Category Archives: Web/Tech

Some Assembly Required

Sears Home Kit Ad

Once upon a time you could buy a home and have it shipped to you.

Some assembly required.

Sears Roebuck and Company, the Amazon of it’s time, sold everything. At first they sold everything via their catalog, everything shipped via the US Mail and the Wells Fargo Wagon. Later they opened those stores so many of us will forever associate with the smell of fresh popcorn, an aroma artfully aimed to draw in passersby who might otherwise wander into the Montgomery Wards.

They didn’t call Richard Sears a marketing genius for nothing.

After years of selling all the stuff to stuff into a house, Sears decided well why not just sell them the house as well? At the height of their popularity, Sears offered almost 400 different styles of homes all ready to assemble. All you had to do was select the model, send in the money, then wait for the railcar to appear down by the train depot and start hauling out the precut, fully numbered, ready to assemble components along with the building instructions. With no skills at all you could have your new home ready to occupy in as little as 90 days.

And you complain about putting a bookcase from Ikea together. Wimp.

In one of the first of the 75 pages or so of the instruction manual was a warning to follow the directions given to the letter. Don’t succumb to the professional carpenter who happens to wander past your home site and sniff “That ain’t the way I’d do it”. No, why should you listen to a professional who has spent his entire life building homes when you have an instruction manual that details how to build THIS house.

And you were wondering where all of this was headed.

This notion that anyone can do anything a professional can do and obtain the same, if not better, results has been around since the dawn of time. But the internet has made it even more pervasive. It’s moved beyond putting your own house together to being your own information gatherer, transportation specialist, accommodations guru, and even research scientist and/or medical professional. I mean why should you employ a travel agent who spends her day researching all options for your only two weeks of vacation in the year when you can spend all day trying to navigate Kayak just to find the worst hotel in all of Hilo (“but it’s such a bargain!”). And by the way, you don’t pay the travel agent, the best hotel at the best price in Hilo would pay her.

Travel is the least of the problem.

The worst of the problem isn’t even the yahoos who spend a couple of hours reading online forum posts about how “COVID isn’t real” or “Trump won the 2020 election” or “Biden was secretly replaced with a lizard alien shape shifter” and then yell and scream about it so much that you, me, all of us have to spend time shouting him down. I got news for you, COVID is real, Trump lost, and Biden was replaced with Jim Carrey not a lizard alien. OK, that last one isn’t true. Maybe.

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Bye Bye Facebook

Back of Facebook Sign

Facebook and all its assorted other social media extensions went dark for several hours on Monday. Just as I was starting to write this post. I don’t wanna claim I have supernatural powers, but well, if the algorithm fits…

An editorial in the no longer failing New York Times speaks directly to something I’ve been thinking is happening for several months now:

Facebook is dying.

Rather than being the all powerful behemoth the MSM would have you believe, Facebook is so worried about losing market share they are trying to leverage children’s playdates into a way to grow “the kids market”. Instagram, or Insta to those in the know, always a veritable cesspool of teen female body image issues, basically stuck fingers in their collective ears and hummed “La dee dah la dee dah” when a report that they themselves asked for came back saying “yeah, not such a great place for girls to get a good self image going”.

Straws are being clutched at. Paper ones no doubt, no plastic for us thank you.

In the Times editorial, Kevin Roose writes

What I’m talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. It’s a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out. This kind of decline is not necessarily visible from the outside, but insiders see a hundred small, disquieting signs of it every day — user-hostile growth hacks, frenetic pivots, executive paranoia, the gradual attrition of talented colleagues.

I know a company that’s beyond it’s sell by date. I used to pick over the skeletal remains of those companies for a living. Many were very successful for a time. There was even a precursor social media company that I outfitted with office furniture selected by the guy who eventually took on the title of CEO, then floundered and eventually died, its assets sold off, its office furniture returned from whence it came. I saw many companies flying up the tech ladder and so many of the very same companies come a tumblin’ down.

In addition I’ve worked many times with Facebook, moving their people from place to place and making their parties go smoothly. It’s in those unguarded moments when you can see the real story of any company. It’s the way people look at one another. In a growing company it’s an “all for one, one for all” attitude. In a plateaued company it’s “aren’t we just so f-ing great”, and in a company with problems it’s “what can this guy do for me?”.  The last job at Facebook that final attitude was everywhere.

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The Ne(x)t War

Hacker at Computer

Everyone here at First Draft has been expounding on the events in Afghanistan this past week or so. If, dear reader, you are so inclined (and I highly recommend it) take a look at Cassandra’s post or Adrastos or my brother Michael, Michael F. All are excellent reads worthy of your time.

I am, like President Joey B. Shark, moving on.

I want to talk about the next war, mostly because it’s already underway.

In case you haven’t noticed, there are nearly constant attacks against Western citizens and companies via the internet. Just today T-Mobile had to admit they had been hacked to the tune of 40 million people having their personal info, including addresses and Social Security numbers, stolen. But they are not the only ones and are far from being the first. Hell, go back far enough and you might discover that this war has been going on longer than the one in Afghanistan.

And it’s not going to end any time soon.

One of the problems is that we first have to admit that it IS a war. You may think that these hacks are being done by some Incel in his parent’s basement as Donald Trump claimed about the DNC hack, but I’m here to tell you it’s pretty obvious that backdoor cyber attacks by individuals or even groups of non governmental individuals are unlikely. Contrary to the myth Hollywood has created, little Matthew Broderick can’t hack into NORAD from his Commodore 64. Nor can any of the individuals, fictional or not, who have tried to ransomware a hacked system. They may have started out as lone wolves, but as the targets became more complicated the individual pirate became a band of pirates and then, just like England in the age of Elizabeth, the pirates went to work for governments. These attacks are coming from well funded government led operations, the kind that, were they in the physical world, would be called guerilla warfare. So first we have to come to the realization that we are in a war and call it that, not cybercrime.

Power grids get hacked. Military computers get hacked. The systems controlling air traffic and even traffic lights get hacked. Elections get hacked. As Deep Throat would say (no not “follow the money”) who benefits? You are talking about a gradual even long term series of attacks on various but vital aspects of everyday life in the West. Tell me, what would cause more deaths, the bombing of one building or the sudden take down of the air traffic control system? 3000 people versus who knows how many of the average of 1.2 million people on flights at any given moment? Think about this, even the most Luddite, living off the grid, burying their money in cans out in the backyard, Survivalist nut case still has to drive a car. That becomes more difficult with no gas because the pipelines have been shut down and more dangerous because the traffic lights are completely turned off. Everyone would be affected. If you wanted to bring rioting and civil unrest to a country this would be the modern way of doing it. Especially if you have a coordinated fifth column of citizens living in the country who would be welcoming the arrival of your “peacekeepers” with rose petals and open arms, all covered live by their favorite faux news network.

Not to mention if you add in a natural disaster like an earthquake or an unchecked forest fire or a pandemic you could bring an entire nation to it’s knees without firing a single shot.

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A Victim of FOFO

Prince George At Euro 2020 Final

I feel for ya kid. If my dad made me wear a suit and tie to a sporting event AND my team lost I’d be pissed too.

A few years ago a new acronym entered the lexicon- FOMO. It stands for Fear Of Missing Out, the notion that because via our phones we can see in real time events our friends and relations are engaging in we are somehow missing out on those events by not actually being there.

This past Sunday I became a victim of FOFO. Like FOMO, FOFO involves our relationship with technology and the toys that bring the tech to our fingertips. But FOFO isn’t about missing out on something, it’s about the active desire to not want to know something. FOFO stands for Fear Of Finding Out.

The particular event this relates to was the final of the Euro Cup Soccer Tournament between England (the good guys) and Italy (the less good guys). Out here on the Left Coast the match began at noon. I could not watch it then. There was business to attend to, business that would not be finished till well after the end of the game. No problem thought I. I would simply record the game, avoid any information about what happened in the game, and watch it in pure unadulterated sports ignorance bliss when I got home.

And that’s when I encountered FOFO.

It might not be a big deal here in the US of A, but the Euro Cup IS a big deal everywhere else in the world. While I had disabled all the alerts I have for sports stories and even went to the extent of disabling alerts from news organizations on the off chance a score would find it’s way to my binging phone, I so wanted to know nothing of the match in order to better enjoy it via tape delay that I took to not even looking at my phone the entire afternoon.

That’s a lot more difficult than you would think. I didn’t miss out on anything really important, but every time there was a vibration and a bing in my pocket (is that a bing in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?) I felt I had to ignore it on the oft chance it might contain information I didn’t want to know.

And suddenly I understood the Fox News viewer better than I ever have.

While I didn’t want to know who scored or what team was ahead, the Fox News viewer doesn’t want to get information from any other source on the oft chance he or she might have their preconceived notions of right and wrong challenged. Their FOFO is directly connected to their own self image or perhaps to the lack of same.

Their FOFO is so strong that their elected officials are taking them up on it. January 6th? Never heard of it. Did something happen that day? I just remember there being a lot more than usual tourists traipsing through the building. No big deal.

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A Postcard From Out Of The Past

A Postcard From Out Of The Past

Have you ever said something and wished you hadn’t?

If you’re married it’s probably a daily occurrence.

We’ve all done it. That cutting jab about the boss’s wife when she’s standing behind you at the office Christmas party. The letter to the editor excoriating the town council for a particular decision before realizing that policy is actually going to benefit yourself. The admiration for a band based on the only listenable song on an album.

Now-a-days we have Twitter to thank for being a repository of an entire lifetime’s supply of regrettable statements or opinions long since repudiated. With Twitter though even removing such thoughts doesn’t prevent them from reappearing years later. Someone somewhere will have cataloged and archived your appreciation for CATS The Movie.

A 22 year old Jewish woman named Emily Wilder finds herself pursed by the ghosts of Tweets past.  Ms. Wilder was a student at Stanford University where she wrote for the school newspaper, got good grades, put out an occasional Tweet filled with the passion that only a college student can exert, and also was a Middle East peace activist often taking the side of Palestinians. She was in particular involved in the Return The Birthright movement.

Birthright is a program by which young American Jews are given a free trip to Israel to experience the uniqueness of a country where they are in the majority. I always thought it was a great program till I found out that it’s major funder was Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Republican infamy and that once students arrive in Israel the program heavily slanted the experience away from anything having to do with those folks in Gaza, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank.

Returning to Ms. Wilder, a group of students calling themselves the Stanford College Republicans decided to go on a Twitter rant about her because, heaven forbid, she got a job with the Associated Press as a junior reporter. If we’re going to be honest calling her position reporting is a stretch. She was so far down the food chain microbes fed off her. Over a year removed from having graduated from Stanford, this group for some reason thought it was appropriate to rage against her.

Then again they seem to be one of those conservative college groups that feels no matter how much privilege they have it’s not enough. Here is the opening of their mission statement:

Against the backdrop of the pernicious leftist assault on our liberty and the moral fabric of our nation, challenging the left’s monopoly over American campus politics by exposing students to conservatism is crucial for the survival of conservatism in coming decades.

Um right, leftists are in control of Stanford. The Stanford that is home to Billionaire’s Corner where all the computer science buildings are. The Stanford that is home to the Hoover Institute. The Stanford whose endowment was doubled by demanding a cut of Google’s profits since the original search engine was developed using their computer network.

Yeah, it’s a real hot bed of liberalism.

Nevertheless an enraged group of incels, er, I mean, conservative students thought there was no way anyone with an activist pedigree could ever be impartial in her coverage of…um, hold on let me check what she was assigned to cover…oh yes, local Phoenix area goings on. That’s right, she wasn’t the AP Jerusalem bureau chief or even a reporter there or even a full fledged reporter anywhere but in the suburbs of the American southwest. She had about as much to do with AP’s coverage of the Middle East as the janitor in the chemistry building on campus.

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Can’t We All Just Get Along

Rodney King

Beaten to a pulp by LAPD who were later exonerated, he still had the guts to say “Can’t we all get along”

Recently there was a giant hubbub at the podcasting company Gimlet over attempts to create a workplace union. I don’t want to go into all the details but this Vulture report does a pretty good job of summing up the various positions and the backlash involved in it.

Suffice it to say, one side lost and one side won. That’s how things go in this world of ours.

What I am more interested in is the fact that at Gimlet those on the losing side felt they had to leave the company. I want to make it clear this is not a situation where the losers were people in control of policy or direction for the company. The two biggest names to leave, PJ Voight and Shruti Panamanian, were worker bees who had made the decision to oppose the unionization effort. Why they did was their own business and no one else’s. But they felt compelled to leave the company they had helped build because they had been on the losing side of the issue. Whether they jumped or were pushed is of no matter. The point is they left.

They shouldn’t have. They shouldn’t have been put in the position of having to make that decision.

Look if every time one of us loses an argument and feels they have to leave, there would be a whole helluva lot more divorced people living at the Motel 6. When did having a different opinion on something from your nearest and dearest or even just your fellow employees become equated to vacating the premises? Unless it’s a rental agreement we shouldn’t be packing our bags and heading down the highway just because we lost one simple disagreement. The Dodgers, in my humble opinion, suck. There I said it. Some of you might agree with that sentiment. Some of you I know don’t. That doesn’t mean I can’t be friends with you. I’ve got news for you, friends have disagreements all the time as all my Dodger loving friends will tell you about me.

Same goes for the workplace. Yeah, here it gets a little trickier because you do have to negotiate various levels of business hierarchy but I shouldn’t feel I have to leave my job just because you wanted a union, I didn’t, but the union won out. In fact I would argue that it’s more important that I stick around to keep the union on it’s toes or to make sure it really is working in the best interests of myself and my fellow employees.

Last year the Opinion Editor of the New York Times, James Bennet, agreed to publish an essay written, as much as we can believe a politician can write a clear and declarative essay, by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. In it he advocated for using the US military against BLM protesters in the wake of the George Floyd murder. I do not agree with that sentiment in the least. From what I can tell the New York Times and probably James Bennet himself do not agree with that sentiment. Nevertheless Bennet chose to publish it as an editorial about a matter of current affairs written by a serving member of the United States Senate. Some Times staff writers protested the essay should not have been run. Ultimately the uproar over that decision caused Bennet to lose his job. He shouldn’t have, just as the staff writers opposed to the publication shouldn’t have lost their jobs for speaking out, though none did. They made their feelings known, he obviously made his feelings known by running it in the first place and that should have been the end of that. Instead a well respected veteran of the newspaper industry had to be shown/head for the door because apparently unless we all speak as one we can not speak at all.

Which brings me to Liz Cheney.

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A Postcard From Menlo Park (CA)

Greetings From Facebook Jail

 

This week’s postcard is actually from several places.

It’s from Menlo Park. But it’s actually from East Menlo Park. To be more specific from the campus of Facebook in East Menlo Park.

More specifically it’s from the cyber location called Facebook Jail.

No, I’m not in jail, but in the last few weeks a couple of my friends have been placed there, so like in Monopoly, I’m just visiting. I get to pass Go and collect $200.

It’s the algorithms I tells ya, they rat you out before you can even finish the comment.

Take my friend Don. Nice guy. We used to write together. We even wrote a musical for him to star in.

He’s the blonde on the left. If you’re thinking to yourself I know that face it’s probably from one of his many commercials or appearances on Letterman. He semi-gave up the glamour of show business for the academic life a few years ago and now teaches creative writing at a college in Connecticut. Which makes his crime even more, what’s the creative writing term for it, ironic.

Why is he in Facebook Jail? Because he had the temerity to make the following comment as a reply to someone else’s post:

We have more stupid Americans than at any other point in my lifetime.

That’s it. That’s all. For making the rather obvious statement of fact/opinion that a huge swarth of the American public are stupid. If I’m not mistaken Tucker Carlson has built an entire career on the basis of that assumption. The Repugnicant party as well.

I can hear you now saying to yourself “self, what’s so bad about saying a great number of people are stupid? It’s not like he called a specific person a particular racial slur or maligned an entire group of people by saying all were stupid, he just said there are a lot of stupid people living in America.”

Well self here’s the answer. The algorithm Facebook uses to check for hate speech on it’s site considers the word “stupid” to be hate speech.  Why? Apparently because some people still use stupid as a derogatory synonym for mentally challenged, hence stupid in the context of other human beings is hate speech. Stupid in the context of The Bachelor is okay, though don’t call whoever is the bachelor on The Bachelor stupid even if he was mentally challenged enough to go on a reality dating show.

But stupid has other meanings in relation to humans.

  • “A benumbed or dazed state of mind” as in “I was rendered stupid for awhile after I fell off the ladder”.
  • “Tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense” as in “This party is stupid”.
  • “In a state of stupor” as in “I am stupid from staying up all night”.
  • “Annoying or irritating” as in “This recitation of all the meanings of stupid is stupid”

So Facebook, do I go to jail for saying “Man last night I was so stupid from going to that stupid party that I tripped on the curb, hit my head, and got stupid for so long that I was stupid to the guy who gave me a ride home”?

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Down Like A Clown edition

Good morning, constant readers! And you think The Darnold had a bad week?

Despite soaking the marks for around $352,000.00 per year in pledges – Free Republic crashed like a Piper Cherokee with a four-year-old at the controls.

And when I say “crashed”, I’m not talking about a server reboot – I’m talking four whole days.

And right in the middle of a Freepathon, too.

IronyMeterHeadline

A pinned notice on what was left of the site directed jonesing Freeperati to the Free Republic Facebook page.  OK – let’s go there.

At first, the posts are hopeful :

Coop Degrass Heck, this little glitch might actually create enough pent up craving among everybody Jonesing for FR that revenue might increase.

Then :

Robert Morrow It’s not about money! At $345k a year income the site takes in 50 times more than it needs to operate so giving more will not fix the problem. The problem is how the forum is hosted. Until that mindset changes there will be no improvements regardless of how generous people are.

Uh oh.

 Bob Park The level of revenue isn’t the issue… it’s how its being used. Apparently, its not being used to do required/routine hardware upgrades/maintenance like it should. People are being paid salaries, but the proper procedures aren’t in place to deal with these situations… if they were, the thing would be back in operation day one. More money isn’t going to fix human caused problems.
The natives are revolting!

Coop Degrass Robert Morrow said: But it IS broke; that’s the point or the site would not be down for 3-7 days two times within 7 months.

If it doesn’t affect the bottom line, then it’s a good business model.

Robert Morrow I guess you haven’t noticed the snails pace of the recent freepathons. It is affecting the bottom line and after this extremely long outage how likely do you think people will be to give more when the site goes down every time critical events happen when it’s needed the most. Your logic is not sound. I want to see FR do well and be profitable but to do so going forward it must do things differently even if that means less money in their pockets for a while.
HERESY!!!
After several pages of complaining and pics of servers full of crap and hamsters on exercise wheels, David Robinson has has enough!

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Saturday Odds & Sods: End Of The Line

Rivera

Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera.

The image you see above began life as a joke at a rich man’s expense. Nelson Rockefeller commissioned the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to do a fresco at Rockefeller Center. Big mistake: Rivera was not only a lefty, he was a Communist. If you take a closer look at the image you can see Lenin, Trotsky, and Karl Marx among the figures. The future Governor of New York was not amused and had the mural destroyed. Mercifully for art lovers, Rivera had a friend take pictures of the Rocky mocking work. He later did a second version in Mexico City. Take that, Rocky. There’s a lesson in this story for our times even if Rocky’s politics weren’t as odious as those of the Insult Comedian.

This January is a time for sad songs. End Of The Line is a rock torch song. It was written by Bryan Ferry for Roxy Music’s brilliant 1975 album Siren. I listened to Siren obsessively during the bleakest time of my life and it helped me get through it. Thanks, Roxy.

We begin with the studio version; sung by Ferry as if his heart was ripped out of his chest. It’s followed by a swell but less overtly emotional 1993 cover by Concrete Blonde:

I’ve also been known to sing End Of The Line under my breath when taking the bus or streetcar downtown to Canal Street, which is the you know what. I don’t think I’ve been caught in the act but ya never know. I suppose this is as good time as any to insert the break thingamabob. See you on the other side.

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#NeverWingnuts

Watching otherwise intelligent people make common cause with scumbag assholes just because they both hate Trump is going to be the thing that ends me this election cycle. Jude and I have been texting this GIF back and forth to each other for like a year now:

varnish

Example one:

This deliberately stupid motherfucker was mocking Katrina victims AS THE HURRICANE WAS HITTING THEM. His mom made her bones convincing women to rat out other women in order to get likes back when likes were just dollars, and then he got a job appealing to the people even he thought were gross. And now, NOW, he wants to know who will speak up for him?

Buddy, you made sure anybody who would have been on your side was already six feet under politically. We tried to tell you this would eventually turn around on you, but you looked at the spreadsheet and called hippies smelly, called liberals fascist, called John Kerry a traitor and when called on your snide shit thought only of your sacred reputation.

Supposedly intelligent people should not be moved by pleas for sympathy from the likes of this. Jonah up there is the equivalent of those fratbros who buy a tiger as a pet and then are absolutely astonished when it grows up and rips their faces off.

Example two: ANYTHING Little Green Footballs tweets or posts regarding the unhinged-ness of Republicans and how awful and racist and crazy the party is now. I see people who are not otherwise idiots approvingly retweeting this site and again, forever, INTERNET GRANDMA, but  back in my day LGF was not something you went near without garlic and a big bag of sharpened stakes.

NEVAR FORGET: 

The man who was almost president shares a stage in Davos, Switzerland, with a rogue’s gallery of enemies, including the former president of Iran and his Iraqi puppet.

Nearly beyond belief. But this is John F. Kerry, doing what he does—giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America during wartime.

When reporter Jill Carroll was captured, then freed, by terrorists, this was LGF’s measured response: 

Note that even after her release, Carroll maintained that she had been treated well by her captors—so it would appear that this journalist for the Christian Science Monitor made these anti-American comments voluntarily.

Jesus H. Cuttlefish Christ. The “leftist-Islamist axis?” I almost forgot how fucking stupid everyone talked back in those days.

You don’t get to walk back from that and get anything other than a shortened wait time in purgatory. Like good for you for figuring it out before approximately 65 percent of your other wingnut friends, but I don’t think you’re due a parade. You certainly don’t get a cookie from people who at the time were looking at you and saying, “the FUCK, dude” while you were smearing your own poop on the walls and yelling about ISLAMOFASCISM.

I’m not saying people can’t come to Jesus. Plenty of them do and that’s fine, apparently, with Jesus. But I’m not Him and I don’t have to forgive, and with the Internet being a permanent record of everything ever, I’m certainly not willing to let anybody else forget.

A.

ANNIVERSARY PARTY CRACK VAN

Donate and join the fun below! 

Update: Thanks to all for joining in!

Annual Fundraising Drive: TEN YEARS MAN

We are ten years old. We are in fourth grade. We need new corduroys and school supplies.

Ten years ago this weekend, Holden and Tena and pie and I decided we'd had a stellar time guestblogging over at the Crack Den while Atrios was off, I dunno, becoming famous and respectable, and we'd set up shop here at this web site that I had that was basically some password-protected Buffy fanfiction and ranting about people who don't turn their radios down at the drive-thru window at Taco Bell. 

Those were, of course, good and awful times. Awful: We didn't have to look far to chronicle the malfeasance of the Bush administration, gay people couldn't get married just about anywhere, John Kerry was about to lose the election, and there were perhaps a couple hundred liberal political blogs up against a mass media narrative dictating that the president was epic and everything was fine.

Good: The 2004 election felt like a big fat party a lot of the time, and a good fight the rest of the time, and there's nothing I love more than a fight that feels like a party. Dissent had begun to have a voice, however small. Plus, there were perhaps a couple hundred liberal political blogs, so we could basically love everyone in this bar. 

(I basically still love everyone in this bar.)

I don't know what I expected to happen ten years from then. I didn't think about whether we'd still be here. I just thought that there was a here, and people seemed to like it, so we laid down some shag carpeting in the crack van and fueled that sucker up. 

(That carpet smells like goat vomit now, TOMMY.)

In preparation for this glorious anniversary of ours, I've been putting together an anthology of the best and most favoritest posts we've done, and in doing so I've read basically all our archives going back to August 2004. We were not as good as I thought we were, but in some cases we were better, and we managed to do some real work at a time when everybody who writes here has a day job or two, or is looking for a day job or two, or is otherwise somehow in a position where it would be totally acceptable to curl up underneath the quilts and not come out.

I'm proud of what we've built and it would be nothing without all our readers who come here every day. I'm so grateful to all of you, and I hope you've found something of value here. If you have, I hope you'll contribute to the drive. We didn't do one last year, because I was distracted by twenty things including the baby, and this one's our tin anniversary. Hallmark suggests you give us a lunch box full of popcorn. The Paypal button up there might be easier. 

In the coming year? I'm hoping this anthology finds a publisher home, and we will be moving to a newer, shinier, spiffier site that looks more like the Internet of this decade (minus the pop-up ads and frequent requests for customer feedback). 

Oh, and Friday night? Friday is our CRACK VAN BIRTHDAY PARTY, BITCHES. Old-timey Happy Kerry Photos, ponies, punch3 kitten chainsaw, re-posting Jude's gumbo recipe, and a very special message to all of you from our newest van passenger, callsign Kick. 

Give if you can. Party whether you can or not. 

A. 

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But Iam interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!

Technology is Neat: Clustering Consoles Edition

As a lady in the computer sciences world who still operates mostly in academia, I actually don’t encounter a lot of people who assume I don’t know how to computer. This makes it particularly annoying when I DO encounter such people, though, so when I had someone try to tell me that the reason the Air Force had made a cluster out of PS3s back in 2009 was because the PS3’s CPU “does math”.

For those of you who aren’t computer people, the CPU in your microwave does math.

Trying to tell a PhD student in computer sciences (who has, by the by, taught introduction to systems) that it’s particularly remarkable that a CPU does math is roughly one of the most professionally insulting things I’ve experienced so far, and I got ragey. But I am interested in the whole “why are consoles good for clustering” thing, so I dug around yesterday to see if my initial suspicions (specialized instructions and a predilection for networking) had any merit. Put on your learnin’ hats and follow me over the jump, kids, it’s time for some tech talk!