Deploying new INDY Gallery today

I mentioned in my previous post, New INDY Gallery on the way, that I would deliver the new INDY Gallery within this next week. Well, that timeline has been moved up. Apparently, the most recent upgrade to the current system did not go so well; and I'd rather not go through the headache of making repairs to a soon-to-be-replaced system. So, I'll be deploying the new INDY Gallery today! Be aware, I'll be making the improvements promised over the next week, so things may "shift" slightly during and after the initial deployment.


New INDY Gallery on the way

I'd like to announce the fact that I'm in the process of developing a "new" INDY Gallery. I place new in quotes because, technically, this is actually a refacing of the old gallery which was called the INDY Albums.

I've decided to re-implement the old system (built on the Simple Picture Gallery Manager)in a new way, by integrating it more cleanly into the INDY interface. As of this posting, the current system used is built on the Gallery2 project. While Gallery2 is an amazing system and very easy to maintain, it is also so feature rich that it agitates my sweet tooth. So, I'm heeding the words of my old Star Trek PBeM RPG buddy and "Keep[ing] It Simple". What's more simple for gallery management than Simple Picture Gallery Manager?

For those of you who are worried about the possible feature loss or concerned that you might have to reset all your bookmarks.... Have no fear! I'll be keeping the same url for the new system, designing it to function much the same way as the old system, and plan on hand-coding any features that are sorely missed by key users. As for a timeline of delivery, you should expect the switch over to occur within the next week.


Senator Chris Dodd gives us hope

Daily Kos: State of the Nation blog brings us news that a Senator from Connecticut has put a hold on the bill that would have given TeleComs legal immunity for helping the Bush administration spy on US citizens.

Kargo X has a more in-depth description in the blog entry: So FISA's on hold. What does that mean?

Let's hope that this allows the door to be reopened in Congress' investigation into the administration.

The tail wags the dog again


- First, TeleComs agree to help the government in spying on citizens.
- Then, TeleComs "declined to answer lawmakers' questions about Bush administration efforts to spy on Americans' phone calls and e- mails, saying the government forbade them from doing so." [bloomberg.com]
- Now, the Senate has granted "legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program". [washingtonpost.com]

*sigh* Does anyone care?! Wake up, people! The tail has been wagging the dog long enough, don't you think?!


PartiallyClips Comic "Indians Marching"

I enjoy reading many Webcomics, one of which is PartiallyClips. I particularly enjoyed this specific strip from that comic and thought that others might as well: PartiallyClips - "Indians Marching"

PartiallyClips Comic - 'Indian's Marching'. Transcript of text included below.
One Bull: "Why are the whites so intent on conquest? Why can't they settle in one place?"
Friend: "They always were an agressive people, One Bull. But now they cannot help it. Colonialism has made them frantic.
One Bull: Mad for wealth and power, you mean?
Friend: No. Think about it.... Tea. Tobacco. Chocolate. Coffee. Cocaine. Every land they conquer brings them a new stimulant.
One Bull: So they've become--
Friend: The most violent and jittery people on Earth.

This explains a lot about our "civilization" in general, doesn't it? (NOTE: It is ironic that such a word should be used to describe many current human societies, when many seem to lack the very core of that word: civility.)


Your impact on the planet

Consumer Consequences | Sustainability Coverage From American Public Media is a "game" of sorts I recently found that calculates your ecological footprint [wikipedia].

It's a fun resource and a real eye-opener. Even though both LK and I are pretty environmentally conscientious, we each still scored 1.9 Earths before "changing policies" (you'll learn what that means after playing the game) and 1.7 Earths after changing policies!

The real advantage to trying this out is that you will see what areas of your life have the most impact (e.g. the amount of meat and dairy I eat). So give it a try and see how many Earths it would take if everyone lived like you.

Here's an excerpt from the Consumer Consequences main page:
Consumer Consequences will ask you a series of questions about your lifestyle, and as you play, it will show you how many "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans… if everyone lived like you.

Keep an eye on the background graphics of your in-game world as you play. They'll slide across the screen like theater scrims as you answer questions to illustrate what your "world" of consumption would look like. They'll reflect the waste you produce… the infrastructure (commercial, residential, industrial and transportation) you require… the energy (fossil, nuclear, and renewable) you consume… and how your lifestyle impinges on forests and other undeveloped land.

The impact of your lifestyle is calculated based on the "ecological footprint" model created by our research partner, Redefining Progress. Learn more about ecological footprinting or about the calculations that underlie Consumer Consequences.


INDY Outages Update

Well, there shouldn't be a need to take down the server anymore. However, I am having to rebuild the Gallery from scratch. Don't worry. I make really REALLY good backups, so NONE of the media has been lost. I just have to build the Gallery shell again. Not such a big deal, just a pain. Especially since I have to recreate all user accounts. I think I'm going to try and make some improvements to the user aspects of the Gallery while I'm in there. So, be watching for more updates! Especially since this is where I'll tell you when you can log back into the Gallery!

INDY Outages

I am in the midst of doing a pretty significant upgrade to the INDY server. It's likely that the website will be down frequently over the next couple days.