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Showing posts from May, 2008

Conference : People

Thanks to tamedblossom for the photo. Maybe it's a function of them being Americans, but damnit if it wasn't quite a culture shock talking with random attendees. They all have that fire of ambition in them. All looking for the next startup, the next big deal. Even the average coder for a University Library, had a startup on the side. And here I was, just a 'regular' programmer, wanting to learn a technology for the company I was actually employed by. I felt like I was a gentle cloud, drifting through, meeting large gas guzzling muscle cars, ON FIRE. Even the most average looking geek, if engaged, would start talking about the latest startup they were part of, and how they want to leverage their business to business synergies to create real value for the Web. It was energizing, in a way. To be surrounded by so many blindingly bright people, all with a wealth of life experience, and a blazing future ahead of them. I just couldn't work up the passion to tell them how


Thanks to Mathoov for the photo. I've been of two minds about what to blog about. On one hand, I want to avoid talking about the mundanities of life. I don't want this to be another blog about the latest ham and rye sandwich or why cats are the best thing ever . On the other hand, life is a really easy way to get material, if you happen to have one that isn't heart crushingly boring. That's not to say we all live boring lives. No, it's just that from the Reader's perspective, it's nothing particularly interesting. However, something happened this week that was slightly out of the ordinary. I was sent to a Google Tech Conference. Google I/O, is what it's called. If I start getting into details, the non-technical among you will likely be more bored from this blog than usual, so I'll venture into the rosy tinted world of analogy. Programmers/Software Developers/Software Engineers/whatever the hell you want to call us, are really just builders. Think of

The English : Humour

Thanks to TimoOK for the photo. I've been meaning to do this for a while, a series of posts about the Brits, the English, those bloody Colonial Powermongers, whatever. They're such an interesting group, they seem to possess the best and worst of so many things I hold dear. Maybe it's because they allow the latter that the former blooms, I don't know. Maybe it's because they've been around for so damn long. And really, British and Humour is such an inconceivably massive topic that it makes me faint just to consider it. But consider I must. For one thing, engineers and science geeks (especially computer science) absolutely LOVE British humour. From Black Adder to Fawlty Towers to Red Dwarf to the venerable Pythons. A single quip from one of the more obscure episodes will leave the average geek howling the aisles for days. Days. It's the universal tie that binds all nerds. Certainly a theoretical astrophysicist, a perl hacker and a HAM radio operator have litt


Thanks to adriansalamandre for the photo. Seriousness -- that dour, I Do Not Find That Funny At All Sir air that overtakes everyone now and again -- is usually an indicator that it's time to get off the crazy train. Now I know I make these largely baseless, ridiculous assertions (about protests , for example), but that's only because there is a kernel of truth in there somewhere. Think of all the people you've talked to, who, in the middle of a charming conversation about the degrading power of the UN in inter-nation monetary disputes, erupt in a wild-eyed rant about the need for independent states to regulate their own water treatment? Or folks who have a list of foods they simply, absolutely, CANNOT eat. It might be red-meat, refined sugar, dairy products, dolphin whatever -- people get crazy about food. They'll get a closed look about them. Like it's their 10th birthday and you've just taken the last corner piece of their Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Mirth

Politically Correct

Thanks to jimfrazier for the photo. It's the secret wish of every group, it seems, is to be the underdog. The brash, meat and potatos group. One that wouldn't upturn their nose to a bit of physical labour, maybe, or be up to date on the latest sports scores. The blue-collar mystique, as it were, or, as my nerd mind understand it, the Rebel Alliance syndrome. It's a theme repeated in fiction, in movies, in epic poems of questionable worth. The underdogs are always the heroes. There is the great Empire that must fall, and the charmingly rag tag group of misfits, who by the skin of their teeth, pull through and saves the day. For America, this is a story burned into its historical DNA. For others, well, it's just much easier to write conflict about a group facing mind-boggling odds, than say, about a now smug empire trying to squash a resistance group whilst still drunk from power. Who's' the underdog in any story? The good guys. Who's the underdog in any per