Leaping To Conclusions – Predictions for Leap Year 2012

After my resounding success predicting that 2011 would finally see the lingering and painful death of JavaScript, and that the interface of Windows 8 will consist solely of one large Flash animation, it’s time to apply my unerringly accurate predictional capabilities to this squeaky clean New Year. So if you aren’t quite sure what 2012…

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Observing Boxing Day (Twice)

I just found out that, fifty years ago, somebody told me a lie – though I suppose I can’t really blame him. Let’s face it, when you ask your grandfather a question to which he doesn’t know the answer, but he feels he really should (and you are of a suitably gullible age), making up…

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How Much Is That Stamp On The Website?

How about we start this week with a short quiz: What do you reckon is the most common thing that visitors to the Royal Mail website will be looking for? I’ll give you a clue: Christmas is coming and it’s likely that you’ll be sending out lots of items using the old-fashioned “put it in…

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Welshest Wales

One of the nice things about working for a UK company but being on permanent assignment to a US one is that you get twice as many public holidays. While I’m not sure we want a Black Monday here in Little Olde England, maybe we could come up with some excuse for celebrating Thanksgiving. Perhaps…

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It Was Missing When I Opened The Box…

It’s becoming clear that creating guidance on cloud computing is great deal more difficult than for most other development environments. Or, to be more precise, following our usual practice of combining written guidance with a reference implementation (RI) code sample is turning out to be what you might whimsically call “an interesting experience”. It’s not…

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How Much Is It Worth?

I discovered this week that I was severely overcharged when I bought a new TV from our local branch of Comet (a national electrical retailer) some months back. According to a back of an envelope calculation, my TV was actually worth somewhere around one five thousandth of a penny. This must be true because an…

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Happy 60th Birthday, LEO

According to folklore, in 1943 IBM’s chairman Thomas J. Watson said that the world would only ever need five computers. Whether he actually did say this is doubtful, but according to various archives this was the general opinion around that time. And it prompts the question: how many computers actually existed then? You’d expect, obviously,…

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Optimistic Euphemisms

Buried in a recent issue of my newspaper the other day, squashed into a corner between an advert for luxury cruise holidays and a delightful close-up photo of some newly-discovered bacterium, was a short item about a recall by a major UK-based motor manufacturer. It said that in some circumstances the cruise control of some…

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Documentary Evidence

You’d think that, with only a couple of different letters, “documentary” and “documentation” were reasonably similar things. But it seems that the makers of TV documentaries have different ideas. It’s all a bit like the music of my generation – prog rock. There’s plenty of hidden (and often indecipherable) underlying meaning, but it’s exposed only…

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Fire(wall)fighting Lync and Service Bus

I once went to a security conference presentation where the speaker explained that blocking ports in your firewall was fine, but developers simply get round this limitation by making everything work over HTTP through port 80. And it seems, in most cases, he was correct. However, I sometimes encounter situations where something that should just…

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