Cunts in History

As part of the book I’m not writing Pragmatic Cunts here are some of the personalities in history I will be discussing.

  • Judas Iscariot
  • Henry VIII
  • Marcus Brutus
  • Theodore Kaczynski
  • Stalin
  • Hitler (an obvious choice)
  • Joseph McCarthy

It’s interesting to note that wartime leaders are as a general rule, cunts. They can argue that the ends justify the means.

Gmail Improvement

The one thing that gets on my nerves the most about gmail is that it doesn’t remember which email address of yours was participating in the conversation. I have my work and personal address attached to gmail and my work is the default one, but if I reply to someone that sent me an email on my personal address, I want my reply to go out via my personal address.

This is just one of those tiny little usability tweaks that would make your life so much easier.

Ning and Nong

Recently there has been speculation (here and here ) or talk that Ning, the innovative social networking platform is a dead end and that it is all but useless to developers as a platform. This was addressed by Diego and on the Ning blog . I’d like to draw some parallels with a company that 3 or 4 years ago, I’m sure people were asking what their business case was (I know I was). They created the alpha of an online computer game, that really didn’t have a whole lot of a point, and had very little aim to it. This game was then basically deleted with their entire set of users who were told that they would be able to participate in the game proper later. The same company, in just a few years was sold to a Yahoo and lauded as one of the leaders of the Web2.

I’m sure you know who I’m talking about, Ludicorp and Flickr. Alot of the time that these guys spent perfect the Game Neverending, was spent learning exactly how the new technology worked, perfecting the engine and seeing how people interacted with each other in certain circumstances.

If you ask me, it’s a pretty big statement to say that Ning has no future. It may very well be that the next iteration of their platform and product is nothing like what it is today, but it still may have a huge impact on the web. I think the most important thing for Ning is that they have a really smart team, with something in the wild, beyond that, who is to say what they have is dead.

As always, comments are best done in an email or a post on your blog. I keep an eye on my referers.

The Pill and Society

Last night after our round of cards, Fi, Chops and myself had a good discussion about the effects of the pill on society. The discussion revolved around the premise that the pill is probably not that good for women, due to the fact that it does affect their hormones to achieve it’s results. While on the surface the benefits of the pill are clear, regulated periods and birth control, the problems that it may be causing have not necessarily been discovered.

The fact that we are not entirely sure of the role of all of our hormones is to me the greatest danger. What if in 15 years we discover that women that have been taking the pill for 20 years are deficient in some important hormone and are dependant upon the pill. While this may be far fetched, to me it seems more likely that women may not be having natural emotional or physical responses during their period which may not be a good thing.

I think it’s important to say that I don’t think the pill is a bad thing, but it seems to be quite a major part of our society and it seems to be a largely unkown quantifier. I also think that a lot of young women who are sexually active believe they have to be on the pill because they think that their partners won’t have sex without a condom or that they don’t enjoy it. I think this is a far greater problem than the previously discussed, however it’s something for another day.

Eclipse Documentation and installing Plugins

I installed Ubuntu on my desktop in the hope that I can setup a really good development environment. So far it has turned out to be quite good to develop PHP websites, except for the constant battle I’m fighting with Eclipse.

First of all, the documentation for install plugins is hopeless, if not non-existent. There is a built-in plugin manager to Eclipse which, on Windows seems to work quite well, (though it could do with some usability tweaks) but on Linux is almost useless.

I’m sure that it is possible to install plugins into your home drive for only your usage, however how, I’m not quite sure. The only way I have been able to install plugins is as root, by running Eclipse with the super-user and installing with the plugin manager, or putting the zipped plugins in the plugin/feature directory in the Eclipse install directory.

I love Eclipse, but this has really caused me alot more grief than it should have, considering it is supposed to be a platform to be built upon.

Google Talk, Dreamhost and Jabber

This is awesome, Google Talk has enabled XMPP Federation meaning that I can set up a Jabber server, and have it linked in to the Google Talk network. I can see some awesome benefits of this, not least of all the decentralizing of the instant messengers.

Companies will be able to run their own servers and control the communication past the firewall. People like me will be able to set up a server to serve their friends with more features that the old (lock-in) instant messenger networks won’t support, and best of all it’s open.

Playing 500

Lately, between Backgammon, Chess, Poker and Volleyball, we have been playing 500. It’s interesting to teach new people the game and to see how they take up different tactics. I wanted to enumerate here some of the sayings Dad used to tell us when he was teaching us to play.

  • Never send a boy to do a man’s job. This means, when you are going to trump, trump big, cause you don’t want to waste your trump.
  • Play them as you see them. Play the best cards in your hand, this usually means leads trumps.

He also taught us that when calling, that your first call, should be an Ace, so you call 6 clubs, if you have the Ace in your hand. If you have the joker, you should call 6 No Trumps. This all works fine if you know that your partner is working the same way and that you won’t be left on your 6 call.

Apple, Google, Intel and Video

Google has announced that they are using Intel’s new viiv technology with their Video offering. The blogs are abuzz with Engadget, Gizmodo and Ars Technica featuring news of it and speculating that they are taking on Apple. I can’t help but think that Apple has been in on it, or doesn’t have a problem with it due to the fact they are moving to Intel processors and will be getting the option to use the same viiv platform.

I realise it’s completely against what Apple has been pushing towards (being a Media Company) but they do have partnerships with the big media and it may well give them new distribution channels and partners.

New Years Resolutions

Even though I really don’t want to call them New Year’s resolutions, they are. I suppose I’m just quantifying some of my goals for the next 3 months or so. So I’m going to write them here so that they are here for posterity’s sake.

  • Don’t drink so much. I’m not going to kid myself or anyone else and say I’m not going to drink at all. But I’m going to cut down on drinking, especially during the week.
  • Work more. This is going to go with drinking less, but I want to work more than I am at the moment.
  • Save more. I’m doing a pretty reasonable job of saving at the moment, but I want to go overseas in March/April so I have to do a better job.

I suppose they are pretty standard goals, but I really want to work on them.

Dinner Tonight

I’m so impressed with the dinner I cooked for myself tonight I’m going to post it here.

Chicken breast fillet grilled, on toasted multigrain bread, with fried capsicum, mushroom and bacon. All topped off with a touch of dijonnaise. Delicious.