Older blog entries for pedro (starting at number 57)

Jek Porkins == Max Eckhardt from Batman (1989)

Maybe everybody else knew this, but William Hootkins, who played Jek Porkins in Star Wars (the heavyset rebel pilot what gets blown up) is also the actor who played Max Eckhardt (the heavyset corrupt cop) in Tim Burton's Batman. I always knew that Eckhardt seemed super familiar, but I could never place him before.

Syndicated 2009-06-17 08:20:37 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

Superman is a Methodist

Here's an interesting page about the canonical religions of several super heroes. It includes a listing of the evidence from canonical media and a discussion of the issues, character details, and reader comments.

I particularly liked this quote from Doug TenNapel (creator of Earthworm Jim):

"Ask any person about what they think about God and you will get an amazing story. It won't just be any old story either, it will likely cut straight to the core of who that person is. It's so bizarre to me that this most personal, dramatic, amazing story device is getting pressure to be removed by story-telling industries... including the supposedly progressive comics industry.

The fact that Superman was born and raised in Kansas by conservative farmers yet he never even talks about the Bible stinks to high hell to me. It's idiotic and it ends up making these characters less human instead of more. Superman has exactly dick to do with any "Smallville" I've ever been to. This is why I actually LOVED the Red Son Superman so much; they finally gave us a contrast of what would happen if Superman didn't carry Kansas in his worldview. More of this! Less of draining worldviews and philosophies out of comics! Especially worldviews that are considered "anti-comic" like certain conservative ones.

It is the pulp nature of comics that makes it such an incredibly powerful medium. I don't think you could get funding to make a Red Son Superman movie with a 250-million-dollar budget, but you could do a limited-run book series to explore a philosophy... no harm done."

Syndicated 2009-06-15 17:29:34 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

numbers separated by a letter?

So, I was changing my account password with an online finance site, and they had many rules for the new password. Most of them made obvious sense ("You can't use your username in the password"). But one of the rules was "You can't have numbers separated by a letter." So "asdf7hjkl" is OK, but "asd6f7hjkl" isn't. Does anyone have any idea why? The only thing I can think of is that they're trying to make it harder to enter hexadecimal values or character escapes into the form. Any ideas?

Syndicated 2009-06-09 03:45:35 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

en?tymology -- my two favorite things

I love both etymology and entymology.

Yesterday, I found this on the wall near our shower. It looked at first like a crack in the tile, or a dusty drip of caulking or spackle, which are numerous in our bathroom. But I took a closer look, and there was a little Alice In Wonderland-esque worm poking its head out of both ends of the case, which looked like a dirty pumpkin seed. Unbelievable! Turns out it is the larvae of a Case Making (or alternatively Bearing) Clothes Moth. I don't like the fact that we have clothing moths, but that thing was neat, if a little freaky.

Syndicated 2008-11-19 14:21:24 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

weird moments in the grocery store

So, I was at Ralph's the other day, and what came over the PA but the love theme from Bladerunner! That reminds me of the time that Mel, my late night cashier at Jewel in Chicago, said that sometimes in the middle of the night they play weird stuff like classical music and whatever because they think nobody's listening.

Syndicated 2008-10-23 16:43:40 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

masterpiece security theatre

This has been all over the Internet, but here's a great article about why the TSA screening, etc. is just designed to make you feel better and doesn't actually stop smart terrorists.

Syndicated 2008-10-17 14:56:54 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

i never should have written all those tank programs, or: life imitates art

This is an awesome story about some kids who wrote a "light cycles" program for an Apple IIgs. All was going well until the computer players decided to escape the game grid into system memory... (from clickolinko)

Syndicated 2008-10-10 00:18:06 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

750,000 jobs and 250 billion dollars?

I hate to parrot Slashdot, but this article from Ars Technica discusses the sources and legitimacy of the common figures used to support the further restriction and enforcement of copyright and other IP protections. It's a really good read.

In essence, the figures of 750,000 jobs and 250 billion dollars "lost to piracy" have been quoted and re-quoted for years in lobbying efforts, testimony, articles, and more in an effort to get tougher IP laws. Unfortunately, no one ever followed the breadcrumb trail back to the original source of the figures or did any simple reality testing of them until now... and the numbers don't really hold up to scrutiny. Do you like your government making laws based on flimsy statistics? I don't.

Syndicated 2008-10-09 21:28:25 from (l)andscape: (a)lien


Are you a kernel newbie like me? Have you been perusing kernel code and wondering what "migration type" is or whether it's important for you to understand? Here's a link.

Page migration is about moving pages around to alleviate differences in RAM in access times. How can acccess times be different? Well, in traditional systems, they're not, because the system has only one bank of RAM, and the time to access it is always the same.

However, some new systems are NUMA systems. NUMA stands for Non Uniform Memory Access and describes a system where the memory access times are not uniform from processor to processor. For example, my dual Opteron board has two banks of RAM, one for each processor. The bank for CPU0 can hold 4G, but the bank for CPU1 can only hold 2G. As you might imagine, there are times when CPU1 needs more than 2G of RAM, so it can "borrow" from CPU0 -- but of course, memory access to the other bank will take longer than memory access to its own, local bank, so sometimes we'd like to "migrate" the data from one memory bank to another.

You can imagine how this kind of thing could get very complicated in a large multi-system cluster or in future "1000s of cores" designs.

Syndicated 2008-10-06 16:50:26 from (l)andscape: (a)lien

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