Monthly Archives: February 2004

The rich get welfare…

[Confessions of a Welfare Queen]: talks about how the government hands out welfare to those already wealthy. An interesting read, if you’re not sick of reading about free market and subsidies.

Eric Raymond on Open Source Horror

Seen on [Blogdex]: :
Eric Raymond, author of [fetchmail]:, talks about his [personal horrors]: . I got a laugh out of it, but I’m probably just as guilty of the poor interface design that’s highlighted in the story.

What book/country are you?

I can’t believe I take these silly web quizzes… Still, they’re a reasonable distraction from work. I was curious about these, as they tell you what book you are or what country you are, while being a (shameless?) promotion for the author’s book.

Apparently, I’m /The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe/
by C.S. Lewis. The description says:

> You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you’re re-enacting Christian theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust in zoo animals.

Curious? [Try the Book Quiz yourself]:

As for country, I would’ve never guessed /Thailand/ !?

> Calmer and more staunchly independent than almost all those around you, you have a long history of rising above adversity. Recent adversity has led to questions about your sexual promiscuity and the threat of disease, but you still manage to attract a number of tourists and admirers. And despite any setbacks, you can really cook a good meal whenever it’s called for. Good enough to make people cry.

Here’s the link: [Take the Country Quiz]:

I bet these quiz results make good icebreakers… “Hey, how’s it going? I heard you were Thailand– what’s up with that?”

About John Ashcroft on Vanity Fair

Mike’s Link Blog – Very Scary S*** About John Ashcroft

Pardon the profanity, but here’s a repost of a Vanity Fair article on John Ashcroft called “JOHN ASHCROFT’S PATRIOT GAMES”. At first I was wondering why I should need to know these personal details about our nation’s attorney general, but as I read, I thought, Dang, this is important stuff.

On Blogs

What’s up with blogging, and why should you care? – TechUpdate – ZDNet

A sort of hodgepodge of details of what a blog is. Not a great summary, but perhaps useful for someone new to blogs.

Looking for things to read?

The [Words]: archive has [H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine]: and [George Orwell’s 1984]: , amongst other cool pieces of classic literature.

[Project Gutenberg]: ‘s probably got way more, but hey, Words has Orwell.

Also check out [Twenty Great American Short Stories]: , because everything there’s quick enough to read over lunch or a coffee break.

Paul Graham on “moral fashion”

[What You Can’t Say]:

This is a pretty nifty article that compares clothing fashion to moral fashion. Paul Graham is quite the writer. He’s also got cool stuff on programming (like on how LISP helps you [Beat the Averages]: ), if you’re into that sort of thing.

> Excerpt:
Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked? Did we actually dress like that? We did. And we had no idea how silly we looked. It’s the nature of fashion to be invisible, in the same way the movement of the earth is invisible to all of us riding on it.

> What scares me is that there are moral fashions too. They’re just as arbitrary, and just as invisible to most people. But they’re much more dangerous. Fashion is mistaken for good design; moral fashion is mistaken for good. Dressing oddly gets you laughed at. Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed.

Knock ’em dead

Sometimes there are great moments in anime. 🙂

Passwords with inkblots

Fascinating… [using inkblots to remember passwords]: . Since everyone sees different things in inkblots, then nobody would guess your password. Cool article from Microsoft Research.

> Excerpt:
“Good passwords are hard to remember. And easy to remember passwords are easy for other people to guess. What we wanted to do is give people a hint to help them remember a good password,” said Simon.

User interface design

AskTog has a nifty article about user interface design :

[AskTog: A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts]:

It’s got bits about menubars and how to make stuff easy to click on.

> Excerpt:
Microsoft Toolbars offer the user the option of displaying a label below each tool. Name at least one reason why labeled tools can be accessed faster. (Assume, for this, that the user knows the tool and does not need the label just simply to identify the tool.)