Open link in Google Docs

Since hearing about the way to link to a page in Google's Document Viewer, I've been using it enough that I want a quick way to do it. So I added this to the end of the [Link Popup Menu] section in the menu/standard_menu (1).ini file that Opera created when I made a custom menu setup:

Item, "Open link in Google Docs"= Go to page, "http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=%l"

Very handy for browsing Government websites, where most of the useful information is hidden inside Word files.


Mark Coughlan on political donations in Ireland

This is a wonderful article, although the content is somewhat sickening. I can add this to my short list of political litmus tests, along with support for the Taoiseach's Eleven (e.g. pages 47-48 of the 2004 Report on Seanad Reform), the Voteless Dáil (moved by Mary Hanafin), and the Unnumbered Envelopes.


Job titles

During this morning's Leader's Questions in the Dáil, Éamon Gilmore accidentally coined the fortuitous phrase back bensioners, a portmanteau of back benchers and pensioners. Sadly, the official transcript only records his immediate correction of back benchers.

In case it isn't obvious: Government back benchers arrive in the Dáil chamber long enough to press a button according to the Chief Whip's direction. Once upon a time they would have insisted that they know what they're voting for, but that's untenable now that the Order of Business routinely include orders to have a single vote on whichever amendments a Minister wants.

So, Government backbenchers do no work but they continue to get paid well. Back bensioners indeed.

Failure recovery

I've been categorizing distributed system designs into four groups, according to how they recover from the loss of a single critical ele...