make syntax

Even after all these years, I find another bit of make syntax that does a gotcha, which I guess the whole world already knew.

# foo=bar

is not the same as

FOO=BAR        #foo-bar

You live and learn.
In case you are wondering, they are different when used as


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I did a Silly Thing

I had been spreading grit and salt with my hand (to keep my glove clean) and thought I would clean it and the bucket with snow. Big mistake.

Picked up a load of clean snow with the same hand. The pain was almost instant, and excruciating. By the time I had got to some clean water to wash it off, I genuinely thought I had damaged by fingers, although the pain was only in my hand, as all the fingers were now completely numb. I could see the skin was not in a good state, and guess that is what frostbite is.

Anyway, although I could feel it for a few days, there seem to have been no longer-term permanent damage.

But bathing my hand in salt solution that might get as low as -17C was clearly rather a Silly Thing.

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People who “hide” their email addresses

I mean, do they (or their organisations) think that email trawlers can’t work that out?
All it does is inconvenience the genuine people who want to contact them.
There are only about 6 spammers in the world, apparently – do you think they didn’t get your email a looooong time ago:- or will as soon as you put that up?
Or worse still, wanker AT room DOT one DOT bedlam.
And to cap it all, let’s make it an image so that I have to type in the whole thing absolutely correctly.

Or why not just give me a web form to fill in to send you a message?
That way I have to use your technology to do it, and then it doesn’t get into my normal processes – pissing me about again.

Or perhaps you want to just give me an email hash?
That’s just great to help me get in touch with you – yes Semantic Web Dog Food this applies to you.
It’s on my wiki page, so why obscure it on the data page?

The reason you have an email account is to make it convenient for people to contact you.

I have actually decided not to email people about things I am sure they would like to know because of this;- is worth mentioning as a particularly bad specimen.

So if you haven’t got systems that can cope with the spam, then get different ones. Don’t push the effort of futilely trying to protect youself from spam onto me.

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Getting Identity Thieved

Yet again I have to piss about dealing with someone using my identity. And for why?

Because as a company director I was required to give out my Date of Birth so it can be made a clear matter of public record at Companies House.

I even use a different mother’s maiden name for each company.
But what is the point of trying to protect my personal information when the law requires me to give stuff to them to publish to all comers?

Time the tossers sorted it out.

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Hotel “Special Rates” for conferences

Yes they are – especially more!

They really look to rip attendees off by charging more than they would otherwise, but what really pisses me off is that the conference web site then gives you a link, with a special code, so that when you click on it you are identified as the person to be ripped off!

Example: Tonight, an invitation to
4th European Semantic Technology Conference 2010
December 2-3, 2010
Vienna, Austria
The conference website gets me a “special” rate at the conference hotel (Marriot, The Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel) at €120 for a “Guest room, 1 King or 2 Twin/Single” for the night of 3rd December 2010.

Perhaps not too bad, unless you go to the standard Marriot reservation site at Then you get an offer for the same room for the same night at €103, taxes included, etc..

Yeah, sure, I’m sure there are all sorts of complicated explanations about reserving rooms etc., etc., but in the end it’s a rip-off, and I have seen it so many times it really pisses me off.

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