Friday, June 29, 2007

Stating the bleedin' obvious

I kept meaning to add this one to the awards, but never got round to it, I can't read it often enough.

Debra Chrapaty, the VP of Operations for Windows Live, in an interview with Tim O'Reilly, said

"I've learned that when you multiply a small number by a big number, the small number turns into a big number." (No shit Debra! Have an Award.)

With the ability to get right down to the fundamentals I'm surprised that she isn't a special advisor to the White House and President George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.

The "What Planet Are you On" award for nonsense uttered in a meeting.

Colleague X said: "You wouldn't gift wrap her, she's a sandwich stealer."

What?! Why would you want to..?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cone of Uncertainty

Accounting web has a good report on the The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report entitled "Delivering successful IT–enabled business change". (Bear with me, I'll get to the cone in a minute.)

Amongst other refreshing expressions of common sense Sir John Bourn (Comptroller and Auditor General) is quoted as testifying that: "In our experience, many of the difficulties have arisen when a project with many elements is sometimes taken forward with a large number of partners, and the client does not have a full understanding of what he is trying to do and alters it as he goes along."

Never mind government IT projects, in my experience this is pretty much true of life. If you want to get the right stuff you've got to know what you want before people start delivering it to you.

Coincidentally I was introduced to Steve McConnell's Cone of Uncertainty yesterday, it certainly seems to imply, according to bar-room geometry, that a programme with many smaller projects is more likely to succeed (or at least behave reasonably predictably) than a more traditional Big Project.

That adds more weight to the notion that while the traditional waterfall method of managing projects may work for small projects it is fatally flawed when projects are large. In other words if they are large enough that phases cannot be completed reasonably quickly and/or that delivery dates are so far in the future that clients needs are bound to change in the meantime, and that's notwithstanding the I-remembered-another-thing-we-have-to-do scope creep syndrome.

However an experienced project manager I was talking to yesterday made the point that agile methodologies can be difficult to plan and manage, and even harder to estimate, without significant experience.

Perversely the risk of not having concrete dates and costs available at the start often seems to outweigh the risks associated with life intervening in between plan and execution.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jakarta Commons is now Apache Commons TLP

June 20th. (yes I know, I'm not very topical this week.) The Board of the Apache Software foundation voted to create a new top level project (TLP) out of the Jakarta Commons sub-project.

The new project will be known as the "Apache Commons Project" and be "responsible for the creation and maintenance of Java focused reusable libraries and components".

This is another significant step in the history of Jakarta.: "...all responsibility pertaining to the Commons sub-project encumbered upon the Apache Jakarta Project are hereafter discharged"

Well done and good luck to all involved.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Peace and Love

Gold, originally uploaded by danny angus.

I Went to see Culture at the Arches on Friday night with a friend/colleague who shall be referred to only as Jonny.

Great stuff.

Don't expect too much from this post though, I'm not your personal gig reviewer, but I can tell you the atmosphere was great, the band were great, Kenyatta Hill was great, (replacing his father Joseph, who sadly passed away last year) and a fun time was had by all.

The things that made it a bit weird were that the audience was 90% middle-aged white people, and that the view of the band was unobstructed by smoke (see pic), what with Scotland having a ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

Undeterred, however, some members of the audience did manage, surreptitiously, to create the right "atmosphere".

All in all the whole evening was enough to convert anyone to Rastafarianism, apart possibly from the wee guy from Edinburgh who, when Kenyatta said "When we return to Africa", was overheard saying, worriedly, to his lady companion "I don't wanny go tae Africa".

Jah Rastafari.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Support your local Roller Girls

I see The Glasgow Roller Girls got a mention and photo in the Glasgow Evening times on the 20th. Great stuff, I can't wait 'till I can go to a bout.

I also see that the Detroit Derby Girls season is building up to a thrilling finale. This coming Saturday's bout between the D-Funk Allstars and the Pistolwhippers promises to be hard fought and is too close to call.

Whoever wins will go forward to meet the Devils Night Dames in the championship bout on July 21st, and with last years champions the Pistoffs already out of the running there's no clear favourite and that promises to have everyone on the edge of their seats.

Impartial observer? Not me! I'm an armchair fan, I want to see the D-Funk Allstars go all the way and I'm not afraid to say so!

New Apache Board

Not exactly hot of the presses (two days ago) but The ASF has a new board.

I'd like to express my own thanks the outgoing board members; Ken Coar, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, Cliff Schmidt and Sander Striker. They worked hard on our behalf, and we appreciate their effort and commitment.

I'd also like to thank the new board members and the continuing ones for being prepared to make the commitment we're asking of them. Without good people prepared to step up to the plate the ASF couldn't survive. The new board looks like this (* = newly elected):

Justin Erenkrantz - President
J Aaron Farr* - Treasurer
Jim Jagielski - Chairman
Geir Magnusson Jr*
William Rowe Jr*
Sam Ruby - Exec VP and Secretary
Henning Schmiedehausen*
Greg Stein
Henri Yandell

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm interesting

Flickr has decided that my picture of Strawberries is interesting. Which is nice.

Election f**K up - Post Mortem

"ORG’s observations from polling places and count centres offer some insight into the reasons behind the spoilt ballot rate"

As I predicted "It was the combination of two different voting systems that also served to
confuse voters and complicate the voter education message"

It also, alarmingly, goes on to describe a count at which one of the candidates challenged the result before it had been announced. They had forgotten to include the SNP column in the calculations, if this had gone unnoticed we would not only have the wrong MSP's but also the wrong party in government.

And finally to the person who commented on my earlier post "... secure counting centres where there is no realistic chance of anyone tampering with the machines or the software." I say, Oh Yeah? Read the report.

Friday, June 15, 2007

<i>Rocky II</i>, <i>III</i>, <i>IV</i> Decisions Overturned After Stallone Caught With Performance-Enhancing Drugs

The Onion

Rocky II, III, IV Decisions Overturned After Stallone Caught With Performance-Enhancing Drugs

PHILDELPHIA— "The only way to make so much physical progress in three to five minutes is to use anabolic steroids," sports medicine expert Bruce Thurman said.

"This is a sad day for fictional boxing," The onion (who else)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quote of the [specify timeperiod]

This [specify timeperiod]'s award goes to an unfortunate metaphor from Jonathan Schwartz (via Geir):

"Most of the world doesn't have access to the internet - that's the enemy to slay"

I'm quite sure Sun's PR people would be turning in their graves if they knew he was in danger of being translated literally like the possibly apocryphal story about coke/pepsi bringing your ancestors back from the dead. Slay your potential customers Jonathan? A worth winner.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I want a pony!

IMG_2217, originally uploaded by danny angus.

Well we finally did it. Unable to avoid the consequences of encouraging child No1 to follow the family tradition and learn to ride, and after nine years of fobbing her off with riding school ponies, our "family" comprising four humans, two hamsters, two dogs, and a goldfish now includes Finkley Joker, pictured, who we're getting on loan for three months, and then who knows.

Tip for parents: When you say to your 5 year old that they can have a pony when they are twelve beware, they won't forget, and it comes round very fast!

In fact we should've done this last year, but she cracked her skull, which is an experience I would totally not wish on any parent. Ironically we've always been very careful to teach the kids that safety equipment isn't optional. So she fell off a swing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Big Bother...

The BBC are reporting that a contestant has been "removed" from Big Brother for using a "racially offensive word".

The head of the commissioning team is reported to have said that "the decision had been taken in the wake of the alleged racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year." I watched that, but I haven't seen this.

The problem I had with that is that it was really the bullying that was offensive then, and everyone seems to have latched onto the racism as being the worst part. The racism was wrong but what we saw was mainly ignorant stereotyping, rather than malicious. On the other hand the bullying we saw was malicious and appeared calculated to be cruel and hurtful. Because of this I don't trust their motivation so I'm not sure whether this is Big Brother being sensitive to the issues (which are real and complex) or just protecting their own arse.


Half Life 2 City 17 Train Station
God knows how much money we spend on real buildings but according to this creating buildings in games (yes games) apparently isn't cheap either... "The market for the creation of digital building assets is estimated to be worth up to USD842 million in 2015."

That's the thick end of a billion US dollars spent on people creating empty buildings to go into video games. Yes empty, because they go on to say "The upside market comprising other content such as interiors or cities could extend this market opportunity by an additional USD168-674 million within the same timeframe."

Cor Blimey, what kind of world do we live in? A soon-to-be virtual one I guess.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Find music like ... (help!)

== Further Update ==
It has moved!
== UPDATE ==
I found it 5 Months later!
Its called musicplasma and its here I guarantee you hours of fascination.
I also found music-map, but musicplasma is nicer, nicer to look at *and* more informative, and it now also has a movie search.
== d. ==

I used a website a while ago which let you type a band name in to a box,
then displayed a picture with circles, each a with a band or artist in it
related to the one you searched for.
If you clicked on one it became the centre. I think there were links at
the side to albums you could buy, from Amazon perhaps?

Can I find it again? (no obviously) Can you help? Please...

The original WWW

The original WWW, originally uploaded by ki113rb33s.

I haven't blogged a gratuitous picture of glasgow for a while, so here's the facade of a warehouse in James Watt St. (Anderston) on a day that the sun actually shone.

I know nothing, I'm not a fortune teller, and you'd be insane to think that I am. This disclaimer was cribbed from an email footer I once received. It is so ridiculous I had to have it for myself.

Statements in this blog that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding my expectations, objectives, anticipations, plans, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements include risks and uncertainties such as any unforeseen event or any unforeseen system failures, and other risks. It is important to note that actual outcomes could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements.

Danny Angus Copyright © 2006-2013 (OMG that's seven years of this nonsense)