ITHCWY: Robert Ellison's Blog

Reviews and Links for January 2012

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

3/5

Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant about this and that through the voice of a 13 year old girl condemned to hell, supposedly for overdosing on pot. Entertaining, but felt that the plot served the ranting rather than the other way round.

 

Links

Shit Programmers Say: http://t.co/0rYyXWM5

Best explanation of software estimation failure ever: http://t.co/jC5hmQ3g

I've just funded Mission:Explore Food on Pleasefund.Us: http://t.co/ysLyDOZ6

Another comedy amendment: http://t.co/sWAqflbO

Shit Bernalites Say: http://t.co/O8AY0sgs from @bernalwood

San Francisco's rubbish - why everyone wants a share: http://t.co/kHzC6mgf

Own a color: http://t.co/5jKpfvJO (for Unicef)

Just say terrorist enough times Panetta: http://t.co/07tmXDEO

Applause: VA state senator attaches rectal exam amendment tacked on to anti-abortion bill http://t.co/Neezj7n6

ITHCWY: Has France Cracked Fixing Education?: The French are close to making it illegal to deny a second genocide… http://t.co/koOkE02M

Arrrrgggghhhh, it's pledge. Go throw @KQED a bone radio-chavving-freeloaders: http://t.co/ur7fBVGx

ITHCWY: But does it get you in the HOV lane?: Interesting but highly disturbing alternative fuel source... http://t.co/IOUVbIPD

Shit San Franciscans Say: http://t.co/vVfiI5yJ via @youtube

IANAL, but it certainly seems a bit crazy: http://t.co/iVW4I4ZR

Discover London With Mission:Explore! http://t.co/T0ZVGGr4

Load Testing with @CloudAssault http://t.co/PkwYNOh1 #API @myEN

Shit Silicon Valley Says: http://t.co/YK1Hlbws via @youtube

On the subject of deadly pork, MRSA found on 7% of samples in a University of Iowa test: http://t.co/1wIK1uqE

Thanks SCOTUS for making us eat sick pigs: http://t.co/scTowXXI

+1: http://t.co/V7QW1hi0 "I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter! What the hell more did you want from me?"

Yay! Precita Park Upgrade: http://t.co/f4JOcNS7

Mission:Explore Food - PleaseFund.Us http://t.co/ysLyDOZ6 via @pleasefundus

ITHCWY: Mission:Explore Food - Crowd Fund It!: My brother is part of the Geography Collective, the team that make… http://t.co/jg6s9FKK

The word 'sustainable' is unsustainable: http://t.co/Iw8e9P2Q (XKCD)

Next step, jail for incorrect maths answers: http://t.co/US35YW2v (more illegal history in France...)

Chilling Effects: http://t.co/dXUSwGOQ (post Megaupload, file sharing sites disabling sharing)

http://t.co/jU4AeOdh

Visual Studio Gamification: http://t.co/kgHvGtsi

Shut down the Interstate highway system because a few people are speeding? Then don't do this: http://t.co/gvSaucwu

My new favorite word: semithermonuclear: http://t.co/zV8u067w (what Google will be doing tomorrow).

3 of 5 stars to Damned by Chuck Palahniuk http://t.co/CcmlNPqL

ITHCWY: Carr is Wrong: Costolo is Wrong: Wikipedia’s SOPA Blackout is a Great Idea: I was very happy to see… http://t.co/6rlFNgut

ITHCWY: Yet more on breaking the Internet: January 18th is Internet blackout day to protest against SOPA and PIPA… http://t.co/RH5bhObW

Web Goes On Strike: Jan 18th! All-out blackout 2 stop #SOPA #PIPA. Petition @twitter and other sites to join us. http://t.co/UNird4iF

ITHCWY: Better Paperless: I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical… http://t.co/J7GBWJsb

ITHCWY: Misplaced Outrage: The video of US Marines urinating on corpses is shocking and counterproductive. But it's… http://t.co/E4jWRVcI

Worked on this idea in 2004, didn't get funded: http://t.co/CFuCTblk (Cloud-Based Video Editor WeVideo Launches To Public)

ITHCWY: Farallon Islands: A rare clear day where you can see the Farallon Islands from Fort Funston. http://t.co/hkvR1zYp

http://t.co/lPfzZesz

ITHCWY: More on breaking the Internet: I finally got round to actually reading SOPA and PIPA. I make my living from… http://t.co/WW8wIKou

Stop Internet #Censorship! Sign the global petition @Avaaz urging the US Congress to reject the #Blacklist Bill #SOPA http://t.co/MfsrnrBy

Illegal dumping on Bernal Hill: http://t.co/lR4GemC0 - Vote to get this cleaned up!

Office dog... #fb http://t.co/aOlinLwD

A Bird’s Eye View of Bernal Heights in 1938: http://t.co/XluPCJjW from @Bernalwood

AT&T LTE lights up in San Francisco: http://t.co/CzlJuUYo

ITHCWY: Installation: Early and Often: Jiri Novotny at Dextronet wrote a great post this week on improving… http://t.co/Q1rvrAWm

ITHCWY: Moon on a Wire: Testing posting by email with a picture of the moon from last night... I've extended… http://t.co/MQvLSeBj

William Gibson Essays: http://t.co/9AD9jQmo (How much do I need a parallel universe reading day?)

ITHCWY: LEGO, now for Girls: LEGO Friends is “The new LEGO theme – for girls!” So I guess the current sets not for… http://t.co/yVtN7awL

The Commodore 64 is 30 http://t.co/bBslFoVF via @reghardware

ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.40: I’ve just released a small update to Catfood.Shapefile. Stephan Stapel, who… http://t.co/qindsQBw

Looking forward to seeing the restored Battery Townsley: http://t.co/jDPvI3jU #todo @myEN

Is Obama doomed in 2012? http://t.co/aGKoq2Nw

Reviews and links for March 2011

The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids by Tom Hodgkinson

3/5

It could have been a great one page idle book - leave the kids alone more. But I guess that wouldn't fly with the publisher so it's more of a manifesto for a more traditional childhood - four hour school day, build things from wood, raise and eat your own pigs. Possibly idyllic but far from idle. Also, Hodgkinson denounces computers yet the book wants you to visit its blog. Entertaining and occasionally inspirational nonetheless.

 

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle

2/5

Derivative, and requires batteries which is the last thing you need with a book. I think Carle phoned this one in. Actually, it's like when thriller writers get too famous and farm the hard work out. It reads like an "Eric Carle's" or "Eric Carle with Grant Blackwood" kind of book. Introduces a small range of insects but manages to use "whirred" twice. Has Mosquitoes out at night rather than being a dawn/dusk phenomenon. The only saving grace is the unexpected twist with the Luna Moth.

 

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

4/5

It's a geeky, Hispanic coming of age / family history epic. To read it you need some Spanish, some knowledge of the Dominican Republic (rather distractingly sketched in via footnotes - I wish Díaz had included an appendix instead) and to have read a lot of SciFi.

 

Links

- EU envoy defends Bahrain police from BBC News - Home (How do we fire Robert Cooper? Seriously, how is a sniper and 'accident'?).

- Obama's war tent from BBC News - Home (Surely he's just doing that to screw with Gaddafi?).

- Radiation Chart from xkcd (Radiation perspective...).

- Are cloth seats a public health hazard? Possibly. from Boing Boing (Of course. And which Muppet decided to carpet BART?).

- Chrysler Tells It How It Is from Failblog After Dark (It looks real - someone got fired for tweeting this).

- VIDEO: Murakami's book on silver screen from BBC News - Home (I hope they didn't screw it up...).

- Facebook adds suicide help system from BBC News - Home (Also needed, a 'net' underneath the wall.).

- What should you do if a cash machine overpays? from BBC News - Home (Really BBC, you needed to crowd source this one?).

- Herpetology from xkcd.com ('herpetology is a silly field').

- Dear Oprah: Some thoughts on your credibility. from Boing Boing (In her defense, she has a lot more hours to fill these days...).

Reviews and links for April 2010

The Spire by Richard North Patterson

3/5

A good enough holiday read and nice to see Patterson return to a straight psychological thriller rather than the last few OpEds loosely wrapped with some plot.

 

Advanced .NET Debugging (Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series) by Mario Hewardt

5/5

Comprehensive introduction to low level .NET debugging - when you need to fire up WinDbg to check out the state of the managed heap, or debug a crash dump from the field you'll find this book invaluable. I wish it had been available when I started figuring out how to use SOS.

 

The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard by J.G. Ballard

5/5

Wonderful collection of all of Ballard's short stories. It's a huge book with surprisingly few duds. My favorites include The Illuminated Man, clearly the inspiration for The Crystal World, which includes meaning bombs like "It's almost as if a sequence of displaced but identical images were being produced by refraction through a prism, but with the element of time replacing the role of light." and The Ultimate City (which isn't using ultimate in the sense of being good...). I've read most of Ballard's novels but not many of the short stories before. They're well worth the time.

 

Links

- Microsoft Agrees With Apple And Google: “The Future Of The Web Is HTML5″ from TechCrunch (Which makes it all the more tragic that a huge number of clients will still be running IE6 :().

- Comedian criticises BBC 'rebuke' from BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition (The problem isn't that it was anti-Semitic, it's that it wasn't funny.).

- UK 'has a high early death rate' from BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition (That'll be the deep fried mars bars and chips.).

- Oklahoma, where women's rights are swept away from All Salon (Competing with AZ to be the most fucked up state? Sigh :().

- Cameras capture 'Highland tiger' from BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition (Tabbs was bigger than that (a house cat)).

- MI5 dumps staff lacking IT skills from BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition (MI5 has staff without computer skills?).

- The Internet Provides. from jwz (Disturbing).

- Who Really Spends The Most On Their Military? from Information Is Beautiful (Click through to the Guardian blog post, interesting reading.).