Seventy years ago, on June 18, 1940, Winston Churchill, barely six weeks in office as Britains prime minister and confronted with the threat of invasion from Nazi-occupied France, rose in the House of Commons and, in 36 minutes of soaring oratory, sought to rally his countrymen with what has gone down in history as his finest hour speech.
I have lived in Japan for several years, programming in a professional capacity, and I have broken many systems by the simple expedient of being introduced into them. (Most people call me Patrick McKenzie, but I’ll acknowledge as correct any of six different “full” names, any many systems I deal with will accept precisely none of them.) Similarly, I’ve worked with Big Freaking Enterprises which, by dint of doing business globally, have theoretically designed their systems to allow all names to work in them. I have never seen a computer system which handles names properly and doubt one exists, anywhere.
So, as a public service, I’m going to list assumptions your systems probably make about names. All of these assumptions are wrong. Try to make less of them next time you write a system which touches names.
Exactly a decade ago, I began to write a weblog. It began as a diary of sorts, and its spectacularly low readership reflected its lack of appeal to anyone outside of myself. But I never aspired to be a writer, a journalist, or indeed anything other than what I was at the time — a web application developer. In fact the writing of a weblog was little more than a byproduct of working to develop a content management system.
Unlike some others, I can’t claim to have prduced ten years’ worth of weblog entries. But nonetheless a decade has passed since I began and, in that time, I’ve been exposed to some wonderful people, ideas and technologies I would otherwise have surely missed.
At the time some of us thought weblogs were perhaps something a little special. Tom Coates’ thinking of the day articulated this admirably. But while I anticipated the emerging amateurised culture would grow and grow, I still managed to underestimate it. Early on, I dismissed “social software” as management bullshit and, although the first few attempts seemed to flop, there’s no denying the impact of the current generation of such offerings; most notably Facebook and Twitter. I also underestimated the part that weblogs would come to play — I never thought that they’d grow to become so ubiquitous that they’re no longer special, but normal.
Indeed, the Prime Minister resigned this afternoon, and I learned about it not from the mainstream media, but from a weblog entry by someone I’ve met in real life. It’s as if mass amateurisation, backed by large social networks, is breeding mass personalisation.
Weblogs have evolved into a glorious conversation, and I am left to wonder what point it will have reached a decade from now.
The efficiency of the access and deletion functions paralleled the subjective alertness rating for younger and older adults, and age-related differences in these functions were greater when individuals were tested at nonoptimal times of day. The efficiency of the response inhibition function was similar for younger and older adults and paralleled changes in body temperature.
According to an Accredited Supplier poll, Microsoft is losing their grip on the UK small business market under increasing pressure from cloud computing and open source software. Accredited Suppliers poll of 1400 Microsoft customers, all small businesses in the UK, has raised concerns over Microsofts future in this market segment.
Here we go again… our latest list of the 100 best websites sees short attention spans, the rise of Twitter, more browser wars and celebrity gossip sites setting the news agenda
Snow blanketed Great Britain on January 7, 2010, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this image. Snow covers most of England, from the east to the west coast. (The large image shows snow cover over the entire island of Great Britain.) The cities of Manchester, Birmingham, and London form ghostly gray shapes against the white land surface. Immediately east of London, clouds swirl over the island, casting blue-gray shadows toward the north.
The most interesting and unexpected facts can emerge from the daily news stories and the Magazine documents some of them in its weekly feature, 10 things we didn’t know last week. To kick off 2010, here’s an almanac of the best from the past year.
47. Britain had animal welfare laws before it had child welfare laws.