QOTD

From Moe Lane at RedState, on Hillary's latest foot-in-mouth incident:
... no, actually I’m not particularly angry that Hillary Clinton called me a terrorist.  After all, I know that it’s not true.  On the other hand, I suspect that some of her partisans will be rather upset to find out that I called Hillary Clinton a joyless, incompetent hollow woman of a candidate with no greater accomplishments than existing. Largely because they know that it is true.
Ouch.  That's gotta sting.

Personally, I think that describing her as a "joyless, incompetent hollow woman of a candidate with no greater accomplishments than existing" is overly generous.  "Deperate, incompetent, dishonest, ineffectual joke of a candidate" is more accurate, but even that still doesn't quite capture the je ne sais quoi that is Hillary.

"Dumber than Forrest Gump" Is Being Charitable, I Think

Chris Hernandez has a few things to say about the recent kerfuffle on a train:
First: bravo to the three Americans who took down an armed terrorist on a French train. Those men are true heroes, and as a National Guard soldier myself I’m extremely proud that one is a fellow Guardsman. I have nothing but praise for them, and hope to shake their hands someday.
As someone who literally does this sort of thing for a living, he Has Opinions about those who want to use this particular event as Proof That You Don't Need Guns™:
Having said that, and I’m in no way detracting from their bravery or heroism, but they got lucky...
Generally speaking, you don’t bring a nothing to a gunfight and expect to win. It can happen, but you don’t make “use your bare hands to take down a guy with an AK-47” your Plan A. I know this because I have training, experience, and a brain. The blithering idiots at Addicting Info, however, looked at this fluke, consulted fellow blithering idiots who know nothing about lethal force, and published an article titled Proving The Best Defense Is A Good Guy WITHOUT A Gun, Unarmed U.S. Soldiers Foil French Gunman.
I’m pretty sure Addicting Info’s writers are literally the dumbest people on earth.
I don’t know much about AI’s writers or editors. I haven’t seen their IQ test results. I’m sure they’re all educated, and probably know many things about important topics like white privilege or microaggressions. But anyone who believes you’re better off unarmed when someone tries to shoot you with an AK has to be dumber than Forrest Gump. 
Among other things, Chris goes on to list a number of recent shootings where the proverbial Good Guys Without A Gun confronting the Bad Guy With A Gun ended up achieving the most statistically likely outcome in that particular situation, i.e., dying.

Funny how those pesky facts don't disprove their thesis, isn't it?

Go, RTWT, as they say.

Your Zen Website of the Day


  1. Go to openpuppies.com.
  2. You now have puppy footage looping.
  3. Tap the spacebar to advance to the next puppy.
  4. Laugh. D'aw! Teh kutes!
  5. Check the clock and wonder where the last 15 minutes went.
  6. Repeat as needed.

__LOCATION__, __LOCATION__, __LOCATION__

I'm working with an open source project right now that uses a __location__ macro to identify source files and lines for debugging.

If you happen to not be familiar with this concept... the __location__ macro is a #define, designed to take the standard c pre-processor macros for __FILE__ (the name of the current source file) and __LINE__ (the line in the current source file) and use some c language macro trickery to turn it into a single string that consists of the file name (foobar.c) and the file line (255) jammed together (ex, "foobar.c:255").

This was apparently done to simplify logging.  You want to know where something went wrong? Well, then - just log the __location__ of your output, and now you know!  Wonderful! Why futz around with two macros (__FILE__ and __LINE__) when you can just use __location__ instead?

Except... each and every use of __location__ now creates a unique string.

And the compiler, when it goes to optimize read-only data, can no longer consolidate all those references to __FILE__ into a single string in rodata.  Because you have helpfully replaced all (or almost all) of those references to __FILE__ with a reference to __location__, and now instead of on instance of the string "foobar.c" in your binary, you have strings for:
foobar.c:32
foobar.c:97
foobar.c:135
foobar.c:176
foobar.c:193
foobar.c:255 
... and so on, and so on.  One string for each __location__.

Quick calculation shows that, for this project, 10% of the size of the stripped binaries - over 15 megabytes of data - consists of these debugging strings.

Ouch.

My current pet project is to work on replacing the use of __location__ with the explicit use of the standard __FILE__ and __LINE__ macros, and (hopefully!) reclaim that space.





Senseless Waste

Region-locked printing ink.  Seriously.
So, it appears that if you attempt to forcefeed a Xerox printer not-from-around-here ink, it will potentially brick the device. At that point, you're forced to ask for a Xerox rep to drop by and unlock your purchased printer for you...
Sure, it's only 10 minutes of work, but it's $60 being shelled out by a paying customer just so his printer will go back to printing. The only thing actually "broken" is Xerox's business model. 
It's ink, for the love of heaven!  INK!

The whole idea of intentionally breaking something that is functional makes me twitch.

Whatever idiot at Xerox came up with this particular idea should be manhandled into the nearest convenient alleyway and beaten with garbage can lids until whatever is broken in their brain starts working again.

Cause and Effect

Research indicates that Google can influence elections by up to 12.5%:
With a group of more than 1,800 study participants – all undecided voters in India -- the research team was able to shift votes by an average of 12.5 percent to favored candidates by deliberating altering their rankings in search results, Epstein said.
"Deez Nuts" is now the most successful independent candidate for president in two decades:
“Then I saw the slop bucket that we call the GOP field, the one-woman show on the Democratic side, and the lack of any third party candidate and thought ‘Man, Deez Nuts would be better than any of these guys,’” Olson continued. “So after that I just ran with it.”
Scary conclusion: someone at Google really likes Deez Nuts, which is why he is polling at something other than statistically insignificant levels.

Scarier conclusion: someone at Google really hates Deez Nuts, and he should actually be polling at around 25%.

Scariest conclusion: It really doesn't matter.



Gaming The System

This is the story of how a talk radio pioneer (and his devoted fans) concocted a wildly preposterous hoax – and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. 
To fully appreciate this tale, you must first understand Jean Shepherd, the satirical genius who was a masterful storyteller, helped create the talk radio format, and was a gifted writer who gave the world A Christmas Story...
One thing that astonished him about New Yorkers was (and still remains) their slavish obsession with Top 10 lists... Shep felt New Yorkers blindly followed whatever appeared on those lists without thinking or questioning them. The one that got his goat most of all was The New York Times Best Seller list for books. 
The Times has been printing this highly influential list since 1931. But here’s the thing: in Shep’s time, despite its name, the criteria for making the list involved more than just book sales. It included customer requests for and questions about books to book sellers.
As they say, RTWT.

I'm In


"One does not simply use the word 'Hobbit'."


One does not simply use the word 'Hobbit'. The Tolkien estate is guarded by more than just Lawyers. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye of Warner Brothers is ever watchful of its Intellectual Property. Hollywood is a soulless wasteland, riddled with narcissists and Democrats and Kardashians, the very society is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you defend this. It is folly.

Yinz Guys Got To Try Them Buckeyes

A nice little article on the Pittsburgh tradition of having cookie tables at weddings:
The cookie table at a Pittsburgh wedding is twice as important as a $500 four-tiered buttercream cake, and five times more delicious. 
It's a tradition that's said to originate in Southwestern Pennsylvania by Eastern European, Italian and Greek immigrants, who wanted to bring a taste of the homeland to the New World. Today tradition still trumps convenience, as wedding cookies are mostly homemade by family and friends.
We have two weddings coming up, and yes, both couples are already planning their cookie tables.

There are a few other wonderful Pittsburgh wedding traditions as well: making sure there is rigatoni at the reception, and ensuring that the Chicken Dance is played after dinner.  Having your reception in a fire hall is optional, but considered good form.