Archive for November, 2002

2002-11-30 21:33:27

Saturday, November 30th, 2002

PSA

On Sunday (tomorrow (currently)), the Art Gallery is having an open day. I’m not at all sure of the details, but really, as long as they aren’t “haha, fooled you, it is on Monday” they are unimportant.

Therefore everyone should go along and check it out. For it must surely be wang. WANG.

That is all.

2002-11-30 16:48:53

Saturday, November 30th, 2002

Still Not Ridicule

I can’t remember if I said, but I have been a defiler of trees. I have printed more than God. I thought so anyway. And today, I discovered the Awful Truth.

** Account History for tps20 **
28-NOV-2002 23:59 Email -0.03
23:59 Internet Traffic -2.26
23:59 PC_lab Printing -21.78
23:59 Departmental Printing -5.04
——-
Total charges -29.11
Balance: 19.43

30-NOV-2002 23:59 Internet Traffic -0.35
23:59 PC_lab Printing -23.67
23:59 Departmental Printing -0.20
——-
Total charges -24.22
Balance: -4.79

Smeg, $50 of prininting in two days. Woooo momma. Now I can’t even surf for Porn. Sorry.

2002-11-29 17:43:09

Friday, November 29th, 2002

Ah, not Ridicule (sorry ’bout that)

Awhile ago we went and had a seminar thingy from a maths geek from Waikato talk about the time he spent at Google. It was truly cool, and I’m slack for not explaing more. But it was cool. Here is one example he talked about. Nya.

But the most trivial events may also register on Google’s sensitive cultural seismic meter.

The logs team came to work one morning to find that “carol brady maiden name” had surged to the top of the charts. Curious, they mapped the searches by time of day and found that they were neatly grouped in five spikes: biggest, small, small, big and finally, after a long wait, another small blip. Each spike started at 48 minutes after the hour.

As the logs were passed through the office, employees were perplexed. Why would there be a surge in interest in a character from the 1970′s sitcom “The Brady Bunch”? But the data could only reflect patterns, not explain them. That is a paradox of a Google log: it does not capture social phenomena per se, but merely the shadows they cast across the Internet.

“The most interesting part is why,” said Amit Patel, who has been a member of the logs team. “You can’t interpret it unless you know what else is going on in the world.”

So what had gone on on April 22, 2001?

That night the million-dollar question on the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” had been, “What was Carol Brady’s maiden name?” Seconds after the show’s host, Regis Philbin, posed the question, thousands flocked to Google to search for the answer (Tyler), producing four spikes as the show was broadcast successively in each time zone.

And that last little blip?

“Hawaii,” Mr. Patel said.

Yeah. Google knows what you are thinking. And in the case of Dan, it is worried.

He also talked about the “all your base” phenomena, and he had no idea what the hell it was about. But I remember LumAssist. The point was that Nic and I were shocked at how many comp geeks (it was a comp dept. seminar) had no idea what the fuck it was. So yeah, we are insular. I guess we could claim that that made us uber geek. But that would be a lie.

Hey, Pete, why don’t you get your Epic? Oh you are oh good.

2002-11-28 15:04:08

Thursday, November 28th, 2002

Spleen

Walking through the mall today I noticed a vast array of trees. Not actual trees mind, but short stunted things, that glowed. I turned to my companion at the time and asked if this was indicative of something. “Why, the new Lord of the Rings film” he stated. See, up their along the roof, rings, huge red bejewelled rings. Oh, I see. Makes sense, having rings for Lord of the Rings. But, “what about the trees?” I asked. “Oh”, he replied, “that’s art.” I assume it is abstract, or modern art, and these short trees are meant to represent Treants. I can only conclude that modern art sucks.

You know, that wasn’t really as funny as it had been in my mind. Then again, a lot of things aren’t.

I thought I had to face the horror that is the law library. But it turns out that I didn’t need to, I merely need to continue surfing the net. Mmm LexisNexis + Infortrac + Google = “Insta-Thesis”(tm) Sweeet.

McDonalds have a daily deal. Today it is “BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger.” I think this is good. The problem is that this was the “daily deal” yesterday, the day before that and the day before that. It is not in fact a daily deal at all. It is simply the current promotional burger, which I guess lasts 3-4 weeks? I’m not sure. But it certainly is not a “daily” anything. What a crock.

I should reinstitute my comments system in order to sollicit answers to questions like this: “What do you call a convertable car that doesn’t convert? As in it is simply a car without a roof. A sports car (like Prof. Hollands YED213, Red MG-A) It doesn’t have a roof that can protect him from the rain. If he is driving and it is raining he will get wet unless he drives fast enough for the wind to protect him. Which no doubt he does (unless he is stopped at red light) But anyway what do you call a car like that?

Well, what? First correct answer will win their name up in lights, best answer will win glory at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Next entry shall be titled, Ridicule, be ready.

2002-11-27 14:31:41

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

Unnecessary Ttile

James pointed out “prior restraint”, I updated my previous post, for I am dutiful. Ben Ben, pick me, pick ME!

2002-11-26 21:24:45

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

Sentence Without The Use Of The Word Fnord

Today we honour the skills of the Illuminati.

Because they have, if not won, at least done somehting incredibly cunning. What the Illuminati have managed to do is go main stream, and yet at the same continue to go unseen. Now we all know that the all seeing eye is rocking about on American money, but this new location is I think even more blatant and amusing.

Go look at this, then read on. look at it, now!

Holy freaking crap people. The all seeing eye is now spreading to encompass, uh seeing all. that is the logo of the new Information Awareness Office, part of the Department of Defence, of the USA

The latin motto of the office, translates to “Knowledge is power”, and that is what they are about. The mission of the IAO is:

The DARPA Information Awareness Office (IAO) will imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components and prototype, closed-loop, information systems that will counter asymmetric threats by achieving total information awareness useful for preemption; national security warning; and national security decision making.[emphasis added]

Now that doesn’t sound to worrying till you consider what total information awareness is. It is a lot.

“Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend – all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as “a virtual, centralized grand database.”

Thanks NYT. Thats right essentially this is “we will know everything electronic about you ever. For everyone.

And there is the point. They will know it about everyone. The point of the plan is to be able to track terrorists before they do pesky things, like blowing things up. Therefore they will look for trends and activities that raise flags (that they set up) that indicate that an individual might be a terrorist. If they are looking for trends and specific behaviour of people before they do things then, they must logically be looking at everyone so that the appropriate people will be noticed and spotted. If they don’t look at everyone then they would only be looking after the event and that would defeat the entire purpose of the office.

So? Who cares? I’m not too sure that I do, I tend to swing from side to side over privacy, it is not a right, and it is not an absolute, why should I care if someone knows things I do, although then it generally comes back to maybe I wouldn’t mind if everyone knew everything about everyone, but I do object to some weenie DOD guy knowing everythying about everyone, while others don’t. That might be the problem.

What I do know is that this certainly seems to run contra to the constitution. Specifically the fourth ammendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

So that says (my interpretation of relevant bits) that people shall not be subject to search of their papers and effects except with the proper Warrants issued only after sworn oath and affirmation targeted at specific people things about or belonging to said person.

I put it to you sir, that the all seeing all dancing all knowing DOD is not really confroming to ye olde fourth ammendment. It has no Warrants, it can’t have them, it is the militatary. Even if it did, I don’t think that a Warrant for “all people everywhere” would really stand up. I hope it wouldn’t anyway.

Oh, and another thing. Who is running this little party? John Poindexter. You may remember him from the Iran-Contra deal. If you don’t, why not let the Washington Post remind you:

“[Poindexter] was convicted in 1990 of five felony counts of lying to Congress, destroying official documents and obstructing congressional inquiries into the Iran-contra affair, which involved the secret sale of arms to Iran in the mid-1980s and diversion of profits to help the contra rebels in Nicaragua.

Poindexter, a retired Navy rear admiral, was the highest-ranking Reagan administration official found guilty in the scandal. He was sentenced to six months in jail by a federal judge who called him “the decision-making head” of a scheme to deceive Congress. The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned that conviction in 1991, saying Poindexter’s rights had been violated through the use of testimony he had given to Congress after being granted immunity.”

SWEET. This sounds like a good guy to have running this thing doesn’t it. The guy was a big fat scam artist, who got majorally busted, then had the conviction dropped on a technicality. He did it, that is the important thing, and is not in doubt.

FUCKING SCAM.

Before I go, here is a list of their current programs, very interesting stuff. Especially if you are a Trekkie, for on the list is Project Genesis not really involving Spock. Ok theirs is genisys, but it could have been.

Now laugh at the Americans in true Tom Tomorrow style.

Hey I actually just double checked the translation of scientia and it includes power as tyranny, meaning that the motto of a section of the US Government has the word tyranny included. Sweet. Mmm Latin. Oh, and mmmm tyranny.

So, there you go Illuminati with your all seeing eye all over the world. Party on.

Updated: James reminded me of “prior restraint.” Now prior restraint first developed out of (I think) the first ammendment, and essentially was tied to publications, and free sepeech. The whole “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”, (and actually in an interesting way (to me, and maybe Nic) ties back to the original copyright and how printers used to be licencsed by the printers guild to print only what was allowed, but anyway I (as is my want (and I do with excessive brackets (yeah))) digress) but anyway it has been expanded, and essentially it means that I can’t be arrested for just saying I’m going to rob a bank. I have to do a lot more than that (although I don’t necessarily have to get so far as actually robbing the bank) but it gets complicated. And there are rules dealing with such things.

For example such things as telling somone you are going to kill them, can get you in trouble if you say it in a “treatening” manner, or I don’t know, if you happen to have a big axe or a gun in your hand at the same time, but even then you won’t be charged with actually killing them.

How is this relevant? Well because just because I take lessons to fly plains, happen to be Arabic, like to visit NYC etc etc doesn’t mean I’m a terrorist. And even if I am, I might not go through with the act and you have to be careful about things like that.

Well America doesn’t, because well, it just doesn’t seem to, but in theory it should.