Monday, May 29, 2006

Miami Beach Flyover: All Hell is Breaking Loose

Gov. Jeb Bush 1 - Miami Beach Residents 0

This is the flyover in 63rd St. and Collins Ave., Miami Beach. It is one of the very few access points to the city (Miami Beach is basically an island).

The flyover was built in 1954 and still carries thousands of cars a day. I use it myself every single day of the week. Sure it is ugly, and a little too low for some of today's 18-wheelers, many of which get stuck every so often because the truckers do not know how to read the signs indicating the max height under the bridge. So it is scarred aplenty underneath but is structurally sound.

Even though the 90% of the citizens of Miami Beach voted to save the flyover, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Governor Bush think otherwise.

Starting June 1st it will be demolished and work will start on that intersection to last an estimated 18 months!

If you have ever been in Miami Beach, you might have an idea of the traffic nightmare this will create. Of course the powers that be decide to do this right on the day of the start of hurricane season. Traffic jams will be legendary and will last untill the end of 2007. Hurricane evacuation or any quick access by fire or emergency personnel will be a nightmare.

Your taxes at work.

Sun Post: Flyover Riot.
ABS Local News video coverage.
City News: Miami Beach 63rd Street Fly-over Removal Getting Near Zero Hour, All Hell is Breaking Loose.
Miami Herald letters: Flyover demolition will be nightmare.

Rob Gonsalvez: Magic Realism

Rob Gonsalvez is a Canadian artist whose artwork features seamless, surrealistic transformation of objects aptly dubbed "Magic Realism". Rob’s influences include Dali, Magritte, and M.C. Escher.

This one is called "The Sun Sets Sail".

More paintings here, here and here

(Via Neatorama)

Friday, May 26, 2006

"Here in the North there is no such thing as monkeys."

I know many Canadians. None of them are stupid. Now I find proof that there are some idiots in the frozen North too.

According to an article from Yahoo Canada when a biology teacher wanted to add more to the meager introduction to evolution in his class was told not to out of "respect for the local Inuit community's culture". What does that have to do with not giving kids the knowledge in science they need to be productive Canadian citizens?

"Students in the northern Quebec town of Salluit should have an open mind and think for themselves, but not teaching them Darwin's Theory of Evolution is an issue of respect, says the region's school board."

The community's school committee told CBC:

"If the town complains and says no, the committee can ask the principal or the director of teachers to approach the teacher and say, 'Look, this is not the subject to be taught here in this town, or in this place, because we know we have been humans from the beginning, '" said Molly Tayara.

"I don't personally accept my children being taught that they came from some species from Africa somewhere.

"Here in the North there is no such thing as monkeys."
(Via Pharyngula)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Creation Evidence - Museum Tour video

If this doesn't convince you...

Ok. Comedy Central did it but the guy believes it is real. Flinstones and all.

Link (Via J-Walk)

Aha! I was right! Chocolate is good for you!

I was right! As a chocoholic person that appreciates chocolate I can always say I told you so! (snicker)

From CNN: Study: Chocolate may boost brain power.

Chocolate lovers rejoice. A new study hints that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function.

"These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance."

Now excuse me I have to to go get some more!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Local User Non Support Hall of Shame

Continuing with my previous post on User Access Controls, there is the Local Admin/Power User Non support of Patching Hall of Shame page maintained by Susan Bradley [MVP].

You will find there a list of shameful companies and the bad security practices that we put up with from our Vendors.

Why is it that I have to login as Local Admin to install Norton Antivirus, install local printers in XP Home, or run certain games? See the full list at her site. You can submit nominations too!


Microsoft... Eat your own UAC dogfood already!

Great post by Dana about User Access Control (UAC) in the upcoming Vista. There is much talk about Microsoft installing advanced Betas of Vista in their employees machines.

See article in ZDNET: "Microsoft considers taking admin rights from employees"

Of course not having admin rights for everything will disrupt some operations. But that is one of the points. Every employee should run with Least Privilege. If software does not properly run or install with this security setting then there is something wrong with the software.

It is sometimes a PITA with the current state of software offerings in the market, but I run my laptop as a standard user and only switch to the Admin account when there is a specific need to do administration. Admin users should not run day-to-day operations as Admins!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

SednaX grows!

Rick Schummer, one of SednaX Admins blogs that activity is positively bubbling!

Current (and new) exciting projects:

1) ctl32_statusbar headed by Carlos Alloatti
2) Code Analyst headed by Andrew MacNeill
3) GDI+ X Foundation Classes headed by Bo Durban
4) JustBehave headed by Glenn Domeracki
5) OOP menus headed by Doug Hennig

Way to go!

Nancy Folsom's blogging!

Nancy Folsom, a long time VFP'er and a Fox MVP for many years is blogging.

Welcome to the blogosphere Nancy! (subscribed).

(Via Scoble)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Chicago Field Museum

The Chicago Field Museum is one of the best Natural History Museums we've visited. Its main attraction is Sue (the world's largest, most complete and most famous T. Rex) . Sue is an amazing sight. Just imagine what it must have been in real life. Scary.

They have many, many exhibits. We just missed the upcoming Tutankhamun which is opening this week and we also missed when it visited Ft. Lauderdale. But we did see most of the rest of the museum as we did take our time there.

Their animal collection (taxidermy) is second to none. Very complete dioramas and glass case after case of mammals and birds.

They had a special exhibit of the recentrly found Tiktaalik, a very primitive fossil of one of the missing links for the jump of animals from sea to land.

"Evolving Planet", is a new exhibit opened in March 2006. It examines how life has unfolded on Earth over the course of 4.5 billion years through the process of evolution. Their collection and presentation of fossils is unrivaled. One of the best and most complete I've seen.

Their hominid section features a life-sized reconstruction of "Lucy," one of the oldest members of the human family (Australopithecus Afarensis). The nearly complete fossil was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. About 4 feet tall, the Field's depiction of "Lucy" shows her walking upright with a light coat of hair over her body (truth be told, anthropologists are not 100% sure if the "Lucy" skeleton was male or female).

As my wife said to me while walking there: "how would anyone be able to dispute evolution after seeing this?". Sadly there are still creationists out there disputing the exhibit in this museum, with not a trace of scientific evidence for any of their claims.

The anthropology section is very good, specializing in Pacific Island and American cultures and a special permanent exhibit on Tibet. Just a notch below the more complete and amazing collection in the Museo Nacional de Antropología (Mexico DF).

They have a decent gem and mineral collection, though smaller than in other museums, it was very complete, including meteorites.

There was also a wonderful photography exhibit from famous photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White. Two of her most famous photographs in exhibit, which I remember seeing over 30 years ago in the old Life Magazine are:

After visiting this museum, I can post my Top List (of the ones I visited):

  1. American Museum of Natural History (New York)
  2. Natural History Museum (London)
  3. Field Museum (Chicago)
  4. Smithonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington D.C.)
  5. Vienna’s Museum of Natural History (Austria)
  6. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  7. National Museum (Národní Muzeum - Prague)

How to sink an aircraft carrier

The Oriskany (CV/CVA-34) was sunk 24 miles off the coast of Pensacola Florida as an artificial reef. The 888ft carrier sunk in 37 minutes. The little gray boat on the deck held the detonation equipment and floated free during the sinking.

More pictures.

(Via Bits & Pieces)

Catching up: FoxShow

Still catching up with older blog posts. Slowly but surely.

I got a chance to listen to Andrew McNeil's latest FoxShow, an interview with Milind Lele [MS].
Excellent interview Andy! Lots of good information "from the horse's mouth" as they say.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, what can I say? An excellent art museum that has some of my favorite paintings.

Though not having the time to see it all, we selected the sections that interested us the most. We were looking for specific paintings we wanted to see. We visited the American Art to 1890 Gallery, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean Galleries, Arms and Armor, Indian and Southeast Asian Gallery and of course the favorites: American Paintings 1900-1950 (I was looking for Edward Hopper), Modern and Contemporary Art, European 1800s, European 1700s and Impressionism and Postimpressionism Galleries.

These are some of the famous painting we saw:

While below in size and quality from other museums I've visited, I would have to give it a very high rating.

My Top 12 Art Museums (hard choices as I have visited many more):

  1. Museo del Prado (Madrid)
  2. Louvre (Paris)
  3. Galleria Degli Uffizi (Florence)
  4. National Art Gallery (Washington D.C.)
  5. Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
  6. Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)
  7. Art Institute of Chicago
  8. Palazzo Pitti (Florence)
  9. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires)
  10. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid)
  11. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.)
  12. Alphonse Mucha Museum (Prague)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shedd Aquarium

The first attraction we visited was the Shedd Aquarium. It is conveniently located by the lake, very close to downtown.

Its main attraction to us, were the beluga whales, the sea dragons and the amazing Japanese spider crabs, huge monster-like creatures that would give kids nightmares.

The Amazon exhibit is first class. You have water level at eye-level through glass so you see above and below the water. They have a huge anaconda and many kinds of river fish (yes, including piranhas, which are not as fearsome as Hollywood would like you to believe).

The live show with Pacific white-sided dolphins was a little weak, having seen aquarium shows such as in Orlando's Seaworld. Nonetheless, I would certainly rate this aquarium into the top 5 of the ones I've visited.

Impressions of Chicago

I was very pleasantly surprised by my recent visit to Chicagoland (as the Greater Chicago area is called). I found it a very clean city with amazing architecture. Having grown up in a in a major city I feel always at home in the hustle and bustle even though I do not currently live in one. I was also pleased with the downtown traffic as it is very orderly. They wait for pedestrians to cross, nobody runs a red light and they do not block intersections when a light changes. Imagine that! In Miami I see one or two red-light runners every single day! Pedestrians beware!

Chicago is an urban architecture lover's dream. The amount, design and height of the buildings leaves you speechless. We bought a set of the Great Buildings of Chicago Knowledge Cards that shows you pictures, history and stats on many major buildings.

The view of the Chicago city skyline from the Adler Planetarium, in a sunny day is spectacular. There is so much to do; museums, parks, shopping and excellent restaurants all around.

Michigan Avenue in the shopping district, (the "Magnificent Mile") is beautiful. Full of tulips on the sidewalk planters, top-class shops, and excellent views, plus a Starbucks on almost every block.

We bought a Chicago City Pass (highly recommended if you visit more than one museum). It included a visit to the John Hancock Observatory on the 96th floor of the Hancock building. We were lucky to get a sunny day where the views where spectacular! The building is practically next to the Water Tower , one of the few surviving structures from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

We had a wonderful visit to Chicago Museums. They are all first class and I make it a point to visit museums in all major cities I visit. I feel I can do some comparisons and will offer my (not so) humble opinions.

We visited five museums in the week we spent there. All in all, I'd say we did very well in managing our time and dealing with traffic. We stayed in the North end of town, about an hour away from downtown Chicago. The first trip downtown we took the train (Metra). It is very convenient and we could park at the station all day. For $5 per person we took a ride into Union Station (doesn't almost every major city in the USA have one by that name?) Then a short taxi cab to the museums. For the other days we found it most convenient to just drive, avoiding rush hour, and parking in the museum lots.

I'll review the Museums in subsequent articles.

Dubya's goofy photo-op

Dubya goes to the border, as now immigration is a pressing problem, but seemingly it wasn't in 2001 when he had a meeting with Mexico's President Fox and promptly forgot about it.

So he visits the border and what does he do? He poses for a staged photo-op in a dune buggy to show how he's on top of things. Doesn't it remind you of another stupid photo-op?

Spectacular FS X video!

If you have not seen it yet, there's a spectacular video of the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator FS X here (WMV streaming format).

Also some new screenies and comments from the recently concluded E3 show.

Check out the elephants!

Here are some comparison shots between default the current FS9 (aka FS2004) and FS X.

Action you say? There'll be plenty of action!

Tongass Fjords entering Beta2!

François at FSAddon+ blogs that their new product for FS2004, Tongass Fjords is entering Beta2. Here are some screenshots of the scenery. Judging by their other products, like the adjacent Alaska area of Misty Fjords (see before and after pics at the bottom of the page), and Vancouver+ Tongass promises to be a must addon for Flight Simulator. Can't wait!

Another Foxpro blogger!

Bernard Bout starts a FoxPro blog in the Foxite stable. Looks very good, talking about scroll bar objects with screenshots and examples, based on the work of Craig Boyd.
Welcome Bernard!

Friday, May 19, 2006

A blog is not a blog unless...

Scoble quotes Dwight Silverman, of the Houston Chronicle.

He says:

What made blogging better than Web sites? Five things.

1) Ease of publishing.
2) Discoverability. (Pings or technorati or another ping server).
3) Conversationality. (Trackbacks or as-they-happen referer logs, or now being part of Technorati and other blog search engines).
4) Linkability. (All posts should have permalinks).
5) Syndicatability. (All content should be available in RSS feeds).

If you don't have those five, you shouldn't call your stuff a blog. Especially if I can't link to it from here.

I agree.

An apology for voting for Bush

Doug McIntyre from 790 KABC radio posted an apology for voting for Bush, and a well thought out list of all the many reasons why Bush is the Worst President Ever.

"Let’s talk for a minute about President Bush’s domestic record. Yes, he cut taxes. But tax cuts combined with reckless spending and borrowing is criminal mismanagement of the public’s money. We’re drunk at the mall with our great grandchildren’s credit cards. Whatever happened to the party of fiscal responsibility?"
This guy has more reasons than I do to dislike Dubya.

(Via Garrett)

Verizon denies giving phone records to the government without a court order

The saga continues. I blogged about the USA Today allegations before. If true these are reprehensible and illegal. Engadget now comments on reports that Verizon denies the charges in a lawsuit on this issue. The comments on the Engadget page are interesting too.

When will my phone and cell company (Bell South/Cingular) come out and deny the charges? Are they implicitly saying they did do it? Or are the deniers also lying? Shades of Orwell's 1984.

Addendum: The ACLU is circulating a petition to AT&T, Verizon and Bell South to stop invading our privacy without a court order. I signed. You should too.

Craig Boyd's "VFP World Domination Tour"

Rick Schummer has blogged several entries yesterday about Craig Boyd's presentation at the Detroit FoxPro User Group (DAFUG). Craig's report is titled "VFP World Domination TourVFP World Domination Tour", a very apt name. I have not met Craig yet but I have been reading his writings for a long time.  A very knowledgeable and productive guy.

Links: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Back home in Miami

Back home after a wonderful visit to Chicago. Really loved the city. Wonderful architecture, museums, and food. Except for the weather which was unseasonable cold and rainy. More on the museum impressions later. Lots of blog reading to do.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Out of town for a few days in Illinois

I'm in Lake Forest, Ill (near Chicago). We came to attend a nephew's graduation. Very nice college in a beautiful area.

Pity the weather is rainy and - they say - the temperature is 15 degrees below normal. I'm not so sure this is not typical Chicago spring weather. The ceremony was outdoors, so we spent three hours in 45-degree rainy weather. We had a blast (actually a blast of warm air would have been nice!).

Will spend a couple of extra days to visit the local museums and local cuisine which I know is great. Have not visited Chicago since 1982. That time (24 years ago) it was on a business trip to work in a booth at McCormick Place (the Convention Center) and it was February and the temperature was around 20 Fahrenheit, so I did not get to see much. We want to visit the Shedd aquarium and the Science and Industry Museum among other sites. I make a point of visiting the best Science and Industry museums of the world, which are among my favorite type of museum along with History, Aviation and Art museums. Will not have enough time to see all the other museums Chicago has to offer, so they will remain pending for another visit.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More images released on Flight Simulator X, the next version

A new set of images has been released on the upcoming version of Microsoft Flight Simulator - FS X. Outstanding!

Bush says U.S. not 'trolling through personal lives'

Media announces the NSA has been getting millions of data files and phone-call recordings from the Telcos since 9/11. Bush comes out in defense saying the government is "not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans" with a reported program to create a massive database of U.S. phone calls."

In the meantime USA Today is reporting "NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls".You would think the media would report what's really happening. You would think that the president would tell you the truth.

On January 25, 2006 Bush paid a visit to NSA Headquarters and said:

"In the weeks following September the 11th, I authorized a terrorist surveillance program to detect and intercept al Qaeda communications involving someone here in the United States. This is a targeted program to intercept communications in which intelligence professionals have reason to believe that at least one person is a member or agent of al Qaeda or a related terrorist organization. The program applies only to international communications. In other words, one end of the communication must be outside the United States."

So it turns out the president lied. Why is that a surprise? Looks like the US Constitution is just a piece of paper to the outfit in charge. No need to follow it or pay any respects to.

Just to remind you:U.S. Constitution - 4th Ammendment:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

If the government has a reasonable doubt that something untoward is being planned, they should indeed have the power of getting to your phone calls. But collecting every call from every American in a database?

George Orwell's 1984 came through, though a few years late.


XML-based translations in .NET

Somebody asked me how we do string translations in web pages, knowing that we work in several languages.

There are probably better systems to effect translations on web pages and ASPX, but we opted for converting our old and trusty XML based functions that we used for years when doing classic ASP at work. It is fast and easy.

All our extranet pages are done in three languages. A user setup gives them the choice of languages so when they login (as said we only work on a password-based extranet for our customers), we know who they are and what their choice is.

Based on this info, every string gets translated from an XML file with the same name as the page in use.

As an example, this excerpt sets the text in labels and buttons:

this.lblInformation.Text=commonfunc.Get_Xml(xmlText, "lblInformation");

An XML file with the same name as the page contains the strings. The language is kept in a session variable containing "EN"/"SP"/"PO" for English, Spanish and Portuguese, the three languages we deal with on a daily basis.

Example: ./XML/Default.xml would correspond to ./Default.aspx

{?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?}
{lblinformation}Click on a user name to validate their current Service Entitlements.{/lblinformation}
{lblinformation}Seleccione una persona para validar los servicios autorizados{/lblinformation}
{lblinformation}Selecione uma pessoa para validar os serviços autorizados{/lblinformation}

(note that the angle brackets in XML strings have been changed to braces for HTML parser avoidance)

At the beginning of the page we instantiate the object containing the functionality like so:

XmlDocument xmlText = new XmlDocument();
xmlText = commonfunc.Load_Xml();

The function is very simple:

public string Get_Xml(XmlDocument doc, string inStr)
string aNodePrefix = "*/"+HttpContext.Current.Session["UserLanguage"]+"/";
return doc.SelectSingleNode(aNodePrefix +inStr).InnerText;

Of course the function could be more generic by passing parameters on what the XML filename is, as opposed to being always the same name as the current page, and the desired language could also be optionally passed but the current system is perfect for our needs.

Andy and Marcia leaving FoxTalk

Andy Kramek, one of our best FoxPro MVPs and one of the best writers has had an ongoing column in FoxTalk magazine since 1998. First co-authored with PAul Maskens (yes, the name is spelled that way "PAul". Fox oldtimers surely remember why), then written for the last few years with Marcia Akins , another great speaker and Fox MVP.

FoxTalk has been sold to a new publishing company which has more restrictive corporate rules. These changes make it harder for Andy and Marcia to write and keep their informal, dialog style. The fun has been taken out of the writing. As a past author in trade magazines, I can attest to what Andy says that there is very little money in it, not enough to justify the investment in time to write and publish. With the fun taken out, what is there left?

They had decided to move their column to Advisor Guide to Microsoft Visual Foxpro. Their win, Foxtalk's loss.

I'll keep reading them no matter where they are published as the "Kitbox" column is a gem.

Eric's Foxite turns 5!

Eric Den Doop's Foxite website and weblog server turned 5 years old! That is a great acomplishment.

Eric is a Microsoft MVP for Visual FoxPro and a great guy all around.

Congratulations Eric! May the next 5 be better and more productive!

(Also noted by Andrew)

Memory lane

For those times when you need a slide rule, but you forgot where you left it: JavaSlide, the interactive slide rule.

On this original version, the cursor and the slide may be moved with your mouse
- just click and drag. The number overlay shows the reading and identification
of the scale directly under the mouse pointer (or the hairline reading if over
the cursor). Of course, with a real slide rule you must estimate these values by
reading the scales! The scales here are accurately portrayed, so you can trust
the readings. Note that slide rules do not maintain decimal positioning - you
have to do that, too!

(Via J-Walk)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Decider Caught Recycling Introductions

The prez seems to have spent too much money elsewhere. Doesn't have enough left for new speech writers?

Hilarious video from Jon Stewart on Dubya's introductions.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I moved my Blog

I moved my blog here to Blogger.

Bloglines is a great free service, and still my blog reader of choice but it does not offer some features like comments or page customization, for example so I had to change.

All of my previous posts dating back a year and a half are still there if you care to read some. Welcome back!

Massimo Pigliucci, one of my favorite writers

Massimo Pigliucci is one of my favorite writers. He writes frequently for publications such as Skeptical Inquirer, The Magazine for Science and Reason, and is the author of "Tales of the Rational" and "Denying Evolution", and one of the foremost proponents of critical thinking.

His blog recently had these gems from his writing:

Why wouldn't Colbert-Stewart (or Stewart-Colbert) be a good team for the '08 US Elections? Certainly they'll be better than these corrupt clowns now in power.

He talks about the manipulation of the news through their acolytes in Fox News, the de-facto press office for the curent White House. Replacing Scott McLellan with Tony Snow has not been what you'd call a subtle move.

As Massimo says:
"I bet there is one book that is still prominently shaping his thoughts and actions. No, it’s not the Bible. It’s George Orwell’s 1984."

In "Why cats don’t have a sweet tooth" he explains how evolutionary biology is looking into why cats and other felines like lions and tigers don't care for chocolate and other sweets.

As you can see, a lot of interesting reading from Massimo. Give him a try.

More on Why The Media Ignored Colbert's Act

I blogged on the US mainstream media ignoring Stephen Colbert's performance in front of the President. Not, at last there is more commentary on this and a decent explanation of the pansy act that passes for reporting media in this country.

(Via Garrett)

I've shared my OPML

I've also shared my OPML after YAG and Garrett. Let's see what happens.

Joel: Lazy Programmer, Didn't Handle Exception

Joel Spolsky encountered a case (one of many) where a major web presence for customer service support cannot handle it online and sends you to call a voice number where, after a long time waiting and navigating their inane robotic menus you get to somebody that does not have a clue.

catch(Exception *)
print("call customer service");
// i guess i'm done!

Coincidentally, I found an online error today in ComputerWorld's website when I wanted to click on a link they had sent me in an email and it kept crashing upon retries, either with a 404 Page or sometimes with a java Unhandled Exception error message. Sheesh!

Why the media ignored Colbert's act

Christopher Durang explains why the mainstream media ignored Colbert's 20-minute speech in front of the president. Peter Daou also slams the media for ignoring the issue.

In Bush versus Truthiness DKos says:

"Standing at the podium only a few feet from President Bush, Colbert launched an all out assault on the policies of this Administration. It was remarkable, though painful at times, to watch. It may also have been the first time that anyone has been this blunt with this President."

Some excerpts:

  • "I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
  • "Guys like us - we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that people are thinking in 'reality'. And 'reality' has a well known liberal bias."
  • "I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers, and rubble, and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world."
  • "The greatest thing about this man is that he is steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday - no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change, this man's beliefs never will."
  • "This Administration is not sinking. This Administration is soaring. If anything they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg."

Whether you liked it or hated it, it is news and should be reported, if the media was doing its proper job. If not for C-Span and the Blogosphere we wouldn't know this happened.

[Update]: Boing Boing reports that YouTube has pulled the video. Aparently after a request from C-SPAN (copyright owner). Maybe because now they are selling the video for $24.95? Or political pressure? With this outfit you never know.

(Via Garrett)

Stryped Pyjama Squid

Aren't cephalopods beautiful? P.Z. Myers over at Pharyngula shows this beautiful animal. It's a Striped pyjama squid (Sepioloidea linelata) from Australia.

More info here and here. (Photo by Dr. Mark Norman)
More photos here (don't miss these!).

New Jumbo Jet Firefighter

Jumbo Jet
Finally a 747 supertanker that does the job!

"A raging forest fire races up a steep canyon, and ground crews scramble to outrun the oncoming inferno. They retreat, and the Captain picks up the radio and calls for some MAJOR backup from the air.

In minutes, a dark silhouette of a very large aircraft appears on the horizon, flying low but not slow. When the jet’s position is perfect, the Air Boss makes the call and in a blink of an eye, 20,000 gallons of fire retardant rain down from the sky, beating back the fire to give the firefighters room to work."

Follow the link to Evergreen to see more about the new Jumbo Jet Firefighter.

Bush's Spanish 'no muy bueno,' White House says

Big surprise here. I heard his try at Spanish a couple of times. Trust me, it's not there.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush likes to drop a few words of Spanish in his speeches and act like he's proficient in the language. But he's really not that good, his spokesman said Thursday.

"The president can speak Spanish but not that well," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "He's not that good with his Spanish."
Why would you try to impress people letting them think you are fluent in a language when you are not? Maybe because you aren't too bright?

Clearing the pagefile to wipe sensitive data

From the archives: Jesper on 'Clearing the pagefile to wipe sensitive data"

"How do we mitigate the threat of sensitive data in page files. Page files are basically an on-disk repository of data that was in memory but not needed right at this moment. The system will page the data to disk, into the pagefile, to allow apps to use more memory than what the system really has.

This obviously can cause a security problem if an app stores sensitive data in memory and that piece of memory gets spooled to disk. If so, a bad guy can read it from there. This threat is not new and affects all operating systems that use virtual memory. However, how big a threat is it really?"

Jesper [a security expert working for Microsoft] goes on explaining this threat, and the likelihood and probability of it. And if indeed it is a threat to your organization, then he explains how to mitigate it. Read on...

Infant Identity Theft Victim

A 5-month old baby in Bothell-WA (a suburb of Seattle) is probably the youngest victim of identity theft ever. Read the story here.

(Via B. Schneier)

What's your Political Compass?

This one is an oldie but interesting. Fill a simple political opinion quiz (only takes a few minutes and it is completely anonymous as they do not ask for, nor keep any personal information), and they will show you where do you fall in the political spectrum and allow you to compare with important figures such as Gandhi, M. Tatcher or J. Stalin.

I came out smack in the middle of the lower-left quadrant.

Where do you fall?

A speech for our chief's next big decision

Leonard Pitts Jr. one of the Miami Herald's (my hometown newspaper) best columnists, and also a Pulitzer Prize winner (2004) wrote a speech for President Bush's announcement of the next (upcoming) war on Iran.

It may sound funny but it could be just like that. Really.

Fail Early, Fail Often

Scott Hanselman thinks signing your name with a bunch of certifications is gauche:

If it's silly to suggest putting my SATs on my resume, why is ..

Scott Hanselman, MCSD, MCT, MCP, MC*.*

.. reasonable? Having a cert means you have a capacity to hold lots of technical stuff in your head. Full stop. I propose we sign our names like this:

Scott Hanselman, 11 Successful Large Projects, 3 Open Source Applications, 1 Colossal Failure

Wouldn't that be nice?

Jeff at Coding Horror comments on Scott's post but contends that Scott has it backwards; the credentials should show the number of failed projects first. From the point of view that you learn more from your mistakes than your successes I'd have to say he's right.

Craig Bailey comments on improving FoxPro's perception

FoxPro's main problem is one of perception outside of the Foxpro community. In that I have to agree.

He proposes some ideas for the comunity and Microsoft to make the situation better. As comments I'd like to point you to Andrew's comments on this post which artfully articulate my same opinion better than I could have said it.

Visual FoxPro holds steady at #13 in May 2006 TIOBE Index

Visual FoxPro holds steady at #13 in the may 2006 TIOBE Programming Community Index with 20 positions gained since same time last year.

This puts it in the A- category. Well done!