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New Evidence on the Foreclosure Crisis -
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:23 pm EDT, Jul  8, 2009

the focus on subprimes ignores the widely available industry facts (reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association) that 51% of all foreclosed homes had prime loans, not subprime, and that the foreclosure rate for prime loans grew by 488% compared to a growth rate of 200% for subprime foreclosures. (These percentages are based on the period since the steep ascent in foreclosures began -- the third quarter of 2006 -- during which more than 4.3 million homes went into foreclosure.)nullnullnullnull

New Evidence on the Foreclosure Crisis -

James Shore: Voluntary Technical Debt
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:39 am EDT, Jun 25, 2009

The thing about technical debt is that you aren't just deferring costs. You pay interest on those costs... even when you take on technical debt for as little time as a month. I can't say how much time the technical debt is costing us, but I would guess that it's anywhere from two to four weeks of extra work.

James Shore: Voluntary Technical Debt

The Physiology of Willpower: Linking Blood Glucose to Self-Control -- Gailliot and Baumeister 11 (4): 303 -- Personality and Social Psychology Review
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:59 pm EDT, Jun 17, 2009

Past research indicates that self-control relies on some sort of limited energy source. This review suggests that blood glucose is one important part of the energy source of self-control. Acts of self-control deplete relatively large amounts of glucose. Self-control failures are more likely when glucose is low or cannot be mobilized effectively to the brain

The Physiology of Willpower: Linking Blood Glucose to Self-Control -- Gailliot and Baumeister 11 (4): 303 -- Personality and Social Psychology Review

The Mother Load - The Atlantic (November 2005)
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:53 pm EDT, Jun 14, 2009

nothing is more modern than air travel.

As stimulating adventure, flying nowadays ranks somewhere between appearing in traffic court and going to Blockbuster with the DVD of Shrek 2 that my toddler inserted in the toaster. Thus the maiden flight, on April 27, 2005, of the Airbus A380, the world's largest airliner, did not spark the world's imagination. Or it did—with mental images of a boarding process like going from Manhattan to the Hamptons on a summer Friday, except by foot with carry-on baggage. This to get a seat more uncomfortable than an aluminum beach chair.

What a poor, dull response to a miracle of engineering. The A380 is a Lourdes apparition at the departure ramp. Consider just two of its marvels: Its takeoff weight is 1.235 million pounds. And it takes off. The A380 is the heaviest airplane ever flown—171 tons heavier than the previous record holder, the somewhat less miraculously engineered Soviet Antonov An-124.

The Mother Load - The Atlantic (November 2005)

Hope Floats - The Atlantic (June 2009)
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:53 pm EDT, Jun 14, 2009

In November, Royal Caribbean will take delivery of a true sea monster. Now in its final phase of construction, the Oasis of the Seas will be the biggest (longest, tallest, widest, heaviest) passenger ship ever built—and the most expensive. It will dwarf Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and cast shadows dockside atop 20-story buildings. A crew of 2,165 will tend the expectations of up to 6,296 passengers.

Hope Floats - The Atlantic (June 2009)

Hackers hardwalled from 787
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:49 pm EDT, Jun  3, 2009

Boeing is using what it calls a "hard wall" in the software and has ensured no system settings can be changed in flight to stop an external input causing havoc.

With the 787 and other future aircraft expected to have this "always on-line" element to flight operations, the nightmare scenario is of terrorists remotely hijacking an airliner.

On the ground, the 787 maintenance crew will have to use codes to make system changes. "Mechanics will have to enter an authentication code before uploading software or making setting changes," says product marketing director Jim Haas.

Hackers hardwalled from 787

Unmanned sub touches deepest part of world's ocean
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:03 pm EDT, Jun  3, 2009

The unmanned aquatic vessel descended 10,902 metres into a part of the Mariana Trench known as Challenger Deep. It is the first vessel to explore the remote area in more than a decade.

Unmanned sub touches deepest part of world's ocean

On Long or Short Capital’s Criminal Liability
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:52 pm EDT, May  7, 2009

As the eminent commentators on Force Majeure Thomas Jefferson and Mao Tse Tung observed, “power comes from the barrel of a gun.”

Although some may disagree with Force Majeure as a guiding principle for the regulation of life and business generally, surely it is cause for celebration that the tiresome old Hegelian dialectic (Editor’s note: don’t worry if you don’t know what this means, not even lawyers do) has matured and reached its terminus. There’s no more back and forth and no more evolution of belief systems. Instead, the dialectic is looking down the barrel of an AK-47, trying not to crap its Frankfurt School underpants in its Nietzschean Lederhosen, and is being told to “shut the [bleep] up and eat your [bleep]ing vegetables, if you know what’s good for you.”

Recent examples of the exercise of Force Majeure abound. Just the other morning, a law was passed (aka “a press conference talking point”) outlawing the Federal bankruptcy code. Hedge fund managers dissented, noting that when seniority of debt was outlawed, only outlaws would hold senior debt, to which the White House Press Secretary replied, “that’s *so* true.”

On Long or Short Capital’s Criminal Liability

XeePhotoshopLoader.m - xee - Google Code
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:04 am EDT, Apr 23, 2009

// At this point, I'd like to take a moment to speak to you about the Adobe PSD format.
// PSD is not a good format. PSD is not even a bad format. Calling it such would be an
// insult to other bad formats, such as PCX or JPEG. No, PSD is an abysmal format. Having
// worked on this code for several weeks now, my hate for PSD has grown to a raging fire
// that burns with the fierce passion of a million suns.
// If there are two different ways of doing something, PSD will do both, in different
// places. It will then make up three more ways no sane human would think of, and do those
// too. PSD makes inconsistency an art form. Why, for instance, did it suddenly decide
// that *these* particular chunks should be aligned to four bytes, and that this alignement
// should *not* be included in the size? Other chunks in other places are either unaligned,
// or aligned with the alignment included in the size. Here, though, it is not included.
// Either one of these three behaviours would be fine. A sane format would pick one. PSD,
// of course, uses all three, and more.
// Trying to get data out of a PSD file is like trying to find something in the attic of
// your eccentric old uncle who died in a freak freshwater shark attack on his 58th
// birthday. That last detail may not be important for the purposes of the simile, but
// at this point I am spending a lot of time imagining amusing fates for the people
// responsible for this Rube Goldberg of a file format.
// Earlier, I tried to get a hold of the latest specs for the PSD file format. To do this,
// I had to apply to them for permission to apply to them to have them consider sending
// me this sacred tome. This would have involved faxing them a copy of some document or
// other, probably signed in blood. I can only imagine that they make this process so
// difficult because they are intensely ashamed of having created this abomination. I
// was naturally not gullible enough to go through with this procedure, but if I had done
// so, I would have printed out every single page of the spec, and set them all on fire.
// Were it within my power, I would gather every single copy of those specs, and launch
// them on a spaceship directly into the sun.
// PSD is not my favourite file format.

XeePhotoshopLoader.m - xee - Google Code

Abyss & Apex : Fourth Quarter 2007: Wikihistory
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:18 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2009

Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip. I did. It always gets fixed within a few minutes, what's the harm?

Abyss & Apex : Fourth Quarter 2007: Wikihistory

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