The Proper Way to Respond to Death Threats

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Rusty Shackleford demonstrates by example:

I have to say, though, that I’m a bit flattered by Jamaal’s death fatwa. Long time readers know, that its been a goal of mine to get myself one. Not just a death threat from a Muslim, I have loads of those, but an official fatwa. I would consider myself lucky to be included in the ranks of Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Wafa Sultan–all alleged “blasphemers” and critics of sharia and the traditional understanding of the sunna (example of Muhammed).

I’m also flattered that he decided to name his list of targets “fatwa worthy” in an apparent ironic homage to my own “fatwa worthy” list of links to the right [which seem to be down right now due to a problem at blogrolling]. Of course, irony means something like the use of words other than their literal intentions. So, when I say Charles Johnson’s LGF, Ed Morrissey’s CQ, Michelle Malkine’s Hot Air, or Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch are ‘fatwa worthy’, I’m being ironic. When he attempts irony, it falls flat. He really means that the links, like mine, are literally ‘fatwa worthy’. Nice try. Moron.

Which kind of makes me suspect that Jamal is just some unemployed teenager with too much caffeine in his bloodstream and not enough real spice in his life. Maybe he doesn’t have the authority to issue such a fatwa? Bummer.

I also notice that “Radical Muslim” Jamaal claims to live in London. Where the picture above right was taken at rally against some others accused of blaspheming Mohammed. Do we have another Bakri Mohammed follower here? That would explain a lot.

Oh, and last time I checked, death threats were illegal. Even in London.

We’re watching you Jamaal. You, and all your ‘radical Muslim’ friends.

European Gull Visits Brooklyn

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Damn, I promised myself I was going to finish the first draft of Refactoring HTML today come hell or high water, and I’m on track to do it; but a European gull I don’t have on my life list has showed up at the Soccer field in Gerritsen Beach, just a short bus ride away. What to do? What to do?

Hydrogen Car Almost Makes Nancy Pelosi President

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

According to the Detroit News:

Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.

Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford’s hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.

“I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’ So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front,” Mulally said. “I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?”

OK. So our illustrious leaders are a few homeworks short of a gentleman’s C, and I’m not too surprised that a major CEO would think they can’t be trusted to figure out which end of the car to plug an extension cord into. However here’s my question:

Just what the hell is Ford doing building a car that can blow up and kill people if some random idiot (or the President of the United States) sticks the plug into the wrong hole?

Fundamentally Safe Database APIs

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Is anyone aware of work on fundamentally safe database APIs for server side programs that completely avoid the possibility of SQL injection? What I envision is a somewhat limited API that does not execute raw SQL statements or provide any facility to do so. Instead you’d set up something like this:

Statement s = database.getSelectStatement();
  new EqualsCondition("id", "p17")
ResultSet r = s.execute();

The library would turn this into the usual SQL statement

SELECT email, telephone FROM customers WHERE id = "p17"

The library could verify the individual parts of the query before submitting it to the database. If you passed a string like "id = \"p17\" OR true; DELETE * FROM customers; SELECT * FROM customers WHERE " to EqualsCondition() it would throw an exception.

5 Things I Didn’t Know Last Week

Friday, April 6th, 2007

1. Biodiesel is bad for the environment.

Sorry Willie. Rain forests are being torn up and plowed under to grow palm trees to be turned into biodiesel. However the emissions are shifted from mostly European, first world countries, to less developed third world countries. The net effect is an increase in global CO2. This enables Europe to come closer to meeting its Kyoto targets without actually having to reduce its power consumption. It’s a shell game, and one we’re losing.

And if that weren’t bad enough, it’s also diverting land and crops from food production. Increased usage of biodiesel may well increase starvation among the poorest people in the world.1

WordPress Upgraded

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

I’ve upgraded the WordPress engine on this site to the latest version, 2.1.3. Initial results look positive, but holler (preferably via e-mail) if you notice anything going wrong.