Autoclave – hard drive sterilization.

Autoclave – hard drive sterilization on a bootable floppy [gamma].

I’m sure Julie used to work in a (biotech) lab with a device called an autoclave… Ah, yes.

Dad Joke.

Hey, talking of kidding, I put a joke into my lecture notes last week… The notes were on the Morris Internet Worm, one important aspect of which was that it replicated much more quickly (I’m tempted to say “virulently”, but I guess that’s a loaded term) than the author intended. In a footnote, which I didn’t read out or drawn attention to in any way, my lucky students got to groan at the following gem:

Q: Why did the computer programmer die in the shower?

A: Because the instructions on the shampoo bottle said “Rinse, lather, rinse, repeat”.

Honk honk.

When was the first time anybody said Eigenvalue, then?

Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics [robot]. Not quite as well indexed as possible, eg there’s a page for “E” but not even an anchor in that page so I can link straight to “eigenvalue”. Not that I’m particularly hung up on eigenvalues, you understand. Now, Euler Lehmer Pseudoprimes, oh the other hand…

Just kidding.

L1NUX number plate not sold.

Well, 3,100 UK pounds wasn’t enough to meet the reserve in the L1NUX number plate auction (see Gimbolands passim). Maybe the seller just wanted to find out how much he “could” get, if he wanted to… Or maybe it’s just worth less than he thought. *shrug*

Hmmmm… I wonder how much the “PLAN9” plate would be. ;-)

Highway of Death.

With reference to the “WTF?” aspect of my post of three days ago, Tor Kristensen appeared out of nowhere and pointed me to The Massacre of Withdrawing Soldiers on “The Highway of Death”.

Thanks, Tor.

PyTeX – groovy.

PyTeX – Python plus TeX. Like, w00t.

On the subject of python, I’m going – also w00t.

Trust me – I know what I’m doing.

Thank you, Need To Know, for reminding me about Sledge Hammer.

I think some of the samples might have to make it into my next gig, whenever the hell that is…

What the Village People did next.

What the Village People Did Next [gamma].

Let’s all move to Brazil.

Brazil sounds nice [null].

Includes this “wtf?” quote, in respect of the 1991 Gulf War:

You will almost certainly not hear about the retreating column of almost 50,000 Iraqi soldiers that were incinerated on the highway from Kuwait on the orders of war criminal-turned-Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey.


Godspeed You! Black Emperor – subversive or what?

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Questioned as Suspected Terrorists because some petrol-pumper in Oklahoma didn’t like the way they looked [null].

Also from null, nice to see that the marvellous Seascapes of the Interior have their album out at long last. I sense an impending purchase…

L1NUX number plate up for grabs.

My former boss, Gareth Bult, is selling his L1NUX number plate. I wonder why…

Frontier people: Interesting to note Fenty’s name in the bidding history. :-)

Dawkins on American Stupidity.

Dawkins on Bush [null].

Whatever anyone may say about weapons of mass destruction, or about Saddam’s savage brutality to his own people, the reason Bush can now get away with his war is that a sufficient number of Americans, including, apparently, Bush himself, see it as revenge for 9/11. This is worse than bizarre. It is pure racism and/or religious prejudice. Nobody has made even a faintly plausible case that Iraq had anything to do with the atrocity. It was Arabs that hit the World Trade Centre, right? So let’s go and kick Arab ass.

… Would you do business with a company that devoted an entire year to little else than the process of choosing its new CEO, from the strongest field in the world, and ended up with Bush?

As We May Think.

As We May Think, by Vannevar Bush, July 1945.

Go South Africa – Microsoft suck!

As any fule kno, we’re always up for a bit of Microsoft-bashing here at Gimboland. And so…

The Advertising Standards Authority of SA (ASA) has ordered that a Microsoft ad implying that its software will bring about the extinction of the hacker is to be pulled for being “unsubstantiated and misleading”.

Laubscher says despite the decision, Microsoft fully maintains that its software is able to fulfil the task of keeping hackers and viruses out, making the customers’ data safer than if kept in a safe.

Clarke described Microsoft’s claim as “laughable”.

Special thanks to my Souf Efrika correspondent for that one.

Moth destruction.

Cruel but funny.

RIAA a bunch of liars.

Apparently (and no big surprise), the RIAA’s figures for piracy are complete bullshit [gamma]. Well worth a read. I particularly liked: Tom Petty would be better off if his fans DIDN’T buy his album and sent him $2 with a Post-It note that said “Rock on, Tom” instead.

Imaginary Friends Instant Girlfriend!

Must be doing the rounds, but it’s fantastic if only for the photos of the beardy chappy: Imaginary Friends Instant Girlfriend [wotever]. (BTW, what happens to ebay items when the auction’s over? Will the above link become defunct? We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. Or, more likely, allow time to pass and forget about it.)

Bedevere – bringing prolog and python together.

Hey Gimbo! Fancy interfacing prolog with, say, C or python?

Well, Bedevere provides a SWIG wrapper to GNU prolog, and PyProlog embeds SWI-Prolog (in the python interpreter, I presume). Gnarly.

Redneck Pope Hats

Good name for a band.

Self-control comes in limited quantities,

Self-control comes in limited quantities, must be replenished [chicken].

There are three main theories about how self-control operates, according to Baumeister. One theory suggests that self-control depends on an energy or strength like “willpower,” while a second theory considers self-control as a skill to be learned. Yet another theory views self-control as a thought process, where individuals process their different behavioral options and choose a course of action after analyzing their situation.

So, SETI@Home might have actually

So, SETI@Home might have actually found something? [robot]. Wow – I didn’t expect that. :-)

The USA has been taken

The USA has been taken over by non-human life forms, specifically “money-based” life forms, ie corporations [null]. Interesting…

I’ve just read an interesting

I’ve just read an interesting paper in December’s IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking called “Beyond Folklore: Observations on Fragmented Traffic”. In fact, ah yes, here it is.

From the conclusion (my boldface emphasis):

Many assertions about the nature and extent of fragmented traffic are based in folklore, rather than measurement and analysis. Common beliefs include: fragmented traffic is decreasing in prevalence or nonexistent, fragmented traffic exists only on LANs (due to NFS) and not on backbone links, misconfiguration causes most fragmentation, and only UDP traffic is fragmented.

While the majority of fragmented traffic is UDP (68% by packets and 72% by bytes), ICMP, IPSEC, TCP, and tunneled traffic are commonly fragmented as well. Microsoft’s Media Player is the single largest source of fragment series, accounting for 52% seen in this study. Tunneled traffic is a major cause of fragmented traffic, and accounts for at least 16% of fragmented series.

NFS accounts for only 0.1% of fragment series observed.

BTW, a lot of the papers on that site look very interesting indeed. Sigh, so little time…

Blosxom looks good… Blosxom (pronounced

Blosxom looks good

Blosxom (pronounced “Blossom”) is a lightweight yet feature-packed weblog application designed from the ground up with simplicity, usability, and interoperability in mind.

Fundamental is its reliance upon the file system, folders and files as its content database. Blosxom’s weblog entries are plain text files like any other. Write from the comfort of your favorite text editor and hit the Save button. Create, edit, rename, and delete entries on the command-line, via FTP, WebDAV, or anything else you might use to manipulate your files. There’s no import or export; entries are nothing more complex than title on the first line, body being everything thereafter.

Sounds similar in approach to Neomorph, which is what I wrote for Gimboland, except Neomorph’s in python, and I stopped developing it when it was “just good enough” so it doesn’t have fancy-scmancy features. I might have to give this a look – provided its Perlness doesn’t completely put me off, which it might…

Also Flash, but check out

Also Flash, but check out Channel 4′s Gayometer.

Gimbo is 40% gay! You might act straight, mate, but I bet your mother always knew you’d grow up to be a gay guy! Great.

Evil Clown Generator (thanks, Dave).

Evil Clown Generator (thanks, Dave).

Pi Bomb [gamma].

Pi Bomb [gamma].

Y’know, it’s been years now,

Y’know, it’s been years now, and Unix still has the capacity to surprise and amaze me. Also, I still can’t spell surprise without looking it up.

Global Economy Tutorial, apparently with

Global Economy Tutorial, apparently with a somewhat anti-capitalist stance [phil]. Alas, too long to read right now, and thus probably ever.

Via Phil, some interesting results

Via Phil, some interesting results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe – in particular (check this out, Julie), the Universe is flat, Euclidean space (“within the limits of instrument error”).

Oh yes, and baryonic matter, that stuff they teach you about at school involving electrons and neutrons and the like, that constitutes about 4% of the Universe’s mass. Nice.

Land of the free, home

Land of the free, home of the brave, yadda yadda yadda… [null]

Cor. There’s a baby Guillemot

Cor. There’s a baby Guillemot in a box in our spare bedroom. It’s got the best heater in the house next to it, keeping it warm. Bless.

I read about Warren Buffett

I read about Warren Buffett in a Sunday supplement a few years ago, but whilst I remembered the gist, I’d forgotten his name and the name of his company. Now Jorn has reminded me: Berkshire Hathaway. Now if only I had some money to buy some shares with…

What if everything on this

What if everything on this page is true?