Greedy Bastards

I’m not a windows mobile developer. And why would you want to be. Seeing this latest article from CNet News, I can’t think of a reason I would want to play in the Micro$oft world of endless, confusing licensing agreements.

Microsoft plans to charge mobile-application developers $99 to release upgraded versions of applications they submit to the Windows Mobile Marketplace, and will also charge them for minor updates unless they are released within seven days of the application’s debut.

When Microsoft announced plans for its Windows Mobile Marketplace application store earlier this month, it said it planned to charge developers $99 a year to participate in the program as well as a $99 fee per application submission–although as part of a promotional offer developers who registered this year could submit up to five applications for free.

The goal of coarse is that you will spend extra time developing your application for a higher quality product. OR, what will probably happen is, there will be bugs, developers won’t give a rats ass if it is a minor bug and they’ll never update their code. So you’ll have a marketplace filled with shitty, un-maintained applications.

Apple has it right on this one. Sure, charge a fee to distribute the app, take some of the money the developer charges for the app seeing as you are serving it up for them. But let them continue to develop and enhance their application as much as they want for free! Higher quality apps, happy programmers.

Fairness Doctrine

People like this really scare me:

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told nationally syndicated talk host Bill Press this morning that the recent flips of liberal Talk stations in several markets were a “disservice to the public.”

Stabenow said that, in the day of the Fairness Doctrine, “you had to have balance,” and continued, “I think something that requires that in a market with owners that have multiple stations that they have got to have balance — there has to be some community interest — balance, you know, standard that says both sides have to be heard.”

Stabenow told Press that the airwaves are “dominated by one view” that “overwhelms people’s opinions — and, unfortunately, incorrectly,” and said that “right-wing conservative talk hosts” are “trying to make people angry and saying all kinds of things that aren’t true and so on.”

When Press asked if it is time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, Stabenow responded, “I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard.” To Press’ inquiry as to whether she will push for hearings in the Seante “to bring these owners in and hold them accountable,” Stabenow replied, “I have already had some discussions with colleagues, and, you know, I feel like that’s going to happen. Yep.”

source

Whatever happened to allowing the free markets decide what goes over the air waves. The thing is, there is a reason why shows like Rush and Hannity have been on for a long time and are very popular. People listen to them…on both sides. Yes, it is true that they often spread the right wing rhetoric and often only tell one side of the story. But its one persons opinion.

But, what about the liberal point of view? Excellent question! Why don’t we have someone that is on the air waves spreading the liberal point of view. There is, its called Air America. Feel free to find one in your local area.

It still comes back to the free market. The people can choose to listen to Rush/Hannity or they can choose to listen to Air America or whatever other local radio talk show host that you may have. These shows are on because people listen to them so advertisers advertise on them. Allowing the government step in to control what opinions we can hear and which ones we cannot hear is a recipe for disaster. It can and will be taken too far and soon we will get one opinion coming across the public air waves. And it will be whatever party is controlling the government at that time. Which, once you control it, it will be hard for any other voice to be heard. It will be a sad day when the fairness doctrine gets passed.

Start writing to your representatives now before this ever gets off the ground.

Hacking WordPress

I’ve been doing quite a bit of side work for friends and family putting together some low traffic ‘business card’ sites. I used to do a lot of custom programming for each of these where I would put up the site and then have a CMS on the back end so they could log in and update the content.

This worked out for a while and I had a pretty basic CMS built that I could plug in where needed. But, as with everything, the feature set that I needed kept growing and I was pretty short on time to implement the features that I needed.

To solve this, I started looking at the various blogging engines that were out there. The one that seemed the easiest to pick up, was pretty popular, and had a ton of plugins for the things that I was looking for was WordPress.

As a blog engine, it does great! It is actually what is powering the site that you are reading now. As a CMS, it does OK. I can create static pages, setup some assemlance of structure with sub pages and decent navigation. There are a ton of themes out there and a lot of people have tutorials that can tell you how to hack them up to make them look the way that you want. But there is one major thing that is bugging me. The code!

Seriously, have you looked at it? Maybe I’m anal retentive. But there is html and PHP mixed together all over the place. The code looks like it tries to implement some sort of MVC where the view is in the theme. But good god, do not go looking through that pile of poo.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:

 <p>
    <label><?php _e('Username or E-mail:') ?><br />
    &lt;input type="text" name="user_login" id="user_login" class="input" value="<?php echo attribute_escape(stripslashes($_POST['user_login'])); ?>" size="20" tabindex="10" /></label>
  &lt;/p>
&lt;?php fake_do_action('lostpassword_form'); ?>
  <p class="submit">&lt;input type="submit" name="wp-submit" id="wp-submit" value="<?php _e('Get New Password'); ?>" tabindex="100" /&gt;</p>

I couldn’t even do that big of a snippet due to all the hell it causes when you post wordpress code on a wordpress site. But the <?php ?> tags are scattered all over the code base. Its a royal mess.

What WordPress needs to do is come up with some sort of code standard or guideline. Then reject anything that doesn’t meet that criteria that they have linked up on their site. This is a full review of all the plugins and themes that they have.

Yes, I’m serious about this!

It will take a long time to do. It will take a lot of man hours to complete. But in the long run, the code will be easier to maintain, extend, and quickly allow users to join the rank and file wordpress developers. It will also allow the hacks out there to become better programmers. Which is something that the code base desperately needs.

419 Morons!

Good lord! I can’t believe that people haven’t learned yet. In the past week, I have seen 2 stories about some dumbass losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a scammer in a 419 Scam.

First we have John Rempel who sounds like not only did he lose his own savings, but decided to take some friends and family along with him. Nice job John!

Next up, we have Richard T. Howell Jr. which was another form of the 419 scam. Now, Howell got caught up in something a lot more sophisticated. But even he admits he was a dumbass.

So let this be the warning to everyone out there. If it comes in email, and it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Delete it and move on with your life.

Airline Security

Are you freaking kidding me?

A man wearing a T-shirt depicting a cartoon character holding a gun was stopped from boarding a flight by the security at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Brad Jayakody, from Bayswater, central London, said he was “stumped” at the objection to his Transformers T-shirt.

Mr Jayakody said he had to change before boarding as security officers objected to the gun, held by the cartoon character.

Airport operator BAA said it was investigating the incident.

Mr Jayakody said the incident happened a few weeks ago, when he was challenged by an official during a pre-flight security check.

source

I’m not sure, but I think that we’ve lost our freaking minds if we’re worried that the Transformer on his shirt would suddenly become real and start raising hell on the plane.