Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gstdog on the Range

Nothing demands politeness and courtesy like a room full of guns. My friend John took me to the gun range last week, and we had some fun with a 9mm handgun and a .22 rifle. What struck me as fascinating was how incredible polite, courteous, and down right *slow* everyone acts--the store owners, customers, everybody. Nobody makes any fast movements, everybody thinks 2-3 seconds before they say anything. A guy brought in a gun he had bought at a gun show. The owner let him know that the sighting on it wasn't worth much and he was probably ripped off. The customer just paused, collected his thoughts, and then shrugged his shoulders and said "Oh....well, can you help me pick out a new one?" Any other situation, and this guy would have probably at least been pissed enough to grimace.

Anyway, enough about gun store culture and more about the guns. First up was the Jericho, a 9mm handgun produced by the Israeli Military Industries. Let me say-wow! I fired my fair share of air guns and paintball guns in the past, but nothing prepares your for the kick of a real weapon like that. Of course, John laughingly explained that the recoil on the Jericho was light and I was a pussy just for saying something about it. A 9mm handgun is pretty small compared to a .45 caliber gun, but I'll save that for another day. My first several shots were missing to the right, which meant I wasn't squeezing the trigger smoothly. I loaded in another clip, made a few adjustments, and fired. Much better the second time. I'm not going to win any sharpshooting contests, but I can definitely hit a man in the chest at 10-20 feet (which from what I understand, is all you really need to be able to do since that's the range of any defensive gun fire in your own home).

Second up was a .22 rifle. Now that was fun. This brought me back to the days of sharpshooting in Counter Strike or Grand Theft Auto. There was zero recoil, and with the scope, I could easily put a cluster of shots in a tight range at 50 feet. I'd love to try my hand at 200 feet, but I'll have to find an outdoor range for that one. Anyway, loading the rifle is incredibly easy. The bullets just slide in the side of the rifle, and the you can fire off ten shots. Everytime I squared up to fire, a smile crept onto my face--it's just too damn fun to shoot.

This is the exact opposite feeling I had with the 9mm handgun. Everytime I picked it up, I could just feel the "death" coming off it. Now that probably sounds extreme, but I was nervous every time I fired. Heart rate up, triple checking everything, and then complete focus and no fooling around.

Of course this got me intrigued about stopping power. What's the right gun to own when it comes to defending your home? Check out this article written by the FBI on the mechanics of handgun wounding. Apparently, shooting the head is the only way to take a man down, regardless of the caliber of the gun. Something about reading a phrase like "the human target can be reliably incapacitated only by disrupting or destroying the brain." Uhh....Shaun of the Dead anyone?

So what does all this mean? For starters, I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable around guns. I can quickly check a gun to see if it's loaded and remove the magazine and any spare rounds. As far as owning a gun, the jury is still out. With kids in the house, a handgun seems so dangerous--they're designed to go off with just the slightly tensing of a finger, and that's a recipe for disaster. Maybe one day, after I get some more training on gun safety. In the mean time, gstdog will be reading up on Smith and Wesson's Tips for Firing so he can shoot the radio out of the terrorist's hand before he has a chance to call for back-up (...nothing like aiming for the hand and hitting his leg--yeah, like I said, I got better).

You're a marked man Jack Sparrow....er, I mean Ken Denman

[For the record, I'm tired of our inside joke about porn, so I refuse to reference that at the beginning of this post--wait, crap, I just did--DAMNIT. Last time, I swear.]

When Roy Disney decided to go after Eisner and the Disney board a few years ago, I was thrilled. For starters, as a Disney stockholder, I was glad that someone with some authority was challenging the recent decisions of Eisner. Come on--$5 BILLION for Fox Family Channel??? Anyway, I was also excited because I loved the intrigue of boardroom politics. Of course, the media painted Disney as a savior of the company's heritage and values, and I bought into it hook line and sinker.

So what's the relevance? Turns out ol' Roy is less a savior and more a pirate. He and his holding company, The East India Trading Company...wait, no....Shamrock Activist Value Fund has a new investment strategy. Find a company that has great potential and a weak leader, buy enough shares to get a seat at the table, and then use your clout to oust the CEO. Ken Denman, CEO of iPass, has this to say:

"They've made it clear that they shot Eisner ... and that they can dance on my grave anytime they want."

Nice. The author of the article said it best: "Stay tuned. Maybe Roy Disney and Gold are true reformers. Maybe they do have a better plan than Denman for iPass. Or maybe they took too many trips on that ride, Pirates of the Caribbean."

[Update: regardless of what yojay may have told you in his mini blog, gstdog is alive and well. And yes, I am working on an incredibly mind-blowing post that is worthy of being described as the greatest of all time. But it will have to wait another week or two. In the meantime, please enjoy the return of my normal quality articles, which tend to be more relevant and entertaining then posts about video games and comic strips.]

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Best way to upgrade?

...break your current PC.

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

I have been looking for a new motherboard, since mine got fried last night while I was installing my new video card. Bad news is that my new video card was an AGP 8X to go with my motherboard. Now that I need a new mobo I am kind of stuck getting an AGP8x one instead of upgrading to PCI-Express, unless I want to sell my new videocard and buy an even more expensive one, PCI-E flavor.

I guess it will save me money in the long run. In the meantime, here is a pretty good link explaining just what, exactly, is going on inside your PC.

I'm using this post as a bookmark so I can find this again, since I am posting this from Paulie's PC across town.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

You make one movie...

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this DVD on my desk.

Move over 'The Hoff'. There's a new cool in school. You may be big in Europe, but you got nothin' on my Central Florida office building. My normal routine got a little more normal today, when I walked into my cubicle to find this:

As a man of the people, I have always felt it to be a duty to make myself accessible to my public, my people...my fans. Keeping with my generous philosophy, I embraced this opportunity to warm a dear fan's heart and delivered the greeting you see below.


Holy f*ck of holy potato! Someone asked for my autograph! Are you kidding me?!! This is better than blogging the internets!1!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New tattoo...

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this photo.

So, I was thinking about getting a tattoo. I looked around and finally found one I liked. Unfortunately, the only example I could find was already tattooed on this guy. The swastika is nice but I can't quite make out what it says over his right eye.

Also, it looks like he was in a fight. I wonder why? I guess 'church dispute'.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Subway turnstiles generating electricity?

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

This idea is so cool, I don't really want to waste time giving it a half-assed introduction like I usually do. It doesn't even look like Japan is using traditional turnstiles, but mats on the floor that sense vibration. Why not make the entire floor of Grand Central Station out of that stuff? Or plant the technology on major roadways to power remote road lighting? What, do I have to come up with all the cool applications for a technology I don't really understand? Well, maybe you should read the article before I go on, so you know what the hell I'm talking about.

The ticket gate electricity generation system relies on a series of piezo elements embedded in the floor under the ticket gates, which generate electricity from the pressure and vibration they receive as people step on them. When combined with high-efficiency storage systems, the ticket gate generators can serve as a clean source of supplementary power for the train stations. Busy train stations (and those with large numbers of passengers willing to bounce heavily through the gates) will be able to accumulate a relatively large amount of electricity.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Best page in the Universe?

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this guy's blog.

Sometimes, a paragraph contains something good. Sometimes that paragraph is buried on a page on a site that you will never find on your own. That is what blockquotes are for. Sometimes context is needed for the good thing to be truly appreciated. I have no time for context, except to say that maddox (the author) doesn't like people with stupid ideas.

These are the same types of people who drop names in conversations without properly introducing the new characters first, so you'll be sitting at your desk waiting for your boss to leave so you can go home early, when suddenly a co-worker will drop by and just start talking about Jack or John or Dwayne, and you're wondering who the hell still names their kid "Dwayne," and when the exact moment was that you decided your life was for sale at an hourly rate of $16.75, give or take a shitty office party every year and a box of stale donuts in the morning, only to go home to a dumpy apartment in some shit hole state that people more successful than you glance at out of their window as they pass over in a private jet on their way home to bang their hot trophy wives.


...will not be topped today,but this game will drive you nuts, especially when you realize that you will never beat my score. It's called Chain Reaction.

Good luck, suckers.


Oh...and for the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this game.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Half-Life 2 Citadel - version 0.1

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

This thing reminds me of the Half-Life 2 combine/Citadel. I'm not sure what it is or if it deserves a blog posting, but it seems that a crapload of work went into it by an old German guy, so I can give it 15 minutes.

He makes skeletons which are able to walk on the wind. Eventualy (sic) he wants to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.

You can barely tell here, but the black wall moves a little bit like this thing in the video. I spent quite some time looking for a video on Google and YouTube of the Citadel in action, then I realized I needed to get on with my life.

CONCERNED - Half-Life Comic with my Full Support

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this comic.

Have you ever gone over to a friend's house to eat the food just ain't no good? I mean, the macaroni's soggy, the peas are mushed and the chicken tastes like wood. So, you try to play it off like you think you can, by saying that you're full, but your friend says "Mama, he's just being polite. He ain't finished, uh-uh that's bull".

Well, we don't have that problem today. This is good stuff from the inbred world of on-line gaming. When you spend as much time with Half-Life 2 and it's Terror-SWAT mod, Counter-Strike, as I have, you find some truths.

  1. I should be a whole lot better at these games than I am.
  2. I blame my inferior hardware.
  3. A comic like this is just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lazy Town Songs

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

[On a side note, I didn't realize my co-editor yojay had taken the extreme and automated the new required phrase. Kudos. And it happens to be very appropriate--the girl in reference is underage and that's not how I found this stuff.]

"Yar Har fiddle-dee-dee. Being a pirate is alright to be. Do what you want cause a pirate is free. You are a pirate." So, anyway, that phrase has been stuck in my head for the past two days. All because of a truly bizarre, creepy kids' show known as Lazy Town. The best way to describe it is 12-year-old girl with pink hair, a guy with a fake mustache, a guy with a grotesquely large head, and puppets--creepy putters that look like animatronic robots with skin stretched across their faces. Yeah, my kids love it.

So here's what got me started:

Yes it's catchy, and yes, YTMND has completely embraced it and it's mantra for digital piracy. Of course, as fun as that song is, this following one has become quite the cult phenomenon:

There is so much more to show you, but I'll save it for another post. I think I may have to get the soundtrack for the car.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

So this is why no one reads our blog

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

A persistent theme among people writing about the social aspects of weblogging is to note (and usually lament) the rise of an A-list, a small set of webloggers who account for a majority of the traffic in the weblog world. This complaint follows a common pattern we've seen with MUDs, BBSes, and online communities like Echo and the WELL. A new social system starts, and seems delightfully free of the elitism and cliquishness of the existing systems. Then, as the new system grows, problems of scale set in. Not everyone can participate in every conversation. Not everyone gets to be heard. Some core group seems more connected than the rest of us, and so on.

There. Now I feel better. Of course, gstdog needs to explain to me why we're not using RidiculouslyEasyGroupForming to drive traffic. I could explain it by saying that I never knew it existed until now, but that's because I spend most of my time surfing for porn and who wants to admit to that? Of course, there's always MEATBALL PeertoPeerSyndication.

I'd say the biggest drawbacks to these ideas are their long freaking names. In the time it takes me to say their names, I could have painted a picture...of a guy...with a big knife.

Preaching to the choir..bitch!

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

Imagine the bliss of IPv6 telematics, mobility, autoconfiguration, "mandatory IPSec" encrypted traffic and enough IPs to globally address everything with a battery or even a reference to a snippet of code for the world to access. Now imagine your firewalls and IDS sensors being blind to IPSec or even just cleartext 6to4 tunneled traffic. Debunking many myths, such as IPv6 "built-in security", prior to the transition is key as we watch the beloved IPv4 become legacy, say goodbye to NAT and the 6bone and welcome more DNSSEC, tunnel brokers and distributed PKI firewalls?!

No fucking shit. That's what I'm talking about!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I love my HackBerry

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article.

"Because it's a handheld device, most people don't think it's something that can actually harm the rest of your internal network," D'Aguanno said. "But a Blackberry is not your average handheld. It's not just a PDA that's connected (to your network) only when you're in the office. It's a code-running machine that's always on and always connected to your internal network and has direct access to whatever you give it access to. And most company architectures allow it unfettered access to everything on the internal network."

It's only a matter of time before my company yanks the access rug from my Blackberry. No more Texas Hold 'Em King or Bass Master. Just so long as they don't take away my Blackberry Messenger. How else will I pass notes to my co-worker sitting to my immediate right in my next meeting?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One more reason to marry in a church...

...and not on South Beach.

For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this picture. In fact, I wasn't even on the internet. I took this photo in 2004, in a suit and my barefeet, like the rest of the wedding party and guests.

Password Hacking Made Easy

Update: Upon further review, all posts on this blog shall begin as follows: For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this...

[Insert edit] For the record, I was not looking for porn when I discovered this article. [/edit] A quick read of Fark this morning led me to an article on Ten Windows Password Myths. Sounds interesting, right? Well imagine my concern when I don't even understand what the hell the first myth is even talking about. "Many readers will be familiar with the weaknesses in LanManager (LM) password hashes that made L0phtcrack so popular." Uh, what?

Unfortunately, wikipedia failed me for a simple explanation. A quick search of "password hashes" led me to this wiki article which includes ASCII art and programming code--not exactly what I was looking for. Okay, so now I'm starting to feel really stupid. I'm apparently not familiar with the weakness of LanManager like many readers, and now I can't even seem to understand a wikipedia article. This is bad.

Since my normal search failed me (going to Google and putting the subject of interest in the search box followed by the phrase "wiki"), it was time to do the unthinkable--search the whole Internet. Ah, success! Read this great FAQ on password basics. Although, I'm ready to start hacking passwords now after reading the article. Funny how the best information out there is from the dark side. If you excuse me now, I'm going to go brush up on how to attack other computers anonymously.

Perfect Passwords

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Who wants a pick me up?

Flickr goodness...Infrared photography style.

The Bell Tower in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia. When you die, that is it. The myriad of biochemical systems that have to constantly keep reactions going to sustain life relax toward equilibrium. The whole system shuts down, stops to function as an organism as whole in the environment. We as people have partitioned out tracts of land to bury our useless non-functional bodies in elaborate expensive crates, marked by carved slabs of stone. But just because our bodies have relaxed to equilibrium, does not stop the world from slowly tearing the remaining matter back into dust. A cemetery just delays the inevitable. We live for just a mere few tens of years, We can only remain buried for few hundred million, if you were lucky to fossilize. In several billion the sun will exhaust its fuel, and expand to swallow the earth whole in one gulp. All those atoms that make up your body will join the others to swim in giant ball of fire. In meantime, we keep putting bodies in the ground, and it makes for interesting photography, especially with the magic camera.