Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Windows for Warships

Apparently the British Royal Navy will have all their warships running Windows at some point. I can see it now. Rebooting your destroyer while under enemy fire... re-registering with Microsoft after launching a cruise missile... DRM licensing issues when eavesdropping on foreign communiques...

Maybe that's what the Japanese run their whaling fleet on, too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Crashing airplane computer systems

I just read a story about a guy who crashed the entertainment system on an airplane.

He was playing the game Tetris on the seatback screen. Tetris is a game in which you line up shapes falling from the top of the screen so they form complete lines at the bottom. There was an option in the game to preview the next shapes to fall. He pressed the + sign on the screen to increase the preview to 4, which was the maximum. He noticed that the seat phone keypad also controlled the screen (for changing channels, for example), and he used this to enter 5 for the preview. A bug in the game!

He then pressed + again and it went to 6. Another bug. He kept on pressing + until it got to 127, the largest signed number that will fit in a byte. He pressed + one more time and all the passengers' screens went blank as the entire entertainment system crashed.

I just hope the flight control system wasn't written by the same programmers.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Everyone hates Calgary Transit

I took an earlier train yesterday and today, since with the snow and cold the trains have been running late. I've been getting downtown earlier than I expected though, and there seem to be fewer riders. Looks like a lot of people weren't happy to be standing in the cold and the snow the last few days and have given up on riding the C-Train.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hedgehogs for everyone! The wife's been pining for Mexico so I got her a pair of sunglasses with photos of Mexico stuck to the insides. It's just like being there.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Caught between Iraq and a hard place

US officials are claiming that Iran is supplying weapons to the "insurgents" in Iraq. Seems obvious, but it's a pretty bold claim considering the scant evidence. A prelude to war, perhaps? Didn't they learn their lesson with the whole "weapons of mass destruction" thing as a case for war with Iraq?

Strange that the cause of death for Anna Nicole Smith would also seem obvious, but no one is saying anything about that. People are a bit more cautious about saying why she died and seem to be waiting for the cold hard facts. Well, let me be the first to say what everyone is thinking. The truth must be known:

They took out Anna Nicole Smith for supplying weapons to the insurgents in Iraq.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It's like the white sands of Mexico here

... except the sand is cold and falls out of the sky. A technicality.

Just got my PDA working again so I can work on my blog while commuting. And it was a nice long commute today, with major delays on all C-Train lines due to the snow. You'd think when they designed Calgary's commuter rail system they might have taken cold weather into account.

"But the Saudis had a really good deal on trains! We're passing those savings on to all the commuters frozen to the platforms right now."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mexican vacation (Jan. 12 - 18 '07)

I was up with the sun at 6:30AM. Well, "up" in the sense that I had moved from my bed to the hammock outside. It was 26C, humid, and peaceful, even with the crash of the ocean waves on the Caribbean shore a few metres away. Was this a dream? It feels like it now, except for where I'm still getting chafed by the beach sand.

(original posts)

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