There was public outrage three
years ago when environmentalists poured yogurt over aluminum
representatives to protest a new plant.
Aluminum representatives? I've heard of aluminum Christmas trees; is this something similar?
Come to think of it, that could be a great idea: low maintenance, easily stored between sessions, unlikely to take bribes... Aluminum 2010! Elect a metal construct to replace that meat-based politician you've got now!
Well, not in my personal experience. A few times in past years I've gone hiking when I was just-about-recovered from a cold, only to have a relapse. For me, at least, waiting until I'm fully recovered, plus a couple of days, seems to be the right approach. (But, then, the article is about athletes, not deskbound engineers.)
My big Saturnalia present to myself arrived this morning: a perfectly ordinary garden shed. Or, rather, a garden shed which is a smidgen less than six and a half feet tall, and which, therefore, I can put right next to my back fence without annoying the zoning folks.
The workman showed up, spent an hour or so working in the mud, and handed over the keys. Now I need to put some shelves in it... and then juggle stuff among it, the sideyard shed, my lab, Goodwill, the freecycle list, the recycling center, and the dump... and eventually end up with an empty storage locker on which I'll then be able to stop paying rent.
And no, I have no plans to write any music in the shed.
Well, maybe they'll read the reviews, skip the new version, and watch the original. I certainly don't intend to see the new one, unless perhaps in the context of an MST party... and it is time to watch the classic again, isn't it?
What is it with these color-and-SFX reimaginings, anyway? The classic-ish version of War of the Worlds wasn't especially good, but at least it made some kind of sense; the Tom Cruise version was just incoherent. And the SciFi Channel apparently got the urge to revisit the Flash Gordon serials, resulting in a series in which Flash didn't have silver underwear, Dr. Zarkov didn't have a rocketship, and everyone had gratuitously complicated personal lives and spent a lot of time running around in fields and jumping through wibbly patches in the air (and there's rather a lot of convenient end-of-episode amnesia). C'mon, the original had pretty darn tacky sets, props, and effects, but at least it tried. Oh, and the Get Smart movie? Reasonably entertaining, yes, but it wasn't Get Smart.
Hmph. I feel a lengthy rant coming on, and there's no time for it now (never mind no time to watch all the remakes of the last several years alongside the originals). Maybe another time.
What with Firefox 2.0.x having officially reached the end of its supported life, I switched to 3.0.4 last week.
There were a couple of transition annoyances - mainly, it lost many of my newer bookmarks until I deleted all my bookmarks and did an explicit import from the old 2.0 bookmarks file, and of course I had to go out and find compatible versions of some of the extensions I use.
There's an ongoing problem, though: duplex printing. I don't find any references to this on the Web, so there doesn't seem to be an answer (if I find one, I'll post an update).
Now, here's the thing: I have a duplex-capable printer (Brother HL-5250DN), Linux (Debian-unstable), and CUPS. The .ppd file and lpoptions quite clearly specify DuplexNoTumble as the default... and yet Firefox insists on defaulting to DuplexTumble every freaking time I go to print something.
It doesn't seem to be one of those KDE-vs-Gnome things, either; I just fired up the Gnome CUPS manager, and it thinks NoTumble is the default. So, unless I switch to the Page Setup tab, and change the duplex setting every time, my printouts get formatted for flipping along the short edge instead of the long edge.
Ah, well... printing from browsers has been problematic for a long time (and not just Mozilla products, and not just under Linux), but this is just plain bad integration.
3 minutes after a person is stung by a deadly box jellyfish, s/he may be dead.
Well, duh! 2 minutes after reading this, you may be dead, even without the intervention of a box jellyfish! You might just drop dead of a heart attack after being startled by the meteorite that, at this very moment, is plummeting toward your desk! Or you might break your neck after tripping over a power cord while running to the window to look for the meteorite!
Life's uncertain, and if you use the right weasel words, almost any statement can be made trivially true....
* If NSFW means "not safe for work", does NSF.gov mean "not safe if you work for the .gov"?
Found on Slashdot: a Stanford energy study concludes that some of the things the politicians are pushing are Really Dumb, and that we should instead be doing the things that some other politicians are pushing.
Hmmm. Well, some of this is pretty obvious; that corn ethanol is a boondoggle has been apparent for quite some time, and solar-thermal makes a lot of sense if you have some way to store the energy for use at night. But....
I have to wonder what assumptions he's making about photovoltaic technology, which he ranks relatively high. And he's down on nuclear power. I wonder what assumptions he's making there?
Oh, here we go:
...nuclear emits about 25-times more carbon and air pollution than wind energy...
Er... what? Where's that carbon coming from?
"Once you have a nuclear energy facility, it's straightforward to start
refining uranium in that facility, which is what Iran is doing and
Venezuela is planning to do," Jacobson said.
There's no fargin' connection between a nuclear power plant and a uranium enrichment plant. They're altogether different facilities.
Now, if you have a power reactor, it does produce plutonium, which can also be used for making bombs... though the plutonium from a power reactor is ill-suited to the purpose owing to the high concentration of 240Pu. And, in the interest of reducing waste and getting the most mileage out of the fuel supply, it does make sense to reprocess the fuel... but there's really no need for every country with reactors to have fuel-reprocessing capability; just have a fuel-exchange program with a member of the existing nuclear club to trade your nasty used fuel rods for nice clean new ones.
Rambling about the Web in an idle moment, I found that Inner Prop has some... interesting thoughts on religion.
No, I don't have any enlightenment to add just now, though his thoughts are sort of relevant to a largish essay that's been lurking in the back of my mind for a couple of years now, regarding the importance of religion to a secular state.
According to El Reg, some Aussie's been convicted of possessing kiddie porn on account of having videos of Bart and Lisa Simpson having sex.
Quite apart from the minor detail that Bart and Lisa aren't people, how can they be underage? They were 10 and 8 years old, respectively, in 1989. So what were their legal ages when the offending vids were made, huh?
(There's got to be a Twilight angle in here somewhere, too, but somehow I don't see a vampire wanting to go into a bar.)
Following links from TSM this morning, I arrived at this tale of fire extinguishers, and the banishment thereof from English apartment buildings (excuse me, blocks of flats).
Dorset Fire and Rescue defended
the move, saying: 'Obviously,
in some cases, an extinguisher
could come in useful but, with new building regulations,
every escape route should be completely fireproof.'
Yup. Right up until someone actually moves into the building and piles a bunch of excess cardboard under the stairs. Or the landlord covers up damaged carpet with incompletely-fireproof throw rugs.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents backed their removal
because different extinguishers should be used on different types of
Riiiight. And those cheap 1A; 10B:C extinguishers I keep scattered around my house would be totally inappropriate for use on a flaming block of magnesium (or, for that matter, uranium), for which you'd want a D extinguisher. For anything you're likely to encounter in a residential setting, though, the basic multi-purpose extinguishers are just fine.
On and off for the last few weeks (IMCFT, what with work being in Busy Mode), I've been trying to add support to AGROS for the USB device interface on the LPC2148 (and thence the LPC23xx and such).
Well, it's been frustrating. The NXP documentation isn't very good, and the various sample code isn't set up to show just how the interface actually works.
Eventually, looking at Micrium's code, I figured out what I think is the last bit of magic: Set Address needs to have the command issued to the protocol engine once (so it takes effect on the next Setup packet), not twice (to take effect immediately), and the Set Address command needs to be ACKed with a zero-length packet.
Anyway, instead of seeing a half-second (or five-second) timeout and bus reset as with the various b0rked attempts, I'm now seeing a Get Configuration Descriptor command immediately after Set Address... and I'm not responding to it, because I haven't built a configuration descriptor yet.
Off to do some real work now (you know, the kind that pays the bills). Once I get my USB driver working properly, I expect I'll post some nice sample code that shows just how the interface gets used.
Having USB device support in AGROS may come in handy for real work soon... toss in an ACM layer and a SCPI interpreter, and it looks like part of a line of quick'n'easy custom test equipment.
(Update: the USB class for something that speaks SCPI should of course be TMC, not ACM. I think I have a copy of the TMC spec squirreled away somewhere... and it can't be any more perverse and incomprehensible than the ACM spec... can it?)