What Is Happening Here?

Well done, you've found the website of Jeremy Modjeska, uppity bicycle snob, opinionated dilettante, voracious user of the Oxford comma, and all-purpose nerdboy. You might find some articles related to amateur commentary on legal affairs I don't fully understand, as well as some hackeries that people occasionally find useful.

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Update 3: April 4, 12.22pm: This article is now the #1 Google result for a search for ‘Virtisys’. Thanks everybody!

Update 2: March 24, 6.42pm: I think we won this battle. The Vertisys site was moments ago replaced with a redirect to the “Rick Roll” video on YouTube, then shortly thereafter disappeared altogether. Thanks to everyone who emailed, commented, and notified SoftLayer of the copyright infringement. I’m really encouraged by the response I got and happy that we were able to help protect bloggers from having their content stolen.

Update 1: March 24, 4.31pm: My article has been removed. Several other bloggers whose content was used on virtisys.com have contacted me expressing their intent to complain to SoftLayer.

Completely by accident today I discovered that a website I’d never heard of – www.virtisys.com (note the spelling; I am not talking about Vertisys, an entirely separate company) – was syndicating my blog content. Quite obviously I don’t mind if people do that, as evidenced by the links to various syndication services beneath each of my posts. It’s part of how blogging works and how people discover each other on the Internet. But this is different. Unlike digg, del.icio.us, and every other syndication service out there, Virtisys aren’t crediting me. They aren’t linking back to my original post. They aren’t even acknowledging that the post is a syndication. There is a different name for what they’re doing and it is stealing.

They might be doing it to you too. It appears their entire content base is made up of articles by blog authors from all over the world. All of them are technology focused, all of them (as far as I can tell) are WordPress users, and none of them are given credit for their work.

Virtisys provides no contact information on their website, or in their domain registration records, so I have sent a notice of copyright infringement to SoftLayer, their hosting services company, asking them to remove the offending content. To the extent that I have time today, I am also notifying other bloggers whose content is being stolen. That isn’t always easy because Google searches don’t always locate the original source, but I’ve already had a great response from one person (Remko at EvilCoder) who intends to file a similar complaint with SoftLayer.

Just in case you’re reading this on Virtisys or anywhere else right now, you can find my original post at j.modjeska.us. And by the way, no-talent ass-clowns over at Virtisys, I’ve discovered a number of really interesting people and blogs through your site. You’d have a really nice service there if you’d just credit the authors and provide links back to the original works instead of blatantly ripping us off.

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Posted in At Home  |  11 Comments

December 30th, 2007

Code of the Samurize

I wrote a VB script for Samurize, an easy-to-use, free Windows desktop playground for creating MacOS-like widgets and powerful system monitoring tools. Building my own desktop widget, I discovered that there wasn’t a built-in tool or any plugins available for identifying the current WiFi security mode in use. That is, I want my widget to tell me if I’m connected via WEP, WPA, etc. On my Linux systems, I can see at a glance what network I’m connected to and what security is in use. In Windows, this is slightly more challenging.

It wasn’t terribly difficult to create my own once I learned a bit about navigating the Windows Management Instrumentation, and I also learned that Samurize doubles as a handy testing ground for all kinds of VB scripts. Here is the result (click on the image to see my desktop widget that I’ve integrated this into):

Wireless Mode Indicator

You can download my Samurize config file, which contains the script and indicator icons, from the Samurize website. I have also included the VB code below.

read more …

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Posted in Code  |  No Comments

June 13th, 2007

See Dog Run

Update 06.15.07: Article published on Kuro5hin.

See Dog Run: Behavioral observations on the introduction of autonomous motility to a digitally-entrenched corporate whore. An essay.

Cross-Borders Jam #2
OK, here we go: Freeway Park, Seattle, circa summer 2006. Jump up on a dirty gray pillar, sandpaper concrete scuffing still-tender hands. (I’ve only done this a few times now.) Crouch down into a fists-at-feet gorilla-style perch and watch for stragglers crossing toward the fountain. Emerging from the city jungle, the ones who know me call me by name: Hey Raindog! It’s July’s final Sunday but still plenty of summer left — always something to cherish in a town so drenched we don’t even bother with carrying umbrellas anymore. Behind me, amid the concrete maze all draped in lush green tentacles, is the usual cross-section of local color: Convention Center sales suits tote briefcases in purposeful stride, sun reflecting off of shiny black shoes, while Mad Dog-soaked knapsackers shrouded in 7-month-beards look on from the benches, sitting this one out. Freeway Park: a community of circumstance dead-center in a city founded on making the best of poor planning. A place to work, live and play, held inexplicably together inside a bigass floating geometry lesson with a highway spilling out underneath. This is where the fun begins.

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March 29th, 2007

Fragment

fragmentI found this bit of observation on my laptop while looking for something else and it make me chuckle. Passing thoughts as I waited for a plane in Denver one day …

So it’s 14 minutes after my flight should have taken off and I’m sitting cross-legged on a metal floorboard, propped up against the glass wall of the moving sidewalk. I feel its soft rolling vibrations through my back as if I’m laying on a washing machine in spin cycle. Above me unbound pieces of accelerated conversation zoom past leaving tiny fragments hanging there in space. In slow motion I unwrap my tuna sandwich from its wrinkled plastic wrapper and I eat as I wait for a delinquint 757 gradually to materialize on the other side of the plate glass window. A woman in khaki pants and lime green Kangaroo trainers races by, trying not to spill her Starbucks as she pushes her stroller down the long blue corridor. She is egged by her final boarding call and her tiny traveler who bestows encouragement in the form of unearthly gurgling sounds. I imagine myself staring up from within its pastel-green-and-pink plastic racecar, flourescent motion-blur sky still novel and mysterious.

Nearby a man who I name Steve in my head is interrogated by his heavyset friend, who I call Jimbo because he is wearing a one-size-too-small t-shirt featuring a screenprinted eagle and large patrioticly-decorated lettering informing the world that America is prepared to “Put A Boot In Your Ass”. Steve is alternately fumbling with a mobile phone and stuffing artifically-colored bright orange things into his mouth and then wiping the oily dust residue on his roomy gray sweatshirt.

“You don’t smoke?”
“No,” says Steve
Jimbo hoists his backpack high up on his shoulders and lets out a chuckle, tilting his head back slightly and revealing the full expanse of his chalky gray trucker beard. “Well shit man. Do you drink?”
“No, I don’t drink.”
“Well shit man. Yer gonna have one boring-ass trip then,” Jimbo says, slightly louder than airport etiquette might prefer and breaking out into hearty laughter that turns into a brief coughing fit. “Shit, man, come on, let’s go to the smoking bar”.

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Posted in Travels  |  No Comments

Seattle Olympic Sculpture ParkClick here to skip to the pictures.

A cold, crisp, sunny afternoon in Seattle last week offered a reprieve from the bitter “Day After Tomorrow” winter-of-impending-doom we’ve been enjoying, and happily coincided with one of my handful of days at home this month. So I dusted off the old digital camera and took the Seattle Art Museum up on their offer to preview the spanking new Olympic Sculpture Park before it goes public. I was reminded once again that despite our many faults (of both the human and geological variety) this city is nevertheless damn cool!

The park has totally transformed the former no-man’s-land between Western Ave and the Elliott Bay waterfront into a gorgeous, wide open public park space. It even has a train running under the brilliant psychedelic pedestrian overpass. For me, the park evokes feelings of stark European minimalism mixed with old-fashioned larger-than-life American badassness. Except the good kinds of those things. I think. What am I, an art critic? Go look at the pictures and see for yourself.

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