99% approval rating for git

according to Martin Fowler anyway: http://martinfowler.com/bliki/VcsSurvey.html

The accompanying subjective article at http://martinfowler.com/bliki/VersionControlTools.html has more nuggets.

  - for all you VSS fans out there: "Before I finish with those behind the threshold, I just want to say a few things about a particularly awful tool: Visual Source Safe, or as I call it: Visual Source Shredder. We see this less often now, thank goodness, but if you are using it we'd strongly suggest you get off it. Now. Not just is it a pain to use, I've heard too many tales of repository corruption to trust it with anything more valuable than foo.txt."

  - the indictment of proprietary tools like clearcase and TFS: "I will, at least for the moment, leave it with the fact that developers I respect have worked extensively with, and do not recommend, these products."

  - on git: "Git certainly seems to be liked for its power. Folks go ga-ga over it's near-magical ability to do textual merges automatically and correctly, even in the face of file renames. I haven't seen any objective tests comparing merge capabilities, but the subjective opinion favors git."

  - and the best one: "Our view now is that msysgit is good enough to make comparison with Mercurial a non-issue for Windows."  Amen to that, buddy!


"scripts don't automate well"

enterprisestorageforum, its columnist Drew Robb, and "Mike Karp, an analyst with Ptak Noel and Associates" are now on my blacklist.

Not the one I reserve for arrogant media giants who install rootkits on your computer because you dared to buy an audio CD from them, no...

This is the one reserved for terminally clueless morons :-)

I am only thankful that the offending sentence was in the very first item on that list, saving me the time to read the rest of it.

If you're in a masochist mood, however, you can hit http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/management/features/article.php/3867506/Top-10-Data-Storage-Technologies-That-Coul

Fwd: Fwd: Bhopal

Dear friends,

Some of you know I've always been against the nuclear deal as well as questioning the motivations, even patriotism (as if bloody politicians ever had any in the first place) of the people at the centre.

There has been an uproar about the way in which a future Bhopal is being almost legitimised, favouring American business over even the safety, leave alone financial security, of Indians.

Whether you go to the Greenpeace link below and add your signature to the petition or not, and how much you are willing to spread the word, is upto you.  But please do not ignore the issue.



top few paras of http://www.deccanchronicle.com/op-ed/liability-bill-nuclear-hara-kiri-610 :

The United Progressive Alliance government deferred the introduction of the controversial Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010, (CLNDB) in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The aim of this bill is to meet specific American concerns which have arisen post Bhopal gas tragedy, by providing immunity to American nuclear plant suppliers from any victim-related litigation in the event of a major nuclear disaster. The bill transfers the liability, or compensation, to the Indian taxpayer instead. This proposal is risky for several reasons, including the fact that it provides the nuclear reactor manufacturers the option to maximise profits by reducing building and safety standards without fear of prosecution. 

Since Russia and France will supply reactors to India from their government-owned companies, this bill is really meant to cater to the United States where nuclear plants are not only owned and maintained by private companies like Westinghouse and General Electric, but it is the private "operator" and not the private "reactor supplier" who is held accountable for payment (through insurance) in case of a nuclear accident. No American "reactor supplier" would be willing to build nuclear plants in India unless the CLNDB is passed.

The bill is crucial to the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, but India is under no international obligation to pass this bill which, in reality, attempts to convert the liability of a foreign reactor supplier (FRS) into a rather pathetic compensation, to be paid by the Indian taxpayer.

Though the bill is America-centric, if passed it will apply equally to reactors supplied by France and Russia for which presumably different, and as yet unpublicised, conditions would have been put in the contracts.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Karuna Raina, Greenpeace India <Greenpeace.india@mailing.greenpeace.org>
Date: Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM
Subject: Bhopal
To: sitaramc@gmail.com

If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view.
Click here to sign this petition: "India must hold a public consultation before changing the liability rules for any nuclear accidents caused by U.S. corporations."
Dear Sitaram,

Last week, Prime Minister Singh was ready to introduce the nuclear liability bill, which would let U.S. corporations off the hook for any nuclear accidents in India. But over 50,000 of us signed a petition asking him to hold this bill. Now he's not introducing the bill in this session of parliament after all!

In case of an accident at Indian nuclear plants, U.S. companies would get away by paying a small amount, and Indian tax payers would bear the bulk of the expenses involved. Imagine if this law passes, then we face a disaster even worse than Bhopal.

The bill has only been deferred until the next parliamentary session in a few weeks. Now's the time to increase pressure on the PM to drop this bill.

Can you sign our petition right away?


The petition says: "India must hold a public consultation before changing the liability rules for any nuclear accidents caused by U.S. corporations."

Your signature will be faxed to Dr. Manmohan Singh's office.

As The Times of India reports:

"Isolated over the civil nuclear liability bill, the government was forced to back off in the Lok Sabha on Monday when it decided to defer introducing the legislation in the face of spirited opposition..." [1]

The victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy are still struggling to get their due 25 years later. In spite of this, the government is pushing for this ridiculous bill which violates our right to life.

We cannot allow American companies to reap benefits without any responsibility. Sign the petition now to tell the PM what you want:


Thanks a billion!

Photo of Karuna Raina
Karuna Raina
Nuclear Campaigner
Greenpeace India

1. "Govt backs off on nuclear liability Bill," The Times of India, 15 March 2010
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(malware) malware see, malware do

You may have noticed I always classify Microsoft stories as "malware" (not using blogspot's tagging system, but -- when I remember -- in the subject line itself, like in this post).

This is because I consider Microsoft to be the biggest piece of malware floating around.  Mostly legal, (although some posts are tagged "criminal" also; what can I say, a spade is a fscking shovel!).

Now there is proof that the 800-lb legal malware company is inspiring the really illegal malware authors.  Here's an excerpt from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/12/new_zeus_features/ :

The latest version of the Zeus do-it-yourself crimeware kit goes to great lengths to thwart would-be pirates by introducing a hardware-based product activation scheme similar to what's found in Microsoft Windows.


The hardware-based licensing system isn't the only page Zeus creators have borrowed from Microsoft. They've also pushed out multiple flavors of the package that vary in price depending on the capabilities it offers. Just as Windows users can choose between the lower-priced Windows 7 Starter or the more costly Windows 7 Business, bot masters have multiple options for Zeus.


(funny) Rick Moen on forking... an excerpt

The version numbers were a minor problem: The GNU/Linux guys had already reached 5.4.47, while FSF was just hitting 2.0. They probably pondered for about a millisecond asking Stallman to make his next version 6.0 for their benefit. Then they laughed, said "This is Stallman we're talking about, right?", and decided out-stubborning Richard was not a wise idea. So, the convention is that Linux libc version 6.0 is the same as glibc 2.0.


(geek stuff) starving in an elevator

I've always read that an "elevator scheduler has obvious starvation issues", but somehow it was never obvious to me.  I know how an elevator works, and the only time an elevator keeps you waiting is if it's stuck on some floor because someone held the door open or too many people were getting on/off.

I just naturally assumed that the analogy breaks down there; after all, if the disk head stops on a sector, it's a hardware fault so this cannot happen.  Hence the puzzlement about the "obvious" starvation.

Well, duh!  The analogy actually breaks down *much* earlier.  Your average elevator has at most 20 stops.  The largest ones maybe a hundred.  So as long as you keep moving and take short (occasionally longer) stops, you're bound to reach any floor soon enough, relatively speaking.

A 500GB disk effectively has a billion "floors", (a sector is 512 bytes, for now anyway).  If someone decides to do a streaming IO before the head gets to your sector, you're effectively starved until that whole stream is done.  And if that's a multi-gigabyte movie or whatever, you'll be waiting a loooong time!

Oh well, at least now I understood the "long distance bus with an enormous number of request stops" scheduler :)


they should, however, see this:



It's no news that the iPhone, the iPod touch, and the forthcoming iPad are closed systems. Reading the Agreement, however, reveals just how closed those systems are, and just how committed how Apple is to reversing decades of developers' abilities to publish and market apps as they see fit - not to mention the user's right to load whatever software they want onto devices they have purchased.


[...] even if you follow Apple's directives to the letter, Apple may, in the words of the Agreement, "reject Your Application for distribution for any reason, even if Your Application meets the Documentation and Program Requirements."


The reasoning behind Apple's seeming arbitrariness and demonstrable capriciousness was explained over 30 years ago by comedienne Lily Tomlin when she lampooned "the Phone Company" with a mocking summary of their attitude to customer service: "We don't care. We don't have to."