One of my clients is considering the use of offshore programmers to develop their web application, mainly because they have a lot of work to be done and Indian programmers are far cheaper than mine.

I’m reviewing the marketing literature from this company, and it’s really quite humorous. The broken English notwithstanding, there are phrases scattered all over the place that make no sense:

“Domain wise script classification and management”

“Leverages test director based collaboration and workflow for test design, execution, and reporting”

“Quality matrices definition and measurement”

And perhaps the best of all:

“Software quality management is the ideal premise to define, discover, scale, and endorse ‘Total Application Behavior’ in the wider context of optimizing technology to business objectives.”

Umm, what? I have no idea what these things mean, and I’m a technical guru!

Anyway, it’ll be interesting.


It’s so much fun to get letters from the Domain Registry of America, which uses some sneaky tactics to convince people they need to send the DRA a check or they’ll lose their domain. I can’t count the number of web hosting clients I have who were fooled by the official-looking “invoice” from the DRA saying if they don’t pay their domain will expire. Luckily those clients call me and I can explain the shenanigans, so all is well.

Since I own around a dozen domains, I pretty much get a letter from the DRA monthly. This month’s was really funny because it’s for 1

Probably the part that made me laugh the most is the address portion, where it makes it sound like THOUGHT MONKEYS is some kind of official business. Whee!


By gum, I believe I may be presidential timber. I just saw this stirring and emotional photo of ol’ George:

And it reminded me of a self-portrait I took back in 1993:

For the life of me, I can’t remember why in the world I took a picture like that, but it’s still funny. And now I realize that I can use it for my presidential bid in 2008!


Natalya Kashuba, a 27-year-old Russian woman, drank around three liters of Coca Cola every day for five years. Amazingly, she developed heartburn. And in a shock to no one, she sued Coca Cola because they failed to adequately warn of the health risks of drinking three liters of their product every day for five years.

You guessed it: she won her lawsuit. Score another victory against common sense.

The only good ending for this little story is the amount of money she was awarded in the case.



The World Wide Web officially turns 16 today. The first publicly-available web server hosted a few HTML pages back in 1990, and thus was born the WWW.

It’s hard to believe it’s only been that long. Today the Web is everywhere, and has enormous influence in everything from the corporate world to entertainment to writing simple research papers. It even provides me with a way to earn a living!

Happy birthday, Web. It’ll be interesting to see what the next 16 years bring us.


On a Linux user’s group to which I belong, there’s been a lively and thought-provoking discussion about software engineering and how it not only differs from other “engineering” disciplines, but also what it really means when a customer buys software. I’ve been following the discussion because in the end, that’s what I do every day: I deliver software to customers who normally never see (nor care about) the actual programming logic behind it. They only care that it works, and does what they specifically need for their business.

A funny observation was about “enterprise” software:

In most cases, all that label really means is that you’re going to have to hire a crew the size of the Star Trek Enterprise to install, integrate, operate and maintain it. ¬†And that the sales guy who sold it to you just started receiving juicy commission checks for the rest of his natural born life.

It’s funny because it’s true, of course. I’ve worked with several clients who, after several years of using web-based systems I built and customized for them, discarded them in favor of an “enterprise solution” from some huge bloated company with a persuasive sales force. In many cases, the client spent gobs of cash on the software only to discover that it didn’t do what they need and had to be customized by consultants at $300/hour, or that it actually had fewer features than the system I’d built over the years. Go figure.


This is an awesome optical illusion.

If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, the dots will remain only one color: pink.

However, if you stare at the black “+” in the center, the moving dot turns to green.

Now, concentrate on the black “+” in the center of the picture. After a short period, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see only a single green dot rotating.