Democracy and Liberty

This little analogy, found in a signature on Slashdot, sums it up quite nicely:

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

REAL ID In Its Death Throes?

Oh thank god:

“The ACLU, which opposes the plan on civil liberties grounds, says that the many changes made since the Act was passed [in 2005] nearly ‘negate the original intent of the program.’ ‘DHS is essentially whittling Real ID down to nothing… all in the name of denying Real ID is a failure,’ said ACLU senior legislative counsel Tim Sparapani. ‘Real ID is in its death throes, and any signs of life are just last gasps.'”

I am very glad to hear this. I only hope it’s true.

UPDATE: In case you were living under a rock, here’s all my previous posts on this subject, in case you need to bring yourself up-to-speed.

Microsoft comments on the iPhone

Found in a comment on Slashdot:

‘No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get. In the case of music, Apple got out early. They were the first to really recognize that you couldn’t just think about the device and all the pieces separately. Bravo. Credit that to Steve (Jobs) and Apple. They did a nice job. But it’s not like we’re at the end of the line of innovation that’s going to come in the way people listen to music, watch videos, etc. I’ll bet our ads will be less edgy. But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we’ll get him to own a Zune.’

Translation:

It’s obviously expensive, that’s bad. They will make more money than us… someway I don’t understand. We have a mobile operating system and are fairly successful in pushing it into mobile devices. I’ll leave out how much just our software raises the price of a mobile device… because it’s probably pretty significant $50-$100. We dropped the ball on music and we’re currently dropping the ball on a billion phone sales by making them more expensive without providing the customer with the strange benefits I don’t understand but Steve Jobs thinks is obvious. I’m sure Microsoft will come out ahead here. Oh, and I can’t wait until my uncle squirts Tom Dooley by The Kingston Trio all over me. We’re smart, we chose to target the old people who buy and return a single piece of fruit and are electronically hip and are retiring as opposed to the foolish spending youths of today–why do you think we colored it brown?!

 

Long vs Short

I just love these kind of jokes/funny statements:

It’s always a long day… 86400 doesn’t fit into a short.

In case you don’t get it, “long” is a data type – 86400 is a “long” integer, as opposed to a “short” integer, which can’t hold bigger numbers. If you know you’re only going to be dealing with small numbers, you would use a “short” integer to save memory space in your program. (And 86400 is the number of seconds in a day.)

Ah well, I still think it’s funny. In case you we wondering, I found it here. There are quite a few other funny ones there, if you look around.

Geek Humor

I found this as part of someone’s signature on Slashdot:

Object-oriented kittens have no ->microwave() method, but real world microwave ovens use a procedural model.

I sent it to a friend, who didn’t get it, so I had to write this explanation:

kitten->microwave() is another way of saying kitten.microwave(). In other words, microwave() is a “method” or function that the object “kitten” can perform.

So it’s saying that object-oriented kittens don’t have this capability – you can’t call the “microwave” function of a kitten.

Fortunately, real-world microwave ovens use the procedural model, so you can just write:

microwave(kitten)

I practically burst out laughing when I saw the original signature, and the end of my explanation set me into fits of laughter again. In retrospect, I guess the original joke contained quite a bit of subtlety that only a geek would understand – but I still think it’s funny. Ah, geek humor!