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Aleph

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights report on How Changes to U.S. Law & Policy Since 9/11 Erode Human Rights and Civil Liberties
10:43 PM

Saturday, March 29, 2003


The art, books, photographs and manuscripts found in Andre Breton's apartment are being auctioned off.
See the catalogue here
8:54 AM

Friday, March 28, 2003

Richard Perle resigns in conflict of interest scandal
1:14 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Multi-stage Programming

"Multi-stage languages internalize the notions of runtime program generation and execution. Thus, multi-stage languages provide the programmer with the essence of partial evaluation and program specialization techniques, both of which have been shown to lead to dramatic resource-utilization gains in a wide range of applications, starting from implementations of domain-specific compilers, to high-performance operating systems. Multi-stage languages make it possible to write generic and highly- parameterized programs that do not pay unnecessary runtime overheads."
10:17 PM

Human Rights Watch Demolishes US Case On status of Prisoners in Camp X-Ray

US Argument: "The Geneva Conventions do not apply to a war against terrorism."

Human Rights Watch response: "The U.S. government could have pursued terrorist suspects by traditional law enforcement means, in which case the Geneva Conventions indeed would not apply. But since the U.S. government engaged in armed conflict in Afghanistan - by bombing and undertaking other military operations - the Geneva Conventions clearly do apply to that conflict. By their terms, the Geneva Conventions apply to "all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties." Both the United States and Afghanistan are High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Conventions"
9:26 PM

The "prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles" of the Geneva convention
8:17 PM


6:45 PM


6:23 PM

Trying Some Real Work with OCaml
10:10 AM

Sporks Are Godlike
9:57 AM

Two Nobel Peace Prize laureates arrested at a White House protest
8:23 AM

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

"You have two choices: live under US domestic policy; or live under US foreign policy." :(
1:32 AM

That doesn't matter!
1:26 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

pocketgasmask.com
2:53 AM


The Unseen Gulf War

1:29 AM

Monday, March 24, 2003

Spam Gourmet: free disposable email addresses that will forward one (or more, if you want) emails to your real address and then die, as a way of blocking spam.
11:15 PM

An Analysis of a Compromised Honeypot
9:19 PM

The real reason for [the Iraq war] is this administration's goal of preventing further Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard... This essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the `petro-dollar' and the unpublicized but real threat to U.S. economic hegemony from the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency.
8:40 PM

PLEAC - Programming Language Examples Alike Cookbook
8:29 PM

Sunday, March 23, 2003

One of the bidders on iraq's reconstruction project: Echtel, considered the largest contractor in the country, and one of the largest in the world. Its board includes a former secretary of state, George P. Shultz, and its ranks once included a former defense secretary, Caspar W. Weinberger.

Another bidder: Fluor, Last April, Fluor hired Kenneth J. Oscar, who as acting assistant secretary of the Army oversaw the Pentagon's $35 billion-a-year procurement budget. Its board includes Bobby R. Inman, a retired admiral who was also former director of the National Security Agency and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

NYTimes: Which Companies Will Put Iraq Back Together? (username: useless password: useless)

(Thanks to James)
9:51 PM

Using OCaml, I have developed a little utility called Smart UnTar, which will extract a tar/gzip/bzip archive in to a subdirectory, when appropriate.

This is useful because some archives have a directory structure, and some don't, and it's annoying to have to manually juggle the two.

This is also my first Antiwar License release. The software is licensed under the pro-human rights Hacktivismo License, with the additional provision that my software can not be used to wage or support war, or by the military or military contractors.
8:08 AM

"Conservatives are all in favor of the unborn. They would do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Conservatives are obsessed with the fetus, from conception to nine months. After that they don't wanna know about you, they don't wanna hear from you. No nothing. No neo-natal care, no daycare, no Head Start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no wellfare no nothing. If you're pre-born, you're fine. If you're pre-school you're fucked. Conservatives don't give a shit about you until you reach military age. Then they think you're just fine, just what they've been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers." --George Carlin
3:49 AM

How To Write Unmaintainable Code
3:12 AM

Tigris.org is a home for open source software engineering tool projects
3:11 AM

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Neo-Totalitarianist American government
6:02 PM

Friday, March 21, 2003

"for the first time we are seeing the business community taking a step away from a republican administration... we always assume that business and the republican party are close...i think a lot of big businesses, now that we have become a global economy, are beginning to see that their interests are not necessarily served by the policies, the very aggressive unilatiralist policies of this administration" --fascinating and very informative interview with oil industry analyst Yousef Ibrahim
9:42 PM

Imagine a program that stores More yummy eels, please in to memory. What do you get when you interpret eels as a floating point number?

1.87292264408661e+31
We'd like to prevent this error from occurring.

The virtues of strong typing (a generic overview, don't be scared by the "and Perl" part)

(...and then see OCaml below :)
5:34 PM

Ashcroft orders detentions of foreigners without charges
4:50 AM

There are a lot of stupid misconceptions about programming languages that make people not want to learn new ones. The most common ones are:

  • All programming languages are basically the same.
  • Code written in anything but C is going to be incredibly slow.
  • Code written in any language with garbage collection is going to be incredibly slow.
  • "Real programmers" only write code in C.
  • Scalable Computer Programming Languages
    3:35 AM

    OCaml vs C++
    OCaml vs C++ and Java
    More
    Yet more...
    3:32 AM

    Hide your email address on your web page with Enkoder, so that spammers can not automatically harvest it.
    3:21 AM

    Thursday, March 20, 2003


    "FBI and other federal officials in NJ outline Homeland Security's "Red Alert" response: it will mean Martial Law... If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the state's anti-terror czar says."
    5:59 AM

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    "A couple of weeks ago journalists were exasperated by that fact that Iraqis just went on with their lives and did not panic, well today there is a very different picture. It is actually a bit scary and very disturbing... Wherever you go you see closed shops and it is not just doors-locked closed but sheet-metal-welded-on-the-front closed, windows-removed-and-built-with-bricks closed, doors were being welded shut... Houses which are still being built are having huge walls erected in front of them with no doors, to make sure they don?t get used as barracks I guess..."

    "A couple of hours earlier we were at a shop and a woman said as she was leaving, and this is a very common sentence, "we'll see you tomorrow if good keeps us alive" " itha allah khalana taibeen " and the whole place just freezes. She laughed nervously and said she didn't mean that, and we all laughed but these things start having a meaning beyond being figures of speech..."

    "Thursday, March 20, 2003 - air raid sirens in baghdad but the only sounds you can here are the anti-aircraft machine guns. will go now - :: salam 5:46 AM"

    a baghdad blog
    10:05 PM

    Pentagon has threatened to kill independent reporters in Iraq

    "The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie. In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: "Who cares.. ..They've been warned.""

    (Thanks to Dayv)
    5:16 PM

    A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment his code!
    1:36 AM

    Periodic Table of Haiku
    12:51 AM

    Tuesday, March 18, 2003

    This Is War
    11:18 PM


    Hurricanes, animal corpses and the biohazard symbol have a lot in common. Think about it.

    (Thanks to Jesse)
    10:59 PM

    Monday, March 17, 2003

    "873,020 pounds of sarin, 1,657,480 pounds of VX nerve agent and 1,976,760 pounds of mustard agent - enough to kill or incapacitate millions."... just one of America's stockpiles of chemical weapons
    2:25 PM

    Sunday, March 16, 2003

    Don Knuth finally sold out.
    7:16 PM

    Three Sins of Authors in Computer Science and Math
    7:09 PM

    Word of the day:
    desideratum: Something considered necessary or highly desirable
    5:21 PM

    Subscriptions (see bottom of page) should be working again.
    4:27 PM

    "A program generator (a meta-program) solves a particular problem by constructing another program (an object-program) that solves the problem at hand. Usually the generated (object) program is "specialized" for the particular problem and uses less resources than a general purpose, non-generator solution..." --Taxonomy of meta-programming systems
    4:07 PM

    Unlambda: Your Functional Programming Language Nightmares Come True
    3:45 PM

    TWiki, a flexible, powerful, and simple, secure, Web-based collaboration platform
    3:37 PM

    Cameron Laird's personal notes on language comparisons
    3:28 AM

    Friday, March 14, 2003

    How do you reuse existing classes in a way the programmer had not originally considered?

    "Ideally, one would like a module system that allows programmers to piece together chunks of code like tinker toys. The OCaml module system, like other ML variants, is a really solid step in that direction. It has structures, which are like classes but without inheritance, that collect and name a chunk of code. It has signatures, which are like interfaces, that simply have the code type signatures without the actual code. Finally, they have functors, which Java doesn't have, which allow programmers to write parameterized structures."
    6:08 AM

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    "The engineers are the creators of wealth; the VCs are the beneficiaries." --An Engineer's View of Venture Capitalists
    9:00 PM

    "This fall, I hosted a two-day brainstorming session for 30 or so people... and in addition to the usual "sit around a big table and talk to each other" format, we set up an in-room chat channel accessible over the WiFi network... The in-room chat created a two-channel experience -- a live conversation in the room, and an overlapping real-time text conversation."
    8:08 PM

    Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov (1858)
    7:18 PM

    Richar Hamming's three questions for new hires at Bell Labs:

    1. "What are you working on?" 2. "What's the most important open problem in your area?" 3. "Why aren't they the same?" (Ouch!)
    Disruptive Programming Language Technologies
    6:02 AM

    Brain prosthesis mimics hippocampus
    5:27 AM

    Wednesday, March 12, 2003

    The I Am The Greatest programmer "firmly believes that he is the greatest programmer to have walked the earth and has the three-line version of Tetris to prove it. He spent most of his undergraduate days in the terminal room and only got a degree because he could break security and decrypt the exam answers. Thinks in a mixture of C and assembly language, thinks Real Programmers are sissies, has memorised even the unwritten volumes of Knuth (who he believes sold out the moment he started writing TeX) and has most of the source to obsolete Unix kernels in his room"

    The My Favorite Toy Language programmer "knows the solution to the problem. The only problem is, we haven't got a compiler for the language that it should be implemented in. MFTL knows only two languages; his favourite toy language and the language you need to compile its compiler. (If a language can compile its own compiler then it isn't a toy!)."

    Academic Programmers: A Spotter's Guide
    3:54 PM

    The Mail Archive: an archiving service for electronic mailing lists.
    4:11 AM

    Tuesday, March 11, 2003

    "Many people are wondering how our President George W. Bush went from a stumbling, error-prone, inarticulate speaker to a fairly coherent presenter, especially in the last 9 months..." --Bush The Articulate
    6:22 PM

    Monday, March 10, 2003

    Lovecraft's Pnakotic Manuscripts, Douglas Adam's Where God Went Wrong and Who is This God Person Anyway?, Borges' First Encyclopedia of Tlon and many others imaginary books listed in The Invisible Library
    6:20 AM

    "Your latest article was so inspiring." #6 on The Top Ten Lies Told by Graduate Students
    6:11 AM

    - Safe multithreading! Immutable data structures are not subject to data race conditions, and consequently don't have to be protected by locks

    - The ability to have your cake and eat it: imagine you have a complex OO system processing messages - every component might make state changes depending on the message and then forward the message to some objects it has links to. Wouldn't it be just too cool to be able to easily rollback every change if some object deep in the call hierarchy decided the message is flawed? How about having a history of different states?

    - Many housekeeping tasks made for you: deconstructing data structures (PatternMatching), storing variable bindings (lexical scope with closures), strong typing (TypeInference), garbage collection, storage allocation, whether to use boxed (pointer-to-value) or unboxed (value directly) representation...

    Some Advantages of Functional Programming
    More... (ML/OCaml specific)
    3:52 AM

    Sunday, March 09, 2003


    Pancito
    : mathematical image transformation using functional languages
    11:25 PM

    Should open source software be restricted?
    9:58 PM

    Saturday, March 08, 2003

    Amazing, high-quality map of terror from indymedia.
    (Thanks to James)
    1:59 AM


    (Thanks to James)
    1:43 AM

    "A key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program appears to have been fabricated, the United Nations' chief nuclear inspector said yesterday in a report that called into question U.S. and British claims about Iraq's secret nuclear ambitions."
    1:24 AM

    Wednesday, March 05, 2003

    Just say "NO" to secret CIA brainwashing experiments
    7:24 PM


    Twenty hours of videotaped talks on the SICP
    12:55 AM

    Monday, March 03, 2003

    "intellectual freedom is essential to human society--freedom to obtain and distribute information, freedom for open-minded and unfearing debate and freedom from pressure by officialdom and prejudices. Such a trinity of freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorship. Freedom of thought is the only guarantee of the feasibility of a scientific democratic approach to politics, economics and culture" --Andrei Sakharov
    4:40 PM

    Sunday, March 02, 2003

    Oil industry analyst admits Iraq war is being fought for oil
    (Thanks to Mike)
    5:20 PM

    BerliOS is a free service to Open Source developers offering easy access to the best in CVS, mailing lists, bug tracking, message boards/forums, task management, site hosting, permanent file archival, full backups, and total web-based administration
    4:21 PM

    On hiring mainstream language programmers
    2:29 PM

    Sheer hypocricy from the White House
    1:36 PM

    Refactoring Functional Programs
    6:04 AM

    "A difference between classic OO approach and a language based approach...: With OO, you model your problem as a collection of interacting thingies. While [with the language based approach] you define a (domain specific) language in which to best express the solution to your problem. You create the language by extending/modifying your language toolkit. Then you solve the problem." --Traditional vs Non-Traditional languages in the real-world
    4:03 AM



    Archive of earlier blog entries...
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