The Register reviews Nokia's best business phone to date

09/02/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly


Fun little article from the UK's Register which reviews the best of the Nokia phones currently on the market.

I have one of them!


Rules for going to the cinema

09/01/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Worth its weight in gold

08/31/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly


But is it? Density and market prices determine the answer!

(Via Boing Boing)


Profitability in the wireless telco world (Rogers Edition)

08/30/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology


37% net profit. Not bad at all.

(Via Michael Geist)

(And look at the comments on Geist's site; there's one that can be summed up as "don't blame corporations for being greedy; it's their nature." Problem is that it's meant as exculpation, not castigation...)


Evolution, Alberta and Headdesk Denyse - Part II

08/30/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

The Calgary Herald gave Denyse O'Leary an "in rebuttal" column (entitled "Theory needs a paramedic, not more cheerleaders") to rebut Breakenridge's article.

From what I can gather, Denyse is ostensibly a journalistic defender of Intelligent Design.

Now, you could get the print copy from the Herald, but Denyse has also posted the article on her own blog and it includes the sources she used, which are revealing.

Full story »


The law of unintended consequences strikes again

08/29/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri


The Register comments on the IT field in the UK suffering from a lack of people with appropriate skills. It lays the blame at the foot of offshoring all the entry level jobs. After all, if you don't train people, they'll never be in a position to take over the more senior jobs when inevitably those currently in them move on up or out of the workforce.

Yup. I can agree; I watched this happen on a more local level here in Calgary a few years ago and have little doubt the same has happened before. As usual, it's short-term gain pushing out longer-term survival.


Wired on urban gardening

08/28/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri


Directly referencing the victory gardens of World War 2, Wired's Clive Thompson has an interesting article on the reviving popularity of growing food in an urban environment. Having come originally from the UK where this is not a terribly unusual thing to do -- and unless you're in an apartment it still isn't -- it makes for an interesting read. It's a nice follow up from yesterday's roof gardens post.

As a side note, none of my carrots or lettuce came up this year for which I blame the local populations of hares. The spinach is great, the potatoes rather bushy (but still underground) and the tomatoes are delicious, or I'm sure will be once they finally ripen. Next year the raspberries should start bearing fruit. Yum! I wouldn't want try to live off what I grow though; this is strictly supplemental to the weekly grocery run...


Roof lawns

08/27/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri


I've always liked the idea of a lawn or garden on top of a house, partially as insulator, but also as an interesting visual. I'd hate to try to maintain it and it wouldn't be much fun to try to maintain the structure under it either.

That said, Wired has put together one of their How-To wikis on this.


In space, no one wants to hear you burp

08/26/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology


Carbonated drinks in space are a no-no:

One of the items the astronauts might like to have when they are on orbit is soda, or carbonated beverages. Many years back, they decided to fly the soft drink Coca Cola® on the shuttle. First, it had to be packaged in a special can to keep it under pressure so it wouldn't lose its carbonation, and to keep it under pressure so the soda and the carbonation would not separate in microgravity. Not only is carbonation difficult in microgravity, it causes you to burp. On earth, that's not such a big deal, but in microgravity it's just gross! Because there is no gravity, the contents of your stomach float and tend to stay at the top of your stomach, under the rib cage and close to the valve at the top of your stomach. Because this valve isn't a complete closure (just a muscle that works with gravity), if you burp, it becomes a wet burp from the contents in your stomach. I've been told this is NOT pleasant!

Who knew?

(Via Irregular Webcomic)


IIS6 to IIS7 Handler Migration

08/20/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Programming

We had one big hiccup moving from IIS 6.0 to the 7.0 version.

In the Web.Config, IIS 7.0 no longer likes to have an httpHandlers section. We had:

   <remove verb="*" path="*.asmx"/>
   <add verb="*" path="*.asmx" validate="false"
   System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0,
   <add verb="GET,HEAD" path="ScriptResource.axd"
   System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0,
   Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35"

A very good guide to IIS 7.0 migration issues is located here, and we used that to help guide our transition, though it missed a couple of issues.

We had to put in a <system.webServer> section. We moved the <httpHandlers> code into there, but instead of <httpHandlers>, the section should now be called <handlers>.

One thing that is not mentioned is that your handlers should have names now, so we tried changing things like this:

   <remove name="asmx" verb="*" path="*.asmx" />
   <add name="asmx" verb="*" path="*.asmx" ... />
   <add name="scriptResource" verb="GET,HEAD" ... />

Trying the web server yet again, we ran into another error, "unrecognized attribute 'verb'" on the "remove" line.

Well, it turns out that the remove syntax has changed, such that you only need the name. We had been fooled by the IIS 6.0 similarity between the add and remove syntax and thinking it still applied.

Changing the remove line to just:

   <remove name="asmx" />

...worked just fine.

This did not come up in our searches for "unrecognized attribute "verb", so hopefully, this saves someone else a bit of time.


Evolution, Alberta and Headdesk Denyse - Part I

08/20/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

Rob Breakenridge wrote this article for the Calgary Herald, entitled "What is it about evolution theory that Albertans don't get?" in response to this Angus Reid poll. On the third page of the poll results, there is a percentage, by region, of the percentage of people surveyed whose views came closest to one of the following statements:

  • Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years
  • God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years
  • Not sure

Alberta was the embarrassing outlier in this poll, with only 37% of respondents going with the first option (the next lowest was Atlantic Canada with 56%) and 40% going with the second (almost double the 22% of the next highest three regions).

Breakenridge mulls over the problem and, apart from the general pro-evolution point of view, says something that is sure to bring a certain type of folk out of the woodwork:

Furthermore, although Alberta's model of school choice is commendable, is may also be a source of the problem.

Alberta taxpayers should not be subsidizing pseudoscience and religious dogma masquerading as legitimate curriculum.

The government recently announced an increase in per-capita funding to private schools, providing those schools meet a specific set of criteria. That criteria should include a ban on the teaching of creationism and its gussied up offspring, Intelligent Design.

Full story »


Greatest video evar!

08/14/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube


Beaker from the Muppets does all of the parts of Ode to Joy solo. I can't find words to emphasize how good this is.


Tim McLean's Funeral Unmolested

08/10/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense, Religion

Tim McLean, the victim in the horrible stabbing/beheading incident on Greyhound, was being targeted by the clan at the odious Westboro Baptist Church of "God Hates Fags" fame as a protest site against Canada in general that the grisly murder was an act of retribution by God.

One of the purported two groups of the church's members attempting entry into Canada was stopped at the border, which was alerted to the group's intentions, and turned back. Another was, if Shirley Phelps-Roper's claims are true, able to make it into the country by couriering their protest signs in separately.

That said, they were either unsuccessful in making it all the way there, or they had second thoughts about their safety in a familiar-looking but foreign country. It looks like the service started without protest.

Kudos to the 250+ people ready to shield family members from any such crass protest, and for mourning with the family.


Upgraded Blog Software

08/02/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Announcements [A]

I finally got a little headspace to upgrade the b2evolution software from 1.8.1RC all the way up to 2.4.2. The upgrade scripts worked impressively; kudos to the b2evolution team for not leaving out those of us who were 21 versions behind :)

It certainly looks niftier from the administration and author side. There is not quite as much new in the regular user interface, but I have pulled down a few more new skins for you to play with.

The new version of b2evolution also had some sample pages for accessing the blogs more directly, which will be nice if any of us want to post just their personal page. Instead of using the blog ID, which can change, I have three direct links for my, Dena's and Adam's blog.

Let me know if you trip across anything not working as advertised!

Hmmm... the blogroll seems to be fouled up; I can't find anything in the forums that gives very good instructions on how to clean it up... I'll try again tomorrow.


US Customs/DHS have the right to seize laptops at the border

08/01/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology


Well, it's been an unofficial option for the American customs for a while now but its documented:

they can take your laptop, or anything else, for no reason at all, forever, and disclose anything they find to anyone they feel like:

That's a remarkably broad mandate.

(Via BoingBoing; also via The Register)


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