Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Even more bizarre than meat in a cone (a Lloyd's product, I believe, the Conewich, and it was in Orlando), is ManBeef. And, while you're at it, why not order yourself a bonsai kitten?

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Author Bill Bryson believes that trainspotting is an affliction, a bona fide sickness, most likely Asperger's syndrome. What then is one to make of a site like Where's George?
In the men's room at Denver International Airport, the sinks are equipped with commercial bathroom fittings of a rather unfortunate design. It may not be obvious from the pictures, but when you put your hand under the, err, bell end, an infra-red detector senses its presence and causes a gobbet of mucoid white soap (at least, one assumes that's what it is) to be ejaculated into your outstretched palm.

Friday, March 23, 2001

Dance lessons anyone? (Ken adds: Paul? Is that you? I'll tear out your sink and eat all your toothpaste if it is)
Ken and I once saw "meat in a cone" sold at an airport way south of here. I thought that was pretty scary, but this could be even more bizarre. Mind you, if I were a contributor to version 2.5 of the Linux kernel, I'd probably have a ready supply of both in one of these.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

For all of us frequent flyers, think happy thoughts while reading this informative guide to falling.
More on the Harvard "unbreakable" cryptosystem from Bruce Schneier.

Monday, March 19, 2001

Jesus now has a website and he is using it to find dates and to find women to bathe with. And I thought I was going to hell.

Sunday, March 18, 2001

"When endowed with profound religious feeling, your skin becomes transparent and your blood begins to turn a thin watery hue until the light of the sun streaming in the window passes entirely through you. At last, having evolved into pure spiritual energy, nothing remains of your existence but a small pile of dirty underwear, damp socks, rumpled garments, a driver's license, credit cards and perhaps a small nail clipper," or so says Joe Frank

Monday, March 12, 2001

All your 15 minutes are belong to us
Many of the readers of the associated mailing list, I'm sure, will recall a time when we were obsessed with enormous dump trucks. Well, I was channel-surfing last night and happened to catch the last few minutes of the Jackie Chan chop-sockey flick Mr Nice Guy when lo and behold, what did I see but a Euclid R280 driving over a bunch of cars and through a house? Cool.

On a similar note, I wish to report a sighting of, umm, a monster limo. This thing was in LA (although it lives in Phoenix AZ). Built on the frame of a Ford F350, this beast had a radically stretched frame, a "normal" stretch limo body on the front two-thirds, and a pickup-bed at the back. It was also hugely lifted and riding on 46" tyres. Natch, it also had a full set of KC Daylighters across the top of the cab.

Friday, March 09, 2001

My mom always told me that selling cold hoppy beverages at wrestling matches that involve vegetables and mayonnaise is just asking for trouble.
Action figures + Religious figures + A healthy dose of violence = Jesus Christ Superstore
Finally, a better way to find my keys, my missing socks, and route my calls appropriately.

Thursday, March 08, 2001

Clear some time people, there is a site of note. Ray Kurzweil is either a brilliant futurist, a hopeless LSD addict, both, or somewhere in between. He is in the Bill Joy camp of fearing what humanity will do with technology. Check out his AI site... the Brain and the Singularity sections are especially cool.
The Kallman Concern
Ken and I were discussing the Kallman Concern this week and realized that since the reprobates list is pretty much dead, in favor of the blog, this solves Joel's problem. Here's the thing, the reprobates list has been known to traffic some off-color content (stinky meat is the first thing that comes to mind.) Apparently, Mr. K would not want to open the email, but wait for someone else to open one of these HR-violation-laden emails and then tell him if it was safe to do so or not. Let's face it, if anyone from HR watched the average email flow, everyone would be fired.

But this blog solves the problem. There no obvious HR violation in the simple url, and if something looks especially nasty, you don't have to click on it. Better yet, you could go over to that new guy's desk, you know, the one that doesn't shut up on the cellphone and laughs like an elephant, you can go over there and use his browser.

Wednesday, March 07, 2001

If ever you find yourself arriving at hotbot, or --heaven forbid-- Ask Jeeves Kids and just don't know what question to ask. Look to the more sophisticated No comments:
While I was digging around looking for resources to read up on the online advertising business, I ran into a nice error. Let me know if it's fixed when you go there.
The emperor has no ad revenues. The abject failure of the practice of dependency on online advertising revenue as a reliable income stream appears to have claimed another victim.

I don't get online advertising. I don't get the whole deal with clickthroughs. We are constantly bombarded with advertising in all media, and compelling ads are assumed to create and reinforce our brand recognition. Why isn't it true that online advertising does the same thing? Why isn't it enough to know how many page impressions you get? What's the putative correlation between the effectiveness of the ad and the clickthrough rate? How does anyone know I did or didn't buy that car, or book, or TV or whatever, just because I saw an online banner ad and yet didn't feel compelled to click on it?

Oh well, toodle-oo, Yahoo.
There's gotta be a bazillion great punchlines, but right now I can't find a single damn funny thing to say about this. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
If I could figure out how to gateway SMS messages to this 'blog, y'all could get the "benefit" of my incoherent ramblings whenever the muse chose to visit me. Imagine - nonsense, rants, whatever, whenever.
Looks like Ian and I are both blogging at the same time. That's probably why we both posted entries talking about the Aimster/igpay atinlay thing. Oops.
Anyone who is familiar with my vehicles knows I have an old MR2 that I'm planning to dispose of soon. John F. suggests I take a leaf out of this guy's book. He has clearly been busy scouring the 'net recently, because he also unearthed a frightening example of life imitating art. We may have to send them a "cease and desist" order ...
I'm in SoCal (again) and it's wet and rainy and cloudy (again).

I've been here three times in the past couple of months and it's been crappy weather every time.

Last time I was here, it snowed in Santa Monica.

"It never rains in Southern California" sang America. But then, they also said they'd been through the desert on a horse with no name, so I'm not sure they're really in any position to judge.
Speaking of aimster, Fitz has kindly provided an interesting cross-over article. It appears that some craftly little buggers have come up with a Pig Latin plugin for aimster that encrypts filenames, and apparently RIAA is not allowed to decrpty info that passes along Napster or Aimster and thus cannot police Aimster.
Do you want to decode DVDs (CSS) using Perl in real time? I wonder if aimster can support a multigig file transfer.
No comments:

Monday, March 05, 2001

What Ken forgot to mention was the other very important linguistic transformations that is involved. This is our secret sauce, our competitive edge. (Ian - no I didn't; you didn't follow the first link at the bottom of my post ... ken)
It's not everyday that an amateur cryptographer comes up with a crypto-scheme to baffle and bewilder the folks at Fort Meade, but I am pleased to announce that Ian & I have devised a cryptographic algorithm of such brilliance, subtlety and complexity that it is guaranteed to be unbreakable. And I'm not just talking about some simple-minded, unworkable "disappearing key" one-time-pad-derivative fool's scheme like that dilletante Rabin concocted.

No, ladies and gentlemen. We've gone one better. This is not some cheap-publicity-stunt "disappearing key" nonsense. With our system we have dispensed with the key altogether.

Our new (patent pending) "keyless" encryption scheme combines a monoalphabetic substitution cipher with transposition and dispersion.

We can't say too much else about it right now because we are in talks with "a well-known software company from the Pacific Northwest" (one that has recently suffered from bad publicity in which it's founder, when talking on stage, likened the stability of its flagship OS to "the very bedrock of this fine city of Seattle", and was immediately struck down by a magnitude 6.8 earthquake) about licensing our keyless technology to them for inclusion in their next release (codenamed Windows XP. Oops. Guess I gave it away there!)

Heads up cypherpunks. There's a new sherriff in town, and he's cdnqacdnl cdnfcdnl cdszzcdnl!

So what's this cryptosystem called? We have given it a snappy & memorable name that playfully makes reference to the key underlying transformations involved. We call it "Opotthopirtopeenropay".

For more info on the complex linguistic transformations involved, click here and here.
A light dusting. That's it. A light dusting. I'm disgusted.

Saturday, March 03, 2001

Here on the East Coast of the United States, we are anxiously awaiting what may either turn out to be the snowstorm of the century ('s front page says:

Stormy weather pelts the South, heads for
the East Coast this weekend

Severe thunderstorms and flooding rain in the
South are the first attack of a system that will
bring a major snowstorm to the Northeast and

or nothing at all, since all the same site says on its hour-by-hour forecast for my area is that there's a chance of snow showers for a few hours between Sunday night and Monday morning. is the online presence of The Weather Channel (sidenote: I note with interest and not a little incredulity that their UK equivalent folded after only a few months of broadcasting on cable. This amazes me since the weather is one of Britons' favo(u)rite topics of discussion, and British weather is notoriously fickle and hard to predict. This being the main reason that British & European weather forecasting technology is the best in the world, and is probably also why the techniques for scientific weather forecasting were invented by a Brit, Lewis Fry Richardson. But I digress ...) and THEY are saying that the coming storm, which, incidentally, is now being predicted by more and more of their computer models, even those of which were previously saying it WOULDN'T happen, will "rival anything the East Coast has seen in the past Century".

It would be understandable if, say, Fox and CBS, or NBC & the Weather Channel disagreed, but the Weather Channel can't even maintain a consistent story across its various media outlets.

This may all seem like a storm in a teacup (had to try and work in that particular meteorological metaphor somewhere) to the Brits, since I believe that pretty much all weather forecasting in the UK is still done by the Government-run Meteorological Office, from their Cray server farm in beautiful Bracknell, the city of roundabouts. Here in the US, the spirit of free enterprise reins (rains?) supreme, and there are numerous, competing weather services, ranging from the Government's National Weather Service (which makes it sound as though they control the weather - and maybe they will one day what with all the talk of chemtrails and HAARP) to privately run outfits like Accu-Weather. Heck, every local news station it seems has its own super-duper Doppler radar system to show you animations of green and blue blobs moving around a map.


So, by the time most Reprobates read this (if, indeed, they bother), we will know one way or the other whether this turns out to be the Storm of the Century, or whether it will all just blow over like so many blowy-over things.

We apologize for the lack of a closing parenthesis.

Friday, March 02, 2001

Too much time is spent on web content. More time needs to spent on error messages when the page you are looking for just doesn't exist. It is also helpful is the webserver is a bit more interactive.
If a tree falls on the G.W. Parkway when it's rush hour, does everyone hear the sound?
According to CNN, the Taleban are going to destroy Buddha statues all over Afghanistan. In other news, the Pope has issued a decree telling all good Catholics to beat up Amish men and women and set fire to their barns, the Baha'i have been told to give any Quakers they encounter "a good shove", and the Southern Baptist Conference are going over to the airport in Shreveport, Louisiana to find Hare Krishnas and "get right up in their faces'n'stuff".

Seriously, we should just bombs these assholes back to the Stone Age ...

I wrote a killer post to this blog, hit "Post", and it cleared my text, and said:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80040e14'

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Procedure 'p_SelBlogPerms'
expects parameter '@PID', which was not supplied.

/Functions/, line 6

Aaaaaaaaaargh! I hate you Bill Gates!
You never know when you might fall in love with one of these girls.

Blog me up, buttercup

This is the Reprobates blog. I haven't quite figured out what relationship this thing is going to have with the mailing list yet, but hopefully that will become clearer as time goes by ...

Well, here's a clue: I suspect that there will be things like this that make their way to the blog that wouldn't make it to the mailing list, simply because they're not sufficiently, well, you know ...

Don't forget, there's all sorts of neato features already on the reprobates page such as the message archive and chat rooms'n'shit, and, call me a cynic, and sure enough I don't know, but I'd be surprised to hear that any of you are exploiting these wonderful features today ...

Anyway, drop me a line, let me know what you think.