August 31, 2005

Political flood

bump dutifully points to an article over at Editor & Publisher questioning whether the White House is culpable for focusing more funds on Iraq and homeland security than on the New Orleans levees. The federal government set up SELA to prevent catastrophic flooding. This is only a more visceral effect of the egregious uselessness of Iraq. What quieter troubles are building as money is poured into Iraq? This has been discussed before, and the social trauma from the Republicans' fiscal ignorance in Iraq (hey, at least the Democrats attempt to throw money towards our society instead of away), ignoring their international and moral ignorance, can only be guessed at. Few could argue that the ROI of the Iraq war mitigates the billions lost to it.

And with this, I keep reading the defense "what do the Democrats offer instead?" Geesh, what wouldn't be better than what we have now? (Fukuyama has a more dispassionate assessment over at the NYT op-ed pages.)

Second question: are we equipped to handle this disaster with the few national guardsmen that are left here at home?

Continue reading "Political flood"
posted by sstrader at 12:19 PM in Culture & Society | tagged fukuyama, new orleans | permalink

August 29, 2005

Eclipse gotcha

Eclipse will sometimes allow you to have multiple views of the same file open. Often when debugging, it will open a new view of the file when it stops on a breakpoint. If you leave these multiple views open, you run the risk of editing one and losing changes in another. Ouch. I had read about this problem in a review of Eclipse, had kept an eye out for it, had see it happen several times and dodged it, but was just recently stung. So watch out. Sometimes the bug is smarter and more vigilant than the user.

I'm still enjoying Eclipse, it's just that I'm now rubbing the bump on my head where it hit me with a frying pan, and looking at it warily: "Oh, you ... (wagging finger with a slightly pained expression) ..."

posted by sstrader at 2:51 PM in Programming | permalink

The passion of the office

Over at /. they're tearing up on OpenOffice. At first I felt bad for the little office that could: raked over the coals in the one place it could find fellow travellers. Then I was happy that it didn't get a free pass--too much praise of anything at /. usually makes me suspicious. The problems:

Others pointed out the incredible savings from using OpenOffice if you can. All agree that it's a best fit only for single-office/home-office (SOHO). I've been using OpenOffice for a while and have generally been happy with my low-impact use. It fits my simple word processing and graphics needs as it would for any home user. I'm not the activist type, but I'm really close to removing MS Office from all of the machines on the home network just as a symbolic purgation. Still, as with browsers, there are some situations that you need that other product because of some proprietary design or somesuchthing.

Side note: What I appreciated the most from the /. thread was the no one brought up the spurious argument that you can't/shouldn't criticize something that's free. Whether it's open-source, Google, blog articles, or art, too many people think the object is somehow above examination. Most on the OpenOffice thread correctly argued the intent and whether and how much that intent was acheived.

posted by sstrader at 11:48 AM in Science & Technology | permalink

August 28, 2005


I haven't been connected with news lately, and Lisa had told me earlier (~5) how serious the Katrina thing is. There's a Flickr group, and Wikipedia has an entry as does Wikinews, although they don't have a central page for it yet. The Flickr group had 51 photos when I checked it at 5--it's now up to 74.

We've had several trips to New Orleans over the years. The most memorable was the shortest: Saturday morning to Sunday morning with around 15 people from work. The tickets were cheap and the trip was a hurricane-infused blur. My first trip was a very uncomfortable one meeting Lisa's friends and their families for the first time. Yipes. I've been to JazzFest several times but have never been to Mardi Gras. I was worried that I was getting too old and enfeebled to party with the crazies no matter how many topless women were promised, but a different story may unfold. The last several years seems like they've had an upsurge of documentaries on the possible fate of New Orleans, so you couldn't call it unexpected. But as with other tragedies, expectations don't nullify the shock. We'll see what happens.

posted by sstrader at 11:35 PM in Culture & Society | tagged new orleans | permalink

August 27, 2005

Storefront maps

Back in April, I was excited to see our condo from satellite and storefront. A9's storefront view is cool, but sometimes difficult to get to. Now, they've combined it with MapQuest maps and will show navigable photos of both sides of the street at the mapped location. Again, our condo. Neat.

Not supported in Opera. Blah.

Continue reading "Storefront maps"
posted by sstrader at 4:13 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

Last night

Dinner at Soho in Vinings. We hadn't been in a while and it always has a nice, simple atmosphere with good wines. I've been on Pinot Noirs for a while, but was a little unhappy with the Cloudline I started out with. For dinner, we had a very nice Barbera d'Asti (but unfortunately didn't write down the name). Dinner was good enough but we agreed that both of our dishes (her: seafood pasta, me: snapper & veggies) lacked a little in flavor. Still, recommended.

Afterwards we had a battle over either the Star Bar or The Earl. The Earl won out but had people lined up outside, so we ended up at the Flatiron down the street. We eventually got in a music discussion with someone named Bess and a guy I had thought she was with but ended up being just some random guy. He was quite the snob and scoffed at my general question of "what is the 'Stairway to Heaven' of our day?" No answer was ultimately found. Slightly weird: at one point Bess took our picture. I assume everything ends up on the Internets, so look for a picture of me looking ... sauced.

My jukebox plays: Sonic Youth's "Orange Rolls and Angel's Spit," Radiohead's "Myxomatosis" (currently working on a transcription), and a mysterious third choice that I'm sure was equally good (3/$1!). Nice jukebox, also recommended.

Thanks to the detailed reciept, I see that the Barbera was a Contratto Barbera D'Asti Panta Rei.
posted by sstrader at 12:39 PM in Personal | permalink

August 26, 2005


Listening to Fresh Air on the way to recycling. While discussing the less than moral life that his father led, John Le Carre said that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue (originally by François de La Rochefoucauld?). Nice quote.

posted by sstrader at 4:43 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

August 25, 2005

Last Sunday

Almost forgot: last Sunday our dining group (greatly reduced to only four) went to Daily's for dinner during Restaurant Week (now even restaurants have a week?). The deal was that you could get a 3-course meal for $20.05.

I'll echo Matt's review: it was a meal worth $20.05. Nothing special, but they also have a downstairs bar with live, jazz-type music. Daddy-o.

Continue reading "Last Sunday"
posted by sstrader at 3:17 PM in Personal | permalink

Encoding URLs

If you're going to reference URLs in a Web page generated through code, you need to encode the search part of those URLs to have acceptably escaped HTML characters. In Java you can do the following:

import java.lang.*;

// Copy our raw URL.
String encodedURL = rawURL;

// Determine if the URL contains a query.
URL url = new URL(rawURL);
if (url.getQuery() != null) {
    // Encode only the query part.
    int queryIndex = rawURL.indexOf(url.getQuery());
    encodedURL =
        rawURL.substring(0, queryIndex) +
        url.getQuery().replaceAll("&", "&");

Friday 26 August 2005

Code changed above. Instead of using URL.Encode() to encode the query, just replace ampersands with their HTML escape. We don't want any equal signs encoded.

Continue reading "Encoding URLs"
posted by sstrader at 11:56 AM in Programming | permalink

JavaScript gotcha

A recent (humbling) discovery: you need to explicitly define looping variables in functions called recursively. So, in the following pseudo-code, the "var" was left out and a single "index" variable will exist across all calls (probably screwing up your intended results):

function recurse(collection)
    // Ouch! Forgot the var.
    for (index = 0; index < collection.length; ++index)

I hate that I still have scoping issues with JavaScript. Curses.

Continue reading "JavaScript gotcha"
posted by sstrader at 11:15 AM in Programming | permalink

Heard your name the other day...

I really dug Sonic Youth's song "Karen Koltrane" when I first purchased A Thousand Leaves. In its exposition it has moments like Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" [Amazon]. In fact, A Thousand Leaves as a whole--despite some insightful sarcasm--is no slouch of an album: "Female Mechanic Now On Duty" had that "Swimsuit Issue" fuck-you vibe thatletsfaceit is what we all love about Kim Gordon--women should get that pissed off at times. And the coda/B-section is nice. I was comfortable with the familiar structure of pieces like "Wildflower Soul" with its deft return to the opening riff, but, and I hate to say this, I wouldn't recommend the final disintigration of "Ineffable Me" on anyone. They're at their most art brut/expressionist there, and it's a difficult style to absorb.

I guess that's like complaining about death metal, but you see what I mean. Anyway, on the much-maligned Murray Street, they have what I've always assumed to be "Karen Koltrane"'s pair: "Karen Revisited." Duh. I often revisit that pair of songs--even if the 7 minutes of guitar noise closing out the 11-minute "Revisited" is sometimes a little too much to take.

a thousand leaves

I hadn't really realized (not so consciously) how unnerving the cover art is. The symbols are all there, and yeah I get it, but I guess there were a few things I missed. Although it, again, reminds me of one of my drawing teachers critiquing my (somewhat) anguished style in college: "You're young and you're going through changes, that's coming out in your art." Since then, it's been difficult to appreciate such brutal artwork (no matter how deeply ingrained it is).

Anyway, the two "Karen"s are a good listen all the same.

posted by sstrader at 12:19 AM in Music | permalink

August 24, 2005



Not all that interesting, but it's what I'm listening to right now while programming. I had forgotten how wonderfully tasteless independent radio could be. And check out the description of DJ Messy's show on Kill Radio ifyoudare. Whatdya expect, she plays Peaches, yo.

posted by sstrader at 10:37 PM in Music | permalink

August 23, 2005

Death of Klinghoffer tonight

I just heard on the radio about its British premiere at the Edinburg International Festival tonight. Similarly but different, a small-staged opera called Manifest Destiny is playing through the 29th at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (with an interesting concept but unfortunately a poor review). How is it you always hear about fascinating events not where you live?

posted by sstrader at 9:58 AM in Music | permalink

August 22, 2005

Recent work

Along with the EventNet project, I've been refactoring the aggregation code behind RadioWave within Eclipse. The debug tools there have been helpful in cleaning up the mess that can occur when learning new techniques. Yeah, excuses excuses. Anyway, while finding my way around Eclipse, I fixed some problems with duplicate entries in BBC 4, eliminated failed updates of file-based Web sites, and sped up the database access. However, with all of that reorganization and testing some of the existing recordings were lost. Duh. Still, it always feels good to clean house.

Kevin recommended WREK's Tuesday show "Loud Smoky Rooms," but their stream hasn't worked over the last few days, so I don't have too much hope of it getting recorded. The two problems with aggregating streaming radio have been lack of online schedules and obfuscated or missing stream links. Independent and public broadcasting stations seem to be the most open with both, with commercial and (surprisingly) college the least. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Continue reading "Recent work"
posted by sstrader at 5:14 PM in Programming | permalink

More on semantics

This HP paper on tagging systems explains well what I had previously explained so poorly. From the paper:

Like a Venn diagram, the set of all the items marked cats and those marked africa would intersect in precisely one way, namely, those documents that are tagged as being about African cats. Even this is not perfect, however. For example, a document tagged only cheetah would not be found in the intersection of africa and cats, though it arguably ought to; like the foldering example above, a seeker may still need to search multiple locations.

This illustrates the limitations of both folders and tags, and how an ontology however achieved is required to provide more encompassing results. A user should be able to specify "Africa" and "cats" and the system should understand all of the hyponyms of "cats" ("cheetah" etc.) as well as those of "Africa" ("Egypt" etc.). A taxonomy gives us this.

People have complained about the brittleness of these implemented tagging systems. I agree that they are not ideal, but as this HP document shows, their existence and popularity allow us to examine how a system could improve on them.

posted by sstrader at 10:26 AM in Programming | permalink

The semantic players

Re-reading some entries on the semantic Web and found Burningbird's link to this summary by Peter Van Dijck of the major concepts being discussed and the people discussing them. With pictures!

The biggest problem here, I think, is the top-down v. bottom-up issue: that v. really needs to go. The argument is that of (primarily) a defined versus an emergent global ontology. The Van Dijck article points out an emotional source to this issue, but I think it originates from the AI realm and the top-down-bottom-up battles there. A power metaphor is compelling but only after the fact.

posted by sstrader at 9:46 AM in Programming | permalink

August 21, 2005

An evil genius visits Atlanta

Went to see MF Doom [Wikipedia] at The Loft last night with Scott (not me, the other Scott). Great show for my introduction into live, underground hip hop. Check out Doom's colorful history on Wikipedia. And, yes, he raps with that metal mask. Cool.

mf doom

The (many) opening MCs were mixed, but Mobonix stood out for me. And Doom's DJ, DJ Kool Akiem, introduced me to some kool music, although I unfortunately have no idea who it was he played (I was the only one in the crowd with that problem, as everyone was singing along).

Odd event of the evening: on the walk over to The Loft, some scruffy guy started walking with me and either offered or asked for sex, I couldn't really tell which. Once my position on that subject was clear, he went on a rambling monologue that ended with a somewhat schizophrenic list of items that he knows: Motorola vacuum tubes, the electromagnetic spectrum, sine waves, heraldry, ley lines, etc. It went on and on until we had to part as he made his way back to Peachtree Street. Crazy kids.

Continue reading "An evil genius visits Atlanta"
posted by sstrader at 1:35 PM in Music | permalink

Genius idea

Create a wiki to manage social events/happenings. It should allow those events to be easily searched and categorized, but of equal importance, as with most wikis, it should allow anyone to manage the entries. Too often, I've gone to closed, business-owned sites that are generally over-full with ads or diluted with out-of-date information. If the information isn't out-of-date, the sites collect it in an exclusionary manner with pay-per-placement and by acting as editorial guards to what they consider worth reporting. This sounds like a familiar problem that an open Web site could solve.

Continue reading "Genius idea"
posted by sstrader at 12:52 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

August 19, 2005

Villa Rica and Cowtown

Lunch with Kevin at Burrito Jones in Carrollton. Delicious burritos and they separate your beer bottles, et al. for recycling. Notonlythatbutalso, tonight they have a couple of bands playing--for a minimal cover you get music plus $1 PBRs. If I weren't so drained from last night (APWBWGTTD at the Highlander then more drinks at Apres Diem), I'd be there.

posted by sstrader at 9:20 PM in Personal | permalink

Behold: Another napkin!!

We're like an improv group that gets worse the more we work together. This month's poll, "What was your least favorite job?" revealed a marked creative decline not only in questions but answers. I blame activist judges, of course.

the napkin 2: a new beginning

The history:

Someone really needs to start archiving these better...

posted by sstrader at 7:44 PM in Personal | permalink

August 18, 2005


The Eclipse [Wikipedia] IDE has completely amazed me as I've been using it for my new Java project. I had learned Java/JSP development on the long-defunct Forte IDE from Sun. Forte was powerful but very quirky and has become pretty outdated, so it's nice to get on a more modern IDE. From my basic experience within .NET I think that Eclipse is at least comparable, but I've still considerable digging around to do.

I haven't looked at the C/C++ side of it yet (the C/C++ Development Toolkit). This article provides a simple overview of the C++ tools for Eclipse and points to a demo for configuring MinGW with the CDT. With this configuration, I'm not sure if I will also need gdb and make.

Continue reading "Eclipse"
posted by sstrader at 12:54 PM in Programming | permalink

August 17, 2005

Last night

One of my initial impulses for a blog was to record the when and the where of those many places I go and yet quickly forget. What did I do last week? How the hell should I know. Well, now I will make a concerted effort to know:

Last night: B-day party for a friend at Piebar then more drinks at The Independent. Piebar was not the hipswank type joint that I had feared, and our waitress impressed the geeks at the table with a high-tech method of pre-emptively splitting the check: tear off a piece of paper with a little number written on it and hand it to the person. Voila. Lisa and I were #16.

The Independent was nice enough, but ... well, I had a somewhat humbling experience. So by that time, the b-day crowd of 25-or-so had filtered down to maybe 6-or-so and we were mostly sitting in this living room type area: a couple of couches around a coffee table. Anyway, Lisa was busy getting some kinda scoop on something from some friend, so I tried to talk to this random unknown girl in the group. Well, apparently my conversations are the most boring things in the world. I don't flirt per se (Lisa may disagree), so although I was drunk enough not to remember the specifics of the conversation (something about her job or something?) I remember it wasn't anything as goofy as some of my other drunk conversations have been. Whatever we were talking about, she could not get away from me quickly enough. So either: (a) I'm boring, or (b) I appear to be "on the make" and am a buffoon. Either way it ain't pretty. (a) is actually more upsetting. Why do I even try to talk to people?

I'm staying in.

posted by sstrader at 11:28 AM in Personal | permalink

August 16, 2005

Hey, lover...

Get out of the house, you shut-in!

OK, so Lisa and I went to the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema (with Lady Crumpet, Scott, and Brian) to see Man with the Screaming Brain introduced by the man with the screaming brain, Bruce Campbell.

Continue reading "Hey, lover..."
posted by sstrader at 2:15 PM in Cinema | permalink

August 13, 2005

Currently Listening To

Picking up a couple of the Naxos CDs I had purchased for future listening.

First, the Elliott Carter. I was dumbfounded at first listening to the Copland-styled tonality of the Holiday Overture and Symphony No. 1. He was, apparently, still finding his own style in these early pieces. A style I would praise from Walter Piston I only tolerate from Carter, possibly because of the unique experience of hearing Carter's own voice in his two-movement Piano Concerto that closes the CD. Difficult but enjoyable.

Ginastera is one of those composers I know of but don't know. Time to get more familiar with his Piano Concertos (yesyes, Keith Emerson did an arrangement of No. 1's Toccata on Brain Salad Surgery [Amazon]). These come after his overtly nationalistic period and can be compared with Bartok's works: both composers created very nationalist works that then influenced their more, say, international styles.

From RadioWave, I've got the two Romatic era Violin Concertos of Max Bruch.

Finally, some nerdcore from MC Frontalot. Poor programming, I know, but it's new so I gotta listen to it.

Continue reading "Currently Listening To"
posted by sstrader at 12:24 PM in Current Interests , Music | permalink

August 12, 2005


Today I became a Perl programmer. Not a good Perl programmer but a Perl programmer all the same. It's almost readable to me now! Except ... well, and this is probably one reason why I'll never get a valid nerd card: I despise regular expressions. Yesyesyes, I understand their power and all, but the sheer unreadability and brazen obfuscatalogical syntax is just irritating.

Anyway, there you have it. I kicked around in the MT code to add some spam filtering (task 2 of my current short-term sabbatical), and let-me-tell-you it was way overdue. There'll be some continued tinkering--even if it's not needed, just so that I can play around some more--so we'll see how that turns out. Ultimately, let's hope we're approaching the end of those jackass spammers around here.

Time to update my resume.

Continue reading "@_"
posted by sstrader at 3:46 PM in Programming | permalink

August 11, 2005


It takes WNYC to introduce me to this?!? Apparently, there's a music genre called Nerdcore hip hop [Wikipedia]. Some songs: "Message No. 419" (about Nigerian spam), "Fett's Vette" (obvious), and "Entropy" (from MC Hawking [Wikipedia], who back in January I thought was merely a one-off joke). This might get on my nerves eventually, but it's pretty damn funny right now.

Check out MC Hawking and the anti-fundamentalist video "What We Need More Of Is Science" and MC Frontalot who was interviewed on WNYC. Playing the HTML geek, he suggested that his Behind the Music story would speak of his "tragic open end-bracket."

posted by sstrader at 11:53 AM in Music | permalink

August 10, 2005

Mother of protest, part 2

Daily Kos is reporting that Cindy Sheehan may be breaking the law (trespassing) and therefore may be arrested. It seems all very iffy with the updates that Kos has posted, but it does put her more closely in alliance with--as Will Bunch had suggested--previous practitioners of civil disobedience. She's breaking the law: Are her actions extreme? Could she be considered a threat? Why are some who protest ignored and she is not? As media covers her story to a greater degree, the administration must respond to a greater degree, etc., ignoring which came first in the escalation or how it came to escalate.

This reminds me of an hilarious (scary) clip on Jon Stewart where he shows Bill O'Reilly stating that since a human rights organization [who?] was investigating allegations from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, they were allies to terrorists. In the same Jon Stewart show, there was another clip of O'Reilly telling John McCain that he was wrong to say that torture isn't a productive method of information gathering.


So I guess if a human rights organization and an ex-POW are glaringly-wrong-and-borderline-traitorous, a protesting mother could be equally so. (Am I being too unfair to gather the administration's actions with O'Reilly's statements under one large, irrational threat to dissent?)

Continue reading "Mother of protest, part 2"
posted by sstrader at 12:36 PM in Politics | permalink

Mother of protest

Cindy Sheehan was one of those stories (wouldn't you like your name to be a definite-article-type label?) that I was somewhat disinterested in when it started bubbling to the top. Yeah, a mother can and should be pissed off at Bush, but there are tens of thousands of mothers et al. that should and are. Why is this one getting the attention? Yes, she's exerting greater and possibly more noble an effort, but when should a poll of one be more powerful than a poll of the country?

However, reading Will Bunch's report on the possible smear campaign against Sheehan, with his lucid clarification of the timeline of Sheehan's actions in the public record, has brought the event back to the surface for me. I'm not sure that Ms. Sheehan's the right choice to debate the morality or wisdom of the war--despite her weaker opponent--but maybe her effort makes her the right choice.

Why do people put greater trust in an individual than in polls? It's more difficult to rally around a poll as a symbol of our anger than to rally around a passionate individual, but it was a passionate individual who lied to get us into this war. I didn't trust the first one, and because of that I feel little need for this one.

Continue reading "Mother of protest"
posted by sstrader at 10:22 AM in Politics | permalink

August 9, 2005

Everything Is Illuminated; Foer, Jonathan Safran

How did I hear about this book? I'm not sure, but a KQED interview of the author reminded of it back in April and I ordered it not long after. Many sections consist of a sort of dialect writing, with a Ukrainian narrator writing in thesaurus-laden English (as he explains: Like you know, I am not first rate with English. In Russian my ideas are asserted abnormally well, but my second tongue is not so premium. I undertaked to input the things you counseled me to, and I fatigued the thesaurus you presented me, as you counseled me to, when my words appeared too petite, or not befitting). I thought it would get old, but it quickly dropped into the background, and now--at least in my head--I'm calling everything "premium."

Anxious to see the movie [IMDB] with Elijah Wood and written by Liev Schreiber.

Continue reading "Everything Is Illuminated; Foer, Jonathan Safran"
posted by sstrader at 9:44 AM in Current Interests , Language & Literature | permalink

August 8, 2005

Where was I?

Ended the contract a-day-early-but-two-weeks-late last Thursday then tied one on with The Wife and The Brother. First dinner at Agave Oops: it was actually Inman Park Patio. Agave was a 45-minute wait. Bah. with Lisa (had a nice, grapefruity Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc) then we headed to Eno for drinks with Bob, and finally home to argue about cinema and finish off a couple of our cheaper bottles. Hey, I'm unemployed now, so the good stuff has to be saved.

Continue reading "Where was I?"
posted by sstrader at 10:57 AM in Where was I? | permalink

August 3, 2005


Apparently, keyboard cases and stands travel faster than the keyboards themselves. Let's try this again tomorrow.

ups keyboard

posted by sstrader at 9:26 PM in Music | permalink

RealOne sucks

I am so incredibly pissed at RealOne that it's inconceivable.

I've used it for years to organizize my ripped CDs. It has it's usability problems, but generally gets the job done. Until earlier today when I had it rename files in my collection en masse to take care of some several dozen that had been tagged correctly but that were in various wrong folders. Like other organizers, RealOne has a feature to move files based on a directory structure that matches the file information: Artist\Album\Track.mp3, Album\Track.mp3, Album\Artist - Track.mp3, etc.

Well, after I did the simple re-org, a large number of the files have been renamed as fucking duplicates of existing files! The second movement from Beethoven's Piano Sonata #15 is "Kool Thing," or rather "Kool Thing (2)" sitting in the same directory of the actual "Kool Thing" and with the exact same ID3 information as the actual "Kool Thing." Elvis Costello is now apparently Kansas, and Prokovief symphonies are part of the Hip Jazz-Bop! collection.

Mother. Fuck.

I have over 3,000 tracks recorded and from a certain amount of very frustrated looking, it appears that there could be hundreds of these mis-labels. I am so infuriated that--and I say this with complete seriousness, so arrest me now--I am going to BOMB THE FUCK OUT OF THE REAL.COM HEADQUARTERS!!

I don't even know how to begin fixing this.

Continue reading "RealOne sucks"
posted by sstrader at 5:14 PM in Music | permalink

Chevron and Nigeria

I recently learned about the complicity of Exxon in human rights abuses in Indonesia. Alleged abuses. Anyway, the EFF legal director is currently representing Nigerian civilians against Chevron. Apparently, allegedly, Chevron paid local security forces who killed the Nigerians' relatives and neighbors [via BoingBoing]. (Within the last 30 minutes, Google News went from six hits to 162.)

Is it naive for me to be surprised? First at Exxon and Indonesia then Chevron and Nigeria? I guess that even though you can imagine what can-and-probably-does happen, the specifics will be jarring.

posted by sstrader at 9:34 AM in Culture & Society | permalink

August 2, 2005


ups keyboard

posted by sstrader at 9:38 PM in Music | permalink

UPS obsession

So I'm waiting on my new keyboard, checking the UPS site every five minutes and refreshing the tracking status list. Comeon comeon comeon! And I'm thinking: someone needs to write a Google Maps hack to map all of this. I have no idea where Lenexa, KS is--and even if I did, I wouldn't know how far it was from Earth City, MO. Few would.

But then I think: this is too genius of an idea for me to have come up with it first. So I Google ups tracking google maps and immediately find a Greasemonkey user script to map UPS package routes. Nice. Although it would be nicer if it marked arrivals and departures, but I'm sure that's in the works.

But why isn't it making my keyboard travel faster?

posted by sstrader at 1:53 PM in Culture & Society | permalink