Live from Defcon

So me, Dan, Dan’s intern (kid #1) and some other guy (kid #2) are in Vegas for the weekend for Defcon. I’m a virgin to this convention, but so far it’s been an enlightening experience. So far I’ve attended sessions on search engine privacy, the latest tools from Cult of the Dead Cow, and heard a talk from a guy who built a netstumbling rocket. Up next is magstripe hacking, and I plan on spending some time in the lockpicking room. And if anyone else is in town, I’ll be volunteering for the EFF dunk tank at 1:00 tomorrow. I’ve been in a strange mood to meet lots of new people, so I’d love to have some people stop by.

More updates later!

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Eminent domain sucks

I don’t live in Arlington anymore, else I’d certainly be attending this event. I had to give my little house to the United Way when I moved because I didn’t have time to deal with the whole ballpark drama.

Protect Your Home From Being Taken By the City

June 23rd marks the one-year anniversary of the Kelo vs. New London court decision, when the Supreme Court put every home, business, church and farm up for grabs to the highest bidder. This week, property owners and activists nationwide are rallying against the abuse of eminent domain. We encourage you to attend to protest the abuse of eminent domain in solidarity with your fellow property owners nationwide! See our information below:


Arlington, Texas residents will hold a Candlelight Vigil for local victims of Eminent Domain abuse. Do you realize that people in North Texas can and have lost their homes and businesses for the new Cowboy Stadium, for bogus flood control projects, malls, condos, golf courses, retail shops, etc?? If it can happen to people in the path of the Cowboys Stadium and in the path of the Ballpark, then it can certainly happen to YOU! Eminent Domain used to rarely be used and only for highway, road, or bridge projects. Here’s your chance to stand up to help property owners. Let’s force the Arlington City Council and other agencies to “Just Say No” to Eminent Domain Abuse. The purpose of our U.S. Constitution is to protect the everyone — not just the wealthy and most powerful. If Arlington can protect trees with ordinances, wildlife with preservation, and dogs with animals shelters, SURELY WE CAN PROTECT HUMAN BEINGS FROM LAND GRABS!

What: Candlelight Vigil for Arlington Victims of Eminent Domain Abuse
When: June 27th (Tuesday) before the Council Meeting
Where: 101 W. Abram St./North side of building
Time: 6:00pm before the 6:30 meeting
Bring: Candles/holders and Signs (“Stop Eminent Domain Abuse”). Please encourage your whole family to attend.

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Lancaster or Bruce Deramus. It would be great if you’ll let us know you can attend!

P.S. HELP THE CASTLE COALITION GROW! Forward this message to your friends. They can sign-up here:

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WTF, it’s my birthday again?

So they told me at work today that it’s my birthday. Trying to tell people that it was in fact NOT my birthday was futile, because people apparently trust a cheesy flyer taped up in the break room more than they do the words coming out of my own mouth. Claiming that the whole thing was a conspiracy was pointless as well.

I had to do the math to figure out that I’m 25. Birthdays just don’t make me excited like they used to. I can’t think of anything else to get excited about age-wise until my senior citizens discount at 55, so I don’t really bother.

We don’t have a whole lot planned, just getting a few people to go out for sushi. I’m not even having that party until next week, because my sushi chef is in Japan. Dan’s had a big boner for streaming video lately, so I’ve been tossing around the idea of having a streaming party cam. I probably won’t bother, so if anyone really wants me to they’d better convince me in the comments.

Speaking of cameras, Dan’s getting me this. It’s discontinued, but nice. I’m loving the retro style for such a full-featured camera. After our present fiasco a couple years back, I don’t even bother letting him try to surprise me with anything. We’re both a lot happier if we’re upfront about what we want. There are a few other packages that came in the mail that I’ll need to get around to opening sometime. Dan’s mom is taking us out to dinner, so I may open presents after that.

I may not care about my birthday much, but I certainly care enough to not want to wait until my party next week. =]

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Passively Multiplayer Web 2.0 Game Concept

Rather like #idleRPG for irc, Justin Hall of is working on a “passively-multiplayer online game” where you level up based on what sites you visit and how frequently you surf the Web2net. (Aside: did I just coin that? Using Web 2.0 in a sentence tends to get klunky.) Browsing different sites changes different stats…for example, browsing Flickr lowers strength, but raises dexterity and wisdom. With the right format and a little Firefox extension (similar
to Swarm) to passively gather your browsed pages, I think this is a fabulously fun idea. Planned features include finding people with similar browsing statistics and gathering obtainable “items” embedded in browsed pages (I can see webmasters designing quests already). More about this from the developer:

“Oh look, here’s a collectible virtual tool I just picked up on the Make magazine site.” “I put this crazy unicorn up on my MySpace page – now
people are riding it!” Perhaps can channel information packrat tendencies by providing a playful structure for exchanging web curios: raising an avatar, and feeding it information.

Justin has a proof of concept page here. A single-player version is planned to be out this summer, with multi-player following in the fall. I assure you I will be signed up for the alphas as soon as I can get my grubby little hands on them.

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I’m not even allowed to be writing this

So I’ve started having trouble with my wrists again, which is pretty career-threatening for anyone in the technology field. I took a day and a half off work this week and met with an ergonomics consultant, plus bought a couple hundred dollars worth of desk and keyboards for home…keyboard being the Microsoft Comfort Curve (about $20) that I’ve now recommended to everyone at the office. I also ordered
a wireless version with mouse on ebay for about $30, but I’m still waiting for it to be delivered. I have no idea how much they’re spending on me at work, but I’m getting one of these, which is $180 alone. I’m feeling less useless than I was mid-week, so I think I’m back on the right track. That’s just why my posting frequency has gone down a bit. The manual that came with the Microsoft keyboard actually had a ton of great ergonomic tips. Read more after the jump.

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Continue reading

Bye-bye, you will be missed

Welcome, incoming post-folders. Mourn with me. ;_; Like the rest of you likely are, I was definitely shocked to see the “For sale” notice instead of my painstakingly customized containers I
had grown to love. I had previously exchanged a few emails with the owner, but my message questioning the future of Fold (and cursing the fact that I had not downloaded a bit of client source code he posted the day before and removed!) went unanswered. I would love to be able to set this up a personal copy on my own webserver if Axel isn’t going to develop or try to sell the entire service.

The current text from the parked page follows:

Domain Name without content. DESCRIPTION:
High quality 4-letter dictionary domain. Suitable for community (MySpace, FaceBook) or news sites. Lots of interesting possibilities via subdomains like or

Several thousand backlinks from Digg (recent frontpage listing with 1,500 diggs), TechCrunch, IDG, ZDnet, Slashdot, Wikipedia, MicroPersuasion and other highly active top websites and blogs. The subdomain has PR 6.

I’m presently considering offers in the same range as recent sales of four-letter dictionary domains (,, Please see before you bid to get an idea of what kind of money we are talking.

Any reasonable offer will be considered but please to not waste my time with USD 100 offers. Thanks.

Visitors to this Sedo Listing*: 1,114
Unique Visitors per month*: 216
Previous Offers for this Domain: 24

With the websites listed going for $110-$500 thousand dollars, I can’t really say I blame him for selling. But oh how I wish he would open source his code!

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Valleyschwag has arrived!

If you haven’t heard of Valleyschwag yet, reference my post on Techiediva that explains exactly what this service is. But don’t feel out of the Web 2.0 loop, they’ve only been in operation for two months. I have to say that I’m absolutely thrilled. I literally shrieked with delight when I saw the goatsestickers, and I’m pretty sure that having this rare EFF sticker increased my Internet penis by several inches. The Movable
Type shirt is cool, but I actually would have rather had something from WordPress since I like, kinda use it and all. At least they’re sort of like bloggy cousins. ^_^ All my schwag pictures are linked below, or browse the entire stream here. Or just go ahead and sign up.

Minty! Big in Japan Goatse Stickers Feedburner Everything! EFF:  Electronic Frontier Foundation Abazab Livejournal Women 2.0 A Label Songbird PerplexCity MovableType

[tags]valleyschwag, schwag, goatsestickers, eff, songbird, tmp, themintpages, pretty minty, feedburner, abazab, livejournal, movabletype, women 2.0, perplexcity, sticker[/tags]

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How NOT to lead geeks

Top 10 mistakes IT managers make. Having recently lost an excellent manager to a mediocre one, I’m sooo feeling this.

Some people conclude that geeks hate managers and are impossible to lead. The expression “managing geeks is like herding cats” is sometimes used, but that’s just plain wrong. The fact is that IT people hate bad management and have even less tolerance for it than most other kinds of employees.