Category Archives: Technology

Linux Journal: It Bytes To Go To Bits

Today, Linux Journal announced something that I’ve known was coming for a while now. We will no longer get that wonderful excitement of finding a good old fashioned paper magazine in our mailbox every month. The good news is that Linux Journal won’t be going away. We’re just switching medium. It’s no longer possible for the company to sustain the cost of printing and shipping a physical magazine every month.

This shouldn’t really come as a shock to anyone, as magazines right and left are either switching to digital, or closing shop altogether. As a tech magazine, I’m quite pleased to see us go for the former instead of slowly and painfully succumbing to the latter. The truth is, I can tell you first hand that Linux Journal is about 2 things: Content and people. And not in that order. With this change, those 2 things will remain at the top of our priority list.

It’s funny, because based on some of the negative feedback we’ve gotten, I suspect people think Linux Journal is a big conglomerate somewhere, and a fat guy smoking a cigar decided to cancel traditional publishing. As if he were sitting on a pile of money, and didn’t want to pay the small increase in price to keep printing. The truth is we’re a handful of regular old people scattered around the country. We have mortgages and drive crappy cars. Most of us have “day jobs” that not only supplement, but bring in the lion’s share of our income. We do Linux Journal because we love it. We love the people. We love the freedom. We love the penguin. If it were a matter of increasing prices a buck or two, we’d have done so. As the entire industry is showing, it’s a much, much bigger problem than that.

I kinda thought of all readers, ours would be the most understanding. And for the most part, they are. Linux people are smart people. The print magazine industry is dying, and either we adapt, or we just become a nostalgic part of history. We don’t want to move to a digital only platform, we must do so, or just pack up our toys and go home.

Thankfully, the majority of our subscribers are positive, if not bummed, about the change. Heck, we are too. We’re terrified that this “thing” we’ve come to love might not make it. We’re worried that people will just get angry and not buy the magazine anymore. We’re sad because we have no magic wand to make things all better. So, we will do all we know how to do: Create content. It’s what we’ve always done, and as long as we can find a place to write our stuff, it’s what we’ll continue to do. Hopefully we’ll thrive in this new digital age. It seems we are the right demographic to do so.

Hopefully, you’ll join us. 🙂

New Digs

So along with a new web host, it seemed a new look was in order. I rather like this theme, and expect I’ll be sticking with it for quite a while. (I mean, how can you beat a Mars sunrise in the header!?!?!)

The only thing I can’t decide is whether to make that YouTube widget display my latest video, or a random video from my channel.

So, how are you? 🙂

CERN Hides Large Hadron Collider Experiment

What started out as a festive holiday for most ended in the beginning stages of the apocalypse. CERN has certainly been under the public eye with their LHC experiments, and so in order to test some of the more controversial procedures — the “scientists” need to mask their nefarious plans in a bit of pie.

The head accretion team leader, Martha Biggins, told Brain of Shawn reporters that indeed the holiday weight gain is a perfect time to test gravity altering black hole experiments.

“Everyone gains a few pounds over the holidays, so we use that phenomenon to study microscopic singularities,” Biggins said.

A microscopic singularity, for those of us not familiar with astrophysics jargon, is a black hole. The [mad] scientists at CERN are creating black holes over the holiday season, and using grandma’s pumpkin pie to hide the truth from us. That truth, however, is about to unhide like a Jack-in-the-Box.

“The problem is that Hawking Radiation, which normally nullifies the singularities before they can do any damage, seems to be affected by solar flares,” Biggins confessed. “While normally the microscopic singularities vaporize in a little puff of radiation, the solar flare on December 18th disrupted this outgassing, and actually allowed the black hole to take hold.”

Scientists are not sure how to handle the growing dilemma, but the effects of the planetary bound black hole are already evident in gravitation fluctuations across the globe. Our own Shawn Powers weighed himself 3 times today, and each time his weight had increased.

“I’ve been trying to spend my Christmas Day in a normal fashion, and have been eating huge meals with my family, but at every spare opportunity I’ve been stepping on the scale. The increase is impossible to deny. Gravity from the black hole is making me weigh more,” said Shawn.

Biggins gave us the following advice, “While we’re trying everything we can to increase the Hawking Radiation, and eliminate the black hole, it doesn’t look good. Gravitational forces will continue to rise throughout the holiday season, and throughout the following months. With proper diet and exercise, it will be possible to lose enough weight to offset the increase in gravity, but once the singularity accretes enough mass, there will be nothing we can do but leave the planet or be crushed. We’re sorry, fellow Earthlings. We really messed up on this one.”

Some anti-LHC scientists have already volunteered their time, and have calculated the timeline for total destruction. Based on scientific models, the singularity will make this planet uninhabitable around December 21st, 2012. That gives us almost 2 years to either get rid of the black hole, or find another solar system to live in.

Here at The Brain of Shawn, we suggest ignoring the problem. It’s really the only thing we can do. And for the next few years, you never have to worry about gaining weight — because remember, it’s not you, it’s the black hole! Happy Holidays everyone, and remember, have another helping of mashed potatoes. It really doesn’t matter anymore.