The 2005 Darwin Awards

OK… so maybe this doesn’t fall under “computer”… it does fall under “curmudgeon!” I have long called humans by the pronunciation used by the Ferengi on Star Trek, “hoo-mons.” These are cases of some “hoo-mons” that are muddying the gene pool! Here are the 2005 “Darwin Awards”:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a holdup in Long Beach…California…would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder….He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again… This time it worked.

And now…the honorable mentions…

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat slicer…He submitted a claim to his insurance company…The company…suspecting negligence…sent out one of its investigators to have a look for himself…He tried the machine and lost a finger…The chef’s claim was approved…

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space…Understandably…he shot her…

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar…a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped…Not wanting to admit his incompetence…the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride…He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital…telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies…The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days…

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train…When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit…

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K…put a $20 bill on the counter…and asked for change…When the clerk opened the cash drawer…the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register…which the clerk gave him…The man grabbed the cash and fled leaving the $20 bill on the counter…The total amount of cash he got from the robbery…$15…

7. An Arkansas man wanted some beer…So he decided to throw a cinderblock through a liquor store window…grab some booze…and run…Lifting the cinder block over his head he heaverd it at the window…Unfortunately…the window was made of Plexiglas…and the cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head…knocking him unconscious…The whole event was caught on videotape…

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store…a man grabbed her purse and ran…The clerk called 911…and the woman was able to give police a detailed description of the purse snatcher…Within minutes…the cops nabbed the suspect…put him in the patrol car and drove back to the store…The suspect was told to stand there for a positive ID…to which he replied…”Yes…officer…that’s her…That’s the lady I stole the purse from”…

9. The Ann Arbor News reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti…Michigan…at 5am…flashed a gun…and demanded cash…The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order…The man ordered onion rings…The clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast…Frustrated…the would-be robber walked away…

10. A man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street…Police arrived on the scene to find a very sick man curled up on the ground…throwing up…Police say the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline but put his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake…The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges…saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had…

iPodder, the new release is out!

iPodder, the cross-platform podcast receiver.

iPodder 2.1 is out! I am REALLY enjoying the podcast world! It is great to be able to program your own “radio” experience, by listening to things that you are really interested in. I like to listen while I am doing other things and “multi-task”, plus I find that it keeps me informed on happenings in the “techworld”. To check out great podcast possibilities from the “techworld” by checking out this link:

TechPodcasts

REALbasic 2005 for Linux

REALbasic 2005 (Now called XoJo)

REALbasic says:

“REALbasic 2005 for Linux provides a solution to two issues in the Linux market,” stated Geoff Perlman, president and CEO of REAL Software. “First is the lack of a good Visual Basic-like development environment and the second is the lack of desktop software for Linux. We believe Linux users can benefit from using REALbasic’s powerful, visual development capabilities.”

You can get the Public Beta to try it. Interesting. So if you are an ol’ time BASIC guy (shamefaced… like me.) Then, you, too, can hack out some code on Linux. Sounds like fun!

UPDATE: They have changed their name to XoJo.

Former Linux Architect Moves to Microsoft

This article:
Former Linux Architect Moves to Microsoft
gives me pause! The “main man” at Gentoo Linux, selling out to the “Evil Empire?!?!” What is the world coming to? Also, you have to believe that they are trying to learn what they can about “the other side” in order to take them out! I don’t like it. But then, they didn’t ask me.

I do believe, however, that it means that M$ is taking Open Source as a serious treat. It’s funny that mega-monopoly M$’s biggest competitor is Open Source!

Fedora Core 4 is Out!

Red Hat has announced that Fedora Core 4 is out and on the mirrors. At the same time, CentOS 4.1 has been spotted on some mirrors as well. While I like Fedora… I really, REALLY like CentOS! I mainly work with web servers, and since I am “server oriented,� I just prefer the less than cutting edge distro for stability. So, on my servers I will stick with CentOS. As far as Linux desktops… I like Linspire. Yeah, I know, it isn’t “truly free,� but it is cool. If you want a free, and similar-to-Linspire desktop, then go with free Debian Linux. It isn’t as easy to install as Linspire… in fact, NOTHING is easier to install as Linspire… but you can set it up… and once up, the “apt get� update utility allows you to keep it current. In fact, Linspire’s “CNR� client/server update and software installation tool is built right on top of “apt get.� So, go forth and play!

Censorship and Technology

Should we censor ourselves because a country like China doesn’t want its citizens to hear nasty words like “freedomâ€? and “democracy?â€? BetaNews reports today that: “Following the lead of competitors Yahoo and Google, Microsoft has blocked the use of words such as ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in some of its services for Chinese users – including its Spaces blogs. The move is likely to appease the Chinese government, which has strongly urged Web sites to self-censor themselves.â€? Should we “cave” to such requests? In a word, “No!â€? We shouldn’t refrain from saying exactly what we think. That is the beauty of the Internet, and blogging, specifically… if you don’t like what I say, you can comment, or you can write your own blog… but such “ominousâ€? concepts as freedom will still get through to Chinese readers even if the ‘net at large does try to appease China’s oppressive government. Freedom is like a virus… it is communicable, and it spreads!

We should continue to say what we think, be free to speak our minds, and engage in critical thinking! “Big Brother,â€? whether in China, or any other country, has no right to force “his” thoughts on the citizenry. I have found technology to be a force for freedom, and freedom of expression. The Internet, and its related technologies certainly is! And, by quickly, and efficiently, disseminating information, I believe it will continue to “spreadâ€? freedom of thought… even if some try and use censorship as the “cureâ€? to it!

So, come on American corporations… stay on the side of freedom… don’t take a stand against it!

More M$ Security Patches Coming!

Microsoft (which I like to shorten to M$, for various reasons) is preparing to release 10 new “Security Fixesâ€? this coming Tuesday. BetaNews says: “Microsoft on Tuesday will release patches for 10 security vulnerabilities, 7 of which affect Windows with a maximum rating of “Critical” – the company’s highest designation. Microsoft will also issue its monthly update to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which detects and removes malware. Aside from Windows patches, Microsoft Exchange Server will receive a fix for an “Important” vulnerability while Microsoft Services for Unix and ISA Server each will receive a “Moderate” security update.â€?

Can anyone still doubt that no matter how much M$ tries to fix it’s software, it is still horribly bug ridden and full of security holes? It comes from a culture at M$ of “we are Microsoft, we are right, we are in control,� meanwhile they let simple buffer overflow bugs slip through their quality control process… (I assume they have one!) Anyway, until we are all using Linux, and Open Source, we will have to put up with these shenanigans, I suppose. But you would think one of the richest companies in the world could do better! Wouldn’t you?

Mac on Intel?

I lot of folks are very excited about Apple announcing that they plan on moving to an Intel processor. Well, let’s put that into perspective! They also said that they are still a HARDWARE company! They have no plans to sell OS/X without a system. Don’t get the idea that you will be able to run OS/X on your beige box! However, what it will give Apple are much faster processors! Motorola has had a very hard time trying to play “gHz keep up” with Intel. Now, Apple can have MUCH faster boxes… and they still plan to sell those boxes. How long will it take until someone runs Windows on a Mac box? Not long… in fact, there was some talk of a “dual boot” environment. We’ll see. I don’t know that Apple would benefit from such a configuration. Now, how long will it take for an enterprising hacker to run OS/X on a “home built” Intel box? Not long! Then what? Well, Apple’s market share SHOULD go up… though it will be with them kicking and screaming! I don’t think they “get” true MASS marketing!

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