Sunday, July 24, 2005

The War on Bugs

My house has been invaded by ants. Hundreds, if not thousands, of these little pests are crawling around the corners of my house, making little trails to and fro, and generally interfering with my freedom to live in an ant-free household.

I made a run to Home Depot today and loaded up on various implements of insect destruction -- some ant bait traps, to Kill Them Where They Live(tm), and some anti-ant spray, for that immediate, visceral feeling of total ant annhiliation.

They may have me outnumbered, but I have Freedom, Justice, and Ortho on my side.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The End of U.S. Engineering

Read this interview with Steve Mills, IBM's VP of software sales. The interviewer asked about the U.S. education system and whether it could meet the demands of the industry. What Mills doesn't say is the most interesting part:

Q: Some tech executives have raised concerns about the quality of the U.S. education system and the supply of potential employees in the pipeline, relative to the talent other countries are producing. What are your thoughts on this issue?

A: There are good people all over the world. We're a global company and have been for many decades. From our perspective, nothing has changed. There are good universities around the world and lots of talent out there. Of course, IBM is a diversified technology company, both by product as well as by location. We do software development in dozens of locations around the world and have for many decades.

See that part where he answers the question about the U.S. education system? Yeah, neither did I. It sounds like now that IBM has committed itself to globalization, they're not worried about not being able to hire U.S. graduates.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Big Brother is Sorting You

An article on The Register regarding the Sorting Door project, a feasability study on examining and tracking individuals based on the RFID tags contained in their clothing and carried goods.

The name of the project comes from the magical "Sorting Hat" from the Harry Potter books, proving that a) anything can be twisted to evil purposes, and b) everybody on the freakin' planet has read Harry Potter.

Some of the projected capabilities of the Sorting Door project are:
1) Generate targetted advertising based on what a customer is wearing
2) Track individuals as they pass within range of a reader
3) Generate personality/risk profiles based on what an individual is wearing
4) Detect anomolous behavior in clothing choices (overcoat in Florida, bikini in Alaska)

I predict a booming business in RFID readers to get rid of these little buggers (2007-2008), to be followed shortly by legislation making the removal of an RFID tag illegal (circa 2010).

Most Specialized Fetish Award

Dave sent me a link to this site, which he said was the wierdest fetish site he's seen so far.

The basics of the site seem to work like this:
1) Find a really hot girl
2) Dress her in skimpy clothes
3) Give her a car utterly unsuited to off-road travel
4) Have her drive car off-road
5) Watch as she tries to get car un-stuck

And you thought naked midget wrestling was wierd.

Get Out Of My Driveway

Part of my ongoing house saga is that the clients of the daycare next door keep parking in my driveway, so every now and then I'll back down my driveway in the morning to find the exit blocked by a minivan or Volvo. This morning not only did I catch a repeat offender (I've asked this same woman to move before), but to make her look extra-stupid, there were two parking spots open in front of the daycare, including the 5-minute spot effectively reserved for their use. So I put on my I'm-not-happy face and loudly pointed this out to her as she was scurrying into the driver's seat of her car.

I felt a sense of accomplishment this morning. We'll see if it had any effect.

Last night's hockey game didn't go as well. Our goalie had a bad night, and the other team had a good night, so the resuling slaughter was predictable. I was playing defense, so I did my best to stem the tide, but I got caught flat-footed on one play where their player got around me to score, plus two more goals that our goalie should have caught.

Then I watched Jeff's team get beat by a similar margin, although it was more excusable in their case; their goalie was subbing in from a lower division. At least his girlfriend finally saw him score and broke the curse.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Weak Attempt at Political Humor

So, Katie was reading an article about the press battering Scott McClellan regarding Karl Rove, who, it now appears, was the source of the Plame identity leak. One reported questioned him on Bush's statement that anyone involved with the leak would be let go:

Q After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the President's word that anybody who was involved would be let go?

McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.

We at the office feel that people who heard the original quote perhaps didn't pay enough attention to the subtext of what Bush said.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No Software Patents

Saw this
article reporting that the European Parliament has rejected the proposed patent law. The proposal would have "harmonized" European patent law with law in the U.S. by allowing patents on computer-implemented inventions, or software patents.

This is despite the fact that software patents were strongly argued against in the U.S. by such little-known players as Autodesk, Adobe and Oracle.

So, here's hoping for harmonization. It's just that the harmony that I'm holding out for is revoking software patents here, not introducing them elsewhere.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th

Another 4th rolls around... Busy weekend for me. Had two BBQs to go to sunday -- Jon's birthday for lunch, and then up to Oakland for dinner at Dave's. Dave tried to start up the booth and give people a ride but neither battery seemed to be happy.

Called up Adam today and went for a ride through the mountains, then washed our bikes. Couldn't muster up the effort to actually go somewhere to watch fireworks, so I cooked dinner and watched "The Incredibles" with Adam.

No work this weekend -- decided to take the whole weekend off, to rest up for a big coding push next week.