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The Outside Context Problem

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My regular reader might have noticed that I (re)read a book called ‘Excession‘ recently. Penned by a gent called Iain Banks, who in my opinion, can excrete pure gold. It is a great read. For those of you already familiar with his work, it probably needs no introduction. For those yet to experience it – […]

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The four sicknesses of kendo (and software testing)

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I began writing this entry and almost immediately discovered this entry from Michael Bolton on emotions and oracles, which explains things probably more eloquently than I am trying to. I can’t really speak as to why emotion isn’t valued by some testers. I haven’t encountered any situations where this has been the case – I […]

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Wiiality bites

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Sorry about the heading, I’m just not feeling particularly clever today. A friend recently lent me his Nintendo Wii. I wanted to test-drive one to see if ‘wii sports’ would be helpful as a tool for keeping fit or warming up before I get into some real exercise. I was initially hopeful. The boxing game […]

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勝って、兜の緒を締めよ

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katte, kabuto no o wo shimeyo. When you win, tighten your helmet strings. This saying is a reminder to remain ever vigilant. In battle, victory over an opponent should not be a signal to let your guard drop. If anything, it should serve to remind you to be even more wary. Defeating one is no […]

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Oh captain, my captain – changing your perspective

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Those of you who have seen ‘Dead Poets Society‘ may remember Robin Williams exhorting his students to stand on their desks in order to show them the importance of having multiple perspectives of the world. I always thought that this was a most excellent scene. If you haven’t seen it, consider checking it out (or […]

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Did I see a blossom return to the branch?

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落花枝に 帰ると見れば 胡蝶哉 A haiku written by Moritake Arakida which can be translated as ‘Did I see blossom return to the branch? (No, it was) a butterfly. When I first read this, it struck a chord with me for some reason. Perhaps it was that someone found mistaking a butterfly for a blossom or a […]

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One for brain-teaser fans who like industrial rock music

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Most testers I know love brain-teasers and mind games. I’m no exception (I just happen to be really crap at them). When news surfaced that the new Nine Inch Nails album ‘Year Zero’ had an alternate reality game (ARG) attached to it, I was initially skeptical. Probably some bullshit marketing hype for the emo fanboys […]

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Money apparently doesn’t buy user-friendliness

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I was at a good friend’s wedding several nights ago, which was held at one of the more well-to-do hotels in Melbourne. The night itself was an immense success. The bride and groom looked fantastic, I caught up with old friends from far away and a great time was had by all. It struck me […]

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Enzan no metsuke – looking at the far mountain

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An oft touted phrase by martial artists is ‘enzan no metsuke’, which translates roughly as ‘looking at the far mountain’ – essentially the gaze you would use to view something very distant. If I am fighting an opponent and I focus too keenly on their sword, or the movements of their body only, then I […]