May 2006 Archives

Unwanted Image caching

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It appears that the people have spoken, and Google no longer caches images. I have been embroiled in a battle against bandwidth thieves, who would link to various images from my domain.
I routinely make subtle tweeks to my .htacess file to thwart their efforts. Additionally, I typically review my access logs for new unwanted activity.
While reviewing my access log, I noticed that there is a persistent image cache on Googles servers.
For instance I usually find the following:"" While at first glance, you'd think I'd be happy that I've got Google juice.. However, upon closer inspection it reveals that people are using the very large image cache as a means for hotlinking. Though I don't directly suffer a bandwidth penalty, I'm quite sure Google takes the hit. Moreover, I would imagine that some people would not desire this sort of behavior.

Well, it appears that Google has discontinued or at least suspended the cache all together. You may recall that there used to be links that point to cache of defunct websites. Even the 'images' links on the Google search engine have a far different behavior. The image cacheing has been suspended or at least discontinued for the public. I'll have to tip my hat to all the people who complained about this annoyance, and even give a knod to Google for finally listening.

Now if they'd only do something about the crap splogs coming out of 'blogspot.'

Update: Apparently the caching difference was particular to my machine ;) Wishful thinking indeed.

Ills of Colonialism

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I spent part of the day watching a PBS conversation on Ralph Bunche, last week I also got a chance to watch a similar discussion on Malcolm X(whose birthday was May 19th). Probably no chance that Google would commemorate his birthday with a flattering caricature.. I digress.

Regarding Bunche, I really did not know much about his work with the continent of Africa. Particularly, his earlier writing about issues of class and race. The written work "A World View of Race", was indeed controversial for its time, and certainly one of Bunche's most critically acclaimed essays. It is worth noting that much of the language in the text is very apropos for our so-called modern world. The more interesting backdrop to this story is the fact that Bunche elected to work for the State Department. I couldn't help think about the irony in his predicament, as he was truly militant for his era. Moreover, it was extremely rare for black folks to work in any government capacity during this particular period. The entire story reminded me of the story, the "Spook Who Sat by the Door?"

Citizen's Journalism - Revisited

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Interesting means of collecting the stories of people who live in Rio. I'd never thought about doing this sort of experiment, but I must say it is quite clever and risky.

At its core, people really enjoy telling there stories through film. Regardless of their station in life, humans are captivated with photos. I'm glad that the kids were able to keep their prints.


links for 2006-05-27

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links for 2006-05-25

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Lithium Powered

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Clever re-use of energy sources. I just seem to keep having visions of bumper cars in the amusement park. I would hope that these vehicles have much more torque than earlier electric vehicles.

Moving at the Speed of Creativity » Blog Archive » Lithium powered smart cars

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Finally got around to adding my banner and profile in my About section, so now everyone can discover my musical tastes. Not that you probably didn't know already ;) The idea of is very simple, as you play your prized collection of audio files, an instantaneous update of your musical genre is constructed on a community site. What essentially happens is that you create a social network based upon your listening tastes. Understand that this isn't yet another P2P swap meet, but instead you can find people who happen to like your style of music. Pretty simple concept.

Anyway, since I've been using Amarok 1.4 beta, real-time updates to the 'Recent Tracks' section are now possible. Bounce with me...

Ecosystem survival

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Perhaps some of the most profound stuff I've read in awhile. I wish it were all so simple. Renewable energy resources is a thumb in the eye of the huge, corrupt industries that support fossil fuels. Many throats will be slit before people really get the message.

The Greater Lansing Linux Users Group - A Day in the sun

Virtues of Open Document Format

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Lots of FUD and diversion surrounds this relatively obscure topic. Though arguably not the most intriguing subject matter, nonetheless, the outcome of this debate will carry far reaching consequences. For instance, if widespread adoption of this open standard takes root.. Well, you can probably imagine who does _not_ want this to happen. Yep, M$ has already said publicly that its too difficult to deploy this sort of compatibiltiy in its current and future products. So, as customary the Redmond wooly mammoth has offered a proprietary XML solution. Not many people actually thought that M$ position in the OASIS standards consortium meant very much anyway. Suffice to say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Can't we just get along?

I submit that like many others, I do not know very much about the inner-workings of a word processor. Perhaps it really is difficult to create 'save-as' option or some sort of plug-in that could allow support for this open standard. Methinks, there are many smart people in Redmond. I remember vividly the backwards compatability efforts that M$ deployed when Office 97 was created. There was actually a plug-in that was readily available from the corporate site to help users with usability issues.

The bottom line is pure and simple. Greed, no other explanation. It will slap them in the face as always. The people have had their last word. No pun intended

links for 2006-05-16

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links for 2006-05-15

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Vista - So what?

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Interestingly it still seems that people are expecting huge returns from Vista.. Sure XP is more stable than the abomination that was ME or 9x, but it is still plagued by trojans, adware and virii. It is very likely that by the time Longhorn err I mean Vista is launched 1st Qtr '07, there will be yet another service pack for XP. Wasn't there six service packs for NT?
Perhaps the funniest aspect of this discussion is the thought that Open Source and Web2.0 applications must take advantage of the tardiness of the upcoming M$ release. I think not.
Here is why.. People seem to think marketing campaigns are indicative tremendous activity and intelligent design. Absolutely a farce. The Redmond wooly mammoth and Apple have always used slick campaigns to paint a picture, and the results have not always been favorable.

Second Life

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Now that Second Life finally has a Linux client, I plan to experience its reported richness. Though, I'm not a gamer, I would say that I was inspired by a LUGRadio discussion with the Linden Labs CTO, Cory Ondrejka. It appears that people actually create value within the virtual world that then translates to the First Life or Real Life.

Sounds like something I'd really appreciate. Well, more on that later.
Just look for 'Willie Bobo', I'll be that kid out there hustlin ;)

In Search of Dtrace

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I was fairly convinced that a defunct or zombie netstat process had been creating subtle disk activity. Because I use a couple P2P applications, I began to get worried about being 0wned. When the problem first occured I ran 'ethereal' and 'tcpdump' to make sure that no data was being passed across the wire. Nothing popped out at me. I then ran 'vmstat' and 'lsof' to get an idea of any rogue process might be writing out to files. Again nothing significant. At this point, I'm fairly confident that no foul play is afoot. Nonetheless, I'm still clueless as to what is causing my issue.

Ahh. If I were running dtrace on my Linux box, I'm certain that I could discover the problem. I do hope that someone ports this very slick app to Linux. All Sun Solaris users have the benefit of using this powerful utility. Hmm. I wonder if Solaris x86 comes with this tool ?

It appears that the pkg is quite extensible and capable of doing exactly what I need.

Some immediate needs:
All I want is to group the processes that are writing to /dev/hdaX and get a general idea of how long that processes have been active. I would also like to know the memory usage too.

Running 'vmstat -2' gives me an idea of what the threaded processes are running. Nonetheless, the report isn't nearly as clean as dtrace.

Anyone have any ideas??

Akeelah and the Bee

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At first glance, it would appear that the title could be animation for children. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the film. I would actually go as far as stating that it could very well be the one of the best flicks of the year. Certainly a 'feel good' story, but actually there was much to captivate the audience. It appears that Lawrence Fishbourne is going to use his new film production group to capture the positive experiences of persons of color. Definitely a much needed breath of fresh air. Outside of 40Acres and a Mule, there really aren't very many production houses that are seeking to be different.

Don't know about you, but most films depicting the so-called black experience on the silver screen have been bitter disappointments. It's either a wack love story or goofball comedy. Not much diversity at all. Sorta of like mainstream radio, but that's a rant for a later entry.

Suffice to say, that you'd be pleased to drop a bit of loot on this flick. This one snuck in under my radar screen, much like Boondocks ;)

Go catch the matinee.

links for 2006-05-09

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ClueTrain Manifesto

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Well, I finally finished this book. Though the book was written over five years ago (during the dotcom burst) and is considered "old" in Internet years, the discussion is quite relevant for our time. Thus, I figured it would be good to review it here. Perhaps the most valuable lesson to be learned from the text is that 'business as usual' is gone forever. In other words, if you haven't been able to decipher the importance of including your customers into your product development process or value proposition.... Your business is likely to fail miserably.

Although, the text used Information Technology examples, these issues are problematic for all industries. Moreover, the solutions and methodologies would be beneficial to industries outside of IT. There was a great deal of attention spent on characterizing business as open dialogue or candid conversations with the customer. The authors made painstaking efforts to make sure that people understood that you cannot have a hidden agenda when you're dealing with customers. If you're concerned about brand image, the worst possible scenario would be to apppear disingenuous in the eyes of your customer.

The authors warned companies from trying to regurgitate failed mainstream marketing and deploying them as new value inside of the Internet space. If you look back to the dotcom implosion, it was mainly due to poor marketing and advertising schemes. The authors made parallels with material from the Cathedral and the Bazaar and there was discussion of the Open Source business model. The Digital or Information age has certainly stood business on its head.

Ultimate Oxymoron

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Although it really is no laughing matter, I had to pause as I looked at this curious combination.
I'm always a mazed at how the oil industry does its best to hide the truth and create smoke screens.
We've got high school students developing autos which use soybean oil. Instead we're going to use fossil fuels to the detriment of the environment. I'll never understand the love affair we have with coal and its by-products.

Green Car Congress: Fossil-Fuel Platform Runs on Renewable Energy

Hotel Rwanda

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Actually I heard about this film quite awhile ago, but avoided it because I assumed it would not tell the true story of the atrocities that took place in Rwanda. I saw the PBS special Ghosts of Rwanda and it affected me deeply. I do understand that there was indeed a Hotel Rwanda that housed Tutsis, but I'm not at all certain of the details. Nonetheless, the movie did have a Hollywood cast and did a fairly good job characterizing the senseless genocide.

Though I preferred the PBS special, I would definitely consider this flick recommended viewing. Especially, if you are not at all familiar of the massacre, it will open your eyes to the realities of this terrible event.

TSD Seminar

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Now that I've returned from the dirty south and grad school is in recess until Summer session. I can actually start devoting more time to my training regiment.
I attended our World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do seminar held, late last month. As I described in a previous post, our federation president Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim(GMK), typically holds two per year. The seminar is normally held in conjuction with the dan or black belt exam. Essentially, the seminar is designed to ensure that all of the instructors and students are informed of any subtle changes to our hyungs (forms) or anything else that GMK would like understood. GMK, also brings his son, Master Nahm (pronounced 'nawm'), to help teach the students, as we normally have about 30-50 attendees. I'm always amazed at the intensity of Nam's forms. He does them quite well. For instance, the Nihanji forms (aka iron horse), require very firm and distinct stomps during each technique. These stomps are attacks on assailants, as your back is a against the wall and you are defending yourself against two imaginary assailants.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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