Lots of topics usually covered under "conspiracy theories" title. However, more and more of those are publicized now and those facts get accepted as natural just because nobody seems capable of doing anything about it. So, is there an effect in spreading these information? The falling tree in a forest question...
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Thursday, 12 May 2011
"There is no perfection. Just keep constantly pushing your own limits."
This is a thought that occured to me only minutes ago as I was beginning to read "Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship". This seems to be an amazing book. Well, just the fact that it talks about quality seems to put it on the right track of being interesting to read. I assume that any book that talks about quality (think "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance") is a good book.
Just reading through to Introduction made me stop and think so many times. I guess the beauty of the whole Agile movement is that there *is* value and there *is* quality. It is not *all* about price and lower cost. Lower cost is a great idea but lower cost *must be within boundaries of quality*. It is not "lower cost", period. It is "lower cost for the same quality/delivery". And that is where many fail.
One of the things that I am happy about, and that led me to the insight with which I started the post, is that we should always "keep our hands dirty". I often hear that people interview "architects" who don't code. (!!! wtf) I recently changed position from a Solutions Architect to a contract Software Developer because I was missing some "action". I wanted to do some real work because my role was being dragged towards Enterprise Architect role, being more political, away from coding and any real-world issues that software development solves. "Clean Code" book puts my feeling into words when I read
Learning to write clean code is hard work. It requires more than just the knowledge of
principles and patterns. You must sweat over it.
This not only tells me I made a right decision but also that my senses are still doing OK. Working in environments that are not ideal is putting us to tests. It is an *opportunity*, not an obstacle, to practice what we preach. It is the way to demonstrate the best practices and continually learn how to do the best under different circumstances. Working in an ideal environment is probably not as much rewarding. Don't know, haven't worked in one yet. :)
And this also led me to conclude that there is no *best* or *perfect*. We are all little universes and there are many dimensions in which things can be evaluated/measured. The thing that works in practice is to continuously increase our boundaries and struggle to push our own limits. That is the path to quality. There is no end. It is a journey and journey is the only thing that matters.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
The text "United Nations Common System of Salaries, Allowance and Benefits", although potentially a bit outdated, explains lots of details regarding the topic at hand. There are numerous benefits to being an UN employee although conditions vary among posts and duty stations.
Read the article here.
Who, at some point, did not want to have a magic mirror from Alice in Wonderland? A mirror where one would ask a question - any question - and receive answers immediately. Come to think about it, today's Internet is just such a thing. Especially since Google replaced their Map & Reduce implementation with whatever new technology that indexes the pages in real time and spits out search results instantaneously. Just typing a question in Chrome browser will often give you results straight away.
Today's Internet, and all the technologies related to it, are in implementation of my childhood's dream of having an endless encyclopedia that has answers to all the questions. And, in practical terms, is something I wast most my time on. :)
Thanks Google for making this happen. I really appreciate things like Earth (wish I had this when I was a kid. Wait, I still am one. OK, then), public data charts (like population chart or GDP chart), Maps, SkyMap, Android, and Gmail. Providing these technologies for free really has changed the world.
Friday, 6 May 2011
Just when I thought it was long gone and lost somewhere, turned to ashes and what-not... A ray of light shines through. I guess it is almost epic and has been told so many times - that the opportunity strikes when you least expect it - but it is *always* interesting to experience the phenomenon. It is always different in practice but always has the same effect.
Anyway... Further development tonight.
Head-Fi (http://www.head-fi.org/) is a community dedicated to head-gear (headphones, earphones and all kinds of other music-related equipment that involves a head, I guess). There's lots of news and reviews of products.
Another test of wireless headphones is available at the Choice magazine's review from year 2009.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
More goodies from Google. Publicly available data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators. This time it is the population. The article that relates to GDP is on the Finance Blog.
Check the world population with data up to year 2009.
Below is the link to the study of the United Nations on Drugs and Crime in relation to the Balkans region. Contrary to popular belief in the region, the study concludes that "the Balkan region is one of the safest in Europe" and that "the levels of crime against people and property are lower than elsewhere in Europe."
Major section titles illustrate that "the Balkans do not fit the profile of a high crime region". The important fact to understand is that "the Balkans do not have a conventional crime problem" but that the real problem is organized crime and corruption.
The stability of the region after the conflict in the 1990's is an important factor that causes the declining opportunities for organized crime.
The original study is here: http://www.unodc.org/documents/Balkan_study.pdf
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
I've just read some comments on Facebook regarding the torrent of information related to Osama Bin Laden. While I'm successfully staying out of the (mis-)information zone, one link was interesting. Alas, after watching The Obama Deception movie, I never really investigated further. Just posted a few links here on the blog in order to be able to find it later and that's it.
Now, in those comments, somebody posted a link to InfoWars, the site where I recognized the author of the above-mentioned movie. Reading the articles there is a useful brain- (and mind-) stretching exercise. At a time when it is old news that it is hard to trust anyone, but it is so blatantly obvious, it is hard to recommend any opinion. However, I would always support checking out different opinions and making your own mind. This is what we ordinarily do anyway, except that it is not always so obvious.
While I haven't read any of the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, I still believe that the published material is less interesting than imagination. But I also know that life writes stories that are way more interesting than fiction.