I understand that there is an inherent and pervasive bias in pure-text communication which makes statements intended to be good-humoured sound sophomoric, makes statements which were intended to be friendly sound smarmy, makes statements which were intended to be enthusiastic sound brash, makes statements intended to be helpful sound condescending, makes statements which were intended to be precise and accurate sound brusque and pedantic, makes statements which were intended to be positive sound neutral, and makes statements which were intended to be neutral seem downright hostile.
0.0.4 Sat Feb 9 11:08:51 2008
* Made globbing magical only in those source files that explicitly load
the module (thanks Steffen)
W00t! Now I can actually use the module instead of making sad eyes and letting out a wistful sigh when I think of it.
Tomorrow at this hour I’ll be asleep 400km from home.
Bill gets irrationally upset when I tell him I write in five different languages every day […] because it means I can’t use an IDE, since no IDE can handle all of the above. Apparently, if you can’t use an IDE to automatically rename your methods for you every 10 minutes or so, you’re not a real programmer.
And I mean an actual domain-specific language cooked up somewhere in the Ruby camp – in fact, a DSL-writing toolkit.
First reports of the impact of the data retention laws
From a law firm:
A potential client worries about the trouble he might have gotten into, for example. We don’t talk about anything for which the new laws were nominally created. But naturally he is careful, since the fact that he approached me is now leaving traces. And who knows, the call for a defender who has no mandate and might possibly never even have one, might even justify an initial suspicion in the future. […] The response may read as follows:
“If you are concerned about the confidentiality of your call or the retention of connection data, you or a person of your trust may also deposit the consulting fee in advance, for example in cash at the Post Bank. In that case I wouldn’t have to ask for personal data on the phone. You might then call me from a public telephone, say.”
From an editorial:
A colleague has taken the day off tomorrow. He estimates that he will be absent for two to three hours. That’s because he has a meeting with an informer, one who no longer wants to talk to him. Not on the phone anyway. He is afraid of his cover being blown. “All traceable now and all”, the informer said. Therefore he will only talk with the editor of his trust in person. Preferably outdoors. And he’s going to turn off his cellphone meanwhile. Because in case he gets a call, his location will be recorded.
ZAPP had an insightful report on the situation of journalists in Belgium some time ago, where data retention has been in force for a while.
But the examples also show that there are ways to circumvent data retention. A lot is happening in that arena lately. At AK Vorrat we get a lot of requests along those lines from the press, and the collection of relevant tips is ever growing. The issue has even made it to Reuters and FTD. At the Chaostreff in Bremen we’re being deluged by requests from political groups that want to secure their internal communications, and the hacker scene in general has increased their darknet efforts.
But because such technical solutions aren’t practical or reasonable for everyone and at all times, and because the problem is political and not technical in nature, continuing political protest beyond the complaint of unconstitutionality remains important. Here, too, there is renewed impetus since New Year’s Eve and an influx of worried people who want to resist.
Cheers, Germany. Now I might just as well emigrate to the U.S., since it doesn’t make a damn difference anymore. Actually, not quite – habeas corpus still exists over here. Faint praise…
Every time you regulate a free-market economy, God kills a… wait no, that was in bad taste.
Threads are an invention of the devil. Stay as far away from these fiendish abominations as you can get.
It is also my duty to earnestly warn programmers of all ilks that multi-threaded programming is madness. Multi-threading causes programs to run slower, have more bugs, and become harder to maintain. Threads are deadly. Avoid them.
Please also note that “thread safe” is an oxymoron.
I guess home-brew programs are like babies: they appear to be delightful and impart a sense of wonder in the mysteries of the universe to their creators, but are noisy and obstreperous to everyone else.
A lot of effort goes into [Perl on] VMS, but that’s because we have a small core of dedicated VMS folks who do most of the work. And VMS is still an actively developed, viable operating system with good reasons for using it in its particular niches.  And I personally get some enjoyment from working with VMS, it’s like visiting another planet.
Compare with, say, supporting Windows 95 which has no future, no good reason to use it, no dedicated developers within Perl and is no fun.