21 January 2008

O SHI-

Art. Lebedev Studio (an internet-famous group of balls-crazy and ridiculously talented Russian designers) has done it, AGAIN.

First there was the Optimus Maximus. The critics snorted and called it vaporware, the geeks (like myself) drooled in anticipation but were still skeptical, and the designers waxed poetical and starry-eyed.
A year or so late, and at five times the original price, it was finally released... and boy oh boy, was it cool. They also released several other projects and concepts based on the same design in the intervening time, too.
Now they've pulled out THIS monstrosity.


They call it the Optimus Tactus.
It's all one big display, touch-sensitive, TOTALLY configurable.
Ho-lee-shee-it.
The future is HERE, folks. And it's made in Russia...

16 January 2008

DSL Woes... (Happy ending)

Ho-lee-fucking-shit.
So my DSL connection went out about a week ago. Called AT&T, they sent out two techs who messed around with the phone box out in the jungle behind my garage, and fixed it.
Everything is fine for three or four days, just enough for me to get back into EVE, and THEN, everything goes pear-shaped. I call AT&T again, go through the same dumb 'smart' menu system as before, get some techs to come out.
The get here at 6PM, (typical) and proceed to check the box again. The box is fine. So they check the furnace room, (where some mad leprechaun carpentar put our DSL splice) and the cable to the phone box is fine.
"\0_o/" says the tech. So we go and begin the arduous process of tracing every god-damm phone line in the house... which was built sometime in the late 60s, I think, and was retrofitted with a second phone line about 8 or 9 years ago.
So we spend an hour or so tracing the three wires that connect our two phone lines to the phones in the house, one of which goes through three walls, (!) one of which is lying across our roof, (!!) and one of which is simply a winchester mystery wire. That is, it goes nowhere. (!!!)
By this time, the other tech has gotten there, and they both spend the next hour replacing and rewiring all sorts of crap, moving furniture about (with my hepl) and generally tearing the house apart to mke things work.
At 8:10, they leave, having fixed the DSL line... but having gotten QUITE a bit more than we all bargained for. I'll tell you what, these guys deserve every cent of overtime pay they get.
tl;dr- AT&T's tech people fucking rock. I am a damm happy DSL customer.

10 January 2008

Presenting...

My new cat! His name is Captain Spicy, but I think I'll just call him Captain or Cap. He's a brown tabby shorthair, 8 months old, which means he shares my birthday, more or less :)
He's a sweetie, very cuddly, and I think he'll get along just fine with Lily. We'll see in the coming days... he's based in my room for now, until he gets acclimated to me and others. Then we might try introducing the two of them.

Futurist fixation

An article in today's NY Times grabbed my attention:

"Analyzing the New Hampshire Surprise"
Pollsters and news organizations asked themselves how they failed to foresee Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s New Hampshire victory.

Excuse me... but forsee? What day and age are we in where people think that they should be able to look into the future at any given moment and know what's coming? It's called the future for a reason- We CANNOT see into it. We can make a reasonable guess, but at the end of the day, we don't know for sure, and never will.
Pundits and pollsters alike have no reason to accept some kind of onus, there's no fault here. We shouldn't expect predictions to be laser-accurate, only best guesses based on whatever knowledge the predictor has.
Besides, quantum mechanics essentially proves that reading the future will be impossible, anyway. The closest we'll likely ever get is something akin to the 'combat-prediction' algorithms Batou mentions in "After the Long Goodbye".

02 January 2008

Time to say goodbye.

One of my cats, Zorro, just died. He was hit by a car, on the street, very near my house. When I found him he was already dead.
He was a medium-sized, black, shorthair-siamese cross. He had green eyes, and was afraid of people in general... but not me or my family.
We gave him a second chance when we got him- he was really sick, and almost died... but we saved him, and we gave him a taste for chicken, which he always loved.
He slept with me on my bed a lot, and I scratched his stomach and let him get hair all over my polarfleece blanket, which he loved.

We're taking him to the vet for cremation in a bit, and then he'll go on the mantelpiece near my other two cats, who were with me for 17 years, from birth until 3 years ago, when we got him.

I hope his spirit finds happiness in the next world, because it's gonna take a lot to live up to the great life he had.