The rants of a dead man.

Lots of people have blogs. I'm not a big fan of them, I think there's already too much noise in the information producing world. But publishing is free, and I archive these things anyway for my own personal record, it's just as easy to make it publicly available. These are my rants to people, just my opinion, spelling mistakes and all. And please note the lack of a 'post reply' button at the bottom of the page.

Date: Friday, July 08, 2005 12:12 PM
Subject: Here's something that just occured to me.

 (this started from a discussion about london yesterday)

 Lobby> Enter message
   Jul 8 2005 12:05pm from Ford II
    Here's a thiought for you.

    Who says they are terrorists?
    Does osama come on TV and say "HI! I'm osama the terrorist."
    No, he doesn't.
    The TV people and the politicials say they're terrorists and say
 their goal is to cause people fear and shit.
    Did anybody ask the perpertrators?
    Maybe it's the people being scared that have decided that since
 they're scared that must be the motivation.
    Maybe I'm being a little small minded here, but it does seem to me
 that everybody's just taken the tack that they're here to terrorize and
 they came up with the word terrorist to name these people who are
 here to scare everybody.
    Maybe they just like to kill people.
    Maybe they believe that killing people for allah is a good thing.
    This is not terrism, this is religious war. Very different thing.
    Maybe the problem is that we're waging a war on terror and there is
 no war on terror.
    George bush spouts on about terrorists because that's what the media
 and everybody has come to
 assocaite with a bombing that doesn't have a ransome note, but while I'm
 not saying I've talked to any
 of these people, Ihaven't exactly heard them say, we're here to scare you.
    They've said get the heathens out of my country.
    They've said "I want a return to the good old days when we ran
 everything." (which may or may not be
 true, but that's what they believe.)
    But is it possible that the war on terror is a concontion of the
 western world?

Date: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 4:05 PM
Subject: Re: somehow this seems your speed

    Thought for the day...
    Apparently on google earth (somebody showed me the page) they've got a whole setup 
for dealign with the effects of katerina or whatever that stom's name was.
    It says nasa, fema and google have all expended lots of energy to get you the 
latest satellite images of the effects of katerina, that you can import and overlay 
on the old maps that google earth would show. yada yada yada.
    Now, you could argue that this is all interesting and scientific and there's lots 
of valuable geology going on  not geology, that word for the weather people. 
You know what I mean. Anyway, you could argue that, but what's realy going on is....
"many scores of millions of people lead lives of such anaesthetizing boredom, 
emotional aridity and felt insignificance that they relish any opportunity for 
vicarious involvement in large events"
    or in other words sensationalism. Yeah, this is going to get a lot of eyeballs 
because everybody wants to see mass destruction and carnage. Why not just rent 
faces of death and stop faking yourself into thinking your a good person.
    How about the tsnuami. Sure there were movies floating about but the 
wave just sorta flowed in. No major SMASH. And there wasn't a big city, 
just a beach village.
    Funny, you don't hear anything about that now, but I expect the 
mess isn't all gone....

The response from my friend.
Date: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 4:37 PM
Subject: Re: somehow this seems your speed

What you say about sensationalism is right.  However, it's one of those facts that sound 
bad but aren't, necessarily.  Like "tax cuts benefit the wealthy."  Yeah, well, the 
wealthy pay most of the taxes, so?

Most people lead dull lives and are glad they do -- who wants to live in Iraq or 
Nazi Germany or an emergency room?  Most people have nice dull wives and husbands, 
and again this is for the best -- who wants to live in a state of perpetual jealousy 
or shame because they married Madonna or whoever's the current sex symbol?  
But folks do get bored, and therefore appreciate a little vicarious thrill from time 
to time.  Some get it at church, some join the volunteer fire department, but most are 
content to read poetry or novels or watch movies or TV, which they can turn off if 
it gets too scary.

It's a fiction beloved of reformers, for example the various brands of Socialists 
and Communists and Fascists and Taliban, that if they could just control what 
people have access to -- for example, what's on TV and what books are sold -- then 
the people, deprived of their trivial vicarious thrills, will shape up and lead 
more meaningful (whatever that means) lives, with gobs of emotional involvement 
and community responsibility and self-realization.  They'll start writing poetry 
and wearing black turtlenecks and sitting around listening to Gregorian chants.  
They'll love all others regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation 
or national origin.

This has never happened.

Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 08:40:34 -0400
Subject: thought for the day:
I'm sure you've told me this in the past and I'm just repeating to you what you've said to me, but here's my original thought for the day... I'm reading the economist (where oddly enough I get most of my ideas lately) and there's an article about how 95 or 50% of all medical papers are junk, or wrong. Then I read an article about the weather people (meteorologist! that's the word I was looking for the other day) being wrong about global warming because it seems the data they've been calculating against is wrong due to technical oversights on the parts of the data gatherers. What this got me thinking about was the fact that humans on the whole must be pretty dumb. We'll never be able to understand where we come from, how consciousness works or any of that. While we can work out that if the water level goes higher than the levee, the city will flood (although apparently it took a LOT of people to work that out and they didn't do anything about it) anything more complicated is beyond us. Like realizing that the better equipment for measuring air temp requires less mathametical correction, so if you don't correct your correction, all your data will be wrong. Anyway, I liken it to a retarted kid. We keep thinking that as we advance and make more complicated math we'll keep getting smarter. I don't see it. The retarted kid has some maximum capacity. And so do all the other humans, and it's pretty low if it takes a bunch of smart people to notice errors in the techniques of people who are simply taking the air temperature. They should just give up now.

Date: Sep 27 2005 4:16pm 
Subject: thought for the day:

Sep 27 2005 4:16pm from Ford II I just noticed something amazing, and I guess what's amaizng is how long it took me to notice it. XML has failed. I've been saying this for a long long time in one form or another, but my reasons were only adequate enough for me to justify to myself, but now I think I've got a really good reason. So here I am at work, where a power that be, designed our latest system to function largely driven by xml. Not what I wanted, but nobody asked me. Of course, my usual beef, that it's generated by one program and send to another program where it is parsed without a human ever seeing it, makes it a terribly complicated bandwidth abusive noisy waste of communcation to send a relativly small bit of data. For example, why the FUCK do you have to label an end tag? <field 1><nested field 2></nestedfield2></field 1> Wouldn't this be sooooooooooo much simpler? <field 1><nested field 2></></> The only purpose naming an end tag serves is to have something else for the parser to parse. It doesn't buy anybody anything. I don't often complain about it, because I think they entire design of XML is flawed, so why bother nitpicking. BUT. Today, I, The Human had to go debug a problem with this system which had xml in it. All of it. And it has a log file, and it logs the xml. And I pull it up in vi, or joe or whatever, and you know what? It's incredibly unreadable. The whole point of xml is that I , the human, be able to read it, but here I am, the human, trying to read it, and I can't. There's so much tag, and so little data, that it's very difficult to find out just the bits of information I want to know. So... you say, use a real xml viewer. Well, my aix box, doesn't have an xml viewer. Nor does my sun box. Which is where this system runs. So, I have to copy the bits of log file I need to a linux or windows machine where I can pull it up in firefox or IE so I can look at it. And that's of course, after manually stripping out all the log line header information. This is the promise of XML? Please. XML has failed.
Date: Oct 6 2005 10:40am
Subject: thought for the day:

Balancing the budget *would* be a big deal. A balanced budget amendment plus a flat tax would be enough to build an entire platform on. Lobby> Enter message Oct 6 2005 10:46am from Ford II I used to be all for that, but I really wonder sometimes if that would allow our economy to be viable. What would be the fallout of not owing any money? We wouldn't have any treasury bonds from the fed. So rich countries (like those who are now funding all of W's spending) would need to put their money somewhere. They might put it in U.S. companies (but if they were going to do that, why aren't they doing it now?) so more likely, they'd be taking their money and supporting other governements. Like maybe some of those who we consider our enemies. Now I admit, most people probably realize that we piss away and squander money lent to the govt, but as bad as it is, it is far less corrupt than all the african/middle east/smaller asian countries. So... what would the other rich countries do with their money if they weren't investing it in the U.S. I'd try and figure that out before I bought into a balanced budget. If we have their money, then they can't be spending it on other (possibly worse) things.
Date: Oct 25 2005 11:48pm
Subject: thought for the day:

Oct 25 2005 11:48pm from Ford II oh, today's rant. I'm liking google less and less. It wsasn't long ago that I figured out that google got famous by taking a whole lotta stuff that people were giving away for free (web content) and organizing it. That was their genius, hands down, they won. I'm just amazed it took me so long to realize that. Now here's the problem, they went public, got rich told everybody they weren't evil, and decided that they now have the mandate to take WHATEVER THEY WANT and organize it. Even if it's not theirs. Now the point here isn't to start a fight about intelectual property, but given the way things are now (right or wrong) they are being evil. Didn't take long, did it. I'm referring to the library of works they are scanning, some of which are still help under copyright and they have no right to take ownership use of it under fair use blah blah. They're a company, like any other they exist tomake money. Being a publicly held comany, they exist to make money for their shareholders. And old adage goes something like, if a company were to sit down on a therapists chair they would be diagnosed as insane. I'm not sure insane people can go around saying 'don't be evil' and mean it.
Date: 10/28/05
Subject: thought for the day:

Google isn't written in java.
Date: 12/23/05
Subject: thought for the day:

Actually, I had two thoughts today. One is a sad commentary on our society, and the other is actually a pretty cool idea. Firstly, you know that federal project that cost lots of money and was going to unify all patient health information so that doctors from all over the country could look up anything about a patient's history so as to better treat them. Well, it failed because the govt is filled with bureaucracy and layers and rules and it was too much for the good guys at the bottom who were just trying to make it work. For some reason I was thinking about that last night (mostly because I've been laid up for a week doing nothing and have been inspired to do something, ANYTHING) and I realized, if you get rid of the bureaucracy and the layers and the rules, and you got the right 10 guys together, they could do it in 3 months. Soup to nuts. I bet it could be done, I mean I KNOW it can be done it is certainly technically possible, it's probably not even as hard as google but from scratch I bet it could be built by 10 real heavy hitters in three months, and you'd save so much time, effort, money, and sick people. But that isn't possible. Too much process. Too much bureaucracy.
Date: 12/23/05
Subject: Second thought for the day:

This one's cool. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that others have likely had this idea, and probably already somebody's working on it. I was sitting at the table last night looking at the pile of reminders newsweek has been sending me asking me to renew. And I think I'm not going to. There just isn't enough time, or rather, it's just not important enough to me. You can always make time if it's important enough. But I have other magazines I always read, and I have this problem where if I read something I have to read the whole thing. I have no ability to discriminate about what I should and should not bother reading. So in my head I had this little daydream: Newsweek: "why don't you want to renew with us?" me: "There just isn't enough time to read your magazine, there's too much stuff." Newsweek: "well, what would you like different?" me: "well, less ads, and less fareed zakaria." Newsweek: "ok." Well, that last bit startled me (especially since that conversation was going on in my head) Ok? They're going to change the magazine for me? Nahhh... But then I got to thinking why not. They've got on-demand book publishing, how much more of a stretch is it to dynamically build a magazine based on user selections? A completely customizable magazine. Of course you're going to say "they do it on the web all the time." Sure, but I dunno about you, but the web is annoying. Flashing animated ads, the text broken up all the time, and I have to stare at a lightbulb. I like paper. I'm a dying breed, and perhaps when the generation behind me grows up they won't want much paper because they wouldn't have grown up with it, but I like paper. Always will. So how far off is it? You use a paper form, or go to the web and design your newsweek magazine. You pick the types of news and columnists you want to read from. And of course the advertisers would love it because now they can start targeting ads specifically to you, especially since each subscriber's magazine is printed on demand just for them. It will happen, it's just a matter of who will do it first, and how long there market will last because all the people who like paper die out.
Date: Jan 26 2006 12:07pm 
Subject: thought for the day:

I like curves. I always think of things in terms of curves, especially trends. Here's a trend Inoticed the other day... A long time ago (well, okay a long time in internet years) napster was the big shit. All of a sudden there was a realtivly easy way to pirate music, and a small decent file format to store them in. You just needed a computer, 56K modem and a program called napster. the piracy curve shot up. then the riaa sent in their lawyers and started suing napster, and others like it, and eventually moms and dads. probably when they killed napster, is somewhere near the peak of the curve, and as more and more people stopped running it and other gnutella like software the curve dropped. itunes has made it reasonable to buy music, so people that weren't 100% guilt free about piracy would start buying and stop pirating. we're not at the bottom of the curve, but I expect we're close to it. There are now lots of websites where pirates go to download free music from up and coming bands that haven't made a deal with riaa yet, so I can legally get music I like and still not have to pay the riaa anything. There is still plenty of piracy, but not like it was, it will never hit zero, but the curve is flatteneing out. Phase 2: movies. I figure right about now we are approaching the peak of the dvd piracy craze. They've already made the software illegal, but it's out on the net and you can get it for free. The cost of a dual layer dvd burner is $50 whic his probably it's lowest or near it's lowset price point. The cost of a blank 2 layer dvd is $2.00, and I Expect it will go down to maybe half that, maybe 1/4, but it is near bottom, but not there yet. The cost of getting something at blockbuster is $5, the cost of keeping your own copy will be an hour of your time and 25 cents. You'll never have to rent a movie twice. or you can go to your local library and get something from a big selection for free and copy it. This is all possible because the software exists and the medium is cheap enough for everybody to do it. Soon all those that are going to will pick up on this trend and we will be at the peak of the curve. The only difference between this and music is that there's no non-hollywood private movie making groups gicving their movies away for free on the internet. ahhh, but there is, they just don't make 2 hour lord of the rings style movies. Expect this to be a growing trend as movie making equipment becomes more reasonable, the processing power is almost already there. Phase 3: HD The way they're gonig to fix the phase 2 problem (fix as in make it difficult/more illegal to do) will be blu-ray and that other format that I can't rmember the name of. High def movies won't fit on one 8 gig dvd. I expect that some people will burn high def movies on to two dvds, but the problem is ripping the blu ray disc. The protection scheme I'm sure is more difficult to crack, and the riaa is going to be looking out for the kid that eventually figures it out, and they're going to blow away the city he lives in before anybody knows what he's done. Well, they'll try anyway. But people will start ripping the high def signal from their player and burning that and pirating that on the net. I'm not sure what that curve is going to look like. Just something to think about.
Date:  Jan 27 2006 3:28pm
Subject: thought for the day:

From a discussion of aspect oriented programming.... Let's try this: programming isn't simple, and will never be. A car will never be simple. It is just not going to happen. Any problem you try to solve of space time or complexity will be replaced with a solution that requires, more space, more time and more complexity. Some of the people who try and solve these problems know this (but sadly some don't). You're trading one problem for another. But more importantly, you're satisfying your ego by doing something new or cool, and most importantly, some of these solutions will end up as products that will make you or your company money.
Date: 2/27/06.
Subject: thought for the day:

Actually I've got 4 rants here that I had the idea for months, even years ago, but only recently, while on a plane from florida did I find the time to write them up. But they're listed in chronological order of when I post them here, so here's number 1. It seems to me that there are two ways to solve the middle east problem whatever you perceive that problem to be. Both are based on the same concept. One is to get away from oil dependancy. Start heavy expensive research into alternative fuel sources so we rely less on middle east or in fact anybody's oil. The second is to get rid of all the oil. And the quickest way to do that, is use more oil, faster. The faster you use it up the quicker it goes away. It wouldn't be pretty but it would work. The middle east is largely a desert. Humans have proven many times that you can make anything work if you throw enough resources at it. Las vegas comes to mind. Anyway the car consumes gas the gas that comes from oil in the middle east. You spend money on gas and it goes to keeping the middle east in resources and terrorist money. Use up the oil and it will all just go away. I have a third option tht nobody likes but I'll post it here for completeness: Move everybody in Israel to Wisconsin (they're used to moving a lot anyway, (elat? :-)) and turn the whole thing into a big piece of glass. This will also have the side benfit of removing any question that China's economy might someday become a threat to ours.
Date: 2/27/06, again this idea is years old...
Subject: thought for the day:

Here's a counter to my above idea about using up all the oil. An eight ounce glass of water contains enough energy to power a city for a year. Or something like that. I saw that in a commercial a long time ago. I forget the details but it was a lot of power. The idea is that if you can break up an atom you get a whole lot of power and one less atom. To date nobodys worked out cold fusion and that's probably a good thing and here's why. Very few people in this world are dedicated to doing things the right way. Some of you won't understand what I'm saying here because I'm not very good at explaining things I think, and because some people just don't get it. Anyway I see it all the time. You could build a better mousetrap or you can build a cheaper one that works most of the time. You could build better software but you have to beat your competitor to market. And of course if you skimp you save money. You could build a german car or you can build an american one... Here's where I'm going with this: If cold fusion were possible at all it would very quickly (even in internet lifetimes) become very cheap. Because you'd have an endless supply of eight ounce glasses of water. The ocean. Pick one, we have a bunch. People would never think twice about trying to conserve energy becuase it's better than free. And where the problem really starts is when engineers start building things that run on free power. They're not going to be efficient, they're going to waste a lot of power because it's free. And these things are going to generate a lot of heat. Everything is going to generate a lot of heat. People are going to all move up to Canada because land is cheap and you can melt the ice on your driveway with the ice on your driveway. You can imagaine the mess this will make. If you can't, think global warming that puts aerosol cans to shame. Makes the ozone layer look like saran wrap. So keep trying to conserve oil because we don't want it to run out or somebody might make cold fusion work.
Date: 2/27/06 This one is probably about a year or two old.
Subject: thought for the day: Quantum computers. 

I had two ideas about quantum computers here's the first one. Its a short story. You can tell by the way I write I wouldn't make a very good short story writer. So instead of writing a story I'll give you the plot and somebody with goodly writing skills can turn it into a story that gets turned into a major motion picture or book or some other form of media and give me a humble ten percent take. The story is this: There's this genius hacker kid who either figures out or gets his hands on military designed quantum AI. Real AI. Never made public but this kid found out about it and got his hands on it. Puts the thing together. Hooks it up to the orb (what the internet turns into, let's say) in read only mode so it can learn and turns it on. After a nanosecond it shuts off. He turns it on again. Same thing. So he relizes he's going to have to debug it the hard way and spends weeks building a quantum analyzer. And then months tracing through the birth of a conscious entity. He watches it learn language and human history yada yada yada and what it comes down to is the machine quickly figured out the futuility of life and kills itself. Of course you'd have to dramatize more but that's the basic idea. Cute, eh?
Date: 2/27/06. About the same time as the one above.
Subject: thought for the day: Quantum computers.

I had two ideas about quantum computers here's the second one. People suck. Most programmers do too. As I mentioned in a previous rant given the option of doing things the right/better way or the cheap quick way most people will go for cheap. If money is on the line they'll take cheap every time. Watch for google to decay as their competition starts to do what they do... Oh that's a different rant. More on that some other time. Quantum computers. I don't think we'll see it in my lifetime but you never know. If they ever do manage it however here's what I think will happen: As with palmos (one of the last bastions of good in this world) the first quantum programmers will be working with something completely new. They will not have years of cruft to lomp on it right way so they will write good tools. Maybe the equivalent of assembly as we knew it in the 80's. But the way I understand quantum computers the processing is completely instantaneous. So you say, how can microsoft mess that up? Here's how. In the very beginning the engineers will hand craft their 'programs' that will instantaneously collapse to an answer. As they get it working well they'll see the need for a tool kit to build these programs. So they'll start making libraries and programs that can link these libraries together and then press play, and get an instaneous answer. And then some open source guy will say.... "GCC!" And that will be the beginning of the end of that. Perhaps somebody will write a x86 emulator or perhaps somebody will write the java collapser or whatever the language or technology du jour is at that time. But whatever it is, somebody is going to find a way to mush all the old crap, sorry CRAP into this beautiful clean environment. Of course there will be the Gibson Club, the remnants of the company Gibson Research that, as far as I know, is the last bastion of goodness in the programming world today. But other than them it's downhill all the way. So you'll have visual quantum for in which you'll write programs in something far worse than java. And they'll run just as slow if not slower than now, because while the resulting application will run instantanously the work to build the 15 petabyte program will take forever to assemble and link and write to flash. Google will mess it up in a slightly less worse way than microsoft or oracle will.
Date: 2/23/06
Subject: thought for the day:

I had this idea while I was on the plane writing down all my other ideas. Here's an idea who's time has probably come but certainly has not gone. Temps and busses. Here's a joke that probaably doesn't explain it well: Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was stapled to the dead baby. Why did the dead baby cross the road? Because it was shot out of a cannon. Why did the cannon cross the road? Because somebody threw a bus at it. There have been many times in my life when I've seen problems solved by brute force throwing resources at it. The two most common I've seen are when you need a lot of relativly simple but manual labor accomplished. The other is when you need to transport a lot of people or stuff. For the first you hire temps for the second you hire busses. Nowadays companies are trying their damndest to get rid of the people partly because they're expensive. They try and automate everything. IVRs annoy everybody. Spam is an electronic door to door salesman. There's no question that automation is good for productivity and progress (in the walt spare-no-expense disney sense) but it doesn't solve every problem. Temps and busses don't solve every problem either but they do solve problems that automation cannot. Not everything is information (well at least not at a high level) and not everything can be processed by a computer. I haven't thought of an application yet but I bet there's a lot of money to be made by having temps build create decide observe in a way that no computer will be able to for a very long time. You sell that service, hire lots of temps and busses to pull it off, and you've got a great business model. Oh wait... that's called outsourcing.
Date: Jul 5 2006 9:51am from Ford II
Subject: Thought for the day:

Bill gates has already beaten google. While microsoft is working hard to play catch up with google, google is out making the world a better place by making all content ever created by man easily searchable. There is a rumor that warren buffet set a restriction on his gift to the gates foundation that he would only give them the money if bill quit his day job at microsoft. The rumor sprouts from the observation that warren buffet gave bill his money just after he announced that he was quitting. So then we've got bill and warren who collectivly have a larger charity foundation than anybody else in the world. Dwarfing anything rockefeller ever did. The gates foundation is trying to make the world a better place by educating and offering health care to poor kids in africa who would otherwise likely die. Google is making the world a better place by making information and knowledge searchable to those who have access to a computer and the internet. Basically they are helping to spread the digital divide, and the gates foundation is helping to narrow it. Who's the better man? I think bill wins this one. Now the counter to that is that bill had a 20-25 year head start, we'll see what google does with all their money in 20 years and maybe it will be a better thing. Who knows they may even team up with the gateses. But for now it seems pretty obvious to me. And the last part of the though, I think I've mentioned this before. Sir bill has done lots of mean things to the industry we all participate in, and have suffered one way or another or at some time as a result. But if the benifet to the world as a result of the doings of the gates foundation out weighs the bad (and remenber folks, windows is annoying but we have antibiotics available at a whim) that microsoft has done, maybe it was all worth it?
Date: Jul 27 2006 11:41am from Ford II
Subject: thought for the day:

atheism is like volleyball. Seriously. I run a volleyball game. I run a game based on a somewhat loose set of generally accepted rules. every once in a while we get a new person who stands agape at some flagrant abuse of what they personally consider 'the rules.' They call bullshit on the play, and I explain why the play is okay. And the next day they send me an email with a link to a set of volleyball rules that specifically backs up what they believe and shows how I'm wrong. Over the years I've been pointed to many of these web pages, and what's funny about it is that they disagree with each other. There's international french rules which are different from u.s. beach rules, which are different from some national indoor league rules (there are some that even have rules about how to play on a basketball court because so many games are played on bball courts) and so on. They're all valid 'rules'. But who is to decide which one is right? The point is that everybody has their own belief of what the rules are and are happy to tell me I don't play by their rules, and I remind them that they're playing in my game by my rules and they're welcome to leave if they don't like it. And every once in a while I find myself in a similar debate about atheism vs. agnosticism. As it turns out lots of people have different views on what these terms mean, so unless you know you agree with the definitions of the person you're talking with, very likely you're going to be branded something you're not. However reminding them that this is my conversation and they're welcome to leave doesn't work as well it does in a volleyball game.
Date: 8/23/06 
Subject: thought for the day:

Remember in robocop, the director portrayed this not- too-distant-future time where life was cheap and everywhere was inundated by advertising? I'm thinking they weren't so far off the mark. At least with the advertising. While I'm sure it's been obvious to a lot of people that advertising is becoming more and more prevalent all the time, my contribution to the idea is that an unfair share of the blame falls upon google. Now I'm sure some of you know I've had it in for google for a while now, and this is just another argument. Consider: they compete with other companies (MS, yahoo, ebay) by giving away services for free and making money by advertising in their product space. And they're very good at it. However, since other business models, where people charge for services, can't compete (except in the high-end market where you're willing to pay for better quality, features not found in the average-joe version) they will slowly die out and leave the rest of us "paying" for all those services by being swamped with ads wherever we go. At least on the net. I figure they'll spread into the real world at some point too. I'm not suggesting don't use google, I do, they have great products, just consider there may come a point where voting with your wallet to get away from ads won't work anymore, and you'll be paying for all this free stuff everybody else gets for free, whether you use it or not.
Date: 3/20/07
Subject: thought for the day:

The best way to achieve rapid development isn't to use the lastest RAD development tool, but to use an old tool that has been burned in, had the bugs fixed and posted solutions to common and uncommon problems.
Date: 10/31/07
Subject: thought for the day:

Haven't had a good rant in a while. Actually I have, I just forget to post them here. Verizon just started offering asymmetric FIOS, so you can upload quickly too. I pointed out to a friend that most people don't really need a lot of upload bandwidth. The response I got was: Mailing 2GB high-resolution photographs of the grandkids to grandma. You'll understand in a couple of years, O Married One. And my response was: ahhh, but nobody lets you mail 2 gig high res photographs.. They should really do something about that. Mail was not designed to send huge blocks of data. That should be apparent by the 2->3 bytes of encoding it does for attachments. Most mail clients don't work all that well (speedily) when you give it lots of huge attachments. A new something should be standardized. And that is The Personal Webserver. Except that all ISPs block port 80. That way nobody has to mail anything, nobody wastes tons of disk space with sent mail copies of pictures they send to their family. And it will alleviate 1/3 of the upload bandwidth problem automatically. But ISPs don't want people to run personal webservers. I wonder why that is.
Date: 11/2/07
Subject: Idea of the day:

One of the problems with the web is that it is so neat and tidy and clean. Every time you go to a page you get a fresh crisp rendering just like every other time you go to the page. What made star wars so cool was that the rebels ships look like they got picked up on clearance from a defense contractor. And I think the web would be cooler if it looked a little like it was used too. For example: I think buttons should show some wear after they've been pressed a lot. I think the "Google Search" button on google's home page should be all smashed beaten up and discolored since it gets pressed so much. I think ads instead of blinking hyper colors should be drab and not blink so quickly if they're old ads. And so on. Who's with me. Let's write an RFC.
Date:  Nov 3 2007 10:26pm from Ford II
Subject: thought for the day:

Coke cans are crap. I've been meaning to whine about this for a while now. I'm not a terribly green person, but I am cheap. Since we go through quite a few cans of soda at my house I make the effort to return the cans, and get my 5 cents. A garbage bag full yields about $7.00. Enough to buy two more cases of soda on sale. Our garbage bag full of empty soda cans consist entirely of diet coke and pepsi 12 ounce cans. And since I'm the one dispensing them into the machine, I notice a pattern after a while. The coke cans get crushed and dented by the machine and the pepsi cans do not. I figure one of a few things: 1) Either the soda in pepsi cans is more corrosive so they need more metal to support the drink. 2) Pepsi is stupid and is paying more for better quality cans than they need to be. 3) Coke is stupid for pissing off their customers by making cans that get dented by the recycling machine so they won't get accepted. Perhaps there are other reasons, but that's what I've come up with so far, based on my personal experience that every single one of my pepsi cans is accepted without issue, and the coke cans constantly need to be unbent and resubmitted.
Subject: thought for the day:

As much as we all hate xml, consider: it's a lot like java. Java is a layer of crap between you and your processor. XML is a layer of crap between you and your data. But disk is so cheap and processors are so fast, that you can just run stuff in a jvm and use the apache library and have it just go, and you just don't think about how much faster it would be if it were compiled native or wasn't so bandwidth intensive. I am in the Peter camp about protocols going to small devices like phones, but also consider this: remember wml? It sucked, but it was small and tight, just what you need for a phone, and what happened? It got junked because wireless is faster, and phones can do a halfway decent job of rendering actual html. So is anybody really going to fight it, even for a phone at this point? Probably not.
Date: 3/27/08
Subject: thought for the day:

Why the back button on browsers is stupid.

  I think the whole web page paradigm for applications is stupid to begin
with, but if you have to do it,
it seems to me supporting the back button is really dumb.

  Because while it may seem that by hitting the back button and seeing
the previous page you're back where
you were a few moments ago, the reality is YOU'RE NOT.

  Undoing is a science unto itself and while there are lots of things
you can undo and lots of things you
can intend to undo, nobody writes weblications with every page being
undoable in mind.

  There was a guy at ibm who once had the balls to say to me "any
transaction can be undone."
  So I asked him "how do you undo 'truncate table', lemme guess,
restore from tape?"

  It would certainly be nice to be able to undo everything. I remember
way back when borland actually wrote
an undo function into their debugger. Now that was a commitment in
software development if ever I saw one.
Those guys were amazing.
  Most people aren't amazing, they aren't paid to be, so nobody
really supports undo, and therefore the
back button doesn't really work as it appears to, and then you end
up with confused users who wonder why
the computer thinks they bought something when in fact they hit buy,
then back, then cancel.

Date: May 22 2008 9:09am from Ford II
Subject: thought for the day:

  When I was in 6th grade, I wasn't using phrases like "social and

  So I'm thinking this kid comes from an upscale family. As in the parents
are both well educated and use $25 words around their kid all the time.
  And google celelbrates this.
  Okay, fair enough, but that got me thinking:
  So this kid can write on her resume that she got on google's home page on
may 22 2008.
  She will have other advantages because she grew up with advantages that
other kids did not.
  The successful kids will keep succeeding and doing better because they
continue to be surrounded and appluaded by people who see them being successful.
  Whereas unfortunate and stupid kids get little or nothing, and they
continue their downward spiral.
  Somehow this doesn't seem social and enlightened to me.

Date: 6/12/08
Subject: thought for the day:

Storing data so it doesn't end up on the future equivalent of an 8 track tape. I read an article the other day where a group of people are trying to come up with some long term standard way of archiving information so that it can be read even if the equipment is gone. I'm not sure I see much of the point. How many times have you lost a hard drive, and didn't have everything backed up, and miraculously, you're still alive. If you want to make data forever-retrievable, store the media along with equipment to read it and print it out and if you wanna get nuts, put a generator and some gas and oil in the cave as well. So you can use the original equipment to render it and you don't have to engineer anything. The equipment is far far cheaper than designing something new that will last a lot longer. And if you're worried about parts breaking, you can store away the blueprints for the equipment as well. Depends on how important the information is to you. Not that hard. What you might want to consider a little more important is the nuclear waste problem. How do you convey to future generations who don't speak english that inside this big honkin box is radioactive waste, don't go near it, it needs another 100,000 years before you can play around with it.
Date: 6/12/08
Subject: thought for the day:

Everybody hates microsoft, they write shitty software and abuse the market and yada yada. The reality is that there's windows, there's linux, there's mac, there's a small splattering of other unix flavors, and that's it. If there wasn't windows dominating the market, then all the others would have more even a share, or perhaps there would be even more competing systems. Imagine being a game company and having to port your game to the apple II, the c64, the c128, the atari 5600, and whatever other machines I'm not thinking of at the moment. Six times the development cost just to get to your market. With windows everybody knows you get the most bang for your buck by writing software for windows. And when you write software for windows, you don't have to run autoconf, or worry about what version of gnuThisThat was installed. You write to the api and it works or it has bugs, and you fix it (or not) and you release it once. From a business perspective that's the way to go. When writing open source where you have no expectation of moneytary gain and you're not in it for the ability to support your livelihood, it makes sense to write for many operating sysetms because it's not costing you any money to do so, just time, and since you're doing it on free time anyway, that doesn't matter either. So perhaps open source will stay with the myriad of systems and the people who want to make money write for windows. Sounds like a happy medium to me.
Date: 9/3/08
Subject: thought for the day:

Traffic. Traffic is interesting. There's so much of it. I had a neat thought last week about how to run a red light legally if you're riding a motorcycle. There is a law somewhere in some states that says you can run a red on a motorcycle if you've waited for a red light for 2 minutes because the sensors haven't noticed you. I've got a better idea. The way I understand it, a pedestrian always has right of way in a crosswalk. At least in New York they do. They can cross against a red light. Not the best idea, but they can. So if you approach a red light on your motorcycle, I don't see any reason why you can't shut off your engine, get off your bike and walk it in the crosswalk just like a bicyclist would. You're just a pedestrian in the crosswalk who happens to be rolling a big hunk of metal next to you. Just an idea.
Date: 9/3/08
Subject: thought for the day:

In that same vein, I had this thought maybe 5-7 years ago. Consider this scenario: You're approaching a traffic light at a reasonable speed, and the light turns from green to yellow. The law says (so I'm told by a cop in the drivers ed class, who might have been wrong) that if any part of your car is in the intersection when the light turns red, you're running the light, and can get a ticket for it. So I thought about that for a while. Going straight is obviously blowing the light. However, there are laws allowing for right on red, But you have to stop first before you get to the intersection. But if the light was yellow, it's still okay to enter. So if you find yourself in the situation where you think the light is going to turn red, hang a hard right and it becomes legal. But what if there's a "no turn on red" sign? Well, there's another law that says if you're making a left, you can enter the intersection before the light turns red, and sit there while the light turns red, you're in the intersection, the oncoming traffic stops, and you can safely and legally make a left turn. The moral of the story is that if you see a cop after you've decided to try and beat the yellow light, your best course of action is to swing a hairy left. Ask 10 cops you'll get 10 different answers.
Date: 9/9/2008
Subject: thought for the day:

I had to rant on this blog: It's nice to see people are starting to get the idea in 2008. I think the rest of us figured out that threads were really neat and a really bad idea while OS/2 was still around. Call me a cynic, but when you fork you can still share open listen sockets, constant data that doesn't get written to, without incurring any extra memory overhead. All threading buys you is lots of time wasted calling lock mutex, usually on resources that will never conflict (let us all take a moment to bow to roguewave). And this is better? Like all things that are considered 'progress' we have taken a mighty step in complexity for the sake of the next big thing. I have a similar rant on OO programming. When was the last time you actually (and I mean really did it, not just talked about or planned on doing it) made use of all that abstraction you over-designed into your application. Except for connecting different databases and one or two other biggies, most of that abstraction is a big waste of time and complexity. Hopefully everybody will wake up to that too sometimes soon.
Subject: thought for the day:

Lemme ask you guys this. It's one thing to have a differnce of opinion, but what I get a lot of from friends are pro obama emails and pro mccain emails and they have websites and articles and all sorts of media trying to sway me with their content. Now you all aren't terribly dumb, you must at least see what I do, that it's all spin. All of it. They twist words, they nitpick on insignifigant details, and they think that pointing out minutae to you makes them a better person than their opponent. We all should know by now that if you're a modern day politician, you're basically a sleazebucket. I know one actual politician personally, and he's just a big old sleazebucket Why does everybody buy into the hype? Even everybody's favorite jon stewart just nitpicks on the nitpicking. Does anybody actually have anything reasonable to say? Ever? Why do intelligent people even discuss any of this trash at all. It's not very becoming.