Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dilbert: Land of unrealistic business assumptions

Scott Adams constantly proves how his work on the Dilbert comic strip should be required reading for businessmen and managers, but I think this most recent storyline beats everything I read so far. The first piece contains a brilliant "strange loop" reasoning from Dogbert (as well as a nod to Chronicles of Narnia, but that's sort of beside the point), and the following pieces (two so far) are just cruelly on point. Whenever anyone tries to sell you a failsafe business plan, make sure they read this first :-)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Political alignment

For what's it worth....

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(36% permissive)

You are best described as a:


You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness. loc: (112, -50)
modscore: (22, 48)
raw: (2646)

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wore out a Mighty Mouse in 3.5 months

My iMac was shipped with a Mighty Mouse back in November last year. I'm sorry to report that I wore out its little scroll ball in only three and a half months of use - it no longer gives a clicky sound when I'm rolling it down, and accordingly doesn't detect the roll. (Scrolling up, left, and right still function normally, only the most heavily used scroll down doesn't.) At $49 retail price this is no cheap mouse, so I kinda expected it to sustain more wear... Just phoned the Apple dealership and they promised the service guys will look at it...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

FreeMarker Blog

There's now a FreeMarker Blog for all those people who want to keep an eye on the events related to the FreeMarker project - it's a "groupblog" to which yours truly as well as other active FreeMarker developers will be contributing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Spurious wakeup of Java threads

Vlad Roubtsov today posted on the ADVANCED-JAVA list a message saying how he noticed that the JDK 1.5 documentation for java.lang.Object wait() method now contains this bit:

"A thread can also wake up without being notified, interrupted, or timing out, a so-called spurious wakeup. While this will rarely occur in practice, applications must guard against it by testing for the condition that should have caused the thread to be awakened, and continuing to wait if the condition is not satisfied. In other words, waits should always occur in loops, like this one:

synchronized (obj) {
while ()
... // Perform action appropriate to condition

(For more information on this topic, see Section 3.2.3 in Doug Lea's "Concurrent Programming in Java (Second Edition)" (Addison-Wesley, 2000), or Item 50 in Joshua Bloch's "Effective Java Programming Language Guide" (Addison-Wesley, 2001)."

Now, I always used while() instead of if() because even if I didn't know about this possibility for "spurious wakeups", I was always a bit paranoid about the reliability of any execution environment my code could be run in. Nevertheless, it is now a documented best practice :-)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Magyar Crok

Found these on my kitchen table this morning, they presumably belong to my 6-year old son. You need to be a Hungarian to understand the cultural shock. (Click on image to see unobscured version on Flickr)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Progressive Boink

Were you living under a rock and don't know Calvin and Hobbes yet then "25 Great Calvin & Hobbes Strips" can serve as a great introduction as it comes with commentaries. If you are a Calvin and Hobbes fan, it is still worth checking out because some of the commentaries are outstanding.

Needless to say, if you're a serious fan though, so to say a "fan-atic" of Bill Waterson's work like I am, you of course already own a copy of "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes", a 3-volume, 11 kg beauty and keep it on a central place on your bookshelf :-)