In a rare turnabout, I posted to my LiveJournal yesterday and will cross-post it here. I had a WP plug-in that automated the reverse, but I don’t use it anymore. I had only logged into LJ to wish a friend happy birthday. I found a nice suggestion for a blog post topic awaiting me, which I’ve used as the title of this post. My user name on LJ is meanirishtemper. Don’t ask. You don’t want to know. Without further ado, here is my LJ post from yesterday:

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I have used the name Rain King online since 1994. I took it from the Counting Crows song of the same name. It was only later that I learned of the Saul Bellow novel, also excellent. I use that name because I feel it describes me… my life. I’ve been blessed with the melancholy celtic spirit. It’s in my blood, the rain, and it calls to me wherever I may run to escape it, physically or emotionally. One day it will take me home; my elusive, dreamed-of home where I truly belong, where I fit in, no where to be found in this world.

So why am I meanirishtemper? Why else? Every variant of the name I wanted was taken, save bizarre numerically-tainted versions like 6969The_Rain_King_666999 or some such nonsense. And it has been pointed out that my temper could use some hmmmm… tempering? My business is Timbury Computer Services and you will find me online as timbury in many places, like http://www.cre8buzz.com a great social network.

Enough of this. I’mback off to IMVU where I am… TheRainKing, of course. Peace.

The Anthill is an OpenBlog – a new concept in blogging.  One blog with 100s or even 1000s of authors!  It is the official community blog of cr8Buzz! I love seeing how quickly people grow to love and rely on this blog to share their insights and knowledge with others and also bring traffic to their own sites.  Be seen… Be heard… Be found… check it out today!

The Inflatable Soapbox is moving to a new server today.  The URL http://timkissane.com will still work, but please check your blogroll links and bookmarks.  The IP-based address http://timkissane.com/ will no longer be valid.  I expect these changes to be complete by 17:00 EST today.  Any odd glitches should be ironed out by tomorrow.  I want to change the theme to something less graphics-intensive to improve load times.  That will come after the move, however.  Thank you for your patience.

 I’m one of those Linux fanatics who enjoy trying new distros almost constantly. Because of the freedom inherent in the GPL and other “open” licenses, there are always new flavors of my favorite OS springing up.  Early spring of last year, I found an Ubuntu-based distro called UbuntuSE.  I was attracted to the screenshots of the dark blood-red and black theme.  This was essentially Ubuntu with fresh artwork: splash screens, window themes, wallpapers, and amazing 3D screensavers.  The SE, it turned out, stood for Satanic Edition.

I consider myself a spiritual person, but I’m not a fan of organized religion.  One of the few things that offends me are people who are easily offended.  Especially those who  believe they somehow deserve to be protected from any speech, image or ideology which they find offensive (typically, anything not their own).  I found out there were two similar themed Ubuntus, the Christian Edition and the Muslim Edition.  With a few hearty chuckles during installation, Ubuntu Satanic Edition became my desktop for a few months.

UbuntuSE

Recently, I followed a link which took me to Distrowatch, a well-known and respected site which offers reviews and news of Linux distributions.  It is run by Ladislav Bodnar (distro AT distrowatch DOT com).  Mr. Bodnar is an intelligent man with an interesting and impressive background.  I noticed he had included the Christian and Muslim versions of Ubuntu, but not the Satanic version.  I thought it unlikely that he was ignorant of it’s existence, but I sent him a short note just in case.

Hi, Ladislav!

I wanted to inform you of another “themed” Ubuntu distro,
Ubuntu Satanic Edition or UbuntuSE. The site is
http://ubuntusatanic.org/ and it has been around since
2006. I see you have UbuntuCE and UbuntuME. I would
like to see UbuntuSE included on distrowatch. The artwork
and attention to detail are amazing. After all, Linux is a
“journey of freedom”. Thanks for a great Linux site!

Peace,
Tim

I quoted the phrase “journey of freedom” from Mr. Bodnar’s description of his experience with Linux. I received this response a few hours later:

I don’t feel comfortable with listing this distro on DistroWatch. I am not
religious or anything, but I think there are some limits of what is an
acceptable name for a Linux distribution. Sorry :-(

Ladislav

Ladislav Bodnar

I ask you to tell me the unvarnished truth.  Is this in keeping with the spirit of Linux, open source and freedom?  Is this arbitrary dictation of what distro shall be included based on the acceptability of it’s name to the maintainer offensive to anyone else?  I think Mr. Bodnar is not telling me the whole story  Perhaps he fears some expression of outrage by Christian and Islamic fanatics if he lists the UbuntuSE distro.  I can’t really speculate further on his true motivations.  I only post this to express my belief in freedom of expression, religious and otherwise.  That is one of the reasons I love Linux: the devotion of the community to freedom.

Mr. Bodnar is using his freedom as the site maintainer to censor the Linux community.  I don’t think he’s right to do so.  I think he needs to re-read his tagline on distrowatch: “Put the fun back into computing.”  What do you think?

I’d like to offer a weekly spot on the Inflatable Soapbox for a guest post. Anyone who’d like to share his or her views on an Open Source topic (Linux, WordPress, GIMP, MySQL, GPL, distro review, etc.) is welcome to submit a post. You must register first to gain contributor status.

Since I don’t have a guest lined up for today, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Inflatable Soapbox.

My friends and family have come to accept tolerate my style of communication: lecture. I don’t actually discuss an issue, I pontificate. I can frequently be seen standing at the virtual podium, left arm raised, index finger pointing skyward, “…and furthermore…”. You get the picture. I grew weary of lugging my soapbox around, so I did what any other pompous, didactic ass would do: I invented the Inflatable Soapbox. I carry it with me everywhere and can inflate it faster than Microsoft can pervert an open standard.

I’m currently running this on a ten year old Compaq DeskPro with a 500MHz Celeron, 384MB RAM, 10GB IDE HDD, from my home office on a Comcast high speed (1.5M down, 20M up) connection. This is far less expensive than a co-located setup, although my power situation leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, the ext3 file system and Ubuntu Linux (7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, LAMP server) recover nicely from the inevitable outages here at the shore. The second drawback is redirecting the domain from my hosted space at Hostway’s Chicago data center to my static IP (six month lease) on Comcast. That is why you see http://timkissane.com/ in your address bar instead of http://timkissane.com/.

Finally, as an experiment in traffic generation, I’ll be posting a photo of Lindsay Lohan nude (don’t worry, as you can see, it’s safe for work, the kids, whoever) that I found on Alexa while checking site rankings. Do you think this will help? ;-)

Don’t forget to submit posts in time for next Wednesday’s guest spot!

Peace.

Lindsay Lohan Nude

Every now and then I read a post and smack myself in the head, saying “Why didn’t I think to blog that!” I’m sure we’ve all had that experience. Today, it was this post from Green Colibri.  I’ve been using Blackle as an eco-friendly alternative to the Google home page since last year. There were about 140,000 Watt hours savedat that time; as of this writing, it’s 479,622.172 Watt hours saved. I think I Twittered about it, but I never thought to blog it. So read the post by oyvind and use start using Blackle for searches. It’s good for the environment and it looks much cooler.

The Inflatable Soapbox is now rated E for Excellent! It’s the first blog award I’ve received; indeed, the first award of any kind in quite a few years. Thanks to Stacey of RealWorldMom! Stacey is a first class blogger, be sure to check out her site! I introduced her to blogging just a few months  ago and she’s already kicking my butt! :-)

It is my pleasant but difficult duty to now choose ten blogs deserving of this award. I could spend all day reading the great blogs I’ve found, and still not get to all my favorites. But here, in no special order,  are the top ten on my list. I chose them  for the quality of their writing, subject matter, humor, and dedication to blogging:

Who Knew? A Writer’s Blog

42

Just A Girl In Short Shorts Talking About Whatever

Tattling On

allfacebook – the unofficial facebook blog

Bliss in Bloom

Failure is the Key to Success

The Kansas Curmudgeon

Howl @ The Moon

And, finally, because she so richly deserves it,

Real World Mom

By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blog you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want – even those that have received it already, but please award at least 10 people.

Thank you all for your efforts and thanks, Stacey, for this recognition.

EDIT: Here’s the code for the award. Paste it into your sidebar or wherever you’d like. (Thanks, Veronica!)
2nd EDIT: Fixed some blog names I screwed up. Oopsies! :)

cre8Buzz! Logo

I’m enjoying this new site so much! Cre8Buzz! is a friendly network of talented people trying to spread the word of their projects while making friends and contacts. Because of the ranking system, and the communities, it is easy to quickly find talented people in many fields. Two things I noticed immediately: the warm welcome from the community and the lack of css themes. Both may be attributable to the relatively small size of the user group.

BumbleBee Theme

The Buzz, as some users call it, just launched recently. Many users keep the default theme, which is clean and functional. Some try using Myspace themes with predictably horrendous results. Some members use themes from khenny of Quartz Mountain Communications, a California-based web design studio. His themes are very good but limited in number. As some of you may know, I love to play with themes, changing them to suit my mood. So I’ve started saving them to themes.timbury.net where they are available to all. While the site is not “live” yet, the themes can be accessed now. I hope to get the site built up soon, with a snappier look and an upload facility so everyone can share. As always, feedback is welcome.

So come join in the fun, sign up on Cre8Buzz! and use my themes or create your own. Stop by my page and give a shout out to my friends Antman, RealWorldMom and piper of love. They all have great profiles and links to some really slamming blogs of their own. Peace.

Technorati Profile

This is a test post to link to technorati.

Edit: It hasn’t worked yet. After embedding the code from technorati in this post, I clicked “release the spiders” (what a horrid metaphor). In less than a minute, a message informed me “we can’t connect to your blog. Try again later.” I’ve tried several times over the last few hours. I sent a message for support. I wonder how long this will take.

Edit: Almost resolved. Must now wait for thumbnail to update, but should be alright. See comments for details. Thanks Janice and technorati.

Reading some of the comments on the Robert Scoble v. FaceBook issue this morning, which centers on an issue of great importance for all of us. It seems FB suspended Scoble’s account because he was using a script to gather data from his account. FB’s IDS probably caught the activity and took automated action. But this is where it gets sticky. What is the purpose of banning the scraping of data from your own account?

I don’t see how it can be a violation of any reasonable TOS for a user to employ a script to gather the information stored in their own account, the same data that could be harvested with a pencil and paper. The only possible issue is the load on the servers, not data ownership. Who owns the “relationship data” that exists in my cell phone? T-Mobile? Samsung? Ridiculous! I own it. It doesn’t matter that I used the tools and services these companies provided to make new social connections. They were paid for the use of those tools for that very purpose.

If the system load is the issue, that is a valid concern. The burden is on the providers of the service to offer a way to export your data in a way that taxes the system minimally. If they can’t afford to do this in the context of a free service, perhaps they need to reexamine their business model.