Cheering for the death of others

I find the [cheering of 234 executions][cheering executions] extremely odd for supposed supporters of the death penalty.

[cheering executions]: “They Messed With Texas—Opinionator”
Rick Perry’s success in the primary hinges on being the daddy-figure posture with the right wing bedwetters. Given that he’s on record as having [executed an innocent man][new yorker death penalty], he has to double down to cover his mistake. So, I understand Rick Perry’s political strategy here.

But why cheer executions? Have we as a country sunk so low?
Continue reading about the economics, statistics, and morals of the death penalty after the jump

Most programmers are really Macgruber

Friend: I dunno why people need to make my life difficult with all this canned shit.

Me: Because programmers don’t know what they are doing—it’s simply about the right tool for the right job. If they found a letter opener, they think it’s fucking Excalibur. To them, the one shit framework/library/application/programming language/development environment they know is a fucking Swiss knife and they think they’re god-damn MacGuyver.

OSCON 2011

There is some irony that the two years I take a hiatus from OSCON are the two years it’s in my backyard. When I try to start speaking again, they’re back in Portland.

I’m going to be at OSCON this week giving two talks:

– [Living without Your Linemen: The Programmer Becomes System Operator in the Cloud]( It’s about why you should get your shit together and pay attention to all this cloud hooplah
– [Tales of Virality]( It should be a fun little talk about viral marketing (from an engineering perspective).

I’ve given these before, but one of them was a keynote (so had a different style), and other was at a private event. Unfortunately (for me) they didn’t put these talks in the PHP track as I asked. One was put in the Operations track and the other was put in the Business track. Quel désastre! I’ll try to make it worth your time, if you plan on attending. So please come see them!

If not, say hi anyway, I don’t bite, and I can hold of my alcohol down (mostly). I usually sober up before 5pm (when I’m giving these talks). :-)

MacPorts vs. HomeBrew

A friend asks whether they should use MacPorts or Homebrew.

What they are, are ways of installing Unix (Linux or BSD) software on your Macintosh in a way that they get updated. This is useful if you need to customize your (L)AMP stack, or process a document in LaTeX, or do graphing visualization or -code optimization… there are a lot of uses and having a consistent Linux-like or BSD-like tree of libraries and applications is usually the best option.

I use MacPorts and I’ve used Fink in the past. I never tried Homebrew.

Continue reading more ignorant comparisons between Fink, MacPorts and Homebrew after the jump

How Apple rolls (for newbies)

I [read this old comment about recently-released Mac OS X Lion]( “If Mac OS X Lion was a man, I’d marry it (or at least show it a damn good time)—Balloon Juice”):

>…but really it’s the lack of Rosetta that has me most annoyed. I admin 120 users who still use Office 2004 on G5s. This just pushed up the cost of upgrading them by $200 each.

Actually, no. The cost of that particular upgrade is zero because you can’t. Apple dropped operating support on the G5 in Snow Leopard. So you can’t even install Lion on this computer, you must leave the computer on Leopard. He would have an issue if he has Intel-based Macintoshes that are still using Office 2004 (or earlier-Office 2008 introduced in 2008) or Adobe Creative Suite 2 (or earlier—Adobe CS3 introduced in 2007). But he should leave those people with Snow Leopard, just as he left the G5’ers a few years back with Leopard.

This is just another indicator of how Apple rolls when they want to introduce something new:

Apple and the Motorola 68000 processor:

1. 1984 68k Macs introduced with 68k processor
2. 1994 first PowerPC Macintosh introduced with “System 7” (specifically 7.1). Applications fork into three categories: 68k applications, PowerPC-only, or [“Fat binaries”]( “Fat binary—Wikipedia”) (which run on but 68k and PowerPC Macs). [PowerPC Macs can run 68k-only applications via emulation]( “Mac 68K emulator—Wikipedia”).
3. 1998 [MacOS 8.5]( “Mac OS 8—Wikipedia”) drops support of 68k *computers.*
4. 2006 Intel-computers cannot run 68k applications.
5. 2007 [Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)]( “Mac OS X Leopard—Wikipedia”) drops Classic-mode, and with it, all support for 68k applications.

Continue reading about Apple and backward compatibility after the jump (or just to watch their Infomercial)

Credit Reporting

Just spent an hour trying to get [a fraudulent site (,,, and thousands of others)]( “BBB rating of”) to stop charging my credit card. They have been billing me since September of last year and despite disputing the charges before, they keep doing a recurring charge. They wanted the following in order for me to “cancel” my account:

– my name
– the credit card number charged
– my birth date
– the last four digits of my social security number
– e-mail address
– my full name
– my mother’s maiden name

Notice how all of this information is just what they need to do a complete identity theft?Continue reading about dealing with credit reports after the jump.

Carrying a camera

It’s been a while, but now that I’m almost moved in to the new place, I think it’s high time I start photographing again. Mostly this means carrying around the camera, even if I haven’t gotten used to pressing the shutter button again.

Recently, “the camera” means my trusty Leica and [the original lens I purchased with it]( “The crack cocaine of the Leica World. I have five M-mount lenses, but this is still my favorite. Maybe because I’m used to the focal length; maybe it’s because it is silver.”).

Marie at the Food Court
Marie at the Mall
Stonestown Mall, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2 Aspherical
1/60sec, iso 160, 35mm (47mm)

Continue reading about shooting a digital Leica after the jump.

Love letter to my Representative


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Pelosi,

I [read this in a political blog today]( “Who’s the Man?—Balloon Juice”):

> Congressional Democrats took aim Thursday at conservative Republicans who oppose raising the federal debt ceiling, with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) charging that a top GOP negotiator, Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), “shouldn’t even be at the table” in crucial White House talks on the issue.

The blogger opined:

> Can you imagine Steny Hoyer even thinking about pulling this shit on Nancy Smash? If he did it in a dream, he’d wake up and apologize.

I had to let out a chuckle. (Nancy Smash is **you.** It’s a nickname based on [a photo of you holding a gavel when you bright the ACA bill to the Capitol](×7972612 “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi carries the gavel when Medicare passed-pics—Democratic Underground”).)

I’m young, healthy, and with a great paying job, but I have friends who have already been impacted (positively) by “Obamacare” so I’m so proud of what you and the others in Congress have achieved with [ACA]( “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—Wikipedia”). It is a landmark legislation and accomplishment when you were Speaker. In a generation, your opponents on the other side of the aisle will campaign on **preserving** it.

Politically, I’m pretty conservative—which means I’m probably to the left of most of your colleagues in the Democratic Party. But I can’t tell you how happy I was when I realized I’d be voting for you in 2008 — that you were my representative. And again in 2010, though under less enjoyable circumstances.

I [work in technology]( “About Us—Automattic”) building [free software]( “WordPress”) that [powers 12% of sites on the internet]( “Usage of CMS for websites—Web Technology Surveys”) and therefore I do everything electronically, but I’ve been told that if I write a letter to you (moreso if it is handwritten), that you might actually read it. I don’t want to request anything except to say, keep fighting the good fight…

and **SMASH!** :-)

Terry Chay
A citizen of your District since 2008


I wrote this article to celebrate [National Bike to Work Day]( “May is National Bike Month—League of American Bicyclists”). Please note below that [PUBLIC has a sale on that expires today]( “Free Bike Shipping or $125 Off Merchandise with Bike Purchase to Celebrate May 16-20 Bike to Work Week—PUBLIC Blog”).

For the last two years, I’ve lived about a block away from South Park. Earlier this year, I snapped a photo at a new bicycle store that had popped up late last year:
South Park, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Apple iPhone 4
1/15 sec @ ƒ2.8, iso 100, 3.85mm (37mm)

The exterior is both striking and very àpropos of this hotbed of Web 2.0:

Outside public bikes
Outside PUBLIC bikes
South Park, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
17 exposures (auto mode), iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

These display bikes are cleverly locked to the stand. They are also all test-rideable.

Model showroom
Model showroom
PUBLIC Bikes, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
1/400sec @ ƒ4, iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

There is also a basket of flyers for passerby too shy to come in to the store. From the catalog flyer, I learned that the dog, Simone, is not for sale. :-( The day we came inside, Simone wasn’t in but Dawn’s dog, Riley, was subbing for her. He’s not for sale either. :-(

PUBLIC Bikes, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
1/250sec @ ƒ3.5, iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

That would have been the end of things had we not recently decided to move to the Richmond district on the other side of the city. The move necessitates commuting and running errands by bicycle, and Marie had no bicycle she could confidently ride and safely lock. We spent days looking at and test-riding bicycles around the city. And, for some reason, we kept coming back to [PUBLIC bikes](

The first time we stopped by, a person on his way out tried to convince her to try one of the bicycles—she didn’t have the time that time. (We would later find out that he was [the founder of the company]( “Rob Forbes. He also founded Design Within Reach”).)

Continue reading about buying a PUBLIC bike after the jump.

The Habit Course

Notes from the Webinar. 2011-05-16. Leo Babauta with Louis Haus(?). Marie was listening to it, so I decided to take some notes to practice using [QuickCursor](, [MacVim](, and [MultiMarkdown](

The Habit Course: Create New Habits For Life

Reasons trouble having habits:
– Losing Motivation: 40%
– Life Gets In the Way: 29%
– Too Difficult to stay on track 22%

Brief Story

Started Zen Habits 1 year after he started to do habits. Tried to quit smoking (7 times fail). Finished running.

Other things
– wake earlier
– lost weight
– get rid of clutter

Then after that started writing ebooks and other blogs. Which came from creating habits.

Creating Good Habits Changed My Life Forever. Replicate habit success.

Continue reading my notes after the jump.