Category Archives: Curmudgeonism

Fuck Yeah, More Web Rendering Engines!

Google, on Blink:

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium’s rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then. […] However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation – so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

Mozilla, on Servo:

Mozilla’s mission is about advancing the Web as a platform for all. At Mozilla Research, we’re supporting this mission by experimenting with what’s next when it comes to the core technology powering the Web browser. We need to be prepared to take advantage of tomorrow’s faster, multi-core, heterogeneous computing architectures. That’s why we’ve recently begun collaborating with Samsung on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo.

Oh, thank every god! More rendering engines is exactly what the world needs. I do so enjoy testing every Web page I build in 78 different browsers. Now I can test every page in 674 different browsers! Huzzah!

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Here’s An Idea:

A Chrome extension which lets you read:


  • view anything at all on the most incompetently built Web site ever, Dumbshit Central;

…and then sets your computer on fire, just after displaying a pop-up message which reads:



Progress Vs. Regression, Redux

Last week, when the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display was unveiled, the old debate over whether users want “hackable” hardware or not was reignited. I’ve previously added my initial comments to the discussion, but the talk continues–and some fairly dumb things are being said by otherwise smart people. I think the dumbness could stand to be pointed out, because it only diminishes whatever valid arguments they make.

It all started when Kyle Wiens of iFixit published an opinion piece on in which he lamented the steady progression away from easily-upgradable Apple hardware. His primary points of contention: this new MacBook Pro follows the MacBook Air’s lead with soldered-in RAM chips, features a battery which is glued to the aluminum case, and is sold with a display which is fused directly to the front glass. These design decisions make for a smaller enclosure, but they also make it very difficult to replace any of the computer’s components. One’s only choice is to have the machine serviced by Apple itself–and if you end up wanting more RAM, for example, you have no options at all. You’d better pay for the extra RAM when you buy the laptop, because even Apple won’t add it for you later.

On the other side of the debate are the Apple-centric bloggers. Here’s Peter Cohen, for example, taking the people-want-simplicity argument to a completely comical extreme:

Clearly many consumers are happy with the tradeoff, which makes for easier use from a wider swath of people who don’t want to be concerned with the myriad fussy intricacies of computer use. It’s not Apple’s fault that the vast majority of consumers who want iPads don’t give a damn about hacking it. Apple’s simply responding to a market need.

He’s right that people don’t want to have to tweak and twiddle with their computer all of the time, of course, and if he’d simply leave his argument right there, I’d be hard-pressed to disagree. However, when he claims that making things user-replaceable makes life hard for the non-geeks, he loses me. Take an iMac, for example. It’s possible that there has never been a computer with more easily upgraded RAM. There is a little door held in place with three standard Phillips screws. Beneath it are the RAM slots. That’s it. How, Peter, is that accessibility negatively affecting an average user’s experience with an iMac? How many iMac users even know that door is there? OK, you might (or might not) be able to argue that this sort of concession to the nerds drives up the price–but you can’t claim that it makes the computer worse for anyone. This same principle can applied to the MacBook Pro: if you don’t want to crack it open, don’t crack it open.

Don’t get me started on batteries. No market has ever cried out for non-replaceable batteries. Can you imagine Joe Consumer complaining that it’s too easy to buy a new battery? It’s absurd. And perversely, maybe no one has benefited from the glued-in battery trend more than iFixit!

The real point to be made here is that the industry is moving this way whether the geeks like it or not. It would be foolish to believe anything to the contrary. But is making that point such a big deal that we’re willing to claim that nobody would ever want to change a battery? Isn’t this sort of blindness just giving the Apple-haters a little ammunition? Won’t they just (rightfully!) point out how flawed your logic is?

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The Future Is Retro

And I’d recommend checking it out if that link didn’t point to one of those damned idiotic pageview-pimping “slideshow” articles.

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Buy a Vowel, M.R@N

There really ought to be some kind of thought put into the names of products. Things are getting just a little bit silly out there.

Hey, I have an idea. I’m going to start a dating service for idiots. It’s called Hello, $billions!


It’s Time To Get Real About Doodoo In Advertising

Here’s something that pisses me off: blatant scatology in television commercials. It’s out of control.

Here are some cartoon babies filling diapers with caca:

Here’s a cartoon bear with TP stuck on his ass:

Here’s an “honest discussion of what goes on in the bathroom”:

Hahaha, these politicians are fartmonsters, LOL:

Give me a fucking break. Am I going to go out of my way to avoid buying any of these products? Hell yes. How’s that for a consumer reaction, you dumb shits (pun very much intended)?

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Annoying Updates

Does anyone find it annoying when Apple’s “Software Update” pushes RAW camera support updates to all users, whether relevant or not to all users? I don’t (currently) use a camera to which these updates might apply. And even if I did, I likely wouldn’t have this exact camera. Irritating.




Hell Alarm of the Damned, From Hell, In the Morning

It’s not a fair world, I know, but there are really just some things that ought only to happen after you’ve had your coffee.

I woke up before Ginger did this morning, and decided I’d make a simple breakfast of coffee and oatmeal. Sleepyheaded and still-uncaffeinated, I set about the task of heating up some milk for the oats. Just after the pot hit the stovetop, our cat meowed for attention, and I looked away from the stove for no more than twenty seconds. The milk boiled over a little, and I turned in horror to deal with it. And then, as I was trying to contain the mess, a deafening shriek pierced my cranium–it sounded as if a five-mile-high bitchdemon had decided to shatter the Earth with 15kHz sonic waves. No, it was merely the fire alarm, which is apparently capable of producing a sound loud enough to be perceived by volunteer firemen 3,000 miles away in Nova Scotia.

Once I had scooped my brains off the floor and crammed them back into my skull via a bleeding, gaping ear canal, I began looking for the origin of the sound–for some way to silence it. I pulled a smoke detector from the ceiling (with no results) and fell from a stepladder, cutting my back on a hat rack as I plummeted. Somehow Ginger heard the phone ringing underneath the shrill cacophony. I answered it.


(It was the alarm company.)


“…” (I couldn’t hear her at all, naturally.)




We hung up, nothing resolved. Finally I succeeded in punching a code into the alarm panel and silencing the damned thing. And then the fire truck arrived. Yeah. And I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.

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Reverse Nostalgia

Do you remember when you’d want to burn a DVD and listen to music simultaneously, and would have to kill the music so your system would have enough RAM and CPU cycles to burn the disc? That doesn’t happen anymore, and it’s not just because our computers are faster and/or more well-endowed. You can burn a DVD from an “old” netbook and play the music from your iPhone.

Now we farm out our tasks to multiple CPU’s. And all on the same desktop. Just wait until we all run multiple CPU’s in the cloud, across multiple clients.

I am a nerd.

Good news, QWERTY fans!

The price of the Droid 3 has been dropped to $99 in anticipation of the Droid 4! In related news, the Droid 5 will be released on February 9. The Droid 6 will be released on February 10. The Droids 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will be released, progressively throughout the day, on February 11.

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