as far as an outline, and there seems to be nothing in it but the Lewinsky investigations. Starr cost us how many millions, and the most he could find was that two consenting adults may have fudged the facts about their dalliance? Sheesh. Get a life. http://cnn.com/starr.report/

A new Need To Know

A new Topping the News from Pat Califia and the Spectator.

It pains me to do this, but better you should read the original than some bastardized version put out by news organizations with agendii:

Susie Bright talks about the difficulties of unloading porn at a garage sale in today's Salon magazine. Also, a really interesting exchange between Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman on free software.

Working for Microsoft bad for your Sex Life? So says Rumor Mill this week mainly by quoting most of a Dan Savage column. Time to pick up SF Weekly.

More pitchers: http://www.saturn5.com/tsheets/bm/

A new mouthorgan , bemoaning cum-shots in Internet porn. Neat responses in the discussion section.

A new DaveNet this morning: http://www.scripting.com/davenet/98/09/ReallyBeingThere.html

Ran across this posted by Lisa Wolf to the Burning Man '98 Experiences bulletin board:

"Again and again some people in the crowd wake up,
They have no ground in the crowd,
And they emerge according to much broader laws.
They carry strange customs with them
And demand room for bold gestures.
The future speaks ruthlessly through them."
Rainer Maria Rilke

I talked to a photographer assigned to this story and he took a picture of me showering behind a water truck. No pictures with the story, if anyone out there sees it I'd love to have one.

CNN reports that Fred Tuttle beat Jack McMullen in the New Hampshire primary. If you read the Salon article I pointed y'all to back in August , you'll understand why this is such a wonderful thing.

For everyone who's ever wondered where the Pink Flamingo came from: http://www.sunsentinel.com/freetime/home/09180006.htm

Bras found to be harmful to health: http://www.abcnews.com/sections/living/HealthyWoman/healthywoman.html

John Deamer forwarded me this message:

A group calling itself the Linux Standards Association has set up shop to cash in on the Linux phenomenon [3]. At first it appeared that no-one known to the Linux community was involved in the effort, but it developed that one Michael McLagna is behind it. McLagna's history and reputation in the Linux community is mixed, to put it charitably -,see this page [4], put together by Piotr F. Mitros, for some particulars.
To become a voting member of LSA you have to pay cash -- not exactly in keeping with Open Source common practice -- and the group's Web site [5] does not reveal how much. LSA's charter awards to its two founding members veto power over anything relating to the term "Standard Linux," which LSA has trademarked.
Community comment on Slashdot [6] is dismissive and/or derisive, and rightly so.
Lawyers for Linux International have sent LSA a cease-and-desist letter [7] over the use of the Linux trademark, because of LSA's stated intention of to charge a fee for branding distributions as Linux Standard Compliant.
We're going to see more of this as Linux continues to build mo- mentum and to garner publicity. (Linus Torvalds was recently pho- tographed for a Forbes Magazine cover.) Let's agree to ignore the LSA and perhaps they'll sink into the obscurity they so richly deserve while the actual Linux community continues to go about the business of building great software.
Thanks to Doug Morris for details and links.
[3] http://www.news.com/News/Item/Textonly/0,25,25453,00.html?tbtfM
[4] http://badragaz.ai.mit.edu/lsa/
[5] http://www.linuxstandards.org/
[6] http://slashdot.org/articles/980818/1247245.shtml
[7] http://www.linux-howto.com/linux.trademark

Gone to Burning Man , any updates while I'm gone are gonna have to come from the rest of y'all (who haven't gone there too). Be good, don't crash the stock market while I'm not here to see it.

In the "what's the worst that could happen if your web site sucks" department: Slashdot points towards an LA times article on the U.S. bombing of a Sudan pharmaceutical plant which says:

But the officials said they did not believe that the plant actually produced such medicines, because they saw no evidence of such an output when they accessed a Web site for it. Web sites for five other pharmaceutical plants in Sudan listed the medicines produced at those plants.

Slashdot continues: "Wonder what they do to people use use the BLINK tag?" I dunno, but if I had that kind of firepower at my disposal, you know Flutterby™! would run a spider looking for arbitrary JavaScript.

Steve and the friendly iMac: http://www.apple.com/pr/photos/execs/stevelow.jpg I think it's a stupid configuration of an overhyped product, but that doesn't make him any less brilliant as a marketer.

Following the DOJ case against Microsoft? http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f1900/1914.htm

This one was forwarded to me several levels down, I've tried to give credit where credit's due. I've seen similar cluelessness from a Microsoft product manager before, at a Direct-3D conference the presenter didn't know why you'd want per-vertex normals. Anyway, what follows is a good story, even if it does end up being apocryphal:

I've been attending the USENIX NT and LISA NT (Large Installation Systems Administration for NT) conference in downtown Seattle this week.
One of those magical Microsoft moments(tm) happened yesterday and I thought that I'd share. Non-geeks may not find this funny at all, but those in geekdom (particularly UNIX geekdom) will appreciate it.
Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft product manager (henceforth MPM), was holding forth on a forthcoming product that will provide Unix style scripting and shell services on NT for compatibility and to leverage UNIX expertise that moves to the NT platform. The product suite includes the MKS (Mortise Kern Systems) windowing Korn shell, a windowing PERL, and lots of goodies like awk, sed and grep. It actually fills a nice niche for which other products (like the MKS suite) have either been too highly priced or not well enough integrated.
An older man, probably mid-50s, stands up in the back of the room and asserts that Microsoft could have done better with their choice of Korn shell. He asks if they had considered others that are more compatible with existing UNIX versions of KSH.
The MPM said that the MKS shell was pretty compatible and should be able to run all UNIX scripts.
The questioner again asserted that the MKS shell was not very compatible and didn't do a lot of things right that are defined in the KSH language spec.
The MPM asserted again that the shell was pretty compatible and should work quite well.
This assertion and counter assertion went back and forth for a bit, when another fellow member of the audience announced to the MPM that the questioner was, in fact David Korn of AT&T (now Lucent) Bell Labs. (David Korn is the author of the Korn shell)
Uproarious laughter burst forth from the audience, and it was one of the only times that I have seen a (by then pink cheeked) MPM lost for words or momentarily lacking the usual unflappable confidence. So, what's a body to do when Microsoft reality collides with everyone elses?
Chastity is curable, if detected early.

Peter deFriesse                   UNIX Systems Administration
Email: peter(at)oit.umass.edu     [All standard disclaimers apply:]

Archives of neat sites posted to Flutterby , notes to webmaster@flutterby.com