May 14

You call this a choice?

For the European elections tomorrow I’d like a pro-choice, pro-secular, pro-digital-rights candidate, preferably with STEM qualifications, and as an optional extra, not anti-private-firearms-ownership (because I like Olympic target shooting). I’m even flexible on the last two because you can’t have everything.

Instead, I get to choose from a field of two people from an Anti-Vaccination, Anti-Fluoridation, Pro-Homeopathy party (one of whom just quits whatever party she’s in every so often); one guy whose party was kneecapping people and bombing cars and pubs for the majority of my lifetime; and one lady whose party is in government busily stomping over all of its stated principles and won’t sign the pro-secular statement despite agreeing with it because Voters.

And politicians have the cheek to ask why people suffer from voter apathy.

And that’s just the European election candidates, the local elections make them seem eminently qualified and filled with wisdom by comparison. The mouthbreathing knuckledragging gombeens they dug up for the locals make me think we’d be better off overall if we just euthanised the lot of them. Seriously, this is the kind of inbred moron we get to vote for in those elections.

Apr 14

gdb’ing through a function pointer into a template

Take this (badly mangled to save the names of the guilty) chunk of “code” and run it through the Intel C++ compiler with any -g option you want:

class C {
int (functionA*)(args);

functionA = functionB;

functionC(args) {
rc = (this->*functionA)(args);

template <D,E> int functionB(args) const {
/* some code */

Now try debugging functionB when it’s called via functionC using gdb. In particular, try looking at the args fed to function B.

Now weep for your soul. And TotalView won’t help you now either buddy. You’re down to objdump -t library.a | c++filt | grep functionC and setting some stupid-looking C++ mangled name out of the mess you get back as the breakpoint in gdb.

There has to be a better way…

Mar 14


I didn’t write this up for a while. I just chalked it up as a really bad movie and a waste of talent and forgot about it. Then some gombeen gave that dross seven Oscars, so I wanted to rant a bit. Who gives out Oscars for proving that with only an obscene amount of money and a team of personal trainers, dieticians, professional lighting experts, veteran cameramen and a ground-breaking special effects team, a fifty-year-old woman can look good in her pants?

There were one or two good parts. I liked the effects. Sod that, I loved the effects, they were outstanding. I liked that someone paid huge amounts of attention to detail in the props (seriously, read any of the commentary by astronauts who worked on the ISS, they’re impressed by the level of detail there). The effects and the set design are hands-down the best I’ve ever seen in a space movie. Go find the guy who did the set design and give him another Oscar and then find the girl who did the effects and give her the Oscar for the next three years, their work was that good (and yes, I know, teams, those are metaphorical guys and girls I’m talking about). But the director and the writer? They took a fresh steaming bowel movement all over the entire thing by ignoring basic physics to shoehorn a really awful plot into a really great set of filmmaking tools and sets. Why didn’t they just take any one of the several hundred other books that have been written in the last few decades that had “space disaster” as a plot and where the math and reality actually didn’t take a day off? Go get the ones that won Hugos or Nebula awards if you think the search would be too difficult or time-consuming. There are hundreds of great plots and huge amounts of great writing out there that would do those sets and effects proud.

But this film? This plot, and this acting?
Utter and total crap. Crap with a capital shite.

What was wrong with it?
Continue reading “Gravity” »

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