Archive for December, 2011

How to fire a band member.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Bluegrass firing squad, and other termination procedures. Leaving them at the truckstop is only the third option on the list. “It is true, however, that if one of your band members is completely off his/her rocker, the statistical odds are that person will play an instrument that’s tuned in 5ths.”

What on earth is up with rocknerd.org?

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

There is, er, something there. It appears to have a new story or two mixed in with old ones from 2006, all dated September 17th, 2011 or thereabouts. The software is not the Slashcode that Rocknerd v2 ran on, but appears to be mangled copies of the original content, roughly dumped into WordPress. The whois was previously registered to an eastern European domain squatter, but now names someone in Canada, with the IP address in the US. The site still claims to be run by Ben Butler and me. I haven’t heard from Ben in years.

What on earth? Does anyone have any idea what this is about?

(And if anyone cares that much, I do have a database dump from the tail-end of Rocknerd v2. But playing Gillian McKeith with the products of Slashcode is so tempting I haven’t even unzipped it in five years.)

Update: someone bought the domain name with plans to do new things with it and thought putting up the old content would be more useful than not while he works out what to do with it. (I suggested it should start afresh — and I really should get around to processing that database dump.) I look forward to his new thing.

Napster off, MAFIAAfire on, computers continue to subsume all comers.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The network died years ago, but Napster’s vegetative corpse was finally taken off life support Wednesday. They can’t even make money from the name any more?

It’s a good thing the legal assaults on Napster thoroughly eliminated the Internet and computer science in general. ‘Cos otherwise the attempts to bugger DNS to block all Hollywood-disapproved Internet sites might have inspired MAFIAAfire, a P2P alternate-DNS plugin for your web browser (Firefox: Tools->Add-Ons->MAFIAAfire).

There is the minor detail of trusting a bunch of leeches with a sense of entitlement with your computer, and that the existing shadow DNS proof of concept was invented to redirect your money to the Russian mafia. However, the proof of the pudding will be in the network effects — people already install all manner of dubious rubbish for the promise of telly at their convenience, all this network needs is users.

And the fundamental point remains that the Internet is a giant copying machine, and that every gadget imaginable plus computers — televisions, phones, record players, cameras, drawing boards, recording studios — equals computers. Everything that can be conceived of as information can be done on computers. There’s a reason it’s called “universal computation.” Call it as evil as you like, but while computers and networks exist, you just can’t assume copying is rare, difficult or expensive any more.