Monthly Archives: July 2003

Sharecropper

I have been doing Linux development for about 2.5 years now and I must say that its a very liberating experience.  So when I found this link on slashdot today I could really empathize with the author.  Nobody (with the exception of Adobe and game makers) makes tons of money selling Windows software.  Why?  Because if your application is really that popular, useful, and marketable then Microsoft will simply include it in a future version of Windows.  (i.e.  Netscape, Norton Utilities, Real Player, ICQ/AIM, ACDSee)  Its not hard to make pretty good money but you are always beholden to the Microsoft “owner.”

School Issues

A discussion in the Christian Science Monitor talks about the benefits (in the opinion of the author) of same sex schools.  Recently I have seen several studies that not only point to some value for same sex schools but seem to confirm a long held belief that they most strongly benefit females by providing a safer and less “competitive” environment to learn in.

I actually graduated from a same sex catholic high school and although I did not necessarily enjoy it; it was very easy to see that it was an immensely beneficial environment to some of the students who attended it.  I don’t necessarily believe that it is  the job of public school systems to encourage “separate but equal” based on sex (the opportunity for abuse is simply to great), but I definitely think that such an environment can be very useful for some individual learning capabilities.  The best way to make such an opportunity available to low income students would be to widely implement a vouchers program.  This would give students the opportunity to attend same sex schools, magnet schools, private schools, religious schools, or give parents who choose to home school their children some much needed help.

The opportunities for improving or educational system are too great to ignore the benefits that same sex schools could bring.

US Courts and Foreign Cases

USA Today has a great article talking about the most recent ruling concerning gay sex laws in the US.  The problem that is pointed out is not the fact that gay sexy laws were stuck down (a positive development in my opinion) but that the Supreme Court decided to reference foreign law as a justification for the decision.

This is a problem that strikes at the very heart of the seventy of the US.  I am personally very concerned about the continuing trend of global rule that seems to be becoming more prevalent in the world scene.  History has taught us that diversity creates strength by limiting the amount of influence bad decisions (and for that matter good decisions) have on  a society.

It is therefor important to the US to continue to make decisions that are in  the best interest of the United States (and for France, Germany, China to make the decisions in the best interest of France, Germany, and China) because it will ensure a certain amount of diversity among the countries of the world.

Prison Work

I don’t know who I should attribute this comment but here it goes:

Just in case you ever got the two mixed up, this should make things more clear…

IN PRISON … you spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell.
AT WORK … you spend the majority of your time in a 6X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON … you get three meals a day.
AT WORK .. you only get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it.

IN PRISON … you get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK… you get rewarded for good behavior with more work.

IN PRISON … the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK … you must carry around a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON … you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK … you get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON … you get your own toilet.
AT WORK … you have to share with some idiot who pees on the seat.

IN PRISON … they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK … you can’t even speak to your family.

IN PRISON …spend your life looking through bars, from inside wanting to get out.
AT WORK … you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON … you must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK… they are called managers.

IN PRISON … all expenses are paid by the taxpayers, with no work required.
AT WORK … you get to pay all the expenses to go to work, and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

A little fun for the Monday after the 4th (for those in the U.S.)

Oh hell.. I just found Nethack

(Un?)fortunately I just recently discovered the joys of Nethack.  The original RPG.  Possibly the greatest game of all time.  Actually the version I play is called Nethack Falconseye . Its a OpenGL version that simply translates the ascii to images… thus its 100% identical to Nethack but has pretty graphics (and allows the use of a mouse.) This makes it look a lot like Diablo.

So you ask “why would this be unfortunate?”  An unknown USENET poster answers the question better than I can:

Thank you for the latest release of gradewrecker. My GPA just went in the corner and shot itself.
— USENET posting, author unknown

That just about rexplains it! For a good description of why Nethack rules check out this review in the gamespy hall of fame.  If I don’t post for a couple of days you now know why.

The Majority of Life

In what seems like a serious blow to the pro-choice movement, a recent poll is finding that pro-life women have become the majority in the U.S.  What is most interesting is the group that did the study:

The New York-based center that sponsored the survey is a nonpartisan advocacy group for pro-choice women’s rights. The center’s president, Faye Wattleton, headed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for 14 years.

To be absolutely honest with you I am not entirely surprised.  It was a popular myth during the early 90’s that “abortion is not allowed in the third trimester.”  WIth the recent attention paid to late term abortions (all the way through the ninth month), along with the recent conversion of Norma McCorvey (Roe of Roe v Wade;) women are beginning to realize the ignorance of calling abortion of privacy issue. 

Model M

The greatest keyboards ever created are the IBM model M’s!  This is not an opinion but an absolute fact to almost anyone who calls themselves a computer “hacker”. This article explains why.  I have several and let me tell you.. they are wonderful.  The nice part is that you can still get them at eBay for around 10 bucks!

Freedom for Blogs

Good news for anyone who runs a weblog. Wired is  reporting that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (no jokes please) has ruled that bloggers get protection from libel (did ya know I have a blog) because they are redistributing information for the purpose of discussion; not for profit.  With all of the bad rulings that come out of the Ninth, its nice to see them make an intelligent decision once in a while.

Big Guns

It looks like the US is hard a work developing next-gen weapons.  This article from the guardian talks about next generation global reach weapons including drones and space based weapons.  This kind of important development is the stuff that our military will be doing in the future.  Better defense for our nation.  The best benefit is described in the first paragraph of the article:

Allies to become less important as new generation of weapons enables America to strike anywhere from its own territory

These kind of developments have a tendency to cause uproars from the global community. This is unfortunate as they shouldn’t cause concern for our allies.  Terrorists and countries that support terrorism are something else entirely.