JMF postings

Here. Link. Worth it.

“Tonight on Mythbusters, we’re going to test the legend that if you hook folks up to a Wheatstone bridge and a cheap voltmeter, money will fall out of their pockets.”

God, the man could write…

RIP John M Ford

Author John M Ford is dead.

I’ll keep this quick. Read his Web of Angels. This vision of “cyberpunk” predates Gibson and is comparable to Vinge’s work of the time. It had a big impact on me when I read it in college. It’s not work of great literature, but it’s pretty darned thoughtful about the future of computer crime, I liked it a lot, and it was his first book. Hard to beat that.

Separated at . . .

One of my WOW character’s current nemesis. More visits to the graveyard on a village full of these suckers than I can recall ever having –


And today, we looked over at The Gibber, and saw –


I have theories, but no answers.

Five realizations

My five moments of clarity with C++ (after link) –

1. When I realized that not only was multiple inheritance buggy as heck, it was also a bad idea. (This was with CFront in 1988. It was bad).

2. When I realized that a lot of people use inheritance to save keystrokes, and abstraction for procrastinating about design.

3. When I realized that Koenig lookup was the kind of clever hack that one should be praised, then stuffed and mounted for.

4. When I realized that 99% of C++ programming was about memory management (the other 1% is fooling the type system into letting you do memory management).

5. When I realized that there are pieces of the language that I will never, ever use. (I think I’ve used every corner of C, with the possible exception of trigraphs, unless you count “by accident, what a stupid feature” as using a feature).

The HP Way

“No, no, we weren’t lying to the phone company to get those records, we were, um, we were . . . pretexting! That’s it. We were pretexting those records.”

“Oh. I see, that’s okay, then.”

“Those trips I expensed to the Caymans? Those were . . . ”


“Right! And the numbered accounts there –”



“It’s all fine then. Except that the security guards are going to march you out and dump you in the shrubbery now.”


“Uncanny, you have such a way with words.”

Five years ago

Five years ago I remember that the US grounded all the planes for three days. The skies seemed to have fewer clouds after the first day.

It’s a good thing that they started flying again, because the birds seemed to be getting cocky, almost jubilant. Maybe they think, at some level, that jets with contrails are some kind of strange predator bird. Sixty million years of evolution haven’t prepared them for primates mucking around at 35,000 feet. Can you imagine the relief the birds felt?

[Trying not to think about all the political grandstanding that’s happening today. Lots of primaries tomorrow.]

template on a [M————]

I think we know why the movie Snakes on a Plane more or less failed; it was the stupid title. Anyone could come up with a better name for a movie than that, and even Samuel Jackson can’t save a film if the title is a bogus, second-rate cast-off from the 50s.

With a decent title this film would have lived up to its promise as a great action flick. But you can’t save Hollywood from itself.

And so…

I’ve come up with some better titles. In fact, I’ve tried to come up with 26, one for each letter of the alphabet. I’ve stuck to snakes, or reptiles where possible, and similarly airliners (or at least forms of transportation), but there are so many more possibilities….

Asps on an Airliner
Boas on a B-52
Cobras in a Corvette
Diamondbacks in a Dive Bomber
Eels with a Euro-Pass
Fer-de-Lances on a Fishing Trawler
Geckos in the Galley
Horny Toads on a Helicopter
Iguanas in an In-Flight Refueling Tanker [okay, it’s a stretch]
Jeepers! (subttl: Giant Jiggers on a Jet)
Kookaburras in a Kayak
Lawyers Strapped to the Landing Gear [comedy]
Mambas in the Mail
Nutrias on a . . . WTF is a Nutria?
Octopuses on an Oceanliner
Pythons on the Poop Deck
Quetzals in a Quandry [okay, you do Q]
Rattlers in a Rocket
Sidewinders on the Shuttle
Turtles on a Turboprop
“Uh-ohs” on a U-Boat
Vipers in a Vanagon
Weasels on a Weather Balloon
X . . . argh
Yaks on a Soyuz
Z . . . I’m outta here

Only two (well, three) flame-outs, and I didn’t even need the “M” word! Suffer, Hollywood. You can call my agent for licensing details.

Best line from a hypothetical movie:

“I’m gettin’ m——–g sick and tired of all these m——g lawyers strapped to the m——-g landing gear! . . . wait a minute, what am I saying? I love these lawyers strapped to the landing gear! You got more lawyers? We’ll find more landing gear to strap ’em onto!”