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Michael Burns's blog

Activist judges ...

We have all heard reports of activist judges, those who legislate from the bench. Those reports concern many of us since these judges are stepping beyond their intended role.

However, an action that occurred this past week is far more alarming!

A judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a case involving a Muslim who attacked an atheist. What is alarming is the reprimand the judge gives to the plaintiff (excerpted from the first article):

Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it. It makes you look like a doofus… In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.

I have included links to various articles about the story below. Please share this with others.

NOTE: Some of these stories refer to Judge Martin as a Muslim convert. This has been denied by a member of the Judge's staff. You can read more about that here.

Error: A value of type [...] cannot be assigned to an entity of type [...] ...

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I was working on a project recently within Visual Studio 2010. I added something similar to the following:

#include "someh.h"
someho * value;

#include "header.h"
#include "someh.h"

value = new someho();

The editor then showed the following error:

Error: A value of type 'someho *' cannot be assigned to an entity of type 'someho *'

A search of the internet brought up various articles. None directly applied to nor resolved my problem.

However, there was one article (here) that did give me a hint. The article stated that this error often occurs when a class has been redefined. So, a quick inspection of the header someh.h revealed that it did not contain an include guard. Since "some.h" was included in both header.h and implement.cpp, the object someho was technically being redefined. So, I put an include guard in "someh.h" and the error was resolved.

It sure would be nice if the compiler error was a little bit clearer.

SOPA Strike ...

I participated in the SOPA Strike yesterday by taking my site offline. Thankfully, President Obama has stated he is opposed to the measure, essentially killing it for now. However, we will have to keep a vigilant eye on this legislation or similar attempts to prevent piracy through legislation.

Here's a good article explaining Why SOPA is Dangerous.

2012 Election -- GOP Candidates

I know. It's still early, but there is a lot going on in the GOP Presidential race. Who are you supporting?

Here are links to the websites of the top 4 GOP candidates. Read, study and listen. It is important that we are "informed voters" when we go to the polls next year!

I haven't decided yet who I will be supporting. Right now, I am leaning towards Mr. Gingrich even though I have a slight aversion to career politicians. I like Mr. Cain, but his 9-9-9 plan doesn't seem very workable to me and, he winds up spending so much time explaining it that he is unable to share his positions on other issues. Mr. Perry seems to struggle in front of people, as do I, but I really like his flat tax proposal. (I supported the flat tax when Mr. Forbes ran for President.) And, I'm not sure what it is, but I just don't care for Mr. Romney as a candidate.

Let me know what you think!

Zeppelin - 7 Albums in the Top 100 ...

Listener's at The Sound LA acknowledge how great Led Zeppelin is by selecting 7 of their albums to be in the Top 100 Rock Albums of all time.

Error: No script engine for extension .vbs ...

So, I thought I would write a quick little script to open a VPN connection and perform some routine maintenance on a remote system. I created an empty .vbs file, edit it, put in some simple commands and then double-click it to test it. Then, up comes a dialog that says, "There is no script engine for extension .vbs." What?

What I found was that an application I installed to test, Bluefish Editor, had changed a lot of file type associations including VBS files. Unfortunately, they apparently do not "clean up" the associations after uninstalling which I had done. (Most applications that I have run across do not restore associations when they are uninstalled. So, Bluefish is not alone in this.)

Anyway, to restore the VBS association with WScript, the main change I had to make was to change the value for "(Default)" in the Registry as follows:

  • Run Regedit
  • Select .vbs under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
  • Change the value for (Default) to "VBSFile"

Once that change was in place, executing the VBS script worked as expected.

Source code ...

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I have added a page containing some of the source code I have written over the years. I just have three little utilities up there for now, but I will continue to add to the archive as time allows.

My Source Code

My favorite band of all time ...

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Someone posted some links to videos of oldies last week on Facebook. While they were good, they were on the softer side of rock with some pop.

I grew up listening to all kinds of music, from classical to country to rock to new wave. However, I tend to like the slightly harder side of rock better than any thing else.

Led Zeppelin is my all time favorite band. As The Sound LA (100.3FM) puts it, "While others were making hits, Led Zeppelin was making albums!"

So, here is one of their classics for your enjoyment!

Led Zeppelin - Black Dog (Live Video)