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Will they be giving him a gold watch?

ackthpt writes “CNN is reporting that Toho, after 50 years and 28 films, will be retiring Godzilla (Gojira in Japan) after this years film. Toho has thought of …

[Via Slashdot]

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Ok ok, I am in love with reading RSS and that has a lot to do with my geekiness. But I found an article on Slate (decidedly non geeky) that does a better job explaining the benefits of using an RSS Reader. One thing I learned is that there’s an RSS Reader for Mac OS X. Read the article.

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Found this gem on Raymond Chen’s blog.

Okay, I’m about to reveal one of the tricks of Product Support. \ \ Sometimes you’re on the phone with somebody and you suspect that the problem is something as simple as forgetting to plug it in, or that the cable was plugged into the wrong port. This is easy to do with those PS/2 connectors that fit both a keyboard and a mouse plug, or with network cables that can fit both into the upstream and downstream ports on a router. \ \ Here’s the trick: Don’t ask “Are you sure it’s plugged in correctly?” \ \ If you do this, they will get all insulted and say indignantly, “Of course it is! Do I look like an idiot?” without actually checking. \ \ Instead, say “Okay, sometimes the connection gets a little dusty and the connection gets weak. Could you unplug the connector, blow into it to get the dust out, then plug it back in?”\ \ They will then crawl under the desk, find that they forgot to plug it in (or plugged it into the wrong port), blow out the dust, plug it in, and reply, “Um, yeah, that fixed it, thanks.” \ \ (Or if the problem was that it was plugged into the wrong port, then the act of unplugging it and blowing into the connector takes their eyes off the port. Then when they go to plug it in, they will look carefully and get it right the second time because they’re paying attention.)\ \ Customer saves face, you close a support case, everybody wins. \ \ Corollary: Instead of asking “Are you sure it’s turned on?”, ask them to turn it off and back on.

[Via The Old New Thing]

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Reuters - A Los Angeles lawyer who claims he was thrown out of Las Vegas last year because he was too lucky has sued MGM Mirage in a bid to force the casino to warn prospective gamblers that they can be barred for winning too much.

[Via Yahoo! News - Oddly Enough]

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Tired of annoying “pre-approved” credit card offers? I sure am. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970 as amended in 1996, the four major credit bureaus have the right to sell your information to companies that want to offer you a credit card. Fortunately, the amendment also stipulated that credit bureaus must provide a way for consumers to have their names excluded from pre-approval lists. If you’re a United States citizen sick of getting pre-screened credit card offers, this article will show you how to avoid receiving them.

[Via kuro5hin.org]

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A while ago, I posted an entry imagining the next generation of Rss Aggregators and blogging engines that would in effect, create a better social network than Frienster, Tribe, etc…

Looks like efforts were already under way. A commenter pointed me to XFN, aka the XHTML Friends Network which presents a simple way to express relationships through hyperlinks. Very interesting.

After applying XFN tags, you can head over to http://www.rubhub.com and have them index your site. Entering a full or partial URL in their search engine will bring up a relationship results page. This page lists sites that link to the specified site and all the sites to which the specified site links. With each link, the search results also dislay the relationship (for example: Acquaintance).

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I received this email from a coworker. It makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

With all the news coverage about sub-zero east coast weather and north Pacific ice storms, it’s easy to forget that Southern California has its share of devastating weather also. Check out the damage caused by a wild west coast storm which recently passed through Los Angeles (photo attached.) It really makes you cherish what you have, and reminds us not to take life for granted!!!

Warning: This photo is graphic and not for the faint of heart. Click Here.

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I wish I had this a while ago. Log Parser allows you to run SQL like queries against your IIS log files. Check it out here.

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I’m working on a project to add beauty back to the blogging experience, even when read by an Rss Aggregator.

For example, in RssBandit, you can select a style for displaying blog entries (via XSLT formatters). Currently, this setting applies to all feeds. In order for this to work well, some creative stripping of the style within an item must occur, otherwise you can get some very ugly (even unreadable) results.

I’ve been working (albeit slowly) on a spec allowing a blog to “suggest” a style (or custom formatter) for a blog entry when read in an aggregator. Based on your aggregator settings, the aggregator would either accept the style from the blog, or it would use your predefined style.

Some nice benefits include the fact that the style the RssFeed suggests could be customized to the user’s aggregator. For example, if the aggregator supports Longhorn, the RssFeed might suggest a formatter that converts the blog entry into XAML. This nicely separates the presentation from the content, and yet gives both the content producer and consumer some control over the presentation.

Some issues I need to think about is whether this should be an extension to RSS or use a new API. Not only that, I need to gather some feedback on whether or not this is even a good idea and worth my time.

comments?

code comments edit

I needed to create a temp table in SQL with a column that contained an incrementing integer, without making that column an identity.

For example, suppose I want to select record from a table of users, but add a column that contains an incrementing counter. The data in the table should look like so:

counter UserID Email
0 3432 BillBrasky@example.COM
1 7913 zoolander@example.com
2 8372 donaldtrump@example.com

To start, I can run the following query to create the temp table:

SELECT counter = 0, * FROM Users INTO #tmp_Users

This creates a temp table named #tmp_Users where the column “counter” is set to 0 for each row.

In order to update the counter column so that each row has a counter value greater than the previous row, run the following statement.

DECLARE @counter int
SET @counter = 0
UPDATE #tmp_Users
SET @counter = counter = @counter + 1

If you’re looking to master your T-SQL Fu, I recommend this book. It provides a great reference for advanced T-SQL querying techniques. Keep in mind that this book is not for beginners. It gets into some deep analysis of how querying works in SQL 2005

personal comments edit

Bush believes that an amendment is necessary to bring “clarity” to the issue of gay marriage and to preserve the social fabric of our great nation.

Praise Be The Lord! Well Ok Bush, I’m with you. But before we work on that amendment, there’s another Amendment we need to pass first. The Amendment to remove the scourge of Divorce from our country. It is necessary to preserve the social fabric. For it sayeth in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 19 verse 9 (King James Version):

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

For your homework, also look up Deut 22:19, Matt 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2, 1 Cor 7:10-11, 7:39.

personal comments edit

We went on a triple date last night with Walt, Celine, Dan, and Judy to eat at Jiraffe. They are having some sort of Monday prefixe special. Unfortunately, a lot of French food has egg product in it to give it an added richness, which makes it difficult for my wife. I, on the other hand, had no problem with any of the food. Especially the Fois Gras. Very rich and tasty!

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I just left to do some thinking where I get my best thinking done. While washing my hands, I realized I should mention a few issues with my previous recommendation.

Adding the SerializableAttribute to a class indicates to .NET that the class may be automatically serialized via reflection. When the class is being serialized, .NET uses reflection to obtain the values of every private, protected, and public member. What this means for your exception class, is that any properties it exposes should themselves be serializable. Should .NET attempt to serialize your class, and your class contains a member that cannot be serialized, it will throw a SerializationException during run-time

Now, I’m not sure if this is the best design, but I often expand any object parameters to my custom exception constructors rather than storing a reference to the object. For example:

[Serializable]
public class MyException : ApplicationException
{
  public readonly int ObjectID;
  public readonly string ObjectName;
    
  /// <summary>   
  /// Constructor stores the properties of sourceObject instead   
  /// of a reference to sourceObject itself.   
  /// </summary>   
  public MyException(string message, MyObject sourceObject)
  {
    ObjectID = sourceObject.ID;
    ObjectName = sourceObject.Name;
  }
}

This allows me not to have to worry about whether or not MyObject is serializable.

Another way to deal with this is to mark any members that are not serializable with the NonSerializedAttribute like so:

 
[Serializable]
public class MyException : ApplicationException
{
  [NonSerialized]
  private MyObject sourceObject;
    
  /// <summary>   
  /// Constructor stores the properties of sourceObject instead   
  /// of a reference to sourceObject itself.   
  /// </summary>   public MyException(string message, MyObject sourceObject)
  {
    this.sourceObject = sourceObject;
  }
}

The .NET runtime will ignore any members with the NonSerialized attribute during serialization. After deserialization, the member will have its default value (null for reference types).

Finally, you can forego automatic serialization and provide your own serialization by having your class implement ISerializable If you do so, you must still mark your class as serializable with the SerializableAttribute

 [Serializable]
public class MyException : ApplicationException
{
  [NonSerialized]
  private MyObject sourceObject;
    
  /// <summary>   
  /// Constructor stores the properties of sourceObject instead   
  /// of a reference to sourceObject itself.   
  /// </summary>   public MyException(string message, MyObject sourceObject)
  {
    this.sourceObject = sourceObject;
  }
}

What do you think?

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Just had lunch with Erik and Ben at Manpuku. If you’ve never been, Manpuku is on Sawtelle just north of Olympic in the strip mall where Hurry Curry is. If none of that made sense to you, then you probably don’t live in L.A. ;)

In any case, they had the bento boxes and I had an Ishiyaki Bibimpap. Rice with vegetables and ground beef, served in a steaming hot clay bowl with a red hot paste mixed in. Too good.

In any case, sounds like Ben and Erik are doing well at my former establishment of employment. Erik and his wife are expecting in two months. Not much has changed, we spent five minutes catching up on personal lives, and 55 minutes talking about Microsoft Reporting Services and the various code we’re all writing.

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When writing a custom Exception class, don’t forget to mark the class as Serializable? Why? If the exception is ever used in a remoting context, exceptions on the server are serialized and remoted back to the client proxy. The proxy then throws the exception on the client. By default, .NET types are not serializable. But by adding a simple Serializable attribute decoration on your class, .NET is able to serialize your exception.

[Serializable]
public class MyException : Exception
{
  // Custom Code
  
}

Technorati Tags: Tips

personal comments edit

Let’s see. On Friday we went to see a sneak preview of Starsky and Hutch. If you liked Zoolander, I think you’ll like this. It’s not the same, but has similar type of humor. It’s hard to approach Zoolander in my book, but Starksy and Hutch does well.

Saturday played a game of soccer in the cold rain. Had a stalwart crew of 10 people out there.

And on Sunday, slept in till noon, had lunch in Eagle Rock, and basically had a nice relaxing lazy day.