03/10/2013 § Leave a comment
Not long after the first presidential debate in October 2012, the (now) re-elected President Obama remarked to the press that he was somewhat taken by surprise by the adversarial tone pretender-to-the-throne Mitt Romney had taken with him. It seems that the President had been surrounded by Yes Men (and Women) for so long when some one finally was in a position to tell him “no” he was taken aback. I get that, easy to understand, and the President was of course intelligent enough to recognize this personal failing and snap back. By the next debate he was in top form.
What is the internet but a huge public platform that anyone can have access to? South Korean pop star “Psy” shows us that any no-talent, America-hating hack can suddenly have a flash of pop brilliance and become a sensation. I wonder what Psy thinks of America now?
Tina Fey is a talented comedic writer and actress, no doubt about it. Unfortunately she appears to suffer from the same myopic sickness that the MPAA and the 5 major record labels seem to suffer from; that is, the-cost-of-media-production-is-too-lowitess!!
The cost of mass media prodution in all sectors (film, audio, paper, all transmission, all forms) has dropped like a rock. As well the real price of fame has plummeted. Since the turn of the 20th century the cost of mass media production has fallen making fame well within the means of even the most modest of fame seekers. Before 1900, for centuries, entertainers were not the upper strata of society. In fact, actors, minstrels, dancers, anyone employed in the arts were considered the lowest of the low, pretty much on par with theives & beggars. It really wasn’t until the 18th century when opera was considered (and still is of course) among the highest of performing arts, and playbills advertised the skills of the top divas of the day. As the price of printing (media production) fell the fame of the actor rose, pretty much in direct proportion to the cost. Finally by 1900, with the advent of celluloid and the rise of the fan (or gossip) magazine, we see the emergence of American Royalty, the Movie Star. But media production continued to drop like a rock. Finally, in the 21st century, anyone can create nearly any kind of media unit and get it distributed to everyone for the price of a 6-pack.
It seems Tina Fey doesn’t like that. I noticed her comments on Twitter last month and promptly ignored them, but her arrogance kept nagging at me. Finally, I saw her speak on some peice of news fluff last week and my mind wandered back to that Twitter comment, and I decided I just had to poke the clown with a stick, even as tiny a one as I can manage. Don’t cost nothin’…
What Tina Fey does is certainly worth money to people who are in the business of media production. Some people call it “art”, and some of it certainly is, but unlike a cure for cancer, which either works or it doesn’t, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, making performing art much more subjective. If I have terminal cancer, I will die without a cure. If I lack the funny bone that makes Tina Fey the most amusing and interesting media personality in the world, I will live on to not laugh another day. NOT ONLY THAT but it severly diminishes her worth to me and people like me who don’t find her very amusing.
She is talented, no doubt. But she, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, has that attitude Obama recognized in himself as a flaw, that elitist “something”, only Fey has no idea that its not a good thing. Rather than celebrating those who acheive something good in the mass media industry and the abilbity to access it that low cost has given them, she’d rather throw the baby out with the bath water and see people jump over some kind of bar to get that access. It was a flip comment, to be sure, but its just plainly obvious where Fey’s beliefs are. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even me. I suppose its to the credit of the American Media that when the market takes a tumble becuase another bank was found to have laundered 1.5 billion dollars of drug and terrorist money with the help of the Treasury Depertment they don’t immediately turn to Tina Fey to comment.
Tina, your a valued contributor of the arts and a terrific pop icon. But when it comes to the technological aspects of new media, in the words of Eddie Murphy, go have a coke and a smile and shut the fuck up.
I love that Paltrow doesn’t even seem to be phazed or hurt by the concept that saying bad things about your customers should be frowned upon. I guess even elitist assholes are right twice a day.
02/23/2013 § Leave a comment
Got a really good idea for what I believe is a marketable IT Utility for the Resturaunt Industry, so I sat down earlier this week to set up my tools and libraries, and roll up some prototype code. Its been a while since I’ve done any Apache module development, so I set about re-familiarizing myself with the code and procedures.
One thing I have a real stick up my ass regarding is documentation; it needs to be complete and accurate, or you don’t publish it. Publishing documentation that is innacurate or incomplete is a sin. Too bad so many web sites do it.
I get it if its just out of date; but innacurate is unforgivable. Stuff like “…then edit the file…”, so many times I see this, without any reference to “what” file is supposed to be edited, or edited with what…? Another thing that bothers me is when I need to track down instructions that leave off with out any discernable next step, and then I have to track down that next step on some other website. I think a lot of this is due to the nature of OSS, things change at the drop of a hat, but if you’re going to publish information, its of no use if its incorrect.
I want to jot down the steps I took to get an Apache 2 module working from source before I forgot, so here goes; we are assuming an apache module called “mod_module.c”; first install Apache 2 dev files by installing (I’m not supporting Apache 1, sorry) the apache extension tool; “apt-get install apache2-prefork-dev”, prefix the command with sudo if you’re not root, of course. Then write your way cool extension, the important bit is this; in a remarked section of the code place a structure similar to this:
* Name: mod_module
MOD_LIB="-L/usr/local/lib/somelib -lsomelib -lm -lz"
if [ "X$MOD_LIB" != "X" ]; then
echo " + using $MOD_LIB for Mylib support"
You’ll of course be substituting the “mod_module” references for the actual names in your dependancy list. The important part, the part that took me a few tries to understand, is in Apache 2’s LoadModule directives. In your distribution’s apache2 “../mods_available” subdirectory you need to make sure there’s a “mod_module.load” file, make sure the name of the file corrosponds to the “Name” field in this struct, and the file should contain a LoadModule directive that looks like
"LoadModule mod_module /usr/lib/apache2/modules/mod_module.so". You’ll then want to build the module with
"sudo apxs2 -c -lsomelib -lm -lz mod_module.c", using the “somelib” reference if your module has a dependancy on some external library. You’ll end up with “mod_module.la”, this also threw me; you end up with a static library rather than a shared object. The next step creates the actual shared library MySQL will use; “sudo apxs2 -i mod_module.la” will build the shared library and place it where apache will find it. Then “sudo a2enmod mod_module” activates it. You also need to make sure that in your <sites-available>/<website>/”Directory” directives or your “.htaccess” file has whatever properties your module requires are in your site’s config file.
Believe me, it took over three days for me to figure out how to make this all work given the disparity, dry prose, and plain incorrectness of the textual instruction available on the net. I’m sure its correct, however I’m also sure I’ve missed something so if anyone out there tries these steps and can’t get it to work I’d appreciate feedback.