Saturday, February 26, 2005

Chris Rock - The William F-ing Buckley of stand-up

Rock has joked that joining a political party is like joining a gang; of his own political beliefs, he says on crime he's conservative, on prostitution he's liberal. But at bottom, there's no denying the right-leaning strain underlying his social commentary. Even his economic outlook is Republican: Black people, he says, would do well to take their money out of rims and put it into stocks.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

East end of old Bankhead Avenue Bridge

This is the eastern end of the bridge, where it just stops in mid air. Here is the aerial photo of the same bridge. Obviously the the street that leads up to the bridge from the western side is closed.

Old Bankhead Avenue Bridge

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by jeff_robertson.

Old bridge over the railroad tracks near downtown Atlanta. I don't know if this part of Bankhead Avenue was ever US 78 (Bankhead Highway) or not.

Historic Stone Mountain - Open All Year

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by jeff_robertson.

There are signs like this in various parts of DeKalb County, which seem to be almost deliberately placed where tourists are the least likely to ever see them.

This particular one is at Linburn and Main Street in downtown Tucker, and can only be seen from Linburn, which is the lighter travelled of the two streets, and while travelling in the most unlikely direction possible. It points down Main Street, vaguely in the compass direction of Stone Mountain but with no indication of how to actually get there.

There is a similar sign at the somewhat more visible location of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road. The odd thing about that one is that it seems to suggest North Decatur Road is the way to get to Stone Mountain. This is odd because Scott Boulevard is at that point only a couple of intersections from becoming the Stone Mountain Freeway, and here is this sign suggesting that tourists take the backstreets instead.

Such a route would involve going through Scottdale and then either Clarkston or the Memorial Drive corridor, none of which are areas I would think the DeKalb tourism office would want to show off. (Then again, why the heck would tourists be in Tucker?) My only guess is that the sign predates the freeway's construction.

Maybe that part of Linburn street in Tucker used to be much more travelled than it is now, too.

Almost all the signs in DeKalb, even ones that are obviously new, look like they were designed a long time ago.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

laptops suck

This problem has happened again, and this time the thing is out of warranty. Ugh.

bloglines house cleaning

I have just removed the following form my subscriptions:

New Urban Legends
Boing Boing
Russell Beattie

I just don't have time to read these. BoingBoing had like 80 new items the list time I checked it.

To view Internet headers in Microsoft Outlook

Geez.. I had jobs doing tech support for Outlook for years, and I didn't know this until today.
Method #1: Right-click the message in the folder view, then choose Options.
Method #2: In an open message, choose View | Options.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Aperio Digital Slides

This is to microscopy what Google Maps is to cartography. Or what Microsoft's original satellite photo server seemed like in 1998 (say, whatever happened to that anyway?)

These microscope images are in the size range of like 50000 x 50000 pixels, many gigabytes in size, but here you can zoom in on them just like Google maps zooming in on the city of Atlanta. Or Fractint zooming in on the Mandelbrot set.

You can actually subscribe to a freakin' RSS feed of their latest images, too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The orchestral duh-duh-duh-duh

Is what I will refer to as the "Orchestral duh-duh-duh-duh" a sub-species or degenerate form of diggety-dank? You know what I mean, you geeks. Right at the end of the theme from Star Trek TNG, it goes "duh-duh-duh-duh".

That is one of the most commonly used/abused endings in, if not "classical", then at least orchestrated music. Without actually checking, I am almost certain that John Williams used it multiple times in Star Wars films.

And it sounds like a diggety-dank to me!

The Great War in Color

I'm speechless. (via Brandon)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Diggety Dank mp3 now Styx-enhanced!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, my ultimate diggety dank mp3 now includes everybody's favorite love song, "Lady" by Styx. Also thrown in is the Diamond Head version of "Am I Evil", inserted immediately before the Metallica cover that was already in the file.

Jeff Beck - Beck's Bolero
Led Zeppelin - How Many More Times
Stooges - Ann
Stooges - Ann (sped up like a 33 rpm record on 45)
Stooges - Ann (sped up like a 33 on 78)
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Genesis - The Knife *
Deep Purple - Child in Time
Styx - Lady
Led Zeppelin - Achilles' Last Stand
Diamond Head - Am I Evil
Metallica - Am I Evil
Ravel - Bolero

(* Phil Collins pounding out the dank? Can Don Henley be far behind?)

Wanted: Examples earlier than 1968. Non-ironic examples from later than 1983.

Note: Holst's "Mars the Bringer of War" doesn't count. Any rock song with a tritone ("Black Sabbath" and "Am I Evil" come to mind) is probably inspired by Mars and many of them are indeed diggety-dank, but a remotely faithful "cover" of Mars isn't. The rythym is just too choppy and disjointed (it's in 5/8 or 7/8 or some odd time like that) to do any head-banging or fist-pounding. If you can't picture the Bohemian Rhapsody scene from Wayne's World when you listen to a song, it ain't diggety-dank no matter how hard the drummer hits the snare. Cf. Sands "Listen to the Sky" (on the UK Nuggets box set), various live Zep recordings, assorted 70's prog bands.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The GNU Netcat -- Official homepage

Wow! I had no idea that NetCat had been taken over by the GNU people. Most interesting:

Featured tunneling mode which allows also special tunneling such as UDP to TCP, with the possibility of specifying all network parameters (source port/interface, listening port/interface, and the remote host allowed to connect to the tunnel.


IPipe ("internet pipe") is a program I wrote that is sort of like STunnel, except:

  1. It's written in Java and takes advantage of the SSL support that is already in Java. You can use keyStores, etc.
  2. Also because it's in Java, the code is very simple and easy to understand (the networking part, anyway. The GUI stuff was generated by NetBeans so I claim no responsibility for it).
  3. The SSL is optional. You can turn it off and just use it to forward plain, non-encrypted data from one TCP port on the local machine to another port on a remote machine. Sort of like that netcat-from-inetd thing that netcat's readme file talks about.
  4. It has a built-in GUI that displays data from one end of the pipe in blue, the other end in black, and non-ASCII characters as hex. Use of the GUI is optional, though.

Download Source Code

There is very little documentation other than what you see above. Read the code, it's not the complicated.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

as simple as possible, but no simpler: Mapping Google

Now, I'm sure that many of you old JavaScript hacks out there have known this sort of thing was possible for a long time, but it's very cool to see it (a) actually being used for something real, and (b) where normal users will see it.

Maybe Google is a big, sufficiently famous enough company to rescue DHTML and Javascript from being thought of as the tools of popup ads and get back some of the cred that has been lost to things like Flash over the years. Maybe.

Google Maps

I apologize for the language that was originally in this post. I try to keep this a family-friendly blog, after-all.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

IBM logo tags

I used to collect these things:


My freshman year of college, when the older generation of PC's, keyboards, monitors, terminals, etc. that had the silver metal tags was being removed, I would shamelessly pry them off of remaining University equipment and take them home in order to add them to my collection.

They were all identical except for the small model name or model number under the big "IBM". The computers, and IIRC the monitors also, had one tag on the front with the name and another on the back with the monitor. All PCs and monitors used tags that were the same size. The tag on keyboards was smaller.

Generic computer cases still have a space that is just the right size to glue on one of these vintage tags.

IBM clicky keyboards

Description, photo gallerys, and buyers guide for old IBM keyboards.

See also:

(via Brandon)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

My job (and my life) just really, really, changed

From: ------- ------
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 22:13
To: DEPT_Eng.CCM_Dev.All; DEPT_Professional.Services_Midtown
Subject: New Manager of Web Application Security

With ----'s imminent departure, I've been hounded by requests to know the game plan for replacing him. While we all know that ---- is indeed one of a kind and truly irreplaceable, I'm pleased to announce that Jeff Robertson has agreed to takeover ----'s duties as Manager of Web Application Security. Please join me in congratulating Jeff on this promotion. Note that it will be a month or more before Jeff can fully transition from his Tech Lead responsibility on Recurring Payments to the new role. In the mean time, work with --- -------- to schedule coverage from the security group for code reviews, design reviews and application assessments, but remember security reviews remain a mandatory part of projects, even if they may be a bit challenging to schedule for a while.

------- ------
VP of Engineering
Digital Insight
(Yes, I appreciate the irony in being Manager of Web Application Security while re-posting internal corporate emails on my blog. I took the names out, didn't I?)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Media Matters (Hot Jobs)

Claim: Women in Germany face the loss of unemployment benefits if they decline to accept work in brothels.

Status: False.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Collard Patch

Via BoingBoing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Definition of 'Seebeck'

Seebeck [si'bEk], vt.: for a large, official, organizational intitiative to suck similar but cooler individual efforts into its whirlwind and ultimately kill or cripple them, either intentionally or accidentally. "The work blog I was running on my desktop machine with Tomcat got seebecked by the new corporate blogging program". (from the Seebeck Computer Center at the University of Alabama)

Captivate Network

How do you ensure that strangers in an elevator are even less likely to talk to each other than they naturally are? Give 'em a freakin' TV to stare at!

Gee, Banking Can Be Fun!

The conventional wisdom that gripped the banking industry for the past decade is being upended. Not too long ago, the future of banking was thought to be personal computers, the Internet, ATMs, kiosks—everything but expensive branches. But now bank branches are sprouting up all over the Northeast—more than 200 new ones in New York City in the past two years alone. And for this boomlet, we should thank Commerce Bancorp, the upside-down bank.

Fametracker :: The Farmer's Almanac of Celebrity Worth

I found this site last night while trying to make sure that the guy from Terminator 3 was not the same as the Got Milk ("Aaron Burr! Aaron Burr!") guy. Turns out they don't look anything alike. Both slightly funny-looking, but in completely different ways.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I am the Jerry Lewis of web design

As in, my genius is more appreciated in France than in my own country.

It would be much cooler to be the Jerry Lee Lewis of web design, though.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

What is it about Bayou La Batre that inspires multiple people to write long, telling, self-examining blog entries after visiting it over Christmas? I feel like some kind of a slouch for not writing more about it here.


Germany gives choice between prostitution and unemployment

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.

Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

Other blogs have commented that this shows the moral bankruptcy of a country that would legalize prostitution. I think it just points out the inherent absurdity of paying people to not work, and ought to be enjoyed as the punchline that it is.

(via Michael)

I was always more into the X-Men, but this is still pretty cool.