March 2004 Blog Posts

Print publications screwing authors?

I just read Mike Gunderloy's post on Fawcette screwing him out of his payment. Is this common in the print industry? If so, I can't imagine why anyone would write at all. Take them to small claims! This story certainly makes me appreciate my writing relationship with Jonathan Goodyear (the angryCoder) than much more. He paid per agreement and on time! Perhaps it is the sign of the future for on-line vs. off-line?

DevDays 2004: attendee demographics.

One more comment on DevDays: is it just me or are developers getting older? Looking around, it appeared to me like the average age of attendees was pushing high thirties. Made me feel decidedly young. Is it that there is no fresh blood in Valley? Was this event marketed only to the “senior” people? Should I remove the quotes? Or have all the younger devs defected to the OSS side? On the other hand, there was much comfort (yes, I am being sarcastic) in there being only 2.35 women in the audience. It looks like on that front things haven't changed at all....

DevDays 2004 San Francisco

Today I attended the Microsoft DevDays 2004 event in San Francisco. Overall, I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10. Better than a six but not quite a seven (how is that for redundant?). I stayed with the Web Security track, so my impression is based on those sessions. I missed the larger chunk of the opening keynote, but the last 20 minutes or so that I did catch did not impress. Perhaps it was because I am already familiar with Reporting Services and Whitehorse, or maybe it was because the presenters did not exude confidence or excitement, or perhaps it...

Suggestions for VS.NET IntelliSense

Anson Horton asked how people are using IntelliSense in VS.NET. He mentions at least two modes: typing and browsing. There is another mode that I would love to see and that is prototyping. In the example than Anson gave, when the user starts typing after the “dot” and is typing a method or property that does not exist, I would like to see IntelliSense give up instead of forcing an existing closest match onto the user. Instead, I would like to see a progression that goes something like this: someVar.|   <- at this point IntelliSense dropdown appears someVar.Undef|   <- at this point IntelliSense should...

C# Frequently Asked Questions

Another worthwhile Microsoft blog: C# Frequently Asked Questions.

Explosive News: RFID's in cash

Via Raymond Chen, apparently the new US dollar bills have built-in RFID's (that explode, sort of). So pretty soon a technologically inclined thief will be able to discriminate his victims by the amount of cash they carry. Not likely? How about if I substitute “casino” for “thief”? [Update: see my previous post on the subject.]

Windows Media PLayer 9 Error Codes

Via Sean Alexander, “Troubleshooting Windows Media Player 9 Series Error Codes”. Awesome!

How to apply TDD to web development?

Craig Andera writes about his entry into the world of TDD. This is something I'd like to try but I primarily develop Web apps. Does anyone have any advice for applying TDD to the world of ASP.NET? [Update: TSS posts an article on the subject:]

RFID's and your privacy wrt libraries

This afternoon I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman on a train. He started it with a simple question: “What can you tell me about R.F.I.D. in 25 words or less?”. It turned out that my answer contained just the things he was looking for. I was able to define RFID, name the first big implementer, and mention the fact that there are privacy issues surrounding the technology. The rest of the time he spent trying to convince me that RFID's are particularly dangerous in the context of a public library. The gist of his argument was that RFIDs tied to...


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