Creepy protests in good ol’ Berkeley. Oh My!

So this tuesday morning, some people showed up at the house of a Google employee and protested (http://goo.gl/nLT9wm). Against the arrogance of the ruling class developing self-driving cars. What the what? Yes. And it gets better. These people distributed fliers containing the employees name and the picture of his house showing his address. The flier railed about how the engineer is a robot for wearing the Google glass. How he is arrogant for using a tablet which uses minerals for which people slave away in pits in Africa. That he is a part of the “cyber-capitalist” class, and he is helping take away people’s privacy.

The mind, boggles. I’m sure these people prepared these fliers using various sorts of electronics which use these same minerals. They took the picture of the engineer’s house using Google Maps and spied on him as he left for work while holding his baby. for these people to talk about privacy or conflict minerals is the height of hypocrisy, and not a little creepy.

I wish I could say I sympathise with these people. But I just can’t. I’m not a Google employee, and I’m not excited about the prospect of universal surveillance (which is already here, look around you). But these people are not concerned about privacy, or rising rents or gentrification.

These people, are jealous. It is as simple as this. These people are jealous that this person is smart, gets to zip around in a self-driving car and makes more money than them. What they forget is that this guy did not make this money by pulling troubled companies apart, or by overcharging for healthcare, or by selling weapons, or by waging war, or manipulating the economic system. This guy made his money by working hard his entire life, learning his craft and inventing. What he is making will some day save thousands of lives (and I say this as someone who is NUTS about driving everywhere). And being envious of his life doesn’t give them a right to go stalk him and his young family.

I like to think that we in the bay area are all basically nice people who like to help each other out, however sometimes fruitcakes like these so called “protesters” leave a bad taste in the mouth.

JSPerf, JavaScript performance vs. Try-Catch

So I was mucking around on JSPerf the other day trying to settle what was a faster way to clear an HTML element of all it’s children,

  
    element.innerHTML = ""
  

or,

  
    var child;
    while(element.firstChild){
      element.removeChild(element.firstChild);
    }
  

Surprisingly, I learned that element.removeChild is the faster one! You can see the JSPerf here http://jsperf.com/jquery-html-vs-empty-vs-innerhtml/17.

What was more shocking to me however was the fact that using try-catch in the loop severely hampers its performance (to the extent that it was the slowest of 5 tests!). I could not find a definitive answer as to why this was so, until I found this Issue in the V8 bugtracker (https://code.google.com/p/v8/issues/detail?id=1065). Enlightenment dawns! I’m guessing a similar situation exists with tracemonkey, but I’m going to try and confirm this.

And the fastest way to clear an element? Here it is

  
    var child;
    while(child = element.lastChild){
      element.removeChild(child);
    }
  

Site moved to a brave new world!

So I moved from Yahoo! small business hosting to the excellent nearlyfreespeech.net. Now I have new php, new mysql and thus I can have the new WordPress. I really was tired of running old versions of WordPress (thanks for nothing Yahoo!).

What’s more, my new host actually is nearly free, especially for an exceedingly low traffic site like mine. So, cheers for freedom of choice and the freedom to save money.

I also took the opportunity to reboot my website, so all the old content is not gone. Expect to see regular updates very soon.