"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
April 2, 2004

So a while back mdxi and solios decided to do a comic strip based on our zany antics in #tildedot.

The latest strip, which involves me bitching about not knowing how to code, apparently amused the CDBI list somewhat.

It's pure wankery, I realize, but it keeps us amused, out of trouble, and increases your stamina in bed.

That last bit is only true if you're snorting fiberglass.

12:51 PM | Linkwhore
April 3, 2004

Went to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night with Evan. Excellent movie. The last movie that remotely affected me on an emotional level (not counting Suicide Club, which was just fucked), was probably Lost in Translation.

Eternal Sunshine posits the possiblity that there is a company with the technology to erase certain memories, by forcing you to go through those memories and monitoring what parts of your brain become active. Ignoring the pseudo-science or lack thereof, it's very much like something Philip K. Dick would write, if PKD wrote love stories.

Jim Carrey plays Joel, a quiet guy who the nerdy people in the audience will immediately identify with. This isn't the Jim Carrey we're used to (thank god), but someone actually acting, rather than just being Jim Carrey. Joel has all the typical nerd problems: Can't talk to girls, lives alone, immediately "falls in love with any girl who shows him any kindess" at all.

Kate Winslet (who I'm not ordinarily a fan of) plays Clementine, who is essentially every girlfriend I've ever had. Creative, full of attitude, happy fun emotional issues, and is explosively impulsive.

I'd rather not explain too much beyond setting up the primary characters. The movies does a lot of stuff with switching time context, much like Memento a few years ago. (As a side note, I figured out the "gimmick" in both movies within the first ten minutes... but unlike Memento, I still managed to enjoy Eternal Sunshine a great deal.) There are also a few subplots with the employees of the memory-easure company, and a lot of good scenes between Joel and Clementine in Joel's memories.

The movie is pure sap, but it's good sap, and it got me by the balls a couple times. It's got a great mix of shitty relationship moments, good relationship moments, and just.. exisiting moments. There were apparently a couple girls behind us who were bawling by the end (I missed this; there was another drunk girl behind me who wouldn't shut the fuck). The movie felt very real to me, especially the last twenty minutes.

There were a number of times where Joel and Clementine were interacting where I had to wince and go "Christ, done that. Been there. Jesus. Fuck", in both good and bad ways... and to me, ignoring that it was just an all-around good flick, made it worth my ten bucks.

7:55 PM | Movies

<@bda> It looks melty.

8:15 PM | Linkwhore
April 8, 2004

OldVersion.com, a repository of old versions of common software.

Can't count the times I've heard someone bitch about needing a certain version of $thing to test @stuff with.

[via aab]

3:40 AM | Linkwhore

Bloody Brits.

Explains quite a bit though, doesn't it.

[via TorgoX]

5:56 AM | Linkwhore
April 15, 2004

Machines get compromised. Pretty much just the way things are, out here on the Internet. However, hastur getting owned was, to the best of my knowledge, the first time one of my UNIX machines has been popped.

hastur runs mirrorshades.org/net, foreword.com, amongthechosen.com, mail and DNS for all of it. It was a lame install, about two years old, before I started enacting filesystem-level security measures (half a dozen partitions, locked down mount options, filesystem checking utilities like AIDE). It was running Snort, but Snort can only detect so much, and looking back at the logs (which are emailed to me every morning -- obviously not the best solution, as they can be munged by an attacker who gains root), I don't see anything that would suggest the attack.

Which isn't Snort's fault, as this was an application-level fault.

But let's back up.

12:26 AM | Systems Administration | Comments (6)

This article from Stanford details some more complex attacks against their own UNIX machines. Apparently a concerted effort, as well.

Many good links in this one (some of which I've seen before, others not).

10:26 AM | Linkwhore
April 17, 2004

Went to my first Philly Film Fest movie this afternoon, with Sophy, Adam, Andrew and Evan. Otaku Unite! is a documentary about the anime scene, produced by a Drexel grad.

I'm not a hardcore anime guy. I just watch the stuff, and I enjoy it a lot. But like I'm not a hardcore zealoty nerd guy, I'm not Oh Dear God Fucking Crazy about anime. The closest thing I have to religious fervor is my loyalty to William Gibson, and that's because the man's writing has never let me down.

The film itself wasn't horrible. It could have done with a lot of editing; the pacing was loose, there was too much uninteresting history, not enough freakin' weirdos (it's the anime scene, come on), and it needed a soundtrack to keep the energy up during the boring parts.

As it stood, it was just a bunch of fat people or skinny hot chicks with defective personalities spamming about why they're smarter than every other sub-culture out there, yadda ya. There was one guy, though, who reminded me of fucking mdxi pretty much to a tee. The guy who runs Anime Weekend Atlanta. Full of bitter juicy hate for other scenesters, decrying the pathetic use of half-ass Japanese by dumbass gaijin.

I could have sworn it was Shawn.

There was a brief segment on yaoi, which is pretty boy on pretty boy manga. Thankfully brief. It's not that I'm homophobic, I just don't like penises. Hell, I break out the EVA gloves to take a piss (ah, Joe Rogan, Hell is indeed a naked fat man chasing a tiny skinny guy around, forever).

The opening shorts were the best part. One was done by a five year old kid, starring Yoda, Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Sebastian (the crab from The Little Mermaid) flying around on a hamburger. It was awesome. I hope the kid and his family were in the audience, because the reaction was very positive. So cool.

Another was done by a UArts kid that Evan knows. Started off with a couple guys playing soccer and suddenly one is attacked by a giant pink animated monster... thing. Hilarious.

Before the films started up, just as we were sitting down, these middle-aged people in front of us were talking about Japanese media culture. Specifically, the movie Azumi, which was godawful. I mean, I like bad movies (See: Mean Guns) but Azumi was just horrible. Astoundingly, it was by the same guy who did Versus, which I really enjoyed (and which also played at the PFF a couple years ago).

Anyway, they were deconstructing Azumi. Obviously pseudo-intellectual academics, they reminded me more than anything else of the asshats that Randy has to deal with in Cryptonomicon. So goddamn annoying. I wanted to just smack them and ask that they please not to be taking a pooped-out waste of carbon like Azumi seriously in any way. Yes. I have superiority issues.

But only about things that don't matter.

I overheard someone talking about Dramarama, also, which is a band I've not heard of since... talking to Rob Towner about it in mid-2000. I used to listen to Dramarama all the time in '98, driving to ITT every morning...

After the movie, we went to some University City Japanese/Korean place that was very sub-par. I was not impressed with my chicken teriyaki at all, and it was expensive to boot.

(Speaking of food, rjbs informs me that the superb Ice Cream Lady of Bethlehem has created a new flavor: Peanut Butter Doom. I must get to ABE before she ceases making it. Doom.)

Also, there's some Cameron Diaz vehicle being filmed in the city right now. Based on a book by a local, at least. They've managed to pretty much fuck the streets, though, with the filming crews.

Crowds standing around, hoping for a glimpse of a star. Licking at the hand of Media, wishing and fantasizing...

You know what? I'm too tired to do this. It's been a long day. I managed to dump at least a hundred bucks on food and books. And anyway, Mark is just so much better at it.

I'll talk about the books in another post. I'm going to go take a bath and read.

Remember kids, pop culture is just another societial control. Suck at its teat, and you have only yourself to blame.

Also: Hypocrisy is love. War is peace. The grass is always greener after a nuke strike.

April 21, 2004

Went and saw The Tesseract with Andrew Sunday night. I'd read the book by Alex Garland a few years ago, and liked it. The action in the book spans perhaps half an hour. The movie was spread out several days, with many flash backs.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. The director made a number of weird (and sometimes just bad) editing choices, but the techniques he used to mess with the color made up for them. There's a lot of Hong Kong-aesthetics in the fight scenes. Overstylized and in slow-motion, contrails. Very Matrix without the cyberpunk sensibility. Very cool. I've no idea if this is also a staple of Thai film-making or what, as this is (as far as I know) the first Thai movie I've seen.

The characters were relatively meh, which was more or less the point. Some of the ending was a surprise, which was nice. The acting ranged from good, to forced and horrible. A bit like some of the editing/scene cuts, that.

The Thai topo scenes were interesting as well, except for the one near the end, out in the ghetto with the kids on the merry-go-round. Way too artsy and forced; it totally jarred the tone of the preceding scenes (with by that point had gone mostly linear). Bangkok looked pretty much how I expected it would, but that means nothing, really, since I expected a jumble of urban construction with the wood bones sticking out. Seeing as how I know nothing about Thailand, however, I'll skip off making an ass of myself.

Anyway, if you get the chance, check it out.

6:09 PM | Movies
April 25, 2004
April 26, 2004

Sound familiar?

Wildly shifting foreign policy. Sending eighteen year olds to fight men trained by fifty year olds fifteen years ago. Using empty moral justifications for pointless violence.

I'm so tired of this bullshit. Isn't everyone else?

5:53 AM | Linkwhore
April 28, 2004

Thank the gods FilePile is back up. I was actually being productive this week.

10:16 PM | Linkwhore