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Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Jazz + Booze?

The bus passed the SAQ in Dorval today, just like every other day. But today I noticed that they had decorated the windows with images of distorted piano keyboards with wine glasses around them.

When I saw them, it said to me "In order to enjoy the jazz festival, you are required to drink heavily to the point that the keyboards are distorted."

It just seemed wrong somehow.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Grokster ruling prompts a sigh of relief

The US supreme court finally got around to ruling on the Grokster case. I, for one, am relieved with the ruling.

They ruled that software makers could be held responsible IF their software was INTENDED for committing copyright infringement.

Why am I relieved? Well, because it could have been a lot worse. They could have ruled that developers could be held responsible for software that ENABLES copyright infringement. Instead they ruled that you can be held responsible, but only if your software is DESIGNED to commit copyright infringement. This lets BitTorrent off the hook entirely, because Bram Cohen obviously introduced it as a method of distributing large files, and he has gone so far as to say anybody who uses it for copyright infringement is stupid. BitTorrent is truly a case of software that enables copyright infringement without that being the intended goal. Indeed, BitTorrent is not promoted by Cohen as a method of infringement, unlike Grokster was.

On the other hand... This is a VERY slippery slope that the US is going down. They are holding software developers responsible for things that they didn't do. This is the same thing as holding the car manufacturers responsible for the speeding tickets of their customers; why make a car that can go 200 kilometers per hour if the law forbids actually driving that fast? Why make a P2P app for infringing copyright if the law forbids actually using it for that?

Obviously even though I believe that copyright infringement is beneficial to the industry in general and that they are idiots to oppose it like they do, I can't fault the logic of the supreme court. I find nothing wrong with this particular ruling. I'm just terribly worried about where things could go from here.


Google gets more high-res sat imagery

Finally my house is available at the max zoom level

That's not actually my house, since Google just selects the middle of the street for any address on that street.

While it's nice that they finally got high-res imagery of the west island, I'm sort of pissed off that it's winter imagery. It really doesn't look very good, and because it's now high res, I would imagine that they probably won't do any better.

This imagery was added in during Googles recent addition of worldwide high-res imagery (for the most part, there are still bits missing). Looks like the west island got the short end of the stick and was grouped in with the rest of the world. Too bad, the rest of the island of Montreal looks nice.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


More broken, and then not so much

As of this morning the error dialog was gone, but the temperature/date/next train was still broken. Looks like they thought pushing OK would fix all their problems.

However when I was in the metro stop today at 6:30PM, it was fixed. So it looks like their response time is what, 3 days? Nice ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Still broken

Leaving work today, I was in the metro station at 7:30PM. Surprisingly enough, the MetroVision system is STILL broken! The exact same error dialog is still on the screen. Funny how the MTC throws around hundreds of millions of dollars on useless endeavours such as adding new stops that barely anybody will use, or switching to easily hackable smartcards, but they can't pay a guy to take the time to push a button and make the dialog box go away!

Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to snap a shot of the broken screen tonight as I was running for a train. However, if it's still up tommorow morning I'll take some pictures.

As for now, here is the picture from 11AM this morning that I promisd:

Notice that while the time has correctly updated (and the video is still going), the date, temperature, and "next train" section is exactly the same as yesterday. It would seem that that is the section of the program that has crashed.

I'll continue keeping track of this. Let's see how high the response time of the MTC really is ;)


Salt in the wound

As if yesterday's error dialog wasn't enough, it is even worse that when I was taking the metro to work today, getting off at the McGill metro stop at 11AM, the same error is still on the screen :P

Forget about paying 700 million dollars to add three new metro stops, or 126 million dollars to switch the passes over to smartcards, they need to pay a few thousand dollars and by some NITIX boxes ;)

I'll post a picture tonight when I get home and have a chance to upload it from my cellphone.


When will they learn?

Seeing as how I work at a Linux company, I was rather amused to see this on the big screen in the metro (Montreal subway) station:

I knew my camera's crappy phone would be useful for something ;)

I finished work today at the usual time, 7ish, and then launched into a super-interesting discussion with sfllaw on a variety of technical subjects. Next thing I knew it, 4 hours had passed! I do love those kinds of discussions, where you are so interested and drawn in that the time flies and as soon as you know it it's not 7PM anymore, it's 11PM. These discussions are special and I really enjoy them.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Bad photoshop skills + company logo = fun

It turns out that it's about the 5th birthday of All Your Base. As such, I couldn't help but take photoshop to the company logo to produce a tribute. Those of you familiar with the frontpage of the company site will undoubtedly recognize the source image. And so, I present to you my creation:

This is what happens when you try to use photoshop at 5:30AM.

Monday, June 13, 2005



Bick's has started making these mini dill pickles, and is billing them as a snackfood. I tried some, and it turns out they're super tasty. Sure, they're just dill pickles, but the small size makes them super addictive. Every time I open the bottle to have a few I find it hard to stop :P

Did I mention I love dill pickles? Olives too. I can be bribed with both.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Memorizing Pi

Over the years I've started trying to memorize more and more of pi. Not that I'm putting much effort into it, mind you... Ever so often I'll just try to tack on another few digits into the brain. Here's how far I got tonight, hopefully it will stick for a while:


Up to 18 digits I guess. If I can remember these new digits (Assuming I even remembered it correctly above), I guess the next step is to bump that up to 20?

I rarely actually need to calculate something that uses pi. Sometimes I'll need the area of a circle or something. In those instances, instea of typing 3.14 or using the Pi button on a calculator, I actually try to type in as much as I can remember. I mean, if I'm going to try to memorize some Pi, I might as well use it, right?

Now is the part where you tell me this is a waste of time ;)

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Headphone update

In preparation for today's call to tech support, I've made a recording of Counter-Strike: Source. It's a short recording, the first half of which is me facing towards a firefight, and the second half is me facing away from a firefight.

You can listen to it here. It's a WAV file (For compatibility), about half a meg. I recorded this because after talking to one of the guys yesterday who seemed to be more of an engineer type guy than tech support, it struck me that he didn't believe me. That he thought I was being picky. Well, take a listen to the above wav file (Don't listen in WinAmp, it distorts it) and tell me I'm being picky.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005



Well, the company can't do anything about the headphones for now. It seems like my problem will go into longer term testing, though I got the feeling that the guy on the phone didn't really believe me. He seemed to think I was just picky.

Tonight I intend to record actual audio from a game to send to them to show them how bad the problem really is.

In other news, spent 4 hours today galavanting about trying to get my phone fixed, along with Pat and Coombs. Quite an adventure, that included St. Laurant and Laval. Eventually we found a place that would do it for $25 each without voiding our warranties. My phone will now no longer randomly totally drain it's battery over the course of an hour!

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