hirez: (pillock)
You know those sorts of people who change their credit cards regularly so they can have '0% on balance transfers' and are probably on first name terms with the servers at fondle-my-wedge.co.uk?

I'm not one of them.

I mean, I know there are many people who think interesting talk about, I don't know, cold-war architecture or Ruby modules is akin to glossolalia and you can more or less see the point when the shutters go down in their heads.

That's me when it comes to talk of a financial nature.

(Obvs. it is Treasonable Talk to opine that not running a balance on yr plastic is a better idea than playing pass the parcel with a bucket of unexploded debt...)
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
Years ago, I paid money for some random 'Identity protection' malarkey. That sort of thing was popular at the time since it was well before the age of mass password-db exploits and the understanding that no corporate entity can manage any security worth a light.

And then even the people behind the curtain, to whom we were supposed to pay no attention while they methodically gutted what alleged security systems we thought we had, turned out to be wholesale vulnerable to a committed system administrator armed with little more than a USB drive and some root passwords.

Months ago, an envelope thick with words arrived. Apparently the 'identity protection' people were going to be up before the beak and it was all terrible. A second envelope contained fewer words. The relevant authorities had spoken and, as is the modern way, 'compensation' was available.

That word has become a horrible thing. On one hand you've a set of people keen to exploit the system as hard as they can. Then there's another set of people keen to monetize the first set. The third set of people take out vast corporate insurance against the first two, which means a bunch of stupid things get more expensive and unless you want to think yourself some kind of sappy type with a cardigan and well-polished car, attending to your flowerbeds and generally not asking much from the world over and above some nice sunsets now and then, peace and quiet mostly and perhaps a pleasant holiday once in a while with tea and cake, you'd better wake up and smell the management cliches.

But oh no you can't possibly allowed that sort of thing. You have to compare! and choose! and deal! No tea and cake for you unless you approach every interaction with the morals of Arthur fucking Daley and demand a better price than The Others.

Fuck. That.

So anyway. Apparently I was supposed to 'justify' my participation in this alleged compo deal. I may well have written something rather sarcastic.

Result - 300 notes. That must be up there with Proper Writers on a pound-per-word basis..
hirez: (psyche-out (i))
http://www.thecultden.com/2014/03/airship-shape-and-bristol-fashion.html

I would like to think I might be forgiven for a medium-sized 'Yay!' at this point.

Because I like drinking beer and having a laugh with like-minded souls, the convention schedule for the rest of the year looks like this:

Convergence XX, Chicago.
EMFCamp, a field near Milton Keynes.
Bristolcon, Bristol.
Whitby not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be-festival, Whitby.

Comedy gold

Mar. 1st, 2014 03:29 pm
hirez: (Hand-staple-forehead)
(Which should probably be the new name for Bitcoin)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7295190

Via the splendid and contra-rotating @cstross - http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2014/02/schadenfreude-1.html


It transpires that MtGox was pretty much the modern equivalent of '10 PRINT "STEVE IS ACE", 20 GOTO 10'. Although this time, rather than learning from that first foray into code and deciding to write a web-framework like most children, this one also (re)implemented DNS and SSH in PHP.

I have watched people re-implement nameservers in MFTL for, oh, about two decades now. Thus far, most of those efforts gain no traction because the people running the kit that supports $protocol can spot a bad idea heaving to at quite a distance.

(Also news-servers, mailservers... Basically whatever protocol that is currently 'popular' will have some half-bright sort who doesn't completely understand the problem space pitch up and decide that his (and they are very much mostly 'his') approach will be Better.)

That said, I have cheerfully abandoned Bind and Sendmail and Imapd for the much less shitful alternatives.

And, for comedy value and likely proving my own point by accident, I have crufted bolt-ons for The Puppets that do things no sensibly organised, er, org would ever want to do ever. Largely because hierarchically structured organisations are terrible places, and we should not allow our infrastructure-as-code to model that behaviour.

'Central database'? Get fucked. Workers self-management also extends into the tooling we use for our jobs.

Update: Ye Gods... http://blog.magicaltux.net/2009/09/10/pinetd2-next-feature-to-come/
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Gah. It's a pretty poor turn of events when a chap's boxes of electronic detritus contain no microphones. Modems, USB cables, knives, torches, globular plugs, phones, welding goggles, a roll-up keyboard (knackered and thus binned, sadly), a Stylophone (filled with germanium transistors, so from before a time when that twinkle in Rolf's eye was allegedly actionable) and a spare soldering iron - yes.

Microphones - no.

Not even cutting up the half-dozen nasty Nokia/S-E hands-free sets and pointing the 'scope at them was any use.

Hopeless.

I see I'm going to turn into one of those useless grownups with one rusty screwdriver that's been worn to a point through misuse and a pair of molegrips ditto.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Never ever bloody anything Ubuntu ever.
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
For the last couple of weeks, the carelessly-built PC that I do most of my swearing on/at has been turning itself off overnight. "Haha XP!" you might say. You'd be half right. Yes, it's an XP box, but I rarely reboot or turn the thing off. When I do wander in to discover that the thing's restarted in the night, I know it's Wednesday morning and M$ installed something critical overnight. Obviously with XP being quite far off the end of EOL, this will stop soon.

Anyway. The usual problem is dust, so I opened the thing up and gave it a good going-over with the Numatic[1]. (See last week's 'Tactical vacuum' ramble)

Still not working right.

On the manufacturer's CD of drivers and other shoddy bolt-ons, there was a system-monitor. I had hoped for something sensible that maybe resembled Munin (at worst) or Graphite (at best), or indeed would emit metrics to things like that, since I have a hacked-up monitoring rig on the BSD box. No such luck. The thing provided sits somewhere between a rather ropey AmigaDemo and what I fondly (FAVO) imagine a WoW console written by a complete bastard would look like. Or that bloke behind systemd. Did you know that there's a petition to try to make him stop working on Linux? Neither did I. Although anyone writing a monolithic daemon that runs as root and accepts IP traffic on a range of ports in the C21st is obviously missing the point on a massive scale.

Systemd. Just say 'Not on my fecking distro you useless tossers'.

Anyway anyway. Horrible code allowed that while everything seemed to be running a bit warm, nothing was actually... Oh, wait. 6v5 on the +5v rail and near 4v on the +3v3 one? That's not right.

Thankfully I can avoid all the local PC shops staffed by feckwits and indeed the far away internet ones ditto, and steam off to the fine types at Novatech, who both shift boxes and keep a clue handy for personal callers.

Which is to say that my computer works better with a fresh PSU.

Elsewhere, it's probably just Virgin or upstream transit having a shonky routing day, but all Wordpress-related weblogs are utterly fucked. I strongly suspect that one part or other of the Fisher-Price PHP or Javascript wanky broken bolt-on bell, whistle or gong code is failing to load from a shagged swerver, but since it's all loaded in-line, the entire page fails to render.

And that's just rubbish.

Later...

I think it's the CDN. Some poking about with Firebug (which is a fine web-debug tool) appears to show that objects from *.gravatar.com and *.wp.com are failing. Traceroute to whatever internet magic represents those addresses to v-n customers works, which is... Edgecast. If I cared, I'd hack about a bit to make my requests look like they came from somewhere else, just to see if it were a specific CDN node. As it is - "Haha! Losers!"

[1] Unreferenced footnote.
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
Oh. Yeah. The reason I was after fork-handles is that I aim to repair a slasher[1] that belonged to Pa.

Were this some dreadful mid-afternoon teevee film, you could probably construct a suitably mawkish narrative.

Or, y'know, go 'Bloody woodworm's been at that. It'll want a new handle, then it'll be right as ninepence.'


[1] A grass hook on a long handle, basically. Not the thing from the internet.
hirez: (Q-309)
A couple of years ago, some splendid type was good enough to pick 'The nine symphonies' (Yer Beethoven, innit. von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsche Gramaphon - top quality gear. None of yer motorway services spinny rack two disc set of popular classics mauled by a squad of bored sessioneers) off my Amazon list.

As is traditional, I had put it there as a note to self for when I was flush, rather than expecting anyone else to fall for it.

Anyway. I hauled the wrapping off the thing and stuffed the first CD into the computer that is connected to the good quality amplifier and good quality speakers in the room where I spend most of my listening-to-things time.

God what a disappointment.

'Rock' music can cope with fighting for audio spectrum with a set of PCs generating a deal of white noise. Beethoven? Not happening. If it's all up loud enough to be able to appreciate the quiet bits, then the movements where it all kicks off properly are comfortably loud enough to be heard at the end of the road.

I could probably get away with that in NW3, although some clever bugger would come round to shove a note under the door about being in thrall to the traditionalists and would I care to play some Webern? (Ans: No. Sorry. Stockhausen, on the other hand... Which itself is a weird backreference for having listened to lots of Neubauten, Kraftwerk and dreadful electronic skronk from the Bleep Shop.) However, the residents of BS16 would rise up and call me a Cotswold ponce.

Anyway. Since it is quiet due to being cold outside I tried that first CD in the downstairs rig that has never been turned up over 30%. Oh good heavens yes. I think I might have been reading a book, but buggered if I remember a sentence.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
'Triggering', right? Terrible passive-voice internet buzzword. A thing done to someone by someone else invented by someone else again who'd written one too many lab reports or who liked phrases akin to 'lessons were learned'. I'm sure you can do your own reading-between-the-lines there.

This is the JHR version:

"You're a cock. I'm sure you thought you were being terribly clever, but now you look like a bell-end. You will continue to remind me of a bell-end for quite some time. I trust that was the outcome you were looking for.

(Hint for future generations: it looks very much as if the Usenet debating style ran out of steam a couple of years ago. I merely mention this for extra value.)

Who. )
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
I'm not sure what this is, but I imagine it's obvious I don't care for it.

Exhibit A) Every time I go to the pictures, I have to put up with a hateful (in concept, the execution is but bland) advert which invites me to 'be an insider'. If my understanding is correct, for a regular remittance the section of Global Corporate Headquarters tasked with selling crap stories to the slack-jawed will allow the 'insider' opportunities to view filmed entertainments before the rest of the lumpenproletariat.

Exhibit B) It transpires that for a similar sort of consideration, News International will allow you access to the 'backstage' bar at the O2.

And then there's Klout, for whom you may Google yourselves.

Exhibit C, I think, is/are the various 'celebrity gossip' mags and that Perez Hilti blighter. Paying up to know stuff about people.


Lest you think that I consider myself far too special for that sort of thing:

Exhibit D) My collection of Whitby laminates and allied shameful tat.


You know the part in Wayne's World II where they are given backstage passes for the backstage which is not the true backstage?

That's you, that is.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
There appear to be half-posts in my head about non-driving pivilege and Clarkson's odd response to the Sky malarkey, but as was pointed out on friday, I appear to be in the process of developing a rage-laser (for turning incoherent rage into cohered rage, which might be useful for cutting through a dense Bogon flux. Although I suspect powering the thing would turn out as messy as one of those orbital X-ray lasers the seppos were going to use in the 80s) so instead I shall admire my trousers.

Mostly I have been listening to amateur electronic noodling and Australian psych-rock. And why not.
hirez: (tank)
Dear media, when you call Cannabis 'pot', it makes you sound exactly as relevant to the 21st century as Hugh Hefner.

Still, if the public perception of those in positions of alleged informational authority is that they're a hopeless shower of bastards, then that's probably a good thing.
hirez: (safety chicken)
Dear Faceache-person

No I do not want a free Ipad and I'm certainly not going to follow any faceache-mangled and malware-shortened link to same.

Change your passwords, you've been 0wned.
hirez: (Challenger)
Oh, FFS.

They've (Bristol council, rather than grey aliens or the Illuminati. If you want traffic-management by conspiracy-conjured Tulpa you have to go to Michigan, where the signage is run by the Trilateral Commission. I wish I still had the URL for the webpage that described the number and nature of the alien bases dotted across the US. One was in Fort Collins. Since I was a HPite at the time, that caused much merriment.) put traffic lights on a roundabout that's about halfway along my car-based commute.

There are also now handy spiral lines that demonstrate which lane you're expected to use. As one might imagine, if you want to turn right and head toward Bath, the right-most lane is the one to use. Indeed, if you could actually follow the spiral line around, you'd find yourself deposited in the left-hand lane of the dual carriageway.

However, since Bristol car-pilots are essentially fucking stupid, especially those notionally in charge of silver Honda shitboxes with blacked-out windows, what you'll actually find is some twatmonkey has middle-laned it and if you'd followed the nice white line yourself you'd be side-swiping the hopeless fucktard about halfway round.

It is especially galling when said twatmonkey gets a right old monk on and decides it wants to 'race' the scruffy-looking Saab it's just pushed into the right-hand lane.

Get a proper car you fucking loser.


Oh. Yeah. You know that 'My crumple-zone is the other car' argument for driving land-barges? Yeah. Right. Get a proper car you fucking loser.

Oh, bugger

Oct. 13th, 2008 08:29 pm
hirez: (Lomo)
Lomo LC-A's don't bounce, it seems.


[Edit: We may now add 'elementary[1][2] camera repair' to the list of sometimes-useful skills to which I can lay claim. Profit!]



[1] Elementary cameras, certainly.
[2] (analogue)
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
But on less-than-sober reflection, perhaps explaining Joey Deacon (with actions) to the Nice Americans was perhaps not terribly clever.
hirez: (Default)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6690569.stm

(See also 'reality' television, coming from NW3, David Attenborough's adventures among the Cock-er-knees.)

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hirez: (Default)
JH-R

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