Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fishing out the phishers

A new service for fighting e-mail fraud seeks to tap the wisdom of the Internet community: Anyone will be able to submit suspected scams for others to vote up or down.

Freedom Networks LLC's OpenDNS, which provides free directory services necessary to translate a Web site's domain name into its actual numeric Internet address, developed the system to help block its users from so-called phishing sites. Such sites look real, but are actually scams to collect banking passwords and other personal information.

David Ulevitch, the company's chief executive, said the lists of phishing sites he had weren't all that good. He launched PhishTank this week under the belief the community could collectively do better — at no charge.

Users simply submit to the messages they believe are scams.

Others then examine the message and the site to which it links and decide whether it is or isn't a scam. When an item gets enough votes and the margin is wide enough, it is either dropped or classified as a phishing message. To prevent scammers from trying to game the system, votes are weighed based on how long, how often and how accurate one has rated other messages.

PhishTank isn't the first to seek the community's input to fight scams, but Ulevitch said that unlike the others, the company is offering access to the database for rivals to use for free.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nokia still global cell phone leader

The Finnish group Nokia was the world's leading provider of mobile telephones in the third quarter, capturing 35.1 per cent of the market after 32.5 per cent in the same period last year, a study by the Gartner institute has revealed.
The US firm Motorola was in second place, with market share of 20.6 per cent, up from 18.7 per cent a year earlier. Samsung of South Korea saw its share of the world market fall to 12.2 per cent from 12.5 in third quarter 2005.
Overall, worldwide sales of mobile phones rose 21.5 per cent to 251 million units in the third quarter. Gartner foresaw total sales this year of 986 million units. The most dynamic region in the third quarter was Asia-Pacific, with sales of 80.8 million units, a 54.7 per cent increase, and notably in emerging market countries such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
But in Japan mobile sales fell 4.7 per cent to 10.7 million units.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How are you spending time at your PC?

Employees at the US Department of the Interior (DOI) spend significant time on sexually explicit and gambling Web sites and even more time shopping and playing online games while at work, according to a report released this week.

Employee time spent at Internet auction and gaming sites cost the agency an
estimated 104,221 hours in lost productivity in a year, according to the report, released by the agency's Office of Inspector General. The estimated cost in lost productivity to the DOI is more than $2 million a year, the inspector general's report said.
In reviewing one week of computer-use logs at DOI, the inspector general found more than 4,700 log entries to sexually explicit or gambling Web sites, which are prohibited in the DOI's Internet use policy. In addition, the inspector general found more than 1 million log entries from 7,763 DOI employees who accessed online gaming and auction sites, the report said.

The continued access to porn and gambling sites is "due to a lack of consistency in department controls over Internet use," Earl Devaney, DOI inspector general, wrote in the report.

Surfing porn and gambling sites not only wastes time but also could expose the agency's computers to malware such as viruses or keystroke loggers, says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer of Web security firm Finjan. Porn and gambling sites "usually are the first ones to distribute malicious code," he says.
A DOI spokesperson didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the report. The agency sent a memo to all employees last week, reinforcing its Internet use policy.

The DOI, the agency that focuses on protecting US natural resources, does not expressly prohibit employees from going to online auction and gaming sites, the report said.

One employee computer had spent close to 14 hours at two Internet gaming sites during the week, another had spent about 12 hours at one gaming site, and a third had spent nearly 10 hours at a gaming site, the report said.

Despite three recent cases in which child pornography was found on DOI employees' computers, the agency has no systemwide infrastructure for Internet monitoring and blocking, the report said. Four of the agency's six bureaus surveyed in the report are using monitoring and blocking software programs "to varying degrees and with some success," the report said.

In the Bureau of Reclamation, the value of the blocking and monitoring software is "questionable," the report said. The inspector general found 148 computers in the bureau that had accessed sexually explicit Web sites during the week.
In the DOI's Office of Surface Mining, Internet-use reports are apparently generated only when a supervisor requests one, "rendering the system useless for any real proactive measures," the inspector general said.

The DOI has taken only 177 disciplinary actions against employees for inappropriate Internet use since 1999, the report said. "The low number of disciplinary actions reportedly taken... compared to the thousands of hits we found indicating user activity at inappropriate sites suggests that employees are not being held accountable," the report said.

The DOI should develop a unified approach to address inappropriate Internet use, including a more consistent use of disciplinary action, the inspector general recommended. — Agencies

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Billionaires and their zoomobiles

If I were the richest man on Earth, then I'd own the most expensive car, the priciest jewellery, latest high-tech gadgets... Probably at one time or the other you might find your thoughts veering in this direction.

According to the Forbes magazine Bill Gates is still the richest man on Earth and to add that something extra to your day's read, here's what the top billionaires on the Forbes 2005 list drive. You will be stunned to know the vehicles that Forbes' Top Ten richest people in the world are driving. Bugattis, Ferraris or BMWs are not driven by these billionaires. However there are cars like Lincoln, a Mazda, even a Dodge and Ford. It seems that for the super-rich, a vehicle is seen not as a status symbol. Status is something that these billionaires need not prove to others. They prefer to live discreetly, avoiding the limelight at all costs. Here's what the nine richest persons are driving.

William Gates III
• Net worth: $46.5 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1999 Porsche 911 Convertible; 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe
• Gates' daily driver — a 1999 Porsche 911 Convertible — is ripe for replacement, especially considering that Porsche totally redesigned the latest 911, the 997, for 2005.

Paul Allen
• Net worth: $21 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe; 1988 Mazda B-Series Pickup
• Allen can be found cruising the autobahn in his 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe.

Jim Walton
• Net worth: $18.2 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2002 Dodge Dakota Pickup; 2000 Acura Integra; 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Sport; 1999 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup; 1959 Cadillac
• For Jim Walton, vehicles are a means to an end. This might explain why his daily driver is a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup.

Alice Walton
• Net worth: $18 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch
• Alice Walton has a 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch, which provides her with an ideal blend of luxury and towing capacity.

Michael Dell
• Net worth: $16 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2004 Porsche Boxster; 2005 Hummer H2
• When the weather turns nasty, Dell enjoys the comfort and security of his latest toy — a 2005 Hummer H2 SUV

prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud
• Net worth:$23.7 billion
• Vehicles owned: Infiniti FX45; Hummer H1; Volvo XC90; Rolls-Royce Phantom; Daewoo Matiz
• A glimpse inside Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud's garage reveals a vehicular absurdity — parked next to two Daewoo Matizs are two Rolls-Royce Phantoms.

Warren Buffett
• Net worth: $44 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2001 Lincoln Town Car
Signature Series

Steven Ballmer
• Net worth: $12.1 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1998 Lincoln Continental
• Ballmer stays true to his Detroit roots by driving a 1998 Lincoln Continental.

Ingvar Kamprad
• Net worth: $23 billion
• Vehicles owned: 1993 Volvo 240 GL
• Founder of the Swedish furniture and home goods company IKEA, Kamprad owns a 13-year-old Volvo 240 GL. Though he may own a Volvo, Kamprad still takes the bus and even uses his pensioners' discount card.

Lawrence Ellison
• Net worth: $18.4 billion
• Vehicles owned: 2006 Bentley Flying Spur; Bentley Continental GT
• Ellison prefers the finer things in life, like the British luxury, style and refinement found only in a Bentley. As the most powerful luxury sedan, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur provides him with the perfect balance of driving exhilaration and four-door practicality.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Great Writer

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Inventions Bound to Fail

*The water-proof towel

*Glow in the dark sunglasses

*Solar powered flashlights

*Submarine screen doors

*A book on how to read

*Inflatable dart boards

*A dictionary index

*Dehydrated water - Just add water

*Waterproof tea bags

*The helicopter ejector seat

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ten Reasons Why TV Is Better Than The World-Wide Web

1. It doesn't take minutes to build the picture when you change TV channels.

2. When was the last time you tuned in to "Friends" and got a "Not Found 404" message?

3. There are fewer grating color schemes on TV--even on MTV.

4. The family never argues over which Web site to visit this evening.

5. A remote control has fewer buttons than a keyboard.

6. Even the worst TV shows never excuse themselves with an "Under Construction" sign.

7. "CSI" never slows down when a lot of people tune in.

8. You just can't find those cool infomercials on the Web.

9. Set-top boxes don't beep and whine when you hook up to cable.

10. You can't surf the Web from a couch with a soda in one hand and chips in the other.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ant Colony Optimization: A need of an Hour


  1. Background:

    In the real world, ants (initially) wander randomly, and when having found food, returning to their colony while laying down pheromone trails. If other ants find such a path, they are likely not to travel on at random but to follow the trail, and return and reinforce it if they eventually find food. (Details on this behaviour.)

    Over time, however, the pheromone trail starts to evaporate, thus reducing its attractive strength. The more time it takes for an ant to travel down the path and back again, the more time the pheromones have to evaporate. A short path, by comparison, gets marched over faster, and thus the pheromone density remains high as it is laid on the path as fast as it can evaporate.

    Thus, when one ant finds a good (short, in other words) path from the colony to a food source, other ants are more likely to follow that path, and positive feedback eventually leaves all the ants following a single path. The idea of the ant colony algorithm is to mimic this behavior with "simulated ants" walking around the graph representing the problem to solve.

    Ant colony optimization algorithms have been used to produce near-optimal solutions to the traveling salesman problem. They have an advantage over simulated annealing and genetic algorithm approaches when the graph may change dynamically; the ant colony algorithm can be run continuously and adapt to changes in real time. This is of interest in network routing.

  2. Particle swarm optimization

    Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is form of swarm intelligence. Imagine a swarm of insects or a school of fish. If one sees a desirable path to go (ie for food, protection, etc.) the rest of the swarm will be able to follow quickly even if they are on the opposite side of the swarm.

    This is modeled by particles in multidimensional space that have a position and a velocity. These particles are flying through hyperspace and remember the best position that they have seen. Members of a swarm communicate good positions to each other and adjust their own position and velocity based on these good positions.

  3. Swarm intelligence

    Swarm intelligence (SI) is an artificial intelligence technique based around the study of collective behaviour in decentralised, self-organised, systems. The expression "swarm intelligence" was introduced by Beni & Wang in 1989, in the context of cellular robotic systems (see also cellular automata).

    SI systems are typically made up of a population of simple agents interacting locally with one another and with their environment. Although there is normally no centralised control structure dictating how individual agents should behave, local interactions between such agents often lead to the emergence of global behaviour. Examples of systems like this can be found in nature, including ant colonies, bird flocking, animal herding, bacteria molding and fish schooling.

    Two of the most successful swarm intelligence techniques currently in existence are Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). ACO is a metaheuristic that can be used to find approximate solutions to difficult combinatorial optimization problems. In ACO artificial ants build solutions by moving on the problem graph and they, mimicking real ants, deposit artificial pheromone on the graph in such a way that future artificial ants can build better solutions. ACO has been successfully applied to an impressive number of optimization problems. PSO is a global minimisation technique for dealing with problems in which a best solution can be represented as a point or surface in an n-dimensional space. Hypotheses are plotted in this space and seeded with an initial velocity, as well as a communication channel between the particles. Particles then move through the solution space, and are evaluated according to some fitness criterion after each timestep. Over time, particles are accelerated towards those particles within their communication grouping which have better fitness values. The main advantage of such an approach over other global minimisation strategies such as simulated annealing is that the large number of members that make up the particle swarm make the technique impressively resilient to the problem of local minima.

  4. Applications of Swarm Technology

Swarm Intelligence-based techniques can be used in a number of applications. The U.S. military is investigating swarm techniques for controlling unmanned vehicles. NASA is investigating the use of swarm technology for planetary mapping. A 1992 paper by M. Anthony Lewis and George A. Bekey discusses the possibility of using swarm intelligence to control nanobots within the body for the purpose of killing cancer tumors. Swarm technology is particularly attractive because it is cheap, robust, and simple.

Further Studies can be done from these external links:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Humor from the Semiconductor Industry...

Pathetic Jokes

> Which IC packages are insincere? The plastic ones.
> How do defective diodes cheat in exams? By leakage.

> What is an affair with a Process Statistician called? Correlation.
> Why is a biscuit maker like a Die Prep engineer? They're both afraid of broken wafers.

> How did the metal atoms move out of their country? By electromigration.
> Which station is always after big-time criminals in the US? FVI.

> What do DTFS engineers with marital problems apply for? Singulation.
> Why are failure analysts not popular? Because they're fault finders.

> What is a husband who abandons his wife called? A reliability failure.
> Which assembly station always starts good in a game but loses in the end? Lead Finish.

> Why do big capacitors earn more than small ones? Because they charge more.
> Why is soggy die overcoat terminally ill? Because it wasn't cured.

> What do swimmers and narrow metal lines have in common? They're both afraid of large currents.
> How did the magnetic coil get into the Hall of Fame? By induction.

> What did the integrated circuit say when it was enlightened? IC.
> What did the diamond wheel say after it has been mounted? Close the door, I'm dressing.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

If Restaurants Functioned Like Tech Support

Patron: Waiter!

Waiter: Hi, my name is Bill, and I'll be your Support. What seems to be the problem?

Patron: There's a fly in my soup!

Waiter: Try again, maybe the fly won't be there this time.

Patron: No, it's still there.

Waiter: Maybe it's the way you're using the soup. Try eating it with a fork instead.

Patron: Even when I use the fork, the fly is still there.

Waiter: Maybe the soup is incompatible with the bowl. What kind of bowl are you using?

Patron: A SOUP bowl!

Waiter: Hmmm, that should work. Maybe it's a configuration problem. How was the bowl set up?

Patron: You brought it to me on a saucer. What has that to do with the fly in my soup?!

Waiter: Can you remember everything you did before you noticed the fly in your soup?

Patron: I sat down and ordered the Soup of the Day!

Waiter: Have you considered upgrading to the latest Soup of the Day?

Patron: You have more than one Soup of the Day each day??

Waiter: Yes, the Soup of the Day is changed every hour.

Patron: Well, what is the Soup of the Day now?

Waiter: The current Soup of the Day is tomato.

Patron: Fine. Bring me the tomato soup, and the check. I'm running late now.

[waiter leaves and returns with another bowl of soup and the check]

Waiter: Here you are, Sir. The soup and your check.

Patron: This is potato soup.

Waiter: Yes, the tomato soup wasn't ready yet.

Patron: Well, I'm so hungry now, I'll eat anything.

[waiter leaves.]

Patron: Waiter! There's a gnat in my soup!

The check:
Soup of the Day . . . . . . . $5.00
Upgrade to newer Soup of the Day. . $2.50
Access to support . . . . . . $1.00

Monday, November 13, 2006

Installing Bluetooth mobile phone in Windows XP

To install a Bluetooth mobile phone

If your mobile phone can also communicate with your computer over a Bluetooth wireless network to perform tasks such as contact synchronization or file transfer, then use Bluetooth Devices in Control Panel to install your mobile phone.

  1. Attach or turn on the Bluetooth radio adapter for your Windows XP computer.
  2. Set up your mobile phone so that Windows XP can find it. Setting up your phone includes:
    • Turning it on
    • Making it discoverable (or visible)
    • Giving it a name (optional)

    If you are not sure how to set up your phone to make it discoverable, read the documentation for the phone.

  3. Open Bluetooth Devices in Control Panel.
  4. On the Devices tab, click Add.
  5. Follow the steps in the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Operating on Engineers

Five surgeons were taking a coffee break and were discussing their work.

The first said, "I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered."

The second said, "I think librarians are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is in alphabetical order."

The third said, "I like to operate on electricians. You open them up and everything inside is color-coded."

The fourth one said, "I like to operate on lawyers. They're heartless spineless, gutless, and their heads and their tails are interchangeable."

The fifth surgeon says "I like engineers . They always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bermuda Triangle

What's so special about the Bermuda Triangle?

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is an area of the north Atlantic Ocean where it is popularly believed a significant number of ships and aircraft have disappeared under highly unusual circumstances. It has become popular through its representation by mass media as an area of paranormal activity where the known laws of physics are violated. It has even been suggested that extraterrestrial beings are responsible for some of the disappearances.

Where is the Bermuda Triangle?

As its name suggests, the Bermuda Triangle is approximately triangular in shape, with three corners roughly defined by Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its size is nearly half a million square miles. The Triangle marks a corridor of the north Atlantic stretching northward from the West Indies along the North American seaboard as far as the Carolinas. The Gulf Stream, an area of volatile weather, also passes through the Triangle as it leaves the West Indies.

How did the Bermuda Triangle receive its spooky connotations?

The area achieved its current fame largely through the efforts of Charles Berlitz in his 1974 book The Bermuda Triangle and its subsequent film adaptation. The book recounts a long series of mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft, in particular the December 1945 loss of five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers in the infamous Flight 19 incident. The book was a bestseller and included several theories about the cause of the disappearances, including accidents due to high traffic volumes; natural storms; "temporal holes"; the lost empire of Atlantis; transportation by extraterrestrial technology; and other natural or supernatural causes.

What about Flight 19's disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle?

One of the best known, and probably the most famous Bermuda Triangle incidents concerns the loss of Flight 19, a squadron of five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on a training flight out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 5, 1945. According to Berlitz, the flight consisted of expert naval aviators who, after reporting a number of odd visual effects, simply disappeared. However, a more likely scenario indicate that the flight commander became confused and disoriented, ultimately leading his flight out to sea where they ran out of gas and ditched in stormy night time waters. And, although his student-pilots believed he was mistaken as to their location, he was the Flight Leader, and he was in command. By the time he took one of the trainee pilots advice to fly west, they were too far out to ever make landfall.

Is the Bermuda Triangle really a dangerous place?

The marine insurer Lloyd's of London has determined the "triangle" to be no more dangerous than any other area of ocean, and does not charge unusual rates for passage through the region. Coast Guard records confirm their conclusion. In fact, the number of supposed disappearances is relatively insignificant considering the number of ships and aircraft which pass through on a regular basis. Additionally, in an area frequented by tropical storms, the number of disappearances that occur are mostly neither disproportionate, unlikely, nor mysterious.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Programmer or Engineer?

What's the difference?     By: David K. Every For the whole story browse to  
Some people call themselves "Programmers" and others call themselves "Software Engineers". "Engineer" seems to have more prestige in our society, so more people try to call themselves Engineers (even if they aren't). Of course anybody can call themselves whatever they want -- so what people call themselves makes little difference; however, there is a distinct difference between the two.

In order to explain the differences, I have to caricaturize both to the extreme -- to contrast them. Realize that most people are a combination of both attributes -- but you can at least get some ideas on what to look for, if you know the extremes.

There are needs for both (engineers and programmers) - and different tasks require more of one or the other. Most tasks require only a few engineers and quite a few programmers. The problem is that many managers don't understand the difference, or hire the wrong ones for a job.

Programming is not hard - it is tedious. You need to be able to break complex things down, into a long series of simple steps. That is it. How you approach that problem will define whether you are a programmer or an engineer. So the biggest difference between the two is philosophical -- and like most philosophical differences, it can lead to tension. Arrogant types (on either side) can get into these little ego-driven superiority complexes that drive the other side nuts, and some pretend that the "others" are idiots. They aren't idiots -- they just have different goals, different motivations, and different philosophies.

Engineers are more experienced (mature (1)) than programmers (especially in software and design theory ), but that doesn't mean that they are who you need for a task (or that they are always better). Engineers are the "designers", the ones that have been around for years and understand lots of different concepts, or understand some specialties really well. Most of an engineers knowledge is NOT applicable to the task at hand directly, but they draw on their experience and education to solve major projects -- all while avoiding pitfalls. (In complex systems there are many pitfalls, and some can cost projects "years" and millions of dollars).

(1) Don't confuse age with maturity -- many people never grow up. Just because a guy is a 50 year old coder / programmer, doesn't mean he grew past the "hacker" phase - and there are quite a few 20 year old engineers. So look at their personality and philosophy, as well as their experience and education, to figure out which they are likely to be.
Engineers are the ones that want to (or at least understand the need to) design, document, create processes and procedures to avoid future problems. They want take a project from conception to completion (with all the steps in between). They tend to be more "anal" types, who want to focus on the details (in engineering the devil is in the details). Engineers are often more academics (will to do more research before attacking a problems). Engineers will know how to set schedules, and follow them. Inexperienced engineers greatest flaw is that they will sometimes "over-engineer" a solution, and try to solve things that may never be real problems (they will spend time and money solving issues that won't be a real problem for a decade, and then the technology or company goals will have changed enough that it wouldn't have been a problem anyway). Engineers are also the ones that slow a project down in the early phases (spending more time on research, design, analysis, documentation, and debate) in order to avoid potential pitfalls (and save time and money) in the later stages of a project. This is great for long term project costs (and you do get the time/money back) -- but we have a lot of short-term thinkers in society (and business). Engineers are the mature "plodders" who will get a project done and avoid surprises (by thinking them all out before they start) -- and they make sure that its design and documentation is such that a project will be maintainable. Long-term goals (thinkers) -- they do "useless" things like put in automated test code, create "coding standards", or want to do code-reviews (which often turn out to be good ideas in the long run). Most of the surprises (and costs) in software development is because there weren't enough engineers (or they weren't good enough engineers), or people weren't listening to them.

Programmers are more the down and dirty types. They used to be called "hackers", but that now has a new meaning (2). Now days they are more likely to refer to themselves as Coders or Code-Jockeys. Programmers don't have to know everything first, they just enjoy the thrill of solving the problems as they come. They are more the eccentric artists of the computer world. They often spend days without sleep and living on junk food and Mountain Dew, just "doing" -- Go, Go, Go! Of course, they often spend those weeks solving problems that have been solved before (if they had just read a book and researched the issues before hand) -- but sometimes (occasionally) they solve problems in whole new (and ingenuous) ways (and better than the canned solutions), or they solve problems that have never been solved before. They are the impetuous youths of the world -- that used energy and vigor to try compensate for a lack of experience and design (and they succeed). They don't know what they can't do, so they sometimes do the impossible.
(2) Hacking used to mean (in the 70's and early 80's) programmers who would dive into a problem (without documentation or a full understanding of the problem, etc.) and just program their way out. Not much thought went design (because they could think and implement faster than they could design). They didn't need "no stinking manuals", they didn't do documentation (the code was self-explanatory), they just solved problems their own way. However, that name took on a different connotation when many people with this "hacking" personality, started using that persistence to break security, or to figure out how to violate the phone company in 16 different ways. (This brute force thinking is great for breaking security). Now "hackers" refers to that small sub-set of hackers that are often doing criminal acts, like hacking into places (instead of hacking code).
Programmers will dive into something before they fully understand the ramifications, and will often cost companies lots of money because of that lack of experience (understanding), and the "mistakes" or wasted energy. Engineers like to say "Work smart, not hard". Many programmers love programming so much that they will work harder, just because they enjoy programming and don't like the other stuff (designing, documenting, supporting, adding in test code, marketing, corporate politics, most of humanity, etc.). Programmers don't tend to like schedules (those are for bean counters), and they will promise the world (and find out later than they can't deliver, or will kill themselves trying to deliver). The quality of their results is all over the board (from crappy to superb, often with elements of both) -- but usually, their products are usable, but maintainable only by them. When programmers leave a company that is programmer heavy (and they do), or they go on to the next new thing (which is always more exciting than what they are doing), it cost a fortune to ever fix or change that "old" product again (since no one understands what the hell is going on in their code, and there is no documentation or design to help). posted at the geek's blog

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