prog: (Mr. Spook)
I am very angry for stupid reasons so here have this.

prog: (moonbat)
So, OK: Vladimir Putin is possibly plotting an air strike against the U.S.? Is there any other way to interpret what she said here? (Sorry for the pre-roll ad; I just parrot what Gruber links to, man.)

I look forward to my masochistic side making me feel oddly disappointed when these destructive, demented dead-enders lose. (If they win, I'm going to go, like, shitting-into-bell-jars crazy.)
prog: (jenna)
OK so yeah awesome. These guys over here are using the market tanking to try to stuff over half a trillion oversight-free dollars into their own accounts before anyone can pause to smell a rat, and now those guys over there are hoping to use the very same nationwide clusterfuck as a shield against having to do any more debates or campaigning, because ruh ruh ruh, gotta git-r-done, see how very busy we are! Sorry, the senator is very busy. And so is the governor, I guess, for some reason. You know how it is! Gotta pay the bills!

Give em credit for flexibility, I guess.
prog: (Default)
As [livejournal.com profile] radtea notes in comments in my earlier post, at least as egregious as the amount of money at stake in the bailout is the provision that the Secretary of the Treasury will be able to do whatever he wants with the money, without any legal or congressional oversight. I wasn't fully aware of this when I wrote the letters, or I would have made mention of that, too. (I stand by the letters as written, regardless.)

Paulson and Bernanke (with the president and their handful of hardcore congressional allies cheering them on) are essentially saying You must give us sweeping new powers NOW, before it's TOO LATE. Don't debate it, you fools! That is only wasting time! The entire country's financial system is collapsing around our ears and you wish to quibble over the fine print? You will DOOM US ALL! SIGN THE PAPER! SIGN IT!

Yeah, no. I'm guessing that they're hoping this will work because the president and the old Republican congress used to love pulling this sort thing off, not too long ago. Way to set a bad example, guys.

See also [livejournal.com profile] toddalcott's insight regarding foxes and henhouses.

Meanwhile, I don't care about the fuss about individual executives' golden parachutes. Yeah, so the megarich guy does a little tapdance and gets another million tossed at him before he fucks off in his private jet to his private island. Whatever. That's chaff, and has negligible effect on me-as-a-taxpayer-and-citizen. Giving over half a trillion bucks with no strings attached to a single individual in the government? Well now, yes, that's another matter.

Please, Americans, if you haven't contacted your congressfolk about this yet, do so today.
prog: (moonbat)
I urge my fellow Americans to join with me on this action. You can find your state's senators here and find your district's representative here.

I dashed this off myself in a minute. You can copy it if you'd like, but I encourage you to come up with your own words, too.

Dear $TITLE $LASTNAME:

I urge you to oppose the proposed $700 billion bailout of foundering financial companies through a massive federal purchase of bad mortgages and other assets.

I am dismayed and disgusted at the idea of using, all told, $1.8 trillion dollars[1] of taxpayer money in order to rescue private-sector firms from their own greed-driven mistakes, and hope that you consider this issue worth fighting.

I look forward to learning of your position and actions regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Jason McIntosh
Somerville, MA

[1] Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/26808715

Conventional wisdom is that email, while it does have mass, still carries a fraction of the weight of snailmail or phone calls, so I plan on printing these out and mailing them to the same folks' offices.

Honest question: what is the experience of phoning your senator or representative like? I'm not sure that I want to have a two-way conversation with someone about this - I just want to make my stance and desires known, and then get out. The one time I phoned a senator's office, like four years ago (I don't even really recall what the issue was), I called off-hours and left a voicemail. That was OK. Rattling off a screed to a live human would be a tad more awkward, though.
prog: (Default)
I need to take a break from Reading the Internet... somehow, even though I kinda need to stay connected for professional reasons if nothing else. But I need to reduce or maybe just eliminate my usual LJ→BoingBoing→RSS→repeat cycle for a while. Time was it would just be a timesink, but now its helping me maintain my state of being a twitching, foaming wreck.

My baseline anger level has risen too much, too quickly, after nearly two years of calm. It's not good for me. Maybe I'll just take a day off and see what happens. (I haven't checked my LJ flist today yet. I love you all but its making me so sick.) (Yes, clearly I'm talking about Spore. Ha ha.)

My best hope is that after a little while I'll be able to swallow my anger and just live with it, unpleasant as it is, for as long as necessary. But when there's a fresh new outrage (or two) every goddamn day, boy, it can be hard to find equilibrium, you know?
prog: (W finger)
It's only now starting to dawn on me that the main reason the RNC focused so heavily on how "elite" and untrustworthy the media are isn't that they make a fun arbitrary target for a bit of the ol' Two Minutes Hate; it's more hope that people (besides their friends in the crazy 29) will stop listening to the news, and therefore miss all the stories about any of the candidates written by people who are not full-time McCain handlers. Because these stories have been pulling out some awfully curious things lately, haven't they.

Expect the McCain campaign, now that it's revealed its true shape, to follow the GWB model of absolutely minimizing any direct exposure its key people have with the press. The only new twist they offer is spiking access-denials with open mockery:

blrgh

Jul. 23rd, 2008 07:59 pm
prog: (Default)
Going slightly crazy. It is in my interest to have deliverables delivered by tomorrow night. It's possible if I work straight through, but it'll be tough, and so much else is weighing on me, mostly move-related. I haven't packed much beyond that first push on Sunday. I don't want to deal with the parking office to get some stupid signs, but I must. Maybe I'll push it to Friday.

Two more apt-lookers today. I couldn't escape the later of them due to the rain, and did a better job grinning and bearing their inevitable interview (while typing obscene invectives about my visitors via IM to [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie). Every single person, without fail, wants to know to utility costs. I tell them in all honesty that I do not now. I even looked it up in Quicken, and I still can't figure it out, since I paid them in irregular lumps this past winter, and not always in full.

I must have hosted, gosh, twenty-five of these unwanted visits over the J-months. Perhaps more. I feel I deserve commendation for only now starting to wish I could kill them with my mind, as opposed to a month ago.

To help calm down, I ordered a delicious fishy-fish dinner from Redbones, and paid well over $20 (incl tip). It was around five bucks more than the total based on the delivery menu on my fridge, which can't be more than a year or two old. The food, she has gotten expensive.

Drinking cold beer and taking long breaths now.
prog: (khan)
A colleague from my past had a bike accident yesterday and went to hospital. He got roughed up real bad and needed surgery, so that happened today, and he's now improving rapidly. I know this through frequent updates that his wife's been making to a carepages.com page.

And I appreciate this, even though I have discovered that Carepages is to emailed or blogged health updates as Evite is to emailed invitations. Except even worse than that, times ten. First, you have to register before you can even see your friend's page, and much is the grumbling wtf-ery. Once you do this, you start to receive emailed notifications whenever the person's page gets updated, but the email contains no details about the update. When you click the link read the update you have to log in again, because there's no option to keep a session cookie with the website!

When a significant percentage of your users are worried-sick friends and family who hold their breath with dread every time there's news, what you don't do is announce this news with a content-free email and a link that makes them fumble around for their password when they're too stressed out to type straight, every goddamn time. That is fucking wrong.

It's kind of tacky to get mad about bad UI in this situation, but I'm relieved that he's gonna be OK, and so I think I have the right to vent that this shit just crosses the line. I just emailed my friend to wish him the best. Oh, RFC 821: you are much maligned, but you're there when we just need simplicity.
prog: (moonbat)
I don't feel angrier at the moment, but I know that the floor between the PIT OF RAGE and the EVERYTHING IS FINE AIRSPACE has been ticking upwards for the first time since the 2006 election results. I can't even look at the Google News front page any more. Listening to the daily NPR podcast is once again starting to turn me into an unhinged figure, muttering a stream of curses and making rude or threatening gestures at nobody visible, as I practice my own personal Two Minutes Hate session on my way to breakfast.

Mostly I just appreciate that one candidate got into hot water for "misspeaking" some shit they totally just made up (and getting away with it until someone found the relevant YouTube), and then the other one got laid into for "misspeaking" their actually rather defensible perception of the truth.

By "appreciate" I mean "urge to kill rising".

Update: Hey I can start using my Moonbat icon again yay.

Argh

Nov. 18th, 2007 01:24 pm
prog: (khan)
I watched Patriot Games with [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie last night. I enjoyed it in theaters when I saw it with my dad ~15 years ago, but now it's just ridiculous, basically a slasher/monster movie painted to look like political intrigue.

The scenes I remembered most remain poignant anyway, and I discovered some new ones. My new hobby is to bellow I WILL FUCKING DESTROY YOU! I WILL MAKE IT MY MISSION IN LIFE to someone different once per week. Maybe I'll start with the neighbor's dog and work my way up.
prog: (Default)
Last night's growling due to happy news: my web-client work is more or less integrated into (my test branch of) the volity.net website, and it works on all browsers I can be bothered to care about, including Opera (yes, I have tested it on my Wii) and both MSIEs. I'm going to push to take it live by month's end.

It's technically not slippage, because my original deadline was Sept. 30. Let us ignore all the boasting about earlier releases I did a month ago.

I do all my JavaScript development on Firefox + Firebug, and Safari generally follows suit without any extra work. It took me an hour or two on Saturday to make it Opera-compatible, figuring out that it didn't like how I was handling cookies. Opera seems to insist that you set the cookie header used for subsequent AJAX calls with the DOM's document.cookie property, and no other way will do. Fine, whatever.

It took all day Sunday to get the MSIEs in line. They are turds and I hate them. Their only redeeming feature in this matter is the surprising fact that both 6 and 7 had the same problems, and I got both to work simultaneously.

The IE problems, each of which took far too long to isolate:

  • IE silently ignores requests to add <tr>s to <table>s via the DOM appendChild method. You must instead add them to a <tbody> which is itself a child of the table. Seriously, what the fuck; who uses <tbody> normally?

  • IE caches the result of each AJAX call, and subsequent calls to that same URL (a very common polling pattern) will result in no request at all being made, but instead a silent return of the old value, so it looks like it made a request. You can get around this by (meaninglessly) adding the current time to the URL's query string, or adding a bogus If-Modified-Since header to the request. (On the plus side, this made me finally add decent logging to my server-side daemon, since I couldn't figure out what was going wrong without it.)

  • For the life of me, I couldn't use any Prototype.js methods to refer to elements that had been added to the DOM tree since the document's original rendering. I finally punted, adding such elements to some global arrays upon creation (with apologetic code comments noting how fucking stupid MSIE is) and just accessing those instead later on.

Working with Microsoft software as a developer makes me so angry. It makes me angrier than thinking about the current American government and its foreign policy, because I usually burn through that in a few minutes. But working with Microsoft means wading around waist-deep in a vat of pure shit for hours. It gives me a hate that can last for days afterwards. I really hope I can minimize exposure to it as the web client project moves forward.
prog: (khan)
And now I am going to go drink until I can say "Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer" without shouting FUCKING in between each word.
prog: (Default)
I fear that my awesome kidlit-expert buddies' drunken snarling about Harry Potter is probably the only backlash I'm gonna see about all of this strangeness, I say, as I gesture around myself. (Other than griefers, but let us not count them.)

I shall read and expect to enjoy the book when the borrowing chain gets 'round to me, and am not totally free of my own little bit of plot speculation. But my goodness, this is the most tension I've ever seen gripping people in my peer group outside of a national election. I think maybe the last time I saw anything like this was around the last episode of M*A*S*H but I was too young to appreciate it at the time. And what this has that that didn't is a sense of real desperation, with many of my friends already half-panicked to get the book, race home, and read it as fast as possible before the forces of evil can spoil it for them. It is somewhat unsettling to see.

Mm. Also, it is kind of fun, isn't it.
prog: (Default)
One way or another I'll see the Volity RT spam problem fixed, ehn, sometime this week.

Not today, though. I refuse to take time away from money-making mode to deal with whichever band of eastern-bloc mafia has chosen to smear their shit all over our website. The thought of literally losing money to them really makes me so goddamn angry I can't function.
prog: (PKD)
I discover that DEFCON - Everybody Dies has been ported to Mac; you can download a free demo at that link. For me personally, it is without a doubt the most powerfully and purely negative computer game I've played lately. I get very emotionally involved playing this, to the level where I feel real discomfort, almost to the point of literal nausea. I am not sure I'd want to play this game with another person... or maybe that would take the edge off. Who knows.

Objectively, this is all very interesting to me.

The game's worth experiencing for the way it mixes very clean, minimalist, even cold graphics with subtle sound effects and slow, dark ambient music that offers a continual dirge for the events that are unfolding (and which you are helping to cause). The overall effect is intensely disturbing even though it features no single element that would peg an MPAA-style content advisory.
prog: (Default)
This is the Youtube thing I was talking about. It is not the related-videos postroll that they've been doing for years, and which at least three people seem to think I was referring to.

Regarding the Fahrenheit article: one of the weenies kept reverting my changes and making comments like "Bradbury wrote the book; he knows what it's about". My crankiness about this is quelled by the fact that one of the people whose text I first changed has taken my side in the talk page, and did a reasonable job striking a happy medium in the article.

If I cared more I'd go find references to Bradbury's earlier, conflicting comments and add them to the article's head, which currently implies that he's always held the interpretation he does now. But generally when I find myself getting angry with a non-core project like this it's time to walk away.
prog: (Default)
Righto, I just sacrificed a couple of hours on the altar of trying to get shit to work in MSIE. On the plus side, I think I can eliminate one of the third-party libraries I've been using; MSIE was barking at it, and I find that I can do the same thing it was doing using Prototype, which the application already depends on.

On the minus side, MSIE's XML API eludes me. Consider this code snippet. Given xml_request, an XMLHttpRequest object:
    alert(xml_request.responseText); // This prints the correct thing.
    var xml_doc = xml_request.responseXML;
    var root_element = xml_doc.documentElement;
    if (root_element) {
        alert("I have a document element. I am a sane browser!");
    }
    else {
        alert("I have no document element. I must be MSIE. Fuck.");
    }


The initial alert() makes me sure that MSIE (as well as any other browser) is in fact reading the XML. I just can't do a damn thing with it after that; every attempt to peek into any DOMmish properties of xml_doc returns null.

xml_doc.firstChild and equivalent statements all fail equally (while succeeding on sane browsers). Wha?



Another good reason to drop the library I am dropping? It contains lines of code like this:

MWJ_ldD[MWJ_ldD.length-1].onreadystatechange = new Function( 'if( MWJ_ldD['+(MWJ_ldD.length-1)+'].readyState == 4 ) { '+oFunct+'(MWJ_ldD['+(MWJ_ldD.length-1)+'].load?MWJ_ldD['+(MWJ_ldD.length-1)+']:MWJ_ldD['+(MWJ_ldD.length-1)+'].responseXML); }' );

Holy hannah. That's no way to make friends.

...

Feb. 21st, 2007 12:51 pm
prog: (tiles)
And they're not giving it back to me.

What happened: the bill payment I set up back with MBNA was depositing $100 into my CC account at the end of every month. By BoA reckoning, this is always late, because payment is due a day or two before that, and payments made between that date and the start of the next month don't count towards the next month's minimums. Therefore, I was late every single month since they started keeping track in October, despite me giving them more money than they were asking for every time.

The nice lady I talked to only smiled and shrugged at me about it.

Fuckers. Never use BoA. I wouldn't be if they hadn't bought the company I fuckin signed up with. Is there any other CC company in the USA at this point?
prog: (Default)
It also appears that my BoA CC has been pounding an extra $25 out of me every month for four months, because the automatic bill-payment I have set up with them activates the day after my monthly bill is due, so they get to hit me with a late fee each time.

Let's see if I can call them on this without them sending a SWAT team to my house or whatever the fuck it is they do now.

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