Strong opinions, weakly held

Month: July 2001 (page 3 of 11)

Simon Cozen’s posted a useful summary of Larry Wall’s annual The State of the Onion speech at the Open Source conference. This year, Larry actually talked about Perl, albeit in an unusual way.

Here’s the proposed redesign for rc3.org.

O’Reilly’s coverage of the Open Source Convention is quite thorough, as you might expect. I’d like to go next year.

Now that I’ve finished American Gods, I’m on to Eric Schlosser’s book, Fast Food Nation (a gift from a reader). Anyway, the book is filled with fun facts. I’ll share them here as I read the book. The first fun fact is that, adjusted for inflation, the hourly wage of the average American worker peaked in 1973 and steadily declined for the next 25 years.

To RCFoC and Jeffrey Harrow: fare thee well. (Jeffrey announced that publication of RCFoC is ceasing because he’s leaving Compaq.)

Declan McCullagh reports that support for the DMCA is still widely supported by the morons in Congress who passed it in the first place. And why should that surprise us? Their corporate masters are pleased as punch that they now have a large blunt instrument that they can use to punish anyone who writes software that irritates them in any way. They can sue, they can have them arrested — whatever it takes to prevent their bits from being copied. The only question here is how much damage is going to be done before the idiots who favor this law realize it isn’t doing them any good. I think that the ultimate resolution of this law is that it will be declared unconstitutional, since it violates freedom of speech, and runs counter to the rights of fair use and eventual expiration when it comes to copyrights. (Props to Rick Boucher, a Democratic House member from Virginia who favors rewriting the DMCA and letting Dmitry Sklyarov out of jail.)

I know everyone is linking to they rule, but I’m not going to let that stop me from pointing to it from here. Rarely do I find a new site that’s truly a useful research tool, but they rule is just such a site. Pick just about any big company and start expanding from there, and you’re bound to see something that will interest and surprise you in no time. For example, I clicked on Berkshire Hathaway, and discovered that the only other board Warren Buffett sits on is Coca Cola’s. Who else is on KO’s board? How about former Georgia senator Sam Nunn. What do you know? He’s also on the boards of Dell Computer, General Electric, and Texaco. No wonder he never ran for office again after retiring from the Senate. It would be helpful if the site added more companies though. Some biggies, like Sun, are not included.

I read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods this weekend. Needless to say, since then I’ve been surfing mythology sites like mad to get the backgrounds of the various gods mentioned in the book. I knew a lot of the big name gods, but Gaiman also incorporates a ton of more obscure gods that have equally fascinating backgrounds. I definitely recommend the book, and plan on reading it at least once more for sure.

A couple of readers sent along a link to a Washington Post story explaining that one of the things AOL got for their Amazon investment was a takeover provision. It’s unclear how insidious this is, though — several analysts quoted said that this is a common provision when a company makes a large investment in another.

Rush Limbaugh really is a big fat idiot.

How many different versions of Satan, the devil, have you seen in your life? I mean, the comic book devil with the red face and the horns, seen that one. We’ve seen the Satanic devil of the horror films. We’ve seen the devil portrayed as just an average man, a human being, in the movie “Rosemary’s Baby”. We’ve seen the comic devil of TV shows. We’ve even seen the smooth, tempting devil in Hollywood moves. Is Tom Daschle simply another way to portray a devil?

A small sampling of Rush’s “thoughts” on Tom Daschle.

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