Sunday, August 3, 2008

My New Site -

I'm blogging at now, so head over there.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Amusing Vid (Otaku, maybe?)

These bits of frivolity always get me -- link.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

True Fans will Pay Whatever

Boy, I'm behind on posts. Well, here's a great interview with Trent Reznor in which he disucsses the music industry.

That's the most insulting thing I've heard. I've garnered a core audience that you feel it's OK to rip off? F--- you

Link to Interview

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Here's a pretty amusing short.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Interface Gripe #3 - Do what I say!

I'm not a huge fan of Python. I think it's okay, but every time I use it I find something annoying to gripe about. I've pretty much stopped programming in it in favor of Ruby.

However, every once in a while I need to check the version of Python that's installed on my mac. I do the usual version check -- type python -v in an iTerm window. Of course, the proper option for Python is -V, so instead I get a spewage of verbosity in my terminal, followed by the Python interpreter prompt.

The obvious next step for me is to type "exit" or "quit" (or maybe "bye"). What does Python do in response? This:

>>> exit
'Use Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit.'

Yep, instead of exiting the interpreter, Python feels the need to let me know I didn't issue what it considers to be the proper exit technique. I get Python's pedantic leaning, but do I really need to be trained to exit the interpreter? Just do it, damn it!

I know there could be lots of academic arguments for using an out-of-band signal to terminate the interpreter (namespace pollution, etc.), but I think they're all bunk when you have to put up a page that tells you how to exit. Usability, folks! At least treat the interactive interpreter in a more friendly way. Of course, I can hear the counter-arguments piling up against that (the principle of least surprise). Hey, in the remote cases in which I type "exit" in the interactive interpreter and there happens to be a function named "exit", then just prompt me to find out what I want!

Others have noticed this annoying behavior as well.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What are We Eating?

I'm all for applying science and technology to as many areas of life as we can, but I think we can go too far when we don't really study or consider the possible ramifications of our actions. Combine that with a generally uneducated or lethargic public, and scary things can happen.

Specifically, I think we're going too far when we put butane in our chicken nuggets, as McDonald's is doing. Do we really feel confident that McDonald's has a good grasp of what the chemicals they use can do to us? Or, do they care very much compared to how much they care about food preservation? Oh, and their nuggets are 56% corn.

Watching the food preservation experiements that Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me did was eye-opening. Here's a link to a similar experiment.

I've read Fast Food Nation. Now it may be time to read The Omnivore's Dilemma.

A Good Use for Game Consoles

If you're not too worried about your PS3 overheating, you can consider donating your spare cycles to humanity by running Folding@home. Since the PS3 client has been released, it has topped the list of contributors by TeraFlops, according to this article.

Folding@home is a project that allows researchers to run simulations involving protein folding. The goal is to better understand diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer. By allowing researchers to run specially written code components on their computers via the Folding@home clients, a large number of people can each give a fairly small amount of CPU time to the project to create a large pool of CPU resources in aggregate. Think: distributed supercomputer.

By the way, there are clients for a variety of platforms, including versions that run as your screensaver. [Download Link]