Sunday, 27 November 2011

Snippet: random range

Being able to get a random number within a given range is something currently only available in ruby 1.9... but if you want to add a quick method that will do it for you, this one does the trick:

  def rand_in_range(val1,val2)

  rand_in_range(1,5) # => one of: 1,2,3,4,5

  rand_in_range(100,999) # => anywhere from 100 to 999

Note: it only works for integer values...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Genome GPS: crowdsourcing science funding

A friend of mine is using rockethub to fund scientific research. This looks like an innovative alternative to grant-grubbing and research built only around what BigPharma will pay for. Worth a bit of support (even if you can't afford much).

GPS for the genome on rockethub

Monday, 14 November 2011

Link: How to avoid ghetto jobs

A great post on women 2.0 about how to avoid what she terms "pink ghetto" jobs. These are jobs that are just as bad for men as for women, and are often the first job or two you fall into as a new graduate. eg unpaid internships, poorly-organised, unfunded startups and those dead-end jobs where you end up maintaining monstrous legacy code on very low pay, rather than learning new skills.

The article takes a good look at how to spot the duds, and how to find better employment options.

I've fallen into the trap of several of these myself, over the years. From the "100% equity (but the product is totally unsaleable and we didn't bother to research that before you spent 23 man-days working on it)", to the poorly-paid legacy-code maintainer (plus guilt trips to keep me on even after having three months of unpaid invoices), to a job for a "web developer" (that actually mainly works on resetting our customer's forgotten passwords). So - it's definitely worth knowing how to spot these trucks coming before they run over you and leave you in the dust, bleeding financially.

Have you had any experiences of ghetto jobs yourself?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Full-length feed: love or hate?

I've been reading a few other blogs on which people have mentioned that people prefer the full article in their feed reader. rather than just a short section and requiring a click to take them to the full article

I personally prefer the short version as I have a lot of stuff in my reader and hate dragging down hundreds of full-length posts when I'm likely to only read a few here and there via the reader, but it seems that a lot of people prefer it the other way.

So.. as an experiment, I flipped it over to the other way a month ago - to see if anybody noticed and changes the way they read. My site's not exactly high volume (maybe 1200-1400 uniques in a month), so not sure if the changes are really that massive yet, and I guess we can see as time goes on. But I'm impatient, so I figured I'd just ask. I'll happily accede to the wishes of the majority...

So: do you love it? hate it? even notice a difference at all?