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toastykitten

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toastykitten: (Default)
PublicSquare is an interesting concept - basically it's something you can use as a template for your own magazine, zines, etc. It's free; if you want more stuff, you can pay a small fee.
toastykitten: (Default)
We were at a party last night for a friend who is moving to Portland. (It seems like all the geeks are moving there.) It was really, really nerdy and I'm kind of glad I did not wear my "I heart NERDS" shirt because that would have been just overkill. I actually didn't know anyone there, as this person was more Mark's friend. But I got to meet a lot of nerds, and girl geeks in particular - one owned a hosting company, one went to school at Harvey Mudd. One of them is currently working on a nonfiction book on women in science and engineering. We talked a lot about that, and also about writing and publishing in general. I felt kind of sad because I have not been writing anything in particular for years, and she seemed to have this commitment to her work that I just don't feel.

Of relevance: Zeldman commissioned a study for stats on women working in web design. Results: unsurprising. Comments on post: unsurprisingly annoying.

What was weird about this party was that we couldn't find people who watched tv. Not that this is a prerequisite for being our friends or anything, but Mark and I really like watching television, and love talking about certain shows. It was a pretty nice party overall.

I finally started reading an actual book again. I was in the middle of A History of God by Karen Armstrong, and then I stopped. For the past few weeks I've been doing crossword puzzles during my train ride, but now I'm back. The History of God is pretty fascinating, and I'm learning a lot, but Armstrong has some pretty strong tics that can get kind of repetitive and annoying.
toastykitten: (Default)
Especially: Desktopography. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR SOUND.

I already can't hear very well; I don't want to turn it into full-blown deafness.
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I'm trying to deal with Mark's new laptop. All the critical keys are in a slightly different location than his Toshiba, so I'm often pressing stuff, and nothing happens. *sigh*

Going to the Exploratorium was fun, even if it was a nightmare to actually get there. I swear, San Francisco is out to get us, with its deliberately non-existent signs and streets that end without warning. I mean, I've lived in the area forever and I love everything in San Francisco. If only I could actually get to them.

Kaitlin had fun, too at the Exploratorium, but she didn't really pay attention to the stuff she was actually doing. She just ran around playing with all the different displays. That girl has a freakishly short attention span, and she doesn't listen. It's so frustrating - oh, and she's not doing well in social studies, vocabulary or grammar. I wish I could convince her parents to hire a tutor for her, because I'm not in Oakland enough to kick her in the butt to study. She's doing fine in spelling, though - so I think the biggest problem she has is reading comprehension. I probably can't get them to hire an out-sourced tutor because they don't have an Internet connection.

And apparently she can talk for hours about cartoons.

Of interest:
Sara's Sunday rant, in which she debunks all the myths about Canadian health insurance.
One of Mark's colleagues, Val, got fed up after one of her community sites Linux Chix got digged and outed herself as a MAN.
Aug. 27th, 2006 08:23 am

vox

toastykitten: (Default)
Does anyone want a Vox invite?
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toastykitten: (Default)
I want livejournal to look like this. So pretty. Come on, Sixapart!
Mar. 19th, 2006 08:00 am

weirdness

toastykitten: (Default)
You know what is completely weird? Finding the blogs of one of your co-workers when they've never mentioned it to you. It totally feels like I stumbled onto something completely personal and private, even though logically speaking, it's on the Internet for everyone to see.
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Apparently mine is still up. I haven't touched it since last year. I edited it a little, and I only have one friend on it. I looked at some of the data you could put in and got thoroughly creeped out by the add your "size" and "height" questions. The fuck? Also, they don't list my high school. I guess we're too ghetto.

I tried uploading a picture, but the file size was too big. Oh well; I probably don't want my face plastered over the Intarweb anyway.

Work is driving me crazy. We're doing audits, right? Only this time, everyone's basically auditing my work from last year, and the guy who's directly above me, the one who trained me on this stuff, keeps coming up to me, going, "Kim? How are you doing this random thing that the auditors will look at?" I tell him how I've been doing it, and he keeps telling me, "Oh, we're actually supposed to be doing it this way." I wanted to say, "Well, you could have told me that when you were TRAINING ME LAST YEAR, right?" Arrgh. So I've been going back the past few months, double-checking all my work to make sure they conform to the standard he only informed me yesterday of, when I thought I'd been keeping to the standard all along. These are really minor, nitpicky things, but they matter to the auditors.

I had a Dale Carnegie session this week. It was all right; it seems like the class suddenly got halved. I think some people might have dropped out. I stumbled over the talks I gave; we were supposed to do a one minute speech on something that required a lot of action, and a two-minute speech about a lesson we learned in our professional life that we had "earned the right to talk about". They want us to do gestures and get really animated, and I am just not a very expressive person. It's not like I speak in a monotone, but unless I am actually excited about something, it's hard for me to have anything other than a pretty blank expression.

Well, there's one other girl who's having the same problem I am. She's some sort of grad student scientist, who's attending with her husband. I actually think she's been performing pretty well, but her voice doesn't inflect much.
toastykitten: (Default)
Mark is sick, so not much going on tonight. Last night's Daily Show was hilarious. That isn't the only news story I've been following, though. I've been keeping track of the China&theInternet stories for the past few weeks, shaking my head, going, "Are you fucking kidding me?" for both the American and Chinese responses. Long list of links below, mostly taken from Slashdot.

This BBC Op-Ed from Bill Thompson claiming that Google's self-censorship in China makes sense. Business sense, that is. And for some reason, everyone else should be behind that because hey, there's censorship everywhere else, why not? I exaggerate, but really, what the FUCK?

Here's the thing that really annoys me about these arguments about the issue of censorship - that the idea that self-censorship is somehow more desirable or less dangerous than regular, state-enforced censorship.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Cisco invited to Capitol Hill for a meeting on U.S. business practices and censorship in China.
US tech firms that abet China censors face scrutiny
Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, took the rare step of standing up for arch-rival Google today as he argued that state censorship was no reason for technology companies not to do business in China. This quote just about killed me: "Software piracy is a problem that will likely be solved over time, because as Chinese-made technology evolves, the country’s respect for intellectual property rights will improve, he added." - Hey, has he seen the movie industry there lately?
US congressmen have condemned major IT firms including Microsoft and Google for helping China censor the internet.

The Justice Department asks a judge to approve Patriot Act e-mail monitoring without any evidence of criminal behavior.

Net-savvy outfits are finding ways to let citizens see banned sites - "The company distributes software, called FreeGate, which disguises the sites a person visits. In addition, DIT sends out mass e-mails to Chinese Web surfers for clients such as VOA, which is banned in China. The e-mails include a handful of temporary Web addresses that host off-limits content and springboards to other forbidden sites."

Executives from Google Inc. and other Internet companies head to Capitol Hill next week, where they will become feature players in an awkward debate: Are U.S. companies giving in to China too easily?

"I was asked the question the other day, do U.S. corporations have the obligation to promote democracy? That's the wrong question," says Rep. Chris Smith, the New Jersey Republican and chairman of the House human-rights subcommittee that is holding the hearing. "It would be great if they would promote democracy. But they do have a moral imperative and a duty not to promote dictatorship."

Ironically, the controversy comes as Google, Yahoo and others are fighting for "Internet freedom" in the U.S. Google is resisting a Justice Department request for information on user searches to help prosecute violations of a federal child-pornography law. Meanwhile, the company has joined competitors to resist plans by telephone and cable companies keen on exerting more control over Internet lines, which has led to concerns about discrimination and content blocking.


Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., is drafting a bill that would force Internet companies including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to keep vital computer servers out of China and other nations the State Department deems repressive to human rights. - Good luck, Smith.

Chinese authorities are determined to stop "harmful information" from spreading through the Internet, but the controls it places on Web sites and Internet service providers in mainland China do not differ much from those employed by the United States and European countries, a senior Chinese official responsible for managing the Internet said today.

Ok, I've had enough of this. I'm going to sleep. Read Glutter for better coverage.
toastykitten: (Default)
But packing is no fun.

Irritations:

Xanga - For Chrissakes, people, stop it with the media. I like looking at pictures, but do not make the site start playing a song without a warning. Any song. Kill, kill, kill.

McAfee - First of all, I paid for your friggin product already. Second of all, your pricing is deliberately misleading, because I had to read the fine print in order to find out that my $25 rebate is contingent on me keeping the box, which I don't have because it was bought over a year ago. And third and worst of all, you made me use Internet Explorer to update the goddamn product. Ew, gross. Next time I'm buying Norton.

Traffic. When does traffic not irritate me? I reiterate, driving in San Francisco is like being stuck in a live-version of Grand Theft Auto with no gun. Driving in the rest of California is playing a game of "Who's gonna be the bigger asshole?"

The Observer book reviews suck.

A Cook's Tour, by Anthony Bourdain - finished maybe 2 weeks ago? I think I'm in a reading rut. I have plenty of unread books on my shelves, but I don't want to read them. Anyway, this book is awesome. Bourdain, a "rebel" hotshot chef in NYC, who also wrote Kitchen Confidential (behind-the-scenes look at four and five-star restaurant life), travels all over the world in search of the perfect meal. If that sounds like a gimmick, that's because it is. How else are you going to convince somebody else to pay for your trips around the world? A Cook's Tour is also a TV show for Food Network, which Bourdain is kinda ambivalent about.

Highlights of the TV show - Bourdain being forced to try the weird Asian foods, including, but not limited to durian, bird's nest soup, and balut. He should be happy he wasn't forced to try the stinky tofu. I think that stinks more than durian does, which he ended up liking a lot, describing it as similar to eating stinky cheese.

Highlights of the book - Bourdain eviscerating Berkeley vegans, beginning a rant with "And not one of them knew how to cook a fucking vegetable." His bitching about not being able to smoke in San Francisco restaurants is classic. I don't have much sympathy for him, though, because I hate cigarette smoke. Bourdain going to the Sahara and going crazy because he wants to eat a lamb but no one has any. So then he buys one himself. Bourdain snarking on other Food Network personalities, and an obvious hatred of anything having to do with Emeril and Bobby Flay.

I find Bourdain's melodramatic tone really funny, because he obviously watches way too many gangster movies. There's a lot of places where he's like, "And this reminds me of the scene in Goodfellas..." and then follows it up with, "Oh my God, we're going to die."

Now I am waiting for someone to lend me Kitchen Confidential.
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