Candid Camera or Photoshop?

Thanks to technology, seeing isn’t always believing. Wired News has an article about the flood of digitally altered phony photos circulating around the ‘net.
They included some examples that I had seen before. I guessed this one was fake when I saw it, but I really believed this one was real.

Besides warning me that I’m not as skeptical as I need to be, it raises some interesting questions. I’m all in favor of parody, as long as it’s obvious like the first example.
But if it gets close enough to reality to be believable, is it crossing a line from satire to libel?

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Notice Anything Different?

I decided to do a little cosmetic touching up on this thing, and make it look more like a real blog. In the process, I realized that there were some major differences in the way different browsers were displaying it. I\’ve tried to achieve a format that\’s reasonably consistent, without driving myself crazy with a bunch of browser-specific code. I think I still have some tweaking to do to make it look a little prettier, but I haven\’t figured out exactly what I want yet. I\’m trying to avoid creating a bandwidth hog, especially since I don\’t have high-speed access at home. But I think I need to do something a little spiffier with the heading.

The advantages of being a dinosaur

Like any other progressive state, Kentucky was providing election results online on election night.
And, like any other system that only sees peak load once a year, their web server wasn’t up to the demand.
It handled the load pretty well for the first hour or so after the polls closed, and the interface was fairly well
designed. But by about 7:30 PM, response was getting very sluggish.
Fortunately, I realized the web interface was just a front end to the CICS-OS/390 system doing the real work.
Browser? We don’t need no stinkin browser! Just fire up a TN3270 session (doesn’t every self-respecting computer geek
have 3270 emulation software installed on his machine?), and plug in the address of the big iron, bypassing the little
weenyass webserver. Presto .. the old “greenscreen” we all know and love. So maybe the interface is a little clumsier.
Response is terrific. And it still beats the hell out of punch cards.

Continue reading “The advantages of being a dinosaur”

I\’m Getting Senile

Or maybe St. Hubert just really wants me to stay home and clean my house today. Looking outside, I just couldn\’t resist the call of the hunt. So I decided I could at least go out enjoy the weather and take some pictures. I figure the digital camera saves me roughly $10/roll on film and developing, so I need to take a boatload of pictures to make it pay for itself. So I grabbed the camera and a spare battery (it burns batteries fast, fortunately it uses rechargeables) and headed out. I got to the clubhouse about 20 minutes before the blessing was supposed to start and turned the camera on. And I got a flashing red message telling me I\’d forgotten to put the memory card back in; the digital equivalent of having no film. And with a 40-minute drive each way, running home to get it wasn\’t an option. What\’s really frustrating is I\’d thought about checking all the camera settings before I left home, which would have caught that goof, but I decided to wait until I got to the club.


This thing finally got big enough for the older entries to drop off the bottom. (It displays the 40 most recent entries). I still haven’t gotten around to adding a fancy calendar to it. In the meantime, to make the older stuff readily available, I’ve added a month selector at the bottom.
I might ask myself why I even bother with this, since my access logs tell me my blog readership still hasn’t broken out of single digits. But it’s fun to play with anyway.

Continue reading “Housekeeping”

All Wired Up With No Place to "Go"

“Wardriving”, for those not up on the latest geek buzzwords, is a popular pursuit of wireless computing junkies. They drive around with their laptops, looking for insecure wireless networks that (usually unintentionally) provide free internet access, and possibly sensitive information, to the wardrivers. According to this Wired News article, participants in the WorldWide WarDrive discovered an interesting bit of tourist information about New York:

“There’s something just plain wrong about a city where you can find 100 open wireless networks in a half hour and not one public bathroom,” grumbled Ken Fandello, New York network consultant, occasional WarDriver, and owner of a set of weak kidneys.

As someone who makes a living in the IT field but is baffled by the urgent need some people seem to have to be constantly connected, I couldn’t agree more.

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Doonesbury Does Blogs

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see Doonesbury lampoon this fad right after I get sucked into it.
Here’s Monday’s strip; I suspect we’re in for a week of this. I searched briefly for a forgotten quote from Hunter Thompson about Garry Trudeau (in reference to the Duke character), but couldn’t find it. That’s a pity, because I like Doonesbury so much that I’d rather quote someone else’s profanities about Trudeau than utter them myself in tacit admission that he’s hit a nerve.

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Monday Morning Wonders

Ah … what a way to start the week. A couple hours late to work, after dealing with an equine event at home that deserves its own chapter, when I get around to it.
Don’t even get the office door unlocked before I get hit with the latest TSM problem.
Nothing that needs immediate attention, just another long-term headache. I shouldn’t be surprised.
Get in the office, and don’t have enough sense to start the coffeepot before I try to listen to the voicemail that my phone display says is waiting.
I’m sure it’s not good news, but if it hasn’t fixed itself by now, I guess I have to deal with it.
Push the wrong button, the phone beeps and the display says “Do Not Disturb”. I’m tempted to leave it like that, but I guess I need to uncloak.
Start trying to figure out what sequence of buttons I need to push to make me phonable again.
Ooops .. that wasn’t it … that makes the display say “Music Off”.
Music? Phones do music? What happens if I do this?
Display says “Music On”. Phone starts playing “God Blessed Texas”. Cool!
Whoever installed this phone system tuned its music system to K-93, one of the local country stations.
I guess even the new high-tech phone installations are still being done by the old guard “telephone men” in the Comms/Network group,
instead of the network geeks who would have probably selected some kind of punk or hiphop.

Continue reading “Monday Morning Wonders”