This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



December 2009

Bad Year for Pirates

A nice little summary of this year’s action in the Content Industry vs Pirates battles (at least the BitTorrent part of those battles).

Top Tier BitTorrent Sites Suffer Pain in 2009
(enigmax, TorrentFreak, 29 Dec 2009)

By scale and exposure, The Pirate Bay, Mininova and isoHunt became the three most prominent BitTorrent sites in the latter half of the decade, serving billions of torrents to multiple millions of BitTorrent users.

Due to this massive and unprecedented level of interest, it became increasingly clear – the movie and music industries, just as they did with dozens of sites and services before them, would move to crush or suffocate them into submission. 2009 became a painful year for all three of them.

Bye Bye Naughties

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Underpants Bomber
  • Security Overreactions
  • Missed Warnings
  • Apple Tablet Rumors

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 28 Dec 2009″]


1-Click Subscribe in iTunes

View Podcast in iTunes

View XML Feed

Pre-Human Alien Things?

Actually probably just a big headed early human. But still fun!

Theories on Why Our Bigger Brained Predecessors Vanished
(Sonia Zjawinski, io9, 29 Dec 2009)

What’s weirder is that with further examination, it was discovered that whatever genus owned the skull also had small, childlike features — a Boskop face only takes up 1/5 of its cranium size, while a typical European adult face takes up roughly 1/3 of its cranium size.

Big head, small face? Sounds familiar, eh?

Lynch and Granger, who wrote about Boskops in their book Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence note in their Discover article that we aren’t the only ones to think of stereotypical extraterrestrials when we hear about Boskop characteristics. American anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley wrote about this very idea in his book, The Immense Journey in 1958. “Back there in the past, ten thousand years ago. The man of the future, with the big brain, the small teeth. He lived in Africa. His brain was bigger than your brain. His face was straight and small, almost a child’s face.”

More info on the Wikipedia Boskop page of course.

Some Sanity?

Still stupid, but a lot better, as most pilots will probably opt for not  applying insane unhelpful restrictions unless they have additional reason to be concerned. Of course it also allows the possibility of arbitrary decisions that one won’t be able to effectively challenge in any way and which may be abused. Sigh.

We’ve seen the ridiculous new airline security rules and we’ve explained how to cope with them, but now the TSA is easing up and allowing pilots to make the final call on things including allowing live TV and pillows again.

Keep Watching Iran

I haven’t even bothered trying to check TV news for this stuff. From what I hear, they once again aren’t paying attention, but there is plenty online.

Informed Comment: Iran Roiled, Crowds Burn Banks, Police Station; Chanting against Theocrat Khamenei; But No Revolutionary Alternative Yet.

The chanting on Sunday turned against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself, not just against President Ahmadinejad. He was castigated as the Dictator and as worse than the old shah, and the very ideological basis of the regime, the doctrine of clerical rule, was chanted against in the streets. The legitimacy of the regime, profoundly shaken by the events since early June’s presidential election, is now being shredded further.

Another remarkable dimension of Sunday’s events was the sheer number of cities where significant rallies and clashes occurred. Some of those allegedly killed are said to have fallen in Tabriz, a northwestern metropolis near Turkey. Even conservative cities such as Isfahan and Mashhad joined in. Shiraz, Ardabil, the list goes on. The attempt of some analysts to paint the disturbances as a shi-shi North Tehran thing has clearly foundered.

The most ominous sign of all for the regime is the reports of security men refusing orders to fire into the crowd.

But for the movement to go further and become truly revolutionary, it would have to have a leader who wanted to overthrow the old regime and who could attract the loyalty of both the people and elements of the armed forces. So far this key revolutionary element, of dual sovereignty, has been lacking, insofar as opposition leaders Mir Hosain Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have tried to stay inside the Khomeinist framework while arguing that it is Khamenei who violated it by making it too authoritarian.

Yup, New Insane Rules

Gizmodo has a leak of the new rules, and if it is real, they are complete bull. I am not allowed to know where I am? The captain can’t even point out “those of you on the left will can look out and see a great view of Mount Rainier!”. Inflight wifi and live tv and even those overpriced in seat phones all not allowed… Etc.

Idiots. This does ZERO to enhance security, and just makes is a pain in the ass to legitimate travelers.

Are they ever going to stop being assclowns about this stuff?

You saw our unofficial advice guide to fly after the crotchbomb. Here’s are the TSA’s official security rules, as of Christmas. Read on, because it has all the hairy details:


1. During flight, the aircraft operator must ensure that the following procedures are followed:
1. Passengers must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
2. Passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
3. Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.
4. While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.
5. Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

Sent from Newsie on iPhone

Airport Security Nonsense

They really are going to do idiotic additional checks and restrictions because of Friday’s incident, aren’t they?  Such a complete waste.

… So since the TSA will be prohibited, by law and custom, from actually searching passengers thoroughly (unless a pat-down includes the nether-regions, it’s utterly useless), why bother with the rest of the security-checkpoint nonsense? As Bruce Schneier has pointed out, the only two innovations since 9/11 that seem to work against terrorists on planes are hardened cockpit doors (which are irrelevant if the terrorist is simply trying to blow up the plane) and the willingness of passengers to fight back, which is what worked in this most recent case. The rest is silliness that serves only to torture passengers with bladder issues and make air travel even more unpleasant than it already is.

Sent from Newsie on iPhone

Something is Happening in Iran (again)

Over the last week or so things have been building up again. Time to once again turn eyes in that direction.

(The Daily Dish)

A moment to savor: the marching crowd manages to turn back the regime’s thugs, and as a riot cop helmet is grabbed, a roar of excitement spills out of the crowd.

Done Testing For Now

Thanks for your patience. I was testing some post by email stuff. I had tried this before in September and been pretty unhappy with the results. Today I was taking the time to work out some of the kinks.

Done testing for the moment. Unless I decide to test something else, which happens sometimes.

One Final Image Test

If this one doesn’t work, I will give up. My old method for images worked fine, so I can keep using that. The thing I am testing will help with other things.