Day 1: A "git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:thegreatoldone/offerings.git", "make -f makefile/unix" and I'm off generating Cthulhu Offerings cryptocoins!
Day 2: I managed to find a couple optimizations. It's almost as if the code is speaking to me! Also, switched to clang 5.1 and got an extra 8% performance boost with the LLVM toolchain. Awesome!
Day 4: My cryptocurrency generation is going quite well! I'm hoping to have enough to pay my tuition at Miskatonic University by the fall term.
Day 9: A quiet scraping noise seems to be coming from one of my hard drives. I should maybe have sprung for SSDs to save my coins.
Day 12: I awoke with a fever in the night, and the scraping noise has transformed into a frightful howling. Though the console monitor is off, strange non-Euclidean symbols reveal themselves from time to time on the screen. What it means I cannot say.
Day 17: My fever has broken, but I can no longer tolerate the sound from my compute cluster. I have pried the cover off to diagnose the problem, and the drive array is not in there. There is only a horrific eldritch non-emptiness that sears my very soul.
Day 22: Turning, turning, falling falling, Oh! How you speak! It is so...
So, there's this article here, and some of the comments by, shall we say, users of higher than normal userid value are really grating today. Between the one dipshit who won't use Google to figure out what a CRT is and has to ask (I know they're quickly headed towards obsolescence, and good riddance, but you've got no excuse for not knowing the term if you're 15 or older) and the other dipshit who is ignorant of historical truth and assumes Google's dictionary is the all-knowing, all-seeing Oracle I just kind of lost it and went on a mod-bombing campaign with them. I'm not proud of it, but it sure felt good.
Rant off, now get off my lawn you damn know-nothing kids, or hang out and have a picnic... say something. It's all good.:-)
This article made me laugh 6 years ago, and just shows why nobody who knows anything takes John Dvorak seriously, with the possible exception of sticking an inverter gate in front of his output first. Granted, I'm keeping him in business by linking to him because he makes his living as a professional troll: say outrageously stupid things and get the money from ad impressions.
So on the main page, there was a story about cognitive decline starting as early as 45. As a 44-year-old, I can testify personally that it starts much sooner than that, though it's in baby steps.
There's nothing I can't do now that I couldn't do when I was 20, but it's somehow different. Learning new things requires a little more effort on my part, and it takes a little more time. Nothing too onerous, but it's certainly a change. I'm still a sponge for new knowledge and skills, but where I used to be a dry sponge, I'm a fairly damp sponge.
What about you?
ps - It took me 10 minutes to find how to write in my journal. Is that due to cognitive decline, or the stupid interface that puts the "Write in Journal" only at the bottom of my list of journals, completely breaking the temporal organization of the page? Presumably, any journal I wish to write now will be more recent than any journals I've already posted, at least until I perfect that time-traveling web browser I've been working on (homepage set to powerball.com, natch).
But for anyone who might have missed it, You can connect with me on Google + by putting together my user name here and my user id number (6314), and turning that into a Gmail address. Shadow Wrought's departure reminded me that people are indeed fleeing from here faster than Mensa members from a Pauly Shore Film Festival, so hit me up if you like.
I also have a metric ton of invites for it, so if you're actually still not part of THE NEW SOCIAL NETWORKING SENSATION (/me spits a little bile up), and would like to be, I can help.
So I click an article to tag it, and it takes me to the subscribe page. Either now only subscribers can tag articles, or the tag link is indescribably broken. Either way, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I don't even like the tagging feature overmuch. No wucking fay am I going to pay for it.
MOSCOW -- For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.
Personally, I won't say that a prediction that the current central state called "The United States of America" will break down and collapse in the not-too-distant future is out of the question. If you'd told me in 1979 when Soviet tanks and troop transports were rolling into Afghanistan that the Soviet Union would collapse in 11 years, I'd have laughed at you. So, I'm not going to say it can't happen and it may well one day.
On the other hand, I think this guy probably had just a wee bit too much vodka when he came up with the regional divisions he's made. I mean, Utah and California together, seriously? New Mexico and Georgia? I don't think so. In addition, he's parceling out these regions to other countries seems a bit unrealistic. Given that he predicts Alaska to go back to Russia, I think it's more an ultra-nationalist "Boundless Russia" wet dream than anything based on intelligence reports.
Still, it's an interesting mental exercise to think how various political unions would reforge from a federal collapse. What sort of map would you envision in such a (maybe not so) hypothetical future?
So I can (somewhat) control the continued publication status of the story without deleting journals, I am linking to Laren Grey Steals The Stars instead of including the text here. This is more or less the same story I sent to F&SF nine years ago. The only change I made was a technical astronomical edit because those damned exoplanet researchers reduced the chances of a Terra-like planet in the original system I picked to almost nil. Obviously, they need their funding cut.:-)
Feel free to comment on the story. Constructive criticism is welcomed and you really can't be too harsh on it. I workshopped it with a bunch of serious SF writers, some of them now published, so I've probably heard worse. It's obvious it's not great, because if it were, I would've sold it!
I had composed a reply to Bill Dog's journal entry on art. It was perhaps not the most original thing anyone ever has said about art, but apparently/. thought it was too unoriginal, because it wouldn't let me post it because the "repetition filter" thought it was too repetitive.
However, the repetition filter had no problem with my comment titled "this is repetition" with a body "this is repetition". Nice one, guys! Fuckin' A, who let the lab monkeys loose at Slashdot this last week? I tried to save the comment and post it here, but it got lost in the copy/paste buffer continuum somewhere. Basically, all I said is that IMO, art is creative things done for the love of it, although good art is subjective and a strict subset of art. I also said regarding the "Impeach Bush" ornament that if it were me, I would've said nothing and let it stay on the tree, unremarked... Streisand Effect, keep the idiot obscure, bla bla bla. Pretend it was marginally more eloquent than this journal and you've got the idea.
Full Disclosure: I currently only own about a $1,000 in precious metals. I post these because it's a study in the wacky economics we are experiencing. Even if precious metals triples in price, it's not going to cover a month of my expenses. I'm not a professional financial advisor, and I'm not responsible for decisions you make. My personal position on them is to hold, especially for physical possession. Your mileage may vary.
So, out of curiosity, I jump onto Kitco's site again to see what you can buy from them. If you want a gold bar for $295k or a silver bar for 9600, you're in luck. Otherwise, now there's nothing small. Not even the Olympic commemoratives.
And while gold is in decline, Kitco is now buying physical silver at almost 14.5% above spot, and gold at about a half percent above spot.
No premium for platinum. If you happened to buy any when it was $2,000 an ounce, you have my sympathies, plus a smack on the head and a "what is wrong with you?" Platinum really never had the attraction silver and gold have had as an investment, and platinum's primary industrial use is in automotive catalytic converters. Most people don't buy cars in times like these if they can help it. It's harder to work than gold or silver, and fewer people are familiar with it, so its not nearly as convertible as the others.
Your choices are either to buy a large scale bars (the cheapest of which is an $11,000 silver bar), requiring a substantial cash outlay if you're middle or working class, or you can buy the sub 1 oz coins (and the Olympic edition Gold Maple), all of which trade at a substantial premium above spot price. Kitco still seems to be only offering a buy premium on silver at the moment.
More telling, I think, is that while gold and silver have been fairly volatile, trading up and down over the last week, the lease rates have been steadily climbing. Make of that what you will, but I think somebody somewhere knows that there's another time bomb ticking in the financial infrastructure somewhere. 2009 could be an interesting year in the so-called Chinese sense of the word.
Why is gold and and especially silver not higher in price? I challenge you to find a place where you can actually buy small unit silver like Silver Eagles and Silver Maples at anything close to the spot price. Not a pool or investment account, but a transaction where the end result is you getting shiny bits of metal in your grubby paws. The official bid price is not telling the whole story. As I write this, the spot price for silver is 12.21, but the 800 pound gorilla of precious metals, Kitco will buy Silver Maples and Eagles from you at 13.56, or 11% ABOVE spot. For those of you unaware, when dealing in immediate settlement, a commodities broker usually buys at a certain percentage below spot, and sells at a percentage above spot. This is how they make money, regardless of the market price. I've never seen a broker buying above spot, and 11% above spot is crazy high. Normally, I would consider a broker who tried to sell to me at 11% above spot a rip-off artist (3 to 4% is more normal), but they are voluntarily paying that high a premium to get their hands on the stuff. So, just what's going on here?
The only sensible reasons I can think of for them doing this is either A) They have contractual obligations to provide physical metal to someone, maybe to keep a pool account solid and the premium they are paying is cheaper than any sort of penalty they would have to pay, or B) They have a very good reason to expect that silver will increase in price dramatically in the short-term. If you can meet my challenge, then you should be able to make a tidy sum in arbitrage. Good luck with that.
Born June 26, 1923. Beer delivery man, trombonist, private pilot, real estage agent, deputy sheriff, K-mart appliance department manager, fireman aboard the Sangamon-class Suwannee in the Pacific theater of WWII, my mom's stepdad, but her real dad and my grandpa in all the ways that really matter, died on the morning of September 10, 2008 due to an aortic aneurysm. Growing up, I spent a few weeks every summer with my grandparents, and he was the guy responsible for my love of big band and jazz music. So, I'll forgive him for mocking my love of Led Zeppelin when I was a teenager.:-)
This event was not unexpected, as he beat doctors' estimates of longevity by damn near two years, but now that the time has come, it's still hard to say goodbye. I love you, Gramps.
After seeing the first Seinfeld Microsoft ad I'm totally sold! I went out and bought eight licenses for Windows Vista Ultimate right after viewing! I'm muking and paving my Linux boxes, and upgrading my XP ones. I even bought copies for my two PPC Mac laptops. It doesn't work on them, but I just stick the little license tags on them to because it makes me feel so good to see it.
Seriously, WTF? A 90 second ad for a computer software company that doesn't mention computers at all until the 75-second mark? I figure the standard 30 second spot will be the last 30 seconds (The first 60 seconds is the throwaway gag), but once again, it's Microsoft talking about all this wonderful software they'll make "someday".
The ad itself is mildly amusing, but these are the kind of ads that are supposed to make people buy Vista? At least the Mohave thing was about their actual products. This is a brand-building ad of the kind a new 90s internet startup would spend half their venture capital on to air during the Superbowl. Does Microsoft really need to have their name out there more? Well, yeah, brand-building is an ongoing task, but last I heard Microsoft is having product affinity problems, not brand-awareness issues. Hell, people are only too aware of the Microsoft brand, and the word on the street is "avoid their new thing if you can. XP is better." I'm not saying that viewpoint was or is accurate. I don't know enough about Vista to judge. But, at least in marketing, perception is reality.
I do have to say that between the "Bill's last day" video and this one, he's shown that he's got a pretty good sense of comedic timing. But I know lots of funny people. It doesn't mean I'm buying an operating system from them.
 - I know XP is better for me because I have a driver for some music hardware I own that is XP only.
 - Well, It's been a while since I checked: Digitech GNX4 drivers are available for Vista now. I'm getting a free copy of Vista Ultimate later this month, so maybe I'll give it a whirl. So I guess the ad sorta worked after all.:-) Note that only because Microsoft is giving it away to me, and my hardware is now supported will I contemplate the upgrade. The features of Vista are not compelling enough to me on its own merits to justify the $110 gray-market upgrade price, much less the >$200 price that MS charges.