Sam Trenholme's webpage
Support this website or listen to my music

Twitter wrap-up

 

March 1 2013

In today's blog, I go over tweets from my Twitter feed posted in February.

== Intel Atom update ==

Intel finally is making significant improvements to the Atom: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/02/intel-gets-aggressive-with-new-smartphone-and-tablet-chips/ Too bad getting a new netbook in the US is fairly difficult, since the mainstream computer makers no longer sell netbooks stateside.

== The GAU-8 avenger ==

Now, here’s a good question. Is there anywhere where mounting a GAU-8 Avenger to your car is legal? Here’s a really funny article that looks at this possibility: http://what-if.xkcd.com/21/

== Reducing big government ==

I saw a cute chart that tried to argue how much our government is getting bigger. A far more useful chart is government spending as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product—how much money our society has): http://samiam.org/pics/Govt-spending-as-GDP.png

== The friend zone sucks ==

I don’t want to ever be trapped in the friend zone ever again. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/19-people-stuck-in-the-friend-zone_n_2760362.html?utm_hp_ref=comedy#slide=2151325

== Violence against women ==

Women worldwide aged 15-44 are more likely to die or be maimed by male violence than by cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.

== Hollywood and VFX makers ==

People should not go to ThePirateBay or Demonoid for movies. Netflix is better. Hard working VFX people should not be struggling. http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/25/4028014/why-are-digital-video-effects-artists-angry-at-hollywood (Yes, Hollywood’s greed is a part of the problem. A part.)

== I have disabled WOT ==

I have disabled WOT. Puahate.com was marked "unsafe"; A classic case of "-1 disagree" unfair moderation. http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/puahate.com?utm_source=addon&utm_content=warn-viewsc. I’m not saying puahate.com is a good site. It isn’t. But the site doesn’t give people drive-by malware or run a scam either.

== The Oscars ==

#DrunkNateSilver does it again. Not only did he guess the president last fall, he predicted Argo winning “Best picture”. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/oscar-predictions-election-style/?hpw I was not expecting “Argo” to win, but Nate Silver nailed it.

It was beautiful how the first lady presented the award. Sad that the extreme-right-wing in the US got so upset over it: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/02/25/michelle-obama-attacked-for-oscars-appearance/192788

In light of “Argo” winning the big Oscar....looking back, the Iranian hostage crisis could very well have been what cost Carter reelection in 1980.

“Silver Lining Playbook” finally got a significant Oscar with best actress. Yeah, I know. Nate Silver predicted it.

I was really glad to see the thunder out of the sails of “Les Miserables” sweeping the early Oscar awards. “Silver Lining Playbook”, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, or indeed “Argo” deserved the award more.

Despite what the ads being played during the Oscars say, I don’t need a smartphone to be a complete person. Did I mention the first-ever Android app was a SSH client? Did I mention that I’m using a SSH client to type this text?

== Yahoo no longer wants tele-commuters ==

Yahoo no longer wants remote workers (tele-commuters): http://allthingsd.com/20130222/yahoo-ceo-mayer-now-requiring-all-remote-employees-to-not-be-remote/?mod=tweet http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-belkin/marissa-mayer-work-from-home-yahoo-rule_b_2750256.html

Personally, I agree that this is a stealth layoff—Yahoo is getting rid of remote workers because that’s a very convenient way of reducing staff without having to do a real layoff. I don’t think Yahoo has a real problem with remote workers.

== The holy grail of fonts ==

I would love to see an OFL-licensed screen font that is as readable as Verdana (with full delta hinting). This is the holy grail of fonts for me. I have been looking for something like this for over five years without success.

The closest is probably the beautiful delta-hinted Cousine, but that, alas, is a monospaced font.

Ubuntu is pretty good, but it’s no Verdana, and its license is an unusual non-OFL one. The PT series (PT Sans, etc.) is nice, but not quite as readable as Verdana. It’s a shame that PT Sans Caption doesn’t have decent delta hinting (nor an italic/oblique).

Here are some good fonts not available on Google Web Fonts: https://github.com/theleagueof/. None of them look like a Verdana replacement; Junction is close but really needs delta hinting, a bold, and an italic (or at least an oblique).

The underlying issue: Everyone wants a really great free web font, but no one wants to pay for it: href=http://www.typographyforlawyers.com/?page_id=3207

But, then again, maybe there is some hope. The Exo Fontface family kickstarter project was able to get the $7,500 of funding it was looking for: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1010856090/the-exo-typeface-family?ref=search

Then again, $7,500 isn’t enough to fund a full roman / bold / italic / bold-italic font with complete delta hinting.

Delta hinted beautiful sans-serif fonts are out there if you’re willing to open up your wallet. For example: http://www.linotype.com/469/frutiger-family.html Then again, even Frutiger is no Verdana on monochrome displays—but it’s closer than any OFL font.

== PuTTY and UTF-8 ==

Nice blog about how to get PuTTY to play nice with UTF-8: http://thegreyblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/configuring-putty-to-use-utf-8.html

In a nutshell: Window -> Translation -> Remote Character Set -> UTF-8

== Mark Crispin RIP ==

Mark Crispin, creator of IMAP, recently passed away: http://lwn.net/Articles/539655/. Please no snarky comments about how IMAP died too.

I always liked his joke RFC from 2005, RFC 4042. He will be missed.

== Firefox vs. Chrome ==

I prefer Firefox over Chrome on my notebook because it has better web font rendering. I prefer Chrome over Firefox on my netbook because it's faster--Chrome doesn't let the slow javascript in a background tab slow down the active tab.

== Is our universe stable? ==

Is the quantum structure of our universe stable? Maybe not. http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/02/finding-the-higgs-good-news-finding-its-mass-not-so-good/

This reminds me of a sad science fiction story, "Last Contact" by Stephen Baxter.

== Lawsuit to block Yoga classes ==

As a right-of-center conservative, I have always found ACLU’s lawsuits to remove Nativities from court houses and what not annoying. Then again, it’s annoying when the right wing retaliates by suing over Yoga programs in high schools: http://thecoastnews.com/2013/02/eusd-sued-over-yoga-program/ http://thecoastnews.com/2012/12/parents-weigh-in-on-yoga-program-at-school-board-meeting/

I don’t think these lawsuits will hold water; it’s a lot easier to argue a Yoga class is secular than to argue a Nativity scene is secular (not that we should remove the Nativity).

A few days after I first tweeted about this, the lawsuit attracted the attention of the left-wing blogosphere: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/22/1625281/yoga-religious-freedom/ http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/23/17067920-this-week-in-god

== Duke Nukem Forever ==

In the time it took for Duke Nukem Forever to come out (announced in 1996, came out in 2011), I accomplished the following:

  • Had my salary more than triple working for dot-coms
  • Became fluent in Spanish
  • Lived in Mexico for five years
  • Got a college degree
  • Started MaraDNS
  • Finished MaraDNS
  • Had my first date with my now wife
  • Married my wife

== Right-wing journal dies ==

A right-wing journal who published, among other things, a horrible article justifying gerrymandered presidential elections; I do not miss their journal dying: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/18/right_wing_journal_quietly_dies/

== The lessons of Proposition 187 ==

If I were to attribute a single event to Romney’s loss in 2012, I would say it was when Rick Perry was booed by tea baggers for supporting in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants. Even the very right-wing Redstate.com supports in-state tuition for immigrants.

This is a train wreck I have seen before: Two decades ago, California Republicans supported the very racist proposition 187. While it gave them more votes in the short term, it has killed them in the long term: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/01/5157052/dan-walters-demography-may-doom.html

The problem is not brown-skinned people taking jobs away from Americans. The problem is CEOs increasing their salaries while screwing over the middle class. Let’s not fall for the same BS that gets people riled up and passing laws like SB1070. This also applies to H1-B visas.

My only objection to H1-B visas is that the pretext to increase H1-B quotas —“There aren’t enough qualified Americans to fill our job openings”—is a bald-faced lie. There are enough qualified Americans, but companies with overpaid CEOs do not want to pay the salaries a quality engineer commands. The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 is not a law being proposed to benefit hard-working Americans, but a law to benefit executives of large corporations. I have yet to see a proposal to replace upper management with H1-B immigrants.

== Gerrymandered elections ==

The current electoral college system in the US is broken. One cute idea (just a blue-sky one) would be to redraw the states: http://fakeisthenewreal.org/reform/ Yes, the linked article does point out a national popular vote is the right solution.

As it turns out, this cute plan to make 50 states with equal populations probably would have made Romney win last fall: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112467/electoral-college-reform-romney-wins-redrawn-us-map

This article has some good maps showing my gerrymandered elections are unfair: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral-college_n_2546010.html

Here’s a NY Times article on the Great Gerrymander of 2012: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/opinion/sunday/the-great-gerrymander-of-2012.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

Republicans’ Push to Tilt Elections Will Backfire http://bloom.bg/XK2KgP

== So much has changed ==

One amusing very hostile reaction to commercial advertising on the Internet of 20 years ago, when Usenet was king: https://groups.google.com/group/alt.humor.best-of-usenet/msg/353d41b6b8adfbd9?dmode=source&output=gplain

== Goodbye, Presto ==

For many years, Opera’s rendering engine has been its own proprietary code called ”Presto”. But that will soon change: http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/2013/02/13/webkit

Presto has been the best engine for using the modern web on an older computer; I’m sorry that it will be no more. Then again, I do like proprietary code being replaced by open source.

== Come on, Wikipedia ==

I shouldn’t have to be the one who has to update the Wikipedia to reflect a new MaraDNS release: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MaraDNS&diff=538036654&oldid=526563607

== Year of the Snake ==

We celebrated the coming of the Year of the Snake in February: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/1302010-chinese-lunar-new-year-culture-snake-science-animals/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21378306

== The Web is the Internet ==

Where the "the WWW is not the Internet" idea comes from, and why this meme is outdated: http://samiam.org/internet-vs-www.html

== The Web in 1999 ==

Speaking of outdated, here is how the Internet looked in 1999: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/best-websites-90s_n_2542393.html?ir=Technology

This is how this site looked in 2001: http://www.samiam.org/screenshots/2001webpage.html

== Recess appointments ==

A more in-depth look at those recess appointments: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/05/16854765-the-consequences-of-scrapping-recess-appointments

== Red Light Cameras ==

I don’t think the annoying red-light camera at Ted Williams and Pomerado is going away quite yet, since that’s in Poway http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/feb/01/san-diego-red-light-cameras-filner-halts/

To post a comment about an entry, send me an email and I may or may not post your comment (with or without editing)

Previous entry Next entry Blog index