Time changes the meaning of even the best phrases

William Gibson's Neuromancer has one of my favorite opening lines to a novel ever; "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

In 1984 when this was published that was a brilliant way to introduce the dirty, broken, dystopia that is Chiba City. Static is a great metaphor for for a miserable city.  All non-uniform grey and full of motion and energy but fundamentally meaning nothing and worth nothing.

Today Chiba City has the clearest purest blue sky you've every seen.

via io9's 
list of best sci-fi opening lines.  

If we're even arguing about this it's already to late

I'm not one that often joins into the outrage de jure, but this deserves it.

The fact that we as a nation are arguing about whether a school official can strip search an 8th grader over ibuprofen shows that something has gone very wrong.  The war on drugs and zero tolerance policies have combined to really fuck with our national psyche.

If a school administrator is even considering a strip search of a student they can call the cops and explain the situation to them.  If the cops find that there is merit in the complaint the police can follow whatever procedures they have in place.   On the other hand if the school can't convince the cops, or likely in this case, is unwilling to try over something as bullshit as ibuprofen, then the school can call the parents and send the kid home or they can forget about the incident.  

Can you actually imagine a principal explaining to an officer: "Well we were told by another student that she has prescription strength ibuprofen on her.  We searched her bag and found nothing so we want you to do a strip search." 

Fuck'n A


Quote of the week

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
- John Rogers

More frontier cap news

If your deelign with frontier and you are concerned about the upcoming 5GB cap then keep reading your Frontier bill carefully.   This month contained info that my contract was set to auto renew.

I've already got them to accept that they won't apply the cap to my account until it ends in march.   Now I just called them and got them to not auto renew it on me.  

If you're looking to get out of your contract it might be time to check that you're not set to auto-renew.

Interweb tech support request

Dear Tubes, Please help.

So I'm playing with Yacc for the first time.  I'm learning from the Flex and Bison manuals.  I own the dragon book but I haven't cracked it open yet (which may be part of my problem).

As a first project I'm trying to build a parser for the output of a game I play.  I can't redefine the language. In fact I don't have a definition for the language I'm just working from examples of the language.

I've got the parser working fine if I leave it at a line level of parsing but there is a higher level of structure in the file that I can't quite understand how to parse.   Once I add the higher level of syntax to my parser I get a shift/reduce error that I can't figure out how to define around.

Problem definition...Collapse )
Anyone out there have any suggestions about this problem in specific or reading that I should be doing that would clear this up?

Read more...Collapse )


So it turns out that when 2 drives in a 3 drive RAID die the system breaks. Oh well, there goes our domain controller. Oh hey, check it out, my home directory is over there too.