More and more open-source projects that I encounter are using github.com to manage their code, issue trackers, etc. I'm not real happy about that. For one thing, Github is a service essentially identical to Google's free service googlecode.com, except that Github charges you for it. Not a big deal since only the project owner has to pay. A greater annoyance is that their website design makes things very difficult to read. Whose idea was it to display all of the source in tiny black monospaced font on a dark grey background? And to make the links light blue on the same background? The headers are even worse; dark grey on a darker grey background!
Every once in a while I pan for domain gold, looking for great domain names that haven't been taken yet. There really isn't much left; every word in the dictionary was bought up long ago by squatters. Everyone's seen those automatically generated sites with no information but the name of the domain and a bunch of "relevant" pay-per-click links.
Today I was thinking (as do from time to time) about setting up the ultimate repository for cave maps and climate data on the web and realized that these domains:
cave.com caves.com caving.com cavers.com speleology.com cavemap.com cavemaps.com
are all taken by squatters who are doing absolutely nothing useful whatsoever with them. I understand it's an investment, but I feel this is an example of where capitalism is broken. The arbitrage of these domain speculators hurts the browsing experience of everyone on the web.
I'm not sure if there is a good way ban squatting. There would have to be automatic detection criteria (i.e. x amount of new content, vistors, etc), and the criteria would need to be something not easily circumvented by robots or cheap outsourced web labor. What do you think?
Of all the words in the English language, I have a special dislike for "read". Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the lexical process, but the written "read" fails to perform the basic duties for which a verb is responsible. Conjugation is a simple and effective way to convey temporal tense, and why we permit this insubordinate word to shirk its duties in that regard is beyond me. While it is true that Context, ye faithful horse, will generally step in to hide the failings of this delinquent word, the time has come for read to get with it and conjugate. I'd like to be able to tell if this note I scrawled several years ago: "read Fairchild et al 2006" is a command or a statement of fact.
"Read" is spelled as pronounced for the present tense, but the past tense is pronounced "red." Ask yourself: "which is a worse predicament; ambiguity in the written word between a verb and a totally unrelated color noun, or ambiguity between two tenses of the same verb"? I think spoken English gets it right here. We pronounce, "I red some of the book yesterday, and I'll read more today." So why do we screw it up when it comes to writing down the word?
I propose that the past tense of "read" be written "red," to bring it in line with its spoken form, and with the convention that different tenses of the same verb are spelled differently. Of course, a superior solution would be to stick in a silent letter to distinguish it as we do in some other cases. In this case, the past tense of "read" would be "wred."
I guess a linguist would tell me that forcing a logical change like this upon spelling is digging a hole in the ocean. Didn't Webster manage it? I'm no Webster, so I guess I'll have to be content with this ornery spelling in my personal writing.
If you've wred this, and you're with me on this one, encourage others to read this post.
Note to self: read all the comments below.
I feel Obama's Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights Act of 2009 is an important measure which begins to address some of the dysfunctional dynamics between the American people and credit card companies, and I'm glad it passed.
However, the bill was bizarrely tainted by Senator Tom Coburn R-Oklahoma. He wrote into the bill's "Miscellaneous Provision" legislation which allows loaded firearms to be carried in national parks. Apparently democrats were forced to agree to it to prevent a re-vote on the bill (although the final vote was 279-147 in the house and 90-5 in the senate).
Coburn has endangered the lives of park employees as well as the wildlife which the parks exist to protect.
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