Winter Olympics End

Broken Flowers
Jim Jarmusch (director)

I like Bill Murray.

I like artsy-fartsy movies.

I like enigmatic movies.

I like all not being spelled out, some questions remaining.

This was all, but it left me cold.

I get the gist of the film, where Murray’s character is traveling to try to find out if he has sired a child a couple of decades ago – but it’s really a story about Murray’s character trying to find himself…OK.

But this is about two hours of my life I’ll never get back…

All movies

It appears the 2006 Winter Games have ended.

I could care less, but that’d really be reaching down far.

Just not worth the effort.

Kottke Retires

Well, he’s not out, but he’s no longer full-time: For reasons outlined in his blog, Jason Kottke has given up on the full-time blogger experiment.

Not a surprise (to me), but a disappointment if for no other reason than he had the best link farm out there. Always a good link or two that would make my day, that I’d forward on to others.

Fer sure this isn’t the last we’ll hear of him, but – unfortunately – we’ll probably hear less from him.

The internet just got poorer, a little quieter.

Nude Gurls!

Yeah, I knew that’d get your attention.

Google has lost the first round in a bout with Perfect 10, a publisher of naked women.

(2/25/2006 Update: They publish pictures of nekkid women; they don’t actually publish women. Now there’s a solid business model!)

The issue is simple, as outlined by the C|Net article:

Perfect 10 sued Google for copyright infringement in November 2004, and then in August 2005, asked for an injunction to halt Google from allegedly copying, displaying and distributing more than 3,000 Perfect 10 photos.

The photo publisher says it’s plagued by copyright pirates who pay its $25.50 monthly fee and then reproduce its copyright images on sites that are indexed by Google and incorporated in its image search feature.

So – in other words – Perfect 10’s clients steal pictures from Perfect 10, post on their own (non-password-protected) sites and Google Images shows thumbnails of this stolen work.


Why doesn’t Perfect 10 try to sue the actual thieves? (Sure, it’s hard – especially when you have the customer’s info…). No, let’s go after the deep pockets!

No mention in the article whether Perfect 10 tried to give Google IP/Domain lists with stolen pics, so the pics would not be indexed and so on. Nah, let’s just sue!!

The ruling included:

U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz ruled Friday that Perfect 10, an adult-oriented Web site featuring “beautiful natural women” in the nude, has shown that Google image search probably infringes copyright law “by creating and displaying thumbnail copies of its photographs.”

This sounds dangerous to me, for two main reasons:

  • Fair Use: If the thumbnails here are not fair use, are any? Are any text snippets and so on?
  • Burden of Proof: Google is crawling accessible sites. Should they bear the burden of ascertaining if the pics/text are owned by the site? (If it’s demonstrated that Site X is stealing Site Y’s images, and Google is notified and does nothing, that’s a little different…but still). Google didn’t do anything it perceived as illegal, and – and this is key – it was a machine/algorithm that did this work. Not some guy sitting in a office deciding to cull this or that picture. Automagic.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one shakes out; it sounds like a company that’s getting hosed by its own customers, so lashes out at Google. I could well be wrong, and that’d certainly not be a first, but something is out to joint here…

Cartoon Protests

There has been a lot of hand-wringing in the West over the protests in the Muslim world over the publication of cartoons that depict the Prophet Mohammed.

To me, this is not about cartoons – that’s just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The Muslim world just doesn’t like our morays nor share our sense of humor. And no amount of shock and awe can change that.

They don’t like the West, especially the way the West is attempting to Westernize the Muslim world today.

Whether this is the last gasp of the Muslim World to hold back the 21st Century or a well-needed wake-up call for the West remains to be seen, but remember:

It’s not about cartoons.

It’s about us, the West, and how we assume that everyone shares our values, and will welcome vast upheavals to their centuries-old societies to accomodate same.

That’s just wrong. And it’s biting us in the ass right now.

Platform Consolidation

One of the things I should do this year – which I may or may get to – is to consolidate my home computer tools.

What do I mean by that?

Well, I’m basically a web guy – I have two main sites of my own (, and – which isn’t much but for my blog and my photo gallery).

With the exception of using Blogger to generate the actual blog part of my blog site, I have a slew of tools at home that run at periodic intervals to update various portions of both domains.

The trouble is, when I first began hard-core, dynamic web sites, it was in a Windows NT/SQL server environment. So I have a bunch of older tools that run against Microsoft SQL Server (off a 7-year-old box) and posts data to various regions of both domains.

Now I’m more of an OSS dude. All my tools now are LAMP (Perl and PHP), with a healthy dollop of shell scripts. I want to convert the Windows tools to my Linux boxes, but that just takes time.

Will make backups a hell of a lot easier, however. Scripting backups on Windows is a pain in the arse.

Right now, the Windows tools – thanks to the years of tweaking – work very well, so there isn’t a real impetus to make the change.

I just want to, at least eventually. I want one master Linux box that does the work and a secondary box for backups/failover.

We’ll see how that goes…

Blogger Weirdness

Something’s going on with Blogger.

This is the tool I use to populate this blog.

Last night, I did two posts. After the first posted, it disappeared from my “edit posts” list. I thought it was me. So I grabbed the code off my site and reposted.

Then I wrote another post (saving this one to my hard drive just in case with the previous one.).

This moring, both posts disappeared from blogger. So they’ve reposted, but what the hell?!?

What if I hadn’t saved the code? And so on.

Just weird, and the Blogger home page doesn’t note any database issues.

Let’s see how long this post sticks around before it’s autodeleted…

Update: This as originally posted Saturday, Feb. 18. Blogger does appear to acknowledge having a problem Friday and Saturday; so this is a repost. Hopefully, this one won’t go away as well..

Math is Hard

One of the current blog memes is the need for algerbra.

My opinion:

  • I love math, I know it better than 95% of the population, which makes me an idiot in the other 5%, the people who actually use math. But I used to do calculus for fun (yeah, this was before cable), fer Newton’s sake!
  • The current meme arguement seems a little misplaced to me. You don’t need to solve quadratic equations, but most high school graduates should be able to do algebraic basics. The basics are essentially fraction work, percentages and the dreaded word problems (X cost over Y months, what is if the final charge is $100 and Y = 3.5 months, what is the monthly cost….).
  • Some very educated people – even if they try – won’t grok algerbra. Many very intelligent people have no social skills or writing abilities. Lack of algerbra could affect some, as well. Get over it. Not everyone is a Renaissance (wo)man.
  • Life – for most folks to different degrees – requires a dash of algerbra, if for no other reason than to figure out, for X days in month and Y monthly salary, how much they have to work with per day. Don’t belittle the basics. Better to know this than to know how to program the coffee maker…

Update: This was originally posted Friday, Feb. 17, but Blogger has had issues. Reposted for the third time.

Winter Olympics

I’ve gotten less and less interested in sports as I’ve gotten older, but one pretty much constant in my sports-viewing life is that I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Winter Olympics.

I dunno, just not my bag. Especially with all the new “sports,” like the snowboarding and so on (note: I feel the same way about ping-pong in the Summer games, and curling [that’s a sport?!?] in the Winter Olympics.

I don’t watch much TV, either, so the impact on my viewing pleasure is little, but, still.

Why?? I just don’t get them. Power to those who compete, however, I don’t mean to diminish that. They probably wouldn’t want to watch me code…

Update: This was originally posted Friday, Feb. 17, but Blogger has had issues. Reposted for the third time.

More Information Not Necessarily Better Information

I’m seeing more and more of this recently: Different online sources with different facts.

Right now – 9:50am 2/11/2006 – Front page teasers re: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s recent surgery:

  • Hospital: Sharon in ‘no immediate danger’
  • Emergency Surgery: Life of Israel’s Sharon said to be ‘in danger’