Tracking Software Versions Between Distros

A neat web site that I keep meaning to mention is Open Source Watershed. It’s useful for when you want to see what version of a package is in all the various FOSS distributions.

For example, you can see what versions of wine the various distros use along with some stats about version churn. It’d be nice if they used distro codenames on package pages instead of just saying “ubuntu current” vs “ubuntu future”, but still handy.

Spot the Real News

One unintended feature that I really like about the Onion news feed is that each entry is uncategorized. That is, it’s not clear whether it’s a news “brief,” an article, or one of the “What do you think?” questions.

Now, normally it doesn’t matter. But I don’t usually click through if it looks like an article because most of the joke of an article is the headline. However, the “What do you think?” entries have all the jokes in the body of the article via man-on-the-street responses.

“But how can you tell which ones are which if they’re uncategorized?” I hear you say. And there’s rub. The “What do you think?” entries all deal with actual — though sometimes absurd — real news, while the articles are fake news. It’s a bit of a game to tell the difference.

A Tombstone in Every Home

Dave sent me a link today to a little something he whipped up. The punk.

In order to understand why it’s funny, you’d have to have known me around this time last year. In which I committed the third most classic blunder: mass mailing an incriminating email in which you rate all the recipients’ suitability for a task.

One of the more memorable lines was my statement “Amy: is she even fun to hang out with?” (name changed to protect the innocent) And hence I get that question a lot.

Not only did Dave create the one tombstone, but a tombstone generator. So I crafted my own.

Using Jabber

Jabber logo

I’ve noticed that many of my friends now use Gmail chat, and it got me thinking. Ever since I realized DreamHost can run a Jabber server on your domain, I’ve wanted to move to Jabber full time.

Now that a bunch of people I know are regularly using Jabber accounts, it seems feasible. So I’m going to start phasing out my msterry3k AIM account in favor of my Jabber account.

If you have a Gmail chat account and you worry about only seeing my pretty face when you check your email, know that you can log in to your chat account from any Jabber client ((I recommend Pidgin for Linux/Windows, but some people prefer Trillian on Windows)).

If you don’t have a Jabber account yet, one may be closer than you think. If you have a Google account, you’ve got the aforementioned Gmail chat account. If you have a LiveJournal blog, you have an LJTalk account.

If neither, you can sign up for one for free from (most clients will let you register for an account there from inside the client).

Millions of Bees Launch

first bees strip

No, not another invasion of “Africanized” bees. Rather, my good friend Swifty has created a new webcomic, Millions of Bees.

Swift may already have a cult following from founding a previous comic Friend Bear. But unlike Friend Bear, I like Bees (sorry, Swift). I guess I like my comics like I like my coffee: covered in bees.

Bees has cutely snarky turns of phrases like “satchelful of dongs” and “such a crotch” as well as obscure references like to Naglfar. The lead character is a touch melodramatic, but I’ll forgive a lot for his jacket’s bear ears.

And thankfully, the webcomic tradition of mouse-over text was not overlooked. đŸ™‚

Point is, I look forward to more. Swifty’s a great writer and a funny dude. Good luck!