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Welcome to the day that comes only once every four years.

6:36 AM This is an article about a phone hacker (“phreaker”) from Boston who’s 17 and blind from birth. While I didn’t read the entire article and only skimmed through it, I did notice something peculiar in it. On the first page the author notes that:

Because he’s underage, is not reporting Li’l Hacker’s last name. His first name is Matthew, and he poses a unique challenge to the federal justice system, because he is blind from birth.

But then on page 2 he writes:

To Matt’s family, the teen’s interest in telephony seemed harmless. His 18-year-old brother would read him articles on hacking, according to Lotus. And while Matt was on the party lines, his mother, Amy Kahloul, could sometimes be heard in the background playfully imitating his frequent pose as an AT&T technician.

Maybe that’s her maiden name (which in fact it is, as I learned from other users’ comments), but doesn’t revealing the mother’s name pretty much compromise the identity of underage Matt? Like I said I’m not the first one to notice this discrepancy. Here’s a link to a couple of comments from other readers about this (apparently Matt’s initials and birthdate are revealed in the article as well).

10:41 AM Came across a book, Getting Real, on developing, designing, programming – pretty much doing anything – minimally. In the section on staffing for your company or project, the authors state that when you’re choosing between two prospective employees, always choose the one that’s a better writer, because…

being a good writer is about more than words. Good writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know what to omit. They think clearly. And those are the qualities you need.

And that…

Effective, concise writing and editing leads to effective, concise code, design, emails, instant messages, and more.

There’s a bunch of other initially-unintuitive stuff in the book, like “Don’t follow the leader”.

10:23 PM Watched No Country for Old Men. I thought it was a bit slow.

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