How things get better after you screw up at work

(Hint: it’s about your team.) A couple weeks ago I accidentally replaced our live, production database with a 17-hour old snapshot. This is an always-on application with users around the globe, so the mistake was likely to have blown away some new user-entered data. I didn’t realize what I had done for an hour or so (I thought I had targeted a test database server, not production). When it hit me, I had already left work.

My 100x ROI as accidental domain speculator

One of the hazards of working in the web biz is impulse-buying domain names. Back in the Web 2.0 boom days, there were a lot of “social” web plays with silly names. I thought I’d satirize this by registering and making a social site where you could “friend” the number 7 and that sort of thing. I never got around to building that site. However I did get a curious email one day from “Joe” who wanted to know if I’d sell the name.

Good Python Interview Questions

When we were growing our team of Python devs at CMG, I was involved in a lot of interviews. I really enjoyed it, meeting and hiring interesting and talented engineers. I’m not a big fan of quizzing people on technical minutiae in interviews. I do think that asking some questions about technical likes and dislikes can be very illuminating though. For example, “What’s your favorite standard library module?” (Best answer in my book here is itertools or functools, but anything that shows they have hands-on appreciation for the depth of the standard library is good.

Latest iPhone SDK bug reports

From a post at Rogue Amoeba: Allow applications to be installed at the user’s discretion, not Apple’s Allow applications to run in background on iPhone Allow access to root user on iPhone A MediaPicker API for accessing the iPod music files is needed Add option to allow iPhone applications to access entire filesystem Allow iPhone applications to access the host computer when docking Permit Voice over IP on the cellular network Allow iPhone applications to access the docking port Funny, it reads more like a list of demands!

Stallman Inside

I bought a new Netgear wifi router for the house today, to replace a crappy old D-Link that didn’t really work with either my MacBook Pro or my new iPod touch. A business-card-sized slip of paper fell out of the box when I opened it. It was a little GPL/LGPL notice, with a URL for downloading source. Digging further through the included paper I also found a three-panel insert with six-point type that has the full GPL text on one side and the full LGPL text on the other.

Open source bounties

Most readers are probably familiar with the fact that companies or organizations sometimes post “bounties” for open source products, or features, that they would like to see developed. Implement the thing to their satisfaction, you get the bounty – and the community gets the code. Sweet. A while back I started gathering references to these things, thinking I’d start a site that listed them, made connections between coders and sponsors, etc.

Full-screen QuickTime

From Apple’s release notes on the latest QuickTime update (emphasis mine): QuickTime 7.2 addresses critical security issues and delivers: Support for full screen viewing in QuickTime Player Updates to the H.264 codec Numerous bug fixes Finally! Now Steve Jobs can rest easy, knowing that nobody is going to pour boiling-hot coffee on him. Not over this, anyway. Peter commented on Thu Sep 6 12:47:52 2007: