Space aliens in Calgary

05/02/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, Calgary


Hmmm. And what else have the Stelmach Tories been keeping from us?

And I love the subheading that the spoilsports at NBC thoughtfully provide:

Some Believe Images Are Just Reflection From Window

(Via BoingBoing)


Road skating in Saudi

05/01/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube

The Other Lost Treasures Of Infocom

05/01/08 | by Adam | Categories: Games


The long lost sequel to Infocom's "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" is revealed and playable. Alas, there was a lot of politics behinds its development resulting in pretty much no game. Too bad really; would have been fun.

There's also another good write-up on Infocom's chequered history here.


ORA-06575: Package or function X is in an invalid state

04/30/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Programming

If you go throw a function into Oracle, and it's wrong, e.g.

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION Banana IS -- Oops, no return!
RETURN SUBSTUR('Banana',2,5); -- Oops, misspelled!

You will get no warnings about this in most tools until it comes time to call it:


(If Banana were a procedure, we would use CALL Banana; instead)

You will get the error ORA-06575: Package or function BANANA is in an invalid state.

So how do you find out what's wrong? SHOW ERRORS; only works for SQL statements, not the contents of a stored procedure.

This is what you have to do:

It is important to put the name in uppercase.

You get:

BANANA, FUNCTION, 1, 1, 17, PLS-00103: Encountered the symbol "IS" when expecting one of the following: ( return compress compiled wrapped, ERROR, 103

If we add in the RETURN VARCHAR2 before the IS, and select the user errors again, we get:

BANANA, FUNCTION, 1, 3, 10, PLS-00201: PLS-00201: identifier 'SUBSTUR' must be declared, ERROR, 201
BANANA, FUNCTION, 2, 3, 3, PL/SQL: Statement ignored, ERROR, 0

Nice, rich error messages, but what a way to have to get them!

If you are using PL/SQL Developer, take a look under Functions or Procedures. Any stored procedures in error show up with a little X on their icon. The errors will show up if you right click->Edit. Creating the stored procedures from right-click->New on these items will save you a lot of hassle.

If you are stuck with a bit of a "manual" tool, however, the USER_ERRORS technique is your best bet.


Extension on Netfile deadline

04/30/08 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian


Anyone who's a little slow filing their taxes -- or putting it off to the last minute -- has found that Revenue Canada's Netfile system has been unusable for the last few days.

Fortunately the filing deadline has been extended for a few days, although money due still has to be paid by the 30th.


Oil versus Tar

04/30/08 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian

While working on a site up in Fort McMurray a few weeks back, I referred to the awful brewed coffee in the office as "tar sands sludge."

I was then politely, but quite clearly, corrected. It is in fact "oil sands sludge" as only dirty hippies and environmentalists use the other term.

Who knew?


Bluetooth A2DP audio on a dedicated MP3 player

04/28/08 | by Adam | Categories: iPhone


Yes, Apple, it is possible. Now go fix your iPods and iPhone so they meet current standards.


Stein's "Just An Opinion" On Science

04/27/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

From a more recent episode of the "Why do people laugh at creationists?" series, Stein is shown being interviewed by Paul Crouch, Jr. on Trinity Broadcasting Network.

The episode is here.

Now, a lot of this particular episode is not all that interesting, dealing with somewhat contradictory wishes Stein has on the military versus how you should treat people, and on the rule of law versus being a lawyer, but I don't see those as terribly beyond the pale.

I've transcribed a couple of quotes from Ben Stein's opinion on science below:

Stein: ...mother's already been gassed, so they would take a child and give him or her an overdose of barbiturates to kill 'em, and that's... that was horrifying beyond words, and that's where sci... in MY opinion, this is just an opinion, that's where science leads.

Host: That's right.

Stein: 'cause love of God, the[?] passion and empathy lead you to a very glorious place. Science leads you to killing people.

Host: Good word, good word.


The entire original interview is on TBN's site here, if you want an extra helping of ignorance.


"iPod Tax" resurfaces in UK

04/27/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music


There's not much I can add to the article writer's comment:

But only if they pay for it a second time round. The MBG's proposal is essentially a way to help the music industry get paid twice for the same thing: first for the CD and once again, by way of the iPod tax, for using the CD's content outside a CD player. It's the equivalent of asking consumers to buy two CDs, one for home, the other for the car.

It's a daft idea that just seems to dumb to die; there's also a bonus reference to Canada's own version of the stupidity at the end of the article.


"Lost Canadian" law passes

04/26/08 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian


This is good: the bill to restore citizenship to Canadians who "lost" it due to poorly thought-out act has passed into law.


Satan Loves Low Cholesterol

04/26/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion

Someone reposted a Kent Hovind video about the dangers of evolution. There was one slide that just caught my eye, because it was sitting in the freeze frame, ostensibly showing the evil population control that will be foisted upon us all:

Reduce birth rates w/
* abortion
* RU486
* birth control
* homosexuality
* lower cholesterol
* high cost of living=smaller families
* eugenics
* 1 child/family-China

Wow, so homosexuality is now not only somehow voluntary for people, but being promoted to help control population! Who knew!

It was the "lower cholesterol" that made me blink a couple of times, though. Oh no, it's not about your heart health, it's about infertility. From Truth Radio:

Low cholesterol and its link to infertility. Keep in mind the big picture. Satan hates God. And Satan and God have been at war for 6,000 years. God's plan is fill the world with kids. [...] Satan, of course, wants the opposite. He wants to reduce the world's population to zero as soon as possible. And so Satan is going to work towards reduction of the population and lowering cholesterol is good way of doing that.

In keeping with the worldview of "there are only two choices", Kent Hovind: delusional or two-faced? :)


Another take on the alarm clock radio

04/25/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music


The Register Rebel DJ has a write up in the Intempo, an FM-based alarm clock with an interesting twist: it automatically records music and strips out the commercials and DJs allowing one to listen to the important bit.


Young Me Now Me

04/24/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri


This is an interesting concept from Ze Frank: recreating pictures of one's youth as an adult then posting the results side by side.

(Via Kottke)


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