Links: Safety Last

Forklift Driver Klaus (a.k.a. Staplerfahrer Klaus)- a parody of work safety films in which a forklift driver blunders through his first day on the job, maiming fellow employees left and right. German with English subtitles. (via TV Tropes: Scare Em Straight)

And, on a more serious note, the Internet Storm Center is reporting on people finding malware pre-installed on digital picture frames, memory cards, etc. Something to watch out for with portable devices that can connect to your computer.

Fedora 7 problems with glint video driver

Just a warning for any Fedora Linux users preparing to upgrade to Fedora 7: Grab the Live CD first and make sure that all your hardware works properly. If not, see if the fix is available before you actually upgrade.

I upgraded a system with a Permedia 2 video card, which uses the glint drivers. The installer couldn’t launch the GUI, but I’ve run into that fairly often, so I just used the text-based installer without thinking much of it. The upgrade process itself went fine, but on booting into the new system, it was unable to launch X. I kept getting the following error:

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Blockbuster vs. Local Video Store

I love Netflix. I love their selection. I love being able to just make a list of movies I’ve been meaning to watch, and see them show up one by one. But the queue model doesn’t work so well when you want to watch a specific movie now. That’s where you need a retail store, or download-on-demand.

One of our local movie theaters is running a series of “Flashback Features”, and this coming Wednesday is Young Frankenstein. I thought, given the number of references, if would be fun to watch Son of Frankenstein before we went. No time for Netflix, and Blockbuster didn’t have it, so I decided to try a local video store.

You can find all kinds of things at local stores. Blockbuster might toss something that doesn’t pull in $X/month, or doesn’t fit their market research. Shelf space at a Blockbuster is precious. They stock lots of copies of new releases. They keep their aisles wide. And they store movies face outward, so each title takes up more space. A local video store will cram as many movies as they can onto the shelf, spine-outward, sometimes laid sideways on top of each other, and they can add more shelves until they run up against fire regulations. The space freed up by tossing an underperforming movie is nothing compared to the possibility that someday, someone might rent it. This store had videotapes that were still in the oversized boxes that went out of style in the late 1980s!

The downside, of course, is that they probably won’t have enough staff to keep this larger selection sorted. The S section at this store consisted of at least eight shelving units with four or five shelves each. I found all sorts of movies I’d forgotten about or never even heard of in the first place (there’s a Skulls III? With Glory?). If I’d been looking for a random movie to watch, it would’ve been great, but I was looking for Son of Frankenstein. By the time I gave up looking, I figured there was no point in asking a clerk whether they had it or not. Even if they did, I’d still be stuck searching through 40+ shelves.

Not that Blockbuster gets it right all the time. I noticed an anomaly in the Horror section today:

Horror shelf at Blockbuster, featuring... Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo?!?

Although given what I’ve heard about Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, perhaps Horror is the right category for it.

In the end, I called up my parents and asked if they had a copy of Son of Frankenstein. It turns out they did, so the whole thing dropped out of the realm of commerce and into the realm of borrowing.

Real Player, Fake Movie

Nice. Real nice. On the heels of Microsoft discovering everything they wrote was vulnerable to malicous JPEG images, now it turns out that RealPlayer can be exploitedon any platform.

Yes, even on Mac OS or Linux. (Presumably the exploit would have to be tailored for each system.)

Go to a web page with a malicious video, and you’re screwed.

Fortunately (a) a patch is available and (b) if I have to, I can live without RealPlayer for a while.

Here’s the advisory.