mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Monday, 17 May 2004
When building this site, I chose Blosxom to power this blog, in part because it is Free Software. I also evaluated Movable Type, because I was told that it was Open Source. It turned out that wasn’t true — despite the source code being available.

If that last sentence made you blink (and you want to know more), alphablogger Mark Pilgrim has a great post you should read.
posted to /tech at 9:17pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 12 May 2004
This short blog post by tech guru Clay Shirky makes me think about where cameraphones and the Internet are taking us. Part of me laughs gleefully. Part of me dreams about writing a book about it in twenty years titled The Slow Revolution.* Part of me feels scared.

(Tell me this is not some amazing new form of distributed journalism. History books almost writing themselves.)

[*Hands off that title, bitch! Sucka’s mine!]
posted to /tech at 1:12am :: 0 responses
Thursday, 29 April 2004
As I’ve noted a few times in my column, Free Software is definitely getting friendlier. In “The Rise of Interface Elegance in Open Source Software,” blogger Steven Garrity explores the trend.

[spotted at LWN.net]
posted to /tech at 1:29pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 09 February 2004
As I’ve said before, it’s one of Newton’s Laws: The Internet changes everything. Including, now, laundry. This is the neatest out-of-left-field use of the net I’ve heard of in a while.

[thanks to MC for the link]
posted to /tech at 8:09pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 17 December 2003
I got some spam this evening. It contained one ad image, hyperlinked to a web site that’s apparently paying a spammer to push some traffic its way. I never saw the image, because I use an e-mail client whose interface looks like it may be older than me, and it doesn’t do images. The body text of the message read as follows:
princess janus region wiseacre annulled buck carboxy methylene ahoy lackluster sanatorium psyche farthest linkage qatar desert poverty ringside monarchic anything frailty

more...
posted to /tech at 12:17am :: 10 responses
Friday, 12 December 2003
I’m writing a new column for PC World, all about Free Software (including, but not limited to, Linux). The first edition went live today.
posted to /tech at 2:12pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 08 December 2003
1 iRiver iHP-120 + 1 cable = mp3 music in my living room, for the first time. A low-tech way to make it happen, but oh is it sweet.
posted to /tech at 11:08pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 18 November 2003
Back in 1999, I wrote an article about the very first work of interactive fiction, Adventure, which you can still experience on modern PCs. The piece was written for a proto-webmag that vanished years ago; I resurrect the article today in honor of the 9th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition, which Slashdot took note of this morning. more...
posted to /tech at 12:18pm :: 1 response
Thursday, 23 October 2003
Over on Slashdot, they’re talkin’ about how the makers of Gator — a truly nasty bit of behind-your-back software that sits on your system and launches pop-up ads — have forced a Web site to stop referring to their product as “spyware.”

Actually, I’ve got no problem with that. Gator is not spyware: It does not spy on you. But it is a fucking parasite that, when teamed up with other parasites, can bring a system to its knees. The last time I was visiting my folks, I did a simple run of Ad-aware on their system, and it was hit city. Unacceptable. Unacceptable that their computing environment was letting this go on without their even knowing. more...
posted to /tech at 12:23am :: 0 responses
Friday, 10 October 2003
This is a geek-rights issue that could impact anyone who watches TV, so listen up. The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides some background:
The future of television is digital. In fact, the FCC has already said that television manufacturers will be required to include digital television (DTV) tuners in their sets after 2007. You may not have heard much about DTV yet, but Hollywood is already there, lobbying the FCC for regulations that will force “content protection” technology into every DTV device, including televisions, PVRs (including digital TiVos), and any computer that touches a DTV signal. more...
posted to /tech at 4:10pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 25 August 2003
And what it is ain’t exactly clear. Some sort of ruling has come down on the California DVD Case, but the Associated Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation seem to disagree on what was actually decided.

Skimming over the actual decision I think what I am seeing is that the original preliminary injunction — requiring the defendant to remove DeCSS code from the Web — has been upheld. That’s what the A.P. article zeroes in on. But there is a bunch of other language in here that seems helpful to the EFF and all the other Good Guys in this saga. So that’s where the EFF’s optimism must be coming from. Hmm.
posted to /tech at 1:25pm :: 1 response
The Washington Post reports the story but misses the most important part, which Lessig brings out to some degree on his blog. Listen: Open Source and Free Software crusaders are not against such things as intellectual-property rights. What the General Public License (for example) basically says is this: more...
posted to /tech at 12:25am :: 0 responses
Monday, 18 August 2003
Google just got more powerful.

[found on Follow Me Here]
posted to /tech at 11:18am :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 08 July 2003
The Internet is shit. I do a lot of net.cheerleading, but this dude has a really good point, I must admit.
posted to /tech at 1:08pm :: 2 responses
Sunday, 08 June 2003
Does anybody out there have a use for the Insert key? I accidentally hit it a few minutes ago — kicking the machine into that godawful bizarro mode in which anything you type overwrites whatever is in its path — and because I type pretty fast, it took me a few keystrokes before I realized what was happening, at which point I had to stop, look, find the freaking Insert key, and punch it again to stop the insanity. I have to stop and look to find the key, mind you, because outside of situations like this where I’ve inadvertently hit it, I have no need to hit it. Ever. I do not know of a single application in which it performs a useful function instead of “enable bizarro mode.” It exists only to cause me a minor annoyance now and again when it requires me to press it again. As if to keep it appeased.

(Can some Mac user out there tell me if Macs do the same thing with Insert?)
posted to /tech at 10:08pm :: 3 responses
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