First things first: I've been getting a number of questions about the "Heartbleed" issue and Coverity's static analyzer; I'll try to publish some links to some good articles before I head home to visit my family for Easter weekend.
A couple weeks ago I had an online meeting with some European colleagues; I showed up in the chat room at what I thought was the agreed-upon time and they did not, which was odd, but whatever, I waited ten minutes and then rescheduled the meeting. It turns out they did the same an hour later. I'm sure you can guess why.
If you have been sent a link to this page, it is to remind you that "Eastern Standard Time" is not defined as "whatever time it is in New York City right now", it is defined as "Eastern Time not adjusted for Daylight Saving Time". Parts of the world in the eastern time zone that do not observe Daylight Saving Time -- Panama, for instance -- stay in Eastern Standard Time all year, so it is an error to assume that Eastern Standard Time and Eastern Time are the same time.
Put another way: Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) is the time in Greenwich not adjusted for British Summer Time, which is what the Brits sensibly call Daylight Saving Time. Eastern Standard Time is always UTC minus five hours, and Eastern Daylight Time is always UTC minus four hours. Eastern Time switches between EST and EDT depending on the time of year.
So when you tell someone that the meeting is at noon on Eastern Standard Time on a day in April, you are saying that the meeting is at noon Jamaican time, not noon New York City time. Since computers do what you tell them, not what you mean, you might find that setting an online intercontinental meeting for a time in "EST" might give you a different time than you think. Your best bet is to state the time in UTC, which is unambiguous.
Someone at Reuters is having too much fun:
China threatens drama
meets the Dalai Lama
meets the Dalai Lama
despite China drama
I am reminded of the immortal words of Ogden Nash:
The one-L lama, he's a priest
The two-L llama, he's a beast
And I would bet a silk pajama
There isn't any three-L lllama
To which my Bostonian friend Marty responds "that big fire was a right three-alahmah".
Dear non-English-as-a-first-language-speaking phishing attackers, let me point out all the ways that I know that this is not actually from PayPal:
Dear Costumer, [A costumer is someone who makes clothing for actors. You meant "customer".]
We need more information from you [missing period]
We need your help resoving [resolving] an issue with your account. To give us to work together on this, [this phrase doesn't make any sense] we've temporarily limited what you can do with your account untill [until] the issue is resolved.
We need a little bit [of] information about you to help confirm you [your] identity [missing period]
Note: Please note that in 50% of cases you will receive this e-mail in the spam box, [comma splice] it is because of the increased security emailing services you use. [No, it's because you're criminals.]
UPDATE: This is deliberate! How astonishingly devious. See this transcript of On The Media and this Microsoft Research paper.
No technology today. I'm spending this week in San Francisco at Coverity head office and did not have time to get blog posts in the queue ahead of time. But here's a question I got from my friend Peggy a few days ago:
I watched The Return of the King on TV again last night and was left wondering: how it is that Gollum manages to get the Ring away from Frodo when Frodo is invisible?
Well that's an amazing coincidence as I was watching TROTK on DVD with my housemate at I suspect the same time, even given the time zone difference. Clearly we are connected by some mysterious fifth sense! Continue reading
I had a delightful and relaxing American Thanksgiving weekend where I did not think about programming languages hardly at all. My general plan for the weekend was to (1) roast a turkey to feed 19, (2) make soup from the bones, and (3) do jigsaw puzzles with friends while eating soup.
Missions accomplished: (As always, click for larger versions.)
Many thanks to my crew of helpful friends who did most of the work putting Aragorn together.
I roast a turkey every year; people often ask me how to make it come out well. The answer is simple:
1) Brine the turkey for 12+ hours in a clean, food-safe five-gallon bucket with eight litres of water, half a kilogram of salt and two bottles of the cheapest chardonnay you can find.
2) Carefully follow the instructions in the Joy of Cooking. That is, truss the bird, roast it upside down at 325F for the first half, then flip it to roast breast side up for the second half. This solves the problem of undercooked legs and overcooked breast. Increase the temperature at the end, and measure the temperature inside the thigh. I find that going all the way to 175F is unnecessary; I've never had a problem with undercooked legs after the thigh gets to the mid to high 160's. I stuff the cavities with apples and have someone else make the bread stuffing separately.
Next time on FAIC: Back to C# with another look at the method type inference algorithm.
As I mentioned in my interview with George London, I have too many hobbies. Long-time readers of this blog know that I started a second blog, Fabulous Adventures in Casting, because I was building a backyard foundry to learn how to cast aluminum. Starting a new job on top of everything else was too much and so I decided to put that hobby on hold for a year or so, but I've started up again recently. And since this is not just my MSDN-hosted work blog anymore, I'm going to gradually move that content over here and occasionally post about stuff I'm doing that does not involve C#, like casting and woodworking.
Hello all, I am back from vacation, but rather than get right back into programming language design, let's have some fun for a Friday.
Most of you are probably familiar with iambic pentameter, which is the poetic meter that Shakespeare wrote in: most lines in Shakespeare are ten syllables, divided up into five iambic feet. Each foot has an unstressed syllable at the beginning and a stressed syllable at the end. As Hamlet says:
O, THAT this TOO too SOlid FLESH would MELT
Thaw AND reSOLVE itSELF inTO a DEW!
Very serious, iambs. Continue reading
EXCITING NEWS EVERYONE! Like Eric Lippert, Neil Gaiman enjoys soup!
That probably didn't make a whole lot of sense without context, so I should start by reposting My Buddy Neil Totally Agrees With Me from 2011:
Good morning and happy solstice everyone; no computer stuff today. On today's fun-for-Friday FAIC, here's a photo I snapped last weekend of the strangest set of rainbows I have ever seen in my life. (Click for a larger version.)
The photo was taken on the 15th of June at 7:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time in Seattle, so the solar altitude would have been about 14 degrees. The sun is just out of shot below the bottom of the frame. All day long there had been a 22 degree halo and most of the time it was a full circle. The 22 degree halo is pretty common; it's a circular rainbow around the sun caused by hexagonal ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. And indeed there were a lot of high cirrus clouds that day. I see these fairly frequently because I look for them; most people don't look towards the sun when looking for rainbows.
I can't believe it took almost ten years, but someone just asked me for the first time where the name of this blog comes from. Why "fabulous adventures"?