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Derek Waters
Attended University of Adelaide
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Derek Waters

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The link goes to a series of awesome 360 degree panoramas of the ESA part of the ISS (Russian section coming soon, apparently). I was struck by just how much stuff there is everywhere. Although it looks a mess, I assume (hope) that there is order in the chaos. It also took me a couple of modules before I got over the "how come there's stuff stuck to the roof" feeling. I like the little human touches too - the mission patches and the commemoration of killed astronauts.

Also featuring a cameo from +Samantha Cristoforetti !
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Derek Waters

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When did Buzzfeed start doing long reads?
Radiation. Government conspiracy. Mass hysteria. There are plenty of theories as to why the residents of a tiny Kazakh mining region keep falling asleep for days at a time, but no answers. BuzzFeed...
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I guess it's better that all those people clicking on the "this one simple trick..." are funding this than the money going to shareholders' yachts?
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I've made this a couple of times now - beef braised in Pedro Ximenez. Verrry tasty.

Recipe here:

http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/cook/recipe/pedro-ximenez-braised-beef-and-mushroom-pie-20150511-3vrhw.html

Although I'm not sure about the pastry - it's probably my cooking skills, but both times I've tried it its been far too dry.
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Derek Waters

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Microsoft Sharepoint
Or, what the &%^*ing $^($!!

I've had the great misfortune to have been working with Sharepoint for the past few weeks, using the REST interface to try and pull (and push) data out. Now, I'm doing this in PHP, so I know all about inconsistency and pain, but I think Sharepoint may even outdo PHP for obscurity. Here's a list of the stuff I can remember off the top of my head, starting with Sharepoint 2013:

* Lists in Sharepoint have ids, which are GUIDs. But items in the list have ids that are sequential(ish). But those items also have GUIDs. However, you can't use the GUIDs to look up items in the list. There is no way to look up an item purely using its GUID, you need the id of the list it belongs to.

* You can retrieve a list of the Fields being displayed in a list. But, even if some of the fields are built-in ones (checked out by, created on, name etc) they are all of the type "Custom Field". There is no way to differentiate between user-created custom metadata fields and builtin default fields.

* When you retrieve an item's metadata, only the Title is returned, even though Title is a non-mandatory value and is different to Name (which is mandatory).

* For some reason you can't just use a list id in the REST url (http://site/lists/<id>/) like normal REST interfaces, you need to use http://site/lists(guid'<id>')  (this may be due to the odata specification, I don't know enough about it)

* If a list or file name contains a space, the "ServerRelativeUrl" value returned in any REST requests is an invalid URL as it is not properly URL encoded. But you can't just URL encode the whole string as it may contain valid URL path separators so you have to break it into bits and URL encode each bit before putting it back together.

* When you try to contact the REST interface, if you happen to specify your POST Content-Type as "application/json" instead of "application/json;odata=verbose" you get the very helpful error message "The required version of WcfDataServices is missing". What?

* When you try to add a file, you can't just POST the filedata to the list, you instead need to post it to a default folder called "rootfolder" with extra add parameters:
- http://site/lists/GetByTitle("MyList")/rootfolder/files/add.." rather than just POSTing to http://site/lists/GetByTitle("MyList")/

* If you POST content to a list, you must indicate the "type" of the item. The "type" can't just be "SP.ListItem", it's a type specific to the list called "SP.<MyListNameWithoutSpaces>ListItem".

* Even when you first create an item, you need to specify the "concurrency" value If-Match: or the creation will fail.

* If you are POSTing data, you need to provide a "Request Digest" token (presumably this is like a "hidden" form field used by the Sharepoint web interface). If you don't provide it, you get the helpful error: "The security validation for this page is invalid and might be corrupted"


I was then lucky enough to have to support the Sharepoint 2010 REST interface too:

* Of course, you'd think the Sharepoint 2010 REST interface would be somewhat similar to the 2013 one. It is actually completely different to the 2013 one, although 2013 seems to maintain a backwards compatible version.

* You cannot obtain any information about a list in Sharepoint 2010 other than its name.

* Lists can only be referenced by name in Sharepoint 2010. When you do, the name should have all spaces stripped out (I don't know what happens if you create both "My Sharepoint List" and "MySharepointList").

* Unlike Sharepoint 2013, in 2010 both "Name" and "Title" are returned for a document.

Why yes, I really did need to get that off my chest, thanks for asking.
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Thanks, +Noelle M​! Yeah, the code is done now, but I did have to get this off my chest. :)
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Very cool indeed.
 
This is the coolest thing I've seen today. It is exactly what it says.
Stuff in Space requires WebGL and Web Worker support. Groups. Clear; GPS; Iridium; GLONASS; Galileo; Iridium 33 Collision Debris; Ariane Sylda. (none). WAFFLESAT-5 R/B. Int'l Designator. 1998-067A. Type. PAYLOAD. Apogee. 100 km. Perigee. 100 km. Inclination ...
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Yeah, great to see how we've cluttered up space with junk and sattelites. I mean, it's a cool site, but it's concerning to see all that stuff.
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Derek Waters

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I finally found someone who paid up for the .sucks TLD extortion racket.

Sharepoint.sucks just runs a Bing search (yes, really!) for Sharepoint. Which is bound to change the minds of anyone who was going to check Sharepoint.sucks.

(bing.sucks also does a Bing search for Bing... meta)
SharePoint development | JavaScript and REST API ... https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dn833469.aspx. Use SharePoint to engage with people, share ideas, and reinvent the way you work together. Find in-depth developer resources, how-to documentation, training, videos .
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As for why I was looking at Sharepoint.sucks, well there will be a long future post about that.
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Derek Waters

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Survey fail.
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So: Which top five attributes, if any.. Uh never mind.
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I can't believe I'm saying so, but kudos to the Australian Tax Office. Although the new online myTax site was initially horribly overwhelmed, when I finally did get to use it, the online tax return process was really good. Almost everything was prefilled, I basically pressed Next on a few pages, entered two values it didn't know and pressed Submit. 

It's waaay better than their clunky old eTax software. All those questions you had to answer along the lines of "Are you a foreign national who has earned partially-franked dividends for more than four and less than twelve weeks?" are gone, unless you opt in to add further details.
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Yeah we used it for our tax and found it pretty quick and the returns were in our accounts within 7 working days. Defiantely less hassle than e tax!
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Derek Waters

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What?
The skull of legendary vampire film director FW Murnau was reported missing from his family plot, as some speculate possible occult motives for theft
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Derek Waters

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Renewable energy technologies includes: [...] technologies (including enabling technologies) that are related to renewable energy technologies

Is it any wonder the government of the day can just decide what Clean Energy is when the laws are drafted this badly?
Commonwealth Numbered Acts. [Index] [Table] [Search] [Search this Act] [Notes] [Noteup] [Previous] [Next] [Download] [Help]. CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE CORPORATION ACT 2012 (NO. 104, 2012) - SECT 60. Clean energy technologies. (1) Technologies that are any one or more of the following are clean energy ...
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Yeah, even getting to that recursive definition took me a lot of wandering (and wondering).

It made me think of directed graph cycle detection. That's software engineering for you.
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Derek Waters

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Wait, what?


Disclaimer: I never install Windows using a Microsoft Passport Windows Live ID Outlook.com account anyway, but still...
Tell a pal your password ... and their FB mates will get it too
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Have him in circles
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