“It’s Back! Yay!”:

posted at 11:45 pm on Sunday, February 27, 2005 in Links | Comments Off on GeoURL

it’s official…

bq. If you go to Winx Club, and read Bloom’s blog, it says that…

My six-year-old just used ‘blog’. In context.

posted at 11:28 pm on Sunday, February 27, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on it’s official…

technical gender

The debate over women in technical fields (in school) summarized:

bq. Reinventing the curriculum will not make me more interested in learning how my dishwasher works.

Well, I laughed…

via Philip Greenspun

posted at 11:34 pm on Friday, February 18, 2005 in Links | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    I’m not sure if it’s the same sort of excitement, but my 2 little girls (9 & 3) were literally jumping with excitement when they saw how “Pinnacle Studio 9” made videos and also yesterday I got her an MP3 player and the first thing she said when it was out of the box was “How do we get songs onto it” and I showed her how the ripper & explorer & USB cable worked. Certainly it’s higher level, but I almost read your post as wondering why someone didn’t learn which buttons to press to operate a dishwasher, which both girls learned at age 2.

    I humbly submit that you have to UNlearn a bunch of stuff to design dishwashers and enjoy it. I expect my daughter to get a job where she says, “Okay *BOY* fire up AutoCad, source some motors, tubes, resin and sheet aluminum & rods and render me a dishwasher for the marketing department tout-suite!”

books for books sake

bq. “Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity… We cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access, reassurance.”

– A.E. Newton

*That* explains my bookshelf…

posted at 1:49 am on Friday, February 18, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on books for books sake


There’s a news story today about how antibiotic resistant bugs are on the rise again. Ah, but this time doctors are blaming patients; it seems we’re “demanding” antibiotics for all of our ailments.

Here’s the kicker: antibiotics are prescription drugs (up here in Canada). If you don’t think the patient needs them, *don’t prescribe them*! Passing the buck to patients is just plain irresponsible.

posted at 12:05 am on Friday, February 18, 2005 in Current Events, Rants | Comments Off on antibiotics


Collected from various sources.

Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.
— Sir Ralph Richardson

Only an “S” separates laughter from slaughter.

I have found a marvelous technique for increasing the size of one’s member, which this subject line is too small to contain.
— Fermat’s Last Spam

posted at 11:51 am on Thursday, February 17, 2005 in Miscellaneous | Comments (1)
  1. - irving - says:

    And only a “t” separates immorality from immortality…


The construction crew managed to fill the server room with drywall dust, taking out four power supplies (including It took a couple of days to procure and install a replacement.

As always, I thank my generous hosts for their time and energy!

posted at 11:45 am on Thursday, February 17, 2005 in Site News | Comments Off on downtime

They’re Baaaack…

Apparently I never documented how much I hate raccoons. Well, they’re back. A loud clatter in the attic at 2AM made me haul out ladders and flashlights, and sure enough, there was a critter up there. I’m not sure where she got in, since there’s no externally visible holes. Based on the noise, I think she’s not sure how she got in either; she was trying to claw / eat her way out through the siding or soffets or something….

I’ll pay the animal control people to deal with it. Again.

posted at 12:00 pm on Monday, February 14, 2005 in General, Personal | Comments (1)
  1. StickHippo says:

    …or you could get the boy his first railgun, and let him take care of it… ;-)


At the rate that i’m blacklisting spammers, I’m going to end up blocking the entire Internet… *sigh.

GO AWAY! My statistics pages (the only place you’ll see referers) are password protected! Google can’t see them! You won’t get any pagerank from me!

(pant pant pant…)

posted at 4:11 pm on Sunday, February 13, 2005 in Rants, Site News | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    Poking around wikipedia I see a long list of spam domain black lists. Maybe you should see if you can import any of them verbatim.

Cool Shirts

I’m not your damn search engine
“I’m someone’s fetish”:
“polyamory is wrong!”: (read the back :-)

posted at 3:01 pm on Thursday, February 03, 2005 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on Cool Shirts

The architect and the wiki

If you’re having trouble understanding why wikis are so useful, or having trouble explaining it to other people, try this story:
Monkeymagic: The architect and the wiki

bq. The moral of the story (which doesn’t really need saying): its better to start with a load of old crap than aim for an idealised version.

(via “Cutting Through”:

posted at 4:19 pm on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 in Links | Comments Off on The architect and the wiki


It’s a small, lightweight webserver that speaks IPv6. But that’s irrelevant. I’m just in it for the “file not found error page”:


posted at 2:44 pm on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 in Links | Comments Off on leahhttpd

too much crap

Today I’m feeling like throwing in the towel on this web server business: there’s just too much crap to deal with.

A friend’s server was broken into and defaced last week by a script kiddy. I’ve been double-checking my box over the last few days, and I’m astonished at the amount of crap flowing in from the Internet. As a security professional I knew it was bad, but I was fooling myself; I didn’t know it was _this_ bad!!!

I monitor the site regularly, mainly to ensure that we’re not abusing bandwidth that is generously donated, but also to make sure everything is working, and to watch for obviously suspicious activity. In the last week a major portion of the traffic to this server has been:

* referrer spam (which doesn’t do anything for the spammer, since I don’t display referrers anywhere; it only abuses my bandwidth). About 15% of my bandwidth for the last _month_ has been referrer spam; they seem to breed faster than I can block them out!
* people trying comment spam on weblogs with no comments (and no comment script!). This includes attempts to invoke old security holes in Movable Type.
* people probing for security defects in software that I don’t even have installed.
* people probing for security defects in software that I _do_ have installed (fortunately that was password protected, so they didn’t get in :).
* probes for network sockets (both for software with vulnerabilities, and for software installed by hackers). This box is heavily firewalled (in both directions; blocking outbound traffic has saved my bacon more than once!), but I still see the logs.
* password guessing attempts (mainly via SSH, which has been locked down to a small number of IP addresses for months now, since the last major SSH vulnerability).

The promise of Open Source software was that more eyes staring at code would lead to fewer defects. I’m seeing the opposite; it seems that the rate of vulnerability annoucements, and resulting patches, is _increasing_. Just last week I just upgraded three packages here as a direct result of security announcements (and, as mentioned above, caught someone probing for one of them…)

The Internet has become the cesspool predicted in several recent science fiction novels (notably Peter Watt’s Behemoth, which specifically mentions automated virus / hacking activity). After three days of looking two closely at my logs I feel like pulling the plug. If it were just me using the server, I probably would…

posted at 10:57 am on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 in Personal, Rants, Security, Site News | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    The Internet has always been a pigsty… and the pigs love it!


MSNBC – First Amendment no big deal, students say

bq. The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.

bq. Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.


bq. They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. — Ben Franklin

or even better:

bq. I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it. — Voltaire

posted at 8:55 pm on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 in Current Events, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    I saw that in the news too and was momentarily stunned when I read it. *This posting approved by the Ministry of Truth* It puzzles me that with a similar pluralty of high school students in the U.S. having tried illicit drugs, they would want to see *more* government intervention, but logic does not factor in here. This is an example of the “Tragic Vision” (that is, right-wing politics) at work. Apparently, when looked at as a “Tragic Vision” broad nationalistic and militaristic tendencies become compatible with individual liberty.

    Then you realize that the story is couched in notoriously liberal terms by media outlets selling themselves so they picked the two best questions suited in this goal (“The Utopian vision”). End of mystery. (Well except for why young people are becoming right-wing)

    Reference: Stephen Pinker, “The Blank Slate”, Chapter on Politics — Utopian vs. Tragic Vision, 2002. (NYT National Best seller 2002).