Links of the Week: September 16th

I’ve been busy with real life stuff so some of the links this week are a little dated as I haven’t been keeping up as much as I’d like with the news! I’ll have another installment for Scala coming this weekend once I work up the motivation. I have some real life commitments that are delaying me.

Oh, and Mumble can kiss my south end. That damn thing froze Windows 7 (RC admittedly) hard enough to corrupt most of the configs for Winamp, Chrome, and a couple of other applications. No bluescreen, no dump. Nothing. Even 1.1.6 did the same thing.

Update: Fixed some ridiculous typos.


Humans are evolving. In fact, we’re evolving faster than anyone thought possible.

Coma-inducing Goodness

Josh linked me this. If you’re really into optical illusions, you might want to take a peak. Some of them are pretty well known, but I saw a few in there I haven’t seen before.


I’m rather sad. Wikipedia claims that the band Running Wild split up. I haven’t been able to corroborate any of this news from the band’s site. I sincerely hope this isn’t the case; they’re an amazing band.

Graphic Design

I came across a few implementations of GiMP that change the user-facing side of the application. I haven’t yet tried them out, but the screenshots look promising. One is called GimPhoto, the other Gimpshop. I’d like to thank Will for linking me to


Showering might just kill you. Oh no! Shower heads are home to zillions of nasty bacteria, and they might cause a pulmonary disease worse than tuberculosis. The problem? No one really knows if it’s possible. The article is mostly hype. Loud noises, end of the world, you get the idea. The Wikipedia article is short but more comforting.


So a really important guy who saved more than a billion people from starvation died this week. No one paid any mind because yet-another-famous-person kicked the bucket at the same time. It’s sad that we pay greater tribute to someone who is famous than someone who saved so many lives. If you’re not sure who I’m talking about (and I’m not talking about the celebrity; they’re not nearly as important in my mind), I’m talking about Norman Borlaug. You really ought to read up on him.

Theater Meets Religion

Hunter linked me something interesting. As it turns out, an auditory theatric release of the Bible will be coming in October. It consists of almost 8 gigs of audio.


Scientists have discovered another mode of energy transfer in Earth’s upper atmosphere. It’s really rather startling to have gone this long before someone finding it.

Here is an amazing video taken from the international space station of a volcanic eruption.


Did you know that kids are a bunch of damn racists? So says a new study that asked a bunch of impressionable kindergarteners loaded questions. I think it’s flawed, because the idiots in charge seem desperate to change the way Americans raise their kids. Rant: I grew up in an area where many of my friends and peers were of mixed race. Guess what I discriminated against most? Age. Kids that were older or younger than me were weird regardless of race, religion, or creed. Race only matters if you’re stupid enough to make a big deal out of it, and that offends me. Yes, racism exists–and that it lingers is pathetic enough–but can we please let this die? Dragging this back out because someone came up with a study that only proves that kids will notice different things that they have no experience with means exactly nothing. What’s this about? It’s about an outlandish group of sociologists (and I use that term loosely) who want to pay penance for their guilty feelings. If they’re not racists, then why the guilt, huh?

The fashion industry is struggling. I find this rather comical.


There are two types of developers. I suspect I know which one I am.

Stupid, Impressionable People

This is my exhibitionist piece for the week. If you want to read something insanely inane, go no further than here. In fact, I’ll quote the relevant part for you:

Commercial salt is refined by drying at a heat in excess of 1,000 degrees which destroys beneficial substances in salt. This heat also causes chemical distortions that turn salt into sodium chloride, a substance that does no good in the body.

WHAT?! Does this person have ANY IDEA WHATSOEVER WHAT TABLE SALT IS? Hint: It’s sodium chloride. Fetch me the clue stick, I’ve got some work to do. Table salt. Sodium chloride. Same thing. Go back to school, please, and get off my Interwebs. You’re already polluting meatspace with your rubbish. I have an article here printed out by a local realtor to prove it.


Late last week, FriendFeed released to the open source community their webserver software. It’s written in Python. Yeah, I know, “Big deal! There’s gotta be a dozen Python web servers out there,” right? Wrong. It’s a non-blocking web server designed specifically for real-time web services. Time to refactor Cited into Tornado, I think!

Speaking of Tornado, Jared over at has been playing around with it a little more than I think is healthy. Jared makes a number of interesting observations, so you’ll definitely want to read his post. Tornado looks to be far more Pythonic than Twisted.

Remember that TCP/IP bug that allowed remote exploitation of most versions of Windows? Microsoft won’t be fixing XP. Nor will it be fixing Windows 2000–not that I’d really expect them to. As an aside, I still find it rather weird that while Windows 7 was declared immune to it, one of the updates I received to the RC was to fix a flaw in–drum roll, please–TCP/IP. Coincidence? I have no idea. The Slashdot article has a few more links.

Ever wondered how negative numbers work in binary? Wonder no more. Most implementations are based on two’s complement. If I haven’t yet addicted you to Wikipedia for the rest of the evening, I need to try harder.

The world’s oldest computer is scheduled to be started up again.

With Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, it’s not surprise that they haven’t mentioned MySQL.

My TCP/IP stack wants a pony. This article is pretty humorous.

Need to access Gmail when it’s down? Here are some suggestions. Obviously, the service isn’t completely down, but you might find that the fancy AJAXy UI might break from time to time.

Web Development

MSIE 6 just won’t die no matter how much we web developers wish it would just pack its bags and go away. Fortunately, there’s a really good cheat sheet on how to fix some of IE6’s bugs.

I have a few other links that I may be adding this weekend when I get some time. Enjoy!


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