Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NSclient++ Error 2755 - Solved

NSclient++ is a package which is used by Nagios to monitor Windows based systems. I recently tried to install it, and got an Error 2755. The problem was that I was installing from a network volume. Copying the file to the desktop and executing it from there resolved the problem.

Real Change - End the empire, restore the Republic

The United States sits at the apex of a mighty empire that stretches across the world. It is a former Republic that has been co opted by a Military Industrial Complex which profits greatly from the supply of tools necessary to coerce the rest of the world into give us more than our fair share of resources. The recent misadventures in war for profit have show us the limits of our power, and the future will not be kind if we continue to overreach and sow discord with the rest of humanity. We risk going the way of the Roman Empire, and we should learn from the past, and not repeat their mistakes.

If we settle down, get our own house in order, and play nicer, we might just survive another 200+ years, otherwise we're in for a chaotic inevitable decay.

This is the first in a series of blog posts to flesh out the list from yesterday.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What do you think REAL CHANGE means?

I was coerced into voting for Barack Obama in the Indiana primary instead of my first choice, Ron Paul as with most elections in the United States, I had to vote for a lesser evil instead of someone I actually wanted to support, it sucked, but I swallowed hard, and took it like a man. I'd rather have someone who might get us out of Iraq, and who might have enough sense not to continue the American Empire project which is leading us rapidly into a repeat of the last days of Rome. Mr Obama appeared to be the only electable choice who at least gave us that chance.

Now we see the true colors of Mr Obama starting to come out. He has chosen a running mate who has none of my views, and doesn't represent anything other than the status quo.

Our country is broken, and facing extinction, and all we get is more bread and circus... the shit storm is coming, and it won't be pretty. I don't think Obama represents enough change, and it's discouraging. I let this sit while I thought about it overnight... this morning a new twist arrived, in a comment on his blog, Doc Searls asked
what would real CHANGE be?

This gives me an opportunity to turn this around into a positive, and I'm glad.

Here's my list, off the top of my head:

  1. Admission that we've been covertly building an Empire, and a promise to stop, and support Democracy around the world instead.
  2. Admission that we're hooked on foreign fuels, and we need to break this addiction, starting now. Immediate tariffs on imported fossil fuels to start paying off the national debt.
  3. Admission that we've been bought and paid for by lobbyists from all over the world, and it will stop now. Lobbying undermines the Constitution, and thus is a form of Treason.
  4. Admission that the shift from the Gold standard was a mistake, and an immediate return to the Gold standard at $2000 = 1 Ounce, giving everyone a one time 50% inflation hit, instead of the 5-10 years of 17% inflation like the 1970s. After that, no more inflation, ever.
  5. Trials for High Crimes and Misdemeanors of those involved in the planning and promotion of the Iraq war, which caused the death of over 4000 Troops, countless other injuries both physical and mental, along with well in excess of 100,000 civilians, and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. Not to mention the trillions of dollars lost.
  6. Immediate dissolution of both Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, with the bondholders receiving whatever is left after costs are recovered by the US Government. Shareholders would get nothing.
  7. Elimination of the Electoral college, replaced with a 1st/2nd/3rd choice system of direct election of the President. The VP would serve at the discretion of the President, subject to Senate confirmation.
  8. Phased withdrawal of US troops from all foreign bases, including Gitmo.
  9. Allocating at least 1/2 of all radio frequencies for use of the public to allow a free national wireless internet.

Hows that for a start?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Running from the Coyote

My Around the Coyote submission was rejected. 8(

I've decided to see who else is writing about the same thing.

It seems to be a lot smaller this year.

Friday, August 08, 2008

How do you mark your enemies in social networks?

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Chinese general & military strategist (~400 BC)
Thomas Hawk (not his real name) is a "friend" of mine. I like his photography, and he seems to be very positive in supporting others. Like me, he's a fan of photographing the world around us, including art.

The Broken Pitcher - William Adolphe Bougereau

The Broken Pitcher - William Adolphe Bougereau

Recently, MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco decided to change its policy to allow non-flash photography in the galleries, he signed right up.

Simon Blint is an asshole. He decided that the new policy doesn't allow for non-flash photography if you have a dSLR. This lead to him forcibly ejecting my friend from the museum.

This leads me to a new conundrum... how do I tag someone as my newest enemy in all of my social networks? Facebook doesn't have a way for me to tag him as an ENEMY, which is a very odd exclusion if you think about it.

Hating someone, or something, is one of the primal urges to action that gets a lot of things done in the world. Social networking should include a way to DEMOTE someone like this twit, or cops on power trips, or whatever. Social networks must allow for this basic and essential expression of anti-value if they are to truely be useful.

I believe that we need to add enemy lists, twit lists, etc... into the framework of VRM as well. This can only help us to label spammers, scammers, and other undesirables quickly and efficiently.

A social network that doesn't allow you to include your enemies isn't worth having.

The Vista Dead Pool

Let me be one of the first to congratulate Dave Winer on kicking off the snowball that will herald the end of Vista...

I won't miss it, unlike OS/2.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My elevator pitch for BitGrid

I had an idea back when I was in college (1981-82) about using an array of look up tables to do programmable logic. I've never really had a chance to get a chip made, as my work is nowhere near that field these days. I'm wondering if you think my idea has any merit.

I've got a blog up at where I write about this subject, trying to get a chip made some day.

The idea is simple, really... a grid of cells with 4 inputs, a look up table, and 4 outputs. The 64 bits determine the outputs for any possible input combination.

Routing logic is even simpler... there is none. If you want to route through a cell, you have to program the cell to do it.

Thus any cell can be routing or computation, or both.

An unsigned n bit adder takes n cells

An unsigned n bit multiply takes n*(n-1) cells

A divider takes (n+1)*n cells, unless you want to divide by zero...then it's (n+1)^2 cells

Sound interesting? Waste of time?

I'd like to know what you think.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Blogging at the end of the long tail

If you're reading this, thank you for your time and attention.

Doc Searls is one of the bloggers I read on a daily basis. He's consistently promoted blogging as a way for us to express ourselves and help each other out. I recently posted comments about the nature of blogging out here in what's known as the "long tail"... so described because if you graph the amount of readers of traffic amongst all blogs, I'd be out in the long tail with most other blogs, having only a few readers.

Here's the basic dynamic, based on an illustration I grabbed from WikiPedia:

The environment that Doc is used to is radically different than the one the rest of us live in. Because he's got a stream of followers, he gets constant feedback on how he's doing. Out here in the tail, comments are a rare occurrence. The torrent of attention becomes a trickle out here. Thus the dynamics that work for him don't play out in the long tail.

It's more likely that someone will leave a comment for Doc, because more people read his work. It's also true that the person leaving the comment is more likely to get other people to read their comment as well, because comments are usually public. Private comments like emails don't enter this picture, but I strongly suspect they have correlation with popularity as well.

The positive feedback loop that helps push up the top bloggers works for the other end as well, the top get pushed higher, and the bottom gets pushed lower. Someone on the long tail might have a few interested followers, but they will likely not bother to go through the hassle of signing up to put a single comment on a web site. An email, or offline comment is the more likely route.

Then there is the male culture factor...

As men, a blogger starts with a disadvantage. Guys like to solve problems, we’re taught not to comment on things unless we can solve a problem, or have our 2 cents to throw in to a discussion. This is why we make crappy bloggers, we’re not good at the blog relationship thing, because we don't give lots of feedback.

We’re also impatient… it takes YEARS to find an audience, we’re used to getting new skills by working hard, the harder we work, the faster we get better…. blogging isn’t like that.

Last but not least, there's the problem of having a wide field of interests...

When you’ve got no traffic, it also doesn’t make sense to put things in separate blogs… so the audience you do have gets a lot of stuff they don’t care about… which discourages them as well. In my own case I’ve realized this and am in the process of separating out my areas of interest into different blogs. Most of them get NO hits on a given day… and one or two every once in a while thanks to random web searches. Is it really worth it?


Do we have a voice in this bold new world or not? From out here on the long tail, it’s VERY hard to tell.

I think the #1 thing we can all do is to make it a point to at least leave 1 comment per day on someone’s person blog. Like complements, they only have value if they say something positive, and are true.

In other words, The love we share, is the love we receive.