I'm seeing an interesting spam attack on the blogs here - it's a direct assault on Baysian filters - just a random jumble of words in a header font. I don't use a Baysian filter, so it's been kind of a pain to clean up. On the other hand, it's not really working out for the spammer, either - eventually, he'll want to send links to real stuff, and the filtering I do use will catch that. Now, to look at the logs for some clues...
On this morning's Smalltalk Daily, we get started with Seaside. The first trick: making sure to load the most up to date version from the public Store repository.
Update: There was a typo in the HTML file, which prevented the flash movie from loading. It's fixed now.
This is interesting: In the new Outlook, MS is using the Word rendering engine for display instead of the IE one. Now, I hate HTML email, and I have very little sympathy for newsletters that rely on it - but there are a lot of people who are going to be unhappy about this. For instance, Campaign Monitor:
Unfortunately, that [CSS support in Outlook] all goes down the toilet now. If your email breaks in Notes or Eudora, it was often an acceptable casualty, but if it breaks in Outlook, you're more than likely ostracizing too many recipients to justify your design approach. This certainly doesn't spell the end for HTML email, it just takes us back 5 years where tables and nasty inline CSS was the norm.
It's interesting that they did this; the only thing I can come up with is that the security issues with IE remain unresolved. Or maybe someone decided that they should use the same engine to display that they use to compose. Either way, it's going to make a fair number of people unhappy - for reasons like this:
Word 2007 supports a subset of the standard HTML 4.01 specification and of the Internet Explorer 6.0 HTML specification. Word 2007 also supports a subset of the standard Cascading Stylesheet Specification, Level 1. Word 2007 uses HTML elements that support a subset of the Word 2007 cascading style sheets properties. This article categorizes the Word 2007 supported cascading style sheets properties as follows:
Heh - so the display is going to suck worse than IE6. Amazing.
Ed Foster points up one of the issues that any rollout of internet TV is going to face: ISP policies on bandwidth usage.
"I just got a call from Comcast saying I'm downloading too much and I have to cut it back or they will suspend my account for a year," the reader wrote. "Of course, I asked what I have to cut it back to -- they don't know. Just cut it back 'drastically,' they said. So I asked what the limit was and they don't know that either. It's the top X percent in a one-month period -- they don't know what 'X' is either. So asked if there was an account where there was no limit and they said I could open a commercial account. So I asked what the limit was on that and they didn't know -- just that it was higher."
So say you start buying movies through your XBox, or through iTunes - and you cross that magic "too many bits" threshold. Your ISP will not only threaten you with a cutoff, but they won't tell you what the limits are. I suspect that a long weekend spent downloading a relative handful of HD content could get you whacked.
Technorati Tags: IPTV
Google Video has a fascinating 8 minute video - it's footage of a journey down Market Street in San Francisco - in 1905. That's before the great earthquake and fire of 1906. The undirected, but clearly working, interplay of various kinds of vehicles - including horse drawn ones, is very engaging. Makes me realize that any ad-hoc video of our time will be something people hunger for a century from now.
I just got this book in the mail:
It was recommended to me by Alan, and it looks good.
BottomFeeder downloads came in at 344/day - still a good clip. The details:
Next up: The HTML access numbers:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
Finally, the syndication numbers for the week:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Google Feed Fetcher||6.2%|
|Net News Wire||6.1%|
|RSS 2 Email||1%|
And there's still a very wide tool distro here
We had a chat with David Griswold, who's been promoting Strongtalk to the Smalltalk community since Sun open sourced it last year. It was a great talk, but I have a lot of audio to edit (and family stuff to deal with today). So, I probably won't get the audio up until tonight or tomorrow.
Before I managed this server (and the Wiki), I had a fairly dismissive take on spam - it was a pain, but deleting/filtering it on the client side (email) wasn't that bad). At the server level though, it's a whole new ballgame. For one thing, it's negative PR - it looks bad. For another, it can get you Google Squashed:
That was not the end of it, however. A site like Javalobby is constantly being spidered by the major search engines, so they were quick to pick up all of these new trash messages. It had been aggravating to spend holiday time cleaning up the unwanted mess left by our guests, but the real problem didn't surface until we started going through our normal morning routine yesterday, having just returned to work from our holiday break. We generally take a look at a variety of statistics in the morning before proceeding into whatever development work we're doing. Having been out of the office for almost two weeks, we had a lot of stats to look at. It took no time to see that something was wrong - traffic was down. A little more investigation revealed the problem.
We had completely disappeared from Google's main index! If you run a website, then you know how serious a problem this is. On any given day over 10,000 visitors arrive at Javalobby as a result of Google searches, and suddenly they stopped coming! We had apparently been grouped together with the spammer's viagra and casino sites, and poof! Suddenly we no longer existed in the eyes of Google, the world's largest search engine. Countless thousands of well-ranked pages gone in a blink. Perhaps you now understand why I would commit a violent crime if I caught those forum spammers? In essence, they have wiped out strategic positioning that we took years to build.
Lots of patient work at building a community can just go up in flames. Looking at my referer stats, I see the same thing - much of my traffic comes in from Google as well. Monitoring spam on a public site is just one more thing you have to deal with - if you let it go, you land in oblivion.
We did an interview with David Griswold, one of the original developers of Strongtalk on this week's show. With me were Michael Lucas-Smith, David Buck, and Bryce Kampjes - along with our guest, David Griswold. I pretty much got out of the way and let the other guys talk about Strongtalk and Smalltalk VM technology. It was a good conversation, with lots of good stuff on VM technology.
Jon Udell has a write up on some interesting tools being developed to enhance distributed teams - here he's talking about a webcam based system:
Peter's talk focused mainly on Hexagon , a project in ambient video awareness. The idea is that a distributed team of webcam-equipped collaborators monitor one anothers' work environments at home, in the office, on the road using hexagonal windows that tile nicely on a computer display. It's a room-based system, Peter says. Surveillance occurs only team members enter a virtual room, thereby announcing their willingness to see and be seen.
The difficulty, of course, is in getting people to use the system:
Hexagon has been made available to a number of groups. Some used it enthusiastically for a while. But only one group so far has made it a permanent habit: Peter's own research group. As a result, he considers it a failed experiment.
Jon thinks that take up will get easier as time goes by; he may be right. The current lack of usage doesn't surprise me - on our team, we have people who consider IRC (on a private channel) intrusive - and IRC windows are easy enough to iconify or ignore. This is social technology; the social use factors are going to be harder to deal with than the technical ones.
Technorati Tags: remote
The RIAA is trying to engender the same level of respect for DRM that people had for the 55 mph speed limit - which is to say, none at all. Read Ron Jeffries' DRM nightmare - it's the kind of thing all of us jump through when we want to listen to music on another device that we already own:
I really wanted to play fair and pay a fair price for getting these two songs on my music player. It has taken me hours to do it, and it'll take probably ten minutes to do every time I ever do it.
Music companies: you have this wrong. You are driving honest people like me to use other means to do what they have every right to do. (I presume you would agree that having purchased these songs, I have a right to play them on my one and only music player.) I'd be happy to click and pay a buck to add a song to my player. I'm not happy to pay a buck and then leap through my own orifice.
I jump through hoops myself - when I buy from iTunes, I buy on the PC. I then burn a CD (I could use software to remove the DRM, but my method doesn't raise the specter of an RIAA lawsuit - at every step, I'm using functions supported by the music software). I take the CD and import it into my main library (and re-key in the song info - if I burn a mix of unrelated songs, the info doesn't go out to the CD).
That burns up time that I could actually be doing something useful - like, say, enjoying the music I just paid for. I'm hardly a voice in the wilderness on this: Dare Obasanjo highlighted this NY Times piece over the weekend:
Pity the overly trusting customers who invested earlier in music collections before the Zune arrived. Their music cannot be played on the new Zune because it is locked up by software enforcing the earlier copy-protection standard: PlaysFor(Pretty)Sure -- ButNotTheNewStuff.
When you get DRM'd music, you are making a bet (and not really a safe one) - that your current devices will live on. FairPlay could get buried just as quickly as PlaysForSure though, and then you would be stuck with a steaming pile of bits. Knowing this, why wouldn't you do everything you could to circumvent the protection? It's insane not to.
Technorati Tags: music
I'm starting to use (and learn about) my new podcasting equipment. I partially used it yesterday - I used the new mic through the mixer, but I had the gain turned up too high (and generated some hum as a result. I've been experimenting with it today, and figured out what I was doing wrong.
Anyway, it looks like I should be getting better results as I go along (not next week though - I used the handheld digital recorder to record my interview (and this was before I got the mixer anyway). Anyhow, here's a shot of mixer and the hookups there:
That's the new Mic, going through the mixer. The cables snake across my desk to the input on the Mac, and I record via GarageBand:
The white kind of bleeds out there, but those are RCA cables running over to the iMic. The headset is there, jacked into the PC, so that I can hear the people on the phone, and get my voice out through skype. I'm sure practice will help with all of this. And yes, it is a messy office :)
Looking for a cool Smalltalk Job? Here you go:
Adventa Control Technologies, Inc. a provider of software solutions for manufacturing execution system (MES), advanced machine control, advance process control, fault detection and intervention, and system integration currently has an opening for a Software Developer in Plano, TX.
PRINCIPAL FUNCTIONS OF JOB
- Competent with understanding smalltalk/Java application development including development design/testing/implementation.
- Knowledge of Semiconductor manufacturing system domain to improve design decisions and understand the customer environment.
- Design/architect key functionality components.
DUTIES OF JOB
- Smalltalk/Java application development as part of a team of developers.
- Application testing and documentation
- Application requirements analysis and design
- Participation in all stages of the software development lifecycle.
- Working with the product/project manager on plans and release roadmap timing
- Ability to execute assignments and meet schedules with moderate supervision.
- Ability to function smoothly as a member of the team.
- Excellent verbal, written, and communications skills.
- Ability to work and remain calm in stressful work situations.
- Good customer interaction skills.
- Visualworks (or smalltalk equivalent) experience in an application development.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
5+ years of Software Development experience in the Semiconductor industry
It is a permanent position located in Plano, TX. We would like someone with 5+ years of Smalltalk/Java experience and a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Computer Science.
We do not offer relocation so local candidates only should apply. Resumes can be sent to email@example.com.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Apparently, I don't play games for fun:
If you've ever been asked why you play video games so much, and you answered, "Because they're fun," it turns out that you are, in fact, a damn dirty liar. According to a study published in the January issue of Motivation and Emotion (sounds like a chick mag to me...all those feelings), video games can fulfill a number of psychological needs, opportunities for achievement, freedom and even a connection to other players. Surprisingly, "fun" was found to be a far less motivating factor.
Time to hand those morons a deck of cards and have them actually live life for a few minutes...
There's another rumor floating around that Apple and The Beatles are coming to terms for a release of (at least some of) their music:
A popular Beatles fan website, Abbeyrd, reports an "unnamed source" who said that a deal between the two Apple's has been struck, and it seems likely that the latest album, Love, will be made available through iTunes.
It's always hard to say with Apple rumors - they keep a pretty tight lid on stuff.
James Governor mentions something that's also a pet peeve of mine:
Here is a helpful hint - when someone says their name when they answer the phone, its best to not then say “Could I speak to Mr Governor?”
I understand that the callers are going by rote, but they hurt their cause immensely by not paying attention. You want to sell me something? Start by paying attention.
Simon Phipps demonstrates how Sun gets modern PR in ways that a lot of companies just don't - like, say, IBM:
Now here's an interesting difference in corporate styles. I remember when I left IBM in 2000, the (extensive) mentions of me on IBM's web pages were gradually edited away until today, six years later, there seems to be only one or two left that date from my pre-Sun days (doubtless they will also get expunged now). This one's interesting - my job title has been changed to Sun even though I was still at IBM on the date I gave the talk (7 months before I gave my notice in fact).
I understand the IBM reaction - the common corporate action when an employee leaves is to airbrush them out of existence. It's nice to see that there are companies who don't do that. Here, when one of the bloggers either leaves or stops blogging, I just turn comments off, so that it doesn't become spam stew. I don't have any intention of airbrushing anything out.
Technorati Tags: marketing
I added a few small features to the Enclosure plugin for BottomFeeder this morning. First off, I added a filtering setting:
The "Types to Download" setting is a comma delimited list of file extensions - it will default to mp3, and can be blanked (in which case, nothing will get downloaded). I also added a convenience UI, where you can toggle download settings for all the feeds you subscribe to that have enclosures:
The impetus for this was fairly selfish :) I'm heading out of town for a few days, and wanted to have a few additional features to make it easier to grab the podcasts I want (I usually use iTunes on my Mini, but I travel with the notebook - and I find it easier to transfer a handful of files with XPlay than to set up my iPod for manual synching).
Anyway, all of that is available as a normal update for BottomFeeder.
If you have time, money, and an insatiable appetite for Star Trek geekdom, then have a look at this home theater for inspiration :)
I love this kind of story - if you cherry pick a dataset just the right way, you can make the numbers say anything. The point made in the NYTimes piece:
In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.
And the sample space?
The proportion of married people, especially among younger age groups, has been declining for decades. Between 1950 and 2000, the share of women 15-to-24 who were married plummeted to 16 percent, from 42 percent. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, the proportion dropped to 58 percent, from 82 percent.
Hmm. My daughter is 13. So in two years, she'll be part of that unmarried cohort. I wonder how hard I'd have to work to make Smalltalk look like it's breaking out everywhere? Wait, I know - I'll only interview people who are happily using Smalltalk, and ignore any other potential data! That should be as useful a set of data as this story is...
We are making a long weekend of it, and heading down to DisneyWorld. posting will be light over the next few days, but I had some extra time this afternoon - I will be getting a Smalltalk Daily post up each day. I also have a podcast in the can, ready to post this weekend - I recorded my end of the Webinar I did last December 20th. Have a great end of the week!
Markoff: “And what are you thinking about Flash and Java?”
Jobs: “Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.”
Interesting to hear Schwartz’ side of the story -- I ask him what his pitch to Steve Jobs is to get Java on the iPhone. He claims that Java is being downloaded 20 million times a month and is on about a billion cell phones with tons of apps. Claims Java is one of the most recognized brands in the world.
Yes, I can take pleasure in watching Sun get dissed that way :)
Our cab should be here momentarily, so I'll be signing off for a few hours - With luck, there won't be any travel delays at the airport :)
I had forgotten the lack of WiFi joy here at DCA - at least in gate area 35-45. I guess I'm just continually surprised that a major airport like DCA wouldn't have connectivity.
I always like arriving here - it's been my favorite vacation destination since the first time I visited way back in 1978. This time, we're at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort. The weather isn't great - around 70 and cloudy (but that's better than home, where the forecast was calling for icy stuff this evening.
Looks like my prediction that Apple would start getting considered as a serious PC replacement wasn't off the mark:
Mac market growth this quarter and remarked that Mac market growth in the US grew 31% in quarter, compared to PC market growth of 3%. These numbers are amazing, people, and if you consider that Apple hasn't really announced any exciting Mac related announcements for awhile, they are even more amazing.
Those are amazing numbers - and the Vista fanboys should take note.
Hat Tip Rob Fahrni.
Microsoft's next-generation Windows hits the stores in less than two weeks, but for all its whizzy features it's got less buzz than a new dental plan.
I was heading to dinner when I passed by the evening parade - I snapped two quick pictures:
That's Minnie up there - here's Cindarella below:
I like the way the carriage seems to be floating in space. It's good to be here.
I'm sure that the graphics matter to some people - but game play seems to be winning in Australia:
It took the Nintendo Wii just three weeks to surpass the Xbox 360's sales in Australia for the entire fourth quarter of 2006, figures from market watcher GfK show.
The quarterly figures, released by games analyst Daniel Morse, show Nintendo sold 51,744 Wiis, whereas Microsoft sold 45,036 Xbox 360s.
Having played with both systems, I'm not surprised.