Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A new feature on the blog

I just added this new feature to the blog. It's something that anyone and everyone can have. It's a new service for blogs called batBack. It allows you to vote on articles and a bunch of other really cool stuff. There's a good possibility that this could drastically revolutionize blogging. Well, maybe just make it a bit cooler. I must say I'm not so confident about letting people vote on my rantings but we'll see how it goes.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What's in a name?


How many other words can evoke the kind of reactions that this word can? I'm a middle aged Caucasian male so the only way I can use the word is to couch it in code. "The N word." If I use the actual word it's called a racial epithet and I'm a Praia. People have lost their jobs from using this word, even in correct context. Now, if I was Africa American, I could use this word left and right. Then it becomes a "term of endearment." Others much more eloquent than I have espoused on this topic before so there's likely nothing I can add to it. But it's still something that has been weighing on my mind for quite a while and I'd like to get it out.

I believe that if the world wants this word to be seen as a racial epithet, it must be treated as one, no matter who uses it regardless of the situation. It can not be used by anyone as a term meaning anything but an racial epithet. African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians... Everyone. Anyone at all who uses this word must be treated as one who expressed it as an epithet. There can be no double standard for this word.

Some might wander across this post and immediately classify me as a racist. Most of them would do so after reading only the first word of this post. There's little I can do about that. But hopefully someone with a little common sense will see this and realize the fundamental truth to it all.

A word is just a word. It is we who give them meaning. This word is so charged that we all must give it a single, standard meaning for every context and every usage. If we don't then we lose our ability to give words meaning. How will we be able to communicate then?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

NewsForge | US military is blocking Slashdot and SourceForge.net

NewsForge | US military is blocking Slashdot and SourceForge.net: "I was told recently that Air Force bases in the San Antonio, Texas, area are blocking one or more of our sister OSTG sites, like SourceForge.net, Slashdot.org, or Freshmeat.net. After finding reports via Google of commercial mail services and liberal news sites being blocked by various components of the Department of Defense, I decided to go straight to the horse's mouth for the story. Here's what I learned."

This is a good read. Not for the censorship aspect but because everyone must try and understand what is happening on and what things are shaping the Internet.

I was a Department of the Army Civilian Employee for 20+ years in various countries. I know and understand the reasoning behind much of what the military does and how it goes about doing it. Are there things I would do differently if I were in charge? Sure, of course. But I also think that the way things are done now aren't, by definition, wrong.

The best thing to do is read the article and, if you're lucky enough to have access to anyone in the military, see if you can find out what their instillation regulations and procedures are.

Damien Katz: Signs You're a Crappy Programmer (and don't know it)

Damien Katz: Signs You're a Crappy Programmer (and don't know it): "You know those crappy programmers who don't know they are crappy? You know, they think they're pretty good, they spout off the same catch phrase rhetoric they've heard some guru say and they know lots of rules about the 'correct' way to do things? Yet their own work seems seriously lacking given all the expertise they supposedly have? You don't know any programmers like that? Come one, you know, the guys who are big on dogma but short on understanding. No, doesn't sound familiar?"

This is a good read, even if you don't agree with the examples used. The bottom line for coding is getting the job done in such a way that it can be maintained for years to come. It's that second part that always seems to be a victim of superior "koding skillz"

Friday, May 12, 2006

U.S. dismisses concerns over new Microsoft browser - Yahoo! News

U.S. dismisses concerns over new Microsoft browser - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust authorities on Friday rejected concerns that a search feature in the new version of Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser would give the company an unfair advantage over Google Inc.

The Justice Department said it had investigated and found no basis for concerns that a new search box included in the Internet Explorer 7 browser would give an unfair advantage to Microsoft's MSN search service."

Joke of the day. Microsoft is trying to do what they do best; kill off good technology in favor of making a profit.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Swimming upstream through the mud

Between the medication, lack of sleep, pain and inactivity my brain has turned to mush. The old analogy about your brain being like a muscle and needing exercise is accurate of not true. Even with the last year or so at my last job being very superficial just being around techies and talking the talk helped keep things from atrophying. But it's been one year five-and-a-half months since then. That much time lying on the couch watching ST:DS9 and Law and Order reruns does little to motivate the old synapses. Thus, my brain is so foggy I'm lucky if I can figure out the date.

So what do I go and do? Promise people I can get some web stuff done for them. Oh, it wouldn't be so bad except my main desktop system is still not setup so I'm limping by on my laptop. The laptop is powerful but it doesn't have all those little things that I use without even thinking in order for me to do anything. I've got most everything unpacked except I can't find any of the cords/cables. That's partly because you should never let movers pack up your computers unless you have disconnected and organized everything first. It didn't help that the guy who was packing my stuff was an idiot.

So what am I going to do? I don't know. It's not like I'm getting paid for this or anything but I still hate to let people down. Oh well, life sucks.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Biography for Bolo Yeung

Biography for Bolo Yeung: "Swam from China to Hong Kong to escape Communism."

This is one really cool guy. If you've seen any martial arts movies in the last 30 years then you've seen him. The really wild thing about him is that, as of this writing, he is about two months shy of his 68th birthday. My mum is one month older than him. There is a chance that he will out live me. Just goes to show that if you exercise and eat right (and do some martial arts) you can be literally kicking @$$ till you're 80.

Now I'm off to bed.