Star Trek: Online Release Date

11 Nov 2009

Get ready; on February 2, 2010, Star Trek: Online arrives in North America and February 5, 2010 is the big day in Europe, according to game developer Cryptic Studios.

Also, system requirements were announced today.



Happy 234th Birthday, US Marine Corps

9 Nov 2009

The date was November 10, 1775. The place was Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Second Continental Congress had decreed:

That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates as with other battalions, that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies; unless dismissed by Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalions of Marines.

Commandant Samuel Nicholas sat in the tavern, enlisting recruits for the Continental Marines, as they were known back then.

Today, all Marines celebrate November 10th as the Marine Corps Birthday. This year, the Marine Corps Ball of the Commandant of the Marine Corps will take place on Saturday, the 14th. Other posts will celebrate at differing dates throughout the week. One thing always found in common with any Marine Corps Birthday celebration, from the Commandant’s Ball to just two Marines in a foxhole, is the cake. The cake cutting ceremony is very dear to all Marines.

It’s said that it’s a small world in the Corps. Most Marines will serve with others they have known elsewhere at almost every duty station they are ever sent to. This tight-knit “band of brothers” take tradition and honor very seriously.

Semper Fi, Devil Dogs.

Visit http://www.oo-rah.com/store/editorial/edi52.asp for an explanation of the term, “Semper Fidelis,” and its true meaning to Marines.



Star Trek: TNG Movies on BD

1 Nov 2009

On Wednesday evening, I bought the Blu-ray (BD) box set of Star Trek Generations, Star Trek First Contact, Star Trek Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis at Target (in Centerville) for US$70. The next evening, I was again at Target (looking for a costume item) and walked by an end cap with the same thing for only US$40. I picked it up and confirmed that it was the same thing I had purchased the night before for more money with the employee at the camera counter. He took me to the Customer Service desk, where they confirmed that it wasn’t on clearance and promptly sent US$30 (plus tax) back to my bank account (I had purchased with the debit card).

Even if you don’t have a BD player, I would recommend going down to Target to pick up this set. If you’re a fan, you’ll be glad you saved yourself the bones down the road.

These movies look great on my 42″ 1080P LCD TV, by the way.



openSUSE 11.1, Konqueror and Flash

29 Oct 2009

It’s been bugging me for months that I had Adobe Flash in Konqueror (my favorite browser on Linux) working just fine under openSUSE 10.3 and 11.0, but with 11.1 it just couldn’t find the plug-in. I’ve just never had the time at the moments I ran into it to go hunting down a solution, until the other night. Some Googling didn’t help at all, just people saying that it wasn’t working in Konqueror although it was just fine on other browsers. So I left it for later.

This morning, at work, I’ve had a quiet moment so I thought I would open up my notebook and look at some code. When I woke it up, there was Konqueror (I was upgrading blogs last night). So, I thought, oh, let’s look at the list of plug-in directories. There was an entry for /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/wrapped/ which doesn’t exist, but not one for the /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/ directory, which does. I added an entry for /usr/lib64/browser-plugins/, clicked the Scan for New Plugins button and restarted Konqueror.

That’s all it took. It works.

Now, I just have to go file a bug report with a fix in their bugzilla. I love Free & Open Source Software.



WordPress 2.8.5 Upgrade

28 Oct 2009

It’s been only 3.5 weeks since I upgraded this blog to released just a few days ago. This one is “simply” a hardening release, as they are now preparing for 2.9.

This time, I decided to see if I could simplify the process a little bit. Instead of reassembling the content by moving the previous version out of the way and then cherry=picking the right files and directories to copy into a fresh extract of the new release, I decided to make a backup copy of he current directory (and the DB) and then copy the extracted files of the new release over the top of the existing install. In this case, there were no DB changes to process, so it didn’t even ask me to “Upgrade the Database.” In fact, after the copy command was done, that was it.

I like it simple.

Still, I need to sit down and work out just how to reorganize the layout of a few things, since there are features that now better support much of what I want to do to better secure and simplify the running of my blog. Perhaps a project for this weekend?



UTOSC 2009 Keysigning non-Party

10 Oct 2009

Oh, well. That was mostly a bust. There were only twelve people in the room at the peak of it and only 7-8 traded keys. With all the last minute work going on, the Utah Open Source Conference 2009 organizers didn’t have the chance to get the word out from my post on doing the keysigning party.

FYI … I took down the “keysigning” email address from my domain a couple of days ago (after I got an email from someone whom I was expecting to send me their key).

I’ve already asked the UTOSC folks to plan on me doing two (or more?) sessions for the keysigning party in 2010. For next year, I plan on doing a presentation session, where I will talk about the reasons why keysigning is so important, how the system as a whole (the web-of-trust, the keyrings, etc.) works and provide a brief introduction to the actual protocols and algorithms used. The idea is that someone can come away from that session able to do three things:

1. Make a well informed decision to participate in the web-of-trust.
2. Explain just enough to help their friends also understand it.
3. Understand it enough to trust it based on their own understanding, instead of just entirely on the word of us “experts” who have been using it for years.

The second session would be the keysigning party, itself. Perhaps there could be two of these? The main one would be in the second evening and the second keysigning party could be a family-day thing.

Anyway, we’ll all be much better prepared for next year.



SQL Is Not SEQUEL

9 Oct 2009

One thing that has bothered me for years is when people refer to SQL but pronounce it as “sequel.” There is a different database language called SEQUEL. They are not the same thing. They are both database languages, but pretty much have nothing else in common.

I first remember hearing SQL mispronounced as “sequel” from Microsoft back in the 1990′s shortly after a release of Microsoft SQL Server. I can not say with certainty that Microsoft did this on purpose in order to spit in IBM’s eye, but if you search for IBM sequel database language (for example, on Google), you’ll see that Microsoft still advertises that you can “Learn Sequel”.

Please, people, can you pronounce SQL as S-Q-L? After all, IBM invented both SEQUEL and SQL and they said that this is the correct pronunciation. Thank you :) .



Utah Open Source Conference 2009

7 Oct 2009

Visit [ http://www.utosc.com/ ] for the details.

This year, I’m not doing any presentation. I have some ideas for next year.

I will be running the keysigning party on Friday, October 9 at 7:15pm at the conference. I’m stepping into doing this a bit last minute, so we’re going to provide some additional info and the instructions for the keysigning party on the UTOSC website should be updated very soon.

To participate, just show up. If you want help generating a key pair and getting started, there will be several people there who can assist you, just be sure to bring your own notebook computer. If you have keys, please, email me your full key ID (not a short or medium) at keysigning@openbrainstem.net. It is a good idea to digitally sign that email. If you have multiple keys, include them all. I actually have three separate keys these days and 2 of them have multiple IDs associated with them.

(and PGP) allow us to digitally sign messages (usually email, but can be used with other communications systems, too), code and other documents. It also let’s us encrypt files, emails and just about anything else. This is an extremely important technology for a lot of reasons, some of which I’ve discussed in past articles on this blog (and others). Defending our privacy and ensuring the integrity of our personal, family and business communications is vital. We sign each other’s keys to build a “web of trust.” This is the critical step that makes the whole thing usable.

If you have never used PGP or GPG (a.k.a. GnuPG, Gnu Privacy Guard) before, visit the GnuPG website for a basic description of how to generate your key pair.

If you have never participated in a keysigning party, check out the Keysigning Party HOWTO and/or [ http://keysigning.org/ ].

Immediately following the Utah Open Source Conference 2007 keysigning party, I wrote a simple script to help help you sign-lots-o-keys. You can download the script from [ http://www.openbrainstem.net/download/sign-lots-o-keys ]. If I have time before the keyparty in just two days, I have some little updates that I would like to implement in that script. But don’t hold your breath. Perhaps there will be time at the conference on Saturday?

So, please, plan on joining us on Friday. These are always good fun.



WordPress 2.8.4 Upgrade

3 Oct 2009

This blog was running under WordPress 2.3.2 for far too long. I had put in some patches, and there were security announcements about problems that wouldn’t affect this blog, since I didn’t use or enable the affected features. With the systems and application monitoring that I have in place, I wasn’t that worried. Still, I had started to update to 2.5.1 and 2.6 and 2.7 following their respective releases. Today, I finally took an hour and did the upgrade to the currently available version. I know, I know … that probably means that 2.8.5 will come out this afternoon.

The reason that it took an hour was that I was forced to upgrade several plugins and fix a couple of configurations. No big deal. It went pretty smoothly. Here are the basic steps that I go through:
Read the rest of this entry »



Stone Patrolmen Podcast

20 Sep 2009

We have published the first episode of the Stone Patrolmen podcast. The website is at [ http://stonepatrolmen.com/ ].