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March 18th, 2011


05:23 pm - No, you don't need to take potassium iodide
Dear World,

The near vicinity of the Fukushima reactors is not a good place to be.

Everywhere else has absolutely nothing to worry about.

Stop demonstrating your UTTER INABILITY to comprehend the nature of nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, and ionizing radiation. It just pisses me off.

Sincerely,
Someone who almost certainly knows more than you about the subject, because you're all IDIOTS.
Current Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Current Mood: bitchybitchy

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March 10th, 2010


02:03 pm - Santa Clara recycling plant fire
Apparently this is far from their first fire. Some short videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNTluOo1y-s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ipOwKWpCeQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79F1AMRjQsE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET-Lepl5o44

Interestingly, the better part of a mile in flip-flops didn't kill my feet too bad.

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February 28th, 2010


05:41 am - Crypto cleanup
Also at http://nknight.runawaynet.com/crypto_cleanup.txt in case this gets mangled.

Read more...Collapse )

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January 7th, 2010


06:00 pm - Nexus One(/Android) verdict.
There's a decent amount of polish still to do in UI, but HOLY CRAP this thing is fast, and plenty of features.

For specific, substantive annoyances, there's one big one, one moderate one, and three more mild ones:

Big: Text input seems very clumsy compared to the iPhone, and while the suggestion mechanism is fairly nice, its compensation for misspellings (as opposed to simply incomplete words) seems to be less than it should.

Moderate: Lack of multitouch zoom in the built-in browser. The size and fantastic resolution of the screen makes it easier to get away with the clumsier zooming tool, but it's still annoying.

Mild 1: Built in video playback mechanism sucks (though playback itself works beautifully).

Mild 2: Landscape mode only seems to function to the left, which screws with my particular muscle memory.

Mild 3: Lack of hardware silent switch. Having to actually pull out and look at the phone to get into silent mode is going to be annoying.

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September 1st, 2009


08:50 am - Batch computing is dead. Please leave it to rest.
At least three times in the last two years, I've had to point out to people that they were thinking in batch processing terms despite dealing with interactive applications.

One might think this would be a simple error of time -- an aging mechanic looking for a carburetor on his new car. It's not. Some of the developers were born less than ten years before I was.


Say you're running YouTube. You've got a lot of video to transcode. Sounds like a batch job, right? Wrong..

The fact that you might be able to transcode (random number) 1000 hours of video in a day, is completely irrelevant. Seriously, nobody cares.

How many in an hour? Or 30 minutes? Fundamentally, I still don't care.

Somewhere in the "acceptable level of service" equation might appear references to raw throughput and average number of videos uploaded in a given period, but they are not what you're trying to calculate, they're just numbers to help you determine what's actually important:

When someone uploads a new video, how long before that video shows up on the site?


I don't care that you can retrieve ten million account balances an hour, I want to know my account balance now. When I press that button, you'd better give me an answer, and it had better take milliseconds, not an hour.

Throughput is fungible, sometimes to the point where it is essentially meaningless. If you only have a million customers, you're not going to get ten million account balance requests in an hour, and you optimize for quick retrieval of an individual record, even if it means it would take several times longer to retrieve all records.


Somehow, large swathes of the industry have failed to catch on to the fact that most modern computing doesn't care about batch processing. Even the batch processes like video encoding are rarely batch processes -- they're set off by someone taking an action, and they want to see the results of that action quickly.

I don't really know how to fix this. At this point I mostly hope that as interactivity becomes ever more critical, someday the necessary concepts will finally become as instinctual to the industry as batch processing, but at this point I foresee a lot of years, broken designs, and wasted time before it happens.

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August 26th, 2009


05:37 am - Madness has come.
I have concluded that despite my utter disbelief, IFmsServerContext::getConfig does, in fact, work as follows:


  1. A return value of 0 means the key was found and its value is now in the provided buffer.

  2. A return value of less than 0 means the key was not found.

  3. A return value greater than 0 means the key was found, but its value is larger than the provided buffer. The caller needs to allocate return value + 1 and call again.



The documentation says none of this, the sample code is barely illuminating, and, oh yeah, they didn't do something smart like provide appropriately-named constants instead of just checking for > < = 0.

Do these companies really have no shame? It's one (still bad) thing if code your customers never see is an undocumented mess. It's a whole other level of insanity to pass such code out to them.

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05:03 am - HIWORD! LOWORD! MYWORD!
By the time I finish this project, I will be completely insane.


virtual U32 IFmsServerContext::getVersion() [pure virtual]

Returns the server version: -HIWORD = major version. -LOWORD = minor version.


Excuse me, Adobe, the 70s called, they want their antiquated value-passing semantics back!
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated

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August 23rd, 2009


03:56 pm - Your timing sucks, Apple!
My MBP has just lost track of its video card. No, I'm not kidding.

Its GeForce 8600M literally no longer shows up in the system profiler. In its place is an Intel GMA X3100, but that just happens to be built into the chipset -- it's not actually connected to any sort of output.

I'm posting this via my MBP only because I'm one of the few people on this earth that concerns themselves with remote access to their laptop, so I'm able to VNC into it from my spare.

I guess I'll be taking a fresh image of its drive to put on the spare MacBook, and making a trip to Valley Fair...
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

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12:11 am - WTF?
This is too big for twitter and has to be seen in its entirety:

Cut for WIDTH!Collapse )

That's verbatim. Straight copy-and-paste from Adobe-written AuthModule.cpp. Every character.

What the hell? Is someone's slash key stuck?
Current Mood: irritatedirritated

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August 17th, 2009


06:00 pm - Pain.
Home -> Post Office: 0.8mi

Post Office -> Sushi: 1.2mi

Sushi -> Bus Stop: 0.23mi

Bus Stop -> Home: 0.38mi

Total: 2.61 miles.
Current Mood: hotow

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