Buddy Icons

Buddy icons are an interesting feature. I’ve never really bothered to question why they exist. But I guess there are two legitimate reasons: (1) personal expression (for the icon picker), and (2) rapid identification (for the icon viewer). The first one is simple, the second just relates to the fact that humans can distinguish a variety of pictures more rapidly than they can discern text. So it makes sense, I suppose, to allow us to associate images with the people we choose to talk to.

Language Pet Peeves #2

Wow. Since I actually managed to post about language without having my ass chewed off by anti-grammar guerrillas, I have to point out one more which irks me: “out loud” When I was a kid many of my teachers would tell us students to read “out loud”. Later I learned the word ‘aloud’ and almost immediately realized that “out loud” was a lazy, colloquial bastardization of the word ‘aloud’. Now this one is a tougher fight than the others I have complained about because you can find some dictionary support for the incorrect version (namely Merriam-Webster, which is complete trendwhore of a dictionary, IMHO).

Windows Vista The Wave of the...Present

As all my GNU/Linux friends probably know, Windows Vista (formerly ‘Longhorn’) Beta 1 has been released. Many sites are posting screenshots of the new features. Some of the new things are cool: virtual folders, in-file searches, etc. I was a bit impressed at first, but then I realized that every new feature in Vista is available on Linux systems already, although many are not standardly deployed yet. So my respect for the new features was reduced to a respect for their ability to get these features out the door and widely available at a faster rate.

Language Pet Peeves

I have to bitch about this because nearly everyone does this now and then—including many writing professionals—and it’s just sloppy. “for free” ‘Free’ is an adjective or an adverb (or a verb under the other definition), but never a noun. That said, you can get something free, you can get something free of charge, you can get something gratis, you can get something for nothing, but you cannot get something for free.

Songs for Slayk

Slayk asked me to do this approximately 1,000,000 years ago, so I figure it’s about damn time. List your current six favorite songs, then pick six more people to do that, too. Now, I generally don’t really have favorite songs. My favorite songs when I am in one mood are likely different from my favorite songs when I am feeling a different way. But instead of refusing to pick, I’m going to give you six of the songs that have the greatest emotional effect on me.

The Tamagotchi Dream

You guys remember the Tamagotchi (たまごっち), right? The Tamagotchi was a virtual pet you could feed, clean-up after, play with, etc. It sounds kind of lame, but the cool part is that the Tamagotchi has a persistent idea of state. It’s never really off, it “lives”, even when you are not playing with it. And it has some simple evolutionary capabilities. This has really been interesting me for a while. I’m convinced something (the primary thing?

An Advantage of America

One advantage of America is that it doesn’t have all the foolish historical baggage behind it that nations of Europe will always carry. For instance, the appreciation for noble blood. America has always had a keener eye toward merit than any other means of determining worthiness.

No Waiting for Food

You know, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s waiting for food. I don’t care what the food is or how nice the place is—it’s not worth it. I’d rather just leave for Wendy’s or something (at least it’s food). If I weren’t ready to eat, I wouldn’t be at a fricking restaurant! So either feed me or I’ll go eat elsewhere.

What to Do After Undergraduate Work

I’m really unsure what the heck I want to do with myself in the next few years. At the moment I’m holding on to UTD, hoping the time goes by slowly and that I will have all the answers by the time I am done here (yeah, right). The issue that is troubling me right now is work. I work for an Austin-based webdesign firm called AO Design. At first I was hired on as a lowly XHTML coder, but I quickly got into more serious programming work, and now I am quite critical to the operation of the company.

Marriage is…Confused

Marriage is love an artificial, government-created union. I would be completely in favor of same-sex marriage, however, there’s one little problem—I’m not even in favor of heterosexual marriage! I personally think the whole thing is crap1. Since when did the responsibilities of the government extend to legal recognition of loving relationships? As a general principle, I think it is a good idea for government and love to stay as far apart as possible—one is bound to fuck up the other.