September 27, 2002

The Onion is kind of poignant this week.

Ok, this is wierd.

There is a group, the Christian Gamer's guild, who promotes and defends gaming (of most sorts) among Christians. Anyway they have a PDF webzine The Way, The Truth and the Dice. The latest issue contains rules for a miniature wargame using Precious Moments figurines.

I challange them to devise rules for a game called Victoriana: The Glowing. Roleplaying in Thomas Kinkade's World of Lightness

September 26, 2002

So Anoraky means "Socially inept and studious or obsessive person ... with unfashionable and largely solitary interests" accoring to the new OED. Does that come from the Anorak style of coat?

Is a blogger an anoraky?

So just as I was about ready to leave for home last night, I notice that a bunch of errors had been thrown by the conference management system I wrote for my company (it takes paper abstract submissions and allows them to be grouped into sessions. It handles the web program and print progams as well.) It turns out somebody (we think in israel) was noodling around trying various url parameter hacks, noting how I was passing the parameters straight into SQL statements with no parameter validation checking. I won't go into what havock you could wreak with that here, but suffice it to say it was a gaping hole I'd ignored untill then.

We quickly blocked his IP from the firewall and I proceeded to implement some SQL parameter validation using the tag, which I'd recently read about in a Ben Forta column in Cold Fusion Developers Journal. No harm done as far as we can tell; so much for complacency. I'm reviewing more code today to ensure what i've written is locked down a bit better.

In investigating the sessions, I found that the first link this guy made to us was from a google seach for error text. That was something I discovered a while back. Google has recorded some of the pages of the conference system with error messages in the page response. When you search for a particular SQL error (say to find out about what it means) you can actually find a link to the conference system where certain inputs create that error. How embarassing. Which reminds me the other thign i need is to robots.txt google out of the conf system.

September 20, 2002

Joel Seigel on Metropolis:
Metropolis: One of the most stunningly visual animated features I have ever seen. It features Japanese animation, called anime.
What? All the other films he's seen aren't visual? I think he means "visually stunning". And most japanese animated movies I've seen "feature" Japanese animation. Lots of American animated movies also feature japanese animation too, come to I think of it.

September 19, 2002

So sometimes I instant message RingMessenger, an AIM "buddy" who can "chat" with you about the Lord of the Rings movies. (He's about as dumb as Eliza, and no more informative than any LOTR website.) One of the things he does is tell you showtimes but he doens't know any showtimes for The Two Towers yet. But I noticed when I asked him that he knew my zip code! I didn't recall telling him that (it would have been months ago) but he remembered. Disturbed by this revelation I IMed "forget my zip" and he replied that he was deleting city, state and zip information.

Or so he says...

September 17, 2002

instapundit reports on the concern of leftist "greens" that adding matieral to the moon might upset the delicate ballance of gravity in the earth moon system. From democrats.com:
The TransOrbital venture could be disastrous for the globe - no scientist today could predict yet how adding mass to the moon via human infrastructure or removing mass, via mining, will impact the delicate gravitational interplay between Earth and its only satellite.
Are lunar greens called "grays"? Or just loonies?

Since the RPCUS is abusing the Fair Use doctrine, I figured I should take the high ground and start buying some of the CDs my (very small) MP3 collection is made from. I picked up the BNL Disc One hits album today, with my $50 B&N gift certificate. I also picked up a DVD of Legend, which has been re-released with Ridley Scott's original vision restored [still waiting for Blade Runner].

September 11, 2002

One of my favorite games now comes in a new biblical version

Something September 11th related. Wow

I've been thinking about signing up with Netflix or DVDRentalCentral, since there's a bunch of obscure films I want to rent, not buy, that my blockbuster doesn't carry. Blockbuster also seems kindof expensive. I also like the idea of not having a late fee for a return. If its a new movie, I'll watch it, but if I want to explore commentary tracks it usually feels a bit dumb to sit down and rewatch the whole thing the same day or the next day: there's other things to do.

But I'm discovering even these guys don't have what I want to rent. Netflix doesn't have the whole Evangelion anime series, only a few parts (what's with that?) and I've noticed that neither have some of the "more special" versions of DVDs I want to get but the more hastily released "featureless" editions (like for Star Trek II or Brazil).

Hmm... Maybe the buy-then-sell-on-ebay method of rental will work...

September 10, 2002

Jonah Goldberg asks for help. This is what I said. Not too helpful.
1. depends on what you mean by love. Some simply identify love as the keeping of the literal law/torah, so its loving to stone public adulterers, enslave debtors etc. I'm semi-sympathetic to this: at least in trying to see Biblical revelation as fully consistent with the doctrine of the Love of God and love as a personal ethic.

2. John Milbank (Radical Orthodoxy) does good work in pulling apart the Hobbseian/Neitschian assumption that we begin in a world of war and domination. We don't because God created all things good originally. Christ points the way back by showing us God as the self-sacrificing one, not the dominating one. I'm not sure how much he has a "doctrine of governance" though. But look there.

3. most Reformed Christian thinkers (my tradition: Althusius, Kuyper, Calvin) conceed alot of idealism to implementing Christian love in governance. Some of it sounds like point (1); which has validity: Even C.S. Lewis argues its more loving to execute a murderer than keep him incarcerated for 40 years.

4. back to point 1 in a sense the most "worked-out" position is that the Law of God/Christ is loving, and so whatever biblical revelation informs governance is the doctrine.

A strawman argument lurks here: "The argument seems to go, 'Therefore, Congress is positively required to provide chaplains for religious Congressmen at the public expense.' Is that what the free exercise of religion means?" No, its not. But it means that congress can choose to provide chaplains at public expense if it desires. The mistake seems to be in thinking that the Constitution would make explicit every religious activity that is allowed. Its not that "not prohibiting free excercize" means the Constitution requires chaplains, but that chaplains may be permitted assuming they don't constitute establishment (and broadly speaking they don't).

My attention to this page was directed by the very funny comment about Nigerian spam scammers above the bit about chaplains. But if blogging means anything it means everything you've got up is there for the world to see.

September 09, 2002

Dragoncon has had a link with perversity in the past. This doesn't help it's image any. I like this costume though

De script shun




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