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Cops Arrest Grand River Elementary Student – Video

February 16th, 2006 2 comments

While reading RSS items this morning I heard some yelling outside and took a look through our front window just in time to see three Lansing P.D. cruisers corralling a kid inside the Grand River Elementary School playground. A single cop chased him on foot, caught him, pulled the kid inside the school for a short period and then cuffed him and led him to a parked cruiser.

I managed to catch the last few minutes on video just because I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Not sure exactly why this happened…

You can view this video at the YouTube site here.

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Update: Uh-oh. I sent this to a few local news e-mail tip lines that I knew of and I got a couple bites. According to the Lansing State Journal the L.P.D. were responding to reports of stolen school property and the while they were chasing the kid down he punched an officer.

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Update 2: I bid a warm welcome to all the new readers from the Michigan state government, Ingham County Schools, and other “officially” interested parties that I’m seeing in my server logs.

For the record: I am completely unaware of having done anything wrong here, and so far nobody has tried to tell me that I have. This was not intended as a shot against the L.P.D., the student involved, or the Grand River Elementary Magnet School. If there is any fault to be seen here it lies with the kid for allegedly punching an officer.

While the link to this page has been removed from the current version on the LSJ site, you can still find the original at the LSJ link below.

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The American Geek Dream

February 16th, 2006 No comments

“The tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimes they are a channnnnnngingggg…”

My grandparents told me about times without widespread cars, life without computers, and growing up during the depression.

Someday I’ll be able to tell my grandkids “I remember back when Amazon sold books and only books.”

Anybody else notice how the Internet has caused a drastic shift in the way we view a successful business? Companies that do enough business online to be considered “very successful” are almost always diversified, offering a plethora of goods and services while their only truly unique claim to fame is their site layout or a web design trick or two.

Does anybody actually see this as a sustainable market or a way to do business? With the Internet full of aspiring Amazons, Googles, and budding Microsofts it seems like all-out corporate war is the only way a select few will come out on top.

Or they can continue buying up every little threat to their established customer base.

THAT’s the new American Geek Dream: Come up with a piece of software that threatens Google or Microsoft so they’ll buy you out rather than compete with you.

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Bored Bored Bored

February 15th, 2006 No comments

T-minus 12 days and counting until I start my new job.

It’s funny… after almost two months off work the concept of “free time” has really ceased to exist for me. I still read a lot and game a lot, but without any kind of real work going on it all seems so… pointless. You know you’re bored when watching reruns of ER and Star Trek is a highlight of your day.

This might sound like a complete 180 after reading the previous paragraph, but believe it or not I am not one of the many people who define themselves through their job. I’ll admit that during my last job I was very concerned that I was doing exactly that, and that if I lost it I’d feel… lost or something along those lines. Spending four years with one company at the age of twenty-five is a little unusual.

I’ve used a lot of this time to get things done around the house. I don’t have any kids so this is NOT an opportunity for a “Mr. Mom” joke 🙂 I semi-winterized our house, cleaned up our DVD and game storage, alphabetized and indexed my comic book collection into a database, cleaned up my old cameras, fought a pitched battle with excess phosphates in our fish tank (still ongoing), and taught myself the basics of Linux (Ubuntu Linux rocks). Please note this list isn’t a complete one, just the basic crap I can remember filling time with over the last two months.

And now I am bored with this post.

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50/50 Chance You Will Misunderstand The Tone Of This Title

February 13th, 2006 No comments

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known over the years who have had everything from minor disagreements up to major falling-outs via e-mail or text messaging. Every time I’ve told them “Important personal things need to be communicated in person, or at the very least over the phone.” Plain text, and even the HUGE advancement that is rich text (that’s a little font-formatting joke there) can’t accurately convey the emotional and often rational, train-of-thought tones that are a part of everyday speech.

Now there is proof. A recent study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that even though people thought they had correctly interpreted the tone of a message 90% of the time they were only correct 50% of the time.

This is why I never get involved in flame wars.

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Spam Zen – Kodak

February 10th, 2006 No comments

I’m a registered Kodak digital camera owner (for the warranty) so they send me stuff from time to time.

While emptying my spam folder I discovered this little gem from yesterday:

Here’s the first part:

Sounds cool. Let’s see it!

What the hell?

Here’s what they’re advertising:

If I ever ran into that wolf-thing I’d hope for the “Goes wide” part.

Crazy marketing people…

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Screw You Channel 4 (The IT Crowd)

February 9th, 2006 2 comments

UPDATE: After following a link in the comments section (Thanks J Pettus!) I downloaded un-drm’ed files via the fine folks at BoingBoing.

Unfortunately this did not actually improve the situation, at least in the legal sense.

While these files are standard, generically encoded WMV files, I cannot legally view them on a Linux computer. As a computer geek with limited financial resources I made the decision to go open source instead of continuing years of obtaining software through less scrupulous means.

WMV files use a windows32 codec which is considered the legal property of Microsoft (I think). Regardless of who owns them they are definitely illegal to install on a Linux machine, not that that has stopped the throngs of *nix users out there.

While there is a way to do this on a Linux machine, it’s still not ok in the eyes of the computer cops.

Lovely.

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So after spending literally hours trying to get my Ubuntu Linux box to read the WMV files that are the first two episodes of The IT Crowd I’ve decided to give up. To make matters even better you can’t access the streaming versions of the show from outside the UK (you can view that error message here.)

This whole process has really pissed me off.

I’d imagine Channel 4’s discussion went something like this:

Programming Exec: “So we’re ready to release the show online. How should we do it?”

Marketing Dweeb: “I know! Let’s use a DRM-protected windows media format! That way we can appease the DRM gods (even though our product is supposed to be “free” online).”

PE: “What about people who don’t use windows?”

MD: “Oh, you mean the people the show is actually targeted at? We never worried about them before, why would we now?”

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A friend recommend undrm’ing the files with WINE, but that would involve reinstalling windows on my machine just to get a couple DLL files.

Screw that.

And screw Channel 4. So much for the first great attempt at IP Television.

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The Ninja Answered My Question!!!

February 1st, 2006 No comments

Words cannot express my joy now that my question has been answered and a highly skilled ninja is looking forward to killing me soon! (Update: Actually, he’s looking forward to killing my wife.)

Ask A Ninja #9: Ninja Love

Be sure to check out the main page of Ask A Ninja and check out all the previous episodes.

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More Smokers Successfully Quit On A Whim

January 27th, 2006 No comments

Interesting article covering recent findings from British researchers…

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Feast Your Eyes On The Nintendo DS Lite

January 26th, 2006 1 comment

Damn you Nintendo! Why must you continually introduce great hardware then make it even better a year or so down the road? And why do I keep loving almost everything you make after you keep doing this?

I’ll probably own one of these sooner or later. I do try and stick to a strict rule in this situation: Trade-in deals only. I got my SP by trading in my original GBA and a couple games, and a couple years or so later I picked up a DS by trading in that SP and a couple more games. These trade-in deals usually aren’t offered until the console has been out for a couple months or so (patience is a virtue).

Not a whole lot of solid details on the DS Lite are available yet, but you can check out the Japanese product page here.

via Kotaku

UPDATE: Gamespot has an article with a decent list of DS Lite tech specs. One notably missing item is any mention of reverse compatibility with GBA titles.

If any Nintendo employees happen across this, I’d like to make a minor suggestion: PLEASE ADD THE ABILITY TO PLAY OLD SCHOOL GAMEBOY AND GB COLOR GAMES BACK IN!!! And an easy way to link to the GameCube via standard GBA cable, both sorely missed features from the SP.

spec link via digg

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Ben Franklin Had It Right, Georgetown Students to Gonzales: Back Off

January 25th, 2006 2 comments

Just want to share a quote from this Boing Boing post:

That just about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

A group from the Future American Lawyers stood up during a recent speech by Alberto Gonzales and displayed this quote with backs turned to the podium. Mr. Gonzales was delivering a speech arguing the justifications for the Bush administration’s illegal wire taps.

All of this is thanks to Insomnia over at LiveJournal.

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