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DMI News

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Current Events

August 01, 2002 20:16

This might be a tad disturbing. You've been warned.

When I was 18, I came home one day and my mom told me that she had bad news. She then asked if I knew Justin Marquart, someone I knew from high school. Then she told me why she had asked. Turned out he'd been murdered the night before at the place he worked, along with his best friend. The manager had been seriously injured, but she survived by playing dead and managed to call 911 and identify one of the robbers/killers. Three men, one who had a key, entered shortly after closing, armed. They ordered everyone to lie down, and proceeded to tie them up with duct tape. They didn't put up a fight at all. Then the men slit their throats and knocked in the back of their skulls with a hammer.

I've never been a fighter, but ever since that day I've noticed a trend. People are encouraged not to be heros. When confronted by an armed assaliant, simply do whatever they tell you to do, and worry about the consequences later. Schools enforce this. They allow those who harrass others to get away with slaps on the wrist, but the few times someone stands up and defends themselves, they get severely disciplined. So the police are no different. Don't try to defend yourself. Don't try to stop your attacker/robber. Let them walk all over you, its better than dying.

The strange thing is, this attitude is beneficial in the short term, but creates serious problems in the long term. Yes indeed, you might survive a robbery/rape, but your assailant gets away. He'll be able to strike again. IF you stood up to him, yes you might have been injured or killed, but chances are good it would have been the last time. These are not odds people like to play, because its their life on the line, but in the long run, it works out much better for everyone. If an armed robber knows that there's a 100% possibility that he'll meet resistance, there will be a lot less armed robbers. As it stands, the odds are in their favor. They have practically nothing to lose just so long as there's not a police presence nearby.

I thought about this again after Columbine. Two kids with shotguns walked around shooting at fleeing people. Its easy to hit a moving target that doesn't fight back. If instead of running, everyone had jumped the gunmen, there might have been 2-4 people wounded/killed instead of 15 dead, and countless others wounded, not to mention extensive psychological issues with an entire student body. But had this happened, had they been able to stop them before they killed too many people, there would have been half a nation congradulating them on their heroism, and the other half complaining about how stupid they were.

To some extent, this has changed. On September 11, those that chose not to be taken hostage managed to thwart the plans of a group of deranged madmen who planned to use their plane as a weapon to kill many people. They all died in the process, but their deaths saved countless others, and although they were not victorious in saving the plane, fighting back was their only option to survive. Since that fateful day, there has not been a successful hijacking of an American plane. I doubt there will be one for the next 50 years. I can't imagine anyone standing up, saying he's hijacking the plane, without 50 passengers immediately jumping on top of him, armed or otherwise. Ever since 9/11, passengers have taken the inititave responding to any threat, any disgruntled passenger, any attempt to create trouble. There won't be anymore. They refuse to take it. The days of sitting down and shutting up when someone tries to take over the plane are over. The plane might go down in a blaze of glory, but the hijackers WILL NOT WIN. EVER.

Which brings me to a current event. Early this morning, four people were assaulted by a single armed man. At gunpoint, two abled bodied men allowed themselves to be tied up and allowed their girlfriends to be kidnapped. People, this is not about defending the honor of your girlfriend by beating up the guy that called her ugly. This is about saving someone's life. These TWO men were too coward to take on one man with a gun, because THEY might have died in the process. Did you see them on camera? were they crying? Were they heartbroken? Were they even worried? The girls they cared about the most (supposively) were currently being held against their will by a dangerous armed rapist. To you two girls, I think you can do better.

Yes, I know they're probably the same age. They're just kids. They're too scared to take a stand. But we've trained them to be that way. We've all grown up taking a lot for granted. We've allowed people to think that its ok to beat someone up because they're not part of the popular crowd, but when its serious, the solution is to cower up in a ball and just hope everything will go away. Am I too harsh? Maybe. Would I be any different in that situation? I don't know. But I know this. When someone's pointing a gun at me, coming at me with a roll of duct tape, I'll remember Justin. I'll remember how that turned out.


No Title

July 31, 2002 12:22

I removed the identd check from the web server. This results in a snappier response on the initial connection for most users. It's not really a useful feature anyway, as 99% of the visitors don't even have a valid identd server running, and it just slows things down.

I've made a few minor background changes to the site. I might be making more in the future. In addition, Erisynne has been kind enough to contribute a logo, so check out her website if you're interested in logos or other graphics development work. There's more info about her on the visitors page.

I will also be updating the instructions and faq pages with regards to the new layout and features. For a quick summary on the icons, the lightbulbs represent the current state of the lamps at the time. The motion sensors will light up red whenever they're tripped, and the computers show a windows or penguin (linux) icon whenever they're on (depending on the OS they're running), or the word "OFF" if they're not currently on. The names above them are the hostnames. Some of these computers will be provided with some degree of viewer control in the future, and I plan to add VNC support to a couple of the computers I don't do critical work on so you can view the desktop. No, I won't let you control it :)

Comments(0) Works!

July 29, 2002 09:29 is now a working domain. Please use it for now on whenever you link to this site. A big thanks again to Corky!


Corky is like... SO awesome!

July 28, 2002 23:10

Thanks to my dear sweet beautiful friend, I now have a domain. will now be the new address for the site instead of using the ip address all the time. Its not working yet as of this posting, but should be within the next 24 hours. I'll make changes everywhere and maybe adapt the name to the site itself at that time.

In addition to spending money on me, she's also submitted her own icons for the computers on the status table. Those cute slick computer icons are her creation (or at least she stole and modified them herself. I'm not about to complain about it either way :)

So now that she has made my day, someone needs to go visit her site and buy some hosting services, lest she try to exact retribution by making me her sex slave. shudders

Actually... on second thought.... that might not be so bad... hmmmmmm


More icons

July 28, 2002 01:53

You'll probably notice an extra row of lamp icons, including two motion sensors. The porch lamp you can see at night when looking out the front door, and the Xmas tree is not visible from any cam, but both of these lamps are on the X10 network so I've included them. You can't control them right now, and you will probably never be able to control the porch lamp as I don't want to annoy my neighbors any more than absolutely necessary.

The two motion sensors will turn red for one minute anytime one of the sensors is tripped. This doesn't do anything useful unless you're watching all the time, but it might be interesting to notice it when people are milling about in the rooms with sensors. Eventually it is my plan to add more sensors around the house, so these things will become more active as I add more.

The next set of icons to add will be the computer icons. Each computer on the network will be represented by an icon that displays its current status. Although most of the computers and other equipment will be operational at all times, the doorbell server will need to monitor these things anyway, especially the hub as part of the contingency plan to keep the network running in case the hub locks up. Some computers might also have the reset switch wired. The option to turn on, off, and reboot might show up on the page, although they'll be darkened for regular users. Although there are 12 computers on the network, due to space requirements, not all of them might be displayed. I'll see what I have to work with.



July 27, 2002 00:36

I actually completed something. The lightbulbs on the page now work. Despite the fact that I've never solved the IE6 default cache problem, or found a workaround to it, I just decided to rethink the strategy and change the code to reduce the damage the lack of cache could do. Now when the lightbulbs are displayed, they only copy the new image in if it changes. While this means that the browser will still download the bulb images every time it changes, at least it will only happen WHEN it changes, and not every second like before.

Queen has returned too. No, not the band. The lovely young lady on the visitors page. She was only supposed to be gone a week, but ended up missing for far longer. However, she has returned and her captured pics page has more than doubled now. :)



July 25, 2002 00:04

Nothing terribly exciting happening. I've got 24 projects on the project list now, probably another 50 or so to include once I think of them again. Then I'll have to actually work on some of them. :) I've also kept up on the object of the day, including adding an index to each of the object pages to make accessing the others easier.

I won't be at home much this week, since I'm housesitting for my parents while they're away. However, that gives me lots of time to work on some of site code, especially the efforts to modularlize the site more. I might even get user accounts implmented sometime this week.


A Very Special Day

July 23, 2002 10:55

Today is a VERY special day. Today is the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. Today is the day, that I can constantly bitch about all those damn teenagers, and not have to make an exception for Leslie! Yes, today she turns 20. FINALLY! Took ya long enough, geez!

So everyone be sure to wish her a happy birthday, and express your condolances that the hairy guy is married (she'll know what you mean). And if you're going to give her presents, I think she has a preference for lacy, seethrough undergarments, which I'm sure she'll be happy to model on her webcam. Well, maybe not for you. But for someone. :)


Various Stuff

July 21, 2002 01:56

First off, I've added more pics to the slideshow. There's at least a day's worth now, maybe more. I've got about 4 day's worth to add yet as soon as I'm done going through them to clean out the empty rooms. At any time, I'll keep up to 2 gigs worth online, thats enough for at least a week's worth of pictures to go through. I'll burn them out and add new ones as the opportunities arise.

I'm glad to see some people leaving comments. I encourage everyone to do so. The more people that do, the more others will want to as well. Feel free to jump in and add your own two cents. :)

For some technical stuff, I tore apart the universal remote. Wiring it up should be pretty easy, although I was unable to test it with a diode. Of course, I was using LED's instead of regular diodes, which have more resistance, perhaps too much to make the connections. I'll have to pick up some regular diodes and test that out. If the diodes work, then a single transistor will also work. If not, I'll have to build a dual direction transistor circuit, or use relays. Relays are combersome and require an external power supply, so I'd like to avoid that option if possible.

I also opened up my VCR to find out why it was eating the tape. It inserts the tape fine, and plays it fine, but when you eject the tape, it doesn't properly recoil the tape, so its loose in the VCR with lots of places to catch on. I'm not exactly sure what its supposed to do. I might just take it in to get fixed if its not TOO expensive. It otherwise is a very good VCR. Hate to have it go to waste. Although, its not worth TOO much in repair costs.



July 20, 2002 03:18

I've expanded the available slideshows. Now there's a more diverse set of cam recordings available on the slideshow. Currently there's about a 20 hour set, but I'll be adding more so it will run 3-4 days without repeating.

On a completely unrelated note, those of you who have weak stomachs probably want to wait a few days before checking the captured pics page. You've been warned.