Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Leaked: Donald Trump’s 2016 Cleveland RNC Nomination Acceptance Speech


Donald Trump is about to deliver his Republican National Convention acceptance speech to the world. How about a preview by way of a sneak-peak leak of that speech?

As a long-time computer programmer and software developer here in Cleveland, Ohio, I am not going to say how I came by this information, but I will simply post it here for your reading pleasure… at least the better parts...

The introductory stuff, chopped off for brevity, begins rather predictably... 
Thank you [to family, supporters,.... etc. etc…]. 
Thank you for making me your Republican nominee and I enthusiastically accept this nomination so I can now begin to Make America Great Again and Make America Safe Again, with your help. 
[...some more basic predictable intro stuff..., blah blah...]
Then the speech starts to get good!
My behavior throughout this election cycle has been truly appalling. Truly awful. Do I care? No. Not really.  Why should I?  I have intentionally said and done everything possible to demonstrate how completely broken American politics is. I needed to get America to wake up and vote for change. Melania even went as far as to appear to plagiarize portions of a speech originally written by Michelle Obama, just to gauge voter reaction and stir things up a bit. It was all planned. I am a brilliant businessman and an even more incredible politician because I know how this game works, and now I am going to use my natural gifts and business acumen to fix everything that is wrong with Washington politics.
Is he serious?!
Seems so...
I ran the calculations and have done exactly what was necessary for an “outsider” to be heard and to have a chance to lead this great country. This is how you win at business and at politics these days. Learn how the system works and use it to your advantage. This is what American politics has been reduced to. And this is because Washington insiders have taken over your democracy. American politics has been hijacked by the wealthy elite and corporate interests for decades now, and the only way to take on that establishment is to use their own tactics against them, without them knowing it. I have done it! Now you know! Time to tell all these insiders that their time is over and your time is here instead. Vote for me this fall and use this opportunity to take back your government and your political system. And, if you have even the slight doubts in voting for me, at least consider the fact that I am man enough admit that I have lied and distorted facts in order to be seen and heard and have a chance to represent you. Crooked Hillary will never admit her lies and misrepresentation and the fact that she is deeply entrenched in the Washington establishment political machine, will she?
OK, I see where this is going, I think.
So, how are we going to Make America Great Again and Make America Safe Again? Just like how I made my businesses and family successful. We are going to look at the numbers and the facts and do what it takes to get this country back on track. We do not have time to mess around with politics as usual any longer. It is time to get serious about fixing what is wrong in this country.
Trump, getting serious?  Could this be for real?
Let’s start with the government budget mess. I am a businessman. This country is essentially an enormous business. It is a giant business that we partake in, and a portion of our paychecks go to pay for protecting our freedom and our position of being the most powerful country in the world. But, a business must manage its revenue and its expenses. America spends more than it takes in, in a HUGE way… huge… it would be considered essentially bankrupt were it not for its ability to print money. We need to get our financial house in order. And no, we are not filing for bankruptcy, but rather we are going to address both our spending and our taxation. 
Guys like me are so wealthy due in large part to the favorable tax system here in the USA. And yet you constantly hear this political rhetoric about the need to cut taxes, when taxes are the revenue side of our government’s accounting system. We have an enormous federal deficit and debt, but yet for some reason we are supposed to ignore the revenue side of the equation and not charge taxes. Then again, we ignore the expense side of the equation too and spend crazy amounts on all sorts of insane stuff, but I will get back to that topic in a bit.
Could Donald Trump really treat America's budget like that of a business and be serious about both increasing revenue and cutting expenses?  I'll believe that when I see it. But, maybe. If I were to believe him.
For now, let me talk taxes, revenue. I hardly pay any taxes relative to my earnings. And, I’m not alone. Warren Buffett has pointed out repeatedly how he pays a lower tax-rate than his secretary. That’s great for us guys at the top, but not so good for the country’s coffers. Voters need to understand the math here. I have billions. Not just one billion, a few billion dollars. Warren Buffett makes me look rather poor though — that guy has like 20 times as much as me, something like 60 or 65 billion dollars. Do american voters even realize how much money a billion dollars is? 
Each billion I have is one thousand million. From what I read recently, 25% of american citizens do not even have a net worth of ten dollars to their name. So, if one of those 25-percent of people walks down the street and loses a dollar out through a hole in their pocket, they have just lost one tenth of their net worth. Ouch! A ten percent loss in one day makes for a bad day, but it can happen. For me to lose one tenth of my net worth, if I was ONLY worth one billion (which I am not, I have a few billion, I am quite wealthy,... very wealthy… but not quite like Buffett or Gates, those guys are crazy wealthy)... I would have to be walking down the street and lose a briefcase containing 100 million of my dollars! One hundred million dollars is mathematically no more significant to me than a dollar is to a quarter of the american population
Voters in this country need to grasp this disparity before they can understand why the only winners in this trickle-down ultra low tax-rate system, that is full of loopholes for the wealthy to exploit and tax-breaks which only benefits the top, are the top guys like me. If we want to make america great, we need to help everyone have a fighting chance to become great. So, stop voting against yourselves and start listening to me, a very successful businessman who understands numbers very well. Very well. 
Increasing taxes on the top, not to mention forcing US corporations to repatriate the TRILLIONS of dollars they are holding overseas and pay taxes, and pay taxes now or else be hit with fines, is how we are going to begin making america great again for the average american worker and small business owner. Forget this misdirection and smokescreen talk of job-killing-regulation,... the only thing killing jobs is the lack of tax incentive to keep people employed rather than simply piling up corporate profits in overseas bank accounts. Give tax breaks for employing people, not for hoarding cash and not putting it to work building up america.
Wow!  Trump, I'm with you on this stuff... I may just vote for you. And it continues to improve:
We have a system that is further rigged to deliver pay packages to CEOs of the big companies that are on average 300 times what a typical worker makes every year. So, right now, you can work your entire 30 year career with a company, and after all that time, you will be lucky to have made one tenth of what the top guy at your company makes in a single year. This needs to change. 
For america to be great, it must recognize that every american contributes to the success of guys like me and CEOs and everyone else at the top, and give them a better share of things. With our current tax system and income inequality, this is impossible. Or, if not impossible, there surely is no incentive to do so. 
The current tax system is telling me: take as much as possible for myself because there is no reason not to. So, ask yourself, if I can lose a suitcase containing $100 million dollars and lose the same one-tenth of my wealth as the person who only has 10 dollars to their name, why can’t I be expected to pay that into the tax system? Heck, I will still have $900 million dollars out of each billion left over to enjoy, and I tell you, I am still in a lot better shape that the average american with their nine dollars left in their pocket! I can buy whatever I want, whenever I want. Shouldn’t you, the american people, have a bit more in your pocket too?
And on and on... but, now to infrastructure and the spending-side of things...
And, we spend so much money, it is just insane. Where do I start… we spend it on things that do not deliver any return on investment. It’s like we are trying to be stupid with our cash. If you build a business, you invest where the money will generate more money… that’s why they call it investing. You build your infrastructure so that you can expand and move more products and services. You modernize to improve efficiency. 
But our government cannot even consistently invest in its roads and bridges, and wow, don’t even think about investing in anything like high-speed rail or any serious modernization. And what little we do spend on our infrastructure, especially relative to military spending, isn’t even spent in a way that ensures that the infrastructure lasts. I have seen old cast-iron or brick railroad bridges from the 1800s still standing, with little maintenance, throughout the world, but yet I have seen bridges here in the USA that are falling apart and having their concrete replaced after a mere few years. Can we really not build better bridges now that over one hundred years ago, so that we don’t keep wasting money on the re-building same thing over and over?

And, how about investing in education in a serious way? I’ll come back to this too in a bit.

A bit rambling, but sounds reasonable.
Ah, let's skip forward to immigration:
But first, I want to talk about Immigrants and immigration. My wife is an immigrant. Many great people I know are immigrants. And America’s growth and prosperity has outpaced the bulk of the rest of the world for the past eight years thanks in large part to its ability to attract foreign workers to join its fantastic pool of American talent when we need them. Why? Because everyone knows America is awesome, truly awesome, and they all want to come here to enjoy our American Dream. Who can blame them? And, we all benefit. The numbers don’t lie. 
We want the best educated and skilled people from around the world; who wouldn’t? You always want the best talent on your team. And, if we educated our own people better, our talent pool would be that much deeper. Let's do that to: let's invest in educating our young people.  But, even when we educate our own people well, and recruit the brightest from everywhere, we may find that we still need some additional workers or laborers to fill in the gaps in our employment pool that exist from time to time in our system, like when we build all our better bridges and roads and high-speed train systems and other times of increased labor needs. There will be plenty of work for everyone once I start things moving after I am in office. You watch.
Sounds like a lot to deliver.  But, OK.  Bring it on.  How about those controversial topics of gun control and such?
And, if you are worried about terrorism with any immigration, I have one question: why are you worried? How can anyone say we are not safe? We are the strongest country in the world, and will continue to be so. We spend more on our military than the next 7 highest spending countries combined. We have a million people spying on our own citizens to watch out for bad guys. 
How many people have died from terrorism on US soil in the past year? Any number is terrible. Truly awful. It is under 100 people even over this last year by my count, which includes the horrible Orlando night club attack of complete cowardice. And, my condolences go out to everyone and their families that were touched by terrorism. 
But, being a businessman and a numbers-guy, I really think the average american should be more concerned with how many people die from gun violence in America, prescription medicine deaths, and even automobile accidents. 100 people every single day, on average, are dying from gun violence in america, and that is not due to terrorism. We have nearly 40 people per day dying from prescription opioid overdoses in america (and that is just opioids… double that figure if you want to count ALL prescription-drug overdoses), and that number is rising. Last year 105 people also died in road traffic fatalities every single day of the year on average. The numbers do not lie: this campaign-of-fear being waged on america, the fear of terrorism in america, just seems crazy when we consider the fact that there are 100,000+ Americans dying every year from gun violence, prescription drug overdoses, and traffic deaths. But, we don’t spend 100’s of billions per year trying to prevent THOSE deaths.
Indeed.  Terrorism is seriously bad news, but when you look at the numbers inside the USA, how can you ignore that fact that for every death-by-terrorist there are one thousand other highly-preventable deaths by these other means?  Don't those lives matter too?

I surely agree with the next statement quite a bit:
The fact is, Washington and US politics are broken.
And, finally, after some rambling for a bit, comes the best part:
And, as for Mike Pence as my VP pick: sorry dude, you have to go. You were just a placeholder and another typical mainstream politician that represents more of the status quo… the only other true outsider in this race right now beside me is Bernie Sanders, so, guess what Mike Pence? You’re gone… outta here… from here on, it is Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders who together are going to usher in a wave of real change in America as we share the 2016 Republican ticket for President and Vice-President of the USA!
Hmmm....  that last part sounds a bit suspicious. I'm beginning to question the authenticity of this alleged Trump speech data leak. lol.

I want to thank my source of inspiration for this… the comic genius Lee Camp of RT America’s Redacted Tonight, and how Lee uses his extremely witty and intelligent comedy to point out the insanity in our political, financial, and social systems — topics including the 2016 election fraud incidents, civil rights violations, corporate control of our government, and so forth.  This was a long-form attempt at something like his "Headlines from the Future" segment.  I cannot compete with Lee Camp's brilliant comedy, but hopefully a few people find this "news" entertaining.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Brexit : Remain vs. Leave? Consider Iceland Volcanos

BREXIT: Remain or Leave in the EU? Consider the Icelandic Volcano Threat when Voting!


If you do not know what the "Brexit" (British Exit, from the EU / European Union) vote is by now, you probably do not live in the UK — the United Kingdon; i.e., in whole or part also known as: Great Britain, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland — or anywhere in Europe. Furthermore, you probably do not do business (import or export or purely financial transactions) within this region, because if you did and you do not know what the Brexit is, you would be utterly out of touch. The implied consequences (of a Brexit) upon trade and free movement of goods, services and people, are quite extraordinary.

Iceland Volcanoes : What does this have to do with Brexit?

Simply put: if the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish citizens are no longer an integral part of the EU and its free-movement benefits, when the volcanoes of Iceland cover the UK in ash to the point their country is no longer inhabitable, or otherwise not able to effectively operate or accommodate their 65 million people for lack of breathable air, arable land, passable streets, and sufficient water supply (to name a few), they will quite likely encounter some heavy resistance to their desires to move, en masse or in majority, into mainland Europe as a place of refuge for what could be years.

It is not "if", it is "when"!

Unless people in the United Kingdom want to bear an increasing behavioral resemblance to Americans — you know, those "belief" driven types that choose to deny the scientific fact of Global Warming since it does not suit them, personally — you cannot choose to ignore the scientifically-backed threat that some or all of Great Britain will become buried under a substantial layer of volcanic ash from Iceland.  It will happen. And, quite probably, even without our current lifetimes.

And, when it does, the economic fallout will be incalculably large, and the human suffering may make the economic damages look like a silliness by comparison.  I am talking about an event that will make the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallaj√∂kull look like nothing.  And, that "little" 2010 eruption caused tremendous disruption to air travel across large swaths of northwestern Europe for about a week, back in April 2010, as well as other side effects.  

Where are you quickly going to move 65 million people, let alone quickly, if things get really bad in the UK? Mainland Europe is your only hope.  And, if you Brexit — i.e., if the "leave campaign" is successful in leaving the EU — you quite probably have rescinded your current inherent beneficial rights to free migration and movement throughout the EU.  Therefore, when the volcanic mess arrives, and persists for any length of time, all the "Brexiters" will find it not so simple to migrate elsewhere until the problem remits.

I have watched various science shows over the years about this topic of Icelandic volcano eruptions and the potential damage, especially to the UK, of a prolonged and sustained high-output ash-producing event.  All forecasts, based on standard climactic and prevailing wind pattern behaviours, foretell a truly awful catastrophe for Britain, more so than most anywhere else.

The bottom line: this is one crystal-clear reason that the UK should remain in the EU!  There is no argument to the contrary (i.e., a pro "leave" argument) on this matter, aside from a fool's potential propaganda. Clearly, all UK citizens would be better served by remaining in the UK so that in the event of this, or any other equally serious catastrophe within the UK, they could still have the legally-binding right to migrate, for as long as necessary, into unaffected EU countries and regions.

And, sadly, it is not like volcanoes are the only potential threat — in this day and age, one must consider the menace of terror and how certain attack vectors, however unlikely, could leave portions of a country severely damaged (potentially uninhabitable) for sustained periods of time.  And, if such horrendous things were ever to occur, it might be nice knowing, as UK citizens and EU members, that you maintain the freedom of mobility (physical, work location, etc) to at least contemplate options that may otherwise not exist for you.  Would it not be better to know, with certainty, that your options will exist rather than counting on some anticipated mass "good will" of the continental Europe or other foreign countries to accept you into their lands if you absolutely needed somewhere to flee to in an emergency? ... rather than later face the foreign cynics that may fear the repercussions of millions of people fleeing the UK into the EU?

Then again, isn't it that same fear that in reverse that has many British contemplating voting for a "Brexit"?  Reciprocity could truly suck!

** note: I have no idea what becomes of British overseas territories and such like Gibraltar, which without free movement between itself and mainland Spain is pretty much screwed by a "Brexit" regardless of volcanos, etc.  This discussion contemplates the primary UK regions only. And, I am not diving into discussion about various players in all this like: David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, and the long list of others.


Continue to read this Software Development and Technology Blog for computer programming, software development, and technology Techniques, How-To's, Fixes, Reviews, and News — focused on Dart Language, SQL Server, TypeScript, VMware, JavaScript, SVG, and more. And, occasionally, I simply post my opinion on current world events.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Delphi XE8 / RAD Studio XE8 New Features

Another 6 months, another (expensive) Delphi Release


Embarcadero keeps pushing out new Delphi versions

Yes, there is already another Version of Delphi / RAD Studio available — the XE8 Version!  If it seems like Delphi XE7 was "just released", that is because Embarcadero is pushing new versions of the Delphi programming and development platform out at the rate of approximately one new version every six months or thereabouts!  That is absurd!  Clearly these "new versions" are what should be released, in my opinion, as a free point-release to existing license holders of XE7 (or perhaps earlier versions still).

How is any small developer supposed to afford keeping up with this??  I suppose "software assurance" or some such perpetual-payment (to this Borland / CodeGear successor) model is recommended?   Rather than adopt such a money-sucking strategy, I stopped using Delphi for the simple reason that the software would bankrupt me if I bought ever darn version they release.

I would have highly considered adopting the Delphi XE  release series when the new FireMonkey stuff emerged, and I would have called it a "major release" at that point IF it was truly finished when it first came out.  I really like the idea of scalable vector-graphics controls and all the extra customization these controls may offer.  But, every time I look at it, FireMonkey still appears to be lacking commonly-used features the original VCL offered.

A full FIVE Delphi XE versions have now had this FireMonkey technology in it, and I am still not convinced it is on feature parity with the pre-Firemonkey VCL controls.  Case in point (quoted from the Delphi What's New web page):
  • New in XE8! ImageList component for FireMonkey
Seriously!?  An ImageList control is just now some new feature for FireMonkey after five versions of Delphi XE?  OK, fine... but do not charge me for all these incremental updates to the technology!  If I could have purchased Delphi XE4 and known for sure that all these future upgrades — upgrades that are still bringing FireMonkey features up to parity with the VCL — would have been available to me as free updates, I would have bought it.  But, there is no way I am paying for half-finished control sets over and over and over.

Furthermore, what is with the fact there are now so many Delphi features that are not even available on WINDOWS anymore?  Cross-platform may be great and all, but Embarcadero has gone a bit iOS crazy with what used to be a Windows-only product, and a lot of the newest features are not even implement for the Windows platform now/yet (oh, I guess that will be yet another paid-upgrade "version" of Delphi XE9, XE10, etc).   And, in what seems commonplace in most releases over the past few years, is seems that many new "features" are just tools and add-ons that Embarcadero has purchased from other companies to add into the Delphi environment and call them "features" —  that does not strike me much as REAL innovation that each paid version is including.

To be fair, there are some rather intriguing new features in Delphi XE8 (refer to that what's new page for details), but then again, along comes the next concern...

... Delphi XE8 Price!

You have to love this quote from an article The Register had regarding this XE8 release:
"RAD Studio XE8 has become somewhat expensive. It comes in four editions: Professional at $1,954, Enterprise at $3,244, Ultimate at $4,325 and Architect at $4,866."   
To that I say: "somewhat expensive"... OUCH, that is more than "somewhat"!  
Unless some (near magic) circumstance occurs where a paying-client wants to use Delphi so badly that they are not only willing to have me write Delphi code for them, but also are willing to pay for the latest and greatest XE8 license(s) for the privilege of using a language hardly any job openings exist for, I doubt I will ever get a chance to code in Delphi anymore.  Embarcadero has priced me out of the market and their push toward iOS and such has only further convinced me that I have better options available elsewhere.

Continue to read this Software Development and Technology Blog for computer programming, software development, and technology Techniques, How-To's, Fixes, Reviews, and News — focused on Dart Language, SQL Server, Nvidia CUDA, VMware, JavaScript, SVG, and more. Also, my Free Software and Source Code Library (SQL-Server, Delphi, Dart, SVG, ...) provides a categorized library of source-code I have posted here — though, updates may lag behind this blog.

Friday, April 17, 2015

EE Free Power Bar may NOT be so "free"...

"FREE" EE Power Bar Offer Warning


EE recently launched an offer for a free power bar (external battery) to its customers in the United Kingdom (UK).  Everywhere this offer from EE is displayed (online, email campaigns, texts, etc), the word FREE is very prominent and there is no obvious mention of additional hidden costs you may incur if you choose to take them up on this "free" exclusive offer.

Get Ready to Pay if...

I figured there must be a catch — it is essentially a given in this world of liars, cheats, and thieves that push the boundaries of the law by using small print and legal terms and conditions to hide the true cost of things.  One could certainly describe such advertising as opportunistically misleading (a nice term for skirting the edge of legality and blatantly hiding details that may encourage a customer to NOT take them up on such a "Free" offer).

I am so sick of seeing products and services, whether on the television or in print or whatever, that boldly state "FREE" everywhere with perhaps an asterisk or such that leads you to the small print that might as well state "NOT FREE" — and yet such advertising is commonplace and apparently no regulators are willing to step in and tell a company that it is unacceptable to state "free (* not free)" in such shady ways.

Well, EE is the latest to do the FREE BUT NOT REALLY FREE marketing campaign (while only, of course, featuring the first word — FREE — everywhere while never making clear what the true cost of taking them up on that "free" offer is.   EE does mention the fact it will cost you £20 if you lose the power bar (battery gizmo) in the general text on that page I linked to, but beware of the fact that you also must RETURN THE POWER BAR at the end of 18 months (or such) or face a penalty charge of £5.

OK, so how is this "free" if I must PAY to keep the thing past a certain duration? That is a good question!  This is typical bullshit marketing at its best where you, as a major company, can essentially state "FREE (but not free, via the small/hidden print!)".  I say "hidden" because you must dive into the full legal terms and conditions (EE's PDF) to find the following:

"2.7 When this agreement expires or terminates (for mobile or broadband customer this will happen automatically if you chose to cancel your agreement with us for mobile or broadband services), you must return the Power Bar to an EE store within 60 days. If you don’t you’ll have to pay a charge to compensate us for replacing the Power Bar. Currently this is £5. For mobile and broadband customers, this will be applied to your bill. If you’re not an existing customer, we’ll contact you using the information supplied to us when you joined EE Power and we’ll issue a bill for the cost of replacing the Power Bar that has not been returned. "

Am I the only one that is sick of the fact such misleading advertising is allowed? Gee, how about at least putting this fact in the "FAQ"  for the offer? (surely it has to be a FREQUENT question when it was the first one I asked when I went into the local EE store — and no worker knew if there was a charge or not either!)

The external supplemental battery (aka, power bar) was interesting to me, but not if I have to be concerned about what it will cost me if I forget to return it, lose it, or otherwise have issues with it.  You will have to decide yourself it the "free" (with potential costs) is still free enough for you.

Continue to read this Software Development and Technology Blog for computer programming, software development, and technology Techniques, How-To's, Fixes, Reviews, and News — focused on Dart Language, SQL Server, Nvidia CUDA, VMware, JavaScript, SVG, and more. Also, my Free Software and Source Code Library (SQL-Server, Delphi, Dart, SVG, ...) provides a categorized library of source-code I have posted here — though, updates may lag behind this blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Elon Musk, Satellite Broadband, Space Internet, Mars... quantum entanglement?

Elon Musk talks Satellite Broadband


Musk's Semi-Futuristic Plans

When I read a recent Bloomberg article about Elon Musk (of SpaceX & Tesla fame) and his newest ideas / plans to launch a vast network of communication satellites, I was both intrigued by his plans for a dual-altitude network of satellites but also a bit let down that he did not also go a bit further "out there" with some long-term technology visions like he is known for.

He mentioned being able to using SpaceX to help launch a vast array (thousands) of satellites that would comprise this new space Internet / network.  He also mentioned why the dual-altitude plans make sense — including facts about reduced latency between the ground user and the lower-orbit satellites, coupled with the higher speed of light in a vacuum (e.g., space) vs. speed of light through fiber optic cables (that can be 40% lower).  As anyone with current satellite Internet technology knows, latency (i.e., lag time) is currently a big issue and makes the service not even remotely usable (compared to terrestrial Internet connections) for gaming, real-time communication (e.g., Google Voice), etc.

The planet Mars enters the picture next as Musk envisions connecting another set of Mars-orbiting satellites back into to Earth-orbiting network at some point in the future.  This will truly be needed if humans make any serious push to explore Mars (with "boots on the ground" especially), but why stop with Mars?  Other targets in our solar system seem perhaps even more hospitable than Mars — like the dwarf planet Ceres, or Jupiter's moons Europa and , or Saturn's moon Titan — and, presumably we will need network connectivity there also.

But, a network of satellites surrounding Earth needs to be connected to those other satellites on Mars, and with current technology this implies absolutely massive latency due to the distance between Mars and Earth.  When you have a light-speed minimum (one-way) distance of 4 minutes between Earth and Mars when the two planets are closest in their orbits (and a maximum of 24 minutes one-way when at their furthest), it does not take long to see the huge issues that will follow.  Who wants to wait up to 48 minutes for a "ping" to return??

As such, Elon Musk has some great ideas for the near term, but how about some very forward-looking prognostications about the technology that will make nearly the entire (satellite-based) scheme (hopefully) obsolete in the future?

Seriously Futuristic Plans : Quantum Entanglement Networks

Zero Latency.  Distance irrelevant.  Latency between New York and London: zero.  Latency between Earth and Mars: zero.  Quantum entanglement makes this a possibility (at least in my semi-educated opinion), and whatever company commercializes this and takes it big-time is going to be worth more than every other communications and networking company put together.  What would you pay for truly "instant" communications between any two points at any arbitrary distance apart?  Lots.  And, it would fundamentally change all sorts of industry.  That aside, let me get back on point...

Quantum entanglement or QE (aka, "spooky action at a distance", per Einstein), which allows two entangled particles (electrons and photons, e.g.) to "share state information" instantly at any arbitrary distance, is not just theoretical, it has been demonstrated in very real experiments.  I expect these varied experiments to yield a practical (data-communications) application within the next 2 or 3 decades.

There is still considerable debate about whether FTL (Faster-than-Light speed) communications are truly possible using QE — in fact plenty of information out there says it is impossible — , but, if it is and if some brilliant scientists figure out a way to communicate data at FTL speeds (i.e., "instant" regardless of distance), everything changes.  Mars, Europa, Titan... here we come with instant connectivity to our home-planet Earth!

Apparently Elon Musk did not want to sound crazy by suggesting deploying a series of quantum-entangled network switches, so I did it here for him.  Keep in mind: these do not need to be located on satellites: they can be placed on the ground anywhere on Earth, on Mars, etc... the entangled particles should not care where they are located.  Thus, the need for satellites could be removed instantly if this type of communication is achieved.

I may ultimately be wrong in thinking that the final frontier in communications must be a fully FTL quantum-entangled network backbone, but I prefer to hold out hope for something that will once and for all solve the latency problem that plagues both Earthbound and inter-planetary-body communications currently.  Maybe Google could help fund making a QE solution a reality?

Continue to read this Software Development and Technology Blog for computer programming, software development, and technology Techniques, How-To's, Fixes, Reviews, and News — focused on Dart Language, SQL Server, Nvidia CUDA, VMware, JavaScript, SVG, and more. Also, my Free Software and Source Code Library (SQL-Server, Delphi, Dart, SVG, ...) provides a categorized library of source-code I have posted here — though, updates may lag behind this blog.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Delphi Programming Popularity Increases in 2014?

Do you Believe the Delphi-Programming Statistics?


TIOBE Programming Language Popularity Index for October 2014 —Delphi Popularity Soars?

The TIOBE Programming Language Popularity Index for October 2014 shows Delphi / Object-Pascal moving upwards 6 notches from #17 at this time in 2013 to position #11 in 2014.  My use of question-marks in the blog title and main heading perhaps says it all: I question the accuracy of these rankings / statistics.

This is not to say I have not referred to these rankings before to back an observation I have made personally about various programming language and technology trends. In fact, I used the index to demonstrate how Google Dart popularity was rising in 2013 (in fact Dart is now #17 vs. #81 a year ago). I also believe the May, 2013 blog I wrote questioning whether Delphi programming is dead, and which referred to the TIOBE index at that time also, can lean on such rankings for some backing-data.  So, can the index be "wrong" and still offer enough "right" information to add value to an argument or decision-making process on occasion?

First, a bit of background on this programming-language-popularity index...

As quoted from the TIOBE site (hereinafter, "Quote A"):
"The index can be used to check whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system."
and
"The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages."
Yeah, right!  Delphi is obviously taking off now (sarcasm abounds)! 

My Opinion, Explained

I believe I can understand how such a statistical move — like this current apparent substantial (and difficult to believe) resurgence in Delphi popularity — can be explained, given the key indicator this index is based on:
"Basically the [ranking] calculation comes down to counting hits for the search query (across 25 search engines) for: +"<language> programming""
Essentially, I posit that the TIOBE index is fundamentally flawed and a rather absurd way to truly know the "popularity" of a programming language, because [web] search behavior is not well-correlated with actual programming language activity, software projects, or technology hiring, and here is why...

The flaw in the index, in my opinion, is especially amplified in the case of languages that are "niche" or insignificant or perhaps even entering obsolescence, and the flaw exists not just as languages are sliding out of favor but also as new ones are fighting to get noticed as the next great software development language of choice.

Aside from maybe giving a slight bit of insight into "macro shifts" in the appeal and perhaps adoption (or lack thereof) of certain programming languages, I do not see much real value in this index.  The rankings of "stable" languages that occupy the top few ranking positions over long periods of time —  C, Java, Objective-C, C++, and C# which collectively hold the top 5 rankings currently — seem semi-believable, but, you cannot tell me that Delphi is more popular than JavaScript in 2014 (as the TIOBE index currently shows JS one step below Delphi) and that my programming skills repertoire would be better served knowing Delphi than JavaScript right now.  That is absurd.  Just search indeed.co.uk for London jobs mentioning Delphi skills (be sure to ignore the 6 unrelated hotel-operations software named Delphi) and compare the 3 (YES, THREE TOTAL DELPHI JOBS in London) to the nearly 2000 jobs in London that require JavaScript skills.

So, how could the TIOBE index be so wrong, and how can I have been so right when I pondered whether Delphi programming is dead last year?

Popularity skewed by unemployed Delphi developers?

I am sure I am not the only Delphi developer that is curious about the (minimal) presence of Delphi jobs, the current state of Delphi programming languages and tools, and so forth, that searches the web on a semi-regular basis using search-terms including "Delphi programming jobs" or similar phrases.   This search activity does not imply I have coded a single line of Delphi recently, nor does it mean there are any substantial number of Delphi software development projects to be found anywhere — in fact, such searches generally confirm the opposite: there are incredibly few Delphi jobs and Delphi programming opportunities anywhere, from what I see (especially relative to other "popular" languages on that programming-language index page).

So when I and others (that have Delphi skills which are essentially wasting away as fewer and fewer Delphi opportunities exist) go searching the web on the off chance there is actually a software development project that could use my Delphi programming skills (and actually pay me for those skills), we are somehow upping the "popularity" of Delphi according to TIOBE index.  This is just wrong.

As I put forth when positing this argument in the first place, I believe niche programming languages are going to be much more likely produce massive distortions in the popularity rankings for varied reasons.  First and foremost, software developers and programmers want to know that their skills may actually earn them money!  As such, they search for jobs that use: 1) the skills they already have, even if those skills are falling out of favor in the mainstream programming circles, and 2) skills they may be able to quickly migrate to in order to gain employment, maintain employment, and/or up their earnings with (ideally while not choosing "another Delphi" that turns out to be a career dead-end).  Period.

The first search-reason (i.e., finding jobs using one's existing skills) is where Delphi falls, and perhaps since Delphi is such a fantastic software development platform it encourages those with Delphi skills to be ever-persistent in their search for anyone willing to employ them using Delphi instead of another language. The second reason (i.e., finding skills to migrate to that will get one employed) is where things like Google Dart fall, and for all I know it is where Delphi developers are looking (in addition to JavaScript users that want true object-oriented class-based development) since the Dart language and features looks a lot like Delphi (certainly more so than JavaScript).

In any case, I believe the TIOBE index needs to be substantially altered in order to remain relevant.  In order to address Quote A with any real credibility, it needs to incorporate some job-postings data.  You cannot tell me that my programming skills are up-to-date if there are essentially zero jobs anywhere that actually rely on such skills.  That is just nuts.  And, a quick sanity-check on the relative rankings of "popularity" can be done by comparing even at a super-duper-high-level the number of jobs available that reference each programming language as a required skill for the open position.

I am glad the TIOBE index exists even as I find it fundamentally flawed.  I still use it for very, very high-level insight into what is going on in the programming language arena, but I also couple it with my own observations and insights for some sort of "reality checking" of the data.  Parts of the rankings are quite believable and match up with the reality I see in job postings, technology articles, presentations, and so forth, even as other parts of the rankings (like Delphi) do not.

So, take it all as you wish, and whilst busy wishing, maybe all of us that still appreciate how wonderful Delphi programming is should be wishing that there will be jobs out there to put our skills to use before we all finally give up looking and see Delphi fall off the charts completely.


Continue to read this Software Development and Technology Blog for computer programming, software development, and technology Techniques, How-To's, Fixes, Reviews, and News — focused on Dart Language, SQL Server, Nvidia CUDA, VMware, JavaScript, SVG, and more. Also, my Free Software and Source Code Library (SQL-Server, Delphi, Dart, SVG, ...) provides a categorized library of source-code I have posted here — though, updates may lag behind this blog.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Include an HTML File in another HTML File Without a Server or Code

Include HTML Files In HTML by Reference Without Any Server Technology

I have meant to write a blog about this for quite some time, and the newest Chrome 36 Beta release notes reminded me to do so now that yet another way of including HTML files within HTML files (without any particular server requirement and without JavaScript) exists —  i.e., you do not need ASPX and you do not need PHP or other server-side technology, and you do not need JavaScript.

The first method I will discuss is one I have used since as far back as Chrome 24, Firefox 17, and even Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) — "seamless IFrames". The second technique is the one that Chrome 36 Beta has implemented — "HTML Imports". Until all browser vendors support the new HTML imports, my "old" way will still work fine.

"How to" Include HTML Files — using Seamless IFrames

This technique is probably best described by way of example code. This way to implement "include" files in HTML5 without ANY "server" works to include any file referenced by "file:\\..." addresses or relative URL addresses.

In the “container” document (i.e., the “outer” document into which you would like to import / “include” content from another HTML file):

<div class="content">
   <iframe id="top-nav" seamless="seamless" src="include.top.nav.html" ></iframe>
</div>

Then, inside that external / referenced HTML file (in this example, “include.top.nav.html”), we simply include the HTML that we want to appear inside the iframe — in this case a simple reusable section of HTML with my navigation HTML code in it:
<div id="topnav">
   <a href="some-page-to-navigate-to.html" target="_top">link to home page</a>
</div>

Note the use of “_top” to indicate that our navigation is going to affect the outermost document; if we omit this, the contents of the iframe will be what changes during navigation instead of the contents of the outer container document.

Let us also assume we perhaps we want to style this iframe, so in our referenced CSS file we do so  — in this case I simply want to make sure it sizes to 100% of the container div's width and height:

     /*Set the seamless iframe properties; size as needed to fit embedded content*/
     #top-nav {
          width: 100%;
          height: 100px;
     }


A more complete view of the outer HTML document that includes the reusable HTML by way of the seamless iframe looks something like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>DEFAULT DOCUMENT TITLE</title>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="my_styles.css">
    <meta charset=utf-8>
</head>
<body>
    <div class="content">
        <iframe id="top-nav" seamless="seamless" src="include.top.nav.html" ></iframe>
        <h1 class="document-name">DOCUMENT NAME HERE</h1>
        <p>Paragraph...</p>
    </div>
</body>
</html>


Hopefully this was somewhat easy to follow.  Try it out.  This technique came in super-handy for a local HTML-Based WIKI I created that did not require any web-server to run.  I can access the WIKI pages from Chrome, Firefox, and IE and the included HTML file(s) work just fine with no web server and no dynamic language or dynamic web-page technology.


"How to" Include HTML Files — using HTML Imports (rel="import" directive)

This is an alternative serverless "include HTML file" method that has just recently come available in browsers like Chrome 36 (note: it has existed since Chrome 31, but you had to enable the experimental feature; now it is "on" by default).   If you took a look at the Chromium Blog release notes link (above), you will see a quick overview of this new technique, and I have pasted their description and example here for quick reference:

HTML Imports
HTML Imports, part of the Web Components standards umbrella, offer a way to include HTML documents in other HTML documents using <link rel="import">:
<head>
  <link rel="import" href="/path/to/imports/stuff.html">
</head>
An HTML Import can contain CSS, JavaScript, HTML, or anything else an .html file can include. This means they provide a convention for bundling related HTML/CSS/JS (even other HTML Imports) into a single package, making them a fantastic tool for delivering Web Components to users.

The first technique I showed (seamless iframes) can accomplish the same thing to an extent, but this new rel="import" technique is certainly the preferred way to go in the long term.  I look forward to this being widely adopted (hopefully sooner rather than later), but it seems Chrome is the only game in town today.  There are much "bigger picture" reasons why the rel="import" implementation is important as it is quite handy for web components packaging (something I plan to use in my SVG Dart Widgets, eventually).  Search the web for more examples and have fun with either, or both, of these ways to import HTML file contents into another HTML file without the need for server-side technologies.

Continue to read this Software Development and Technology Blog for computer programming, software development, and technology Techniques, How-To's, Fixes, Reviews, and News — focused on Dart Language, SQL Server, Nvidia CUDA, VMware, JavaScript, SVG, and more. Also, my Free Software and Source Code Library (SQL-Server, Delphi, Dart, SVG, ...) provides a categorized library of source-code I have posted here — though, updates may lag behind this blog.