Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2004:June:29 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2004/6/29-30 [Computer/SW/Languages/Misc] UID:31053 Activity:high
6/28    is it useful/essential to learn Latex? I'm pretty happy with MS Word
        and Powerpoint but occassionally people make fun of me and I kind of
        feel left out and wanna learn Latex, but I'm not sure if it's
        worthwhile to spend the time learning it. thx.
        \_ I don't think I've ever found it useful, and I know very very few
           people in industry that have any use for it.  Perhaps it's different
           in academia if you're serious about publishing something (lecture
           notes, text books, etc).  It's a tool, man.  If a tool serves a
           need you have, then learn it.  It sounds like the people you hang
           with are kind of silly.
        \_ If people are making fun of you for not knowing LaTeX, those
           people really need to get a life. Meet girls, pick up a language,
           explore the world, learn about other cultures, see live theater,
           read a book. There's so much more to life than learning LaTeX.
           If you have nothing better to do then knock yourself out.
           \_ Shut up Paolo.
              \_ Uhm, even if it is Paolo, his comment seems pretty sensible.
           \- you should learn troff -me macros.
              \_ my first resume was ms macros with tbl.  those were good times.
        \_ I use LaTeX as my main way of composing a document of which
           appearance is important.  The only time I run word is when
           I have to deal with a word.doc someone else sent me.  Although
           I hope the world does not revolve around MS Word and its
           proprietary file format, I don't think the reasons your offered
           justify learning latex.  (It sounds like a troll actually.)
           BTW, I never learned latex in the sense of taking a course or
           sitting down and read a few chapters of a book.  Nobody does.
           You just look at an existing document or draft and emulate.  That's
           the advantage of LaTeX.  I knew all about Word 10 years ago but
           since I stopped using it, now I forgot how to do many things in it.
        \_ I need to learn it for my work.  (LLNL)  Really, for large
           documents where layout is important and there are a lot of
           graphs and pictures, Word becomes unuasable.  It got so bad
           that my version of Word XP would crash whenever I tried to
           insert a text box.  It's just the wrong tool for the job.
           \_ well, yes; Word is not a layout tool, it's a word processor.
              If you need layout, use InDesign or Quark.  Or better, do it in
              XHTML.  -tom
              \_ vi and troff.  real men settle for nothing less.
2004/6/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/RepublicanMedia] UID:31054 Activity:high
6/28    Amusing how polarized the results are:
        \_ Propaganda usually is polarizing.
           \_ Watching O'Reilly gives you labels.
              \_ Bzzzt!  I don't watch O'Reilly.
              \_ I don't think BOR invented the word "propaganda" or was even
                 close to first to apply it to Michael Moore.
2004/6/29-30 [Finance/Investment] UID:31055 Activity:nil
6/28    "Change Your Organization Diary"
2004/6/29-30 [Health/Women] UID:31056 Activity:nil
6/29    Atkins as a form of birth control:
2004/6/29-30 [Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus, Computer/SW/Unix] UID:31057 Activity:kinda low
6/29    Is there a C function to get the name of an opened file from its file
        pointer (FILE*)?  Thanks.
        \_ I don't know of one.  What would happen if there are multiple
           ways of describing the file? (Symbolic links and the like)
        \_ the best you can do is use fileno() to get the file descriptor
           number and then pass that to fstat() to get the inode and
           filesystem of the underlying file.  To get an actual path name
           from there is difficult, as you could have any number of hard links
           pointing to the inode, and it is even possible for there to be
           NO links and there is in fact no file name associated with the
           file's inode.(i.e. it was 'deleted' after it was opened).
           If you *really* want to know you could run a search through the
           filesystem for matching inode numbers. -EricM
2004/6/29-30 [Reference/Law/Court] UID:31058 Activity:low
6/28    In Scalia's dissent on the ruling that people in Gitmo have access to
        the courts:
        "The court's unheralded expansion of federal-court jurisdiction is
         not even mitigated by a comforting assurance that the legion of
         ensuing claims will be easily resolved on the merits."
        Is he suggesting that the court should be less willing to consider a
        case if it is difficult?   Gosh, we shouldn't allow lawsuits from all
        these people detained indefinitely in case their suits are not an open
        and shut case.
        \_ No.  "On the merits" means they won't be resolved "on the merits".
           It's English.  He is afraid the courts will be clogged with cases
           that have no merit and hope to get off on technicalities and dumb
           luck.  If the courts weren't so impacted you wouldn't need an
           expensive lawyer to get justice from one because they'd have time
           to deal with each case properly.  The less time a judge has for
           each case the less justice each gets and the more expensive your
           lawyer has to be to be good enough to get your 2 bits in before
           the judge falls asleep.
        \_ Apparently Justice is blind _and_ on a short fuse.
           \- i havent read the dissent but i suspect what he is saying is
              the process isnt well defined enough. for example in the case
              of death pentalty cases, after your first round of "free"
              appeals, what should the threashold be for go to a second round,
              third round, a fourth round ... if you have 5 claims, do you
              have to raise them all at once or can you do it one by one,
              can you conider new evidence or just "reversible errors" ...
              must you have raised an objection at the original trial to
              appeal on a certain issue. another example if the rodney king
              case where after the initial acquittal in a weird end run
              aound double jeopardy, the cops were re-tried under a federal
              statue ... so there are some concerns about trying the case
              as a class, worrying about jurisdiction shopping etc.
              personal comment: i think scalia's reputation is over inflated.
              and his whackoness is keeping him relatively irrelevant.
              it's sort of the flip side of the last few years of brennan
              and marshall's "pointless" dissents. i think after thomas
              he is the most tainted justice. scalia's irritated screeching
              is nothing new. again lawrence v texas, the nude dancing case
              etc. --psb
2004/6/29 [Reference/Law/Court, Science, Politics/Domestic/President] UID:31059 Activity:nil
6/29    Supreme Court rejects Internet porn law
        "Holding a new trial will allow discussion of what technology, if
        any, might allow adults to see and buy material that is legal for
        them while keeping that material out of the hands of children.
        Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas and
        Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with Kennedy"
        (There's no pubic hair in Justice Thomas' Coke!)
        \_ Given that he has heard so many trials, he must have shaven it all
           while in the courtroom.
2004/6/29-30 [Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus, Computer/SW/Languages/Perl] UID:31060 Activity:high
6/29    I can't remember a bit of C syntax.  I have funtion foo that
        returns a value that I need to put in a variable.  If that value
        is not Null, I want to take some action.  Will this work?
        int bar = 0;
        if(bar = foo())
          do something;
        \_ Someone should save this for the Classic Trolls Of All Time Hall
           Of Fame.  I wish I had thought of something so simple as asking
           an arcane C syntax question.  --lesser troll than op
           \_ Maybe you should try an obscure Perl question.
        \_ How about:
           if(foo()) {something;}
        \_ foo() can return NULL, so it's returning a pointer.  Therefore
           bar should be a pointer.  Probably it's a char* pointer.  So:
           char* bar = NULL;
           bar = foo();
           if (bar != NULL) { // Do something. }
           , or, if (!bar) { // Do something.} (but I like the previous one)
           \_ The null pointer is just an integer equal to zero.  If the
              declaration of foo is 'void foo()' then 'if(foo())' will fail.
              The NULL pointer evaluates to false.
              \_ op said he wanted to store the value of foo() in a variable,
                 and also wants to check if it is NULL.  (This is common for
                 text-parsing functions.)  Hence the code.
              \_ 1. if the declaration of foo is "void foo()", it can't even
                 return anything, and "if(foo())" won't even compile.  What are
                 you trying to say?
                 2. There is nothing in the C specification that says NULL is
                 necessarily 0.  Its value is implementation dependent,
                 although in almost all implementations it's 0.
              \_ Not exactly.  The preprocessor symbol NULL is guaranteed to
                 be 0, but it's not necessarily an integer type (it may be
                 defined to be (void*) 0).  NULL is not the same as the "null
                 pointer"; the compiler transforms 0 in pointer contexts to
                 the appropriate null pointer, which may not necessarily be
                 all-bits-zero. --jameslin
        \_ The answer is yes.  The syntax is:
           if (bar = foo())
            |    \_ Assign 'bar' to be the return value of foo().
            \_ The value passed to 'if' is the result of the assignment, which
               is the value of 'bar'.  Any non-zero integral value will
               evaluate as true.
        \_ "if (bar = foo())" will work, but the compile will probably try to
           be nice and warn you that you might have mistyped "=" when
           you really wanted "==".  To avoid such a warning, you can do
           "if ((bar = foo()) != NULL)".  With compilers these days, it'll be
           optimized the same way as "if (bar = foo())" anyway if the value of
           NULL is 0.
           \_ And this compiler should be promptly thrown in the trash.  In
              over 10 years of C/C++ development, I've only been bitten by this
              once or twice.  Having to munge my code to avoid spurious
              warnings only helps newbies who should quickly exit the rank of
              newbie anyway.
                 \_ Isn't this based on the assumption that NULL == 0 or
                    some equiv. There is nothing in the standard (AFAIK)
                    that requires this.
                    \_ No.  When a pointer converts to an int, it must convert
                       to 0 if it is NULL, regardless of the actual bit pattern
                       of the pointer.
                        \_ ic. tnx.
              \_ Chill down.  The compiler gives a warning, not an error.
                 \_ Spurious warnings make it difficult to find real problems.
                    Many software shops have a rule of compiling with no
                    warnings and no errors, so warnings are a problem anyway.
                    \_ Having to munge your code for spurious warnings is
                       a bad thing.  However, I challenge your determination
                       that this particular one is spurious.  I would want
                       all my developers to NEVER have an "if (bar = foo())"
                       statement.  That's IMO, anyway.  They can still do
                       it if they want; I wouldn't complain too much if
                       following the rule affected their productivity, what
                       with good people being hard to find.
                       \_ How many more coding guidelines do you want checked
                          in your compiler?  Check it in lint instead.  Why
                          should I have to avoid legal code because *your*
                          software shop doesn't like that?  It's a common
                          idiom, and it takes all of 5 seconds to learn it.
                          \_ I don't think you really read what I wrote.
                             I believe if you got into a meeting with the
                             top 5 coders in your organization, they would
                             agree "if (bar = foo())" is bad form, but they
                             wouldn't bash it over your head, which is what
                             I've been saying.  (Of course you can use whatever
                             you like if you're not working with other
                             \_ I did read what you read.  Your complaint is
                                one of style, which is not what a compiler
                                should check--or at least the complier should
                                have a way to turn off all stylistic warnings.
                                \_ I agree with you that the user should be
                                   able to turn off "stylistic warnings".
              \_ You want to throw gcc in the trash?
              \_ I was grateful of compiler warnings when I had a very sloppy
                 programmer working on my team.  Eventually he was let go after
                 one year.
                 \_ Which is the right thing to do with sloppy programmers:
                    teach them or fire them.
2004/6/29-30 [Politics/Foreign/Asia/Japan, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:31061 Activity:nil
6/29    What can I say?  I love japantoday.  Get your surreal ignorance
        (Asking who or what should take the lead in World Affairs)
        \_ Shinya Kato thinks the world just needs to smoke some sweet
           Jamaican ganja.
           \_ I bet he gets along well with Anri.
        \_ my favorite: "The world needs an organization that can combine
           the progressiveness of the Dutch with the Yee-Ha Ass-kicking
           instincts of the the current US Govt."
2004/6/29-30 [Finance/CC] UID:31062 Activity:moderate
6/29    Say that I, like Justice Ginsburg, want to be able to view an
        adult site that requires a credit card, but I don't want to use
        a credit card that can be traced back to me.  Are there credible
        anonymous credit cards out there?  Something along the lines of
        an escrow service that allows me to purchase $x in credit that I
        can then apply to an Internet purchase?
        \_ Beware of subscribing to any Internet porn site.  Some of them
           support psuedo-anonymous ecash style transactions, but since
           they have to send you your login information they still require
           an email address.  They _will_ sell that email address to every
           spammer on the planet.
           \_ Why give a real email address to porn site operators?
        \_ I seem to remember hearing about a service that would
           generate credit card numbers for one-time use. They were for
           the purposes of purchasing stuff over an insecure channel
           so that if the number was stolen your credit card company
           would never authorize it again anyway. I think citibank
           provided this service. But I guess these were still linked
           back to your account and thus not anonymous.
           I wonder if it be hard to set-up some service that did something
           like this.
           \_ Something tells me the Department of Homeland Security wouldn't
              be very amused by that.
        \_ check out
           \_ A good start, but requires a credit card to purchase. Still
              \_ no it doesn't. The whole point of webcertificate is that
                 someone else can give you one of these temporary credit
                 cards as a gift. The person who put the funds into the
                 account is not necessarily the same person making the
                 purchases on the account.
        \_ Why would you want to pay for internet porn?
        \_ Wouldn't a Visa gift card work for this purpose? AFAIK, there
           is no way to track who is using the card as long as you use
           it w/ the pin number. You can also buy them using cash at most
           banks so its not traceable.
2004/6/29 [Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers, Computer/SW/OS/Windows] UID:31063 Activity:insanely high
6/29    If you have a girlfriend who does not know much about computers (I mean
        basic things like what is a cockie, cache file, how to customize
        IE and window etc.), do you teach her yourself or direct her to
        some classes in community college or books?
        \_ I'll teach her about cockie anytime.
        \_ You tell her about the new trojans out for IE and install firefox.
        \_ How much does she really want to learn?  If she really does want to
           learn stuff how good are you are teaching her without being
           patronizing or impatient? -aspo
        \_ If she wants to get a job with that knowledge, go to community
           college.  Otherwise I'd teach her myself.
        \_ If there's something she wants to do, teach her.  If she doesn't
           care about doing task X, don't bother to force it on her.  My GF
           still uses IE.  I grimace and say nothing.
        \_ I am very good at teaching, and very patient.  Is your girl hot?
        \_ I am very good at teaching, and very patient.  Is your GF hot?
2004/6/29 [Recreation/Dating] UID:31064 Activity:high
6/29    Man, why couldn't we have teachers like this in HS? Cuz
        we were geeks?
        \_ TILF!!!
        \_ I just don't understand kids these days;  Murder, rape,
           ratting on hot teachers that deign to fuck them.  There is
           some serious lack of morality in today's teens.
           \_ Maybe it was the ticked off cousin that wasn't getting any...
        \_ What's worse is that it wasn't HS. It was MIDDLE SCHOOL. The
           kid is 14. If I am her new husband I am very, very embarrassed.
           \_ Maybe she had a "temporary marriage" and it's all ok.
           \_ Clearly this is the result of legalizing gay marriage.
              \_ Why do you hate Gay America?
           \_ Many (most?) high schools are 4 years.  14 is usually a 9th
              grader, which would be in high school.  (I was 13 in 9th for
              a while, so YMMV)
           \_ her wedding pics with her now embarassed husband:
              The police report is hot reading also- apparently, she's
              shaved and did oral on the boy.
              \_ URL?
              \_ I heart double standards... Picture this conversation if
                 it was a 23 year old male teacher sleeping with a 14 year
                 old girl.  Something tells me you all wouldn't be drooling
                 over "hot police reports."  Then again, this is soda...
                 \_ well, what is the harm here exactly? the kid might be
                    distracted from school I guess. But that would happen
                    anyway if he got a girlfriend his own age.
                    \_ Uh, I think you completely missed my point.
2004/6/29 [Uncategorized/German] UID:31065 Activity:nil
6/29    What does "1z" and "1zz" mean in the context of baby clothing?
        \_ Did you see it written or hear it spoken?  A "one-sie" is a single
           garment that covers the whole kid.  Either with or without legs.
           Typically they snap up in the diaper area for easy changes.
           \_ Thanks.  I heard it spoken.  So is there something that sound
              like 1zz or one-sie-sie?  What about two-sie?
              \_ "one-sie" is like a cute version of "one-piece" -- never heard
                 of one-sie-sie or two-sie.
              \_ I'm guessing it's either a grammar error as in multiple
                 one-sies (one-sie-s) or you misheard toddler sizes (ie. 1T,
                 2T for one toddler, two toddler). Note that babies sizes are
                 normally in six month increments (6-12M, 12-18M, etc.)
2004/6/29-30 [Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers, Computer/SW/OS/Windows] UID:31066 Activity:moderate
6/29    New trojan that steals passwd for banks:
        \_ Infection is via .chm vulnerability, which is patched using
           Windows Update (available since April?), unlike the other thing
           from last week, which from last news reports was "defanged" by
           closing a specific Russian URL but the underlying vulnerability
           remains unpatched. (heck, I could write one serving from soda,
           given the existing code sample I have)
           \_ U K@n 0wn b0x-n?!  UR2 K3\/\/L!@!@!11
        \_ Does that affect Netscape on Windows as well?
2004/6/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:31067 Activity:high
6/29    Bushisms funnier than Kerryisms:
        \_ Yeah, but doesn't everyone know that Slate sucks ass?
        \_ "I do think we need for a troop to be able to house his family."
           This one isn't about sounding stupid due to semantics....
           \_ And if "troop" was misquoted from "trooper" which is obviously
              what he meant and probably what he said does it still sound
2004/6/29-30 [Uncategorized] UID:31068 Activity:nil
6/29    Where do you buy those magnetic whiteboard that you can stick to
        a frig and write on and erase? office depot? target? what is it
        called? thx.
        \_ office depot, walmart
        \_ Grab a free one at a job fair. :-)
2004/6/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:31069 Activity:high
6/29    "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the Common Good."
        Hillary Rodham Clinton, making my point much more eloquently than I
        ever could. -- ilyas
        \_ isn't that the definition of taxes?
        \_ or the Republican line: we're going to take things away from
           you and there's nothing you can do about it....buah! ha! ha! haaaa!
           \_ Your comment does fall a little flat in that she was commenting
              on the (hoped for) repeal of Bush's tax cuts.  -- ilyas
              \_ Okay, she wants to repeal ill thought out tax cuts.  That
                 seems like a lesser evil when compared to an administration
                 that seeks to deny US citizens their right to legal counsel,
                 as well the right to a speedy public trial based on the
                 frighteningly slippery classification of 'terrorist' under the
                 aegis of National Security.
                 \_ Eh.  I don't like erosion of rights.  However, the Courts
                    recently reaffirmed that whole 'checks and balances' thing,
                    while they can do nothing about the growth of government
                    at our expense.  It's telling, also, that most of the
                    responses to this thread have been counterattacks on
                    republicans (I am neither republican nor conservative),
                    rather than the defense of Hillary's statement. -- ilyas
                    \_ Think of it this way: The current administration is
                       like a guy that wants to shoot you in the left testicle.
                       He missed his first three shots, but he's still armed
                       and in a position to try again.  Would you feel safe
                       knowing that?  I can't speak for everyone else, but the
                       current administration makes me veeeery nervous when it
                       comes to preservation of rights.  Don't get me wrong:
                       I want terrorists dead, but I'm not excited about seeing
                       the US turn into a police state acheiving that goal.
                    \_ Sure, you are neither conservative nor republican!
                       I thought you claimed to be a conservative of some sort
                       once upon a time.
           \_ "We're taking things away from you on behalf of Halliburton and
              Enron and the Military-Industrial Complex." Cutting taxes while
              running huge deficits isn't really giving much.
2004/6/29-30 [Uncategorized] UID:31070 Activity:nil
        \_ hey! a good site for daily doses of negativity and hate. just
           in case the motd doesn't keep you satisfied.
2004/6/29-30 [Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:31071 Activity:high
6/29    Attack Iran, US chief ordered British
        \_ The US doesn't "order" the British to do anything.
        \_ While we're at it, why don't we talk about when the British
           ordered U.S. troops to attack Soviet troops back in 1918.
           What? You don't know about that?
2004/6/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Science/Space] UID:31072 Activity:high
6/29    Rev. Sun Myung Moon was crowned by lawmakers (both GOP and demo)
        as the "savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."
        and Rep. Danny Davis put the crown on Moon's head wearing white
        gloves.  (For the latter you may have to do google a bit.)
        \_ The denials have been almost as amusing as the story itself.
           As is the lag time for the story to get legs.
        \_ the 1st george bush is best friends with the rev moon,
           so sad
        \_ Yeah, so?  What's wrong with that?
                \_ are you an idiot?
        \_ Do religious conservatives really think Moon is The Messiah?
2004/6/29-30 [Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers] UID:31073 Activity:kinda low
6/69    Where would one find a good tutorial on writing a mozilla app or
        firefox extension?
        \_ Isn't the firefox extension api still in a state of flux?  Is
           that something you want to write for?  It would be like being a
           programmer who writes to win32.
           \_ How is it at all analogous to coding to Win32?  Win32 doesn't
              change that much, and you're pretty much guaranteed
           \_ I'm willing to deal with changes if it's powerful.
2021/12/03 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2004:June:29 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>