Posts with mood confused (21)

videos: bizarre anti gay marriage video, TED music talk, The Newsroom opening credits
Mood: confused
Posted on 2012-07-16 12:50:00
Tags: links
Words: 170

- I saw this bizarre anti gay marriage video, and was like: ...wait, what? The organization that created it looks real and not a satire, which was my first thought.

To be fair, there's approximately one reasonable argument made in the middle: a wedding photographer in New Mexico was fined for refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding in 2006 (even though gay marriage wasn't and isn't legal in New Mexico!), and that does bother me some. But the first 1:20 of the video is: super super crazy.

(having watched The Newsroom, I realize that this is the best form of the argument against same-sex marriage, but it is funny and I ain't no journalist...)

- Speaking of The Newsroom, do yourself a favor and watch the opening credits a few hundred times in a row, like I'm doing. Now I want to play this music when I walk into the office every morning to get me going :-)

- Another good (but longer) video: TED talk by Benjamin Zander about (classical) music and passion.


Windows 8 Metro background task restrictions are way too strict (even versus Windows Phone 7!)
Mood: confused
Posted on 2012-05-08 13:43:00
Tags: windows rant essay windowsphone programming
Words: 548

Edit: See the followup post on why this isn't a big deal, and the right way to do updating live tiles in Windows 8 Metro.

I've been working on porting FlightPredictor to the shininess of Windows 8 Metro. One of the key features of FlightPredictor is the ability to pin a live tile for a flight, and have that live tile update periodically in the background.

On Windows Phone 7, there are a lot of restrictions on background agents like the one in FlightPredictor that updates the live tiles. The agent can't run more frequently than every 30 minutes (and when it actually gets called is not that regular), if it runs longer than 25 seconds it gets killed, and most importantly there's a limit to how many you can have active on the phone - Microsoft says phones must allow 6, but my Lumia 900 allows a maximum of 9. I've actually hit this limit, because live tiles that are always up to date are cool.

So, I've started to work on this for Windows 8 Metro, and I found this whitepaper about Metro background tasks. There are a bunch of new ways to trigger running tasks (when you have internet access, for example, or when a user logs in), but you can also trigger them every 15 minutes, which is nice. There are also CPU requirements (now they're measured in CPU-seconds instead of wall time that the task runs) as I would expect.

Unfortunately, you can't use the TimeTrigger unless you display information on the lock screen. This requires extra user permission, which is OK enough, I guess. I wasn't planning on looking into showing flight info on the lock screen, but if that's necessary for my app to work the way I want it to I'm fine with that.

But here's the kicker: a user can only have seven apps show information on the lock screen. And three of these (Mail, Calendar, Messaging) are builtin! So this leaves four slots for apps to run based on a TimeTrigger in the background.

Now for the rant-y part: this is crazy. I have a bunch of apps that run in the background on my phone - as I said, having auto-updating live tiles is one of my favorite features of Windows Phone. To drastically cut the number of apps that can do this on an OS that's designed for a tablet (so presumably better battery life, etc. than on a phone) is way too strict and a step backwards.

It is possible I've missed something here, and I'd love to hear feedback on it. This is just a policy decision - what I would really like is the ability to run based on a TimeTrigger even if my app isn't on the lock screen, with reasonable limits.

Addendum: one way around the limit on Windows Phone 7 is to use push notifications - then your app doesn't have to run in the background and doesn't count against the limit. But it looks to me from reading the Metro whitepaper is that even apps that want to run based on a push notification have to be on the lock screen. Or is there a way to use a push notification to update a tile without having an app run? I'm not sure...


final links of 2011
Mood: confused
Posted on 2011-12-30 14:02:00
Tags: links
Words: 212

- Is Windows Phone's consumer focus killing it? - sad article suggesting that one reason WP7 isn't succeeding is that the carriers can't customize it enough. (i.e. bundle crapware, etc.)

- Bishops Say Rules on Gay Parents Limit Freedom of Religion - this is one of the toughest areas where the rights of the Catholic Church to serve who they want meet the principle of the government not funding groups who discriminate. I think the government's made the right call here, but it's very tricky. (also: Catholic Charities received almost $3 billion from the government in 2010? I had no idea they received so much...)

- A long article about how hard it is to lose weight for some (most?) people, and how your body works against you. Depressing!

- Information about "Big Bird" was just declassified: in the 70's we were taking extremely high resolution pictures of the Earth and then jettisoning the film canisters to be collected in midair!

- Everything You Know About Education Is Wrong - money isn't enough, and teacher feedback and instructional time matter.

Year end stuff:

- The 11 best psychology books of 2011 - I got "Thinking, Fast and Slow" for Christmas and haven't read any of the others...

- Finally, a best articles of 2011 list if you're looking for more time to waste.


Don't Ask Don't Tell repeals fails, but isn't dead yet
Mood: confused
Posted on 2010-12-10 10:12:00
Tags: gay politics
Words: 137

Senate Democrats (+ Susan Collins) failed to break the filibuster of the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal 57-40. As Andrew Sullivan points out, repealing DADT is supported by the American public, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President, and the only reason it hasn't happened is because John McCain (who once upon a time said he would support repeal if the military chiefs did, which they do now) is filibustering it.

But, apparently (I've totally lost the politics at this point) DADT isn't dead yet - they're planning to introduce a standalone bill for repeal, which has to pass the House again, but Nancy Pelosi says it will. Of course this can still be filibustered so I'm not entirely sure why people think this result will different, but it's a tiny bit of hope before Congress adjourns.


Secret anxiety?
Mood: confused
Posted on 2010-04-17 13:17:00
Tags: dreams
Words: 128

Last night I dreamed I was at work and Dave Matthews was there playing songs for us. (or at least it sounded a lot like him - in the dream I didn't know what he looked like) After a bit I decided to take a break and go watch a few songs.

I stuck around enjoying the music for a while and then went back to my desk...and my computer was gone! After a few seconds of being stunned, I saw some DMB roadies carrying off computers!

So I chased after them and called NI security, and after a brief standoff we captured them, sent them to jail and retrieved our computers!

This whole computer things going wrong is starting to become a theme...

Posted via LJ for WebOS.


don't mess with my machine!
Mood: confused
Posted on 2010-03-25 10:19:00
Tags: dreams
Words: 201

Dream last night: I had a bug I needed to fix by the end of the week, and I was having trouble figuring out what was going on. So I took a break to get up and send an email to some friends still in high school - the winners of the Fields Medal had been announced, and I knew 2 of the 21 winners (a fact that I was oddly proud of). So I sent a congratulatory email and went back to my computer...

...only to find that some coworkers had been messing with it! They knew I was having trouble with this bug and running out of time and so they upgraded my machine for me. Except it wasn't even on, they hadn't finished connecting all the parts. I couldn't believe they would be so dumb - I was just in the middle of debugging the problem and now I'd have to fix up this computer and get it back in that state and waste a bunch of time. I think I yelled a lot.

I woke up from this dream very very took me a few minutes to calm down. So I guess the lesson is: don't do that!


Someone is spreading a nasty rumor about
Mood: confused
Posted on 2010-03-12 12:06:00
Tags: essay
Words: 648

This article claims that was conceived as a phishing site, and is planning on releasing users' data on April 1.

I was ready to share the news with my friends who use formspring, when I had a look at the URL, which is hosted at, someone's personal website.

In short: I can't find this article anywhere else - tried searching Google, Google News, Bing, as well as the Associated Press (who the article says published it). Nothing.

The article looks very real - like an embedded Google News page, and the article at first glance looks like a real AP article. But given the above, I guess it's a fake. Very strange!

Edit: Another story about the rumor.

Edit: The article appears down; I've pasted the content under the lj-cut:

LA-based "" service to reveal identities of anonymous users

(AP) – 2 days ago

LOS ANGELES — Twelve administrators of the website, including CEO Mark Baxter were arrested on Monday for data phishing and misleading the public, when the site was revealed to be a "social experiment," which will culminate in the automatic revealing of users' private data on April 1, 2010.

Baxter, 28, was sentenced in Van Nuys Superior Court for the creation of said website, which allows users to "send and receive anonymous questions, and learn more about people you find interesting by following their answers."

Over 2 million people have used the site to communicate anonymously with other users since its creation in 2009.

"We allow users to sign up for an account and ask questions anonymously, but we still store their data next to the question. For legal purposes," said Baxter, in a January interview.

However, it was revealed, in a leaked personal email from Baxter to Anne Gralley, a friend, that the data was being stored for another reason.

"In less than a month, " Baxter wrote, "we'll be adding the name, email, and facebook account of each user next to all of their anonymous posts."

Gregory Deacon, a friend of Baxter's from college, remembers Baxter mentioning his idea for the this elaborate April Fool's Day prank.

"He was using that Facebook application, Honesty Box, and he got some real nasty stuff over it. So he said to me, 'Wouldn't it be great if someone made something like this, then showed everyone's names one day?"

More troubling still, it's almost perfectly legal.

The Terms of Service that all users, by their participation with the site, legally agree to

includes the following:

" reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice, and your continued use of constitutes your consent to such changes."

Because of this disclaimer, the automatic revealing of registered users' names and information on April 1st will be completely legal.

However, it was discovered by investigators that the site also records the name and information of any anonymous users who are logged into at the time of their post.

"If they don't register for an account, the site can still grab their name and facbook URL from

a file that facebok [sic] stores on their computer," the email message reads.

It is because of this feature that the additional charges of data phishing have been added.

Although Baxter and several programmers have been apprehended, any data that had been stored before yesterday will still

be published automatically by the formspring server at 12:00 AM (GMT) on April 1.

The public is advised to delete their accounts and to warn others not to give away any private information on the website.

The company that funded has set up a support line for users who want to have their names removed from the site as soon as they appear.

Please send requests to

It is not known, at this time, whether a class-action lawsuit will be filed.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


still liking my Pre
Mood: confused
Music: Michael Giacchino - "Star Trek" soundtrack
Posted on 2009-08-20 14:17:00
Tags: palmpre programming politics links
Words: 131

Palm is now accepting submissions for the Pre App Catalog, so I went ahead and submitted PasswordHash. That one will be free but I'm thinking of charging $2 for my next one...

LabVIEW has a lot of handy keyboard shortcuts. is a neat place to quickly try out/share code in a bunch of different languages.

The latest in health care: maybe the Democrats are going to give up trying to compromise since the Republicans don't really seem interested, although Chuck Grassley may or may not be. Honestly, I've kinda given up trying to figure out what the hell is going on - I hope something good passes but hearing how laws that affect us actually get passed makes me sad.

The Longest Poem in the World made out of rhyming tweets.


attention world
Mood: confused
Posted on 2009-01-26 20:27:00
Tags: wedding
Words: 46

Is starting planning now for a May wedding totally crazy and unreasonable? Because we've mentioned it in casual whatever a few times now (not asking about the date) and apparently everyone else thinks so.

(if it is, that's fine, but it would be nice to know...)


laptop debate
Mood: confused
Posted on 2008-02-04 14:39:00
Tags: pictures guildwars worldofwarcraft mac computer politics
Words: 244

The Mac continues to get better. Three days after spilling a ton of tea on it the screen is all better, the fan no longer spins crazily, and the battery charges normally. (which may have been happening all along but I was suspicious for a while) Unfortunately, the only problem is that the "v" key (and maybe the Control key) don't work at all. So I guess I'll have to take it in and see if they can fix it, which honestly is pretty doubtful.

Assuming it can't be fixed, I'm leaning towards not replacing it since we don't play WoW much anymore (we picked up Guild Wars over the weekend...we'll see if we continue playing or not) and I just bought the damn thing. I am getting back a big ol' tax refund since I deducted a bunch of moving expenses, although the Maryland state tax situation is a little more unclear. (if there online calculator is right, which I don't think it is, I owe $500 and will be very miffed)

The cover of a romance novel I saw at HEB - thanks, cameraphone!

A work friend has an imported version of Smash Bros and I get to play it tomorrow night. I am extremely excited.

Super Tuesday is tomorrow! Some polls look really good for Obama, others look less good, so who knows. Not sure how I'll keep up with results while playing Smash Bros tomorrow night, but I'll think of something!


weird phone thing
Mood: confused
Posted on 2008-01-25 16:04:00
Tags: phone programming
Words: 124

I was beginning to get a little worried about the new phone, since I charged it night before last and it ran out of power before bedtime. So I charged it last night and now it's still showing full power. Hopefully it's just a weird battery quirk, or maybe I had one of the side buttons pressed in my pocket? Either way, weird.

Also, I hate PHP. Any language where the expression "id" + 1 evaluates to 1 instead of (best case) "id1" or (not as good but still acceptable case) erroring should die. It doesn't help that I have no way of debugging it, just running the Greasemonkey script and inferring from the fact that the database is empty that something went wrong. Sheesh.


fun with cell phones
Mood: confused
Posted on 2007-11-12 14:19:00
Tags: phone
Words: 201

The last few days my cell phone alarm hasn't been going off in the morning. At first I thought we were sleeping through them with no memory of the alarm, but three days of that seems pretty improbable. Luckily we use djedi's cell phone as a backup, so all was OK. This morning I decided to "reboot" my phone (a Nokia 6010), after which my new message icon started blinking. It normally just show up un-blinky-like when I have a new message, but I checked the text messages and couldn't figure out how to make it go away. Finally I figured out that that meant it was full of text messages (why this didn't show up before I rebooted I have no idea) and deleted a bunch.

The fun part - the alarms I set for the past few days went off today (one at 9:30, one at 11:30). I guess it kinda makes sense that if the internal memory was full, it couldn't store the alarm (although wouldn't it just set aside a memory location for an alarm?), but clearly it remembered at least two of them. So the internal memory being full => can't fire an alarm? I have no idea...


For taesmar
Mood: confused
Posted on 2007-06-15 10:33:00
Tags: links
Words: 20

Being pregnant and receiving unscientific advice go hand in hand. Also, she spells fetus as "foetus", which is pretty cool!


back to the grindstone
Mood: confused
Posted on 2007-03-19 14:16:00
Tags: movies
Words: 221

So destroyerj came up and visited this weekend, and lo, it was fun! (except for the whole flight being cancelled Friday because of snow/sleet here) We went to DC on Saturday and saw the National Cathedral for the first time. Unfortunately, it isn't near a Metro stop so we walked .75 miles there and .75 miles back. (apparently there are buses that go there from some stops, but the walk wasn't too bad) It's a very pretty and awe-inspiring place; I took some pictures (that we later viewed on the Wii Photo Channel!) that turned out pretty well that I hope to put up before the end of the week. (wow, apparently there's a Darth Vader sculpture there, although hidden by construction; thanks, Wikipedia!)

We watched A Scanner Darkly on the TiVo that we had rented from Amazon Unbox. All in all, the unbox -> tivo thing worked beautifully, and I'd definitely do it again. (especially since we have $11 in credit left!) The movie itself was good - the rotoscoping really added to the "unreality" of the whole movie, in addition to looking really really cool (particularly the scramble suits, which rotate through faces and clothing)

I started my next project which will indeed be in Haskell. I'll save the details for when I'm at home and can properly ask my questions.


what is the arity of this function??
Mood: confused
Posted on 2006-10-27 09:19:00
Tags: weight
Words: 112

All in all it hasn't been a great week, weightwise. I ate out Tuesday and Wednesday lunches (not particularly healthy) and had Indian food Thursday night instead of working out. I did a workout Tuesday evening and a short one Thursday evening. And cookie time (yay!) was yesterday.

So I thought I'd weigh myself this morning, just for kicks to see how good I needed to be this weekend. And I've lost more than a pound(!) since Tuesday morning.

This sounds good, but really it just weakens my perceived connection between how well I eat and how well I do for the week. Anyway, I'll enjoy dinner and a movie tonight more :-)


Home, sweet home(?)
Mood: confused
Posted on 2006-08-28 21:37:00
Tags: moving
Words: 374

So, we're in our apartment here! There's very little stuff, but we do at least have official internet (and not just unreliable mooching wireless), so is up. It'll be down tomorrow when they give us new carpets (yay!), but back up for-goodish after that. I'll put pictures up...erm, sometime this week.

Last night we stayed in the guest suite, which was nicely furnished (including TV), so being in a nearly empty apartment is a bit of a step down. (but I do like having my computer up!) The drive Sunday went fine and we arrived here around 3:00, got the key to the guest suite and moved some stuff up, then mostly chilled out the rest of the evening. Checked in today and did our inspection and moved all the stuff up from the car, then papered shelves while waiting for the cable/internet guy to come. There are tons of cabinets and drawers, so we didn't finish, but it's a good start :-)

Finally found a Safeway and went grocery shopping (there's supposedly a Food Lion here that we want to see as well, but apparently went the wrong way and didn't find it yesterday) - got mostly just bare essentials that we should have in the pantry, and it cost $200! It seemed more expensive than HEB; I'm hoping Food Lion will be cheaper. Got a little lost on the way back when I realized I had passed the same landmark twice, but managed to find my way back :-) Then went out for dinner and stopped by IKEA to look at coffee tables (although we only had 20 mins before the store closed).

Tomorrow we're going down to DC to presumably see the National Zoo (pandas!) and International Spy Museum, and hopefully stop by IKEA on the way back.

I'm feeling kinda weird about the whole move - it doesn't help that my allergies/cold is mostly better, but my throat is still pretty consistently raw and dry. It's lonely being here - I'm trolling craigslist looking for...I don't know what. People or game nights or something. Anyway, I'm sure it'll pass. I wish I had work starting sooner and, after a month or so, two weeks off.

Bruce Schneier on what the terrorists want


ruby scoping
Mood: confused
Posted on 2006-04-18 09:41:00
Tags: ruby weight programming
Words: 218

I weighed in this morning, and I'm at my lowest weight since starting to track it (oddly enough, despite eating many tasty cookies and candy on Sunday). Hooray!

On a completely separate note, I'm learning Ruby to use in my next project. It seems like a nice language, but I have a complaint already. Consider the following code:

[1,2,3].each {|e| print e, " " }

This prints out "1 2 3 " - the each operator iterates over the elements of the array, and the block that follows it ({|e| print e, " " }) operates on each one of them. So that's fine, and e is undefined after the block executes, as I would expect.

What I don't like is that the following code:
e = 10
[1,2,3].each {|e| print e, " " }
print e

prints out "1 2 3 3" - the e argument to the block ends up overwriting the e variable declared outside the block! This seems like a big violation of scoping - shouldn't the e inside the block be unrelated to the e outside the block? Can anyone (omega697, perhaps) explain this to me?

I mean, I can see why it might be useful (if you want to save the last value that the block executed on), but the penalty of possibly overwriting a variable outside the block's scope seems a bit much to handle...


I really don't understand
Mood: confused
Posted on 2006-04-04 13:04:00
Tags: politics
Words: 285

(based on the news story Congresswoman could face charges)

So, let me get this straight. A congresswoman walked past security, not wearing her pin that identifies her as a congresswoman. The security guard doesn't recognize her and stops her. She gets upset, and an altercation ensues.

Now she's upset - here are some choice quotes from the article:

"I don't understand exactly why it is that certain police officers have a problem remembering my face," McKinney said, noting that she is one of 14 black women among the 535 members of Congress. "The issue is racial profiling, and that's something that we're going to have to deal with as a country."

Well, there are 535 members of Congress - that's a lot for every single police officer to remember on sight. And racial profiling?? If you don't have identification and you walk past security and get stopped, that's not racial profiling - that's common sense. And suggesting that it is racial profiling is demeaning to those who have been targeted by racial profiling. (crying wolf and all that)

In her interview Monday with CNN's "The Situation Room," McKinney scoffed at suggestions that her change of hairstyle in January might have been the reason the officer did not recognize her.

"If the security of the House of Representatives of the United States is based on how members of Congress wear their hair ... I think this is really ridiculous," she said. "My face hasn't changed."

No, the security of the House of Representatives depends on identifying people that enter the building. If she did change her hairstyle and the officer then didn't recognize her, she should show identification. What's the big deal?

Does anyone understand this better? I'm totally confused.


random dream
Mood: confused
Posted on 2005-12-31 11:10:00
Words: 251

So I'm driving with someone and I park right in front of this cafe we're going to go into. As soon as I lock my car and take two steps away, a couple people start trying to steal it - smashing in the windows and reaching in and stuff. I go back and say "Hey!", then get noticed and one of them points a gun at me and asks for my cash. I play it cool and give her all of my cash (for some reason, I'm carrying around a few hundred-dollar bills). Then, a minute later, she was just kidding or something? But then she gives me my cash back. Except I look at it and some of it is like old-timey money, so that confuses me.

Anyway, so we're about to go into the cafe, and I open the door and everything inside is frozen (including the people). This is unexpected, and I kinda raise my fist in anger and say "Stop messing with our universe!" But then I thought, hmm, what if God did this? It's OK if God did it, but not OK if we're inside some science experiment and someone's just doing this for fun or something. Anyway, things are starting to melt and people are stirring and stuff.

Two possible explanations:
- I was cold last night, but I don't think that was the case.
- I have the Madonna song "Frozen" (which djedi gave me for Christmas) on my mind more than I realized.

Happy new year!


more referrer fun
Mood: confused
Music: FFX-2 background stuff
Posted on 2005-07-21 22:05:00
Tags: referrer
Words: 133

Are these real? Is someone messing with me?

Got searches from Yahoo! for both naked bike race pictures and naked beer slide (from different IP addresses). Either way, it's pretty funny :-)

I'll most likely be incommunicado (sp?) for a while - out of town this weekend and tech week for ASMC (come to the Gala! It's lots of fun!) starts Sunday, which means my next free day is a week from Monday. Which seems like a long time away. But I'm sure it will be fun, albeit tiring.

Work is going quite well - made a major breakthrough yesterday and today. Others didn't seem as excited, but oh well. I'm excited :-)

Having one's ego stroked once in a while is nice, although one has to be careful not to let it go to one's head.

1 comment

blah blah blah etc.
Mood: confused
Music: Michael Jackson - "Man in the Mirror"
Posted on 2005-06-14 15:50:00
Words: 144

So I'm about to start going into heavy debugging mode, and before I do I wanted to post to LJ. So here I am :-)

Y'all should really check out - I was gonna write why it's so cool, but this article (found on!) does a pretty good job. You can check out my bookmarks there, too.

I'm hosting gamenight tonight, so that should be fun.

Just had a meeting that I ran that went really well, which is always a nice pick-me-up. Now if I could just figure out what the heck is going on in this code...

Going to pick up destroyerj from the airport soonish. Flights from Houston to Austin are funny - he'll be leaving Houston around the same time I leave here to pick him up :-)

ASMC rehearsal went pretty well, as djedi mentioned. Hopefully they'll rehearse my scene Thursday...


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