Monday, September 15, 2014

A gentle garrote

The two-toned priority buzz of Honor's bedside com yanked her awake with all the gentleness of a garrote.

Weber, D. Flag in Exile 383.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Does the bell toll for Cuomo?

The primaries are over and Cuomo is the winner...or is he?

I see comments about Teachout either winning or gaining over 30% in various counties upstate, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Teachout's win in Albany is surprising. I'm not very surprised by Manhattan leading New York City in opposing the man responsible for their sorrows.

Why do I think that Cuomo's out? The interesting point about the primaries which nobody mentions. In the whole state of New York, less than 550 thousand people voted. That's even worse than last year's mayoral elections in NYC when in a city of 8 million, out of 2.5 million regular voters, only 1 million voted. What this indicates to me is that Democrats may have refused to vote on principle.

Who was there to vote for in the primaries? Cuomo the Corrupter, Teachout the Socialist, and Credico the comedian who has nothing to do with politics and finds guns scary. Even if I'd be registered as a Democrat I'd have no idea who to vote for. And so it seems that a lot of Democrats decided not to vote at all.

After not voting for Cuomo, will the Democrat again not vote in November, or will they vote for Astorino? Teachout promised to fight Cuomo's corruption, but she's also a socialist. Astorino promised to fight corruption, drop taxes and increase jobs, something he already did, as he promised, in Westchester. Not only does Astorino have a proven record of turning things around, but he was actually elected by Democrats, while running as a Republican.

Does New York have a bright, new, future? I hope so.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Stereotyping - typing using both hands.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The crack of seven

It was the crack of seven and he was allergic to the concept of two seven o'clocks in one day.
Pratchett, T. Raising Steam 69.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Uncovering Undercover Boss

Recently, I've discovered a wonderful show on Netflix called Undercover Boss. It's a reality show about upper management  going undercover in their own companies and working together with the common people. The show is very heartwarming and inspiring and tries to show that some big corporations do care about their employees. In each episode, the bosses meet and work with several employees and then come clean to them at the end, usually showering them with raises, bonuses and gifts.

From the very beginning, I believed that this is a perfect show for all of the Occupy people to watch. Yes, you can be negative and instead of celebrating with those few employees, you can complain about all the rest who were not as fortunate to be singled out. And you can complain about those employees' initial working environments. Or you can be happy for them. Most importantly, what the show is trying to convey is that people do care and corporate decisions are not necessarily malicious and upper management may not even realize what is happening to the employees at the bottom. Do not assume that there's a Scrooge who's on purpose trying to take away your money.

After finishing watching Undercover Boss, I started watching Undercover Boss UK and that was the real eye opener. People do not appreciate the health care they have in US. People do not appreciate the amount of care the elderly receive in the US. People do not appreciate the job stability and working environment they have in the US. Some of the things I've seen on Undercover Boss UK and the attitudes of some of the bosses would be anathema to the average American. People in US do not appreciate what they have and for comparison, UK is not some poor third world country.

One of the most striking differences between the two shows was the unveiling at the end of each episode. In US, bosses, and even a mayor who did not have direct access to money, showered their employees with money. You're doing a great job so we're giving you a promotion, and here's money for each of your children for college, and we're sending you on a paid vacation, we're paying your mortgages and loans and here's fifteen thousand in spending money and we're sending you to college and paying you while you're in college, we're paying for you wedding, we're giving you your own franchise for free, and more and more and more. In UK, you're doing a good job, continue on, maybe we'll give you a raise. No bonuses, no gifts, nothing. You've just had a baby? Congratulations, go back to work. And you know what, people were happy and appreciative to just get the personal attention.

I believe that it is very important for everyone in US, and especially those with any feelings of entitlement or persecution, to watch both of these shows. And while watching the UK version, have in mind that you're not watching Undercover Boss China or Russia or Mexico, you're watching Undercover Boss UK.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NFS: Undercover + Logitech GT

Need For Speed: Undercover supports force feedback and maps the wheel by default. Pedals, however, will not work on Logitech Driving Force GT Gaming Wheel and will not map. The game doesn't see the wheel or pedals when you try to map manually.

To get the pedals to work and map wheel buttons, download Logitech Profiler (Logitech Gaming Software). Create a new profile and if you got the game from Steam, you can find the executable under C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Need for Speed Undercover\nfs.exe.
Leave "specific game settings" section alone, "report combined pedals" didn't work for me.
Click on "Accelerator" on bottom left and select Axis Assignment -> New Axis Assignment. Click Edit and record new keystroke "w". Now assign it to Accelerator down and click ok, leaving Accelerator up unassigned.
Do same with "Brake", but instead assign keystroke "s".
Your pedals will now work.

Same way, you can assign other controls to the wheel. Check game controls to see default key assignment, record that keystroke and assign it to wheel buttons.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ColdFusion: Passing encrypted values in url

If you're using encrypt / decrypt on url variables, urlencodedformat doesn't always work. Instead, use tobase64() after encoding and tostring(tobinary()) before decoding. This will ensure that only alphanumeric characters are passed in the url.