Granted, all consumer marketing is garbage and lies shoveled into the media in a foolish attempt to generate demand for crap people don’t need. Still, it’s hard to imagine something more hamhanded and absurd than Hitachi’s The Hard Drive Is The New Bling.
Last night, Mrs Heathen and I took in the preview for IBP’s newest production, “Full Circle,” by Chalres Mee.
You really gotta see this thing. It’s fucking brilliant, almost “Medea”-level great. Certainly better than any other show you might consider seeing in Houston. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first production of Mee’s work in Houston, so you’ll also be ahead of the art curve by coming to see it. Some other fine bits:
- Actors speaking hilariously awful fake Chinese;
- A revolving stage (no, really);
- Marxism (the Karl kind; it takes place during the fall of the Berlin Wall);
- Marxism (the Groucho kind; the cops are hilarious);
- Literal translations of Beatles songs;
- Gratuitous use of Journey songs;
PLUS THREE LIVE BOOBS!
We’re not kidding – and all for FIFTEEN BUCKS. What’s not to love?
FULL CIRCLE by Charles Mee,
presented by Infernal Bridegroom Productions at The Axiom (2425 McKinney)
Opening Night Thursday, November 17 — for only $5.99!
Fridays & Saturdays through 12/17, plus a pay-what-you-want on Monday 12/5.
RESERVATIONS 713 522 8443
TechDirt has a great post explaining YET AGAIN (a) how technologically ignorant congresspeople tend to be and (b) why DRM is pretty much doomed to failure.
Also from BoingBoing; this time, even the government’s calling bullshit:
The Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team advises that you never install CD DRM: “Do not install software from sources that you do not expect to contain software, such as an audio CD.”
We wonder what percentage of the Heathen would know this question from Jeopardy.
- “Frankly, we think that whole animal-cruelty thing was blown way out of proportion. That monkey had it coming.”
- “He sure looks great now that he’s had his meth-mouth fixed.”
- “M___, or Melinda as he now prefers to be called…”
- “Tell him he still owes me for the poppies.”
- “Isn’t he dead?”
BoingBoing reports that a clever guy managed to use the DNS system to determine roughly how widespread Sony’s malware is. The answer is perhaps best expressed by “HOLY SHIT!” If he’s right, it means Sony has infected a huge number of networks, many of them government or military in nature.
Freedom To Tinker has examined the uninstaller Sony has offered for download to “undo” their rootkit shenanigans, and discovered it is very very dangerous; details to follow. Can Sony just not do ANYTHING right?
It’s a long article (NYROB, so that comes with the territory), but it’s worth reading.
“Ok, who wants to explain statistics to me?”
No, seriously. I used to be a big math geek (though I was never a Mathlete). I expect to be able to understand these sorts of things; I just never got around to bothering with statistics. One concept that’s come up again and again that I have only just now looked up is standard deviation.
I’ve always understood, on a basic level, that standard deviation is a way of measuring how spread out your data is, on average. There are actually two ways to look at this, it turns out. There’s variance, which is the average of the squares of the distance to the mean of your data (which glosses over the difference between “mean” and “expected value,” which is also something I don’t understand), and standard deviation, which is the square root of the variance.
This is where I get somewhat confused, however, because the articles linked above mention that there are TWO formulae or methods for getting variance and standard deviation: one used when you’ve got the whole population (and these formulae are the basic versions you can derive from what I’ve written above), and one you use when you’ve only got a sample. Why is this?
The differences seem big; using Excel and the set (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), the variance for the whole population is 2, and the St Dev is 1.41.
We get there simply: the average is 3, so we add (3 – 1)^2 + (3 – 2)^2 + (3 – 3)^2 + (4 – 3)^2 + (5 – 3)^2 and get 10, and then divide the lot by the number of values (5) to get 2. The square root of 2 is 1.41.
However, Excel tells me that the sampled variance is 2.5, and the sampled St Dev 1.58. So I ask you, lazy Heathen, if someone might enlighten me. (Does it have something to do with assuming a normal distribution?)
This Administration, particularly on the point of torture and detainee homicide.
BoingBoing has this roundup of the Sony rootkit fiasco for your enjoyment. Remember: don’t put a Sony CD in your computer.
From a recent installment wherein he points out (again) how bizarrely wrong about just about everything LeHaye and Jenkins are, and how poorly their narrative holds together:
This disregard for continuity makes it difficult to read Left Behind as a single, coherent narrative. It forces the reader to regard the text as a collection of disparate, discrete stories — some of which apply to one set of storylines, others of which apply to another set. This is, of course, exactly how dispensationalists read the Bible. (It’s a complex, difficult system, but it allows you to pretend that the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t apply to you.)
While Sony has promised to stop using the rootkit stuff for a while, Alex Halderman over at Freedom to Tinker points out that they’re still lying bastards who want to put spyware on your computer without your consent.
See, many Sony title use something called MediaMax that (a) installs on the sly and (b) lies to the user — ie, the OWNER OF THE COMPUTER AND CD — in the process. Furthermore, Sony provides no way to remove this software.
- If you have to run windows, disable AUTORUN. If you turn this off, software can’t get automatically installed from a CD without your consent.
- NEVER install software from a music CD. There’s no reason to do so. If it’s a real music CD, your computer can play it with no extra programs. If it won’t play, take it back.
- If at all possible, consider moving to a more secure platform. While Sony does try to infect Macs, this can only happen if the user actively runs the Sony spyware. There’s been no real attempt to control Linux machines at all.
You can play like shit and beat Mississippi State, but not LSU. The streak ends in OT.
Sony has announced it will halt production of the r00tkit CDs, though it may still use other forms of DRM.
Of course, why trust them?
John Gruber thinks I should get a new Powerbook this year, which has been my tentative plan — this one’s 3 years old and nearly out of Applecare, and having the expense against 2005 taxes would be good. The counterpoint is the possibility of faster Intel-based machines in 2006, but my gut — and Gruber’s — is that I’d rather have the last iteration of PowerPC hardware than the first iteration of Intel hardware.
Yeah, they of the appliance-smashing cover of Total Eclipse of the Heart? There’s a Rockumentary. From the filmmaker’s project writeup:
I’m going to follow Hurra Torpedo as they tour across the United States, and capture every smashed fridge on film. I will be there for the music, the magic, and also for the quiet times when the boys are just being themselves. I will capture the faintest noise, the loudest silence, and the unspoken internal lives of these three visionary young men. I’ll be there for the groupies, the fights, the parties, the jam sessions, and the make out sessions. I will be with them the whole time, like that woman in that movie about those gorillas in that mist. Only instead of gorillas, I’ve got Norwegians: Aslag, Egil and Kristopher. And no mist.
The site is a video blog of sorts (the clips are in Flash). Do not miss the frat party, the trip to the American appliance store, and (in the Behind The Scenes area), the clip about the groupie.
When Muslims Attack! Excerpt:
Know your muslims! Some muslims can be relatively harmless, like the reclusive blue-crested muslim which only attacks when provoked, or the northern spotted muslim which just imitates the colorful patterns of its more aggressive venomous cousin. But watch out! There are thirty-eight species of man-eating muslim and they are all hungry for freedom, including the saber-toothed pipesian, the hinderical alzabo with its terrible fire-breath, and the fearsome malkinite chimera, which has the head of a lion, the wings of a winged lion, and the body of a much bigger lion eating the first two lions. The only way to defeat it is to trick it into saying its name backwards, which will cause it to vanish in a puff of liberty.
A newly discovered species of lemur has been named after John Cleese: avahi cleesei.
Wingnutbird Pat Robertson has warned Dover, PA, that they may face God’s wrath for voting all 8 ID wackjobs off the local school board.
Hey, Pat? Don’t you EVER get tired of being wrong, wrong, wrong?
Virus writers take advantage of the security holes presented by Sony’s rootkit, and Ed Felton is openly calling Sony’s little hack “spyware,” as are Computer Associates. (Prof. Felton also points out that Rutgers has advised its community NOT to put Sony CDs in their computers.)
What the hell were Sony thinking?
This is the 2,900th post on Heathen. And boy are my fingers tired.
(Yeah, we know the header says 2,897; that’s the overnight count.)
Today is the 30th anniversary of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (via MeFi). Growing up, I always assumed it happened a really long time ago; the notion of a tragic shipwreck seemed like a historical thing, not something that still happened — and the notion of a folk song about something that happened during my lifetime seemed weirder still. But there you go.
It just keeps getting better for ol’ Sony:
- California filed a class-action lawsuit;
- Slashdot reports that New York may follow today;
- Meanwhile, BoingBoing and TechDirt have done a close reading of Sony’s EULA (End User License Agreement,i.e. clickthru agreement) and discovered all sorts of nasty clauses — including the obligation to delete all your Sony music if you ever file bankruptcy. WTF?
It’s been pointed out to me again that I don’t have an RSS link on this page. This isn’t, however, because I don’t have a feed; I do. It’s just because that, heretofore, I was too lazy to put a link up about it.
Well, look over to the right. It’s got a link and everything now. Happy?
(If this doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry about it.)
ShaveMyYeti.com. Make sure to finish.
My brother’s brother-in-law is Neilson Hubbard. His band “Strays Don’t Sleep” has a video that got noticed by Gawker Media’s Screenhead today. Go Neilson!
If you voted for this monstrosity, you’re no friend of mine. I’ve said for years the climate would run me out of Houston, but it looks more like the wingnut right will do it first.
Update: My friend Lisa points out that what I really mean is “Dear 74% of 15% (who voted) of 84% (who are registered) of Texas…” Which, I think, is actually more damning.
According to DeepSeaNews, scientists now believe that sightings of “sea serpents” may well have been, well, whale dicks.
- If I’m working upstairs, the cat will be on her window perch surveying the neighborhood. (Once I move downstairs to the office, she’ll be perched on the desk surveying the insides of her eyelids.) As she dislikes visitors in general and door-knocking in particular, she has learned that “big brown truck == potential knock at door,” so she runs to hide when the truck stops outside. Ergo, Bob is my UPS alarm.
- Today, the UPS guy asked “So, you’re working at home now?” which is a wholly unsurprising question (I am; he’s brought me many RFID tags in the last week). His second question was a bit more interesting: “So, y’all just got married, too, didn’t you?” Of course he’d notice; he delivered a metric ton of gifts from our far-flung families and our net-shopping friends. It makes me wonder what else you could know about a household just by being the UPS guy, though.
If you’re an audiophile and have far more money than sense, perhaps you’d like to buy some of these products:
OPUS MM Speaker Cables
Apparently, “OPUS MM unleashes thrilling levels of performance…”. That may well be so, but OPUS MM also unleashes thrilling amounts of cash from your obviously overfull audiophile wallet. Your shiny new speaker cable will set you back a truly outstanding thirty thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars, and no cents. I’ll say that again: $30,750.00
Techdirt notes that part of Sony’s response to the outcry over their rootkit DRM was to say “Hey, most people have no idea what a rootkit is, so why should they worry about it?” What a fucking tool.
Remember: Sony uses CD copy protection that will fuck up your Windows box; do not buy Sony CDs.
That won’t stop us from posting BabyReview.com, however.
Two Carolina Panther cheerleaders were arrested in a Tampa bar over the weekend after causing a bit of a ruckus having sex in a bathroom stall. (Widely blogged.)
Five email tics I’d love you to lose, by Merlin Mann:
- The liberal use of the “VERY HIGH PRIORITY!!!” flag
- The 18-line sig about all the Bad Things that will happen to me if I ever reveal the contents of your privileged, confidential (and unencrypted) message
- The unrequested press release (and the serial ignoring of the “Unsubscribe” I sent you for the previous seven press releases)
- The graphical background, font and table tags, and remaining 14k of HTML cruft associated with every. single. message. you’ve ever sent
- The including of my — plus 98 other strangers’ — personal email addresses in the “To:” line of your friendly reminder about Tyler’s birthday party
Of course, had someone not committed sin number 5 in my direction back in ’01, I’d probably not be married, so there you go.
PATRIOT Act secret-superwarrant use is up 10,000 percent. These are the warrants that require only a cop’s say so, with no judicial oversight.
Queen is touring again with Paul Rodgers singing.
Cheney Seeks OK To Torture. Excerpt:
November 05,2005 | WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session