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It’s generally true that the closer you get to the hardware, the further you get from reality.
Ladies and gentlemen, our next two presenters have done for fake news what the Fox News channel has done for fake news. Please welcome Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.
But while these squabbles go on and on, by the end of tonight, it'll be clear who won the real Browser War. It's Jamie Zawinski, who - although it was a close race - managed to ship his nightclub before Mozilla 1.0.
Everything is proceeding to plan. Lee and Dave are in the mini-sub preparing to take out the Thames Flood Barrier at full tide. I am in Mountain View, hurrying around MAE-WEST with a fast-depleting knapsack of Semtex hanging jauntily from my shoulder. Across the world, Y2K consultants are beginning to feel the effects of the powerful time-release hallucinogen we secreted onto the pages of "COBOL for Dummies" back in 1997. These last few days have left little time for love, laughter or editorial conferences, so we hope you'll make do with this seasonal quiz based on the last years' events. We hope it will take your mind off the the sounds of the angry peasant mobs milling outside your offices. Answers next week: first correct entry after midnight gets two week's supply of Evian and six vials of the emergency vaccine. In Year Zero, suckers!
In these terrible times, it's good to watch the tech community put its problems aside, and supply what we were all so desperately short of: plenty of wild unsolicited opinions. After those first few hours of awful shocked silence - what a relief to be interrupted by the CEO of CoffeeCup Software, producers of an innocuous Windows HTML editor, e-mailing his 1.2 million customer base to "call for [the responsible] country's complete destruction and annihilation". And at the end of that fateful day, noted hacker Eric S. Raymond rained his thoughts like fresh water, revealing that those who "disarmed all the non-terrorists on those airplanes ... bear some moral responsibility". Thanks too to BYTE's Jerry Pournelle, who slowly toughened his demands from an early request that /usr/bin/laden be handed over "bound and chained", to Thursday's demand that Nablus, Gaza, Baghdad *and* Damascus be razed to the ground; to the Evening Standard infowar expert who warned that "inflamed young men" could escalate the conflict by releasing "cyber viruses, crashing our computers ... from council houses in Bradford"; and kindly John Keegan in the Telegraph, who wrote that ISPs should ban encryption among their users, and those who refused must be "destroyed with cruise missiles". And on through the lonely nights, as net.folk on chat traded credulous rumours and confused geopolitics, and Nostradamus buffs mulled seriously over a quatrain that, sadly, was probably invented by a skeptic to show how *any* random phrase could end up a doomladen prophecy. But be assured that the crisis is not yet over. Please help: opinions are still desperately needed - and bloggers, columnists and sleep-deprived newsreaders are running short of ideas. So: do you have some minority you'd like to haphazardly blame? Some half-arsed genocidal theory you'd like to insist become global policy? Some simplistic demonisation of a country's recent history that needs to be waved in the faces of everyone you know? Mail it to our hotline on firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll pass it on to those who must fill the useless silence which would otherwise be wasted on slow, methodical grief.
It's the trial of the century! And, look, over there, by that fjord - another trial of the century! DMITRY SKLYAROV and JON JOHANSEN are the coders in court this week, both caught in the crossfire of the US DMCA. Though, as it happens, neither are being prosecuted under it. Dmitry isn't, because he had his case postponed in return for testifying about his employers, Elcomsoft. Jon isn't, because he's not even in the US (not that that helped Elcomsoft). Jon is in Norway, and there, the state prosecutors are insisting very hard that they're not after him because US MPAA wanted him smacked down for DeCSS. No, they're prosecuting him because - one dark, Norwegian night - he did knowingly break into his own computer and steal proprietary data (which he'd previously bought) right from under his very own nose. Meanwhile, Dmitry is testifying in a foreign country in a foreign case that accuses his Moscow-based employers of wilfully breaking a law whose jurisdiction is six thousand miles away. "Did you *care* you were breaking US law?", asked the prosecutor of Dmitry, damningly. "No. I didn't care.", said Dmitry, going on to explain that, at the time, sitting in a Moscow flat working for a Russian company, he was rather more concerned with quaint local customs. A related Quebec case against Elcomsoft for not publishing their program in French, and an ongoing Saudi case against all women currently driving cars in London, will be eagerly awaiting both court's conclusions.
NSI - AN APOLOGY. In last week's NTK, we apologised for an article which have suggested that NSI's modification to the whois registry (to show registrars, not actual, useful, contact addresses) might break existing whois utilities. NSI protested that it wasn't their fault, and they were maintaining an old-style system at whois.networksolutions.com, which any sensible sysadmin could easily switch to. On the day of the switchover, NSI's own Web registration system broke. They were pointing to the wrong server. NTK would like to apologise for the apology. Sorry.
Perfectly timed, the Microsoft Free Friday campaign was announced last week (as so many major projects are these days, by Dave Winer randomly talking in his sleep).
So the new look, new stupid, Deja decided to killfile five years of Usenet archiving to concentrate on its comparison-shopping core incompentency.
Still, at least Denise "Starship Troopers" Richards dresses up as Lara Croft for no readily apparent reason...
When the the London Stock Exchange trading computers crashed *just* at the point that the US stock market bubble wobbled, it's tempting to see more than the usual invisible hand manipulating the market. Was it truly incompetence on an unparallelled scale, or could this "accident" have been a deliberate denial of service prevent further instability? Well, given Andersen Consulting's involvement, we're assuming the former.
A system admin's life is a sorry one. The only advantage he has over Emergency Room doctors is that malpractice suits are rare. On the other hand, ER doctors never have to deal with patients installing new versions of their own innards!
A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things they have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.
These are dangerous days. To say what you feel is to lay your own grave.
Unix people often extole the value of "Mechanism divorced from Policy." What they really mean is "Design divorced from Taste." if you don't make any hard decisions, you can't be criticized for them. but then they never get made, or worse, they get made by people least-gifted in making them.
The purpose of this newsgroup is to get people to learn how to use kill files.
True followers of the unix way, which is the one true way, all have gigabytes of free disk space and trn merely helps them fill this void in their life.
I know you lived in France but that doesn't mean you know everything.
Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
Making fun of born-again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.
Some people say a front-engine car handles best. Some people say a rear-engine car handles best. I say a rented car handles best.
The Middle Eastern states aren't nations; they're quarrels with borders.
Writing on a computer makes saving what's been written too easy. Pretentious lead sentences are kept, not tossed. Instead of sitting surrounded by crumpled paper, the computerized writer has his mistakes neatly stored in digital memory.
In the unlikely story of America, there has never been anything false about hope.
My name is Barack Hussein Obama and I'm sitting here. So yeah, I'm feeling pretty lucky.
we help those who arrive when our blood alcohol level exceeds our caffeine concentrations. now is not that time.
Dogs! you thought I would never come back from Troy, so you have been carving up my substance, forcing the women to lie with you, courting my wife before I was dead, not fearing the gods who rule the broad heavens, nor the execration of man which follows you for ever. And now the chords of death are made fast around you all!
I should like to comment this code of mine, but I can't seem to grok the finer nuances of what I did...
slack off... my life is so much better now that I don't have something as silly as classes getting in my way
The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife
They are seldom found out, because they gravitate to the kind of clients who, bamboozled by their rhetoric, do not hold them responsible for sales results. Their campaigns find favor at cocktail parties in New York, San Francisco and London but are taken less seriously in Chicago. In the days when I specialized in posh campaigns for The New Yorker, I was the hero of this coterie, but when I graduated to advertising in mass media and wrote a book which extolled the value of research, I became its devil. I comfort myself with the reflection that I have sold more merchandise than all of them put together.
When I write an advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it 'creative'. I want you to find it so interestin that you *buy the product*. When Aeschines spoke, they said, 'How well he speaks.' But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, 'Let us march against Philip.'
QUESTION SEVENTEEN, the Commander-in-Chief Field Danger Assessment. Watch this videotape carefully. Is this a dangerous situation on the front-lines somewhere requiring the Commander-in-Chief to run to his or her vehicle, or is this a meet-and-greet photo-op at an airport? Bonus points: Is that a little girl with a poem, or a sniper. A very short sniper. With a poem.
Also, to answer the question "When will the new spreadsheet be ready for use?" The answer is about five or six weeks, although it may appear to you to be as long as three months, since, like all programmers, I am travelling at relativistic speeds.
Another industry secret is that "Schindler's List" was created entirely on a sound stage in Burbank by one camera man, three actors, and a dozen guys using a custom version of Photoshop.
At the suggestion of my reproductive system, I suggest that we create a new CMU bboard called "I left my penis logged in."
C++ is like jamming a helicopter inside a Miata and expecting some sort of improvement.
I hope this doesn't disrupt the trendy "The World Sucks, Everybody Sucks; Well, Maybe Not As Much As I Do; I'd Like To Suck More Than You Do, Really I Would; Hey, Sucking Any More Would Be An Improvement"... attitude.
I love stress because it's a whole lot better than depression.
I realized that I do my best work when I'm implementing features entirely out of spite.
It's all about getting off the planet.
My inner child is toting an Uzi.
Sometimes, I'm not so much fishing for compliments as snorkeling for criticism.
There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
We really need it because Microsoft keeps releasing sloppier and sloppier software that needs a faster and faster machine. The speed is crazy.
By the way, if you do mention Pez and my wife, also mention that she's a management consultant and has a master's degree in molecular genetics, OK?
We're selling more than a cracker here, We're selling the salty, unctuous illusion of happiness.
If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds.
It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them.
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist knows it.
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent.
Leaving behind the OS X user interface is like leaving London - you don't realise what a constant, nagging annoyance it is - like having a 24 hour toothache - until you've left town.
Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.
Unfortunately, mathematics is about theory. Your question actually has practical appliations. I can't really answer it.
A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from inside is simply a series of defeats.
Between them these two books sum up our present predicament. Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face -- forever... And remember that it is forever.
All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep up a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible. We all live by robbing Asiatic coolies, and those of us who are 'enlightened' all maintain that those coolies ought to be set free; but our standard of living, and hence our 'enlightenment', demands that the robbery shall continue."
If you hate violence and don't believe in politics, the only major remedy remaining is education.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.
In the negative part of Professor Hayek's thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too often -- at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough -- that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of. Professor Hayek is also probably right in saying that in this country the intellectuals are more totalitarian-minded than the common people. But he does not see, or will not admit, that a return to "free" competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the state. The trouble with competitions is that somebody wins them.
The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
The thing Mr Zilliacus leaves out of account is that wars have results, irrespective of the motives of those who precipitate them.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Something else I'd like to do eventually is add the ability to supply the URL for an image you'd like to beat up on when you tire of killing Barney (not that that is likely to happen), then the server would fetch the image and allow you to use the same set of weapons on it. This would let people ''cross-examine'' their thesis advisors, etc.
Be a warrior, that your son may be a doctor, and his son a poet, and his son a podcaster, and his son a resentful Libertarian.
Sometimes, not having a thorough understanding of an electron structure allows you to ask the really hard questions.
I could take a Ventrue but that TOAST OTTO ritual just really sucks.
There was a conference for time travelers at M.I.T. earlier this spring. I'm still hoping to attend...
Every four years, people all over the world come together in front of their televisions and briefly care about speed skating.
My CPU can beat up your CPU with *both* its FPU's tied behind its MMU!!
Any Member introducing or causing to be introduced a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of £5 inflicted by the Treasurer. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat. Any animal entering on Police business shall be deemed to be a wombat.