Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reporting on FOO Camp 06

The events at O'Reilly's FOO Camp 06, and a brilliant piece on Applying Web 2.0: Leveraging Network Effects for Fun and Profit. Intentional or not, many of these techniques for embracing the power of networks have been used by sites like MySpace and YouTube to a considerable measure of success.

There's some real 'secret sauce' here - well worth perusing.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Working with Web Services in Adobe Flex 2

Flex 2 may be the hot new contender for King of the Hill in development frameworks, here's one example why

"Flex automatically does the work of transferring a class type when using remote objects (one of the many reasons to use remote objects). However, when using SOAP Web Services, strong typing is broken because the class associations aren't automatically transferred to internal Flex classes. It's unfortunate, and leaves a bit of a gap when trying to use strong typing and compile-time error checking

I figured there had to be a better way. After hunting around a bit, I came up with a solution that worked for my project. All that was needed was a generic object transfer utility to translate the incoming objects into typed classes that are created on the Flex side. Once the transfer objects have been written on the Flex side, then class introspection can be used to dynamically populate the values from untyped Web Service objects. Let me show you how I did it."

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Google chief joins Apple's board

Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt has been appointed as a board member of Apple Computers. What's next - Google on the iPod?

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Celebrity Fish Dies at Chicago Aquarium

CHICAGO -- A huge Shedd Aquarium grouper that became an instant celebrity -- and inspiration to cancer patients -- after becoming the first fish in history to receive chemotherapy and bounce back from cancer has died.

The Shedd Aquarium is really beautiful, we've been there a number of times, and always loved it.
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The Grouper was 24 when he died Tuesday.

The 154-pound "super grouper" was abandoned at the Chicago aquarium in 1987, left at the reception desk in a bucket. Shedd officials nursed the fish -- then a she -- to health and put her in a tank. Bubba changed gender in the mid-1990s, which is not uncommon for certain kinds of fish.

Bubba was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, and two years later, Shedd officials took the unprecedented step of administering chemotherapy.

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BoingBoing and Penis Pumps

Boing Boi-oi-oing

This is in reference to the laff-out-loud penis pump being mistaken for a bomb report:)

Why would he need that in his hand-baggage anyway?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

India-bound NWA Flight Turned Back, Escorted To Amsterdam By F-16s

Things seem to have been a bit more out of sync on the Wednesday flight. The pilot, while over German airspace soon after taking off from Amsterdam, requested permission to return, and also asked for a military escort. It appears seven passengers have been detained

I think I've taken this flight - scary, but probably nothing serious.

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AJAX Will Make it Mainstream, I Promise

Ajax does not solve the world's problems, or make Web 1.0 bad business ideas, like portal start pages, suddenly good ideas. "The thought that adding drag & drop to a portal homepage and not having any rich integration with a family of sites is a viable business seems pretty absurd to me..."

I like the ending, on the value of RSS feeds to geeks, and only geeks, or more precisely, information mavens:

Subscribing to feeds seems cool to geeks because it solves a geek problem; having too many sources of information to keep track of and optimizing how this is done. The average person doesn't think it's cool to be able to keep track of 10 - 20 websites a day using a some tool because they aren't interested in 10 - 20 websites on a daily basis in the first place. I'm sure a light sprinkling of AJAX can solve that problem as well.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Airport security measures ever make you feel stripped naked?

UK Airline, obviously angry about the security measures that have cost them money, post pictures of naked people on their site as a joke. "New Airport Security Procedures
Puts The Fun Back Into Flying, Doesn't it?"

The image says it all

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Digg Signature Creator - Generate your own personal Digg Signature

DiggSig allows Digg users to enter their username and will generate a personal forum signature, including their latest Digg, Rank, Stories Dugg, Stories Submitted in addition to other useful stats from their account. Signatures automatically update so to show your latest stats. Works on MySpace, forums, personal websites, etc.

I really like this. Very Ajax page too. Here's my DiggSig:


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Blinks - Homer Simpson in Just One Second

Clear Channel Radio has found its first buyer for blinks - Fox Broadcasting Co. is the first to purchase and use two-second radio spots in an effort to promote the fall season premiers of "Prison Break," "House" and "The Simpsons."

What would a one-second ad sound like? What would it look like? Could it only work for high-recognition items that already have an associative reaction in consumers?

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Meebo for your website! - ajax im version 2

ajax im is a complete instant messaging system for your website; akin to Meebo without needing to pay for tons of expensive servers. This system uses Javascript/PHP/MySQL to allow users to communicate between users of the ajax im script on your site. No refreshing of the page is ever needed, as everything is updated in real-time via the JavaScript.

Looks cool, will check it out for Desicritics

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Pricing Cuts Hit Nascent Online Video Market

In a testament to just how quickly the online video market is evolving, Guba is already starting to cut pricing. With competition building, the novelty alone of being able to buy videos isn't enough to help establish a name in this space

The Internet is the fastest price leveler and competition de-differentiator in the history of, like, forever, on a macro scale, as opposed to local levelers.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Pakistan forfeits Test, Mushy's for it

This says it all

It was the first time in 129 years, and 1,814 matches, that a Test had been conceded by forfeit.

Given that it's Darrell Hair, one wonders who's really at fault here. Also worth noting,

In an interview on Pakistani television, team captain Inzaman-ul-Haq said that he'd spoken to Mr Musharraf on the telephone and that the president had offered his full support for the actions the team had taken at the match.

Open Source AJAX ToDo List Ready To Go

* Javascript effect with
* Drag&drop each element
* Almost full Ajax
* full Css layout
* Javascript calendar (
* Optimized for firefox 1.5
* Drag&drop each element

- Needs work, but easy to add to one's website

I'm installing it tonight on my machine - will report back

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Snakes On A Blog - A Premiere Report From The Snake-Blogger

This guy blogged about the movie pre-release for nine months, you can imagine his report on the premiere is long, and detailed - and almost post-coital at the end.

Haven't seen the movie yet - will and then let's see...

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nice Google Maps cum PHP Demo

A Good Google Maps tutorial using PHP and MySQL that breaks down the code involved quite well.


  • An Apache webserver running PHP and MySQL (other webserver with PHP and MySQL will probabely do as well).
  • A table in your database with lat, lon and description fields.
  • Some basic HTML and PHP knowledge.
We are going to use PHP to dynamically create an HTML document with the appropriate Google Maps javascript code.

It works.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Kingdom of Nouns

A fine read on the dangers of program design relying too much on a single metaphor, like Object-Oriented Programming and Java

The residents of the Kingdom of Java aren't merely happy — they're bursting with pride!

StateManager.getConsiderationSetter("Noun Oriented Thinking", State.HARMFUL).run()

Or, as it is said outside the Kingdom of Java, "Noun Oriented Thinking Considered Harmful".

Object Oriented Programming puts the Nouns first and foremost. Why would you go to such lengths to put one part of speech on a pedestal? Why should one kind of concept take precedence over another? It's not as if OOP has suddenly made verbs less important in the way we actually think. It's a strangely skewed perspective. As my friend Jacob Gabrielson once put it, advocating Object-Oriented Programming is like advocating Pants-Oriented Clothing.

Java's static type system, like any other, has its share of problems. But the extreme emphasis on noun-oriented thought processes (and consequently, modeling processes) is more than a bit disturbing. Any type system will require you to re-shape your thoughts somewhat to fit the system, but eliminating standalone verbs seems a step beyond all rationale or reason.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

If you want tech-political-science fiction, your best bet is the writings of Neal Stephenson. Of course, this is not to discount many other fine writers, science fiction tends to coalesce around political themes often enough, but Neal blends an awareness of historical perspective with a keen sense of what may come, or might come.

Reason has a good review of his Baroque Trilogy, coupled with an interview

Stephenson has a substantial libertarian following as well, and not merely because the decentralized, post-statist social systems he describes in Snow Crash and The Diamond Age (1995) are so radically different from modern government. The Baroque Cycle is, among other things, a close look at the rise of science, the market, and the nation-state, themes close to any classical liberal’s heart. Reading it means reading three long, encyclopedic books and maybe spending half a year in an earlier century. It’s not the kind of thing the average reader takes on lightly. But once you find you have a taste for Stephenson’s broad range of obsessive interests, his fine ear for period and modern English prose and speech, and his gift for making the improbably comic seem eminently human, the question no longer is whether you’ll read his books—it’s when.

Also available today is a sort-of review of Snow Crash. advocating a 'forced disarmament' of Muslims to solve terrorism.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah uses a combination of military might, ruthlessness, ethnic solidarity, and religious fanaticism to form an entity more powerful than the state of Lebanon, and arguably more powerful than the state of Israel. What we are seeing unfold in the Middle East may be a step toward the sort of post-national environment envisioned by Neal Stephenson.

I believe that what we need going forward is a policy of disarming Muslims. I believe that we must keep devout Muslims away from weapons, and keep weapons away from devout Muslims. I can work with Muslims, send my children to school with Muslims, and be friends with Muslims. I do not have an issue with their religion, as long as they do not have weapons. However, the combination of weapons and Islam poses unacceptable danger to the rest of us.

And so it goes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

No Books, iPods on board - British Government bans hand luggage

if you weren't bored enough on flights, following the recent plot busted by Scotland Yard to blow up planes in mid-air, apparently through a bomb in hand luggage, the UK government has banned all hand-luggage on planes,

except for a transparent shopping bag carrying a few permitted items: a couple tampons, baby food (if another passenger is forced to taste it first), glasses without cases (deadly, deadly cases!), contact holders (but no cleaning fluid!), keys (but no electric fobs), and your wallet. You're not allowed to bring on magazines (deadly, deadly magazines!) or books, no laptops, no iPods, no oversized watches (!), and so forth.

The War within exceeds the war without - and we all pay the price of fear.

Firefox Buying IE, says bLaugh

Firefox Outfoxes IE

Millenarianism and fatalism are perhaps economic reactions to change, but it's also innate in the human character to hope beyond hope, even when comes the deluge. Bryan Caplan asks, why worry?

There's not enough time in the day for me to know enough about all of these disasters to doubt them on their specific merits. But I do it anyway. How do I justify it?

The superficial reason is that people are trying to get attention, which leads to a "race to the scariest story." That's true, but it hardly seems strong enough to justify my blanket skepticism. The fact that people exaggerate hardly proves that the end is not nigh.

My deep reason is simpler: The fact that we've gotten as far as we have shows that true disaster must be extremely rare. Unless fears almost always failed to materialize, we'd already be back in the Stone Age, or plain extinct. It's overwhelmingly unlikely that we've gotten lucky a million times in a row. Thus, unlike my co-blogger, I think there is a good reason to expect global warming models to be milder than models predict. Namely: As a rule, disasters are milder than predicted.

In other words, we're still here, aren't we?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

From In Sequence,

Born Marius Nintendus, Saint Nintendo was born approximately 284 A.D. to a noble Roman family. He is often depicted as a child, although his martyrdom is said to have occurred after he reached full manhood.

One day, Marius Nintendus was chosen to attend the Roman games as part of a festival in honor of the Emporer. But Marius Nintendus chose to bypass the games in order to indulge in the simple pleasures he so loved, such as collecting stray coins along the streets of Rome and, of course, hunting wild mushrooms.

Marius Nintendus was later called upon by the Prefect to account for his whereabouts during the games. The famous question posed to Nintendus translates roughly to, "Why were you not at the play station at the appointed hour?" Unsatisfied with Nintendus's response, the Prefect ordered that he be publicly tortured and put to death. Marius Nintendus last, inspiring words were said to have been,"But I shall always have the higher score."

Marius Nintendus is the patron saint of truffle pigs.

Hilarity ensues!

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader