Archive for May, 2009

May 27th 2009

Torture does not work. Never has, never will.

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May 26th 2009

Definition of overkill…

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May 26th 2009

Nice article on Slashdot on software bugs

This is a funny article, that about ridiculous software bug workarounds: things you might do to get around a certain bug.


One of the nice examples in all the comments:

but it was back in the days of Windows 95. I was working in software Localisation for a Lotus Notes product. We had several machines working in the test lab based on ghost images, so they were all pretty much identical.

One of the machines kept dying on us during the test phase, but none of the others did. Very confusing, for about a day. Until we realised that the machine which was crashing had an audio CD in the drive. (Not playing, not in Explorer. Just present in the drive.)

We verified it by swapping the audio cd into other machines, and running the same tests. Invariably, the machine with the CD in, crashed when we tried to perform task “x” in Lotus Notes.

It was escalated up, as I recall. And we eventually got a note back saying “Don’t put CD’s in the CD-Rom drives.”

I still remember it (as a recent graduate) as my first exposure to management-style thinking.

Another great one:

After upgrading a server, we watched a client verify the server through his daily application. The client entered data and clicked on submit, the next screen appeared instantly. “This is not possible” said the client “it takes about two seconds to submit data to the database”!

“But the new server is much faster!” we said. It didn’t matter, the client refused to believe the data was really submitted.

We held a meeting about this ‘problem’. One developer suggested to add a two second ‘do nothing’ loop to the submit button.

So we patched the server and asked the client to verify again. He entered data, clicked ’submit’ and was very happy to have his two second delay back! “Now it works…” he said “…now the data is entering the database!”.

We admitted our fault (knowing very well that all we added was a two second delay).


It happens… all the time :-)

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May 25th 2009

Games – why are some more enjoyable then others?

This is a interesting article, that tries to explain why some games are more fun to play than others….


Where are the great platform games on the mobiles, btw?

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May 25th 2009

Is this the future of Linux on netbooks?

It could be worse, that is for sure….

This is not so much a computer, more of a large smartphone. But then again – why not? Most people really don’t do that much more with their computers…

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May 25th 2009

Free has a price…

In a recent discussion on /. about a program to track stolen laptops I came across this quote:

where can you store scads of information in a free, reliable, anonymous, and secure manner?”

there’s 4 criteria there. take away free, and you can get the other 3 criteria. leave in the word “free,” and you can only have 1 of the other 3 criteria

This comment was rated as ‘funny’, which I think is a grave mistake. I think this is 1) very true, 2) not funny at all, and 3) much more important than most people realize.
I am continually surprised by the fact that everybody seems to think that everything has always been, will continue to be, and, in fact, should be free. Of course, in reality, nothing is.

It is just that the real cost of a lot of products (be it Facebook or the latest gadgets) is hidden for the consumer. This is especially true for a lot of websites. Almost all people expect the web to be free (as in beer). That may be great – but of course, these sites cost money – and lots of it. (YouTube is expect to lose $470.6 million this year.) What you pay for, in these cases, is almost always freedom. You might not notice it, you might not even care, but you do.

Every time you use a ad-supported service, you expect some else to pick up the bill for a service you are using – it’s as simple as that…

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May 25th 2009

Mars robots may have destroyed evidence of life!?!

This would be something, if found to be true…


It just reminds me how difficult it is to devise tests that you run remotely, without seeing what is actually happening. You need to take so many variables into account that almost inevitably you miss some…!

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May 20th 2009

He feels and talks like a Rambo

But what he says makes perfect sense to me:

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May 14th 2009

Obama at his best…

Watch video of the speech:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Its easy to say that inspirational speeches are easy to give, and hard to follow. But I love listening to him.. :)

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May 13th 2009

Paper folding – no crayons or ink!


Art, created by folding paper… amazing!

More work can be found here.

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