Holy Crap, this is a bad idea kids!

Umm, someone want to tell Texas, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, Tennessee and Colorado that bills like this are a bad idea? Apparently not. Did I mention that Michigan already did it? I think Chip’s dad lives in Michigan, so he may want to read these (1, 2, 3) since they go into affect fairly soon.

Seriously, who would think that a bill banning the use of any technology that conceals “the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication” would be a good idea? I guess you could come up with some bullshit “terrorists might use the internet” scenario but come on, that’s stretching things a little thin. These laws need to be rewritten if they’re even going to be vaguely acceptable.

If you send encrypted email, you’re in violation of these bills. If you use NAT and/or a router you’re in violation of these bills. If you use “Internet connection sharring” you’re in violation. Hasn’t anyone told these people that these things are important and are used on a daily basis for completely legitamate things?

All I can picture is that scene from Fight Club where they confront a city council member in the bathroom and tell him something along the lines of “we are the people who fix your meals, we deliver your mail, we drive your cars, we guard you while you sleep… do NOT fuck with us.” Only I can see an army off seriously pissed SysAdmins shutting down state capitals for days at a time. Wouldn’t is be great if we could catch congressmen sending secure emails to each other and shut down their offices for breaches of the DMCA. That would make my day.

Oh, and you may want to check out my new favorite webpage: Freedom to Tinker. Their slogan is “Freedom to Tinker … is your freedom to understand, discuss, repair, and modify the technological devices you own” and I couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s always been my main concern with things like the DMCA. After a short while we won’t have the freedom to open up our PCs and change stuff. I don’t know about you, but that scares the shit out of me. I won’t go on a long tirade because it’s late. Just read the web site. Be informed. I don’t want to be the only person concerned about this anymore.

More information:
Story from the Inquirer
Story from Freedom to Tinker
State “super DMCA” page from Freedom to Tinker

Sleep tight.

At the lab

At the moment I’m downtown at the lab. I picked up my film a few minutes ago and luckily it all turned out well. I’m scanning them on our awesome Flextight negative scanner. I’m scanning at 3200ppi so it’s literally taking 20 minutes per scan. That leaves me a few minutes to browse the web while I’m waiting. I’d also like to mention that for once SCAD has done something right. Before this semester we had to scan our negatives on one machine and either transfer them across the network to a machine with a CD burner or check out one of the fire-wire burners we have. This was all well and good but the fire-wire burners were always either checked out or broken. This left us transfering 200Mb files across a shitty campus network. That took forever. No longer! Someone finally convinced the photo department to invest in some burners IN the machines connected to the scanners. Not only did the buy a few burners, they bought beautiful new 40x Plextor burners. I love Plextor burners, they are, in my opinion, the pinacle of burner technology. Silent, quick and rock solid. I have a wonderful SCSI Plextor in my older machine that I wouldn’t ever dream of parting with, except maybe for a faster Plextor. Anyway, I just wanted to share that little tid bit. Its not often that SCAD does something correctly and its usually worth mentioning when they do.

…damn, all this typing and my scan is only halfway done. 🙂


Shooting went well yesterday, I finished in less than 30 minutes. Well, not counting setup time at least. I should be picking up the negatives very shortly if my roommate ever wakes up. Lauren has a package coming from FedEx this afternoon and she’s left a note saying it could be dropped off upstairs at my apartment. I don’t want to leave and go downtown and miss the package. I was waiting until Jason got up but it’s 2:30 already. At this point, Lauren will be back from the wedding shower she’s gone to before Jason ever gets up. I guess I can wait until then.

Once I pick up the film I’m going to scan it and start working on it in Photoshop. The effect I was going for was a dirty/blurry window in font of my model. I used a semi-dirty, kind of blurry window in hopes that it could be Photoshop’ed later. I don’t need it until Tuesday so there’s plenty of time so I’m not really worried about that.

I’ve also been playing with Samurize a lot. It’s an “everything” monitoring system with tons of customization built in. Actually, it’s completely custom, to the point where you need to make your own config files in order to even start the thing. Once you get the hang of it however, you can use it to keep track of anything and everything. I’ll post a screen-shot of my desktop once I get FTP software reinstalled. At the moment I have it displaying the date and time, my current weather conditions, what’s playing in winamp, my system up-time, memory (free and total), network traffic and free hard drive space. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of different plug-ins and scripts you can run. You could, if properly motivated, setup something to check to see if you have new email, whats currently on TV and I’ve even seen a script to display a list of the past few things you’ve downloaded with a file sharing program and one that tells you the status of your favorite CS server. It’s really pretty neat. You can make some custom graphics for it, PNGs of course, and use them to create some pretty elaborate setups. Just check out screen shot section on the website for some examples of how graphically nifty (example) you can make it if you want to, or oppositely how simple you can make it (example). I suggest you check it out if you have the time.

More on this later.

Past few days

Sorry about not updating for a few days. Usually the first week of school is hectic and I just didn’t have the time. Anyway, classes seem like they’ll be fine. Personal Vision II and Fashion seem like they’re going to be A LOT of work, especially PV2. My “personal vision” if you will, this semester is to heavily digitally manipulate some fashion-ish pictures. I know that doesn’t really sound like a “vision” but you’d have to see it in my head to understand. Right now there’s a big “anti-fashion” movement that’s rebelling against the while 80’s revival. I hated the 80’s so I’m more of less with the other camp. My basic plan is to shoot fashion and anti-fashion at the same time, digitally alter both and turn the more fashion-like images in for Fashion class assignments and the others for Personal Vision. This segways nicely into my History of Media class since we’re going to be talking about digitally manipulated prints as an art form. This is going to be a very weird class. It’s basically all about web art (those weird flash websites that no one understands) and video installations (don’t even get me started). What’s kind of interesting is that at some point we’re supposed to talk about “hacker culture” and the use of programming as art. Basically its computer art for geeks, I’m kind of excited.

I already have my first assignment and I’m actually leaving to go shoot now, I’m shooting Lauren’s friend Nichole in front of Burgen. I’ve also been trying my best to eat better and run on a daily basis. I know that college isn’t exactly the typical place to get off the “pizza and soda” diet but I think it’s important. I’m also going to get a haircut and finish the damn webpage I started. There’s also the small matter of finding a job, sending off portfolios, securing a future, all that great stuff. The two photo classes I mentioned before will keep me busy on a pretty constant basis and when I’m not thinking about class I’ll be thinking about the rest of my life. This is going to be one stressful semester I can tell you that much.

Well, I’m off. Oh, and sorry about the lack of updates, it might be a reoccurring theme until I get some sort of schedule worked out for myself. Later.

The end of Spring Break

Well, I’m a little disappointed in Spring Break this year. I didn’t get my website done (started), Nagle didn’t hang out at all, I was a pretty pathetic tour guide for Chip, my broken computer took up much of the “entertainment” and so on. Basically all we did was sit around, play a few video games and go out to eat. I feel bad for Chip, who must have been extremely bored, after driving 1200 miles, to just sit in my apartment and not do anything. I kept on asking if there was something he wanted to do and he kept saying he was fine but I know he was bored. I also feel bad about Nagle, who obviously didn’t want to go with us to Hilton Head but came anyway, either out of loyalty to me or boredom or something. I kept asking everyone if they were sure they wanted to go but no one spoke up and said they’d rather go home. I asked more than once, saying “are you sure you want to go, we don’t have to go, I can turn the car around and we can go get a pizza or something.” I don’t know. I felt like I had to make conversation in the car and push everybody to do things when it was pretty obvious they’d rather be someplace else. I was trying to play “host” all break but no one wanted to be the “guest” so I dropped it.

Anyway, Chip left yesterday after a little shenanigans with his car. His rear-passenger side tire was locked up solid when he went to leave. He had left the parking break on all week and it had locked tight with the wheel, or at least that’s what we’re assuming. He called Ford Roadside assistance it the guy that usually helps me when I call AAA came out and took a look at it. He just put it into gear and gave it gas until it popped out of place. Not exactly the most technical of repair jobs but it did the trick. So, 3 hours behind schedule, Chip was back on the road. He should be somewhere in VA and be leaving shortly to finish his drive.

After Chip left I set about doing some of the massive pile of laundry I have. $8 in quarters later I had clean clothes again. I was hesitant about using the apartment complex laundry room but since the new management took over a few months ago we’ve received new washers and dryers and nightly cleanings by a cleaning service. It’s actually rather nice. After laundry and some dinner, Lauren and I decided to see the new Bruce Willis movie, Tears of the Sun. I was in the mood for a mindless action flick and this was nothing of the sort. It was a tear-jerker with some action to keep the guys in the audience interested. It was actually really good. It wasn’t the “best action movie since Die Hard” like a review I read decided to say. It was an action-drama with soul and heart and all that jazz. Basically it’s your typical “do the right thing” type of movie with a little “character transformation” thrown in for good measure. It was pretty good and very well done, but don’t go see it if you’re expecting Die Hard in the jungle, go see it on it’s own merits.

That brings us up to today. Lauren’s at church right now and I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do with myself. I’m leaning towards cleaning the apartment and checking out the price of supplies for next semester. After that I’ll probably check the news to see what we’re blowing up in the middle-east and then I might read for a little bit. Who knows. It’s my last day of break before… well, the rest of my life, I’d like to enjoy it.