There is an unnamed sysadmin rule that whenever a large number of computers are off, something bad will happen. It's as if, when on, they shield each other with a karmic umbrella, and when they're off, the entropy rains down and their neatly ordered lives dissolve into stains on the carpet. Tonight follows the rule. First, the Cisco Router for our wing of the building failed to boot back up (or show any sign of life whatsoever). So.. I walked home to grab my spare 24-port 10Mbps switch, and was reminded that I tossed it during my last move. So, walking back to CMU, I realised that if I cut some extra-long ethernet cables, I could make do with only 1 switch in the machine room for awhile, and with the addition of some smaller switches, I could cover the capacity of the dead IOS box. This was a major PITA to do, but it worked. I then swapped power supplies from spare systems to resurrect some desktops that died. With just a bit of additional aggrevation, everything appears to be good again (and perhaps faster? That router was old..). I, naturally, am tired, but somehow pleased.
- Sweden jailed a man for forcing "female circumcision on his daughter. This is, for some, an interesting interplay between cultural traditions and our notions of personal self-determination. I believe in universal sufferage -- that cultural traditions should not be given special leeway against the dominant values of society, and that the same laws should apply to everyone.
- Somalia's legislative body has a leader who wants Sharia. I would like to see him disappear from politics through any means necessary. One of the few hard-fast areas where I would condone assasinations or whatever it takes is to prevent the expansion of theocracy into new nations.
- The New York Times has, amusingly, told Americans about more stuff that BushJr is up to. It strikes deep ill chords with me every time BushJr is angered that another one of his secret programmes is exposed to the light of day. I find myself wondering how much more he is hiding that will probably never see the light of day thanks to his recent rules allowing sealing of parts of the Presidential Library. If only all this were some card game, and someone were to play an "Undo" card on his entire presidency.. The harm he has done over his terms so far is incalculable, from this country to the world.
- Thailand's courts are to consider breaking up the two main parties for violating election laws. I wonder what it would do to the United States if the Democratic and Republican parties were similarly both entirely disbanded. Would essentially similar parties be reborn? Would there be possibly time and motive to change our electoral system to proportional representation?
- Finally some cheerful news -- In DC, groups are experimenting with schemes to improve access to HIV testing. This is very good. It might be better yet when the tests become as cheap as a condom, and they can be distributed free, en masse, to everyone. For the public health, it might even be good to give people a gift certificate of some kind (perhaps a 1-trip pass on a bus) the first time they take such a test.. but all that is blue-sky. In reality, I'm sure the new scheme will lead to good things.