Yea! One down - six to go (if lwn.net, slashdot.org, technorati, andrewsullivan, blogger.com, and Doc Searls adopted ipv6 I'd handle 80% of my net needs). It's time to turn ipv6 up!!!
Just did a traceroute6 of ipv6.google.com FROM AUSTRALIA!! - 8 hops! (yea, there's at least one tunnel in there, skewing the statistics) and it seems faster than the normal ipv4 version (20-22 hops), perhaps due to the dramatically reduced number of hops, or that my provider isn't shaping ipv6 packets, or just delusion...
traceroute to ipv6.l.google.com (2001:4860:0:2001::68) from 2001:388:f000::9bb, 30 hops max, 16 byte packets 1 2001:388:f000::9ba (2001:388:f000::9ba) 32.86 ms 30.1 ms 31.464 ms 2 ge-1-0-0.bb1.a.syd.aarnet.net.au (2001:388:1:5001:212:1eff:fe8e:51fe) 31.081 ms 30.497 ms 32.046 ms 3 pao-a-bb1.aarnet.net.au (2001:388:1::13) 187.837 ms 186.293 ms 187.517 ms 4 paix.ipv6.he.net (2001:504:d::10) 188.402 ms 185.233 ms 186.553 ms 5 10g-2-4.core1.ash1.ipv6.he.net (2001:470:0:35::2) 262.67 ms 269.186 ms 262.203 ms 6 pr61.iad07.net.google.com (2001:504:0:2:0:1:5169:1) 276.096 ms 261.268 ms 261.907 ms 7 * * * 8 2001:4860:0:2001::68 (2001:4860:0:2001::68) 263.054 ms 263.585 ms 260.878 ms
Can anycast be far behind?
I sure hope turning IPv6 up becomes a trend this year! I'm off to do a little packet sniffing on my local net to see what's goin on under the covers... Ipv6 shouldn't seem this much faster to me...
Update: Packet loss seems to be less, on average, between ipv6.google.com and me in Oz, than between me and google over ipv4. So I'm seeing more re-transmits on ipv4, which slows the apparent speed down vs a vs ipv6... That's it. Aside from that, the packet sizes are slightly larger on ipv4....
Saturday I'd been thinking about global warming and working on Livin in the 00ze (new draft of the audio here - have a listen while you read on - where I was last week on the song is talked about and recorded here).
I'd gone back to the original nightmare lyrically, partially, coming up with a way to bring easter island in, and trying to tell more of the story in the song in the song rather than in me writing about it around the song. Still, I'm hard at work here, writing around the song...
On Easter Island/Moai turns to man/With your technology/Why are you with me?
I'm always trying to wedge too much stuff into one song (take Rhysling and Me, for instance. Please)
I tend to go to church wherever I am. I find spiritual practice comforting - I always feel a lot better shifting some of my burden onto the object of worship of the moment - be it some brand of Jesus, Jehovah, Mohammed, Buddha, or Shiva. I like to think I'm being respectful to my hosts by going, and I try very hard (usually) to blend in with maximum Zeligness - my "acceptance mode" - and I'm always hopeful that at one of these sessions, somewhere, enlightenment would strike, and stick. I've experienced religious ecstasy in a variety of environments. Briefly. Sometimes the ecstasy lasts til Tuesday, but usually... not past noon. I've been getting by on some basic Buddhism ("desire is the source of all unhappiness") for a year now. No desire, not much unhappiness, no ecstasy.
I liked this church initially- It's like a bumpin black baptist church but translated into Italian/Australian accents. Missing is all the Catholic idol ism: Christ bleeding on a cross, ornate statuary and stained glass... Just a podium on a platform, and one helluvaheckuvadivine backup band.
Betania's band is the best band I've heard in church in years - drummer (encased in plexiglas), bassist, two guitarists, two synthesizers, and a four (gorgeous) girl backing group. The lead singer resembles Jim Morrison...
Rock and Roll has come full circle - originally derided as the tool of the devil - it's been tamed and harnessed in the service of the Lord - None of the spiritualism of Bach or Grecian chants are found here. When services start, and the power chords kick in - people's heads start boppin, they raise their hands up high and they start shaking their booty!
When I think about what it would cost for a band this big to tour my head hurts, but there they are, up on stage, every Sunday, with a steady gig... and when I'm not in my "acceptance mode", I reflect, bitterly, on how the exact same manipulation techniques are used in church, in advertising, and in politics... But...
The first song up - "Oh Happy Day" - a bouncing gospel number - managed to completely erase "00ze" from my head - a good thing, as I had tiresome snippets of it looping there still from Saturday. (when you edit audio you tend to loop very short clips of it while you line up beats. They stay with you until you find something to drive them out)
Everybody starts singing more or less in unison and everybody's spirits, including mine, are lifted way up. When involved with music I feel closest to god, my neoclassical pieces are all spiritually influenced, and this is good music, no matter the lyrical content, it just rocks! They play it again. Then the band starts playing a slower, more spiritual number, I don't remember the name, but in it was a theme about only wanting one thing from Jesus - to be with him. Very nice, very spiritual, I can dig it, I'm having a good time...
And then the third song, while I get rid of my spare change during the offering, leaves me cold, brings me back to the planet with a jerk - because (as best as I can remember) it's about also wanting Jesus to "give us the nations" - which but, um, a song back - wasn't what "we" wanted at all... and my rational mind comes back from wherever I've banished it the last 6 Sundays... just before the pastor comes on stage to elaborate on that point... he repeats... "give us the nations... "give us the nations..." "give us the nations...."
My song was gone, but my head was still full of the causes of global warming, not least of which is all the hot air emitted by humans... but let me digress for a couple minutes. Here, have another song... I grew up with an encyclopedia in my bedroom. I became a rabid and willfully ignorant atheist at the age of five, a total convert to science - in a deeply religious town. This left me ill equipped to reconcile the attitudes I absorbed from the generally religious people around me. I didn't have any reference points. I didn't have anything to tie attitude to idea, and vice versa. This was one source of my subsequent social isolation. I didn't watch cartoons on Saturdays, and I didn't go to church on Sundays. Conversation starters on Mondays were few and far between. But there was that encyclopedia...
When I was 15 I took a huge test that tested my level of general knowledge about the world. I scored off the chart. I only missed two questions. I can't remember one, but the other was: "What is the first chapter of the Bible"?
Yea, I was so willfully ignorant of religion then that I didn't know that answer was Genesis - but I looked that up in my encyclopedia when I got home. I resolved to remedy that ignorance, so in the following weeks I read the Bible (King James Version) and for good measure, read the Koran, AND the Torah, and tossed in Albert Speer's biography and the Kinsey Report for some variety.
I could have used some help in digesting all that, but a short visit to a local Bible study class had me arguing for evolution immediately - I had very little tact then, and less patience. There were no non-Christian religions in town - and I didn't know anyone that could talk about the stuff in the Kinsey report, either. So all that information just sort of sat there in my head, without a whole lot of comprehension, for years and years.
Today, well, I could use a lot of bible study, but I'd prefer to be in a situation where getting confrontational with the group of believers would be ok - like a bar, while I was under a false name - in a place I would never visit again. The pressure to conform in these study classes is intense, and, well, I'd like to have safe place to go or something good to drink while trying to digest it, and otherwise not have to distress my immediate neighbors for having such a heretic in their midst. I've always been perfectly happy to leave my neighbors to their beliefs if they didn't muck with mine.
These days I have a wise rabbi in Florida that I email when I'm dealing with the crazy stuff. Sometimes he mails me back.
What I remember from being 15 was that the Old Testament reverberated with me a lot more than than the new. Perhaps that was reinforced by almost simultaneously reading the Koran, but I don't remember. I thought then (and still think) that the King James version of the creation myth was one of the most powerful ever put into words.
In the years since I studied Norse and Greek mythology, and also got interested in Sumerian after Neal Stephenson made a compelling set of references to it in Snow Crash. Greek mythology sticks with me the best, though, as even the shortest journey through our solar system brings up a whole lot of that.
To this day I think about the other question I missed in that test at 15. What was it? I know it was also religious in nature. I don't know what that question was, and thus, not the answer.
After life smacked me over the head one too many times - I guess I was around 29 - I became agnostic, a seeker, rather than a non-believer. I know, now, that I know too much, and understand too little.
I've always kind of wondered if people offered bible study via instant messaging. That would get rid of the control and conflict elements inherent of such a group, and also make it possible to look up things online. A Biblebot might be a good thing. I have great difficulties with concept of miracles, and getting guidance via burning bushes, and the like.
That doesn't mean that my life isn't filled with coincidences that get downright spooky. I turned to wikipedia while writing this (march 12th) to lookup creation myths - and what's their featured article? Cretaceous Tertiary Extinction Event - what I've been more or less writing about in living in the 00ze. What made them choose today to write about this? Asteroid appreciation day was 12 days ago!?
Tonight, at 8:54PM Adelaide time, crossing across the bottom of a cursive Y like star formation, something glimmered in the night. It was moving too flat to be a meteor and didn't change in brightness, and seemingly too high up to be an airplane, and was visible only for a few seconds. It was moving at a clip suitable for a satellite - but so bright? At that inclination? I'll have to look it up....
Out in the night/Just out of sight/A star overhead/And soon we'll be... Back to the 00ze (although I can still hum oh happy day having only heard it twice) a whole bunch of 3 related numbers started going through my head, as they almost match the syllables in the 00ze song...
Another phrase that rhymes with all that is Holy Trinity. - which in my internal frame of reference is far less about religion than the bomb - but it all ties together somehow.
Some people get apocalyptic visions every weekend. They even tithe for the privilege, or come back for a second helping on wednesdays. I only have to cope with one apocalyptic vision every couple of years. Maybe constant exposure to the concept of the great shout would make finishing this song easier... make it more possible to welcome the demise of the people watching the cameras at the traffic lights... the end of the spammers... etc... yea...
Give us the nations - the pastor said. What the heck did he mean by that? As best as I could tell from listening to the sermon it meant that it was good that nations like Russia and Indonesia were open to missionaries now, and that the existing nations could be ruled by the righteous (meaning Jesus followers) one day, and that their religious education could sweep across all the lands... everyone would be converted... and then there will be peace!
Something in me snaps, and in response to something the pastor says, I say... no, while everyone around me is shouting yes...
I say, louder Peace cannot be predicated on whether or not people accept Jesus, or there will be war. Peace, then, will only be found by the dead.
Now, I've spent months rubbing blue mud into my belly-button and bonding with my hosts and in general trying to get along, and you know, people start looking at you funny when you are in church disagreeing with the pastor from pew 42 so I shut up and tried to keep my mind at bay...
As the pastor closed up his fiery sermon the band kicked in with another inspirational song and the the audience fills with people babbling in tongues and crying out to Jesus - Oh, Jesus! Thank you Jesus! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la YES Jesus!, Oh Jesus! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la Jeeessusssss... Jeeeesus
Did I mention that this church is pentecostal? That means that speaking in tongues, especially on Sundays, is socially acceptable, almost required. It's kind of comforting to know that this is acceptable behavior somewhere, because I do it (especially when singing to a wordless tune) or when I'm completely frustrated - or underwater - or as these people are - in the throes of ecstasy. The babble seems to tie into some deep pre-cogent verbal human process. I've never done it with other people tho and as the pastor revs up the volume I kind of do a review of my deteriorating mental state... So, let's see...
Oh, Jesus! Thank you Jesus! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la YES Lord!, Oh Jesus! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la Jeeessusssss... Jeeeesus
I just blogged a long piece about emphasizing with a programmer that's being tried for murder, while thumbing my nose at authority about riding my bicycle on the sidewalk... while writing something scary about Clinton - while simultaneously working on a post-apocalyptic song filled with maniacal laughter... these are all reactions to my present environment. I've swallowed enough of it. Zelig can't handle it anymore. I think it's time to move on.
ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la....
ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la....
I mentioned in the last blog entry that I ran google with safesearch off.
Oh, Jesus! Thank you Jesus! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la YES Jesus!, Oh Lord! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la Jeeessusssss... Jeeeesus
I don't like other people - or machines - filtering my inputs, without my control, or input into how they were shaping my inputs. I like my data raw, my people raw, whenever possible. I try to embrace the moment and the new to the fullest, yet (eventually) I do filter things heavily with my mind and using my own tools - like privoxy and firefox adblock - and always exhibit a great deal of scepticism regarding the purpose of the people spinning a secondhand story. I have one filter that changes every occurrence of the phrase "cut taxes" into "increase deficit spending", for example.
ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le la....
My mental filters snapped back into place... and I was back to thinking again about global warming, and the similarities between marketing and church verbal manipulation techniques - and what I started hearing in my head was:
Oh Chrysler! Thank you, CHRYSLER! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la Thank you CHRYSLER. Oh, FORD! Yes, CHRYSLER! ol al ma be la lo be la le le la... CHRYSLERRRRRRRRRRR.... CHRYSLEERRR!
Word substitution of this sort continued until the end of the service. Feel free to fill in the key words for yourself.I'm pretty sure that when this happens to a regular churchgoer they are filled with remorse, and, were I catholic, would have to be followed by an immediate confession and penance. Me, after the service, I went for a very long walk. Something of a run, actually... I needed to get out of there.
Long ago I found one sure way to end a conversation with a true believer in almost any modern religion. I'll start talking rapidly about my deep reverence for the greek goddess Athena, and about how her springing fully formed from Zeus's forehead just blew away the Virgin Mary story... how much that I admired that she was a god of war, equipped mostly with a shield... etc. - and inside of a few minutes, they wander away, mind blown by an apparently unrepentant pantheist, without a reference point to further discussion on.
I've got a lot more tactful in my old age. Recently I successfully endured a 4 hours of a bible literalist (same sect) describing his elaborate explanation for why God created the world apparently old, but that it was still - really - only 6000 years old, just like the bible said... before I invoked the Athena defense. He hasn't spoken to me since. Too bad - he was otherwise a pretty nice guy, worth drinking a beer with. I think I have to come up with a way of switching the subject before I get to that point.
I know that one day, were I come to trial for something, that well over half of the "jury of my peers" would consist of people that were utterly alien in their belief systems to me - and I to them. I have met many good religious people - many, many, many - in person they are wonderful - in groups, though, they scare the (sorry) bejesus out of me.
I can't think of one religious person, ever, that bothered to look up the story of Athena, after I dissed the Virgin Mary. That really bothers me. Athena is cool....
It was good to take that walk. It cleared my head up of all this apocalyptic crap, I managed to work on some code for most of the week, and type bits of this story up, trying to figure out how to make it all coherent, and realizing that I probably had to publish two pieces I'd held back because I'd had it with holding my tongue on what I really thought, and I didn't care anymore what some people thought of me because I was leaving soon.
So here I go, trying to tie all this back into the original nightmare... and the present world...
I needed to assemble the remaining components of the song - the two voice overs, and the bit about peanut butter and jellyfish... I got David Rowe's daughter to perform that part. I gave her a mic and and got her to say, over and over again, "I just love my plankton and jellyfish" - "again!" - "I just LOVE my plankton and jellyfish" - "Say it like you mean it!" "I JUST LOVE MY PLANKTON and JELLYFISH" "Think of something that you really love and say it!" "I HATE SEAFOOD!" "Well, PRETEND!" "I just LOVE my plankton and jellyfish"...
She broke down into giggles repeatedly, and waste not, want not - one of those giggles is getting used as a rhythmic element now in the song.
She asked me later upon hearing the mix what the song was about and I said it was about survival after a giant asteroid had smacked into the planet, that the same people that get busted for selling grow-lights today would get called upon to raise plankton and jellyfish after that to feed little girls... and she told me (again) how much she hated seafood.
I'm not happy with the two "news report voiceovers" but thematically they seem to fit in a "le la ol al ma be la lo be la le le" sort of way so I'm leaving them in until I come up with something better to say (and a more genuine newscaster voice)....
I LOVE how she said plankton and jellyfish on the exit to the song, tho....
[overdub of weather announcer kicks in] bsst! Weather today - hot, rainy - Bikinis were spotted as far north as greenland... bsstt! some tiny little details bsst! today's shuttle launch was canceled due to atomspheric disturbances]
on easter island Moai turns to man "With your technology - why are you with me?"
you'll soon be livin in the 00ze
[announcer] [some stuff about global warming] [Wait... this just in...]
Out in the night Just out of sight There's a star overhead And soon we'll be...
(Chorus) Livin in the 00ze - UB313 Livin in the 00ze - UB313 Livin in the 00ze - UB313
far above the beach Just out of reach bordered in black It's a Meteor Attack ack ack ack...
And now we're living in the 00ze Yes, we're living in the 00ze Livin in the 00ze
[solos, more overdubs]
Out on the beach Just out of reach Mind melting heat Nothing to eat
Weather today. Cold. Rainy. The last few remaining people in washington state looked up at that terrible sky and decided to give up entirely. We haven't heard from them in a week. Next up, our special "Glaciers on the Move" ... If there is anyone still listening... ]
Yea we're living in the 00ze and we don't have any shoes and we're turning corn to booze Because we're livin in the 00ze.
[Girl's voice: I just LOVE my plankton and jellyfish]
One link that couldn't fit into this piece: Oh, happy day as performed in India.
Thing is, I've had a nightmare thrice now about Hillary does at 3AM... it's kind of graphic and scary, and I refrained from publishing it the first two times I had it...
It's 3AM, she is up on the same desk as all the hotline phones are on, most are knocked askew, several are off the hook. She has her legs spread, skirt up, she's humping the nuclear football, come dripping down from both sides of the big red button, and she has her head thrown back with the same look on her face so satirized by Jon Stewart... the colors are vivid in the room, the red phone stark red, the football - silver streaked with white, the desk a hard brown, the flag almost day-glow in intensity.
And the camera pulls back to show snipers pointing guns at the crowd outside the oval office and further back to show the devastated streets of washington, under a grey sky... and then I wake up in a cold sweat.
Dreams are not rational expressions of what we are thinking, but this one ties into sex and lust for power, which are two of the most basic urges humans have.
I mean, everybody knows how Bill Clinton gets his orgasms... I think it's becoming a matter of national security to know how she gets hers.
I was struck, back when Hans Reiser was arrested, by how much of his behaviour mimicked what my own would have been, in the same circumstances, especially if I was innocent. For those not paying attention, Hans Reiser is a famous Linux programmer, accused of murdering his wife, Nina, in September, 2006.
From his reputation, Reiser is a brilliant man, working on a brilliant - or possibly daft - set of ideas in direct competition with a company that had spent billions - and written them off - on the same task. A man so obsessed by those ideas, that it financially ruined him, his wife left him for his best friend, who is now missing or dead, his kids taken from him in part because he's a murder suspect, who just spent spent 16 pre-trial months in jail because he had no money to raise bail, his company destroyed by this, and few, if any, friends left, today is facing The System.
He's on trial, today - almost alone. It's looking like he's going to have to spend another year in the process... and what a tragedy - what a movie this must seem like to him, sometimes! How a normal weekend turned into a nightmare...
How could an innocent man bear such a load? Or a guilty one?
The evidence presented by 47+ prosecution witnesses was unable to prove anything more violent in Reiser than a taste for video games and a black belt in Judo. Angry, yes. Often an a**, yes. Violent, no.
When his arrest came in October, and the reasons for it were announced, I was struck by how flimsy the evidence seemed, and also by how different a computer geek must seem in the face of normal lawgivers, and a normal jury. I have steered well clear of lawyers and doctors for a long time for similar reasons.
Everything I write below is predicated on the idea that Reiser is innocent. (please note, that my own jury is out, and perhaps I'll write about where I don't emphasise with him, later - but Hans has taken the stand and performed well, even managing to explain away two of my most nagging doubts, one kind of weirdly, but... people are weird). I am writing this because although the case has sparked empathy in me, a geek, I doubt it is having the same effect on the jury, and several aspects of an uber-geek's mindset are hard to understand, so here goes.
To take on the principal bits of evidence from my perspective.
*) A drop of blood of hers was found on a pillar in the house where Hans lived.
I owned a house for 5 years. I can vividly remember several of the places I bled in it (I banged into several pillars, and slashed my head open once on a door!), and no doubt there were several dozen other places where I dragged a burst foot corn or otherwise bled into the place.
There was definitely the blood of several gfs (those that stayed more than a month, anyway), and a few kids, that stopped by with various cuts and scrapes, somewhere, in my house.
I'd hate for that to be used as evidence against me. I sure hope all those people are alive and well today... (note to any ongoing investigations: I've been out of the country for most of year! Everyone I knew then with one exception is alive and kickin, so far as I know!)
*) A streak of her blood was found on a sleeping bag.
Um, Occam's razor. She slept in that sleeping bag at that time of the month. Why this counted as evidence I don't know.
(No dating could be done on either of the bloodstains. 3 other bloodstains were also found, but discarded as evidence by the prosecution)
This piece of "evidence" is also odd in that if the sleeping bag was used to transport the body and Reiser washed or got rid of everything else, why the heck did he not wash the darn sleeping bag?
*) He refused to let the cops search the house without a warrant. Last I looked, refusing this was covered by the American constitution. And with good reason - when they finally got a warrant, the cops trashed his house over the course of three days, even carting the back door away as evidence.
Imagine how'd you feel about this if you were innocent, sitting in your wrecked home after it had been torn apart, feeling the breeze from the back...
*) He bought two books on murder investigations after he concluded he was the prime suspect.
I would have done the same thing. (I am, admittedly, a nerd). Well, I might have gone to the public library, and opened less popular tomes. I've polled more normal people on this question, and most responded that they'd call a lawyer first, read a book second or third. Frankly, calling a lawyer never occurred to me, my call would have been first phone call from jail after the cold weird reality set in.
*) He practiced evasive techniques on the police.
Well, I might not have done this, but if they annoyed me enough - or I was still in an unreality mode where "Real Life" was getting so weird, so fast, I might have. Problem is, for decades, I have always tried to avoid dropping into patterns. When the opportunity arises I generally take a different path to a destination. This is not exactly uninfluenced by an unending string of Tom Clancy novels and spy novels I read in the 80s, where the kidnappers always scope out the target's patterns, but it is mostly my embrace of essential randomness. I took a different turn yesterday, for example, and found some nice flowers to smell, then doubled back as it looked like the road was ending.
So my "normal" behavior is kind of random. I don't know how to "look normal" or behave predictably. I've also been known to break out into a run for no reason other than excess energy.
*) Reiser wasn't particularly cop-friendly.
Well, neither am I. Cops divide the world into two kinds of people - felons, and criminals that haven't been caught yet. In today's America, nearly everyone violates one law or another daily. If the RIAA could convict and extract penalties from every college student with a mp3 collection, they'd be trillionaires.
This past week, I was riding my bike on the sidewalk a lot, which I'm told is illegal in Australia. I have no idea what the penalties are for this, I do it because having cars pass me on my right freaks me out, I feel much safer on the sidewalk - and it's a silly law - only once in 20+km of riding this week did I share the sidewalk with a pedestrian. If I'm busted for it I hope my accent gets me off.
(I would like America - and the world - a lot better if there was an upper limit on laws per capita, but no such luck) I don't want to trivialize murder by saying all this, but I am pointing out that even the most innocent citizen, even a few saints, break the law all the time, and have no reason to particularly like cops.
*) His car seat was missing and the floor was sopping wet. I found these last two pieces of evidence very damning originally - I still do. For the latter, I'd like very much for someone to publish the weather report for the time period and locations Reiser was ostensibly around (I'll have to see if I can pull up that date - if it rained...). For the former, well, the explanation raised in court today was pretty compelling, if he can back it up - he was sleeping in the car.
*) He went camping in the wilderness.
The defense alleges that's probably where the body went. It's a big wilderness and a compelling explanation.
Thing is, I'd explained Reiser's situation to multiple people on this trip, and asked what they'd do if all the pressures in the world were bearing down on you in this way - that suddenly you were caught in a whirlwind of law, lawyers, cpa, and paperwork - and 3 said, without further prompting - that they'd go camping to sort it all out.
This was precisely my response. After about a week of dealing with this increasingly paranoid crap, I would have gone camping. Though it would have been smart to go with a group. I wouldn't want a group - I'm a lone camper type - but it would have been smart.
*) When he was picked up by the cops he didn't have a battery in his cell phone. (the cell phone in Nina's car had also had her cell phone battery removed) (note, I have to check this allegation, I thought I read it this morning)
It is a really odd, geeky coincidence that points to someone being concerned about these sort of devices being used by the state, that the battery be removed. On the other hand, maybe removing the battery was common in their family. I don't know. Odder traits exist. I know people that buy rechargable batteries, and then leave them charging for days.
I do find it weird, very weird, and sad, that leaving the battery out of your cell phone can be considered evidence of a crime. Will, one day, not charging your cell phone - or forgetting to carry it - BE a crime??
From a privacy standpoint, the now well known exploits of the FBI, KGB, etc, in tapping cell phones, turning them on remotely, and using cell GPS to track people, really, really bother me. Over the past couple years numerous people I respect have made reference to cell phones being "government tracking devices". One criticised mine so much that I decided to stop carrying one entirely and see how I managed life without a ringtone.
I like it. A lot. I now carry a personal recorder instead, and about 1/3 of my writing gets done on that, when other people would be jabbering away about nothing. I'm saving 50 bucks a month, too. It does make my Millenial friends and mom crazy to not be able to reach me in this way, but I sure hope one day I'm not REQUIRED to carry a government tracking device.
The flaw of the Orwellian telescreen was that it was ominous, ever-present, and threatening. Cellphones are handheld and portable... and CUTE - everybody has one. One up on Orwell, for sure.
Still, I probably wouldn't have disconnected my battery in everyday use, as Reiser aparently did...
*) He was carrying a passport and cash
One thing I'm hoping for in this trial is to get a better picture of modern Russia, without having to go there myself. In Nicaragua, I always carried a passport, and cash - met a few AK-47 carrying traffic cops in my time there, too. Americans are far too oblivious to other ways of life, I can imagine that the paranoia level in places where Reiser spent half his time is much higher, on average. Take the treatment of Gazprom, for example. Your paranoia level also tends to be high if you are competing directly with Microsoft, too...
Reiser claims to have carried his passport since 1996 in the same place I've kept mine since I left the US. He claims to have been carrying the money because he felt (rightly) that with cops seizing all his assets they could get, that he'd have no money to live, or make payroll.
*) He's hard to understand
I have just now figured out that when a reporter writes "the defendant rambles on the stand", "rambles" is a code word for "I didn't understand the long paragraph the defendant said, so I'll make it sound like he's a nutcase, rather than someone trying (badly) to explain something outside my intellectual experience".
I ramble. Always have. I have a (now) funny story to tell about trying to describe USENET to a shrink back in the early 90s, but I'm not going to tell it here.
*) The defense has little evidence besides all that, and has spent months establishing that Reiser's relations were contentious with all sorts of people, and that he did not accept authority.
I'm contentious with all sorts of people, although I do make a better effort to get along than Reiser ever did on the kernel mailing list. In particular, I found about half his interactions with people like the doctor that preferred surgery to allergy medication - compellingly, and possibly, right. I've questioned the motivations of quite a few "professionals" in my time... been right a rather high percentage of that, too.
I'm contentious, but not violent. The closest thing to a violent story told about Reiser was his response to being sent 5000 spam mails by someone back in 1985, which was kind of moderate, actually. He's not a drunk, or a wife beater, or an S&M freak, or anything like that... and this makes me worry about myself, as I'm none of these things either yet I have several violent fantasies: 1 - about inviting all the known spammers on a free cruise, and then blowing up the ship, and shooting the survivors in the water. 2 - having system crackers drawn, hung and quartered - and 3 - putting people like ken lay out in the public stocks....
I've worked with the various authorities on implementing item 2... somewhat unwillingly, as they wanted way more information than I wanted to supply.
As for authority, I have a lot more respect for it than Reiser did, but it took a couple encounters with hard reality in the early 90s to install it in me. I still plan to keep biking on sidewalks, however.
*) He didn't ask for bail.
Weirdly, some people think of this as guilt. I'd have asked the judge to set the bail amount, just to kind of financially add up the weight of the charges... but
Broke, accused of murder, low on friends, having had a hell of a time, nowhere to go, what would you do? I don't know what I would do. Perhaps I'd regard time spent in jail with a sense of relief - thinking it would only be weeks before this silly matter was straightened out - before my ex-wife was found off with a new lover somewhere - naively thinking that finally I'd be able to get some serious writing done without outside distractions....
or at least I did before this case came up.
*) He erased/hid a hard disk
I keep a lot of data encrypted and take refuge in the 5th amendment against ever revealing the password. Actually, I regard encryption as being the only valid use of the 2nd amendment left. And what little is left of the 4th amendment applies too.
Given the kind of sometimes sensitive work I do (and he did) - I sleep better at night knowing that nobody but me can access certain data. Nobody. Ever.
It is also highly probable there was some illicit software or images (or gasp! mp3s!) there that could have been used against him. God help him if there was a single image of what could have been construed as child pornography there, for example. I worry about that - I'd think about wiping my hard disk were I a suspect in a crime, whether or not I'd committed it - as I tend to use google without safesearch turned on - who knows what's in my cache?
Do this: (And don't say I didn't warn you first) - turn off safe search, go to google images, and search for "nina". On the same page you'll also find a picture of a 14 year old, somewhat provocatively dressed.
Even with safesearch turned on, a few unsafe things slip through.
In Reiser's case - he was doing work for the DoD, among others, as well as top secret work on his own product - I'd have hidden that away somewhere safe - period. Probably on the net, I can think of a dozen safe ways to do that, but definitely I'd definitely yank the drive if low on time or if the files were big, and I wanted to be able to stay in business. The tale of Steve Jackson games is well remembered in engineering folklore.
The lawyer analyzing the case, above, says that Reiser could not have securely erased the files involved in his (theoretical) search for how to hide the body - he's wrong in that, there are plenty of ways to do that, I think Reiser hid something important to his business, his sole remaining dream... that there was a lot more to reiserfs4 than ever hit the public eye, and as I said, at the same time, there is the possibility of so much otherwise potentially incriminating stuff getting stored on a hard drive these days that the sanest response for any citizen would be to encrypt it all...
(My apologies to those that just did the google search with safesearch turned off. You can clean out your cache in firefox, but if you want to be SURE the data is gone, try searching for secure delete on the internet.)
*) His portrait of Nina is of a manipulator...
I've met several women just like how he portrays Nina. I was willing to accept what the witnesses said about her positively, before, then I read this: I don’t know Hans nor do I know Nina, but I am from Soviet Union myself, and when I read his description of Nina, her image became so vivid, I know exactly what he is saying. I believe him! I don't think that he killed her. Even before I read his testimony, I did think that she is absolutely capable of such a fraud. And again I do agree with him, many Russians think Americans are naive, if not to say stupid. I also agree that legal system here is biased against men. They did steal his kids. How would you feel? Why a man of such intelligence as he is, man who was able to invent Linux filing system, isn’t able to create more smooth lies? I think because he is saying the truth. So where does the trial go now? Well, while Reiser rots, the judge takes a vacation for a week - this is after well over year spent in jail for Reiser, with no additional evidence found against him - that's a "speedy trial" in the US for an famous indigent programmer. I hope nobody I know ever has to go through this - guilty, or innocent.
Things that bother me ongoing... what if this was a simple disappearance, utterly random? I note that Oakland ranks high in the national murder and drug crime rates... and if proven innocent, how will Reiser pull his life back together? OJ simpson has never managed to do so... and had much more substantial evidence against him, in my humble opinion.
And then, of course, there's the movie that is sure to come of this. One potential plotline: KGB makes shadowy deal with big corporation. Bad guy makes deal with ex-wife to discredit a John Galt type that refuses to sell out... deal goes bad... she flees for her life... he goes to jail but stands firm...
can there be a happy ending to this story? Or a true and just one?