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Microsoft’s 3 levels of Technical Support

Posted in Humor, Tech Industry on June 11th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Microsoft’s 3 levels of Technical Support

A fair bit has been written about a security fix for IE that Microsoft pushed out about a month ago — the now infamous KB931768 fix. This security fix has a bad habit of making IE unusable for a lot of people, particularly Vista users, because of problems opening the “navcancl” file. A couple of coworkers and I have had a slightly different problem. For us, as soon as we open IE, we get a file download dialog asking what to do with the HTML file that it should be displaying, and IE shuts itself down instantly upon answering the…

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Apologies for the downtime

Posted in Humor, Technology on April 24th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Apologies for the downtime

The house where my nameserver lives lost power today. I’ve moved DNS service to a professional hosting service to avoid similar problems in the future, thus continuing the trend of moving services into the server cloud. It’s probably best since the server closet at that house is also the laundry room. When we set up that house we understood something few MIS folks do — computers really love warm damp environments. Anyway, sorry for the inconvenience. Everything should be back to normal in a few hours. (If you’re reading this, it almost certainly is.)

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Ignite Video on Geeks & Hippies

Posted in Humor, Seattle, Transhuman Morality, Transhumanism, Uploading on March 10th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Ignite Video on Geeks & Hippies

The nice folks at Ignite posted videos for the rest of our talks from the second Ignite night, including my presentation on Why only Geeks and Hippies can save the world. Watching it, I see that it’s a lot rougher than I remember. The text as I intended to deliver it is available here, which might be a bit more coherent. Anyway, here’s the video: Enjoy!

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The Power of Community: Stick Figures in Peril

Posted in Humor on January 20th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on The Power of Community: Stick Figures in Peril

It’s thing like this that make me love Flickr: The Stick Figures in Peril Photo Pool. Demonstrating the unbridled power of internet community…

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100% Chance of Rain in Seattle

Posted in Chemistry, Geography, Humor, Science, Seattle on December 15th, 2006 by leodirac – 1 Comment

I’ve had my own system for interpreting that “chance of rain” numbers that meteorologists use to predict weather. Along the lines of how people say eskimos have 137 different words for snow, here in Seattle, rain isn’t a simple yes/no thing. I wrote about it here a little while ago. The basic idea is that the % chance of rain is actually the % chance that a random person on the street would consider the current weather to be “rain.” I’ve also long believed that in Seattle it’s impossible to get over about 98% chance of rain because some die-hard…

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Buy More Stuff!

Posted in Humor, Seattle, Societal Values on December 4th, 2006 by leodirac – 3 Comments

Some people complain that the holidays have become too commercial. That the holiest of christian holidays has become an excuse to accumulate material things, and that the true meaning, whatever that was, is being lost. I disagree. I think now is the time to Buy More Stuff! I have to give props out to all my friends who have been dutifully going down to Westlake center on the weekends to spread the good word. Someday soon I hope to have time to join them. The only thing that really surprises me about this is that some (clearly unamerican) people argue…

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More detailed critique of Quantum Communication Paper

Posted in Ego, Humor, Physics, Science on December 1st, 2006 by leodirac – Comments Off on More detailed critique of Quantum Communication Paper

Yesterday I got all excited about a journal article indicating the possibility of faster-than-light communication through quantum entanglement. But I got excited before fully reading the article, and once I had I wrote a quick comment apologizing for the false alarm. It’s not a peer-reviewed article, and it’s not very scientific. I actually spent hours digging through their references trying to understand what they were saying, and wrote a longish post to a mailing list about it, so I figure I might as well share the analysis here. First, a minor quip from page 3 where they confuse atomic number…

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Reading Enron’s E-mail

Posted in Business, Humor, Societal Values on October 23rd, 2006 by leodirac – Comments Off on Reading Enron’s E-mail

Ever wonder what Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay were saying to each other before it all fell apart? Now you can read it for yourself. Check out the Enron Explorer. It lets you browse over 200,000 internal Enron e-mails. It’s got a nifty java applet for exploring connections and even has shortcuts for interesting topics like the FBI and shredding. Let’s hear it for information democracy! Thanks to Charles Armstrong for putting this together.

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The Magic Wand of Encapsulation

Posted in Geek, Humor, Software Engineering on October 18th, 2006 by leodirac – Comments Off on The Magic Wand of Encapsulation

I have a hat in my office. It’s a magic hat. You can ask it any question about software engineering, coding, or object-oriented design, and it will give you the answer. Just reach in and pull out a slip of paper and be amazed at the wisdom of the hat. Follow its advice and you’ll never go wrong. Every slip of paper says the same thing: “Encapsulate it.” Back in the 1980’s we all knew that global variables (or common blocks in Fortran) were evil. They led to subtle, hard-to-find bugs. We all know the kind — you call a…

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Grooving to the Moscow Beat

Posted in Humor, Music on October 12th, 2006 by leodirac – Comments Off on Grooving to the Moscow Beat

I recently noticed that Red Elvises got added to the Rhapsody catalog. Yay! Last time I checked, which was a while ago, they weren’t there, which effectively means I’ll never listen to them. (Like I’m gonna dig up a plastic disc to listen to music! Okay, I might dig through my fileserver for some mp3s, but it’s such a mess, I rarely bother.) If you don’t know them, take a listen to their first album: (how about that URL, eh?) It brings up fond memories of repeatedly running into them playing on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica….

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