My dissertation is due in a little over 2 weeks. I may well find myself blogging during that time, but I should probably be heads-down getting the damn thing written and trying to get my planning software up-to-scratch and usable. So for the next couple of weeks things here may get very blogmarkey, but I promise proper content will resume in time for the arrival of my final exams 😉

Incidentally, today’s Dilbert rocks

Yes, you read the title right — I have 184 open tabs at the moment. Damn Simon for ever introducing me to the ambrosiac addiction that is tabbed browsing!!

But now, dear reader, you get to find out what lovely links there were hiding in those 184 tabs. Or at least in the first 40 — I’m trying to cut down, one full page of tabs at a time….

OK, that’s the first 40 or so closed. And probably a long enough entry for now. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow.

Although social networking sites like Friendster never made much sense to me, LinkedIn seemed to provide a half-decent rationale for the pain of keeping an online contacts list up to date — networking in the business sense of the word. I’ve been using it for a while now and although the interface is fairly pleasant and the functionality is OK, I wasn’t blown away by it until today. When I found this:

Linked In offer a search widget for the Firefox search bar

Is this incredibly technically difficult? No. Is searching the site a major new invention? No. But this is ostensibly a business site. And the fact that they have taken the time to hack together a search plugin for Firefox makes me think that they might, you know, GET IT. And suddenly I’m much happier using them to make connections.

Some blogs are really informative. Others are more insightful.

But then, there are blogs that make you laugh. That just make you happy. Case in point: MightyGirl talking about advertising in Vegas and Molly wondering about her angels.

This is what it’s all about.

UPDATE: This also made me happy today. I’m not sure why the story of someone giving birth in their bathroom makes me happy, but hey, at least it’s not artificial intelligence planning methodologies. You’ve gotta be thankful for the LITTLE THINGS, man.




Reasons-Not-To-Trust-The-Tories

Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

These leaflets arrived this week. They’re individually addressed — one for each registered voter in the house. Each with postage paid as well. So what’s the problem? Well, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that they’d cut back on waste in government, does it?

As if this wasn’t enough to completely irritate me, the muppet campaign crew driving up and down every street in our neighbourhood with a megaphone shouting that we should vote Conservative that woke me up this morning definitely was.

As if I’d vote for the party whose current leader championed Section 28.

I teach a Speedreading course, having been lucky enough to be exposed to the practices during high school and having benefitted from the ability a great deal. Despite the fact that the course is multi-faceted and the most attention is given to techniques to help increase reading speed (without losing comprehension), those are not the sections of the course that people rave about. The single most useful concept in the whole course, the thing that makes people come up to me months later and thank me profusely (again!) for teaching them, is the concept that you don’t have to read everything — that you should cull some of the emails and blogs and websites and papers and books and magazines and the myriad other things that are piling up on your desk (both literally and electronically) and JUST LET IT GO. DO SOMETHING MORE WORTHWHILE.

This is how I’ve decided that this is the most important thing that anyone can ever learn:

Be sure why you’re doing stuff

So many people seem to do things without knowing why it will be useful, without seeing that the time saved could be used in so many better ways. Perhaps we all just need to find the preferences page in our minds and change the “Assume everything is worthwhile” setting to something more like “Require proof of worthiness”. Maybe that’ll help us all take back our lives.

The only problem with moving programming languages (in this case from Java to Python) is that the little problems can be big and difficult to find. Case in point: not realising that you’d declared the main data storage variable as a class rather than instance variable.

Ouch!