Archive for March, 2006

World’s Worst Code Snippet?

Check out this code snippet.

The programmer couldn’t figure out why the AccountId variable sometimes wasn’t set right, so he decided to read the value from the application’s debug log file! What the hell?!

March 24th, 2006

Commonwealth Games Medal Tally

Just in case you’re curious, here’s a handy medal tally for the Commonwealth Games:

March 17th, 2006

My Lab Is Open (Again!)

The lab where I work has been officially opened. Again. This is the second time it’s been opened since I started working here! Strangely, it wasn’t officially closed between the two openings.

My employer, Andrew Corporation, has put out a press release to mark the occasion.

“The members of this world-class Andrew team in Wollongong are innovators in wireless location services and recognized for their work in defining the new architecture and standards for secure user plane location (SUPL) and control plane location capabilities, as well as determining location in internet protocol networks,” said Terry Garner, group president, Network Solutions, Andrew Corporation. “This is a significant addition to Andrew’s presence in Australia, and the outstanding work here in Wollongong will resonate throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the world.”

The future certainly looks better now than it did under Nortel.

Press coverage:

March 15th, 2006

Mac 2GHz Shootout

Bare Feats have done a performance comparison between 5 different 2GHz Macs:

  • Dual Core G5 Power Mac
  • iMac Core Duo
  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Solo (i.e. a Pro with one CPU disabled)
  • PowerBook G4 (upgraded to 2GHz by a third party)

The MacBook Pro really holds itself up well, even compared to the iMac Core Duo. There’s not much trade-off in going for an Apple laptop instead of a desktop anymore! The MBP even holds its own against the Dual Core G5 Power Mac.

March 14th, 2006

Keeping Schools Off The Internet

Here’s a really, really dumb situation.

The Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) charges Australian schools a per-student fee (totalling around AUD$31 million per year Australia-wide) to allow them to reproduce copyrighted works. From what I understand, the fees collected are (partly) distributed to copyright holders to compensate them for the copying. The idea is to allow schools to copy parts of books, magazines, newspapers, audio, video, etc without having to buy a retail copy of the work for every student, which would obviously be uneconomical. Good idea.

Now, CAL wants to add a fee to schools for their use of the internet.

How the hell does that work? Why are the government and the courts even listening to them on this issue?

Works posted on the web are generally covered by copyright, but they’re made freely accessible to the public. If a student visits a publicly-available site and reads some articles, they’re not breaching anybody’s copyright. They’re doing what the copyright holder intended them to do.

How can CAL have any basis to collect a fee in this situation? How could they actually distribute the fees collected to the copyright holders, who may be anywhere in the world?

What a stupid way to hold back our kids’ education!

For more info, see this article in The Australian: Copyright makes web a turn-off.

March 3rd, 2006


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