On Monday Slashdot had a story entitled Did MS Lobbying Stop NSA Work On SELinux which implied that MSFT basically told the NSA what to do and how to spend their software development efforts. As usual with Slashdot reading the linked article tells a different story. Basically the article mentions that an anti-Open Source report was written by Alexis de Tocqueville Institution a while ago and that some [aka a Slashdot article] believed it was Microsoft funded.

The kicker was a slashdot post by Reid Wightman who works with the NSA software folks and claimed it was a GPL misunderstanding. Of course, the slashbots followed up to claim that the GPL is so easy to understand that this isn't the case. Funny enough, I used to think this too until I took the GPL license quiz on the GNU website and got 6 out of 9 questions right.

Poll: What was your score on the GPL Licence Quiz?




This past weekend marked my 6 month anniversary working in the Belly of the Beast. People typically bring M & M's (or other candy) to share with their co-workers on their work anniversary. Typically one pound of M & M's per year they've been here. I had planned to buck the trend by bringing half a pound of M & M's to work to mark my six month anniversary but never got around to finding a candy store. :)

My mom just called and reminded me that today marks exactly five years since I came to the US to start my [college] life over.

Poll: Favorite Standards Body




I've just spent a frustrating bunch of hours fighting with Tomcat trying to figure out how to get a simple servlet that talks to Xindice and is available as a servlet to work.

Tomcat has now wrested the title of most painful piece of software to work with away from Oracle's 8i database. I am now taking suggestions for a free [as in beer], Java application server I can use for a personal project.

Poll: Favorite Java Application Server?




Saw another " Tech industry sucks, I hate it all" article on Slashdot which makes me more and more thankful that I actually like practically everything about my job. I still can't help feeling that most people who bitch are those who saw the Tech industry as a way to cheddar and bling bling instead of as a profession where they did it for the love. So I completely agree with these sentiments I see my job as being paid for stuff I either used to do for free or had to pay Georgia Tech umpteen thousand dollars a year to get to do.

Thoughts on XHTML 2.0, the Fear dot com movie, Afghanistan War Syndrome, and working for the devil below.

Poll: Best HTML version




I went to San Francisco on Sunday night and returned on Monday morning after an irritating trip to the Chinese consulate. After having my passport mailed back to me by the LA branch of the Chinese consulate and being told to go to San Francisco in person, I did.

When I got there the visa official acted like no Nigerian had ever tried to get a Hong Kong visa before the way she kept thumbing through all her booklets and guides before going to get a supervisor. The supervisor told me they'd have to fax my details to Hong Kong where it could take one or two months for me to get approval then I'd have to fly back to San Francisco. Of course, the fact that I'm actually going to be speaking at the event (which is being held in about three weeks) I'm attending didn't matter a whit.

Poll: Best Mike Myers movie?




Doing my daily blog stroll I came across an article in the Seattle Times via Patrick Logan and Sam Gentile. The quote of contention from the article is

Case in point: What happened to .NET? Microsoft's flagship strategy for "any time, anywhere computing from any device" has sunk like a stone. By now we were supposed to be seeing initial .NET applications, but the new rallying cry seems to be for Palladium, a security initiative that has met with the same skepticism and resistance from the developer community that .NET inspired.
I pretty much agree with the article while Sam Gentile and Patrick Logan go in MSFT-booster mode and disagree with the author. Thoughts on why I agree with the article below.

Poll: Favorite Style of Interview Questions?




I see racism and ignorance are alive and well on K5 given the number of high ratings this ignorant and blatantly racist comment got. Then again, this is par for the course for K5 given that I was motivated to post my first diary ever over ignorant racist crap being highly rated.

More stuff on standards and vendor-lockin, Dr. Dobbs Journal and amusing geek quotes below.

Poll: Favorite Night Club Music?




So Joshua takes me to the repair shop today to pickup my car after taking it having patiently taken me to about two other shops and a car rental place in the past few weeks. I'd already been told by the mechanic that the fix would cost $600 so imagine my surprise when told at the counter that I had to fork over $800. A complaint and a quick call to the mechanic dropped the price to $700.

A further slap in the face was that they didn't even fix the damn problem but an slightly related one that reduced the clunking to a bearable level since rebuilding my transmission would cost around $1500. So my car is still a freaking clunker just not as often. I hate mechanics.

Poll: Who are least trustworthy?




I'm currently using the ANTLR version that emits C# code and can't take it anymore. The main reason I picked ANTLR to do this project was all the advanced and cool features of ANTLR like near-infinite lookahead given dissambiguating rules, controlling lexer return types, etc. Unfortunately it looks like whoever wrote the C# port tried it on some "Hello World" level examples and then considered his work done without checking to see if any of the advanced features worked correctly. Of course, my freaking employment contract prevents me from simply fixing these bugs and giving them back to the original author and instead I have to work around them.

Click below for another popular reason Open Source projects don't have as many bug fixes as you'd expect.