this one's for danfuzz

jwz

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The Third Annual Nigerian Email Conference

Write better emails. Make more moneys.
I am Mr. Laurent Mpeti Kabila, a senior assistant leader of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone.

I present to you an urgent and confidential request: I request your attendance at The 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your distinguished colleagues, learn new marketing techniques, and spend your hard-earned money. Attending this conference demands the highest trust, security and confidentiality between us.

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rock on, Ted Turner

Monopoly or Democracy?

"On Monday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to adopt dramatic rule changes that will extend the market dominance of the five media corporations that control most of what Americans read, see and hear. I am a major shareholder in the largest of those five corporations, yet -- speaking only for myself, and not for AOL Time Warner -- I oppose these rules. They will stifle debate, inhibit new ideas and shut out smaller businesses trying to compete. If these rules had been in place in 1970, it would have been virtually impossible for me to start Turner Broadcasting or, 10 years later, to launch CNN." [...]

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Sputnik for sale on eBay

"Buy It Now for $29,500."

"Like most earth-changing projects, more than one model was built for testing and back-up purposes. This is an original Sputnik from the '50s space program, named "model PS-1". Literally lost in space for the past 30 years, we discovered it hanging 20 feet above the ground in a science institute near Kiev. Nearly identical to the Sputnik that orbited the Earth. Constructed of a highly-polished metal alloy; 31" in diameter and equipped with two, 10ft and two 5ft whip antennae. Weighing in at 66lbs. Historians may note that this is lighter than the flown-craft, which weighed 176 lbs. This is because the once-top-secret radio transmitters and batteries were removed and destroyed, during the security conscious 1960s."

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*sob*

jwz:   I am house music's own sysadmin
rzr_grl:   hey, that's an impressive resume piece!
you don't have to mention you're an unpaid intern
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Luxury to Die For -- In Eternum Wound Filler

Six Feet Under posters banned: The risque ad campaign draws inspiration from the show's spoof TV ads for funeral service products.

luxurytodiefor.com (Flash)

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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update with some new pictures.
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no good deed goes unpunished.

Periodically I search Usenet for recent references to xscreensaver; that's how I decide what needs to go into the FAQ, and it's also the way I often learn about bugs (since lots of people prefer post to their favorite group instead of asking me, which is just fine.)

So I saw this message on who-knows-what group with a changelog that listed patches that had been made to various programs in the Debian distribution. There was a patch to xscreensaver on that list that I didn't recognise, and a little searching around didn't provide any clues, so I sent a three sentence message to the author of the changelog post asking what that patch was, and where to find it. (I didn't expect that he wrote the patch, but I did assume he'd know where to find it.)

Instead of just answering my question (e.g., "the patch is here" or, if he were feeling generous, "the patch is here, and it's not what you think") he took the opportunity to be a gigantic flaming dick about it.

I should be used to this by now, I really should. I should come to expect this kind of behavior from the poorly-socialized nerds who populate the software world; after all, they were a significant part of what sucked about my previous career. But I'm not used to it. It still sucks. Every time I have to deal with some ankle-biting needledick like this guy I ask myself, "why is it that I'm bothering to release this software at all? This is alegedly rewarding in some way?"

Look at the kind of shit I have to put up with:

<LJ-CUT text=" --More--( 6%) ">


    Subject: xineramify_xscreensaver.diff?
    Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 02:36:35 -0700
    From: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>
    To: branden@debian.org

    You wrote:

    • debian/patches/000_stolen_from_HEAD_xineramify_xscreensaver.diff (new):
    • New patch from XFree86 HEAD to add Xinerama support to xscreensaver.

    Nobody has ever sent me such a patch for xscreensaver -- what does it do? (There has been Xinerama support in xscreensaver since, I think, 1998.)

    I poked around on debian.org, but I can't figure out if there exists any way to see the ways in which you've modified my program without actually installing Debian. Is there?

    Thanks,

    --
    Jamie Zawinski
    jwz@jwz.org https://www.jwz.org/
    jwz@dnalounge.com https://www.dnalounge.com/


    Subject: Re: xineramify_xscreensaver.diff?
    Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 14:35:36 -0500
    From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
    To: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>, Daniel Stone <daniels@kde.org>
    CC: debian-x@lists.debian.org

    [There was no need to mail me privately about this; the debian-x mailing list is a perfectly reasonable forum for such queries.]

    On Mon, May 26, 2003 at 02:36:35AM -0700, Jamie Zawinski wrote:

    • debian/patches/000_stolen_from_HEAD_xineramify_xscreensaver.diff (new):
    • New patch from XFree86 HEAD to add Xinerama support to xscreensaver.

    Nobody has ever sent me such a patch for xscreensaver -- what does it do? (There has been Xinerama support in xscreensaver since, I think, 1998.)

    I neither wrote this patch, nor am I the person who borrowed the changes in question from XFree86 CVS HEAD.

    I hadn't previously scrutinized this patch, but it appears to add Xinerama/"PanoramiX" support to the XScreenSaver protocol extension that is part of the Xext shared library, and has nothing to do with "xscreensaver", the application which is, I am given to understand by the prominent declarations all over it, written and copyrighted by you, Jamie Zawinski.

    It surprises me that you were apparently unaware that the string "xscreensaver" refers to more than just your own software. If that is true, you should probably also know that this determination of name was not made by the Debian Project, but, I believe, by the X Consortium a decade ago or more.

    I poked around on debian.org, but I can't figure out if there exists any way to see the ways in which you've modified my program without actually installing Debian. Is there?

    • The text you're quoting is a changelog entry from a Debian-format package that was never prepared for, or released to, the Debian distribution.
    • *I* haven't modified your program in any way. As far as I can tell from browsing the patch, it doesn't either. XFree86 and xscreensaver are separately packaged in the Debian Project, which only makes sense as they have different upstream sources. Perhaps Daniel Stone, who wrote the above entry, is confused about the nature of the patch, or did not explain it clearly enough.

    • When packages are actually part of the Debian distribution (whether the stable, testing, or unstable branches), their source code can be found via the query interface at: http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages

    The patch in question is attached. As you can see, it modifies only the source code of the XFree86 distribution.

    --
    G. Branden Robinson | Kissing girls is a goodness. It is
    Debian GNU/Linux | a growing closer. It beats the
    branden@debian.org | hell out of card games.
    http://people.debian.org/~branden/ | -- Robert Heinlein

    [ patch included here ]


    Subject: Re: xineramify_xscreensaver.diff?
    Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 14:01:27 -0700
    From: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>
    To: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>

    Branden Robinson wrote:

    [There was no need to mail me privately about this; the debian-x mailing list is a perfectly reasonable forum for such queries.]

    I'm not on the debian-x mailing list, nor was I even aware it existed; I saw your message on one of the billion Usenet mirrors that such announcements go to.

    I neither wrote this patch, nor am I the person who borrowed the changes in question from XFree86 CVS HEAD.

    Yours was, however, the only email address in the message I saw, so I didn't know who else to ask.

    It surprises me that you were apparently unaware that the string "xscreensaver" refers to more than just your own software.

    I am very well aware of that, but the concept of "adding Xinerama support to the X server" didn't make any more sense to me than "adding Xinerama support to the xscreensaver client", so given two confusing statements, I assumed the latter was the one that was meant.

    If that is true, you should probably also know that this determination of name was not made by the Debian Project, but, I believe, by the X Consortium a decade ago or more.


    FYI, the use of "xscreensaver" as the name of the client program predates its use as the name of a server extension by several years.

    • When packages are actually part of the Debian distribution (whether the stable, testing, or unstable branches), their source code can be found via the query interface at: http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages

    So it is. For what it's worth, I never would have found this by looking at debian.org. In fact, I still can't guess where it might be linked to from your Site Map page. Searching for "xscreensaver" doesn't find that, either.

    Thank you for the clarification about the patch, needlessly snide though it was. Not that I care, but what exactly did I do to warrant such an obnoxious response when I merely asked two very simple and direct questions? Are you always like this, or am I on your shit list already? As far as I can recall, we've never spoken before, but maybe it made a bigger impression on you than on me.

    --
    Jamie Zawinski
    jwz@jwz.org https://www.jwz.org/
    jwz@dnalounge.com https://www.dnalounge.com/


    Subject: Re: xineramify_xscreensaver.diff?
    Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 16:38:13 -0500
    From: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
    Reply-To: debian-x@lists.debian.org
    To: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>
    CC: debian-x@lists.debian.org

    On Mon, May 26, 2003 at 02:01:27PM -0700, Jamie Zawinski wrote:

    Branden Robinson wrote:

    [There was no need to mail me privately about this; the debian-x mailing list is a perfectly reasonable forum for such queries.]

    I'm not on the debian-x mailing list, nor was I even aware it existed; I saw your message on one of the billion Usenet mirrors that such announcements go to.
    [...]
    Yours was, however, the only email address in the message I saw, so I didn't know who else to ask.

    If you read the message through a mail->news gateway, please identify which one to the debian-x mailing list, since it is obviously obscuring the source of the message and possibly other important information as well.

    It surprises me that you were apparently unaware that the string "xscreensaver" refers to more than just your own software.

    I am very well aware of that, but the concept of "adding Xinerama support to the X server" didn't make any more sense to me than "adding Xinerama support to the xscreensaver client", so given two confusing statements, I assumed the latter was the one that was meant.

    I don't know why it wouldn't make sense. X protocol extensions require support on both the X client and X server side, or they cannot be used.

    As a more recent example, code based on Keith Packard's RENDER extension consists of header files describing the protocol, a client-side library, and patches to the KDrive and XFree86 X servers so that they can understand and act on the protocol extension requests coming across the wire from the client.

    I feel certain that a man with as many years of experience writing X clients as you have has no difficulty with these concepts.

    So, it makes perfect sense to say "add Xinerama support to the X server"; X servers without support for the Xinerama protocol extension will not expose the features of that extension, and clients connecting to that server will be unable to take advantage of them.

    If that is true, you should probably also know that this determination of name was not made by the Debian Project, but, I believe, by the X Consortium a decade ago or more.

    FYI, the use of "xscreensaver" as the name of the client program predates its use as the name of a server extension by several years.

    I'll take your word for it; I also assume that since you claim prior awareness of the "MIT-SCREEN-SAVER"[1] extension, which has existed for many years, that you're not asserting trademark protection in the term.

    When packages are actually part of the Debian distribution (whether the stable, testing, or unstable branches), their source code can be found via the query interface at: http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages

    So it is. For what it's worth, I never would have found this by looking at debian.org. In fact, I still can't guess where it might be linked to from your Site Map page. Searching for "xscreensaver" doesn't find that, either.

    If you're having problems using the Debian website, I suggest clicking on the link at the bottom of most pages -- including the one to which I directed you -- which says "See the Debian contact page for information on contacting us." That links to: <http://www.debian.org/contact>, which has a link "Problems with Debian infrastructure".

    You would not be the first person to have recommendations for improving the Debian website, so I urge you to make those recommendations to the appropriate parties.

    Thank you for the clarification about the patch, needlessly snide though it was. Not that I care, but what exactly did I do to warrant such an obnoxious response when I merely asked two very simple and direct questions? Are you always like this, or am I on your shit list already? As far as I can recall, we've never spoken before, but maybe it made a bigger impression on you than on me.

    We have in fact corresponded before, and you were about as tiresomely dismissive then as now. I have grown accustomed to the likelihood that you ceaselessly search the web for mentions of your own name and waste little time contacting those who utter it. I could offer sincere suggestions for more productive uses of your time, but no doubt they would, as you note, leave a feeble impression on you. I doubt that much can compete with the reverence you feel when looking in the mirror. (Feel free to interpret that last statement as obsequious flattery if you like -- I suspect the intentions of the author have little impact on your interpretations.)

    In any case, this dialogue is fast becoming a waste of my own time, so kindly refrain from mailing me privately again. If you have further questions about Debian's packaging of XFree86, the best address to use is <debian-x@lists.debian.org>.

    [1] at least, that's what "xdpyinfo" calls it on my XFree86 installation

    --
    G. Branden Robinson | No math genius, eh? Then perhaps
    Debian GNU/Linux | you could explain to me where you
    branden@debian.org | got these... PENROSE TILES!
    http://people.debian.org/~branden/ | -- Stephen R. Notley


    Subject: Re: xineramify_xscreensaver.diff?
    Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 14:57:04 -0700
    From: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>
    To: debian-x@lists.debian.org

    Branden Robinson wrote:

    If you read the message through a mail->news gateway, please identify which one to the debian-x mailing list, since it is obviously obscuring the source of the message and possibly other important information as well.

    Well, you know, I was *going* to go search for it again help you, but then you continued to act like an asshole for no reason, so you can just go search for it yourself.

    What is your fascination with non sequitur bitching about trademarks and copyrights? No, don't answer that, I don't care.

    I don't know why it wouldn't make sense. X protocol extensions require support on both the X client and X server side, or they cannot be used.

    The reason it doesn't make sense is that support for Xinerama had been added to both programs many, many years ago -- as evidenced by the fact that it works at all. That changelog would have made plenty of sense in 1997, but not in 2003.

    In any case, this dialogue is fast becoming a waste of my own time, so kindly refrain from mailing me privately again.

    Consider it done. Please choke on a bucket of cocks. Thank you.

    --
    Jamie Zawinski
    jwz@jwz.org https://www.jwz.org/
    jwz@dnalounge.com https://www.dnalounge.com/





UPDATE: Hello to all my fanboys joining us from Debian Weekly News! If you have any comments about this, please mail them to me here.

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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein blah blah blah.
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Current Music: whatever it is that's bleeping at DNA Lounge right now

war porn

It's no Spiders, but it's pretty close...

Lima Lima Mike Foxtrot:

The US Forward Command is a half hour due east of Kuwait City, approximately 75 miles from the Iraqi border. I've flown here from Qatar to learn more about the 11th Signal Brigade, the soldiers tasked with wiring the battlefield. They tote M16s, but their job is to jump out of helicopters and set up packet-based wireless networks. [...]

Their laptops display icons representing a web of nodes and switches. When the icons are green, everything is running fine. But when a link turns red, panic sets in. "A link went red yesterday," says Sergeant Danny Booher, one of the controllers. "One of my guys came under mortar fire near Basra and the satellite got hit." Booher got on the phone with his nearest unit, and, minutes later, there was a humvee racing through the desert, towing a satellite dish on wheels. [...]

"What's funny about using Microsoft Chat," he adds with a sly smile, "is that everybody has to choosean icon to represent themselves. Some of these guys haven't bothered, so the program assigns them one. We'll be in the middle of a battle and a bunch of field artillery colonels will come online in the form of these big-breasted blondes. We've got a few space aliens, too." [..]

His 8-foot bank of Cisco switches and routers is hot to the touch and covered in a thick layer of sediment. "The air-conditioning is breaking down," he tells me. "And the dust is impossible." [...] "When a dust storm comes through here, the tent is totally useless. I wouldn't be able to see you, that's how bad it is." I'm standing two feet from him. "We'll have people vacuuming the switches and servers around the clock, which helps," he says. "But none of it's going to matter if it gets hot."

"You're in the desert," I say. "It's going to get hot."

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