Arctic Dragon

The Minion over at Infinite Phoenix has set himself up a new site.  I think he’s trying to stop being such a techie on his main blog, mores the pity. In anycase, his new site is running on a new framework he’s tentatively called “Igloo”.  Leading to the question, how big -is- an Artic Dragon’s igloo?

In anycase, go check it out and keep an eye on his web framework. After all, he said please.  I have to admit, i’ve been discussing implementation and design of it with him and i’m already more impressed with it than some commercial ones i’ve had to deal with, and he’s only been working on it a couple of days.

Combined with his file vault, he’s getting a nice little portfolio together.  One to watch.

Check it out here

XNA is finally out!

XNA

The new solution for creating windows-based games has just gone beta.  Personally, i’ve been waiting to see what its going to be like since I heard the talks at TechEd 2005, so i’m off to grab my copy.

Its good that they’re planning a version that will be free for hobbyists (along with vc# and all the other express versions), and the idea of cross-compilation to the xbox 360 is fantastic (wish we could add some other platforms in there though. Linux and Mac anyone?) but there is one question that occured to me that doesn’t seem to have been asked or answered anywhere.  I’d appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction.

The site talks about installing the xna beta framework over the top of visual c# express for the full package.  However, I run a full version of visual c# 2005, not an express version, and am unlikely to downgrade for the sake of xna.  How well is it going to play with other editions of Visual Studio?

I may not be a professional game developer that they’ll be targeting their eventual XNA Studio at, but I am a professional developer.

In anycase, it looks like Microsoft may be dropping development on managed directx altogether in favor of XNA.  I hope they make XNA flexible enough to handle it.

Edit:

Looks like it wont play nice with any version other than Visual C# Express until professional versions are released.  That said, there is still two lots of good news.  1) Visual C# 2005 will run alongside other 2005 editions with no problem.  2) Apparently if you extract the dlls from the XNA GDE package, you can use them to develop in other visual studio editions, just not using the gde ui extensions.

A few places i’ve read suggest we can run express editions next to visual studio 2003 as well.  That might be something i’ll try on my laptop in the coming weeks.

Frank Zappa in 1986

YouTube – Frank Zappa on Crossfire -=(1986)

Heres a video of Frank Zappa talking about censorship on songs. Half way through, Zappa says “The greatest threat to America today is not Communism; it’s moving America towards a fascist theocracy.”

They laugh at him, even the thought is ridiculous to these people who are used to their freedoms.  America, and Australia, are both less free today than they were in 1986.  I wonder if any of those people are still laughing.

Other than Zappa of course. Whichever afterlife he’s in, he is laughing his ass off.  The guy is a prophet.

The guy on this video tries to justify censoring by comparing songs using the word “Fuck” to the words used by Hitler to incite the holocaust.  He believes this is a fair comparison!

SEE! Evil walks in this world.

Didn’t I tell you.

I bet Katherine Harris loves the idea of those armour of faith pyjamas.  This woman is going into politics, and if you dont understand what my problem was with the last rant, just take a read of a few of her statements and you’ll understand.  People like her are the reason the iraq war happened.  People like her are the reason 9/11 happened. Hell, people like her are the reason the fucking crusades happened!

Just a few titbits.  Apparently she thinks not only that God chooses America’s leaders but that the seperation of church and state is a bad idea that wasn’t what the founding fathers wanted.  Let me fill you in on what happens when you have a tight integration of church and state, for those who missed history class.  Its happened many times in the past.  When a state has a single unified religion there is no room for other religions. Followers of said other religions are persecuted, beaten, killed.  Eventually they flee persecution to somewhere where the government isn’t controlled by a particularl religion. You know, like the persecuted FLEEING ENGLAND FOR AMERICA.

They’d be rolling in their graves now, the pioneers who built your country. 

Katherine Harris would have the christians in charge.  If that happened, what would happen to all the muslims living peacefully (well, as peacefully as they can these days) in America’s borders? The buddhists? Jews?  What about the Wiccans?  Remember Salem is something imprinted on many minds, and there weren’t even any real witches there.  What would happen when they got their hands on some honest to goodness, practicing witches? I shudder to think.

Some other things the good Katherine believes.  She believes a life consisting of only 2 cells is worth protecting, but a homosexual isn’t.  A direct quote – “Civil rights have to do with individual rights and I don’t think they apply to the gay issues. I have not supported gay marriage and I do not support any civil rights actions with regard to homosexuality.”

Its only a short step from there to “I don’t support civil rights for homosexuals.” Which is what she really believes.

She is “adamantly” opposed to embryonic stem cell research, despite the fact that stem cells are the single best chance at curing many diseases.  Some companies have also been claiming a way to get the cells without destroying an embryo (hopefully that’ll bring people closer together on this important issue.)

She’ll quite happily condemn people to a painful death rather than allow the destruction of a single unwanted, embryo, which the law points out is a collection of simple cells, not a person.

The real problem is, if I met this woman, i’d probably quite like her.  Until I got to know her opinions on certain matters anyway. She’s probably quite nice and pleasant to spend time with.  However, you cannot forgive anyone who would take away your freedoms to satisfy their own belief structure.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  Take your eyes off the ball for a second, and people like this will steal it and make it a crime to play.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Boing Boing: Armor of God kids pajamas

Children’s pyjamas’s, representing the armour of the lord.  Ok, i’ll wait a few moments while you go check out the link.  Take your time, read the text.  I’ll be in the corner dying of laughter, just wake me when you get back.

Back? Whew. That was a close one. Almost lost a lung there.

Now that we’ve expressed our mirth at these young children, carrying a literal shield emblazoned with the word faith, and truly wearing “Truth” about his loins, I feel the need to point out a few things.  These things don’t make me smile, they make me angry.

And this goes out to every idiot christian, hell, devout believer of any canned religion, who mindlessly accepts dogma without THINKING about it.  This woman reads Ephesian’s 6:10-18 to her daughter every night before sleep.  For those of you not entirely familiar with ephesians, this passage is a metaphor relating the belief in god’s protection to physical armour (hence the pyjama’s).

Whilst this isn’t so bad at first sight, I myself am quite familiar with the other things in the old testament and later parts of the new testament.  Its a powerful and inspiring book.  However its not something I believe you should be reading to children each night without making a point of setting the context.  This, its been my experience, is rarely done. Mostly because those parents who wish to read the old testament to their children are so indoctrinated that they themselves have no idea of the context most of these words were written in.

The testaments are violent. The metaphors it makes are violent.  These days people talk about the light of truth, back then it was the Sword of truth.  The books were written to comfort groups, the jews in the old testament and the early christians in the new, that were being killed for their belief.  It promised them salvation, it promised them rewards for their martyr deaths, it promised them a sword with which they would one day wreak their revenge on those that opressed them.  If not in this life, than the next, where they can witness the torture of unbelievers.  Remember, those in depth visions of hell that you can find all through classical literature aren’t -only- about scaring people into doing what’s right, they’re a promise – that this is what will happen to the people that wrong you.

If you think your kids need that sort of strengthening, that your kids will be tested to the extent that fledgling christians were in the century or two after christ’s death, or the extent that the jews were tested during their multiple enslavements to the egyptians, to the romans? If, in the modern day, you think its important that your children view their faith as armor, then you either live in the middle-east, or you’re one of the panicy american christians who are responsible for letting that happen.

Lets face facts, its fashionable at the moment to point fingers at muslims. For their overly strict interpretations of scripture, their treatment of women (and read closer christian’s, your bible is no better with regards to how women should be treated), and, of course, for their cults of suicidal terrorists.

However there are factions of Christians who are just as bad. Just as terrifying and dangerous. Just as deranged as these boogey muslim men that George Bush wants you to fear. And they don’t live in the middle east, they live in your town, your suburbs and your cities. America went from being a refuge for those fleeing religious persecution to being the main powerbase for fanatics of many types. These would have you bomb muslim countries – not because of what they do to their women. Not because they have invisible weapons of mass destruction and not because they “hit us first.”.  They love the war on terror because it kills muslims. And Muslims are “Not Christian”.

There are those who believe it is ok to kill abortion doctors.  Who believe that all the foreigners need is to be brought into the fold and taught the wisdom of christ.

They’re out there. And they’re buying these Pyjamas.

Well….

Ok, so it worked ok. I came back to Performancing pretty fast though.  I think its the whole blog-in-your-browser bit that weighs in for me.  If i’m going to use yet another standalone program day-to-day, its got to be doing something seriously great that performancing doesn’t.  I doubt i’d use extra features anyway. I always forget to use a spell-checker, even when it is available, and I know how this is going to look when I publish it so I don’t really need to see a preview.

In anycase, I found out about Windows Live Writer from Scott Gu’s blog, which I found from that new Nubie and Guru site I blogged about early. They’re earning some serious kudos for such an early blog, the only link on their blogroll was to this fantastic blog.

ScottGu’s Blog

Which has plenty to talk about when it comes to .Net 2.0 and Microsoft technologies.  I immediately added him to my newsreader (I use feedreader – it took a great program to get me out of my browser for that too, but Feedreader and newsgator did it.) and marked a whole bunch of articles for closer reading later. He’s posting a lot of information about talks he’s giving at Tech-Ed NZ and Aus right now.

TechEd. Where I expected to be right now.  Oh well, maybe next year.  It’s a pity, there are a few people I would have liked to have met this year, and Scott Gu is just another to add to the pile.

If you’re there, lucky bast$#….. enjoy! 😉 And drop in on Jaimie at the UniqueWorld stall.  Tell him Nick Bronson sent you 😉

Windows Live Writer

Well, this is my first post using the new windows live writer, a beta blogging application from Microsoft that you can get from here.  It’s interesting. Quite pretty in parts.  Doesn’t seem to be playing particularly nice with WordPress I must say, the web layout modes and web preview mode don’t look particularly nice – certainly nothing like I would expect it to look after publishing.  The ‘Normal’ view isn’t bad, a simple word-processor like window.  I can set the categories, save drafts and the like.

Really though, it doesn’t at first glance seem to offer anything performancing doesn’t… and performancing lets me blog from inside my browser. 

I can see there might be a market for this, particularly for people who want easier ability to add photos and the like to their posts.  They need to make it play nicer with the various blog systems though. 

Well, time to hit publish and see how this goes.

 

PS: Now that the post is finished, web layout mode still looks ridiculous, but web preview mode looks reasonably close to what I expect i’ll get.  Not too bad.