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February 29, 2004

Maru Bishamon

One last traditional Bishamon pattern. This one is known as maru Bishamon. It is another interlocking pattern, and one that I have long admired. Except what it shares with the Bishamon-kikko pattern, I don’t know much of the history of this pattern. I have seen this pattern in use primarily in sashiko and katazome textile decorations.

This time around I have the images in 23×26 pixel, 40×46 pixel and 56×64 pixel resolutions–both indigo backed and transparent. If anyone knows more of the historical and cultural background of these patterns please let me know. Also if you want these downsized from the original vector files.

maru bishamon pattern on indigo  background
maru bishamon with indigo background
(23×26 pixel)
maru bishamon pattern on transparent background
maru bishamon with transparent background
(23×26 pixel)
maru bishamon on indigo background pattern
maru bishamon on indigo
(40×46 pixels)
maru bishamon pattern on transparent background
maru bishamon with transparent background
(40×46 pixel)
maru bishamon pattern on indigo  background
maru bishamon with indigo background
(56×64 pixel)
maru bishamon pattern on transparent background
maru bishamon with transparent background
(56×64 pixel)

If some of the images appear blank–just a thin line frame around nothing–then your browser (most likely IE) has an issue displaying transparent .png files. The image is there, right click on the “empty” box and “Save Picture As” or “Save Target As”.

Posted by Eric at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bishamon Pattern II

Here is a second traditional Bishamon pattern. Except what it shares with the Bishamon-kikko pattern, I don’t know much of the history of this pattern.

This pattern, again like the Bishamon-kikko pattern, is used on all forms of clothing and can be found in many other forms of traditional art in Japan. It appears in sashiko, shibori and katazome textile decorations.

This time around I have the images in 60×60 pixel and 40×40 pixel resolutions–both indigo backed and transparent. Pick your poison. Again the files are public domain, although I sure wouldn’t mind a link and attribution by way of a nod if you do use them. As for why the deep indigo color, it is simply because that is the traditional color of much of the shibori dying.

bishamon-kikko on indigo background pattern
bishamon on indigo
(20×20 pixels)
bishamon pattern on transparent background
bishamon with transparent background
(20×20 pixel)
bishamon-kikko on indigo background pattern
bishamon on indigo
(40×40 pixels)
bishamon pattern on transparent background
bishamon with transparent background
(40×40 pixel)
bishamon pattern on indigo  background
bishamon with indigo background
(60×60 pixel)
bishamon-kikko pattern on transparent background
bishamon with transparent background
(60×60 pixel)

If some of the images appear blank–just a thin line frame around nothing–then your browser (most likely IE) has an issue displaying transparent .png files. The image is there, right click on the “empty” box and “Save Picture As” or “Save Target As”.

Posted by Eric at 05:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2004

Bishamon-kikko or the first background pattern

The strip on the -left- +above+ is a background pattern I recently decided to make. It is based on (ok ripped directly from) a traditional Japanese pattern. The pattern is known (at least in most references I have) as Bishamon-kikko. I don't know much history of the pattern overall. I do know Bishamon (or as the warrior Hachiman) is a protector of Bhuddist law and is one of the Shichi-fuku-jin: the 7 Japanese gods of fortune. Bishamon brings good fortune---to the poor especially---and is the patron of priests, doctors and soldiers. Bishimon-kikko is an interlocking toroiseshell design often seen on armor fabrics and armor padding.

The pattern is used on all forms of clothing and can be found in many other forms of traditional art in Japan. I have seen it used in sashiko, shibori, katazome, and kirei sabi decorations. My own use of it has been exclusivily in shibori where the design is more abstracted due to the nature of the resist techniques I used. I think I should execute it in katazome very soon.

The background pattern was created in MacroMedia Fireworks and I have both the 40x40 pixel white on indigo (the background image for the <div> at -left- +above+) and a white on transparent 40x40 pixel image for you -at right- +below+. The white on transparent file can be used to create your own color combinations quite easily in just about any graphics application. The files are public domain, although I sure wouldn't mind a link and attribution by way of a nod if you do use them.

bishamon-kikko on indigo background pattern
bishamon-kikko on indigo
bishamon-kikko pattern on transparent background
bishamon-kikko with transparent background

If you can't see the second -(lower)- Bishamon-kikko image then your browser has an issue displaying transparent .png files. The image is there, right click on the "empty" box and "Save Picture As" or "Save Target As".

Posted by Eric at 11:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2004

Now serving XHTML 1.1 as application/xhtml+xml

If you have a capable browser that is. If you are using any version of IE you get an XHTML 1.0 Transitional document served with the “text/html” mime type. Sorry, try a better browser. While I tried to be pretty thorough about it, I may have missed a page or two in my checks of validity. If you see any parse error or such please let me know.

Posted by Eric at 01:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

Mars Rover Visualizations & XHTML

Daniel Maas has been doing great things with Lightwave for quite some time. His skill landed him a summer internship a number of years ago at Foundation Imaging (the now defunct Special Effects House behind Babylon 5 as well as the effects in Star Trek Voyager and others).

He hasn’t been keeping still since then either. In fact most of you have probably seen his work on TV especially with the recent Mars ecploration missions from NASA. Through a professor at Cornell, Daniel landed a position working for the Mars Exploration Project at NASA. If you’ve seen the animated footage of the rover mission, then you’ve seen the work of this extrememly talented young man.

CGNetworks has a great interview of Daniel and his work for the Mars project up, and be sure to visit some of his other CGI work (including for NASA, PBS, the BBC, and Time Magazine) as well.

As for the XHTML reference–went back through all the old entries here to ensure they would validate as XHTML 1.1 About ¼ of the entries had some sort of issue validating. Most common was <blockquote> usage – XHTML 1.0 Transitional allows more leeway than 1.1


Don’t miss the DVD quality video of the Mars Explorer Vehicle from Daniel Maas – it’s a big file (320 MB) and available as BitTorrent only, but well worth the effort!

If you can’t do BitTorrent, let me know and I will see if I can find a place where it can be downloaded from.

Posted by Eric at 01:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2004

Pure Drool Factor --- Canon 1D Mark II

Wow! This is an incredible list of specs, ad knowing the performance of the Canon 1D, 1Ds and 10D, this is bound to be an incredible camera as well–especially for wildlife and sports photographers. Just wish I could afford one myself (and the high quality glass to match it up with–the one downside of the Canon digitals, mid-range lenses that got you by on the film bodies show every flaw in the glass on a Digital)

As for Specs:

  • 8.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 8.5 frames per second
  • 1.3X multiplier effect
  • higher AI Servo AF focusing precision
  • improved flash exposure
  • maximum bursts of 20 frames in Raw Mode
  • 1.5 to 10X LCD magnification

Anyone want to sponsor me into this camera–I’ll provide you with prints of everything–eagles, falcons, hawks, waterfowl galore, seals, kingfishers, cardials etc., plus all the aimals and events available at the Mystic Aquarium.

Posted by Eric at 04:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2004

XHTML1.1 bound

In preparation for a move to a new server, I am cleaning up the entries that are now XHTML1.1 validable. So far it has been fairly painless although tedious. I had some sloppy entries (ones that in truth would not validate XHTML 1.0 transitional even!) but have gone through the last two months worth of stuff and verified that they all validate to XHTML 1.1 At this point everything back to the William Shatner songfest entry validate. Once everything validates, the static pages will stay here but the weblog will move to a new domain and server, with suitble messages here to redirect along with noindex instructions for the search engines. The content that is here now will be duplicated on the new site as well.

Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2004

Serving Valid XHTML mime type with PHP

Just a place holder for when this gets implemented here:

I serve all these pages through PHP (using DefaultType application/x-httpd-php in the .htaccess file. I was looking for a way to deliver XHTML1.0 Strict or XHTML 1.1 documents using the correct mime type when possible, yet still serving something to brain-dead browsers. I tested a couple of solutions, but in most cases it failed miserably in IE one way or another. Fortunately, I stumbled across a solution using PHP to not only switch the content mime type, but also serve up an appropriate prolog, based on the HTTP_ACCEPT string of the requesting agent. I modified the solution a bit, mainly simplifying it and then adding support for the W3C Validator. This setup serves modern browsers–and the main validators– XHTML 1.1 pages as application/xhtml+xml and falls back to serving the same pages as XHTML 1.0 Transitional with a text/html content type for legacy and brain-dead browsers. I could have dropped all the way to an HTML 4.x doctype, but why?

.htaccess changes:

AddType application/x-httpd-php .html .htm .php .shtml
DefaultType application/x-httpd-php
php_value auto_prepend_file /home/www/c_mime.php

/home/www/c_mime.php’s contents:

$charset = "UTF-8";
$mime = "text/html";
         stristr($_SERVER["HTTP_USER_AGENT"],"Validator")) {
                $mime = "application/xhtml+xml";
                $prolog_type = "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"$charset\" ?>\n
                   <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN\" 
                    <html xmlns=\"\" xml:lang=\"en\">\n";
} else {
         $prolog_type = "<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0
                   Transitional//EN\" \"\">\n
                  <html xmlns=\"\" xml:lang=\"en\" lang=\"en\">\n";
header("Content-Type: $mime;charset=$charset");
print $prolog_type;

Tested lightly, any suggestions welcomed. I can’t recall where I found the original code, to be able to give fair credit… I know it wasn’t Anne van Kesteren but I did notice in a short search for the origial source that she has a similar solution (hers does a bit more browser sniffing and doesn’t send the prolog dynamically) If anyone knows a good reason not to do it this way let me know…

Posted by Eric at 07:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

Sweet Dream Hosting

This site and and a couple others I run are hosted at DreamHost. When I first set up a DreamHost account a year ago the best plan for what I needed was their Sweet Dreams shared hosting plan. At that time it was $19.95/month for 500 MB storage, 25GB/month transfers and included 3 domains, 15 sub-domains, ample email etc. Recently I noticed they were having a sale on the next level plan. The “Code Monster” plan is, for now, the same price–$19.95–as the Sweet Dreams plan. Code Monster includes 1600 MB of disk space, 40GB monthly bandwidth, 15 domains, 75 subdomains, even VPN access. A great deal to say the least, and naturally I had to inquire about getting the sale price and upgrading my plan. 5 minutes after sending the support request email, I was fully setup on the Code Monster plan. Now I can consolidate sites hosted with three different providers in one place—which will also save me about $20/month. Sweet service and support! I have had only one problem with DreamHost in a year and that issue was resolved within 20 minutes. I can’t recommend these guys enough. Check out the plans available, especially while the sale is on.

Posted by Eric at 08:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Carcieri pulls bill on homeland security.

Under sharp criticism, Rhode Island Governor Carcieri pulled his bill on Homeland Security saying “This is not the kind of reaction that I anticipated or expected”. What does this say about his understanding his constituents and of the state’s history? Carcieri admitted that he had not read the bill which made modifications to existing, antiquated, anti-anarchy laws. The Rhode Island ACLU is pressing to have those old laws–blatantly unconstitutional laws restricting speech and assembly–removed from the books by the legislature. For a complete critical look at the ex-bill at it’s chilling effects take a look at the ACLU’s analysis (pdf).

While the bill is dead (thankfully) the Governor doesn’t seem to understand why there was such an uproar over it, and has promised to introduce a new bill this legislative session to provide heightened Homeland Security for Rhode Island. He has stated that he will seek input from interested and informed parties. So basically all Rhode Island citizens then?

Posted by Eric at 01:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

Roger Williams rolling in his grave as R.I. Gov. Carcieri attacks First Ammendment

Who could ever imagine that in the town and state founded by Roger Williams on the philosophy and promises of civil liberties, that the ideals of the First Amendment would come under such attack? Yet Rhode Island Governor Carcieri is pushing the adoption of a bill (pdf) that, if passed into law, would significantly limit some of the core freedoms many take for granted in this nation–freedoms for which Rhode Island has a long tradition of defining and protecting.

The bill in question seeks to limit the right to assemble and the right of free speech. It could also limit the right to petition–all rights defined and guaranteed in the first amendment. The act is primarily modifications of existing, outdated and probably unconstitutional acts dating from the period immediately following World War I when many ant-anarchy laws were enacted across the country. Most states have long since overturned those laws either through court decisions or legislative action, but in Rhode Island (where they are still on the books) the Governor is seeking to expand those acts into a new and chilling Homeland Defense act: “§ 11-43-12…Any person teaching or advocating…opposition to organized government,…disbelief in or opposition to organized government…shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) years, or both. ”

Will this come to pass? Hopefully not, it is already being opposed by Constitutional scholars and–not too remarkably considering Rhode Island’s civil liberties heritage–many private citizens who are assembling and voicing their opposition. Even if it does come to pass, I doubt it could stand the scrutiny of the courts. But better to not let it reach that point at all. As obnoxious and insulting as the Patriot Act may be, this proposed bill is even more so. I hope the citizens and legislature of Rhode Island kill this proposed bill with prejudice and send a message to the lawmakers around the nation that the First Amendment must not b sacrificed to attempt to secure a small portion of a (false) sense of security. Whats more I hope the legislature of Rhode Island sees the danger of having the old (and arguably unconstitutional) anti-anarchy laws from World War I still on the books, even if they have not ever been challenged in the state courts (probably because prosecutors chose not to use the law because they perceived them as unconstitutional and knew they risked the successful conviction of a criminal by using a highly questionable law to prosecute them when other laws existed that could be used to obtain a conviction.)

Posted by Eric at 01:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2004

The Designs of Harald Belker

If you recall the automotive designs from the movies Batman and Robin (specifically the Bat mobile), Minority Report or The Cat In The Hat then you will be familiar with some of Harald Belker’s work. He started a design career at Porsche, followed by working at Mercedes Benz designing the ‘M’ class and the ‘Smart Car.’ You can see some of his design sketches along with some future project sketches in an interview/profile feature at CGNetworks.

Posted by Eric at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 15, 2004

CC embedded into XMP

If you’re using the Adobe Creative Suite and like to license any of your work through Creative Commons, there is a new tool from Creative Commons that adds another panel to the Creative Suite applications File Info dialogue allowing you to easily embed all the CC license meta-data into XMP.

Posted by Eric at 04:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 14, 2004

Conservative - liberal - who cares?

I really do not understand what the fuss is about down at Duke. Some students are surprised that the majority of their professors are registered Democrats?

Oh the horror! Oh the…Oh, give me a break. This is nothing new, nothing surprising, and in reality no story. Even in the extremely conservative state of Idaho the universities were overwhelmingly liberal. For the most part the faculty, staff and a significant percentage of the student body identified themselves as, campaigned for and I imagine voted for the Democratic party (or the more liberal candidate at least). I can say however that with the exception of one English professor, it never was an issue in any classes. Definitely not in any Philosophy or History courses. I guess BSU simply has better professors across the board than Duke. (Sarcasm folks, though I will accept that many BSU professors are every bit as good as those from any other university including Duke.) While I’m not sure how Duke hires it’s professors, some how I am sure that their knowledge in their particular field and their teaching ability are the top two requirements considered – which is just as it should be. 

As an odd sidenote – “Liberal”, “Conservative”, “Left” and “Right” are broad terms when defining a political ecology as complex and large as the one in the United States. In Texas I was identified as a moderate conservative, in Idaho I was considered a Conservative Democrat (whatever that is), yet in Connecticut I would be considered very conservative. In reality I have views that are hard to reconcile as either liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. In the survey at Political Survey I fall just left of center and a touch on the pragmatic side. Using their normalized scale I score -0.0584 in the left/right axis and +0.0036 in the pragmatism axis.

To tell the truth, that is what bothers me so much about the primaries and the current crop of Democratic party candidates (or should I say the nominee)… issues. I want to know where you stand on the issues. I want to know your voting record as well. Based on the limited information that was available online, in the newspapers and from the pathetic media soundbites, I would have voted for Edwards in the primaries. Unfortunately it appears that he will not be an option this fall.

(and yes I have taken the The Political Compass survery as well – according to that survey I am a leftist (-2.96) libertarian (-2.56) .)

Posted by Eric at 02:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

After 6 months Microsoft confirms: We have a big security hole! (aka CERT TA04-041A)

Well it took them six months to confirm and report it to all the government, corporate and home users out there, but Microsoft has in fact confirmed that they have a new security issue–one that can be used to gain system privilidges (aka root) of any server or workstation machine. Makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing that the Department of Homeland Security and others rely on Windows servers and desktops doesn’t it?

So if you are using or administering any Windows NT / 2000 / XP machines, read the CERT warning and go get your injection of Microsoft’s mystical magic antibiotic updates (if you are using IE and a flavor of XP you can just go to the Windows Update Service). “Don’t worry… it works–trust us. We’ll keep you nice and safe…we take security very seriously, after all we studied this for six months to create these patches.” In all seriousness I hope Gates gets raked over the coals on this (especially the time issue) when he delivers a keynote speech in two weeks at a security conference.

Here’s the header of CERT’s Technical Cyber Security Alert TA04-041A:

Posted by Eric at 06:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Truly Embarrassing - Ibrahim Ferrer deemed "detrimental to US interests"

It seems someone in the US has decided that the wonderful music of the Buena Vista Social Club and the talents they have sponsored are “detrimental to the interest of the United States.” A number of Cuban artists including Ibrahim Ferrer have been denied visas to attend the Grammy Awards, despite the fact that they are up for a couple of awards at the show. Truly embarrassing.

Today I think it’s time to listen to nothing but the Cuban Jazz and Latino styling of Ibrahim Ferrer the Buena Vista Social Club and Chucho Valdes (who was granted a visa). Maybe even buy another of their albums (whether or not they are on a RIAA label–that ought to tell you how much I enjoy their music and despise this type of political crap.)

via A Whole Lotta Nothing

Posted by Eric at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2004

Firebird is now Firefox

Firebird is now up to version 0.8 and caries a new moniker–Firefox. I’ve been using version 0.8 builds of Firebird for a bit and highly recommend it. It’s very fast, tabbed browsing is awesome, it has excellent pop-up blocking, real support for web standards, integrated search, and the keyword shortcuts for bookmarks are indispensable. The latest version (the rename was to avoid confusion with another open-source project) has improved bookmark management, off-line browsing, more streamlined download manager, a new front-end for adding extensions (XPI files) and finally comes default with a windows installer. (I should say that installers have been available prior to this release, but not as part of the Mozilla Foundation’s default distribution–you either had to compile the source yourself or use a contributed– in other words, unofficial–install package.)

Hopefully they’ll get the new extensions set up at soon, as right now the built in extension links and those at the site point to a non-existent firefox directory. As the extensions get tested against Firefox they should start showing up there. In the mean time you can continue to use those from the firebird extension page, but be warned some of the extensions will not work with Firefox, some will cause Firefox to quit with XBL binding errors and some of them will have odd effects on the browser (like preventing use of post button submits–that one baffled me for a couple hours the other day) For right now, I am using both Firefox and Firebird 0.8+ (my own compile from Febuary 4th’s source tree) as all the extensions I like to use are working in that build. Once those extensions are working (like Tabbrowser Extensions and WebDeveloper which both generated XBL errors in Firefox) in the new Firefox I will completely switch over. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Firebird to Firefox, be sure to create a new profile to use with Firefox and definitely read the release notes before installing.

The Mozilla Foundation also released Thunderbird 0.5 for mail, which I am currently using as my default mail client. The big news with this release (for my use at least) is better IMAP performance. Also of note is the improved migration from Netscape 4.x. Thunderbird is a tad bit behind Firefox development wise, but I have found the 0.4 and 0.5 version to be very usable and my wife (who is decidedly non-tech) is extremely happy with the 0.5 version.

The Mozilla foundation has also launched a new effort to get Firefox more widely adopted and increase awareness in general. Once the issues with the extensions are ironed out I will be adding one of the buttons to the site permanently.

Get Firefox

Update 20040210 – That didn’t take long!
As I noted above there are some issues with some Firebird extensions working in Firefox, but most of the extensions either have been or are getting updated even as we speak. One of my essentials–Tabbrowser Extensions–now works fine when loaded into Firefox. Note that you will still need to either create a new profile and migrate your old bookmarks etc. or disable all extensions in your Firebird profile before upgrading to Firefox. Personally, I really recommend going the new profile route. Updated extensions are being collected and loaded up at the Firefox Extension Room at MozDev. Already most of the Firebird extensions are listed there. As the load relaxes from this initial release announcement the extensions should be available at the regular sites (those listed in the main post and linked from within Firefox itself) as well. So now Firefox is set as my default browser and Firebird is no more…
Posted by Eric at 04:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 08, 2004

Struggling with Pedobibliophilia

I have become a pedobibliophile. My wife has always been one, and over the past two years I have joined her.

My wife and I have always collected books, especially art, art technique and history books. We each have our own unique collections in our library. I gravitate towards Japanese art, history (particularly American, ancient and military) and typography. My wife has collections of German literature, poetry and hand-craft arts. She has also always collected children’s books. She reminds me from time to time that I occasionally gave her a hard time for picking up a first edition Beatrice Potter collection.

For the past three years the number of shelves dedicated to children’s books has expanded from one shelf to four. Our son has repeatedly told us that “Books are my favorite toys.” We probably spoil him in one major way—-we rarely turn down the request to get a nice book. Right now his favorite author is Jan Brett whose marvelous illustrations keep us all enthralled for hours. Now Animalia, The Alphabet Room and The Mitten sit proudly beside a 1947 Swiss edition of Tschichold’s Chinesches Gedichtpapier vom Meister der Zehnbambushalle, an 1858 copy of Grey’s How Things Grow and Holmes’ 1826 edition of Annals of America. I wonder what the conversations would be if these books could talk to each other…

In the end it just isn’t worth it to struggle against pedobibliophilia. There are so many beautiful books to discover–especially when you discover them along with your little one. But I know my wife will never let me forget how I gave her a hard time for buying that Beatrice Potter collection…

Posted by Eric at 04:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2004

Fuji sunset at Antipixel

He’s done it again–made me long to be near enough to Fuji-san to see it daily, or even monthly. Jeremy Hedley has captured a magnificient image of a wisp of cloud at the summit of Mount Fuji all in a magnificent sunset palette of oranges and browns. Magnificent. In the text of the entry he says, in an understated way “The third faces due west and provides only a narrow field of view but, on a good evening, this is what you see.”

Posted by Eric at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bob Marley Marathon

Over the past couple of days I have finally converted my Bob Marley collection of CD’s to MP3. It’s about time… I’ve been trying to find the time to encode one CD every couple of days. I guess next up is Louis Armstrong… but after I enjoy a couple days of pure Marley.

Posted by Eric at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2004

Time to rebuild the laptop

A lot of bloat and left over dll’s etc. from a variety of software install’s and unistall’s and two MS beta testing programs. I think it’s time to freshen up the Laptop with a complete wipe and reload. This entry is really just a note holder for me for all the software I need to remember to grab the latest version of from online–my core reload software. Not much in the way of comments or explanations except the odd ‘note to self’, but feel free to ask questions or comment, chime in on other options–no holy wars though, in Windows I use Mozilla browsers and Vim, just the way it is. I’m happy to use Opera/Konqueror/Safari and Emacs/Pico/Jed on other computers, but this one is set up for me

Then of course come the products that I have the full physical product such as the Adobe “Print Bundle”, Lightwave, Aura and QuickBooks which, of course, all need the latest upgrades and patches too.

Posted by Eric at 06:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 02, 2004

TA04-033A: Multiple Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer

More vulnerabilities in IE–at least from version 5.01—6.0. From the CERT announcement:

The good news is Microsoft has downloads available to patch the security holes. The bad news is one of the patches will break the ability for IE users to access some sites if the site uses authentication in the form as the URL.

For a better patch I suggest getting a new browser such as Firebird.

Posted by Eric at 11:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2004

Pardon me while I puke.

Ok, the first bloody commercial in to the kick off show, and I remember why I Don’t watch broadcast TV anymore. A cow getting showered with the strains of Styx’s Lady. Ok. Lady may not be all that great a song in everyones opinion, but really… it is an important song from my youth and to see a cow taking a shower … I’ll never be able to hear that song without that bloody image. Some may say that the commercial succeeded, but I don’t remember who the commercial was for, or what it was selling–and I don’t want to know either. Pardon me while I turn off the shit tube, and delete Lady.mp3 off the hard drives.

Update 2004|02|02:

It sounds like I didn’t miss much for the rest of the game–at least when the talk of the morning wasn’t whether or how the Pats won, but rather how Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake decided they both needed to do something to boost (revive?) their careers–enter the Full Metal Nipple. Glad I missed such a pathetic stunt.

It looks like CBS and others will be wishing they had missed it too–or prevented it from happening entirely–by the time everything is said and done. The FCC is investigating (PDF), the NFL is outraged, and I’m sure there will be plenty of other groups to speak out (if they haven’t already!) There are screen captures (even in HDTV 1920×1020 res) and the Drudge Report and Rotten Tomatoes have closeups of the sequence, if you really need (want) to see it.

MTV has pulled the article on their site promising “Shocking Moments” during Jackson’s show. Of course thanks to Google’s caching you can still read the article online. Looks like MTV stepped on it in a very big way. I can’t help but agree with Sally Jenkins’ conclusion from the Washington Post:

“The NFL knows full well that MTV was the network responsible for Madonna and Spears. Just a few days after her Madonna interlude, Spears appeared on the NFL’s Kickoff Day festivities. The league didn’t suddenly develop amnesia about MTV. Timberlake and Jackson merely sent the lumber downstream, gave the NFL and its network partners what they were asking for — only they gave them too much of it.

“On days like this, I miss Howard Cosell. I miss his cold appraisals and scathing judgments, and I can’t help wondering what he would have made of the halftime show. Instead, we had CBS announcer Greg Gumble’s silence, broken by one sniggering attempt to cute-ify what had just happened on stage. I suspect that if Cosell were there, he’d have said that while the Super Bowl halftime was a piece of soft porn theater, it was perhaps no more or less offensive than, say, trivializing the Columbia catastrophe with a song and a dance and a phony astronaut planting a flag on a fake moon.


“The NFL tried to use MTV, and got used back….”

I’m just glad we popped in a movie only 10 minutes into the game, especially as my 3 year old was watching with us. There were already enough commercials during the pre-game show and the first 10 minutes of the game that we were uncomfortable with for family viewing. There was a time when a 3 or 4 year old could watch a little pro sports on TV with his old man–I guess not any more.

Update 2004|02|03:

Now the TiVo results for the super bowl are in and–big surprise–the Jackson Flash is the record holder for the most replayed moment in the history of TiVo. You do, of course, know they keep that type of information, right?

Posted by Eric at 06:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Superbowl at our house...

  • Tammy: So Daddy do you want to watch the Superbowl today?
  • Me: Yeah I’d like to at least check it out for a little while.
  • Tammy: What time does it come on?
  • Me: (checking TitanTV) hmmm.. starts at noon on CBS, no wait thats the Pre—Pre-game show, then the pre-game show starts at 2pm–oh, here it is the game show starts at 6pm, the game itself starts at 6:25pm.
  • Tammy: 6 hours of pregame shows?!
  • Me: Yep, and thats not counting the 6 hours of “the road to the..” shows that were on yesterday.
  • Tammy: So who’s playing ?
  • Me: I haven’t got the faintest clue…
  • Tammy: ROTFLHAO
Posted by Eric at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FeedDemon & Search Throttling

Finally found a few dollars to purchase Nick Bradbury’s FeedDemon. I tested a number of other feed readers out during the past couple of months, and while there are a few things some of them had that I would like to see integrated into FeedDemon–mainly Atom, which Nick has now available in the FeedDemon 1.10beta, and secure feeds which I have discussed before–FeedDemon remains the fastest, least resource intensive and most polished feed reader available for Windows. No small bonus is the excellent support and constant improvements that Nick is well known for in all his products.

In unrelated news, Jacques Distler recently observed that the search function in MT is fairly resource intensive and could be a target of abuse by launching multiple concurrent searches. To mitigate that potential, he has released a patch–also available as a drop in replacement–for the search module that limits the number of concurrent searches allowed. I have followed his example. I doubt it will affect anyone as at most I have ever seen two possibly concurrent searches happen in the past months log files (grep is your friend).

Posted by Eric at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack