Tazjin's blog

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The NSA's 5 zettabytes of data

I've been reading a few discussions on Reddit about the new NSA data centre that is being built and stumbled upon this post, putting its alleged storage capacity at 5 zettabytes.

That seems to be a bit much which I tried to explain to that guy, but I was quickly blocked by the common conspiracy argument that government technology is somehow far beyond the wildest dreams of us mere mortals - thus I wrote a very long reply that will most likely never be seen by anybody. Therefore I've decided to repost it here.

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Software sucks #1

Warning: This is another post full of me ranting. If you don't like that go away.

I hate most of the software I use on a daily basis. On certain days, I hate certain parts of it more than others. Today was one of these days that caused me to hate almost every single part of it.

Let me tell a few short tales about horrible things I'm encountering day to day:

OS X' window management is horrible

I am not saying it's the worst possible implementation, but it is certainly bad. There are things that they are worse at than Windows even (for example alt+tabbing through open windows, have fun doing that when the same application has more than two windows. Was there a command to cycle through windows for the same application? Yeah, but it's only implemented by a handful of apps)

The whole reason behind Apple introducing features like Exposé (now, in a slightly worse implementation, called "Mission Control") is trying to give people the ability to find windows again that are stacked on top of each other. It's not something they should be proud of, it only exists because they haven't discovered a way to get these things under control.

Is there a solution for window management issues? Yes, there is - but it only exists in Linux land. Window managers like xmonad use a tiling and workspace based approach to window management. All open windows are always automatically rearranged, this happens based on predefined layouts. Those layouts can be bound to a workspace, so you can have a workspace "Web" which has a browser window and an IRC client or whatever in perfect proportion, a workspace "Dev" which has terminals and code editors laid out like you want them and so on.

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PSA: Google Hangouts

Public service announcement: Google Hangouts is not a viable alternative to iMessage. It's slow, doesn't support pictures, the Chrome integration is weird and uncanny, it eats up your battery (because it uses a connection that is kept alive).

Viber is looking really good at the moment, especially since they released their (syncing!) Mac and PC apps. There are still some rough edges and they lack a Linux client but it's better than nothing!

Over and out.

iMessage? No thanks.

When Apple announced iMessage I really liked the idea of having a unified free messaging service (well, back in that day I was completely in the Apple ecosystem - so I considered it to be "unified").

When Apple started the beta testing phase of iMessage I really liked how it could even get non-tech-savvy people to use the service (unknowingly even). In those days I also considered it's reliability issues to be a side-effect of the ongoing beta test.

When Apple started beta-testing the Messages.app on OS X I was excited about being able to loop my Macs into the conversation, I attributed the frequent issues with the app to its ongoing development.

Now that all of this is out of beta and Apple has had more than enough time to fix issues that are still present, I felt like it was time to post a list of all the issues I've been seeing with this service that I still consider to be a great idea, but a horrible implementation.

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How to get rid of religion

In a time where humans have been on the moon, where the tides go in and out without leaving us puzzled with no explanation and where evolution is accepted to be the fact that it is in most of the developed world - in a time like this I think it’s time for us to think about whether we really want to leave this planet to the generations that will come after us like it is now, infested with religious bigotry.

Before I get to my ideas on how we can get rid of this infestation, lets separate the cultural aspects of religion from its fantasy aspects. I think the most important ones are:

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