Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tough decision

Standing in the meat aisle, trying to decide between:

A) Listeriosis


B) Swine flu

You gotta go sometime…


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Things they must teach in MBA school, part two

Following up on Part One.

1) Innovation is bad.

Why think outside the box?  If you really come up with something so good that everyone who walks by your desk oohs and aahs about it, you're a failure.  How do you expect the sales and service group to keep up with all the orders you're going to generate?  You need to ease into sales, not explode into the market.


2) Those who are accountable are never held accountable.

At some organizations, somehow, every few months a story comes to light about enormous penalties that must be paid to customers, for failing to meet certain terms of service.  What is most interesting is that the front-line developers, who almost single-handedly have the power to erase millions of dollars in penalties, have no idea what these terms of service are.  I bet if you asked, most wouldn't even know there were performance goals.  The lesson to learn here is that the developers are the ones who get fingered by the finger of blame.  Not the sales guys who made the promises.  Not the product managers who didn't tell anyone about the goals.  And, it happens ALL THE TIME.

Interesting business model, though.  Buy a system from a big company, for a huge dollar amount.  Weasel some clauses into the contract where you can bill for missed service targets, then start collecting.  Pretty soon, your system is free, and you're actually turning a profit.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Journalism at its finest

The local radio station was in high gear this morning, reporting on all the latest swine flu outbreaks.

They were thoughtfully giving advice on how keep from getting the swine flu.  Number one on their list of suggestions was “avoid sick people.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Breathe, breathe in the air

Woo, sucking wind this morning.  First 16km (10 miles, for those not metrically inclined) bike ride in to work of the season, on the old two wheel "myocardial infarction".  Into a stiff southwest wind, no less.  Hopefully the wind is still blowing this afternoon - I might need the push home.

One thing you don't notice when driving in a car, with the windows rolled up tightly, is the odour that wafts out of a cattle truck when it stops beside you at a red light.  That is not cool.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Looking for a RIM job?

In the wake of today’s announcement that SuperMegaCorp is going to skip bonuses and salary increases this year, I pulled out the old calc.exe.

Using last year’s numbers as a starting point, it looks like that’s a hell of a haircut I just took.

Time to head over to Waterloo Tech Jobs and see who’s looking for an attractive, smart software developer, who also happens to be a decent curler.

I guess this was to be expected.  The quarterly results meetings here have been a joke for years.  They follow the same script every quarter.  “Silver went up.  Aluminum went up.  We didn’t see it coming. We took it in the ass.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It is best

It is best to spill black coffee down the front of yourself on the day you wear a black sweatshirt to work.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Break like the wind

From this week’s News of the Weird

Two competitors vying to sell the same type iPhone application (arrays of sounds of breaking wind) are embroiled in a trademark dispute, according to a March Denver Post report. The developers of Air-O-Matic's "Pull My Finger" claim that InfoMedia's "iFart" application improperly uses "pull my finger" in its own marketing. InfoMedia said that the phrase is generic and not trademarkable. [Denver Post, 3-27-09]

And, finally, someone comes up with a justification for Twitter.

Randy Sarafan decided to make this office chair to help "accurately document and share [his] life as it happens," which is as admirable a cause as there ever has been to open a Twitter account. The setup is surprisingly complex: A natural gas sensor does the sniffing; an Arduino does the thinking; an Squidbee wireless module does the communicating; Twitter does the sharing.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Sawing off the branch I'm sitting on

Does this look familiar?

ERROR 2009-04-13 15:40:59,197 [MainThread] HandleUnhandledException(): Unhandled exception: System.ArgumentException: Parameter is not valid.
at System.Drawing.Graphics.MeasureString(String text, Font font, SizeF layoutArea, StringFormat stringFormat)
at System.Windows.Forms.Label.GetPreferredSizeCore(Size proposedConstraints)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.GetPreferredSize(Size proposedSize)
at System.Windows.Forms.Label.GetPreferredSize(Size proposedSize)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.get_PreferredSize()
at System.Windows.Forms.Label.AdjustSize()
at System.Windows.Forms.Label.OnFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnParentFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.ContainerControl.OnFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnParentFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnParentFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.ContainerControl.OnFontChanged(EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Control.set_Font(Font value)
at SuperMegaCorp.View..ctor() in D:\sandbox\client\src\View.cs:line 439

Make sure you haven't Dispose()d a Font somewhere.  If you might still want to use it, it's best to keep it around.

There's a few hours I'll never get back...


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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Blood Alcohol calculator

This will help with my new alcoholism hobby.  Now I can pace myself during the day, instead of being face down on my keyboard by 1:00pm.


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Top 10 Reasons Managers Become Great

Following up on Scott Berkun’s Top 10 Reasons Managers Become Assholes, as we mentioned here a while ago, is the Top 10 Reasons Managers Become Great.

1.  Enjoy helping people grow.
2. Love creating positive environments.
3. Want to correct mistakes inflicted on them.
4. Care deeply about the success and well being of their team.
5. Succession mentality.
6. Long term sense of reward.
7. Practice of the golden rule.
8. Self aware, including weaknesses.
9. Sets tone of healthy debate and criticism.
10. Willing to fight, but picks their battles.
11. (Bonus!) Instinctively corrects bad behaviour within their team.


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mow the lawn

Funniest TV commercial I've seen in a long time.

Might not make it to North America though...


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The Great Gig in the Sky

Continuing the meme of people who are too stupid to kill themselves, we find this moron who flew a stolen airplane into the US, hoping that the American fighter jets would shoot him down.

Now, I'm not a pilot, but I have flown Cessnas like the stolen one many, many times.  While it's a very easy plane to fly, it seems to me that it would be equally easy to get it up to 5000 feet and TURN OFF THE ENGINE.

The fall, or rather, the sudden stop at the end, would do just as good a job as a Sidewinder missile.


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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Irony of the day

I’m not sure what’s worse – someone from Microsoft searching the web to find out how to resolve a strong name validation problem, or the fact that they’re using The Google to do it.



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Best way to get off a conference call

As related to me by a colleague today, the award for "All-time Best Way to Get Off a Conference Call" goes to the guy who insisted he present his status report first, then bail out of the call, because his goat was in labour.

Beat that!


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