February 2009

Screen Sucking

February 28, 2009

I first came across the phrase “screen sucking” in Edward Hallowell’s “Crazy Busy”, an otherwise forgettable book. It is an apt term for how we spend hours online surfing without any end instead of getting on with our work. Not simply idling away in the office, but also at home, when we could be doing […]

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The Disappointment of Internet Explorer 8.0

February 27, 2009

Microsoft’s neglect of Internet Explorer over the years has finally caught up to them. IE 8, while a significant improvement over IE 7, lags behind Google Chrome and now the latest Apple Safari browser. Here are some of the significant drawbacks to using IE 8: Slower Launch Time: For a long time, IE’s main advantage was […]

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Finally, Raymond Chen Gives the Answer

February 27, 2009

Two years ago, I posted about Raymond Chen’s posts, which Yuvi Panda had analyzed to find that 77% of them were posted at 7 am. Louis Gray also took up the issue, wondering if 7 am was the best time to post for optimal readership. One possibility I raised was that Raymond wrote his posts […]

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Public Key Cryptography

February 26, 2009

I recently drew up a picture to help someone understand what public key cryptography is about. In most situations, there are commercial and open-source products that do it for you. And it is not the only solution for secure communication between two applications. But it is useful to know the concept and understand how information […]

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Slumdog Millionaire and the Real India

February 22, 2009

It is Oscar time once again. This year’s favorite for the Best Picture of the Year is “Slumdog Millionaire”. Not that it necessarily means anything, but the best prediction expert in baseball and politics, Nate Silver, gives it a 99% chance of winning both Best Director and Best Picture. “Slumdog” is a consummate entertainer, but […]

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Graphics Design for Web Projects

February 21, 2009

Most of software development favors left brained thinking. Programming, in particular, is all about logic and being objective. For the most part, it is a learnable skill, even if the time requirements for being an expert can vary from the industry for which you are programming. Testing, too, is largely an analytical process of identifying […]

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“Can” Doesn’t Mean “Should”">Can” Doesn’t Mean “Should”

February 19, 2009

During his efforts to cement his pariah status in conservative circles during the last election, Andrew Sullivan took a break to write a thoughtful article on blogging (emphasis mine): This form of instant and global self-publishing, made possible by technology widely available only for the past decade or so, allows for no retroactive editing (apart […]

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Print in Editable Screens is Dangerous

February 18, 2009

It may be convenient to have a “Print” button on a screen where a record is displayed, but if the screen also allows the user to edit the record, then you may have a problem. If the user edits the record on screen, hits “Print” and then does not save the record, you have an […]

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Recursive Professions

February 18, 2009

The most fascinating professions, in my opinion, are the ones where you make money by preaching what you practice, and where the preaching is the practice. If that is confusing, here are some examples: Blogging about blogging: Every blogger does this to some extent by talking about their experiences with setting up their blog and […]

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The “Do It When You Can” Technique

February 16, 2009

Self-help techniques often ask you to come up with a schedule that works for you. Go to the gym “x” times a week. Set apart 1 hour daily for some self-improvement activity. Only spend so many hours on this and only so many hours on that. In my experience, such strict scheduling only works for tasks […]

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