dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, in which I fire our sound company.
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WINE whine

I'm trying to get the SoundWeb control software running under WINE on Red Hat 8.0 with basically no luck. The download gives you an .exe that is an InstallShield installer, and when I run that under WINE, it puts up a dialog that says something along the lines of "Wrong version of Windows", and exits. Of course it doesn't say which version it wants, or which version it thinks it has. I had someone do an install on a real Windows box and send me the unpacked files (it adds no registry entries, thankfully) but they also die with some internal error (I'm guessing meaning something along the lines of, "I didn't find the sub-programs I needed.") But then, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with the .ini file, besides put it in /usr/share/wine-c/windows/.

I've basically never used WINE before. Any suggestions where to start? There seem to be a bunch of mailing lists, but with extremely low signal. (Yes, I've seen this. It is very long and overly optimistic.)

Oh, it also spits out this shit constantly:

    fixme:keyboard:X11DRV_KEYBOARD_DetectLayout Your keyboard layout was not found!
    Using closest match instead (United States keyboard layout) for scancode mapping.
    Please define your layout in windows/x11drv/keyboard.c and submit them
    to us for inclusion into future Wine releases.
    See documentation/keyboard for more information.
    ...
    Warning: L"/usr/bin/wine" not accessible from a configured DOS drive
    Warning: L"/usr/bin/wine" not accessible from a configured DOS drive
    Warning: L"/usr/bin/wine" not accessible from a configured DOS drive

Googling on that (and even reading the manual) has failed to provide any clue at all. This happens on multiple machines, so it's not like I'm using some crackpot keyboard driver.

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astronomical lies

It occurs to me that when we actually get out into space, it's going to be a real let-down to look out the window. Because all those great pictures of nebulae and gas clouds and pulsars that we're so familiar with -- most of that stuff ain't real. Those are false-color images doing tricks like "let's use red to indicate oxygen". Most of the action is way outside the range of human vision.

Though, I guess by the time we get out there, we'll be able to just ratchet our vision up into the far-infrared at will, so maybe that'll be fine.

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wrist phone

"Recently Samsung announced the availability of their Wrist Phone at the CeBit 2003.

The Wristomo Wrist Phone unique design lets users transform it into a handset. The phone supports web browsing with up to 64kbps. Wristomo can receive and transmit Emails with maximum size of 3,000 characters. The Watch can synchronize with MS Outlook via a data cable. The size of the Wrist Phone is 171.5x40.4x18.5mm, and it's weight is 113g. It is even water-proof. It supports continous talk-time for 120min. and 200 min. standby. Price expected to be 50,000yen."

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space junk!

Meteor Chunks Crash In Chicago Suburb, Light Up Night Sky

A sudden flash of light and a thunderous explosion left midwest residents wondering if the war had come to the far south suburbs of Chicago on Wednesday night.

This larger chunk was found in Garza's son's room after the shower.

The force of the falling meteor chunk caused this damage to the ceiling of a Park Forest home.

Scientists are now gathering fragments, urging the public to turn over any pieces found for further study.

Residents from 4 States Report Seeing Bright Light

PARK FOREST, Ill. -- A freelance photographer shooting a fire in south suburban Park Forest captured a bright flash of light (pictured, left) that "turned midnight to noon" for several seconds, and police said it appeared it was the breaking up of a meteorite.

Huge chunks of rock-like objects from the suspected meteorite damaged the roofs of two homes, but nobody was injured. Park Forest Police Captain Francis DioGuardi said a large chunk also landed on a residential street and broke apart, slightly damaging the siding of another home.

People in several states throughout the Midwest reported seeing a bright flash of light in the sky last night. NBC5's Kim Vatis said that besides Illinois, reports came from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. The National Weather Service agreed that the flash of light was caused by either a meteorite or piece of space debris.

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Guantanamo versus Geneva

Look, I was really trying for a self-imposed moritorium on war-related links, because I'm sure those of you who give a shit about such things are already reading Tom Tomorrow (modrnwrld_blog), but this one I just couldn't resist:

One rule for them

This being so, Rumsfeld had better watch his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare is, as head of the defence department, responsible for a series of crimes sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his natural life.

His prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles of the third convention. The US government broke the first of these (article 13) as soon as the prisoners arrived, by displaying them, just as the Iraqis have done, on television. In this case, however, they were not encouraged to address the cameras. They were kneeling on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, wearing blacked-out goggles and earphones. In breach of article 18, they had been stripped of their own clothes and deprived of their possessions. They were then interned in a penitentiary (against article 22), where they were denied proper mess facilities (26), canteens (28), religious premises (34), opportunities for physical exercise (38), access to the text of the convention (41), freedom to write to their families (70 and 71) and parcels of food and books (72).

<LJ-CUT text=" --More--(17%) ">


One rule for them

Suddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty which impedes its attempts to run the world, but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of the Iraqi television cameras on Sunday, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, immediately complained that "it is against the Geneva convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them".

He is, of course, quite right. Article 13 of the third convention, concerning the treatment of prisoners, insists that they "must at all times be protected... against insults and public curiosity". This may number among the less heinous of the possible infringements of the laws of war, but the conventions, ratified by Iraq in 1956, are non-negotiable. If you break them, you should expect to be prosecuted for war crimes.

This being so, Rumsfeld had better watch his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare is, as head of the defence department, responsible for a series of crimes sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his natural life.

His prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles of the third convention. The US government broke the first of these (article 13) as soon as the prisoners arrived, by displaying them, just as the Iraqis have done, on television. In this case, however, they were not encouraged to address the cameras. They were kneeling on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, wearing blacked-out goggles and earphones. In breach of article 18, they had been stripped of their own clothes and deprived of their possessions. They were then interned in a penitentiary (against article 22), where they were denied proper mess facilities (26), canteens (28), religious premises (34), opportunities for physical exercise (38), access to the text of the convention (41), freedom to write to their families (70 and 71) and parcels of food and books (72).

They were not "released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities" (118), because, the US authorities say, their interrogation might, one day, reveal interesting information about al-Qaida. Article 17 rules that captives are obliged to give only their name, rank, number and date of birth. No "coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever". In the hope of breaking them, however, the authorities have confined them to solitary cells and subjected them to what is now known as "torture lite": sleep deprivation and constant exposure to bright light. Unsurprisingly, several of the prisoners have sought to kill themselves, by smashing their heads against the walls or trying to slash their wrists with plastic cutlery.

The US government claims that these men are not subject to the Geneva conventions, as they are not "prisoners of war", but "unlawful combatants". The same claim could be made, with rather more justice, by the Iraqis holding the US soldiers who illegally invaded their country. But this redefinition is itself a breach of article 4 of the third convention, under which people detained as suspected members of a militia (the Taliban) or a volunteer corps (al-Qaida) must be regarded as prisoners of war.

Even if there is doubt about how such people should be classified, article 5 insists that they "shall enjoy the protection of the present convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal". But when, earlier this month, lawyers representing 16 of them demanded a court hearing, the US court of appeals ruled that as Guantanamo Bay is not sovereign US territory, the men have no constitutional rights. Many of these prisoners appear to have been working in Afghanistan as teachers, engineers or aid workers. If the US government either tried or released them, its embarrassing lack of evidence would be brought to light.

You would hesitate to describe these prisoners as lucky, unless you knew what had happened to some of the other men captured by the Americans and their allies in Afghanistan. On November 21 2001, around 8,000 Taliban soldiers and Pashtun civilians surrendered at Konduz to the Northern Alliance commander, General Abdul Rashid Dostum. Many of them have never been seen again.

As Jamie Doran's film Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death records, some hundreds, possibly thousands, of them were loaded into container lorries at Qala-i-Zeini, near the town of Mazar-i-Sharif, on November 26 and 27. The doors were sealed and the lorries were left to stand in the sun for several days. At length, they departed for Sheberghan prison, 80 miles away. The prisoners, many of whom were dying of thirst and asphyxiation, started banging on the sides of the trucks. Dostum's men stopped the convoy and machine-gunned the containers. When they arrived at Sheberghan, most of the captives were dead.

The US special forces running the prison watched the bodies being unloaded. They instructed Dostum's men to "get rid of them before satellite pictures can be taken". Doran interviewed a Northern Alliance soldier guarding the prison. "I was a witness when an American soldier broke one prisoner's neck. The Americans did whatever they wanted. We had no power to stop them." Another soldier alleged: "They took the prisoners outside and beat them up, and then returned them to the prison. But sometimes they were never returned, and they disappeared."

Many of the survivors were loaded back in the containers with the corpses, then driven to a place in the desert called Dasht-i-Leili. In the presence of up to 40 US special forces, the living and the dead were dumped into ditches. Anyone who moved was shot. The German newspaper Die Zeit investigated the claims and concluded that: "No one doubted that the Americans had taken part. Even at higher levels there are no doubts on this issue." The US group Physicians for Human Rights visited the places identified by Doran's witnesses and found they "all... contained human remains consistent with their designation as possible grave sites".

It should not be necessary to point out that hospitality of this kind also contravenes the third Geneva convention, which prohibits "violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture", as well as extra-judicial execution. Donald Rumsfeld's department, assisted by a pliant media, has done all it can to suppress Jamie Doran's film, while General Dostum has begun to assassinate his witnesses.

It is not hard, therefore, to see why the US government fought first to prevent the establishment of the international criminal court, and then to ensure that its own citizens are not subject to its jurisdiction. The five soldiers dragged in front of the cameras yesterday should thank their lucky stars that they are prisoners not of the American forces fighting for civilisation, but of the "barbaric and inhuman" Iraqis.

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Liberty Fries

South Korean anti-war activists, wearing a U.S. President George W. Bush mask and a costume representing an Iraqi woman, protest on a logo of McDonalds restaurant in Seoul March 26, 2003. (REUTERS/Rhee Dong-Min)

The head of the replica of the Statue of Liberty is photographed in Bordeaux, southwestern France, Wednesday March 26, 2003, after vandals set it on fire overnight Tuesday. The main damage to the 8-foot statue is at its crowned head which is blackened from the arson attack. The eyes of the statue are marked up with red paint, apparently to symbolize tears of blood. (AP Photo/Damien Lafargue)

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Tivo Zeitgeist

Why is there no regularly-updated Tivo Zeitgeist page, like the Google Zeitgeist?

Tivo reports oscars viewing behavior

The war-related comments by Oscar winners Michael Moore and Adrien Brody were the most replayed part Sunday's Academy Awards broadcast, according to TiVo, the personal video recorder technology company.

The single most paused or freeze-framed event of the live show was the stage entrance of presenter Julia Roberts.

[...] TiVo also reported that viewership dropped off heavily during commercials in the Oscars show, but speculated that this was because viewers were using commercial breaks to tune into other sources of news programming to follow the dramatic events of the war in Iraq. [yeah, right!]

The measurement of audience behavior was based on a review of 10,000 of TiVo anonymous subscribers' viewing patterns during the broadcast.

No stats on fast-forwarding? This article seems to imply that all of these people were watching the show live, which I would never do. After your first week with Tivo you catch on that there's no benefit at all to watching TV live instead of time-shifted, because that just means that you can't fast-forward.

I hadn't realized they collected stats on pausing, etc. That must be a lot of data. But I guess it compresses well.

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Current Music: Luxt -- Hunger ♬

love the quality control

So, I don't know nothin' about this whole newfangled file-sharing nonsense that the kids are in to these days. But what I do know is, I just bought the album "Sorted" by Dj Acucrack, and cdparanoia refuses to rip the last two tracks ("Optimizer" and "Selector vs. The Acucrack".) When I turn off "extra paranoia", it will rip track 11 with horrible skips; and it won't touch track 12 at all. They played ok when I dusted off a "real" CD player though, and the other tracks ripped fine. No obvious surface defects.

Any of you got MP3s of those, or know where to find them?

I spent ten minutes playing with gtk-gnutella, but it was useless (and I fully expect that it went and uploaded my passwd file somewhere for my trouble. It seemed enthusiastic like that.)

Update: Got 'em! Thanks, substitute!

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Cop Shoot Cop

I have come to you today to speak of Cop Shoot Cop's 1994 album "Release." This album is just such a boot to the head, that as your attorney, I must advise you to obtain and listen to it immediately.

I find it hard to write about music, but I've had this album for years, and it just keeps getting better and better the more I listen to it. Let me put it this way:

    This album is as good as Gang of 4's "Entertainment."

Strong words, I know. But there it is.

Every song on this album has the ability to just get in my gut, dig in its fingers and twist: "It Only Hurts When I Breathe", "Slackjaw", "Any Day Now", "Suckerpunch"... I can't even pick a favorite. The lyrics, the hammering basslines, it's all just so fucking good.

I saw Cop Shoot Cop once, at the Warfield in, I guess, 1993? I think they were opening for someone. At the time, I only knew one song, "$10 Bill", which was getting some radio play. A good song, but I wish I had been more familiar with their material, or had gotten to see them again before they broke up. I remember being really impressed with them even though I didn't know their stuff, especially at the fact that they had basically two and a half drummers, including a whole bunch of scrap metal.

I picked up "Psychopharmacology" by Firewater, the next band that CSC's singer started, but it didn't really grab me.

I missed the boat on Gang of 4, too: I'll never forgive myself for passing up a chance to see them live in 1984(?), because at the time all I knew them by was "I Love a Man in Uniform". I've bought tickets to see them twice since, each time they had re-formed, and both times the tour was canceled before it made it to the west coast (first their tour with Public Enemy and Sisters of Mercy (!), then later, a show at The Stone for which they just failed to appear for who-knows-what reason.)

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