Yahoo’s privacy policy regarding web bugs

Here’s Yahoo’s privacy policy regarding so-called web bugs (or as they call them “web beacons”) – these are the little 1×1 images that web sites use to keep track of where you’re going. Halfway down the page (at least as of the time I wrote this, which is not the same as the time this…


The ways people mess up IUnknown::QueryInterface

When you’re dealing with application compatibility, you discover all sorts of things that worked only by accident. Today, I’ll talk about some of the “creative” ways people mess up the IUnknown::QueryInterface method. Now, you’d think, “This interface is so critical to COM, how could anybody possible mess it up?” Forgetting to respond to IUnknown. Sometimes…


Swedish spicy food

My friend Jonathan is acting as my host in Uppsala, and he was responsible for preparing dinner for a staff party at his nation. He chose curry. The same thing he chose the last time he was responsible for preparing dinner for a party. The last time, one of the attendees ceremonially dumped the curry…


URLs too small? Here comes

Sure, everybody knows about little, handing out short URLs for large unwieldy ones. But nobody pays any attention to’s arch-nemesis:, or as they like to call themselves, ZjlhNGMmMTImVm0wd2QyUXlVWGxXYTJoV1YwZG9WVll3Wkc5alJsWjBUVlpP V0Zac2JETlhhMUpUVmpGYWMySkVUbGhoTWsweFZqQmFTMk15U2tWVWJHaG9U VmhDVVZadGVGWmxSbGw1Vkd0c2FsSnRhRzlVVjNOM1pVWmFkR05GZEZSTlZU VkpWbTEwYTFkSFNrZGpTRUpYVFVad1NGUlVSbUZqVmtaMFVteFNUbUY2UlRG V1ZFb3dWakZhV0ZOcmJGSmlSMmhZV1d4b2IwMHhXbGRYYlVaclVsUkdXbGt3 WkRSVk1rcElaSHBHVjJFeVVYZFpWRVpyVTBaT2NscEhjRlJTVlhCWlZrWldh MVV5VW5OalJtUllZbFZhY1ZscldtRmxWbVJ5VjI1a1YwMUVSa1pWYkZKRFZq QXhkVlZ1V2xaaGExcFlXa1ZhVDJOdFNrZFRiV3hYVWpOb1dGWnRNSGRsUjBs NFUydGthVk5GV2xSWmJHaFRWMVpXY1ZKcmRGUldiRm93V2xWb2ExWXdNVVZT YTFwWFlrZG9jbFpxU2tabFZsWlpXa1prYUdFeGNGaFhiRnBoVkRKT2RGSnJh R2hTYXpWeldXeG9iMWRHV25STlNHaFBVbTE0VjFSVmFHOVhSMHBJVld4c1dt SkhhRlJXTUZwVFZqRmtkRkp0ZUZkaWEwcElWbXBKZUUxR1dsaFRhMlJxVWtW YVYxWnFUbTlsYkZweFUydGthbUpWVmpaWlZWcHJZVWRGZUdOSWJGZFdSVXBv VmtSS1RtVkdjRWxVYldoVFRXNW9WVmRXVWs5Uk1rbDRWMWhvWVZKRlNtRldh a1pIVGtaYVdHUkhkR2hpUlhBd1ZsZDRjMWR0U2toaFJsSlhUVlp3V0ZreFdr dGpiVkpIVld4a2FXRXdjRWxXYlhCS1pVWkplRmRzYUZSaE1sSndWV3RhUzFZ eFVsaE9WemxzWWtad2VGVXlkR0ZpUmxwelUyeHdXbFpXY0hKWlZXUkdaVWRP U0U5V1pHaGhNSEJ2Vmxod1MxUXhXWGhqUld4VllrWmFjRlpxVG05a2JGcEhW bTA1VWsxWFVucFdNV2h2V1ZaS1JsTnRSbGRpV0U0MFZHdGFXbVZIUmtoUFYy aHBVbGhCZDFac1pEUmpNV1IwVTJ0b2FGSnNTbGhVVmxwM1YwWnJlRmRyZEd0 U2EzQjZWa2R6TVZZeVNsbFpNMmhYVFc1b1dGWnFSbEpsUm1SWldrVTFXRkpZ UWxsWFZtUjZUVlpzVjFWc1dsaGliVkpZVlcxNGQyVkdWblJOVldSWFRVUkdl VlJzVm05V01VbzJVbXRvVjFaRldreFdha3BQVW14YWMxcEhiRk5OVlZZelZt eGFVMUl4YkZkWGJrcE9WbXh3V0ZsWWNGZFdSbFp5Vm10YVQxVlVNRGs9….


Regular expressions and the dreaded *? operator

The regular expression *? operator means “Match as few characters as necessary to make this pattern succeed.” But look at what happens when you mix it up a bit: “.*?” This pattern matches a quoted string containing no embedded quotes. This works because the first quotation mark starts the string, the .*? gobbles up everything…


The SAS in-flight safety video

Each time I see the SAS in-flight safety video, I am amused by the story they tell about each of their “characters”. The safety video features four groups of travellers, a man and a young girl, a retired couple, a (very Scandinavian-looking) businesswoman, and a (vaguely Hispanic) young man. Each procedure is illustrated one of…


Out of the deep fryer

McDonalds anonunced that it would no longer offer “Super Size” on its menu. The ostensible reason was that the addition of newer healthier options didn’t leave room on the menu for “Super Size”. This was of course laughable on its face. Now it’s even more laughable, because it turns out that the so-called “healthy” options…


Some files come up strange in Notepad

David Cumps discovered that certain text files come up strange in Notepad. The reason is that Notepad has to edit files in a variety of encodings, and when its back against the wall, sometimes it’s forced to guess. Here’s the file “Hello” in various encodings: 48 65 6C 6C 6F This is the traditional ANSI…


the qUirKY jaPan HomEPage

The weird stuff about Japan you were afraid to ask about. The Seldom-Asked Questions are interesting, but what I find the most fascinating is the pictures of various Japanese subcultures. [Raymond is currently on vacation; this message was pre-recorded.]


@-notation was never legal in HTTP URLs anyway

Some people are in an uproar over IE’s dropping of support for @ notation in HTTP URLs. What people fail to note is that The @ notation was never legal for HTTP URLs in the first place. If you go to RFC 1738 section 3.3 (HTTP), it explicitly states: An HTTP URL takes the form:…