Friday, March 31
Two more lunatics dot their T's and cross their I's for us: Charlie Sheen and Mark Morford.
Wonderfully to-the-point article in the Guardian (of all places):
Pay attention, civilians. Actor Charlie Sheen has been focusing his mind on the official explanation for 9/11. And you know what? Heâ€™s not buying it. â€œIt just didnâ€™t look like any commercial jetliner Iâ€™ve flown on any time in my life,â€ the Hotshots Part Deux star told a US radio station this week, â€œand then when the buildings came down later on that day, I said to my brother â€˜call me insaneâ€™, but did it sorta look like those buildings came down in a controlled demolition?"(via Tim Blair and J. F. Beck.)
Youâ€™re insane. Next.
Why does the label have to say "Whiskey flavoured" when the flavouring used to impart the whiskey flavour is... Whiskey?
Tim Blair and Brian Tiemann have commented on Robert Fisk's remarks suggesting that the collapse of the World Trade Centre was due to a conspiracy.
Well, of course it was, but that's not the conspiracy that Fisk and a small army of other deeply confused individuals are thinking of. No; planes full of jet fuel could not do it; it had to be controlled demolition involving explosive charges
Never mind that this is completely impossible for a thousand reasons, such as, for example, the fact that there weren't any such charges. Logic and fact mean nothing to these people; if you explain all the reasons why explosives could not have been put in place without it becoming open knowledge, they will suggest (this is a real example) that the explosives were mixed in with the concrete when the towers were first built.
What we are dealing with here is people who are blindingly stupid and wilfully ignorant, to the point where they are in effect functionally insane. That is, they are unable to apprehend or deal with the world as it is, and instead attempt to deal with the world as the imagine it to be. I mean, we knew that already; Fisk's conspiracy ramblings are really just a case of running an orange highlighter over a significant paragraph.
Given that Robert Fisk is quite obviously crazy, his broad popularity with the left is yet another indication of the deep and growing separation from reality on that side of the divide. I have no particular insight on what to do about this. Making fun of them seems to offer the best return on one's effort, though it is of course lost on the targets themselves. I'm open to suggestions.
I've got the closing theme for Happy Lesson stuck in my head now.
Thursday, March 30
My regular antihistamines contain dexchlorpheniramine maleate, but these flu capsules* contain just plain chlorpheniramine maleate. There could be leftist amino acids infiltrating my system right now.
This seemed terribly significant at 4 am.
* Actually Cold & Flu + Cough capsules. Two diseases and a symptom all for one low low price!
Speaking of furore in geekland, there was a certain amount of consternation when benchmarks of Intel's new* Conroe processor showed it handily outperforming AMD's top-of-the-line FX-60 for games, traditionally** the Athlon's strong point.
Some people criticised the benchmarks, but they have been redone independently, and while not especially painstaking or comprehensive, they do seem to be showing a real and very significant performance jump.
So how has Intel managed to suddenly leapfrog AMD with what is, basically, a souped-up Pentium Pro?
For some time, both Intel and AMD have supported 128-bit short-vector instructions, performing two 64-bit or four 32-bit floating point operations at once. Except that neither one actually had a 128-bit FPU; both required two passes through a 64-bit unit.
So Intel fixed that, and as a result they are ahead of AMD. For as long as it takes AMD to double the width of their FPU, something that they were already working on anyway.
* New as in not available for another six months.
** Traditionally as in for the past two or three years.
go2url.be have now sent us more trackbacks than we have posts. And we have a lot of posts.
How's that spam thing working out for you, guys? Improved your Google ranking much?
I think I'll crawl into my shell and hibernate until spring.
Hey, there's no codeine in these things! I wuz robbed!
Wednesday, March 29
I hate phone calls. When someone calls me, and it's not someone in my immediate family, it's because they either want me to do something for them or because they want to tell me something that I'd really rather not know.
Well, most of the time.
But when someone calls up and offers you compensation on something that you had written off as a loss years ago - and we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars here - it can really brighten an otherwise poopy day.
It would certainly pay for that Xbox 360.
Nasty little rogue DNA strands have done me in. Posting will be light until I manage to crawl off to the chemist for some medication, after which posting will be light-headed. Assuming they'll sell me the good stuff.
As you've never seen them before.
(You need to scroll down a little to get to the good stuff.)
Tuesday, March 28
It's Python, so it's good, but it's Microsoft, so it's evil. I haven't determined the exact good/evil balance as yet but given that it's a one meg download, you can't go too far wrong.
Update: So, I can embed IronPython in my VB.NET application, which is great. But can I then access SQL databases from IronPython via the Python DB-API? Because then I can do... Uh, something that I would really like to do. I can do ADO.NET calls from IronPython, but that would mean I'd have to either write two versions of all the database queries or write a wrapper myself.
Okay, here's what I'm trying to achieve. Everyone knows I'm developing a blog/forum/wiki/portal/community application called Minx. What I haven't said much about - because I haven't gotten anywhere with it - is a client side application called Miko, which is supposed to let you easily manage your Minx sites. To do this properly, I need to embed parts of the Minx server engine. I hadn't found an easy way to do that previously short of writing the whole thing in Python, and I didn't want to do that because then there are problems with distributing the thing.
But if I can write it in VB and embed IronPython to handle the parts I've stolen from Minx, then I'm half-way there. But the Minx template system has SQL calls right inside it; it was designed to work with pretty much any SQL database but it doesn't have a separate storage API. And IronPython doesn't seem to have any way of using the Python DB-API. Still, writing a layer that translates to ADO.NET calls is probably a better way to spend my time than rewriting the template system in VB. (I'll just bundle it with SQLite for people who don't already have MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird, SQL Server and DB2 installed.)
Great. Now piss off.
There seems to be a certain furore going on over the latest delays in Windowsville. Since, as far as I can tell, every feature planned for Vista has been removed except for the new resource-sucking layer* I'm not sure I really care. Windows XP is a more-or less adequate operating system, as long as you're not trying to develop a flexible server application. Windows in general sucks beyond belief for that; any version of Linux or Unix or even something like VMS blows Windows into the weeds in that scenario.
But for desktop apps, and for developing desktop apps, it's not too sucky. Still sucky, yes, but at a level one can deal with while retaining some shreds of sanity and self-respect.
Except for the virtual memory system, which as far as I can tell has survived unchanged since the release of NT 3.1. Back then you were likely running with 16MB of memory; these days if you're doing anything remotely serious you have at least a gigabyte, even in a notebook. A virtual memory system tuned to work well with 16MB of memory is a festering pile of crap when you have a hundred times that amount.
There are two things that need to be fixed in Windows. One is the networking, which I thought they swiped from BSD, but doesn't act like it. Windows has the most thoroughly screwed up network behaviour of any operating system on the planet. Look, Bill, just go back to BSD and swipe their TCP stack again. Easy enough, surely.
The other thing they need to do is steal /proc/sys/vm/swappiness from the Linux 2.6 kernel, so I can set it to 0. Every time I copy a large file you swap my applications out. Stop it, you morons!
Two little things, guys. Then no-one will care if it takes a decade to push Vista out the door.
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