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Quote of the Day
Aug 22nd, 2017 by Ken Hagler

You know you’re living some semblance of a free life when you have to stop and look up the spelling of “committee.”

Joel Simon

A very large difference in ease
Jun 19th, 2017 by Ken Hagler

Simple Web Development with Xojo. Do you find it frustrating to create web apps? HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and AJAX can be challenging, and frameworks such as Node, React, Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET, PHP and Java are often overwhelming for those just beginning web development.

There is a simpler solution: Xojo. Using a single programming language and a single IDE, you can go from zero to a working web app in an amazingly short amount of time with Xojo. [Xojo Blog]

In my experience the difference in complexity is enormous. Not long ago I was assigned to write a GWT composite widget containing over a dozen other widgets. To be sure I understood the written spec, I first created a working prototype of the widget as a Xojo container control so that I could show it my boss and confirm that I understood what he wanted. Once he had confirmed it, I implemented the same UI using GWT. The Xojo version took an hour and had a dozen lines of code. The same UI in GWT took a week and 150 lines of code.

Quote of the Day
Feb 21st, 2017 by Ken Hagler

Private property ownership has nothing even remotely to do with political borders. Property lines are determined nonaggressively, they are subject to market forces, owners are strictly limited in what they can do by considerations of proportionality and equal liberty (if you smoke in my house or trespass on my lawn I have a right to throw you off my property; I don’t have a right to lock you in a cage or throw you out of the country). They are wildly different in scope and powers granted and processes by which they are established, enforced, divided and reallocated. One is a spatial expression of individual liberty and the other is a collective assault upon it. Equating the two is sophistry on a par with “Banks are a good place to put your money. The Mississippi River has two banks. Therefore, the side of the Mississippi River is a good place to leave your money.”

Rad Geek

A very temporary improvement
Jan 23rd, 2017 by Ken Hagler

Drone Strike in Yemen Likely First of Trump Administration. . A second strike on Friday, Donald Trump’s first day in the Oval Office, killed three alleged militants, according to the Associated Press, which reported that Yemeni government officials (who often feed U.S. intelligence information on targets) attributed the strikes to the U.S. [Hit & Run]

When Trump took office it was the first time in sixteen years that a President wasn’t already a war criminal at his inauguration. Trump didn’t even make it a day before changing that.

Some unsurprising news
Jan 20th, 2017 by Ken Hagler

Already on probation, Symantec issues more illegit HTTPS certificates [Ars Technica]

As someone who worked for Symantec for sixteen years, I am completely unsurprised by this. Symantec liked to boast of being a security company, but that’s never been anything but an advertising slogan. They’ve never really made any serious effort to be remotely secure.

I’ve moved
Dec 28th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Last weekend I moved to a new apartment. I’d gotten fed up with the terrible management at the last apartment complex, so I left as soon as my lease expired. The new place is about the same size, also has Google Fiber, and has an even better view–I can see Town Lake from my desk.

It’s amazing how cowardly Americans have become
Dec 18th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

4 Schools Go into Lockdown, Call Cops on Man with an Umbrella. It’s a gun! No, it’s a sword!

Whatever it was, two different people spotted a man carrying it near Poly High in Riverside, California. They saw something, and said something. As a result four local schools went into lockdown mode yesterday.

Police hunted for the menacing maniac and finally, according to The Press Enterprise, “a campus supervisor at Poly spotted a man who matched the description given by both callers.”

The weapon he was carrying?

An umbrella.

The lockdowns were lifted, but the threat continues: Rain is in the forecast. [Hit & Run]

That was the high school where I was an inmate in the 1980s. I took ROTC while I was there, which involved about a hundred students marching around with bolt-action rifles (albeit rifles which had been rendered incapable of firing) at least one day a week. No lockdowns were involved.

The end of CityDesk
Dec 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

RIP CityDesk – Joel on Software. In those days all the cool kids wrote their own blogging platforms. I wrote CityDesk. In what turned out to be a monumentally wrong bet, I thought that people would want to blog on Windows, with all the slick WYSIWYG editing goodness that wasn’t yet available in early versions of HTML. CityDesk kept your entire website in a SQL database (Microsoft Jet, the backend of Access) and had a frontend like a word processor. Every time you needed to publish, it generated the entire site as a set of html pages, which it then uploaded to an ftp server for you.

[…]

Over the years the CityDesk code base (VB 6.0, another bad bet) stopped running on the latest versions of Windows. Nobody else cared but by that time I was using a custom version of CityDesk which only ran on Windows XP. So until recently, I had a virtual machine set up with Windows XP running in there, and a copy of CityDesk.

[…]

Matt Mullenweg over at WordPress has been trying to get me to move Joel on Software over to WordPress for so long it’s not even funny. I finally gave in. [Joel on Software]

I used CityDesk myself to manage my main website for a number of years after the sad demise of UserLand Frontier, before finally replacing it with nanoc around the time I moved to Austin in late 2012. It was an unusual product in that it was actually better than any Mac alternative at the time (something that’s usually true only of games).

New job
Dec 8th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

I’ve just started a new six-month contract as a programmer with Integrity Digital Solutions. I’m in Temple for the week for training, but after that I’ll be working from home. It looks like it will be a pretty good job.

Watch out for hysterical politicians
Oct 7th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Clowns, Kids & Satan. The security expert Bruce Schneier coined a term for this: Movie plot threat. We imagine the threat to our kids is just like the one we’d see, or have seen, in the movies. It’s easier to picture Bozo with a bazooka than a car crash when mom or dad is confused by their GPS (which in our car seems to be about a third of the time), so that’s the threat we focus on…to the point where we start exaggerating unlikely outcomes, or even seeing things. [Free Range KidsFree Range Kids]

Even now there are people being persecuted (especially in New York City) because of laws written by politicians who had confused West Side Story with a documentary. I hate to think what sort of future persecution will result from politicians thinking that Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a documentary.

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