Archives for December 2006

I wonder if Saddam is saying, “Oh, Satan …” right about now

So, apparently Saddam Hussein is dead. I wonder if this is what he’s doing now:

South Park Episode 410

I can just hear it now … “Oh, Satan …”


Welcome to the latest incarnation of sweatshop labor

In the middle of an IM conversation with Reginald, I realized:

  • Develop a sub-$100 laptop.
  • Create a huge number of new web surfers with said laptop.
  • Serve them CPC and CPM ads.
  • Profit!

Suppose the laptop’s useful life span is 3 years. Is a pair of eyeballs (with respect to ad revenue) worth over $100 in that time? If so, this becomes an easily sustainable business, assuming web ad revenues continue to grow or at least stay at their current levels.

This is the latest incarnation of “sweatshop labor.” Exploitation 2.0.


There’s more to ORM than serializing data to a RDBMS

Reginald Braithwaite blogs that Relational Calculus is about Relations, not Rows, quoting from this entry at Enfranchised Mind:

To faithfully model SQL we must, on some level, faithfully model the relational calculus. And this is where I think the Object Oriented programmers go astray in trying to interface to SQL. In their hurry to make things into objects, they immediately (and without fail) declare the rows to be objects–and thus miss the fact that relational calculus and thus SQL is about relations, not rows.

I’ve often said that complex problems are just simple problems which are not well defined or correctly articulated. OO-heads rage against the ORM problem because they’re not solving the ORM problem, they’re solving something else. To solve the ORM problem, you have to understand that the basis of the problem is in adequately representing the fundamental operators of relational calculus–join, selection, projection–then combining them in ways that produce higher-order behaviors which implement the functionality required.

Simply serializing objects into a matrix representation is not “solving the ORM problem.” This is my biggest criticism of the ActiveRecord in Ruby on Rails: if your problem is so simple that pregenerated scaffolds and ActiveRecord is adequate, then your problem is so trivial it’s non-interesting. The challenge is for an OO language to facilitate representing the relations between objects, the semantic information about how one object’s data values can be derived using the three relational calculus operators from other data. At that point, why not simply learn and use SQL directly, rather than extending your favorite language with what is essentially a dialect of SQL?

Of course, when the majority of software developers are just tool users and not artisans who actually create things, it’s really a moot point. “Web 2.0” has brought us a lot of new applications, but they’re all fundamentally the same. Ruby on Rails and ActiveRecord offers a solution to the CRUD problem to the tool users, but that hasn’t been interesting for years now. What’s needed now is a way to provide the mass of tool users to create novel permutations of the tools they have, not just continue to replicate slightly varied instances of them.


Darn, I missed ascending on Crimboween

New Events:

12/26/06 01:30:55 PM – Welcome back to the Kingdom of Loathing. Noob.

When I ascended on Halloween XI, I mistakenly thought I’d ascended on Crimboween (which was yesterday). I said then that I’d try to ascend on Crimboween, as well. Well, I was all set to beat the Naughty Sorceress and everything … then, real life obligations got in the way and I didn’t get a chance to do it until today! So, I missed my Crimboween ascension, but at least I got my Tropical Crimbo pressie and I ascended on Boxing Day.

Merry Crimboween to all you KoL’ers out there! May 2007 bring you plenty of meat and good RNG luck! links since December 18, 2006 at 09:00 AM (RSS) links since December 18, 2006 at 09:00 AM:

Oh noes! I’m obese! ROFLOMG!@#

BMI 33.7 is OBESE!

So, my friend Joe sends me a special invite to check out Revolution Health and I decide to check out the “BMI Calculator” which takes your height and weight and tries to approximate your BMI. Well, apparently, for someone who’s 5’3″ and 190 pounds, it thinks my BMI is 33.7 which it tells me is not just “overweight” or “chubby” but “obese.” Damn. I’m one fat bastard.

Watch out, or I might eat you in a fit of uncontrollable hunger.


Why yes, I reply to 6 year old emails

---Mutt: ~/Mailbox [Msgs:5164 New:14 Old:81 ...

Yes, that’s the status line of my Mutt window telling me I’ve got 5,164 messages in my email inbox, of which 14 are new. I’ve got mail in there dating back to September, 2000. A lot of it is stuff I just never got around to filing away into subfolders, but there’s plenty of messages from old friends and acquaintances that I just never got around to replying to!

As part of my desire to clean up my intellectual messes with the quickly approaching 2007, I’m going to go through each and every email and decide whether to file it, delete it, or reply to it right then and there–even if it’s 6 years late. I just can’t let it go on any longer.

, links since December 11, 2006 at 09:00 AM (RSS) links since December 11, 2006 at 09:00 AM: links since December 4, 2006 at 09:00 AM (RSS) links since December 4, 2006 at 09:00 AM:

Totally inappropriate Christmas humor

I just couldn’t help it, I have to preserve this snippet of a conversation I’m having:

[12:21] jayridge: u have bad attitude
[12:21] jayridge: where is ur xmas spirit
[12:21] Dossy: it's nailed to a cross.
[12:21] jayridge: lol