rambling thoughts on everything


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Adrian Lamo is going to jail. What an unfortunate fate for the �gray hacker�. Lamo could be in for a rough time. He will need protection from being �flipped� and penetrated against his will. No one likes being �flipped� against his or her will. It is a very unfortunate fate. It is always uncomfortable to have someone impose on (and in this case in) your space.

Prisons have rules all their own. Guards rarely intervene in the social structure of a prison. As long as all the prisoners know they are on top of the food chain guards rarely intervene. The only sure protection is solitary confinement and not for punishment reasons but the safety of the person confined.

Another way prisoners find safety is by joining gangs within the prison. These gangs usually break down along racial lines and in many cases promote a very racist (as defined in the US - no group is above being racist) ideologies or these gangs break down along (non mainstream) religious lines or region of country or a whole list of traits and practices (I don�t know if computer criminal or geek is one of them). These groups provide some protection or backup for the imprisoned.

If you are one of those people who like doing things alone and tend not to socialize too much you will be (I must emphasize) �flipped�. Lamos�s size and stature makes him easy pickings. I suggest a course of weightlifting, and/or karate before he goes. The martial arts are always a plus to know in testy situations.

Of course when our criminal justice system finishes with him he�ll come out jaded and a more skilled criminal picking up all the types of criminal activities or �tricks of the trade� if you will that are to be learned in a prison. After being worked over in prison and with a new set of skills the gray hacker can become an extremely skilled dark hacker. Nothing like the rehabilitating powers of our prison system : - )

Monday, January 12, 2004

I’ve been using message boards more lately. I find that I can usually find an answer to a question I have by going to a message board that deals with a subject I have in mind and I can post a question of my own if I like.

I have posted questions and got mixed results. Sometimes I get an answer (of various quality or usefulness) and sometimes I don’t. Even if I don’t get an answer to a question I post I usually find useful or informative information posted on the site in response to someone else’s question.

I think I will put message boards to use more and more. I will probably join more message boards. They don’t ask for too much information and if they do you could use your ‘internet persona’ if you know what I mean.

I may start putting other interactive groups to more use also. I may subscribe to newsgroups and mailing list. I already subscribe to some newsletters sent out by various organizations but I’m beginning to find the newsletter less useful and more something that takes up space in an email account.

I’m beginning to find out that it may be easier to go to the website that publishes the newsletter than have a daily, weekly or monthly newsletter sent to my email address.

Newsgroups and message boards provide the necessary current and timely information one sometimes need and that big businesses and organizations just cannot provide. I do see myself joining more message boards and newsgroups

Still having some problems with this blog site. Whenever I post a blog a copy of the posting is mailed to my email address. The last posting to this blog was delivered to my email address twice. I find that odd and if it happens again will have to consult the question and answer pages of, which means I will probably have to email them about the problem. Text is also not being rendered properly. The series of periods I have at the beginning of my last blog entry are of different boldness (series of dots are used to indicate prolonged pause, the absence of text, or that quoted text continues among other things).

I wonder what’s going on at It seems like things are going backwards. More problems are arising in a shorter span of time. I hope they get their act together again soon.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

The last month the word ubiquitous has been….well…..ubiquitous. Its like someone used the word once and all of the sudden everyone is using it. If I hear that word one more time I’ll ‘sheet’.

I have read some books that gave me a similar desire. You know those types of books assigned to you in high school or college like Paradise Lost, Sound and Fury, or some anthology of poetry (usually by ancient English and Irish poets with the occasional American thrown in). I remember sitting in a literary class trying to interpret the meaning of a poem and all of a sudden from the far side of the class a student burst out in Gaelic and the English professor smiled and responded in Gaelic. It was a lively conversation as all the other students sat there looking perplexed. It can more accurately be described as cross-eyed since no one else understood Gaelic. I sat there with an expression on my face that basically said, wwwwhhhhhhaaaat?

I’ll let you in on a little secret about interpreting poetry. You usually have to know the biography and history of the poet and the times, which the poet lived to know or attempt to understand a poem. Sometime the scholars are just guessing at the meaning of a poem and a poem can take on new meaning to a different audience or individual. Remember judgment of all art forms is highly subjective.

So the reason I thought wwwwhhhhhhaaaat is because the skill of this student and the poetry (ancient Irish) we were studying at the time was way above that of most in the class and this one student would destroy the grade distribution on test or papers because of his advanced knowledge. The smiling professor and his smiling (Cheshire cat- did you ever see the Charlie Brown comic strip where the Cheshire cat would smile and disappear with the only thing remaining visible being the teeth?) student made my ass ache.

By the way William Faulkner’s novel Sound and Fury made me want to jump out of a three-story window. As I read through it I realized the brilliance but thought, ‘why!?’

Friday, January 09, 2004

Favorite song of 2003 was Drops Of Jupiter by Train. The complete arrangement is original but especially the lyrics and the way they are enunciated. He squeezes them together (listen to the song to hear what I am talking about). It sounds like he is reading a very long sentence or to breathlessness (to the point he must inhale). The lyrics are not the only thing good about the song. The whole piece is beautifully composed.

I don’t know why this subject came up. I guess because I heard the song and thought about how original it is to me. I am not really a fan of Train but this song by Train will stick in my mind as one of the most pleasurable pieces of music to hear.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I’ve decided to use this blog site again after seeing that the issue I was complaining about was resolved. I still have reservations about using this blog site because of the problems I was having with this account but problems do occur with computers (but they usually do not involve the altering of text on a blog).

I’m trying to decide if I am going to install Linux (in a separate partition) on the hard drive I have Windows 2000 Prof. on or use the three gig drive I presently have Debian Linux installed on. I installed it on this small drive for testing purposes. I formatted it into two partitions (one root the other swap).

This is not the way one should set up Linux but it is only temporary. I will probably wipe out and install Debian dozens of times before I decide to use an install for a long time and even when I get to that point I will still probably wipe it out and install it again after a year or two but then again maybe not. Linux is not like Windows.

There have been so many major problems with the Debian Linux organization of late that to use their flavor of Linux is almost not worth it. It was also a pain to install a completely functional version of Debian and now to read of all the problems they are having with the security of their flavor is disconcerting. I still have an old flavor of Mandrake Linux around that I can use if necessary but I still prefer to use the Debian flavor because of their Social Contract and the ability to shape and form it into a truly personalized version or new flavor of Linux.

I was already supposed to be using Linux online by now but I fell a little bit behind due to other pressing issues. I also needed drivers that could enable me to use a wireless network card with Linux. Some drivers for this purpose just recently became available but not in a RPM or Deb package so I will have to install it the old fashioned way (from binaries or source) which mean I may have some problems with missing libraries among other problems.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

This will be the last posting I will make to this blog due to the technical difficulties I mentioned in the last blog entry. I think this is a good place to rate the website.

I expected great improvement when Google brought but the improvements were not that great. We did get some new and improved features that could have made the blogging experience on better for some users but many of these features I did not use.

What I have discovered is a continuation of many of the issues that plagued before Google purchased it. The problems I have had and in some instances still having are configuration tools that don’t work, strange morphing of text entered on my blog (things like quotation marks turning to inverted question marks and other unknown markings or scripts), the server being down when I want to blog and the unresponsiveness of to complaints. And I never understood why my blog ended up on What, there is no site called to put my blog on? Overall I give the people a grade of C+. Many improvements are needed to make it an A grade operation.

I am going to miss this blog but if you want to find me point your browser to (or lookup backgroundchat on the site) and you’ll find me blogging away.

Looks like I have some blog text entry problems. I do not really understand this problem but I will probably have to re-enter the text for the last few blogs published. Since this blog has an edit feature I will attempt to do this by editing each blog individually. Yes, I do keep copies of everything posted so this should not be that complicated to do. It looks like a copy/cut and paste operation.

I decided to email my blog posting to an email account to have even another copy of my blog entries.

This problem occurred before with both of my blogs using the blogging site. I hope the problem is on my end and not with the site.

Friday, December 19, 2003

I went to see the last chapter in the Lord Of The Rings. Not in a long time have I witnessed a marketing machine go into full gear and maintain its momentum for so long. Lord of The Rings kept its marketing machine rolling through the strategic release of computer games based on the films (The world of Lord Of The Rings is really a gamer’s paradise) and various types of releases of the movie (like director’s cut, package sets, etc.) on DVD.

Even the news, talk and other types of programs seem to be part of the marketing campaign. The actors and actresses make all the rounds and go to or are interviewed by all the programs that want to speak with them. News programs constantly talk about the film. They bring in critics to talk about the film. The critic reviews and ratings are mentioned on these news programs and in the papers, magazines or web pages they write for. Fake postings are made to message boards that deal with movie (most are posted by real fans though).

You can usually tell what the highest grossing film for a week is going to be. If a movie gets heavy coverage on news programs, is praised by most of the film critics, is heavily marketed using various methods (especially to pre-teen and teen demographic), and the actors and actresses heavily promote it then the film will probably be the number one ‘grosser’ most of the time. Without all of these elements coming together it is more of a hit or miss as to what will be the top moneymaker of the week.

The Lord Of The Rings-The Return Of The King is a good movie but I liked it less than the first two. It seemed to drag for the first third of the movie as it built the storylines. The second third of the movie is excellent. This is the part that included the most major battle of the movie. The movie really hops during this third. The final third of the movie is kind of uncomfortable as the story begins to wind down with multiple climatic and emotional moments.

It feels like the movie should end at multiple points throughout the story. In fact the end of the climatic battle in the second third of the movie feels like the movie could end there. This feature may be genius in a book but not so in a movie.

The film delivers in spades for the medieval (for lack of a more precise term) fantasy genre. You have many of the fantasy creatures I heard about as a kid on Middle Earth. The close following of the book by the screenplay, the attention to detail in costume and set and the numerous and richly drawn characters makes this film a winner as its predecessors are in my opinion.

In this instance I agree with the critics about this movie up to a point. Like I said I do not think it is the best one in the series. That honor goes to The Lord Of The Rings- The Two Towers (A grade) followed by The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring (B+ grade). I give The Lord Of The Rings-The Return Of The King a B grade. It is worth the trip to the theater especially if you love fantasy movies or good filmmaking period.

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