Archive of "lazyweb"

Archive for the "lazyweb" Category

Dystoparx — Part 8

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Nicnus is alone with his brother’s girlfriend. Actually, wait, she may not be his girlfriend anymore. It’s all so complicated. Nicnus doesn’t really care, but that doesn’t keep his curious mind from wondering.

How did he get here? He’s here on behalf of his brother. If his brother had to send him, then she can’t be his significant other, can she? Or perhaps they’re just having a protracted fight but still consider the relationship active? Nicnus’ head is spinning. He decides to focus on the reason he is here. The reason… There is a reason. Oh, yes! His brother—

“Are you just going to stand there?” She seems impatient.

He is standing on her porch. Or her parents’ porch? How old would she be? Does she live on her own? When do people tend to move out on their own these days?

“Are you staring at my breasts!” Now she seems horrified.

Nicnus forces his eyes to refocus. Crap. What’s the culturally accepted out in this circumstance? Can he explain that his eyes were not even aware of what was before them? That seems likely to be awkward. Awkward is the opposite of socially acceptable. On the other hand, it seems socially acceptable for men to joke about women’s breasts. Perhaps pretending that he was distracted by them is a good strategy for this situation? No. His best bet is to just ignore everything and move forward.

“My brother sent me.” That statement falls sort of flat. It seemed like a good way to begin the conversation, but now he’s not so sure.

“Obviously.” She’s tapping her foot. That’s impatience, right?

How long has he been standing here? Too long. Not as long as it may seem to the reader, but longer than is good. This is officially awkward now. Why couldn’t his brother just talk to his own girlfriend? Or write her a letter. Or something.

His brother wanted him to convey apologies, or something of that like. Nicnus is a tad fuzzy on the details. They didn’t really make sense to him. He doesn’t have time to run simulations in his head, but nor should he just blurt the first thing that comes to mind. He never should have agreed to this assignment.

“I assume he sent you to grovel.” Nicnus does not like her tone. She does not seem nice.

Finally, Nicnus decides that this is just silly. He’s frustrated with the whole situation, and lets that manifest as anger. Or passion. One of those.

“Yes, yes he did. But I’m not going to convey that. You and my brother have a strong chemical bond — that much is obvious by the fact that you continue to repair your relationship after this long together. Based on your expectation that he will come to repair the relationship, it seems to me that you’ve started to take him for granted.” Yes. This seems like a good tactic, she is noticeably shocked. “If you want to have a lasting or meaningful relationship with anyone, you’re going to need to move past riding the crest of some chemical wave and start really working together.”

She has opened her mouth to say something. Nicnus is used to geek fights. If you want to get into this conversation, you had better think that what you have to say is more useful than what is currently being said. You had better believe it enough to force your way in. He can tell by the look in her eye that her resolve is not that strong, so he continues.

“If you want a relationship with my brother, you know where to find him. I don’t care what he did or what childishness is going on here, all I know is that if you can’t get over yourself and work on a solution — a solution that you obviously know he is amenable to — then you don’t deserve to be with anyone.”

He sizes her up with his eye. She’s no pushover. She has her rebuttal ready. She’s visibly upset, and that’s good. That means he’s right about this. If she stews on this for awhile her mind will finally give in to her brain. Good.

He draws himself and utters one last word. “Goodbye.”

He leaves abruptly.

Now Nicnus is sitting just out of sight of the house at a bus stop. Good thing she had not thought to follow him; he doesn’t really have a better escape route planned.

“Last time I get involved in relationships,” he mutters to himself.

His phone vibrates in his pockets. Inbound microblog posts.

piratepartyca: Canadian court case to decide if infringement should become criminal:

jjdavis: Early estimates on the spread of the MusicBox antivirus:

m0rty: Oh, man! Hundreds of emails! #

He taps out a post of his own:

Do not get involved in other people’s relationships, no matter how much they beg.

Moments later, he has a few replies:

jjdavis: @nicnus speaking from exp?

acklas: @nicnus your brother again?

m0rty: @nicnus not if you care about your relationship with any party.

jjdavis: @m0rty not fair. You’re assuming @nicnus did harm.

The bus pulls up. Nicnus pockets the phone and boards the bus. Once seated, he taps out another post:

Don’t know if I did harm or good. Still not a fun time. People fight over the dumbest things.

An IM comes in:

16:00 <jjdavis> Your brother sent you out to his girlfriend on his behalf? Awkward.

16:02 <nicnus> Very.

More from the microblogs:

acklas: @nicnus Yeah, that sucks. People are dumb, unfortunately.

fakepm: If I had any real power I’d force this case. Of course they’re criminals!

acklas: RT @doctorow The MusicBox “anti-virus” spreads:

Nicnus remembers to look up. Where is he? Ok, not at his stop yet. Must remember to look so that he doesn’t miss it.

His phone is vibrating again. A different vibrate. SMS? Yes, it seems to be a text message, must be from his brother. He opens it and is surprised to find that it is not. It’s from his father.

Can u come by. Want ur opinion no this program.

Nicnus shakes his head and taps out a reply:

What program? For what?

Another IM:

16:06 <jjdavis> Sometimes I have a hard time dealing with my own significant other. Dealing with someone else’s.. not a good scene.

Nicnus is about to reply when another SMS comes in from his father:

Photo manager.

Nicnus replies to the IM first:

16:07 <nicnus> Yeah. Notice that I have no SO. Much easier.

Then the SMS:

I have no opinion about those. I don’t take or have or look at photos. How could I be useful?

Crap! Nicnus looks up just in time to see his stop just coming up. He pockets the phone and pulls the cord. The bus squeals to a stop, and he hurries off and back to his cave. His IM and microblog messages are just as accessible on his PC.

16:07 <jjdavis> Thought you might say that. There are advantages.

16:10 <nicnus> But do those advantages outweight the issues

16:10 <nicnus> obviously you think they do

He doesn’t have compatibility for SMS set up in a good way yet. That’s still coming in on his phone:

Well sorry for valuing your opinion.

Nicnus sighs.

16:11 <nicnus> today is not my day for relationships. now my dad is mad at me

16:12 <jjdavis> Oh?

16:12 <nicnus> He wants me to go physically to his house to help him evaluate a piece of software I have no knowledge about.

16:13 <jjdavis> You can’t just evaluate it on your own PC?

16:13 <nicnus> Well, not just that. It’s photo management software.

16:14 <jjdavis> Oh, I see. Yeah, you can’t really usefully evaluate that.

Nicnus posts to his microblog:

# Good photo management software? For my dad.

Soon he has replies. Picasa and Shotwell seem popular. Some people just use some online photo sharing sites as managers as well. That seems shifty. He sends his Dad another message.

Don’t know what you’re looking at, but the Internet says Picasa and Shotwell are good. Shotwell is free.

Soon he has a reply:

Picasa free too, looks like.

Nicnus groans:

Free as in freedom, Dad. Whatever. I guess either would work for you.

Bill is in a meeting with a copyright lobby group. The same one that is pushing to make all copyright infringement a criminal offence in court.

“I was pretty pleased with the way your litigators argued their case,” Bill smiles, “I never would have thought of claiming that all infringement is actually a circumvention of the protection measures.”

The primary lobby representative laughs, “That’s why we pay them so much money. They come up with stuff like that.”

An awkward pause, then the lobbyist continues, “So, I understand you have something you think would be beneficial to us both. Something which could benefit from the power our group wields?”

Bill nods slowly. “The MusicBox project has had a good run, but it may be closing in on the end of its usefulness.”

The flabbiest cocks his head, “Are you referring to the so-called anti-virus? We are not concerned about that.”

Bill chuckles, “Of course you’re not. You can only get certain kinds of data from certain kinds of people, though. Really you need to be going after the uploaders not the downloaders. The uploaders being far more cautious.”

Now the lobbyist is interested, “You have a proposal?”

Bill nods again, “It was brought to my attention some time ago that most Internet transactions are not secured at all.”

The lobbyist is still only intrigued, “Yes. Our technical consultants tell us that most emails and web transactions, among other things, can be intercepted or even read from where they are stored.”

“So,” Bill waves his hand in a do-you-get-it-now sort of gesture.

“Digital wiretaps?”

Good. This lobbyist has got it. “I said no such thing. I’m just saying, the data we need to trace almost all online activity is right out there. The ISPs have it, the web hosts have it, the email hosts have it. We can trace uploads to their source.”

“By using wiretaps.”

Bill shakes his head, “Wiretaps? No. We’re not spying on known criminals. We’re just going through information that might as well be considered public anyway. Doing a public service by stopping would-be criminals. Like preventative medicine.”

Now the lobbyist has really got it. “Of course. If you have anything to hide, then you’re suspicious.”