Trailer park in space?

There is a nice little article at IEE Spectrum about the failure of the ISS on-board computers. Here is a quick summary, with my own analysis of information from the article.
Continue reading

Online black holes

Friday, September 15th, 2007, almost saw the creation of an online black hole. Before going any further, we must first look at the types of online black holes.

Micro Black hole
AKA: black hole of self-reference. This is where an article makes a direct reference back to itself, usually as support for, or an example of, what it is arguing about.

Example: A Something Awful article complaining about logical fallacies and poor argumentation practices used on Something Awful, with a link to itself as an example of such crappy argumentation.

Effect: Usually minor, such as the server hosting the page goes down or looses the page due to drive failure.

Mini Black hole
AKA: black hole of cross-reference.
An article written on a site, which supports articles, which references a news-headline site in its argument, which that headline site then links to the article.

Example: A Something Awful article criticizing all of the dick-heads and losers participating in flame-wars on the Fark site, following by a link and comment section on the Fark site about the article in question.

Effect: Loss of a server, most likely disappeared into the ether, sometimes takes a few user with it.

Major Black hole
AKA: black hole of circular reference.
This is when an article makes reference to one or more headline site, then one links to the article, which the other links to the other headlines’ site link to the article.

Example: Article on Something Awful criticizing Fark’s online comment threads and the flame-wars that can erupt. Slashdot then posts a link to the article. Finally, Fark posts a link to the Slashdot article and comments thread about the SA article.

Effect: Major loss. Can include servers, users, and small towns.

Now, Fridays near black hole was caused by this article about online criticism posted on Something Awful. This article was then referenced by the online news and comment site, Fark. Now, the only thing which stopped the formation of the black hole was the fact that the article itself did not directly reference, or link to, Fark.

Had this happened, most likely a server, and maybe a few registered users, would have disappeared. Has this happened before? One can not fully prove either way, but I doubt that the mysterious “Drew Curtis” has spilled as many beers on the servers as has been joked about. Maybe if the only beer around was Pabst Blue Ribbon, but since MC Router has started drinking, there is no way to find enough PBR to spill into a beer glass, much less a server.


I’z in ur phone, txtng your bff

Yesterday evening, I received the following message on my phone from my best friend:

Dood. I has a
toy. Look up
tmobile mda
bwah hah hah

Yes, he now had the MDA, which you can read about here:

Oh gods!

Friggin mixed case passwords!

So. I had to add a user to the SAMBA share here today. Since this is something I only do once every 6 months or so (we do have that many new people), it is always a little adventure.

Step 1: Add user to Unix

Step 2: Add user via smbpasswd -a {username}

Step 3: Add newly created user to list of valid users in /etc/samba/smb.conf file

Step 4: Restart Samba

Step 5: Curse myself for not stopping a service running on a machine I was setting up, because that service was running from the share and hung up

Step 6: Try to restart service

Step 7: Curse service and restart machine to get service running

Step 8: Test user on SAMBA

Step 9: Stare at the screen while it doesn’t work

Step 10: Change password to same as username to test again, still doesn’t work

Step 11: Startup webmin on server

Step 12: Go through settings of known good account and new one

Step 13: Add user to special group for access

Step 14: Delete user from Unix and Samba, re-add, this time with correct group settings

Step 15: Curse because it doesn’t work, still

Step 16: Begin single step “fixes” to try and get it to work

Step 17: Grow increasingly frustrated at entire ordeal

Step 18: Reset password to username and give it one last try, because I am started to see double

Step 19: Rejoice! It worked! What the hell? It worked?

Step 20: Remember that SMB messaging converts all passwords to LC, then sends them, curse myself for using mixed case password for user account

Step 21: Go on blog, rant about situation to calm down!

Well, have fun!

How to save the Zune

Well, it seems that everybody is jumping on the “Zune is dead” bandwagon. Roughly Drafted has an article looking at Zune’s real market share, and now ComputerWorld is getting in the act, but they have the five things Microsoft must do to make Zune a success.

Well, I have my own idea about how they can save the Zune, and it a lot like what ComputerWorld is encouraging.

That’s it, have fun.

Eric S. Raymond’s big goodbye

Well, I wrote about a Bill Gates rant at this earlier post, so I guess it is time now to pick on Eric Raymond.

It seems that Eric has gotten pretty bitchy with Red Hat and decided to say “Goodbye, Fedora.” Please see the end of this post for an update.

Continue reading


Today Show video of Richard Simmons.

Wait, stop a second before you click the link. First, this is Richard Simmons, not Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS, but Richard, the flamboyant fitness expert.

The video is from the Today Show, where they were appearantly preparing to go to Richard in the Studio, and he wasn’t aware that the camera was on yet.

That is the setup, now, decide if you really want to see this. I really isn’t THAT bad, but it is just one of those things that can take you by suprise.

Al Qaeda declares “go away, or we will taunt you a second time!”

Appearantly, Al Qaeda has decided to attack the United States, and President Bush, with words.

Yes, you read that right, they are now attacking with personnal taunts against Bush, by saying that he is an alcoholic liar.

OH MY GOD! We might have a politician who has a drinking problem, and who lies! That’s good, I thought he was addicted to power and a pathological liar, I guess things are starting to look up.

As for the title of this one, it is a paraphrase from a line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Stargate SGC Propaganda Poster