News and Reaction

Chevy: Creatively Bankrupt

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/03/chevy-creatively-bankrupt/

So, apparently Chevy has run out of ideas not only on building cars, but for marketing them as well. So, they’re inviting people on the Internet to make commercials for them. The “best” commercial gets some sort of prize.

I like meekay’s commercial. Sums up my feelings when I see such a powerful, capable car.

“I’ve got stuff to buy!”

Thanks, Mike!



Benefits of DST

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/04/benefits-of-dst/

I got up at 6AM today, which is what I do on my good days. Not only was it rainy and cold, but since 6AM now comes at 5AM, it was fricking dark too. So I went back to bed, got up at 8:30, and drove in.

So, uhm, no daylight here, and increased fuel consumption. (If I wake up at 6 or 7, I have enough time for breakfast at home and a walk to the bus station.)

But I am just a crank.

This crazy mega-rain chaff my hide.

Feedback Welcome


“Error 25090”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/06/error-25090/

So, here’s a neat bug:

Customer reports she can’t export her contacts from Outlook to Excel. “Why,” says I. But ours is not to question why . . . so, I fire up Internet Explorer (for good Microsoft Karma) and type kb.microsoft.com. Nope. microsoft.com/kb. Nope. But then it suggests support.microsoft.com. Okay. And I search for error code 25090, and voila:


The solution? Go get the Office 2003 Install disk, and make sure it starts to run setup.exe, and then hit Cancel. Because by merely initializing setup.exe your computer system will be fixed.

I give the support folks points for documenting this fix without falling over themselves laughing. Problem solved, as I walk away from the scene chorlting “this is so going in my blog . . .”

1 Comment


Fun with IP Mapping

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/10/fun-with-ip-mapping/

We recently set up an old machine at work to play the part of an “ops warboard” . . . basically, a Firefox session with the tab-slideshow module, paging through screens of Big Sister status lamps. I got to thinking, that one very cool thing to do, is to set up a map, with little dots on it that light up when people log in to our web application.

There is a web site to map IPs to geographic information: hostip.info. I yanked IPs from web logs, and wrote a script to query the web site for Latitude and Longitude, and then delved into the complexities of xplanet.

To prove my own understanding, I hacked up this:

WARNING: Do not visit this link! Some Hungarian asshat linked to it in a message forum and stole a bunch of server bandwidth so it is currently serving alternate content. (Sorry.)


That’s a 24-frame animated gif of hourly hits to my web site from last Wednesday. I’m hoping to write a script to generate such things automatically. For a “real time” deal it is a matter of getting the IPs you want to map from the web logs to the mapper. I’m thinking some minor daemon who tails logs and perhaps send RPC pings when it sees a “new” IP address. Where “new” is “new within the past five minutes” . . . that gets converted into geo coordinates, and the map is refreshed every so often. Not quite “real time” but close enough to look cool.


Politics, Technical

Energy Conservation Gains due to Daylight Saving Time

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/12/dst-energy-conservation/


I have no empirical evidence, but since the clock was shifted, I can report that I have found it harder to get out of bed. As a consequence, I have been missing the cut-off time to access the bus and been relying on a personal automobile to get to work. My personal energy consumption has seen a substantial increase as a result of DST.

I had weird thoughts about this problem this morning. There have been reports lately that more and more Americans are working earlier and earlier hours. Record numbers of people are now up at 6AM, 5AM . . . imagine all that energy they are burning in the morning, turning up artificial lighting and climate controls because they are up before the sun! And then going to bed when it is still light out!

Perhaps, perhaps, we would save daylight if we moved everyone’s clocks backward! We could measure average working hours each year and then adjust the DST offset so that no matter how much earlier or later people were working . . .

Of course, this stupid idea would never get enacted. Er, well, DST got enacted! How was that? Business concerns–golfers, sporting goods, and others figured than an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon would bring them greater profits. So, if we were to reverse DST . . . perhaps McDonald’s and Burger King, IHOP, Starbuck’s coffee . . . the longer the morning . . .


Feedback Welcome



Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/15/abortion/

(Addressed originally to my wife, mother, and grandmother, but why not share?)


Tom has two links about South Dakota. The state outlawed abortion pretty much entirely. They only had one abortion clinic anyway. So, a chief of an Indian Reservation, is trying to open her own family planning clinic. And since Indians have limited sovereignty, she would (hopefully) be able to provide abortions on her own territory within South Dakota.

“Only in America.”

Also, I read somewhere that while the new Supreme Court is culturally conservative, they are also judicially conservative, meaning that they are more likely, most of the time, to defer to precedent, rather than to change laws based on their personal beliefs. The South Dakota thing is aimed squarely at a Supreme Court challenge to overturn Roe v Wade. Of course the trick is that the court could go either way — social conservative or judicial conservative — and if they go the latter, there is a SECOND Supreme Court precedent affirming abortion rights.

Which would pretty much make anti-abortion impossible without an Amendment.

OR, if we lose Roe v Wade is becomes a State issue . . . from the first article:

Aguilar: Tell me about your reservation and the realities women living in rural areas face in this political climate.

Fire Thunder: My reservation is 50 miles by 100 miles long. It’s a large rural community of 40,000 people and 60 percent of our people speak our language. Half of our population is under 18.

In a perfect world, if a woman is raped, she will call the police, and the police will take her to the emergency room. The emergency room will have components in place to help this woman, including the morning-after pill to prevent the pregnancy. In rural America, that doesn’t happen. Many places in rural America do not know about the morning-after pill.

On the reservation, we have to take a look at the high rates of alcohol and drug use. More often than not, young women who’ve been raped while under the influence will be blamed for being drunk. If someone is raped, especially out in the rural community, they may not report it. After three days, they’ve passed the cut-off point for taking the morning-after pill.

How many babies are conceived during the act of violence? We don’t know.

Interesting times.  If we lose Roe, we will all be in the fight.  And even with Roe, there is still a lot of work that needs doing.

Feedback Welcome


1906 Earthquake Commemorated One Hour Early

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/18/1906-earthquake-dst/

So, today is the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake which leveled much of San Francisco.  To mark the occasion, people got up as early at 4:30AM to attend the festivities, held at 5:17AM, the time when the earthquake struck.  Just yesterday I started thinking “but San Francisco didn’t practice Daylight Saving Time in 1906.  Are they making the centenarians get up an hour earlier than the actual event?”

Yes!  Somebody more insane than me has already written about this, thus justifying the entire blog-o-sphere, in my mind.  The sun rose at 6:31AM today, in San Francisco–just fifteen minutes after the actual centennial of the Earthquake.  But, thanks to Daylight Saving Time, very old people were forced out of bed at what would have been 3:30AM, to celebrate an hour and fifteen minutes before sunrise.

“Oh, the humanity!”

1 Comment


Multiple Sclerosis Walk

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2006/04/21/ms-walk/

After seeing Jeff’s post, I decided I’d truck down to Los Gatos this weekend to take a little 10k walk. The big benefit should be getting to see Barry, who should be walking in his wheelchair.

I never got the point of raising money by asking people to give you money for walking–I walk for free. I mean. Well, so I’ll donate my own money, but if anyone wants to make a contribution, your generosity would be appreciated. Jeff notes that donations are acceptible after the walk has happened, if you are reading this after the fact.

If any of my 408 peeps want to get together Saturday afternoon / evening, gimme a shout!



Arrr! . . . Avast!
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