Monthly Archives: October 2008

Cross your fingers…

My brother and I have a long-held belief that India’s chances for winning any given cricket match greatly decrease once either of us is watching them. This is not what you would call “superstition”, but rather a probabilistic correlation that could almost be considered causation.

In this light, I almost want to avoid watching the election, in the case that my bad-luck-vision has the ability to detract from Obama’s chances. This election has been a unique experience for me — I’ve never been interested enough to watch every debate and follow every twist, let alone genuinely believe in a candidate. Obama brings with him many forms of revolution, and it seems everyone I know is hoping he carries it to the President’s chair.

Thankfully, his chances are looking good. As a result, the Republican efforts in attacking Obama’s reputation have gotten more and more desperate as time goes on. The most recent one I’ve seen is utterly ridiculous to me. They are now accusing Obama of being too closely associated with anti-semitics. It is being suggested that under his rule, Isreal would be no more. I just don’t understand how they can reach this conclusion. Obama’s overt announcements that he will stand by the current Israel-friendly policies are actually one of my only concerns with Obama as president. To see the opposite conclusion made and then used for an attack is just… well… There is a plethora of adjectives I could use here, but at the end of the day, this sort of behaviour is actually more expected than anything.

My biggest problem is that the accusations are almost always without any real evidence behind them. Claims get repeated simply because they were claimed before. The McCain campaign has made at least one positive contribution, though. Thanks to their spokesmen, doctors now have hundreds of hours of video they can use when training interns on candidacy for dementia. Who says they don’t care about education?

Microsoft Windows Rainbow Cloud Pixiehorse Unicorn 7

When Microsoft first introduced what was originally codenamed Longhorn, there was hope that for the first time since Windows 2000 was released, some actual progress would be made on the operating system.

For many years, the Microsoft machine churned away, but made the fatal mistake of being far too ambitious with the proposed new features, ultimately trying to manage too many engineering projects at once. While individual projects may have been developed effectively, the integration process for those components closely resembled the human digestive system (input: a variety of potentially valuable materials, output: always a piece of shit).

Already a year behind schedule, Gates needed a solution fast, and decided to solve the problem the Windows Way™: by pushing the giant Longhorn reset button. This was the ultimate fail (alternatively, this fail is also available in Home Basic Fail, Home Premium Fail, and Business Fail editions).

On the bright side, with a clean slate, engineers could now work more effectively, with a simplified focus. As a result, they managed the remarkable feat of un-implementing hundreds of features from XP. This was the single greatest example of Unnovation in history.

Some people will claim that Vista is more about looks than actual features. This is true, which makes the OS mostly about nothing. The “new” UI engine, Aero, is not innovative in any way, nor is it a major enhancement, and it doesn’t do anything you cannot already do in XP. Here are some actual excerpts from the Aero features page:

Dynamic windows
In Windows Vista, windows are dynamic. When minimized, a window will subtly animate to a specific location on the taskbar, making it easier to locate when you need it later.

Wow. You can now minimize windows. Revolutionary.

Windows Flip
Windows Flip is an update of the feature known as ALT+TAB in previous versions of Windows. With Aero, Windows Flip shows you live thumbnails of your open windows.

This feature has been available via the Powertoys add-on for XP for like 10 years. Still, the Aero team gets some points — at least they moved up from un-implementing to re-implementing.

For all you Windows-lovers, don’t worry, there is hope. Steve Ballmer recently announced the future announcement (wtf?) of the next version of Windows. He did not reveal its name, and instead decided to use the name “Windows Cloud” for now.

Ballmer confirmed that geo-replication and other features designed for the cloud would be built into the OS.

I have two issues with this. Firstly, geo-replication with Microsoft essentially means that SharePoint will be replicated on every client. In other words, the bowl of cereal you have been eating everyday will now come with razor blades.

Secondly, Ballmer apparently doesn’t realize the colossal web-two-ohrgasm impact of Microsoft using the word “cloud” in any public announcement of any kind. As if there aren’t enough assclowns out there just waiting to write prophetic proclamations about the forthcoming Care Bear revolution, where everything will be stored in the Magic Rainbow, whose light transcends across the globe and is powered by Heart itself. Before things get out of hand, Microsoft needs to start setting lowered expectations (their engineers may have already accomplished this task).

If all else fails, Microsoft can always keep Project Ship XP With Vista running indefinitely.


Featured on uncov!

I have probably told many of you about, which is a great tech blog that assaults tech companies for their mass demonstrations of douchebaggery.

Well they recently came back to life, and opened a Peanut Gallery allowing users to submit blog posts, the best of which get promoted to the front page.

Well, i submitted my post about firefox fanboys and it is now featured on Uncov!

Much awesomeness! Thanks uncov!


National debt: the new Y2K

It was a pleasing sight to see Obama categorically defeat McCain in the recent second debate. What’s even more heartening is that the verdict of his debate victory is relatively unanimous.

Either way, I’m glad both candidates have been stressing repairing the national debt. When I was taking econ in first year of university, I remember thinking a $7 trillion debt was one of the scariest problems a country could face. I assumed everything would be done to immediately mitigate the issue. Needless to say, I was wrong.

Today, the debt has reached a point where the National Debt Clock is too freaking small to display the actual figure. The immediate solution was to simply remove the dollar sign from the clock.

With this incident, I’d like to present the morals of this story:

  1. The economy isn’t running out of time, it ran out of time orders of magnitude dollars ago.
  2. Y2K should not have been feared as the end of the world. 4MY of Bush’s fiscal policies should have.
  3. Killing the Dollar sign to allow more digits == Killing the US Dollar to allow more debt.

Now available: pillows filled with sunshine. Vampires, emo kids protest.

Of all the things that society tolerates for no apparent reason, alarm clocks are among the most annoying. We actually arm these every night to their native piss-me-off-in-8-hours mode, under the assumption that there is no other way we would voluntarily end our slumber.

Well, things are about to change. You can now get pillows filled with magic sunshine to wake you up slowly, just like a natural sunrise. They apparently also function as a booklight, clock, and if you order now, come with a complementary tooth fairy.

In all honesty though, I would totally buy this, if just for the sake of experiment. In my apartment, I am the president, and the alarm clocks are my congress. They are plentiful in number, they make lots of noise, but ultimately they have no real impact on any of my decisions.

Duck Tales understands monetary policy better than you.

I once read a joke which basically insinuated that, as Governer, Sarah Palin tried to outlaw books in libraries in favour of magazines, because they have big pictures in them. We now know that such an accusation is baseless, as it has become clear that Palin has never actually read a magazine.

Now, that joke could be updated to say that she wants to replace all reading material in general with, say, cartoons. Cartoons would be a great ally to a McCain-Palin campaign, primarily because cartoons often depict an impossible environment where none of the actions you take have any consequences. Jump off a cliff? It’s okay, you’ll survive. Stand in front of a giant cannon? It’s okay, you’ll survive. Buy a mortgage you can’t afford? Okay, you’re screwed, even a cartoon has its limits.

Of course, if she ever did enforce a cartoon library, there are still some cartoons that she would ban from the shelves. I’m not talking about cartoons with communist intelligence in them (which, in her mind, means any cartoon you watch while you’re in Alaska). I’m talking about childrens’ cartoons, like Duck Tales, which could potentially fill the minds of innocent children with terrorist concepts such as logic, reason, and basic understanding of the economy.

If the world needed protection from knowledge, Palin would be our own iron curtain.