“Misys gives Pecker head job”

— Serious headline from FinanceAsia.com

Return of the Keyboard


A company in Canada has decided that the time is right to bring back the tank-like keyboard that old Mac users loved and hated, in an up-to-date USB version.

It’s already sold out through the end of April.

iTunes Music Recommendation service


This is a new “if you like X, try Y” service set up as a student project at University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana). Does it work better than Goombah? Dunno yet; so far I haven’t been able to get it to work. I can upload my iTunes database, but it fails trying to download recommendations (probably due to being Farked, Slashdotted, BoingBoinged, Lileksed, Instapunted, or some other combination of high-profile links).

I can think of two reasons why it’s a better bet, though: first, it looks like they’re doing the work on the server side, rather than chewing up hours of CPU time on your computer, and second, Goombah hasn’t updated their client or database in months.

Ah, just got through, and discovered one disadvantage to server-side processing:

Your music database is being processed. This window will show your recommendations once they've been computed.
Notice: The server is a little backed up, hence the long wait. Once the server gets caught up the wait will be ALOT shorter, until then I would recommend that you don't hit the resend button.
Your estimated wait for results is 8 hours, 44 minutes, 40 seconds. You may quit and log back in at anytime to check on the status of your recommendations.

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Best handgun storage


Franzen Armloc II Pistol Case

I’ve had one of these for years, and I don’t think there’s a better product on the market. It’s made of a Kevlar-reinforced composite, has separate combination and key locks, and includes a pair of sturdy mounting plates that let you attach it to a wall or bed frame. I doubt that even highly motivated kids could get the gun out without power tools, and a burglar who didn’t bring a sledgehammer would have a hard time stealing it.

It also makes a great range case, particularly when you’re training new shooters who may be concerned about the (wildly exaggerated) risks of keeping a gun in the house.

Trigger locks are a foolish and dangerous choice, mandated by bureaucrats who either don’t know better or simply don’t care. This is safe gun storage.

Update: Went looking for the manufacturer’s web site, and found an undated press release claiming that Armloc cases are being issued to every US Customs agent. The site looks a bit stale, but I’m inclined to believe that it’s still true.

Dungeons and Dragons 2?!?


I refuse to believe that the original turkey made enough money to justify a sequel.

Solutions in search of problems


Actually, in this case, even the people responsible for installing this speeder-detecting traffic light seem to find it easier to come up with problems that it will create than any that it could possibly solve.

“When I grow up…”


big-strong-hard boy

“​…I’m going to vote Republican!”

[picture courtesy of the indispensable Lileks]

Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo?


Okay, I was originally just going to post a link to the story about The Naked Chef burning his penis while trying to cook naked, but then I read it, and discovered that he and his wife named their two daughters ‘Poppy Honey’ and ‘Daisy Boo’. And he’s getting ready to pack up the family and move to the US.

If those are indeed their legal names (and with a mother named ‘Jools’ it’s likely they are), I suspect they’re in for a fair amount of abuse in American schools. At the very least, I see them starting each school year with grim determination, desperate to keep the teacher from reading their names aloud while taking attendance. Much like my school friend Augustus MacLeod Freeman III, who managed to make it all the way to ninth grade with everyone convinced his name was actually ‘Sandy’.

The Return of Santiago


It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel by Mike Resnick. After finishing The Return of Santiago, it looks like it will be a while before I read another one.

It’s competently executed, and sufficiently entertaining that I did finish it, but if the plot had been any more telegraphed, they’d have had to change the title to Western Union. Maybe it’s because I’ve read four and a half other books set in this universe (I bounced hard on Widowmaker), but absolutely nothing that happened in this novel surprised me, and I’m already having trouble remembering any distinguishing characteristics of the characters.

Two things stand out: the running gag about Virgil’s sex life, which has no impact whatsoever on the story, and the fact that after Danny stumbles across the biggest secret in the history of the Inner Frontier, he cheerfully blabs it to damn near anyone within earshot, swearing them all to absolute secrecy.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”