Recent Entries in Web

  Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

IMG_0792.jpg

So, say you're getting a constant error in your daily cron messages when trying to do background publishing in Movable Type. You know, you're trying to run the run-periodic-tasks script to take care of background tasks by setting up a cron job, either daily, or six times an hour. Now you're getting messages that look like this:

Can't locate MT/Bootstrap.pm in @INC (@INC contains: ...

This website has some good examples on how to fix this (hint: you don't have to modify @INC, you can simply modify your run-periodic-tasks file).

Getting background publishing to work in MT 4.1 â.. GoBecky.net

The problem is that '..lib';. It's simply pointing to the wrong place in the MT file structure, which is weird, given that it's their app and all, but whatev. So what you need to do is point the script to Bootstrap.pm using the absolute filepath, and all will be well.

  Sexy CSS Tips

Not that LiveJournal's going out of business anytime soon. Just saying it's good to be prepared.

ljdump - livejournal archive

ljArchive

This could spell the end of LJ as we know it. Oh well. That's why I use my own server.

Six Apart - Blog - Six Apart Announces New Home for LiveJournal

Six Apart, the world's leading independent blogging software and services company, today announced that SUP, an international media company, has acquired LiveJournal (LJ), the pioneer of social networking communities online used by millions of people around the world to connect through personal journals and topic-based communities. SUP has established an American company, LiveJournal, Inc., to manage and operate LiveJournal globally.

This agreement builds on the established and successful relationship between Six Apart and SUP, which entered into a licensing agreement in October 2006 permitting SUP to manage LiveJournal in Russia. The Russian LiveJournal community is second only to the U.S. in number of accounts, and has been influential enough in that country to make â..LiveJournalâ. synonymous with â..bloggingâ. in Russian.

Yes, but why?

wordpress-mt.jpg

Wordpress Interface for Movable Type (MT Hacks)

Why?

You may be asking yourself why I would create a Wordpress Interface for Movable Type. Partly, I did it as a bit of a joke (but it is real and is does work). Partly as a proof of concept, demonstrating that alternative user interfaces can be created for Movable Type, without a huge effort. Partly to provide a simpler user interface that may be suited to some users. While Movable Type has always (and will remain) my preferred platform, I have always admired the clean intuitive interface of Wordpress. Finally, I did it as a fun way to show that Movable Type and Wordpress can work together (at least in some ways), despite the "rivalry" between the two platforms.

  Creepy moustache rides

If the Japanese toupeé simulator pictures weren't creepy enough, Schick has taken the uncanny valley to new depths with their moustache simulator. It also has a 3D option, but is less smart than the Japanese site, and requires you to help it out by manually adjusting the face to their simulator. And, once everything is calibrated, the simulator is actually pretty crappy, and comes up with an even scarier representation of your face, with some pretty weird moustache styles (I mean, does anyone really want a Salvador Dali moustache, even as a joke?).

Here are some of the creepy images I came up with. Maybe it's my creepy, lifeless, anime-sized eyes, or the odd angles at which my shape-changing face keeps turning, but it really reinforces the notion that I would not look good in a moustache. Not even a little bit.

Also, they call it "manscaping", which sounds a little gay. Which also explains some of the moustache choices.

schick_manscaping1.jpg

schick_manscaping2.jpg

schick_manscaping3.jpg

An obviously right-wing troll who knows nothing about Canadian legislature gets their comeuppance when they posted the following editorialized entry on the current political situation.

Canada the victim of power-grabbing politicians. | MetaFilter

Canada the victim of power-grabbing politicians. December 2, 2008 12:31 PM

Canada is going through a bloodless coup less than two months after its last election. The world-wide financial crisis has proved too tempting a target for the three parties that didn't win the election and they have decided to overthrow the Conservative minority government based on the latest financial report. This hasn't been done in Canada since World War I.

Not only is it a perfectly legal procedure, a non-confidence vote has been done many times, and a coalition government was attempted in 1985 with Trudeau and Broadbent. It's also been done at the provincial level, and unofficial coalitions are practically commonplace in Canada. Sort of like when you're playing RISK.

What's probably not legal is trying to prorogue the legislature just because you're likely to lose a non-confidence vote. What makes you a douchebag is when you try to do this when you condemned it only 4 years earlier.

There was an interesting piece on InventorSpot today: a website from Japan that allows you to pose with a virtual toupee. Even though I'm completely comfortable with my own hair loss, I love the idea of getting all costumed-up, even virtually. And to be honest, I always wondered how I would look with a bunch of different Japanese hair styles.

I also had a spare image to use. So I uploaded it to this simulator. It's in Japanese, so there's a little guesswork involved, but the learning curve is nice and easy.

zuckervati_image_prime.jpg

There's a button on the simulator, which allows you to choose either a flat image, or a 3D image, and I was curious about how it would try to render my image in 3D, or even if it could. The results sent me down into the uncanny valley, on a broken wagon with no brakes.

First of all, it not only renders in 3D, but it instills some artificial life to the image, as if it were a weird version of me in a webcam, with a nervous twitch, looking around for the Off button. Also ... I have Japanese eyes. They've got a bluish tint to the whites, and they keep looking around nervously, following the cursor, as if I'm going to poke myself in the virtual face.

And, while it's a fascinating piece of technology, which allows me to try on several different hairpieces and glasses, it's really quite creepy.

hairtry1.jpg

hairtry2.jpg

And here I thought they loved me...

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

  ISP troubles

The website was offline for a couple of days. Here's how things went down:

My ISP was switching upstream providers, and as a result, required IP address changes on all its machines. The changeover happened at 10pm EST Sunday night, and I altered my name server entries around that time, in anticipation of the change.

However, the new provider had some routing issues, and the machines were not actually online or accessible until Monday at noon. I hope someone got in trouble for that. One of our machines came back online right away at that point, but my webserver failed to come back up. I could ping it, but no SSH or webserver access. I guessed there were problems with the services or maybe a firewall issue. We had a person on-site to reboot the machine.

Except he rebooted the wrong machine. Now, I know some people might not know the difference between a 2-U and a 4-U machine, so I mentioned that the machine I wanted rebooting was about a handspan tall, when viewing from the front of the rack. That wasn't an apt description, apparently, as the working server went offline for a few minutes.

By 3pm Tuesday, a sysadmin was available to fix the machine; the same guy who changed the IPs in the first place. It was indeed a firewall issue, and he wasn't aware I was using a firewall (which begs the question: what was he using?).

So the machine's back up, and I'm just hammering out some of the bugs in DNS.

  FactCheck.org

Nothing like checking FactCheck.org and debunking some popular urban legends. Here are just a few:

Q: How can Panamanian-born McCain be elected president?

A: Though born abroad, he is considered a natural-born U.S. citizen.

(what I like about the above answer is that "a smidgen of uncertainty remains")

Q: What was known to U.S. intelligence and Congress about WMDs in Iraq before the vote to go to war?

A: Senior U.S. intelligence officials believed, incorrectly, that Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and germ weapons and was developing nuclear weapons. They also agreed Saddam Hussein wouldn't give such weapons to terrorists unless attacked. Few members of Congress read the full 92-page report with all its qualifications and dissents.


Q: Is health care better in Canada?

A: Wait times are longer in Canada, but health and doctor quality don't seem to suffer.


Q: Were there really weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the U.S. invaded in 2003?

A: No. The Iraq Survey Group determined that Iraq had abandoned its quest to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and that it had already destroyed all of its existing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

  Detecting photoshopping

This was a bit of a tough quiz. Sometimes you have to look at the subject matter, and other times you have to look at the composition. Remember, this isn't bad photoshopping.

Photoshop Quiz
Created By Their Toys

Been having a little fun with yearbookyourself.com. I have to say, I'm a real big fan of face-altering mashup software, as we've seen before. You can upload a picture of yourself and mash it up into some old yearbook pictures. You can pick years between 1950 and 2000, so the possibilities for fun are somewhat limited. Here's my go at some early yearbooks:

zuckervati_the_early_years.jpg

Wow, I'm pretty sure I look like my dad in one of these. And possibly my grandfather in another.

Well now, if you've got a "That '70's Show" fixation, or are a big fan of "Saved by the Bell" then the next batch is even better:

zuckervati_the_later_years.jpg

The horrible irony is that the blond mulleted Zuckervati is pretty darned close to my actual yearbook picture.

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

  The history of trolls

No, no. Internet trolls. This gargantuan 7 page NYTimes article examines the history and motivations of the Internet's bridge-dwelling monsters.

Magazine Preview - Malwebolence - The World of Web Trolling - NYTimes.com

Why inflict anguish on a helpless stranger? Itâ..s tempting to blame technology, which increases the range of our communications while dehumanizing the recipients. Cases like An Hero and Megan Meier presumably wouldnâ..t happen if the perpetrators had to deliver their messages in person. But while technology reduces the social barriers that keep us from bedeviling strangers, it does not explain the initial trolling impulse. This seems to spring from something ugly â.. a destructive human urge that many feel but few act upon, the ambient misanthropy thatâ..s a frequent ingredient of art, politics and, most of all, jokes. Thereâ..s a lot of hate out there, and a lot to hate as well.

So far, despite all this discord, the Internetâ..s system of civil machines has proved more resilient than anyone imagined. As early as 1994, the head of the Internet Society warned that spam â..will destroy the network.â. The news media continually present the online world as a Wild West infested with villainous hackers, spammers and pedophiles. And yet the Internet is doing very well for a frontier town on the brink of anarchy. Its traffic is expected to quadruple by 2012. To say that trolls pose a threat to the Internet at this point is like saying that crows pose a threat to farming.

  Food in Peru

Very neat blog about a guy who goes to Peru and talks about the food you can get in Lima. Our Sales rep is from Peru and promises me a bottle of pisco and a bottle of their local rum when he goes back.

Peru Food: Travelog: Peru Food In Peru, The First Three Days In Lima

I am a creature of habit, and I have a culinary tradition when arriving in Lima which I have kept during the last few years of travel here. On this trip, I was able to maintain my tradition. After checking into our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima, we had a stroll around Miraflores' main park, Parque Kennedy, and I picked up the Lima daily, El Comercio, and headed to the Café Haiti, one of the grand old-fashioned Lima cafés to have my first Peruvian meal (lomo saltado and a frothy pisco sour) while people-watching. The waiters are definitely old-school and after so many times there, they know who I am. "In Lima again?" one of the waiters asked me, "Are you ready for your lomo saltado?" You have to love that type of service.

... or for regular people using glamour shots, or for people with webcams.

More like it's for people with seriously damaged egos. They have a height and weight listing for user profiles, but which are only ranges of heights and weights (i.e. people are 5'7"-5'11").

The weight system is even more baffling, since most of the guys are either 5 or 6kg. What does that even mean?

Only the beautiful people need apply

Like a gated community for hotties, BeautifulPeople.net is an elite Canadian club with "a strict ban on ugliness." Officially launching today, the controversial site -- versions of which have been introduced successfully in 15 other countries since 2002 -- is only open to men and women who are easy on the eyes, with members rating the photos of new applicants to determine their eligibility.

If you look like Charlize Theron, you're in. If you look like Charlize Theron in Monster, you're out.

Calling BeautifulPeople elitist but fair, the site's operators say they're "separating the hippos from the cheetahs" in the social networking jungle.


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