January 2009

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We get parrots.
I've heard a lot of explanations over the years for why NULL != NULL in SQL, but this evening the Atlassian intranet produced the most succinct, real world explanation I've read, thanks to Matt Ryall.
Artificial Intelligences are always at their most funny when they're still learning.
The other point is that it's important to make prototyping new ideas, especially bad ideas, as fast and easy as possible.
The Data Detectors feature in Apple Mail always surprises me. It's one of those features that works far better than I ever expect it to. For example, given this email…
The stupid thing is that I'm only doing this because a little voice in my head says I should be. It's not like my over-consumption of Diet Coke has been having any kind of negative effect on my day to day existence, I just don't like the idea of being addicted to something.
It seems we run our public forums with the default "bad words" filter enabled. Where the list of bad words is stored or where it comes from I don't know, but some of the things it chooses to censor can be a little surprising.
Your backup system is measured by two things. Firstly you need to be sure the backup itself works. As the old saying goes, “nobody cares if you have backups, only if you can restore them”, and there are few things more painful than discovering at the worst possible moment that you've been putting all that effort into writing junk data, day after day. Secondly, you need to worry about the set of circumstances that could cause you to lose both your original data and your backup at the same time.
After seeing Episode 10 of Fringe, I came rather close to jumping out of my couch and shouting “sack the script editor!” I know a fantasy show requires a strong dose of suspension of disbelief, but this makes it <i>more</i> important to have the show at least be internally consistent otherwise the whole house of cards comes falling down.
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