Get Tough on Criminals

I love this story about Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

It offers perhaps my favorite quote ever. When the inmates complained about the lack of coffee, having to wear pink, having to work on chain gangs and perhaps, above all, not being able to smoke, he told them: “This isn’t the Ritz/Carlton. If you don’t like it, don’t come back.”

A close second for favorite quote was when the sheriff was asked about his cable TV choices. Apparently there is a federal court order that requires cable TV for jails. He piped in the Disney Channel and the Weather Channel. Someone asked Sheriff Joe why he chose the Weather Channel, to which he answered: “So they will know how hot it’s gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.”

Sweet.

Running up the Score

An article this morning talks about a coach who was suspended for running up the score on the other team. The final score was 55-0. In softball. I’m not sure how to take this. If you’re talking a game like soccer (as is referenced in the article) or basketball, you can simply run around the field (court) and try to make sure the opponent doesn’t have the opportunity to score. You practice your skills and the other team still feels reasonably okay with it, as you didn’t score and score and score on them. I see no problem with this.

In a game like football, the clock will run out eventually, but the team must keep moving so that the other team does not have a chance to score. This means that even if the superior team keeps putting in worse and worse players, if the other team cannot stop them, the score will grow. What are you supposed to do? Play poorly enough, say by fumbling the ball or throwing interceptions, so that the other team gets more chances? That’s not right.

In a game like baseball or softball, where there is effectively no clock, even this tactic won’t work. You can tell your batters to get up and not swing – but what does that do? With poor enough pitching, the opposing team could simply walk the bases full and you would still score.

You could have them attempt to strike out – but what does that do? It actually may affect your team’s ability to hit the ball if they go out and try to miss on purpose. As Ichiro Suzuki found out, even subtle changes can dramatically affect your batting average. Surely intentionally swinging the wrong way could have the opposing effect.

Moreover, usually softball (and baseball) teams don’t have depth – you might have two players at every position, but in many cases even that isn’t a sure thing. While football teams may have three or even four players for a single position, and can put in those players as the score grows more lopsided, that’s not often an option in softball (or baseball).

Though I don’t know the circumstances, I suspect strongly that I’d end up on the side of the winning coach here. If your team is bad enough that they cannot stop the bleeding, even after a 30-run first inning, perhaps you ought to consider that the game should be forfeit, rather than expeting the other team to play poorly so your team doesn’t feel so badly.

And if the league doesn’t like it, add mercy rules to earlier innings. For our sons, they can score only 5 runs per inning, and if the other team is ever up by a score of 10-0, the game is called. Why wait until the fifth inning to check for such a situation?

Firefox Memory Usage

First, while I do create some software, I am not what should be called a developer. I don’t have the experience.

With that out of the way, it seems to me that Firefox (1.0.3) is using up a decent amount of memory on my (Windows XP) system. When it first starts, it uses perhaps 18MB. Within just a few minutes, it’s at 20MB – not a huge jump, but a jump nonetheless.

Earlier today I noticed that things were running slowly and I fired up the Windows Task Manager. Firefox was using over 120MB. Now I had not logged off or even restarted Firefox in probably a week. I just leave it running. I also had probably 15 tabs open.

As I started closing the tabs, the memory usage really didn’t change. There may have been some adjustement, but nothing significant. This would normally lead me to believe that tabs don’t matter much, if at all. When I finally closed Firefox, that memory was released. Starting up again, it’s now back around the 20MB figure.

It’s certainly possible that something on my system is ill- or mis-configured and causing the problem, but I’m not sure where I’d even look, as the memory appears to be allocated to Firefox alone. It could, perhaps, be the Bloglines Toolkit (or some other extension), but short of uninstalling it I’m not sure how to test that (I will uninstall it to see if it helps). And more specifically, if it is the issue, I’m not sure how to address it.

So I’m wondering if any of you have seen similar behavior, either with or without the Toolkit or other extensions?

Update: In a quick test, I disabled the Toolkit notification, then disabled the extension entirely, so it should not be running. Firefox appears to periodically add 8K or so to the running memory, even without the Toolkit. I’m not sure what this is, only that it does appear to happen from time to time. It doesn’t appear to be the Toolkit, though, and for that I’m grateful.

Then I started testing. A fresh load of Firefox, using the local paper, started at about 21MB. This size varies a bit depending on the size of the page you load, but seems to be relatively consistent if I load the same page over and over again for testing.

In any case, those values seemed consistent. So I started adding tabs. I chose this article, just because I happened to find it interesting. Using the Firefox “Page Info” option, it shows the page as 11K. When opening this page as an additional tab (leaving the front page in the other tab), the memory usage jumps up by about 3MB. Opening another tab with the same size results in sizes of 1.4MB to just over 2.0MB for each tab opened.

Those are reasonable numbers – I have no problem with the size in general, as I typically only have a few tabs open, so the footprint is still small – about 31MB in this example, after having the front page and five copies of the article open at the same time (6 tabs total).

The problem seems to come on closing those tabs. I closed all five of the articles, and the memory savings was just over 1MB. So while opening those five tabs added about 10MB to the memory used by the application, after closing those five tabs, just 1MB was released, leaving a net gain of 9MB for no effective difference after closing those tabs!

Update: For comparison purposes, I tried the same test in IE (using windows instead of tabs, of course). The first window was smaller than Firefox – about 19MB compared to 21MB. Small savings, but interesting to note.

The next window added nearly 13MB of memory – all the way up to 32MB, which immediately places it higher than Firefox with all 6 tabs open. Each of the final four tabs required 1-2MB, for a final footprint of just over 38MB. So it ends 8MB higher than Firefox. If you open a ton of tabs/windows, then this could be a reasonably significant number.

Then I started closing windows. By the time I was back down to a single window, I was running with 23MB – just over the initial size. So while IE added 19MB of memory to the running instance, it also released all but 4MB of that after the windows were closed, and perhaps more importantly, the total size after closing those extras was just 23MB – compared to Firefox at 30MB.

Opening the extra windows again resulted in a higher memory footprint at the end, but it still seems that IE is releasing most of the extra memory used, while Firefox is keeping it. More as I play with it some more.

Update: After observing this behavior for a couple of days, I can say with certainty that Firefox does not immediately release the memory in use by those extra tabs, while IE does (for windows). However, it does seem that Firefox will release at least some memory periodically, as I have seen an instance of Firefox go from 100MB to 80MB with absolutely no change in the number of tabs (or even the URLs open in those tabs). So I’m not sure how, but it does seem to free up memory from time to time. Just not immediately.

Dollars and Sense of Pro Sports

The City of Charlotte gave the NBA expansion Bobcats $300 million for a new arena. No, we didn’t hand them a check, but we are building the arena for them and they get to reside in it, operate it and even keep the profits from it.

Charlotte is now wanting to pony up nearly $140 million to build a NASCAR hall of fame here in town. This one almost makes sense compared to the arena. At least it can reasonably be expected to generate the city some money, as well as perhaps keep the races we do have.

Continue reading “Dollars and Sense of Pro Sports”

Trend Micro Web Console Problems

Ran into a problem today where a customer was receiving an odd message when they tried to login to the Trend Micro web console for OfficeScan: Your OfficeScan session has timed out. Please log in again. This message in Google didn’t turn up much. Rather, it didn’t turn up much in English. There were a handful of results in other languages, none of which would translate particularly well.

Luckily, I decided to venture onto the second page of the search results, where I found this page. Turns out that the IUSR user needed full control of the “Temp” folder under “pccsrv”. Updated the permissions and it worked like a champ.

What I really didn’t get is why the heck the Trend knowledge base articles aren’t shared across languages. Those other sites were from Trend in different countries, and it was obviously pulling information from the knowledge base. Would have been great if, when I changed the domain name from one of those countries back to the US domain, if it just pulled the article and automatically translated it for me.

MT-Moderate and SimpleComments

A number of you have mentioned that you would like to use MT-Moderate, specifically to moderate trackbacks, but are unable to do so because you also use SimpleComments.

Because of the way in which I’m making trackbacks moderated, they will still appear in SimpleComments lists of trackbacks.

Now, thanks to Jayaprakash (JP), those of you using dynamic publishing are now able to get around this limitation.

Continue reading “MT-Moderate and SimpleComments”