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The Syndicate

 Convergance Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, August 15 2007 @ 11:55 PM PDT
 Viewed:  864 times  
KitschI have dozens of stupid little card and/or puzzle games on my computer, and almost every night I spend an hour or so playing one or two of them long enough to shut down my brain.

Tonight's candidate happened to be Hearts. In all the years I've been playing that game, I've never seen this:

 I had a plan Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, August 15 2007 @ 10:20 PM PDT
 Viewed:  881 times  
TechnologyA few years ago, when I was on the verge of going back to school full time, I had my whole academic career planned out. In the span of about five and a half years, I would get both a Bachelor's and a Master's in CS. I even had my thesis picked out.

Turns out somebody else has just done what was going to be my thesis. Oh well.

 I'm not Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, August 09 2007 @ 04:12 PM PDT
 Viewed:  830 times  
If my vague fantasies of writing professionally ever come near to fruition, I'm really going to have to pick a pen name.

Most Recent Post: 08/09 05:33PM by Dan4th

 Absent-mindedness Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, August 09 2007 @ 09:52 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1037 times  
LifeI just had a very strange moment.

I was getting my stuff together to sit down for a bit of a protocol design session. Typically my preparations for such a thing are fairly straightforward:

1. Caffeinate.
2. Nicotinate.
3. Make sure nobody's going to bug me for a while.
4. Grab a notebook, my miniature whiteboard, a marker, and a pen.
5. Sit back, put my feet up, and let it flow.

Today, when I got to step four, there was a design already sketched out on the whiteboard (in my handwriting) for a similar, but definitely different encapsulation protocol than the one I was about to tackle.

The problem is that I have no idea what it's for. I mean, I can tell what it does, and it's got some pretty interesting features and whatnot, but at some point along the way, I managed to forget entirely the problem that I was trying to solve, and even with the solution in front of me, I can't remember.

My best guess is that it's a replacement for SMTP that's resistant to forgery and parses a little more easily, but I can't be sure. Lack of context is a bitch.

 Recruiting Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Monday, August 06 2007 @ 04:48 PM PDT
 Viewed:  815 times  
PoliticsI just got an e-mail recruiting for volunteers for the Giuliani campaign:


My name is Krista Powers. I am the regional field representative for the Giuliani campaign responsible for Los Angeles. I am writing to offer you the opportunity to work with the campaign. The California primary will be held on February 5th, 2008! Please contact me if you would like more information on ways you can get involved.


Krista Powers

I sent the following reply:

Hi Krista,

I'd really love to help you out, but I have some concerns:

1. I don't live anywhere near Los Angeles.
2. There's virtually zero chance that I'd sign up for anything that would put me on a list of people with conservative leanings.
3. I don't plan on voting for Giuliani, though I wish him success in any of his non-presidential endeavors.
4. I get a little surly when people send mass e-mails to more than 300 random people and leave all of the addresses out in the open. How long do you think it'll be before one of those people hits 'Reply to All'?

If it's any small consolation, your candidate is one of the very few in the GOP camp that I don't think would cause me to bang my head against a brick wall for four years. Of course, if that is the sole criterion by which candidates are judged, we're in pretty rough shape.

Good luck in the primaries (but, you know, not afterward).

 xkcd: Dignified Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Monday, August 06 2007 @ 02:21 PM PDT
 Viewed:  879 times  
KitschWords to live by...

 Meet the new boss Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, August 02 2007 @ 03:49 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1129 times  
Life...same as the old boss.

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a bad deal. I got about two months off this summer, and Monday I'll start my old job again with a raise and the understanding that 40 hours means... well, less than 60 anyway.

 A definition Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Sunday, July 29 2007 @ 02:06 AM PDT
 Viewed:  892 times  
PoliticsFascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

 My new desktop Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Monday, June 25 2007 @ 07:07 AM PDT
 Viewed:  988 times  
TechnologyThe classic argument against Linux as desktop is that it's a pain in the ass to set up, and once you have it set up, none of your programs work anyway.

My last couple of Linux installs disproved the second half of that theory. Between, Mozilla products, and a lot of hard work by the open source community, pretty much all of the day to day stuff is covered and covered well. In my last Fedora install on my office computer, I even got a few different versions of IE running so that I could do browser compatibility testing.

Some parts of Linux still require tweaking to set up properly, but I'm here to tell you that my new desktop environment was worth every minute.

Sabayon Linux is not very well known, but it is at the very forefront of interface design. It is the official distribution of the Beryl project, which officially rocks. Mac users may notice some familiar behaviors - a thing that works like Expose, genie in a bottle minimization, etc. Beryl running on KDE is basically the best ideas from Macs, PCs (almost all the keyboard commands are familiar to PC users), X-Windows, and some new tricks combined into one interface. It's evolutionary from a state of the art point of view, but revolutionary if you consider that the best desktop environment out there is now coming from neither Redmond or Cupertino.

In honor of the hard work of the Beryl developers (and to show off a little), I made a video showing some of the visual effects. You can watch it here. Notice the hexagonal desktop (you're not limited to the four desktops that a cube gives you), the jiggly windows, transparent terminals, fold out effects, and (my personal favorite) windows bursting into flames when you close them.

From an ease of use point of view, it's worth noting that after I shot that video, I plugged my camera into my computer, which auto-detected it, copied the AVI file over, converted it to FLV format, and uploaded it. The process took about ten minutes, and half of that was figuring out whether I had a video conversion utility.

 Brief Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, June 13 2007 @ 09:45 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1093 times  
LifeMatt vs. New:
Round 1 - Win
Round 2 - TBD

Old vs. World+dog:
Round 1 - Loss
Round 2 - TBD

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