The “honest and reasonable mistake”

Regarding the incident where Howard Shaw pleaded guilty to having paid sex with an underage girl, I like how the lawyer puts it:

His lawyer Mr Harpreet Singh argued that Shaw had made an “honest and reasonable mistake.” He said that there was “no pre-meditation nor intention” as the offence was committed “unwittingly”. Mr Singh called for a non-custodial sentence as Shaw’s case “falls at or very near, the lowest end of the culpability spectrum”.

The former Singapore Environment Council executive director was among 48 men who were earlier charged with paid sex with the 17-year-old.

The misconceptions of evolution

Addressing some misconceptions and explaining some of the basics.

Evolution

I tried so hard to explain to a friend what evolution is last time. This video explains a lot better than I did. Makes me feel like starting a conversation on evolution again. Evolution is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts. It was never about religion. It’s happening all the time in bacteria and in humans too. It upsets me when people link evolution to something anti-religious.

Did you know the ‘Referer’ in HTTP is spelt wrongly?

Well it is. Here is what’s written in the RFC 2616 – Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:

The Referer[sic] request-header field allows the client to specify, for the server’s benefit, the address (URI) of the resource from which the Request-URI was obtained (the “referrer”, although the header field is misspelled.) The Referer request-header allows a server to generate lists of back-links to resources for interest, logging, optimized caching, etc. It also allows obsolete or mistyped links to be traced for maintenance. The Referer field MUST NOT be sent if the Request-URI was obtained from a source that does not have its own URI, such as input from the user keyboard.

[code lang=”bash”]Referer = “Referer” “:” ( absoluteURI | relativeURI )[/code]

Example:

[code lang=”bash”]Referer: http://www.w3.org/hypertext/DataSources/Overview.html[/code]

If the field value is a relative URI, it SHOULD be interpreted relative to the Request-URI. The URI MUST NOT include a fragment. See section 15.1.3 for security considerations.

The referrer, or HTTP referrer — also known by the common misspelling referer that occurs as an HTTP header — identifies, from the point of view of an internet webpage or resource, the address of the webpage (commonly the URL, the more generic URI or the i18n updated IRI) of the resource which links to it. By checking the referrer, the new page can see where the request came from. Referrer logging is used to allow websites and web servers to identify where people are visiting them from, for promotional or security purposes. Referrer is a popular tool to combat cross-site request forgery, but such security mechanisms do not work when the referrer is disabled. Referrer is widely used for statistical purposes. (Source: Wikipedia)

Google explains why all sites may harm your computer

This is Google’s response for informing all their users that every site on this world wide web is harmful to their computer. “Very simply, human error,” they confessed. It’s a huge mistake and definitely shaken people’s confidence a little. But by being truthful about the whole incident without using the word “whoops” (like Dreamhost) is good PR still.

“This site may harm your computer” on every search result?!?!

What happened? Very simply, human error. Google flags search results with the message “This site may harm your computer” if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously. We do this to protect our users against visiting sites that could harm their computers. We maintain a list of such sites through both manual and automated methods. We work with a non-profit called StopBadware.org to come up with criteria for maintaining this list, and to provide simple processes for webmasters to remove their site from the list.

We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here’s the human error), the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs. Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file. Since we push these updates in a staggered and rolling fashion, the errors began appearing between 6:27 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and began disappearing between 7:10 and 7:25 a.m., so the duration of the problem for any particular user was approximately 40 minutes. (Source: Google Blog)

I was a little troubled yesterday and had to use Yahoo for searches but I wasn’t too concern. Here’s StopBadware’s side of the story.

George W. Bush: The Greatest Hits

Here’s George Bush with his favorite easter bunny (not photoshoped):

George Bush with the easter bunny

All politicians are prone to make slips of the tongue in the heat of the moment – and President George W Bush has made more than most.

The word “Bushism” has been coined to label his occasional verbal lapses during eight years in office, which come to an end on 20 January. (Source: BBC)

And out of the list of memorable quotes compiled by BBC, here are some worthy mentions:

  1. “They misunderestimated me.” 
    Bentonville, Arkansas, 6 November, 2000
  2. “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”
    Nashville, Tennessee, 17 September, 2002
  3. “I want to thank my friend, Senator Bill Frist, for joining us today. He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me.”
    Nashville, Tennessee, 27 May, 2004
  4. “The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the – the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice.”
    Washington DC, 27 October, 2003
  5. “You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.”
    CBS News, Washington DC, 6 September, 2006
  6. “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”
    Townsend, Tennessee, 21 February, 2001
  7. “It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it.”
    Reuters, 5 May, 2000
  8. “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYN’s aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.”
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 6 September, 2004
  9. “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”
    Saginaw, Michigan, 29 September, 2000
  10. “That’s George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three – three or four books about him last year. Isn’t that interesting?”
    Speaking to reporter Kai Diekmann, Washington DC, 5 May, 2006
  11. “And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody. To show you how important this one is, I read it, and [Tony Blair] read it.”
    On the publication of the Baker-Hamilton Report, Washington DC, 7 December, 2006
  12. “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.”
    Washington DC, 12 May, 2008

I think I’m going to miss his jokes when he leaves. Obama doesn’t make too many funny mistakes.

Funny Chinglish – Translate server error

I think it’s great that everyone these days is making an effort to translate things to another language. Globalization’s really happening, so are mistranslations:

Translation server error in restaurant

TranslateServerError.jpg

Erm, it’s the thoughts that counts right?

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[Apologies to the previous post error, it’s a strange WordPress bug’s fault. Not me not me!]