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Jonathan Starr's Blog Thoughts on C#, Ajax, WCF, LINQ, Agile et al. December 2007 Entries
An Inalienable Right to Privacy - My Reaction
I was just reading through Jeff Atwood's excellent blog post, An Inalienable Right to Privacy, and I could not agree with him more. We as consumers must demand that our privacy be respected by (1) not providing information when it is not needed and (2) purchasing from vendors that respect our privacy. I will go further, however. We need to have laws on the books that allow us to sue corporations and individuals who abuse our private financial information and contact information. The Do-Not-Call list ......

Posted On Monday, December 31, 2007 4:50 PM

Just how good are the Patriots
The Patriots are currently 15-0, and are looking to become the second team to ever have a perfect regular season. But, how good are the Patriots really? Perhaps they are just lucky? P(Winning Each Game) P(Going 15-0) 50% 0.003% 75% 1.336% 90% 20.589% 95.4842% 50.000% From the chart above, if the Patriots really had a 50% chance of winning each of the first 15 games, then they were certainly lucky. Not quite lottery winning lucky, but a team with a true 50% chance of winning each game should only ......

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2007 4:46 PM

How can we help
improve my => 'spirit' My good friend, Michael Bittel, writes in his blog that it's All About Africa. I confess that I spend less than 1% of my time thinking about Africa. But I should be spending more time. Here are the best reasons I have to support Michael's statement. 1. The problems of poverty and health issues are most pronounced in Africa. Logically, the place where we can make the greatest difference is the place in which we should be concentrating our energies. 2. Our societies are getting ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 26, 2007 4:44 PM

Size is Half the Enemy
improve my => 'code' I just read Jeff Atwood's post - Size is the Enemy - and I think his contention that Size => Complexity => Bad Application, is partly true. But not entirely true. How does an application become large in the first place? If an application is successful, and is widely adopted, there is a greater chance that the same application may be reused for more purposes than originally intended. To handle the new use cases, custom code is added and we get code bloat. This may be ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 26, 2007 1:49 PM

5 Hour Energy
I started to use this product to work on multiple projects at one time. It's done wonders for me so far... As the advertising goes, I get a couple more hours of focused concentration from using it, and I have not crashed afterwards, or gotten the shakes after using... but are there long term effects? Are any of you using 5 Hour Energy? Thanks for your comments and help- Jonathan Starr ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 8:58 PM

Concave Up Costs of Iraq War
I keep hearing from Republicans that the surge is working and that we are winning in Iraq. Then why are the monthly costs for this war always increasing (concave up) instead of decreasing (convex down)? The Russians destroyed Napoleon by bringing him into a costly war. Are we following his path? I know I will be getting flak for this post, Jonathan Starr ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 12:33 PM

Unified Saint Louis Calendar
I started the following unified calendar for Microsoft technology meetings in the following calendar. Note that the first events posted are in January, 2008. Meetings include Saint Louis Microsoft Sharepoint, CRM and .NET Meetings... Feel free to add to the calendar (I will be try to maintain this as well). View Saint Louis Microsoft Technology Meetings calendar Enjoy, Jonathan Starr ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 12:04 AM

Liquidity is Undervalued ...
.... but not as much as Ranjan Badhuri implies in his article in allaboutalpha.com Ranjan writes about a game where liquidity pays: The game consists of a hat that contains 6 black balls and 4 white balls. The player picks balls from the hat and gains $1 for each white ball, and loses $1 for each black ball. The selection is done without replacement. At the end of each pick, the player may choose to stop or continue. The player has the right to refuse to play (i.e. not pick any balls at all). Given ......

Posted On Sunday, December 23, 2007 4:58 PM

Got some flak...
... on my religious thought experiment. I think South Park says it well.. Enjoy, Jonathan Starr ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 1:50 AM

Alternative Piano

There's more than one way to play!

Enjoy!

Jonathan Starr

Posted On Monday, December 17, 2007 9:05 PM

Doris Lessing and Why Literature is Overrated
So, I was recently referred to Doris Lessing's acceptance speech for a Nobel Prize in Literature, and on one hand it's a touching story of how people from impoverished areas in India and Africa continue to read literature and try to 'educate' themselves even under adverse conditions such as lack of potable water, or exterme poverty. But are all forms of knowledge useful when your basic needs are not being met? One of the women in her speech is pregnant "with two kids clutching at her legs', and a ......

Posted On Monday, December 17, 2007 8:54 PM

Belated Thought Experiment
I admit that I have been remiss updating this blog with thought experiments as promised. So, to make up for this I have a good one for you - especially those of you who are theologically minded. Let's start with the premise that God exists and that God created a perfect world for humankind. If that is the case, then it is no accident that the world's population has so many different belief systems. Is it possible that every major belief system has something to contribute to our spiritual welfare? ......

Posted On Monday, December 17, 2007 7:39 PM

Ode to Mandelbrot
Awesome video

Enjoy,

Jonathan Starr

Posted On Saturday, December 15, 2007 5:46 PM

Shameless Plug
My good friend, Rick Troupin, has his web / mobile phone application business (1ccn.com) up, and I urge all of you involved in the construction business to check it out! His application allows users to manage projects using our phones or through web access. You can break down projects into smaller pieces (WBS structures) and maintain status on each piece. It's really a very sophisticated application, and a small log entry does not do justice to the application. Of course, his application is built ......

Posted On Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:35 PM

Ship of Theseus and Software Engineering
improve my => 'code' I have always found the essential idea behind the Ship of Theseus interesting. From Wikipedia.org According to Greek legend as reported by Plutarch, “ The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned [from Crete] had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among ......

Posted On Friday, December 7, 2007 5:38 PM

Top 12 Reasons Why Coding is Better Than Lawyering
12. Most of the time, a lawyer's job is to say no, but a coder's is to find out how. 11. Coders can go to work in t-shirts & jeans. 10. Coders get to create stuff everyday, not tear stuff down. 9. Coders learn every day how to write more powerful code. 8. There are never enough coders, but there are always too many lawyers. 7. Lawyers win arguments by getting on our nerves; coders win by building the prototype. 6. Programming books are expensive, but legal books are grand larceny. 5. Coders have ......

Posted On Sunday, December 2, 2007 10:43 PM

For all of you sleepy heads out there...

.. who are enjoying their winter sleep-ins...

Wakey-Wakey

Posted On Saturday, December 1, 2007 8:04 PM

Merry Christmas...

... from Jonathan Coulton and Chiron Beta Prime

Posted On Saturday, December 1, 2007 7:28 PM

Thought Experiment Sunday
I recently had lunch with a coworker who suggested that I pose a new physics thought experiment every week, and see what readers think of it. So, this is the first installment! The other day, I was looking at Einstein's special theory of relativity, especially the formula for length contraction that goes like this: where capital X is the original length for an object, v is its velocity, c is the speed of light, and lower case x is the resulting apparent length of the object due to special relativity. ......

Posted On Saturday, December 1, 2007 5:20 PM

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