Monthly Archives: March 2005

Glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate

Peering into my “office” at any given moment in time it would be very easy to convince yourself that my life is more full of depraved and self-destructive vice than hard work, but don't let the excess of alcohol and sex fool you — I am a highly productive worker that like some cartoon robot is in fact fueled by these poisons rather than slowed down by them… albeit one that wilfully ignores the warning: “the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long”

Anyway, my WorldLog program is rapidly maturing and is now able to output its first sequential files (and is much faster and more optimized than the primitive code I was using initially). Still to add is better date math (not too hard), titling tools (very easy), and the day-night-alpha blending (not too hard), some minor cosmetic fixes, and then I'm done. As my first test animation I spit out a one month (two-second long, less than 1/4-meg WMV file) sequence of the views to ServMe's FriedKitten blog.

Watch it on loop!

I'll probably play with it for another day and then shelve it for a while. Believe it or not, building this sort of toy is more of a “vacation” to me than going to Africa (not that Africa wasn't amazing). I'll say once more that if you want to send me some zipped up copies of your log files so you can get an animation, shoot them over to and I'll see what I can do. If you have a preference as to what kind of animation you'd like and how you'd like it titled, let me know.

Worldlog -allplot initial output

I've run a few more in-depth test plots to get myself warmed up for the “real” work (which I may or may not do this weekend because I have a short attention span, and have other things I “have to” do). Here's a few outputs from both my own log files and ones that people have sent in
This is a render for a month of access to, run by ServMe.
…and for his other, more popular site, friedkitten.
You can see the German bias in the output for a day or so of logs for this tool's site.

Bot Nets?
This is a record of (zombie-PC based) dictionary attacks on BME.

IAM users
This is a record of all IAM user creations for well over four years of logs.

These are originating IP stamps for unanswered messages from hotmail users currently in my personal inbox.

These are the IP locations that recent online image submissions sent to BME have come from.

These are accesses to Netzapper's website, mostly hack attempts.

Anyway, next step is to make it so that it can render just inside a specific time or date range (not difficult), so it can output stills that can later be made into pretty animations.

Working on new geolocation tools

So as I mentioned recently, I'm working on a geolocation-based log analysis tool that makes animated (and still) maps from your webserver logs (and other log files which contain IP records and timestamps). I used some of the locations from my own login log file here to test the accuracy of my IP to Lat/Lon database, and it seems to work fairly well — the only locations that tested inaccurately were a kiosk in Antigua (which showed up in NY), and my satellite connection in Tweed.

   Buenos Aires, Argentina
   Sun City Resort, South Africa
   La Paz, Mexico
   Toronto, Canada
   Maui, Hawaii
   London, UK
   Miramichi, Canada

I wanted to repeat my earlier request — if you don't mind sharing some of your log files, email them to me (zipped please) to and I'll use them to make some test animations and send them to you as well. It's really a neat little toy. I say again: I am, at my core, a toymaker.

Boobies Advertising Zen

The notion that President George Bush wants to stop women from complaining when their breasts get too big made me think of only one person… they guy you love to hate, master of the spear of death, Cere. For him I post this story.

Soborno Del Policía

From this day onward if I'm ever asked on a purity test or poll, “have you ever bribed the police”, I can finally say yes.

Lukas needed to be at the airport for an early morning flight back via Mazatlan, so I left here at about 5:15 AM. It was still dark and the traffic was very sparse, so I was driving el buggi quickly, maybe 130 KPH or so, and wasn't really even slowing down for stop signs. A small SUV was gaining on me fairly quickly, and then tore past me in the oncoming traffic lane. Suddenly on top of both of us was a police truck with cherries and siren blaring, signaling us to the curb.

I wasn't sure if they were going to say anything to me at all, because the other guy had passed me rather psychotically — all I'd done was run a couple of stop signs, which is pretty normal in Mexico. One of the two cops went to talk to the guy in the SUV and the other one came over to me.

He greets me — “Hola” — followed by something in Spanish I didn't understand.

“Hola… en inglés?” I ask him.
“Un poquito inglés, si.”
“Un poquito español.”
“Poquito inglés, poquito espoñol… Were you racing?”

It was a reasonable assumption given what they'd seen — two cars barreling down the street side by side at well over the speed limit, ignoring stop signs. In a mix of English and broken Spanish, I tried to explain that I didn't know the guy, and was only driving into town to get a friend to drive to the airport… “Conduzco mi amigo al aeropureto…”


I gave him my Ontario license which he looked over, not really sure what to do with I think. He walked up to the front of the car, bent down to look at the plates, and then started checking the various stickers on the windshield. I passed him the car's registration and it was clear that's what he'd been looking for. He dropped them both on the street by accident.

“Chinga!”, he curses, picks it up, looks at me, smiles, and explains. “Lo siento, that means 'shit'.”

“No vio las ALTOs?” he asks, using his hands to mime a car running through a stop sign — “un, dos, alto” — and then slams his fists together, making a crashing noise. He says, “why? why did you do that?”, and only then (it was still quite dark) does he realize that he's talking to a guy with heavily stretched ears and a rather bloody face… “Oh… your ears! Why?

I'm not sure if he's now shifted from asking for an explanation of my driving or wants to chat about the way I look. After a bit of a “I'm a stupid gringo, I don't understand” routine, I apologize and tell him I made a mistake at the stop sign. He tells me there will be a ticket, and says something about needing to have a coffee. “How much?”

“Cientos pesos… ten…”

I reach into my jacket pocket, hand him a hundred pesos, and he smiles, immediately hands me back my license and registration, thanks me, and sends me on my way. Maybe it worked out for the best — for the rest of the drive I stopped at and obeyed all the roadsigns, enjoying the sun rising over the mountains on the horizon, and he and his partner got a nice hot coffee on this cold Mexico morning.