The short-form week of 14–20 Mar 2011

21 Mar 2011

The week in review, 140 characters at a time. This week, 97 messages in 76 conversations. (With 26 favorites.)

This document was created automatically from my archive of my Twitter stream. Due to limitations in the Twitter API and occasional glitches in my archiving system, it may not be 100% complete.

In a conversation that started on Friday at 04:50pm

Spring in New England:—@ndw
@ndw Best Picture Ever.—@lizfraley

Monday at 12:31am

The privacy gained from https w/ Facebook is similar to the safety gained by always using condoms when having sex with vampires .—@mattblaze

In a conversation that started on Monday at 02:15am

Last day before I am out of here together with @seignet and Tom. I know it, but have not come to terms with it. Tomorrow it will be clear.—@annevk
@annevk @seignet have a great vacation! Talk to you again in, what, June? Lucky so-and-so...—@ndw
@annevk Have a good vacation!—@hsivonen

Monday at 02:45am

RT @alblue RT @acangiano: Circular logic is the best type of logic, because it's circular.—@0xcafebabe

Monday at 04:07am

Usually when people destroy unattended stuff we call it "vandalism". At train stations we call it "the security services".—@charlesarthur

In a conversation that started on Monday at 09:59am

Wondering if anyone is working on translating the HTML5 specification into English?—@JeniT
@JeniT a collaborative effort could try at The more people contributing, the better.—@karlpro

Monday at 10:05am

The earthquake shortened Earth's day by 1.8 microseconds, so don't expect me to get everything done this week.—@badbanana

In a conversation that started on Monday at 10:21am

I've had mostly great experiences hosting my sites with #dreamhost, but down today. So, no email, etc. for now.—@noahmendelsohn
@noahmendelsohn Seems to be back up now.—@ndw

Monday at 10:53am

"I run an innovation and ideation firm..." OMG. Unsee! Unsee!—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Monday at 11:40am

Weekend project: office makeover.—@ndw
@ndw Why is the second monitor not in the picture?—@abdelazer
@abdelazer Diamond USB driver turned out to be buggy, would crash when disconnected. Might be fixed now, but haven’t risked trying again.—@ndw
@ndw happy you didn't say "I don't have one"—@abdelazer
@ndw I see your monitors-on-no-longer-used-tech-books and raise you one—@abdelazer
@abdelazer Nice. Assuming the driver doesn’t blow up on me, I’ll put together a better stand.—@ndw
@ndw wow. I own at least 4 of the books in your pile. Same editions and all. Cannot recognized the lower and higher ones. #Classics—@MarieBilde
@MarieBilde For the curious, I added the titles and authors as notes on the Flickr page.—@ndw
@ndw cool!—@MarieBilde
@abdelazer Damn it, now you’ve made me want to investigate again. I wonder if the driver’s been updated?—@ndw
@ndw At you'll know who to blame when you get a nice kernel panic. Good job @abdelazer !—@gcarothers
@gcarothers @abdelazer Oh, DisplayLink driver 1.6 beta 3. What could possibly go wrong?—@ndw
@ndw those curtains gotta go man! ;)—@thebrianmanley

Monday at 12:59pm

RT @slashdot Kinect Self-Awareness Hack—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Monday at 02:27pm

What think of my new tech site logo? - too subtle?—@shelleypowers
@shelleypowers *snicker*—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Monday at 03:37pm

spying The URI Is The Thing on @ndw's wall made my day!—@psd
@psd I promise it’ll come back out from behind the monitor if the monitor sticks around!—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Monday at 03:44pm

Since when was 14/3 even ~= π?—@ceri
@ceri Since, uh, never? Or maybe it only works for *really, really* large values of π. On the other hand, 355/113 is pretty good. #piday—@ndw
@ndw Yeah, so how is it π day?—@ceri
@ceri Ah. *chuckle* Over here we write 3/14 which at least bears a surface resemblance to π.—@ndw
@ndw :)—@ceri

Monday at 03:48pm

"Do not check in code that calls this function" Heh. debug:whereami makes clever use of try/catch and fn:error—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Monday at 04:05pm

Powered USB hub doesn't charge my Tab. That must be some new, unusual definition of "powered" that I was hitherto unaware of.—@ndw
@ndw Yeah, it's the same stupid iPad "high power" USB nonsense.—@gcarothers
@ndw I think the word you are looking for is "underpowered".—@sgmlguru

In a conversation that started on Monday at 08:03pm

"Have I told you lately how much I love" using XSLT in #MarkLogic!!!—@harveybetty
@harveybetty I know the feeling, Betty! :-)—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 01:13am

OH: "I have no shame in shipping a spec that states it's a 'wilfull violation of the HTML specification'."—@robinberjon
@robinberjon Was that about a specific violation? If so, what violation?—@hsivonen
@hsivonen It was meant as a joke :) But were it to be true, it would be about adding a role to input type=file (for media capture).—@robinberjon
@robinberjon Hopefully not using the attribute named role! Please, please keep role only for accessibility API exposure.—@hsivonen
@hsivonen Why not? It certainly is a role modification. And it does help AT.—@robinberjon
@robinberjon It would violate the rules that 1) role is syntax for ARIA and 2) ARIA only affects the AT mode of accessing content.—@hsivonen
@hsivonen I can live with that, but are there specific reasons for those rules?—@robinberjon
@robinberjon 1) Noise avoidance in the ARIA information channel. 2) Avoiding side effects that would limit what gets exposed to AT.—@hsivonen
@hsivonen Mkay, sorta makes sense. Do you have a preference for other ways of exposing that information?—@robinberjon
@robinberjon accept='image/jpeg' or accept='video/webm'.—@hsivonen
@hsivonen That's not enough to hint that capture is preferred.—@robinberjon
@robinberjon With some kind of ;prefer=capture or somesuch, then. Shouldn't the browser that has camera and file sys always allow both?—@hsivonen
@hsivonen Always allow both — definitely; but there are good UI reasons for presenting the preferred one. An attr rather than pseudomime?—@robinberjon
@hsivonen There's a difference between allowing both and defaulting to one.—@robinberjon
@hsivonen @robinberjon If only there had been a syntactic distinction for the ARIA attributes to enable distribu...oh, nevermind. :-)—@ndw
@ndw @robinberjon It's weird that the role part of ARIA isn't prefixed but the states and properties are. Historical accident. Those happen.—@hsivonen
@hsivonen @robinberjon Indeed they do. Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.—@ndw
@ndw Oh right, we added a non-AT value for role. Look the other way, it's just a historical accident taking place ;-) @hsivonen—@robinberjon

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 06:57am

Weird. Browser talks to wiki, gets 404+data; curl/wget talk to wiki, get 404 but no data. Headers look ok. #docbookwiki #stilldown—@ndw
@ndw This may be related to Proxy, Reverse Proxy and/or CDN caches. Try adding no cache headers to wget.—@bnjmnbck
@bnjmnbck Unlikely, but worth a try. (The wiki machine is on my local network.)—@ndw

Tuesday at 07:14am

RT @ndw MoinMoin has some anti-spam features that cause it to return a 404 if you make too many requests in a short period. #docbookwiki—@cramerdw

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 07:32am

Three [expletive deleted -ed] sentences, my [dude, chill! -ed]!—@ndw
@ndw too right. I once spent 2 hours crafting tech email to have the guy say "too long" and reraise issues already dealt with. Grrrrrrr—@mathling
@ndw Hear, hear.—@ceri
@ndw Interesting that needs five sentences to explain the policy.—@larsga
@larsga *chuckle* I hadn’t noticed.—@ndw

Tuesday at 09:26am

@zeldman That link is wrong, but the 404 page for was worth the trip!—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 09:32am

Suddenly, I want a 3D modeling application.—@ndw
@ndw: You could also make your own 3D printer:—@MenteaXML
@ndw -- Free 3D modeling tool. Much fun, easy to use.—@pointybrackets

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 10:18am

"You may not create a link to this website from another website or document without prior written consent."—@psd
@psd Name and shame ?—@hadleynet
@hadleynet Yeah, c’mon @psd give us a link!—@ndw

Tuesday at 11:19am

Most powerful force in the universe: inability of a speaker to resist going through ALL their slides even when they know they're over time—@geomblog

Tuesday at 12:06pm

The IDEs of March are bloated and rot your brain. I'm going back to the Text Editors of March.—@cammerman

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 12:48pm

Saturn fly-bys, animated using only Cassini photos:—@timbray
@timbray Simply gorgeous.—@ndw

Tuesday at 01:06pm

Oh for the love of $DIETY. Did ibiblio drop on the floor too? Fsck me!—@ndw

Tuesday at 01:23pm

No, apparently that’s just part of a planned migration. Whew.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 02:38pm

Bill would make photographing a farm a felony - this includes you, Google, you lawbreaker you—@shelleypowers
@shelleypowers Eventually one of these crazy bills will *not* be passed, right?—@ndw
@ndw Welcome to Tea Time in America...—@shelleypowers

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 03:19pm

MY favorite meeting room in MarkLogic: conceivable. Just love saying "I'm in conceivable". #silly—@dscape
@dscape I like I'm in box and I'm in sane better.—@eedeebee
@eedeebee @dscape So what’s up with Taupe and Sea foam or whatever the new ones are called. I was waiting for Sincere, Accurate, Animate...—@ndw
@ndw Awesome suggestion. I love (in)accurate. Let's talk to whatever did this and rename the lame color rooms /cc @eedeebee—@dscape
@dscape @ndw re: rooms - I've tried but failed. Let's fix this when you're hear next.—@eedeebee
@dscape @ndw with you on the room names like mate—@eedeebee

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 05:24pm

Learn (be reminded?) of something every day: the value space of xs:token allows spaces. Single spaces. Not leading or trailing spaces. WTF.—@ndw
@ndw that's why they created normalize-space() just for you! i wished i had a function named after me!—@dret

Tuesday at 05:36pm

@ndw re xs:token ... interesting ! I never thought of it but this directs the problem from the other side—@DALDEI

In a conversation that started on Tuesday at 09:53pm

Brilliant and in-depth expose of the ATT DSL/UVerse caps bull—@shelleypowers
@shelleypowers Alas I expect more of the same. Not much can be done except regulation and the current group of wackjobs won’t do that.—@ndw
@ndw Agree. The FCC has basically blessed this action on the part of ATT. So much for broadband support among the Dems—@shelleypowers

Wednesday at 04:28am

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. ~ Seneca—@philo_quotes

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 09:01am

I've discovered that @evernote has failed to sync properly again. #reliability #fail—@ndw
Wonder if @evernote is using couchdb. Would make perfect sense but I don't think they are /cc @ndw—@dscape
@ndw is sync that hard for @evernote?—@capucinnolover
@capucinnolover Apparently. Here’s hoping the resolution of my support case is satisfactory and reassuring.—@ndw
@ndw of course,and you just made twitter as a bug tracker tool :)—@capucinnolover

Wednesday at 09:50am

No, @evernote, simply deleting my local database and starting over does not "solve" my problem. WTF.—@ndw

Wednesday at 09:51am

It's bad enough that the US is full of anti-science know-nothing boobs; it's incomparably worse that they're in charge. :(—@kendall

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 10:12am

How does the rsync process with PID 14447 not get killed by "sudo kill -9 14447"?—@ndw
@ndw there are well known states in the kernel where a process can't be killed - typically some state related to IO.—@eedeebee
@ndw Jammed in a driver, at least that used to be the case decades ago when I was a sysadmin—@timbray
@timbray Got it in one.—@ndw

Wednesday at 10:17am

Ah, because the kernel has gone bang: "BUG: soft lockup - CPU#0 stuck for 61s! [rsync:14447]"—@ndw

Wednesday at 10:38am

fsck.ext3 on a 1TB USB disk takes a while. #justsayin—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 01:03pm

Support for previous comment: in the last two weeks, I've talked to 5 orgs that are starting in XML and going to EPUB. #epubfail—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets Sorry, how is starting with XML and going to EPUB a fail for anyone?—@ndw
@ndw Because it can't represent the complexity of the data (without major backflips), and that's often necessary.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets Oh. In that case I guess I don’t understand. I consider starting with XML and generating EPUB perfectly reasonable.—@ndw
@ndw You've made that clear before. I still contend that taking enormously complex data and paring it down to HTML5 is a faulty approach.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets What’s the alternative? A display engine designed to operate on documents of arbitrary complexity?—@ndw
@ndw "Display engine operating on arbitrarily complex documents" -- that would be a web browser, by definition. I'm saying: unlimited tags.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets In the HTML5 future, I don’t think you get unlimited tags in any meaningful way.—@ndw
@ndw Just because W3C has bent over for HTML5, doesn't mean everybody else ought to. It's flawed by design and process.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets Ah. Good luck with that. “The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.” (Kosh, B5)—@ndw
@ndw Thanks for the vote. My feeling on the avalanche: if going with the flow was the only way, there'd be no XML at all, would there?—@pointybrackets
@ndw Also, it speaks to the fact that they find EPUB lacking. If smart people can't use it from the get-go, it's missing important bits.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets What prevents smart people from using it from the get-go? It seems reasonably straight-foward to me.—@ndw
@ndw Because they have multiple targets, rather than just a limited ebook system. Their other targets handle arbitrary XML; EPUB doesn't.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets What are their other targets?—@ndw
@ndw Legacy XML browsers, print, document mashup systems, etc.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets Arbitrary XML with CSS/JS would have been nice, but that’s not where browsers are going. In other news: I want a pony.—@ndw
@ndw Modifying Webkit to handle XML+CSS/JS is not rocket science. To wit: working on it right now.—@pointybrackets
@pointybrackets I hope you’re wildly successful. It would warm my heart and improve the world.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 01:15pm

remember Daylight Savings time changes during XML Prague (on the Sunday) #fun #xmlprague—@xmlprague
@xmlprague Ugh. Because my 6a flight on Monday wasn’t early enough.—@ndw
@ndw Hey Norm, you aren't passing through London on your way to/from Prague are you?—@ronhitchens
@ronhitchens Alas only very, very briefly. LHR-LST-NRW on Monday, the reverse on Thursday.—@ndw

Wednesday at 02:43pm

"War crimes good, exposing them bad" #AJE #manning #wikileaks—@marjoleink

Wednesday at 03:08pm

My bank says I'd get fewer "automated fraud holds" if I: 1. Never travel 2. Never buy things online Bank of America®: Modernity is a Bug™—@hotdogsladies

Wednesday at 03:35pm

"Donlucky George" the "Director of Project Implementation" wants my help with an international funds transfer... #couldntmakethisstuffup—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 03:37pm

The downside of running a tool to fix metadata in all my .flac/.mp3 files: the next backup takes a loooong time.—@ndw
@ndw Any recommendations for such tool? Been reluctant wrt. buying one. Thanks!—@tomayac
@tomayac Rolled my own. Extract metadata to XML, scrub, refresh with id3v2 and metaflac.—@ndw
@ndw OK, thx! So this requires that your files have metadata in the 1st place ;-) Not acoustic fingerprint-based (like—@tomayac
@tomayac Right. For CDs, I grab the CDDB metadata as a starting point. For electronic files, I grab initial metadata out of the downloads.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 05:54pm

Am I to understand that a MacBookPro will only run with the lid fully closed if it's connected to an external monitor?—@ndw
@ndw If MBP is closed and you disconnect the monitor, it goes to sleep, which is convenient when packing: just unplug everything and leave.—@avernet
@ndw My understanding too. Not sure if there is another way.—@ebruchez
@ndw I should add that the MacBookPro has to be connected to the power... maybe that's your issue.—@andrewwelch
@andrewwelch No, it’s not the power, it’s the external monitor. I want to set it in a corner, disconnected and ssh to it. w/try InsomniaX—@ndw
@ndw After it went to sleep, with no monitor plugged in, wouldn't it wake up if you press space on an external keyboard?—@avernet
@ndw connecting an external monitor to an MBP is such a convoluted process... I was amazed. Win7 1-0 there.—@andrewwelch
@ndw see InsomniaX—@martin_probst

In a conversation that started on Wednesday at 05:54pm

Yes. RT @ndw: Am I to understand that a MacBookPro will only run with the lid fully closed if it's connected to an external monitor?—@windley
@windley @ndw have you tried InsomniaX ?—@josephscott
@windley @ndw I use an external 24" monitor + my Macbook Pro as a second monitor no problem. It's a great setup.—@dnstevenson
@windley @ndw I believe you can do it with a free program called InsomniaX—@jrcahoon

Thursday at 10:46am

“@Cocoia: God Hates Japan (.com):” AWESOME! Really, trust me. click the link. Then either of the following links!—@dhmspector

Thursday at 03:50pm

Oh, look, my .ics handling code doesn't deal with recurrence-id correctly. Because iCalendar is always more complicated than I think.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 04:06pm

"They say everyone loves someone, so how come no one loves me?" Because you're bad at logic?—@ndw
@ndw would be a different story if they say everyone loves everyone—@capucinnolover

Thursday at 04:18pm

Wifi i hytten? @protocol7 RT @ndw: "They say everyone loves someone, so how come no one loves me?" Because you're bad at logic?—@johaneltes

Thursday at 04:27pm

RT @ndw "They say everyone loves someone, so how come no one loves me?" Because you're bad at logic?—@MoniqueSleek

In a conversation that started on Thursday at 05:56pm

Part way through some maps hacking and starts returning 500 errors. #itsalwayssomething—@ndw
@ndw Short-lived, happily—@ndw

Thursday at 09:23pm

"They say everyone loves someone, so how come no one loves me?" Because you're bad at logic? by @ndw—@capucinnolover

Friday at 06:24am

@ndw: Great, thanks! Do you have a rough timeline for that?—@evlist

In a conversation that started on Friday at 03:05pm

Boxed set of Knuth arrived. Putting that #MarkLogic "Key Contributor Award" prize money to good use.—@ndw
@ndw Nice!—@kiniry

Saturday at 05:25am

I want to know why all the people flipping out about radiation from japan getting to the US weren't up in arms about TSA backscatter scans?—@seanbonner

In a conversation that started on Saturday at 06:39am

Basic but essential command line tools. Forget spotlight; I use find all the time. 10 examples of using the find command—@mikeloukides
@mikeloukides Yep, I use find everyday. I use spotlight a couple of times a year, and it never works.—@ndw

Saturday at 06:56am

Cheshire Cat pocket watch: I think I want this.—@mikeloukides

In a conversation that started on Saturday at 07:02am

"The most imaginative engineers in the world couldn't have dreamed up a situation like this" -—@simonstl
@simonstl Really? A reactor on an island near a fault might experience a quake and a tsunami? Doesn't seem too hard to imagine.—@ndw
@ndw apparently engineers aren't imaginative enough. Perhaps they need to hire novelists?—@simonstl
@simonstl Perhaps. My guess is they thought of it but dismissed it as statistically unlikely. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, I've no idea.—@ndw
@ndw I think they counted on their seawalls for more protection than they give. Statistics are, uh, tricky.—@simonstl

Saturday at 07:12am

No grievance has ever been resolved at midnight with drink in hand and a mobile phone #tedxobs—@doctorow

Saturday at 07:12am

When technologists say they solved your privacy issues, switch on the #bs detector.—@karlpro

Saturday at 09:15am

Preordering on iTunes is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. RESERVE YOUR COPY NOW, WE HAVE LIMITED INTERNETS IN STOCK—@Totalbiscuit

In a conversation that started on Saturday at 09:16am

So wish I'd had weinre a few months ago, but it'll be amazing going forward -—@simonstl
@simonstl OMG. That looks incredible.—@ndw

Saturday at 11:16am

To the lady with the 6 screaming kids at the store: If you're wondering how the box of condoms got into your basket, you're welcome.—@NurseNaezy79

In a conversation that started on Saturday at 12:08pm

Many more questionable HTML WG decisions. Maybe time to give up.—@jreschke
@jreschke I'll bite. What have they done now?—@ndw

Saturday at 12:19pm

B&N Science section: Zombies. Says it all, really.—@ndw

In a conversation that started on Saturday at 12:20pm

Apparently, now *everybody* is a nuclear expert.—@mnot
@mnot No, Apparently now *everybody* is an *everything* expert.—@dajobe
@dajobe you sound like you're an expert in that.—@mnot

Saturday at 01:25pm

"Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward." Amen.—@aworkinglibrary

Saturday at 10:43pm

Fabulous. Now THREE wars, and still giant tax cuts for people with plenty of money. What other schools should be shut down?—@jensimmons

Saturday at 11:13pm

Patent for a Stick: (new post @ the best of patents blog)—@starsandrobots

Sunday at 07:14am

Data dumps ("just gimme the CSV" bullshit) are to proper web services as not using version control is to using Git/Mercurial. Sigh.—@tommorris

In a conversation that started on Sunday at 08:18am

.@simonstl maybe our newest war should be funded by a special assessment on poor . They don't care about money, or else they'd have some—@mikeloukides
@mikeloukides sometimes you skate a little too close to the truth.—@simonstl

Sunday at 11:06am

"Vegetable" isn't in the fourth edition official Scrabble™ players dictionary. #randomobservations—@ndw


xsd:token is really misnamed: it should have been xsd:tokens or xsd:tokenized or something.

Aren't you getting a little tired of AppleFascism™ yet? My lowly company-supplied Dell Latitude can be set to do nothing on lid closure, FFS.

Re: backscatter: obviously that's our radiation, as opposed to furrin radiation.

—Posted by John Cowan on 21 Mar 2011 @ 02:18 UTC #