Twitter Updates for 2009-04-09

  • Now following @cernio_status and @unitedlayer – who knew Twitter was a network management console? #
  • Finally switched from Twitterific to Twitterfon. That’s MUCH nicer. #
  • Looking at – are all those “Missing!” entries supposed to be that way? #
  • @IanRobinson I’ll take a look at both in reply to IanRobinson #
  • Hmm. MacBookAir keeps losing WiFi with “No beacon for too long time”; MacMini has no problems. Apple Support Discussions no real help. #
  • Two hours (or more) into the UnitedLayer network outage – @quesera reports some positive signs, but is still inaccessible #
  • @stevel the last email I received on my iPhone was at 3:13AM. It’s set to retrieve IMAP from grommit every 15 minutes. in reply to stevel #
  • Unabashed nostalgia – #
  • @ThinGuy If it wasn’t on Twitter, it didn’t happen. in reply to ThinGuy #
  • This SJ fiber cut and the UnitedLayer network outage… feels like a scene from Daniel Suarez’s novel “Daemon”. #
  • @stevel As one commenter retorted, “Tell that to Zbigniew Brzezinski.” #
  • @ndw I’m skeptical about remakes – think “The Day The Earth Stood Still” – but the team doing the new “Prisoner” seems respectful… in reply to ndw #
  • @peterjhill see Ian McKellen is involved. in reply to peterjhill #
  • Per @ksbw police are treating the fiber cut as suspicious… manhole cover removed at 2am… doesn’t sound like a backhoe. “Daemon”…???? #
  • @russnelson Yup. One of my two RFCs – the other was NetBIOS-over-TCP (ugh!) Those were [the] days. in reply to russnelson #
  • @peterjhill I need something to restore my enthusiasm after the dreck that was “Ashes to Ashes” in reply to peterjhill #
  • With knocked out, I finally find a use for Mobile Me (other than syncing calendars, which is the main reason I signed up) #
  • Watching Jared Diamond on the evolution of religions – – Deuteronomy on “how to conduct genocide” #
  • @stevel Still unclear why a cut in Santa Clara would take out a colo in San Francisco. Whatever happened to redundancy? in reply to stevel #
  • @stevel LOL!!! I’ve always said we need better (richer) definitions of QOS……. in reply to stevel #
  • @UnitedLayer has restored connectivity to grommit ( This means a gazillion MTAs can now forward email. Incoming – duck!!!! #
  • Mmm Punched cards: 80 columns. Twitter: 140 columns. This is progress? #

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Amazing deal on "Truth in 24"

OK, fellow petrol-heads: I just discovered that “Truth in 24”, the documentary about the 2008 Le Mans 24 hour race, is a free download at the iTunes Music Store. Regular or HD! (Mind you, although I chose HD (which is 2.9GB), it looks as if both versions are downloading. They should be finished in 5 hours or so.)
I’ve always been a fan of the 24 Heures du Mans; I can remember taking a radio into the National Trust woods near our house just before dawn in 1966, and listening to the race commentary as the sun came up. That was the year that Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon scored the first win for the Ford GT40 Mk II. I always thought that was a rather crude, brute-force design; the Mk IV that won in 1967 was much more elegant, and remains one of my very favourite designs.
Ah, well. Grab that documentary while you can. What a deal…

Not down… just disconnected

This site was inaccessible for about 10 hours this morning. Slashdot has the story:

Multiple news reports, mailing list posts, blogs, and tweets are pointing out two overnight acts of sabotage in the San Francisco Bay area, with long distance fiber network cables being cut in two locations in the early morning hours. The first cut, around 1:30 AM, affecting landline and cell phone service and 911 calls in the communities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and parts of Santa Cruz counties, was on an AT&T fiber alongside Monterey Highway near Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose. A second cut, around 3:30 AM, in San Carlos, affected Sprint fiber and has significantly disrupted services at the 200 Paul datacenter in southern San Francisco.

It was the second cut that affected this site: it’s hosted on a box in the Cernio portion of the 200 Paul datacenter.

What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

I’ve just finished reading the latest collection of Edge essays: What Have You Changed Your Mind About? Here’s my Amazon review:

Of course it’s mixed… isn’t that the point?
Most non-fiction books are written to advance a thesis; to present a conclusion, a theory which explains the facts. When you realize that you’ve got something wrong, that you have to change your mind, it’s natural to be somewhat restrained about the fact. After all, we live in a society that demands certainty – however absurd that expectation may be – and castigates people as “flip-floppers”. I think that we could all benefit from reading about how thoughtful men and women were humble and open enough to admit that they were wrong.
Oh sure, this is a mixed bag. There are a few essays where you get to the end and scratch your head, wondering whatever happened to the purported change. But most are excellent. There are some obvious common themes: cosmology, evolution, climate change, science and religion, gender, consciousness. It seems intuitively obvious that these big questions which have both a scientific and a societal dimension will be associated with skepticism and revision.
Any reader of a book like this is going to be faced with the personal question: what have I changed my mind about? Well, 10 years ago I was in the computational neuroscience camp: I thought that the Churchlands had got most of it right. Somewhere along the way, I realized that biology, from the simplest plants to the most cerebral animals, was actually based on information systems. I’m not talking about computers as metaphors for brains, or anything like that; I mean that at some, very early point, the self-replicating information patterns co-opted and started to organize the material substrates of life.

And just for the record, this blog entry was composed in a copy of Firefox running on OpenSolaris 2008.11, hosted on my Mac Mini using VirtualBox.


One of the unexpected benefits of being between gigs is that I’m going to be able to attend all of Cloud Slam 09:
A number of friends – Werner, Rob, and Hal, for example – are going to be speaking, and it looks like an interesting agenda. And in these cost-conscious times, a virtual conference is the way to go. Nevertheless, five days in front of my computer from 8am to 7pm (and that’s EDT, or GMT-4, so it’ll be 5am onwards here in Seattle); that feels a lot like work! I must be sure to stock up on my personal fuel.

Twitter Updates for 2009-04-04

  • 3:50am is a truly uncivilized time. Checked out of hotel, waiting for shuttle to SFO to get my 6:15 flight home to Seattle. Yawn…. #
  • @micknugent Ann Holmes Redding (the defrocked Muslim ex-episcopal priest) conducted my son’s wedding in ’04 – in reply to micknugent #
  • Decompressing back in Seattle, after a busy (and productive) week in Silicon Valley. Thanks to everybody who made time to chat… #

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