Archives for category: Boring News

I haven’t written since APRIL FUCKING 6th.  It’s a crying shame ’cause a ton has happened and a lot of it noteworthy.

Does anybody read this shit anyway?

I have friends on Facebook: people I’ve met, people I’ve barely met, people who know me only through other people and random wall posts.

Let’s get one thing straight, too, before I continue: I’m not one of those people who have 500 friends, a number of people I can’t possibly know. No, I like to keep it more intimate; I like to actually know the people or be getting to know, in the case of my half-sisters and brothers.

When I look at the “Live News” feed, i.e. shit my Facebook “friends” post, I am able to read what my barely-friends have posted. More often than not, I completely, 100% disagree with what they have to say.

Now hang on, there, before you jump in and say, “Disagreement is good,” that’s not what I’m saying. I’m on your side on that one: disagreement is good. I love counter-opinions and diversity. Unfortunately, I like facts, too, but that’s another discussion.

Anyway, I’m cool with you saying, “Jesus saves … ’cause he called me on my fucking cell and I gave him your number.”

Holy shit! Jesus is going to call me? Bad-ass. I’ll be ready for the motherfucker. THAT I can deal with.

No, it’s not just disagree, it’s something stronger. It would be like friend-ing a Mormon and having to see her posts about salvation and baptism show up on the list and blight my eyeballs, take away brain CPU and storage.

I completely, 100% uninterested in anything Jesus- or Mormon-related and furthermore don’t wish to have the slightest bit of text mentioning either of the above contaminating my wall. Why should I? It’s my fucking wall. I want it graced with profanity, sadism, hedonism, loneliness, cynicism, antagonism, chaos… you know, real life.

Now let’s get down to the meat and potatoes. The people I’m talking about aren’t Mormons. I don’t think I have any Mormons as Facebook “friends,” as a matter of fact. (Oh, wait, I do, but they don’t sell me their shit and they’re family.)

No, the people I’m talking about are … drum roll … vegans and animal activists. Boom, I said it.

“What’s wrong with veganism?” you may ask. “What’s wrong with animal activism?” you may inquire.

I will tell you.

Right now in Pakistan* there are MILLIONS of families displaced from their homes. Let’s reiterate. MILLIONS.

Imagine an announcement to EVERYONE in Salt Lake City saying, “Motherfuck, you guys gotta move. Leave WHEREVER you are, whatever you’re doing, and go to some tent in Ogden.”

Wait a sec … leave EVERYTHING behind? My computer? My internet? My food? My water? My toiletries? My makeup? My clothes? My shoes? My weird Pho-like soup I have to eat everyday for lunch?

Yes, every-fucking-thing.

People got evacuated in Provo the other day because of a natural gas leak. They spent the night in a school.

OK, that’s inconvenient, how about ALL of Provo for A MONTH.

Is my point clear? This is some serious, serious business. If you value yours or someone else’s life at all you’ll realize the enormity of what’s happening.

But no, you can’t imagine it, can you? Because you’re too busy trying to save kitties from being rolled around in a dryer.

Guess what … I’d kill 50 kitties, drink their blood, and smear it over my naked body if I could get ONE Pakistani* family back into their home, back to their possessions, back to their way of life.

Fuck kitties, fuck doggies, what about PEOPLE? What about other humans? Your brothers and sisters are STARVING, dying of disease, being killed by their own leaders, and suffering all manner of INHUMAN experiences.

And you are concerned that the kitties in the animal shelter haven’t been adopted.

I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want it on my wall. I feel awful for rejecting people as a friend on Facebook but Jesus F. Christ if animal rights isn’t akin to Jehova’s Witnesses telling me I’m going to hell and bombarding my house with their stupid magazine then I don’t know what it is.

Remove friend. Remove me if you want to, I’d appreciate it.

* Pakistan = flooded.

http://listen.grooveshark.com/widget.swf

London, England, back when chloroformed bugs with pins in their spines, hairsprayed perfectly in a frame were a big deal. Cars you cranked and prayed that it wasn’t too humid for the sparks to ignite the fuel and get the engine running.

While a total stereotype– laughable one, even, but one that the British, themselves embrace in comedies like Black Adder– the Brits think that every little shit they take is an amazing discovery. So you conquered nations, subjected them to your laws, grew bloated and overwhelmed with your greed, and then ended up distilled down to a tiny little country known for it’s pop music and sarcastic comedy.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the countries you tried to change to be like you finally got to take back over their country and fuck it up like only human beings can. And you even setup an assembly to help them do it, an organization that wastes enough money to make many people very rich (are you guys hiring?).

And I’m related to you guys.

Blessing. Something above and beyond the normal functioning of things. Something you got when you normally would not have gotten something. Something you received because you focused your energy on it.

Superman Needs Counseling?

Americans consume a massive amount of media from an early age, spending more time consuming television, movies, games, and social media than they do with parents or members of an immediate community.

The main characters featured in any such media are often dynsfunctional and their irrational behavior is the cause of or at minimum exacerbates critical elements that further the plot of the story.

As a normal human develops, the brain automatically applies patterns and categories to the external world. The aforementioned characters become role models.

Having a dysfunctional role model severely hinders a healthy way of thinking and viewing the world.

Women in Games

I like video games. I’m not very good at them but I like them. To me it’s like reading an interactive book: I visit distant places, see and do things I’d never be able to experience in real life.

One such game for me was Mass Effect 2. The artwork is immersive and the story compelling. It was like combining a movie with an over-the-shoulder shooter. There is action, intrigue, betrayal, sacrifice, and more mouse-trigger shooting than one person can handle.

Even better, I was able to play a female in this game. Normally it’s very difficult for me to “connect” to a male main character. I just don’t empathize or understand and I feel alienated at some point. My attention rapidly turns to some other, more enjoyable activity.

A female Shepherd, however, I can bond with, I can understand and easily choose a course of action. It just makes more sense to me.

Even better, we don’t get many women role models– in games or life– who are as tough as Commander Shepherd. To be able to see a woman doing the things she does is almost liberating.

Yes, yes, I know, the feminist movement is beating a dead horse in western countries, and more than lauded and publicized it’s simply something to be noted.

More Human Than Human

I had just come back from a trip to visit my family in California, not as refreshed or rested as I would have liked but happy to have at least a little break, and had jumped back into Mass Effect 2 when it occurred to me that Commander Shepherd, my empowered, emasculating heroine of Normandy, is completely dynsfunctional and in no way is someone to be praised, lauded, or recognized.

Yeah, yeah, she is just a bunch of pixels and programs, but what was so compelling about her was that she was almost human, almost real to me. Like the characters in a book in which I immerse myself, she had taken on a life of her own. At some point I realized it wasn’t me choosing what she’d say but gently directing my opinion on things she’d eventually do by herself.

Being so real, the amateur psychologist in me sets about to work just as it does with any relationship I get into (that’s probably OCD of me– never said I was immune!).

Commander Shepherd is Still a Jerk

That pretty much sums it up.

Workaholic

This woman never sleeps. When she’s not making decisions at the Galaxy Map she’s overseeing the mining of resources, resolving issues with her crew, in planning meetings with management about the entrance into Omega Four, or researching any number of upgrades to make to the ship.

Relationships? Forget about it. The closest she comes is casual sex with Jacob or a one-night-stand with her assitant, Kelly. The rest seem to be spontaneous and short-lived romances she neglects and is even sometimes reprimanded for.

Antisocial Behavior

You thought Jack was bad (she is bad but she’s not the main character), check out this list of antisocial traits and see if Ms. Shepherd doesn’t fit right in:

  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest. She often engages in behavior that is regarded as “renegade” which often espouses the use of violence or extortion.
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults. She never backs down.
  • Reckless disregard for safety of self or others. How often does she run guns blazing into a situation where she and her crew are completely outnumbered and outgunned?
  • Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another. She has no problems doing whatever it takes to get her job done.

Promiscuity

It must be that she’s a workaholic that it’s hard for her to create relationships beyond casual sex. Is she even using protection?  It’s not even just casual: she manages to cross the interspecies and homosexual boundaries, as well.  We fire politicians for this all the time and here, in the military, sex runs rampant and unchecked throughout the ranks.

No PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is undeniably a huge problem for those coming home from war. It ruins lives, families, and takes a huge toll on society and the afflicted person’s position therein.

Commander Shepherd, however, despite the trauma of dying, losing her crew, destroying property, plastic surgery, killing thousands of enemies, cataclysm, and endless loss, she manages to stay chipper and even keeps alcohol comsumption to a recreational level.

How does she do this? She’s a heartless fucking bitch, that’s how. See above.


Assertions

Do It Right

At the core of the mission statement of the firm Antistar Consulting is the mantra, “We like to do it what we call the ‘right way.’”

Too many times a project goes unscoped, unplanned, undocumented, and ends up near-unusable mess of bloated spaghetti code.

In my 10-year career I’ve had to fix such sites and have been extorted (because of time factors) into creating them as well.

In the long term this has been proven over and over to very simply not work.

Adhering to standards, observing programming methodologies, and organizing and separating the project into modular parts makes for less errors and specialized component development which can be done in or out of house.

JavaEE

With two years of experience coding Java in a fast-pace, start-up environment, and having been exposed in that time to multiple “Enterprise” technologies, chiefly the JavaEE suite of tools, Java is an obvious choice for rapid web development.

Java has the behemoth Oracle and a handful of other large supporting companies behind it, documented standards and APIs, thousands of users, thousands of resources.

Implementation Cost

Assume a simple project, one in which the standard fare of websites exists: a few information pages, login authentication, credit card charging.

To implement the above in Java, the following must be configured, their framework learned and tested, and then deployed remotely: JPA, Mule (ESB), JSF, and JBoss.

The project was originally bid with the above in mind, however, the actual setup and testing time alone far exceeded reasonable estimations.

Setting up, configuring JPA, and testing JPA, for example, alone, took more time than the sum of estimation of the entire project.

Finally setup, configured, and locally tested, initial deployment of the code was unsuccessful, resulting, ultimately, in a mysterious out-of-memory error which required (a) an upgrade of hosting services– out of the question; (b) tweak the configuration settings, or (c) switch application servers.

Intended Use

It wold seem that a JavaEE implementation is far better employed in a very large setting, where there are hundreds of different types of developers, deep pockets, and unlimited access to resources.

The above site is simply too small. Implementing JavaEE and Mule is like killing ants with nuclear missiles.

Inevitable Conclusions

After coming so far in the development process but being blocked such trifles, having far exceed estimates to the point that billing said hours would be immoral and ridiculous, the JavaEE framework and all labor spent to produce it must be thrown out.

What’s left?

Alternatives

Your Neighborhood PHP/ASP Programmer

Sure, I’ve been programming straight HTML and basic PHP and ASP for years, however, the simplicity of inline scripting doesn’t, by default, lend itself to any sort of methodology.

Time and time again what usually ends up happening is a thrown-together site that becomes more and more confusing, monolithic, buggy, and ultimately getting re-written.

A Viable Solution

PHP or– god forbid– ASP still remain 100% viable solutions precisely because of this simplicity. The site map is simple, the data can easily be directly SQL injected, session maintenance is a breeze, and it’s easy to modify the presentation layer.

The Dilemma

Simple Enterprise

Embedding your script in your HTML files is so 1990s and we absolutely, positively don’t do this anymore. If anyone does they’re about 20 years behind and haven’t heard of a little thing called Web 3.0 (yep, we’re there already).

Instead, the trend is APIs and frameworks, and a handful exist for every language. JavaEE falls under this category for Java, Zend or Cake for PHP or at the very least Smarty (which may or may not still exist), Django for Python, and Rails for Ruby.

Self Interest

There is also the matter of self-interest. Antistar Consulting does promote the use of PHP/ASP for simple and cost-effective sites, however, remains neutral as to their usage and implementation.

Antistar Consulting is an SoA firm and as such uses and associates with the appropriate enterprise technologies, chiefly Java and .NET. So far, PHP does not demonstrably present a strong argument for its usage in an SaaS model.

Conclusion

PHP is and will remain a “last resort” solution. The deadline for the project is fast approaching, however, there are still literally weeks of testing that can (and should) be done to ensure the best choice of platforms.

Compromise and Proposition

Cool” Enterprise

The company proposes to research the following frameworks: Django and Ruby on Rails.

If, upon reasonable and basic MVC tests, observing factors such as (1) ease of implementation, (2) prevalence of documentation and examples, (3) speed of development, a suitable framework cannot be found, PHP will be implemented, the project finished and closed, and the company’s policy revised to exclusively use PHP for small projects.