Archive for January, 2003

404 translations and salutations

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

Can’t find that file? You’re not alone. Webservers all across the world have problems finding files for inappropriately specified URLs (either through typos, linkrot, or whatever). Ibiblio.org has a page that proves it’s the same thing in different languages (and dialects).

If that’s not enough 404 fun for one day, check out the 404 Research Lab where they have some of the best 404s on the Internet listed as well as ways to typically overcome the "file not found" obstacles.

What do the weather and the mail have in common?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

Like the United States Postal Service, the National Weather Service has made the switch to Linux.

Specifically, the weather gurus are using Red Hat Linux (woohoo!) — and they have even replaced both traditional UNIX and Microsoft Windows desktops with Gnome, fortified with the OpenOffice.org suite.

Also of note is the fact that the newly-formed government agency known as the Homeland Security Department has also switched to Linux.

Pretty exciting news.

The Raleigh update

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

Police around the area are planning on placing strategic speeding stings around the city of Raleigh. They’re planning on doing everything from the overt to going as far as sitting in unmarked cars in random people’s driveways so that they can catch those who exceed the speed limit. The article includes the names of the places where the police are going to keep a watchful eye on in the upcoming weeks too, so you might want to check it out if you are (or will be) in the area.

Also in Raleigh, a statue of Andy Griffith with a young Ron Howard as Opie will be built in the Pullen Park area (a few photos of the area and even more photos).

Meta-madness

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

Everyone’s favorite epitome of journalistic prowess and hard-hitting, relevant news (heh), USA Today, has evidently uncovered a breaking news story which uncovers the world’s most popular phrase on the rise. The daily paper read by over nine million (per month) has discovered that the prefix "Meta" forms the coolest lingo.

Sure, Google now has over 7.2 million hits on their web search, but some people started riding the wave before anyone knew how cool the trend would become.

Havoc developed the popular Metacity window manager long before USA Today heralded "meta" as a buzzword. The Gnome project is also seeing another sort of meta come into being — the arrival of metathemes

As for predictions for the next "in" buzzword of the moment? I am placing bets on "phoon". It’s a sure winner.

Super bowl sum-up

Sunday, January 26th, 2003

I ended up watching the Super Bowl with a few friends out in the middle of Cary. As Tampa had the coach who was previously with the Raiders, it was as though he could forsee nearly every move from his new opponents, and the score simply reflected this fact.

Unfortunately, the team from California lost. Not only did the Raiders lose, they actually lost by a large margin — only to be trampled by the Buccaneers with another slap in the face — one that was literally in the last couple seconds in the game. The score ended with Tampa more than doubling the team from Oakland in this 48 to 21 game. (Tampa has a great flash ad on their site, by-the-way.)

At least the Raiders ended up scoring a few more points in the end of the third quarter and middle of the fourth. If they had not, having a mere three points would have been beyond embarassing. It would have been humiliating.

On the lighter side, there was a big bounty of food while we watched the dual of the pirates. Chips and dips, veggie chilli, cornbread, and home made desserts were served up in plentiful proportions. While crunching the corn chips, we watched the game, made comments, and displayed our enjoyment of the commercials with lots of laughter.

Speaking of the commercials, AOL posted most of the notable advertisements on their website. It’s definately worth a gander. All of us at the party agreed that Terry Tate’s office skills definately won our "best commercial" prize (which happens to be our appreciation only). Second place went to some skillful monkeys who prove that a hot day at the zoo can be improved with a little inguinity and a bit of inspiration provided by the 2001 theme song. Third in line was the chewing gum endorsement.

Honerable mentions include: The captivating Russian Space program (because space is cool), the Matrix sequels (because like the first Matrix movie, these should also be cool in a geek way), and "monster" truck madness (watching a driverless semi flying down the road at high speeds while the trucker eats in a diner could actually be the essence of a Hollywood movie plot).

The most talked about (but usually not in good ways) commercials were: "Everything’s muddy but the Pepsi product" (as it was pretty much a dumb, dirty commercial), Yahoo!’s HotJobs "Rainbow Connection" was captivating (but made no sense really), Michael Jordan vs. his younger self (if Gator Aide causes one to sweat in strange colors and hallucinate enough to not only talk to one’s self, but play basketball too, then I don’t want any, thank you…), and Jackie Chan in an uncomfortable Hanes t-shirt with Michael Jordan’s smiling stock footage (should have been funnier and more action packed with Jackie Chan in the starring role).

The TV’s content was a let down as the Raiders lost in a game with large margins, and the commercials were much better in the dot-com heyday. Despite those downers, the party was a success (despite the large crowds not showing up). Those of us who were together to witness this year’s Super Bowl experience had fun hanging out and watching the events unfold.

It was definitely better than being stuck at home, too. (:

Superb owl

Saturday, January 25th, 2003

A space matters. If you place it right before the "o" in "superbowl", you have a wonderfully amazing woodland bird. Move the space over to the left one character and you have a party that does not necessarily have anything to do with football (but can).

This year, I have been invited to no less than six Super Bowl parties. I’m still not sure which one in particular I’m planning on attending, but I had better make up my mind soon, especially as I would need to get a ride to whichever one I select. (I still don’t have my car fixed nor have a rental car. Grr. Insurance companies.)

Anyway, I’m sure no matter which one I choose, it should be fun. I don’t any one of the get-togethers is going to make football the main event. The conversations, chips, and commercials probably have a higher priority. (:

Mel Gibson’s new film

Saturday, January 25th, 2003

A friend at work mentioned something to me (and the rest of us at the lunch table) about a new film Mel Gibson is currently directing overseas. It’s supposed to be a historical re-enactment of an important figure who had a large impact on the timeline as we know it. Mel Gibson is striving for accuracy in every detail too, including a precision in spoken language.

Normally, making a historic movie is not huge news, but because of his choice of subject, Gibson is being plauged by many different people, including reporters who are trying to pry into every facet of his life and are even going to the length of harassing his 85-year-old father.

Why all this commotion over making a film? Well, if it was pretty much anyone else in history there wouldn’t be much of a contriversy at all, but since Mel Gibson decided to try to accurately portray the life of Jesus, more than a few feathers in the press and around Hollywood have evidently been ruffled.

You can read a recent editorial which describes the matters in detail and also choose to look at Mel Gibson’s interview on the O’Reilley Factor.

Crazy times we are living in. I personally think the movie will probably end up quite interesting.