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tophat

A subject line goes here.

Posted on 2013.02.05 at 20:22
I've been a contractor too long.
Full time now. Directly employed.
~700 person company.
Co-wrote part of the company's Software Development Lifecycle Process.
Designed a large chuck of the system used to build and ship software.
I play with implementing video game artificial intelligence at home.
Life's not perfect, but it's good for me right now.
Hope everyone is doing well.

tophat

I wanna be a Jedi...

Posted on 2011.11.05 at 12:31
There's a Kid Rock parody in there somewhere.

I don't think George Lucas is molding his own poop into plastic molds anymore. I think he has 15 year olds in China to do that for him now.

What do you do when not even the poop is authentic George Lucas?

I'm actually a bit excited by the up-coming Kinect Star Wars game.

I'm not even sure if I care if Kinect Star Wars will be any good. Just the idea of being able to motion Force Powers at some animated Storm Troopers and send them flying against the wall gets me excited, and it's a lot healthier than kicking the cat.

It doesn't even have to be challenging. Look! I just raised my hands at the screen lifted that crashed space ship as part of the script! Did you see that?!

I don't care if the graphics suck or if I can count the polygons that make up each Battle Droid or if the game play is either boring, repetitive, and non-challenging. The Jedi Kid me (who has never heard the term Padowan or cares) wants to seriously do this.

...all while humming along to The Tune, off-key.

I'm not a huge fan-boy. The action figures I have now are molded and pre-posed, and they're one of the only pieces of merchandise I own (although I had to have the Yoda Magic 8 Ball). Shelling out money to actually relive my childhood would be worth it.

tophat

Dennis Ritchie passed away 4 days ago.

Posted on 2011.10.16 at 12:32
    Who?
Dennis Ritchie is the guy that co-wrote the Unix OS and the K&R C programming language.
    Huh?
iPhone? Andoid phone?
    Those are cool. Hey, Steve Jobs invented the iPhone!
WRONG! You may not have a computer in front of you if it wasn't for this guy.

Here are some cause and effect charts:


File Operating Systems:
UNIX >
Linux >
Android OS
BSD Unix > Mac OS/X > iPhone iOS


Programming Languages:
Used to create:
K&R C > ANSI C
  • Every major OS.
  • System BIOS.
  • Device drivers.
  • Most cutting-edge games.
C++
Objective C
  • iPhone Apps.
Perl
  • Web server automation.
  • Server-side web apps.
Java
  • Server-side web apps.
  • Desktop apps.
  • Android Apps.
PHP
  • Server-side web apps.
ECMAScript
A.K.A. Javascript
A.K.A. Actionscript
  • The Lingua Franca
    of all web-client apps.
  • Also used in Flash.
C#
  • Server-side web apps.
  • Desktop apps.
  • Silverlight apps.


Steve?
He led through business management and a design aesthetic.
He was not the primary designer and engineer of the technologies he seems to receive sole credit for.

Rant:
The world has Unix and C thanks to anti-trust regulation that prevented Bell Labs (AT&T) from imposing restrictive commercial licensing on either UNIX or C. This allowed these technologies to become world-wide standards. Software patents and patent trolls restrict the adoption of new technologies and frustrates inspired innovation.

tophat

Level 86 Television

Posted on 2011.09.29 at 20:00
Level-based RPGs (yes, non-level-based RPGs exist) go something like this:
  • You just killed the band of marauding Orcs and their leader that (burned your village and slew your parents). Level up! Now how to celebrate?
  • Kill the entire tribe of maruading Orcs! Level up!
  • Kill the evil Wizard that controlled the tribe of marauding Orcs. Level up!
  • Kill. Level up!
  • Mass genocide. Level up!
  • ...
  • Have tea with the evil diety started all of this before slaying him or her, thus becoming a diety yourself.
Over the top television is the same way; the show has to out-do itself every time it does something out-rageous.
  • Doctors drive their cars through people's Houses.
  • Doctors swap placebos for drugs in a medical trials for the sake of Greying old friends and still keep their jobs when discovered.
Television has turned into a Level 86 monster that skips rope over shark pools for fun. Time to kill it.

tophat

WARNING: Constant pain may *POP* if untreated.

Posted on 2011.08.28 at 18:01
Painful infections that require antibiotics (plural) with a side effect of dizziness are "fun". The complications that may arise from having an infection are not, and may possibly include rupturing and DEATH. If you're experiencing severe pain that won't go away, there may be something wrong; you should go see a Doctor. Now.

I am fine. Just remember this post if you're feeling constant pain that does not respond well to pressure or movement.


tophat

It's not Conan the Seminarian

Posted on 2011.08.22 at 19:00
I saw Conan the Barbarian last night. This movie rocks if you like:If you would rather have an enlightened and artful literary discussion, then you should read the original Conan tales by Robert E. Howard. Howard's original tales feature sword fights, dark sorcerous cults, and human sexuality in brutal and harsh settings with just a hint of 1930's misogyny. As you read these stories of classic literature, you will watch Conan grow from a lone survivor to bandit and become a rampaging warlord, if not King.

I love intricate stories featuring dynamic character development, but this new Conan movie is a pulp-driven violent tale bordering on soft porn that honors the literary tale in which a very strong and intelligent man overcomes bigger and more intelligent things. That's the way it should be for all of you intellectually detached politically correct nannies out there.

While I'd expect this from the professional critics out there, the average movie-goer, like myself, also share their reviews. For all of our ideals, we forget that we're talking about Conan the Barbarian here.

We don't outgrow these things as we become more educated and mature, as some would suggest. We learn to suppress them in the name of civilized and socially acceptable behaviors. We shield our children and ourselves from the darker edges of the human psyche, and we feel all the more safer and superior for doing so. The cocoon we weave is a trap that censors ideas and limits discussions. If everything was better in 1950's America, then why did the 60's happen? Somewhere between security, prosperity, and compassion lies the answer.

tophat

So then what do I do after ranting against SONY?

Posted on 2011.06.05 at 12:36
So then what do I do after ranting against SONY? I go out and buy a cheap set of SONY headphones. At least they haven't tried to re-invent the 1/8 inch stereo headphone jack yet. Oh, wait- that's why I hated my SONY Ericsson phone. Never-mind.

I knew better, and I still bought that phone. Sigh.

tophat

SONY invited hackers to attack them [Opinion]

Posted on 2011.06.04 at 16:38
I was listening to a NPR NEWS story about how hackers have been hammering at all things SONY through multiple security vulnerabilities. I think the story falsely attributed the motivation behind these attacks. NPR stated that the attacks were in response to SONY's law suit against GeoHot, the hacker that hacked the PS3 to show that users (SONY's customers) could restore their consumer rights that SONY violated. NPR also suggested that these hackers were hoping to be employed by SONY to fix the very services that they were attacking. I don't feel that either explanation tells the whole story.

I don't know the hacker motivations for certain, but I would not be surprised if they were the result of decades of SONY's business practices.SONY started off as the company that fought for consumer rights (to record their own shows) and ended up as the company that suppresses consumer rights.In a move in the right direction (I'm biased) SONY promised to support the installation of other operating systems on the PS3, such as Linux. Linux can be used for multiple projects, such as:
  • Web page servers
  • Home theater media centers
  • File servers
  • A personal workstation - that can be connected to from anywhere
  • Simply to learn a *nix Operating System
SONY then produced a firmware update that intentionally removed this capability, preventing its customers who spent many hours creating content on their PS3s from accessing that content.
  • May 23rd, 2010: GeoHot demonstrated that the PS3 could be hacked to restore the OtherOS functionality that would allow SONY's customers to retain their consumer right to make modifications to the products that they have bought and paid for.
  • April 27th, 2010: A class action lawsuit was filed against SONY for an "unfair and deceptive" "breach of good faith" against its own customers.
  • July 14th, 2010: GeoHot announced that he would not be publishing his custom firmware for the PS3.
  • January, 2011: Six months later, SONY decides to sue GeoHot and other hackers anyways.
Recognize that SONY is consumer unfriendly, backs the RIAA/MPAA, sells proprietary hardware, and gouges consumers once they are locked into SONY's products and services. Just don't buy from them. If you do buy from them, and find that SONY hoarked you because of it, do the right thing and seek a legitimate remedy.

Hey, SONY? Microsoft has embraced the modders that hacked the Microsoft Kinect and are openly encouraging them. That's right. Microsoft.

As far as SONY's security woes? I don't agree with attacking network services, but I think they asked for it.

tophat

You Must be 40 Inches Tall - Period.

Posted on 2011.05.29 at 18:47
Hey;

I just got back from Disney World. No, I haven't been hanging out there since my last post.

You must be 40 inches tall to ride most of the good rides. If you're not at least 40 inches tall, you will not get to enjoy those rides, and someone will have to sit with you if others decide to.
If you're not at least 40 inches tall, and you're not born with a birth defect:
  • You will not remember very much.
  • You will be less likely to behave.
  • You will be more likely to want to go home at around noon.
  • You will likely be pushed around in a stroller
    • ...which is its own headache
  • You are more likely to be crying on the long flight there and back.
  • Your parents will have likely just wasted their money on you for less enjoyment for themselves.


Yes, I know there are a lot of parents in my Friends list.

Had lots of fun. Visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney (Wow, that has changed. This was a family trip. I couldn't visit much else on my own. (Sorry.)

tophat

Stupidity and marketing.

Posted on 2010.10.23 at 13:57
I'm looking at a What-Were-They-Thinking advertisement that I won't describe for fear of providing free advertising in any form. This ad contains at least three You've-Got-To-Be-Kidding-Me's, but I don't think that their marketing department is that stupid and socially oblivious.

This is why I sometimes fear faux-scandal-bait and Internet memes. People seem to want to latch onto anything that generates a controversy and turn it into a fashion trend.

Next month, there will be an advertisement for a headband that will be intentionally designed to look like a strap-on-dildo. Someone like me will comment, "What were the thinking!?" but (unlike me) they'll go on to describe the product. It will become an Internet meme. Millions of people will visit the product's web site and realize that they were serious. Someone will ask, "What's the big deal?" and they'll think it would be cool to wear the headband and thumb their noses at convention. In a year, strap on dildos for headbands will become a fashion statement. The news will cover it. 40-somethings will start adopting it.

In two year's time, everyone will realize that it was a stupid idea and throw their headbands away. (They'll be poking up out of landfills for decades.) The former owners will be trying to laughingly dismiss those party photos for years.

The headband is a direct analogy for the product advertisement I just saw. I wouldn't want to wear that on my head, either.

Someone comes up with a bad idea and successfully markets it through the resulting buzz. People want items that become ever-present in their social lives. They'll buy it, only to realize that it was a stupid idea to begin with. This is how Snuggies happen. Imagine the wasted time and production that could have gone into something better instead of making someone rich.

Then again, if I could successfully market the strap-on-dildo headband, I would. $$$$$! :D


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