A girlfriend as a sign of good faith?

Content warning. The story I’ll tell you here isn’t significant to the grand scheme of the universe but, hey, it happens to me, so it matters to me. If you don’t care about my life, maybe you shouldn’t care about this blog post. You got a fair warning :-)

Let’s start with some straight fact: I never had a girlfriend, and I have never been in a relationship of any kind. There are reasons for this – most of them probably aren’t good I’ll admit – but I don’t want to get into this today. Don’t worry though: most of the time this fact doesn’t alarm me in any way.

Having moved to another country, though, means I can’t spend as much time as I want with my Belgian friends, and you would believe it means I should use that reclaimed time to make new friends. As it turns out, I am not a social butterfly, I don’t mind spending time alone – probably quite the contrary: it takes some effort to socialize.

But even when I work on myself to do things and meet people, I am amazed how biased the resulting outcome is skewed towards sustaining relationships with men rather than women. Maybe I am misinterpreting what I am living through, but it seems to me the issue originates from the fact I don’t have a girlfriend.

At start, there is no difference between discussing with a man or a woman in a group. I can have a conversation about a large set of topics, and I have never had any difficulty talking with people. Maybe I would even be a social butterfly if I hadn’t grown into being anthropophobic.

Now, let’s say you discuss with someone and had a good time. When either of you has to leave for other things, comes the moment where you need to indicate you would be interested in getting another opportunity to meet that person to continue the conversation. 

Usually I make it a policy to attempt to give my phone number to the other person, to not force him or her to connect. In the vast majority of the cases though, you will quickly receive either the phone number or facebook detail of the other person.  Nothing unusual here. 

Between men, it seems to me things go fairly naturally from that point. But even if you connect with women through whatever means and schedule they seem comfortable with, as soon as you want to setup another meeting, and it does not matter how you bring that up, you will be hit some strange glass wall, sometime materialized by the famous “I already have a boyfriend btw” line.

My experience is, it doesn’t matter how you respond to that line. Even if you genuinely do not care, and even if a rational analysis would quickly lead anybody involved to the conclusion it wouldn’t make any sense anyway, the likelihood of meeting again dropped to extremely low levels. So many interesting discussions will never happen because being a single male I am assumed to care about women only to land a girlfriend.

I can’t help but wonder if things wouldn’t be tremendously easier if I had a girlfriend and went out with her, as a sign of good faith I am genuinely not interested in another girlfriend… but it saddens me our society has grown into a thing where being a young single pretty much prevents you from meeting women at random and meet again out of mutual non-sexual interest.

Published on 2017-04-22 under ALL
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Get the row/column index of a table cell

It is surprising and annoying there is no easy way in html to get the accurate table row/column index of a cell if the table uses rowspan or colspan. This code does not reimplement the entire html spec’s algorithm because it is digusting but should work in all reasonable scenarios and the most common unreasonable scenarios:

Published on 2016-12-29 under ALL, HTML, JS, WEB
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Detect lines in an image using JavaScript

A coworker came to me last week asking if by chance I knew how to algorithmically detect the corners of a piece of paper whose picture was taken by a smartphone. Actually, this problems is best solved by detecting the edges of the paper, corners being the intersection of such lines…

Published on 2016-07-04 under ALL, WEB, JS, MATH
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This might be the best way (not) to control gun ownership in this country

The United States is not going to give up on guns. Not now, not anytime soon. Some guns owners are pretty vocal they won’t agree with any kind of regulation of their freedom to own guns, as they consider their gun an insurance which could save their life. That’s fair, maybe they are right after all. That doesn’t mean we non-gun-owners have to pay the price for it.

Published on 2016-06-13 under ALL
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Closing the loop on Google and webperf

You know I’m not one of those people who usually mumble their disagreement in the dark side of the room. That’s a good thing; the world evolves in large part thanks to constructive feedback. When you’re such a kind of person, it is important to acknowledge when the world has changed and your feedback was taken into account. Today is such a day: I saw web performance talks from Google who made me real happy.

Published on 2016-05-21 under ALL, WEB, PERF, GOOGLE
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First 6 months at Microsoft

Time flows fast, and I was reminded a few days ago I have now been working at Microsoft for 6 months. To answer the questions of those who might want to know how I have been doing during this time, I decided to write this blog post.

Published on 2016-04-21 under ALL, MSFT, USA
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CSS Grid Polyfill Level 1

It’s been a while already that a vast majority of web designs have been, consciously or not, based on the concept of the grid layout. However, the formatting toolbox of the web did not, until recently, provide developers with the so-critical grid layout.

Now, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and can’t continue waiting. That’s why I’ve been working on a piece of javascript you can add to any modern browser in order to add support for CSS Grids. Today, I’m releasing a first version to you, as part of larger css-polyfilling plans.

Published on 2014-11-02 under ALL, WEB, CSS, JS, EXTWEB
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Owning guns makes you rich

The worldwide correlation between gun ownership and crime rate is visibly pointing toward a crime reduction as the gun ownership increases. So, I decided to investigate this further…

Published on 2013-08-18 under ALL
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Element Media Queries (:min-width)

On the eve of HTML Web Components, and of stronger than ever Responsive Design requirements, the need for Element Media Queries is becoming very visible. This blog post will try to make a case for a JavaScript prollyfill and gives some background on why the :min-width pseudo-class is so difficult to implement.

Published on 2013-04-17 under ALL, CSS, WEB
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RSS Feed

Hi guys! I know some of you were requesting an RSS feed for my blog, so I decided to build one. For now, it’s not very discoverable and it’s still a ‘beta’ version with a few quirks, but it should be sufficient for the purpose it has to serve. You can get it from the following url:

Published on 2013-04-16 under ALL
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First message from Windows RT

Hi there, this is just a small message to inform you I'm a proud owner of an Asus VivoTab RT (3G, 64Gb). So far I'm liking the experience, but I naturally misses my favorite dev tools, even if IE10 + CodeWriter do an acceptable job when working on HTML content.

Published on 2013-02-10 under ALL
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Use your SD Card as My Music or My Pictures

On Windows 8 and with the rise of SSD devices, the storage space on the computer may prove scarce. One solution is to put your documents on a fast-enough SD Card. However, there’s a caveat: even if your format your SD card as NTFS drive, Windows will refuse to index the SD card (because it’s a removable device).

Published on 2013-01-29 under ALL, WINDOWS
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Enforcing parameter types in JavaScript

The Extensible Web Community Group is currently working on his first project: a polyfill code generator. The goal of the project is to generate a stub JavaScript code from some WebIDL definition. To ensure maximum compatibility, we need to follow the WebIDL type conversion rules: but how do we do this efficiently?

Published on 2013-01-17 under ALL, WEB, JS, PERFORMANCES
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The future of web innovation

Back in early 2010, I made a lightening talk on how I thought a new kind of innovation process started to drive the web forward. Today, I think this model is becoming more and more the predominant model of evolution of web standards.

Published on 2012-11-17 under ALL, CSS, HTML, JS, WEB
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What it feels like to live at 10km from Brussels…

Brussels is the heart of Belgium (a French-, Dutch- and German-speaking country). In Brussels, more than 90% of the population is French-speaking. Yet, Brussels has become too small to host its population. An ever-growing amount of French-speaking people is forced to live in the peripheral region, called Flanders.

Published on 2012-10-13 under ALL, BELGIUM, POLITICS
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So, what’s TypeScript?

A few days ago, Microsoft introduced TypeScript. Many IT news websites defined TypeScript as a “Super Javascript” from Microsoft, but what is it really? Why was he crafted? What are Microsoft plans going forward?

Published on 2012-10-06 under ALL, JS, WEB
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ECMAScript Binding Manager

These days, most JavaScript libraries perform data binding. Data binding means updating the UI automatically as a result of a model change using the Observer-Observee principle. Here’s my take on the data binding standardization.

Published on 2012-08-25 under ALL, WEB, JS
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Responsive Image Protocol proposal

These days, many people advocate for the use “image sets”. Meanwhile, image sets is just a way to put more burden on the developer by asking him to specify two image urls in his markup if he want to support high-resolution screens (phones, tablets, and high-end notebooks).

Published on 2012-08-21 under ALL, PHOTOS, WEB
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requestAnimationFrame sample - the right way

Some time ago, there has been a big PR ongoing by the people of the Web Performance WG to make sure we used requestAnimationFrame in our websites instead of setTimeout when it was available.

However, the latest drafts (which were implemented in IE10) introduced an undetectable breaking change from the currently published working draft, which can break your existing websites using the requestAnimationFrame function.

Published on 2012-08-21 under ALL, JS, WEB
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Understanding the Tunnel Effect with intuition only

Among the few quantum laws that are well-known by the non-scientists, the Tunnel Effect is high-rated, maybe only surpassed by the Schrodinger’s Cat experience and the Wave-Particle duality.

However, few people really understand the phenomenon. In this article, I propose a simple yet effective way to understand the Tunnel Effect with no pre-required scientific knowledge.

Published on 2012-08-04 under ALL, FREMYSCIENCES, PHYSICS
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Notifications, newsletters and mail intents

We can divide the mails we receive in our mail box into multiple categories. Some are personal messages. Some, however, are automatically generated notifications. It’s therefore amazing no one (Apple, Microsoft, Google) actually integrated mails to their notification systems.

Published on 2012-08-01 under ALL, WEB, USABILITY
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Standards committees, ask your users

A while back I tweeted that users and authors, to the contrary of the popular belief, are less important than browser implementers and spec writers in standards committees. I really think it is the case, and I’ll care to explain why in this blog post.

Published on 2012-07-24 under ALL, WEB
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This scientist could pledge suicide to become immortal

For a long time, philosophers and theologians wonder if our conscience is immaterial. While this question is still open at the moment, many people believe our conscience isn’t anything more than the result of the many electrical processes happening in our brain.

Among those, Kenneth Hayworth (neurobiologist and engineer) is trying very hard to cartography the human brain. His ultimate goal? That someone create a digital program emulating his own brain before 2200 PCN…

Published on 2012-07-23 under ALL, FREMYSCIENCES
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Making your own blog engine <tutorial>

While everybody seems to be using WordPress right now, there’s no reason not consider making your own blogging platform. In this blog post, I’m sharing my experience on the creation of a blogging platform.

Published on 2012-06-24 under ALL, WEB
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Rebooting CSS Variables [CSS Custom Properties]

Many subjects are being discussed in the CSS Working Group. So many subjects, in fact, that you can't get involved in all of them. However, some are more critical to the future of the CSS language than others. And I truly believe that the current css-variables discussion is one of them.

Published on 2012-06-26 under ALL, CSS, WEB
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Reacting on Zed Shaw talk

It seems to me Zed is trying to get attention by mostly reporting problems whose solution already have been found and whose implementation in today’s browsers is a work in progress.

Published on 2012-06-26 under ALL
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