my recent reads..

マキシマムザホルモン & THE Best Drummer In The World

マキシマムザホルモン (Makishimamu Za Horumon/Maximum the Hormone). I've had their latest album ぶっ生き返す for a month or so.

And listen to it .. oh, at least once a day. It's some kind of amazing.

Just saw they won the "MTV Best Rock Video Award" in Japan a few days back. Which is pretty mind blowing - Japan has a real vibrant alternative music scene, but the mainstream always seems dominated by the bubblegum schoolgirls and elderly crooners.

Yeah, did I mention Makishimamu Za Horumon is pretty "alternative"? Like driving down a mountain road at 100kph. Every turn you don't know what to expect. Don't try to guess - you will be wrong. Pop+punk+metal+ska+WTF!

Kind of like Red Hot Chili Peppers way over the edge. And in Japanese.

And I am sorry Lars and Nikko, Kawakita Nao 川北 奈緒 / ナヲ is now THE best drummer in the world. And her vocals are essential for the unique fusion that is MTH.

If you are in Osaka 大阪府 tomorrow (3-Jun), you can catch them live. You lucky bastards.

Let'er rip. This is classic. The first track from ぶっ生き返す..

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Java Puzzlers. Be Afraid of the Dark.


Apparently, Joshua Block and Neal Gafter started the "Java Puzzlers" idea at Oracle Open World 2001. I wish I was there.

Subsequently, they've turned it into a book
, and a website.

If you program in Java, you must read this book. It covers the kind of traps in your code you wouldn't even imagine could be there.

I can guarantee you have written at least one of these issues into your code. And QA never caught it. And it is out in the wild RIGHT NOW. Arrgh!!

These days, I think (and hope) that most professional developers are relatively atuned to coding security issues and the rise of opinionated testing methodologies (Unit testing, TDD, BDD etc).

But this book is a real eye-opener to the range of issues that you wouldn't even think worthy of a unit test case.
public static boolean isOdd(int i) {
return i % 2 == 1;
}
Seems like a reasonable test for odd numbers? Except it is wrong a quarter of the time.

And that is just puzzle #1.

The book takes you through issues with strings, loops, classes, libraries, all the way to puzzle #95, where you learn why you shouldn't program like your brother.

Get a flavour from this presentation on Scribd from JavaOne 2007... Java Puzzlers me java puzzlers from javaone 2007
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Java Puzzlers


Apparently, Joshua Block and Neal Gafter started the "Java Puzzlers" idea at Oracle Open World 2001. I wish I was there.

Subsequently, they've turned it into a book
, and a website.

If you program in Java, this is truly a must-read book.

More on my tech blog.


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Lessons in Re-branding: My Aquarium and SpeedDate's Agressive Acquisition Strategy

The My Aquarium Facebook application will soon become .. a dating app??? WTF!


At first I thought it must be a joke, or someone hacked the developer's facebook account.

But amazingly, it seems for real. SpeedDate have apparently been acquiring quite a number of Facebook applications, and My Aquarium is just one of the latest.

I don't know what on earth they are thinking though. Do they seriously expect to just buy users like this? Isn't there a fundamental demographic and motivational mismatch between users of a cute aquarium app and the dating crowd (except by pure coincidence)?

Rather than endearing people to SpeedDate, I'd expect the reaction is more like this:

Get the hell of my Facebook page. First you buy up and kill off one of my apps, then you expect me to use your totally unrelated app? Get real!

Kind of like if Microsoft came along and bought up Adobe then sent an email to all Photoshop users saying they must all upgrade to Excel. Can you imagine the consumer revolt that would cause?

I don't know anything about SpeedDate, but this behaviour just makes me want to see them fail big time. Not a good PR position to be in...
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