“It’s important that when an officer does approach you to correct your behavior, that you respect them. That’s what democracy’s all about.”

— Flunking Civics: NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton excuses murder-by-cop

Las Vegas trip highlights: Angela Little


So, I’ve returned from my little road trip to Las Vegas, and I bless the kind soul who let me know that Angela was the X-Mate for this month in ‘X - An Erotic Adventure’ at the Aladdin.

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good news, bad news


The good news: the Indiana Jones movies will be on DVD in November.

The bad news: the box set includes “Temple of Doom.”

Spindles and Platters and Heads, oh my!


There’s a story I love to tell, a cautionary tale about an incompetent manager, his ass-covering sysadmins, and the company that they could have destroyed together. At some point I’ll write it up here, but the short version goes like this: “two-thirds of the file servers hadn’t been backed up in six months, and they knew this.”

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Good things about Safari


Lots of folks are busy documenting the bad things about Safari (I sent in about a dozen bugs, and I’ll wait for the next beta before looking again). One good thing I noticed is that it has the appropriate hooks to make OS X’s summarize engine work. Select the text on a page, tell it to summarize, and you get a dynamically condensed version of the text. If the interface weren’t so clunky, it would be really handy for deciding if you really want to read further in someone’s site.

It would be trivial for the developers to add a button to the toolbar that selected the body text, called the summary service, and returned the results in a new window, nicely formatted. Since Safari is more-or-less scriptable, I was able to knock together a quick AppleScript that shows off the idea. Drop it into ~/Library/Scripts and run it on whatever page you’re currently looking at.

Need a cookie? Take a cookie.


So, I just got another notice about a sleazy bastard printing out my photographs and selling them on eBay. Joy. This is the sort of behavior that led me to stop posting large JPEGs a while back.

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Baby’s First Perl Module


My blushes. I’ve been hacking in Perl since version 2.0 was released. In some ways, it’s my native programming language. It’s certainly the one I use the most, and the tool I reach for first when I need to solve a problem.

But I haven’t kept up. Until quite recently, I was really still writing Perl3 with some Perl4 features, and regarded many of the Perl5-isms with horror. It felt like the Uh-Oh programmers had crufted up my favorite toy, and it didn’t help that the largest example of the “New Perl” that I had to deal with was massive, sluggish, and an unbelievable memory hog (over 9,000 lines of Perl plus an 8,000 line C++ library, and it uses up 3 Gigabytes of physical memory and 3 dedicated CPUs for its 25-hour runtime (“Hi, Andrew!”)).

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You want Java with that?


So, Microsoft wasn’t shipping Java? Boo-fucking-hoo. Java on the web has been an insecure, browser-crashing nightmare from day one, and applications written in it are poorly integrated into native GUI libraries and sloooooooooow.

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U&lc


Many years ago, a wonderful secret was passed on to me: U&lc was free. The printed magazine is no longer with us (and wasn’t even free at the end, although it was certainly worth its cover price). The web site is a pale shadow of the magazine, but still a good read.

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