Sunday, February 28, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics - Curling recap

Ok sports fans, time to recap the Olympic Curling.

Let's see how I did on my predictions.

For the Women, I said:

Gold: Sweden
Silver: Canada
Bronze: China.

Well, sadly, I nailed that.

"Cardiac" Cheryl had two good chances to prove me wrong, but couldn't pull it off. In a club game she makes that first one 8 or 9 times out of 10. The second one was harder, but she'd still be 7 or 8 out of 10.

For the Men, I said:

Gold: Canada
Silver: Norway
Bronze: Great Britain.

And, happily, I got two out of three right. I had the feeling that David Murdoch would crap out, I just thought he'd go two games deeper before it happened.

So, five out of six medalists in the right order. Not bad.

Should I push my luck with Brier picks?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2010 Women of Curling Calendar

Ladies and…, er, ok – who are we kidding?

Gentlemen, here’s the 2010 Women Of Curling Calendar.  Also known as the “Nude Curling Calendar”.

Who takes care you, eh?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BalancePlus 500 curling shoe review

I picked up a pair of BalancePlus 500 curling shoes last week.

My old Ultima shoes were starting to fall apart, especially on the gripper foot.  The inside heel of my sliding foot was wearing away too, likely because my foot was moving in the shoe, but the shoe wouldn’t bend because of the thick slider.  Overall I was happy with the shoes, and they certainly seem to work fine for Kevin Martin, but it was time to try something new.

I was looking for a shoe with either a split slider, or one that has two separate sliding surfaces, such as the Asham Slams or the BalancePlus 500s, or the new Goldline ones.  I know several folks with BalancePlus shoes, and they all seem to love them, so I thought I’d give them a try.

I guess you’d figure it out from the name, but the balance with these shoes is fantastic.  I would get a bit of a speed wobble when throwing up weight with the Ultima shoes, and I have none of that with the BP500s.  Slower slides are just as smooth.  The only knock I have so far is that they’re not quite as fast as my old shoes, but I expect that to improve once they’re broken in a bit.  They’re also nice and warm – my feet would get quite cold in the Ultima’s when I was skipping.

Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors, 2010 Edition

The 2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors is a list of the most widespread and critical programming errors that can lead to serious software vulnerabilities. They are often easy to find, and easy to exploit. They are dangerous because they will frequently allow attackers to completely take over the software, steal data, or prevent the software from working at all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics – Live Curling Scores

Live scoring available here.

Scary dialog of the day

Looks like I just found something to do today...
The CLR has been unable to transition from COM context 0x45c7f78 to COM context 0x45c80e8 for 60 seconds. The thread that owns the destination context/apartment is most likely either doing a non pumping wait or processing a very long running operation without pumping Windows messages. This situation generally has a negative performance impact and may even lead to the application becoming non responsive or memory usage accumulating continually over time. To avoid this problem, all single threaded apartment (STA) threads should use pumping wait primitives (such as CoWaitForMultipleHandles) and routinely pump messages during long running operations.

Elmira company in the news

The folks at Resurfice must be hoping everyone keeps blaming the failures on the "Zambonis".

2010 Winter Olympics – Curling predictions

Ok, going way out on a limb here.



Gold: Canada

Silver: Norway

Bronze: Great Britain



Gold: Sweden

Silver: Canada

Bronze: China

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics - Opening Ceremonies

Wow.  That was good.  Except for the glitch at the end with the lighting of the flame, and the brutal anthem.  That girl has such a nice voice, it's a shame someone talked her into massacring the anthem like that...

I loved the projections onto the floor and the panels that were raised at different points of the ceremony.  The overall highlight for me, though, was k.d. lang's Hallelujah [clip from the 2005 Junos - nowhere near as good as last night's, but CTV's video clips site is not playing nice this morning].

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Conversation of the day

Tester, approaching my desk, pointing to the empty desk across the aisle: Do you know, where is this guy?

Me: He’s off for a few weeks.

Tester: Oh, he’s a co-op student?

Me: No, he’s getting married, so he’s off for a while.

Tester: Oh, poor guy.

Me, thinking there was a misunderstanding: No, no.  He’s getting married.

Tester: Yes.  Poor guy.  So sad.  I’ll catch up with him later.


Consider this.  You are making a major software change.  You have two materials at hand - "talent" and "confidence" (sometimes also called "optimism").

Balance is important here.  An overabundance of confidence without the talent to back it up is not a good thing.



Too much talent and not enough confidence is ok, but you can do better.




Best case - a good amount of talent, with the confidence to back it up.



Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Google does Whistler

The Google took their Street View camera up the mountain.  That’s pretty cool.

It’s been a few years since our last trip to Whistler – here’s my (now) nine-year-old riding the gondola.  [That scream face is how she smiled for photos for a few months.  I may have taught her that…]


And up at the top.


And my two favourite Whistler photos are from just South of Whistler, at Black Tusk.

black tusk sunset

Tree Tusk

Development in a post-agile world

Here’s an excellent article on using common sense to develop software.

The hype and dogma of Agile evangelists has left in its wake a trail of broken projects, ruined businesses and misguided neophytes bleating the tired doctrines of their long departed prophets. The games industry was no exception, with many swept up in the phantasmagoria from which we are only now beginning to witness the debris.

Of course, there were always the more levelheaded developers, unswayed by the silky promises of besuited "consultants" - even the ones offering certificates and everything. Today these more progressive thinkers talk of "post-agile" - or common sense as it were previously known.


Monday, February 08, 2010

7 and a halfth

I saw one of the funniest things on Saturday.

Team JugOrNot was playing in a meat-spiel.  We got absolutely violated in our first game.  13-2 or something awful like that.  Giving up three and following it up with a steal of four is not a recipe for success.  To be fair to our skip, the sheet started fudging really badly up the middle in the third end, and his draw against four was a foot short in the fourth end.  Not fun.

Our second game was better, but we gave up another four in the first end.  We clawed our way back into it, and lost on the last shot.

In our third game (the “bacon game” – as the two teams fighting for 7th and 8th place know they are going to win bacon), we gave up a quick three, prompting our lead to make the astute observation that giving up less that three or four points early in the game would be a good thing to try some day.  We followed it up with a five of our own, then gave up three more.  Not the quality of curling you will see on TV.  Unless you’ve been watching the Scotties this past week.  [Sorry, had to say it.]

We went back and forth until the 8th end.  We were down one coming home without the hammer, needing a steal to tie.  The tiebreaker rule in this spiel is a full extra end.  We were the last sheet on the ice.  The late draw was an hour behind.  We were all starving, knowing a nice steak dinner was waiting for us.  Our skip said to the opposition, “if we tie this up, let’s not bother with the extra end.  Let’s just draw to the button.”  They agreed.

So what happens?  We steal one to tie it up.  Our skip goes back down the ice, throws the draw, and covers the pin.  Their skip goes down the ice, throws the draw, and covers the pin.  The icemaker is standing there and yells, “you have to keep going until someone doesn’t cover the pin!”  We said, “forget that!” and went in to enjoy our 7 and a halfth place finish.

Wisdom of the day

Not only MUST there be a better way, there is ALWAYS a better way.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quote of the day

Jim Kelley, on Ottawa Senator Jason Spezza’s lack of goals early in the season:

“He couldn’t score in a brothel!”

Message of the day

If something… unforeseen… happens, you can’t say you weren’t warned.