Blame it on Excel

Mr. Dvorak of PC Magazine figured it out — spreadsheets are responsible for the mortgage crisis, Enron and similar. Considering that Excel holds more than 70% of the market share, the culprit is obvious. At first I thought this to be ridiculous, but then decided to give him  a benefit of a doubt.

Here is what I have found out. Seems that the root problem is in the VBA — on some installations it is possible to run the following:


Sub Loot()
    On Error GoTo PROC_ERR
    
    Application.Global = True
    Application.AnyWayPossible = True
    Application.DamnTheConsequences = True  
    Do
        Application.MoveOtherPeoplesMoneyIntoMyAccount = True
    Loop
     
PROC_EXIT:
    Exit Sub
  
PROC_ERR:
    Application.BlameMarkets = True
    Application.GoToCaribbean = True
    Debug.Print "Shit happens :)"
    Resume PROC_EXIT
End Sub

As you can see, there are some undocumented properties of the Application object which are not installed with standard Excel editions. Obviously, Microsoft has a special edition for their VIP customers.

On SOA

There is a tree outside my window, a small one, rooted in a narrow strip of dirt running along the building — a builder’s idea of an urban green area. It made it to the mid-second floor. I don’t think it will ever grow big, they never do — not enough soil. It’s January, –20C outside; a few dry leafs still hanging on.

When it flowers, bees show up. When green, small birds hide in the crown. On hot summer days, humans water the grass. Each interaction implies an exchange, each party benefits somehow.

Apparently, this type of SOA has been functioning quite well for a very long time now — though, I can not figure out where the WSDL is.

Further reading: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Phoebe cat tweets

For all of you following phoebe_cat on twitter, considering getting your pet to tweet. For this example you will need:

Steps to take:

  1. Install Python;
  2. Copy the two phoebe_*.py files into a directory;
  3. Open a twitter account for your pet;
  4. In the last line of the phoebe_tweets.py fill-in the twitter name and the password;
  5. Modify the talk list in the phoebe_text.py.
  6. Set a task in Windows scheduler (or an equivalent for Mac/Linux) to run the phoebe_tweets.py every two to three hours. Have mercy, twitter is overloaded as is — once in two hours is plenty.

Note:
If you already have Python installed, just try it. It should work with 2.6.x, not sure about 3.0.

I found the core tweet code on the web, would like to give credit to the author, but have forgotten where I found it; sorry.