CD Swap Meetup

There is a CD Swap Meetup that is going on. I would go, because I have a lot of CDs to get rid of, but I can’t look someone in the eye while handing them my one of my many regrettable teenage used CDs. I’m so embarrassed by my ex-CDs-to-be that I can’t sell them at the used CD store because I’m afraid of being banned from the store for being that uncool.
But you should go get rid of your Radiohead or your Wilco that you used to like before they sold out and get someone’s James Brown that they only liked because their roommate was going through a soul phase.

SEMiSLUG Meeting

The SEMiSLUG meeting tonight should be really good for anyone in Ann Arbor doing stuff with the web. They got Lou Rosenfeld to speak about information architecture for the world wide web, which is good because he literally wrote the book on the subject. These meetings are largely inhabited by Unix sysadmins, but tonight’s is an excellent opportunity for any web folk to hear a smart guy talk. See you there.

SEMiSLUG/Usen*x Meeting: 7:30PM, Thursday, 12 June 2003, at
The Kiva Conference Center. Directions are at the bottom.
The meeting agenda:
o Welcome and Abuse of New Members
o Administrivia
o The Question Session
o “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web”
with Lou Rosenfeld
o Answer Session
o Rumors and Innuendo
o The Post-Meeting Meeting at the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company.
Grizzly Peak is located at 120 W. Washington Street, downtown
Ann Arbor, half a block west of Main.
Please send topic suggestions and speaker recommendations to
Becki Kain (beckers@NOSPAMfurph.com), Mike O’Connor (mjo@NOSPAMdojo.mi.org),
and/or Gabe Helou (gabe@NOSPAMmystery.com).
* * *
Directions:
The Kiva Conference Center is located at:
3600 Green Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Scott Colcord, our host, describes the directions as follows:
Green Court isn’t on the mapping websites I checked, but Green Road is;
you want to go to Green Road just south of Plymouth Rd, west of US23.
Green Court is an industrial park drive on the east side of Green Road.
Turn into the drive, and keep left at the intersection. The building you
want will be on the right. Park here and come in; the building manager
says he’ll set the locks to stay open for us. The KIVA conference room
is just inside the front doors, on the left.
For those that remember when Becki Kain worked at ERIM, this is the old
ERIM building.
A map is available at http://www.semislug.mi.org/directions/
for those unfamiliar with the northeast reaches of Ann Arbor.
— Gabe

Email to LJ gateway w/ attachments?

I just got a camera for my cellphone and want to be able to email pictures to myself, which in turn will get posted to livejournal with some optional text. Does anyone know of a script that I can pipe an email through (via procmail) that will extract attached files, save them to a directory, build an HTML post and post it to LiveJournal?
I’ve started writing it myself but there’s no sense reinventing the wheel.

South Korea, part 2 of 2 (finally)

OK, so here’s the other part of my Korean trip. First off, let me cover some of the crap I had to gloss over last update due to time constraints.
You can see QTVRs of the Seoul Tower and the Emperor’s Palace but they don’t approach the experience of seeing it firsthand (no surprise there).
After the Seoul Tower on Friday we went shopping for memorabilia in downtown Seoul. It was kind of touristy, but I got to check out an arcade and get overcharged for cheap crap. Then we went to a traditional Korean lunch at a place recommended by the bus driver. Traditional means that we sat on the floor, which is not comfortable but I survived. We got Pulgogi which is beef wrapped in lettuce, hella tasty.

Then it was a 3-hour bus-ride across to the country to Kangrung, where my brother’s friend Bryce and I went looking for the PC Bong (cybercafe) that I made my last post from. After that we met for Koreanized Chinese food (as opposed to the Americanized Chinese food I’m used to).
A brief tangent – my mother had been in the country a week before me to teach the first ever doula course in Korea. While she was there they stuffed her full, to the tune of 9 course breakfasts. So when we had dinner at the Chinese place, the food just kept coming and coming.
The most memorable food was a chili sweet and sour shrimp dish, just like our sweet and sour foods but the sauce was hot and spicy. I need to find this stateside. Also, I need to find a bottle of Soju (50 proof and tasty). And Korean beer (OB and Hite) isn’t half bad either. After 10 or so courses of dinner and some of the aforementioned beverages (not to mention the jetlag) I crashed hard.
There was a bus-ride between the food and the hotel, but it was a bit of a blur thanks to sleep, and I fell asleep pretty quickly in the Kangrung hotel. I woke up early (5:30 or 6:00) and went out to discover that our hotel had an amazing view of the East Sea (AKA the Sea of Japan). There was a long beach and a military post where they protected themselves from North Korea.
I wound up going with my Mom, Claire, Charles and Soyoung’s sister Jean to get my haircut. I think a good definition of bravery is getting your haircut in a country where you don’t speak the language hours before your brother’s wedding. Thanks to Jean’s help I got what I like to think is a decent trim.
Run run run and a quick change into a suit puts us at the church for the wedding. The families ate a quick lunch of Korean food (pumpkin soup = tasty!) while Soyoung was preparing. It was worth it, wow. I’ll be posting the pics soon; you should check out her dress – it’s amazing. My parents donned special clothes (a humbul?) for the ceremony that are also worth seeing.
Our family (including Harold) and Soyoung’s parents greeted people and then the western ceremony began. Bryce and I stood with Harold, while Claire and Jean stood with Soyoung. It was kind of a long ceremony, of which I understood zero. I thought at the time that if their marriage got through Harold’s Korean vows, their marriage can get through anything 🙂
After the western ceremony we went upstairs for the traditional ceremony. It was steeped in tradition and ceremony, but my camera died after a few shots! I’m going to get some from my Mom to post, but I’ll sum it up saying that there was lots of bowing and the occasional food throwing.
After all was said and done, Harold and Soyoung were married and both families (including the bride and groom) retired to the bus for a 3-hour trip back to Seoul. After checking into the Hotel Lotte (the fancy one) we went out on the city, leaving the newlyweds to fend for themselves.
We headed out of the hotel to get some dinner, passing by a crowd gathered outside the hotel to watch soccer projected on the side of the building. We headed down into the subway where more people were watching soccer on a TV. Back up on to the street and we found ourselves surrounded by restaurants.
My youngest brother and sister were sick of Korean food and wanted to eat at the TGI Fridays; in the interest of group harmony most people agreed to go along for the ride. I said to Bryce something similar to “I didn’t fly half way around the fucking world to eat at TGI Fridays” and he agreed so we decided to find our own meal. As it turns out the rest of the group also wanted Korean food, so we ditched the siblings and went to find a Korean restaurant. Unfortunately there weren’t any open so we wound up at TGI Fridays after all, and I can assure you that their food doesn’t get any better with distance.
After dinner we went shopping in Seoul, which was like something out of Bladerunner. The difference is that there they were selling smoothies instead of noodles and Prada knock-offs instead of cloned animals, but the feeling was the same. After walking up the street we wound up at a mall, which was like a dirt mall rotated 90 degrees.
It was somewhere between a flea market and a mall, each vendor had an 10×4 area to hock his or her wares that they closed with a curtain. There was an escalator in the middle bringing customers up through 5 floors of this to the food court at the top. I don’t remember the restaurants, but I know that I was all too familiar with their logos. Thank the Maker for globalization, the antidote to culture shock (or maybe just culture).
I bought some tchochkies to bring home (and a couple to hang on to) at the mall. We somehow met up with my Dad who was looking at replacements for a broken bag of my Mom’s and then we headed back to the hotel. I somehow found the global edition of the Daily Show on our TV but passed out before it was half way through.
In the morning we got an early start to meet the shuttle to the airport, but Bryce and I delayed it a bit so that he could dump 128 Megs of pictures on his memory stick to my laptop. The bus ride was uneventful, but the seats were more comfortable than any I was about to face in the air.
Airport, checkin, find terminal, wait. To pass the time, I got a genuine American fast food breakfast – I want to experience Korean cuisine but not first thing in the morning. We putted around the airport, occasionally buying overpriced touristy trinkets and passing the time. Finally we boarded our flight to Tokyo and had a couple hours to pontificate on whether the seat backs and tray tables of our souls were in their upright and locked positions.
The stopover in Japan was mildly interesting, they have a Sony store every 10 feet. I initially thought that there were amazing deals to be had until I realized that while 1000 won (Korean currency) is about 1 dollar, 100 yen is the Japanese equivalent. Once I adjusted the prices by a factor of 10, I suddenly was less impressed. Next time I’m out that way I hope to spend at least a couple days in Tokyo so I can make it to the Akihabra(?) district and get some real deals.
Our flight back was about 10 hours, featuring the amazing epic Maid in Manhatten. I opted to read Good Omens, about 10 years after everyone else did I think, but it was still excellent. We passed from day to night back to day, and over the international dateline. Our plane landed at 12:30pm or so on Sunday afternoon, a good 12 hours before I was expecting it to. Next time I’ll pay closer attention to the damn itinerary.
So that puts me back at DTW, which isn’t the most interesting place to be if you live in Michigan. After getting back to our cars, our family parted ways and, uh, a monster came and I fought it and I won and we had ice cream and became friends and fought Billy who’s mean to me.
The End.

Live and Direct

It’s 6:17PM localtime, which means it’s 5:17AM EST on Friday. Good morning.
I left for South Korea on wednesday to go to my older brother Harold’s wedding to his fiance Soyoung who’s family is Korean. Our flight was scheduled to leave DTW at 3:30pm and made a pretty good effort at keeping that. 12 hours of time in the air brought us to Tokyo, and another 2 brought us to Seoul. My legs atrophied and dropped off.
Bri and Erik hooked me up with games for my new Gameboy Advance SP, which made the flight tolerable. Tolerable, at least until I got stuck in Metroid Fusion, but I’m going to look up a walkthrough after I finish writing this. 13 years ago I got an original Gameboy for christmas, to keep me busy on an 8 hour flight to London. Plus ca change, I guess.
I also read Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom in flight, which was a pretty quick read. It’s kind of depressing, but in retrospect I should have gathered that from the title. I have Good Omens for the return flight, which should be good.
Our movies were perfect airline movies: Catch Me If You Can, Daredevil and 2 Weeks Notice. All that was missing was a Steve Gutenburg movie.
We arrived in Seoul at around 10:00pm localtime and after getting through customs Harold and Soyong’s family picked us up and whisked us off to Lotte – the fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. They put Wega-style TVs in each room, and have the separate bath/glass-shower dealie. I stole slippers from the room.
Tangent: In DTW they tell you to take your fucking shoes off. In Tokyo, they asked if we would kindly remove our shoes and step into slippers while they checked the shoes for bombs. Cultural differences are neat.
After getting to the hotel room, I crashed for 7 hours or so of sleep, which is surprisingly little for being up for 25 hours. I didn’t sleep on the plane because I wanted to acclimate to the local timezone quicker. That’s also why I didn’t take a nap on the busride today, which is why I am incoherant and not spelling words correctly. William Gibson posited in Pattern Recognition that when you fly you move so fast that your soul can’t keep up, jetlag is your soul trying to catch up. If that’s the case, then my spelling and grammar are religious experiences.
Back to the narritive, I woke up and got my day on around 6:00am localtime. Continental breakfast at 8:00, on the tour bus around 9:00ish. Soyoung’s family (who are the Lees, so I’ll just call them that) arranged a tour bus to take us around for the day, then deliver us to Kungnung (close enough) where the wedding is tomorrow.
First stop for the tour was the Emperor’s Palace / Folk Art Museum. The architecture of the palace was very cool, I haven’t dumped my pictures into iPhoto yet so I don’t know if they accurately portray the place. It was amazing, like something out of a movie. The Folk Art Museum had a lot of good exhibits on Korean history and culture.
We then went to Seoul Tower, which overlooks the city with an awesome (proper use of the word) view. Search for a QTVR, I can’t imagine that anyone who saw that view wouldn’t want to make one. Just an amazing view.
Gotta leave the PC Bong (the cybercafe) soon for dinner so here’s the elevator pitch:
Shopping for tchockes
Lunch at traditional korean restaurant (beef and rice in cabbage leaves, yum!)
Bus ride to Kungnung
Found PC Bong
Won’t find out how to find the boss in level 4 of Metroid Fusion
I’ll try to post pictures, but I can’t right now. Also, the Korean keyboard is screwing with PuTTY so I can’t check my email. That said, if anyone has and IP over DNS gateway setup email me. I’ll be able to use it in the fancy hotel tomorrow night, so that would let me post pics.

Matrix Reloaded Reloaded (spoilers)

Some links that you may have missed:
The Matrix Brickphone
points us to one of the billion marketing tie-ins to the new movie. The first movie made that Nokia 8110 (more proof) a hot item and Samsung is trying to cash in. Unfortunately it’s butt ugly and $500, but a little part of me still wants one if nothing else than for the matrix code on the display. Just a small part, the same part that thinks that ladies would love a man with a MAME cabinet.
The Spiritual Message of ‘The Matrix’
NPR did a story this morning on the spiritual messages in the Matrix, which has been covered extensively by other sites but it’s nice to for a major media outlet to note that there’s more than meets the eye in the Matrix. There were tons of “hidden” elements in the first one, like the fact that Neo (an anagram for “one”) lived in apartment “101” and that he kept his money in a book called “Simulacra and Simulacrum” by Jean Baudrillard, a book that focuses on the difference between what’s real and what’s not. I look forward to finding these elements in Reloaded and Revolutions.
Matrix Comics
A lot of people I talk to don’t realize that there are a ton of comics set in the Matrix universe that are free to everyone. They are done by some top names, and there are a lot of good ones. Check out Bits and Pieces of Information, which ties into The Second Renaissance nicely, and Deju Vu. There’s also some short stories, including one by Neil Gaiman.
HollywoodOS gets an upgrade
got some cool screengrabs from the movie. It shows Trinity running Nmap on a 10.x.x.x address, followed by a real SSH exploit. The Wachowski brothers have mentioned red-boxing and blue-boxing on their website, but it’s nice to see this kind of realism on-screen. Granted, SSH pops up a password prompt for her, but personally I can get past that.

Rumor and Innuendo in Detroit

Mayor clashes with fired cop

The former head of the Detroit Police Department’s internal affairs division said Tuesday that he was fired because he investigated charges of criminal behavior by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his relatives and members of his security detail.
Gary Brown said he was investigating reports of a drunken-driving accident, falsified overtime records and a possible cover-up of the incidents, all involving members of the mayor’s team of bodyguards, when he was fired from his job as deputy police chief Friday. Brown said he was looking into an incident at the Manoogian Mansion involving Kilpatrick, his family, nude entertainment and an assault that also was allegedly concealed from police.

There have been widely circulated rumors since September about the alleged party. Neither The Detroit News nor other media outlets could verify any part of the rumor through interviews or documents.
“The mythical Manoogian party is already one of the most investigated rumors to hit this city in a long time,” Kilpatrick said. “You have found nothing.”

The rumor I heard was that Mayor Archer had a blowout party at the Manoogian Mansion (the Mayor’s mansion) including alcohol, strippers and drugs. An allegedly fun time to be sure, that is until Mrs. Archer showed up. Yadda yadda yadda and Mrs. Archer supposedly wound up being treated for injuries. Apparently this story has been circulating around the local media for a while, but they haven’t been able to get confirmations on anything so we never heard about it.

SOCOM

Holy Zombie SOCOM: U. S. Navy Seals is awesome. I never liked Counter Strike for the same reason that my Tribes teams always lost: I hate typeing while I’m playing a first person shooter. The action is too fast, you can’t be typing all the time. Without teamwork and coordination, though, your team will invariably lose against a more communicative team. Tribes made it easier, with its map/waypoint setup, allowing someone to command everyone to their waypoints for some sembelance of a strategy.
SOCOM fixes all of that by including a headset that integrates perfectly with the game. Suddenly your teammates are actual people, and they congratulate you on a nice shot or bitch about that cheating llama can go to hell. The voice quality is OK at best, but that adds to the realism by sounding like a radio and occasionally cutting out. At least that’s how I explain it away. I imagine the Xbox port of Counter Strike will be even better, due to Live’s better voice technology.
The gameplay is tight, once you get the controls working for you. I play a few FPS on my PS2 and I need to strafe with my forward/backward control, and look/rotate with my right control. It’s weird that it took me 3 or 4 tries to get the right setting, but that speaks more to my hurried configuration than the game itself.
I haven’t played much of the offline game, so I can’t speak to it, but if you have a broadband NIC for your PS2, I highly recommend this one.