Spotty Access

I feel I should apologize for my recent lack of posting. However, unlike previous instances of blog silence on MacRaven, this time I must disclaim responsibility. My access to the network has been spotty, and that's being kind. Yes, we have broadband, so called, out here. Sometimes. When it can manage to wirelessly connect. Which has not been a frequent occurrence of late. They'd scheduled a repair call several times now, always ducking out because of bad weather. I seriously wonder if the problem is really hardware ... I suppose we'll find out. If they ever manage to make it out when it's clear.

If I lived across the street (literally), I'd have had wired DSL for ten years. But AT&T, my monopoly wired telephony provider, can't seem to find it in their budget to put in the required equipment. So I'm stuck with wireless - expensive, complex and, well, spotty. Hopefully this situation can be resolved in a week or so. If not, I may have to investigate satellite providers, none of whom comes with a good rap.

Happy New Year.

13:20 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

A Week of Dealing with Gnu Autotools

Angry Panda

can rapidly turn you into a raging panda, especially when trying to build cross compiling libraries...

15:17 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Not An Ancestor

Not an ancestor - Spikehorn Meyers

This has really been in my 'to be posted' pile for a while: last year over the holidays a nephew brought up this picture, saying (with a large grin) that he was sure he'd found one of my long lost ancestors feeding the bears! In truth, the character does bear a striking resemblance to your humble blogger, but alas! he was no ancestor.

A bit of Googling discovered that he was, in fact, John "Spikehorn" Meyers, formerly of the Spikehorn Camp, a roadside tourist trap in Harrison, Michigan. But the postcard has brought large smiles several times while laying about awaiting the scanner, so I figured I'd finally get it up here.

15:15 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

Tabbi hits this one out of the park.

By eschewing criminal prosecutions of major drug launderers on the grounds (the patently absurd grounds, incidentally) that their prosecution might imperil the world financial system, the government has now formalized the double standard.

(link) [Rolling Stone]

22:37 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Linux 3.7 released, bringing generic ARM support with it

Linux moves closer to ARM. Microsoft is already there. Apple's been there, done that. How long can Intel hold on?

Linus Torvalds has officially announced that version 3.7 of the Linux kernel has gone stable, and that means good news for developers who work with ARM-based CPUs: among its other changes, Linux 3.7 is the first Linux kernel to include generic support for multiple ARM CPU architectures, reducing the amount of effort required to get Linux-based operating systems running on phones, tablets, and ARM-licensed developer boards like the Raspberry Pi.

(link) [Ars Technica]

09:23 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Copyright trolls, biz scum, freetards - it's NOT black and white

Interesting new organization, trying to restore some sense of balance to the whole copyright/IP domain. Necessary, no doubt, but given the current political climate, I can't see much hope for success, unless you count maintaining the current gridlock as successful. Rolling back the ridiculous changes of the past 20 years is what's needed, but alas, I see no hope for that at all, no matter how reasonable your proposals.

A new intellectual property rights organisation has popped up in the United States called New Media Rights. New Media Rights strikes a different balance than most intellectual property organisations; they champion the rights of independent creators as well as those of individual consumers.

(link) [The Register]

09:20 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

To save this endangered breed, eat it

Nice article about a very endangered breed. I suspect, however, that the taste described has more to do with the way the cattle are raised on grass than it does wioth the breed itself. Savvy marketing.

Ask Joe Henderson any question and odds are he’ll give you a very thorough answer. But ask him how to save one of the most endangered breeds in the world, the Randall Lineback, he’ll give you a very short retort: You have to eat it.

(link) [Eatocracy]

23:50 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

To Steer Students to Jobs in Demand, Florida May Cut Costs for Select Majors

A singularly bad idea on a lot of different levels.

Exactly what role is the state university filling here? Have we reduced our institutions of higher learning to nothing more than taxpayer supported vocational schools for the benefit of corporate interests? I always thought the goal of education was, well, education. Silly of me, I suppose.

Furthermore, there are going to be several unexpected economic impacts from this. The professions they're talking about driving students towards with reduced tuition are already on the higher end of the pay scale - if you increase supply, what happens to the price? Or second thought, maybe that effect is not so unexpected...

But worst of all will be the subtle impact on quality of work. We already have too many people picking a career based on how much money they'll make, and this will only drive that trend. Would you rather have a doctor who's interested in medicine, or one who became a doctor because the state subsidized his tuition and "steered" him away from English Lit? Would you rather drive a car whose gas tank was designed by an engineer who really cared about physics, math and mechanical interactions, or one who engineers because he makes more money than he would doing community theater?

I can't count how many mediocre programmers I've run across over the years who only got into it because "software's where it's at", and "computer people make a lot of money". The irony here is that none of them ever got to where it really was, and none of them made very much money at it, either.

Now, looking for more value on the remaining dollars, Governor Scott and Republican lawmakers are prodding Florida’s 12 state universities to find ways to steer students toward majors that are in demand in the today’s job market.

(link) [New York Times]

22:22 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Christmas tree growers suffer from drought

More fallout from the past summer, in a crop most people don't think of as a crop. But it is, as surely as corn or beans. But unlike a row crop catastrophe, this one will take 8 years to roll through.

The drought has presented a tough year for Christmas tree growers, and it will continue to in the years ahead.

(link) [AgriNews]

09:10 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Poem of the week: Musk-Ox by Jane Yeh

I rarely find a modern poet whose words resonate this way - here's a link to the title poem from the book mentioned: On Ninjas.

This week's poem, "Musk-Ox", is from Jane Yeh's second collection, The Ninjas, recently published by Carcanet Press, and deservedly welcomed in a recent Guardian review by Aingeal Clare. Jane Yeh is an American poet based in London. Her voice, to my ear, has a distinctly English quality. Combining fantasy, melancholy, precision and gently-disturbing wit, it suggests at times how Lewis Carroll could have written, had he been a young 21st-century postmodernist.

(link) [The Guardian]

11:03 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Demon Face

I've posted about the krampusse traditions before, but this is the first time I've seen them tied to Perchta rather than the Wild Hunt. It's nice to see a tradition like this that's still going strong.

Tourists or foreigners have to look twice when attending a Perchten festival in the western Austrian region of Tyrol. Some probably think there is something wrong with the countryfolk – dressing up like demons, wearing head to toe animal skins and wooden masks, behavior that could easily be associated with some kind of a devil’s cult. It just doesn’t seem to be normal.

(link) [Reuters]

via The Wild Hunt

11:36 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

Why the ARM architecture is shaped the way it is

Really interesting history, proving that design tradeoffs, compromises and shortcuts can still lead to great products.

It is arguable that ARM and Intel, the two companies locked in head-to-head processor competition, represent two different poles and philosophies.

(link) [ee Times]

11:23 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link