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i feel like ranting.

today i went to court in the afternoon to fight a traffic ticket.  i say fight, but the plan was more like to beg for some mercy on my driving record so my insurance rates wouldn't increase.  i was willing to pay the fine.

so being the good citizen i am, and having utmost respect for most law, i dawned my suit, starched my shirt and went to the courthouse.  my time was already chosen for me, on the courts schedule.

the first thing that made me mad was time.  i showed up ON TIME.  the judge polled the audience looking for the officer.  he wasn't there.  sweet.  then the judge says, “i know he was here earlier, let's recess for 10 minutes.” WTF?! had the citizen not showed up, it would be an immediate judgement against.  strike one against me.

the officer did show up and had taken copious notes of our conversation the day of my ticket (almost a year ago it happened).  strike two against me...he remembered all the dumb things i said to try to get out of it.

when it came my time to speak, i pleaded with the judge to not assign points to my record.  the judge informed me that he cannot control that -- strike three.

colossal waste of time for me and the courts (apologies to the taxpayers).  i realized one thing though.  the system worked.  the judge showed no mercy on me based on who i was, what i was wearing or how i treated him (which was kissing arse of course).  he decided on facts and law.  cut and clear.  i then realized i could have showed up in a g-string and tank top and the same outcome would have happened.

it was evident of those that went before me and who remained in the courtroom.  i was the only one clean-shaven (i guess i didn't match the stereotype of who should be in a courtroom, whatever that is).  i had somehow thought it would give me an edge...it didn't.  and in some sadistic way, i'm glad.  i love the law.  my education is in law.  law almost always equals the greater common sense.  there is right and wrong things to do.  i did something wrong and paid the price.

the price by the way, for driving in the carpool lane with only one person, was $365.  the guy who went before me who was traveling 85 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, $200.  that's right.  i took a shortcut and it was more expensive than what is legally considered a reckless abuse of speed.  i won't go into the details, but my use of the carpool lane (at 8:45 AM and it isn't a carpool lane anymore at 9AM -- oh and not to mention NOBODY USES IT) was only on an exit -- i wasn't driving in it the whole time.  there is a shortcut exit to my office...well now i'm just babbling anyway.  i went on the carpool lane when i shouldn't have.

seriously though...should it be more costly than 30+MPH driving?

damn i hate love the law.

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just announced, the security developer resource kit

The new Microsoft Developer Security Resource Kit brings together a host of valuable references and resources for developing more secure applications. In it you'll find:

  • Best practices: These guidelines, how-to documents, and checklists will help you integrate security issues into the development process.
  • Training: View webcasts and get access to loads of sample code to get you up to speed quickly on key security concepts.
  • Developer tools: Analyze your code for security flaws, run data queries, detect errors, and test for compatibility issues.
  • Technical articles and additional resources: Link up with online community and event resources. And when you order, you can also order Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 for a six-month evaluation

pay only shippping for the dvd...pretty cool

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MIX 06 http://mix06.com 

Have you heard? Visit. Register.

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in case you are a microsoft developer and have been under a rock today...

Microsoft announced Go Live licenses this morning for WCF (Windows Communication Foundation / “Indigo”) and WF (Windows Workflow Foundation), which allow customers to use the January Go Live releases of WCF and WF in their deployment environments. (Note that these are unsupported Go Lives.)

More information about the Go Live program is at http://msdn.microsoft.com/winfx/getthebeta/golive/default.aspx.

There are also WCF and WF community sites, at:
http://windowscommunication.net
http://windowsworkflow.net

The community sites are intended to give users everything needed to start using WCF and WF today.

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one of the coolest things about working for ms is seeing what the research group is all about.  i’ll be honest, for the type of money we spend on research i keep expecting the next pdc keynote to have a jetson flying car on the stage…but i digress.

i’ve been playing with one of the tools for a bit now and it is now available to the public.  the tool, groupshot, allows more control on photo montages and stitching images together.  it’s a simple concept, but this demonstrates some of the interesting research msr has going on.

from the site:

MSR Group Shot helps you create a perfect group photo out a series of group photos. With Group Shot you can select your favorite parts in each shot of the series and Group Shot will automatically build a composite image.

download groupshot