August 22, 2003

Yahoo! Korea Blog Service Launched

Well, I can't read the language at all, but Yahoo! Korea launched its blog service this week.

Apparently blogs, message boards, avatars, and all stuff related to on-line communities are big--really, really big in Korea.

Mmm. Momentum. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 12:00 PM

August 21, 2003

Lies Google Tells Me

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Google seemed to think that one of my blog entries is the best match for the search "Schwarzenegger for governor"

In the comments, a crowd of people came to chide me for bashing Google. I suppose I deserve it, since I've complained about PageRank on more than one occasion.

But at that time, I missed the fact that Phillip Winn noticed that removing the word "for" from the query changes the results.

So let's look at this closely. The first screenshot on the right (click to enlarge) is from the first search on Google. Notice what I've circled in red using my high-tech crayon. For those who can't read it, it says:

"for" is a very common word and was not included in your search. [details]

You'd expect then, that removing "for" from the query should produce the same results. After all, Google is telling me in no uncertain terms that they're ignoring "for" in my query.


Try it yourself or look at the second screenshot no the right (click to enlarge). Notice that the result are different. Yes, I'm still in the results, but it's a different set of results with a different order to it. The number of documents matched is even different.

They're not ignoring the word "for" in my query. It clearly factors into the method they're using to produce those results.

This got me wondering what other lies Google tells? Have you run into any?

Posted by jzawodn at 11:51 AM

Contract Web Designer Needed (Bay Area)

I don't use my blog as a job board very often, but what the hell. If you know of a good web designer (someone who actually knows CSS and isn't afraid of dealing with a template-based content management systems) or if you are one and live in the Bay Area... please let me know.

A company that I do a lot of work with is looking for someone who can work on a contract basis to redesign several new and existing news and technology oriented web sites.

A good candidate will be local to the San Francisco Bay Area and have existing on-line work as well as references.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:20 AM

You know it's a busy day when...

You haven't even thought about touching your aggregator until after midnight.

Oh, well.

Better busy than bored, right?

Posted by jzawodn at 12:06 AM

August 20, 2003

RSS Discovery Sucks

After spending most of the day on the problem of "how to find the RSS feed (if there is one) given a URL" I've come to the conclusion that it's a pain in the ass.

I have a much better appreciation for the pain that aggregators developers have been thru. And that includes Feedster, Technorati, and others who have the same (or similar) problems.


Posted by jzawodn at 11:59 PM

August 19, 2003

Dumb things heard around the office...

If George Carlin visited Yahoo for a day, I bet he'd have a field day with the stuff I hear on a regular basis.


For example, there's a certain class of people who seem to believe that the only word they can use to begin a conversation is: So.

I'm not kidding you. They use the word to begin conversations and then at the beginning of every 2nd or 3rd sentence. It's like they're trying to fill some sort of bizarre quota. Given how little meaning the word has, it just bugs the hell out of me.

So, what are we going to do about these core dumps?
So, did you get that e-mail?
So, how's that module coming along?

So, why the hell do you say "so" all the time?

That's what I ought to ask next time I hear it.

It gets worse. Some of them are so horribly afflicted with this disease that they even use it as a way of breaking into a conversation--you know, because they're too rude to wait their damned turn to talk?

Sss... So... So... Sooo, what do you think of these numbers?

It actually sounds like they have a stuttering problem. I have to try not to laugh when I hear this. I hear it every day and it just sounds stupid.

Going where?

And then there are the people who say things like "What are we going to do, going forward?

As if it wasn't abundantly clear that we're planning to "go forward" anyway?

Where the hell else would we be going? Do we ever not go forward?

Did you see my e-mail?

Some people seem to have a deep-seated desire to verbally confirm every e-mail sent--often within seconds of sending it!.

So, I just sent you a message about...
Hey, did you get that e-mail I just sent?

What the hell? If the message is that damned important, just pick up the phone, use IM, or walk your lazy ass over to the other person's cube.

E-mail is not real-time. It never has been. Why do you assume that your messages and received and read within 20 seconds? Some people actually work.

What's your damage, anyway?

So, what sort of brain damage do you hear around the office (or wherever you work)?

Posted by jzawodn at 09:31 PM

Need a MySQL 4.0.14 Sparc Solaris 2.6 Binary?

Since I went to the effort of building one, I figure I might as well offer it here. MySQL AB no longer releases builds for 2.6 (who can blame them?), so here it is.

Use at your own risk.

Oh, it thinks it is installed in /opt/mysql4 but you're clever and can trick it with a symlink. It won't mind.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:01 AM

August 18, 2003

A glimpse into my twisted little mind...

Anyone who knows me realizes that I'm a little, uhm, different than most. Long-time blog readers are well aware of this fact too.

(Some of you are similarly messed up. Like those of you who clicked on all those individual links--just to see if there was any porn. Yeah, you.)

This is a little detective story that I didn't know was a detective story until I got to the end. It really started a a year or so ago...

Actually, this post is really about Chyler Leigh, but you don't know who she is. And I didn't either. Well, I did, but I didn't know it was her. Sort of.

You see, I'm a fan of the movie Not Another Teen Movie. If you're a fan of the 80s teen movie (and related spoofs) genre, I highly recommend it. Any movie with John Hughes High School in it gets my vote.

At John Hughes High School, the students are the same as just about every other teenager in a teen movie. The popular jock, Jake (Chris Evans), takes a bet from Austin, the cocky blonde guy (Eric Christian Olsen), that he can transform Janey, the pretty ugly girl (Chyler Leigh), into the prom queen before the prom. But two people are trying to stop Jake from succeeding: his evil sister, Catherine, the cruelest girl in school (Mia Kirshner), and Priscilla, the bitchy cheerleader (Jaime Pressly). And all of their friends are the same as any other teen movie: Areola, the naked foreign exchange student (Cerina Vincent), Les, the beautiful weirdo (Riley Smith), Malik, the token black guy (Deon Richmond), the desperate virgins (Cody McMains, Samm Levine, and Sam Huntington), Amanda Becker, the perfect girl (Lacey Chabert), Ricky, Janey's obsessed best friend (Eric Jungmann), and Sadie, the VERY old undercover reporter (Beverly Polcyn).

Anyway, one more than one occasion I've been watching the movie and thought to myself, "Damn, not only is Janey Briggs cute, I could swear I've seen her before." For those of you who don't remember (shame on you), Janey is the main female character.

I'd never been able to figure it out. I assumed that maybe she just looked a lot like a combination of two actresses (or even non-actresses) that I've seen before. It's possible. If you look at her just right, you can see a bit of JLH and someone else in there. Maybe. But who?

Well, earlier today I was replying to a note from fellow goon Andy in which he made a reference that reminded me of the movie. And I, of course, needed the URL. So I headed over to IMDB to find it, 'cause that's what geeks do.

While there, I thought to myself, "Hey, they have a roster of all the film stars. I should find out what her real name is.

It's Chyler Leigh.

I wonder what else she's been in.


(IMDB rocks.)


Ah! She was in Girl's Club, the 2002 David E. Kelley Drama that didn't last very long.

Yes, I watched it. So sue me. The basic premise was a three cute 20-something lawyers in San Francisco. How bad could it be?

Three young women, best friends and roommates, work at a prestigious, male-dominated law firm in San Francisco and deal with a variety of courtroom cases, legal depositions and other professional and personal matters.

Anyhoo, that's when it clicks. "Oh, yeah! That's right. I remember watching that show and thinking, 'Damn, she reminds me of of JLH.'"

Now I know, thanks to the Internet.

And so do you.

But the strange thing is that I also remember thinking I saw her in something before Girls' Club. But nothing on her filmography is anything I'd have seen.

Then I remembered that it might have been JLH's co-star in her flop Party of Five spin-off, Time of Your Life. Ah, Jennifer Garner. Nope, not her either.

Now, those playing along at home will realize that Lacey Chabert was in Party of Five as the young Claudia Salinger. And she's also in Not Another Teen Movie as Amanda Becker.

Funny little coincidence, huh?

It took me about 30 minutes after she appeared in the movie to figure it out, 'cause she was a bit older than in Party of Five.

Anyway, back to Chyler...

In case you're disappointed that IMDB doesn't have any pictures of her (you know, so you could have an idea who I'm talking about--since you've never seen the movie or the TV show), never fear. If you search Google for Chyler Leigh you'll find several fan sites with pictures. Some are a bit more revealing than others. I shouldn't have been but I was surprised.

There. I told you I was different. Not only did I actually think and do this, I took 10 times as much time to also write about it and include pictures.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog posts...

Or maybe I'll figure out how Kevin Bacon fits into all of this...

Posted by jzawodn at 11:21 PM

Damn, I'm Patient

And I'll prove it.

I'm building MySQL 4.0.14 on an old Sun box.

How old?

It's a Sparc 20 with two blazing fast 75MHz CPUs!

SunOS Release 5.6 Version Generic_105181-23 [UNIX(R) System V Release 4.0]
Copyright (c) 1983-1997, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
pac: enabled - SuperSPARC/SuperCache
cpu0: TI,TMS390Z55 (mid 8 impl 0x0 ver 0xc clock 75 MHz)
cpu1: TI,TMS390Z55 (mid 10 impl 0x0 ver 0xc clock 75 MHz)
mem = 393216K (0x18000000)
avail mem = 389087232

I'll let you know when it's done, next week.

At least it's not short on memory... Imagine swapping too.

Update: Wow, it only took 2.5 hours. Well, it was a lot closer to 3 if you count ./configure time too.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:38 PM

Another Amazon Patent

Hey, the Europeans may be as dumb as the Americans when it comes to granting patents.

The European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich has recently granted a patent to Amazon which covers all computerised methods of automatically delivering a gift to a third party. This patent is a descendant of the famous "Amazon One Click Patent" granted in the USA, but with a broader claim scope than the original US version.

Read the rest of it.

Yeah. There's no prior art for giving gifts electronically, right?

I have a lot of respect for Amazon. I know good people at Amazon. I shop there more often than Yahoo! Shopping. But, damn, sometimes I really wonder.

Thanks to Justin for the link.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:30 PM


Dylan Tweney thinks the dot-bomb should be called the telebomb:

When I asked executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas about this earlier this year, they told me that ten times as many people lost jobs in the telecom sector as had been laid off in the Internet/dot com sector. In other words, the years 2001-2002 were the telebomb, not dot-bomb.

Yup. They blew a ton of cash during the boom.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:46 PM

Media Getting on Your Nerves

You're not alone. Karl's pissed too:

Who fucking cares why the power went down? Just fix it.
Everyone is suddenly a fucking engineer. Graphics displays suddenly pop up on every channel giving crash courses on how the power system really works. Democrats pointing at Bush; Bush pointing at a toasted cheese sandwich.

I love Karl. He reminds me of Brandt in his late college years.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:17 PM

August 17, 2003

FreeBSD Filesystem ACLs

There's a nice summary and brief tutorial on O'Reilly Net that discusses FreeBSD 5.x Filesystem ACLs.

Access Control Lists (ACLs) solve these problems. They allow more flexibility than the standard Unix user/group/other set of permissions. ACLs have been available in commercial UNIXes such as IRIX and Solaris (and in Windows NT) for years. Now, thanks to the TrustedBSD project's work, ACLs are available in FreeBSD 5.0-RELEASE and beyond. Much of the information below applies, at least in part, to ACL implementations on other platforms; however, you will want to look at specific documentation to avoid being tripped up by differences in syntax. There shouldn't be many, as FreeBSD attempts to conform to the latest POSIX.1e draft.

Cool stuff. Check it out.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:11 PM

Dating Class

Derek says:

There ought to be a class for people who positively suck at talking to members of the opposite sex.

And then continues with:

I mean, let's presume for the moment that you were not the sort of person to pick up that social skill-set during high-school. Where exactly are you going to learn it in today's society?
First impressions, especially on the topic of romance, are so terribly crucial, and if you screw it up, it doesn't matter how much chemistry you and the other person might have had if given the chance, it'll all be for naught because the first impression will have already been blown.

(See also: I Need To Think Like A Single Guy and Quantifying Derek's Lameness.)

And then goes on to discuss the problem of today's "dating scene," including the lack of any good feedback when you're rejected.

I certainly feel the pain. Or at least I used to. A long time ago I mostly gave up and decided that anyone really worth spending my life with wouldn't be the sort of person who's gonna blow me off after 20 seconds of conversation.

The fact is, every significant dating relationship I've had (or could have had) involved first becoming pretty good friends with the person before real dating kicked in (or would have kicked in--but that's another story).

So that's my recipe, for better or worse. I don't really go to bars or parties or participate in the stereotypical "dating scene." Remember, I'm a geek. I have an aversion to big groups unless I'm standing in front with a microphone. I'd rather stay at home and read something. Or go to a movie with some friends. I really don't need all the fake pressures, expectations, and other bullshit that goes with the dating scene. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm a little surprised at how many people do put up with it.

Maybe that's why and Yahoo! Personals are making so much money? Enough other people are sick of it too.

Of course, living in Silicon Valley and hanging out at the gliderport aren't the most fruitful ways to meet single women. But that's life. I knew that (on some level) going into this. And that's fine, 'cause I'm really not in a hurry. I have no deadlines to meet.

Come to think of it, I've really never understood the folks who are in such a hurry to find and hook up with their soulmate. Not to pick on women, but I knew several in college who were in college to "get an Mrs degree" rather than to learn the advanced skills and concepts required to get a nice job. That's all well and good, 'cause people are free to do what they want. But it always struck me as a little... I don't know, dirty maybe? Misleading?

Amusingly, none of them are married yet, but most of my other college friends are. Trying too hard, maybe? I don't know.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:33 PM

Debian Stable Backport Packages

Ever wanted to run packages from testing or even unstable on your stable Debian servers? Adrian Bunk's backport collection does the trick. Add this to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb woody/bunk-1 main contrib non-free

And you'll be good to go. New kernel. New SpamAssassin. Lots of new stuff. And no odd dependencies and hassles to deal with.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:19 PM