Being the thoughts and writings of one Gustaf Erikson; father, homeowner, technologist.

Daily observations, more or less

Tuesday, 2006-05-09

Observations for 2006-05-09

Jeff Atwood:

Thank goodness for my old friend, CTRL+Z, but editing a Word document is a nerve wracking experience not unlike walking through a field of formatting land mines.  

Tuesday, 2006-05-02

Observations for 2006-05-02

Nick Carr:

If Google wants to fully live up to its ideals - to really give primacy to the goal of user choice in search - it should open up its home page to other search engines.

What ideals are these? I believe Google has the same ideals as any public company: maximising shareholder value. Doing what Carr suggests would mean that Google is an exceptional company, instead of just another product of the capitalist system. My bet is on the latter.  

Wednesday, 2006-04-19

Observations for 2006-04-19

Ed Felten:

In the real system, where the secret vectors have forty entries, not four, it takes a conspiracy of about forty devices, with known private vectors, to break HDCP completely. But that is eminently doable, and it’s only a matter of time before someone does it.


Also, more on HDCP at Wikipedia.


Monday, 2006-04-10

Observations for 2006-04-10

Joe Weisenthal:

Unlike Microsoft, which faces competition from Linux, the music industry has a captive audience — what else would teenagers do for entertainment, read books?  

Tuesday, 2006-03-07

Observations for 2006-03-07

Rogers Cadenhead (replying to Aristoteles Pagaltzis):

I’ve certainly heard from enough people the last month that the best way to clarify the RSS spec is to switch to Atom.

Boy, couldn’t see that coming, could we?


Sunday, 2006-03-05


Mark Dominus:

As a final exercise in thinking about risk, consider this: Folks at NASA estimate that your chance of being killed by a meteorite are on the order of 1 in 25,000. It’s not because you’re likely to be hit in the head. Nobody in recorded history has been killed by a meteor. It’s because really big meteors do come by every so often, and when (not if, but when) one hits the earth, it’ll kill just about everyone.


Thursday, 2006-03-02



I guess it’s not surprising a telco exec’s got no problem ripping off his own parents.

Doesn’t surprise me.


Henning Koch:

The last groovy thing anyone did with aggregation was in 2003 when Mark Pilgrim started Atom to piss off Dave Winer. That’s three years of interweb time, so could everyone please stop talking about the subject. No one cares anymore. Thank you.

That means you, Steve Gillmor.


Wednesday, 2006-03-01


Dave Winer:

OPML 2.0 is easy to understand if you’re intelligent, have common sense and are patient.

Sounds like a small market.


Friday, 2006-02-24


James Robertson:

Here’s the dirty secret that most developers — and most assuredly, most development managers — don’t want to have to admit: Most of the problems they are confronted with just aren’t that complicated.


Apparently my tube station is now an oxygen bottle. And I get off at the Glory of the Sieve for work.

Via Stattin.



Dave Walker:

You have IE for Windows, and I have find, grep, xargs, sed, and rm. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight, kid.


Tuesday, 2006-02-21


Hilarious exchange between Cory Doctorow and a “lawer”.

Do you really feel that my spelling ability has any thing to do with slander ?


Yay, the syndication wars are back, only now it’s a civil war in the RSS camp. The Atom crowd is quietly triumphant. Me, I’m popping popcorn, cracking open a brew and settling in for some smackdown!!




I hela mitt liv har jag sett till att hålla mig väl med it-supporten. När en it-supportperson hjälper dig extra, ge honom eller henne en flaska rött. Genom denna metod, samt ett inte oävet användade av förnedrande könstaktiker som att lägga huvudet på sned och se söt och lite korkad ut (nej, ni behöver inte säga att det ligger för mig, jag vet det så väl) har jag alltid klarat sånt här utan att egentligen behöva förstå något.


Saturday, 2006-02-18


Dave Walker:

Syndication politics are every bit as twisted as any soap opera you’ll see on daytime television. Only without the sex. And with a bunch of bearded fat guys in place of the pretty models.


Friday, 2006-02-17



New mobile services are centered squarely at the MySpace culture and demographic… if I don’t grok them, I may not grok the future of mobility.


Wednesday, 2006-02-15


Dave Winer:

For $100K I’d say nothing. Really. Two days of silence.

Let the bidding commence…


Tuesday, 2006-02-07


Daniel Berninger:

Eliminating network neutrality means giving one participant in the value chain a tool to extract a greater share of revenues without delivering greater value.


James Robertson:

The question management needs to ask itself is the one that can’t be easily quantified: how many future sales are you willing to sacrifice in order to generate a few pennies in support?

Quote taken joyfully out of context.


Sunday, 2006-02-05


Marc Dominus:

If you say that your house is forty feet tall, you would be rightly annoyed to have G.H. Hardy to come and ridicule you for being unable to distinguish between the numbers 40 and 41.37.


Dennis Forbes:

Wikis aren’t just for encyclopedias, though. In situations where you need centralized information, with multiple contributors building the knowledge pool slowly as time permits, a wiki can be a tremendous asset. Whether it’s simply storing the development group coding standards, documenting and adapting as time passes, or the small corporation internal website where events and information is relayed, a wiki can be a boon.



Mmm…, en smaklös gul puré utan vitaminer eller mineraler. Vem kan passa på något sånt. Först till kvarn!


Tuesday, 2006-01-31


I’m “VABing” at home, so there’s some time for blog housekeeping.


Soundtrack to these gloomy days is, incongruously, Morningwood’s self-titled album. Specifically the absurdly catchy, self-referential Nth Degree. All use of tech-speak in pop must be encouraged…


Thursday, 2006-01-26



[Are] there really people who are going to pay to have a special song play whenever they’re reminded that their mobile operator’s coverage sucks?  

Wednesday, 2006-01-25



Bara på DN Kultur kan man publicera en artikel på ett uppslag om att Ann Jäderlund lärt sig hantera sin dator.

Jag tyckte Ann Jäderlund var en sällsynt dålig diktare redan 1991. Det verkar inte ha blivit bättre, men är man ett namn så.  

Good haul from Bloglines this morning. However, as I can’t save posts from within Bloglines mobile, I have to resort to IRC:

08:44 <gusMobile> note to self: jim, coding horror, joel, atwood

I’ll write a post about the bug so I can get Bloglines working on fixing it.  


Is it possible to take dependency avoidance too far? Of course. The flip side of reducing dependencies too aggressively is the Lava Flow anti-pattern […]  

Testing the procmail setup, please ignore.  

Saturday, 2006-01-21



PCs typically cost less than Macs because they’re pieces of crap, not because Intel CPUs are less expensive than IBM’s or Freescale’s.


Friday, 2006-01-20


Sailing vessel Moshulu. Nice to see she hasn’t sunk, Erik Newby was aboard here in the late Thirties.  

Crappy digital TV receiver is offline, due to the snow? I sure hope the antenna hasn’t fallen down, that would really suck.  

Thursday, 2006-01-19


Sub rosa:

The phrase is Latin and means ‘under the rose’, because the rose was an emblem of secrecy hung above council tables and confessionals. The origin of which traces to a famous story in which Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, a rose to bribe him not to betray the confidence of Venus. Hence the ceilings of Roman banquet-rooms were decorated with roses to remind guests that what was spoken sub vino (under the influence of wine) was also sub rosa.

(from this Wikipedia article.)


Works from gmail, is it ok from mobile? I have to put some more content in to make sure the line endings aren’t fubared.


Wednesday, 2006-01-18


I’ve hacked together a script to post observations from email, this is a test of the feature.  

Thursday, 2006-01-12


Crappy expensive Sony external DVD-burner can’t even read a normal DVD. Also, it’s grabbed the drive letter to a mapped drive. Sometimes I just fscking hate Windows.

Sometimes? Make that all the time…  

More MS fun, from Excel:

You are trying to open a file that contains more than 65,536 rows or 256 columns. To fix this problem, open the source file in a text editor such as Microsoft Word. Save the source file as several smaller files that conform to this row and column limit, and then open the smaller files in Excel.

(Emphasis mine.)


Wednesday, 2006-01-11



Wow, GarageBand got a Podcasting authoring studio. That’s, er… so 2024 of them. I had visions of Clippy popping up and saying “You appear to be recording a podcast! What kind of cheesy background music you want to pick?”

But no, you get a “speech enhancer” so that you won’t sound like a geek in a basement/attic somewhere. Or, if you prefer, to sound like a geek in a big, echoing cave.  

Saturday, 2006-01-07


Engadget continues to pimp WiMax:

For our first time readers, WiMAX is a long-range wireless broadband standard that offers download speeds up to 300 Mbps, although the final specs have yet to be ratified. What this means for you, simply, is that the WiFi laptop you got for Christmas is already totally played out.

Yeah right. What about “the final specs have yet to be ratified”?

WiFi is here now, everywhere. WiMax is where? Korea?

(The above is not meant to be disparaging to Korea or Koreans.)  


Bakom en sådan hälsofascism och brist på respekt för det mänskliga behovet av egna traditioner anar man hisnande ångestdjup.  

Wednesday, 2006-01-04


Giving the Sozialgericht Bremen something more to worry about. Via Techdirt.  

Sunday, 2006-01-01


William Gibson:

[…] I have my poetic license right here, laminated, in my wallet.  

Caption on a pic for an article illustrating the dangers of prolonged listening to portable audio players:

Med ständig musik i öronen hör Siri Hjorton Wagner, 20, inte mycket av trafiken. I stället litar hon på sin skarpa blick. Det ständiga musiklyssnadet har gett henne tinnitus på ena örat. - Det är det värt, säger hon.

Source, Expressen, 2006-01-01.  


You want a good software engineering education? The final project should be to take some other kids’ project from last year and adapt it to do something he didn’t even consider. Then the result gets passed on to another kid next year. That would be an education!


Dave Walker:

10 There will be several dozen new OPML applications. None will interoperate in any meaningful fashion, and the developers will be forced to wear a scarlet “F” (for funky) on their shirts.  

Saturday, 2005-12-31



The biggest difficulty has been importing OPML subscription lists because there’s been some “drift” from the initial format.

Fancy that…

James nails it on the head.  

Wednesday, 2005-12-21



Congratulations, you made it to the shortest day of the year. They all get longer from this point on.

Thank ghod.  

Schneier: The Security Threat of Unchecked Presidential Power. Scary.  

Saturday, 2005-12-10



I hang on every morsel of humanity that is Dave Winer… both audio and text. It’s a disease, I think… like getting addicted to watching car wreaks or reading biographies of serial killers… you just can’t quite figure out what God is up to with Dave Winer. All that influence and such recklessness and generosity… A living conundrum.

This is so like me it’s scary.  

Friday, 2005-12-02


The folköl version of Bishops Finger isn’t half bad.  

Thanks to “knaverlisa” over at TBP for posting Maritza Horn’s Morgon i Georgia.  

I really need a light by the bed.  

Kada Jansen, hot babe.  

Wednesday, 2005-11-30



One dumb employee, or a set of stupid support policies, can just ruin your entire day.

Any resemblance to other situations in any way, shape, or form are entirely coincidental…  

Monday, 2005-11-28


Chris Biagni:

The English language is incapable of expressing how much I loathe Outlook. I’d have to learn Klingon to really get the point across.  

TPN Rock on iTunes Music Store.

If the above doesn’t work, try searching for “tpn rock” in the podcast directory.  

Updated: Ewan points to the canonical location.

Sunday, 2005-11-27



It feels both surreal and sickening to have to defend out fundamental freedoms against those who want to stop people from sharing music. How is possible that we can contemplate so much damage to our society simply to protect the business model of a handful of companies.  

Charles Miller:

[…] OPML, as specified, is a non-format. It’s the alluring vapor of a specification that isn’t there.  

Friday, 2005-11-25


Fazal Majid:

The ITU’s institutional bias is towards complex solutions that enshrine the role of legacy telcos, managed scarcity and self-proclaimed intelligent networks that are architected to prevent disruptive change by users on the edge.  

Thursday, 2005-11-24


I made the mothership’s fortune file with the following:

<gerikson> some guy was complaining that we (systems and support)
           didn't do anything but always pointed to <acronym title="Sarbanes-Oxley Act">SOX</acronym>
<gerikson> we told him to shut up and submit a ticket instead


Wednesday, 2005-11-23


This may be the final iteration of the script — now with plinks and fancy-smanchy CSS styling. 

Just a new observation to test appending.

I’ll add a new para just for the fun of it.

And how about some code?

    print FILE $anchor, "\n";
    print FILE join "\n", @input;
    print FILE ' ' . $anchor_link, "\n\n";

There, done. 

Today I learnt that it’s always a good idea to include a WHERE clause in an UPDATE.  

Tuesday, 2005-11-22


The purple number meme resurfaces. I’ve been thinking about this the last days since I implemented them for this kind of post.