Category Archives: computers

No, that’s not me on Instagram

Someone is impersonating me (or at least trying to mislead people into thinking he/she/it is me) on Instagram. This person is using my Twitter avatar, my bio, and generally causing a lot of confusion.

I tried to report the profile to Instagram, and Instagram told me that to complete the report, I would have to send a scan of my government-issued identification.

Fuck. That.

So: I can’t get the account taken down, but that’s not me on Instagram. Tell your friends. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.

regarding instagram’s new TOS

So Instagram is now going to use photos taken by its users in advertising, and they may or may not disclose to viewers when the advertising is happening.

I have no idea how this will actually work, and I’m once again glad that I don’t use Instagram … but I know a lot of people who do, and many of those people are celebrities to some degree.

Here’s what I’m wondering: if Kaley Cuoco uses Instagram to share a photo of her and Melissa Rauch doing something silly, does that mean that Instagram can take that photo and use it to advertise for something silly without compensating them for what becomes a use of their likeness for commercial purposes? I can see that being a pretty serious shitstorm if it happens. I’m not a big enough celebrity for it to personally affect me, but I know a lot of people who are. If someone Instagrams a photo of Seth Green walking through an Urban Outfitters, does that mean Urban Outfitters can take that image and use it to create an implied endorsement by Seth? What if the picture is taken by a complete stranger? Who gets final say in how the image is used? The subject, the photographer, or Instagram?

This sort of dovetails with similar concern I have about the automatic opt-in nature of much of our digital life: if I’m in someone’s address book, and they use an app that grants the developer full, unfettered access to their address book, I’ve now had my information given without my consultation or consent to a developer who I know nothing about, and I never even knew it was happening.

Just as we have a “do not track” option for our webbrowsing habits, we’re going to need to have something similar for other aspects of our increasingly-digital lives: from contact information to our location to moving and still images of ourselves. Because it’s no longer enough for me to be careful with my opt-ins and online sharing; now I have to ensure that every single person around me is careful and respectful of my privacy wishes, as well.

This title has no H3 tags!

In response to several requests, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday reworking the CSS for my site, so I could get rid of the ugly H3 tags that used to contain my entry titles. I did this primarily as a courtesy to the people who synidcate this site . . . it’s really spiffy that anyone thinks this site is worth synidcating. :)
I’m pretty happy with the way things look now, and I have a much better understanding of how stylesheets work. It’s pretty cool. I ran my index.php through a validator, and got 32 errors out of 540-something lines . . . not too bad. Same for the stylesheet.
Flush with the success, I felt lucky and upgraded MT to 2.63. Yeah! I didn’t break anything.
Earlier, I was goofing off when I should have been working, and I took this Star Trek personality test, at the suggestion of a WWDN reader. You can get my results by clicking “More . . . ”

Continue reading

3^3

03.03.03

I think it’s the second coolest date this year . . . the first being 01.02.03.
I think it’s so cool, I’m making a really stupid and pointless weblog entry, just so I can keep this date in my archives.
Many people who read this site using RSS feeds have complained at me that there are H3 tags around all my titles. Rather than respond to each e-mail directly, I’ll just put this here: I know, and it sucks. The thing is, I can’t seem to get the cascade order correct in my stylesheet (yeah, it’s on the list of things that DESPERATELY needs to be updated, along with most of the source for the site — but I’ve been, uh, working on other stuff ;)
If I could tell MT to make the .title class “large,” (and it actually *worked*) I wouldn’t need to use the H3 tags . . . but I swear, I just can’t figure it out. If anyone wants to offer some help, I’d be happy to take it, and you’ll be a hero to tens of RSS readers.
Good news and bad news on JAG.
Good news: the cover is designed, and looks amazing. I’ve been given some really kind and flattering quotes to put on it, and I think I have a really funny and insightful preface.
Bad news: It’s looking like the release is going to be pushed by a couple of weeks at best, maybe a month at worst. I am profoundly saddened by this fact, but I want it to be as good as it can possibly be.
“Dancing Barefoot” is still on schedule, though.
How about a thought for today?

“If sand were made of diamonds . . . they’d still call it sand.”

UPDATE: I spent some time looking through my awful stylesheet. I know it’s supposed to be all charming and everything, and empowering to feel like I’ve come a long way . . . but holy crap! I felt like I was watching myself in “The Buddy System” or “Liar’s Club,” or some performance of mine that makes me cringe. All I had to do was download the damn thing and look at it in vim (yeah! geek points! vim, baby!) to see what I’d done wrong. First, there was no .title class. MT provides it, but I’d managed to bork it out of the style-sheet at some point in time. So I added the .title class, and set the font-weight to bolder, and the font-size to 27px. (It’s the only value that’s set to px, btw.) Thanks to Danielle, who sent the font-size number, and to O’Reilly’s Cascading Syle Sheets: The Definitve Guide, which just paid for itself. :)
Update-Update spoke too soon. I broke the effing thing again. I think I must be setting up the cascade incorrectly.
UPDATE-UPDATE-UPDATE: It looks like everything is working, now. Hooray.

Click Friend and Enter!

Get ready to have a non-productive rest of the week:
Nethack 3.4.1 is out!
They would have to release this when I’m on a deadline, wouldn’t they?
If you missed it, yesterday’s Strong Bad Email is good for spreading some mirth.
Looks like John Ashcroft has run out of naked statues to cover up.
I had a dream last night: the world was set on fire, and everywhere I ran, there was a deadly war.
Oh, wait. That’s not what happened.
I dreamed that I was standing at the base of a really tall Mayan pyramid, hoping to get to the top. I was surrounded by people who looked like they were on The Simpsons, but if I looked at them directly, they vanished.
When I tried to climb the pyramid, the steps would scroll down, like an escalator, and Professor Frink would pass me coming down over and over again. I never made it past the first step, no matter how hard I climbed.
Stupid symbolic dreams, with the pyramids and the escalators and the FLAVEN.
I order ISBNs today. Holy shit.

Telegram Sam

Three geeky things I’m excited about:

  1. Using apt-rpm, I sucessfully upgraded KDE to 3.1 without breaking anything.
  2. My pal Russ built a nifty website called blinktag.
  3. I had a submission accepted at Slashdot on Friday!

Now, if I could just get my lan browsing working, and convince all three of my machines to see (and use) my printer, I’d really geek out.
Huge thank yous to everyone who e-mailed suggestions on printers for my books. I have narrowed the search down to two places, both of them highly-recommended. It’s just a matter of figuring out who will cost less, and who will print on recycled paper.
Regarding the previous entry, I failed to point out my long-held belief that we are the sum of all our experiences, including the ones we regret. If I’d listened to my advice to my 12 year-old self, I would most certainly not be the person I am today. To paraphrase a certain bald captain: “I don’t want my pain taken away. I need my pain.”
Time for bed. I’m taking my family to climb a mountain tomorrow.

Tux Millionaire

Taking a break from rewrites today, I read this story at a linux site I frequent for reviews and tutorials.


“Knoppix is a distribution of Linux, the open source operating system, that runs completely on a single CD, making no use of the hard drive. This is perfect for people like me, who have always wanted to try out Linux, but never could because they didn’t want to completely install a new operating system. This is my first time trying Linux, and my primary operating system is Windows XP. For me, Windows XP is fine. It does everything I need, which is mostly web development and regular computer usage, and is completely stable. However, after KDE 3.1 was released, I felt like I needed to try it out because it looked very nice. There was a problem however, Knoppix 3.1 contains KDE 3.0, which is not the latest version, so I decided to download a remastered version of the Knoppix distribution which contains KDE 3.1 from this site…”

If you’ve ever wondered about Linux, but you’ve been scared to death about doing the install, and dual-booting is something you think best reserved for a rodeo, you should check out Knoppix. It’s even cooler, now that they’ve got KDE 3.1.
I also had a submission accepted at FARK. Funtimes.
Update: Holy Jumpin’ Jesus! I got another accepted! That’s 2 in one day. Fb- is my father.

Important Privacy Notice for Yahoo! Users

I just got this from one of my Linux mailing lists.

Yahoo is now using something called “Web Beacons” to track Yahoo Group users around the net and see what you’re doing – similar to cookies. Take a look at their updated privacy statement.
About half-way down the page, in the section “Outside the Yahoo! Network”, you’ll see a little “click here” link that will let you opt-out of their new method of snooping. You may want to do this. Once you have clicked that link, you are opted out.
Notice the “Success” message at the top of the next page. Be careful, because on that page there is a “Cancel Opt-out” button that, if clicked, will *undo* the opt-out.
Sneaky little devils!

I strongly suggest that if this applies to you, you opt-out. Where you go and what you do online is your business, not Yahoo’s.