Oh, I got hot sause all over my bazito!

You know what this is? It's a brain sucker. You know what it's doing? Filing its tax return

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent apple pie

The Adventures of Little Ed Brave

Tell airport security your name is McCannister because you can hide anything in a cannister.

You know what? Nobody notices when this changes anyway.

There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and STFU

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole

The black hole draws you inexorably inward. Time slows. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

I'd diddle little umdidlie... if she weren't my half-sister.

Abortion prevents pedophilia. In more ways than one!
Get Firefox!
I wrote a haiku

which I was about to share,

but then I thought, "screw it."
Level 1

Notice to all users of the Holodeck:

There are safety protocols in place that cannot be deactivated without the approval of two commanding officers or the captain to protect users of the Holodeck from potential harm. However, every time the Holodeck is ever used in a nontrivial manner, no matter what the safety protocols say, the Holodeck turns into a deathtrap.

Unless you believe yourself to be adept at constructing a forcefield from your communicator and 19th century Earth tools, or you're at the very least not wearing a red shirt, you are strongly advised not to attempt to use the Holodeck until a designer comes up with a safety protocol that doesn't kill you whenever somebody looks at it funny. Even when you're not on the holodeck. Or in the same quadrant. Or time period.

In fact, if you are wearing a red shirt, Starfleet may not be the job for you


Category: Programming

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New AJAX Drawing

Permalink 08/17/07 at 03:29:02 pm, by Ed, 4 words   English (US)
Categories: Media, Programming

New AJAX image: Image

Permalink 08/13/07 at 01:54:27 pm, by Ed, 592 words   English (US)
Categories: Programming

DRM. Digital Rights Management. The true path to global thermonuclear war.

Or as I like to call it, depending on the day, Digital Restriction of Media, Denial of Real Media, Digital Removal of Music, or Data Rigor Mortis (I'm particularly fond and proud of the last one).

As I look at the bloated content provider industry (read: Hollywood, Record Producers) and their attempts to control "intellectual property" (read: Sensory Input), I become very scared at how successful they have been in convincing the content delivery industry (read: Software and Hardware manufacturers) to do their bidding. I am also amazed at how resilient they are, in spite of every crack that has occurred thus far, making no DRM system truly fool-proof. Yet they continue to try.

I am particularly amazed at this analysis of Windows Vista's DRM system, which lays out the fact that it is impossible to actually watch High Definition content on your Vista PC, and your computer experience is actually much better with XP. While I can neither confirm nor deny the claims this article makes, it truly astounds me that a large, nay, the largest software developer worldwide has focused so singly on this particular task which only harms their customers, and drives up development costs industry-wide without providing extra useful features.

In fact, as the article states, since it is currently impossible to view DRM-encrypted HD content on a Vista PC without major loss of quality, it is entirely possible that the pirated rip-offs (notorious for being low-quality) may end up actually being of higher quality than the original. Other than the brand-addicts and fanboys, I don't see any reason the masses wouldn't start buying the fakes from Hong Kong or Taiwan when they're actually better, cheaper, and easier to play.

That's not the worst of it, either. Oh, no. In the name of digital rights "management", you cannot engage in any fair use copying of the smallest portion of any copyrighted work for the purpose of parody or critical assessment. Legal or not, as soon as NBC upgrades to Vista, SNL is closed for business. And as XP fades out of support (by January 31st 2009), and as the industry makes it more and more impossible to use your PC without Vista, and as Microsoft makes it more and more impossible to use your PC with Vista, the end result is one of three options: Vista will dominate the market (likely, as we have seen with other Windows Operating Systems in the past), Linux will get the break it's had coming for years (less likely), or Apple will suddenly find itself inundated with more money than it knows what to do with as a mass migration of Windows users takes place to OS X Bobcat or whatever large cat is next (unlikely).

So in the future, we can see a DRM-encrusted network of vital systems resetting randomly, installed on most computers for interoperability with other systems that had to be upgraded so that Microsoft would provide support, leading to intelligent military vehicles acting sporadically, either shutting down or, as the case may be as it was during the cold war, shooting of nuclear missiles randomly if ever it happens to lose power, leading to, as I said earlier, global thermonuclear war.

Well, I may have gone over the edge, but not as far as some would have you believe. I can only hope that the emerging signs that DRM is nothing but a Web-2.0-bubble fad are pointing towards the future, and not just a pirate's wet dream.

Permalink 08/08/07 at 09:38:59 am, by Ed, 207 words   English (US)
Categories: Programming

Whilst debugging a problem deep in the bowels of the product I work on, I found something that, had I not read Worse Than Failure every day, would have hurt my head. Not complicated, no. Not remotely. Anybody could understand this. It's not terrible, it's not "who did this should be fired". It's just...

assert(0 == 1);

Anybody can figure that one out. Here, we are making sure that zero equals one. Of course, this could never be true. The assert function exists usually for debugging purposes, to ensure that something is true, and if it isn't, we're in trouble because something went wrong. If it does go wrong, the assert throws a fit and causes the program to close. So in this case, we are simply saying "Make sure that something that is false is true". Probably because we should never reach this section of code, and if we do, we have a problem.

The problem I see with that is, there's a much simpler way to take care of that. Just throw an error. Why bother going through the hoops of writing code that makes poor monkeys' brains hurt when you could achieve the same results with a simple throw new Exception()? Bah, I'll never know.

SysAdmin says...

Permalink 07/28/07 at 01:11:20 am, by Ed, 267 words   English (US)
Categories: Programming

Now in my natural element, it being 1:00 AM, I feel fully in my creative spirit. I will greatly regret anything I write here tomorrow when I read it, because I am probably drunk on that past-tired feeling you get from staying up thirty-six hours when you really do laugh whenever anybody says, "...brick.*"

So I am letting the creative juices flow, or eek out, as it were, since they don't seem to be moving too quickly. But I had the first half of a funny and I wrote it down as the title, and thought that by the time I got here, I would have something to tack on to the end of it to make me laugh. Ooh, I know. Brick.*

SysAdmin says... "brick"? Well, that doesn't make too much sense. But then again, neither does tech support in India when the sysadmin is down the hall. But that's how the system where I work is set up. If your active domain account gets locked out, you can walk down the hall to the sysadmin's desk, and complain, and he will laugh at you and say, "file a support request". Then 10 minutes later, you get a phone call from Hajiim Doddripiniikillabebe, who tells you that you can log in now. Seriously, you have to go through India to get your user account unlocked. It is vaguely reminiscent of the controller for the heater and air conditioner for my old high-school, which is a four-hour drive away from the high-school itself.

Ah, bureaucracy. Solving problems by making them go away. Far, far away. To India.

* - heheheh :)

A little help from my friends... who are me. Because I'm lonely

Permalink 07/25/07 at 10:59:24 am, by Ed, 186 words   English (US)
Categories: Programming

Finally, a pagination function. See up at the top there? Just below the title. Navigation controls! Finally, you can see all my awesomeness in its full glory by paging back and forth between all of my posts. Now you have NO excuse to not be fully read-up on everything I've ever done!

And, for those of you who are as annoyed as I was by the right sidebar's misalignment with the rest of the boxes, you'll be pleased to note that the alignment has been fixed, by adding an additional 7 pixels to the top position. Those of you who are as OCD as me will be annoyed to find out that I implemented the two sidebars in two different ways, so that they are aligned correctly only by chance and by forcing it, rather than using margins and direct positioning on both (like the left bar) or no margins and direct positioning only (like the right bar).

I'm not sure if the previous sentence is complete, and I have recently concluded that I'm dying (eventually) and so should not waste time checking on such trivial things.

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