Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wedding photos are coming in!

This will be a very quick post, but the wedding photos are trickling in from everyone.

Be sure to browse and share!

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Big Brother on the Orange Line

Big Brother on the Orange Line

I got on the Orange Line (one of Boston's subway lines) yesterday, and noticed this little guy watching me. There was one watching the inside of each door, and one looking either direction down the car from the center (there are three doors on each side of the car, so 8 cameras total, per car). Not all cars have these cameras, so I imagine they are testing them in some cars, or slowly rolling them out. I noticed them in cars numbered 01214 and 01248.

I wonder what prompted this, or is it just part of the general trend to watch everyone, at all times? Does anyone watch this live? Is it even recorded? Is it just for Panopticon effect?

At a time when the MBTA is massively in debt, this kind of surveillance is not cheap, especially with 8 cameras per car. I don't see this helping catch fare evaders. Are violent crimes on the subway very common? I've never seen or heard of any (though I have certainly heard of shootings on the busses). I doubt the transit police would bother even reviewing the tapes (let alone, install the system) for non-violent crimes, like pick-pockets.

Is this meant to catch those people that molest women in crowded subways? How would the camera see what was happening if it was that crowded?

Or is this all just more money spent to give us the illusion of security and safety?

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Module Test CGI script for Perl

It can sometimes be difficult to track down problems due to missing dependencies when deploying a CGI application to a shared host, especially when they don't give you shell access or let you view the web server error logs.

So, I wrote this small CGI script to check for dependencies and let you know when certain modules are not present or are out of date. I bundle this will all of my Perl CGI apps, so I can tell right away if something is missing. I will develop the application locally, of course, but I will check the output of this script whenever I deploy to a new environment, whether it is a test server or production.

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Bar Stool Economics

I got this story in a chain email today. I don't usually give much thought to these types of messages, but this one is pretty good.

With everyone speculating about the economy these days, everyone seems to have a different idea on how to fix it. The problem is, these 'armchair economists' don't seem to understand how the economy really works. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't understand how it works. I've even heard people with graduate degrees in economics say that they don't understand how it works enough to confidently suggest solutions to the issues we are facing.

My speculation on this speculation (meta-speculation, if you will) is that no one understands the entire system. Most people don't understand even one part of the system in any depth. Some people do understand certain parts of the system. There exists someone who understands, in depth, each part of the system. But no one person understands every part of the system.

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That Man Loves Freedom

That man loves his freedom

That man loves freedom. Some friends and I have this meme, where when we see someone doing something awesome, we say, "That man (or woman) loves his freedom!" Clearly, this applies to guys with bad-ass mustaches, but also to basically anyone who goes against the grain.

When you see a guy in a beat-up pickup truck cut off a guy in a BMW, that guy loves his freedom. That's why freedom is this elusive thing.

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Outlook trick for picking a conference room for a meeting

If you're like me, when creating a meeting, you hate trying to remember each conference room's name, selelcting it in Outlook, and then trying to figure out a time and room for the meeting. Most of the time, I'm sure I'm forgetting a room. Of course, if the names of the rooms all started the same (eg, Conference Room - Manhattan), it would be easier.

Outlook trick for picking a conference room for a meetingSo, I created a distribution list for conference rooms in my local contacts list. Just click on New->Distribution list, and then add each conference room to the list. This will be the only time that you have to remember and find each conference room's name. From here on out, you can just use the list.

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draggables coexisting with sortables

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