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The end of CityDesk
Dec 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

RIP CityDesk – Joel on Software. In those days all the cool kids wrote their own blogging platforms. I wrote CityDesk. In what turned out to be a monumentally wrong bet, I thought that people would want to blog on Windows, with all the slick WYSIWYG editing goodness that wasn’t yet available in early versions of HTML. CityDesk kept your entire website in a SQL database (Microsoft Jet, the backend of Access) and had a frontend like a word processor. Every time you needed to publish, it generated the entire site as a set of html pages, which it then uploaded to an ftp server for you.

[…]

Over the years the CityDesk code base (VB 6.0, another bad bet) stopped running on the latest versions of Windows. Nobody else cared but by that time I was using a custom version of CityDesk which only ran on Windows XP. So until recently, I had a virtual machine set up with Windows XP running in there, and a copy of CityDesk.

[…]

Matt Mullenweg over at WordPress has been trying to get me to move Joel on Software over to WordPress for so long it’s not even funny. I finally gave in. [Joel on Software]

I used CityDesk myself to manage my main website for a number of years after the sad demise of UserLand Frontier, before finally replacing it with nanoc around the time I moved to Austin in late 2012. It was an unusual product in that it was actually better than any Mac alternative at the time (something that’s usually true only of games).

New job
Dec 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

I’ve just started a new six-month contract as a programmer with Integrity Digital Solutions. I’m in Temple for the week for training, but after that I’ll be working from home. It looks like it will be a pretty good job.

Watch out for hysterical politicians
Oct 7th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Clowns, Kids & Satan. The security expert Bruce Schneier coined a term for this: Movie plot threat. We imagine the threat to our kids is just like the one we’d see, or have seen, in the movies. It’s easier to picture Bozo with a bazooka than a car crash when mom or dad is confused by their GPS (which in our car seems to be about a third of the time), so that’s the threat we focus on…to the point where we start exaggerating unlikely outcomes, or even seeing things. [Free Range KidsFree Range Kids]

Even now there are people being persecuted (especially in New York City) because of laws written by politicians who had confused West Side Story with a documentary. I hate to think what sort of future persecution will result from politicians thinking that Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a documentary.

Not so offline as the Gestapo would like
Sep 21st, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Court: Group’s 3D printer gun files must stay offline for now The federal civil suit originated three years ago when Cody Wilson and his group, Defense Distributed, published designs for the “Liberator,” the world’s first 3D-printed handgun. Within months, Defense Distributed received a letter from the United States Department of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, stating that 10 files, including the designs of the Liberator, were in violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This letter came despite the fact that these files had already been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and continue to circulate online. [Ars Technica]

This reminds me of the 1990s, when the Evil Empire tried to keep encryption technology away from people using the same tactics. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Here’s a BitTorrent link to download the files in question.

Cops can’t even fabricate charges right
Sep 19th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Cops record themselves allegedly fabricating charges with suspect’s camera. In a federal civil rights lawsuit, a Connecticut man has shared footage to bolster his claims that police illegally confronted the pedestrian because he was filming one of them. Authorities seized Michael Picard’s camera and his permitted pistol, and the officers involved then accidentally recorded themselves allegedly fabricating charges against the man.

[…]

The tickets Picard got were for the alleged use of a highway by a pedestrian and for allegedly creating a public disturbance for carrying an “exposed loaded sidearm in plain view of passing motorists.” The authorities eventually dismissed the tickets. [Ars Technica]

Note that carrying an exposed loaded sidearm in plain view of passing motorists is perfectly legal in Connecticut as long as you have a carry permit, which Picard did. Not only did the jackboots get caught fabricating charges, they were so stupid that they couldn’t even come up with something that was actually illegal for their lies.

Twenty Years
Sep 17th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

I’ve now had the orange-road.com domain name for twenty years.

The inevitable result of being a good cop
Sep 12th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

West Virginia cop fired for not killing a man with an unloaded gun. He did what police officers are supposed to do — put himself at risk to save a life. [Radley Balko]

What Mader did upon arriving at the scene is a hell of a lot braver course of action than simply opening fire when the suspect doesn’t immediately disarm. What Mader did is in fact exactly what we want cops to do when someone is in crisis. It’s also precisely what law enforcement officers say they do on a daily basis — put themselves at risk in order to save lives. Mader should have been given a medal.

Of course the outcome of this guy being a good cop is completely predictable: he was fired. Also, two other cops showed up who were perfectly willing to murder the guy who Mader wouldn’t.

Apparently his message was heard
Sep 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Ferguson Activist Darren Seals Found Shot and Dead in Burning Car in St. Louis. 29-year-old activist Darren Seals was found dead in a burning car in the Riverview section of St. Louis this week, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Seals became an anti-gun violence activist after being shot in 2013, and in 2014 was among the first protesters in Ferguson, according to the Washington Post.

Seals helped found the group Hands Up United and was a vocal opponent of African-Americans voting Democrat as a bloc. “Just because they’ve got the D next to their name, that don’t mean nothing,” Seals told the Washington Post in 2014. “The world is watching us right now. It’s time to send a message of our power.” [Hit & Run)]

The danger of sending messages like that in a police state is that the people in charge might actually get the message and decide to send back one of their own.

Another phony crisis
Sep 6th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

New Round of Fearmongering Over Texting and Driving. If you went by the breathless reporting on texting and driving, or the word of law enforcement or “traffic safety advocates” you’d think at any given moment someone is careening to their death because they or another driver had their eyes on their cellphones and not on the road. [Hit & Run]

I’ll consider believing that phones are some sort of serious threat to driver safety that must be banned once they ban things that are unquestionably more distracting in cars, like small children.

Quote of the Day
Sep 4th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

An election is the act of choosing a new paint job for the tank which is plowing through your house and crushing your children.

Kent McManigal

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