12.15.2008

perl

As I progressed through the project -- as my shell surpassed 1,000 lines and made its way towards 10,000 -- I was learning of a painful truth about Perl that many others had discovered before me: that it is an undesigned dung heap of a language entirely inappropriate for software in-the-large. -- bryan cantrill

[on a related note, see perl as voodoo. thanks ivo.]

12.08.2008

storm [haiku]

snow storm -
unblinking, she holds
my gaze.

[oz/2008. all rights reserved.]

12.04.2008

idiotic comment of the month

mr harper, on his potential departure from power:
the opposition is attempting to impose this deal without your say, without your consent, and without your vote.

those of us who have lived in countries that produce minority and coalition governments with great regularity should either find a nearby wall to relieve the strain on our heads, or laugh uproariously in disbelief. it is not clear what part of the recent election results mr harper does not understand: his minority part, the opposition having received the majority of the votes, or that coalitions can and should be formed when a governing party is too arrogant and/or too stupid to do its job properly.

12.02.2008

toronto sun and canadian democracy

today's toronto sun headline screams: no! no! no! this must not be allowed to happen. [those who studied media are excused for thinking that this is a headline from a newspaper in chilean dictatorship years, and the newspaper is el mercurio] toronto sun should stuff it. this is exactly what is allowed to happen in canadian democracy, where majority of canadians have elected people who can and should use their position to bring change when needed, including a re-structure of governance. goodbye to mister harper, whose arrogance and weak1 intellect is the cause of unnecessary turmoil. to quote david mamet [bambi vs godzilla]
the unfortunate and inevitable concomitant of "bring it on" is "how do you like it now?"

1an intellect which has ideology as its primary source of nourishment is weak by definition.

11.17.2008

today's dropped iphone app: WeatherEye

nice looking app. in its info page, in all caps, it claims it is FREE. nowhere in its info page does it mention that it is ad-supported. nowhere does it mention that it will want to know your sex and birthdate for better ad placement. yet another bit of cybercrud that wasted my bandwidth, and is now deleted from my iphone.

my eyeballs are very expensive. ask permission before trying to capture them, or go to hell.

10.27.2008

gas pump [haiku]


autumn dawn -
old gas pump
serving dewdrops.


[oz/2008. all rights reserved.]

10.24.2008

recently noted quotes

we see what we know until we know who we are, then we see what we feel. -- ernst haas.

there is no unconditional love. there is unconditional need. -- gregory house

It's not house-trained. It probably won't work. Don't try and use this release for anything useful. We have made every effort to ensure that all bits in this package are either 0 or 1. However, these bits may not be in the correct order and proportion. -- mdma readme

Anyone found laughing at the code will be shot at dawn. -- mdma readme

there is a technical term for this: it is called being really really stupid. -- fred whiteside [no, he really is not talking about republican politics and strategies.]

if they respond to spam, sarah palin may look reasonable. -- anon

Before citing any statistic, you should have a clear understanding of what that figure is measuring, who calculated it, and how. -- timothy b. lee [piracy statistics and the importance of journalistic skepticism]

Books are souvenirs that hold ideas. Ideas are free. If no one knows about your idea, you fail. If your idea doesn’t spread, you fail. If your idea spreads but no one wants to own the souvenir edition, you fail. -- seth godin [10 questions for seth godin]

inertia is apparently more powerful than creative intelligence. -- anon

10.22.2008

autumn buried [haiku]

autumn buried -
color of leaves
in afternoon snow.

[oz/2008. all rights reserved]

9.26.2008

atwood on harper

from a letter by margaret atwood on arts, creativity, and stephen harper:
Every budding dictatorship begins by muzzling the artists, because they're a mouthy lot and they don't line up and salute very easily. Of course, you can always get some tame artists to design the uniforms and flags and the documentary about you, and so forth - the only kind of art you might need - but individual voices must be silenced, because there shall be only One Voice: Our Master's Voice. Maybe that's why Mr. Harper began by shutting down funding for our artists abroad. He didn't like the competition for media space.

9.25.2008

quote of the day

republicans at one time heard to have said:
We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself. We believe in the free market as the best tool to sustained prosperity and opportunity for all.

[found in david brin's blog]

9.23.2008

recently noted quotes


true intelligence is incompatible with the fascist impulse. -- spider robinson

it is never the size, it is always the technology! -- eren yigit [10yrs old]

passwords come from down deep. -- jack reacher

please fasten your seatbelts: we are about to encounter contradictions. the subject is love, and things may get bumpy. -- laura kipnis [against love]

We'd also like to take an opportunity to remind you that one query is sufficient and multiple queries regarding the same issue make the Magic Donkey cry. -- flickr help mail

No humans were involved in the creation of this email. -- flickr help mail [good to see that flicker was able to employ enough many typing monkeys to eventually generate this fascinating email. alas the same email did not contain any important lines from shakespeare.]

almost dying changes nothing. dying changes everything -- house

dad is like a rubik's cube. you have to twist and turn him to figure him out. -- eren yigit

only two things you ignore: things that aren't important and things you wish weren't important and wishing never works. -- private investigator [house]

9.17.2008

time for a change

just as i was celebrating the release of nikon d700, and saving money, canon comes up with 5D mark II, and blows me away. twice d700, and costs less.
shopping cart:
  • Canon 5d mk II
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f4.0L IS USM
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM

update: i specified 16-35 strictly for uses on architecture and interior, thinking it may have less distortion than 17-40 f/4. looking at some of the reviews, i am not so sure anymore. the price difference is huge, i don't care for speed, and 17-40 distortion is not much worse than 16-35.

8.22.2008

quote of the day

from A C Grayling's guardian column road to nowhere:
Secularists say, "believe whatever nonsense you want, but keep it to yourself and act responsibly". The Brian-sandalistas say, "believe what we want you to believe and act as we say". The psychopaths among them say, "believe what we want you to believe and act as we say or we will kill you".

brian-sandalista: see life of brian

8.08.2008

recently noted quotes

morning is a portal to misery and school! -- eren yigit

my memory is great but seems to be very short these days. -- emily calkin

excuse me, I've just got to go and unclench my teeth. -- prose [tom duff]

gamma is not a relative on your mother's side -- thom hogan

it is always easier to create deviations from normal color than it is to create normal color from deviated colors. -- thom hogan

you know when you run out of questions, you don't just run out of answers, you run out of hope. -- thirteen [house, m.d.]

i could not find any red tape. -- anonymous sensei [jccc taikai, 2008]

the meat is the whole deal. are you getting the picture? -- terry bisson

when faith stands trial, its appeals must go to the court of reason --austin dacey [secular conscience]

it is the special beauty of faith, that, like the fabled phoenix, it draws its life from the flames that destroy it. It flies as it dies. -- thomas m. disch [the word of god]

7.20.2008

pulse

three images from a recent photo project.
all images copyright ozan s. yigit.
see also: silentrunning photostream

6.16.2008

tv shows and reality: a quote

abby: i am good mcgee, but i cannot work miracles. this is impossible. i told you once, i told you a thousand times -
mcgee: there is no substitute for quality source imagery, i know.

[finally a show that does not try to screw with the information theory, insult the audience, and try to extract 10mp worth of information from a crude 1mp cell-phone image... CSI fantasy shows should get a clue, and go back to something resembling science. oh wait, narrative brain damage is irreversible...]

6.12.2008

leica M8 in iraq

a working photographer has to read michael kamber's detailed field review of leica m8. if that does not deliver the swift, smarting kick leica needs, i do not know what will.
I have found the Leica M8 to be unreliable, poorly designed, and to deliver substandard results in most of the situations in which I have used it. I can’t think of any camera--or for that matter any electronic device I have recently used--that so thoroughly fails to live up to its potential and its heritage.

[some of us have spotted a few of the design issues without having to make a living out of it, or paying the outrageous sums of money required, thank goodness...]

6.06.2008

a zen poem

the moon's the same old moon,
the flowers exactly as they were,
yet i've become the thingness
of all the things i see!

bunan (1602-72)

[found in zen poetry: let the spring breeze enter edited and translated by lucien stryk and takashi ikemoto]

6.04.2008

recently noted quotes

yeah, don't give me any ideas. i am getting too farfetched! -- eren yigit [age 10]

there is no pause button on reality. -- eren yigit [a remarkable observation that gives difficulty to many religious fanatics and republicans]

i love the word "smear"... -- laura calder [french food at home]

The life of a contrarian is inherently frustrating. Whenever you point out the flaws in a particular dogmatic position, there is a tediously-predictable, reflex reaction that you must be a dogmatist, for the opposite extreme. -- david brin [Airline deterioration, the new elite, levees and clkimate deniers]

Thought, without the data on which to structure that thought, leads nowhere. -- victor stanger [has science found god?]

I bought it because I'm a sucker for finishing a series. DON'T DO IT. Put the mouse down and walk away. Do NOT check that box. -- from a review of stross's "clan corporate" at amazon [we get reviews]

[...] but I trust my family jewels only to Linux. -- donald knuth [interview with knuth]

hating bit fields in c structs. dat shit nevah werkz -- peter honeyman [tweet]

finding a needle in a haystack isn't hard when every straw is computerized. -- dexter

We need to kick the bishops out of the House of Lords, ban the Police and judiciary from taking donations from religious organizations, and get religion out of politics by any means necessary. -- charlie stross [when is a cult not a cult?]

i do not even know what a square looks like. i operate from a circle. -- dolores pitcher

fear is a frighteningly effective sales pitch. -- arianna huffington [right is wrong]

6.02.2008

twee ... splat

this morning's fun task: feeding twitterrific to appzapper.

i have all but given up on twitter; a relatively interesting idea badly let down by inexperience and hyped-up, quick-and-neat frameworks that let you do well in boring situations, sell a rack-full of poorly written books, but cannot scale to the real world. talking about books: here is another possibly useful book idea that should be titled (you guessed it) twitterrible...

[related reading: release it!: design and deploy production-ready software]

5.26.2008

encounter [haiku]

spring flies -
a delicate encounter
all blacked out.

[oz/2008]

[black flies are out in full force in new brunswick. they are in my ears, nose, eyes, viewfinder, hands. they bite. thoughtful, well composed photography is not to be had...]

5.12.2008

quote of the day [on content, or lack thereof]

If content is king, why is there so little of it on the web? And why are content providers like Salon always whining about their huge bandwidth costs, given that 99% of what they ship — and that is an exact measurement, not hyperbole — is spam? -- charlie stross [why your internet experience is slow]

5.10.2008

a haiku

first plum blossom
lands on grass --
sudden sword.

[copyright ozan s. yigit, 2008]

4.21.2008

cover design of the day


one of the best cover designs i have come across this month.
margaret mcmillan, uses and abuses of history [this is just about the cover. i do not know anything about the author or this particular book.]

recently noted quotes

i would rather eat tomatoes than listen to this. -- eren yigit [in response to kelly pickler's singing about red shoes. eren really dislikes tomatoes]

design with skepticism, and you will achieve resilience. -- michael t. nygard [release it! design and deploy production-ready software. - yes, this book is really very good.]

some people take pictures, i find them. -- jane bown [unknown bown]

who wants to go through life not ever singing? -- roger ebert [review of woody allen's everyone says i love you]

here are people we don't care about, doing things they do not understand, in a movie without any rules. triple play. -- roger ebert [review of "an american warewolf in paris"]

based on the evidence, the bible isn't scripture. it's a Rorschach test. -- solomon short

dtrace is the MRI of software. -- gil hauer

As long as ads are aimed at children, as long as luxury SUVs are presented as necessary, as long as the difference between "want" and "need" is blurred on purpose, I'll think of advertising as immoral. -- fraxas [on advertising]

People who brandish naturalistic principles at us are usually up to mischief. -- peter medawar [the future of man]

Philosophically, I believe the designer's goal involves making decisions for the user. If the decisions are good, it's a good design and the user is content. I do not believe it's the designer's goal to defer everything to the user. As a bonus, making decisions early tends to simplify the design. -- rob pike [9fans mailing list]

faith is the invisible means of support for a belief when reasons fall out from under it. -- austin dacey

unfortunately, consulting entrails has never been a reliable guide to truth, even when those entrails are your own. -- austin dacey [the secular conscience]

I DISLIKE YOU! -- anonymous canadian baseball fan [against detroit tigers pitcher]

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below. -- Microsoft .NET Framework [another amusing and informative manifestation of enterprise-level public debugging infrastructure]

4.18.2008

dealing with fatuous rhetoric

mike harding [hi x-boss!] at sun alumni blogs pointed to ethan at urbanspoon and made my day. do latte drinkers really vote for obama?
We could just assume all trust fund babies are sipping latte at Starbucks and refer to figure 1, but that wouldn't serve the interests of science. Instead, let's assume that trust fund babies have one thing in common, money, and look at how wealth stacks against voting habits.

4.09.2008

looking for a notebook app

i have been looking for a good mac notebook applicaton for a long time. i have a set of requirements that may seem quite idiosyncratic; here are a few of them:
  • basic wiki/blog/etc. functionality [esp. markdown et al support] for simple structured writing [mac user, blogger]
  • emacs-grade editing capability for heavy lifting [oldtimer, unix hack]
  • good image support [photographer]
  • sketching, scribbling [designer, illustrator]
  • good indexing [eg. see circus ponies notebook], regex search [author]
  • good layout support [author]
  • organizational tools for content
clearly i do not need just a notebook; i need a strange hybrid. so far, i like circus ponies notebook as a comfortable compromise, though its lack of direct blogging support is forcing me to look for other tools. [my blog is just one of my notebooks, structured slightly better for public display.] i initially wrote this entry as a test from macjournal. [the result did not display correctly, alas; it was fixed using appzapper...]

[if any readers of this blog have some suggestions, other than write the app yourself, i would appreciate them]

[update: i have circus ponies notebook, and voodoopad pro now. they are both reasonable tools, with some nice ideas. on the other hand, neither tool impresses me all that much.]

4.08.2008

daily rotfl: iso and ooxml

jason matusow of microsoft wrote:
I could make a very compelling argument that Open XML has done more to revive the reputation of international standards than any other standard before it.

i doubt such an argument can be made anywhere except in warm fantasies of those oblivious to decades of international standards work. a reasonable reading of the events, arguments and objections around this particular "standard" suggests iso's reputation, such as it was since the heady days of iso/osi, is worse off than before; there has been significant complaints that microsoft, consistent with its history of monopolistic aggressiveness, has abused the standards fasttrack process to push out a specification that it can manipulate to compete against a well-specified, open iso standard it does not like. [canada, i am proud to say, voted against this faux-standard precisely because of this]

being a microsoft toady is not the kind of reputation iso needs.

4.07.2008

good books in the pile

an incomplete list of books from 07-08 i found entertaining, essential, edifying, exciting and sometimes exceptional.

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction Of The Human Mind

Predictably Irrational [i expect everyone knows dr. ariely by now...]

logolounge 4 [a logo designer has to keep up with these logo lounge collections. alas, the content is less innovative than one may expect.]

collective intelligence [very interesting book with some cool algorithms, and in python. sort of book numb3rs might publish...]

Refactoring to Patterns

Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction

The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter [masayuki miyata's paper cuts [kiri-e] make this book possibly the best edition out there. i wish it was in bigger format]

Venus on the Half-Shell and Others

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability [second edition.]

Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World

Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software

Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life

Here Comes Everybody [hmm, i know some people called this a masterpiece, but i reserve that word for very, very special books. my initial impression is that this is a good solid piece of work, but not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.]

Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought

The Age of American Unreason [robert fulford of national post called her a "demi intellectual" and wrote a lazy, lip-smacking critique of sorts, as befitting his paper: "To satisfy Jacoby, it's not enough to exhibit intelligence. It's necessary also to use that intelligence properly, to develop views closely resembling hers." first part of the sentence is priceless, never mind its degeneration into a slur afterwards.]

Dark Integers and Other Stories

Calendrical Calculations (3rd ed)

Brasyl

Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting [one of the most informative books on photographic lighting i have ever found.]

Influences: A Lexicon of Contemporary Graphic Design Practice

Silver Palate Cookbook 25th Anniversary Edition [you just have to have it. many years ago i discarded an early edition, now have it back with better photography...]

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing

Cosmic Motors: Spaceships, Cars & Pilots of Another Galaxy

Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism

Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters [one of the best in this topic]

Who Rules in Science?: An Opinionated Guide to the Wars

Statistics as Principled Argument [MAGIC: magnitude, articulation, generality, interestingness, and credibility. required reading.]

Scientists Confront Creationism [insert picture of fish in a barrel]

[list extracted from my amazon [ca] and chapters orders, but all pointers on this blog are directed to barnes and noble [us]]

3.19.2008

ventus available online with CC license

one of my favorite authors, karl schroeder just released ventus under a creative common license. [eg. pdf] see karl's site [recently redesigned] for different download formats.
Ventus is a novel of information apocalypse set in the far future. For a thousand years the sovereign Winds have maintained the delicate ecological balance of the terraformed planet Ventus. Now an alien force threatens to wrest control of the terraforming system away from the Winds...

Jordan Mason, a young tradesman, is thrust into the midst of an ancient galactic conflict when he becomes the only human on Ventus who can locate the source of the alien threat. But will he side with the Winds, who have brutally suppressed technological development among the human colonists of Ventus? Or will he throw in his lot with an entity that may be planning to remake Ventus in its own, deathly image? Ventus incorporates ideas about nanotechnology, terraforming, and information theory in an epic tale of war, tragic love, betrayal and transcendence.

3.12.2008

a photographer's notes: images on facebook

if you care about copyrights, especially your rights on your images, you may want to keep them away from facebook.
first their stuff:
No Site Content may be modified, copied, distributed, framed, reproduced, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted, transmitted, or sold in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the Company's prior written permission, except that the foregoing does not apply to your own User Content (as defined below) that you legally post on the Site.

now your stuff:
By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

plain and clear. if you are a serious photographer, your images do not belong in facebook.

[group link: My photos are MINE! NOT Facebook's! Change the Terms and conditions!. so far as i can tell, this group was formed in 2007, and has amassed 87164 members. facebook has not changed its terms and conditions, and i doubt it will.]

3.10.2008

recently noted quotes

lock-ins are never good for customers: a business that isn't confident that it can keep your business by providing the best product at the best price is a business that isn't planning on providing the best product at the best price. -- cory doctorow [in defense of complaining]

look, she is nuts, but we cannot give her 10ccs of atheism and send her home. -- tal [house, m.d.]

Don't you have paint to watch dry? -- cosma shalizi

Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity. —- marshall mcluhan

This page was last updated in 1984 by a gifted psychic who foresaw all that is described here. -- mr bunny's hutch

ah, complexity: the mother of all consulting fees! -- marco tabini

you may have an invisible opponent, but you still have to see him. -- sandra jorgenson [iaido 5th dan sensei, mu mon kai]

i paid a life to get these parents. [because i pay a lot more, i get better parents] -- eren yigit [age 9]

properly implementing a singleton requires a number of the tricks shown earlier. -- the ruby programming language

people don't change. for example, i will keep repeating: people don't change! -- house [house, m.d.]

cyborg: do you even have opposable thumbs?
beastboy: most of the time! -- teen titans [fourth season]

why is the notion of a fundamentalist comedian funny, or at least quite odd? -- john allen paulos [irreligion]

the incongruity necessary for appreciating humor is only recognizable with an open mind and fresh perspective. -- john allen paulos [irreligion]

people want interesting clutter. people want clutter that is on sale. -- matthew powell

left to its own devices, the mind runs off in random directions as synapses connect to others that happen to be in the neighborhood. -- jack hart [a writer's coach]

Dear site operators: Here's a quarter, go buy a terabyte from Amazon S3 and stop complaining. -- cory doctorow [17 tips for getting bloggers to write about you]

2.26.2008

autosave failed ... autosave failed ...


google's blogger, a year or two later: utterly boring layouts and templates. unbearably mediocre editing front-end. endless "autosave" failures. same sorry software, different day.

[addendum: yes i know i can take my blog elsewhere, but quietely walking away is not good enough. i want google to be informed. i want it to know that blogger is mediocre, and should be improved. google did not get to where it is by being the second or third best.]

[april update: at least one blog entry become entirely un-savable in draft form. several other drafts have had intermittent autosave failures. this is gone from bad to disgusting.]

2.21.2008

daily rotfl

yet again pz myers is making fun of fishes in a barrel, er, creationists. [a creationist own goal?]
Creationist: There are no transitional whale fossils!

Scientist: Oh, dear, really? That's terrible! We should teach the students about that, don't you think?

Creationist: Yes, we should. That information must go into the science standards for our state.

Scientist: I quite agree. When we mandate that our teachers must offer instruction in the details of whale transitional fossils, the gaps will be so obvious.

Creationist: Good. Let's insert, "Teachers will discuss the nature of evolutionary transitions, emphasizing the kinds of evidence needed to support claims that land animals evolved into whales, and that cats give birth to dogs."

Scientist: Well, as a compromise, let's leave out the bit about cats and dogs, and we'll have to clean up and standardize the language in committee, but let's do it. The committee might even make this broader, pushing for discussion of all kinds of transitional fossils, which, of course, are absent. Boy, you sure got me over a barrel, forcing me to include discussion of an evolutionary flaw in our public schools. I hope you aren't going to continue to outwit me with your Mastery of Science.

Creationist: <preening smugly> Ha ha, our cunning plan is working!

2.19.2008

dns and censorship

a judge orders dynadot to
prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court.

hm. until we get a domain name system that can withstand arbitrary attempts of censorship and manipulation, click this link: wikileaks

2.12.2008

blue note needs java and linux

i try to track all rudy van gelder remastered blue note jazz. this used to be somewhat easier; rvg had its own section in bluenote. it is now redesigned, and more difficult to navigate even when not throwing up after a simple click. how embarrassing for such a legendary label...
Exception Details:
System.FormatException: Input string was not in a correct format.

Source Error:
Line 40: for (int i = 0; i < b1.Items.Rows.Count; i++)
Line 41: {
Line 42 if (Convert.ToInt32(b1.Items.Rows[i]["Width"]) < 433)
b1.Items.Rows[i].Delete();
Line 43: }
Line 44: b1.Items.AcceptChanges();

Source File: e:\inetpub\wwwroot\LabelSites\BlueNote\
bluenote.com\www\CatalogArtistReleases.aspx.cs Line: 42

2.11.2008

prophet and wikipedia

nytimes reports on an attempt to censor a medieval image of prophet muhammad in wikipedia. evidently, no amount of inhumanity or insanity [such as beheadings, suicide bombings] can arouse enough islamic sensitivity to put together a petition [not that petitions would ever work against insanity] but a medieval image in wikipedia can. too bad the painter is already dead...

2.05.2008

quote of the day

So in light of the issue’s new prominence and with a desire to improve the mental hygiene of others, I would just like to say that Intelligent Design is a really, really bad idea -- scientifically, politically, and theologically. I say this as a dedicated conservative, who has on many occasions defended and espoused religion and religious conservatism. I also say it as a professional molecular biologist, who has worked daily (or at least week-daily) for years with biological problems to which the theory of evolution has contributed significant understanding -- and to which Intelligent Design is incapable of contributing any understanding at all. -- mac johnson [intelligent design and other dumb ideas]

late resolutions for 2008

  • touched: i will never buy any new electronic gadget without a reasonable touch interface. thanks to apple, the year of the teeny buttons, plastic styli, undergrad-grade interfaces and poor navigation are gone. [sad observation: palm is still producing things for year 2000. see centro.]
  • right of ownership: i will rip every single cd in my cd library in three different ways: lame mp3, aac, and ogg, and i will encourage and provide assistance to anyone with a cd collection to do the same to their own library.
  • food fight: every package of food that i find in my storeroom that has any form of tropical oil [such as palm oil] regardless of how many "healthy grains" claims it may have, will go in the garbage. companies that produce this crap [such as orville redenbacher] and pretend you are getting something healthy will be boycotted.
  • environmental protection: i will do everything within my power as a canadian citizen to keep majority [preferably even a minority] government from the reach of harper and his drooling toadies.
  • squeezed: i will write ten thousand lines of python. a portion of that will be rewriting others' java, perl and ruby code.
  • overbooked: i will finally clean up my library, and get rid of anything i have not looked at in the last five years. [this is going to be very difficult. what am i to do with my copy of weissmann's lisp 1.5?]
  • wikiful: i will contribute to at least ten wikipedia entries. [i had also once promised that i would contribute 100 images to wikimedia; i am still working on that one...]
  • fox hunt: i will remove every copy of firefox, iceweasel and any other related animal from all my systems. i am sick and tired of of this bloated, resource gobbling piece of cyberblob eating up my systems.
  • martial way: i will finally learn aikido. [i am minutes away from aikido yoshinkai canada where kimeda sensei teaches.]
  • imagenation: i will make 2000 good [keeper] images, and display ten of them at a nearby starbucks. [see photographic goals]

1.25.2008

recently noted quotes

to clarify, add detail. -- edward tufte [iphone resolution]

archer: you're sure there is nothing down there?
t'pol: yes captain.
archer: not even a microbe! i don't want to blow up something that can evolve into a sentient species in a couple billion years. -- [star trek enterprise]

as usual with arguments about the invisible hand of the market, it is a load of rubbish. -- mark c. chu-carroll [insurance: why it sucks]

I have an unreasoning prejudice against phones that I can't run a Python interpreter and a word processor on. -- charlie stross [marketing musings]

don't you know? a dead martyr's worth ten posturing leaders. -- kyril finn [star trek next generation]

streamlined madness is what i've come to expect from sun. -- anonymous coward [slashdot story on Sun buying MySql]

Ideational Clearance Sale! Going out of our minds, all concepts must go! -- http://gnosis.cx

we live the life of mollusks! -- anonymous mom

if my mom was a role model, she would be famous. -- connor yigit [my five-year-old nephew]

1.21.2008

apple and dtrace: move along, nothing to see here

adam leventhal discovered that apple broke dtrace while trying to prevent some applications from being traced.
The notion of true systemic tracing was a bit too egalitarian for their classist sensibilities so they added this glob of lard into dtrace_probe() -- the heart of DTrace:
#if defined(__APPLE__)
/*
* If the thread on which this probe has fired belongs to a process marked P_LNOATTACH
* then this enabling is not permitted to observe it. Move along, nothing to see here.
*/
if (ISSET(current_proc()->p_lflag, P_LNOATTACH)) {
continue;
}
#endif /* __APPLE__ */
[i was tempted to say but at least they have dtrace, while linux developers are still scratching their heads and armpits but i won't. i just realized that they are now even at being differently clued.]

[update: landon fuller's fix]

daily yawn

perl6 and parrot
released, i hear
oh, like
wow.
welcome to 2001
without
the onion.

daily rotfl

here is john dvorak, pissing on sun, again. [i find it disappointing to be in an industry that encourages its practitioners to wear the "engineer" label also continues to encourage employment for drooling "analysts" whose fame and typing skill far exceed their ability to assemble a coherent and thoughtful analysis.]
I'm close to being convinced that Oracle wanted to buy MySQL to kill the product, but knew it couldn't pull off the stunt itself. So it sent in a stooge to do the job.

1.10.2008

nicely put, but...

stephen metcalf tries to rescue slate, but too late, me thinks...
The crux of Saletan's pieces was his Liberal Creationist analogy. The analogy is hopeless along several competing dimensions, but it reminded me of the Dilettante's First Law of Empirical Narcissism. In a moment of controversy, the temptation to proclaim yourself an avatar of truth, and your opponent a faith-based inquisitor, is natural enough. But Darwin is Darwin thanks to generations of independent corroboration. By definition, generations of independent corroboration do not stand behind a thesis that is still being hotly contested. In claiming Darwin (or Copernicus or Galileo) for his cause, a person is often by implication saying: There would be consensus here, but for you damned critics! This is an odd definition of consensus. Conversely, when one's angry reaction to an idea is being adduced as evidence in its favor, one should ask: What does my anger have to do with the truth-content of your idea? If you told me there was a genetic basis to Jewish avarice, I would be angry. So what? What does my anger have to do with your crappy research?

1.07.2008

broken social

i just deleted my opensocial account. [why? i do not have the time] first attempt spinned for an hour, though i was warned that "this will take a few minutes." second attempt did what it was supposed to do after a shorter spin. so we know that the deletion sort-of works on opensocial.