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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Feel the peace flowing thought you...........

Mark Light - The Zen Garden (flash)

I'm more enlightened already......

Friday, May 28, 2004

Doors Open Toronto---Home

This weekend, (Saturday, May 29 & Sunday, May 30, 2004) Doors Open Toronto celebrates its 5th anniversary with a special focus on post-1945 contemporary Canadian architecture and architects. ...

Toronto was the first city in North America to launch this prestigious event, based on a successful European program dedicated to built heritage, architecture and design. Developed as a millennium project in 2000 by the City of Toronto Culture Division, Doors Open Toronto has since attracted over half a million visitors to hundreds of buildings throughout the city.

See this PDF for whats NEW this year

Last Year we visted the Distillery District, and the newly open Carlu

Just when you thought life coudn't get more complicated.....

Supplementary Characters in the Java Platform:

This article describes how supplementary characters are supported in the Java platform. Supplementary characters are characters in the Unicode standard whose code points are above U FFFF, and which therefore cannot be described as single 16-bit entities such as the char data type in the Java programming language. Such characters are generally rare, but some are used, for example, as part of Chinese and Japanese personal names, and so support for them is commonly required for government applications in East Asian countries.

The Java platform is being enhanced to enable processing of supplementary characters with minimal impact on existing applications. New low-level APIs enable operations on individual characters where necessary. Most text-processing APIs, however, use character sequences, such as the String class or character arrays. These are now interpreted as UTF-16 sequences, and the implementations of these APIs is changed to correctly handle supplementary characters. The enhancements are part of version 1.5 of the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE).

Besides explaining these enhancements in detail, this article also provides guidelines for application developers for determining and implementing necessary changes to enable use of the complete Unicode character set.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

disruptive wireless access point and router is The Little Engine That Could

Robert X. Cringely writes about the Linksys WRT54G, an 802.11g wireless access point and router that includes a four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch and can be bought for as little as $US69.99. Since the operating system is Linux and since Linksys has respected the Linux GPL by publishing all the source code for anyone to download for free, the WRT54G is a lot more than just a wireless router. It is a disruptive technology.

The adaptable WRT54G allows you you "hack" the firmware.Third party firmwares inculde those from Sveasoft here's what you can use it for after less than an hour's work. You get all the original Linksys functions plus SSH, Wonder Shaper, L7 regexp iptables filtering, frottle, parprouted, the latest Busybox utilities, several custom modifications to DHCP and dnsmasq, a PPTP server, static DHCP address mapping, OSPF routing, external logging, as well as support for client, ad hoc, AP, and WDS wireless modes.

You too can be a WISP (Wireless ISP.

The point is (I think) that wireless access point and routers - like the Linksys WRT54G - that allow firmware mods and have the potential to either a) radically lower the costs to companies entering the market or b) non- profit / DIY WISP (Wireless ISP) and VoIP hot spots.

SlashDot has jumped on this under the banner Do-It-Yourself VOIP Telco

Here's a link to the Linksys product page for the Wireless-G WRT54G and the Sveasoft WRT54G Firmware Documentation

Update June 3 2004: Linksys WiFi Gateway Remote Attack Risk Discovered or maybe not

Macromedia offering Flash Player 7 for Linux:

Via InfoWorld. Now Flash and Flex become contenders for a universal rich client platform.

Asterisk - The Open Source Linux PBX

Reading Jon Udell's blog I came across a reference to Asterisk - The Open Source Linux PBX. Cool. You can watch a 1999 Real Player presentation by UT Austin's David Gracy which gives lots of details.

I was thinking about the functionality in the Office place, when I wondered about using this to setup a Home PXB (private exchange) : separate voice mail for all your room mates; redirect to their cell phones if they do not answer the extension; blocking ex-girlfriend phone number; ring a couple of extensions for siblings when their mother rings; (they did not mention it but) different ring tone for different numbers.

The presentation is done is a style which I've only rare seen : 2 panels, one the the speaker and one for the slide show, synchonized to the speaker. It's nice to have a PDF to read/print but the value add for this is HUGE, whether conference or school lecture. Tthe only thing I've seen better is adding a synchonized transcript to the 2 panels, and give speech to text software this must be easier. It this case the RealVideo stream synchronized to a slide show was done via Virtual Courseroom Environment (VCORE) project which was the real subject of Jon's blog pieice.

Swisscoms Wifi win's corporate placement spot by being worst pay-for-WiFi service in Europe

An excerpt from Cory Doctorow's forthcoming Tor Books novel "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town," due sometime in early 2005. This scene based on a true story.

And Cory's is not the only one to have such poor experiences with Swisscoms, not to mention that they don't like having it pointed out just what people think of their crappy service, expensive as hell

One of the problems mentioned is a lack of available cards. This artificial scarcity leads to the silly sight of customers doing the dance of "please let me give you money". Is there a reason beyond incompetence or BHP mis-management that explains why this problem hasn't been addressed? SwissCom's current sales director - Dick de Pater - seems to think "it's just fine, please stop complaining".

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Extensible Programming

Extensible Programming, also an earlier version Gregory V. Wilson: "XML-Based Programming Systems". Doctor Dobb's Journal, March 2003 (PDF)

My Canada includes AccordionGuy

Joey takes to task (in the nicest - Canadian - way) racist wing nut who whines about a lost Canada that hasn't existed since at least 1867 (and even then only in few with small hearts and pin heads). Canada has always been about people (and people's) coming together to form a new and greater community, and although we have made a few missteps on the way, it has resulted in a wonderful place. This creature of the night makes me embarrassed for my "British heritage", and the sooner "it" exits stage right the better.

We love you Joey, and are very proud of you.

Via Boing Boing

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Securing Your Domino Web Database

Via :: Securing Your Web Database is a great check list of things to consider.

Arrows, Posts, Comments, Mail, Bullets , Print & Carts & Bags

From 300 Images From 1800 Sites, a collection of icons images, gathered from across the web. Useful if you need a quick action icon (prototyping?), or to start brainstorming on style / brand image.

The sidebar on using "backwards" arrows in the breadcrumb is a great idea.

This is the sort of thing that takes a LOT of time, to surf and really - really - look at a lot of web sites.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Is this the End of Long Distance as well as the End of Local?

Tim Bray writes about his experience getting VoIP Ongoing with his DSL setup.

and in a related post over on SlashDot....Voice Over IP Goes Global, The DNS Way

awehttam writes "A couple of geeks have setup a non-profit public DNS root designed to map phone numbers to Internet protocols. These days we're hearing lots about Skype, and Voice over IP. Asterisk - the open source PBX - is nearing its version 1.00 release, Free World Dialup has applied to run the .tel top level domain, Good old Bell's are migrating to native IP, private sector layer 2 clearing houses are exchanging bits between companies the like of Packet8, China Telecom, MIT and Harvard and even the various regulatory agencies are pondering just what to do about things. In the mean time, consumer SIP phones are dropping in price, and free and open source software is helping to drive a new generation of provide the services networks." Read on for more.

"You just knew the other shoe had to drop. let's people register their existing phone numbers, and aim various services including VoIP towards a URL on the Internet. Now you can have your calls sent to your Free World Dialup account, or routed to your home Asterisk PBX instead, possibly where you have a $20 card attached to your phone line letting you make and receive calls through both your regular phone line and the Internet. isn't just about VoIP though, it can also map phone numbers to Email addresses, Instant Messager URL's, or any other protocol that fits in the "foo://bar" scheme of the 'net. :)"

How close are we to the End of Long Distance as well as the End of Local?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Servertest 1.0.

Servertest 1.0. - from Dan Bricklin - lets you monitor how one or more web sites respond to requests for web pages over a long period of time, showing an indication of average response time and pattern of timeouts.

Written in Perl, and can run on most computer systems (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux),also available in source form for modification, enhancement, and redistribution (subject to a license).

Gates backs blogs & RSS for businesses

BBC NEWS | Technology | Gates backs blogs for businesses: "Blogs are good for business, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has said."

In a speech to an audience of chief executives, Mr Gates said the regularly updated journals, or blogs, could be a good way for firms to tell customers, staff and partners what they are doing.
Websites were a problem too, he added, because they demand that people visit them regularly to find out if anything has changed and require regular updating to avoid going stale.
These problems could be solved, said Mr Gates, by using blogs and Real Simple Syndication (RSS), that lets people know when a favourite journal is updated.

Well at least this will make it a bit easier to explain to the PHB "Why Blogs" / "Why RSS" (Cause Bill says they are a "GOOD THING"), even if to cause a rush of questions : What are Blogs/RSS, when can we get a Blog going (By which I mean I want it tomorrow), How do I read RSS (and get rid of all those funny angle brackets), I think it should be blue

This all comes under the category of : be careful what you wish for...

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Powered By CentrSource, We Drive Toronto

We Drive Toronto, Toronto GM Dealers website now "Powered by CentrSource"

27 Dealers now up, more too follow :

Laurie Williamson Pontiac Buick GMC Ltd
Pine View Pontiac Buick Ltd.

This joins Family Caregiver Magazine and their advertisers, plus several other fine companies listed under the Media Type CentrSource.

Many more to follow as momentum builds.....

Unwired Apartment Complex

Forever Geek : apartment complex unwired tells the story of adding wireless broadband to small apartment complex. Initial Research, A Better Solution, The Payoff, and the Future ("LaundryCam" anyone?)

Various wacky hijinks ensue, and in the end, no one goes to jail. Or they wouldn't have, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids and that darned dog!
Lots of other good content / Links at ForeverGeek

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Looking to add a RSS Feed

Via FeedBurner

Since Blogger / Google is NOT supporting RSS and is going with the pointless Atom format

Camera Phones Link World to Web

Update : Wired News Now has a piece on Camera-phone barcode reader

Categorized under: //

Friday, May 14, 2004

A Perfect Market Comes of Age

The Economist, Survey of E-COMMERCE. A Must read for May 13th 2004

E-commerce is coming of age, says Paul Markillie, but not in the way predicted in the bubble years

I expect I'll add more quotes and comments once I get my dirty little hands on the hard copy......

Updated : Lots of good stuff...
the wild predictions made at the height of the boom -namely, that vast chunks of the world economy would move into cyberspace -are, in one way or another, coming true.

the actual value of transactions currently concluded online is dwarfed by the extraordinary influence the internet is exerting over purchases carried out in the offline world. That influence is becoming an integral part of e-commerce.

A company that neglects its website may be committing commercial suicide. A website is increasingly becoming the gateway to a company's brand, products and services?even if the firm does not sell online

consumers are "deconstructing the purchasing process".... They are unbundling product information from the transaction itself

Spending patterns on the internet are also getting closer to those on the high street. For instance, in Britain last year women spent more online than men...Older people, too, are using the internet more to shop.

Amazon's business model is built on five fundamentals which it thinks will not change: low prices; a big selection; availability; convenience; and good information about products.

Amazon employs the Toyota principle - reducing defects and problems in its order process as early as possible. One of Amazon's main quality measurements is contacts per unit ordered. Every time an employee has to intervene in the automatic process, perhaps to redirect something delivered to the wrong address, costs go up. By keeping this measurement as low as possible, Amazon not only reduces its costs but also boosts its customer-satisfaction ratings.

Yet for a general retailer, the transition to the internet is by no means easy.. For a start, inventory systems in hundreds of stores had to be changed so that stock positions could be checked instantly, instead of calculated at the end of the trading day.

Travel makes up the biggest chunk of business-to-consumer e-commerce, accounting for about one-third of online consumer spending.

BY SEVERAL measures, eBay is one of the world's fastest-growing businesses.

Networks are akin to a snowball rolling down a hill, gathering up ever more snow as it gets bigger.

the paid-search business is leading the recovery in advertising expenditure on the internet.

"In 2001 it was unimaginable to think that by 2004 I would not have to leave home any more and, short of needing surgery, could get everything I want from a combination of e-mail and websites," says Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer for Euro RSCG Worldwide, a big advertising agency.

Listen to the interview (8:51)by Paul Markillie, The Economist's Business Correspondent, writing about services (marketing, Advertising etc).
Windows Media Player

To see what everyone else is saying..go to technorati

Marketing on Internet gets a boost

Via Globe and Mail : Marketing on Internet gets a boost

The study recorded growth in all types of marketing. But it found that businesses plan to spend a smaller portion of their marketing budgets on traditional media ads and more on sales promotions, direct marketing and Internet ads.

"In the past year, we've seen companies look for alternatives to more expensive TV and print advertising. There's a lot of experimentation going on with advertising over the Internet, especially direct advertising," Mr. Williamson said.

Very Good News, indeed....

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Iron Sunrise and Accelerando

From the Man himself Charles Stross's "Iron Sunrise" the squeal sequel to the very very good "Singularity Sky" is out in the US (and canada?) in early July. But I'm going to wait till July 2005 for "Accelerando" (NO!!!!!)

A Guide to VoIP for Dummies and Telco's

Todays Globe and Mail had a Special Report on VoIP

Tech-savvy firm uses everything it sells

Netcetera, launched in 1999 from Mr. Weeks' basement, now has six full-time staff, including Mr. Weeks, and several contractors. In July, Netcetera will be moving into leased office space to better accommodate its growing range of services. But for the past five years, the company has operated without an office, employing a single telephone number and a VoIP system to route calls to employees at their homes or wherever they were working.

I love the idea of a virtual office ,whether you are big or small, route your calls where you are, always at the same extension.

Phone competition starting to heat up
BabyTel, a division of Montreal-based Voice & Data Systems Inc., is rolling out its service today, while Yak Communications Inc. is targeting Sept. 8. Like their competitors, they are slashing long-distance phone bills for consumers and business....
Toronto-based Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. was the first to jump into the market in January, followed by other players like Edison, N.J.-based Vonage Holdings Corp. and Vancouver-based Navigata Communications Inc.
Toronto-based AOL Canada Inc. has delayed its launch from midyear to later this fall. And FCI Broadband, a division of Futureway Communications Inc. of Markham, Ont., said it will probably wait until the fourth quarter before unveiling a VoIP offering.

Service in its infancy raising questions about rules of the game in U.S.
"I think [VoIP] is going to turn the telephone industry on its head," U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Powell told a recent industry conference.

A non-traditional way to transmit phone calls

Internet about to change the way many Canadians use their phones
"The subversive nature of VoIP will create a very interesting dynamic in the market place," says Don Proctor, vice-president and general manager of the voice technology group at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc.

And since "ip eats everything" this is just the beginning....

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

How would you build your (Java-based) web applications today?

Via Segmentation Fault: Core dumped..;-): Anand Sharma's weblog: Individual Archive

I like the sound of #3 and #5, if I could get past #1

3. Springing Struts:Struts 1.1 (MVC Framework) + JSP, JSTL, Struts Tags/EL and Tiles (View Layer) + Spring (Service Layer) + iBATIS/DBCP or Hibernate/DBCP (Persistence) + MySQL/Oracle (Data Layer)

5. Its Springtime fellas:
Spring (MVC + Service Layer) + Velocity/SiteMesh or JSP/Tiles (View Layer) + iBATIS/DBCP or Hibernate/DBCP (Persistence) + MySQL/Oracle (Data Layer)

I love the question!

Firefox Help: Extensions

Firefox Help: Extensions

Hugo-Nominated Fiction: 2004

Hugo-Nominated Fiction: 2004: Including links to works online

Monday, May 10, 2004

The Engine That Drives Success

Via TechDirt comes Don's Tapscott rebuttle to Nicholas Carr's article (and now book) "Does IT Matter?" :
The Engine That Drives Success - best companies have best business models because they have best IT strategies. - CIO Magazine May 1,2004

Tapscott points are :commodifing Hardware does nothing to commodify the Information on it; Non proprietary software based on open standards makes the software more like to be customized and less of a commodity; IT Drives new Business Models.

Myself, I've always thought that Carr missed that IT is so much more variable and flexible than the older elements (like Electricity) he used as examples and how hard it is to use IT to add more than just incremental value. But then just having electricity was never the point, that being how to use to, in the assembly line for example, which took a while to figure out. I also think Carr is not allowing for the effects of Moore's Law (see "The Effects of Moore's Law and Slacking on Large Computations" for an example). So If I was going to refute Carr I would use 2 titles : The Effects of Moore's Law and Slacking on Large Corporations, and The application of IT Does Matter.

Companies that follow Carr's line and implement his recommendations - spend less; follow, don't lead; focus on vulnerabilities, not opportunities - will fail against those that innovate in IT in order to do new and or better things.

Mr Carr has a summary of his argument in the May 2004 Wired under Want to Piss Off a CEO? and the original "Why IT doesn't matter anymore" is re-produced here

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Open Sourcing Education continues

Via SlashDot Slashdot : SciTech Library has noted the availability of a Free mite Engineering Text For Download

"The third edition of A Heat Transfer Textbook, written by John H Lienhard V (MIT) and John H Lienhard IV (U Houston), has been made available on the web. The book is an introduction to heat transfer, geared towards engineering students. It may be downloaded free of charge. The authors explain: We are placing a mechanical engineering textbook into an electronic format for worldwide, no-charge distribution. The aim of this effort is to explore the possibilities of placing textbooks online -- effectively giving them away. Two potential benefits should accrue from doing this. First, in electronic format, textbooks can be continually corrected and updated, without the delays inherent in printed books (second and later editions are typically published on a five-year cycle). Second, free textbooks hold the potential for fundamentally altering the economics of higher education, particularly in those environments where money is scarce."

The SlashDot commentary mentioned , the free textbook project

I've blogged before about MIT's OpenCourseWare

Friday, May 07, 2004

I may never live this down

For the record I've "picked" tobacco by hand, too.

Amazon Chief, Java Problem Solver: Al Vermeulen, The Seattle Times, Wednesday, May 05, 2004


SEATTLE - Things to know about Al Vermeulen, chief technology officer of

He works in Seattle and lives in Corvallis - Oregon. To bridge the distance, he learned to fly.

He co-wrote a book about Java (the computer language, not the drink). At one point, it afforded him some "serious geek cachet."

He knows how to harvest tobacco by hand.

To his first job interview he wore a wedding suit. He was 34.

"I just came in and talked to folks," Vermeulen says of the interview, which led to a job at Corvallis-based Rogue Wave. "They gave me an offer that night at dinner. I think I pushed back a little bit because I heard you're supposed to negotiate these things."

Vermeulen, who oversees Amazon's huge technology operations, is something of a linguist. In the mid-1980s, as a doctoral candidate at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, he helped pioneer C++, a widely used computer language.

That expertise fit in nicely with Rogue Wave, which sold some of the first reusable building blocks for C++. (Think of Rogue Wave as a seller of ready-made foundations to software builders.)

He co-wrote "The Elements of Java Style," a book that mimics the presentation of the Strunk and White classic for writers, "The Elements of Style." He and his cohorts were tired of thumbing through an obtuse, 1,200-page manual for answers about the Java programming language.

"That sensibility is just definitely part of what he's about," says Jim Shur, who worked with Vermeulen at Rogue Wave. "Right to the point, less is more."

Today, Vermeulen guides Amazon's $100 million-a-year effort to use computer power to refine its e-commerce prowess. Indeed, the company is defined as much for its technology as its ability to sell caviar, lawnmowers and books.

Amazon powers the Web sites of other large retailers, including Borders Books & Music, Target and Toys R Us. Its search technology is such that users can search not just titles but also the text of the books it sells.

All this for a man who was in school until he was 34 and who once wrote that his career goal was to go as long as possible without getting a job.

"It's something he and I always had in common," said Tom Keffer, a former oceanography professor who founded Rogue Wave. "I could've easily been a bum and roamed the world, or I could've been a rocket scientist, and Al's that way, too."

Vermeulen was raised in the southern Ontario town of Burford, where school started after the tobacco harvest, "usually not until the first hard frost," he said.

His grandfather had a tobacco farm, where he learned to pick ripened leaves by hand.

Shur says his friend has the ability to quickly understand fundamental issues at hand and "get rid of the extraneous stuff."

An example: When Vermeulen first joined Amazon, he, his wife and their two kids moved to Issaquah, Wash. But they decided they liked Corvallis better and returned to their previous home.

So he took the train to get to work. Then he drove. Then he hired a sky taxi.

"As I was flying in the plane, I thought `I could do this myself,'" he said.

He took lessons and received a pilot's license in December.

"It's way better than driving," Vermeulen says. "It's much more intellectually interesting, actually."


Al Vermeulen

Age: 39

Occupation: Chief technology officer,

Education: University of Waterloo, Ph.D. in systems design engineering

Distinguishing characteristic: Finds elegant solutions to complex problems.

Accomplishment: Helped to pioneer the computer language C++.

Via Xyling Java Blogs

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Shining in 30 seconds (with bunnies.)

The Shining in 30 seconds with bunnies.
and then there is : The Exorcist in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

I think I'm starting to agree with Anya.

Camera-phone barcode reader

Cory posts about Camera-phone barcode reader: point the camera at a 2-d barcode and the phone will decode it into its component URL and open the URL in it browser, from SemaCode.

For the clueless that whine about useless camera phones, this is one of those things that you couldn't do with a un-connected camera.

Think about what else you could do (thinking about this for 5 seconds) : once I know the product, look up product reviews, do price comparisons (national and local). Anything else (I'll spend another 5 seconds - more than the clueless do)

update : Reiter's Camera Phone Report has more details :

Discussing his view of barcodes, Simon writes, "For a long time computer scientists have been looking for a cheap, inexpensive way to create a gate between the real world and virtual world of the internet.

Simon has also created a Java applet to code a url into a 2-d bar code.
Here's a semacode to my favorite blog ;)

Now I just need to print it out and post it around...

Question : Is it possible to add the semacode 2-d barcode as a watermark to a image? bardcodes are ugly. This would allow enabling an image with the smarts of semacode encoded url. cane the image, extract the watermark and de-encode the url. Or "just" watermark a url into a image, such that it can be scaned and decoded by a camera phone? insanity or in sanely great? (Thanks for the question Chuck!)

Heres a peice from TheFeature Barcodes for the World of Ends with some interesting factorids

Categorized under: //

Very nice implementation of the Simpleton Pattern there....

NOW I know what they meant. (Has anyone cataloged the mis-management patterns of PHB's? ) Let the wet noddles of sarcasm be unleashed:

Resign Patterns - Ailments of Unsuitable Project-Disoriented Software by Michael Duell


Anyone familiar with the book of patterns by the Gang of Four [1] knows that the patterns presented in the book represent elegant solutions that have evolved over time. Unfortunately, extracting these patterns from legacy code is impossible, because nobody knew that they were supposed to be using these patterns when they wrote the legacy code. Hence, this work is a catalog of patterns for the masses. The patterns presented here represent abundant solutions that have endured over time. Enjoy reading the patterns, but please don't use them!

  • 1 Cremational Patterns

  • Below is a list of five cremational patterns.

    • 1.1 Abject Poverty

      The Abject Poverty Pattern is evident in software that is so difficult to test and maintain that doing so results in massive budget overruns.

    • 1.2 Blinder

      The Blinder Pattern is an expedient solution to a problem without regard for future changes in requirements. It is unclear as to whether the Blinder is named for the blinders worn by the software designer during the coding phase, or the desire to gouge his eyes out during the maintenance phase.

    • 1.3 Fallacy Method

      The Fallacy method is evident in handling corner cases. The logic looks correct, but if anyone actually bothers to test it, or if a corner case occurs, the Fallacy of the logic will become known.

    • 1.4 ProtoTry

      The ProtoTry Pattern is a quick and dirty attempt to develop a working model of software. The original intent is to rewrite the ProtoTry, using lessons learned, but schedules never permit. The ProtoTry is also known as legacy code.

    • 1.5 Simpleton

      The Simpleton Pattern is an extremely complex pattern used for the most trivial of tasks. The Simpleton is an accurate indicator of the skill level of its creator.

  • 2 Destructural Patterns

    Below is a list of seven destructural patterns.

    • 2.1 Adopter

      The Adopter Pattern provides a home for orphaned functions. The result is a large family of functions that don't look anything alike, whose only relation to one another is through the Adopter.

    • 2.2 Brig

      The Brig Pattern is a container class for bad software. Also known as module.

    • 2.3 Compromise

      The Compromise Pattern is used to balance the forces of schedule vs. quality. The result is software of inferior quality that is still late.

    • 2.4 Detonator

      The Detonator is extremely common, but often undetected. A common example is the calculations based on a 2 digit year field. This bomb is out there, and waiting to explode!

    • 2.5 Fromage

      The Fromage Pattern is often full of holes. Fromage consists of cheesy little software tricks that make portability impossible. The older this pattern gets, the riper it smells.

    • 2.6 Flypaper

      The Flypaper Pattern is written by one designer and maintained by another. The designer maintaining the Flypaper Pattern finds herself stuck, and will likely perish before getting loose.

    • 2.7 ePoxy

      The ePoxy Pattern is evident in tightly coupled software modules. As coupling between modules increases, there appears to be an epoxy bond between them.

  • 3 Misbehavioral Patterns

    Below is a list of eleven misbehavioral patterns.

    • 3.1 Chain of Possibilities

      The Chain of Possibilities Pattern is evident in big, poorly documented modules. Nobody is sure of the full extent of its functionality, but the possibilities seem endless. Also known as Non-Deterministic.

    • 3.2 Commando

      The Commando Pattern is used to get in and out quick, and get the job done. This pattern can break any encapsulation to accomplish its mission. It takes no prisoners.

    • 3.3 Intersperser

      The Intersperser Pattern scatters pieces of functionality throughout a system, making a function impossible to test, modify, or understand.

    • 3.4 Instigator

      The Instigator Pattern is seemingly benign, but wreaks havoc on other parts of the software system.

    • 3.5 Momentum

      The Momentum Pattern grows exponentially, increasing size, memory requirements, complexity, and processing time.

    • 3.6 Medicator

      The Medicator Pattern is a real time hog that makes the rest of the system appear to be medicated with strong sedatives.

    • 3.7 Absolver

      The Absolver Pattern is evident in problem ridden code developed by former employees. So many historical problems have been traced to this software that current employees can absolve their software of blame by claiming that the absolver is responsible for any problem reported. Also known as It's-not-in-my-code.

    • 3.8 Stake

      The Stake Pattern is evident in problem ridden software written by designers who have since chosen the management ladder. Although fraught with problems, the manager's stake in this software is too high to allow anyone to rewrite it, as it represents the pinnacle of the manager's technical achievement.

    • 3.9 Eulogy

      The Eulogy Pattern is eventually used on all projects employing the other 22 Resign Patterns. Also known as Post Mortem.

    • 3.10 Tempest Method

      The Tempest Method is used in the last few days before software delivery. The Tempest Method is characterized by lack of comments, and introduction of several Detonator Patterns.

    • 3.11 Visitor From Hell

      The Visitor From Hell Pattern is coincident with the absence of run time bounds checking on arrays. Inevitably, at least one control loop per system will have a Visitor From Hell Pattern that will overwrite critical data.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Dutch tulips & Google

Mathew Ingram describes Dutch Auctions and Why is Google going Dutch?

and the New york Times (Google May Have Pre-empted Regulators on Public Offerings) notices too.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Press Release : Marketing “Killer App” Launched at CMA Convention

“Utility” positioned to change the face of Marketing

Ottawa, Ontario, May 3, 2004 The launch of CentrSource signals a new era in marketing, for advertisers, their agencies and the media. Centrsource is a killer app for the $450 billion global advertising industry. It is an integrated on-line utility where customers go to respond to virtually any advertisement, in any medium, anywhere and where they can buy, get information, request samples, enroll, get coupons, or shop. All in a completely secure and permission based environment. And, all at their convenience.

“We are launching CentrSource now because the timing is perfect” says Bob Westrope, President and CEO of CentrSource Corp. “Advertisers have been looking for true holistic approaches to marketing that are accountable, measurable and put the consumer first. With CentrSource, they now have the answer”.

Marty Rothstein, former President & CEO of MacLaren McCann and Vice Chairman of CentrSource says that “I saw the potential of CentrSource early on to meet the needs of sophisticated marketers to answer the question of which markets, with which offers, and in which medium are my marketing dollars most effectively invested? It’s that powerful an ROI tool”.

Strictly Pay-for-Performance

The CentrSource model for the customer is deceptively simple. Using a standardized navigation protocol which is destined to become as familiar as the keystrokes of the Windows operating system, CentrSource provides access and appeal to customers across traditional rural and urban, ethnic, affluence, and education divides – the definition of a utility.

Advertisers, or their media or agency partners can use CentrSource to reach their prospects and customers with an infinite array of offers through a sophisticated yet easy to use commercial application called ResponseExchange. ResponseExchange is web based and so simple to use that offers tailored down to the local trading area level can be created in 5 to 10 minutes. CentrSource will also be providing advertisers and their affiliates with detailed reporting and analysis so they can further refine their customer offers. CentrSource is strictly a pay-for-performance model – the Advertiser’s expenses are completely variable and tied to revenue – commissions are only generated when a consumer takes an action that moves them toward a purchase or makes an actual purchase.
Creates a “Please Call Me” Registry Where Everybody Wins

With over 60 million Americans registered with the ‘Do Not Call’ registry in the United States, the evidence is overwhelming that the consumer is demanding an end to intrusive, unsolicited advertising. With the Canadian market already exposed to an estimated 20 billion advertising exposures per day, CentrSource saw that the opportunity was to provide advertisers, and the media and advertising agencies that serve them, the tools to instantly convert all advertising executions into a consumer-accessible database or directory.

The result, according to Cheryl Young, Strategic Advisor to CentrSource, and a past Chair of the Canadian Marketing Association, is that “we effectively enable the creation of a ‘Please Call Me’ registry where the consumer feels secure enough and safe enough to raise their hand when they see or hear an advertising offer that is relevant to them – when the advertising has worked in other words – and say to us, ‘please serve me in the following manner’. Imagine. Being given permission by the consumer to be contacted with regard to a specific offer, or for that matter, to commence a new relationship.”
”The Holy Grail of Direct Response”

For agencies, CentrSource also has immense appeal. Dwain Jeworski, General Manager of Mason & Geller, a leading direct response agency out of New York says that “CentrSource is a refreshing alternative for our industry. By making all media measurable and giving customers the opportunity to “raise their hands” at their choice, we are moving towards the holy grail of direct response – measurability, precise segmentation, and customers who actually want to hear from you in a place where their privacy is put first. And the pay for lead model based on real consumer interest makes participation virtually “frictionless”.

Westrope says that Canada was selected to lead the world for the Business to Business launch of CentrSource because of the unique marketing environment here. “Canadians have always been on the leading edge of technology adoption, and there is no question we are pioneers in the privacy arena. There is enormous opportunity to gather significant learning and best practices here that we would then roll out to other markets in North America and globally.”

“CentrSource Is To Advertising What Google Is To Search”

Westrope expects to have market leaders in each industry category committed to launching CentrSource by the end of May. Following closely on the Business-to-Business launch of CentrSource will be the consumer brand push in the fall of 2004. “Like Google or eBay, CentrSource will grow exponentially simply by word of mouth, spread by consumers and advertisers. If fact, we often say internally that CentrSource is to Advertising as Google is to Search”.

Launch Exceeded Expectations

“Response to the launch of CentrSource exceeded our expectations” says Westrope. “We engaged dozens of significant advertisers, media and agencies on the trade show floor, with several committing on the spot to register. As business people, and as consumers, virtually everyone ‘got it’, asking the obvious question – “Why would I NOT participate?”. We expect most to register with CentrSource by the end of May”.


CentrSource is a North American Company with approximately $5.0 million, and 6,000+ development days invested in its patents-pending technologies. The angel funder is the Interwood Marketing Group, one of the world's leading Direct Response Television advertisers. Seed funds were provided by Landmark Global Financial, a Toronto-based incubator, in February of 2000, enabling the commencement of technology development.


Robert J. Westrope
President & CEO
CentrSource Corp.
416 515 2930 P

CMA Press Release.pdf

Rules for contact sports

Via What they didn't teach me in Design & Usability school - UIWEB.COM comes Scot's rules for contact sports applies not just to designers but everyone. Here's a brief summaztion of the rules:

  • Get out of your office. Unless everyone in your world has the same job title as you...Get out of your office and make yourself a part of the team: not just a specialist.

  • Politics are real and not necessarily stupid... Sometimes it's for good reasons, other times not so good, but be prepared for things to change. If you are smart, you'll have an ear out for these issues so that you will never be blindsided, and possibly even a hand in their resolution them before decisions are made.

  • There is a bigger world than what you know: ..There can be engineering, marketing and business strategy decisions than impact the decisions you are making. Those decisions shouldn't be made without your input, but they may often be made without your complete acceptance. Understand what parts of the project you?re working on are in your control and which ones aren't. Know who is in control of the those areas that you are not. Build relationships with them. This will help keep you sane.

  • Design work is team work: Expect to share both the work and the rewards. Don't covet ideas, or have ego battles. Tthis will rarely help you or your customers. Take pride in the end results, not the pretty screenshots that are intermediary steps ...Don't join a team only to inflict your ego on them: it only makes everyone, yourself included, miserable.

  • Get in the game: In contact sports people get their hands dirty.

no animal was harmed in its making

Via Globe and Mail Ford slams Internet ad depicting cat killed by car roof

It's all about this

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Here's one to wrap my head around, or smash....

On IBM's developer Works.
Open Standards, Open Source, and Domino 6: Using Domino 6 Open Source projects:

"use Domino 6 Open Source features to dynamically convert Domino documents into PDF and JPEG format. We also show how to create a graphic server connection diagram, as well as an RSS generator that lets you use a Personal Journal for blogging.".

Actually none of this is THAT complicated, per see, it mostly a matter of building the XML Document and transforming it to PDF/JPEG/SVG or RSS. But it does document one way to do all of this, as a practical example. It's more of a issue of how hard it is and how much can you get away with NOT re-inventing to make it work with Domino. And in that regard it is ALOT easier in Domino/Lotus Notes 6+. Again it could be done in Domino 5 but would require a LOT more work to integrate existing code (JARs) or re inventing them to work with Domino 5.

Google as an Advertising Company

One of the most interesting things about Googles S-1 Filling and all the info that came out is the numbers about their revenue and earning, none of which was public Knowledge before (see "Google and Akamai: Cult of Secrecy vs. Kingdom of Openness".

The NewYork Times has a piece about Google as an Adverting company ("Google Poses a Challenge for Usual Ad Outlets") or as Google put it in their "Letter from the Founders" : we bridge the media and tech industries. From the NYT's :

advertisers are finding they can attract buyers relatively cheaply without a blaring message and an expensive Madison Avenue agency to create it. On Google, most ads are simply a few words of text set to the right of the main search results.

Only a few years ago, when Internet companies were falling to earth like a flock of scorched Icaruses, online advertising was written off as little more than tiny, ineffectual billboards.

For advertisers, search engines improve on traditional advertising in another way: they have to pay only when an Internet searcher clicks on an ad, so there is no money wasted on people with little interest in the product or service.

Moreover, advertisers, to some extent, determine their own prices through an auction process in which those willing to pay the most are listed higher than others.

With the growing popularity of search advertising, both Google and Yahoo are faced with a problem: more demand for advertising than they have Web pages available. Google has responded by building a network of other sites where it sells ads. It even sells ads for Ask Jeeves, which runs a competing search engine called Teoma. And more recently, it expanded beyond search to place its text advertisements on news and information sites.

"Search, broadly speaking, is the most powerful paradigm in advertising today," he argued. "They have many avenues for expansion without taking their eye off that ball.''