SiSi (Say It Sign It): Voice to Sign Language

Ain't that cool? I hope it goes past the demo stage in a near future!
Interesting info and links in a post by Laura Cowen.


We make mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Some times we are aware of them, some times we are not: looks like putting the blame of mistakes in someone or something is part of our nature. It's a pity, because we let pass by lots of learning opportunities.

Flickr picture by srslyguys

We software engineers are lucky enough of being faced in our trade with lots of mistakes that we cannot blame in any one but ourselves. Of course, some mistakes allow allocating blame on our customer, our team, our tools... My teammates often hear me cursing loudly Bill Gates or Linus Torvalds, but they know I'm jocking: we are experienced enough to know that select isn't broken. When writing code, you rarely can put the blame on someone/something else unless you are a pathological liar; that's good.

I would like to think that having to face our daily mistakes helps us weaken our blame-someone-else voice in other areas of our life, but, honestly, I don't have any evidence about it. But, just in case, I'd like my kids to learn the we make mistakes, we learn from them lesson/mindset, and this has been one of the main drivers in getting our new home pet, a Lego Mindstorms NXT Robot.


Gmail spam filter sick?

In the past days I've been getting quite a few spam messages in my inbox. Not smartly disguised spam, but old plain lottery winning notifications and anatomy enlargement tips. Please, spam filter, get well soon: I miss you.



Ángel Expósito, en su Mirón Perplejo de hoy en La Vanguardia:

(...) que los periodistas sepamos tanto de todo. Absolutamente de todo. ¡Qué estupido es el mundo!, al no percatarse de que un solo tertuliano español podría ser secretario general de la ONU, director del FMI, seleccionador nacional de fútbol y número uno del ranking de toreros. Todos en uno.
Y quién dice un tertuliano, dice un blogger. ¿Por dónde debe andar mi traje de luces?



Must print these. Now.

Botnets, supervillains and flying monkeys

The idea of millions of computers infected waiting for a supervillain to tell them what to do is, at least, disturbing. If you want to learn more about the Storm Worm botnet, go read the excellent article in Bruce Schneier's Cryptogram.

Fortunately, reading about DEranged Security's very fun bluetooth social-engineering experiment changed my worrisome mood. This xkdc strip about Bobby Tables helped too (geek humor warning for this link).


Jazz in the hood

Jazz band playing
Martin Espinach, coffee machine and lunch mate, gave yesterday a very nice internal talk about how his previous project used bugzilla and Mylyn to help them plan, assign and track team tasks. Although they were initially excited about Mylyn's task-focused UI, none of the team members ended up using it; they did love Mylyn's ability to get notifications from bugzilla. It looked like a neat solution.

When his very detailed talk was almost done, he told us that, for their recently started new project, they are using IBM Rational Jazz. I felt like killing him, but I then I would have missed the chance to complain about his talk during every afternoon coffee in the next weeks.

And Jazz? So far, they are loving it. I'll have to ask him to demo it to our team.