THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
Saturday, October 21, 2006
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July 4, 2005
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA
Union and Liberty, Now and Forever
Note that there was activity over the weekend, and at least one note of importance about the House Rules at Chaos Manor.
NOTE ALSO that I have been away for a week. I have looked through my mail filters and retrieved what was obviously not spam, but I may well have missed something: my filters unaccountably put real mail into spam sometimes, sometimes not. If you sent important mail last week and have no indication that I got it, SEND IT AGAIN. Thank you.
RETRACTION/CORRECTION The Apple power supply performed perfectly on English power, charging the system without any modification using the World Wide adaptor. (I erroneously reported earlier that it would not accept 220; that was incorrect.) Alternatively you could use the US input plug and an external adapter. It all worked fine. There is, however, no airplane current input adapter for the Apple World Wide travel kit. Otherwise the kit and power supply work as advertised. Recommended.
When I attempt to open EQ2 I get the message that Direct X fails to create the rendering device for the ATI MOBILITY FIRE GL 2 video card. This is not I think anything like the latest and greatest ATI card, and I am not at all sure EQ 2 can run on this. This means I have a nice little machine, good for many portable purposes, but the Mac is just as good; what I wanted was something that would run EQ 2, and yes, it was my fault I did not check things as carefully as I should. I took what I thought was good advice.
It may be that some installation is needed but I do not know what. Updating the drivers has not helped.
I suppose I will just have to go look for another laptop and give this one to Roberta or one of the boys. It's a good machine, but apparently it will not play EQ 2. I am a bit surprised by this, but I can't think what I am doing wrong.
I doubt very seriously that IBM allows returns on the basis of "It won't do what I bought it to do." This is a serious disappointment since I intended to write about this machine for the column and now I will have to find something else to talk about.
THIS STORY HAS A HAPPY ENDING: the problem was drivers, and it is fixed. The "official" ones don't work. The story is given in the July BYTE column but parts of it are given below.
|This week:||Tuesday, July
Subject: I thought YOU filed the Environmental Impact Statement!?!?
Jul 5, 7:51 AM (ET)
MOSCOW (AP) - NASA's mission that sent a space probe smashing into a comet raised more than cosmic dust - it also brought a lawsuit from a Russian astrologer.
Marina Bai has sued the U.S. space agency, claiming the Deep Impact probe that punched a crater into the comet Tempel 1 late Sunday "ruins the natural balance of forces in the universe," the newspaper Izvestia reported Tuesday. A Moscow court has postponed hearings on the case until late July, the paper said.
The probe's comet crash sent up a cloud of debris that scientists hope to examine to learn how the solar system was formed.
Bai is seeking damages totaling 8.7 billion rubles ($300 million) - the approximate equivalent of the mission's cost - for her "moral sufferings," Izvestia said, citing her lawyer Alexander Molokhov. She earlier told the paper that the experiment would "deform her horoscope."
NASA representatives in Russia could not immediately be reached for comment.
Scientists say the crash did not significantly alter the comet's orbit around the sun and said the experiment does not pose any danger to Earth.
I am sure she can find some US lawyers to support her case in US courts, and of course there is always the World Court and the various EU bureaus. Surely NASA and the US government are deep enough pockets, and think of it, a class action case in which every single person in the world is affected! They can settle for, say, $2 per person in the world (to be paid in coupons good for free visits to, say, the Air and Space Museum) with only 10% of the value of the settlement (in cash, of course) going to the law firm that took the case! If I had more time I'd dash off a science fiction short story, which I suspect would be rather popular. But I don't write short stories (takes about as long to work up characters and backgrounds as novels for a tiny fraction of the money), so I won't feel slighted if someone takes that story idea and runs with it.
And now I have to do some serious work, once I get up some of the mail.
(Lunch break) I note two interesting articles in today's Wall St. Journal. One is a piece by Robert Bork on Constitutinoalism which I recommend to everyone. The other is a report from Africa that circumcision helps prevent the spread of AIDS. I wrote about that in my old science columns fifteen years ago at least! The studies were anthropological and looked at AIDS rates in different tribes, and thus were not as controlled as the current studies; but they told the same story. Tribes that practice circumcision tend not to have much female to male infection, which means that reasonably discreet females are much safer since their partners are not so likely to acquire AIDS.
July 6, 2005
We have a happy ending to the EQ 2 and IBM Laptop story. It all works, and this will be in the column this month. The short answer is www.omegadrivers.net. The long answer is the story that will be in the column.
I'm writing the column now. Deadlines creep upon me. Part of the column will concern the Wilton Park Conference.
July 7, 2005
It looks as if I will not file my column tonight at midnight as I usually do, so that gives me the weekend; drop dead is Sunday night. I usually have these in by Midnight on the 7th or first working day thereafter, but if BYTE still has a segment from the previous column (they have one) to put up the following Monday, and the 7th is Thursday, I may slack off a bit because almost nothing gets done in Japan after 2PM Friday, and Midnight Thursday is 10 AM Friday in Tokyo; missing part of a day isn't awful. Longer is a problem because they have to translate. I have not missed an issue of Nikkei BYTE since it was founded over 20 years ago.
The London terror attacks are the news just now. I'm waiting for reports from the scene.
The US Supreme Court nominations will become terribly important over time: it's probably showdown time in the Senate, as the left wing of the Democratic Party, despairing of getting their agenda adopted by legislation, wants to insure an active Imperial Court to rule by decree (excuse me, interpretations of emanations from penumbras in the Constitution), which means they must have justices who at least believe in stare decisis when it comes to liberal decisions of the past 50 years, but who are willing to find fresh new rights and become advocates of the Constitution as a living document on other matters. Judicial rule has changed the fundamental nature of Federalism in this country, and in my judgment not for the better.
(Before you write to tell me that the States had segregation and how awful that was until the courts intervened because Congress would not, let me point out that the Congress always had the power to enforce voting rights, and now that that has been done the chances of any state adopting race segregation laws is slightly less than the chance that Hillary Clinton will enter a nunnery. Enforcement of voting rights was always the proper way to eliminate racial discrimination. But then when I was a lad I was thought hopelessly radical because I thought the law ought to be color blind; now that I am a bit older I am considered a hopeless reactionary because I believe the law ought to be color blind. Ah well. )
Now back to the column. If you didn't see Francis Hamit and The Copyright Wars in mail yesterday, have a look. It's a matter of some importance. And there's lots of other mail.
July 8, 2005
For your amusement:
As suspected I didn't finish the column last night, and it's pointless to get it out before Sunday now.
The Microsoft Spyware Story is disturbing: I invite Microsoft Defenders to send me their takes on this. I have also sent an official inquiry on the subject. (Official inquiry: I wrote to friends in Microsoft PR in my capacity as journalist not as old friend.) We'll see. As I said, the story is disturbing.
Does anyone know anything about this publication:
I was sent this link, and certainly most of the quotes seem accurate, but I know nothing about the publication itself.
Subject: Forward.com equals Jewish Daily Forward
That Forward.com site is the web presence for the Jewish Daily Forward, which is generally regarded as one of the better enthnic-priented newspapers in the country, and while not without bias, generally regarded as authoritative when it comes to things like this. They really have been around since 1937.
So one can rely on the quotes. Thanks. I found it interesting.
at the bottom of the page is a link: About The Forward
that takes one to a page showing the heritage of the publication.
July 9, 2005
Pounding away on the column; it needs polish, but I also have to do an essay on Microsoft, Spyware, and Claria, and I have to do it with some care: I no longer have McGraw Hill Legal behind me. Which is a pity.
If you have ever thought about Eternal Youth and some of the problems developing that technology may cause, you will find the article at http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,15863203,00.html quite stimulating. Science fiction people have thought about this for years, but now it may be coming sooner than we thought; perhaps it's time for smart people to think about the implications.
I've been breathing more or less all right this summer, now that the pollen season is in remission before it leaps back later this summer. Thus I neglected cleaning my head out until today when I used my pump. It's amazing how much better I feel after doing that. It's good routine maintenance.
offers a product that makes my life a lot better. Recommended. (And yes, I get a small commission if you buy one through this link. I didn't set that up, they did after I recommended the system before I knew anyone at the company. It doesn't change my recommendation: if I were for sale, it would be at a lot higher price than that.)
July 10, 2005
Well the column is done. Actually there's a bit more: I did a piece on the Microsoft/Claria--Gator brouhaha complete with a letter from a senior Microsoft spokesperson, which will go up Monday on BYTE.com along with the last installment of the June column. The rest of the column is plenty long enough for July/August.
The column needs final polish, but it will go out tonight. That missed on day of translation time in Tokyo but no critical deadlines were lost, and it's a lot better for the three-day delay. I hate missing deadlines, though.
Meanwhile, have a look here:
Now there's a catchy title...
Subject: Adobe problem
In case you missed this, check which version of reader you have. Luckily all mine had already updated.
Of you have not upgraded Acrobat Reader lately, do so now, and without delay.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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