American History

Dave Winer on Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men.

“He explains some history that puzzled lots of Americans, in the late 70s in the Iranian revolution, why did they hate us so much? It turns out it wasn’t hate as much as it was fear — fear that we’d do to them in 1979 what we did in 1953 — bring back the Shah.”


I’ve checked out NUnit before, but we started to integrate it into our development process over the past three days, and I have to say it has rocked my (programming) world. All of a sudden we are able to “test up front”, and in doing so I suddenly realise what all the fuss is about.

It allows us to test components as we build them, before we even use them for “real life” work, rather than finding stuff after we check it in, and speeds development by providing a simple, easy to implement test harness system without having to code it from scratch every time.

Very cool indeed! Highly recommended to anyone developing in .NET.

Folk for Refugees?

Read this post of the Australian Democrats about refugees and asylum seekers, and it reminded me…

I’m playing a short acoustic solo set at Mars Hill Cafe (in Parramatta) on Friday night. The event will hopefully become a regular thang, and it’s on between 6.30pm and 8.30pm this Friday night.

SynapseChronicles for PDAs

pda.jpgA friend last night showed me this site as it renders on the web browser on his Visor PDA. It looked really good – different, but completely usable. Took a snap of it, but suddenly iPhoto has decided not to import photos from my new digital camera (it has worked on several occasions in the past – so don’t know what’s up with that!).

I’m hoping that it was the hard work using CSS that made it work so well. I’m sure it’s probably not…

Update: After re-installing iPhoto I was able to import… So now you can see the image!

CSS Hell

Gee – I thought I had it bad trying to get CSS to work across browsers!

Dave Hyatt: and

“It took me 10 hours just to decide that what I did in the first place was correct. Aren’t layout engines fun? ;)”

FWIW, Dave, I’m glad you fixed the original float bug – nailed me on one of the sites I’m developing at the moment…

Now We The People – Day 1

Today was excellent – really good info, great discussions, and no fat heads (certainly not in the group I was involved in). There was a general session at the start of the day with really articulate and empassioned speakers. Very cool! I’m glad to see the two parliamentarians on the panel, Kerry Nettle from the Greens and Tanya Plibersek from Labor were really with it.

The highlight of the day for me was the session entitled “How the people are left out – the challenge to renew Australian democracy and the Constitution”. All of the speakers were excellent, but I was inspired by Lyn Carlson’s talk more than most. Lyn talked about participatory democracy, giving citizens a voice in the political decision making process. She has a website titled Active Democracy that contains some of her writings. Haven’t had a chance to check it all out yet, but if it’s anything like her talk they’ll be well worth the read.

It’s not the users, part 2

Diego follows up on his previous post.

Again, I agree pretty much with everything he says. Just would like to comment on the statement “Putting on the seatbelt is easy. Installing, maintaining, and updating AV software is hard. And expensive. The seatbelt comes built in. Easy to use. And it just works. AV software is a long way from that.”

Case in point, one of my co-workers made the mistake of installing McAfee’s Internet Security package. I’ve made this mistake myself before. One day later, and a complete re-install of Windows (as this fries the machine and uninstalling does absolutely squat) the computer is back up and running, and still no virus software installed.

McAfee Software – $100
Time to install software – $25
Time to re-install Windows because AV software fries machine – $400

So, $525 later, my colleague is still no better off.

And the other variant of McAfee virus software (the online version) won’t run properly on a machine with Mozilla installed as it’s default browser.

Now, none of this is Microsoft’s fault. But to expect a new computer user to be able to deal with these headaches is a joke. The first line of defence, as Diego points out, is to stop blaming users and work harder at fixing the holes. Then these other things can come into play.