Wednesday, January 26, 2011

(REPOST) If Programming Languages Were Religions

This is an oldie (from 2008) but remains near the top of my list in that so-accurate-it's-funny kind of way.

If Programming Languages Were Religions
"If programming languages were religions"
(Inspired by "If programming languages were cars")

C would be Judaism - it's old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can't convert into it - you're either into it from the start, or you will think that it's insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

Java would be Fundamentalist Christianity - it's theoretically based on C, but it voids so many of the old laws that it doesn't feel like the original at all. Instead, it adds its own set of rigid rules, which its followers believe to be far superior to the original. Not only are they certain that it's the best language in the world, but they're willing to burn those who disagree at the stake.

PHP would be Cafeteria Christianity - Fights with Java for the web market. It draws a few concepts from C and Java, but only those that it really likes. Maybe it's not as coherent as other languages, but at least it leaves you with much more freedom and ostensibly keeps the core idea of the whole thing. Also, the whole concept of "goto hell" was abandoned.

C++ would be Islam - It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It's so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you'll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

Read the rest here, including a follow-up to this article, regarding the overwhelming reaction that it received.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Internet Facts of Life (as explained by a 12 year old to her Mother)

BY Julia Young AND Zachary Smilovitz

 Originally posted on McSweeneys

Mom, it's gonna be a long ride to Grandma's, and while we have some time alone together, I think it'd be good for us to talk about some things. I'm getting older, and I'm not always gonna be around the house to explain stuff to you. I know you have a lot of questions, and I want us to be open with each other. So, I think it's time you learned where blogs and tweets come from.

I don't know what kind of stories you've heard from your friends or the ladies in your book club. Sometimes, old people will spread around what they've heard from other old people. This can make things even more confusing and scary. That's why it's important you get the straight facts from me.

The Internet is a very beautiful thing if used properly.

When a person loves a funny video very much, he or she may want to share it with someone special to them. This is called linking and if done properly, it can bring people together in a very special union of love: usually the love of sneezing animals, or bed intruders, or Bill O'Reilly having a temper tantrum. But it's important to be sparing when you send your links. You don't want to become the neighborhood outbox, constantly forwarding yourself around. Nobody wants that kind of reputation. Trust me, you do not want to be known as a "spammer."

Now when someone has a lot of things they want to say, they may want to try blogging. Blogging is a kind of social intercourse, and should only be tried after years of experience with the Internet. Think of a blog as a newspaper that people actually read. It's a very personal thing, and you need healthy boundaries. For example, you can't go around blogging about the time I peed my pants when we went to see Ice Age like you told that woman in line at TJ Maxx yesterday. You need to be cautious before you move on to something more serious, like a tweet.

A tweet is a powerful yet brief experience that you share with thousands of people, sometimes even famous ones. Don't feel bad if you don't tweet! A lot people never tweet, and they live perfectly happy lives. Yes, you'll read a lot of bad tweets before you find the right ones. But once you do find that perfect feed, you'll spend the whole day wanting to refresh on it. And whatever you do, don't follow @aplusk.

You should try Facebook, though. Everyone tries Facebook at least once in their life. It usually starts in college. It may seem like harmless fun at first, but I know a lot of people who once they started Facebooking, couldn't stop. They'd waste their whole day updating their status, commenting on colleagues' vacation photos, and, tragically, poking almost complete strangers. It can become very unhealthy, so I want you to be careful. And listen; I don't want you ever writing on my Wall; even if it's my birthday. That's just not appropriate for a mother and daughter.

I hope this wasn't too embarrassing for you. We'll talk about what a meme is when we get to Grandma's. I don't want to have to explain it twice.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Could I Work For You On the Cheap?

If you are wondering if I could do some work for you at a rate less than the ones I've posted, please refer to this chart.

I'm blowing this up and posting it in my office, and also having it printed on the backs of my business cards. As a small reminder to myself.

Jessica Hische, you are my muse.

(Originally posted here. )

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Easily Impressed

Am I the only one who is blown away by the ability of the Google Goggles app (on Verizon Droid) to solve sudoku puzzles?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this out:

I continue to be impressed with everything my Droid is doing for me - from the "I expected that" kind of stuff (GPS, texting) to "I never knew I would want that" (Google Translate).

Speaking of Google Translate, this video shows a new feature: real-time audible (rather than text on the screen) translation. The demo uses German, but the current beta will only allow Spanish. Regardless, I think it's incredibly cool: