30 July 2006

Gawker Image Fetch Script Improved

I’ve made some improvements to Gawker Image Fetch and moved it over to Google Code Hosting.

If you checkout the copy from Subversion over there you’ll gain the ability to specify the Gawker instance with Bonjour/Zeroconf, as well as having a new --foreground mode that fills your terminal with exciting debugging messages like:

Saw service ‘Unprivileged Clown._lapse._tcp.local.’

Source moved to

Replacing connection

Connecting to

The new Zeroconf features appear to work in both OS X and FreeBSD. Theoretically it should be able to follow the camera to a new IP if the camera machine reboots.

I’m still seeing an occasional bug that requires restarting the script in the install for the webcam. Hopefully the additional debugging information will help me get to the bottom of that.

Let me know if it works for you…

Thanks to the developers of pyzeroconf for that library. It has a few bugs which I’ve fixed for this script and haven’t submitted back yet.

Update: I sent a patch along by email to pyzeroconf interested parties.

27 July 2006

“Our Records Indicate…”

I got a most unexpected letter in the mail today. It started out like this:

Dear Mr. William A. Carrel,

Our records show that you haven’t yet registered for the benefits of AARP membership, even though you are fully eligible.

Oh, really?

I’m having a pretty good time of things here in my late-20s. I realize that the AARP is opposed to extending the retirement age for Social Security, but this is really a bit over the top.

Apparently I’m not the only one in their 20s that AARP has sent a letter to. A quick Google search for Our records show that you haven’t yet registered for the benefits of AARP membership, even though you are fully eligible
turns up a whole host of 20-somethings that have received these letters.

So what I’d really like is “their records.” No, really, I want a copy of the records they’re apparently keeping on me that indicate I’m more than 30 years older than I actually am.

My guess? There are no such records. The AARP is lying. “Our records” probably means “Choicepoint’s records”. You know, the same records that determine your creditworthiness. Those records are also mined by the NSA (along with your phone records) to take a guess at whether you’re a terrorist.

The people keeping these records can’t even place me within the right generation. God only knows what else they (incorrectly) think about me?

If I wind up in Gitmo and you want to locate me, ask for the young looking 50-year-old.

I’ve put an image of the letter online.