Archive for August, 2011

And They Say Copyright Isn’t Broken in the US

Via Jesse Walker over at Reason’s Hit & Run Blog, comes Ethan Hein relaying the sordid tale of how folklorist Alan Lomax got co-authorship credit on a Jay-Z diss track. The article is well-worth the read for many reasons. It’s an interesting dissection of a tune by one of the America’s most talented musicians, it’s an object lesson in how broad the roots of many songs really are, and it’s an excellent illustration of just how well and truly fucked the US copyright system can be sometimes.

Here’s Hein’s conclusion, with which I heartily agree:

“The copyright maze is no obstacle to Jay-Z — he has the money, lawyers and connections to clear whatever he wants. But what about up-and-coming or unheard-of artists? What if they want to use samples? Should the most vital art form of our time be the exclusive province of forty-year-old multimillionaires? And grateful as I am to Alan Lomax for recording and disseminating so much great folk music, I remain baffled as to why he was allowed to copyright it. Our creative heritage deserves better stewardship than our current laws provide.”

It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing.

You Really Can’t Make This Shit Up

“…take a gander at the mayoral decision, presumably approved by mayor Boris Johnson himself, to stop 125,000 young people, as part of the subsidised ‘Ticketshare’ scheme, from accessing tickets for the Olympic shooting events. ‘We decided it would not be appropriate’, an understandably ‘anonymous’ official said. Danny Bryan, founder of Communities Against Gun and Knife Crime, was all too eager to concur: ‘I agree with Boris. It is good kids should enjoy the Games but there’s no way we should glorify guns.’”


Yes, because clearly, once the youth start enjoying seeing people put holes in paper with a .22, the next logical step is illegally acquiring a gun and killing someone with it.

And the anti-gun crowd thinks that we’re the crazy ones?

Say what you will about William Gibson…

…the man sure knows how to turn a phrase:

“…Singaporeans seemed generally quite loathe to discuss these more intimate policies of government with a curious foreign visitor who was more than twice as tall as the average human, and who sweated slowly but continuously, like an aged cheese.”

This is from his essay “Disneyland with the Death Penalty”, the title of which may be the most succinctly evocative description of a place ever put on paper.


Comes from Tam, re: the feds raiding Gibson Guitars’ two Tennessee factories:

I swear to Mises, if Ayn Rand had put a scene in Atlas Shrugged where the federal environmental cops were raiding musical instrument manufacturers because they weren’t complying with federal wood-labeling laws, critics would have howled with derision at the fanciful and unrealistic scenarios she was making up to ham-handedly hammer her point home


Truth. Can we all agree that when armed federal agents raid guitar makers ’cause their wood isn’t stamped right, it implies that something is seriously fucked with regards to US governance?

Great Moments in Globalization, Part n+1 of a Series

So programmers based in Russia, Argentina, Pakistan, and America log into a forum…

It’s not the start of a bad joke, I promise. It’s just the kind of thing that happens now. In this case, the four programmers, all located in different quadrants of the Earth, got together because they all had a common code problem that none of them had figured out on their own how to solve. For three days, they swapped ideas, source code, jokes, etc. until eventually they were able to find a clean, efficient, elegant solution to their shared problem.

None of them were working on the same project. None of them had ever met before, nor probably ever will. And yet they were all able to get together and work together towards the resolution of a common problem, in nearly real time.

Do these globalization effects show up in GDP figures? In aggregate, maybe, but it’s far more likely that such meetings of mind do nothing but marginally improve the lives of the four individuals involved.

And really, that’s more than enough.

cmake-gui can’t configure project because of /cygdrive/ path in cache file

Attention conservation notice: Try exiting cmake-gui deleting the CMakeCache file in the target (build) folder, and then restarting cmake-gui.

This is caused by cmake-gui loading cache file into memory, so if the project has previously been configured using cmake under Cygwin, then cmake-gui will always try to use the cygwin settings. If you delete the Cache files without exiting cmake-gui, then cmake-gui will just rebuild them with the same values they had before, thus restoring the cygwin file path. This caused me some confusion and frustration, because I had completely deleted the project and redownloaded the source, included deleting the cache files from disk, but cmake-gui still complained about bad /cygdrive/ paths in the cache file it had created.

I managed to fix this by exiting cmake-gui, deleting the cache files, and then relaunching cmake-gui.

Government is Force

If this doesn’t boil your blood, then nothing will.

The government is force. These people are being forced to tear down their homes at the muzzle of a gun. Why? Because their properties are a “nuisance.”

You know what I find to be a nuisance? Bureaucratic barbarians with badges and guns who trample all over people’s rights with impunity.

Where’s my “Nuisance Abatement Team” for that, eh?

Convert JPEG to RGB888 on Android

So I’m currently working with a bunch of OpenCV methods that require Bitmaps in RGB888 format. Unfortunately, that’s not one of the supported image types for Android cameras. So I had to find a way to convert a Bitmap object in JPEG encoding to straight RGB888. After some fruitless Googling and a little poking around, I finally came up with the following, which seems to work:

private Bitmap JPEGtoRGB888(Bitmap img)
    int numPixels = img.getWidth()* img.getHeight();
    int[] pixels = new int[numPixels];
    img.getPixels(pixels, 0, img.getWidth(), 0, 0, img.getWidth(), img.getHeight());
    Bitmap result = Bitmap.createBitmap(img.getWidth(), img.getHeight(), Config.ARGB_8888);
    result.setPixels(pixels, 0, result.getWidth(), 0, 0, result.getWidth(), result.getHeight());
    return result;

An amazing sentence, made even better by lack of context

“Not every would-be Irish poet learned his art through a chance encounter with a fish.”

– Philip Freeman, The Philosopher and the Druids

Failed to create library links: Project is mapped to repository type ‘com.aptana.git.core.GitRepositoryProvider’ which does not support linked URIs

Sorry for the long title, but I want this post to have strong Google mojo in case anyone hits the same problem.

So I was trying to link an Android Library project (OpenCV-2.3.1 for Android) to my regular android app project. Every time I linked the libraries I would get the following error:

Failed to create library links: Project [PROJECT_NAME] is mapped to repository type ‘com.aptana.git.core.GitRepositoryProvider’ which does not support linked URIs

The library would then show as linking successfully in the Eclipse UI, but none of my imports or references to the library in code would resolve.

Solution: Uninstall the Aptana Studio Plugin. Help -> About Eclipse. On the dialog that pops up, hit Installation Details… From the resulting list, select Aptana Studio and select uninstall. After the uninstillation is complete, restart eclipse, relink the library and you should be good to go.

Return top

Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.