Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scrumbot™ update

It’s such a good idea that ThoughtWorks have stolen it -

“Mingle 3.0 introduces Murmurs™ which captures relevant day-to-day team communication - conversations and IM chats - and associates them to relevant project artifacts.”

Google Wave integration isn’t currently available (due “in 2010”), so there’s still time for me to steal a march over them:

I’m hooked

When people criticised Stephen Fry for the inanity of tweeting from a stuck lift, they clearly hadn’t been following Coleen. I’ve added her feed to the page, but below is a taster…


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have we reached the end?

Is this the logical conclusion of our celebrity obsession – nothing personal against Coleen, but really, what is the point?


(Although, simply by commenting on it I guess I’m part of the problem?)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thought for the day

This is a great article on the Facebook architecture - High Performance at Massive Scale: Lessons Learned at Facebook – and it includes an interesting thought for the day, apparently from Mark Zuckerberg - “Work fast and don’t be afraid to break things.”

I’m sure his investors don’t agree (I’d not go with the “work fast” bit myself to be honest, but I like the “don’t be afraid” sentiment) – although it’s probably helped get Facebook to where it is today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Password strength (part two)

I’m currently working through the horror that is the UK’s online tax self-assessment process, a process which prompted to lodge a formal complaint this time last year (which covered an A4 sheet, and ended with: “I have never encountered such a poorly designed, implemented and managed online service in my career; anyone in working in the private sector responsible for such a service would have been fired for its delivery. Please pass these comments on to whoever was responsible and / or accountable for this fiasco.” To their credit, they did send me an apology.)

Nothing changes, apparently, and so I have had to go through the whole process of acquiring a new user id (twelve digits), and then to apply for a new password (another twelve – letters and numbers this time). I couldn’t do it online, as the tax office had an email address that was ten years out of date, and were unable to change it on my behalf. So – three weeks later, I have my new user id and password, I log in, and immediately go to the “manage my account” section to update my email and change my password.

I am prompted at this point to set up a “second password”, which I assume is a bit like a password reminder, which I think might be a good thing. And this is the screen that greets me:


Just in case you can’t make it out, the password restrictions are as follows:

  • contain 12 - 20 letters and numbers
  • not contain any spaces
  • contain at least one letter and one number
  • not contain the word 'password'
  • not contain the same character repeated consecutively more than three times
  • not contain consecutive sequential numbers (eg "34", "67", or "87")

What is going on with these people – why is the Government so bad at this?

(Needless to say, the easiest solution is to pay an accountant to do it for me. Expect part three in this series in approx. twelve months time.)

[Update: I decided to do it anyway, just to see what happens, and got the following:

2010-01-10_1136Give me strength.]

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Introducing Scrumbot™

I’ve been trying to think of a use for Wave since I signed up, and so it is with great pleasure that today I can announce the launch of Scrumbot™.

Scrumbot is an Wave robot that uses advanced heuristics and natural language interpretation to manage agile development teams by participating in team Wave conversations.

Developers can share statistical information (such as task estimates) and status updates with Scrumbot using custom SML (Scrumbot Markup Language) tags, and Scrumbot will output useful team information such as progress updates, burndown statistics, identification of key task bottlenecks etc.

Scrumbot will learn how individual participants within a Wave interact, and will apply relevant adjustments to developers’ own estimates.

Scrumbot can be configured to improve team efficiency through the timely injection of key morale-building phrases (country-specific) to the Wave, and can automatically detect and destroy offensive language or aggressive behaviour.

Of course Scrumbot doesn’t really exist, yet. I just wanted to claim the name.

[Update: Scrumbot does now exist – you can add to your wave…]