meh links

Honestly, these links aren’t that great. Fair warning:

– The Onion AV Club previews movies coming out this summer and how they compare to Marmaduke.

– Bruce Schneier on why there haven’t been more terrorist attacks – the short answer is that they’re harder than they look to pull off, and not that many people interested in doing them. Which is comforting, I guess.

Star Wars pregnancy announcement

– So there’s this bill that would strip people of their citizenship if they have suspected ties to terrorists. First of all, what happens to someone who has no other citizenship or ties? Secondly, the bar seems way too low here – the Secretary of State can deem anyone (as far as I can tell) to have provided material support, no need for a trial or anything. Sheesh.


A quick rant: From the article Flash is not a Right:

This strikes me as a very strange sort of attitude to adopt. There’s no question that Flash is useful and popular, and it has a large and committed user base. There’s also no question that it’s often convenient to be able to program for different platforms using environments one already knows. And likewise, there’s a long history of creating OS stubs or wrappers or other sorts of gizmos to make it possible to run code “alien” to a platform in a fashion that makes it feel more native.

But what does it say about the state of programming practice writ large when so many developers believe that their “rights” are trampled because they cannot write programs for a particular device in a particular language? Or that their “freedom” as creators is squelched for the same reason?

I wonder if it doesn’t amount to an indictment of the state of computational literacy.

That is…what? Let’s not get confused here – not allowing the Flash plugin to run on the iPhone/iPad is one thing, sure – I may not agree, but there are valid technical reasons, and it would require Apple to do something.

But not allowing people to write apps in other languages and convert them to Objective C – that doesn’t cost Apple anything and they’re going out of their way to lock developers in to their platform. That’s what people are really angry about. There’s no technical obstacle, they’re just blocking it for basically political reasons. (and yes, I know it makes it harder in the future to upgrade components without breaking compatibility, but this feels like swatting a fly with a tactical nuclear strike)

What I write my app in is my business, and as long as it runs on the target platform I feel personally offended that Apple is telling me how I can do that. (well, not me since I don’t develop for the iPhone, but you know…)

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