Truthiness about Cauliflower

Last night at dinner I learned from my kids that eating cauliflower brings bad luck. They also believe that the more you say it the truer it gets. From what I could gather they did not develop this theory on their own – some other children believe it as well. It seems that they already get truthiness

Later that night Stephen Colbert, in a very funny segment, again pointed out that on wikipedia if enough people agree with something then it becomes the truth (“wikiality”). This was in the context of reports of Microsoft paying bloggers to edit wikipedia. I incorrectly read a lot into this news. They made it sound like it was something that happened a lot and was an open invitation to anyone who would write positive things about Microsoft. Also I somehow got confused and thought it was about Vista. Perhaps my mind was being reactive because the programming on Comedy Central last night seemed like one big Microsoft Vista commercial. I was surprised to find that it was a specific person, Rick Jelliffe, who I know of because I’m a big fan of Schematron. After reading Rick’s post I don’t think its that big a deal. Although I wouldn’t want to see it become a common practice.

Stephen offered to pay $5 to anyone who replaced the wikipedia entry on Reality with “Reality has become a commodity”. If one were to believe that wikipedia is always true then reality was a commodity for about one minute. I’m OK with wikipedia being out of sync with reality for one minute now and then.

Actually the truth is subjective and reality is a commodity that corporate marketing and government propaganda are paying to influence every day. The advice about reality went from “don’t believe everything you read” to “don’t believe everything you see on TV” to “don’t believe everything you see on the Internet”. On the Internet there are so many facts and they spread so quickly that it is hard to keep up with your fact checking. I only bother for things that are important to me. On the plus side I have such a bad memory for facts that I will likely forget most of the misinformation I read.

Now I’m off to check my facts on cauliflower…

Blog design change comming soon

I’m planning a redesign of this blog soon. I got some feedback on the overall layout and style. A few people commented that the picture on the left was out of place given the technical content of the blog. I tend to agree. One reason for the picture and the effect of the header text sliding over it was simply to play around and get more practice with CSS. The other thing I got comments on was the color scheme. I plan go with something much more plain and simple. Hopefully it will be ready in a few days.

I really like how customizable the presentation of WordPress is.

I18n With StringTemplate

Developers accustomed to internationalizing Java [web] applications are very familiar with ResourceBundle, MessageFormat and property files. The articles Localization and Internationalization with StringTemplate and Web Application Internationalization and Localization in Action give a good introduction to how StringTemplate can be used to do i18n but they don’t explain how to get the full set of benefits we derive from ResourceBundle, and MessageFormat. In this article I describe how StringTemplate can leverage ResourceBundle and remove the need for MessageFormat in the presentation layer.

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Treadmill Workstation Experiment

Ever since I read the NY times article “The Lean and the Restless” (about a year and a half ago now) the idea to replace my desk and chair with a treadmill workstation has been in the back of my mind. The idea seems to be catching on although not main stream yet. There were a number of reports about making a commercially available treadmill workstation. I haven’t seen them in stores yet and I’m not sure we will anytime soon. Some people are calling these things treadputers – I hope this name doesn’t catch on!

I wanted to pass on my experience with creating a treadmill workstation.

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