Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/03/dancing/


Inspired by too march partying at the Post, in Hat Yai, Thailand.

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News and Reaction, Politics, Religion, Testimonials

Tibet’s Torch

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/07/tibets-torch/

I think this Olympic year is a great occasion both to celebrate China as a great nation and also to protest the Chinese government for any number of serious grievances. But . . . I am hearing that pro-Tibet protesters are trying to extinguish the torch in London and Paris.

That is not cool. To me, it makes the protesters sound like a radical fringe group who would rather spoil the party for the entire world, and it makes the implausible anti-Tibetan propaganda from China’s government sound . . . less implausible.

The Dalai Llama’s non-violent approach toward the struggle gains the Tibetans a lot of international credibility. It must be impossibly frustrating for the Tibetan people to struggle against the Chinese occupation. The passions that are driving these folks are understandably extremely powerful, and I’m not surprised at the reaction. But I am disappointed, and I hope they can coordinate to protest the Chinese in a more compelling manner that kindles rather than douses the sympathies of the world’s people.

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Politics, Sundry, Technical, Technology

Special Election Day

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/08/special-election-day/

Today was a special election for my congressional district. It was an open primary for Congress–two Democrats, two Republicans, and a Green. I voted for the Green candidate in part because he is the only one who sent any campaign literature, and because this is a safely gerrymandered Democrat district anyway.

I was the first citizen of my precinct to try the electronic ballot. To explain the touch screen, the staff boasted “it’s just like an iPhone!” I dug around in English and Chinese and explored the “large print” zoom feature, then I had to ask how one actually casts the ballot. (The user interface places commands on the bottom of the screen, but the “review screen” had a big box in the middle that said “press here to review your paper ballot” and below that the standard “review” button to review the electronic ballot . . . I kept pressing the little button, until the guy showed me that the big box in the middle is also a button.)

I was pleased at the paper trail. On my way out, I noted that the optical scanner had counted three ballots thus far, so this morning’s exit poll is running at least 25% Green.

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Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/10/duet/

Guitarist and Alter-Ego

I tried to sketch the guitar player. Then I got frustrated and excited, flipped the paper, and did a more “impressionistic” style. Another from The Post, in Hat Yai, Thailand.

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Green Woman

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/17/green-woman/

Just your average green woman, sitting under an umbrella.



Guy 1

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/24/guy-1/

I like this guy. Another alien type, with a melty look.

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Linux, Technical, Technology, WordPress

WordPress 2.5.1

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/25/wordpress-251/

There’s a notice on the WordPress dev blog that WordPress 2.5.1 is out. Alas, they neglected to link to the upgrade documentation. My favorite? Upgrading via Subversion:

0-11:17 djh@ratchet ~> cd public_html/toldme
0-11:17 djh@ratchet ~/public_html/toldme> svn sw http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.5.1/
[ . . . ]
Updated to revision 7839.

When I logged in to post this little note, it blocked me and ran the upgrade procedure, then I had to log in again, and here I am!

There’s a further note about the secret key setting:

Since 2.5 your wp-config.php file allows a new constant called SECRET_KEY which basically is meant to introduce a little permanent randomness into the cryptographic functions used for cookies in WordPress. You can visit this link we set up to get a unique secret key for your config file. (It’s unique and random on every page load.) Having this line in your config file helps secure your blog.

It leaves me to wonder: if the secret key can be randomly generated by a machine, why not go ahead and do that and then stash it in the database? There may be a good reason for that . . .

In unrelated news, I upgraded to the newer Ubuntu release at home yesterday. The only trick I have noticed so far is that it runs with Firefox 3.0, which is beta, and I lost use of my foxmarks plugin, for now. So, I’m waiting until that is supported before I upgrade my workstation.

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Featured, Language

“Sate” versus “Satiate”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/28/sate-vs-satiate/

Use of the word “satiated” tends to annoy me. I figured one is “sated”. I just spent some time looking at dictionaries, thesauri, and my etymological dictionary to figure it out once and for all. Google and Google Trends imply that “sate” is the more widely-used term, though this appears to be in large part because journalists keep mis-spelling “state”.

The word “satiated” looks to derive from Latin “satis” which means enough. (Satisfied?)

“Sate” derives from older English, Dutch, and Germanic, and apparently shares the same root word with “sad”.

The Brooding Northern European part of me wonders if my ancestors had some keen understanding of the connection between satisfaction and sadness.

Merriam-Webster boils down several synonyms in terms of “repletion”:

SATIATE and SATE may sometimes imply only complete satisfaction but more often suggest repletion that has destroyed interest or desire. SURFEIT implies a nauseating repletion. CLOY stresses the disgust or boredom resulting from such surfeiting.

At any rate, I see that there’s nothing wrong with being “satiated” yet it is perfectly fine for me to stick with sate and sated. (Though I do enjoy the word “satiety”.)

I am satisfied with this state of repletion. I am sated.


Excerpts, Good Reads, Technology

Yahoo: Hostile Takeover?

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/28/yahoo-hostile-takeover/

Marc Andreessen had some lawyers do an analysis of the current situation between Microsoft and Yahoo, and then posted an excellent summary on his blog on what could happen, what is most likely to happen, and how things work. It is a good read, and a compelling conclusion:

We are learning that hostile takeovers have arrived in our industry. This is the second major hostile takeover so far — the other was Oracle’s takeover of Peoplesoft — but there will be more.

This is significant because historically hostile takeovers practically never happened in technology. Potential hostile acquirors assumed that hostile takeovers wouldn’t work because the target company’s employees would bail and the target company’s business would collapse.

It turns out that as technology companies become larger and more mature, acquirors are becoming increasingly convinced that neither of these assumptions hold. Perhaps employees of large tech companies aren’t that bonded to current management, and perhaps many of them would actually prefer to work for a larger, more dominant combined company. And maybe as a consequence, the target’s business would do just fine in the wake of a hostile takeover — in fact, maybe it would do better, due to advantages of combined size and scale.

My bet is that hostile takeovers, particularly of larger and more mature companies, are going to become increasingly common in our industry.

One theme is that Yahoo’s corporate structure leaves it more vulnerable to a hostile takeover, and that as hostile takeovers becomes more commonplace in the technology industry, you should see more companies willing to adopt conventions like the dual-class share structure you see at Google.

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Good Reads, Quotes, Testimonials

Choose an Adventure

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2008/04/29/choose-an-adventure/

“The art of having adventures is simply that of saying, “Wow, that is dang cool!” and then having the courage to let go of all the doubts and the what-ifs long enough to grab hold of the adventure and go, trusting that you’ll be able to solve problems along the way. This is just as true in the creative arts as it is in adventure travel.”

Tien Chiu

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Arrr! . . . Avast!
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