Justice

Federal Judge Paul Cassell, on administering a mandatory minimum sentence to a 24 year old for three marijuana sales: “If he had been an aircraft hijacker, he would have gotten 24 years in prison. If he’s been a terrorist, he would have gotten 20 years in prison. If he was a child rapist, he would have gotten 11 years in prison. And now I’m supposed to give him a 55-year sentence?

I’m usually the last to see viral videos, and even later to pass them on, but this battle of train vs. snow must be shared. It’s so good, Peter Jackson stole the idea in The Lord of the Rings (2001). It does prompt the question: why do locomotives need windows?

Infant car seats

Make no mistake: installing an infant car seat can be strenuous work. You need to achieve a fair amount of compression for the seat to stay put. This will probably require sitting or standing on the seat while pulling hard on the belt strap. If it seems easy, you’re probably not putting the seat in firmly enough. Besides adjusting your expectation of work, here are a couple of tips I’ve discovered over the years:

The Chrome browser on Nexus 7 has never had the Close All Tabs function like its brother on the phone. This made no sense, was annoying, and dragged on forever. Fortunately, the end is near. You can now download Chrome version 40 via the Chrome Beta app on Google Play. Close All Tabs is accessed by long-pressing the usual tab close X.

I’m in the process of taking a hard look at Fossil for source control. I’d heard of it a long time ago, but only briefly considered it before getting swept up in the rise of Mercurial and git. The only thing that put it back on the radar was a brief mention in some Hacker News discussion, and a recent FLOSS Weekly episode. I used git daily at work and at home, and I know it well.

As a long-time consumer of RSS feeds, I was shocked along with many others at the fairly sudden termination of Google Reader. Though there wasn’t anything extraordinarily special about GR for me, it did offer a clean, simple way to browse feeds and have the status sync across devices. Like everyone else, I set about finding a replacement, and was pretty sure I’d find one in short order that met my expectations.

Why Jekyll?

I was recently asked why I switched from Octopress to Jekyll. I don’t have an interesting answer, because there weren’t any particularly strong reasons. The overarching goal was that of simplifying. For this blog, the idea of going with stock Jekyll hosted on Github pages is about the simplest way to write and publish a static blog. It certainly isn’t the easiest way to have a blog, but for me, “simple” includes the idea that the blog content and structure is stored simply and accessibly.

I bought the Nexus 4 shortly after it came out. I’d been living through a few bad years of the HTC Thunderbolt, which was probably the worst phone I’ve owned. Aside from being a bad phone, Verizon was extremely slow about updates for that device. I recall waiting over a year just for Android 4.0. Making a break from Verizon to a Nexus device sounded great, and having only consumed a few reviews of the Nexus 4, I made the leap.

I knew about variadic functions, and the “…” syntax, but I’d assumed that was limited to the function declaration. When I tried to pass a slice of arguments as the final parameter of a call to a variadic function, I got errors. The answer is of course in the spec, but I didn’t find it quickly: v := foo(bar, baz...) So “…” shows up again. Here’s the relevant section of the spec:

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about writing a todo application. Over the years I’ve used tons of them (who hasn’t), and I’ve formed my opinions about features, behaviors, appearances and architectures for this class of application. Now I want to roll my own. This is supposed to be a fun project that will hopefully be a useful project. Because it’s by me, for me, and controlled by me, I have thought about how much time will be spent tweaking the system instead of letting the system help me get stuff done.