Archive for October, 2005


Boolean parameters considered harmful

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Coding Horror is one of my favorite programmer blogs. In today’s entry Jeff discusses why programmers should avoid methods with boolean parameters.

This thought has been sort of rattling around in my head for a while, but I’d not fully articulated it . One of the projects I work on has a method that I call fairly often called “SetForcedDisconnectMode(BOOL bMode)”. I can never remember what bMode actually means. Jeff is correct, the boolean parameter is a magic number.

I’ll see about rewriting this api with a meaningful enumeration of the two modes rather than the magic ‘bMode’.

Who says blogs are a waste of time?



Blog status update

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

So far I have told no one about this blog. I’m not operating from a secret idenity, so I’m not Opinionista. It is just that I want to establish a body of work and I need to get better graphical elements before I start actively promoting this blog.

It looks from the logs that a few people are reading this already. I certainly appreciate the interest and will try and keep things moving for you here.

I have been greatly flattered and encouraged by receiving links from several terrrific blogs already.

I will shortly be holding a design contest for this blog at Design Outpost. Once I have updated graphical elements in place I will consider the blog offically launched and will start telling folks about it.

Oh, and I just bought a one gig Iriver T30, which is a really nice little MP-3 player. It has a line input for recording, and I picked up an adapter cable that will let me plug it into an airplane intercom. I’m looking at trying my hand at an aviation podcast. I picked the IRiver based on recommendations from Elbo and the guy who does Cockpit Cast.

Watch this space for further developments.


They hate everybody

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Concerning the recent murder suicide bombing in India, Powerline hits the nail on the head:

Liberals often argue that the Islamists’ hatred of Christians is explained by policies of the American government, and, likewise, their hatred of Jews has its origins in Israel’s purported misdeeds. It is always worth remembering that they hate Hindus, too. The fact is, they hate pretty much everyone. It has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with them.




Friday, October 28th, 2005

Ann Althouse “glanced about the ‘sphere and noticed the slavering hyenas waiting for the Fitz-kill, but I’ve never felt the call to express how repulsive I find them. ”

I think they’re pretty funny actually.

As usual Instapundit has the links to intelligent discussion about “Fitzmas”.

I have some random thoughts more or less of my own:

1) The Bush administration provided total cooperation to the investigators. They never made hysterical attacks on the investigators, nor did they assert ridiculous ‘privileges’ designed solely to throw sand in the investigators faces. In fact the main evidence against Mr. Libby seems to come from notes provided by Mr. Libby.

2) The indictment is very narrow, devoted solely to the alleged behavior of one person. There is no evidence presented of any sort of conspiracy or collusion by anyone not named in the indictment.

3) Prior to the prosecutor’s press conference there was a meme in the press that the investigation was stilling going full steam and that Rove would soon be indicted. But if you listened you heard Mr. Fitzgerald’s press conference he said no such thing. In fact he downplayed the possibility of any major new developments in the case, saying only that it was routine to leave open the possibility of using another grand jury should more testimony be required in the future.

4) No one is accused of ‘outing a CIA agent’.

5) History books will have to expunge Daniel Ellsberg from their list of left wing heroes.

6) President Bush isn’t even on the Fitzmas radar.

It seems entirely possible to me that Mr. Libby may have made honest mistakes in his testimony rather than calculated lies. But it is certainly possible that some or all of the charges will be proved in court in which case Mr. Libby should suffer the consequences.

I think the best thing Mr. Libby can do is pattern his defense after those of Martha Stewart, and take five months at Club Fed like a man. He should also invoke the Bill Clinton precedent and agree to voluntary turn in his bar card for a few years.

I certainly hope the incitements cause people with access to classified information to think long and hard before they discuss it out of school.


Econbrowser on Bernanke & China

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Econbrowser likes Ben Bernanke for the job of Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

He’s skeptical about China’s GDP statistics. If he’s skeptical, so am I.


Ranting about radio

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

For years I have subscribed to the Mooney mailing list. While I don’t own or fly a Mooney airplane, I do fly a somewhat similar Cessna Cardinal. There is a list for the Cardinal, but it is heavily moderated so as to be limited only to on topic useful information. The Cardinal list rarely permits rants.

The Mooney list is a little more free-wheeling, and rants are more tolerated there. I don’t post often on the Mooney list, but sometimes even though I’m not a Mooney owner I just can’t pass up the chance for a good rant.

My latest rant was triggered by a discussion of proper pilot radio technique. I have strong feelings on this subject. My main feeling is that many pilots, especially those who have not had the happiness of military training, use too many words when talking on the radio.

Anyway, here is the rant I posted to the Mooney list.

[rant mode on]
Don’t say this when you check in with a controller:

“Annnnnndddddddd this is 1234 sugar pop with you at nine point five”

for these reasons:

1) “Annnnnnnnnnddddd” is just jamming the frequency. If you can’t start talking without an introduction phrase at least increase the good karma in the world by saying “good morning” or “good afternoon” instead of making yourself sound like a dork by saying “annnnnnnnnnnddddddddddddddd”. It’s ok to say “Houston Center” but not really usually necessary unless you have reason to think the controller may be working more than one position.

2) “this is”. Who else would it be?

3) “sugar pop”. Cute. Now stop saying that and use the ICAO alphabet. I’ll let you say “five” instead of “fife”, but that’s as liberal as I can be. If you want cute, go to the pound and adopt a puppy.

4) “with you”. Where the heck else would you be? We all know you are “with it” because you fly a Mooney. Don’t garbage up the freq with “with you”.

5) “at nine point five”. The Hungarian judge may give your landing a “9.5”, but in airplanes we express our altitude in thousands and hundreds of American feet: “nine thousand five hundred”.

To recap, a correct radio checkin sounds like this:

“Mooney 1234 Sierra Papa, nine thousand five hundred feet”


Note: In followups to this messageI have allowed that one should not use the word “feet”, since it is known that altitude is always measured in feet. I also posted that I will permit pilots to say “three” for the ICAO recommended “tree”, “five for the recommended “fife”, and “nine instead of the recommmended “niner”. But that’s as liberal as I can be on the issue of correct radio technique.

Cessna, Mooney, aviation


Rosa Louise Parks, February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

Mrs. Parks has gone to a better place, but her light is still here.


Fifth ‘Apprentice 4′ contestant fired

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Kristi Caudell becomes the fifth ‘Apprentice 4′ contestant fired

Ok, I know, I should be ashamed. But I like ‘The Apprentice’.

The link above gives a good summary of this week’s episode.

The girl team lost again. They lost because they didn’t listen when the customer told them what he wanted. Actually, I’ve seen this same thing happen in previous episodes, and in real life.

Listening is hard, we’d all rather talk. But in most aspects of life, you need to listen more than you need to talk.

Trump made the right decision in firing the self described “tough manager” Kristi rather than Jennifer, the hapless project manager. The girls are getting routed every week. For them to have a chance they need to start working as a real team. They didn’t need the constant negative energy emitting from the unhappy Christi. Jennifer was weak and made some bone-headed calls, but at least she’s not actively disruptive.

Oh, and it is clear to me that barring some disaster, contestant Randal Pinkett is unstoppable and will win this year. Given his long track record of accomplishment he’s entitled to a little arrogance. But even with a resume that borders on the incredible, he seems humble, friendly and entirely likeable. This is no doubt in part because thats the the way the producers want us to perceive him. But he really does seem like the genuine article.

The only thing I wonder about is why a guy with his own “multi-million dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm” would want to work for Donald Trump on a W-2. That just doesn’t make sense.


Warning: Junk Science Ahead

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

We have to be careful to not let our religious beliefs overcome science when we make policy decisions.

It is a widely held religous belief that global warming leads to hurricanes in the Gulf, and that only by increasing taxes and regulation will Gia call off her hurricanes and earthquakes.

We’re going to be hearing about a lot of “models”. It’s import to not accept any model without testing its predictive value against past data. Keep in mind Carl Sagan’s post Desert Storm predictions based on his models that Saadam’s eco-terrorism would induce a global winter.

Here’s a good article on the subject of science v. left wing religion.


Supression of religion in goverment school

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

A government school requires kindergarten students to create posters about the environment. One kid includes an image of Jesus in his poster. The school first rejects the poster, then when it is displayed with 80 other posters, folds it so the image of Jesus is hidden because the school prohibits Christian images. Images of Ghia are fine I’m sure.

Clearly even most addled brain dead Deaniac leftwing moonbat would see this for the gross first amendment violation that it is. There’s no chance this could stand up in court, right? Wrong.

In 2000, a New York federal court ruled that the school had the right to censor the poster on the grounds of separation of church and state.

A second court ruled in favor of the school again last year, but on Tuesday, a three judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan unanimously decided that Peck’s constitutional rights may have been violated and recommended the case back to court once again.

Catholic News Agency

Whatever problems Republicans have, this case shows why it is critical to defeat the Democrat party at every turn. Democrats know that they could never implement a fraction of their often hidden agenda by laws passed by elected representatives. Only by stacking the courts with power mad activist judges can they impose their will on the American people. Democrats hate freedom of speech, and if they have their way we won’t have any.

This also shows why Ms Meirs should do the loyal thing and step aside. President Bush needs to appoint a true originalist to the court. We can’t chance another Souter.

courts, politics, freedom, speech