Tag: Code

I’m getting started on one of my long-dormant projects. Writing a tongue-in-check resource book, using a slice of von Explaino’s “Look At Things Through The Lens Of Something Else.” Participating in the Tech Misfits group on Facebook has helped me keep focus (thank you) and I’ve finished a first-ish draft of 13,823 words.

I’m very happy with this progress. Fingers cross momentum can keep up.

Forums. Tumblr. Twitter.

They’re devolving into shouting matches where some people just go to agitate and throw stones. Listening/ reading is optional. They’re not discussions or debates, they’re debacles. Approaching this from a Steampunk perspective there was a method of solving disagreements / preserving honour. The duel. Can we bring that approach to online mudslinging?

I think there’s a web application possibility here. Comments/ arguments go on long enough and one party challenges another to a Duel. Duels have Weapons, Rules, a Judge, an Arena and occasionally an Audience.


Two that spring to mind are Words and Combat. Words could be debates or sources. Combat is more visceral and twitchy. It works as long as the Arena is public.


Where the duel takes place depends on weapons. Words can’t just be a continuation of the comment thread slanging match, something more rigid. This I think would benefit from a custom build debate-style application. Combat, well, there’s a tonne of online shooters/ battlefields/ fighters that would work splendidly for this. There would have to be a registration system that links the accounts of the participants from the original comments to the participants in the Arena. The Arena should also allow for an Audience and Judge.


Online games come with their own rules, but they may need to be extended for the Duel (e.g. Specific levels, specific weapons, etc.). Rules of Debate would be useful auto-enforced by the debate-application.


Some Arenas come with their own judges, such as shooters with health bars. Others require more nuance, or if the online arena has a specific Rule then a judge might be required to interpret. The judge needs to be impartial and trusted.


A public disagreement might benefit from a public duel. Or people might just want satisfaction amongst themselves.

I think this could be useful and interesting as a project/ tool for handling unruly comment forums. Thoughts?

I’ll patch it later;
I’ll patch it later;

I didn’t patch it;
How was I supposed to know;
My system wasn’t right here;
I didn’t patch it;
I shouldn’t have let it go;
SMB’s compromised yeah;

An email, with attachment from Dale
I double click, wait-
Now my files don’t open, huh, what happened?

My filesystem’s corrupted now (what the?)
And someone’s now, extorting me (my money!)
If I don’t pay then I’ll lose my files
Bitcoins I’ll buy
I’ve been hit with WannaCry

– With apologies to Ms Spears

Published by Professor von Explaino

Code, devices

Looking around my site you’ll see some of the applications I’ve toyed with over the years; I’m a web application programmer by trade and I love to tinker. Today walking into the office with a coworker and we were discussion decommissioning a number of applications from a server and I decided we needed to memorialise this. Not just by taking the server out the back and hitting it with an EMP, but an enduring legacy to applications time forgot.

An application graveyard if you will.

We’re going to be approaching this as an free-time team concept, but I’m naturally pitching a Dr Frankenstein-esque reanimation chamber attached to the graveyard in case we need to resurrect old code. Little tesla coils, jacobs ladders (nonfunctional for safety and to prevent zapping the keytombs). Of course, giving the reanimation chamber a USB doc for direct data access would be ridiculous, and thus I will insist on it.

Please add any additions or counter-ideas in the comments below.

Published by Professor von Explaino

Code, comedy, Projemon


The Dead Weight

The Dead Weight, art by

The Dead Weight (Pondus mortuus) is a resource-substitute that starves the Project without the Project knowing it is perishing.

Evolution and Taxonomy

The Dead Weight has a troubling evolutionary trail, sharing some traits with other people-type resources but enough traits from other branches to belie a common ancestor. It is almost a yin to the Scope Creep yang – rather than adding end deliverable complexities with no additional resources; the Dead Weight masks a lack of resources to achieve the Project’s end deliverable goal. There is also difficulty in distinguishing a Dead Weight from a False Dead Weight (see below).

Biology and Defence

The Dead Weight’s survival strategy has more in common with a cuckoo than a resource. Dead Weights take the place of other resources a Project has gathered for creating its end deliverable, but instead of providing resources they consume them with no return. To defend against a Dead Weight, Projects produce an expectation for every stage (also known as stage targets or sprints) with a binary success marker. Continued false markers can reveal a Dead Weight and Projects can amputate and regenerate the resource as required. False Dead Weights initially have these false markers evident, but by working with the clearly defined expectations they can turn this around to become fully contributing resources to a Project.

Published by Professor von Explaino

Code, comedy, Projemon
The Scope Creep

The Scope Creep, art by

The Scope Creep (Reperet scopo) is a parasite that causes Projects to collapse under their own weight

Evolution and Taxonomy

The Scope Creep shares a common ancestor with the Shifting Goalposts (Reperet finis-cursore); both of these creatures have a hallucinogen that targets the Project’s perceptions. Where the Shifting Goalposts confuses the sense of direction (resulting in arriving at its perceived goal but not its actual goal), the Scope Creep overloads the Project’s end product instincts.

Biology and Defence

An uninfected Project’s drive to build an ‘end product’ is usually curtailed to produce the most attractive result while managing not to completely exhaust the Project’s available resources. When infected with Scope Creep, the Project is driven to create an end product beyond its means. These additions are seen as absolutely necessary even if they have no direct impact on its original goal. Having proven deadly to its ancestors, the Projects of today have a star-fish like defence – breaking off infected parts to grow into Projects of their own thanks to a clear barrier that separates the in-Scope from the out-of-Scope.

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