So, I went out to

So, I went out to try and rain on
Microsoft’s parade today, as it’s
their big release date for
Windows 2000.
At FeO2 last night, we made a whole mess of
RedHat 6.1 discs and printed up liner
notes and handbills, as well. We figured we’d go to the stores here in
Charlottesville that would be selling W2K
(Staples,
Office Depot and
Babbages) and hand out flyers and CDs
to people waiting to buy W2K, or people that just looked interested.


Well, we showed up for the game, but our opponents forefited. Staples didn’t
have it — just a few empty promo boxes by the registers. Office Depot said
that they’d sold "a couple copies" — this is at 1:30pm — but
didn’t even have it on display. I had to ask for it. At Babbages, the clerk
didn’t know anything about W2K, but was happy to point me towards RedHat 5.2
in the Office Productivity section. So, we’ve got lots of copies of RedHat
now, which is good, I guess, and W2K is selling quite badly, which is great.
(With
65,000 bugs,
it ought to sell badly.) It wasn’t as satisfying as standing on a street corner,
tossing out CDs and shouting "Linux! Getcher Linux!" But it was
fun.

There’s this company, Epidemic.com, that

There’s this company, Epidemic.com,
that lets people attach advertisements to their outgoing e-mail as a
way of making money. That way, other people — presumably friends and
family — are subjected to ads so that their supposed friend can make money.
This smacks of Tupperware parties and
Amway. So a little note: If anybody,
good friends and close family members included, ever sends me mail with an
ad attached, I’ll block your address at a server-level. (For that matter,
I’ll block your address if you try to get me to buy Tupperware or anything
from a MLM organisation!)

After long last, there appears to be a real Charlottesville news website.

After long last, there appears to be a real Charlottesville news website. We’ve had The Daily Progress‘s extremely weak attempt at a site for about a year now, and The C-Ville Weekly does what they can, I suppose, but it’s not really a news website. And, to be fair, The Cavalier Daily does a bang-up job, but it’s mostly UVa-related. Yep, WINA, 1070AM, has gone on-line. They’ve got a good story selection, not-ugly design, and the site appears to be updated frequently. The downside is that the site is poorly-assembled. No database, no scripting, and what appears to be about 5 advertisers. Worst of all, they’re using Micro~1 Frontpage. Blech. But they’re doing it — they’ve got a solid website — and it kicks the pants off of any other local media offerings. Yay WINA. Now, when they want a manly website, they can come to us.

It’s snowing! Here in Virginia,

It’s snowing! Here in Virginia, the last few winters have been awful. Some weeks
were downright balmy, and snow has been something to be seen on television, not
outside of the window. Well, it snowed last week, just a few inches, and this morning
I woke to find 6″ of snow on the ground. This great powdery stuff that makes me
wish I could go skiing. This was just supposed to be an inch or so (at least, that’s
what the Weather Boy
on Channel 29 said), but that seems to have
changed for the better. Anyhow, if there’s snow where you are, get out and enjoy it.
For that matter, what am I doing here? I’m
going outside.

If you’re not familiar with

If you’re not familiar with the DeCSS situation, here’s a rundown. The
Motion Picture Association of America is upset
because a bunch of hackers figured out how to play DVDs on their computers.
They wrote a program to
play DVDs on a computer. DVDs, for which the consumer has payed. Nothing illegal,
no piracy, nothing. They distributed the program, and it was popular. But the MPAA
freaked out, because they say that you should have to purchase an MPAA-approved player
to play DVDs. Said hackers declared that the MPAA can bugger off, because people can do with
their DVDs as they see fit. Now everybody’s in court, and things look bad. The worst part
is that the author of the program wasn’t the only one who got sued — pretty much anybody
that ever linked to the source code is named as a defendant, too. Hundreds of people. And
now I’ve linked to it, too. And I
recommend that you do the same. Or you could buy
a shirt with the source code.
Read the articles that Wired,
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and
2600 have up. Also, check out the
preliminary
injunction
. OpenDVD gives a good overview.
This whole thing stinks, and it’s up to you and me to do something about it.

Although I started on it

Although I started on it a few weeks ago, I figured I should toss up a link to
my Why I Hate SunCom webpage. I’ve found AT&T’s
SunCom to be the worst mobile provider that
I’ve ever used, and possibly ever heard of. Fortunately, it’s kind of funny to
read over some of the nonsense that they’ve put me through. Think of it as
a BOFH kind of thing. :)

I’ve added a story that

I’ve added a story that I wrote a while ago,
entitled "Devolution". I know that fiction hasn’t appeared here before,
and I run the risk of entering Tool territory by adding it. Oh, well.


The Virginia National Bank page is a bit weird, I’ll admit.
I do all of my business and personal banking at VNB, and I’ve often been frustrated
by their lack of a website. I can never find out their hours, ATM locations,
phone numbers, or whatever, when I need to find ’em out. At first, I put this page
up for myself, but I figured other locals might find it useful, FWIW.

Decided that you want to

Decided that you want to get on the whole Linux
IPO bandwagon? Missed the RedHat and
VA Linux IPOs, but considering investing
in The Next Big Linux Thing? Well, that might not be a bad idea, but don’t be
fooled by LinuxOne.


This company, with no income, no unique product, and no history, has just
filed
for an IPO
. LinuxWorld has done an
extensive
story
one LinuxOne, and The Register has
one of their own, too.
Neither of them are sparing in their descriptions of the company. LinuxOne has essentially
taken RedHat’s distribution and put their name on it and called it a new distribution.
But the product isn’t really relevant — it’s just an excuse to have an IPO.


What they’re doing, of course, is taking advantage of the
open source model for their
own profit, without
giving anything back
to the open-source community.


Bruce Perens says that we should
run them out of town on
a rail
. I’m all for it. You, in the meantime, should stay away from LinuxOne
and advise others to do the same.

So I get this letter.

So I get this letter. It’s addressed to me at my office. I open it and find this nice-looking vellum invitation.

“John T. Casteen III, President, University of Virginia, invites you to e-summit@virginia. Power, Safety, and Happiness in the Virtual World. An exploration of the role of the Internet in a Jeffersonian democracy. November 11-13, 1999. On the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Cocktail Buffet, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 11, Carr’s Hill. R.S.V.P. card enclosed. Please call (800) 264-01XX for more information.”

I’d heard of the e-summit. Speakers will include Allisan Abraham from iVillage, Mark Templeton from Citrix, Halsey Minor from CNet, Jeffery Walker from Chase Manhattan, and Tim Koogle from Yahoo!. Damn.

So what could I do? I called. I had two questions: Would it cost me? and Why was I invited? I was told that not only was it free, but the invitations were sent out as a result of a fair amount of research done to determine who should be invited to this shindig. So what am I doing with an invitation?, I asked. I was told, simply, that it was determined that I would be a suitable guest. They’ve got some sort of a file on me.

This thing is open to the public, but there’s a cocktail buffet the night before everything starts, and that’s the invitation-only part. I’m not sure of what will happen there, or how many people will be there, or what the heck I’ll have to add to the mix. Three dozen millionare CEOs and Waldo. UVa didn’t even accept me, for chrissake.

Anyhow, I’m not quite sure of what to make of all this, but I thought I’d share. Weird, huh?

So there’s this organization that

So there’s this organization that I’ve been part of starting, called FeO2. It’s sort of a hacker collective, in the spirit (and footsteps) of notwork, of NYC, and The L0pht, of Boston. I’ll get into more detail about this later, probably through the form of putting up the website. The point of this is that The Daily Progress, Charlottesville’s daily paper, has a story on us today. Now, since the Progress, for no readily apparent reason, doesn’t archive the stories on their site, just check out this archived version. But don’t bookmark it—I’ll move it over to the FeO2 site as soon as it’s up.