What's Beef?

The violence around rap music and rappers is something that has been exploited by record labels for years. More recently I've seen this exploitation seep into movies and television with the most recent example being the movie Beef, an exploration of various feuds in the hip hop world produced by Quincy Jobes III and narrated by Ving Rhames. The last time I was at Sam Goody, the checkout girl was gushing about how good it was and the good reviews it got. That's some crazy shit.

Reading the description of the movie I couldn't help but remember a line repeated by both Tony Yayo and 50 Cent on the Invasion: Shady Records mixtape
You can take me out the hood but you can't take the hood outta me cuz I'm ghetto
I just noticed that C-Murder got a life sentence for shooting a 16 year old kid at a club. C-Murder is Master P's brother, who happens to be starring in a new sitcom on Nickelodeon with his son Romeo. C-Murder is not the only one from No Limit records who's been in trouble with the law for "keeping it real", Soulja Slim was released from jail a short while ago and it looks like he may be going back soon. Mac is also going down for murder. I seem to remember Mystikal being in trouble with a rape case but since he'd left No Limit by then I guess he doesn't count. The [un]funny thing is that this situation is not unusual for gangsta rap cliques. Almost every successful hip hop label that emphasizes gangsta rap has had similar issues. From Deathrow records (2Pac dead, Snoop acquitted of committing a driveby) to Bad Boy records(Biggie dead, Shyne in jail for shooting up a nightclub) it's the same song.

The newest beef to capture center stage and warrant several reruns on MTV is the beef between 50 Cent & G-Unit and Ja Rule & Murder Inc. This one is particularly interesting because it started before either rapper had made it big and now they are both fairly well paid, multiplatinum artists who are beefing like two thugs in the projects. A recent driveby attempt on 50 Cent failed but this would not have been first blood even if it had been successful. Both Murder Inc. and G-Unit have lost a member to violence in recent months. According to Smoking Gun an attempt on 50 Cent's life a few years ago was directed by Murder Inc. While these young, black, fairly well off rappers gun themselves down on the streets everyone around them is ready to exploit the situation for as much money as they can from their record labels to MTV's behind the scene's exclusives to documentaries like Quincy Jones III's Beef. I wonder how many posthumous albums we'll get out of this round of beefs.


How I Got Infected by Delude.B (a.k.a.QHosts-1)

About.com has an article that explains how most people got hit by the Delude.B (a.k.a.QHosts-1) trojan. The thought that my machine was hax0red by a freaking banner ad is scary, perhaps it is time to switch to Mozilla. Anyone have advise on browsers for Windows besides Internet Explorer?

Network Associates has instructions for undoing the damage caused by the Trojan which is great because I haven't been able to access Google for the past few days because of some registry settings the Trojan tweaked.


What's New in RSS Bandit

Differences between v1.1.0.29 and v1.1.0.36 below.
  • If no pubDate or dc:date is provided for an item then the lastBuildDate is used if it exists.

  • Fixed issue where installer dropped outdated source code.

  • Fixed bug where [space] key does not move to next unread item, if treeview has the focus

  • Fixed bugs with multiple files being cached per feed. Now only one cached file exists per feed.

  • Fixed exception thrown when clearing all flagged items.

and a bunch of other fixes


Why Not Software Engineering?

Recently on the atom-syntax mailing list I noticed that Mark Pilgrim had posted a few messages containing links to the Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. wiki on software engineering practices. The wiki contains pages on various aspects of software engineering such as Alarm Bell Phrases, anti-patterns, and pair programming. Reading some of his links I couldn't help but find it underwhelming and somewhat dissappointing.

The first problem I had with the wiki is a problem that I have with all wikis which is basically that entries tend to be inconsistent, incoherrent and contradictory rambles which may not have started off that way but end up that way when anyone with an internet connection can edit the page. It ends up looking like a message board except you can't tell who wrote what and there aren't any demarcations to tell you when Joe BrilliantHacker stopped writing and Joe DumbAss began. You can see this in entries such as AlmostStandardCompliant and Committees Don't Code.

The other problem, which is the reason I decided not to get a software engineering specialization even though I was more than half way there, is that the site is low on empirical evidence and high on anecdotes. In fact, most of software engineering is just anecdotes and best practices. Even well regarded tomes like Mythical Man Month and Design Patterns are just collections of anecdotes. Software engineering as currently practiced in the software industry and taught in colleges is akin to medieval medicine and the theory of humors.

Give me Linux kernel hacking and Unix multithreading & networking over this anyday.


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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.