Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 00:53
The past couple of days have been busy, highly eventful, and fruitful, to be sure, which is why I've only been posting terse updates here and there.
Here's what happened:
Lucien, the mail server that I've been running for the past couple of years, flamed out on Monday afternoon, leaving me mostly incommunicado for a few days. I had to scramble to construct a replacement for reasons that I'll go into shortly. What I wound up doing was downloading an .iso image of the 2007.0 release of Gentoo Linux
and while Leandra was pulling it down I hunted through the lab closet to find suitable replacement components - a mainboard, RAM, and CPU. The night before I'd run to Micro Center to buy a new power supply because I would be using the chassis of Lyssa's old workstation. I also had a couple of hard drives stashed away in the closet that I'd have to reformat to put to use.
The specifics of how I built Akara (the new mail server) are fairly straightforward as servers go. The only really unusual thing I did was split the drives between the two IDE channels because I mirrored the disks for redundancy's sake, so if one drive blew the other would keep running until I could find a replacement. Then I set about installing Gentoo, which proved problematic - it took a couple of tries before I could get the live CD to boot properly. In hindsight, I think that there's a bad memory module on Akara's mainboard that I'll have to track down at some point.
More under the cut...
Thursday, 28 June 2007 at 12:30
I finished restoring the mail queues from the mail store drive a few minutes ago. Akara is now fully operational. If you need your passwords re-set, contact me via the usual channels. I'm going to write up the tricks I've picked up along the way in a later post.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 at 22:37
Your accounts have been recreated so that e-mail can stop bouncing and be delivered. I won't be able to restore your old mail until tomorrow because it'll mean taking Akara offline for a while to keep from hosing the mailstore. You won't be able to log in until I re-set your passwords - contact me via encrypted mail at my personal address or hit me on one of the instant messenger networks and I'll get you hooked up.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007 at 21:49
Thanks to Lyssa and a quick run to Micro Center on Monday night, I had enough parts to put together a new mail server who seems to want to be named Akara. I'm not sure if Akara is male or female, but Akara is busily processing the backload of SMTP attempts that have piled up since Monday. I'm going to let her burn in overnight and then tomorrow I'll connect the drive that contains the original mailstore and start reconstructing accounts.
Monday, 25 June 2007 at 16:28
The magick smoke got out of Lucien this afternoon. I'm going to start constructing a new mail server tonight once I find a new chassis and ATX power supply (500 watts or more).
I'm going to try to recover everything that I possibly can; if you've got secondary e-mail, use it until further notice.
Friday, 22 June 2007 at 16:02
About two Fridays ago, Lyssa and I hopped the Metro to go toward downtown DC to a little indie movie theatre on E Street, the one theatre in the area that is showing the movie Daywatch
(or Дневно́й дозо́р
, if you speak Russian). The movie picks up some time after the events of Nightwatch
- Anton is training Svetlana, the woman at the end of the first movie as a member of the Night Watch, when all hell breaks loose (as one would expect of such a movie).
Under this cut, here there be spoilers... if you haven't seen the movie yet, don't click.
More under the cut...
Friday, 22 June 2007 at 15:26
After the main rite on Saturday, everyone sort of split up and went off to do their own things for a while. Lyssa and I went down to the kitchen to grab dinner, which was a potluck assembled out of dishes supplied by everyone at Thresholds this year. Corvaxgirl was kind enough to take command of the kitchen while the rest of us up top were doing witchy-type stuff to make it all happen. A few weeks ago, Hasufin and Lyssa canned a couple of quarts of chicken soup, so our contribution was a box of one quart jars of soup which were heated up on the gas stove and left warm for whomever wanted to partake. We also filched a couple of pieces of the honey-corn bread that Corvaxgirl made - I really need to get that recipe, it's a good skillet bread...
Later in the evening, well after the festivities were over and everyone went back to doing their thing, Lyssa, Laurelinde, and I went stargazing for a while as we walked around the camp. It really is amazing how many stars you can see when you go far enough away from the city. There really wasn't any light pollution to speak of so we could see hundreds, if not thousands of stars in the sky, from horizon to horizon. I wish that I'd had my camera with me - I'd have turned off the flash and taken some exposures of the night sky.
More under the cut...
Thursday, 21 June 2007 at 15:24
Somewhere in Czechoslovakia (or whatever it's really called these days - I was never any good with geopolitical boundries in that region of the world, which I suppose marks me as a product of the United States public education system), the owners of a local attraction of some beauty have a webcam set up. You can go to their website and look out over the woods, the hot springs, and what have you.
On Sunday morning a group of crackers and pranksters calling themselves Ztohoven hacked the camera feed to make it look like someone had just detonated a nuclear device
. Either by design or through coincidence, the webcam feed was being shown on local television at the moment they switched the images. There's a video of the newscast linked through this article.
Thursday, 21 June 2007 at 15:14
What a week. As the Finn once said, "There's no rest for the wicked," and that seems to be the absolute truth anymore. Between driving, running around, paperwork, getting things together, and a whole right host of other things, I've barely had any time to sit down and write a proper entry. Last night was something of an anomaly because I'd managed to free up some time and do something with it.
So let's see if I can do it again.
Lyssa and I got up at some point on Saturday morning, cold, shivering, damp in ways that H.P. Lovecraft wrote about, hungry (because we really hadn't had anything to eat before the sweat lodge the night before), and generally in a rather poor mood. If nothing else, the showers down at the bottom of the hill had warm water, with which we managed to clean off the remains of the mustiness from the humidity the night before. It was the times following that which I'd rather not write about. Suffice it to say that it took a couple of hours before the majority of the words heard at Four Quarters Farm were civil ones.
Hasufin and Mika were kind enough to make a slew of pancakes over the campfire, of which I helped myself to a half-dozen or so. Between that, a cup of coffee (which wasn't very good - my stash of ground coffee hadn't survived the humidity well at all), and a hot cup of coffee from the kitchen (and Helen's coffee bean grinder - I need to add her to my will for that touch of home!) i felt almost together enough to run a workshop and get ready for the main ritual. It was around this time that it was suggested to me by a large number of people that I run the second workshop of the day as well (the Lost Boys were still on the shelf due to the antibiotics they were taking), but I wasn't terribly comfortable doing so without any preparation or someone to bounce off of, so I decided to make it a Q&A session instead of a workshop and went in search of someone who could help me jumpstart things. I asked around a bit and discovered that Shadowmorphic (of the New York City crew) could help, and so I went in search of her.
Shadow- had been MIA all night, and no one had seen her. Just the same, I left word with a half-dozen people that I needed to talk to her about the Q&A/workshop, and that I would greatly appreciate her assistance.
Past this point, dear reader, lie many unusual things. If the unusual references make you uncomfortable, then treat them as a short story, similiar to the one I wrote early last week for "Blog Like It's the End of the World" day.
More under the cut...
Monday, 18 June 2007 at 22:43
I still have to write about the rest of Thresholds, going to see Daywatch
, and on Sunday night going to The True Colors Tour
to see the Dresden Dolls
and Cyndi Lauper perform. There's a lot going on right now; story of my lives for the past month or so, in fact.
But I still want to write about something, so I'm going to get out my war jacket and write about the Tor Hidden Wiki
More under the cut...
Friday, 15 June 2007 at 16:15
is back, and from the looks of it has been for a while. Shows what happens when you stop paying attention for a little while...
Friday, 15 June 2007 at 16:13
Earlier this week, Torrentspy
, one of the largest BitTorrent tracker search engines on the Net made a startling announcement: They were ordered by the district court of California to start logging access information from users to make it easier to hunt them down
. The judge presiding over the case, however, decided to grant the people who run Torrentspy some time before enforcing this order to give them an opportunity to file an appeal, which had to be in by 12 June 2007. As it turns out, they're being sued by the MPAA because they're making it easier for people to download pirated movies on the Net, even though they don't actually make the movies available, they just tell you which trackers have them available and display some information about the health of the torrent (the location of the tracker, number of seeders, et cetera). Ira Rothken, the attorney representing the maintainers of Torrentspy, went on record as saying that they would sooner cut off all access to the search engine from IP addresses within US nets then take their site down.
This court order would set an uncomfortable precendent, in that most any website on the Net could be compelled to keep detailed and accurate logs of each and every thing accessed by anyone on the Net as part of the discovery process. This amounts to helping law enforcement gather information sufficient to determine if there is probable cause, rather than as a result of there actually being
On top of all of this, the court ruled that the RAM of a running server is a document that must be turned over as evidence
, so if a machine is seized everything active in silicon at that time (as well as the swap space) must be properly preserved and archived for later forensic analysis. Now, this has been SOP for forensics for years because sometimes intruders don't leave anything laying around on disk that can be recovered, but this is part of the discovery process, by which the court determines if any crimes have actually been committed.
Friday, 15 June 2007 at 12:26
Every year at Defcon
they assemble a huge computer network and populate it with machines of all kinds as part of a competition. The objective is simple: Crack as many of the system on the network as you can, find the flag (it's a Capture the Flag competition), and defend your turf as best you can. The game requires the competitors to think fast on their feet because they don't know what they'll run into on the CtF network, and they'll be faced with network services that they may never have seen before. The challenge is to find vulnerabilities in those mystery services, write working exploits to get in, and keep moving forward.
This year, they've upped the stakes: If you'll be playing Capture the Flag this year you have to bring at least one of your own boxen. Lock it down as best you can, but leave two services specified by the CtF team running on all network interfaces. If it gets pwn3d, the person who cracked it gets to keep your machine. If you crack a machine on the CtF network, you get to take it home with you.
The last box standing wins.
Any kind of machine you've got can be put up for grabs. DEC Alphas. Novell servers. State of the art multiprocessor machines. There'll be at least one Commodore 64 with an ethernet interface and a TCP/IP stack this year. If you can jack it into a data network, it's fair game.
Thursday, 14 June 2007 at 13:20
The retrocomputing enthusiasts over at briel.com are developing a desktop case that I really, really would like to get my hands on after they start producing them: It looks like the chassis of an Altair 8800
, from the late 1970's. That's right, the very first 'personal' computer, complete with LEDs and toggle switches on the front panel. It's an ATX style case with a power supply that can drive up to a Pentium-4 system, and has enough quiet cooling to keep it from catching on fire. The drive bays are hidden behind the front panel, which has its own microcontroller driving the LEDs. You can either let it run through a number of "I look really technical and thus important" demos ala Jurassic Park
, or you can plug the microcontroller into a USB port and program it with serial emulation software.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 at 23:18
About four hours ago the few of us in NOVA who weren't utterly under seige by the zombies
managed to make a break for the minivan in the parking lot. I ignited one of the thermite charges we'd constructed with a blowtorch and used it to blow the gas tank of an abandoned Volkswagon Beetle down the block by hurling it with an improvised atlatl
. After the blast took out most of the pack that had piled up outside of the building one of the others in the apartment unlocked the doors and started the engine via her remote control keyfob. We slammed the door and re-sealed the wards before taking off like Ann Rand herself was hot on our heels with a book of poetry in the general direction of the 'van.
Through some miracle we didn't lose anyone to the horde of hungry dead. They were too busy trying to pick themselves up after losing considerable portions of their individual anatomies in the detonation. The rainstorm helped to contain the fires that erupted, so the collateral damage is, as they go, minimal. I can't say the same for the suspension of the minivan. We had to plow a couple of them down to make good on our escape. I think we blew the shocks out, and the front brakes aren't in such good shape, ether. I was riding shotgun while the owner's husband, an older Indian guy named Ramesh, drove. I spent a goodly distance of the trip hanging out of the passenger's side window, my legs tied up in the seatbelts, my ceremonial sword (sadly, no longer consecrated) in my good hand, the optical pump weapon's handgrip in the other, and a belt of dry cell batteries scavenged from old uninterruptible power supplies fastened with duct tape around my waist.
You know what? This zombie killing stuff is for the birds. Give me a couple of downed Cisco routers and half a million bitching customers any day. In fact, I'd rather get another of those 0300 calls from the kids down at The Vision and the Voice. You know the kind: Somebody starts playing with a grimoire and doesn't find the booby traps, their parents find them convulsing on the floor, spitting black blood all over the place, and muttering in Attic Greek or Enochian with a fever of one hundred and five. The kind of calls that make you want to join a monastery.
I don't know if it's a curse, a virus, or a true incursion of the undead that's happening here, but I sure as hell know this: You take off the head and they drop like a stone. You take off the head and they don't get back up and try to drag you out of the vehicle by your hair, 懂吗?
By the time we made it to the local Metro station I'd handed the optical pump weapon to Ramani, who is a better shot with an LED laser than I ever will be. Cool as ice and twice as steady, she picked off the shamblers left and right, filling the air with the smell of burned, spoiled pork and a fine mist of carbonized grey matter. I'd taken to using both hands on my sword and trying to cut down anything that had the misfortune to get in my way.
That's how I nearly decapitated Hasufin, who'd gotten on top of the Orange Line train heading toward Vienna, Virginia by jumping from the subway platform down at Metro Center and was making all possible haste for my apartment on a stolen bicycle after reaching Dunn Loring. I hope he'll forgive me one of these days.
More under the cut...
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 at 16:56
Here are the pictures I took at the Skinny Puppy concert
on Monday. The first dozen or so are those yahoos I've been calling Attack of the Cyborg Hamsters
. I'll be making Gravatar/forum/Livejournal icons out of some of them for fun later.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 at 15:53
It's getting worse out there - the building that Lyssa works in has been sealed by the US military
to keep the invading forces out. They've got a small stockpile of supplies, but the facility is running on backup power. Environment control will probably be turned off soon, if it hasn't been already.
I'm going to try to fight my way over to that abandoned minivan in the parking lot
, fortify it however I can, and do two things: I'm going to make for Hasufin's place to get those texts he mentioned, along with his research, and I'm going to try to make it to the IBM building to pick up Lyssa and anyone else that needs transportation. Thankfully, the leviathans of the suburbs often have full tanks of petrol around here, mostly because they use so much to begin with. Thanks to copy of Chemical Magic by Leonard Ford
in my library I've been able to improvise a small number of thermite lances to keep the zombies at bay while the rest of the team I've cobbled together head for the van.
I know, I know, I swore that I'd never mess with the stuff ever again, but this is one of those "put up or shut up" situations, and I'm willing to take the risk. Frankly, I'd prefer burning whole limbs off if the reaction goes out of control rather than have them chewed off by the hungry dead. Finding iron oxide, aluminum, and magnesium around the building were fairly easy, or it is if you know what their industrial uses are. A concentrated source of oxygen, bound up in a readily reactive compound was harder but leave it up to kids doing things their parents won't like to have really good ideas.
I wonder what Orthaevelve is up to right now. I haven't had a chance to congratulate her on passing her EMT exams last week. She's now certified in Virginia. The way things are going this week, about the only thing she'll be able to do to help will be to shoot the shambling things in the head and get away before she gets splattered with their grey matter, or whatever it is they have that passes for it.
More under the cut...
Wednesday, 13 June 2007 at 10:47
I don't know how much time I have to write this..
I can hear them outside, pounding against the brick and steel. The staircase of my apartment building rings with shambing footsteps and the sound of.. things.. hitting the floor and bouncing downward. The sick little child inside me wonders if they're rotting body parts coming loose. The wards I've spun around the doors and windows will hold, at least for now. A hastily constructed reactor supplies sufficient power to keep them out, but it's fragile. My neighbors, mostly religious folks, are wondering what all of the glyphs and Hebrew inscriptions mean, but I don't have time to explain.
We don't have much in the way of supplies, and the little ones are in a bad way. Two year old Madhavi was sick before the zombies came, and her medication is in her parents' apartment one floor down. It may as well be miles away, for venturing outside of this apartment would mean certain death. A fast death, if we'd be so lucky.
Via shortwave, I'm keeping in touch with a small cadre of survivors in New York City that have barricaded themselves in the remains of Club Albion
, which closed its doors scants days previous. They've managed to board up the lower floors of the structure and have added additional barricades to seal themselves on the second floor, just past the security booth. It's amazing, how far you can transmit on two or three watts of power.
As for those of us in the apartment complex, we'd parked our cars across the steps and in front of the doors of the buildings to block them. Thankfully, those Things outside have difficulty climbing high enough to break windows and gain entry.
I've just recieved a communique' from Lyssa, two counties over. The zombies have advanced as far as the Northrup-Grummon industrial complex. Local security has been issued live arms, and they're doing the best they can to hold off the invasion. She tells me that they've just discovered that head shots are the only way to put Them down. At this time, she's going through the janitors' closets and collecting cleaning chemicals with which to improvise explosive charges. Prior to this, she and two co-workers broke out some windows on the tenth floor of the building and dropped a number of steel desks onto the advancing hordes of zombies, crushing them flat.
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 at 22:02
A few folks across the pond with a taste for Victoriana decided to give a steampunk twist to a classic (or classically bad) geek flick of some notoriety. It's got steam; it's got cogs; it's got wheels; it's got street kids battling over clockwork automata.
I give you Clockers
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 at 20:57
Don Herbert, better known to people as Mr. Wizard died of bone cancer at the age of 89
Another childhood idol of mine, the man whose television show on Nickelodeon introduced me to the wonders of flash paper, lost to Time.
Here's to you, Mr. Wizard...
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 at 16:07
Last week some very good friends of Lyssa and I (Heron61 and Teaotter) stayed with us for a couple of days, and then we headed out to the Four Quarters Farm
for the gather called Walking the Thresholds - camping for three days in the middle of the woods of Pennsylvania, completely off the grid, with good friends and extended family, eccentrics one and all, for company.
Sounds like fun... and it was, for the most part.
Teaotter went to stay with Laurelinde and family around the middle of last week, so there were only three of us who packed up and piled into the TARDIS around 1200 EST5EDT on Friday afternoon, headed north for the Farm. Thankfully, I'd packed the night before and emptied out the car so it didn't take us very long to get loaded up and moving. Given that we had quite a bit of gear with us as one would expect (including the air mattress and a four-man tent), I think that we moved pretty fast. Lyssa was nice enough to make a fast breakfast for Heron and I before we set out and then hit the supermarket to pick up a couple of things that we needed, in the form of food to nibble on the way up in lieu of lunch and breakfast for Sunday (cinnamon and rum raisin rolls) and batteries for the Mag-Lite. Hasufin and Mika would be following later in the day on Friday and were nice enough to make breakfast for everyone on Saturday morning, so it was only fair.
Much to my surprise, it only took us about three hours after the stop for petrol to reach the farm. We used the directions from the website this time, so rather than getting lost because Google Maps and Mapquest don't have some of the tiny roads in the area in their GIS databases, we found the right side road and arrived at the house presently. More's the point, we arrived before sunset, which meant that we could navigate without trouble. The sign for the Farm is quite tiny (probably about six inches by eight), so it's easy to miss from the road.
Shortly after parking up top, we began to unload the TARDIS. It was, as they say, all downhill from there, so gravity was working in our favour most of the time. Our original plan was to set up the tent on one of the stages on the edge of the campground, big wooden structures that are used during many of the festivals by performers. The first WtT we went to, I pitched the tent on the flattest part of the hillside (about a 3% grade), which wound up causing us no end of problem through the weekend. All things considered, I'll take a known flat surface to sleep on... Lyssa and I got the tent put up in a couple of minutes (no big trick, seeing as how we've got one of the nicer quick-setup tents on the market). We also discovered that the tent hadn't been cleaned out by the last folks we loaned it out to: There was dirt, leaves, and assorted other stuff all over the inside that had to be taken care of before we could set up. I'd forgotten to bring a broom of any kind so Araxcies from New York and I ran around the campsite searching for a broom, a mop, anything that we could use to gather together little bits of dead leaves and stuff for disposal.
It was in the kitchen building about halfway down the hill that we ran into Ashran Gildowan and his daughter munching on Rice Krispies treats.. if you've been following my weblog for a while, Ashran is the guy who was caught in a housefire a couple of months ago
and was in the hospital. As it turns out, he's up, around, walking unassisted, and at his new job, only slightly worse for wear. On the whole he looks pretty good; the only way you'd know what happened to him was if you looked very closely at his right shoulder and recognised the discolouration and unusual texture for what they were - the remains of third-degree burns. Because one of the plans that Araxcies and I came up with involved turning the tend on end and shaking it until all of the trash came out (assuming that we couldn't find a broom), we figured that we'd have to distract Lyssa while we took care of business. To that end, we asked Ashran and child to distract Lyssa until we could finish.
As things turned out, we didn't have to turn the entire tent on end, because Fishy had brought a whisk broom with her, and we used it to sweep everything out in fairly short order. Ashran was remarkably cool about the ha-ha-only-serious "distract Lyssa' schtick, even though it was hideously hot on Friday afternoon (between 100 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit at times) and definitely not fun when standing out in the open. This includes the time spent up at the car with the engine running to inflate the air mattress... the mattress we bought has a very efficient air pump built into it, but unfortunately it requires more current than the inverter I have installed can produce. It would only force short bursts of air into the mattress, but those bursts were enough to fill the mattress in short order. Lyssa got the mattress filled while I played sherpa and moved our gear down to the stage in a couple of trips. Once that was taken care of, we were ready to go.. or not go, as the case happened to be. I think we've really got it down to a science in that it took, in total, about an hour to get unpacked and ready to go.
More under the cut...
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 at 01:54
Lyssa and I got home on Sunday afternoon safe and sound from Walking the Thresholds. We also got home from the Skinny Puppy concert tonight about an hour ago.
I'll write as I can get my head pulled together.
Friday, 08 June 2007 at 10:18
Lyssa, Heron61, and I will be departing shortly for Walking the Thresholds at Four Quarters Farm
this weekend. We'll be back on Sunday.
Thursday, 07 June 2007 at 23:31
Once again, the movie industry in the US is attempting to adapt William Gibson's novel Neuromancer to the silver screen
. This was attempted once before, and all I need to say on the topic is this: It went horribly. If you're really interested in what happened back in 1988, it's out there on the Net, and you can search it out yourselves.
I have only four words to say to the announced creative team of producer Peter Hoffman and director Joseph Kahn:
Don't fuck this up.
The projected release date is sometime in 2009, and there are precious few details available at this time. It looks like they're going the indie route with this project because Hollywood-at-large hasn't done anything good with Gibson's work: Neuromancer
tanked the first time 'round, Count Zero
never materialized, and Johnny Mnemonic
was... okay.. for what it was. About the only attempt that actually worked (and I know that I'm going to catch hell for this) was New Rose Hotel
, which didn't make it into theatres so far as I know and is actually kind of difficult to find on DVD. However, it translated very well from the original text, which was largely in the form of recollections and film noir-style mental dialogue. If nothing else, the indie filmmakers hopefully won't be forced to add a lot of extraneous stuff to the storyline and screw it up.
Thursday, 07 June 2007 at 13:08
As you've probably guessed, I've been too busy to write at the moment because there are a lot of things happening.
This weekend past, Lyssa and I were going crazy getting the apartment torn apart, cleaned, and put back together in time for Heron61 and Teaotter to fly in from Portland to visit us this week. As one might expect, this was a nontrivial exercise, and involved disconnecting many things, moving them, running the vacuum cleaner, moving them back into place, and starting them back up. This also meant running around to acquire foodstuffs to make dinner for everyone on Tuesday night - Alton Brown's city ham recipe
, to be exact, which is always a hit when company comes over.
My capacity for bending time astounds even me sometimes: Not only did my order from the Victorian Trading Company
arrive yesterday afternoon, but so did the queen-sized Aerobed
that they would be sleeping on last night. It arrived in plenty of time to be of use to everyone. More's the point, it was even designed to pack up neatly, by folding into thirds after opening a very large exhaust valve at the far end of the mattress. Putting it up and taking it down take at most a total of five minutes.
As a side effect, they accidentally shipped a black cotton riding skirt with my Victorian Trading Company order. It's a little long for Lyssa, but it could be taken up a bit. I haven't tried it on yet, so I don't know how well it fits me.
It seems that Lucien, the Network's primary e-mail server, is still, in fact, on his last legs. He shut down again early yesterday morning, probably due to overheating. I'm going to have to acquire a chassis for Leandra's old hardware so that I can start assembling a replacement SMTP server very soon, probably before we trek out to Walking the Thresholds this upcoming weekend. I don't yet know how I'm going to transfer all of the mail spools over, but I'll think of something.
Walking the Thresholds will be held at the Four Quarters Farm
this weekend. Lyssa, Heron, and I will be going up on Friday after work.. Laurelinde and N- stopped by yesterday afternoon to pick up Teaotter and their stuff because they'll be going up early. Here's hoping that we get decent directions this time, because I really don't want to get lost for an extra four hours in the boonies of Pennsylvania while we search for the main gate of the farm. As it is now, we don't have anything packed and still have to make a few trips to the store to stock up on stuff.
That reminds me.. I still have to get my presentation together and coordinate with everyone else for the main rite. Looks like I'll be running short of sleep for a few more days... and I need to get the precis off to Helen to add to the gather's website.
More under the cut...
Wednesday, 06 June 2007 at 13:56
One Gary McKinnon, the cracker known for compromising computer networks in the United States in his search for information pertaining to UFOs has lost a significant fight in his battle to prevent extradition
. McKinnon, who ran under the handle 'Solo', is known for compromising a considerable number of data systems run by the United States military in his quest for information about alien contact and reverse engineered technologies. The Appeal Court heard his case yesterday but ruled that the extradition to the US should proceed apace. The best he can do now is appeal to the House of Lords, but given the way events have been unfolding it doesn't seem likely that they're even going to want to hear his case, let alone block the US.
Monday, 04 June 2007 at 12:29
We now have a flyer for GBLT Kite Flying Day 2007
available for download. Feel free to repost it to appropriate net.communities and print it out to post and distribute.
You can download it from here
Friday, 01 June 2007 at 23:31
, formerly known as the band Cosmicity, has announced that he'll be playing a live concert next Saturday at In Perpetual Motion net.radio
to promote his upcoming east coast tour. Mark's partner in crime DJ Ginger Snapp will be joining him in concert as his engineer and backup singer, which is always a treat.
The show begins at 2030 EST5EDT - hit the 'listen live' link and watch and listen!
Friday, 01 June 2007 at 16:03
A couple of weeks ago, the city of Carson, California discovered that it was a couple of thousand dollars short in its coffers - $450kus, to be exact
. As it turns out, the laptop computer used by Karen Avilla (city treasurer) was infected by a keystroke logger installed through unannounced means (probably a website she visited, or a malicious e-mail, though it's entirely possible that the intruders managed to get in some other way, like through a clandestine wireless access point). An unknown group of crackers managed to snaffle the access codes to the bank that the city kept its money in, and then wired the money to a number of other accounts around the country, no doubt used for laundering the pilfered funds. The city managed to freeze all but $45k of its funds (to keep from interfering with outstanding payments).
Friday, 01 June 2007 at 15:27
The genome of Dr. James Watson
, who figured out the structure of DNA with Francis Crick, was the first genome to be completely sequenced from start to finish
(the results of the Human Genome Project are actually composited from a number of anonymous humans - thank you, HIPAA), which means that each pair of nucleotides in his genetic structure was determined, mapped to a gene, and placed in its proper place in the DNA strand. You can think of it as reverse engineering human DNA because they figured out what everything in there is supposed to do... a copy of his genome contained on a pair of data DVDs will be presented to him in a ceremony today by Richard Gibbs of the Human Genome Sequencing Center
and Jonathan Rothberg of 454 Life Sciences
Dr. Watson announced that he would be making the transcription of his genome freely available for study by geneticists, with the exception of the gene that codes for the apolipoprotein E protein (which is a telltale marker of suceptibility to Alzheimer's Disease - Dr. Watson would prefer not to know ahead of time). The process was performed using a new DNA sequencer developed by 454 Life Sciences which does not involve replicating the sampled DNA in bacteria, it works directly upon the sample. It took about two calendar months to finish, and cost less than $1mus.
Friday, 01 June 2007 at 14:00
Well-known and little-loved spammer Robert Soloway ws arrested by US law enforcement
for multiple violations of federal law, including mail, wire, and e-mail fraud, as well as money laundering. It wouldn't surprise me if they got him on violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act because he was actively taking over workstations across the Net to add to his botnet of spam clients, but somehow I think the fraud charges are going to be more effective. Soloway was once near the top of Spamhaus Project's 10 Ten Most Wanted list, but a couple of lawsuits in the past few years took a little of the wind out of his sails. Microsoft won a civil judgement against him to the tune of $7mus, and an ISP in the state of Oklahoma won a $10mus judgement against him shortly therafter.
Unfortunately, none of the big anti-spam outfits have noticed any real dip in the volume of spam since his arrest.