Twitter Updates for 2008-06-24

  • nitemayr.com is down – on the phone with hosting provider now. #
  • nitemayr.com is back – hosting server was restarted #
  • Patrick Carlin described his brother “he was born hip and never stopped growing,” …”And I’m going to miss him forever, forever, man.” #
  • Patrick Carlin described his brother “he was born hip and never stopped growing,” …”And I’m going to miss him forever, forever, man.” #
  • @fowgre Sure, why not? It’s only fair. #

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Not a Deep Crow

Deepack-CrowPa, originally uploaded by NiteMayr.

I paid the 10 bucks to get the full SPORE creature creator. Not really for me, but so that my kid could play with it and really get to see all she can do with SPORE when it comes out.

I tried to make a Deep Crow with it (but you can’t control the color all that well) so I had to punch it up in post.

Please enjoy Deepack-Crowpa

Get your Streetside Tan on!

Get your Streetside Tan on!, originally uploaded by NiteMayr.

Hola London, just outside the King’s Diner you can get a wicked tan! Just ask this guy. If he is there later on I’ll ask him who he is and if I can interview him.

Hey, if you have the time and the impetus, you should do what you want if it isn’t hurting anyone.

My co-worker thought this guy might be homeless, but a close inspection reveals a PDA in his chair there and the chair itself seems a bit extraneous for a homeless guy to need for a nice suntan.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll stop and ask him a few questions if he is still out there.

MUST. RESIST. TEMPTATION. TO. DEFEND. COMEDIAN

When Myers appeared on “The Daily Show,” the comedian seemed genuinely upset that Jon Stewart didn’t let him set up the unfunny clip of his film. There’s something so cloying about Myers these days — it’s as if he thinks if he repeats a joke often enough, he will wear down the audience into laughing. And his kind of movie — the silly, based-on-a-skit type — seems slightly archaic in the post-“Superbad,” “Knocked Up” world, which feature characters who feel real.

Mike Myers: The antifunny?

Ack! I want to defend Mike Myers so much.  He’s a big boy, so he can stand for himself I’m sure.  I just hate when a comedian gets on the “not funny now” list like this.  It would be different if this column hadn’t pointed at Superbad and Knocked up as examples of with it comedy; then I’d have let this pass unmolested.  But to point to Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill and say “THEY ARE THE FUTURE OF COMEDY” is just wrong.

Over ten years of Kevin Smith wrong.

I liked both of these movies, just like I liked a bunch of other foul-mouthed dick and fart joke movies.  I like dick and fart jokes and can’t deny it.  I also like stupid accents and physical comedy.  Mike Myers has embraced what makes him funny and people have decided “so what else is new?”  Jim Carrey faced this when he tried to put his brand of humor into established places and failed (which made the whole cat in the hat thing kind of puzzling to me really)  Mr. Carrey tried to turn what had made “Fire Marshal Bill” “My, Myself & Irene” funny into something that could pass from movie to movie; forgetting the humanity that the Characters were hapless losers that won out in the end.

Mr. Myers might want to stretch himself more in the future though, as it appears he is going to be castigated for doing what television sitcoms do for years on end, giving the audience more of the same with the same cast and so on.  This afflicts a bunch of comedians, and kind of seperates the comedy fans from the deliatants, the die hards will accept more of the same if it is still funny and the masses just want something new and possibly shocking. Which is why “I don’t want to offend you…” by Bobcat Goldwaith was a hit with standup fans and no more than a blip on the radar of the general public.  It was more of the same, but the delivery and material was so great, who cares that you knew all the punchlines?

I like to think of great comedy like I think of great music, you can hear the same phrases and motions over and over and still enjoy it.  Sometimes you can find new textures and flavours in it.  I think that Mr. Myers has tried to put a new spin on an old act and found people don’t want a new spin, they just want new.

I still say that Canada should boycott the Olympics (updated)

The Olympic torch relay passed through Xinjiang last week under tight security, with all but carefully vetted residents banned from watching on the streets and tight controls over foreign media covering the event.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie

Chinese Authorities Demolish Mosque

I suspect that the Chinese net-bullies might be up in arms over this story from Yahoo,  as there is as much nationalism in China as there is an any jingoistic state out there.  I was surprised at how vitrolic the chinese community could be and was ready to just dismiss the chinese as backwards nationalists with no real place in the world.  Then I remembered “Freedom Fries” and “Freedom Toast” and it all become clear to me.

Chinese Nationalists are just as stupid and single-minded as any other nationalist and I shouldn’t look at them as an example of their people.  I should look at the actions of the people as a whole.

Well, that certainly sets me straight.

From Twitter:

fowgre @nitemayr Yes, and then the world should boycott Vancouver because of the way we’ve treated the First Nations people here.

nitemayr @fowgre Sure, why not? It’s only fair.

Some Advice for IT Types

“IT is at the heart of business these days and there are real opportunities now to have a career in IT which will ultimately lead to a position on the board.”

If this is the case, why are so many IT jobs filled with people who have no idea what they are doing? I spoke to my share of IT reps from firms all over the Fortune 1000 and Fortune 50 that had no clue what they were doing, nor did they have any idea where they were going with their mandates.  Often they had no plan or action plan.

One example really sticks out for me; a hardware changeover plan that had no “buffer”  the IT rep wanted to replace an important firewall with another one.  He felt assured that he could just replace the current device with a new and wholly different one if the new devide was configured correctly.

This was a bad plan for two reasons:

1) There was no fallback beyond dropping the old hardware in place.

2) The router was the MAIN ingress to their websites and mail systems.  There were no external fallbacks or alternate sites for users to visit during the downtime.  If the transition went BAD (new hardware fails and old device breaks during transition) there was no fallback.

I know, you’re thinking: Kevin, what would you have done?
I would have published a new set of DNS records with a TTL of about 15 minutes.  I would publish them a week before I made the transition and made sure my DNS server was not inside the new router.  Once in place you would have 15 minutes of downtime while you performed the transiton to a new host for your website if something went wrong during the switch.  That’s fairly easy to deal with.

I like the idea of planning for downtime like that; you could even change the TTL on the DNS records back to 24 hours when you are done.

Here are some tips for outage planning

  1. Have a fallback plan for total failure:

    If it is an internet enabled service that users need access to, publish DNS records that point to a “Server is down” page on the net (for web services)  when the primary record(s) is/are down.

    Keep offsite hard copies (by hard copies I mean stored on Hard disk or Tape)

    Keep enough cash in the IT budget to buy server time on multiple hosts should short-term downtime become extended overtime.

    Any server that is important enough to serve all your needs should have a clone on hand with all the same data, backed up every 6 to 12 hours (or less) so that if your primary server(s) go down a clone can go online in seconds.

  2. Announce the outage in as many ways possible.  Email is never enough for big outages.  Warn users in cloud writing if you think they will read it.
  3. When the outage is going to take a machine out of service forever, contact any old admins and/or users and determine if they have stored anything important on the box.  You never know.
  4. Treat every outage as a potential crisis and be ready for complaints regardless of success or shortness of time.
  5. Confirm that all parts and plans are in order before the outage in underway, if at all possible create a schedule and checklist for the outage that creates a series of milestones and ETAs that can be delivered to end users and managers.

After all, you are the heart of the business when you are in IT, right?

Non-IT Grads don't want IT Jobs

Just read this passage and wonder at it:

Non-IT graduates think a job in IT would be “boring,” despite its good career prospects, according to the Career Development Organisation (CDO).

http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/06/24/231173/it-is-boring-say-graduates.htm

Read it again, I’ll wait.

Okay, got it?  It opens with “Non-IT Graduates” as if to say someone who went through school to get their MBA or Masters in Psychology would be interested or even qualified to fill an IT position.  I think the article is grasping for the why not IT in the first place kind of feeling, but instead comes to a screeching halt right up front with that first line.  I read it as “people who were never interested in IT think that IT jobs are boring” and you know what, they should not get into IT if they feel that way.

I’m fairly certain that there are a number of people in IT these days who got into it for the money; and through sheer personality have excelled.  Good for them.  It’s kept down a few really smart people in the ranks because they don’t have the social skills to impress the uppers, but maybe those types will be weeded out and the more focused geeks will rise to prominence.

Time will tell I guess.

Telfon Coated Presidency

For our friends overseas, imagine for a moment that when you go for a job interview you were asked what team you supported?  Perhaps, when you went to the doctor they asked you what Chapel you went (or didn’t go) to?  Outrageous, right?  You’d want to spit blood if you didn’t get the job when someone asked you in an official capacity what shirt you wore to the match, right?

The Folks in the Bush Whitehouse did this as a matter of process.  It’s fairly clear that the Bush whitehouse was a 100% self-sustaining political nepotism engine.  Which is outrageous when one considers how this was applied to non-political roles.

High-ranking political appointees at the Justice Department labored to stock a prestigious hiring program with young conservatives in a five-year-long attempt to reshape the department’s ranks, according to an inspector general’s report to be released today.

Report says partisanship reigned in Justice Department hiring program

When we see this kind of crap going on south of the border, amongst the “enlightened” conservative movement there, one wonders why Canadians still seem to think the Home-Grown variety are going to perform any differently.  The Liberals may have been fattening the coffers of their friends, but at least they weren’t destroying the Canadian way of life or giving in to the Bush Whitehouse while they were in office.  The Harper conservatives seem keen on only two things, social conservatism and emulating the conservatives south of the border.  Stay tuned for new scandals with the Tories mirroring those south of the sensible.

Meanwhile…

The internal audit already has produced one grand jury referral. Federal prosecutors in the District recently issued subpoenas to former employees in Justice’s civil rights unit as part of a probe into discrepancies in 2007 congressional testimony by Bradley A. Schlozman, an interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo.

Maybe this will come out in the wash, but when my Democrat friends were all telling me about how Patrick Fitzgerald was going to shake the Whitehouse like a bone and get the bastards, I knew that it would fall flat.  I imagine this will all come for nothing too.

Go Teflon Whitehouse!