Lyle Seaman

Watching the Days

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This week, we saw some unexpected results in UK politics. Nothing was more unexpected than the dark-horse results that Richard and a few anonymice remarked on.

"A glorious victory for the Undefined party!" crowed Richard "The UK general election has seen a surge of support for minor parties."

That Movie with Whatsisname

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This week's special edition is a series of Error'ds specifically dealing with trains, which geeks are for some reason especially taken with. It should go without saying that the reason these are predominantly from Europe is not an indication their infosystems are especially bad, but rather as we all know, US passenger trains are so little used that there is far less opportunity to discover any wtfs.

This entry by Robert G. requires explanation. London North East Rail has a novel (six years old now but still new to me) point-of-use display of seat reservations. In my train experience, a reserved seat ticket only identifies a certain car but not a specific seat, so this is pretty slick. On LNER, if you don't have a seat reservation but you're traveling in the specified class, you can take any seat labelled "Available" but you'll need to vacate it at the "until XXX" station. The two rows in Robert's fuzzy image read "Current" and "Next", which should help to understand what has happened here. The two red lights indicate "Reservations". As Robert puts it, "My train was part cancelled, and a replacement coach was provided to where it was now starting from. Unfortunatly the coach arrived a few minutes after the train departed, so a new train was needed. Fortunatly the TOC's (Train Operating Company) app allows seat reservations to made up to 10 minutes from departure and the next train was in half an hour - given it's a long journey I was going to get a reservation. Apparently several other people had the same idea, resulting in two of us getting a confirmation (both email and in app) for the same seat." Apparently Robert reserved Edinburgh->KingsX and a random competitor reserved Newcastle->KingsX at the same time. It seems that LNER's seat reservation application had a failure of transactional integrity. Hopefully it was eventually consistent.

Up In Smoke

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Happy Friday to those who celebrate. Enjoy it while it lasts, because Greg L. has some bad news. "It was nice hanging out with all of you, but it looks like the Sun is scheduled to expire Sunday morning." It's worse than that: the laws of physics are being replaced.


Just Beastly

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Not to be outdone by Michael R., another prolific participant styles himself The Beast In Black. A handful of his experiences follow here. [psst. Mr Black. Check out this explanation of a half-closed interval)

Buyer Beast bemoans "I knew that the global situation was bad, but when Amazon starts offering disdiscounts (or discountcounts, perhaps?) you know that the world is truly up the toilet without a paddle roll."

All Michael

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One of our most dedicated readers, Michael R., is also one of our most dedicated contributors, sometimes sending us several submissions in a single day. We haven't featured all of them, but now we're making up for that. Today, it's wall-to-wall Michael, mostly food misadventures. Michael might tell you we've cooked the plot, but he can't prove it.

On leaving France (it's a long story), Michael was confused at the airport. "Yo Sushi at Charles de Gaulle Terminal, please make up your mind about what payment types you accept." I think this one is pretty clear; just because a sign says they accept one form of payment it doesn't mean they categorically reject all others. So if your card is on either sign, you're covered. I hope he got fed.

Just a Taste

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I'm fresh out of snark this week, so I'm relying on the rest of you to carry the load for me. Tote that barge, etc.

First up is a timely comment from an anonymous reader: "Even Kronos admits their software is a pain."

Beer and Peanuts

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We got a lot of good submissions this week, including some examples of test-in-prod we're saving for a special edition. Not too many of the usual NaN/Null/Undefined sort, but we did also get a small rash of time failures.

But frist, Henk highlights the curious case of QNAP's email subscription management page (which appears to be outsourced). "QNAP surely does not want to lose me!" he hoped.

It's Our Party

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...and we'll cry though we really don't want to.

Celebrant Joe cheered "Happy birthday DailyWTF! My gift to you, yet another date related Error'd for the pile."