Random Image FB

I had a brief lived application on facebook. It mostly worked right and would load all your photos and put them in a big FB random tag and stick it on your profile. I had it upgraded by Koudelka who played around with Facebook’s javascript subset and got a little Ajaxy (+) link that would load a new photo. After that I ignored it. =)

Until it broke, and you had to hit the + to get a photo at all.

It was shitty hack. Code that was never planed.  I killed it this morning. I’m backing it up but.. you don’t want to see its code. It was a mercy kill. It will be tough but.. the 16 people who were using it will have to move on.

I like to think that in a world of fb apps that include inviting friends to be zombies or go out on hot virtual dates with bumper stickers and snowball fights, my app was a little bit of hope. Hope for functionality without advertising or annoyance. Too bad it was broken.

I will miss you “Random Profile Image” but honestly.. not that much.

-Francis

If you really do want to see it’s code let me know.

Update: I had over 3.2k photos logged (I don’t have the photos, I just knew about them so I could pick a random one.) that’s an amazing amazing amount of photography to share.

Hope

I’ve met so many good and nice people over the past few days I can hardly believe there is still one more to go. I want to thank the presenters (even the girl who had the Zuse room before me who had trouble with her crowd), I want to thank TELEPHREAK and GiD for the projector, and all the people who learned something from me today. (Including those two drunk couples on the train home. I couldn’t have hoped for a better response to my cards.) I can’t tell you how good it feels to teach something again.

And I’m even invited to a dinner tomorrow night, chemists make wonderful chefs.

-Francis

PS Oh and you better belive I’ve got a backlog of stuff to share.

The Quick and the Dead

Dreamhost decided to revert my database back to just before I finished this post, effectively unpublishing it and returning the rest of my typos. I thankfully left it open in a browser on my laptop. So this post is now amazing, not because it’s any good, but because it survived being put down like a sick dog. It gets to live.

I’m on hold trying to straiten out 3 of 4 billing snafus companies have me in. The first two were easy, this one Broadvoice is just not answering their phones and I can’t get into their website. They do my business phone line and they can suck it.

I’ll call them back later, Next up is Sprint who’s been charging me for insurance even though I’m not eligible. This exact thing happened the last time I lost my phone. I figured they messed up and insured me anyway, and I was able to get a 3rd replacement phone, but only because they continued to charge me after I wasn’t eligible. Don’t ask about the other two, but the 3rd phone was lost at a concert. Oh.. faithless was worth it… but maybe not if they didn’t replace my phone for $50 bucks. They made it very clear that they were being nice and I’d have to wait a long long while to be eligible for insurance again. (A year or two?) So while there’s a chance I’m currently eligible, I haven’t been all this time and they never stopped charging me.

Which allows me to convolutedly tie this all back to the title of this post and the very excellent movie.

The Quick and the Dead

The Quick and the Dead Cast

Quick Story Overview

Gene Hackman and his wicked henchmen Gene Hackman is a misundersood former bandit who’s given up his life of crime and settled in a failing town. He’s taken over and provided it with a thriving entertainment industry. The problem is people in the town are bitter about his violent past and want to steal his money. They hire quick draw assassins to take him out so they can take his former ill gotten gains for themselves. This of course has made Gene Hackman paranoid and he has hired bodyguards to protect him and vital town locations like where he keeps his money, the clock tower, and the saloon.

He even lets his son Leonardo DiCaprio run the local gun store. They have a strained relationship but what father and son has never gone though a rough patch? Eventually Sharon Stone shows up and convinces them to fight to the death. They both die. The end.

Nah Most of that is lies. I’m really good at reciting movies, but I have to tell you it’s a lot more fun to make shit up. The movie is good, really good. It’s a western about Sharon Stone coming back to avenge her father and most of the movie she’s like this;

Sharon Stone is Awesome

And then at the end she suddenly becomes the 80s;

Sharon Stone is awkward with lots of hair.

Which doesn’t break the movie, but not growing up watching Sharon Stone movies confused me a little. Apparently her hair is her thing.

Umm so Gene Hackman is a twisted baddass and makes everyone fight to the death because he runs things, has henchmen, and is an ass hole. I bring this up because if me and Sprint where in this town, I’d gladly shoot them in the chest a few times.

Everyone (who matters anyway) is a baddass in this film. I’ll leave you with that remark a picture of Russel Crow. Oh and this guy was part of the film and really enjoyed it.

And now to go back to dealing with Sprint.. I really posted this so I didn’t have to look at that god dammed stupid cover of 21 dog years whenever I looked at my site.

21 Dog Years is horrible

21 dog years sucked
First off I wont finish this book, none of the reviewers or the author will probably mind. The book 21 Dog Years – Doing time @ amazon.com by Mike Daisey is funny, well written and mostly about Mike Daisey’s love affair with the cult of amazon.com. I say mostly because I don’t care to finish it and he’s just as likely to join any other cult before the book ends. He starts off as a slacker with a degree in Aesthetics and works phones for amazon eventually. Somewhere in the middle he drinks the flavor-aid and as a trainee wants to make love to Jeff Bezos. Who in his defense is an attractive man.

I read about half the book, I’m just not going to share all of it with you. I’m also sure it shows more about how amazon internal politics and culture works. Everything I’ve read and seen about any of the big west coast tech companies makes me glad I live on the east coast. All that morning sun over the oceans turns them wacky.

The author is like Chuck Palahniuk of fight club fame. Choke, and Survivor are also good. I haven’t gotten around to Invisible monsters yet because if I read too much of his writing I want to kill myself and I’d probably enjoy it or think it was funny. He’s dark and ironic and funny. Mike Daisey is ironic and a little funny and tries to write with the same style. He failed it.

Mike Daisey, I didn’t finish your book so I don’t know if your girlfriend broke up with you over all the devotion you showed to amazon, or maybe how you left. I hope some where in there she did leave you. I don’t like you, and I don’t think you’re very funny. I’m also happy you seem like the kind of guy who doesn’t care.

-Francis

PS This is probably one of my meanest book reviews ever, but I don’t like the book. Also the fact the FISA Amendment Act passed hasn’t quite hit me yet. Watch out America.

Time to listen up. FISA vote postponed until tomorrow.

The vote for the FISA Amendments Act was postponed until tomorrow. I don’t know why.

Let me start with three things. The last one being something new and more important.
1) You know my position on Telecommunication Immunity that is only part of the bill. And frankly I think I missed the point. The FISA Amendments Act would not only grant immunity to the crimes committed but it would grant immunity to all crimes they might have committed without revealing them. We don’t know what they did and if this bill is passed we will never know. There was an amendment to reveal that information.
2) I’m not against FISA, and I think it might need amending. I’m also not against the intelligence community or the ability for them to do their jobs. I’m against judgment of our constitutional rights taken out of the courts and into intelligence offices.
3) I’m also against the provisions for the legislative branch to be able to have sole discretion to authorize and keep secret surveillance of us citizens. This includes congressmen and senators.

That last bit kills me. It throws off the balance of power, and makes one branch of government susceptible to another.

Tim Ferriss author of the Four Hour Work Week interviewed the well known Daniel Ellsberg I didn’t know him, but he’s the guy responsible for the Pentagon Papers. He’s a patriot right up there with Mark Klein.

What Every American Needs to Know (and Do) About FISA Before Tuesday, July 8th from Tim Ferriss on Vimeo.

Please take a minute. 60 seconds. Go to the EFF website here and put in your zipcode to find your Senator’s phone number. Its a simple script you can read, you don’t have to be scared of it. They just need to know you are a constituent, and that you don’t like a part of the FISA Amendments Act. (Or the whole thing!)

That’s it. It matters today, we’ll see what happens during the vote tomorrow. Do it. It’s not worth sitting back on this one.

-Francis

Subway Search Education

This morning I put a few more of my Subway Search Information cards out on the subway. Sticking them on the sides of existing advertising. (I stay away from the maps and anything remotely like a PSA – no need to block any of those.) People always look at me funny when I do it. I always assume it’s because they figure I’m trying to sell something. So I usually do it right before I get off the train or late at night when there’s not a lot of people around, but this time it wasn’t in the middle of the morning rush hour. We had just pulled into Jay St and while everyone was rushing on and off of the train I slipped the cars out of my pocket and put two on one side of the car and two on the other. Except while I was putting the last one up (in a vacant ad spot near the door) a guy grabbed my hand and took the card away from me.

I had my headphones on, so I just looked at him.

He took the card and flipped it over, read the front for a while. (You know, the side with a big picture and the phrase “Did you know you can refuse a subway search?”) and then flipped it over and took some time reading the back. The seat next to him was empty so I sat down, took off an ear of my headphones and said he could keep it.

The people in front of us kept looking at me, and then up at the other post card I had put near the ceiling. I’m glad I put it back side facing out so they could read what it’s about. I don’t think many people bother to turn them over and I don’t think people need a pretty picture to get the point. I mean the back has a lot more to it and is probably more interesting during the boring commute to work. They guy finished up and put the card back up where I was trying to stick it. Nodded at me and then just stared forward like everyone else. I put my head phones back on sat back and enjoyed the ride.

A few stops later someone new was in front of me and grabbed the card from behind me. He picked it up and spent a few minutes reading over the back. The people who had seen me put it up started looking at me again, I just smiled and sat back. The guy flipped it over a few times and then he pocketed it! I couldn’t help but grin a little. I’m not so sure about the first guy, but this second one obviously was learning something. He seemed genuinely interested which makes me wonderfully happy. =)

Despite my personal thoughts on Security Theater (that’s actually a good link) this card is kept generally neutral and doesn’t question if the subway searches keep us safer or not. (They don’t!) They do explore why you don’t have to be searched and take the position that giving up your rights needlessly is a bad idea. I’ll have other cards that talk about why bad security is worse then none at all. Which is an idea I’ve gotten a lot of resistance to. I’d rather know something is unsafe then to think something is safe and be wrong.

In the meantime there are at least two people in the subway today that know they have Fourth Amendment Rights and know how to safely execute their rights when asked to give them up with out probably cause.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.