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well, with a passing mark of 790, I think my score of 819 counts as just scraping it in, but it'll do me just fine. Now if I can just get in contact with someone I've got a legitimate reason to inform that they can suck it, I'll be sorted.
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my eyeballs may actually be bleeding.

that is all.

Whoo!

May. 28th, 2008 12:26 pm
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two down, one to go. I should really be studying right now.

Distracted

May. 25th, 2008 06:22 pm
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So, anyway, I got distracted from study and found me a meme.

Go here and find five quotations that represent you. post them to your LJ.

As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.
M. Cartmill

Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.
Carlos A. Urbizo

Go after a man's weakness, and never, ever, threaten unless you're going to follow through, because if you don't, the next time you won't be taken seriously.
Roy M. Cohn (1927 - 1986)

Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking.
Dave Barry (1947 - ), "The Taming of the Screw"

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
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I've gone on hiatus for the job searching while I study for my CCNP. I've passed the first exam, after a sleepless all night cramming session, and a week of virtually non stop study. I've got the next two exams scheduled for wednesday and friday of this week, and in about 10 minutes will return to studying frantically for them (for those of you wondering why I've got such a short lead time on the third exam, its because its mainly security focused, which is an area I've already done a metric shitload of study in, and study for it will be more a matter of revision than learning new things). After that, I'll get back to applying for jobs. Expect two more posts this week, letting you know how I go in the exams, and bugger all, since I'm going to be Fucking busy.
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Little Brother is Cory Doctorow's latest book. Anyone familiar with his earlier works, or his postings on boingboing should probably just go and get a copy, available from the Young Adult section of all good bookstores or freely downloadable here.

Little Brother is set in the very near future, and tells the story of Marcus, a 17 year old boy, who gets caught up in an authoritarian overreach by the DHS in the wake of a terrorist incident in San Francisco and his efforts to fight back. Like a lot of Cory's work, this book gets major points out of the blocks for pure neat technology bits. If you're already enthused or entertained by the use of ingenuity and smarts to defeat poorly thought out security and surveillance, you'll find yourself nodding along to a lot of the ideas in the book.

The plot ticks over at a reasonable pace, with occasional interruptions for infodumps. I have to admit that I skimmed past the infodumps for the most part, due to having a pretty thorough grasp of the technologies and activities detailed in them.

The book is unabashedly political. It pays homage to the anti-authoritarian movements in the Vietnam era, it features debates which allow the viewpoint character to make the good points while the defenders of authoritarianism resort to using their postions to quell debate, and it depicts the harms produced by an increasingly authoritarian system.

Many of the characters, and all of the pro-authoritarianism characters, felt faily one dimensional, with the pro-authoritarian characters feeling like straw men. None of the supporters of the authoritarian actions of the DHS is presented as anything except evil or misguided, with the strong implication that the misguided ones can easily be brought around once they're on the wrong end of the DHS.

I'd recommend this book with anyone who has political issues with abusive authoritarianism, anyone who likes a decently written Young Adult story, but mostly I'd recommend that anyone who knows a nerdish young kid get this book in their hands.

Anyone thats still interested in the book should head off now and download a copy. I'll be interested in everyone elses thoughts on it.
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XKCD, one of the best comics in the world, has a news section. While reacquainting myself with its archives, I stumbled across another Eric TF Bat comment. Further comment sightings will only be mentioned if they occur on more obscure corners of the net.

Additionally in the small world category, I attended the local SCA meeting last night, my second attendance at said meeting, and was given some tim-tams from a member of the local SCA group who had just returned from Australia.
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For consideration. 5 geek points shall be awarded for appreciation of the heavy petting exception, 10 points for knowing why the "No Heavy Petting" illustration is funny.

Been busy

Apr. 15th, 2008 02:48 am
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Well, I've not been doing much, but I've been working on a post for my other blog, the one where I say things that will probably qualify me as first up against the wall when the revolution comes, and I only tend to post things to one journal at a time.

This, however, needed to be shared with my friends list.

Thats all. I'll now return to our regularly scheduled posting fuck all.
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There are many things people just don't seem to get on the internet, but the one I notice most often is a fundamental failure to understand Godwin's law.

I think a major cause of the problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of what sort of law it is. It is not a law in the legal sense, its a law in the scientific sense. It applied originally to usenet threads, but can generally be applied to any sort of message board or discussion forum where comments are structured in threads. And all it says, to use the exact wording, is "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Meaning that there is a chance of a comparison of something under discussion to hitler or nazis in any usenet thread, and this chance increases with every post to the thread.

What Godwins law does not say is "If you mention Hitler, or Nazis, the thread is over and the other guy won". It doesn't even say "If you mention hitler or nazis, the thread is over and no one won". There is a social convention that it means the thread is now unfit for its original purpose, and a reasonable usenet tactician can manufacture a win by gracefully, and without comment, or with some sort of reasonable farewell, cease posting to the thread. Jumping up and down and going "You said Hitler, Godwin's law says I win" will usually take the thread off into a churning, messy discussion of Godwin's Law, and why this reference to nazis was significant and appropriate.

So, just in case you have been misusing and misunderstanding Godwin's law, now you know.
And knowing is half the battle.

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So I was reading one of my most regularly read blogs MightyGodKing dot com and I found this post, a discussion about the various areas that people consider themselves experts. I will digress here a moment, and point out that I have no idea how I started reading this blog, and that it is written by one of my fellow Canadians. And you should be reading it. It delivers a regular dose of what we call amusement.

So I'm reading through the comments, (you can find my comment about 1/2 way down, if anyone should really care), and I found a comment mentioning such things as SCA heraldry, filk and programming languages. Hmm, thinks I, perhaps I should add a comment to the thread about there being two SCA people reading this blog, truly demonstrating the crossing over of nerddoms. So I scroll up and check for the name of the man making the comment.
...
Eric TF Bat.

Its a small world people, a small small world.
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this is my back.
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when flying into Canada, and you're going through the "do you have any of these to declare" checklist, don't pause to think "I definitely got rid of all the snacks I had before I got off the plane, didn't I", just confidently answer "no, I have no food."

I'm fairly sure thats what got me diverted into the full bag check, where I was asked pointed questions (by a cute girl, but still a customs person) about the following items; my riding boots and crop, my set of d6s with a heraldic design where the 1 normally is, my collection of comic books, my laptop ("can you power this up", "why does this not look like windows", "where is the My Pictures folder" (ah, thank you paranoia, as all my vaguely questionable data is encrypted and stored in inobvious locations when crossing borders)), my cable ties. by the point that we unearthed my stuffed cow, and my bottles of ink, and my pieces of original art, and about the 5th notebook, and my massive collection of power cables, the customs person was pretty much reduced to giving me funny looks.

I was also asked long questions about what my plans were in Canada, and had people look unsatisfied by my responses, at both the preliminary customs point and the bag search. This is not particularly surprising, since my total plan was "I've got a place in Montreal for a few days, then I'll head to a hostel in Toronto and start looking for work". The part that got me was that the immigration person, who issued my visa and is supposed to ask pointed questions about my ability to find work and my level of funds allowing me to support myself and then piss off out of the country when I'm done, asked very few questions and was not at all disappointed by answers like "I'll work wherever I can get a job", but the customs people, who aren't really in the position of having to worry about anything other than "does he have a shipment of coke stuffed up his arse" asked more probing questions and appeared more disappointed by the answers. Despite the fact that I have enough money to spend the entire year in this country and get by without working a damn day, if I wanted to blow my savings (spoiler: I do not want to blow my savings).

Anyway, I'm now in canada, hanging round at a hostel and starting to apply for jobs. I've been to a B grade hockey game, but I doubt I'll make a leafs game this season, cause they keep hanging on to the outside chance of making the playoffs, thus making every game a fascinating do or die affair, and greatly reducing the chance of getting a decent price scalped ticket. At least there is bugger all chance of them taking the cup this year, the level of support and ticket prices are bad enough as it is. As every hockey fan I've talked to here has said, "Imagine how big their fan base would be if they'd managed to take a cup in the last 40 years"

I'm liking it here. the people are friendly, the snow is neat, job market looks OK, poutine is interesting, hot wings are good, pancakes and syrup and bacon is a complete breakfast, beer is expensive. I'm planning on doing a wineries tour at some point before leaving Toronto, mainly to see what Icewine is like.
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This is my last day of work in the UK. I've got touristy stuff left to do, then I'm off for the next country I work in. And this is where you come in. I'm interested in hearing everybodies opinion, should I come home to australia, or galivant off to canada.

I can't make up my own mind, this is your chance to convince me. This is not a binding vote, this is an opportunity to pursuade me one way or the other. If you want to make your opinion known to me alone, email me.
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I've been entertained by this on some other Lj's so now I pass this on. We're going to play the classic game of Shag, Marry and Cliff. essentially, one person proposes a set of three people, and everyone else (well its usually a one on one thing, but this is the internets, so its more of a free for all) selects which one they would sleep with, which one they would marry and which one they would push off a cliff. When you're selecting people for the set of three, the choices shouldn't be obvious. (eg, Hitler, Eliza Dushku and Jessica Simpson is a really bad set (if there is anyone who cant guess who gets what in that set, you are fired as my friend))

I will note that I'm operating under the assumptions that shag means a one night stand, or at most a short and entirely physical relationship, marry implies sex, unless there is a really good reason why not (hes a man and I dont swing that way is not a good reason. He is in jail for life, and I'm fairly sure super-max prisons don't allow conjugal visits is a decent reason why not). And push off a cliff means splat.

just to kick things off, the two sets I actually bothered posting answers too when someone else made this post, and my personal choices.

Buffy, willow & faith. (Cliff, Shag, Marry)

Mal, Jayne & Wash. (Shag, Cliff, Marry)

You are encouraged to discuss your reasoning for any choices made.

now go and play in the comments section, ya'll
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So I've been catching up on Californication, which means I watched the whole first season over the course of 3 days, and I have to say, I generally enjoyed the show. The presence of naked breasts may have been a contributing factor, along with some thoroughly amusing moments. But there were two fairly major bits of plot that sucked some of the entertainment out for me. spoiler alert )
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