Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in May, 2007

Re: Loldevs!

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im in ur programmz codin in ur dialect:

Periodically, one goes through periods of deep metaphysical malaise. You look around at the world, wondering how such evil could flourish and such suffering could endure. You descend deeper into darkness, your faith in humanity waning, wondering why we were ever born into this cruel world. Then, suddenly, you realize that somebody has written a programming language based off of the dialect of Lolcats/Cat Macros, and your faith in humanity’s inherent good is completely restored.

More at


Can gcc support be far off…? Maybe in Mac OS X 10.6 (LolBigCat)!!!1!1

Thanks to the Language Log for the link. kthxbye.

Update: lolbots and more at Boing Boing. And a summary of lol*s by Laughing Squid.

Update#2: head for the hills, the lolsingularity is nigh.

Update#3: Schrödinger’s LOLCAT. Now why didn’t I think of that? Or did I, and the state vector didn’t collapse properly…? …and also the lolburners Flickr photo pool.

It’s been some time since I visited the Doing Business site, but now they have a new map up which makes it easier to compare various countries regarding the ease of doing business.

Of course, as usual, Brazil is among the worst countries for business. Specifically, it’s #106 for starting a business, #101 for emplying workers, and #149 for paying taxes and closing the business after it folds (which is very probable). New Zealand and Singapore have the best ratings.

In the last year I’ve been getting an unusual number of queries from people wanting to open some sort of business in Brazil; even more unusual, a Mac-related business. My answer is always “don’t”. Yes, ratings for investing money here have been seen very positive increases lately, but it’s better to do so indirectly, via the stock market for instance. (For US investors, funds like iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ) have had excellent returns.)

I used to have a one-man consulting company – opened during a period where the usual requirement to have at least two partners had lapsed – but I shut it down due to several factors, many of which related to taxes and bureaucratic inconveniences. While the company is dormant, I haven’t dissolved it; it takes 9 to 12 months to do so, and is expensive. Bankruptcy proceedings are known to take 2 to 15 years. Many reports are available; check the latest one about Brazil (PDF) for details.

XRay update

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It’s been some time since I posted updates on XRay. Quite recently MacUser UK published a mini round-up on Finder utilities where, somewhat to my surprise, XRay scored 5 out of 5 against 4 competitors – and also was “Editor’s Choice”. (If anyone has that specific issue – 4/2007 I’d be grateful for a scan of the printed page.) Not bad for an utility which hasn’t been updated for quite some time!

This prompted me to review my sales graph which I had somewhat neglected lately. Here’s the current curve, with annotations:

The initial spike for the 1.0 release is no doubt due to several months of public beta. I wouldn’t necessarily say this would be applicable for all cases; XRay is targeted towards developers and more proficient users. During the public beta period I released new versions every month or so and took great care in replying to any comments and suggestions. So there was a pent-up demand and a ready-made userbase waiting to register their copy in the very first week.

After that, of course, sales decayed exponentially with a slight recovery when the reasonably significant 1.0.5 release came out, with subsequent releases nearly or completely vanishing in the noise – I suppose most people who needed it had already registered. Some other blips are due to the software being included in CDROMs. Still, for the last 3 years sales have stayed reasonably flat with a slight upwards trend detectable since the Intel Macs came out; no doubt this just reflects the expanding market. There are a few peaks (marked with “??”) which I have no ready explanation for…

Still, XRay 1.1 (the current release) isn’t an universal app, though it still runs fine under Rosetta. The downside is that the XRay Contextual Menu doesn’t work, as it’s called by the Finder, which (on Intel Macs) works only with universal plug-ins. However, it’s still possible (and even faster) to select an item in the Finder and XRay it by pressing shift-command-X.

Of course, as I’ve said here now and then, XRay II (2.0) is in the works. Unfortunately the universe has lately conspired to keep me from making any significant progress; still, I’m seriously determined to have a public beta out before the year is over. Hopefully sooner. Maybe much sooner. Stay tuned.

Re: Loldevs!

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More LOLology at the Language Log. See also Meme Cats.

So The Onion said:

Hallmark Scientists Identify 3 New Human Emotions

…In 2002, McMurrough monitored the MRI activity of nearly 10,000 test subjects between the ages of 25 and 40 as they described all emotions they had experienced in the past six months and rated each for its intensity, duration, and whether it would be conveyable to others by mail…

The first emotion the project successfully isolated was “requiapathy,” the combination of relief and guilt that comes with the sudden realization that you no longer miss a dead loved one. That discovery quickly led to the uncovering of “seprudity,” the feeling of appreciating a coworker’s dedication without fully understanding his or her job function, and “trepatiousness,” a synthesis of rage and jealousy, though more muted and often accompanied by a sensation of weight-lessness.


Of course Hallmark was interested only in emotions that might be “[interpreted] in warm, concise verse; inoffensive, ingratiating humor; and reassuring pastel watercolors” to quote further from the article. What they neglected to say was that several other emotions were also identified, and I present a few of them for your edification.

Debloggery: the combination of guilt and panic felt when you realize you haven’t blogged anything for at least two weeks, and may have even forgot the password to do so.

Backupenia: the first stage of what you feel when your hard drive was wiped out and your only backup disk refuses to mount properly. The following stages are “disconnecticity” (blaming it on the cable and rushing out to buy a handful of new ones) and “declaimitance” (pretending to everybody that you actually wanted to initialize your drive anyway and the lost data were of no significance).

Retradelessness: the sinking feeling you get when you discover, upon returning from the store with your new Mac, that the Apple Store web page is offline in preparation for new products.

Fartusity: the rapid succession of superiority and that “uh-oh” feeling when you whip out your trusty 10″ slide rule at a job interview and the interviewer asks if it runs Linux.

Applemunity: the smugness you, as a Mac user, feel when you overhear two Windows users complaining about viruses.

Re: Loldevs!

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Well, those guys don’t waste any time: lolgeeks! (thanks to boing boing for the link.)

Update: See also lolbrarians. Found at the highly recommended Language Log; they also comment that “…the field of lolguistics is even more sadly underdeveloped”. lol.

Update#2: Good analysis and l337-katz0rz deconstruction by David McRaney guesting at icanhascheezburger!!!1!1!!

Update#3: Took some time, but xkcd explains all.


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There’s this new Internet meme going around. Anil Dash has a good writeup.

So here’s my modest contribution, but with a mutant twist. I present to you… loldevs!!!!

If you’re a dev and have a blog, consider yourself tagged. Post a picture of yourself with a caption that fits one of the standard categories, and which alludes to something you’ve been blogging about. Non-devs should be unable to understand the result, of course…

More famous than I realized. David Paul Robinson writes:

Rainer Brockerhoff, long famous for being averse to version control, dips a toe into the svn waters…

Thanks for the link David. icon_wink.gif

Maybe I should do some marketing around this? “No version control system was harmed while building this software.” Heh. Charge extra for admission…?

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