The Galactic Patrol

Saving the Universe from Boskone and Bugs

  • The Galactic Patrol

    The perils of collaborative filtering

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    More and more I see ‘personal’ software moving in the direction of providing “agents” for people.  Agents do things for us, show things to us, and filter the information we see.  Most agents today are pretty gosh-darned...
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    BBC: "Microsoft has announced that new versions of its mouse will be fitted with wheels that tilt as well as roll."

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    BBC: "Microsoft has announced that new versions of its mouse will be fitted with wheels that tilt as well as roll." Seems like the mouse is more and more turning into some kind of generic “hand tool” – someday it will become...
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    Easy-to-use component stereo?

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    With WiFi and Howl , would it be possible to have a component stereo system without any cables at all?  (Except the power cables, of course.)  Each device could detect the others and intelligently hook up via wireless.  Sure, quality...
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    With neighbors like these...

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    An incredibly funny story about some incredibly undesirable new neighbors:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20021015131654/http:/www.knology.net/~carlos/redneck.htm

    (This is not my story, thank goodness.)

    ...
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    My laptop is *so* *slow*

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    Fairly frequently these days, my laptop just slows down to an unendurable crawl.  Everything slows, even screen refreshes.  It is a Toshiba Techra 8200. Per helpdesk guidance I chkdsk'ed and defrag'ed; but it still happens.  My current...
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    Wiki is very cool (but not perfect)

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    The more I play with this Wiki thing, the more cool it seems.  The ability to let people build and enhance on each other’s work is nifty. The editing environment, though, could use a bit of work.  Using cheesy markup to do italics...
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    Back in time

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    If you went back in time to the 1800s – what one thing from the present would you bring with you?

    How about 400 BC?

    3000 AD?

    ...
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    Wiki Tiki Tavi

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     I’m really getting into this new (to me anyway) collaborative tool called a “Wiki”.  My team has one set up inside the corporate network.  I’m finding it quite addictive!

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    Closing the cycle between test and customers

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     I was thinking about the role of test this morning.  We measure the quality of the product - but in some sense we have to take an educated guess what "quality" means.  In the end, the customer determines if it is a quality product, and...
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    I use NewsGator; and love it!

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     I use NewsGator to aggregate blogs so I can read them in Outlook (where I spend much of my time), and also to post to this blog.  It is great!

    ...
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    An example of Test-Driven Development

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    A fairly long description of a project using TDD can be found at:

    http://redsquirrel.com/dave/work/babySteps/#200306

    I've skimmed it, and look forward to perusing it in more depth when I have time.

    ...
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    Life-changing moments...

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    My wife and I recently found out that she is pregnant; our first!  A very exciting (and scary) time.  We've gone in for a sonogram, and seen its little heart beat!

    So a year from now I expect to be a very different person than I am today - a daddy.  Wish me luck!

    ...
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    Lawrence Lessig and the public domain

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    Interesting ideas about the public domain from Lawrence Lessig... http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/lessig/blog/archives/2003_05.shtml#001187 “The idea is a simple one: Fifty years after a work has been published, the copyright owner must...
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    Athens PC and my phone

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    At the recent WinHEC conference, a prototype PC dubbed 'Athens' was unveiled.  One of its features is an attached phone; the computer is supposedly smart enough to mute its other sound output when the phone is in use. This seems very backward...
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    What dinglehopper are you?

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     I've seen a plethora of web sites recently that give you a small personality quiz, and use the information to associate you with some amusing object or feature.  Anyone take the "What OS are you?" quiz?  (I'm Win9x - bummer.)  ...
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    If a metric falls in the forest, did it make a sound?

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     I heard a comment today that really struck home with me: "If you aren't willing to act on a metric, you might as well not measure it." This makes sense to me, and also strikes a nerve.  I know I've seen any number of metrics over...
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    Is test listening to customers?

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     I believe the ultimate arbiter of quality is the customer.  In my imaginary world, I wish I could get a list of all the bugs customers will find in our product, go back in time, and fix them before release.  Needless to say, there are...
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    Checking out Technorati

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    Technorati asked me to add this to my blog so they can confirm it is really mine...

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    "By Design" a desirable resolution?

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    Keith Stobie (a test architect on my team) made a comment recently, along the lines of: "If testers aren't getting some bugs marked 'by design' and 'no repro', then they are probably being too conservative in their bug filing." This intuitively...
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    characteristics of testing

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    A new PM just joined my team, and he scheduled time to come talk to me about the role of testing in our product development.  While thinking about what I would tell him, the following (possibly unrelated) question popped into my head: "What...
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    Taxes: a six-course meal, or a-la-carte?

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    Ok, I admit it - I'm a control freak. (Like you aren't. <grin>) What I really want is for the government to give me an itemized reciept at the end of the year saying "here is all you paid in taxes, and here is where each piece went." I don...
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    some older posts...

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     I have a few older posts from my internal blog that I’m going to copy out here to my public blog; so if you see some dated references (like to tax season), that’s why.

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    Contacting me

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     If you would like to contact me, my work e-mail is bwill@microsoft.com, my home e-mail is domanite@hotmail.com (use that one for spam, please), and you can also IM me at domanite@hotmail.com.

    ...
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    Howdy

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    Ah, the first post on my public blog.  I’ve had an internal blog for a couple months now, and I’m ready to break out of my cocoon.  <grin>  Quick bio: I’ve been at Microsoft for about 7 years, pretty much always on the same team...
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