Insecurity Excuse Bingo

In the wake of the Californian voting machine review, Matt Blaze and Jutta Degener invite us to play Security Public Relations Excuse Bingo:

  • We read Schneier's book
  • La, la, la we're not listening
  • You'll be hearing from our lawyers
  • No one would ever think of that
  • Our proprietary encryption algorithms prevent that
  • … and so on ad nauseam

(Via Matt Blaze.)

Alice and Bob... and Bruce

I couldn't resist this T-shirt design from the people who bring us Everyone Loves Eric Raymond and Bruce Schneier Facts.

Obviously this is only going to be funny to (a) a very particular kind of nerd with (b) a very particular sense of humour. I suspect I'm not the only member of both sets, though.

Squid Whistles

These were the prizes found in a couple of "Christmas" crackers this year. They look like they are supposed to be whistles, but just on the off chance that they call something worse, I have not tested them.

How festive!


Baa Humbug

A friend sent us one of these cards this year. It arrived during one of my periodic outbreaks of negative feeling toward the festive season, and quite changed the mood…

[It has been brought to my attention that some of my readers don't know what a humbug is. Well, Wikipedia knows.]


Jonathan Coulton to appear in Second Life

Jonathan Coulton, my favourite writer of songs about robot overlords and uppity zombie co-workers, will be featuring at a Second Life Concert:

OK, this is one that everybody can attend. On September 14th I’ll be playing a show in Second Life (the show starts at 5PM SL time, aka West Coast time). Yes: a virtual show in a virtual world with my virtual self, Yonatan Coalcliff.

Alas, the show starts way past my bedtime over here in PT+8 land, so I'll just have to hope for some good recordings by people who can be there "in person". Just as well, really, my Code Monkey avatar is at the cleaners.

(Via Jonathan Coulton.)

Benefits of Getting Old

I'm sure a lot of people I know have had this experience:

Another bonus of advanced age is the accumulation of generally useless knowledge that is nonetheless impressive. After about the age of 40 you start hearing a lot of ‘How did you know THAT?’ If you sum up all of the facts in your head plus your awesome powers of inference plus your exceptional skill at bullshitting, you look like a psychic to anyone under 20.

(Via The Dilbert Blog.)


Bruce Schneier Facts

Everybody loves Eric Raymond is a pretty weird web comic to start with, combining as it often does obscure open-source in-jokes with the premise that Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond and Linus Torvalds all live together in a flat somewhere.

Today's episode jumps over into the even more obscure realm of crypto in-jokes, with the even weirder premise that Bruce Schneier is actually a cryptographic Chuck Norris.

Clicking through to the interactive Bruce Schneier Facts Database is well worth while. My favourite random fact so far is:

Bruce Schneier doesn't even trust Trent. Trent has to trust Bruce Schneier.

Obscure enough for you?

Stargate Monkey, Frohman Beta Prime

Jonathan Coulton continues to inspire others to create high art. This week's must-sees are:


Magic 8-Ball

It seems to be something of a Magic 8-Ball week. First there was a nice article at Daring Fireball about Microsoft's Zune (warning: creepy rabbit animation).

For the last week or two, Fedora Core 6 test 2 has been scheduled as going into freeze on July the 24th and releasing on the 26th. Now that it's the 28th, the freeze date has been changed to "no sooner than 27 July" and the release date is:


The latest Fedora board minutes indicate that the main reason for the slip is final integration of the Xen virtual machine monitor. As this is also a blocker for the next release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it makes sense not to roll on without it.


Cuddly Headcrab

In deference to my more squeamish readers, I won't post an image showing this excellent plush version of the iconic Half-Life enemy, the Headcrab.

I'm finding, in fact, that people who haven't played any of the Half-Life series have some kind of mental block that makes them run screaming from the room on seeing this, rather than the more typical "how cute" that you might expect. Well, that you might expect if you are someone who has grown to love the cute little critters, or at least learned to downgrade them to "annoying" after the first few thousand encounters.

Two bits of bad news on the HL2 Headcrab Collectible page: firstly, you can wear them as a hat, but only if you are yourself a quarter-scale model or perhaps a large cat or small dog. Secondly, they are all sold out…


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