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phillup (4419)

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Journal of phillup (4419)

Friday April 01, 2005
03:21 PM

It's so good, we use it ourselves

I saw an entry in FreshMeat that sounded interesting. When I went to the home page for the software I saw two statements that were a bit interesting to me:

A GPL'd drop down menu that is so good that even we use it.


It's about time that someone released an open source drop down menu that actually works!

Why did I find them interesting? Well... the drop down menus on the site don't work for me. That's why.

(Mozilla 1.7.6 on OSX 1.3.7)

Wednesday March 30, 2005
08:31 PM

Government Intrusion

I came across this in the paper today:

The lawsuit seeks to abolish the nearly 200-year-old - and rarely enforced - law that prohibits unmarried, unrelated adults of the opposite sex from living together. North Carolina is one of seven states with such a law.

The first thought in my mind (OK, the second) was... Hm... I bet it is OK for two people of the same gender to live together.

Hm... wonder what signal *that* sends.

I'm sure they are working feverishly to outlaw room mates.

Monday February 14, 2005
07:39 PM

iPod Compatibility

I just got the latest Herrington catalog in the mail.

On the front cover is a radio claiming Virtuoso Sound and iPod Compatibility.

What makes it iPod compatible?

Or turn to “AUX”, plug in your iPod, and enjoy your entire library of iTunes with room-filling sound!

Kinda makes me wonder how much the "Windows Compatible" version is...

Friday February 11, 2005
02:19 PM

Quote of the week

Corporates need to think twice before using Firefox because it has repeatedly been targeted by worms and viruses.

Thursday February 10, 2005
01:08 AM

Familiar Names

I read an article the other day (but I can't remember what or where it was) that didn't make much of an impression on me.

But something about it kept niggling in the back of my mind.

Well, today I read another one that reminded me what the niggling was about.

Sean Burke meet Shawn Burke.

It isn't uncommon to find people with the same or similar names, but when I read the article and noted that it was relating to the computing industry... well... I did have to double-check that it wasn't the same person.

Wednesday February 09, 2005
07:50 PM

Lies and Democracy

Pfiffner's third, and most troublesome, category of presidential untruthfulness he labels as lies of policy deception, where "a president says that the government is doing one thing when in fact it is doing another."
Pfiffner explains that "misleading the public about the direction of government policy does not allow the electorate to make an informed choice and undermines the premise of the democratic process." He cites the work of American philosopher and ethicist Sissela Bok to suggest why such deception is abhorrent: "It allows those in power to override or nullify the right vested in the people to cast an informed vote in critical elections."

06:41 PM

Unexpected Linkage

While reading an article on the Bush budget proposal, I did not expect to find a hyperlink to news stories about Mount Everest!

(At least not in the body of the article... all bets are off when including headers, footers and sidebars.)

05:49 PM

Bush Lies

This morning I read an article in the (somewhat) local paper that had the words "Bush Lying" in the heading. That isn't news to me, but it was certainly out of character for the newspaper. The newspaper has an online site, but it seems pretty lame to me. So, this link may or may not show you the synopsis of the article.

While looking for a linkable version, I stumbled across an interesting site that had a quote I can identify with.

Other Bush backers claim that some of his lies are "technically correct" or "tailored to fit the audience," or some such circumlocution. What they're talking about are lies of omission rather than lies of commission. In lies of omission it's what they imply, not what they say. For example, the other evening Bush told Congress and the American people that he was putting a "lock box" on Social Security. Now, it's very clear that Bush wanted us to feel secure in the belief that he was protecting all of our Social Security funds for the future. No question, right? Yet, the very next day when his budget book was released, we learned that Bush told a lie of omission. What he didn't tell Congress and the American people is that he would later take from $.6 to $1 trillion out of that "lock box" to cover his tax cuts. No doubt, Bush lied. He wanted folks to believe something that he knew was not true. Of course, politicians do this all the time. It's second nature. In sum, the thing that really bothers us about Bush's lies is that he is also a hypocrite and pretends he's above lying. As a liar, he reinforces our assumptions about politicians. As a hypocrite, he reinforces our assumptions about his character.

I also think that the quote is somewhat pertinent since it is a "blast from the past" about statements Bush has made regarding Social Security.

Meanwhile we see this little snippet:

The first clue to the truth lies in a measure of the federal deficit this crowd adores obscuring but is forced by law to disclose. It's found only in a large table buried in the budget documents and estimates the government's operating red ink -- the amount by which spending exceeds revenue from income taxes and other fees. Last year it was far above the deficit figure that that typically makes its way into headlines -- $567 billion, compared with the "official" figure of $412 billion.
The difference is almost entirely accounted for by the large surplus in Social Security payroll taxes over benefit spending that the government "borrows" to make the books look less ridiculous.

Which is the first time I've ever seen the link between deficit spending and Social Security even hinted at.

At the end of the day, all money comes from the general fund. There is no "lock box" holding a separate pile of cash for Social Security.

Yet, GWB says that Social Security will be bankrupt. He omits to tell us that this can't really happen without the government itself being bankrupt.

GWB tells us that he will reduce the deficit by half by some future date with his budget. He omits to tell us that the budget does not include the cost of his proposed SS reforms or the current wars. Or, that with those included he can't possibly meet that goal.

He also omits telling the people that this assumes congress does not pass another tax cut, to include making the current temporary tax cuts permanent. One of his "mandate" items.


Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a version of the article I read in the paper "in the wild".

The article talks about how the Bush numbers assume a growth rate of 1.8 percent, when the economy has never, ever performed so poorly during any 15 year period.

Even during the depression it grew at two percent.

One of the things that stood out to me in the article was this snippet:

The administration is projecting a 6 percent growth in the stock market for the investment accounts. But the market is linked with the economy -- so if the economy truly grows at 1.8 percent as the projections say, there's no way for the market to grow at 6 percent.
"It is mathematically impossible to see the return Bush is promising." he said.

("He" is Doug Orr, the economist that charges Bush is lying.)

I'd really like to see the proof of that mathematical impossibility.

UPDATED: speling

Thursday November 18, 2004
03:31 PM


There has been a little stink at the CIA lately about an internal email sent by the new head honcho. Of note is the following:

As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies.

Now, the spin has been that he is trying to convey the idea that the data speaks for itself. That the CIA itself is neutral.

Well, I give the honcho an "F" for clarity. The statement, to me, reeks of one sidedness... not neutrality. To see why, let's change a phrase to it's opposite and see if the resulting statement can be contorted to still have the same meaning.

As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion agreement with the administration or its policies.

I think that statement would cause a firestorm among the Republicans.

In mathematics |x| + |-x| gets larger as the value of x moves from zero. I think that negating the above statement shows just how far from neutral the original message is.

If the true intent was to promote neutrality, then this was an abysmal failure. Communication skills are the foundation of good leadership. I hope that is not a sign of things to come.

Friday November 12, 2004
07:56 PM

Testing Mason autohandlers

In my last installment I found out that destruction of objects durning global garbage collection happens in a somewhat random order.

So, I need to make sure that all of my code undefines the $session instead of letting Perl do it for me. This way I know that the objects I'm referring haven't been destroyed yet and I can clean up properly.

Since this code runs in a Mason environment, the natural thing to do was insert a cleanup section in my autohandlers. But, I wasn't sure I had got them all.

And, I wanted to make sure that if I created an autohandler in the future that I remembered to clean my session.

Since I'm working on tests for the application, this seemed like a natural fit. So, I wrote a test to check all of my autohandlers for the correct code.

Now, if I create another autohandler it will get caught by the test script. At the very worst I'll have to update the plan. But, I won't forget to clean my session!

--- the code ---

# check all of the autohandlers and dhandlers and make sure that they have a cleanup section
# that undefines the $session variable if they do not inherit from another file
use strict;
use warnings;
use Test::More tests => 20;
# start in this directory
my $app_dir = '/home/Mason/comp/Gradebook/';
use File::Find::Rule;
my $rule = File::Find::Rule->new;
my @files = $rule->in($app_dir);
foreach my $handler (@files) {
  # open our file and read it in
  open I, $handler or print 'Bail out!';
  local $/;
  my $code = <I>;
  close I;
  # first we need to check and see if this autohandler inherits from another
  if ($code =~ m|^<%flags>\ninherit=>'undef'\n</%flags>|sm){
    # if it doesn't then it should have a cleanup section
    # let's grab the contents
    $code =~ m|^<%cleanup>(.*)</%cleanup>|sm;
    my $cleanup = $1 || ''; # so we don't trigger a warning with undefined scalar
    # and check to see that we are triggering the DESTROY method of our session
    ok( $cleanup =~ m|undef \$session;$|sm , "$handler cleans the session" );
  } # if inherits
} # foreach handler