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A Few Requests for President-Elect Obama Nov 14 2008

Brad Feld’s got some well-put advice for our new president on his blog. My favorite: When asked what advice she’d give Obama, [Madeleine Albright] said two things. First - “listen”. Second - “be confident, but not certain.” She described Bush as a president who has been too “certain” - he’s “certain that he is correct on all issues and then never listens.” In contrast, she wants a president who is “confident” yet willing to listen, learn, and adjust his point of view based on the data presented.

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The Problem with the Executive Pay Debate Nov 13 2008

Norman Wolfe on Why the Executive Compensation Debate is Fundamentally Flawed:

Yet in the current discussion on CEO pay we take as a given that CEOs are in it for the money and we have to pay them to get them and keep them. Yet these very same people would not take this position with their own organizations. Or if they do is this the kind of culture or tone at the top you want for your company.

From this perspective, the argument for high-CEO pay runs counter to a lot of wisdom about avoiding hiring people who are driven only by the salary. Unfortunately, the entire elite executive culture probably needs to change first before we start seeing reasonable executive salaries.

Why Windows Vista's Privilege Escalation Fails Aug 14 2008

There’s no question that Microsoft Vista’s User Access Control System fails in its principle goal (which is presumably to make users think twice before installing suspicious or unfamiliar software on their computers). Why it fails isn’t quite so obvious. It’s not just because the message popup is annoying and a little vague, although those certainly contribute. If you started this program, please continue. Really? My own computer doesn’t know whether I started a program or not?

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The Implications of Treating the Internet Like a Hard Drive Feb 21 2008

Bruce Schneier on the implications of treating the Internet like a hard drive. As we rely on others to maintain our writings and our relationships, we lose control over their availability. Of course, we also lose control over their security, as MySpace users learned last month when a 17-GB file of half a million supposedly private photos was uploaded to a BitTorrent site. I was wondering about another aspect of this same topic yesterday.

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Update Row Values in MySQL Based on Order Clause

Say you have a database table which contains an integer sort order column, but it’s incorrect. Perhaps you forgot to sort before creating the records. Let’s say you have another column which, when sorted, would produce the correct order. You can use that column to fix the sort order column in pure SQL. Here’s an example using the MODX CMS, which has a menuindex column (the sorting column), and a pagetitle column.

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Which Modules Implement a Drupal Hook?

Working on a deep-dive Drupal rescue project, we encountered an enormous mess of modules, and needed to know which of those modules were related to Ubercart checkout features. drush eval 'print_r(module_implements("uc_payment_gateway_charge"));' On a related note, the full list of available Ubercart hooks is here.

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What am I About to Merge (with Git)

This is one of my own personal Git FAQs. Here’s the scenario: You’ve created a topic branch of new code, and done all the work required to complete the feature. But before you can merge it back into the main tree, you get assigned to some new work, and the branch sits dormant for several days. Now the time has come to merge that feature back in, but it’s been so long, you forgot exactly what the code included.

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