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Your Cellphone the Snitch

Suppose you are being arrested, did you realize that if you are being taken into custody the police have the right to search you and the immediate area around you? This is called Search Incident to Arrest. The original purpose of this was to protect the safety of the officer in question, and to prevent the suspect from destroying evidence. There is no probable cause requirement for this search, and it has been challenged and upheld repeatedly.

Where to put your assets?

When you save, where do you put your money? Do you invest? The stock market is an emotional rollercoaster. A perfectly viable company will lose value because a competitor tanked on its fourth quarter earnings and if that makes sense to you I have a great system for winning roulette. Ideally a well run company should gain value over time, but more often than not, the CEO and COO is more interested in his exit package then he is in building a company. Most mutual funds and IRA's are deeply embedded in the stock market. And a bad market crash will hurt them as well.

Products for an Election Year

Why settle for a lawn sign to express your political opinions, when in fact you could have the Hillary Clinton Toilet Brush. Maybe your a smoker, carry around a lighter for your candidate.

Feel really strongly about an issue?

Java Damaging to Future Programmers

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Dr Robert Dewar and Dr. Edmond Schonberg write in a Crosstalk Article that many students who learn Java as their first language are ill equipped to later courses in a CS curriculum, and less attractive to future employers.  To paraphrase the article learning java as the first language conceals the underpinnings of whats going on in a given program.

Horatio Hornblower as Told by Joan Wilder

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Forester's Hornblower series will always hold a special place in my heart. There are times in your life when a good book will keep you sane while your world crumbles around you. The Hornblower series did that for me back in the early nineties and occupies a special place in my heart because of it. When I finished the series I began looking for others like it. A bookstore owner recommended David Weber's Honor Harrington series since I liked SciFi.

Merry Christmas One and All

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Happy Holidays from the Heretic. Remember that this is a day of hope, of potentials and of joy. Remember also that there are many out there less fortunate then you, and do your best to teach them to fish.

Is That the Sound of Jackboots in the Distance?

Ruby ridge, the 1996 Atlanta games, Oklahoma City, the Montana Freeman. These are the headlines of the 1990s which brought Homegrown Domestic Terrorism (or "Bubbas" as the FBI likes to call them) into the public eye. Timothy McVeigh was the face of a white militia, young, arrogant and dangerous, his slightly crazed stare was surely a sign of mental illness.

I Hate Word 2007

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Sadly as you move up the food chain in Programming less of your time is spent in your IDE of choice and more of it is spent in office products like MS Word.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

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On a lighter note, I recently listened to World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. This book is available in paperback, but don't do it. The audio book version of it available from Audible and Amazon is an all star performance and worth every penny. The book takes the form of a series of interviews, conducted by the author, of survivors of the great Z war.

Liberty Dollars, Terry Pratchett and You

Synchronicity is an odd thing. Sometimes you are hit with an idea or concept so many times over the course of a month or so, you start to wonder whether the universe is trying to tell you something.

Fran Porretto the resident Curmudgeon over at Eternity Road had a side comment about the price of gas recently. When he first started driving gas cost about 30 cents.

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