Friday, January 27, 2006

Another sign of the apocalypse

Los Angeles votes - sex 0, violence 1. Read the TechDirt article for the whole story.

The short version: there's a hidden sex scene in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game. You need to download a patch to activate this feature. The City of Los Angeles doesn't think consensual sex is a good thing, but apparently it's satisfied with all the carjacking, murder and drugs in the game.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Whoooo are you? Whooo whooo? Whooo whooo?

Tell me who are you?

I'm Quiet Quincey.


The Best of Berkun

While we're on the "best of" theme, Scott Berkun has a list of his top essays.

Required reading for developers, team leaders and project managers.


101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Business 2.0 magazine has a list of the 101 dumbest moments in business from 2005.

Some of these just make me shake my head. How are these guys still in business? In fact, some of the dumb moments were fatal to the company in question.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Winter Health Crisis?

A report says that "snowmobile crashes, rollovers or plunges into lakes and rivers were behind 41 per cent of injuries treated in specialized trauma units in 2003-2004". In fact, "25 people died in hospital from snowmobile injuries in 2003-2004" and almost half of those severely injured had been drinking.

No word on how many injuries are treated in hospitals every year. I suppose most would have alcohol as a factor, though.


The Best Software Writing, Volume Two

Joel is taking nominations for the Best Software Writing, Volume Two.

I like "Why Good Programmers are Lazy and Dumb" and "Why we Hate HR".

Volume One linked here.


Motivation R Us

The 2006 calendar is out!

I will be framing "Wishes" and "Worth".


Inside Scoop!

Rick Mercer reveals Stephen Harper's cabinet.

Remember, you get what you pay for.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Higher education?

Here's a University professor offering students a B-minus to stay away from his class.

That's just great. If we ever start hiring again, I can add this to my list of interview questions. "So, this B-minus on your transcript - if that a real B-minus, or did you just bag off class?"

Note to Students: if you're dumb enough to fall for this, you deserve less than a B-minus.

Note to UPEI: eighth place and dropping


Top Jobs of 2006

Fast Company has a list of the top jobs for this year. They define "top" as jobs that will be in high demand, offer excellent potential salaries, and typically require some level of higher education.

Top Jobs 2006 List

  • Lawyer
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Sales manager
  • Management analyst
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Financial manager
  • Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent
  • Marketing manager
  • Computer software engineer
  • Chiropractor
  • Postsecondary education administrator
  • Medical scientist
  • Market research analyst
  • Dentist
  • Medical and health services manager
  • Producers and directors
  • Financial analyst
  • Wholesale and manufacturing sales representative
  • Engineering manager
  • Advertising and promotions manager
  • Compensation and benefits manager
  • Clinical, counseling, and school psychologist
  • Real estate sales agent
  • Training and development manager
  • Public relations manager



These guys are promoting nude curling with a line of clothing. How weird is that?

While you're there, check out the ProSlide. I just switched to a new broom. I could have had a fancy broom and a beer at the same time!


The End of the Personalized Menu

Let me echo the "hurrahs" on this one. The second most hated UI feature ever, finally bites the dust.

Which is the most hated? No question, it's this little bugger.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sweet action

I gotta get me some of this sweet action. Probably not very accurate, but if the muzzle velocity is up, it could sting a little.

Russ for flag-bearer

Canada's Olympic flag-bearer will be announced next week. There's always lots of speculation about who will get the honour of carrying the flag, and some athletes go far out of their way to avoid it. Anyone who will be competing in the first couple of days usually doesn't want the distraction, and some believe it to be bad luck.

Now the momentum is building to have Russ Howard carry the flag. There aren't too many other athletes going to the games this year who have had as succesful a career in their sport, or who have had as much influence on the development of their sport, as Russ Howard.

I vote for Russ. Who's with me?


Monday, January 16, 2006

Some questions are better left unanswered

[CAUTION: Not for the squeamish]

There's a urinal here at work that's plugged today. I mean, plugged. There's a plunger sitting in front of it, to make sure nobody adds to the problem, if you get my drift.

How does a urinal get plugged? What could someone possibly stick down there that would plug it up that bad?

I don't think I really want to know...

Replacing the stack rank

Mini-Microsoft has some goals to replace the stack ranking mess.

The desired effect?

That our employees work in an environment where their compensation and performance management positively affects the quality and shipping frequency of the software that they design, implement, test, market, sell, and support, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and increased shareholder value. That the employees can see a direct correlation to their good hard work, the increase in quality of what's delivered to our customer, and the compensation that they receive. Employees do not succeed at the expense of other employees.

Sounds good. I wonder if SuperMegaCorp would wish the same for its employees.


Top ten reasons why nobody reads your blog

Hugh explains why nobody is reading.

One thing is for sure, you won't find any nude photos here. Some talk of nude curling, maybe.


News from Conestoga College

I'm a member of the IT Program Advisory Committee at Conestoga College. The committee meets several times a year to review program and course content, conduct question and answer sessions with the students, and provide an industry view on what the students should be learning.

Some news items from the most recent meeting:

Teacher's colleges in Ontario have agreed to accept college-granted applied degrees as basis for applying for eligibility to seek a teaching credential in the province. It's interesting how uninformed high school teachers and guidance counselors are when it comes to Ontario's Colleges. I remember (way way back now) being steered exclusively toward University when it came time to decide what to do after high school. I guess that's to be expected, since teachers in Ontario are products of the University system. Maybe that will change once some College degree grads start teaching in high schools.

Speaking of going to University, I've heard that 90% of parents of students entering high school expect their children to go to University following high school. In reality, 50% don't go on to either College or University. That's a wake up call.

Conestoga College is participating in a program to help "high risk" high school students get a better education. These students are at risk of dropping out of high school, or discontinuing their education when they leave high school. The College invites these students to tour the campus, and to meet some current students and graduates. It's an eye opener for these guys when someone who's working on an apprenticeship tells them how important it is to stay in high school, and to pursue a post-secondary education after that. Want a new car? Want to buy a house? Not going to happen with a McJob. (Nothing against folks who have a McJob, but the guy who's completed his apprenticeship is going to be significantly more well off).


Now THAT takes balls

From this week's News of the Weird:

With an Oakland Tribune reporter and 20 people looking on in November in a parking lot in Fremont, Calif., Tu Jin-Sheng, 50, "grandmaster" in one of the Chinese arts of Qigong, pulled a rental truck several yards using only a piece of fabric tied to the base of his genitals. Jin-Sheng is supposedly a leader of the branch of Qigong known as "Iron Crotch," whose 60,000 adherents worldwide believe that strengthening the genitals increases energy. To warm up for the pull, Jin-Sheng had an assistant kick him hard between the legs. [Oakland Tribune, 11-23-05]

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Possible Cabinet job?

The Conservatives have a candidate, Derek Zeisman, in British Columbia's Southern Interior riding, who's facing smuggling charges. He's alleged to have smuggled 112 containers of booze across the border from the U.S.

It's interesting how when there was a rumour of a possible leak from the Finance department, the Conservatives were clamouring for the RCMP to arrest everyone in sight, and for the Minister to resign. When the smuggling story broke the first reaction was "of course he's still the candidate - he's innocent until proven guilty". Now they're reviewing this decision, but maybe they should keep the guy. He'd make an excellent Minister of International Trade. Or maybe Transportation...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Voter turnout

Here's a story about a couple who are spending thousands of dollars to become Canadian citizens before the election on the 23rd. They remember not being able to vote in their native Nigeria, and they want to vote in this election.

I think it's pathetic that we can only manage a 60% voter turnout for an election. Maybe it's time we made voting mandatory.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thought of the day

I was wandering through the grocery store the other day, looking for a big box of cereal. My daughters like Cheerios, and it's not a happy place when the Cheerio box is empty. I headed for the "Family Pack" aisle, you know - where you can find a 10 lb. box of raisins, or a 20L bottle of ketchup.

I started thinking, what if condoms were sold in bulk like that? Would they still call it a "family pack"? Probably not.

Just wondering...


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's Eve

Picture this - it's New Year's Eve. We had some friends over for a New Year's Eve party. They have a four year old daughter, who enjoyed playing with my five and two year old daughters all evening. To say that there was lots of noise and mayhem does not do the evening justice.

We had a countdown for the kids at nine o'clock. More noise - horns honking, cymbals crashing, confetti gizmos barfing confetti and streamers all over the house. The kids loved it, until the two year old cut her thumb on a noise maker. Those little tin crank noise makers are great, unless your thumb is small enough to fit into the slot, in which case you will shortly be seeing a lot of blood.

Lots of band aids, Polysporin and snuggles later, she was starting to feel better. This is around 10 o'clock now, and regular bedtime is usually around 8, so having a bad case of the tireds wasn't helping. I managed to tuck her into bed and she was almost asleep when I crept out of her room to rejoin the party.

The next door neighbours had some fireworks that are probably slightly illegal in Ontario, and called us out to the back yard to watch some cool explosions. They passed over some sparklers for the girls to light, and we all headed out on the deck to see the show. By now, the dog is getting pissed off. Everyone's outside but her, and there seems to be a commotion in the yard next door. My dog is quite protective of the back yard, and extremely protective of my daughters. Seeing one hurt herself earlier in the evening didn't help, and now the other one looked to be in danger from some kind of fire stick she was holding in her hand.

So we're all standing outside on the deck, and now the dog's really getting excited. She jumps up against the deck door, trying to slide it open, which she is usually able to do (she weighs 85 pounds). This time she was pushing the wrong way, and pressed the door completely shut, coming down on the latch. Yes, down means locked. My stupid dog locked four adults and two kids out of the house.

My wife went around to the front door to see if it was unlocked, but of course it wasn't. The neighbours are starting to wet themselves laughing by now. Did I mention it was below freezing? At least it wasn't snowing. Everyone went next door to the neighbours to stay warm, except me. I stayed at the back door so the dog wouldn't start barking her head off. The last thing I wanted then was the two year old to wake up and find the house deserted except for the idiot dog, who by now was standing at the deck door giving me a "you stupid fuck, open the door!" look.

The neighbours on the other side of us have a key to our house, but they weren't home. My wife's sister lives across town, so she gave them a call. No one home. Now we remember which friends they're spending the evening with. My wife calls again, hoping that someone is sober enough to drive over with a key.

Two friends of the kid next door come over to see if they can pop open a basement window. "What criminal background do you have?" I ask. "Hey," one guy says, slightly offended. "I grew up in Kitchener!" Ok, good enough. But he wasn't able to get the window open without breaking it, and he didn't want to do that. About this time my sister-in-law shows up with a key, laughing her ass off.

Morals of the story - don't piss off your dog, don't give a two year old a hazardous noise maker, never leave the house without a key, give both neighbours a spare key.

Oh yeah, the fireworks were excellent.


Daniel Cook

Spending a few days at home over the last week has made me realize how wide the gulf is between good children's television (Arthur, Little Bear) and bad children's television (Barney, This is Daniel Cook).

Daniel Cook has an interesting premise - follow a kid around as he visits a firehall, goes to the zoo, flies a plane, digs a ditch with a backhoe, etc. The problem with the show is that the kid is as annoying as they come.

It would be neat to see this show carry on as the kid gets older.

This is Daniel Cook...

  • drinking too much Southern Comfort
  • puking all over the couch
  • reading Glamour magazine under the covers
  • smoking dope
  • driving around in his father's 1979 Chevy Malibu, listening to Van Halen on the car stereo and nailing a cheerleader in the back seat.

Could be entertaining.


Ten Rules for Dating My Daughter

My daughters are 5 and 2 right now, but I'm saving this list.

Election time

So the holidays are over, and the election campaign will be spooling up for real now.

Paul Wells has been on the trail for weeks. It's going swimmingly, it seems.

Truth? What is truth?

This guy has a future career as a politician. Or maybe a lawyer. Oooh, yeah - a patent lawyer.

Definitely not a career in Homeland Security.

Year in Review

The News of the Weird has a 2005 year in review. Enjoy.