Gray Flannel Dwarf


Amarok is scaring me.

I’ve had Amarok playing my collection on shuffle for the past 48 hours or so. Mostly pretty usable, although hearing a song by Buena Vista Social Club immediately after Rollins Band was a bit weird.

But not as weird as this, per my page:

Sublime – Seed just listened
Jeff Buckley – Nightmares by the Sea 5 minutes ago
Mother Love Bone – Stargazer 10 minutes ago

I’m guessing some of you might note the eerie coincidence there.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:41 pm

getting your rss-glx back

So, I dunno if this happened to anyone else, but after grabbing my latest batch of updates from Fedora, which included rss-glx and rss-glx-screensaver, I noticed that my screensaver no longer kicked in. Looking closer, it indeed was one of the rss-glx screensavers, Lattice. I also noticed that downgrading did in turn return the screensavers to me.

Now, according to the Changelog I found, they renamed the rss-glx screensavers, appending such text to each filename, i.e., rss-glx-lattice. Well, I figured that this was dumb, I was surprised that this hadn’t been taken into account w/ the hacks file. Such thoughts were immediately followed by the realisation that no, it was probably something on my end.

After much examination and having nearly entered a bug, I figured it out.

Long story short: my ~/.xscreensaver was still pointing to the old name. I thought about manually editing the file, but decided that it was easier just to wipe the thing out and let it be regenerated.

So you out there, if you come across this weblog entry, trying to get your rss-glx screensavers back, in your Fedora 7 install…just wipe out your local config and be done with it. I guess you probably could edit the file too and s/lattice/rss-glx-lattice — but you’d probably have to do it for all your rss-glx screensavers. Not worth it.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:58 pm


Back in Syndication

So, here I am, several years after the weblog thing took over the intertubes, once again trying to get into the whole RSS/Atom feed thing. Maybe all of you folks over there on the right side of my weblog will start getting visits and comments again. It’s not that I’m avoiding you, it’s that I actually just never look at that thing.

When I first took a look at syndication, I started using Sage back in 2005 to try and get a handle on things, but somewhere along the line, windows were closed, browsers were upgraded, systems were rebuilt, and Sage kind of fell by the wayside. In any case, Sage is what I am going back to for now, mostly because it is familiar, however it just feels kind of “bleh”, and I can’t put my finger on it. I think part of it is my whole experience with syndication.

To me, syndication has always been so two-dimensional. I think that covers it well. You end up with this long list of things that you may or may not read. And then there’s the taxonomy. How do you organise them? Yes, I can regionalise or alphabetise them, put them in some sort of Trivial Pursuit-esque categories, or put the ones I most often frequent near the top, but none of those always fit the bill 100% of the time.. For example, what if I wanted to, hypothetically, track an RSS feed from a local newspaper about the NFL, something which has my avid interest for some, but not all, of the year. How do I categorize that?

Now, Sage pilfers some namespace in my Firefox bookmark, and has a functional similarity, so maybe that’s a big part of the influence in my thinking. But really, it gets to a second part of the way i mentally parse current syndication methods out there on the web — I can’t figure out the best way they should be handled by the end user. A standalone application seems way too heavy. This Sage bar i have over on the left-hand side of my browser sure takes up a lot of real estate… and then while there are plugins for mail applications to handle feeds, that just doesn’t feel right for me either.

I think the perfect RSS/ATOM feed tool for me would:

  • Allow tagging of the feeds themselves and generate some sort of tag cloud that I could click on, with dynamically-sized tags based on the number of feeds in each
  • Pop up, something like Mugshot when a feedscan is completed, and have a built-in “decay” that would remove older feed content from the pop-up view, (but save it in another more static/traditional view)
  • For the most part otherwise stay out of my way, hidden in a systray icon or something, until/unless i wanted to see it. Maybe the icon could change colour if there was new content, but that wouldn’t be a priority.
  • Highlight misbehaving feeds in the listview (which is also usually hidden) to quickly identify those that are not responding, or 404-compliant, etc.
  • ….

Not sure what else offhand, but I will try and keep this list updated. Maybe something like this exists — does there exist an rss feed which features self-tagging of the feeds themselves (versus something like Technorati tags)? That’s kind of hard to look up on Google, but I wasn’t able to find much.

Tags: , , , , , , , — cswiii @ 11:37 am


Orkut it out!

I couldn’t tell you the last time I had logged into Orkut before today. I was surprised I even remembered my login. However, as my inbox got deluged with over 100 “friend requests” from a bunch of gmail spams — the addresses all of which ended in 8080, interestingly enough — I decided to do it again.

Now, Orkut having become the armpit of portuguese spam, that’s nothing new. However, this latest effort seems to be pretty blatant. I dunno, didn’t see a lot else out there about this latest attack, so maybe it’s new. I’m guessing the 8080 is part of the random email address generator that was set to something static.

What’s most interesting (and annoying) about it all is that there’s no mass/multiple select option in orkut, ala myspace (and presumably facebook, which I’ve never bothered joining). Orkut used to be the Next Big Thing with regards to friend-networking. Looks to me like it’s basically been abandoned, now.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 7:50 pm


Leading is Fundamental!

Insomuch as one might be able to swallow something published by Mother Jones w/o a little bit of salt, here’s an interesting article on Hillary Clinton’s evangelical connections.

They do turn an interesting angle on Tillich and Niebuhr, in this one. Kind of curious, over all.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 12:37 am


Various techy things

First of all, if you have any need to do any sort of linux system management, or if the idea even sounds remotely interesting, you really ought to get the func. Pretty terrific, dare I say, suite of functions designed to be a low-overhead, highly-functional system management tool.

In other news, work is getting busy again, but it’s amazing how much more well-oiled some things are. Specifically, this is the first time that I really have seen some sort of thing resembling an SDLC coming together, and the benefits are being reaped. That I got to see a nicely designed spec meant that I got to put together a nicely defined set of test cases. That I got to put together a nicely defined set of test cases meant that I got to tear some shit up — in a good sense. Yes, lots of defects have thus far been written, but the fact that I have this nice suite of things I downright expect to happen or understand to be the requirement implementation means I can get through a wide array of testing, covering a huge swath of the feature, without having such a large pit in my stomach thinking that we’ve missed something completely.

Now, it is true that we’ve had a fairly large number of test failures. Also, there have certainly been defects written that were certainly missed in the test case suite. But most can, if you stretch it a bit, fall into one of these existing cases. Quite simply, the fact that we were proactive and were able to generate this suite of tests means we’re spending less time running around being reactive and trying to play catch-up.

Talking to a colleague of mine today about this, he — a developer, no less — noted that, if the process was really working, there wouldn’t have been so many tests failed in the first place, because development would’ve seen, read, and grokked the cases and thus them into consideration when coding. And he’s right — that’s a prime example of where QA should be recognised and implemented as defect prevention versus defect detection. But you can’t win them all, and in the end, I’m a whole lot more pleased this time around, so far anyway, than in efforts past. As my seven-month old is quickly learning, you have to crawl before you can walk.

I am certain I sound like a broken record at work, with a mantra revolving around the notion fact that QA != Testing. But I’ve spent far too long in “QA” with people trying to throw the “tester” hat on my head. I just hope that, this time around, we see the real fruits of our labour result in a bountiful harvest.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 11:19 pm