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Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Subject:Mac Open Firmware password protection
Time:9:10 am.
I bought a used Mac Mini via eBay recently. I wanted to run a memory test on it in single-user mode, but was surprised to find the usual method (hold down the Option and S keys during power-up) didn't work. At first I thought it was my keyboard, until I found this article on Open Firmware password protection. Sure enough, when holding down the Option key at boot, the password prompt appeared.

Figuring out how to get rid of the password protection isn't easy. Google searches reveal solutions like removing memory and resetting the PRAM (command-option-P-R) at power-on, but removing RAM from a Mac Mini is nontrivial.

Fortunately the seller provided a fresh Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) installation on the machine before shipping it to me, so I had administrative access.

It then became a simple matter of:

- Open
- sudo nvram security-mode="none"
Comments: Read 7 or Add Your Own.

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Subject:Calling all World-of-Warcrackheads
Time:9:34 pm.
How can I find you in the game?
Comments: Read 11 or Add Your Own.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Subject:Oh, and another thing...
Time:4:47 pm.
I know this will make me the most unpopular person in my social group, but ...

Down with rent control! Vote yes on Proposition 98.

(Not that any of you will actually do that. :-))

(Why, do you ask? Rent control is a terrible way to allocate housing, and leads to atrocious behavior by landlords who will do pretty much anything to kick their tenants out, including letting their homes rot until they're essentially uninhabitable. If you want cheap rent, get on your local zoning boards and stop whiny landowners from blocking new construction. You just can't argue with supply and demand. Meanwhile, San Franciscans keep shooting themselves in the foot...)
Comments: Read 11 or Add Your Own.

Subject:On that gay marriage thing...
Time:3:59 pm.
Dear Friends:

Calling the Governator's office to support gay marriage will not help. You're wasting your time and your battery life.

If you want to preserve the status quo, you'll need to gather together to successfully oppose the referendum on November's ballot that would amend the state Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. Otherwise, it goes in and you're all fucked -- the Court cannot directly contravene a Constitutional amendment.

Alas, the odds are pretty good that the amendment will pass. You have an uphill battle to fight. Much of California's population lives outside just LA and SF, and our neighbors outside these two major cities share similar sentiments about homosexuals as those living thousands of miles to our east.

It's unfortunate that it had to come to this. There is another way to solve this problem -- namely, we should ensure that the rights and benefits that today only married couples can have, not just to the silly compromise that is "civil unions" (which are really just gay marriages in disguise to those who are opposed to them), but to everyone -- married or otherwise.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Time:9:20 pm.
Apparently, while I was sleeping, Portishead cut a new album. Hopefully a US tour is on the horizon!
Comments: Read 2 or Add Your Own.

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Subject:Otterley, now with extra authority!
Time:8:08 pm.
I passed the California Bar Exam.

It seems a bit anticlimactic now, since I have no desire whatsoever to practice law.  Still, the experience of becoming a lawyer was quite a ride. 
Comments: Read 17 or Add Your Own.

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Subject:Training != experience
Time:3:49 pm.
So, I finish my last final exam of law school ever and what's my first job?

Fixing a toilet.

Well, it wasn't exactly the job I was trained for, but I guess it's similar - both involve cleaning up situations where someone takes a shit.
Comments: Read 9 or Add Your Own.

Subject:Maybe A. Dominy-Cusraque was right
Time:12:24 pm.
If you were a regular reader of alt.gothic between 1994-95, or you're familiar with the Boston goth scene, the name A. Dominy-Cusraque probably means something to you.  (He ran "Hell" at Manray until the club's demise in 2005.)  (Ed. note: I should have figured he, too, has a LiveJournal.  Greetings, cusraque!)

Justification...Collapse )
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Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Time:11:39 am.
Tonight is the annual KFOG Kaboom! event -- it's unquestionably the best fireworks show you'll ever see.  No kidding.  They pull out all the stops.  (The accompanying music is admittedly lame, but who cares?)  The only downside is that after you see it, every fireworks show you see hence will be boring.

I'd go, but I'm drowning in the Internal Revenue Code (my last final exam ever, unless I do something else stupid in the name of "education" like going to business school).  Ugh.  The rest of you SF denizens have no excuse to miss it.
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Friday, May 11th, 2007

Subject:LCD Soundsystem v.bis
Time:10:37 am.
Apparently LCD Soundsystem did not play in SF a few weeks ago; that was rescheduled.

The good news: They'll be at Mezzanine on Friday, June 8!   (This is the day after my 33rd birthday, BTW.)

See you there!
Comments: Read 1 or Add Your Own.

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Subject:LCD Soundsystem
Time:5:40 pm.
Did anyone catch LCD Soundsystem at Mezzanine a couple of weeks ago?  I wasn't able to go and now I'm curious as to whether I missed a really fantastic show.  Their new CD kicks ass; go check it out.

The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show last night was fantastic.  (Except for the mysterious absence of The Fratellis, who were supposed to open - but since they'll be opening next month for The Police instead, I'm not going to cry about it.)  I keep telling everyone how great BRMC are, but I never run into anyone but Mark Wilson at their shows.  Pity on the rest of you!
Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Subject:Punctuation on Digg (and, increasingly, Reddit)
Time:10:19 am.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Subject:Carbon neutrality
Time:10:32 am.
So I'm watching The Newshour With Jim Lehrer last night and there's a piece about biofuel research [MP3] being conducted at Lawrence Berkeley Labs.

Skip ahead to 6m16s:

Scientist: "You cut [switchgrass] down, you grind it up into small pieces.  The sugar is bound up in switchgrass in something called cellulose.  We have to break that down so we use enzymes to chew that up and it releases sugars.  Then we take that sugar and we feed it to the microbes that are producing the fuel, and they spit out the fuel."

Interviewer: "Why do you want a hydrocarbon in your gas tank; you'll get carbon dioxide [CO2] in the air?"

Scientist: "That's right; but plants took up that CO2; they fix the CO2 from the atmosphere, it gets turned into sugar in the plant, which we then convert into a fuel, gets burned in your engine, and produces CO2.  It's CO2-neutral."

Okay, so:  CO2 in atmosphere -> CO2 in plants -> CO2 in atmosphere -> CO2 in plants -> ...

Wet, lather, rinse, repeat.

There seems to be a flaw in the scientist's reasoning, though.  Namely, he seems to base his logic on the implicit assumption that once the source material is extracted (in this case switchgrass), the exact same amount of biomass will be regenerated (but doesn't say when).  However, there is no guarantee of that.  What if it isn't?

If you think about it, coal, oil, and other fossil fuels ultimately originate from biomass - they are a product of the long, slow decay of carbon-based life.  If we cannot replace these fuels with enough new plant and animal matter to make their use CO2-neutral, why do we believe that we can replace the amount of equivalent biofuel we would use each year with enough such material? 
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Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Subject:I may have joined your ranks, but I have not become one of you.
Time:12:58 pm.
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Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Subject:Best coffee ad ever.
Time:11:29 am.
Comments: Read 2 or Add Your Own.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Subject:Michael Lewis on the collapse of the subprime market
Time:6:32 pm.
"No matter how much the government might try to help the poor, the rich people who run financial markets will find a way to screw them." --Michael Lewis (in this fantastic Bloomberg opinion)

(Michael Lewis is the author of Liar's Poker, which I highly recommend - it's a tremendously amusing story about financial market shenanigans.)
Comments: Read 3 or Add Your Own.

Subject:Free ice cream today
Time:1:25 pm.
Ben & Jerry's is giving away one free scoop per customer at their retail stores until 8pm today. 

Enjoy a scoop of Willie Nelson's Shredded Tax Forms & Hash Country Peach Cobbler!
Comments: Read 3 or Add Your Own.

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Subject:Wyland's Laws
Time:4:39 pm.
These pithy aphorisms have been hanging on the wall in my good friend Bob's office.  After much needless delay, I finally asked Dave Wyland (the author and also a friend) to send me a copy. They're an endless source of amusement for me.   Enjoy!

Wyland’s Laws

Law of Automation: Anything that can be done for you automatically can be done to you automatically.

Law of Events: Life comes in clumps.

Law of Inheritance: In children, one third comes from the mother, one third comes from the father, and one third comes from outer space.

Law of Experience: You can’t come back from where you haven’t been (John Byram)

Law of Disasters: Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups. (Anon.) Example: Titanic.

Law of Organizations: The system doesn’t work, but you can work the system.

Law of New Product Nostalgia: Everyone wants to bet on the last race.

Law of Minimum Astonishment: Governing principle of Science.

Corollary: Insanity is doing it the way you did before and expecting the results to be different.

Law of Uniform Decision Quality: The quality of the business decision is independent of the amount of money involved: Examples: IBM PC Jr., New Coke

The 20% Law: You have to do 20% more than your share just to break even. This is because things break down, get lost, don’t get done. See: Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Wyland’s Design Laws

First Inequality Relation of Design: Simple != Easy

Second Inequality Relation of Design: Comfortable != Safe

Law of Cuteness in Design: Cuteness in design is like sugar in coffee. A little can make a great deal of difference; a lot makes it unusable

Law of Continuity of Smartness During Debug: You were about as smart when you started the design as you are now. Do not make radical changes based on the assumption that you did not know what you were doing a few weeks ago.

First Law of Engineering: The proof of the engineering is in the working.

Second Law of Engineering: The equipment in the lab may not know of your theories..

Law of Over Analysis: If you torture the data enough, it will confess. (Alice Grundt)

Law of Relative Difficulty: The other guy’s job is always easier.

Law of Planning: It always takes longer and costs more. Always.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Subject:I win.
Time:2:52 pm.
Comments: Read 4 or Add Your Own.

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

Subject:One of these things does not belong
Time:12:12 pm.

Abercrombie and Fitch invades Savile Row, London:

She informed us that the company had a "tagline" which we would have to use when greeting customers. She explained, very seriously, that it was, "Hello, how are you?"

"How did you come up with that?" I asked. She said a company of marketing consultants had worked intensively at developing it.

They wanted to audition me to see if I could deliver the line - this was make or break. "Hello, how are you?!" I said clearly. "Very good" she reassured me.

I had cleared my first hurdle and said four words in the right order, a test that floored some of my fellow-would-be-models - honestly.

Comments: Read 1 or Add Your Own.

LiveJournal for You're behind the wheel tonight.

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