thraxil.org:

Mark Boudreau

What a WASTE

Nullsoft, makers of the handy little mp3 program Winamp, released a pretty neat secure p2p/im client for a small secure network on Wednesday. They called it WASTE. AOL, who owns Nullsoft, didn’t like the legal liability that this application created, so they had Nullsoft pull the plug.

<p>Luckily, the <span class="caps">WASTE</span> site was <a href="http://www.freedomware.org/waste/index.html">mirrored</a>. I think it&#8217;s worth checking out. The source is available for anyone that wants to pick up the slack.</p>

Congress wants to make the PATRIOT Act permanent

I found this article at Slashdot. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know why anyone outside of the Justice Department would think this is a good idea. For the first time in my life, I might want to rally around Russ Feingold on an issue.

<p>Not even <a href="http://www.freestateproject.org/">the Free State Project</a> can save us from this. I might just have to leave the country.</p>
TAGS: police state

tivo

i just bought a tivo. I plan to now watch all of my tv on the weekends, in half the time because I can skip the comercials.

<p>color me psyched. also color me an electronic gadget nut. i just spent the past hour making sure it was set to record the shows I needed (the simpsons, the shield, buffy, the naked chef, some Dr. Who, Buck Rogers, and any movie featuring Michelle Yeoh).</p>

<p>no more will i have to be home in time to watch a show. no more will i have to wait until a commercial comes on in order to make a meal or go to the bathroom. i feel so liberated&#8230;kind of.</p>

monday morning haiku

much work to be done

<p>new file server introduced</p>

<p>desktop now doorstop</p>

Grr, I say! Grr!

Have you ever tried writing a application or a class from a book? I was writing a SMTP Mail Class in php from a pretty decent Wrox book (Professional PHP4). Everything was straight forward and I was getting a good lesson in object oriented coding. However, the code was wrong in a number of ways (functions misnamed, processes insufficient). Not to mention the fact that the code that the book provides for download was wrong in ways completely different than the code as it was written in the book. Have anyone else had this kind of trouble with books on Programming? You’d think they would at least run the code before they publish it.

<p>On the bright side of things, debugging this class taught me a lot more about socket programming and <span class="caps">SMTP</span> calls than I would have known before. </p>

<p><strong>shrug</strong></p>

SotU

So Bush just laid out a very unimpressive State of the Union speech. It wasn’t the hodge podge of spending sprees that Clinton was so famous for, but there was little in there for me to cheer about.

<p>Tax cuts? Good. Social Security private accounts? Good. Everything else? Well, lets just say that the amount of money and power that the government is going to be wielding offends my limited government sensibilities.</p>

<p>But at least we had some good Bushisms, which included &#8220;Hitlerism&#8221;, &#8220;wonder-working power&#8221;, and I&#8217;ll never forget this quote:</p>

<p>&#8220;And many others have met a different fate. Let&#8217;s put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.&#8221; </p>

<p>If you didn&#8217;t see Bush put his arm on the podium, and do his best movie star tough guy impersonation, well you missed some high comedy. Not to mention the people I were with were taking a drink every time Bush said &#8220;nuculer.&#8221; Fun stuff.</p>

There is always room for Jello

Lani was kind enough to think of me when she made plans to go see Jello Biafra speak on Thursday night, and since the location wasn’t far from work, I met her for a night of good old anti-establishment rhetoric.

<p>I really didn&#8217;t know much about Jello other than he was the former lead singer for the Dead Kennedys and former target of Tipper Gore and the evil <span class="caps">PMRC</span>. After a two and half hour speech, I now know quite a bit more about Jello and his distaste for coporations, his former band mates, the goverment, the military, the police, the media, and the overly religious. The topic for the night was &#8220;Free Speech and the War on Terrorism&#8221; but it basically was a free flowing procession of ideas that ranged among the topics I mentioned above. When he wasn&#8217;t trying to scare his audience with the nefarious plans of Bush and his cohorts, Jello was busy making fun of anyone associated with the media/corporate/government establishment.</p>

<p>I had some problems with his speech, especially the humor that he was using. He seems like an intelligent guy, but he resorted to childish name calling (Ashcrack, Dumbsfeld, etc), making fun of people&#8217;s looks, the way they talked, or their beliefs just to get some laughs. It just seemed really mean spirited. He made fun of Laura Bush because he didn&#8217;t like her eyes. Maybe it&#8217;s my Bates training, but I found it quite odd that a group of lefties were just as vicious and narrow minded as many on the right.</p>

<p>For his message, I found that he used unsubstantiated rumor, guesses and facts together in order to weave what ends up sounding like a grand conspiracy theory. Basically, he outlined how the major players in government and their shadowy private connections are responsible for all sorts of horrible things going on the world. If you took everything he said at face value, you&#8217;d probably run to Canada. Because he jumped around so much, you basically ended up walking out of the room with this overall feeling that there is something evil out there more powerful than we could possibly imagine, without a real, solid logical understanding of any of it.</p>

<p>He&#8217;s a really paranoid guy, which is great, because so am I. The only thing is, he and I are in totally different locations philosophically. He is basically against the establishment, yet he&#8217;d want government to provide more services to society and regulate industry more. Is the establishment ok as long as it&#8217;s serving the needs of the people? I don&#8217;t get it. I guess he makes distinctions between different types of government power, which I guess I do as well. He wants government to serve people&#8217;s every need and I want government to just protect people from people who want to hurt us and take our stuff.</p>

<p>Well, I think I&#8217;ve babbled enough and I&#8217;m too tired to actually flesh this out into something coherent. If you want another opinion of the night, check out what <a href="http://www.juliansanchez.com/2002_11_01_notesarch.html#85680598"> Julian Sanchez (a Cato co-worker) has to say</a> about the evening. I think, in the end, I&#8217;d rather just hear Jello sing rather than hear him speak.</p>
TAGS: jello biafra

Civic Duty

Has everyone voted? Has everyone been as bummed by the choices they have been given on the ballot? Am I just unusually pessimistic and cynical or are elections really that bad these days?

<p>The two main parties are accusing each other of some really nasty tricks. It looks like there are going to be lawsuits deciding some of the closer elections.</p>

<p>Then, I have the bad feeling that no matter what party has control of federal or state government, the bureacracy is so messed up that it will make little difference for the citizens.</p>

<p>Can anyone turn my frown upside down and help me see a light at the end of the tunnel?</p>

Badly Drawn Boy

For those of you who don’t know who Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) is, find your favorite MP3 service and download these three songs: Once Around the Block, Stone on the Water, and Pissing in the Wind which all appeared on BDB’s first album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast. Those songs will give you a good idea about what BDB is all about. He’s a songwriter. He writes pop rock music, although when I use the word pop, I mean it like how Paul McCartney writes pop songs, not pop in the way you’d use it to describe ‘Nsync.

<p>Well, the whole reason I bring this up is because <span class="caps">BDB</span> played at the 9:30 club last night and I was in attendence. I guess you could call it a concert, but many times during the opening show of his new US tour, it seemed more like a dress rehearsal. He has a new album coming out on Nov. 5, which is great, but also unfortunate, because all the new songs he played were unfamiliar to the crowd, which, Damon noted, made it tough for everyone. During the first 45 minutes of the show, the band wasn&#8217;t very comfortable for various reasons (A bad harmonica, songs that had never been played live, songs that Damon decided to experiment with on stage, etc). The last hour and a half of the two plus hour set, however, saw the band start to come together and saw the more recognizable <span class="caps">BDB</span> songs surface, which ended up making everyone happy. I&#8217;d be really interested to see <span class="caps">BDB</span> again at the tail end of this tour, to see how they refine the songs over a good bit of touring. Overall though, he was engaging and the songs were great, though many of the layers that you find in his recorded music get lost in a noisy club, but the essence of the songs stayed true and made it all worthwhile.</p>

iPod be good

Last night, armed with Birthday money and a sick penchant for buggary, I went to the Apple store in VA and bought myself an iPod. Now, all I need to do is keep myself from jumping up and down saying, “I have an iPod! I have an iPod! I have an iPod!” which is hard to do, because for some sick and twisted reason, it’s been the one material good that I’ve lusted over for the last year with an unending passion. So now I have it, and it is everything I thought it would be, and a bit more. After I use it for a weekend, I’ll write up a few more thoughts that are maybe a little more objective. So far though, everything is in a happy place.

TAGS: ipod