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Remember the Run CMC parody recently? The same artist's come up with a short strip, "Trot this way" on the theme. =:D (Thanks to schnee for that)

Pony vid for the day: OmegaOzone's "Want it, Need it (Hold me)", based on Lesson Zero - as such, the theme is a little on the dark size, but an excellent example of fan creativity. (h/t ducktapeddonkey!)

Here's rather a fun indie trailer: The Brick House, a modern American retelling of the classic three little pigs tale. (Prosthetics by superjay and cohorts) Looks quite professionally lit and edited - could be good!

I present to you - the cutest bunny in the world:


Psst, huskyteer! Have you heard about Costa Coffee's short story competition? Opened July 16, closes Sep 7. From a longlist of sixty, a shortlist of six will be selected, and put to a public vote, with the winner announced in January 2013 at the Costa Book Awards ceremony, receiving £3,500, and two runners-up £750 each. (UK residents only. Apparently you're ineligible if you're in prison, too) The story length limit is 4,000 words.

One thing that caught my eye with the latest LJ release is that apparently polls can now be created by anyone, regardless of account type. (Previously, it was what, only paid? Maybe "Plus" as well)

The project continues apace, with me somehow having turned out a DLL version of the code, which I develop as a command-line utility for OS X, though intentionally written to take as little advantage as possible of any language or OS-specific capabilites. Not being a Windows developer by any stretch of the imagination, less still having tried turn out a DLL before, I'm pleased it involved very little blood loss.


Three long comic pages on the "social media" battle between the forces of Digg, Reddit, and other players. Amusing stuff, with way too many background jokes for me to catch, having mostly skipped such aggregator sites. Page 1, page 2, and page 3.

The guy behind iFixit explains, in an article for the Harvard Business Review, why he won't hire anyone who uses poor grammar.

California's high-speed rail link finally gets underway, with twin ceremonies in San Francisco and Los Angeles. (Interestingly, I see the line comes south from San Jose, into Gilroy! That's a busy route that's long been lousily served for anybody not driving. Technically, Caltrain runs there, but only a couple times a day. From Gilroy, the line then heads inland to meet the main section of the line running through the Central Valley, joining a little south of Merced. When complete, you'll be able to go from SF to LA in 2h40. The only unfortunate note, I suppose, is that the sheer scale of the project means it'll be some 15 years in the making - which is still less time than has been spent bickering over it. =:) Now, about BART to San Jose.. egad! It's actually, finally happening! BART's pages talk of service to Warm Springs/South Fremont in 2015, and VTA speak of their portion in two phases: first, stations in Milpitas and on Berryessa, and later, downtown SJ. Ground has finally been broken on the first phase!

Want a Rainbow Dash hoodie?

In the comments for "Whistleblower Binney says the NSA has dossiers on nearly every US citizen" are some notable reflections: "Switzerland had a huge surveillance scandal during the 80's. It was named "Fichenskandal" or in English, "Secret files scandal". More than 700,000 people or organizations were targeted, usually people on the left: unions, feminists, environmentalists etc. A friend of my father runs an independent book store and he requested his files after the scandal was made public. He received a stack of paper over 10 inches high. The government pretty much had every part of his life on file. From mundane stuff to him participating in demonstrations (protesting for women's suffrage, environmental issues). This is a guy who was never arrested in his life. Yet they had a record of pretty much everything. This was in a time with limited technological capabilities. In the 70's, the police probably took photographs of public gatherings and sent them to a special group which in turn had to identify the participants with the help of a magnifying glass and reference files."

"I wanted to work for Cyc Corp. several years ago. They have an interesting software and before Watson, maybe the closest thing to AI that there is out there. IT took me some time to understand why it was so hard to be a candidate as a non-US citizen: it was later disclosed that they were participants in the Total Information Awareness project. Its purported goal was to have a ten-pages file on every human on the planet. It is not clear that it has been discontinued."

Meanwhile, the EFF's launched a challenge to the remarkably popular (with those issuing them) National Security Letter statutes, which come with a handy built-in gag order. "National security letter statutes -- five in all -- are controversial laws that allow the FBI to easily bypass courts and issue administrative letters on their own authority to telecommunications companies and financial institutions demanding information about their customers. The NSL statutes permit the FBI to permanently gag service providers from revealing the fact that the demand was made, preventing them from notifying either their customers or the public."

Relatedly, the increasingly aggressive DoJ has just sued a telco, Credo, for challenging a NSL and the process itself.

So, last Sunday's ambling around the countryside proved a little less successful than previously. *sigh* Trouble is, there's simply been so much rain, so even when the weather does brighten up, the mud remains, especially in dairy meadows, where the region by the gates is usually pummelled into liquid. Add in some uselessly overgrown vegetation by other exits, and I wound up spending much of the time walk by the roadside instead, which isn't exactly as relaxing. Still, I did finally hit the cycle path I'd been aiming for, rather later than anticipated, and that will merit a return - properly surfaced, completely away from any motorised traffic, and with a decent unsurfaced footpath roughly parallel not far away, though the grasses looked too tall for any wildlife photography, short of perhaps deer. ^_^ Still, it did give rise to some wonderful open views, as below - the link takes you to a quarter-size version of the original, shrunk to a mere 6000 pixels across.



Channel 4's 1m30 promo spot for the 2012 Paralympics is fairly damned powerful. (It appears to be geolocked; if you're denied, try over here, temporarily)

atomicat and others of a photographic inclination might want to check out 1x.com's contest. It's a heavyweight competition, though - but, if you win, you'll get $5k, with runners up receiving $1k and $500, plus memberships as consolation awards, and a $1k "people's choice" award. 1x is a little like 500px, but of an even higher standard, with submissions individually approved (or not).

Or, perhaps more feasibly, but only for UK residents - hey, jessie_pup! - is the National Trust's Your Space photography competition, "aimed at celebrating your favourite green spaces, and people enjoying them". "The competition includes all green space in the UK, not just National Trust places, and hopes to capture images of everyday green places. These could include pictures from the local park, where people play with their kids or walk their dogs, or favourite strolls in the countryside. What is important is that the images capture what these places mean to you, the photographers, and why they matter."

It's being run to mark the centenary of the death of one of the Trust's founders, Octavia Hill, who spoke in 1883, "We all need space; unless we have it we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently... [and we need] places to sit in, places to play in, places to stroll in, and places to spend a day in."

GeekNation has a good summary of the SDCC 2012 Doctor Who panel - no real spoilers, unless you've not heard there'll be some departures from the main (supporting) cast. Plus, good news: one of the first episodes in the first half of the coming season will be Dinosaurs on a Spaceship; bad news: it's written by fanfic-grade hack Chris Chibnall. (Which, TBH, denigrates fanfic, judging by the quality of MLP:FiM works!)


If you wouldn't mind looking at a very sleek, blue latex catsuit being most attractively modeled, perhaps over here would be worth a click. ^_^

rigelkitty might enjoy Cracked's look at the six most terrifying rides ever built, including a repurposed mining track whose journey lasted half an hour, reaching over 100mph - not so much a ride, as a deliberately runaway train. And you'll learn why the Spanish for "rollercoaster" translates as "Russian mountain".. =:D

The saga of Pluto's status grows more complicated, with the discovery of a fifth moon. This, in addition to the fact that Charon's large enough that Pluto and Charon technically form a binary system of their own, with the other moons orbiting them further out, as demonstrated here.

Poland is about to become the 20th member state of ESA.

It's technical reading, but quite fascinating. Have you ever wondered just how it is that humans have 23 pairs of chomosomes, yet gorillas and chimpanzees have 24? The answer's really quite simple: occasionally, they fuse. As this article in Discover points out, such rearrangements aren't especially rare, with some 1% of humans having chromosomal translocations and inversions. The author illustrates, quite clearly, how the common ancestor of all three jiggled its way into gorillas, and through a different path, into the ancestor of humans and chimps.

Proof that you can be rich and have a conscience? Lenovo's CEO was given a $3m bonus, following strong financial results. He's given that away: "Some 10,000 receptionists, production-line workers, and assistants received an average bonus of around $314 each" - on the order of a month's pay.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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That bunny IS cute! I like the look of wide-eyed innocence and (above all else) wonder; utter fascination with this world she finds herself in, and all the things it contains.

I hope your bunnies will get used to you enough (over the course of several generations, most likely, each building on the previous's increasing nonchalance and inflappability) to come closer still and perhaps interact directly with you, too.

Three long comic pages on the "social media" battle between the forces of Digg, Reddit, and other players. Amusing stuff, with way too many background jokes for me to catch, having mostly skipped such aggregator sites. Page 1, page 2, and page 3.

Interesting comic. I'm not really familiar with any of the sites discussed (i.e., I don't use any of them); my involvement with news aggregation sites pretty much ended when I finally stopped reading Slashdot a couple of years ago. (Pity THEY didn't get any shoutouts, BTW, at least none that immediately stood out to me. As much as Slashdot sucked in the end, there was a time when it was great — and it definitely was a pioneer.)

Whistleblower Binney says the NSA has dossiers on nearly every US citizen

Hardly surprising, really (and I bet the same is true for nearly every non-citizen, too). It's their job to know everything, and the whole "spy on everything, EXCEPT US citizens" bit was likely never more than a fig leaf in practice, no matter how well-intentioned it may have been. (Of course, it's quite alarming how many people in the USA are apparently perfectly content with having the same things happening to dirty foreigners that they'd balk at if they happened to themselves, as if such things as ethics, dignity and respect only apply to one's own in-group, specifically within one's own nation. But that's another matter.)

A cynic might say that the upside of it all is that you don't have to be concerned about whether the government will start a file on you: they already have one. :P As the (German) saying goes, ist der Ruf erst ruiniert, lebt sich's gänzlich ungeniert.

Still, it did give rise to some wonderful open views, as below - the link takes you to a quarter-size version of the original, shrunk to a mere 6000 pixels across.

That's quite lovely. :) I should bring my camera when biking some time, and take some panoramic shots.

Channel 4's 1m30 promo spot for the 2012 Paralympics is fairly damned powerful.

Too powerful, apparently: The uploader has not made this video available in your country. Sodding sods.

The "human trebuchet," as they called it, launched unprotected, unsecured patrons more than 75 feet into a free-standing air net suspended between giant poles. This allowed park visitors to recreate the experience of being a plague-ridden corpse in the Middle Ages.

Only in the UK... *chuckles* But let's be honest, that WOULD be fun to try. And it's not any more weird than bungee jumping once you think about it, perhaps even less so.

Proof that you can be rich and have a conscience? Lenovo's CEO was given a $3m bonus, following strong financial results. He's given that away: "Some 10,000 receptionists, production-line workers, and assistants received an average bonus of around $314 each" - on the order of a month's pay.

Nice — although I'm cynical enough to wonder if it's really more than a publicity stunt and an effort to make himself look good. He most likely has as much money as he'll ever need, and he knows that more of it won't buy him more happiness; being seen as a noble person instead of a greedy bastard, OTOH, will make a real difference.

'course, it's a time-honored tradition: just take the fund-raisers so beloved by the upper crust, for instance, or the donations to charitable courses that seem to be so fashionable among billionaires (who of course make sure they still say insanely rich even after their donations).
Needless to say, I'd absolutely love to get to touch a wild bun someday. ^_^ Probably extremely unlikely, although two locations ago (ie up to the end of 2010), I did sometimes have the odd bun quite deliberately sit down and watch me, in no hurry at all. I suppose they may have realised the farm fence afforded them protection from humans just strolling into their territory from the pathway, but still, rather enjoyable to experience. ^_^

Here, though, I've little idea how long I'll be around - quite probably, not more than another year or so, as the project's only scheduled until about the end of September 2013. From there, if all goes well with its development, it's possible I might be able to remain, on some new follow-on project, or indeed, perhaps finally be able to go independent, consulting on the software and the underlying technology. That then leads into the question of where I'd most want to be.. =:/

Ah, Slashdot.. such a strange relic. I still do read it, but it's rather down the list now. The submissions tend not to be the best quality, and the quality of /. comments is, unfortunately, legendary. (Though there are still occasional nuggets) I did finally drop The Register a year or two back, as they'd long since said goodbye to their glory days. Now, they seem to behave mostly like a tech version of The Sun, complete with endlessly recycled cliches, like exclamation marks everywhere in a headline about Yahoo, or religiously referring to Apple users as "fanbois", whatever the story.

Unfortunately, the general state of the tech press isn't exactly laden with glory and insight. The old magazine sites sort of sit around waiting for people to pay attention to them again, occasionally half-heartedly making reviews of unrelated products - egad, but there's really not much meat on a MacWorld review of a DSLR. Otherwise, there's a stack of sites vying offering link-bait, or stories that refer to some other site, or routine opinion pieces. The ones offering strictly factual information, such as detailed product reviews, do remain useful, even if they're almost uniformly annoying to read, splitting a report across ten pages, all laden with ads (which promptly get blocked by most readers).

That's quite lovely. :) I should bring my camera when biking some time, and take some panoramic shots.

Thanks. ^_^ It was rather a frustrating day, but still, I enjoyed a good, active afternoon out, and returned with suitably aching paws. ^_^; Definitely, take the camera along! I'm sure you must encounter some quite gorgeous views on your travels.

Too powerful, apparently: The uploader has not made this video available in your country.

Blarg! Maybe the same reason they couldn't offer it for embedding - the soundtrack licensing. Still,
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Needless to say, I'd absolutely <i>love</i> to get to touch a wild bun someday. ^_^ Probably extremely unlikely, although two locations ago (ie up to the end of 2010), I did sometimes have the odd bun quite deliberately sit down and watch me, in no hurry at all. I suppose they may have realised the farm fence afforded them protection from humans just strolling into their territory from the pathway, but still, rather enjoyable to experience. ^_^

Here, though, I've little idea how long I'll be around - quite probably, not more than another year or so, as the project's only scheduled until about the end of September 2013. From there, if all goes well with its development, it's possible I might be able to remain, on some new follow-on project, or indeed, perhaps finally be able to go independent, consulting on the software and the underlying technology. That then leads into the question of where I'd most want to be.. =:/

Ah, Slashdot.. such a strange relic. I still do read it, but it's rather down the list now. The submissions tend not to be the best quality, and the quality of /. comments is, unfortunately, legendary. (Though there are still occasional nuggets) I did finally drop The Register a year or two back, as they'd long since said goodbye to their glory days. Now, they seem to behave mostly like a tech version of The Sun, complete with endlessly recycled cliches, like exclamation marks everywhere in a headline about Yahoo, or religiously referring to Apple users as "fanbois", whatever the story.

Unfortunately, the general state of the tech press isn't exactly laden with glory and insight. The old magazine sites sort of sit around waiting for people to pay attention to them again, occasionally half-heartedly making reviews of unrelated products - egad, but there's really not much meat on a MacWorld review of a DSLR. Otherwise, there's a stack of sites vying offering link-bait, or stories that refer to some other site, or routine opinion pieces. The ones offering strictly factual information, such as detailed product reviews, do remain useful, even if they're almost uniformly annoying to read, splitting a report across ten pages, all laden with ads (which promptly get blocked by most readers).

<i>That's quite lovely. :) I should bring my camera when biking some time, and take some panoramic shots.</i>

Thanks. ^_^ It was rather a frustrating day, but still, I enjoyed a good, active afternoon out, and returned with suitably aching paws. ^_^; Definitely, take the camera along! I'm sure you must encounter some quite gorgeous views on your travels.

<i>Too powerful, apparently: The uploader has not made this video available in your country.</i>

Blarg! Maybe the same reason they couldn't offer it for embedding - the soundtrack licensing. Still, <a href="http://www.ringtail.com/video/temp/c4p-mts.mp4>not to worry</a>. ^_^

Have you ever been bungee jumping? I don't know if I'd withstand it. ^_^; I'm not the greatest for heights, although that's better than it once was. I doubt I'd want to go anywhere near that glass platform overhanging the Grand Canyon.. O.o;;

The unfortunate thing, I find, with the encroaching surveillance state, is the denialism that's been in place for so long - even a few months ago, when I pointed out early reports of the UK's plans, one fur rebutted with disbelief, saying it couldn't work, and who'd pay anyway? Yet, here we are. I fully expect that'll give way, in the coming years, to complete acceptance, on the grounds of "oh, but they're not going to be taking any notice of <i>me</i>".

Will we be seeing you in that catsuit any time soon? ^_^ Domestically made, too! You'd be supporting German enterprise! (cue national anthem)

And why are national anthems all so dreary and stodgy anyway? I move that if the EU gets a theme, it be commissioned from Muse.
I'll keep my claws crossed for you and the bunnies — and for your shared future. I'm sure you'd find others elsewhere if you ended up moving, but still.

I still often see bunnies myself, too, and think of you, and mondhasen. (None today, but there was a cute little red squirrel that apparently wanted to cross the street ahead of me, saw me approaching on my bike, reconsidered and headed back whence she'd come. ^^)

Ah, Slashdot.. such a strange relic. I still do read it, but it's rather down the list now. The submissions tend not to be the best quality, and the quality of /. comments is, unfortunately, legendary. (Though there are still occasional nuggets) I did finally drop The Register a year or two back, as they'd long since said goodbye to their glory days. Now, they seem to behave mostly like a tech version of The Sun, complete with endlessly recycled cliches [...]

That's pretty much why I stopped reading Slashdot in a nutshell. Well, there was also a desire to cut down on time sinks, and the feeling – nay, realization – that they were deliberately being inflammatory to provoke outrage and thus cause people to come back, and I did not want to subject myself to that anymore, but yes, the comments were a big part of it, too.

Of course, the comments were also a big part why I read Slashdot in the first place. The linked stories themselves were interesting, often, but at its height, the discussions were often full of insightful or thought-provoking ("interesting", as Slashdot would call it) comments; others were riotously funny, and while there was a lot of cruft, you could generally count on those with mod points to make sure that much of the wheat would rise to the top, and most of the chaffe be forgotten. As you say — the quality of Slashdot comments is legendary, and there was a time when this was true in a positive sense as well.

Some people saw problems with that earlier than I did: I remember when Kuro5hin rose and gained popularity among those that already saw Slashdot as not living up to its potential (doubtlessly others also simply wanted a share of the cake: Kuro5hin was a competitor, not just an altruistic attempt to improve on Slashdot), but I myself stuck around; first because I didn't see problems, later out of inertia. (I'm often very inertial; one reason why I still use LJ so much).

But "endlessly recycled clichés" is a good description of what Slashdot has become. And it's not the mindless ones that bother me, the ones that used to be funny but now haven't been for at least ten or twelve years (In Soviet Russia, Linux runs YOU — Netcraft confirms it!), but the high-level ones, the shrill expression of unwavering convictions that replaced thoughtful debate, the paranoia running rampant, the single-minded focus on messianic figures, notably Ron Paul (and sometimes Ray Kurzweil, although making fun of support for him seemed more common than actual support), and all that. The quality of comments really declined, and that's why I stopped reading it.

I've been hearing good things about Reddit, by and large; and Hacker News also has occasionally been floated about, but it seems to be flying under the radar much of the time, so it's largely a blind spot for me. Either way, I don't need more time sinks in my life, so I'm not using either.

Definitely, take the camera along! I'm sure you must encounter some quite gorgeous views on your travels.

Sometimes. ^^ I seem to stop to really take them in so rarely, but I was just thinking last week when I went on a route I've not been on before that the view was beautiful. I'll just have to remember the camera — and remember to stop and actually take pictures. :)

Thanks for the video link, too. I'll check it out in a moment! ^^

(cont'd)
(cont'd)

No, I've never been bungee jumping; I'd love to try, but it's not so common anymore, and in its heighday, I was not in the required shape, not to mention too shy and embarassed about being looked at by a large group of people. Even today, I think I'd enjoy it more if it wasn't a spectacle for a crowd.

There's a glass platform on the Grand Canyon, though? Whoa. Now that sounds amazing — I'll bet you'll feel absolutely alive bungee-jumping there.

. I fully expect that'll give way, in the coming years, to complete acceptance, on the grounds of "oh, but they're not going to be taking any notice of me".

Yes, and then "oh, but I don't have anything to hide" — if the topic's discussed at all, that is, given how emotionally unsettling it would be. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say, and since both the perpetrators of these things AND the victims have an interest in not acknowledging it (if for entirely different reasons), I wouldn't be surprised if many would stick their metaphorical fingers in their ears and go "LA-LA-LA-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU", and get angry and refuse to discuss the matter if you pressed it.

In fact, the denialism and the almost instant, instinctive labelling of anything disturbing as a "conspiracy theory", as if that will somehow make it go away, is arguably just that. As they say: SOME conspiracy theories are actually true (for a historical and thus wholly uncontroversial example, see the Kit-Cat Club, for instance).

Will we be seeing you in that catsuit any time soon? ^_^ Domestically made, too! You'd be supporting German enterprise! (cue national anthem)

Unlikely, I fear — I just checked their site, and the price is more reasonable than I'd thought (219 EUR), but still, it's a lot of money, and I don't even like latex that much.

What you MIGHT see at some point is me in a zentai suit — also supporting German enterprise, BTW, since I'm just looking at getting one from tightshop.de . :) They even offer separated toes, which would allow me to wear my FiveFingers on top. ^^ All I need to do is remember to take my measurements in the morning some time, BEFORE I stuff myself silly... :P

And why are national anthems all so dreary and stodgy anyway? I move that if the EU gets a theme, it be commissioned from Muse.

I'd support that. :) Or better yet, John Williams — or Daniel Ingram. ^^

P.S. — did you edit your post? It seems that LJ messed up one of its own tags in the process, now causing the whole post to suffer from the dreaded "owner must fix manually, raw HTML shown below" issue.
There's a glass platform on the Grand Canyon, though?

Yep! The Grand Canyon Skywalk. Only for observation, though.

Ah, tightshop.de! I've perused their site in the past, though I've yet to have justification to place an order for any shinystuff, even aside from the lack of funds. *sigh* I suppose anything like that will wait not just until I feel I can do it justice, but it'll follow photographic calls on any new funds - a TC17E-II to help bring the buns closer, at least optically, and a Sigma 10-20mm, to capture architectural grandeur and wide open vistas, as well as larger museum exhibits.

Daniel Ingram, yay! I suppose we could just settle for The Smile Song. =:D Oh, for a full-blown live production, with a large choir and full orchestra. (And have Doctor Whooves make a guest appearance, conducted by Murray Gold =:)

P.S. — did you edit your post?

D'oh! Indeed - I added that temporary alternative link for the Paralympics spot, but must've messed up with a closing quote or somesuch. Of course, once I'd done that, I headed out for a bit to pick up some milk for tomorrow's coffee, and cider for tonight's cider. =:) And some cheese - nothing special, but reasonably pleasant, and cheap: some very nice Double Gloucester, and some reasonable Red Leicester. Still, at 2 x 250g for £3, I'm not complaining. (Reminds me - apparently there's a genuine farmer's market every Saturday in town, at a former train station. I really ought to wander along there sometime)

Ah, so you can't actually bungee-jump there — pity. :)

Heh, yeah, I know hot it goes with cameras. I really hope my trusty old G9 will hold out another while; when it expires, I'll want to get another G-series, but... sheesh, they're not cheap, are they. :P Although my mother just got a new IXUS, and I do have to say that the interface feels more modern; presumably it'll also be on newer G-series models, in addition to all the other changes. That WOULD be nice.

The Smile Song would work. ^^

Ah, yeah, your post's looking better again. :) Although it still says "<lj user="> and others of a photographic inclination" where it previously referred to atomicat. :)

Ah, farmer's markets can be nice. And this reminds me, actually — when I was out biking today, I came across a roadside farm stand selling produce, exactly the kind Schneier describes here: unattended, with a simple box for money, operating entirely on personal honor. In fact, the box was just a Tupperware container, and it wouldn't just have been easy to take all the produce, it would also have been very easy to take all the money. (Or the container itself.)

I bought some eggs there, since I needed them. :) Got as good a price as I'd have in any supermarket, and I got to support a local producer (well, the human keeper of the actual producers), without any middlemen.

Quite neat, really. ^^
Depends, I suppose, on what sort of photography you engage in, or even feel you might want to - some cellphone cameras are remarkably capable, with the iPhone 4S' just a tiny bit better than my humble iPhone 3G's. ^_^; But, of course, no optical zoom - but inherently highly portable, and with a wealth of editors available running on the device itself, from the basic to sophisticated layered adustments, and easily shared with the outside world without even needing to get back home. Of course, there's the other direction, with DSLRs - rather less easy to stash in one's pocket, unless you're MC Hammer, but the sheer quality can't be beaten, extending one's reach into the dimmest light or fastest moving objects. Needn't even be dreadfully expensive, especially with a used body, like a cheap D40, or a less cheap D90. Lenses, similarly, can be very expensive, but can also be quite economical - my (used) Nikkor 28-80mm was a massive £29, f'rex.

Gack! Okay, fixed that lj user tag too. ^_^;

when I was out biking today, I came across a roadside farm stand selling produce, exactly the kind Schneier describes here: unattended, with a simple box for money, operating entirely on personal honor

How neat! I'd love to encounter something like that - as you say, it's going directly to the producer (or their agent), rather than the pittances I understand farmers receive from any of the supermarkets. (Why are there so few stories about such? Food supply's not a small issue in any economy, after all, with profound implications when the buyers tend to be ruthlessly driven to minimising the suppliers' incomes, whilst ensuring their own cushy existence grows beyond the levels of money most people can envisage earning in their entire lifetimes)
*nods* I sometimes take pictures with my cell phone, but the quality is sorely lacking. Granted, it is an older model, just a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, but I think a dedicated camera will produce better results, by and large. The G-series isn't bad, really. :) And I otherwise like having a camera that doesn't feel as if it'll break any moment, too.

A DSLR would be lovely, assuming I could learn how to shoot properly with it; but as you say, less carriable, yes. OTOH, I usually carry a backpack, anyway, so putting a camera bag in that in addition to my repair kit, spare tire (I've been carrying one since I had to adjust my front brakes to keep them from braking on the tire — been a bit paranoid about getting stranded ever since) wouldn't be a problem.

But I don't have the money for it, and a camera that you can slip in your pocket (in theory) has advantages, too.

Heh, and it was nice, yeah! I often encounter signs that advertise eggs etc. being sold, but the actual sales are usually still done in person, as far as I know. Granted, this was a particularly rural spot — just a single farm amidst fields, on a country road that really deserves that moniker. Hardly anyone'll ever come by there other than locals; I presume everyone who does can be trusted to Do The Right Thing™.

Yeah, you're right about food prices, too. It sometimes comes up here — usually when Aldi etc. lower their prices again and farmers bemoan having to sell their products at a loss to be able to sell them at all. I'll admit I'm guilty of taking advantage of the cheapest offers, too, but then I'm not exactly rich. (I've written about this before, actually.)
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Oh, they're busy developing - just not necessarily the things anyone wants. =:) Seems like every few weeks, there's a new version out, usually no great shakes, but the occasional nice new feature or addition.

Indeed, the RSS feeds do seem a bit on the rickety side.. I'd like to see them given some love. I don't make great use of them, but I do have several, like XKCD, Pharyngula, Cake Wrecks, and so on. When that constipation occurs, inevitably it's released in a gusher of a bit torrent, with several days' worth of entries from all of them abutting. =:/

About my only big bugbear with LJ is that when something does go boom, they stay absolutely silent about it all until it's over. Not even the status page gets updated until then! Still, I suppose just having confirmation doesn't bring it back any time sooner, and for the most part, it's been very well behaved of late.
Ugh, it's disgusting how authorities press on gathering as much info on people as possible. One day each and every one of us will wake up in a Big Brother kind of world, of course labelled as a 'safety measure' against 'terrorists' or others. Sometimes I just can't help thinking that all those terrorists are funded by govts so that they have an argument for tighter laws and controlling citizens.

On a lighter note, glad to hear that Cali is investing money in developing public transit. I know there isn't much of it in the States, with a few exceptions, but with soaring gas prices it's inevitable that we come up with alternative solutions.

Got lots of nice pics from Scotland, should take part in that contest :)
I think astronomers have "reclassification fatigue" with regards to solar system bodies, so I don't see any more status updates for Pluto in the near future. As evidence of that, just look at what has happened within the dwarf planet classification scheme recently: nothing. Despite many new definition-fitting candidates being put forward, no further bodies have been reclassified as dwarf planets since 2008. So it seems like the class is no longer an actual one being actively maintained the way people initially envisioned it would be when it was first introduced. On the other hand, the terminology hasn't gone away either, and probably won't anytime soon. But it has turned into a sort of zombie terminology that carries on but isn't exactly alive. In this context, I just can't see that there would be still more terminological pigeon holes invented just for the sake of recognizing diversity.
I had seen the competition - what I can't find in the rules is whether a story which won a different competition and was subsequently posted to the internet counts as 'published'...
Regarding the article "I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar". One commenter wrote: "I won't hire anyone who is this sloppy with a URL."

The URL is:

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/i_wont_hire_people_who_use_poo.html

HA!
*giggle*

I was wondering who else would notice that. ^_^