"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. envoy to Iraq wants to shift $3.3 billion set aside for Iraqi water, sewer, power and other reconstruction projects to improve security, boost oil output and create jobs, a U.S. official said on Monday.
Among other things, Negroponte proposed spending about $1.8 billion now earmarked for water, sewage and electricity to expand the Iraqi police, border patrol and national guard and increase the number of border posts, he said."

so the money earmarked for real rebuilding goes into war mongering. and oil, how can one forget the oil? and it's all for "security" boom-tish! and if you're not for all this bullshit, then you're a terrorist and unamerican and an "insurgent" how doublethinkingly convenient for the U.S. bastards.
Link to the reuters article

[ published on Tue 31.08.2004 23:02 | filed in interests/anti | ]

today i went shopping - after work. the weather was lousy, and i had to check kitchen appliance prices anyway. but i didn't buy any new kitchen gear - yet: i've been in dire need of new chucks for months, both old pairs having gaping holes by now, and the mainstream shops hereabouts wanted $80 for a pair.

so i drove to the harbour town shopping centre, a conglomerate of mostly factory outlet type shops, to visit 'authentic - converse'.

the name is the program, and they sell. converse. only. good. and they had a sale on, with 20% off everything. even better! i paid $79 alltogether and now i have two new pairs of high chucks, and Life is Good again.


why the silly title, then? you might ask.

well, one of the pairs is sky blue (not navy, much lighter), and the other is a really flash neon orange! silly cackle

[ published on Tue 31.08.2004 22:39 | filed in still-not-king | ]

a big "boo-boo" to all those suckers trying to portscan my systems. the tarpit flypaper works perfectly well, as can be seen on these graphs of packets going to the tarpit.


currently i've got no packet logging on as that does produce a nasty amount of logs, but for simple test purposes tcpdump is fully sufficient: tcpdump -n "tcp[14:2] = 0" shows exactly the zero-window-tarpitted stuff.

the next thing i'm doing just now ist to add the random patch to make these boxes look a little less well connected so that the intake of crap goes down a bit.

[ published on Tue 31.08.2004 01:18 | filed in still-not-king | ]

(but likely just this time only.) The french consumer protection agency DGCCRF has sued EMI France and the music shop Fnac because their music CDs weren't CDs anymore (because of anti-copying measures that break the Red Book standard).

The French legal system guarantees the right of private copies, and EMI and Fnac broke not just that but also mislead their customers about the (lack of) quality of their product.

If the government wins that suit, then EMI and Fnac would have to call back the CDs and pay E 187k. Nice.

[ published on Sat 28.08.2004 02:07 | filed in interests/comp | ]

Cryptome is great; unvarnished, nasty, uncompromising. I love it. They've got an RSS feed, too.

"Ken Carpenter called at 1:10 PM to say that getting a court order would be complicated and time-wasting so why doesn't Cryptome be "patriotic" and remove the document in the interest of national security. He said NSA had vetted the document as being important to national security. Cryptome said it had published his request and he should take a look at it and a reader's response. Mr. Carpenter logged onto this file, and said, oh no, you published my telephone number and quoted me. We said that is what we do when a government official gets in touch."

Great job!
Link to that story

[ published on Sat 28.08.2004 01:54 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The weekend was a long one (by me taking monday off work), and was spent at Killarney, cleaning up one new launch and cutting another. Good work, lotsa blisters though. Sunday we had one flight, not too bad but very much too short at about 35 minutes. I got to 1600m (from 900 or so), but then hit sink so bad that I couldn't even make it into town (only Andrew did) and landed just on the outskirts of Killarney.

Tuesday was the big disappointment; work was horrible with me spending all day long beating a recalcitrant FAI installation to work with the new linux lab machines (new Dulls with bleeding-edge lousy hardware that require a mixture of Debian stable and testing to run at all...gah), without full success so far. I went home at 2130.

Just before that I had to learn that Paul flew from Tamborine over the Border Ranges into NSW to Tyalgum, a good 40km...I'm soooo envious, especially given the fact that today I'm stuck at work, too, and tomorrow I'll have the annual Pest control visit....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh. Talk about missed opportunities.

[ published on Wed 25.08.2004 11:17 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Just blew AU$ 150 on cds, mostly Kiwi stuff from smoke CDs and another AU$ 20 on a new mobile phone battery for my trusty (ha!) old S35.

The Kiwis are only 4 million strong, but have a real lot of good alternative bands; either some of the 40 million sheep moonlight as musos or the human contingent is really inspired.

This week saw me flying on tuesday arvo, in the rain and everything, working on wednesday and being sick with a cold on thursday. Tomorrow I'll head out to Killarney for 3 days of working and flying; Andrew said that there's two new launches opened so that we have something for every wind direction.

Just learned today that my daughter and exwife won't be visiting me this christmas: airfare from the US to Oz is too dear at the moment. Bummer, I would have liked to see them. Hmm. Will have to hope for next year then...

[ published on Fri 20.08.2004 15:38 | filed in still-not-king | ]

As lots of others have noted already, EFF has won the Grokster case in the Court of Appeals.

Summary: if you make truly decentralized P2P software -- like Gnutella -- you can't be held liable for any copyright infringement that takes place on their networks. This is the "Betamax principle," from the famous Supreme Court case that established that Sony wasn't responsible for any infringement that its customers undertook with their VCRs.

The decision paper makes for very interesting reading, inclusive of the simplified history/overview of P2P systems.

[ published on Fri 20.08.2004 14:31 | filed in interests | ]

A family of collisions in MD5 has been found, and the "vultures are circling" (as Ed Felten put it) quite low above SHA-1. Bugger. Ah well, evolution at work I guess.
Link to Ed Felten's article

[ published on Fri 20.08.2004 14:21 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The US of A is really a lousy place to be. This is a quote from the Civil Rights Act (ha!) of 1964 which spells out how discrimination is bad:

"DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN SEC. 703. (a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer
(f) As used in this title, the phrase "unlawful employment practice" shall not be deemed to include any action or measure taken by an employer, labor organization, joint labor-management committee, or employment agency with respect to an individual who is a member of the Communist Party of the United States or of any other organization required to register as a Communist-action or Communist-front organization by final order of the Subversive Activities Control Board pursuant to the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950."

So if you're a communist, you're unprotected rightless discriminable scum. Brilliant.

[ published on Fri 20.08.2004 14:16 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Firewalls are fun, but just dropping all the bad packets is fairly boooring.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 20.08.2004 12:29 | filed in mystuff | ]

...I came to Oz for the first time, and one year ago I moved into my house here (well, mine and the bank's). And, guess what, I still like the place! Amazing ;-)
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 16.08.2004 01:50 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Greedy bastards at work, is all. How I hate all that crap.

"Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games."
"Staff will also be on the lookout for T-shirts, hats and bags displaying the unwelcome logos of non-sponsors. Stewards have been trained to detect people who may be wearing merchandise from the sponsors' rivals in the hope of catching the eyes of television audiences. Those arousing suspicion will be required to wear their T-shirts inside out."

Link to the long and disgusting story

[ published on Wed 11.08.2004 22:38 | filed in interests/anti | ]

I like the layout of the rssreader mozilla extension, but nothing else about it: it requires using the bookmarks (hatehate), it is in javascript (hatehatehate) and it is superslow, no caching whatsoever etc.

Why not use any of the available tickers and RSS readers?

I liked rssreader's layout and integration with mozilla. I don't like tickers, I need full articles or at least overview data to judge whether an article is worth my time and headlines Just Don't Work for me. And, the killer argument: all my bookmark info is kept in a topicmap file so any RSS reading tool must get its info from there, too. None but my personal one would do that.

So I decided to make a slurping tool that slurps feed data onto the local box and massages things into the rssreader look. Easypeasy thought I, perl to the rescue etc. etc.

Well, RSS sucks: gadzillions of slightly different versions, all incomplete and fugly. Atom sucks, too, just differently.

The one parser module present in Debian, libxml-rss-perl, doesn't understand newer RSS (ie. 2.0) at all, and no Atom, so playing with that wasn't too successful. The other potential parser, XML::RSS::Parser, is not available as a Debian package, but it sucks less: with a bit of tweakery I got it to read all the RSS flavours and also Atom. Hmm, maybe I'll package it.

Net result of a few hours of mucking around, skirting incomplete unicode support in my perl (no I don't want to update to 5.8 yet) etc. is this script called rsslurp. The link retrieval part won't be useful to anybody who's not into topicmaps (ie. most of you out there), but the part for massaging things into rssreader-compliant CSSified HTML may be. The tool also caches the source XML and produces an overview HTML page with update times and feed names.

[ published on Mon 09.08.2004 02:34 | filed in mystuff | ]

And this weekend is over.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 09.08.2004 02:09 | filed in still-not-king | ]

I just discovered a very interesting paper by Eben Moglen (of EFF fame) about software, property and anarchism. Not exactly new (1999) but really nice. Let's hope he's right.

Link to the paper

[ published on Mon 09.08.2004 01:15 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The shrub:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."


"We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations!"

I'd say they're both crooks.

Link to the press release (fourth paragraph from the bottom).

[ published on Mon 09.08.2004 00:47 | filed in interests/humour | ]

...to be here in Australia, and watching interesting foreign movies in the original language. Yesterday SBS played Levottomat, a fun Finnish film - in Finnish, of course.

Tonight they'll run Taxi, in French of course. Oz is really a multi-cultural country, and I love it for that trait.

[ published on Sun 08.08.2004 14:39 | filed in interests/au | ]

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 03.08.2004 22:19 | filed in interests/flying | ]

As an excuse I claim that the difference is minuscule at check 0.03125mm... damn metal threaded screws just don't DWIM. It took me two extra trips to the hardware store to learn this crucial fact.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 03.08.2004 21:48 | filed in interests/au | ]

...but our Prime garden gnome is happy
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 03.08.2004 21:20 | filed in interests/anti | ]

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