Alexander The Great

January 30, 2008

Gun Control

Filed under: Americana,Ethics,Modern Life,Terrorism — alexanderthegreatest @ 8:25 pm
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There’s a thread going on over at Webmaster-Talk about gun control.  Being a moderator, I have to tone my posts appropriately.  I asked about the historical context that gave birth to the Bill of Rights and particularly the 2nd Amendment, along with the economics of the illegal firearms market.  However, with my own blog, I can actually share my opinion.

Gun control means removing the safety from your firearm.  The last thing you want is to have to think before killing somebody.  When I see a person in the hallway by the kitchen in the middle of the night, by the time I ask myself “is that my wife or an intruder?” I could have already been robbed for my laptop.

Screening criminals is an affront to privacy.  I smoke marijuana every day, but that shouldn’t prevent me from having a gun.  (Heck, I managed to type another person’s name into the from field commenting on a blog.)  It’s nobody’s damn business that I commmit a misdomeanor every day (possession of a controled substance).  I have the right to bear arms, damnit!

Of course, it’s not just anybody who should be allowed to have guns.  You should have to weigh more than the gun you want, so you can pick it up. That might preclude 4 year olds from having weapons. I don’t really like that idea, but I’m not sure what the solution is. Obviously a child should be able to defend itself from parents who might infringe upon their freedom, like it says in the 2nd Amendment.

Arabs should be allowed to have guns. Anything else would be racism. Just remember you don’t have to actually prove your an American citizen to have rights here – you have to have your feet planted on American soil. This is why illegal immigrants who give birth in this country give birth to a citizen. It’s also why foreign nationals are entitled to a fair trail for their crimes.

Simply put, we should stop worrying about trying to prevent silly things like gun crime and murder, and instead react when it actually happens. It’s the 80/20 rule. We don’t have crack cocain control enshrined in law (like those dirty liberals want) just because coke has the potential to be used as part of a person’s death.


January 28, 2008

Widows Vista

Filed under: Software — alexanderthegreatest @ 12:59 pm
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A coworker was complaining about having upgraded to Vista to stay current with his software knowledge.  The trouble (apart from upgrading to Vista) is that the rest of his home network is made up of computers running

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Server 2003

You might think with such a diverse group of computing platforms, adding one more, and a small evolution on top of the others no less, would be easy.

No so.  The solution he found (thanks to almighty Google) is pased below.  The long and short of it is to run a Virtual Machine running Windows XP inside of Vista and then using that to Remote Desktop to other computers.

In my case I had to use software provided by the client to connect, unfortunately the software only works with Windows XP and not Vista. Rather than installing XP and going on a driver hunt, I decided to take the easy route and install XP in a virtual machine on top of Vista. So I created the virtual machine with a 10G virtual HD, 1G Ram and Network Address Translation.

Once XP was installed I connected to the Internet, downloaded the appropriate service packs and install the client’s communication package. No go, it wouldn’t connect. After around six hours of poking around, reinstalling XP and threatening the computer with physical harm a light went on. Because I was using NAT Vista’s built-in firewall was blocking the traffic to and from the client’s communication software, I could actually watch this happen.

The resolution turned out to be having XP virtual machine to share the hardware rather than us NAT.

Is this true?  Do you really need to run virtual Windows inside your native operating system just to perform the basics other versions are all able to agree on?  This is absurd!  If true, you might as well just use a Mac!

January 26, 2008

As it should be

Filed under: Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 1:37 pm
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Does anyone really thinkg Coca Cola isn’t overpriced?

January 23, 2008

Another Blog in ASP.NET

Filed under: Ethics,Science,Software — alexanderthegreatest @ 7:47 pm
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Here’s an example in action – you can tell by the aspx file extension.  Actually, it turns out there are several.  SharePoint naturally has a blog (and wiki) engine built in. So does Community Server. And

  • PressTopia
  • DasBlog
  • SubText
  • T-Blogger
  • ThinkJolt 2
  • TriptychBlog
  • BlogEnngine.NET
  • .Blog
  • .Text (NOT FREE)

There’s an impression that even saying “I need to open some windows – it’s hot in here” will cost you $500 and line Bill’s pocket. That all free software runs on linux. That pigs can fly.

Ok, I made the last one up, but this should conclusively prove that there exist useful, open source applications written for Microsoft technologies, particularly the .NET Framework. The one and only thing PHP has going for it compared to ASP.NET is a perception that it’s the programming system open source examples are available for.

As shown this isn’t the case. Think for a minute – programmers use programming languages. Bill Gates may be a greedy bastard (*), but the people who find jobs writing code targetting his company’s inventions are no more likely to be money grubbing assholes than people who use Macs.

End users have as much control over the way Microsoft behaves as I do over George Bush’s war crimes. Windows users are just like everyone else. Some are generous, some greedy. Some are black, some are Japanese, some are Israeli. The only way we’re a bloc, a monolithic group that acts together, is in terms of the software we’re able to run. (Example? Try running SQL Server on a Mac.)

* On Bill Gates’s greed. He has been the world’s richest man, although a Mexican now holds that honor (eat your heart out, Republican Party!). Bill has donated more than half of his wealth to charity – he’s actually done more than any other human. He’s a shrewd businessman, but deserves respect as a philanthropist.

January 22, 2008

People Use XML in PHP?

Filed under: Americana,Science,Software — alexanderthegreatest @ 6:49 pm
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What the?  A Euro genius who really should be using the Microsoft .NET Framework wrote Quick XML, a class I’m not able to use because its for PHP.

January 20, 2008


Filed under: Evolution — alexanderthegreatest @ 11:24 pm
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A motivational poster

January 18, 2008

Conservatipedia (SPAM Report)

Filed under: spam — alexanderthegreatest @ 2:15 pm
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The author of Conservatipedia, in a comment on an earlier post of mine, asked why I considered his tactics spam.  In laughing about his paranoia surrounding Aladdin, bizarre ideas about night lights turning children gay, God preventing atheists from having children, and other nonsense.

Back to the question, though.  Chris Fraser, Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada (at least so says his profile as wm009), the man actively trades Stumbles and participates in other, equally and occasionally more shady tactics as Stallion of Digital Point. Let’s take a look – his latest post is in a thread in the freebies section titled “2:100 stumbles,Let go!!” (errors original). The thread opens

Stumble and…our-Blog/24466

I will stumble all yours as autotech123,Thanks

And, as of this writing, concludes with

Stumbled as wm009

link (to
link (to

This IS Spam!

Our hero Stallion or wm009 or Mr Fraser is violating the terms he agreed to at both Stumble Upon and Digital Point. The traffic gleaned by this traffic lines his pocket via the always tasteful abortion counter ad.

What others are saying

A site regrettably titled God Is For Suckers threw Conservatipedia to the lions. Dan Price has covered the story. Andrew Sullivan said “truth isn’t always truthiness”.

Fritzy says, to the question of whether or not Mr Fraser is having a joke

I’d like to posit a third possibility–that this guy is an attention whore with a sadistic streak. I’m no psychologist, but after having read this non-sense, I see just as much implied contempt for his assumed audience (weirdo fringe Christian Taliban) as I do for his expressed opponents (dirty liberals, godless heathens, et al.)

I could be projecting, or this guy could really be that frighteningly stupid. What do Gifsters who have visited other posts on his site think? I refuse to go to his site to sludge through another post as I do not have the where with all, nor the desire to provide him with a return visitor.

So, Is It Satire?

Chris has this to say

This site is not a satire
It must be hard for seculars to handle the fact that there are real people out there that follow God’s words and live by it. They prefer to live in their of mind numbing MTV shows like Pimp My Ride and Sweet 16, instead of a nice relaxing evening reading over the Bible.

The question apparently remains unanswered. As with the blog itself, there are what could be weak attempts at humor in this response. And the mystery of how a person could be stupid enough to believe what’s on Conservatipedia could possibly figure out how to use the internet?

January 17, 2008

A Plan for Iraq

Filed under: Terrorism — alexanderthegreatest @ 8:45 pm
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Anti War Liberals Don’t Have a Plan for Change.  So say our critics.  The great and terrible irony is that pro war hawks don’t have a plan, either, whether it’s for change, victory, exit, or anything that doesn’t include the deaths of thousands more American youths and hundreds of thousands more Iraqi civilians.

Cody Logan, in response, has put forth a plan.  It rests on the observation that we realistically have two options in Iraq

  1. Stay there forever.
  2. Leave.

We’ve been tied down like Gulliver’s Travels 4 years 10 months now.

We’ve failed to disarm Saddam of his alleged weapons of mass destruction, although now that he’s dead, it’s really beside the point. We have no standard to judge progress against – no way to know when we’ve succeeded. We have no goal to accomplish – no mission. Only a liability and a quagmire.

January 16, 2008

Cell Phones vs (or =?) Computers

Filed under: Cool Site,Modern Life,Web — alexanderthegreatest @ 12:56 pm
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Matt McDonald has written a fascinating post about not only an unprecedented trend happening today, but also about this trend’s implications. What’s the news? There are cell phones that are more powerful than the average consumer PC or Mac. What are the implications? Read A Race From Both Ends.

Obviously, one thing this leads to is a more connected world. McDonald points to some facts that blow Hillary and Obama’s meteroic rise out of the water

  1. In 2001 about 120 million Americans were using cell phones.
  2. As of late 2007 there was over 250 million.
  3. We’re talking about a country with 300 million people.

I had previously written a post asking similar questions to the ones Matt is posing for his readers. Mine was called MySpaceBook, Killer of Jobs, and discussed both the positive and negative effects that the business section of the Sunday paper talks about. Highly automated software is replacing the concept of a workforce, at least in some areas of the tech and web “industry”. The natural panic is less jobs, but this could mean less work needing to be done, and cheaper (if not free) services. More utopian than dystopian, if you ask me.

Matt comes to similar conclusions. 1,000 years from now, historians will study our times, and call these days the most important since the Agricultural Revolution. We’re going through a peroid of amazing and rapid change. It’s not without its costs, but these will ultimately be worth the benefits to society and to too many individuals to count.

January 15, 2008

Whaddya Kno? ConservApedia!

Filed under: Americana,Ethics,Modern Life,Web — alexanderthegreatest @ 11:41 pm
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I wrote a post about Conservatipedia, which was picked up by Super Blogger Daniel Price of Wales, England.  The site is, well, read the blog entry, then head over and see what you think. Then leave a comment here, and clue me in. Part of me says this has to be parody, like The Colbert Report, because there’s just no way this stuff could be believed by anybody – even the person who wrote it. Except that parodies are funny, and this isn’t.

It was a fun post, providing for great laughs. And it’s sent new readers this way (I hope you’re enjoying your stay here!). But now let’s introduce a new angle to the story, Conservapedia. Along with lectures, homework and a “final exam” (hopefully not a final solution?) a fascinating article they’ve published is called Examples of Bias in Wikipedia. Reading it, one gets the sense of bias in another pedia.

  • As Fake Steve Jobs would say, here’s the money quote “Wikipedia promotes suicide with 21,544 entries that mention this depravity, including many entries that feature it“.
    • Imagine, an encyclopedia that has articles about suicide. With more than 2 million English language articles – many of them on famous people who have committed suicide – it takes a stupid person to expect any encyclopedia not to mention the concept. This would be censorship, which the article later complains about.
    • Conservapedia actually has the Fixed News quality required to call the University of Southern California “an obscure university”.
    • This line of reasoning predicts that by telling people about air bags, society is forcing them to drive into trees.
  • On Ron Paul – I find it disturbing to see (a site complaining about the already poor quality of Wikipedia) it listed as bias that a controvesial subject grabbing news headlines is locked to prevent “correction”. The author further complains that Mr Paul is listed as having said things that he did in fact say, then later renounced. The type of “correcting” Conservapedia wants to do will only make Wikipedia’s quality even lower than it already is!
  • The Wizard of Oz and Rumpelstiltskin? (I have to admit this seems a valid criticism, but it seems so funny – and hard to take seriously!)
  • The cons are upset because “a 20/20 report” does not invalidate the truth.
  • This bears quoting in full

    # Wikipedia’s pervasive anonymous editing vandalizes numerous conservative entries, such as that of pro-life scholar Mary Ann Glendon.[10] For nearly two weeks her entry on Wikipedia has featured the disrespectful and unsupported statement that “She is a notable pro-life feminist, and a fan of the Dropkick Murphys,” which is a punk rock group. Liberal editors monitor anonymous editing, but often allow attempts to embarrass conservatives to remain for a long time.

    It’s true that anonymous editing hurts Wikipedia, and creats a framework for vandals. But liberal, conservative, and not political articles are all vandalized. To imagine a single article (makes a trend?) which contains a frankly not insulting random bit of trivia was edited because the subject is a politico is the height of arrogance.

  • The authors don’t understand the conept of encyclopedia worthy “the Wikipedia entry on pro-life leader Judie Brown is nothing but a redirect[11] to an entry about an organization which barely mentions her.[12]
  • A hysterical quote “Wikipedia lies to exaggerate the credentials of atheist Richard Dawkins,” almost immediately follows complaints about vandalism by anonymous editors.
  • More obsession with Dawkins is further down the page “Illustrating Wikipedia’s favoritism towards liberals, it took a long time (well over a year after he first edited his own article)[23] for anybody to confront this well-known atheist for this conflict of interest, despite being against Wikipedia’s own rules.

    Make no mistake – this is the product of a drug user who never realized that a user name of Richard Dawkins isn’t a guarentee that the user is actually Richard Dawkins. For example, on this blog my user name is Alexander The Greatest, but this is in fact not my legal name.  (Imagine how easy authentication code would be if you could just ask people who they were!)

The bottom line is that Wikipedia is deeply flawed, but it’s very useful. Conservapedia is just deeply flawed.

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