September 2006

Thursday, 28 September 2006

The Choice: A Longer Life or More Stuff

The Choice: A Longer Life or More Stuff: “Mr. Wagoner’s argument has become the accepted wisdom about the crisis: the solution lies in restraining costs. Yet it’s wrong. Living in a society that spends a lot of money on medical care creates real problems, but it also has something in common with getting old. It’s better than the alternative.”


Monday, 25 September 2006

Baby Einstein vs. Barbie

Baby Einstein vs. Barbie: “A social trend is whatever is happening to a newspaper editor and the editor’s friends”


Friday, 22 September 2006

Army Ends Best Recruit Year Since 1997

Army Ends Best Recruit Year Since 1997: “The Army also has accepted a larger number of recruits whose score on a standardized aptitude test is at the lower end of the acceptable range, and it has granted waivers to permit the enlistment of people with criminal records that otherwise would disqualify them.”


Thursday, 21 September 2006

Microsoft Media Player shreds your rights

Microsoft Media Player shreds your rights: “But it gets worse. If you rip your own CDs, WiMP11 will take your rights away too.”


U.S. secret prisons at odds with democracy: OSCE

U.S. secret prisons at odds with democracy: “He defended an OSCE decision to send an observer mission to U.S. congressional elections in November”


Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Extensive Spying Found At HP

Extensive Spying Found At HP: “The report, prepared by a consulting firm in Needham, Mass., hired to investigate leaks to the media, was sent to four HP executives, including HP’s ethics director. ”


Bush says hunt for bin Laden has not slackened

Bush says hunt for bin Laden has not slackened: “Pressed on why he opposed the idea of sending a large contingent of special forces to Pakistan to hunt bin Laden, Bush said his strategy was to work with Pakistan’s government. ‘First of all, Pakistan is a sovereign nation,’ Bush said. ‘In order for us to send thousands of troops into a sovereign nation, we’ve got to be invited by the government of Pakistan.”


Friday, 15 September 2006

Spamhaus fined $11.7 million; won’t pay a dime

Spamhaus fined $11.7 million; won’t pay a dime: “The ruling does not consider the merits of the case because no defense was mounted, so claiming that the decision 'establishes the validity’ of e360’s approach is more than a bit misleading.”


A Defining Moment for America: The president goes to Capitol Hill to lobby for torture. -

A Defining Moment for America: The president goes to Capitol Hill to lobby for torture. - “Another former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and one more intimately familiar with the war on terrorism, also weighed in this week: ‘The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,’ former general and secretary of state Colin L. Powell wrote to McCain.”


Wednesday, 13 September 2006

NBC Syndicates Video Clips Online

NBC Syndicates Video Clips Online: “We’re going back into the broadcasting business on the Internet”


Monday, 11 September 2006

Iran Is No Nazi Germany - Newsweek International Editions -

Iran Is No Nazi Germany: “To review a bit of history: in 1938, Adolf Hitler launched what became a world war not merely because he was evil but because he was in complete control of the strongest country on the planet. At the time, Germany had the world’s second largest industrial base and its mightiest army. (The American economy was bigger, but in 1938 its army was smaller than that of Finland.) This is not remotely comparable with the situation today.Iran does not even rank among the top 20 economies in the world. The Pentagon’s budget this year is more than double Iran’s total gross domestic product ($181 billion, in official exchange-rate terms).”


Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Bush: Top terror suspects to face tribunals

Bush: Top terror suspects to face tribunals: “The CIA operates secret prisons abroad for holding key suspects in the war on terror, President Bush acknowledged Wednesday.”


The Future of Privacy

The Future of Privacy: “It’ll be sold as a security device, so that no one can attack you without being recorded. When that happens, will not wearing a life recorder be used as evidence that someone is up to no good, just as prosecutors today use the fact that someone left his cell phone at home as evidence that he didn’t want to be tracked?”


Archived Memepool Post: Sep 6, 2006

Tired of figuring out who’s Hot or Not? Try to figure out if this is a Bomb or Not? (Posted to Games)


Tuesday, 5 September 2006

The Reinvention of the Self

The Reinvention of the Self: “If boring environments, stressful noises, and the primate’s particular slot in the dominance hierarchy all shape the architecture of the brain – and Gould’s team has shown that they do – then the playing field isn’t level. Poverty and stress aren’t just an idea: they are an anatomy. Some brains never even have a chance.”


Sunday, 3 September 2006

Enterprise Impasse

Justin Gehtland has more on the whole Ruby/enterprise nonsense: Enterprise Impasse: “Here’s the problem. They aren’t talking about the same thing. It comes down to definitions. The first people are talking about enterprise-class software. The second people are talking about the software that runs the enterprise. And rarely, if ever, are they the same thing.”


The Eleventh Commandment

The Eleventh Commandment: “You are now the proud owner of a six-rack packet delay unit with built-in disk storage (you might as well replace it with a cross-over 10Mbps Ethernet cable).”


CU students punished for time helping with Katrina

CU students punished for time helping with Katrina: “Other deployed students, she said, were not allowed to make up science labs, given failing grades and forced to drop classes. In extreme cases, the bad grades or uncompleted classes meant repayment of financial aid and the loss of GI Bill assistance.”


Friday, 1 September 2006

Joel, David, and You

Things I find counterproductive about language communities:

Joel Spolsky answers some questions about what kind of software to use to develop web apps. In the process he points out that Ruby has some technical weaknesses (speed) as well as some market ones (immaturity). David Heinemeier Hansson – author of Railstakes issue with this, and the Rails community is jumping on the bandwagon to beat up on Spolsky.

I believe they miss the point: Ruby is slow (so was Java – this will be fixed), does have a relatively thin ecosystem (that is growing rapidly), is still mostly the province of the leading edge (the chasm has not been crossed), and is still a risky bet for anyone developing in the corporate world. Java had the same qualities 10 years ago.

DHH’s point that Spolsky is a hypocrite for using an in-house language doesn’t hold water: Spolsky isn’t arguing that you must use Java or C#, he’s arguing that they’re currently the “safe” languages; Ruby has its drawbacks at the moment and is “not a safe choice for at least another year or six”. Spolsky himself isn’t in a place to make the “safe” choice: he’s running a startup and he’s smart enough to use the best tool for the job – even if he has to write it himself. So is DHH (or he’d be programming in J2EE and we wouldn’t have Rails).

Matz doesn’t seem to care.

I like Ruby. I think Rails is on the leading edge of a significant change in how software is developed. But being on the leading edge guarantees that you are not a safe choice for the vast majority of people, and criticizing those who point that out is just silly.