• Software glitch reveals new president prematurely

    Now that the Oscars are over, there'll be another show from the US waiting for us in November. But due to an unfortunate mishap, its entertainment value could just have gone down the drain.

    The Onion News Network reveals why those electronic voting machines need to be banned, just like many have been requesting for years:

    Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

  • Classic pwnage

    It may not be totally hot news any more, but if something's giving me an asthma attack from laughing, it has to be put here.

    The setting: Jimmy Kimmel is a US talk show host that's made a routine of making snide remarks on Matt Damon. He even invites him as a guest but then doesn't call him up because, unfortunately, "we're out of time". It must have been a bummer when his girlfriend, comedian Sarah Silverman, sent him this video message:

    But not much time later, Kimmel took sweet revenge...


  • Development update

    Everyone is asking me for updates. There's Thomas who wants for me to finally release perl-SIOC, there are the participants of my Perl online seminar waiting for the final version of the course manual, and there's Eva that's curious about how the baby's doing.

    Well, what Eva wants of course Eva gets! The baby's great -- alive and kicking would be the correct term. Kicking like a pony, Carolin would add. Here's the latest ultrasound picture.

    Now I'll have to put some work into the other two release duties. I'm sure they'll be finished first. :-)

  • Why Twitter is worth the risk

    I've been using Twitter for many months now and it became a standard communication tool for me. Not everyone likes the service, though. Many people think of it as a continuous source of worthless distractions. And indeed, it can seriously disrupt your work flow.

    Since fellow geek Tom Schimana discovered Twitter himself recently and is asking for help, I'll write a bit about why I use Twitter despite this risk.

    Twitter asks its users: "What are you doing?" and puts a 140 character limit to your answers. Those "tweets" get sent to everyone who subscribed to your Twitter account, either by the Twitter website, via email or over SMS sent to their mobile phone.

    You can also mark tweets that are meant for a certain person by starting them with "@username" (an at sign followed by their Twitter name). If you'd like to send them a non-public message, start it with "d username".

    In a way, Twitter is the virtual equivalent to your pub at the corner. You periodically spend some time there and, over time, start conversations and learn to know the other regulars. Sometimes, you even engage in a deeper discussion, but most of the time it's just smalltalk. Nonetheless, you learn about what people are doing, what happens in the community or in the lives of your friends.

    Twitter does the same for you, but you are able to choose the people whose messages you get. It's your decision who you'd like to "follow", as Twitter puts it. By posting what you're doing or thinking, you let people participate in a little bit of your life. Over time, your followers will recognize things they share with you, be it that you are a Mac user or going to be a parent. You can direct people to interesting websites, maybe your own. Pose a question and often you'll get responses from your followers in a matter of minutes.

    On Twitter and its complementary services like TwitterMap, I found a blogger meetup in my home town and gained contact to the local Barcamp scene. I even found new business partners by answering quickly to their requests for support and then switching to IM or email.

    Twitter isn't an Instant Messaging service, though. A publicly held dialogue will soon annoy your other followers and make them think about "unfollowing" you. It's considered as quite rude as is talking loudly to someone in a pub so that anyone can't help but overhear you.

    So, just give Twitter a try and your network some time to develop. Find interesting people to follow and share interesting or entertaining bits with your followers. As long as you contribute information more valuable than "Going to the loo.", you'll build new connections that can in turn be interesting and useful to you.

    And don't forget to click "Follow" on my Twitter page! ;-)

  • Another blog

    The German Perl Workshop that I'm attending at the moment inspired me to collect all Perl content I've created so far and use it to launch a new website: Perl-Programmieren.de will from now on be the place where I publish my articles about Perl programming as well as the episodes of my audio podcast "Radio Perl".

    You might wonder where I'll be taking the time to maintain yet another blog. Well, I don't expect miracles. So far, only the URL changed, not the posting frequency. But at least there's now one single place where you'll find the things I do all around Perl.