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PowerPoint Is Evil   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Wired, Edward Tufte) Information design guru Edward R. Tufte argues that PowerPoint style routinely disrupts, dominates and trivializes content while ignoring the most important rule of speaking: Respect your audience.

Maybe you shouldn't ask   25 Sep 04
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I found this entry on Seth Godin’s blog
 Fast Company has a terrific cover piece this month about Jeff Bezos.
 My favorite part is when he talks about asking other people (experts, even)
 for their opinion about new projects.

 Inevitably, people say no. Don't do it. I don't like it. It'll fail.
 Don't bother.

 When I think about every successful project (whether it's a book
 or a business or a website) the people I trust have always given
 me exceedingly bad advice. And more often than not, that advice
 is about being conservative.

 The incentive plan here is pretty clear. If someone dissuades you
 from trying, you can hardly blame them for the failure that doesn't
 happen, right? If, on the other hand, they egg you on and you crash,
 that really puts a crimp in the relationship...

 I think the problem lies in the question. Instead of saying,
 "what do you think?" as in, "what do you think about Amazon
 offering 1,000,000 different titles even though some of them are really
 hard for us to get..." the question ought to be, "how can I make this
 project even MORE remarkable?"

I highly recommend you to read more of Seth Godinīs blog

Cathedrals of the body   25 Sep 04
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Dieter Blum has some fascinating pictures. A must see.

programmable pair for 400 kUSD :-)   25 Sep 04
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Stefan discovered this in the XP-ML.

Ha, ha: With this premiere programmable pair, happening holidays are just a few remote-clicks away.

Nowadays, most couples would love some extra arms and legs to help conquer their ever-expanding to-do list. Our 2003 His & Hers multifunction robots fit the bill quite nicely, thanks.

Someone at the door? Click your remote and send His Robot to check it out. His Robot's voice circuitry can deliver your greeting, and His on-board video camera gives you a view of the visitor, who can hop onto His platform and be delivered to you in the den.

Need some help getting the groceries into the house? Her Robot is happy to help. Need to leave a message for the spouse or kids? Tell it to Her Robot, and she'll spread the word. link

How to Keep your Job   25 Sep 04
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 I had posted this 6 months ago, but the link has changed.
(Source: pragmatic programmers) One issue—above all others—is beginning to dominate our professional landscape. How can we, as developers, continue to stay on top of our profession?

The world is changing, and it’s changing faster than we think. Programmers are going to have to move up the value chain, and move up fast, if they are to keep their jobs in the coming years. The recession isn’t helping, as its effects are masking a significant underlying trend. When the recession ends, the truth is going to scare folks who aren’t prepared.


Nice posting on Human Resources   25 Sep 04
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(Source: pragprog-ML, Michael L. Royle)
 >I work for ThoughtWorks (TW) and would be happy to tell you about it.  TW
 >was founded on the idea that if you put together the best and brightest
 >people and give them a challenging environment then only great things can
 >happen.  This has been and continues to be the main criteria by which we
 >hire people and is the one of the reasons we are so successful.  As such,
 >the recruitment process is a series of flaming hurdles, but well worth it.
 >I just can't bring myself to leave the company even after 5 years :-)

New blog: Alexander's Weblog: The world and beyond   25 Sep 04
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There is a new blog about economics, the world, politics and other interesting real life stuff. Written by a German working in Bangkok. link

[ANN] Firefox Ruby sidebar   25 Sep 04
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James Britt did hack sth. most useful :-).

Daniel Beger saw the Python version

 > I came across this nifty looking sidebar for Python documentation at
 >  Is there something
 > similar for Ruby?  If not, does someone need a project? :)

And here is the ruby version

It’s really cool!

Natural Language vs. Computer Language   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Toivo Deutsch, xp-ML) This is exactly what David Ungar’s talk at Oopsla 2003 was about. (See for some notes)

One thing I found interesting about his talk that I managed to relate to XP was when he talked about how humans have "normal" level to categorize things. For example he showed a picture of a tree. Whenever people see a picture of a tree and you ask them what it is, they say "tree", not "maple" or "plant". There seems to be a "middle" category that the mind tends toward.

Traditional software development takes either a top-down or bottom-up approach to categorizing things. That is we don’t start at the natural middle abstraction and work our way up or down the hierarchy.

I was wondering if when we take a TDD approach to design, we can manage to start at the natural middle level and then refactor to generalize or specialize as we need to.

Exploring with Wiki   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Artima) A Conversation with Ward Cunningham


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