July 29, 2010

Fat is fact

Who is obese and who is fat? It should be a clear rule: if your BMI (body mass index) is greater than 25,01 and 29,99 you are obese. From 30, you are fat. Seriously fat! Thanks to the north-americans - here they go again! - and their introduction of politically correctness, everybody overweight had to be called obese, otherwise they could be offended - and prosecute you!

It seems that these days are gone, at least in UK. England's public health minister Anne Milton says the term fat was more likely to motivate people into losing weight, and has said that GPs and other health professionals should tell people they are fat rather than obese.

July 26, 2010

for a better life

After the announcement of reductions in the overall budget programme to €39 billion (from the original €75 billion) for infrastructure, plus the possible call for privatisation of particular state companies and agencies (ESB, CIE, DAA, Bord Bia, RTE, etc), comes to light what everybody already knew but pretended not to know: the crisis is not financial but about values. Surely privatisation can improve competition in areas like transport, but in the energy sector, would be better to keep the assets and clean the bills by other meanings, such as efficiency and private investment.
The solidarity is down, distorted by all those "tigers" - Celtic Tiger, the Four Asian Tigers, Gulf Tiger,  Baltic Tiger, etc. People are busy making money, while they are lobotomized to believe that their happiness is all about consumption: we have to buy more in order to keep the economy growing, without  realising our needs are limited, the resources are limited, and we are coming to an inevitable explosion.

A brand new economic model is needed, based on community, solidarity, better values, justice,  and sustainability. Live a simpler and better life, is all we need...

July 20, 2010

The Plastic Bags

We were used to have plastic bags in the supermarkets to carry the goods. Now they say plastic bags are bad to the environment - polietilenos, polipropilenos and other highly pollutant substances. They've asked you to bring your own bag to the supermarket - Fair enough! The question is, may I still bring my PLASTIC bag to the supermarket? And the answer is YES, YOU CAN! They might not proliferate as before but still will be around, and could be inappropriately dumped into the environment.

If they - when I say they, I say those who decided to cut the FREE plastic bags from the supermarkets - If they were really worried about the environment, they would make the supermarkets replace their plastic bags to paper bags. Free paper bags, and no harm would be done to the environment. Instead, they applied this ridiculous fee to the plastic bag and keep producing and providing them. Still an exposure to the environment.

July 04, 2010

All that zeroes and ones...

I must to confess that I started my IT carrer coding in BASIC, DBASE and Clipper! I was a Computer Operator back in the 80's, and more serious things only came with age... I was 'already' 24 when I became an OS/370 System Programmer Trainee, doing more interesting stuff like Assembler exits, and even OS installation - VM/370, MVS/XA - thanks to my guru Johnson Varella.

I have to agree with this article The Story of Mel when it says Real Programmer's writes in Fortran! I would not call myself a Real Programmer, but I wrote in Fortran (looks like this)! And I also wrote in Assembler in the glorious OS/370 and OS/390 IBM systems. I even wrote in C, when C became a language in these systems, but I also played with C and Assembly 8088/8086 in PCs, but it was a kid's toy, nothing serious could be done in that machines, even if my boss wanted! What kind of operating system is used by a Real Programmer? Definitely not Windows, nor Unix - which is good to write papers! Real Programmers use MVS!

Well, it was good times! We all had copies of the OS JCL manual and the Principles of Operation in our desks, open to some particularly interesting pages... but now the latest generation of computer programmers are not being brought up with the same outlook on life as their elders. They are soft-protected from the realities of programming by 'high level' languages, with fancy text editors that count parentheses, and "too user friendly" operating systems. Worst of all, some of these alleged "computer scientists" manage to get degrees without ever learning Assembler! Or C, or Fortran. They get their degrees by programming in Java...

What a World!!! Or in other 'words':

Wow! It took some time, though...