Opinions

Smash The Ceiling

James Surowiecki: The truth is that the United States doesn’t need, and shouldn’t have, a debt ceiling. Every other democratic country, with the exception of Denmark, does fine without one. There’s no debt limit in the Constitution. And, if Congress really wants to hold down government debt, it already has a way to do so that doesn’t risk economic chaos—namely, the annual budgeting process. The only reason we need to lift the debt ceiling, after all, is to pay for spending that Congress has already authorized.

Interesting · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Learning Ruby

I’ve been learning some Ruby the past week or so. Some thoughts: Arrays seem to be lists. Ranges are needed because of eager evaluation. I like that anything defined can be changed later, even visibility or constants. I haven’t found a good explanation of blocks yet, but they appear to be first-class functions with some kind of iterator functionality grafted on. No homoiconic syntax. Abbreviated keywords (def). Yuck. No exposed class variables is a great idea.

Computation · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta

The problem is that too much stuff is thrown into the mix. Everyone has two weapons, a grenade, power ups, boosters, enhancements, experience points, dollars, and all this other random shit that results in a confusing maelstrom that you can only survive for a minute or two at a time. I don’t like dying so often. It’s a jarring experience. I make a plan, and before I can get a quarter way through it, I end up getting shot in the head through a wall by some guy twenty yards away.

Games · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

The Rise Of Worse Is Better

The Worse Is Better philosophy is simply iterative design: lay the foundation, erect some walls, and you’ll worry about putting on the roof later. Apple is notorious for doing this. See the iPhone. The one thing I disagree with Richard about is the diamond-like jewel scenario: “To implement it to run fast is either impossible or beyond the capabilities of most implementors.” My intuition says that’s wrong; at least, it’s not right in some cases.

Computation · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Evolution Of A Switch

The visual representation of the switch widget for iOS 1-4 was ambiguous because the width of the draggable knob was about half of the overall width of the widget. When you look at it, it isn’t immediately clear whether the blue part is meant to signify the knob. Its new design in iOS 5 appears to have resolved this ambiguity by making the knob much narrower, and circular rather than rectangular.

Computation · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Password Strength

They say you should use a strong password, one that is long, has uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, symbols, even spaces. You should have a unique password for everything in case the security for one of them is compromised. Until recently, I had used two passwords, one for important things like computer accounts, e-mail, banking, and electronic payments, and the other for everything else, like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. They had uppercase and lowercase letters and digits only, and were about eight characters long.

Ideas · Opinions · Stories

Will Faught

2 minutes

What Kind Of Thing Is That?

Have you ever wondered, “What kind of thing is that?” I use Wikipedia to answer that question all the time. You can even use Wikipedia to find similar things that share the same category. What kind of thing is a senate? Well, apparently it’s a legislature. Did you know that a tricameral legislature is also a kind of legislature, and that there was a Tricameral Parliament in South Africa until 1994?

Fyi · Ideas · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Lion, ICloud, IOS 5, Oh My!

Apple announced a lot of new things on Monday: their next Mac OS, their next iOS, and their new cloud service. I’m really excited about iOS and iCloud. The new feature I like the best is that iOS devices no longer need to synchronize with a computer. This necessitated a lot of additional functionality in the built-in apps and settings to make iOS self-sufficient. It really is the post-PC era! I can’t wait to get them all.

Apple · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Recipe For Rebooting Tomb Raider

So what steps is Crystal Dynamics [the game maker] taking to reinvent Tomb Raider? … Sprinkle Some RPG Elements: Tomb Raider will use a base camp system as Lara’s home base or hub world. Here she can upgrade and build new gear, as well as purchase new survival skills (although I’m not yet sure what she’ll use for currency). From her base camp, she can revisit previous levels to look for items and reach areas previously inaccessible, much like Metroidvania games.

Games · Opinions · Quotations

Will Faught

1 minute

142 Plane Crash Victims Were Statistically More Likely To Have Died In A Car Crash

My thoughts exactly. Fear of a plane crash isn’t irrational; it’s fearing the lack of control, which you don’t have in a plane crash.

Funny · Opinions · The Onion

Will Faught

1 minute

Inside Job

I watched Inside Job a few weeks ago. The visuals used to explain collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps were excellent. I actually hadn’t understood what credit default swaps were until I watched this movie. I thought the interviews of Satyajit Pas and Eliot Spitzer were wonderfully insightful. Be sure to watch their extra scenes, which alone are worth renting the movie. It was refreshing to get the Icelandic narrative and perspective of the financial disaster.

Movies · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Went Wireless

I finally bought Apple’s wireless track pad and keyboard for my iMac. No more awkward wires! Free at last! At first I didn’t like the idea of a track pad for a desktop, but it grew on me in the store. I like the two-finger scrolling too much to do without it.

Opinions · Stories

Will Faught

1 minute

BD-Live

I’ve had a Blu-ray player for a couple years now, and I’ve yet to see BD-Live content I like. Usually, it’s just ads for other movies. One time I saw a small ad in the corner of a Blu-ray interface for a movie ad in the BD-Live content. Somehow the movie studios have found yet another way to market to us, and have convinced us to pay for the privilege.

Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

Disclaimer

George Bush was a bad president. Disclaimer: This story is fictional. No actual person or event is depicted.

Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

New York Times Pay Wall

I tapped to look at the subscription information in the NYTimes iPad app. Apparently, one can save either $19 or $34 at the same time when paying $0.99 for either digital access plan. What is this, non-deterministic saving? Neither digital access plan interests me. I have no problem paying $5 per week for quality news coverage, but not letting me use their apps on all my devices is a deal breaker.

Ideas · Ipad · New York Times · Opinions · Paywall

Will Faught

1 minute

Samsung Clones IPhone, Apple Sues

It’s like an iPhone from an alternate, yet similar, universe. Ars nailed the image comparison.

Apple · Opinions · Samsung

Will Faught

1 minute

The Science Of Why We Don’t Believe Science

Fascinating. Ironically, this confirms what I thought about conservatives.

Opinions · Politics · Science

Will Faught

1 minute

Seriously, They Still Make You?

It’s been a while since I’ve run across a full-blown Flash web site. I ran across this one while shopping. This one has got to take the cake for gratuitous, gaudy presentation. Not only is it showy, but it’s slower because of it. Someone needs to bring them out of the late ’90s.

Flash · Opinions

Will Faught

1 minute

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