Chad Perrin: SOB

27 February 2010

editors who are wrong

Filed under: inanity,Writing — apotheon @ 08:45

I’d just like to say really quickly that I do in fact know when and how to use a semicolon. It is quite likely that, any time you may see a grammatical error of some sort (or misuse of the UNIX trademark or other such issues that are not strictly technical) in one of my article at TechRepublic, it was an editor altering my article prior to publication who introduced the error, and not me. The same goes for ambiguities of context introduced by formatting, such as when list items get turned into subsection headings (and, thus, the end of the list is no longer a visible end to anything when list items contain multiple paragraphs).

I can’t fucking stand it.

The incident that precipitated this comment from me is in one of my least interesting articles (in my opinion), Avoid ambiguity when referring to account names. The incident in question occurs with these words:

that value is greater than the cost of the added effort involved is difficult to answer in the general case; but for a person whose login information management procedures easily handle this behavior

This article was also a case of a list turning into a series of subsections, so that there’s now no point of differentiation between the last paragraph of the final list item (or subsection) and the first paragraph of the rest of the article. Argh.

Oh, well. It wasn’t really one of my best articles anyway. At least this time it wasn’t a great article turned into a mediocre article by someone else’s meddling.

The last time I tried talking to an editor there about introducing errors into my articles, it was about the UNIX trademark. UNIX is a trademark; Unix is not. Thus, when I say BSD Unix, I’m talking about the BSD branch of the Unix family of operating systems. When a TR editor changes that to BSD UNIX, the sentence now refers to . . . what? Some nonexistent Single UNIX Specification conforming and certified variant of BSD Unix that is called “BSD UNIX” . . . ? Who knows?

When I brought this up, I was basically told to keep my correctness to myself because that’s the way TR does it, has always done it, and will always do it. Since then, I’ve just quietly kept using terms correctly and, when people complained to me about misuse of the term UNIX, I have explained how the term got misused. That’s it. C’est la vie. The lesson I learned from that experience is that I shouldn’t argue about correctness with the editors, because they don’t care.

I won’t bother pointing out to them that “; but” is a sure sign you don’t know how to use a semicolon correctly.

1 February 2010

I don’t know what came over me.

Filed under: Geek,inanity,RPG — apotheon @ 07:59

I’ve been running a PRPG campaign via IM chats once a week, using Paizo’s Legacy of Fire Adventure Path. We haven’t gotten far yet — too much actual roleplaying has gotten in the way of actual progress through the AP (much to the delight of n8, a player who was amongst the recurring members of my gaming group back in the early ’90s and has been a friend of mine since the ’80s). Um. Right. Onward, to the point.

So, anyway, as I was going through logs from last week’s session in preparation for this week’s, I found some amusing little exchanges over which I had a chuckle, and one in particular that boggled my mind.

Setting the scene: It took us (no shit) 31 minutes and 49 seconds of fucking around with Pidgin to get a chat session working. Once we finally got one working so everybody could participate in the game, it was apparently too late — I had already lost my tenuous hold on sanity. This is what I said (names changed to protect the guilty):

(21:34:50) n8 entered the room.

(21:34:50) SigO entered the room.

(21:34:50) @ entered the room.

(21:34:56) @: fucking fuckfuck the fuck

(21:35:24) @: Someone on the Pidgin team needs to die by soaking in strong vinegar.

(21:35:31) n8: agreed!!

(21:36:21) @: SigO informs me there’s a Pidgin chat bug that might pertain to this problem that has been around for three years without getting any attention from those sea cucumber fuckers.

(21:36:34) @: “The Sea Cucumber: Nature’s Pocket Pussy”

(21:37:03) @: I imagine they probably said “That’s how it’s supposed to work. You’re just too stupid to appreciate its beauty and utility.”

I got over it in time to run the session, though.

“Nature’s Pocket Pussy”? What the hell was I thinking?

How does someone die by soaking in strong vinegar, anyway?

I’m biting my nails in anticipation of the day a decent multiprotocol IM client with a development team that wasn’t born with too many chromosomes in its collective rectum actually supports OTR encryption across the board so I can stop using Pidgin. I’m half-expecting the Pidgin team to somehow permanently break compatibility with the OTR plugin first, though. Well . . . I guess that’ll be one way to get me to switch to a different IM client.

14 January 2010

Email Composed in Notepad?

Filed under: Geek,inanity — apotheon @ 11:37

I got an email on the bugtraq list that has some weird formatting quirk infesting it. The bugtraq archive won’t show the problem for us, but I’ll copy and paste it directly from Mutt for you here:

Release Date:^M
2010-01-14^M
^M
Product: ^M
OpenOffice^M
^M
Tested Vulnerable Versions: ^M
3.1.1 and 3.1.0^M
^M
Vulnerability:^M
Null Pointer^M
^M
^M
Description:^M
Hellcode Research discovered a null pointer vulnerability in Openoffice for Windows.^M
^M
Opening a malformed ".csv" file with Openoffice, causes a crash on "soffice.bin"^M
^M
^M
PoC:^M
http://tcc.hellcode.net/sploitz/csv.rar^M
^M
^M
Credits:^M
Hellcode Research^M
The Computer Cheats (TCC)^M
Natal Networks^M
^M
^M
Urls:^M
tcc.hellcode.net^M
forum.hellcode.net^M
www.natalnetworks.com^M
^M

I wonder how things like this happen. It looks like someone might have composed an email in Notepad then used some Unix tool to send it to a mail user agent of some sort. This is something I have seen before, a couple of times. Is there some email client that does this crap?

If you have an explanation that escapes me at the moment, I’d love to hear it. If they’re composing emails for the bugtraq list in Notepad, though, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t ever want to work for them.

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