Archive for November, 2010

Three Months Without Cable

As was widely reported in the media, the second and third quarter of 2010 show a steady decline in cable subscriptions. This is earth-shaking for the cable companies, who have seen growth in US subscribers over their entire history. It’s a key indicator of not only consumers being more careful with their spending, but the [...]

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Captchas: The Bear Proof Trash Can Problem

Lately I’ve been selling a lot of things on Craigslist. Along with adventures in capitalism, every post to Craigslist requires filling out a CAPTCHA, specifically a reCAPTCHA. I’ve noticed that they have gotten quite difficult. In fact, at least one of the captchas I got recently was in Greek.
Captchas area a really clever idea, but [...]

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Proactive Assumption Violation: Avoiding Bugs By Behaving Badly

Bugs are a fact of life in software, and probably always will be. Some bugs are probably unavoidable, but a lot of bugs can be avoided through good architecture, defensive programming, immutability, and other techniques. One major source of bugs, especially frustrating bugs, is non-deterministic behavior. Every programmer has experienced bugs which don’t reproduce, which [...]

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What the Rally for Sanity Meant for Me

The weekend before last my family went to the Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington DC. We went for a few reasons: because we hadn’t been to DC in a while, because a lot of our friends would be in town, because it was a cheap trip thanks to points/miles. It did end up being [...]

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