Obama Wins!

Ed.: Because the blogs have been slow, and because this is a hot topic, I’ve fudged the date on this to appear to have been published two days later, so it will stay on the main page a bit longer.

Obama LogoIt looks like Obama is the Democratic nominee, while Hillary Clinton, the woman who has twice alluded to Obama being assassinated (okay, the first time was a speaker at her event, not her), has conceded that she’d be open to running as his VP.

I’d be happier with an Obama-Richardson ticket, but people are calling Obama-Clinton the fastest way to try to heal the wounds this election cycle saw. In her defense, if she doesn’t get him assassinated, she’d make an excellent VP.

Needless to say, I’ll be watching the news tonight for what may be two very historic speeches: Obama’s victory speech and Hillary’s concession speech. (It seems like it was just weeks ago that Obama gave his “concession speech” that was anything but a concession speech, in New Hampshire, which led to the Yes We Can Song.)

The AP story is hot off the press, and many MSM outlets aren’t carrying it yet. Whether that’s because the polls don’t close for two hours, because it’s not factual, or just because MSM isn’t as obsessed with checking Google News as I am remains to be seen.

Update: It seems that Hillary hasn’t conceded quite yet. Honestly, I’m not sure how the AP is so sure that Obama’s won yet.

Update 2: USA Today has a good piece suggesting that, while Obama might do it tonight, it’s still about 30 delegates premature. And they also have this good article on exactly how the AP story was put together.

Update 3: You can follow the whole Google News thread.

About Time

The International Herald Tribune reports that Myanmar’s leaders have just allowed foreign aid workers into the country. I seem to recall a story from a week or two ago about how they were accusing France of sending a warship to take over their country, when France suggested that the ship was actually coming with doctors and food or something like that.

Glad to see that Myanmarians (Burmese?) will no longer have to suffer because of their leadership.

Also: they have pretty fancy rooms in Myanmar, with huge chairs.


There were a couple people screaming profanities outside my window. After about ten minutes one of them shouted, “Come drink with us” at some girl, and I looked out and saw that they had beer bottles.

Sufficiently irritated at this point, I called Campus Police. The dispatcher said, “I just sent someone up that way for this,” so I turned on my radio.

Sadly, the officers had the wrong location and missed them. But I was observing the whole thing through my window listening to them. I had to find a way to call back without divulging that I was listening to them, so I just stated that I’d seen the officers look in the wrong spot and leave. She asked me for a better description of their attire, in addition to my exact description of their location. I watched a couple cops slowly approach, observed the people I’d called about, and swooped in.

At this point I expected the students to stop yelling, apologize, and be asked to move back into their room. Instead, one of the students, upon seeing the police, threw his bottle down, screamed, and took off, with the second kid following him. The officers initially chased them into the woods.

One officer stopped chasing them as they got into the woods. I was slightly disappointed to see them get away, except that all I really wanted in the first place was for them to stop yelling profanities and derogatory comments at people. So I was happy.

But I was even happier when another officer radioed in that he had seen the kids come out of the woods and was picking up the chase.

At this point my batteries died, so I’m not yet sure how this ended. But suffice it to say that it ended up significantly more interesting than I’d initially expected. And the drunken jerks are gone.

As an aside, the school’s 100W repeater (into a high-gain antenna, it seems) seems to overload my poor little VX-2. I tried enabling its attenuator feature, but it still didn’t seem to cut it. I then tried removing the antenna, but then the signal was too weak. (Although still audible.) My IC-W32 holds up much better to the overwhelming nearby signal, but its batteries don’t. And my ASTRO Saber is entirely unphased by the signal, but its batteries died the other day and I hadn’t recharged them…

Stopping Blogger Spam

It’s very common for spammers to create blogs on Blogger (something.blogspot.com). There’s a survey out there that found that 74% of blogs on the site were spam.

It turns out that you can report spam blogs pretty easily on Blogger: they’ve got a form for it here. You won’t find it linked to on their site (or at least, I didn’t), but it’s available. Use it and make the Internet a better place!

Enough Already

I used to like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They were both well-qualified, I thought, and the country would be in good hands either way. But I worried that Hillary had too many people who were opposed to her for one reason or another, so I thought Obama had a better chance of getting the Democratic nomination. I still supported Hillary, mind you, just not as much.

That all ended several months ago. It seems to me that every time she opens her mouth, she comes across as more and more bitter. She’s polarizing the Democratic party, and embarassing us at the same time. While she’s better than McCain, getting shot in the face is better than burning dying in a fire.

If you’d asked me in February to pick my top two Democratic candidates, I’d have said Obama and Richardson. And I haven’t wavered on that. (Clinton dropped from third place, though, to dead last among the Democrats.) They complement each other perfectly. So I was ecstatic when Richardson just came out in support of Obama.

Of course, the Clintons were not pleased. Which brings up another point of mine: I used to like Bill Clinton. Sure, he could have exercised some better control in personal matters, but if that’s the biggest criticism eight years later, job well done. But now he’s getting nasty and negative. I saw a survey somewhere that showed that his approval rating (yes, they apparently do track approval ratings of past presidents) has gone down since he started campaigning for Hillary. Fail.

But in the linked article, Richardson explains that he doesn’t think he’s “crossed” the Clintons, nor that he owed her his endorsement. But the best part of all is this little bit:

Richardson was asked Sunday about James Carville’s comment that Richardson’s Obama endorsement “came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver.” Carville is an adviser to Clinton’s presidential campaign and a CNN political analyst.

“Well, I’m not going to get in the gutter like that,” Richardson said. “And you know, that’s typical of many of the people around Sen. Clinton. They think they have a sense of entitlement to the presidency.”

He’s starting to exhibit something that Obama rocks at: people come at him with some sort of low blow, and he manages to say exactly the right thing to deflect the attack and end up making the attacker look like the idiot. (Remember when someone started questioning Obama’s patriotism because he stopped wearing his little flag lapel pin? His response was that he’d noticed that the flags often served as a replacement for “true patriotism.”) And… Did Carville mean to equate Hillary with Jesus in his analogy?

(Also, I have to wonder… How is it not a conflict of interest to be “an adviser to Clinton’s presidential campaign and a CNN political analyst?” Are they familiar with the Republican jibe that CNN stands for “Clinton News Network?”)

In conclusion… Where’s my Obama-Richardson ’08 bumper sticker?

The Most Awesome Thing…


Hulu. You can watch TV shows online. In (seemingly, I don’t know the exact resolution) high def. That’s pretty cool. Plus, it’s legal. Oh, and, the most important part: there’s no catch… It’s free. You sign up and watch TV shows.

With shows like Arrested Development, The Office (only 9 episodes right now), House (only 2 episodes), Psych (5), Monk (6), Journeyman (13), I Dream of Jeannie, National Geographic Presents, and…

Alright, you know what? I started listing the cool shows to write a nice, proper review. But the truth is, I really don’t want to write this anymore. I have 8 episodes of The Office, and an episode each of House and Psych to watch. And that’s just of the first four series I’ve listed. Paging through the list of shows to list the ones I love, I realized that I’d much rather be watching Hulu than writing about it.

So sign up and come join me in what might be the single biggest blow ever dealt to American productivity.

Yes They Can

There’s a women’s rights movement going on in South Africa.

One thing I think is interesting is that people tend to view this as backwards–they’re just now having a women’s rights movement? But I view it differently. They became a Republic in 1961. It took us centuries from being founded on supposedly-democratic principles before we truly recognized that every person was equal. Forty-five years and they’re already doing it.

And just the other day, Kenyans agreed to a power-sharing deal putting an end to a brutal conflict that had developed there.

Digital Photo Recovery

I just discovered PhotoRec, a tool for recovering digital camera images.

For the non-geeks, a quick basic background…. When you save a file, it writes it to various blocks on the disk. Then it makes an entry in the File Allocation Table, pointing to where on the disk the file is. When you delete a file, the entry is removed from the File Allocation Table. That’s really all that happens. The data is still there, but there’s nothing pointing to where on the disk it is. This has two implications. The first is that, with appropriate tools and a little luck, you can still retrieve a file that you’ve deleted. (Whether this is comforting or distressing depends on your perspective…) The second is that, with no entry in the File Allocation Table, it’s seen as “free space,” so new files saved to the disk may well end up getting that block. It’s technically possible to recover stuff even after it’s been overwritten, but at that point it’s much more complex and much more luck is involved.

Last night we went out to dinner… We took lots of photos, but some were deleted. So I figured PhotoRec might recover them. So I gave it a try.

The filesystem shows 163 photos. After running PhotoRec, I have 246 photos. What’s odd is what photos I have. It’s not the ones from last night. They’re scattered from various events, and several are from almost two months ago.

This does leave us with an important tip, though: if you delete an essential photo, stop. Each subsequent thing you do to the disk increases the odds of something overwriting it. In a camera, just turn it off. Taking more photos seriously jeopardizes your ability to recover anything.

In my case, I didn’t have anything really important… I just wondered how it would work. And I got strange results for recovered files. (Which has me wondering a lot about how its files get written out to disk, actually.) But it’s good knowledge for the future. (By the way, PhotoRec runs under not just Linux, but also, apparently, Windows, and most any other OS you can imagine.)