The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Personal - Jerk

I am the absolute worst person I know at keeping in touch. I do not speak with any of the people who used to be my friends at various points in time. Good, true friends too, not just friendly acquaintances.

I cannot prioritize to save my life.

I am as empathic as a doorknob.

For someone so introverted, I sure talk way too much.

Also, according to some people, my personal hygiene needs more attention and my sexual deprivation is showing. There might be some truth in that.

Finally, I'm about to spend a very depressed (and extended) April Fools weekend alone with an Uzi.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

This Blog - Style Editing

I've implemented a very basic CSS editor. If you know CSS - it works (in Gecko; should also work in IE6 but never tested. Doesn't work in KHTML). Saving is in cookies and which was last chosen is not saved so on subsequent loads the same one is chosen again as if you didn't save anything. No validation is performed - write invalid CSS, get no template. If you feel you need more hand-holding with syntax, I might be persuaded to build more UI (list of valid properties, color picker, more validation) but you have to ask. Obviously, pretty designs (copy and mail me) will get added to the site for everyone to see (and the prettiest will replace the default). Bug reports are welcome. Especially from Windows and Mac users.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Web Tech - "new" technologies

Opera developer Ian Hickson says the new names for old web technologies confuse the people who build those technologies, so people should please stop making up new names for HTTP, HTML, XML, CSS and MumbleScript. I agree.

Fandom - push technology meets plugs

I got this in the mail a few days ago (to my soon to be abandoned hotmail address, which is clogged with penis enlargement ads. Consider it - M$ gives you only 2MB storage while average spam item is 136K!).

Dear Friends,

My new Harry Potter fanfic has begun to be posted at the Sugar Quill. It's called "[snip]" and you can access my author page there at the address [snip].

You are on this mailing list because you made a positive comment about one of my previous stories ([snip], [snip] or [snip]). I will remove your name from the list on request.

Best regards,


So, is this spam payback for being a good reader and leaving a signed review? Or is this a legitimate service I should be thankful for? Personally, I like to subscribe to updates myself, and many authors use Yahoo! Groups exactly for this purpose.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This Blog - Redesign

I'm doing massive re-write of the template. The site might be broken in the interim.

People who got here Googling for "A script from … was denied UniversalBrowserRead privileges": This has to do with Gecko's (the engine for Mozilla/Firefox/Netscape/etc. browsers) security policy. Scripts on webpages are prevented from doing certain things (like violating the user's privacy) unless the user concedes first to allow them. To establish this trust, the user must be sure the script is written by the author she trusts rather than for example by disreputable clients of the author's banner-ad provider. So it was decided the script's URL is not enough to establish its credentials, and the user should be guarded from trusting scripts based solely on their location. And thus the option to trust scripts was disabled by default. The only way the browser is even going to bother the user with "Do you really want to allow this bloke from to virtually feel you up?" is if the script is electronically signed (this way you can be reasonably sure the script is written by whoever it says its author is). But my scripts aren't signed, so when they try to do something (I swear does not violate your privacy in any way, but of course I'd say that anyway) Gecko just slaps them on the wrist without consulting you and informs you as an afterthought ("that guy was so checking out your butt!").

If you want to tell Gecko you're a grownup and would like to choose your companions yourself, type "about:config" into your address bar, there filter for "signed.applets.codebase_principal_support" and change its value to "true" by double clicking it. This tells Gecko to ask you whether you let a scripts reach into your personal space or not, every time it tries.

More details from the horse's mouth are available here.

EDIT: A later template edit removed the client-side AJAX-based feedreader. It was a pioneering work, but it caused firefox to crash too much.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Found On The Web - Teh Funnay!

Just when the show finally got better (or even "good", some say), Enterprise has been canceled. Angry Trekkers worldwide, who dissed if for years now suddenly fight to keep it alive (even funding it themselves!).
Anyway, this cartoon is just funny. "Australian cartoonist John Cook" draws Sev-Space "a parody of the sci-fi/fantasy genres including Star Trek & Lord of the Rings" (and lots more, though the HP ones are not as good). I loved this one for Alias. Notice the names.

ETA: bandwidth costs drove him to a subscription program. A pity, but inevitable when you think about it.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Personal - Fashion

Sometimes I stumble upon a fic with… character. One such mentioned t-shirts with cool slogans and a link to a real shop you can buy similar items from. I especially liked this one, but they have many more inconsiderate designs for all occasions. I can totally picture a guy from work wearing many of those.

Personal - TODO

So, there are a number of things I would've liked to do had I been less lazy. I'll list them here.
  1. Design and implement a pessimistic soft locking thingy for work.
  2. Redesign the blog with a side panel, redoing the bookmarks/feedreader. Add calendar, memories, more easily maintainable code.
  3. Talk to a doctor about my RSI before it gets much worse. Make necessary alterations to work environment at work and at home.
  4. Refactor the hell out of the HTML grid widget experiment to make it usable. It was really neat, and really ugly too…
    1. Before XForms (or whatever the replaces XHTML) makes it obsolete…
  5. Profile a major MFC app at work to at least find the performance bottleneck(s). It's suspiciously slow, even on state of the art hardware. I bet it's the UI, but it could be anything (dynamic memory allocation, too much copying, not using parallelism, etc.)
  6. Compile list of hackers I admire for inspiration at work (and to use as excuse for not shaving).
  7. Write the self-challenging short-story plot bunny I had.
  8. Design a prototype eXtensible Fanfic Description Format.
    1. with strong validation and performance oriented characteristics, but language and fandom independent.
    2. With diff's embeddable in Atom feeds.
  9. Design a normalized ERD to store XFDF documents.
    1. In as much an implementation-independent way as possible, leaning to postgresql (there are good reasons, but not personal experience yet).
  10. Implement two-way conversion between data represented in the two previous forms.
    1. mod_python for Apache2. I speak out of hype, not experience, here.
  11. Design XSLT (or something) to represent XFDF documents on the web, search for them in a database etc.
    1. As in, a site.
  12. exercize.
  13. read less fic.
  14. Consider writing my own fractal thingy.
    1. Probably playing with a real one will satisfy me.
  15. Build the 3D project I fantasize about.
    1. Well, it's a portable OpenGL Rubik's Cube. With "scramble" and "solve" buttons, of course. Google turned up a few projects, but none of which I'm entirely happy with.
This is roughly in order of most likely to be completed first. Note: Everything is subject to change.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Fandom - demographics

A bold statement by Kokopelli. At the risk of being strung up on the next lamppost, I agree. BTW here's a link to his collaboration work with Mr. Intel - a (gasp!) H/Hr story titled "The Phoenix Reborn".

Personal - Scriptures

Today, my unit was merged (well, it was more of a hostile takeover) with another one, changing my boss'-boss'-boss'-boss' boss (I counted twice). It does not influence me even slightly, but we had to stand on parade for an hour and listen to boring speeches. I understand similar things happen in the real world, but this was with attention! and at-ease! each time the speaker changed. Urgh. Anyway, what the merger did change is the unit's name. Now instead of a cryptic acronym we have an appropriately biblical name (it all has to do with the brass' political views). It's a gemstone that appears on the high priest's breastplate. I have tried to identify it, but failed. This is what I have turned up (using links from a wikipedia article). Any suggestions? Edit: This and this reach the same conclusion: nobody knows what it was, but it was probably sparkly.

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