Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting Bombed

This from News of the Weird (Feb 10, 2008):
It is apparently becoming more difficult to recruit competent suicide bombers in Afghanistan because twice in a two-day period in January, clumsy bombers accidentally blew themselves up before they ever had the chance to take their targets out. One fell down a flight of stairs while on his way to an attack in the town of Khost, and the other's bomb accidentally exploded as he was getting dressed for an assignment in the town of Lashkar Gah (although the latter bomber did take three colleagues with him). [Agence France-Presse, 1-24-08]

Friday, February 01, 2008

Real Programmers

Some comments:
  1. Yes, I know I've used xkcd a lot. I don't care. I like it, it's my blog, and I can't draw like some of my more creative friends and family members.
  2. I also know you probably don't get it. See Comment #1 minus the drawing stuff.
  3. OK, I'll relent a bit. Perhaps this will help you non-programmers. Nano is a text editor, which is like a word processor for writing code. Emacs preceded it and is harder to use. Likewise vim and ed. In theory it's possible to edit with cat, but very hard (I've done it for short files). A magnetized needle used very precisely could edit the bits on a disk. Finally, Emacs has a bazillion commands and you can never learn all of them. (The very clever user can edit and even add to them.) The esoteric commands tend to look like C-x M-c M-whatever.
  4. xkcd taught me a trick for web images. You can use the title attribute to show a message when someone mouses over an image. Try it on the comic above.
  5. If you can't see all the title text, it reads "Real programmers set the universal constants at the start such that the universe evolves to contain the disk with the data they want."
  6. Not only is the title text funny, but it coincides with something I've thought of and never heard anyone else espouse. People say evolution takes God out of creation. I'm a programmer. I always want to write a program to solve a problem instead of figuring it out myself, even if the program takes longer. (It usually does, but then if something needs to be done a thousand times I win.) I figure God took the elegant method and programmed the universe rather than just building it.