My book review made it onto Slashdot

I submitted my recent book review of Andrew St. Laurent’s open source licensing book to Slashdot, and it was accepted. A friend notified me in time to see it on the front page. I snagged a screenshot before it got knocked too far down the page, since it was a busy day of posts to Slashdot. I was pretty psyched; my wife suggested we celebrate (it is so great to have a wife who supports your geek tendencies), so it was wine and hot wings for dinner. Yes, the wine and hot wings was my choice of combination. I had pizza for lunch, so that unfashionable combination was not an option.

Here’s my review just below the Google news entry:

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If this is all foreign to you, don’t worry; it’s a geek thing, you wouldn’t understand. 8^)

The comment thread on the Slashdot posting has been interesting; I jumped in on a couple.

Debian Lucene source package is online

My first official participation in open source made it online today. Jeff Breidenbach and I have updated the lucene source package for Lucene uploaded to Debian. This release is 1.4.3-2, based upon the upstream sources for 1.4.3.

For those who aren’t into this stuff, this is basically a piece of software known as a library, which is used by other programs to perform searching, somewhat like Google does. Packaging it for Debian GNU/Linux means that we take the software and package it in such a way that Debian and Debian-based Linux distributions can install the software easily without creating conflicts or failing to ensure that any dependencies have been met.

Lucene is an open source Java library. Currently, our package only compiles with the Sun 1.4.x JDK. The next big initiative is to get it to build and test with open source Java compilers and Java virtual machines (JVMs). The first JVM to test will probably be Kaffe, followed by SableVM.

Do these clothes make me look white?

So I am walking to Starbucks (it is the closest place that has decent coffee; don’t start in on me about sponsoring “the machine”), which is a route I have traveled almost daily over the past four years of my work life. There is one particular barber shop on the way where there is always one of several guys sitting there in a chair with a card table of CDs for sale and a boom box-ish cassette player trying earnestly to play one of the selections at a volume that can be heard over the bustle on the street.

The offerings appear to be a mix of independent artists and bootlegs, mostly in the hard core rap and soul categories. Sizing up street-walkers by appearance is apparently a key part of their sales strategy. I have never been solicited to buy from them, although I have seen other people solicited for their business.

Until this week.

On this particular day there was a white guy manning the card table (a first) in his best take on ghetto-fabulous clothing, including an authenthic do-rag and a black Dick Tracy-style hat cocked forward and to the side over said do-rag. He had obviously been trained in the approved posture of having one butt-cheek on one side of the chair, the other hanging off the side of the chair, with one leg cocked back and one straight out, apparently to showcase the oversized denims and the flawless athletic shoes.

I was walking by, expecting the usual event of him looking past me, when he made eye contact with me and quickly offered, “Hey man, we got the new Kenny G…”.

Yep, pegged me as a Kenny G fan. Maybe that’s how Kenneth Cole comes across on the street.

Guys who pre-flush the urinal

What is up with guys who pre-flush the urinal?

For the benefit of all women and men who have yet to witness this neurosis, I am referring to folks who walk up to a urinal, flush it, urinate in it, then flush it again. I have also witnessed some more severely afflicted with this issue flush at regular intervals during urination; this is usually observed in men more advanced in age, for whom this biological necessity has become a more protracted process.

What is wrong with these people? Why do they flush before starting? What a waste of water! Are they too good to pee into water perhaps already used by someone? Can they only go when there’s a pristine bowl of water before them?

During visits to bathroom stalls, where one is often detained for long enough periods of time to have multiple urinal visitors enter, I have even heard them come in and pre-flush right behind someone who just flushed. So what is the rationale there? Is there a fear that the water is stale, or that someone with clear pee has laid a trap to trick them into peeing into a urinal bowl that already has urine in it?

It’s weird and unnecessary. Hear me, pre-flushers; stop this madness!