Two Brothers, One Blog, Dangerous Levels of Geekiness.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ich know nat whethre Ich shold be joyfull or sad.

Ye are 52% proficient in medievale trivia.

A fayre shewing. Ye are ful of much wisdam. Sans doute, ye rede a good deal of bokes concernynge the middel ages. Peraventure ye haue much oothir knowlech of straunge thinges as wel.

The Gret Quizz of Medievale Trivia
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, November 10, 2006


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Saturday, July 15, 2006

C'mon, Tycho.

The idea that saying something makes it so isn't too new - it's pretty much the engine that drives postmodern American politics. Global warming is real? It makes no difference; deny it anyway, and the he said/she said format of news will credit your shills with just as much authority as people whose lives and passions are climate science. This is why we hear that reporters who mention that we surveille terror suspects are derided as traitors; by mentioning that the executive branch of the government couldn't give a rat's ass about the Bill of Rights, they have created the problem.

There's actually a term for the kind of people this kind of message targets, "low information voters". You tell them something that reinforces their prejudices, and they never bother to find out whether it's really true.

Cross-posted to Coherent Thought & Irony Hour with Billy Faulkner.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tails Beta Testing

I had recently been looking for a good bug tracker, in the run up to working on a couple code projects, a freelance e-commerce project, and a couple other miscellaneous projects. And while I've used trac and bugzilla before, and heard good things about collaboa, I'm really not all that terribly interested in bugtrackers, and as a result have very little interest in actually administering one. I'm lazy, and would much rather be looking up information on other things (like cocoa, which I've recently become interested in), rather than digging through bugtracker manuals.

Turns out, just through my random wanderings through the interweb, a casual acquaintance of mine from a message board I frequent fortuitously happened to be in the final stages prior to a beta launch of a bugtracker his company was building. So, as a result, I managed to get into the initial beta test of Tails, which purports (and seems to live up to) effortless bug tracking.

First things first. Tails is a hosted app. This is good for someone like me, who's not interested in having to deal with all the administrivia of setting up a bug tracker, and probably bad for people who are total (read: needless) control freaks, or extremely paranoid with their data. But, hosted applications aren't a new development, and given that Dan, the guy working on the app, is a good guy, I don't have any serious qualms with using Tails (more on privacy later). The picts below come from Dan's flickr account, and it might be handy to check out the notes that go with each image there.

Tails, being a bug tracker, does all the things that you'd want it to do, you can create projects, file bugs, request features, assign bugs to particular project members, etc., etc., etc. So now that we know it actually is a bug tracker, what's neat about it? Well, in terms of cool things for a linguistics/categorization geek, like me, it allows you to tag features/bugs/projects/the like. Now, before you cram any lead pipes down my throat for uttering a web 2.0 buzzword, remember that this is a good use of keyword searching. Since I (or you) control who's got access to a project, and who's tagging bugs, you don't get the collective cognitive dissonance that site-wide flickr searches produce, because you don't have people who are trying to whore their bug reports to as many people as possible.

Now, on privacy. Your tails projects can be set to either public or private. So, in private mode, really you've got full control over who can see your private information (however much you'd like to put up into tails), and of course in public mode, anyone on the site can see your stuff. That said, there is no public index of projects at this stage, and i'm not sure one is to come. So, Tails still serves as a personal bugtracker, and nobody else will find it (or stumble across other people's random projects) unless you want them to, even if you keep your projects set to public. In either mode, you can invite guests to your project to come, tool around, report bugs, request features, again, all the normal bug tracking things. Guests also don't count as users, in terms of the level of account you have. And accounts come in 4 flavors; Free, Basic, Pro, Unlimited. (seen below)

What screen shots don't illustrate is the usability of the site. Why is that? Because it's got a lot of dynamic interaction. Most text and options related to your project is easily editable via a JS/ajax interface. Click, an overlay will popup (see below) and you're ready to go (and what's better, all editable items give you indications that they are editable). This is the thing that's really great about the site. It's hosted, but it's also lovely to simply use.

So, what's the final verdict? For me? Definitely. It serves all the purposes that I have for it, as a small/lone developer, and hands me some functionality that I wouldn't otherwise have. Finally I don't have to worry about maintaining it, and because it is a commercial project (thankfully that also has free accounts), I'm not terribly concerned about suddenly being left holding the bag, having to support my own bug tracker.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Casual Commentary: Palestine, Posturing, and Politics

My view of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict can be summed up very succinctly with one catch phrase:

"Two wrongs do not make a right."

The arguments on both sides of the division come down to two things, a sense of entitlement, as to what each side is owed, and a sense that each side is in dire and immediate danger from their opponents in the other nation. The irony is that these two sets of feelings cycle and reinforce each other. The sense of entitlement each side has, and the commentaries to that effect are used by the other side to justify why they must continue their struggle, which only serves to fuel their opponent's paranoia that they are an immediate and unending threat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Personality disorders a go-go!

Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||| 30%
Schizoid |||||||||||| 42%
Schizotypal |||||||||| 34%
Antisocial |||||||||||| 46%
Borderline |||||| 26%
Histrionic |||||||||| 38%
Narcissistic |||||||||||| 46%
Avoidant |||||| 26%
Dependent |||||||||||| 42%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||| 30%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test
personality tests by

Also, somber, sweet, and sour Jane; it's my aeroplane.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bloggity blog blog atheism.

Not sure I entirely agree with this - I submit that it's most important for everybody to be happy, not just me. NB: fictions about the measurable, physical reality we all inhabit don't count as real happiness.


You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy.

You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way.

Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably open another bottle and say there’s no contest.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.