I came across lots of interesting reading over the past week. The most amazing to watch has been the unfolding saga of the MS "switch" counter-campaign. I've been quite impressed to watch amateur sleuthing on Slashdot turn into headlines on Wired, MSNBC, Information Week, Associated Press and even the BBC. For some odd reason this incident reminds me of the phrase you are only as strong as your weakest link.

More below on Java (as well as C#) design issues, privilege escalation system calls in NetBSD, cool SourceForge .NET XML projects, recruiting trips, excessive HTTP requests for my RSS feeds, Noah Mendelsohn's ideas of the original thoughts behind the design of W3C XML Schema and lots more.

Poll: Favorite GoF Design Pattern?




Does your job have irritating IT policies? A recent discussion on Sam Ruby's blog reminded me how lucky I am not to work for a company with an overly restrictive Internet usage policy. I've always considered restrictive IT policies as detrimental to employee morale because they engender an us vs. them mentality, punishes many for the crimes of a few and encourages employees to leave work early.

Thoughts below on Fortune magazine's article on Generation Wrecked, the Office team's announcement of XDocs, musical condoms, ridiculous O'Reilly articles, and an amusing site on the Office of Homeland Security.

Poll: What is your favorite US generation?




More news from back home. Excerpt

Nigerian officials realized they needed to modernize their system after a trial run of the voter registration process in late September. The trial run resulted in riots when people were told that local officials had run out of registration forms.

There were also reports of shootings, lootings and takeovers of government and business facilities.




The only geek religous war I've ever seen rage on internal lists since I got to M$ from as far back as when I was an intern haven't been the "Emacs vs. vi" or "GPL vs. BSDL" flame wars I am used to but instead checked vs. unchecked exceptions in C# licks. I've seen at least three of these on the main C# list with the first having occured when I was an intern.

Being a Java head, I'm strongly for checked exceptions while a lot of the C++ heads seemed to be for unchecked exceptions which I assume is why C# has unchecked exceptions since most of those folks are C++ hackers.

At least now my need for checked exceptions is satisfied with J# but that doesn't mean I don't bristle when I read blatant FUD against checked exceptions. Counter arguments below.

Poll: Favorite Java IDE?




Every once in a while I receive an ICQ message via my contact page from old friends who stumbled on my website or total strangers with comments about some aspect of my web page. Recently I received an ICQ message that was basically a rant by some Nigerian female blaming my father for her plight (everything wrong with Nigeria is his fault, forget the years of kleptocracy by previous military governments) which ended which ended with the question in the title of this diary.

Of course, you know you're from a Third World country when the president has to promise not to rig the elections.

More thoughts below on being an autograph hound, Columbine paintball, CNN's plans to become more "hip" , and fretting about writing responsibilities.

Poll: How did you find this diary entry?




I ended up meeting two other Microsoft folks with weblogs yesterday while in the Web Services team's building. This brings the number of Microsoft folks with blogs whom I've met or know personaly over five which I always thought would never happen. Interestingly enough, most of them are Web Services folks.

Some news I read in Yahoo crystallized a question that had been nagging me about advertising in the US. There seems to be less regulation in this area than I expected given my exposure to British laws in the same area as a kid. I also have been thinking about a Slashdot article from a few weeks ago about a researcher who suedfor ownership of patents he developed on the job.

More thoughts about all the above below.

Poll: Favorite Borg Blogger?




September 29, 2002
@ 12:58 AM

About a year ago self proclaimed security expert Steve Gibson got himself a lot of headlines by spreading FUD about raw socket in Windows XP which caught the minds of the popular press from CNet to ZDNet to a mention in a Cringely column. He was later shown up to be ignorant about the technnology he claimed to be knowledgeable about in his many dire warnings in several articles in the Register.

This morning during my daily blogstroll, I found an article by Dave Winer entitled RSS and namespaces in 2002 via Sam Ruby's weblog. The article inaccurately draws some conclusions based on misunderstanding of how XML namespace aware processing works and ignorance of the landscape of XML technologies.

Poll: Favorite Transformers™ generation?




For a long time I've flirted with submitting the following question to Ask Slashdot or K5

When I first got interested in computers and programming there were people with really cool geek jobs that inspired me and became my role models. Of course, the more stuff I learned, the more I rethought my geek heroes.

Who were your geek heroes & role models when you first started programming? Have your hereos changed today, if so who are they now and why did they change?
My answer to the above question below, thoughts on the Barbershop movie, questionas about truth in advertising, ricers and more.

Poll: l337est Place To Work?




September 15, 2002
@ 12:58 AM

I've long considered K5 diaries to be the best blogging tool around with the additional benefit of being free of charge. My only peeve has been that there was no way to create RSS Feeds from my diary.

Well this morning while shaking off a hangover I decided to go ahead and write a program that grabs a K5 diary then generates RSS 0.91 and RSS 1.0 feeds for it. My RSS feeds are available on my website; RSS 0.91 Feed and RSS 1.0 Feed. I simply copied the respective feed structures from Sam Ruby and Don Box's blogs to come up with the ones my code generates. The code that does this is provided below.

Poll: Favorite RSS Format?




It's been a hectic week or so with some upheaval in my love life but I'm back now folks sans pretty Mexican girlfriend. This means definitely no Fiestas Patrias for me this weekend.

I've been stumbling upon more and more bookmark worthy articles and comments on Slashdot which is weird because I've always been somewhat of a Slashdot intellectual snob. The most recent insightful thread I considered bookmarking was this one (and this comment which I accidentally stumbled on looking for the original comment). I also found the a link to an article by Malcolm Gladwell called The Talent Myth: Are Smart People Overrated which was a rather insightful look at corporate culture which I have bookmarked and has made me consider a subscription to the New Yorker. My thoughts on this essay and how much I think it applies to my employer below.

Also included below are thoughts on Bruce Perens' job loss, where the quality print journalism is, the proliferation of advertising for "male enhancement" drugs, conversations with my dad and a true story involving the former Worldcom CFO.

Poll: Why did you go to college?