I detect a pattern

Filed under: news @ 15:02

I have joined the ranks of responsible citizens of this great nation we call .us. I have been summoned for jury duty (which seems to be called “jury service” in LA county). Following Jeff’s and Heidi’s lead, I’ll be going down to the courthouse sometime during the week of September 19th. It seems the lot of us that got .ca.us IDs around the same time are starting to get drawn. I’d be interested to hear if other generations of caltech grad students experienced something similar.

I had thought about postponing my service on the grounds I’ll be both teaching and taking classes around that time. I decided, though, that I’d rather shuffle my teaching schedule and miss a couple classes than serve after the term was over (you can only postpone a maximum of ninety days: Christmas); it seems a smaller inconvenience.

What amazes me, though, about the process so far is that I was required to register via telephone after receiving my summons. No online registration? Get with the times, LA.


Welcome, friends!

Filed under: a group of folks,blogging,neat!,news @ 23:10

I know you’ve always wanted to post on blogwaffe. Or perhaps you’ve dreamed of publishing content on Apparent Horizons or \_jeff_{krimmel}.

Well you can’t.


But you can hit up the next big thing (next great American novel, big) over at email for pics (dot com).


8000, you’ve treated me well

Filed under: neat!,news,server @ 02:17

In a way, I’m a little sad to see it go. My unconventional port and I have been together for a long time now. It’s been a source of conversation, intrigue and misplaced pride. Sadly, the pros of moving on outweigh the cons.

For those of you who hadn’t noticed after this ~day of being offline: http://blogwaffe.com.

I didn’t want to name names until all had settled, but I’m now very happy to say that blogwaffe is being served by TextDrive. I absolutely could not be happier with the service or its people. TextDrive’s servers are fast, highly configurable and very usable while all the while the folks running the show are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable nearly to the point of being scary. I had a couple questions about the best way to move the site over while maintaining the old links. Not only did they have answers, they had implementable solutions. Many thanks to Ryan, Jason and the lot.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a loud shout out to Matt who was responsible for setting us up the bomb in the first place. So thanks, Matt.


.mobi — 13:03

Just as a quick note, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. ICANN‘s decision, that is. Not the article.


I imagine this is going around a lot, but — 21:48



Legal Gay Marriage!

Filed under: news @ 15:09

What? Gay people finally getting the rights everyone deserves after generations of abuse and oppression?

Oh… I see… Spain you say. Well that’s more believable.

Spain: 1
USA: bigoted


A stupid survey

Filed under: news @ 13:56

I’ve seen it floating aroung the internet here and there over the past several days, so I finallly decided to look at it: Intel’s ranking of the top 100 “Most Unwired Cities Survey“.

‘Unwired’, here, is taken to be a good thing. The survey attempts to judge the wirelessness of those cities it ranks: wireless hotspots and the like. The problem is that it doesn’t do what it says it does.

Firstly, it doesn’t rank cities as the title of the survey suggests, but metropolitan areas instead. This isn’t that big of a deal, and, indeed, the explanatory notes make this fact explicit, but it’s still sloppy. More importantly though, this does not rank the top most unwired cities.

The survey describes its task three separate times:

  1. In its title: “Most Unwired Cities Survey”. This is false.
  2. “Intel’s 3rd Annual ‘Most Unwired Cities’ survey ranks the top 100 U.S. cities and regions for the greatest wireless Internet accessibility”. Sloppily written but one could argue that it’s true.
  3. “Below are the top 100 cities and regions in the United States for wireless Internet accessibility, where you can unwind and unwire:”. Also false.

Given the above quotes and their respective veracities, can you guess where exactly Intel tries to pull the wool over people’s eyes? I’ll give you a hint, they attempt to trick you with marketing, not statistics; it’s in the language they use, not the numbers they produce.

Answer: They only surveyed the largest 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and there is no reason to expect that the set of the largest 100 metropolitan areas is the same set as that of the top 100 most unwired.

Allow me, if you will (and what choice do you have), to illuminate the problem with an example. If someone gives you five apples (and you know nothing about the original selection process this person used to cull five apples from the millions that exist) and tells you to arrange them in order from biggest to smallest, you would never think to say “I’ve just ranked the five largest apples”. Or, rather, if you would think to say that, there’s probably a career ahead of you with Intel’s news department. Intel did not rank the “top 100 most unwired cities”, they ranked the largest 100 metropolitan areas by their unwiredness. Big difference.

Cruising the internet, there are a lot of people who recognize this difference, but there are a vast number, still, that got duped.


Feel the mighty power (or don’t)

Filed under: a group of folks,news @ 08:09

I just went over to Jeff’s office to drop off the garage door opener. As I jogged down the stairs, I saw an orange ladder and some maintenance people working on some sort of something which needed maintaining in his hallway. Taking no notice of them, I walked over to Jeff’s doorway which was occupied by one of his office mates saying something like “aren’t you supposed to stand in a doorway?”. I looked at him oddly and said “excuse me” and the gentleman said “oh, sorry” and let me by. Everyone else in the office had clearly very recently stood up and were discussing something of some interest.

“Did you feel that?” Jeff asked.
“Yes you did.”
“We just had an earthquake?” I asked incredulously.

Apparently so. The greater Los Angeles Area was just struck by what has tentatively been labeled a 5.3 earthquake [See also these pretty pictures]. It hit right when I was just taking notice of the maintenance people. The rumbling noise I heard I attributed to the something the mainenance people were poking at, and the shaking I didn’t feel at all as I jogged down the stairs.

Everyone thought this was oh so funny.

I was pissed. I’ve never felt an earthquake before, and here I was, right in thte middle of one, but I couldn’t be bothered to notice.

I swear the big one’s going to hit this weekend when I’m in .az.us, and Jeff will be surveying the rubble that will be Caltech laughing, “Oh, man, Mike is gonna be pissed.”


Apple has sold its soul to the devil

Filed under: news,thoughts @ 12:18

Many have already heard Apple’s official announcement at WWDC 2005 that the company will be transitioning to Intel brand processors.

This announcement brings up some interesting questions. Will I be able to buy a cheap PC desktop and install OS X? Will some kind of Windows emulator be available (making the transition from Windows to OS X extremely easy for anyone)? Is my current hardware fated to a doom of ill support and obsolescence?

And, of course, is Steve Jobs in league with the denizens of hell?

Apparently, the first Intel Inside Mac will ship by June 6th, 2006. 666: indeed, the veritable number of the beast.

The answer, I believe, must be “yes”. How else could they gain such a legion of fanatics (in which I suppose I must count myself) if not by the means of the occult. I suppose I should not exclude the possibility that Mr. Jobs is himself the devil, but I’d have thought Satan would be better at predicting the future. Though, to be fair, all of Mr. Jobs’ false promises over the years may have been entirely intentional. It all may have been part of Satan’s tricky scheming.

At any rate, beware Apple. Their good design sense is just part of their twisted mask of deception. Do not be tempted by their sexy aluminum laptops, their vast expanses of widescreen flat panels, or their clean user interface. Every time you use a Mac, you’re communing with the lord of darkness.

I hear he’s pretty fun guy, though, so it’s not all bad.


And I raaan. I ran so far awaaay. — 09:59

I ran my mile and half loop completely for the first time today, after taking two weeks off from running. Just seventeen and a half times farther than that, and I’ll be doing good.

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