Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.
Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!
Warning: this is long and completely weird. Almost spoiler-free, but there might be some in there as well.
Saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday and it was pretty much what I expected: funny and cartoonish, great action and great special effects (but, really, when was the last time you saw a movie with BAD special effects? But I digress.)
And, of course, we had the funny cameo by Stan Lee right there at the beginning of the movie. Good old Stan, funny as usual. And a very strong showing by Thanos, the bad-ass similing foe glimpsed at the end of the Avengers.
What struck me this morning was this horrible thing: what if Stan Lee and Thanos were one and the same?
Bear with me here for a minute or two... I'll try to explain
Thanos is defined, in the Guardians of the Galaxy, as "The Mad Titan", and one of the common thread that unites the Marvel movies (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers) is the fact that there are in the universe these incredible artifacts, named the stones of power.
But the OTHER common thread in all these movies (plus the Spider-Man movies and the Fantastic Four) are these funny little cameos by Stan Lee, who appears for a few minutes in pretty much all of them.
What if Stan Lee is Thanos himself, or an agent of the Mad Titan?
All of a sudden, all these little appearances start to make sense!
You see, Thanos is a Titan, an ancient being of almost unfathomable powers and resources. Surely, to being like this one, time traveling and dimension/realm hopping is nothing but a trifle?
My theory is this: Thanos knows that nothing in the Universe is truly a threat to him... EXCEPT maybe for the combined might of Earth/Midgard and Asgard. Think of it this way: Asgard was able to kick the dark elves collective asses (Thor 2) not just once but TWICE, and the elves had "the Ether" (magical McGuffin #1), something so powerful that it was supposed to be able to drag back the entire universe back into darkness.
PLUS, Odin, Asgard's King and All-Father has another "stone of power" in his possession, the Tesseract (Magical McGuffin #2), something so powerful a minuscule fraction of its power was supposed to power the Entire Red Skull Hydra army (Magical McGuffin #2).
Thanos is not an idiot, you are not the kind of being who survives so long -- maybe even from the beginning of the universe -- by ignoring potential competitors. So what he does is research the opposition. And, for this, what better agent than good old Stan Lee?
Think I am crazy? Consider the following time-line:
Circa 1944: Stan Lee appears as a general -- infiltrating the US Army -- certainly in order to research the super soldier programme (Captain America 1) and, possibly, the use of the Tesseract by Red Skull & Hydra.
2008: Stan Lee is mistaken for Hugh Hefner, probably researching Tony Stark and the Iron Man programme (Iron Man)
2010: Stan Lee again is mistaken, this time for Larry King, again extremely close to, and researching, Tony Stark and the new development of Iron Man (Iron Man 2).
2011: Stan Lee tests Mjolnir weight, trying to pull it out of the earth with his pick-up truck (Thor 1). Being so close to Mjolnir, he probably was able to witness first-hand the battle between Thor and The Destroyer, gving him very valuable information on both the strength of the Prince of Asgard and the kind of military technology Asgard can put in the field if needed... But also on the average technology of Earth and of SHIELD - probably the toughest opposition available on the planet (think Helicarrier here).
2012: Stan Lee was in NYC during the battle between the Avengers and Loki's army -- which was supplied by Thanos in a bid to recover the Tesseract. Think of it this way: Stan Lee is Thanos eyes and ears ''on the ground'' and was probably able to judge first hand if Loki was in a position to win that conflict. Why do we see Thanos smile at the end of the Avengers, despite the battle having ended in complete defeat? Because he already knew the outcome of the battle through Stan Lee report and because he considers the lessons learned have provided him with invaluable information on the strength and weaknesses of its two worst potential enemies: Earth (Midgard) and Asgard!
2013: Stan Lee is in London (Thor 2), in the very hospital where Dr Erik Selvig is interned, keeping an eye on him, and probably researching the way Earth foremost expert on the multiverse is able to understand the realms, a topic of the foremost importance for Thanos (what would happen if Tony Stark and all his armors were to launch a trans-dimensional attack with weapons possibly based on Asgard Technology?) and all this just a couple of hours before the Dark Elves try to use the Ether to bring darkness to the Universe. That's the second time Stan Lee is in a position to (a) be a witness of a battle between Asgard/Thor and dangerous foes and (b) learn more about one of the Magical McGuffins and their powers, something that could become very valuable in the future.
2013: Stan Lee, again appears in a very close vicinity of Tony Stark (Iron Man 3). I think his interest here is more of a port-mortem on the Battle of N.Y. in the Avengers: how are the humans who defeated Loki's army holding up? How are they adapting to this new multiverse? Have they developped new weapons and tactics? It seems obvious Thanos has an interest in the super-soldier programme and its ramifications into the different super objects that have been gradually been discovered. But the strength of Earth, its military technologies, also have its full and undivided attentions. He wants to know about it BEFORE Earth is in a position to use that technology against him!
2014: Stan Lee is in the Smithsonian Museum, as a security guard to the Steve Rogers expo (Captain America 2 - The Winter Soldier). But, seriously, since it appears he has been researching the super soldier since the mid-1940s, it's not really surprising: he IS probably the foremost authority on Captain America, thanks to his time travels! And, again, please note he is in Washington D.C., really close to where the action is. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
2014: Stan Lee is present on Xandar, probably keeping an eye on Gamora, and is able to witness the fight between her and the other characters who will become the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not just that, but, being in Xandar, he may even be able to scout and research the security around the Infinity Stone, which is going to be held by Nova Prime. Again, this cannot be a coincidence: Stan Lee is in the perfect place to observe, collect information and report possibly crucial data back to Thanos.
AND... This is just the Iron Man/Avengers/Thor/Captain America movies. Stan Lee has also appeared in the Spider Man movies (some very interesting military applications here) and in the Fatastic 4 movies (Earthling defat Galactus? Inconceivable!!). Again, always at he right time, right place to observe, note and report back to his master, the Mad Titan, Thanos himself.
There you have it -- of course, Thanos and Stan Lee NEVER appear together at the same time during the movies. Even if they did, that would simply prove that Stan Lee is an agent of Thanos, and not Thanos himself.
Now, I believe the question we all need to ask Stan Lee is this one: "Are you an agent of Thanos, or have you ever been an agent of Thanos? And, if not, how do you explain your presence in all of these places and times?". Make him swear on a Bible, and surround him with SHIELD agents equipped with more copies of the big gun Coulson used on Loki in the Avengers (and please note that THAT gun was inspired by Asgard's Destroyer in Thor 1 -- how is that for technologies hopping dimensions?).
You have been warned. Stan Lee works for Thanos. And he is not on Earth to help us.
Interesting article at the Guardian about the Open-Source Everything Manifesto, the latest book by Robert David Steele "former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity", who posits (a) that conditions are ripe for a revolution in the USA and the UK and (b) that the only forward for humanity is by open-sourcing everything and conducting all government business â" even foreign intelligence â" in an open-source, let's-share-everything manner. Robert Steele is known as the inventor of open-source intelligence.
As a married man, this happens to me much too often:
From the excellent Daemon Keeper blog:
IPSET (Quickly add numerous IP addresses to NetFilter/Iptables) : http://ipset.netfilter.org/
I love this comment:
vi is a kitchen knife.
vim is a really nice, sharp, balanced chef's knife.
Emacs is a light saber.
Most of the time, my job requires me to chop vegetables. Occasionally, I have to take on an entire army of robots.
I have been a vi/vim user since day one ('OK, Linux is now installed, now how do I edit this
OpenBSD admin scripts: https://github.com/TheArchit/openbsd-scripts
OpenBSD upgrade guide : http://www.openbsd.org/faq/upgrade53.html
Docker/LXC administration : http://www.docker.io
That Is All.
Wow, that's a really old-looking page:
Don't worry - it is SFW.
Two of my favourite projects just announced good news:
More like internal notes than a real journal entry, I am just basically throwing stuff around and keeping URLs all in one place.
That was project one - on to project two!
If you are a fan of vsftpd as I am, here are some instructions on how to compile vsftpd 3.0.0 under Centos 6.2. The TCP Wrappers function is enabled, for much additional security goodness. I haven't tested this under Red Hat, but I suspect it should be pretty much the same.
The newest version of vsftpd looks very good indeed...
All right, there goes nothing...
First of all, I am NOT a diet expert, so take everything I am going to write in this Journal entry with a big grain of salt, OK? Before you start doing something stupid, please consult a doctor, don't try this at home, for internal use only, etc.
I have been overweight for many years now. Too much good food, not enough exercise, not enough energy, etc.
Then it really dawned on me the other day: my goodness, I am HUGE. A quick step on the scale: 114 Kg (approx. 228 lb). Fat percentage off the scale. Sh*t sh*t sh*t. Sure, I am 192 cm (6ft 29inches) but this is still way too much.
No wonder I have all the aches in my legs and knees, and no wonder the missus is complaining about the rolls of fat and the absence of pecs and abs. Something had to be done.
And something I am doing is this, following the advice of my D.O.:
1) No red meat. Repeat: NO RED MEAT. That stuff is 100% fat.
2) No dairy / milk based products. No cheese, no milk, no ice cream.
3) No processed sugar, not even brown sugar. Meaning: NO SODA, no fizzy drink or carbonated - most of these are loaded with sugar.
Anything not on this list is fair game - that means white meat (poultry), fish, veggies and fruits are definitely "targets". Moderate intake of starchy food (rice/pasta) in all their forms (white/brown). Moderate intake of honey (= natural, unprocessed sugar, can be used to sweeten tea, my caffeine intake of choice).
And here are the secret ingredients I am adding to this already potent list:
1) At least 6 hours of sleep per night.
2) Drink at least 1.5 liter of water per day (helps with my back problems as well).
3) DO NOT EAT AT NIGHT.
Yes, you read that last one well: DO NOT EAT AT NIGHT. Essentially, everything you eat at night is going to be digested pretty quickly and transformed into fat, fat and more fat. Eating very little (my typical dinner usually is a couple of bananas and an apple at night) allows you to lose weight a lot faster than otherwise. And I do mean mush faster.
Drinking a lot of water (1.5L is a large bottle) helps A LOT with my back problems. Also, not sleeping enough has been proven to make you fatter as a lack of sleep is interpreted by your body as a sign of stress, and stress may require you to have stores of energy to be able to cope - hence, the fat.
Results so far? Pretty good!
Monday, March 12th = 113.6 Kg
Tuesday: 112.3 Kg
Wednesday: 112.8 Kg
Thursday: 112.2 Kg
Friday: 111.6 Kg
Saturday: 112.3 Kg
Sunday: 111 Kg
Yup, 2.6 Kg lost in one week! Yes, there has been ups & downs, and these can be explained by the things I ate the evening before, but the general trend is unmistakable: DOWN.
I think next week is not going to start very well, since I have had way too much food today, especially food of the wrong kind, but this first week is so encouraging I am going to continue. Once I have reached a below-100 Kg weight, I am going to turbo-charge that diet by going out and exercising like heck, going swimming and maybe going all sweaty with these people.
And no, eating very little or even nothing at night is not that challenging, as long as you remember that rest is often more important than food. In fact, sleeping 7 hours or more, I wake a lot clearer-headed and not especially hungry. I just have a nice breakfast, and nice lunch, and as soon as I am back from work, off to bed I go!
I'll keep you posted if future results are as encouraging as this first week. I expect the law of diminishing returns to hit me pretty quickly, which is why exercise is (hopefully soon) going to be an integral part of that diet.
Just because I don't know where to put this, and because I haven't written in this journal in ages:
CheckSec - allows you to check the security of your binaries...: http://www.trapkit.de/tools/checksec.html
Mempodipper - just because: http://git.zx2c4.com/CVE-2012-0056/tree/mempodipper.c
OK, if you are wondering about YAFIBAL, here is what it means: "Yet Another Fucking Idiot Blathering About Linux".
Let me put it this way: unless you know how to install and manage at least three versions of Linux, and one BSD, I don't care about your fscking opinion on Linux.
Why? Because I don't care about your fscking opinion if the only thing you know about Linux is Ubuntu, on another fscking brain-dead version of Linux for n00bies and other assorted fanbois. I want some real meat, something tangible, that proves to me that you really know what Linux is all about.
With this in mind, let us go through the valley of the shadow of dumb, with this fantastic article, titled: 24 Things we'd change about Linux. WARNING: your head is going to hurt if you read this mound of tripe - you have been warned.
So, here are the 24 bullet points in that shockingly stupid article, and my answers to pretty much each and everyone of them...
1. Fix sound once and for all
I don't care about sound. Stability and reliability are, to me, a lot more important than listening to MP3 all day long. Sound is totally unimportant on a server, and, I would argue, pretty much un-needed on a workstation as well.
Starting your article with this very point reveals who you really are: a stupid fscking n00b who is only concerned with stupid little details that only appeal to other n00b.
2. No more infighting
Yet another fscking n00b remark. No more infighting? Really?
It's called "being a geek", n00b. Geeks like to fight over seemingly little details, that can be fscking important in real life. Infighting IS important, because if you think you can do better than XYZ, and have the gonads to go and give it a try, you may end up with something better than XYZ!! Ubuntu (yuck) set off to make a better Debian than Debian, and, guess what? As much as I hate Debian and Ubuntu, I have to admit that Ubuntu is a better Debian than Debian. Infighting is good, so get over it and get out of the kitchen if you can't stand the fire!!
3. Guaranteed GUI fallback
NO, I don't want a default GUI fallback - I. WANT. A. COMMAND. LINE!!
The only thing that will always work is a command line. Give me a command line anytime, and I have a working machine. Give a fscked up X11, and all I have is a fscked up machine!!
I have to quote the next one in its entirety, it's just to good to pass:
4. Andrew says...
I know choice is good, but the whole point of a package manager is to simplify things for the user. Lets simplify it even more by standardising on one package format and making Linux apps truly Linux-wide.
NO, you stupid n00b!! I want different package managers to fit different populations! I want something simple for the moron like you, and something advanced for fscking geeks like me!! It's called "giving different people different tools, based on their knowledge"!!!
5. Backwards compatibility dependencies
[...] Did you know that there are applications for Windows 95 using pre-release versions of DirectX 1.0 that still run on Windows 7 using DirectX 11? I don't think we need to go that far, but I think it's time to do away with petty dependency problems.
6. Get Mac compatibility for games
Shut up, fscking n00b - I don't want Mac fscking compatibility for games. I don't want games on my machines - they are for work. When I want games, I boot the Wii or the GameCube, who are real game machines, not my Linux machine. Solitaire or MahJong are good enough for me on Linux, for everything else there is Tetris or Frozen Bubble.
Seriously, though, what it this sh*t? There are plenty of games on Linux, just take the time to review them, you idiot.
7. A single name for the wastebasket
There is a single, standard name for the wastebasket - it's called "rm". Look it up sometimes, you fscking idiot.
8. Easier driver install
It's called "modprobe", you imbecile. Look it up sometimes.
9. Guaranteed sleep/hibernate
It's called "shutdown" or "poweroff", you dumb sh*t. Look it up sometimes.
10. Remove Grub
Agreed! Yes, replace the pile of sh*t that is GRUB by LILO. Much better and simpler. Dumb *ss.
11. Make every task doable from the GUI
OK, let me repeat this for you: I. WANT. A. FSCKING. COMMAND. LINE!!!
GUI are stupid and slow, they don't work most of the time and they are buggy. They usually don't work very well through SSH, and they just plain take way too much CPU!!
If you want to do everything within a fscking GUI, buy a MAC! That's what they are here for: to rid the Linux world of fscking morons like you!!
12. Rolling releases
If someone wants the latest release of Gnome, why should they have to wait six months for a new distro release?
I don't want the latest release of Gnome!! I don't want the latest release of anything!! I want something stable and not completely buggy!! If I need a 'rolling release' of anything, I'll roll it myself and compile the fscking application on my fscking machine! Capice?
13. Restore the desktop in KDE
Or, even better, ditch the fscking bloated monstrosity that is KDE and replace with something like truly useful, like Fluxbox or even... "bash"!!
KDE is a piece of crap. Gnome is a piece of crap. Get over it ASAP and start using something with a bit more intelligence and design sense!
14. Improve the documentation
Man pages are great for reference, but the fact that they are there for reference as opposed to reading means they rarely have examples, they group irrelevant options with important ones, and often do little more than scare people away. If someone wants to start a project dedicated to making useful man pages, let me know!
Yes, there is one: it's called OpenBSD. Man pages are references - as far as the examples are concerned, simply try using a couple of commands and you will pretty fscking quickly understand what the sh*t is all about, you idiot!!
15. Replace Gimp
JUST GOOGLE IT, YOU IDIOT!
Here is a hint, dumbass: Tweak GIMP to be More Like Photoshop
Whoooo... That was really hard, now, wasn't it? MORON!
16. Replace OpenOffice.org
OK, I am waiting for your code... NOT! Shut up and code, you idiot!!
Oh, but I forget: you probably would not know a compiler if it turned around and bit you in the ass!!
17. Mike says...
The current Unixstyle filesystem layout is an archaic mess. It's silly that, when you install a program, it's exploded into loads of different directories all over your filesystem. Apps should be standalone, like in RISC OS, Mac OS X and many other desktop OSes. Gobo Linux has the right idea.
Your BRAIN is fscking archaic mess, you idiot! Learn how to use Linux (and UNIX) before issuing that kind of stupid declaration!!
18. Graham says...
Simplicity is best. For that reason, I think we should have a single, unified desktop, just like Windows and Mac OS X.
No, no, no NO!!! I want diversity, I want change, I want differences!!! I don't want yet another pre-formatted product marketed to DEATH!!
Again: if you want consistency and "unified interfaces", whatever that means, BUY A MAC!!
19. Less screen clutter
Learn how to use a command line, you idiot!
20. Better organised settings
Aaaaaaargh! I don't give a fscking flying fsck about Gnome, or KDE, that are bloated piles of steaming manure!!!
21. Kill off dotfiles
You poor dumb sh*t. It's the whole difference between "ls" and "ls -a". Look it up sometimes, you moron!
And, the cherry on the cake:
It's time either to switch to a Windows-like registry (with GConf being a good start), or to group them together into a Settings directory that can be maintained easily.
Yes, in other word, you want either Windows or a Mac. Guess what, you little twerp: Buy A Mac! And get the fsck out!
22. Easier closed-source installs
I don't think so. I don't want closed/proprietary software that I can't read the code on my machine. The only exception I was willing to make -- until very recently -- was the closed-source drivers for the fscking piece of wifi sh*t named Broadcom. But that's the only one.
Oh, and by the way, Ubuntu does that, just in case you did not know. Dumb*ss.
23. Standardise use of sudo
What planet are you from? Of course, "sudo" should be the standard... And guess what, idiot? That's already the case, stupid!! Just learn how to use the darned thing already and stop bothering us!!
24. No more open core
Put simply, open core means that the basic part of some software is open source, community-supported and all that good stuff. But an increasing number of businesses are looking to cash in on open source by making closed-source software that sits on top, which you pay for.
Need I say more?
By the holy name of Linus Torvalds and almighty Cthulhu, who publishes this tripe?
So here we are: a new personal UNIX workstation at work. OK, so it's just a simple Pentium IV PC, but I was going to install a free UNIX on it.
At first, I decided on NetBSD 5.0.1. The installation went on without any problem. Booting time was astounding: less than a minute from switch on to login prompt.
But once I started the machine, the disaster became quickly apparent: the VLAN the workstation was attached to was DHCP-only (hey, don't ask me why, I don't do the security policies around here!) - and did not allow outbound FTP. NetBSD is notoriously stingy when it comes to bundling applications with the base system, and so I went on and decided to install stuff quickly using pkgsrc...
Everything failed! No FTP connection to the outside = no installation possible through pkgsrc. It got bad pretty quickly, because you really don't have anything with NetBSD, not even a simple www client such as lynx. And FreeBSD and OpenBSD are pretty much the same: as far as I know, OpenBSD also uses FTP to download packages and I don't think FreeBSD is different in that respect.
Despite my love for everything BSD, I therefore returned (happily, I might add) to one of my first love: Slackware. Three CD downloads later, I am installing one of the most perfect UNIX-like system, one that is complete, powerful, and contains pretty much everything you need to be productive. Gimp included!
Once again: Slackware rocks. And, yes, despite the fact that NetBSD rocks as well, there is a time for "too simple" and a time for "just right".
And, SuSE Linux? You suck. Two DVDs just for a sinking OS? Sheesh.
My Super Secret Password Recipe is now online! Click here!.
Discuss in the comments, and let me know what you think!
Here is the idea: create a derivative of Slackware, dedicated to NAS (Network Attached Storage).
Everything would be Slackware-based, and a server for NAS should be able to be installed within, let's say 30-45 minutes, using XFS for its filesystems.
The server would come with a full toolbox, including some packages not usually found under Slackware.
Eventually, the whole thing would be managed through a web interface. At first, the only interface would be "dialog" boxes, accessed through SSH.
The whole thing is going to go live on my wiki, as soon as I sort out the very last problems with my Slackware 13 x86_64 newest machine...
Submitted today to Slashdot:
The interestingly named "Topless Robot" has a real trip down memory lane: how the computer graphics of the original Star Wars movie were made. The article points to this YouTube video of a short documentary made by Larry Cuba, the original artist, explains how he did it. In 1977. Computer graphics and Star Wars: what could be better?
Seriously, though: it's great.
Courtesy of the ever mind-expanding Zero Hege. Read it.
Then: re-read it. Until you finally understand the magnitude of the economic problems ahead. No, not behind us - directly ahead.
Short version: we are all f*cked up. Royally. Or, as they put it on their site (nice Keynes quote) : "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.".
- ACTA is evil. Be afraid, be very afraid, and I mean this seriously:
- Goldman Sachs shafted foreign investors (nothing new here, move along):