Silver Splines

Silver Splines
   In order to pass the last exam left and graduate from the University of Plovdiv I had to create a small program that draws some splines. I picked Bézier curves as they seemed to be one of the simplest kind of parametric curves...
Posted by:   Stilgar
04:15 11.07.2009

Fuck the EU Commission!

Fuck the EU Commission!
   Some of you probably know that the minority browser makers worried by the fact that people do not give a fuck about their crappy software and the useless web "standards" went to the EU Commission and asked it to make Microsoft bundle their browsers with Windows because according to them Microsoft abused their OS market share by bundling Internet Explorer. Of course Microsoft had no intention to bundle alternative browsers with their OS. At the very least Microsoft do not want to answer support calls for browsers they did not make. So what did Microsoft do. They said "FUCK YOU" to the EU Commission and they will ship Windows 7 in Europe without any browser. There will be a separate CD with IE for OEMs. Of course all OEMs will just install IE because none of them will want to take all the support calls complaining that "The Internet is missing". Most of them probably will not bundle alternative browsers because this means they will have to support it. Basically IE will be bundled with as many Windows installations as it is bundled with now - all of them. The only people who will be affected are the 10% of the users that I (and most probably you) belong to who install Windows on their own. Now the installation will require two discs - one for Windows and one for the browser (be it IE or a minority one). How is that any other OS can ship with a browser but Windows cannot? The funny part is that IE has less than 50% usage share in Europe. Good job protecting the consumers EU Commission. FUCK YOU!


Update 03.08.2009

   Microsoft has decided to include ballot screen in Windows 7 if the default browser is IE. The solution is quite interesting since the ballot screen will be presented in IE itself. It will be a web page with an option to download browsers ordered by market share. Even more interesting is the fact that the ballot screen will be pushed through Windows Update to XP and Vista machines. It will be displayed only to users that have IE set as the default browser so this can lead to users moving away from IE but not the other way around. Microsoft will be promoting direct competitors. It is not yet sure if the EU Commission will accept this offer.

   One thing that is really good about this decision is that 5 years from now Windows 7 will not be shipping with 5 years old Firefox.

Q: What is worse than 8 years old browser shipping with the most popular OS?
A: Five 8 years old browsers shipping with the most popular OS.

You can read more and see a screenshot of the ballot screen here.
Last edited by:   Stilgar
on   04:25 03.08.2009
Posted by:   Stilgar
04:09 12.06.2009

Image Resizing in C#

   I got complaints from millions of readers that I have not posted any programming articles with actual code lately. I do not have anything to write about right now so I decided to pull out some old code. It seems that this one is the most useful piece of code I have ever written. I originally wrote it for my first project and then wrote it again for this very no-blog. I have been asked by several people how to do this and it seems that it is a common problem so maybe someone will find it with the help of mighty Google...
Posted by:   Stilgar
02:44 12.06.2009

On the Shoulders of Giants - Part 1 - John Atanasoff

On the Shoulders of Giants - Part 1 - John Atanasoff
   We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.

   Being a Bulgarian, I decided to dedicate the second part of the series to John Atanasoff. In Bulgaria he is known as the creator of the computer. I want to make it clear that I do not think that he was the creator of the computer. The computer did not have a single creator so no giant can bear this title alone. John Atanasoff however is certainly one of the giants, who carried on their shoulders the machine we call computer during the times when it was really heavy. In his case, it was 320 kg. One way or another, shedding light on his work should be interesting even if you are one of the people who choose to believe that this particular giant invented the computer on his own...
Posted by:   Stilgar
22:51 27.05.2009

Upgrade 1.2.0

    It was high time for our team to introduce a new set of features. Like half of the Web users visit this website so optimizing the experience is really important. The first feature we have added is the OR-based tag search. I think it is pretty self-explanatory what it does. It also works with the RSS feed if you craft the URL using '|' as the separator symbol for OR and '+' as the separator symbol for AND. For example subscribing for:

http://sietch.net/Rss.aspx?Tag=programming+english

Yields a feed of all posts that are in English AND are about programming. Subscribing for:

http://sietch.net/Rss.aspx?Tag=music|movies

Will produce a feed of all posts that are about music OR movies.

    The second addition is the Web Slice for the latest comments. Web Slices are something like a visual RSS feed that is refreshed automatically. If you are using Internet Explorer 8 you can subscribe to it. Alternatively if you are using the minority browser Firefox you can use the WebChunks ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8494 ) addon to subscribe. Rumor has it that Opera 10 will support Web Slices out of the box. If you are using other minority browser I just do not know what you can do and how you are going to live without this invaluable feature. I guess you will have to keep refreshing the page manually every 15 minutes. Here is what the Web Slice looks like:

Web Slice

    We also fixed a bug related to duplicate items in feeds in some readers like Google Reader. This particular fix was deployed some time ago so people who are subscribed via Google Reader should have had no duplicates for the last items.

    As always you can download the source code and even get involved in the development on Codeplex - http://blognet.codeplex.com/

Posted by:   Stilgar
14:08 27.04.2009
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