Articles, Page 26 of 200
Aretha treated this subject very nicely
Find out what it means to me
We hear it frequently on Omninerd and in the media as well:
You must respect my religion
I deserve your respect
He disrespected me
I think we need some ground rules for respect on Omninerd.
So I have a relatively simple requirement between two tables with a many-to-many relationship. In Rails parlance, this is a typical Has And Belongs To Many (HABTM) case. Unfortunately, my development environment is physically separate and isolated such that I cannot simply put my example here – but I will transcribe and “sanitize” it in such a way that it is code equivalent. I probably broke some kind of Ruby / Rails convention and markmcb will frown at me and tell me the whole problem is because of one single line – so I’m posting what finally worked to see what I should have done. This example was coded under Ruby 1.9.1 with Rails 2.3.8.
A few months ago I wrote about the Stolen Valor Act (pdf) and a guy named Rick Strandlof that was facing charges for falsely claiming to be a Purple Heart recipient, war veteran and Naval Academy graduate. In July, a Federal judge dismissed the case with a ruling that requires the government to show a reason to restrict his freedom of speech. A few days ago, the US Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed another case of stolen valor where Xavier Alvarez claimed to be a retired marine awarded the Medal of Honor for service in either Vietnam or the liberation of Americans from Iran (his stories vary). The panel concluded, “We have no doubt that society would be better off if Alvarez would stop spreading worthless, ridiculous, and offensive untruths. But, given our historical skepticism of permitting the government to police the line between truth and falsity, and between valuable speech and drivel, we preemptively protect all speech, including false statements, in order that clearly protected speech may flower in the shelter of the First Amendment.”
The latest version of Electronic Arts’ popular video game series Medal of Honor allows players to experience battle from many points of view. One of those happens to be as a member of the Taliban killing coalition forces. Naturally, this has feathers ruffled across many fronts ranging from parent’s of deceased US servicemen to the British Defense Secretary.
Is this an example of tasteless business or are people just being arrogantly sensitive? Even playing as a coalition member, the game is still depicting the death of other mother’s sons after all.
I’ve ranted before on the ridiculousness of separating from the Army as an officer and how the regulations seem to be at odds with one another. As a brief reminder, when an enlisted soldier’s contract is up, they simply submit the appropriate personnel action forms, get the necessary signatures and they are dropped from the rolls back into civilian life. The regulations that govern this process include officers! Yet somehow, the Army has another procedure requiring officers to resign their commissions through a longer and more convoluted process.
Let’s talk about that convoluted process now with two case examples, Captains X & Y.1 Officers owe the Army eight years of service which can be broken up between Active and Reserve time. For example, an officer that serves five years on Active Duty will continue to serve in either inactive status (IRR) or in the Reserves. We’ll ignore for a moment that even after those eight years are up that the Army keeps them on the books for recall at their leisure without an intentional resignation of commission. Because the Army is hurting so badly for officers, it began a program allowing officers to join the Reserves instead of disappearing into the IRR whereupon their remaining obligation would be cut in half. So instead of having three years left as inactive ghosts, they would only have to serve eighteen months but continue to provide valuable leadership.
The controversy over a mosque’s construction near Ground Zero has raged on for several months. In recent days, a new twist unfolded as President Barack Obama chimed in with his support, “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.” Naturally, conservative pundits have already begun attacking the statements and Republicans are adding the comments to their arsenal for upcoming November elections. The matter generally brings to light that Americans largely feel a freedom to practice religion – as long as its their own religion.
The debate has raged for awhile about the iPhone’s viability as a legitimate gaming platform. While big hitters like Nintendo claim the iPhone does not cut the mustard, analysts have shown the little phone has claimed up to a fifth of the portable gaming platform revenue. The 3GS version was highly regarded as the breakout model for Apple given its hardware but the latest iPhone 4 is really showing promise. Although the six axis gyroscope was supposed to the iPhone 4’s coup de grÃ¢ce for gaming, it’s processing speed enabled John Carmack, famous for Doom, Wolfenstein and Quake, to demonstrate the new Rage gaming engine at 60fps (video demoed). Allegedly, Rage technology also works on the 3GS and below. Of course, for the coolest iPhone toy – check out the Parrot AR Drone (AR = Augmented Reality).
Former Captain Jonathon Hopkins, a West Point graduate from 2001 was recently discharged from the Army after a fourteen month investigation into DADT. He makes a good case study for the ridiculousness of the policy as he was a respected combat leader, served three times in Iraq and Afghanistan, earned three bronze stars (one for valor) and was selected for below-the-zone promotion to major. His preference was exposed when “asked” whereupon he opted to no longer hide behind the lie, even though DADT was subject to repeal. The Pentagon is currently surveying its force to determine the effects of the policy’s repeal. Yet despite all of that, the Army saw fit to remove him from the ranks while retaining others that don’t even want to continue serving.1 See him speak out in an MSNBC interview.
Assembly language is the human readable version of raw machine code. It’s largely a dying art but still has a lot of relevance depending on your field in computing. One geeky programmer was curious about the stratification of all the available instructions in the x86 set and performed a little analysis to breakdown programs an identify the most prevalent opcodes. The findings weren’t particularly surprising, but do show how a programmer can get by learning only a subset of the x86 language and still be able to largely “get it”. Amongst the top 66% of instructions are:
This is one of those Only-in-America things
The St. Lawrence Agency in Altamonte Springs, Fla. has been offering UFO abduction insurance $10 million policies. (It is not clear from the reference whether this is the premium or the pay-out.) The policies offer payment for medical coverage, including psychiatric care, in the event of a physical abduction by alien spacecraft. They pay $20 million if the policy holder has an alien child or is eaten by aliens.
The owner of the St Lawrence Agency, Mr Mike St Lawrence says:
“I’ve actually approved two claims for payoff.”
Prominent policyholders include actress Shirley MacLaine and a Harvard professor who has written extensively on aliens.
I was reading up on Rand Paul a little and I came across his stance on gay marriage, one that seems to be pretty standard for Tea Party-leaning candidates. It made me wonder what such a situation would actually be like? What would it actually mean if states actually did “decide for themselves” on the issue of same sex marriage?
If two people got married in one state and moved to a state that did not recognize their marriage… what would happen? It seems like that would require a huge change in how states recognized other states’ laws, and ignoring a piece of the Constitution to boot.
It didn’t take too long for hackers to jailbreak the new iOS 4, especially after jailbreaking was legalized by the government. The latest incarnation does not rely on a tool like previous editions, instead, users simply have to visit a webpage. Going to jailbreakme.com exploits a PDF vulnerability through the Safari browser that modifies iOS 4’s internals, granting full access to the underlying hardware. While that makes things easy for end users wanting full access to their property, the ability to subvert the entire device through nothing more than a webpage emphasizes the incredible risk embedded devices without configurable security measures pose to anybody not intending to jailbreak. Before thinking “it won’t happen to me”, look no further than the flap in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and India over the ability to access Blackberry communications of international travelers.
It wasn’t too long ago that Facebook users were rallying around the Internet complaining about privacy concerns in the site’s terms of service agreement which prompted an abrupt reversion to previous terms. However, with a user base exceeding half a billion people, when even a small percentage of folks don’t lock down their pages, huge amounts of data remain available for scraping. 2.8GB of spider accessible information to be exact and it was made available for download via BitTorrent.
Who’s looking? Big business, government, you name it. Using Peer Block, a cursory look into the IP ranges accessing the torrent of FaceBook data revealed a number of major banks, consulting firms and government agencies were amongst the downloaders. Reasons for their interest are varied – advertising, employee monitoring, business relationship modeling, public-relations management and everyone’s favorite – terrorist network association building. What would you do with the data?
Cultural Relativism "is based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and wrong is a product of society. Therefore, any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the cultural perspective of each person.
Iranian woman Sakineh Ashtiani was lashed 99 times in 2006 for having illicit relations with two men. Her case was later elevated to death by stoning after she was found guilty of adultery. The stoning has been delayed over and over again when international outcry pressures the Iranian government. What do the OmniNerds say – is the world simply meddling or is the application of this Islamic law too heinous?