"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
December 9, 2006

Firefly actors show up to scammer-cancelled con

And you wonder why people are insanely loyal to the show.

[via xeno]

(And there's that Firefly MMO thing... but Dan says all I need to on that.)

2:53 PM | Linkwhore

Jason Dixon debugs a networking issue

The kind of feature I'd like to see more of on undeadly, really.

3:24 PM | Linkwhore
December 11, 2006

Most awesome table ever.

Makes me wish I had a house I could put the thing in. With 2.5 kids and 3/4th of a dog. 2.1532 Segways in the garage, etc.

[via digg]

8:06 AM | Linkwhore
December 12, 2006

Review: BOOQ's PythonXM[system] Laptop Backpack

While I haven't been big into backpacks in well over a decade, B@@Q -- errr, I mean, BOOQ's PostSleeve S90 is a pretty nice looking little bag.

The other sleeve the review mentions, the Vyper M2, is pretty hardcore. And if those rumors about the 12" MacBook are true, and y'know, after I've waited for the RevBs to come out, I would be pretty tempted to pick one up.

That said, I am still super happy with my Waterfield Cargo, which is the second piece of kit I've bought from them in a few years (the other was a 12" sleeve; when my 12" work PowerBook stayed at work and I left, I had to get a bigger bag for the newly released MacBooks. It's a crime, I know). Their service is also way awesome.

5:01 AM | Linkwhore

< bda> I am stupid. If I want to know how much of an increase we've
managed to coax out of mail throughput, do I: $old / $new * 100 =
% (gives me what % old is of new; is that the same thing as "how
much faster"?)
< rjbs> are old and new speeds?
< bda> Yea.
< bda> Well, they are msgs/day.
< rjbs> "how much faster" is: (new - old) / old
< rjbs> old/new is obviously equaly useful, but has no simple name, afaik
< rjbs> new/old*100 would be "new speed in terms of old" like 154% the
old speed
< rjbs> as opposed to "a 54% increase"
< bda> This is totally something that needs to be in a freaking
spreadsheet.
< bda> These numbers look like "increase your ejaculate volume" spam.
< rjbs> ...
* rjbs puts down his breakfast yogurt.
< bda> Yoink.

8:41 AM | irk
December 13, 2006

Stephen Hawking Reflects on Life & Fame

Hawking, 64, was asked if his predicament had ever led him to consider ending his life.

"I think a person should have a right to end their life if they want, but I think it would be a great mistake," he replied. "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope."

1:15 AM | Linkwhore

<@ecronin> these students are going to pay for making me show up at 9am in the rain to proctor an exam
* jcap shakes fist at students
<@bda> Could be worse. You could have to be going to the proctologist for an exam.
<@ecronin> that's called my thesis defense

10:04 AM | irk
December 16, 2006

< robf> There's some fucked up shit in this building. I keep sneezing something that smells bad.
< robf> It's a historical building ;p
< bda> It's probably airborne cancer.
< robf> Probably.
< robf> I've turned into a pussy since I quit smoking.
< robf> Dumbest thing I ever did.
< robf> Now they taste like burning wool. I had to get sick for a week to quit, now I'll have to get drunk for a week to start up again.
< bda> Truly, you are the cradle from which all good health shrieks at 3am.
< robf> I'll dance on your grave.
< robf> All your graves.
* robf shakes fist
< bda> Only because someone has dug you up and is applying eletricity to your decomposed flesh.
< robf> It still counts.

4:29 AM | irk
December 18, 2006

<@nrmlgrl> i see bread people
<@bda> <3

6:42 PM | Life
December 20, 2006

< confound> bda: you have food on your desk
< bda> What?
< confound> on your desk, it is food
< bda> I did not put it there. Was it summoned from the depths of space and time for nefarious purposes?
< bda> Did it come from the Delicious Dimension?
< confound> probably
< rjbs> Realm of Candy
< bda> Candied or no, if it has tentacles, there will be Words.
< bda> Probably of Power, but then just some yelling.
< rjbs> shoggoth candy
< rjbs> like cow candy, but with tentacle udders
< rjbs> I'm sure dan could provide a sketch.
< bda> The Cookie With a Thousand Crumbs.

(It was actually sweetbread, and it is super tasty.)

6:39 PM | irk
December 21, 2006

About once a year, my sado-masochistic side rears up and demands that I spend half a day going to airports, rotting in airports, or Gods willing, on actual airplanes waiting in line to go somewhere. Nothing quite like grumpy people, longer lines, tiny seats filled with large people who may or may not have bathed during the most recent geological age...

Oh, holidays. How I love you.

9:02 AM | Life
December 27, 2006

Military considers recruiting foreigners

Pax Americana. Service guarantees citizenship.

Call it whatever you want.

Edward Gibbon famously placed the blame on a loss of civic virtue among the Roman citizens. They gradually outsourced their duties to defend the Empire to outside mercenaries who eventually turned on them. Gibbon considered that Christianity had contributed to this, making the populace less interested in the worldly here-and-now and more willing to wait for the rewards of heaven. "[T]he decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight," he wrote.

"The Empire had come to depend on the enrollment of barbarians, in large numbers, in the army, and that it was necessary to render the service attractive to them by the prospect of power and wealth. This was, of course, a consequence of the decline in military spirit, and of depopulation, in the old civilised Mediterranean countries. The Germans in high command had been useful, but the dangers involved in the policy had been shown in the cases of Merobaudes and Arbogastes. Yet this policy need not have led to the dismemberment of the Empire, and but for that series of chances its western provinces would not have been converted, as and when they were, into German kingdoms. It may be said that a German penetration of western Europe must ultimately have come about. But even if that were certain, it might have happened in another way, at a later time, more gradually, and with less violence. The point of the present contention is that Rome's loss of her provinces in the fifth century was not an "inevitable effect of any of those features which have been rightly or wrongly described as causes or consequences of her general 'decline.'" The central fact that Rome could not dispense with the help of barbarians for her wars (gentium barbararum auxilio indigemus) may be held to be the cause of her calamities, but it was a weakness which might have continued to be far short of fatal but for the sequence of contingencies pointed out above. (Bury)

10:13 PM | Life