1. Dental health update the first.

    28 February 2007

    This morning, as I mentioned previously, I had made an appointment with a local dentist (Dr. Calvin Nguyen; 8622 Lee Highway, Suite A; Fairfax, VA 22031; telephone number 703-876-4600) to have two capped molars checked out because one of them has been giving me no end of trouble. I showed up about an hour early to fill out the requisite paperwork and get things worked out, and then went in for the main show.

    Dr. Nguyen took a pair of x-rays and examined the area. Percussive sensitivity: Minimal. Temperature sensitivity: Ohholyshitstopstopstop...

    No inflammation, no discharge, no bleeding.. just pain that …

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  2. I actually got some sleep after returning home.

    27 February 2007

    After a long day of being utterly unable to concentrate for longer than five minutes at a stretch due to what I suspect is dental work going bad, I finally made it home with Lyssa, who promptly put me to bed to sleep for a couple of pain-free hours. Earlier today I managed to make an emergency appointment with a dentist recommended to me by Hasufin who seems to have more than half a clue for tomorow morning to get my dental work looked at. I'm going to have to pay it out of pocket, but given a choice between …

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  3. _Pattern Recognition_ is being made into a movie.

    27 February 2007

    A heads-up from Lowmagnet brought a slim ray of sunshine to an otherwise unpleasant day: The novel Pattern Recognition by William Gibson is being made into a movie as of late 2006. Make of this what you will, it's listed in IMDB as being in active development, which could mean pretty much anything given how Hollywood works, but They've taken to Gibson's less popular stories (like New Rose Hotel), so there's an excellent chance that this movie will actually wind up being made (though probably not get a theatrical release).

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  4. Bloggers and web board admins are not legally responsible for content posted by their readers or users.

    27 February 2007

    The First Circuit Court of the USA has upheld an important dictate of the Communications Decency Act, which sets a helpful precedent for bloggers and people who run web BBSes. Section 230 of the CDA states that the administrators of public forums which allow people to post are not, in fact, responsible for what their readers or users post. The court case this comes from is Universal Communication Systems v. Lycos, in which people unknown were talking smack on UCS' stock prices. UCS decided to sue Lycos for running the board and not the users of the board (which they …

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  5. For the system administrator or parent that has everything, how about a RAT?

    27 February 2007

    'Remote access tool', that is - a little beastie (usually considered malware, though there are legit incarnations of this sort of software) that hides itself inside a workstation and lets someone connect remotely at any time and go through the system and silently monitor what the user is doing. Crackers have been using them for years for recon before an infiltration attempt, but only recently are the white hats finding uses for them. Such as watching what your kids are up to. Presenting Snoopstick, an all in one package for infecting someone's box with a RAT that lets you keep an …

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  6. One of life's little mysteries - insurance.

    26 February 2007

    Lyssa and I are having new and exciting adventures in the world of health insurance this week. Lyssa needs to see a specialist for her eye, but unfortunately the nearest one to us doesn't work with her insurance company, and the out of pocket expense is more than either of us can front right now. Her appointment this morning wound up being a wash.. well, more like a spray of snow and slush on the roads because the state of Virginia, ever prepared for the snow, only cleared and salted the major roadways of the area, but no others.

    In …

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  7. Dell finally caves to customer pressure and offers systems with Linux pre-installed on them.

    26 February 2007

    Back in the late 90's, Dell offered computers for sale with Linux installed on them instead of Microsoft Windows, a move which got them sued and pressured to stop this practice. On 16 February 2007 they set up a website called Dell Ideastorm to gather suggestions from their users and customers so that they could better work within the marketplace.

    Well, guess what the thousands of requests they recieved included - I'll give you a hint, the site got flattened by the influx of traffic and is still getting hammered.

    In response to these requests they started adding lines of desktops …

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  8. Snowed in for the second time this month, and this time it's not so bad. (out of order stream of consciousness post)

    25 February 2007

    I knew that something was going to happen when I spoke to my mom, and she mentioned getting ready for an ice storm in Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

    That meant only one thing: It was headed toward DC.

    Early this morning, I was awakened by the sound of snowflakes merrily ticking against the window above the bed that Lyssa and I share. Some time after we went to bed last night, the ice storm arrived in DC and the snow began to fall.

    And fall.

    And fall.

    The local weather report says that we're looking and three to six inches …

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  9. Java runtime environments sprout like mushrooms after a rainstorm.

    23 February 2007

    Very few software companies trust the JRE already installed on the target machine, so they bundle their own copy with their software and omit the option in the installer that lets the sysadmin opt out of installing that particular component.

    This results in a single server having up to a dozen independent copies of the JRE that are identical down to the binary level, save their locations in the disk array.

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