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Present Perfect

hey mugshotters

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 16:20


Tell me this.  How do I tell mugshot to stop telling me what I am doing myself ? There's nothing more annoying than having that stupid notification popup in the way telling me what song I am listening to (which I already know anyway) for umpteen seconds.  I want to tell my computer to do stuff, not have my computer tell me what it's doing.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 15:25


- So, where were you ? Did you go to Belgium ?

- Belgium ? Why would I go to Belgium ?

- I think the relevant question is, why wouldn't you ?

I have been OD'ing on last year's Christmas present - the Buffy DVD boxset.  The pace has picked up because I got sick as a dog yesterday - so I've now started on Season 3.

My sickness did not prevent me from reaching a landmark milestone on my N800 - getting the time for all Mahjong boards under 3 minutes.  Apparently this is not a big deal - Josep claims his wife does them under 2.  She must be cheating.  Incidentally, Josep recognized my Mahjong addiction purely by looking at the scuffed LCD on my N800 - amusing.

(Warning: poo references ahead)

Incidentally, I have gone from a fever and liquid stool yesterday, over the worst headaches I've ever had all last night, to firm-but-yellow stool today, plus some back aches.  The internet puts me down for only one possible disease: hepatitis ! Luckily it also said "Don't use this as a diagnosis."

My sister is wildly entertained each time I call her for medical advice.  I am happy to have at least some use these days.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 23:36


By sheer accident I picked up a copy of Watchmen this weekend in Brussels. I must say I'm glad I did - I found it hard to put down, and it's definitely one hell of a graphic novel. It would have had more impact in my younger years, as the story does show its age, but it managed to work on all the levels it wanted to and kept some surprised around. Intriguing storyline.

Incidentally, I just finished watching Heroes Episode 21 (thank effing god for the Internet, why are series still "delayed" over here in this millenium ? And kudos for getting a show with such a common title to be number 1 on Google). Seeing that episode the day after finishing Watchmen is eerie. Before I felt the series was liberally copying plot lines from X-Men (5 years in to the future ? Where are the Sentinels, everything else looks the same), but the resemblance to the Watchmen plot is uncanny. I can't say why I guess without ruining either story, but I'm sure other people must have felt a little resemblance as well no ?

Heroes being derivative doesn't hurt me one bit though - it would have been hard to avoid regardless, and they've done an excellent job at driving the story forward, keeping the characters interesting, and having some awesome visuals.

The fact that it's derivative does not make it predictable, since you never know beforehand which bit they'll derive next...

I'm guessing next week is the big finale. Yay internet !

On unrelated news, my muscles ache, my appetite is gone and my head is heavy. I'm hitting the sack in the hopes of avoiding getting a cold.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 12:17


Anyone know of a way to make sure that a certain search domain is *always* added to /etc/resolv.conf no matter if I use dhcp or NetworkManager or whatever ? A little tired of having to edit it by hand each time I connect...

Fedora-specific solutions are alllowed, answers on a postcard.


Filed under: Hacking — Thomas @ 21:49


So, my GUADEC proposal got accepted, and now I'm left with the stress of actually gathering enough content for my talk on Practical Project Maintenance.  I'm trying to find my random collection of notes I have collected ideas in for this talk.  As Andy puts it, "You are the perfect target for Beagle".  He's probably right, but somehow I always end up turning off Beagle after another instance of beagled using 100% CPU on something.  It is one of those cool technologies that you actually need to put effort into to learn enough of it so you can troubleshoot yourself out of a corner - like I had to do with SELinux for example.

But I digress.  One of the topics I wanted to bring up in the talk is how to get your project known.  As a good engineer, I want to measure before I change and affect, so I wanted to write a simple program to figure out where some of my projects turn up in Google if you search for relevant keywords.

Sadly, it turns out that the Google Web SOAP API (for which there is a python module) is deprecated, and no API keys are being handed out anymore.  The only interface left is the AJAX API (which I guess you can only sensibly use from a web page in the first place).  If I understand correctly Google's EULA also does not allow me to screenscrape.  Doing a simple wget confirms this - though it's easy to fool around with the user agent of course.

I'm no expert on business but I'm going to guess that Google closing this SOAP API is part of the move from search as their core business to advertisement.

I'm going to play around with various alternatives - probably no simple program using BeautifulSoup to screenscrape (I'm saying "no" because my lawyer tells me to), using this amusing EvilAPI website, or using Yahoo Search API instead.  I want to be practical, so anything that gets the job done.

If any of you have a Google API key left that they're not using, feel free to hook me up.  I promise I will Do No Evil with it...

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