Recently in The Internet Category

Goal #1: Blog More

I figure I should start out with the obvious one (and at the same time try to start to fulfill it).

I totally sucked on blogging in 2007. Most of all, it was a time issue, but I think I need to make more time in my life for things other than work, drinking and watching TV (more on those things later). Also, I feel I have lots of document about my life, which is the whole point of having this blog.

I also write for 2 other sites, which I have totally been slacking on.

First is my Dream Theater site I get lots of information in my RSS reader about Dream Theater, but never seem to actually put it up on the site. This has to start now and I even tried to be good about that by posting something today.

Second, I recently was made captain of Metroblogging Boston, a site about local things happening in Boston. I've finally recruited a little bit of help, so now I need to step up and start posting things myself. I am out and about in Boston often enough, I should really have lots to add here and its one of the big things I plan on doing this year.

So, three sites, three different areas of my life, all need to be documented more this year.

Amazon Unbox

I admit it, I love Amazon's Unbox program. Just a couple of stories of why I love it.

I have been rather sick much of this week. Being ill, I worked from home almost every day. I have a bad habit of keeping the TiVo going in front of me while I work. I get through lots of TV that doesn't need a lot of attention doing this. Due to spending a lot of time out of the house watching the Red Sox playoff games, I was WAY behind on my TiVos. Well, I transferred a bunch of episodes of Damages from my bedroom TiVo out to the living room and found many of them to be corrupt (I have all sort of issues with FX, need to call Comcast about that). I jumped on Amazon, clicked over to Unbox and quickly told it to send the broken episodes to my TiVo, Within an hour or so I had all three episodes I asked for. So nice and easy.

At the beginning of the TV season, I planned out all the shows I wanted to watch. Sadly, two shows I wanted to watch had other things in their slots, so I wasn't going to be able to watch them. I clicked over to Unbox and checked and they had the shows. Even better, I was able to to ask for a season pass for these shows (at a $0.10 discount per episode!). This means the day after the episode airs on TV, it shows up on my TiVo just like I had downloaded it when it aired (minus the commercials). So very nice.

Lastly, pretty much every weekend they have a sale. Ninety-nine cent movie rentals. I use this all the time. It's usually pretty good newer movies available (seen Disturbia, Blades of Glory and Rise of the Silver Surfer this way in the last few weeks). It's gotten so useful, I am starting to consider getting rid of Netflix. Nice and easy and CHEAP!

So, click below and go get some cool stuff from Unbox!

Fun Hops

Gotta love network hops that look like this:

 5 (  2.112 ms  2.056 ms  2.082 ms
 6 (  623.154 ms  626.211 ms  625.662 ms

Amazon & TiVo

Announcement from Tivo & Amazon that you will be able to download movies from Amazon to your Tivo for either rental or to buy. Sweet!

RIP: Rob Levin aka lilo

Though I only knew lilo through random chatting on #joiito, it's very sad to hear about his passing. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

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Blogged with Flock

Flickr announces pricing updates

Over at FlickrBlog, they have been announcing all the new upgrades and pricing due to their being bought by Yahoo. Very cool. Now, I just need to actually go an purchase a full account.

Amazon Tech Support Rocks

Through what could probably be determined to be a large fault of my own, I ended up with 2 Amazon. This would not have mattered much except that I actually used both accounts in some way. Amazon has a WONDERFUL feature of being able to have accounts with the same e-mail address and different passwords. I think this is how this trouble started.

One account was linked to my Amazon Associates account. I use this for both this site and my Dream Theater site. I actually make a little money here and there from it too :) So, I need this account.

On the other account, I have my EXTREMELY large Amazon Wish List. Also, I have the credits from my Amazon Associates account applied to this account, so I even have a positive balance on this account.

Moving the whole wish list to the associates account seemed rather difficult. And moving the positive balance would probably be even harder. On the other hand, creating a new associate ID and re-urling all my sites would be just as little fun.

So, I e-mailed Amazon tech support and asked for some help. I asked if they could combine the 2 accounts, figured it was worth a shot. Well, I got a reply from them this afternoon that they have done just that.

Thanks Amazon!

Skype for Linux

Woah! I noticed someone posted about Skype earlier today. I have been hearing about it for a while, but I thought it was a Windows only thing. I later heard it came out for OSX, but still heard nothing about Linux, so I continued to ignore. Well, after today's post, I headed over to their web site and noticed that there is a linux version of Skype. Woohoo!

I downloaded the FC2 RPM which seems to have worked fine on Fedora Rawhide. I've got it all set up now, but no one to try it out with. So, if you have a Skype account, let me know, so I can play :)

GAIM and AIM Problems?

Anyone else having trouble connecting to AOL Instant Messanger via GAIM this morning? Seems to have started last night and has continued this morning.

Fun with GMail

GmailFS - Gmail Filesystem:

GmailFS provides a mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium. GmailFS is a Python application and uses the FUSE userland filesystem infrastructure to help provide the filesystem, and libgmail to communicate with Gmail.

This looks like this could be really neat. The only issue is that Google is supposedly starting to play authentication games now to block third party apps from connecting. Wouldn't it be in everybody's best interest for Google to write a full API for Gmail?

Yahoo to Trillian: Talk to the hand | CNET

First off, I don't like the way this story was reported. This is not a Trillian only issue. Though that may be the most popular multi-IM program on Windows, there are PLENTY of others. Just look in the open source area. Off the top of my head, you have Gaim, Gossip, Ayttm, Eb-lite, and many many others. I'm not sure if iChat does Yahoo, but if it does, its affected as well.

So, now to the heart of this. Why would a company like Yahoo want to block access to these clients? They claim its because of spam. Well, I personally have never gotten a IM spam since I stopped using ICQ and even those were few and far between.

This just does not seem like a smart move on their part. They claim they are going to continue to change their protocol as often as possible to keep clients from coming up with work-arounds. So, basically, anyone who does not want to run the official client is out of Yahoo for good. Well, what to do? Screw em! There are plenty of other IM networks out there, AIM, ICQ (which is sorta AIM these days), MSN, Jabber, etc etc. I would much rather use a network that is going to allow me to use any client I want than get stuck using a crappy client. I already have enough running on my desktop that the last thing I need is ANOTHER program to communicate with my friends. I'll just yell at the few people I know who are ONLY on yahoo and tell em to get AIM accounts if they want to talk to me. Seems to me (at least from my list) that AIM is the dominant protocol anyways, so making this change just makes Yahoo look even less attractive to use.

ChipX86 says Gaim already has a workaround in the works, but its limited in that you can't add and remove buddies. And with Yahoo's policy as stated in the article, it will probably only work for a limited time anyways.


I finally got a GMail account thanks to Suw. It's

So, far, I dig it. Seems to do a lot of things right. My biggest problem has been that there is a 6 character minimum on login names, so I couldn't be skadz. I've already gotten 12 invites to give out and all have gone out with a queue of friends still waiting for the next batch. Seems like I got a fresh 6 this morning after getting rid of my original 6 yesterday afternoon. I hope this means I will have another 6 tomorrow.

Still have to play with it some more, before I really give it a final thought on how much I like it, but so far so good.

RIAA Powered by Capone?

RIAA sued under gang laws | CNET

A New Jersey woman, one of the hundreds of people accused of copyright infringement by the Recording Industry Association of America, has countersued the big record labels, charging them with extortion and violations of the federal antiracketeering act.

Excellent. People finally fighting back using the law.

Bittorrent - The Ultimate Hippie Application?

I've been thinking about this for a long time and just never gotten around to posting it, so here goes.

So, a few months ago, I was looking on Lukas's LivePhish (not the official site, but a message board) that one of the recent shows was at I looked at this site and was amazed. People were posting all sorts of show from jam bands (and some others) up on the Internet. I always knew there was a trading community in the area of concert taping, but didn't really realize it had moved to the Internet as much as it had. Especially with high quality recordings being so huge, I would think it would be very hard to move the data around. This is the first piece where BitTorrent comes in.

BitTorrent allows a person to upload the data to a couple of users. As the peers get the data, they then are able to upload data to other users. It basically begins to weave a web of peer to peer data that can quickly disperse the load on one person's Internet connection to many people. This can expand quickly and have lots of people able to get the data quickly. This makes sending out shows much easier for the initial taper of the show.

So, why would I call this the ultimate hippie application? Well, it's based on the same principles a lot of hippies tend to follow. It's all about sharing and helping out. People are getting something from the one taper, but then are trying to help out everyone else by allowing people to download pieces from them. You could almost call it digital karma. You help people out and the next time around, if they get to the show before you, they will help you out. It all comes back in the end. I know this from experience, I actually had a show that I had yet to finish downloading and a quick message to the board and someone opened up a window and I was able to finish downloading the show. In turn, I always leave windows open after I finish downloading so others can continue to get good music from me.

Some of the site I like to visit on a normal basis are Sharing The Groove Message Board, and recently Live Music Archive at the Internet Archive. If you are a fan of live music, these are definitely some places you should check out and as one of the sites is named, Share the Groove!

Phony FBI E-Mail

Invoking the FBI to spread malware

One of these slipped through my spam filters. I had to read it about 3 times and look at the headers before I was sure it was something bad. This is definitely going to scare some people who are going to open the attachment right up to see what they got caught doing.

The Joi Posse

Fast Company has an article entitled The Blog of Things To Come which is all about Joi's online community.

I participate in this community via Joi's irc channel. It's a great place to hang out for lots of reasons. The biggest one is the people. Conversations like the one I last night are commonplace. Their are lots of interesting people who come from all different aspects of technology and from all over the world. We have people who are students, people who are CxO level people, people who are tech employees like me, etc. The great part is all of these different people interact like they are all on the same level. I can jump in to the channel, ask a question, get answers from all sorts of people who just want to help out. It's just a really great community to be a part of and I am glad that I am.

Stupid Spammers/Scammers

Got a whole bunch of these in my Inbox this morning:

Important notice

We have just charged your credit card for money laundry service in amount of $234.65 (because you are either child pornography webmaster or deal with dirty money, which require us to layndry them and then send to your checking account). If you feel this transaction was made by our mistake, please press "No".If you confirm this transaction, please press "Yes" and fill in the form below.

Enter your credit card number here:

Enter your credit card expiration date:

And below each of the two questions were boxes for me to fill in my credit card number and expiration date. Now, why would I have to do that, since they claim to have already charged my credit card? The funnier part to me? If you are going to try to scam me at least spell everything correctly!. Check out the spelling of laundry the second time they use it.

Find this

ICANN | Letter from Russell Lewis to Paul Twomey | 21 September 2003

Fuckin Verisign. That's all I can say right now.

Virus? What Virus?

I am amused by the notice of many people of the Sobig virus this morning. I only know about it for 2 reasons:

a) My spam folder is growing more quickly than usual
b) Someone is using one of my addresses to send it out, so I am getting some bounces.

Spam Assassin is a wonderful thing :)


I stopped by #joiito last night trying to help GG get on. Just chatted really quick, was sort of intoxicated, so not the best time for people to get an introduction to me :)

The thing I wonder about, is it ok for me to be there? Now, obviously IRC is open and all, but am I the kind of person who they are hoping to have on the channel? Is the channel strictly for the upper echelon of the blogging world (technical world may be a better way to put that).

I dunno, I guess it's fine if I hang out as long as I follow the rules and actually contribute to the channel instead of just lurking, I guess no one would have a problem with me being there. And I might get to meet some cool people too.

WiFi Woo!

Yay! Got my laptop up on WiFi at the BEA eWorld show. Will hopefully get a few chances to post some information as well as pictures today. I do have a full conference pass, but I am not sure I will have time to sneak away to any of the talks. We'll see what happens.

System Move

So, I spent much of the weekend (5 days and counting ;) moving all my Internet presence to a combination of a new hosting company and my home machine. Everything seems to have propegated out there now and things are flowing well. I had spent much of the week before preparing for this move, and amazingly everything seems to have gone rather smoothly. Now I just need to tell everyone I swictched addresses and all should be well.

Supernova ...

It seems like everyone and their brother is blogging the SuperNova conference out in Palo Alto today and tomorrow. You can find out some of the names here at the group blog. From there you can probably find a list of others who are blogging it as well. Sounds like some interesting talk going on at this point. Its nice to be able to "watch" a conference and "hear" what is going on. The even better part is hearing pieces from many people's perspectives. I saw some of this when Jeremy Zawodny blogged the pieces of PHPCon he went to (which can be found here), but have never seen it on this level. I wonder how promoters will react to this. At a conference like this one where decentralization is the main topic, I would think they will be excited about it. On the other hand, a show where people are attending classes and such, would there be a worry that less and less people would show up because this was being done? If I could attend all sorts of conferences virtually would I ever want to pay to go to one? On the other hand, if I am doing this, isn't it my duty (that may be too strong a word) to return the favor and go to conferences myself and blog them for the masses as well? All very interesting stuff to think about.


Just read about Googlism. It basically parses Google hits and looks for things like: "Thing you searched for is" and then spits out what Google "thinks" about this thing. Very interesting. I learned that I am a benevolent dictator. I would assume this was either about The Ytsejam Mailing List or The Dream Theater IRC Network.

DOS Block

Just saw a couple of announcements abou ta new version of the Apache DoS Evasive Maneuvers Module coming out. This is definitely something I want to check out. Basically rejects requests when it senses a DOS. This could be a very nice thing to have both on a large scale server as well as a home server (much easier to take out a little DSL link). This and adding in some things to block all the stupid script kiddie IIS attacks are on my list of things to do.

New Page

I set up in the news tonight. It's basically a news aggreagator of some of the pages I read on a normal basis. Going to extend it as I find more pages to read (and as I figure out RSS feeds for some friends sites). It was built using Rippy the Aggregator as its backend.


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