My Linux Nightmare

Let me tell you about a Linux nightmare I woke up from this morning. Yeah, I know, the Linux chef had a Linux nightmare. If you're looking for how to spell schadenfreude, it's schadenfreude. To be more specific, it was a Linux command line nightmare. You see, in the dream, I was locked up somewhere, with bad hombres of one sort or another having trapped me and whoever I was with in some dungeon-like room. Maybe they were aliens, like real aliens. Doesn't matter. There was no way out but there was all sorts of junk lying around. So, I …

Turing Test Failure

Yesterday, I had a weird Turing moment.  As background to this post, I should tell you that I was listening to a podcast on robots and artificial intelligence where Sam Harris was chatting with Kate Darling. Had I not been listening to this, I might have forgotten about my Turing moment. Here's what happened. Yesterday, I received a call from a telephone solicitor, trying to sell me some emergency service for my furnace, insinuating as they spoke, but they were some safety issues that needed to be addressed. At first I was confused by what he was saying, despite being …

Zombies are your friends, and other news.

Yeah, I know. Zombies are scary undead things that eat brains. The whole "eating your brain" thing would be (or should be) scary enough, but the fact that you then turn into a filthy, smelly, parts falling off, undead thing yourself is also pretty bad. And even though I agree that it's pretty bad, there's something you need to know about zombies before you go passing final judgement.  Zombies are actually just big goofy creatures that love gummies. You know? Gummies? Like in gummy bear. Yeah, those. Anyhow, zombies also have X-ray vision and can see into your head. On …

Cemeteries and Churches

Today was another day of summer camp for the boys. One was at soccer camp and the other at skateboard camp. That, however, is not really what this post is about.  After picking the boys up, we passed by a cemetery on the way home. My youngest, the 8 year old, looked out the winder and asked, "Dad, why are cemeteries often beside churches?" I told him that was a good question and built my explanation thusly. You see, my boy, churches are often thought of as God's house. What's happening then is that people are being buried next to …

Internet Speeds, Real vs Advertised

This is a story about Internet speed, real vs advertised. After I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I listened to a CBC Spark podcast. On that podcast, Nora (the host) spoke to a gentleman from CIRA, the Canadian domain organization responsible for the .ca domains. He spoke of a new speed test designed to provide _real world_ statistics regarding Internet performance. If you're curious, I'll provide the link shortly. When I returned home, I decided to give it a try. Using the CIRA speed test, I found that I had upload speeds of 20 Mbps from here …

The Idea Bank

There should be a idea bank, where you can drop off your extra ideas and get paid some small stipend for it. Like a sperm bank except for ideas which, of course, means it’s just like a sperm bank only with ideas instead of sperm. Every sperm represents a possible future and set of outcomes. Ditto for your ideas which represent some form of fuzzy potential, the result of which could either benefit humanity or screw things up even worse. There are differences between sperm and ideas, however. Instead of masturbating into a vial, you write your ideas down on a …

What “Our Menu Options Have Changed” Really Means

It seems that every time I call a company these days, the first thing I hear when the line is picked up are the following words. “Thank you for calling Our Big Megacorporation. Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed.“ Feel free to substitute “Our Big Megacorporation” for any business name you please. For the sake of this discussion, it’s pretty much all the same. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that the menu options on the automated phone trees of every company on this planet has recently changed. In all likelihood, …