28 February 2008

Tied to the...

Just read an article about the founders of Ruby on Rails. It pretty much touches on things that I've found to be true myself. Yes, they're good coders. Yes they're arrogant. No, they don't play well with others.

Simply put, their vision doesn't work for everyone. You're either in their cult or you're not. And they don't care which, because they're rich and happy enough doing their own thing. More power to them.

22 February 2008

from the dailywtf:
While playing with the Solaris OS and reading through some of the included programs I came across /bin/true. For those not familiar with a *NIX system, this simply does nothing and returns sucessfully. Realizing that this was a shell script and not a binary executable, I decided to see how it was implemented.

bash-2.05$ cat /bin/true
# Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
# All Rights Reserved

# The copyright notice above does not evidence any
# actual or intended publication of such source code.

#ident "@(#)true.sh 1.6 93/01/11 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.4 */

I am not sure which is worse, that this is copyrighted, or that this is version 1.6. It really makes me wonder what the version history looks like.

is he on the ballot?

16 February 2008

i feel i know him

i wasn't aware of other folks who put quotes on the term "architect." until now. and he's canadian(!).

quote of the day-or-so

The problem isn't too much money in politics; it's too much power in government. ... As long as government has the favors to dispense and the power to dispense, people will find ways to get the money to it. It's a fool's errand to try to just limit the money.
Chip Mellor, President and General Counsel, Institute for Justice

13 February 2008

my barrel runeth over

my barrel is already full. and apparently has been, because the run-off hose re-furrowed my furrow that i filled in when i dug up the old run-off system.

12 February 2008

help a guy out (not about rain barrels)

Matthew is looking for a modest amount of help in raising some cash for a good cause. see if you can help.

rain barrel update

it rained today and i have water in my barrel.

due to the popularity of this subject matter, i was thinking of starting a whole blog devoted to my rain barrel.

10 February 2008

rain barrel

given the drought, i wanted a legal way to amass large quantities of water to grow some food in the back yard. the equipment was cheap, should it last long enough to catch a bit of rain.

the hard part of the process was cutting the metal downspout and forcing it into the elbow. that and chasing the barrel around the yard a few times in the high winds.

09 February 2008

damn you kids!

TEENAGERS who refuse to work, attend training or go to school are to be issued with on the spot fines under government proposals. Any who still fail to comply would then be taken to court where they could face further penalties.

do-gooders do bad

an interesting payday lending statistic from the March issue of Reason:
Industry critics charge that the $15 fee that payday lenders charge for a two-week $100 loan is exorbitant, amounting to 391 percent annually if the loan is rolled over for a year, accruing $15 every two weeks. The Community Financial Services Association of America, an industry group, did the math on the rates incurred with other options, and finds that a $100 bounced check garners a $54 fee, which comes out to an annual percentage rate of 1,409 [percent], and a $37 late fee on a $100 credit card balance amounts to an annual percentage rate of 965 percent.
so, should uncle sam kill payday lending to save poor people from cheaper credit? or should he instead force lenders to provide credit to those same folks, even when it may be a bad idea?

04 February 2008

Privacy Board

I'm not talking about something you put up over your windows to keep Big Brother from peeping in. I'm talking about a gubmint body that seems to be in the process of being silently strangled to death.

An oversight body. Whose recommendations and comments are routinely ignored. Whose members resign over the Executive's flagrant disregard of it. And which is currenly staffed by no one. Brilliant.

03 February 2008

when process becomes more important than people

Arnold Kling describes his experience having his father with cancer in a hospital.
[E]verybody did their job, and I got nothing.
For the larger goal of trying to do the best with his remaining life, nobody is in charge and nobody is empowered. Particularly in that big hospital. I'll probably be back there soon, but I don't know what medical decisions would best serve our goals and I don't know how to get the system to work for us.
the same thinking applies in any organization that has lost focus on its core mission. when small technical decisions become the focus of your process, you've lost any chance of remaining innovative, preferring instead a slow-paced, reactive groupthink.