Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle: A bad idea i mentioned gets implemented

What was actually in the requirements and what the business customer thought was in the requirements were at odds. Apparently, a change was discussed, something was put in the requirements, and the business user signed off thinking her changes were implemented in it.

We're implementing a SOx related change, when the question of history comes up. History is part of the SOx requirement, the business user thinks it's in the requirements, and the developers know it isn't and that there is not enough time to put in history properly before the next release.

I mentioned in passing to one of the BAs that i sit next to, that it could be done with a TRIGGER shudder, but it would be a really Bad Idea. The hack is quick and dirty, TRIGGERs are evil, and this is a change log, not a history, which will be treated as a history at some point.

At the next meeting, the BA brought up the idea and it is decided to implement it. I fight with them over pulling in data from other TABLEs too, telling them that the FK should be enough, and duplicating data is bad. Someone gives me a TABLE structure, which adds new SOx COLUMNs, that is, not only do we capture what the change was, we capture who made the change, which, by definition, is the same as the master record's last updated or the next record in the change log. I register my comments, they are all ignored. The TABLE has the words "audit log" in it, and everyone refers to it as a history.

Now i have been asked to write a SQL statement to help the support team pull up the history. I mention that the original idea, seemingly agreed to, was that this hack would allow us to provide the change log on request, but it would not be automated. Further, this is a bug waiting to happen (especially if anything changes) and i strongly recommend against it. I am assured this will only be used by the production support team for now until a history is properly implemented.

I sent off the SQL to whomever. I remind myself (unsuccessfully, i'm sure) to keep my mouth shut.

User Journal

Journal Journal: just watched "we're not broke" documentary and here are my thoughts on it. 1

the main point of the movie is that companies are offshoring profits to avoid the 35% corporate tax rate, and that so called laws to get the money back in the usa don't create jobs but rather let companies reward the people at the top and cut jobs drastically.

companies including bailout companies from 2001-2011 have over 2.4 trillion dollars off shore. most of that money has 0% taxrate and can never return to the USA, except on 'tax holidays' which generally allow for as little as 5% tax rate. and it is all legal. sick it is so sick. republicans have forced through huge benefit cuts under the notion that america is broke. no americas tax laws are broken, and so are many other places including the uk. http://www.usuncut.org/

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Automatic payments want to switch phone service

I've been using MetroPCS for some time now, due to their $25/mo no contract, unlimited calling plan. It used to be $40, and that was good too, but at $25 it's hard to beat.

I like simple phones that are actually phones. Maybe i'm old-fashioned, but these semi-trucks that people whip out of their pockets with menus that look like they're from outer space don't seem to me to be an ideal phone. I also have a computer that is a phone, but i leave my mac at home.

MetroPCS is really annoying though. First it was the text spam. When i finally got bothered enough, i googled and found that it was the metro apps. Disabling some option took care of that. The second issue, which gets me every month, is automatic payment. I almost always forget to pay bills. I sit down once a month to pay my credit cards (which requires a bit of planning), but almost everything else is automatic. Two things are not, my water bill and my phone bill.

I live in an apartment building managed by Hartman and Tyner. I pay for electric bills to Detroit Edison through the local utilities comp. Heating and water is grouped together, and they split the bills in between the tenants. (They used to do that, i believe, they might have individual metering now.) It used to be that water was free, but they decided to have us pay 1/3 of the bill. That is handled by Yes Energy Management which adds a customer fee or two. Bills can be paid via the mail. or together with the rent at Rent Payment.

Rent Payment works if everything is in order. If anything is not, such as a credit card expiry made a card unusable, they won't tell you about it, and you find out when you get charged a $25 late fee (which increases every few days) and warning from the local office. Payment can be set to automatic, and they have gotten a little better about knowing when your lease starts and ends and required amount to pay.

The water bill is different. The amount shows up if i log in, but there is no way to pay it automatically. When i asked the local office why it wasn't, the response was that since the amount changes per month, it isn't possible. That seems bogus to me, as my electric bill changes every month and DTE has no such issues. So, i usually forget to pay it until i get a warning from the local office.

MetroPCS is the other problem. They text me when it is time to pay. At that point, by the time i get home and remember to do it, my phone has been suspended. Because it is suspended, i couldn't login to my account on their website, meaning i had to make a payment by typing in all the information. Only after the account was active could i get back into the account.

One month i actually setup everything, or so i thought. Apparently, the payments are still not automatic, but at least i can login to my account now. I went through the motions to make a payment, though i completed it (maybe even twice), but my phone is still not working.

I am sick of MetroPCS. I realized that i don't actually want the cheapest service. I want the cheapest convenient service. I'm ready to switch, anyone got any ideas?

User Journal

Journal Journal: KVM recommendations

I appear to be in the market for a new KVM as my current one has all but stopped working. Any recommendations? Minimum 4 outputs. *Must* do VGA. My current one has mini-DIN for keyboard and mouse, which has sort of worked some of the time with USB-PS2 converters. I could probably go for a full USB only one, but I'd need to get new cables.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Some random debugging session

A team member from Chenai asked me why a script which EXECUTEd a PACKAGE i wrote wasn't working. First thing i did was run it myself via SQL*Plus, which is did splendidly, i might add. :) First thing accomplished, it's not a problem in QA, it's the script.

Logged onto the app server and sure enough received the same error. Copied the file and started to change things. Having seen this file before, i was able to skip all the variables and right to the code. The code looked okay..maybe it should be tested on the db server itself to mimic what that script was doing.

Logging on to the server reminded me that the password had changed. No idea what it was changed to, but it wasn't required anymore, so i didn't care. That was a problem here. Luckily, there are those variables.

The variable and variable handling take up probably most of the script. The variables themselves are loaded from files, which may include other files. Ultimately, usernames and passwords are in a script under ~/etc...easy enough.

Trying the first set, then realized that was the db login itself. I made sure the db user could indeed EXEC that PACKAGE via SQL*Plus, and it could. But that wasn't the server login. Looking again, there was a server login, which failed. I checked and double-checked. Something was wrong.

That was it, no more assumptions, just check which server it was connecting to straight. Sure enough, it was set to the server we were migrating to, but is not for general use yet. The TNS name pointed to it as well. Duh! Is your computer plugged in?


When writing this, i hit [ctrl]-[e] 2 or 3 times to go to the end of the line. Between my mac at home and just being on a Linux box, switching back to windows shortcuts takes a second. After switch back from Google, i found my window empty, luckily, i had Lazarus installed.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The greatest trick 3

Hunter S. Woodward stood in the corner of his windowless office, tapping his pencil against his lip. In 25 years as a journalist for the AP, Hunter had never come across a situation like this before. This was a story, but one of disappointment. Newsweek had identified the man sitting in the chair behind him as Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. And the real story, the story Woodward had wasted a pizza on, was that Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, the man actually sitting in that chair, was nothing of the kind. An engineer who barely spoke English, and beyond a few circumstantial coincidences, had nothing in common with Bitcoin's creator.

"OK, Dorian, I... thank you very much again, and I have one more favor to ask, would you mind just confirming the details one more time, just so I know my notes are correct?", Hunter said, "You've already been the victim of one bad story, I want to make sure I, at least, get it right so you can get some peace."

"Of course", said Dorian. "Go ahead."

The veteran reporter strolled idly across the room, past the bulletin board, to lean on his safe. The safe was open of course, the need to keep it full of paper files of confidential material was another thing lost to new digital era that the real Nakamoto was a part of, and was empty save for the gym bag Woodward kept there.

"So... you came to this country in 1970 when E. E. Hunt corporation recruited you and sponsored your visa, you liked the sciences so you got a degree in Physics from Yale..."

"Yes, yes, physicals, yale, yes"

"...but you never liked the mathematics part. You had never heard of Bitcoins until you were first told about them two weeks ago by a friend called Ryder Shia..."

"Good friend Ryder", smiled Dorian. "Very nice man. Environmentalist, always saving the planet. Knows about Bitcoins, good with money."

"...whose birthday you were celebrating."

"...surprise Brithday", said Dorian. "Told me after he went on celebratory vacation. My English... not so good", continued Dorian, wearily, "But... yes yes, you say, uh, correctly?"

"Well thank you Dorian, and again, I'm so sorry. I hope at least you enjoyed the pizza!"

"Of course", said Dorian, "Glad to help. I go?"

"Of course", said Hunter. "I'll call you a cab."

Dorian staggered up, and with a wave left the office. Hunter examined his notes again, fingering the lock on his safe. The manufacturer's name, Yale, seemed oddly suspicious for some reason. And yet.

Hunter took his coffee mug from the desk, and took a sip. As he did so, the journalist's face froze, and the mug fell from his hands.

"I got degree, Physicals from Yale"

Hunter's gym bag, his physical training equipment, sat in his Yale safe, in clear view. Dorian couldn't have known it was a gym bag, surely? It was open, but only the fabric of some clothes, and his deoderant were visible. Degree brand deoderant. Coincidence. It must be. But.

The journalist's eyes switched to the bulletin board. A large poster dominated the board, "Ride Shares", it said, "Save the planet and some money!"

"Good friend Ryder. Very nice man. Environmentalist, always saving the planet. Knows about Bitcoins, good with money."

Beside the Ride Shares poster was another advertising an Easter Egg Hunt, and beside that, almost as prominant, was one announcing "Ssh! Birthday surprise!", reporting on a party being prepared for a coworker for the day they returned from vacation.

"Surprise Brithday. Told me after he went on celebratory vacation"

Paniced, Hunter picked up the phone. "Has Nakamoto left the building yet?", asked Hunter. The voice on the other end was non-commital. "I think I just saw him... hold on... no, I can't see him."

Hunter dropped the phone and ran out of the building.

Nakamoto had left quietly. "This way to leave please?" he'd asked the security guard at the door of the AP building. "Have nice day good", he said as he stepped out. He walked to the waiting taxi, and got in. His voice changed, he muttered "Get me to LAX airport, my good man. There's a Bitcoin in it for you if you can get there in fifteen minutes."

User Journal

Journal Journal: Tendance Reinhard 11

At the request of a fellow Catholic blogger, I'm reading Papal Economics by Fr. Maciej Zieba, OP. It occurred to me that since my journal circle has put up with my evolution from Karl to Groucho to Reinhard Marx, my thoughts on this book may be of some interest. I in fact already have five posts discussing the topics in the book.
Edit: ---
And the circle is complete as I blog about a comment in this journal

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dude, where's my comments? 4

Posted a few comments on this Ask Slashdot article yesterday. Come back, and they've disappeared. They've not been deleted - I can still access them, from the recent comments area of my profile - and they've not been downmodded either. Not a Beta issue, as I'm not currently on it.


User Journal

Journal Journal: God and Time 7

An interesting thought occurred to me this morning: What if all the descriptions of time that scientists have come up with, are in fact descriptions of the supernatural?
From theistic Newton's absolute time ticking away whether anybody notices it or not, to relativity, to personal biological time, what if miracles are just the slight differences between absolute time, relative time, and personal time?
My own mental defect, Asperger's Syndrome, certainly has a role in this. I can shift into panic mode really easily, making time slow down for me. I can also shift into a state where I slow down and time speeds up. It costs me- both states can cause migraines, and my muscles and sensory input don't always keep up with my brain- but I can do it. Time is not linear for me, it's more like the multidimensional time of string theory. But it occurs to me that being "personally unstuck in time" could explain a large number of miraculous events that I've heard about.
This would make "God", the God of Absolute Time- the cause of all those events that doesn't have any other cause. The original Time Lord. God is from Gallifrey?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Are contracts signed in Ambulances consensual? 7

Can a contract signed in an ambulance or an emergency room authorizing treatment be considered free consent?

This question comes from the recent decision in Belgium to extend the right of euthanasia to children. I of course am arguing that euthanasia is never done with free consent even for adults- the pain of the disease is equivalent to a contract signed under torture, and thus cannot be considered free consent.

Slashdot Top Deals

My idea of roughing it is when room service is late.