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I have a perfect eagle eye view of a car accident that just happened on San Vicente. Looks like a gray SUV slammed into the side of a little red civic or corolla (can’t tell from here on the 17th floor). Funny how all these cars are slowly driving around it as it blocks most of the intersection. They just want to get on with their lives. Both passengers walked out of the car and seem to be having a civil conversation about it.

Oh, I can hear the sounds of sirens. Looks like the police and ambulance are showing up to take care of things. That was pretty quick.

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We’re all moved in to our new place. I took a personal day Monday so that we could put the place together and not have to live in a huge mess. Much love to Dan, Micah, and Matt for helping with the heavy lifting.

The tough thing right now is that we don’t have an internet connection yet, though it’s been ordered. I’m looking forward to the 3Mbs cable connection from Comcast. In the meanwhile, I was hoping to piggyback onto a wireless connection. Not surprisingly these days, there are two wireless networks in the vicinity. Unfortunately, one is protected by a WEP key, so I’ll leave that one alone (though I hear WEP is easy to break). The other is unprotected, but it is up very sporadically. This will be a loooong wait…

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I know someone looking to fill a .NET developer position. They’re paying around 75K for someone with around 2+ years of experience with ASP.NET, C#, etc… Let me know if you know someone who might be interested.

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I was recently contacted by a Contractor that I worked with a loooong time ago, Hi Thomas! Funny thing is, he contacted me because he was trying to find information about Reporting Services. My former employer is all over the place when you search on those two terms.

Funny thing is that he works for CyberU now, a company we did some work for years and years ago. I was surprised to hear that they are still around and have a tech staff of 12 developers. I have to give credit to their president for changing directions and making something of the company.

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It’s finally official. We are legally, emotionally, officially, proud owners of a townhouse style condo. For you non-LA people, I could buy a 5 bedroom estate in Anchorage, Alaska for what we’re paying. Heck, I could buy a 5 bedroom house in Seattle or Portland.

But what that gets us in L.A. is a two bedroom, 2.5 bath 1000 sq ft town house condo.

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Hofmann blotter
LSDLSD use is way down in recent years, according to arrest records, hospital records, and surveys with high schoolers. Slate looked into it, and came up with two reasons why. First and foremost, the DEA busted a couple of guys in rural Kansas back in 2000, who supplied 95 percent of the country’s acid. The other reason is the breakup of the Grateful Dead.

“The LSD market took an earlier blow in 1995, when Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia died and the band stopped touring. For 30 years, Dead tours were essential in keeping many LSD users and dealers connected, a correlation confirmed by the DEA in a divisional field assessment from the mid-‘90s. The spring following Garcia’s death (the season the MTF surveys are administered), annual LSD use among 12th-graders peaked at 8.8 percent and began their slide. Phish picked up part of the Dead’s fan base—and presumably vestiges of the LSD delivery system. At the end of 2000, Phish stopped touring as well, and perhaps not coincidentally, the MTF numbers for LSD began to plummet.”


[Via Boing Boing]

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Trump I don’t know if you caught Saturday Night Live this weekend, but the Donald was hosting. He was a bombastic, self aggrandizing, braggart in true Trump fashion. For some reason, it just works for him.

This was one of the funnier episodes of SNL. I especially loved the skit where Trump plays a janitor and Darryl Hammond plays Trump. The janitor walks into Trump’s office and starts bagging on the hair, the decor, everything. Classic.

Also attended a baby shower for my good friends the Perezes. Seems like everyone from my college is churning out the babies. There were two babies at the shower, and three more in the oven. As an activity, we did artwork on onesies. I wrote “Player” on mine.

Went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday at La Luna Negra. It’s a spanish tapas restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. There were a couple of intense middle aged looking Flamenco dancers. They looked ready to attack and devour each other at any moment as they danced, but not in a sexy sort of way.

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I just read Bruce Eckel’s blog entry about embedding unit tests in code. Ideally, he’d like compiler support in programming languages for unit tests.

The resulting syntax produced what seems like an obvious Java solution for the same problem: embed the essence of the unit test code within inline comments in the code for the class to be tested, and then automatically generate the JUnit code - which can then be used without any examination or intervention on the part of the programmer. To make changes, the programmer only needs to change the commented source code, and run the JUnit generator again.

It’s an intriguing idea and what I like about it is that these embedded tests have access to test code that you can’t otherwise test with an NUnit or JUnit framework such as private member variables and local variables within a method. It allows for very tight testing. Additionally, it places the test code as close to the source code as possible, directly embedded alongside of it. Perhaps a compiler with the highest warning level set would run all the tests and break if a test fails.

There are two things that make me wary of this approach. One, I feel it could muddy up the code a bit. Maybe this is just me being resistant to change, but I like the fact that all my test code is in a separate class library (but part of my solution). When reading the main code, it’s just the main code. I don’t have to wade through lines and lines of test code (which can easily include many more lines than the code being tested).

The second issue is that unit tests are superb for testing how well factored your classes are. When you write unit tests such that they are another client of your code (without access to your classes’ internals), it helps uncover usability issues with your code. If you find that you need access to private members in order to fully test your code, more times than not, it is a sign that your code needs to be refactored. I have no problems with refactoring code to make it easier to test because as I said earlier, unit tests are just another client to your code. If it’s easier to unit test, it’s probably easier to use for other clients.

Having said that, I realize that having compiler support for unit tests won’t necessarily stop anyone from writing unit tests as a client. In fact, it’s probably still a good idea despite my two issues with it. However, I’m not convinced it would lead to much better testing unless it was used sparingly.

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Found this on Slashdot. I already am a big fan of Sake, but who knew it was so versatile?

geeber writes “And you thought Sake was only good with Sushi? Well, think again! IEEE Spectrum has an article on how JVC has used sake to enable making speaker …

[Via Slashdot]

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Looks like a another company has stolen some of the thunder from Google’s announcement offering 1GB of email. Spymac announces in this post that they offer 1GB of email storage with a promise that there will be no adwords or other forms of promotion linked to email content.

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If you haven’t tried it yet, you should really give Froogle a look. I’m currently looking to buy an LCD monitor and I checked the usual suspects, Pcworld and Tomshardware for reviews, Pricegrabber for prices, but due to lack of inertia, I never thought to try Froogle.

Searching Froogle, I found a Dell Ultrasharp 17” (highest rated by PCWorld) for $399.00 with free shipping. At that price, I think I’ll get two. I was intending to get a 19”, but since 17” give you the same resolution as a 19” and are much cheaper, I think two 17” beat one 19” in terms of value and productivity.

I’m also in the market for an ergonomic chair, but that could take a lot of research.

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Now I’m every bit as much the bleeding heart liberal as the guy to my left, but I have to say that I believe the outcry against offshoring and outsourcing is purely a reactionary response to the current bad economy. I don’t believe that opposition to outsourcing is not based in sound economic principal nor is good for the country in the long run.

This coming from a software developer who makes his livelihood on custom software development. However, as jobs start to get created again (they will) I think the furor will die down a bit because everyone will be too busy working.

In the meanwhile, read this article I found from my economist friend Michael Krimm’s favorite magazine. He will be quite proud of me.

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Adam Kinney posts about finding Google phrases that return your site at #1 with more than 100 results.

Because we geeks have nothing better to do and have a deep seated need for the validation that only Google can provide, I checked my referrer logs and came up with the following three phrases.

Also, before you mistakenly read the third option, it’s spelled with an “A” not an “E”. It’s a skit on Dave Chappelle’s (a hilarious comedian) show about a white “Harriet and Ozzie” family in the 50s with an unfortunate last name.

Google ego boosting challenge #2, find a search phrase on images.google.com that brings up your picture. A bit tougher…

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Spam For the past few months I’ve been teaching myself Longhorn programming via the PDC bits by building a better Spam filter. Some of the best filters will typically use an approach based on Bayesian probability modeling. For example, in this article Paul Graham discusses an improved algorithm for filtering spam

Although I am currently a software engineer (and manager) by trade, my background is in Mathematics and I’m not entirely satisfied with the current crop of spam filters. I realized that mathematical analysis alone isn’t enough. There has to be an “intelligence” factor.

The app I’m working on takes the Bayesian approach, but integrates that with intelligent filtering by taking advantage of the cheap cost of outsourcing and the proliferation of peer-to-peer software (made easier by Indigo I might add). You can see my new spam filter here.