Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Why can’t Americans drive like Germans?

September 30, 2011 in Rants | Comments (0)

Just spent some time in Germany, and some time on the autobahn. The big thing about the autobahn is not that there is no speed limit, it’s the way that people drive on it. The way that they drive on it is not all that spectacular, except that it is the way that people are supposed to drive on US highways as well: If you’re not passing someone, you move over into the righthand lane.

On the autobahn, if you’re going 90 kph (about 60 mph) in the left lane and someone going 160 kph (about 100 mph) comes up behind you, you’re likely to get creamed, so it’s a good practice to get out of the way. Unfortunately, on American roads, not only are the police in league to slow you down, there is no impetus for anyone to move over, so they just don’t.

I guess here in Florida, back in 2005, they tried to pass legislation to make it illegal to park your happy ass in the left lane and go twenty under the limit, but Governor Bush vetoed SB732 saying that drivers blocking the left lane are “cautious and careful.”

Don’t kid yourself, Mr. Bush. Drivers blocking the left lane are moronic and inconsiderate.

It’s been six years… maybe we should try again?


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

July 15, 2005 in General,Rants | Comments (0)

Apparently SCO knew going in that there was no infringing code in the Linux kernel. What were they thinking?


Why Does Windows Still Suck? Another whimpering Mac user still can’t figure it out

February 3, 2005 in Rants | Comments (2)

I love reading these articles. Because his significant other (or SO as he calls her) had a hard time with a Windows install, he now decries Windows as flawed and unsafe and wonders why all computer users don’t beat a path to Apple’s door, or switch to Linux. He admits to having used Macs for 15 years or so, but doesn’t seem to realize how this has blinded him. He dismisses the argument that the Mac would be the target if the Mac had the market share, claiming that the Mac OS is more secure.

Well, I agree that the Mac OS, and Linux OS, are more secure, but are they secure enough? If Macs were on 90% of desktops this would get tested, there can be no doubt. Until then it’s just conjecture.

Myself, I just don’t know that many people who have had these incredible problems with Windows. The few that have had difficulty tend to go to questionable web sites that exploit IE flaws (one person I know who has serious problems with spyware and such can’t seem to stay away from the porn). My mom runs Windows, and she connects to the internet all the time. Sure, she’s had to remove some spyware here and there, probably from game sites, but she’s never had the same problems this guy describes with his SO’s “creaking VIAO.”

The best part is the pop-up that shows up on his site: Click here to see it. It’s an ad that falsely claims to have found or to be inspecting your machine for spyware. Mister high and mighty can’t resist putting putting popups on his page.

Face it: Mac’s are too expensive and Linux is too hard for most people, plus all the best games are on Windows. Maybe the Mac Mini will make a difference (I’d like to have one), but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m no OS zealot, I don’t care what you run (I run several), but if you can’t make one run right, maybe you have something to do with it.


Just for the record…

January 19, 2005 in Rants | Comments (1)

I have two more angsty, introspective posts in the chute that you’ll see over the next couple of days. Don’t worry. I haven’t made a noose or gone out in the garage and started the car or anything. I haven’t been hoarding sleeping pills for one long, final nap. There are no cinderblocks tied to my legs, and I’m nowhere near a river, or a building or bridge tall enough to leap from and do any real damage, and I don’t own a firearm.

I’ve just been having angsty, introspective thoughts lately, so that’s what’s going in my blog. Get over it.

I’ll post some more PHP code or Photoshops another day.


Where do these strange thoughts come from?

January 7, 2005 in Rants | Comments (0)

I do software development, and sometimes it gets very tedious and very dull. Sometimes it becomes downright boring and my brain revolts against me and refuses to think any more unless I trick it. Sometimes it tries to trick me. Sometimes it decides I should get really sleepy, and it forces me into a theta state between awake and asleep where strange thoughts can slip in that seem real for just a moment, but are obviously ridiculous an instant later.

How does this happen? Why? Maybe it’s just because I stay up too late most nights. I may never know, but good lord it’s unnerving. That’s when it’s time to get up and walk away for a few minutes.

It’s basically just dream material, but I’ve often wondered how the mind comes up with the stuff that it does when it’s in that “in between” state.

I’ve heard some people theorize that, when you sleep (or in this case, when you’re very close to sleep), your mind does some amount of indexing and reorganizing the data it has amassed over time, sort of like the way your operating system may choose to reindex files when it sees that CPU usage is low. If a part of you mind is somewhat conscious (that is to say, your are dreaming), you catch glimpses of this rearrangement, sort of like seeing the movers go by the doorway with dollies loaded up with your possessions. The mind is an association machine and, lacking any context, it creates one, inventing something that seems plausible to the dreamer, but is obviously impossible to the waking.

So sometimes I stare at my notes, or at my screen, looking for an obscure bug or missing bit of information, and it’s really ponderous, oppressive, and dull, and then some really strange thought or image floats through my head. Did someone just drag a box down the back corridors of my mind, near my visual cortex? Or was I just hearing footsteps in the hall? Strange things, for for a moment they become realistic and plausible – at least plausible enough to make you stop and ask, “What the hell was that all about?”

But maybe it’s just me.


The Command Line In 2004

January 5, 2005 in Rants | Comments (0)

I’ll post this, mainly because I want to make a blog entry today, but I’ll admit that it became too tedious and I did not finish reading it. I need to find the original, unannotated version and read only what Neal Stephenson wrote himself, and not the “enhancements” of the author.

These sorts of annotations should only be written by true technology agnostics, not frustrated Apple users who still have an axe to grind because their superior product is not popular enough. This sort of writing is meaningless unless you can remove the emotion from it.

So, I apologize for not reading the whole thing. I’ll try to find the unabridged version and give it a look sometime.


I hate New Year’s Day

January 1, 2005 in Rants | Comments (0)

Birthdays, too.

Each one causes me to reflect upon the year gone by and what I have achieved, and to look forward to my goals for the upcoming ones.

Each one causes me to realize how little I’ve done that I had intended to, and that the numbers of things that have gone undone has increased rather than diminished.

Each one causes me to think that I can change, that I can be better, that I can do more, accomplish more in the coming year so that I can look back next time, satisfied with my growth and accomplishment.

Each one makes me realize that I truly have not changed one whit, and that I will continue to do the same things I have always done, regardless of my plans, wishes, dreams, thoughts, and good intentions.

It would serve me will to realize this and not punish myself each and every birthday and each and every New Year’s Day, but for some reason I continue to do it every time, without fail. I suppose that it’s good that I’m consistent in one thing, at least.

All the same, I’m happy enough to have a clean slate, happy enough to move forward with a sense of new beginning because the numbers on the calendar have changed, even though nothing else has.

Who knows, maybe this will be the year that I actually do change.


Network Solutions Nasty Popup Tricks

October 19, 2004 in Rants | Comments (0)

I went to Network Solutions to do a WHOIS lookup on a domain name today. I noticed that a popup arrived that AdSubtract failed to capture. After I was done with my lookup, I went to report the page to AdSubtract so that they could add it to their list of filters.

Funny thing was, even though the IE button was on my toolbar, I could not get to the page. I would click the button, and rather than restoring, the button would slide off the task bar. If I used Alt-Tab, I could select the icon, but the page would not show up.

I finally right clicked over the button and chose Maximize. Got a big white page that says: NetworkSolutions Consumer Insight

Notice the url: http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/popexit/popstealth.html. Network Solutions is being pretty sneaky.

When I closed the main browser, a popup window jumped out. Apparently this “stealth” window is used to create a popup, bypassing the usual popup mechanisms. The main window opens it, it hides itself. When the main window closes, it tells the stealth window to do it’s thing, which is to display some ad content (that Adsubtract blissfully hid from me).

I have no respect for Network Solutions, and have not for some time. I occasionally use their services, such as WHOIS, but I do not register domain names through them anymore, nor do I recommend them to anyone else. This is the kind of company that I least want to imitate. I’m going to use someone else’s WHOIS lookup from now on, maybe even stub Network Solutions out of my HOSTS file.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish reporting Network Solutions to AdSubtract’s database.


Good Riddance, Jeanne

September 27, 2004 in Rants | Comments (0)

Hurricane Jeanne is finally out of our hair. After being told for weeks by the weather people that this was one Florida could ignore, Jeanne turned out to be a bigger pain in the ass than Frances ever was. Happily enough, our experience was very similar. We didn’t lose power, and very little damage was done to our home. The storm came in further south of us, so others didn’t fair as well. We are able to sit in comfort and count our many blessings. I only wish that it could have gone so smoothly for others as well.


Frickin’ Hurricanes

September 24, 2004 in General,Rants | Comments (0)

So we’ve sat through Charley, Frances, and Ivan, and now it appears that Jeanne is going to come knocking at our door. We are beginning to make preparations, but we are becoming lackluster. I think everyone is just full of hurricanes at this point and ready to write the whole thing off.

Fascinating in that we as a species are adaptation machines, quickly adapting to new stimuli and adjusting to new environments, allowing us to exist in extremely hostile surroundings. However, rather than adjust to the requirements for hurricane preparedness as a necessity, we tend to adjust toward ignoring it until it goes away. I suppose step one is usually denial, so maybe this is to be expected. There is usually so much time between hurricanes that you never hit step two.

If it was a more frequent occurrence perhaps we would develop a more appropriate response, but in my 3rd year in the Melbourne area, this it the first time that a hurricane has even troubled us. Now, it’s certainly a fluke that we’re getting so many this year, but it also makes it a perfect time to be here… what are the odds that we’ll get 4 hurricanes in 6 weeks again in the future?

So the plywood goes back up tomorrow, and the office gets made ready for power outages, etc., again today, and we wonder if we should have gotten a generator (our lines are all underground, we didn’t experience any outage during Frances). The storm is expected late Saturday, just like Frances. Deju vu, all over again.