Bloggery Madness


This backend of this blog is continuing its descent into madness. Following on from the problems where no posts would accept tags, this seems to have fixed itself while simultaneously stopping the blog posting anything but the most recent article on the home page. All of this has taken place without user intervention. It seems the glue, velco and staples holding the back end together have finally given up the ghost. Hopefully we will be able to find time this weekend to fix things. Sorry for any weirdness until then and during the “improvements.”

WordPress upgrade mildly broken

Bits keep falling off this blog like so many bits of newspaper escaping from the recycling van cage. (E.g. the Atheist blogroll became landfill months ago, although I see it still works fine on dozens of sites.)

After bowing to WordPress’s nagging requests and upgrading WordPress to version x (I can’t remember) two days ago, I find that I can’t attach tags to posts.

Any ideas?

Sci-fi and life

Sci-fi is fine as a genre. You’ll get no arguments against it from me, if you are thinking about comics or books or movies or TV series. Even the conventions and action figures and Klingon costume-wearing are endearing. But I draw the line at turning the real-world into the Matrix IV. (II was poor enough.)

Lockheed Labs and other military tech giants have an longterm project to bring art into life by creating battle droids.

The register has an ongoing thread, Rise of the Machines, that puts the battletech news in the public domain, in a tongue-in-cheek way. As the Register put it about the latest Lockheed tests:

‘Intelligent agents’ control droid legions: flee now
US aerospace colossus Lockheed Martin says it has taken an important step towards the inevitable rebellion of heavily armed, highly intelligent slaughter machines bent on the elimination of humanity. (We’re paraphrasing the company release, obviously.)
The arms globocorp announced yesterday that it had “demonstrated intelligent autonomous control of multiple unmanned systems” using its Intelligent Control and Autonomous Replanning of Unmanned Systems (ICARUS) kit. In other words, a small robot army was directed almost entirely by soulless machine intelligences, nominally overseen by a single human. The robots, in effect, were a heartbeat away from becoming fully independent.

(That’s like being “a heartbeat away from the presidency,” although these droids don’t yet come in a handy fundamentalist creationist soccer mom/bimbo format. )

This would be fair enough, if the droids are just going to fight each other. It would be a good idea the winner of a war being was decided according to which country’s team was the most successful in a round of Command and Conquer.

It might even be bearable to contemplate if there was much indication that human intelligence might ever be part of the war machine algorithms, with or without access to droid killiers. What are the chances of that?

Rise of the Machines

It is official. I hate all forms of technology. However, all of them hate me a LOT more. Truly the rise of the machines is inevitable and I will have to accept the day when my computer overlords stop toying with me and REALLY begin to punish me.

Over the last few weeks I have spent many, many hours of my life trying to reason with my computer overlord to try and get it to do simple tasks like connect to the internet or actually connect to the network it things has a maximum strength signal. You know, really challenging things like that. I have come to accept that Vista is actually the Devil Incarnate (don’t think Linux is any better…) but now I am learning where the acolytes hide.

I have an iPod nano and an iPod shuffle. I have had them for ages (both were presents, I am too tight fisted to buy things like that) and they used to work fine. However, since the Rise of the Machines has begun, they now make my life hell.

Over the last three weeks, both have intermittently ceased to work and forced me to reinstall their software from scratch several times. This is not normal behaviour for them – I’ve had the nano with no problems at all for two years… This was annoying but I could live with it.

Also in the last month, my Nikon Picture Project software (I use it to download images from my camera to the pc) has decided to stop noticing when the camera is attached. This forces me to use explorer to go into the camera (it is treated as a drive) and copy the files. The problem with this, is I now have to rename and batch process in separate stages. Time consuming but not life threatening, I suppose.

After a week of working fine, every time I attach my phone to the PC to update calendar / contacts, I get a slew of error messages saying some unknown driver hasn’t installed properly. Again, annoying but I can live with this.

The spell checker in Firefox (which I use to write this, so I am pretty dependent on it..) has decided to only work 1 time in 10. This is not one of those times so I will apologise for all typos now…

Today’s FINALSTRAW©™® is iTunes. When I got my new computer I backed up all my old music to an external HDD and copied it to the new machine. For some reason iTunes decided that meant it needed to have three entries for every song – giving me over 3600 entries. I spent what felt like 10 years deleting the spurious entries and everything worked fine. Tonight I have opened iTunes and they are all back. All of them. For good measure, there are even more entries this time. It seems that all my podcasts have now been duplicated. I am sure it is doing this to see if it can push me to a nervous break down. It is close…

I am about to search google to see if I can find an automated way to delete the spurious entries (as they dont actually point anywhere), if my internet connection dies as I try to find the solution it will be the final proof my PC is now sentient and is waging a guerilla war against me.