The Interwebs Are Down

OMG github is down:

AAIHHGH!

OMFG downforeveryoneorjustme.com is ALSO down!!

AIEEEGGH!

Maybe the US government's internet kill switch installation isn't going as planned?

The Xcode Fairy

This post describes a bug in Xcode 4.2.1 and a simple way to work around it. If you find it useful, please send me $5,000.00.

Xcode 4.2.1 has a bug (actually a set of related bugs) that can break the automated testing functionality for a project in certain conditions, such that the following things happen:

0.) Xcode gets confused, and uses the wrong executable for the project's Test action. This prevents the automated tests from being executed. This is the actual core of the bug.

1.) Compounding things somewhat, when this bug manifests, Xcode will tell the programmers that all their tests passed, when in fact Xcode didn't actually run any of their tests. That's bad, because it can easily go unnoticed for a while. The programmers may waste significant time writing code, thinking all tests are passing, only to then have to backtrack and rewrite when they realize that their new code is actually all wrong (something the failure of their existing tests would have alerted them to, had the tests actually been run).

Xcode is lying.

2.) But those things are nothing compared to the insidious violence that this bug visits upon the programmers who try to figure out the cause and make it stop happening. This software defect can snare its victims in a web of deception that can take hours to unravel, and can result in the brutal and premature demise of any keyboards, mice, and even monitors that happen to be nearby.

A professional programmer has to have automated tests. Programmers argue about what kinds of tests to write, and when to write them, but not having tests at all is pure fuckery. Writing serious code without tests is for dilettantes and winos. Programmers need tests, which are typically run automatically by the programming toolchain when the code is built or run.

Mac programmers (and those iOS programmer weenies, too, as far as I've heard) pretty much have to use Xcode. There are insane convolutions that one might go through to avoid Xcode -- and indeed, most Mac programmers fantasize about this from time to time -- but generally speaking, Xcode is really the only game in town.

Mac programmers need Xcode and they need tests, so naturally they want Xcode to run their tests.

Therefore, when the programmers eventually notice that Xcode isn't running their tests, they will likely stop whatever else they are doing and try to fix it, by fiddling with the project settings. Most programmers would start by editing or recreating the project's Xcode schemes, which is logical, because the Xcode scheme controls, among other things, how and when to run the tests. They'll make a change or perhaps give up and rebuild the scheme from scratch (a minor pain in the ass), or maybe quit Xcode and revert the project file to the last checked out version. Most likely, they will see that after their changes, Xcode again properly runs their tests. The programmers will resume their work, and life will once again be fine, or at least okay.

But Xcode isn't through with those poor assholes. No, it has only just begun to fuck with them.

Mail Fail

It is OK that the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion version of Mail.app takes an hour to upgrade my few-hundred-thousand-message mail database from the old 10.6 version.

It is not OK that the database regularly becomes corrupted in such a way that the search feature silently fails to function, necessitating a repeat of this hour-long process every few weeks.

Mail fails.

When Mail.app's search function stops working -- no longer allowing a search on criteria other than 'message contains' and no longer finding the messages that do match -- this is the only procedure I know that fixes it:

1
2
[mason@IT-PC-MACPRO-01 ~]$ cd ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/
[mason@IT-PC-MACPRO-01 MailData]$ rm Envelop*

This works every time[1], but it has the lousy side-effect of rendering Mail completely unusable for the hour-plus time it takes to recreate all the index files.

Wah, bitch, moan, etc.

[1]: Except this one time, where Spotlight itself was broken, and any app using Spotlight failed weirdly. That time, even mdls on the command line yielded the message
The Spotlight Server is disabled.
Rebooting (grr) cleared it up, though.

Keywords: Milk in the batter, milk in the batter, Mail.app sucks and that's what's the matter

NIGGERHEAD

So Rick Perry likes to take his white friends down to his Niggerhead hunting camp. I don't think that's a big deal. I mean, really: what the fuck did people think this fucking jesusfreak Texas hillbilly does in his free time?

With all the preposterously offensive qualities Mr. Perry has so far exhibited, I'd say leasing a camp called Niggerhead doesn't even make the first page of the list.

What I find more notable is how almost all mainstream American media outlets have prevented themselves from being able to sensibly cover this story. The New York Times says, "...a hunting camp where Mr. Perry hosted guests that had a racial epithet painted on a rock at its entrance has forced Mr. Perry’s campaign off message." What the fuck does that mean? "The hunting camp whose name we can't say here," intone the white anchors on TV. I had to google '"Rick Perry redneck moron hunting camp" to even figure out what the fuck they were talking about. I get it that you don't want to say "nigger" but when the entire fucking point of the story is the word "niggerhead", I think you have to make an exception.

Tasty Tokyo Tacos

As some kind of cosmic reward for sitting through hours of bullshit at the local equivalent of the DMV, I stumbled upon a killer little taco shop today. Is is nestled in the sprawling underground shopping-and-train-stations complex at Otemachi. A tasty homemade taco in Tokyo is a rare beast inded. The (Mexican?) lady behind the counter was nice. I will fucking definitely be going back. Mmm!

Nobody Canna Cross It

* STEP 1 *
Watch the first one minute of this news report. Acquaint yourself with Mr. Clifton Brown, the black dude in white hard hat.

* STEP 2 *
Turn your hi-fi up to 10, and put this on:

[via sakura1]

Drm Clusterfuck

An increasing percentage of the shit we buy today is encumbered by DRM. The acronym stands for 'digital rights management', but the 'digital restrictions management' moniker that freedom zealots came up with is probably more apt. That term never really caught on, though; most people don't have a real understanding of what DRM is, nor do they really give a fuck. And perhaps that's as it should be. Life is too short to waste much time on understanding bullshit, especially if you aren't going to use that understanding.

But one basic thing that people should understand is that virtually all DRM is broken. That is, if you buy a product restricted by DRM, at some point it will malfunction, and not only will you be prevented from doing all the things you aren't allowed to do, but you'll also be prevented from doing those things you are supposed to be able to do—-the things you paid to be able to do. This may happen through the incompetence or negligence of the party implementing the DRM. It may happen because they are sued, regulated, or go out of business. Or it may happen because they are just a bunch of fucking ass-clowns.

Today, for me, was a reminder of that--an infuriating exercise in DRM shit making my life just that little bit worse.

For all the happy things that have been born of humanity's digital two steps forward, DRM takes us the corresponding and inevitable one step back.

Those Bastards Have Knocked NERV Offline!

UPDATE: it's back

The pretty (and utterly weird) NERV Power Supply Monitoring System now reports that TEPCO is generating 'NaN kilowatts'... (x_x)

I guess I have no recourse but to visit 東電's pathetic official offering, where I am told that we've got "5,270 10 thousand kW" available to sustain human society in Tokyo today.

Parsing that isn't made any easier by the sweltering heat and lack of civilized air conditioning, let me tell you...

Wha? !? a Google Product With a Good User Interface?

I visited Google Groups today, to read some archives and think about posting a question to the PhantomJS (awesome, btw) group. I was startled to find that the UI was not the deplorable piece of shit that I was used to, nor was it the completely dysfunctional 'new' version that didn't work at all and yet was foisted upon me automatically from time to time and had to be manually disabled repeatedly.

Instead, it was something totally new (to me), and actually quite good, as far as web-based email list interfaces go:

goog_non_shitty_ui_whaa

Any decent email client is still better for a list you read a lot, but at least this thing isn't inferior in every single conceivable way anymore. Good use of avatar pictures (albeit without Gravatar support, which is retarded), attractive and responsive layout, and a good-looking and functional threaded discussion view when you click on a thread topic.

good job goog, now try a little harder on your phone OS pls