Smart Guns

I am against the use of firearms and also against the right of any civilian to own and use such a thing. However, there are more than enough people who aren’t and who’re willing to fight for this right. In that case, maybe a compromise is in order, such as this smart gun which is only able to fire if its registered owner is operating it and also records (as far as possible) the circumstances at the time of use.

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Mutiny on the Bounty

Read this letter of resignation by John Brady Kiesling to Colin Powell. Truthout summarises it best: “The letter below, delivered to Secretary of State Colin Powell, is quite possibly the most eloquent statement of dissent thus far put forth regarding the issue of Iraq”. Oh yes, I just BEAT Ben to it, lazy weblogger that he is.

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Centrino Notebooks

If you are a rich geek-oriented philanthropist, please buy me this notebook. I believe the world will be a better place once I am in possession of this super light and super battery-efficient ATI FireGL 9000-equipped toy. I almost forgot… it’s probably going to be another year or three before Linux fully supports all this laptop’s features, but for this juicy piece of hardware I’d probably be willing to do my duty as Microsoft’s bitch, at least for a while.

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Nugget of the day

Here is a site explaining a whole list of common fallacies in arguments. I’m now less impressed with the site than when I first stumbled onto it, but it’s still useful. Really. You can now use phrases like “ad hominem attacks” in your flames even if you don’t know any Latin. Come to think of it, even if your knowledge of Latin is non-existent (you barbarian), you should be able to deduce what that means, unless you’re really stupid, in which case it took you half an hour to read this sentence anyway and you’ve now forgotten what it’s all about, which is exactly the reason why I prefer writing long sentences.

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“Money, it’s a crime; share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie; money, so they say; is the root of all evil today”

Ed does have a way with words, but what did you expect? In this posting, he points out another example of the fact that this stupid war is all about economics. Once again, did we ever think otherwise? This article (thanks to Paul for the URL) documents yet another list of examples showing how the US is able to use its dollars to garner support for its war plans. It’s a very silly kind of democracy.

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wxPython lovin’

In other news, I was able to put time in on Friday and do some PyColourChooser hacking. Michael Gilfix (the author) has integrated my patches. You know it’s a good patch when it removes far more code than it adds, yet increases the functionality. :) I’m still wondering why wxWindows doesn’t wrap the GTK colour wheel though. The wxWindows generic colour selector (used on GTK setups) isn’t worth the photons it was coded with.

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Knoppix

This weekend I gave Knoppix 3.1 a spin on my workstation. Knoppix is a complete Debian-based Linux distribution that runs directly from the CD. It’s a simple question of downloading the ISO, burning it and booting from it: a minute or so later you’re staring at a KDE 3.0 desktop and everything Just Works™. Knoppix is an impressive feat. There is an amazing selection of ready-to-run software on the CD, including Open Office 1.

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Emacs Python folding fixed

By making use of the outline minor mode of Emacs, one can do Python code folding. However, it seems MOST of the available .emacs examples illustrating this are broken, as you’ll find if you try to use them on any Python code longer than three lines. Here is a correct example, thanks to me and goof.

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I’m afraid of Americans

Paul links to this CNN article from his weblog. I thought it was so ridiculous that I would link to it too. In short: a man dares to wear “Give Peace a Chance” T-shirt in an American mall, is told by two security guards to remove the shirt or leave the mall, refuses to do so and is consequently arrested. Don’t forgot to read some of the comments on my previous posting.

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From the horse’s mouth

Here is a very interesting excerpt from a speech by Major General Smedley Butler (USMC). You can read the whole thing (the excerpt is quite short), but this paragraph just about sums it up for me: I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street.

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