Month: January 2016

W3Schools? Expert Sex Change?

If you do any software development, you probably use the Google search engine to look up lots of details. Have you ever had to pick through your search results to avoid websites whose search engine optimization is better than their information? I’m looking at you, W3 Schools and Experts – Exchange! There’s a free Chrome plugin called W3SchoolsHider. Spetnik Solutions in St.… Read more →

RabbitMQ Message Queuing on FreeBSD

RabbitMQ is a message queue system. It lets computer programs send each other work to do, without waiting for them to do it. I’ve been getting this working on the open-source FreeBSD unix-like system. These are notes on getting started. This writeup was helpful to me. Install it and get it working As with any complex server software, there are… Read more →

Ethics: slippery subject because people have different stances.

Ethics is a slippery subject. Different people have different ethical stances, so if I were to say “that’s unethical” to you, you’d be likely to misunderstand me. One common ethical stance is utilitarianism. This stance purports to optimize collective welfare. I don’t know any NSA people, but it seems likely that they share a utilitarian approach to ethical decision making,… Read more →

Sample text in many languages

Have you been around long enough to remember the Kermit terminal program? It was a very important way of getting online in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Frank da Cruz, Kermit’s creator, also has an interest in world languages and Unicode. He put together a terrific web page containing samples of text in many languages. If you’re looking for short… Read more →

Battery costs and the smart grid

The GM company recently disclosed, to their vendor’s dismay, that they can buy electric-vehicle batteries for their new Bolt EV for US$145 per kilowatt hour. It’s rare enough to find costs for these batteries that it’s worth doing a scratchpad computation of what the payback might look like for home electric use. My home electricity supplier (National Grid) charges separately for… Read more →