Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Classy Sarah Palin fans react to Kennedy's death

Just look at the spelling in these gems. The correlation between the level of education and political views is very real...

"thank you for maintaining my belief in you as a real american, however this country is now much better off, one less socialist, anti freedom senator."

"Now if we could just talk God into taking Arlin Spector, Harry Reid,and Nancy Pelosi America would be Eutopia!"

"good riddens"

"If he makes it into Heaven (& I doubt he will with his stance on abortion) I hope that God makes him babysit all the aborted children for eternity. God have mercy on his soul."

"Ted Kennedy dying has made my day...."

"He cannot fillibuster God. Good ridencance to a sorry person."

"It's about time, we can only hope Pelosi and Ried will be joining him very soon. All 3 of them should be buried in Moscow for whom they work so tirelessly."

"Brilliant" marketing

I love it when people say that Microsoft has terrible products which only succeed because of our amazing marketing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Introducing Black Square, a MS Word document review system

Black Square is to specs what Malevich is to code. This release is 0.1 - treat it as a preview, it has not been field-tested at all. There are known important bugs. But if you do feel adventurous, give it a whirl!

Big thanks to Eric White ( who coded the most important part of the system - the document merger.

For more background on Black Square, see the blog post where it was originally introduced:

Physics lessons in Alabama

Driving to work today I was listening to yesterday's Marketplace podcast on my Zune.

They were reading a piece about schools in Alabama having big trouble finding teachers in math and sciences. Imagine recruiting a biology teacher who'd have to teach "alternatives" to evolution! - must be super hard indeed.

So they are importing teachers from Philippines. One school mentioned in the show had its first physics class in several years(!) and it had just 17 people enroll. No wonder such a staggering percentage of US population is convinced that Earth is 6000 years old...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just say no to political correctness

'Something strange has happened in America in the nine months since Barack Obama was elected. It has best been summarised by the comedian Bill Maher: "The Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital."'

We liberals brought this upon ourselves. We should stop acting like the idiots' point of view is entitled to respect and equal treatment in the media. It's not. The cooks, the crooks, and the cons - including the neocons - need to be called for what they are, loud and clear.

In particular, we should stop trying to prove that science and religion are somehow compatible. They are not.

Science requires preponderance of evidence. For science, if something is unobservable in principle, it does not exist.

Religion requires faith in tales written thousands of years ago by semi-literate shepherds, claiming the miracles that have never been observed in practice.

Most Americans are big boys and girls - it's OK to have them face the hard choice.

Either you believe in science and enjoy the fruits of labor of these godless scientists ( - including antibiotics, computers, jet travel, and sanitation. Or choose supernatural and go back to the middle ages and 40 years average life span.

Trying to have it both ways is like trying to lose weight without a diet. It simply does not work.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dude, have you heard of Netflix?

I am channeling the Fake Steve Jobs now, but damn it, two insane press stories a day...

> That's largely because they're not a darn thing worth watching or
> playing that uses Moonlight/Silverlight. Go ahead visit the
> Silverlight site; let me know when you find something compelling. I didn't.

Netflix of course uses Silverlight for streaming the part of its content that's available online.

A pundit tries OpenGoo. Hilarity ensues.

OpenGoo is an open source counterpart to Google Docs. The idea is that you download and host it on your own servers. This C|Net reporter gets really, really confused by this concept:

In case they remove this article, here's the screen shot (click on it to read):

This is even funnier than Investor Business Daily's "Steven Hawking would have no chance under British health care" piece... I am wondering, what kind of college degrees do these people have? And what kinds of colleges graduate these "journalists"?

Friday, August 14, 2009

British healthcare

Apparently there's been a bunch of ads on TV feeding US populace the horror stories about how horrible NHS is.

This is what real British - you know, the ones actually living there and using British health care (where doctors by and large are government employees and the health care costs are almost entirely paid by the government) - have to say about it:

"Watching these debates is like reading National Geographic. It's just impossible, from a European perspective, to understand what these people are on about. Their political views seem as backwards and removed from the world we live in as a shaman casting magic spells."$1318652.htm

Also, from Investor's Business Daily editorial on 8/3: "People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K. where the National Health Service would say the quality of life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

After much ridiculing on the interwebs, they removed the sentence. Pity, it was yet another proof that money != brain.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bingin' Malevich

I've done a bit of egosurfing today ( and found that my code review system (http:/ shows up as #2 when searching for Malevich in Bing.

Frankly, I was surprised.

By comparison, Google search has it towards the bottom of the second page. Mondrian - Google's own code review tool which inspired Malevich - is at the very bottom of the first page.

Now, there was a fresh batch of conspiracy theories fomented by the "technical" pundits that claim that Microsoft uses Bing put down Apple ( To me this is like a toddler pushing a nuclear submarine to help it go faster: Windows certainly does not need help from Bing to compete with Apple.

I think there is a very simple explanation for both Malevich and Mac vs PC phenomena. The search engine certainly uses clickthrough data to guide its searches. Bing's biggest market share in the geek population is Microsoft employees - there are tens of thousands people here that use Bing. The overall market share of Bing is small enough so that a few thousand users can swing the search results considerably - bringing Malevich-the-code-review-system (which is also extremely popular here) and articles critical of Apple on top.

Admittedly, this is not nearly as juicy as the "evil Microsoft adjust the search results to favor itself" conspiracy theories, but it appears to be the simplest one :-).'s_Razor

Saturday, August 8, 2009

GI Joe, the movie

No, I have not seen it. But I've read Roger Ebert review of it, which is a masterpiece on its own.

"The two teams also each have a skilled Ninja fighter from Japan. Why is this, you might ask? Because Japan is a huge market for CGI animation and videogames, that's why. It also has a sequence set in the Egyptian desert, although there are no shots of dead robots or topless pyramids. And Cobra headquarters are buried within the miles-deep ice of Arctic. You think construction costs are high here. At one point the ice cap is exploded real good so it will sink and crush the G. I. Joe's submarine. We thought ice floated in water but, no, you can see big falling ice chunks real good here. It must be only in your Coke that it floats."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Developer Connection

If you thought (like I did) that TFS documentation was bad, check out this beauty:

As a mental exercise, try to guess what does empty() do? Does it empty the selection? Or does it return true if the selection is empty?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Obama's birth certificate - a Kenyan angle!

FROM: Mr. James Thambo,
TO: Orly Taitz, Esq (


Dear Mrs. Orly Taitz:

I am Mr. James Thambo, a Barrister to US President Barrak Hussein Obama's great great uncle Matimor Thambo Hussein. He has died 3 days ago after being sick with Cancer, and now I am in Charge for Executing his In-heritance. Before he died he gave me a Birth Certificate for US President Barrak Hussein Obama issued By Kenian Republic in 1961 that Proves that Barrak Hussein Obama is not a US Citizen. It is Numbered 47O44 and Executed with All Appropriate Authority. I will give you the name of my bank where said Certificate is stored and other important information if I receive a positive reply from you.

I want you to be my partner, to secretly transfer the Certificate of Birth to the United States where it would be Sold on ebay. My business Partners here has estimated the Auction Value for the US President Barrak Hussein Obama's Birth Certificate to be $100,000,000 (U. S. Dollars!). I cannot Sell it myself Because I am a Barrister to the late US President Barrak Hussein Obama's great great uncle Matimor Thambo Hussein and they would suspect me if I sell it myself. All you would have to do is place this Item for bid on Ebay, and receive the money into your account.

Your share will be 30% which is $30,000,000 (U. S. Dollars!). My own share will be 69%, which is $69,000,000. We shall keep 1% which is $1,000,000 for expenses. Reach me immediately by mail so that I can give you further details. Also provide me your direct tel/fax to reach you, and your bank account number, and your credit card so I can Certify the Authenticity.

Thank you and God Bless,

Mr. James Thambo.