Visual Studio Code

I’ve started learning Go, so I decided I’d try to get a good IDE.  It seems like there is some sort of consensus that Microsoft Visual Studio Code is the current hot thing in the Go developer world, so I figured I’d check it out.

I must say that I’m mildly impressed.  It’s available for OS X, Windows, and Linux and it’s pretty simple and extensible for most small projects.

Not only this, but it turns out that the source is all available under an MIT license as well!  Here I am going on about Microsoft’s latest cross-platform, open source development tool.  I never thought this day would come…

An Excellent Git Tutorial

I was searching for a walk through of a bit of a screwy merge I have to do in a Git repo tonight, when I came across these videos by David Mahler.  It wasn’t what I needed, but this is one of the best explanations of the core Git (and revision control) concepts for a beginner.

If you’re just learning Git, or looking for a refresher, check these out.

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An Advanced Introduction to GnuPG

If you’re loooking for a bit of light reading before bed, this might be just the answer: An Advanced Introduction to GnuPG.

Sleep tight!

On a mostly related note, I’m going to move all of my (admittedly trivial) secure e-mail to my ProtonMail account. If you have any reason to contact me securely, I advise you e-mail with GPG at gmobrien at protonmail dot com as of December 2018.

The Art of Writing Linux Utilities

I’m midway through a small project to migrate some old utilities I originally wrote many, many years ago for FreeBSD and that I’ve migrated from system to system over the years with small tweaks and various cross-platform improvements.  It’s been a while since I’ve done any real programming so I’ve been reading some refreshers on things like documentation best practices and I stumbled across a good article, that’s aged quite well I thought was worth sharing.

It appears to be an IBM document from back in the day when they were making a big effort to enterprise-ify Linux and improve the level of documentation and tools for developers, but somebody at Harvard saw fit to host a mirror.

Peter Seebach: The art of writing Linux utilities

The History of English Podcast

I’ve always been fascinated by languages in general and as a semi-competent English and an even less competent French speaker, I’ve always found the evolution of our mother tongue particularly interesting.

After reading Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf translation again over the Christmas holiday this year, I came across The History of English Podcast by Kevin Stroud.  It’s a wonderful examination not only of the history and linguistics involved, but also the cultural and political context.

I recommend it to anybody.

FDT

Aside from their political analysis, I really enjoy FiveThirtyEight’s other coverage.  Their roots are in statistical analysis of sports and they tend to cover a lot of obscure topics from a statistical perspective.  This article by Allison McCann is a great example of a side project, looking at the relationship between hip-hop and politics from a data perspective.

She includes some cool interactive graphics as well as a searchable database for political references in rap and hip-hop lyrics.  Plus the article showcases a pretty cool video which is easily my favourite political song of the 2016 campaign thus far.

Louis’ Scientology Movie

I just finished watching My Scientology Movie by Louis Theroux and BBC Films.  Unfortunately I was unable to get tickets when it was here at Hot Docs this year so I was really looking forward to seeing it.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Louis, I think he has a fascinating technique and he has made a number of films which I have found incredibly compelling.  But I also find some of his work a bit contrived and there are occasions where I’ve felt that he’s soft peddled a situation.  But I’m probably being unfair…

For whatever mistakes I may have felt he’s made in the past, he’s taken a very unconventional approach, and in doing so he manages to bait the “Church” into helping him make an even more damning film then he would ever have created if they had simply co-operated. Continue reading

Where The Author Pleads With His American Cousins Not to Vote for the Demagogue

This morning I was unfortunate enough to come across the latest abomination Donald Trump has laid on us.

I’ve been thinking about what to say all day and I’m still not certain, but I think it’s important that everybody speaks out when people in positions of leadership act in intolerable ways.

I don’t agree with almost anything that Trump stands for other than perhaps his seemingly enlightened views on homosexuality, but it is my belief that there is a qualitative difference from many of his absurd views about the economy or the international order and publically documented sexually aggressive and misogynistic behaviour.

I even understand on some level his instinct to lash out and attack his victims, I don’t always hold some of his mealy mouthed answers against him either, there is some truth to the fact that when he talks he is not as polished as a professional communicator.  You can’t do a retake on live television or on a debate stage.  I can disagree strongly, but understand.

As a former teenage boy I even understand the concept “locker room banter”, but he crosses a line that can never be rationalized when he jokes about forcing himself sexually on women.

Donald John Trump must not be elected.

This might have been tolerable in 1966, I don’t know.  I wasn’t alive then and I’m fairly happy that I wasn’t if this was normal, but it doesn’t matter because this is 2016.  I’m glad to be part of a generation of men to whom this sort of behaviour is abhorrent.  It’s not acceptable for this sort of behavior to be normative.

If you don’t agree that he is disqualified from the leadership of the Land of Liberty after hearing this audio then you need to listen to it with your daughter or mother or sister or best friend.