Log in

No account? Create an account
But at least my mom is safe. She lives right next to the Prudential Center, a few blocks from the finish line and was on her way to Copley Square when the bombs went off. According to her, they sounded like cannon reports. She also says that reports of an evacuation order at the Prudential Center are greatly exaggerated; in fact she heard one of the security guards state specifically that they weren't evacuating, at least not yet, and that no such order was issued later.

The fiasco continues

Originally posted by electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr

Protesting SOPA/PIPA

I've blacked out my LJ today in protest against the proposed new copyright protection bills that would give private entities wide ranging freedom to censor sites they don't like. So far, I've noticed that the primary supporters of these bills are the MPAA and RIAA. As far as I'm concerned, that tells you all you need to know about these bills. The LJ will remain blacked out until at least midnight tonight with this as the only public post.
I got a suspicious email claiming to be a speeding ticket issued in New York with an address to mail the fine to. This is a known scam. I figured it had to be. I haven't been driving in New York in a long time. I certainly wasn't anywhere near there on the date the ticket was allegedly issued for.  I thought people should know about this one.
Toward the beginning of January, someone posted a request for information on where to donate gently used items to poor_skills after having been treated very rudely by someone at the local Salvation Army. One of the commenters on that thread posted a lengthy explanation of why charities that take donations in kind have to be picky about what they take. Speaking for myself, I remember going with my mother as a child to our local Goodwill to make donations and seeing an astonishing amount of junk in the donation area. I'm talking about stuff that absolutely was neither usable nor salvageable.

On another front, charities that respond to emergenies like the International Red Cross have their own issues. There's a reason, well okay several reasons, that they ask for cash donations for these. This blog post from the UK Red Cross explains some of the issues. Other issues are discussed in the comments. One point that was not brought up there, but was brought up in comments on another blog that I read was that the cash donation that you make today may end up being used to respond to tomorrow's disaster. When disasters strikes, the responders don't have time to wait for donations to come in, they have to act now. That means laying in the supplies ahead of time. The UK Red Cross article mentions keeping stockpiles of emergency supplies at various points around the world ready to ship when a disaster happens nearby to cut transportation costs. That's an example of prepping in advance.

Oh, and while we're at it, while some charities do indeed spend excessive amounts on administrative costs, choosing who to donate to purely on that basis can cause other sorts of problems.

Just some things to think about.

I did not need this.

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, I heard a loud bang. I mean loud enough to cause me to levitate, or at least make a good attempt. Well, nancylebov not only heard the bang, but also glass breaking. From this, we concluded that whatever made the noise was out front. After some discussion, we concluded that calling the cops was probably the indicated course of action.

Now as it turned out, I didn't call the cops, and I'm not sure if nancylebov did, but they showed up fairly quickly, so unless they were driving nearby when the bang went off, someone must have called them. The local cop shop is close, but it's not that close despite my joking that they could've heard it there.

The breaking glass turned out to the next door neighbor's front window. Apparently someone threw a large firecracker or something similar at the window. Based on the volume of the bang, I'm tempted to guess an M-80, but I really don't know. At least one neighbor (not from that house) saw someone throw something, but I'm not clear on the details.

I generally think of this area as a good neighborhood, and I've been wondering if the fact that the neighbors in question are Latinos had anything to do with the incident.


Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!

I'm a big fan of science education, but this never occurred to me as a reason to push it.

Ban on Non-Canine Service Animals

I just came across a story about the Department of Justice proposing a ban on all service animals except dogs. Anyone who needs a service animal for any reason needs to be aware of this and contact theircongresscritter, senators, and the OMB.  The DOJ is apparently not taking calls on the subject. For more information about service animals, see this article in the New York Times Magazine.

Abbot and Costello (Don't) Do Tech Support

If Abbott and Costello were still performing in the 21st Century:

Lou Costello wants to buy a computer. So he calls the Super Duper Computer store where Bud Abbott takes the call. Confusion (and hilarity) ensues.

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. How can I help you?

COSTELLO: Hi. I'm setting up a home office and I need to buy a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write
proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm
sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is "office."

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "W" if you don't give me some
straight answers! What about financial? You have anything I can track my

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsof t gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


A few days later . . . . . . .

ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer Store. How can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on "START" !!!!!

Picture Meme (a day late)

The Rules: 1) Don't talk about politics. Just don't.
2) Put up an apolitical picture. Something you like. Above the
3) Pass on these instructions.

I don't freakin' believe this

How could a charity refuse a donation just because of who it came from? Needless to say, as a longtime gamer, I am not amused.

As it turns out, GenCon found an alternative recipient, Fisher House. As a military brat, I approve of this one.

Solar animation

Call this a response to nancylebov's latest post. The Sun in motion. I would have liked to see longer animation loops myself.

Run Cephalopod Run

It never occured to me that they could do that. The octopus that's pretending to be algae really looks weird. You don't have to go into space to find true aliens. They're alive and well in our oceans.

Now THIS is an interesting translation

We can haz bibbul 4 2day:

Needz pikcherz of kitteh, tho.

Cool (coil) things with electricity

The problem with not getting to conventions is you miss stuff like this. I didn't know you could do that with a Tesla coil.


In Memoriam: Jerry Falwell

I think this pretty much sums up why I'm not mourning him.
From Respectful Insolence comes news of a possible treatment for a particular type of genetic diseases. It's currently in human testing on patients with cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.

It won't be useful for things like sickle cell where the problem is a mutation that changes one critical amino acid in a protein, rather it targets genetic diseases where a mutation changes a three nucleotide sequence that codes for an amino acid into a sequence that codes for the end of the protein. However, there are lots of disease of that type, so this could be very useful.


BMC, needlepoint, Seal

Latest Month

April 2013