Newspapers’ Doom

Posted by Thomas Sun, 28 Jun 2009 17:53:47 +0000

It’s sad that some benevolent benefactor doesn’t swoop in and save journalism. I wonder if it would even make it easier/better for the journalists, if they don’t have to be concerned with their parent company’s advertising interests. It sort of begs the question about how the major wire services make money and how few people are required to write about one story such that it is sufficiently covered. I wonder how long $1b would last if you took a bunch of journalists and paid them and put their stuff on the web for free…

Hmm, well that was a lackluster post, wasn’t it?

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typedef struct

Posted by Thomas Mon, 22 Jun 2009 23:44:23 +0000

…is in circular typedef struct reference hell.

It’s like I’m that kid on America’s Funniest Home Videos picking up one ice cube, only to drop another. Rinse and repeat, except I’m moving #includes around…

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Posted by Thomas Sun, 21 Jun 2009 18:17:29 +0000

apparently forgot how hot a 100° day will make the asphalt. Ouch.

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WOTD: vigesimal

Posted by Thomas Sat, 13 Jun 2009 22:03:40 +0000

vigesimal: base-20 numeral system

This one actually came up at work (around the microkitchen if you believe it).

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Posted by Thomas Sat, 13 Jun 2009 14:56:32 +0000

Forgot how much I hate commercials in things I paid for…

Update: The Hangover was awesome by the way. Worth sitting through the Dove and car commercials.

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WOTD: somnambulant

Posted by Thomas Fri, 12 Jun 2009 21:57:21 +0000

somnambulant: walking or having the habit of walking while asleep

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Depressing Statistics

Posted by Thomas Sun, 07 Jun 2009 19:16:42 +0000

I’ve been playing around with the thought of a website solely devoted to educating people via statistics, specifically simple stat-bites that people can remember. I wouldn’t want it to be an activism site, as I wouldn’t want this to be agenda based, but rather try to shed some light on specific problems in the world.

While watching C-SPAN this afternoon, in a subcommittee meeting a congressman said that we (the US) spend “more than 2.5 times more in health care compared to any other country in the world”1. I thought to myself, self, that’s depressing, so I went digging to find out if this was accurate or not. A cursory inspection of 1 and 2 leads me to believe he misspoke and that what he meant to say was that we spend 2.5 times the median. This would have been a prime example of pop up news where a little bubble pops up and says “what he meant to say was…”.

In other news, I was wondering the other night if there is a point at which the economy can no longer sustain the expansion of spending. I was thinking specifically of health care at the time. If you gave everyone in the US all of the health care they required, paid for by the rich, would the rich be able cover it all? I mean it basically what you want to do is have the least number of people have to pay taxes, and simultaneously you want them to all to have full health care, there has to be an equilibrium point at which you’ve increased the non-payers such that the money they require equals the amount of revenue generated by the rich.

Equally you have to expect that as this happens you reduce incentives to become rich. See exhibits A and B. I think we’ve already seen this with industry moving from California to Texas2. Just like Ireland, the companies will gravitate to the states with the least tax burden. Despite companies acting in direct fiduciary interest (as required by US law), some are seeking to close existing loopholes.

I want to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens. — Obama3

Wait, isn’t that self-contradictory? How can disallowing actions companies perceive to be in their own best interest keep companies competitive? Restricting US companies participating in the global economy makes them less competitive, not more. As much as I dislike Ballmer, he agrees. There’s got to be some serious game theory on this subject around here somewhere.

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Summer Blockbusters

Posted by Thomas Fri, 05 Jun 2009 00:02:17 +0000

I’ve got my work cut out for me, and I’m already behind. :(

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The Hangover
  • Away We Go
  • Year One
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

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My new catchphrase

Posted by Thomas Tue, 02 Jun 2009 15:07:39 +0000

“You’re doing it wrong.”

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Serious case of the Mondays

Posted by Thomas Mon, 01 Jun 2009 11:15:44 +0000

I don’t know why, but I’ve got a serious case of the Mondays. I woke up super tired, probably because I don’t think I slept very well. I seem to recall half waking up a couple of times, which would probably account for it. I didn’t go to bed particularly late last night, but then again I don’t recall exactly when I went to bed.

I spent most of the weekend fighting with trying to parse METAR data. It’s amazing how difficult it is to parse correctly and thoroughly, worse that the couple of python implementations left me a bit wanting, and quite sad that the best implementation I’ve seen is written in javascript.

In other news, what movies have I seen of late? I’ve seen “Singing in the Rain”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”, and “Adventureland”, all of which were quite good. I also saw “Wall-E” and “Jumper”, both of which I found lacking. I’ve got “Ben Hur” on Netflix right now, and I really need to sit down and watch it… I’m probably missing others, as I just remember that I didn’t ever post about “Adventureland”, which I happened to see in the theater some time ago.

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