March 2003 Archives
According to this report, Canada Customs has seized for review this video that is critical of American foreign policy. While not as embarrassing as their seizure of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, I really really wish this problem would get fixed; Canada Customs has proved, quite successfully, that it is unable to fairly apply even the bad law it is charged to uphold.
The Supreme Court's Ruling is interesting reading (no, really!). Note that this ruling doesn't hold that the Custom's law itself is bad, just the application of it. A lot appears to depend on this case, which essentially defines a national community test for obscenity.
As soon as something is broken--whether it is a bug in the code, a problem with your process, a bad requirement, bad documentation--something you know is just wrong, you really have to stop and address it right then and there. Just fix it. And if you just can't fix it, put up police tape around it. Nail plywood over it. Make sure everybody knows it is broken, that they shouldn't trust it, shouldn't go near it. It is as important to show you are on top of the situation as it is to actually fix the problem. As soon as something is broken and not fixed, it starts spreading a malaise across the team. "Well, that's broken. Oh I just broke that. Oh well."
They discuss this in their book (which all programmers should read) as well, but I like the technical debt label.