Here's a minor iPod annoyance - every so often, when my daughter has left iTunes up, and I attach my iPod while I have iTunes up, the iPod decides that it should try to attach to the other instance of iTunes. This is annoying, because I have to get my daughter to come in, have her log in, eject the iPod, and quit her instance of iTunes (otherwise, it's just "rinse/repeat" time). Shouldn't the iPod know which library it belongs to, and attach to that one? It's smart enough to tell me it isn't synched with the other library, so why can't it look at other running instances?
File this one under "someone has to do the work with Buffy off the air":
Serbian vampire hunters have acted to prevent the very remote possibility that former dictator Slobodan Milosevic might stage a come-back - by driving a three-foot stake through his heart.
According to Ananova, the politically-motivated Van Helsings, led by Miroslav Milosevic (no relation), gave themselves up to cops after attacking the deceased despot in his grave in the eastern town of Pozarevac. Milosevic popped his clogs back in 2006, while on trial in a UN war crimes tribunal for various unsavoury activities connected with the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.
No word yet as to whether the body turned to dust or burst into flames when the stake hit.
Technorati Tags: news
After a mild December, it got pretty darn cold around here in the latter half of January, and all of February. The icy patch on my lawn (where the snow piles up from shoveling) finally disappeared today, during the 70+ degree temperatures. Further proof: my daughter took a couple of photos of the early flowers:
Andres will be heading to Argentina in May, and he and Suzanne Fortman (our Program Director for Cincom Smalltalk) will be meeting with various groups. Interested? Let us know.
James McGovern asks a question about corporate education classes:
Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of educational courses targeted at corporate America are introductory? Have you asked yourself why aren't there more courses that teach advanced concepts? We all understand that advanced concepts logically depend on simpler concepts but thinking should stop there. Humans don't learn using predicate logic, so advanced concepts can be taught even to children, so as long as the person teaching them has some level of competency.
Back in the old days, when I was a VW instructor for ParcPlace, we faced exactly this quandary. Customers would ask us about advanced material, since our public offerings were mostly introductory. There was a reason for that, and it was based on the actual behavior of corporate customers.
When we gave an advanced course, companies would send people to it who weren't prepared. Happened every time I was involved in an advanced course, even when sales and services management made a point of telling the customer that the material assumed a certain level of pre-existing knowledge. We would show up, and find that half (sometimes more) of the class was completely unready for the material - and that made the entire thing unfair to both the prepared students and the unprepared ones - neither group really got the instruction they needed.
I suspect that we weren't unique in this regard - ask around the professional training ranks, and I'd guess that they would all say the same thing.
James Governor explains the nature of reality to Viacom:
What would happen if Google just said
“OK, Viacom: henceforth your media will disappear on Google. Searches on Viacom or any of its media properties will turn up nothing.”
Would that be illegal or something? I wouldnt have thought so. Could someone sue Google for not being included in its search engine? I can’t see what grounds they would have. And would Viacom fold if Google did take this approach? In a heartbeat I should imagine. That’s the problem for Viacom - it needs Google more than Google needs Viacom.
Boy, I wish I'd thought of that - it does show that Google actually has the deck clearing cards on hand if they want to play them. I'd bet good money that this hasn't really occurred to Viacom - after all, they are the "big, important media company". The world has shifted beneath their feet, and they aren't bright enough to realize it.
Steve Rubel notes that Ajax based sites are screwing with Google's indexing:
According to a report, the reader content that's being added to the new USAToday.com is not going not be indexed by Google or other search engines. That's because all of the new goodies, including reader blogs and other social-networking and bookmarking features, were built with Ajax. Man all that potential Google Juice is going to waste.
There's something mostly unsaid here: Google took advantage of the explosive growth of the internet with new and better crawling algorithms. With these changes afoot, that leaves the door open for some other smart guys to step up and do a better job. I don't know if it'll happen, but there is an opening.
Technorati Tags: Ajax
I see a Sci Fi channel middle of the week movie brewing:
Meat-eating killer frogs have invaded a pond in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, leaving environmentalists wondering how to stop their deadly march before they move on to bigger waters.
The African clawed frogs have chomped through everything from turtles to fish in Lily Pond, near the California Academy of Sciences, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Jeff Jarvis explains how Viacom is being deeply, deeply stupid with their billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube. I love this part - first, Jeff quotes the complaint:
Because YouTube directly profits from the availability of popular infringing works on its site, it has decided to shift the burden entirely onto copyright owners to monitor the YouTube site on a daily or hourly basis to detect infringing videos and send notices to YouTube demanding that it “take down” the infringing works.
To which Jeff notes:
Uh, their complaint there is with the law.
Just when I thought big media couldn't get dumber, Viacom comes along and proves me wrong.
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we continue with yesterday's detail form. We do three things:
- Set up the layouts for the detail and master form (the List UI) appropriately
- Embed the Detail form in the List UI
- Respond to the selection event by filling the detail form with the selected person
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Comcast's management needs to watch "The Princess Bride", and pay attention to the famous line from Inigo Montoya:
"I don't think that word means what you think it means"
The word in question is "unlimited", with respect to bandwidth. From today's Boston Globe:
Amanda Lee of Cambridge received a call from Comcast Corp. in December ordering her to curtail her Web use or lose her high-speed Internet connection for a year.
Lee, who said she had been using the same broadband connection for years without a problem, was taken aback. But when she asked what the download limit was, she was told there was no limit, that she was just downloading too much.
Then in mid-February, her Internet service was cut off without further warning.
Amongst other things, this is just stupid, stupid PR. If you tell me that I have "unlimited" bandwidth, then don't come back later and tell me that I have a limit - or even worse, refuse to tell me what that limit is! It's become completely clear that Comcast doesn't actually offer unlimited bandwidth - and that fact isn't really the problem. The problem is that they claim to offer unlimited bandwidth. I'm typically not a huge fan of regulation, but this seems like a pretty cut and dry case of "truth in advertising" to me. Regardless, it's truly, truly stupid on a PR level.
Hat tip Doc Searls.
The music industry has been one of the single most shortsighted, foolishly run, lawyer fed industries in this country, and I am a member of it, being a professional musician for the last 30 years. Perhaps if the industry wasn't so interested in the ONE demographic they think will spend money, and catered even just a little bit to the REST of the music interested world, they wouldn't be in this situation. If you are over 25, they don't give a flying rat's butt about what you want to hear, or even what you will pay for. They just don't care if you aren't in the 13-25 year old demographic. And so, when the kids who grew up with computers can outsmart the old idiots running the RIAA without even trying, I can only laugh. Too bad they insist on destroying not only everyone trying to actually get MUSIC out to people, but their audience, too.
The RIAA have the same problem here as the TV and movie studios - while they all chase after the youth demographic, they completely ignore those of us who have non-trivial amounts of disposable income. When I was 18, I had to limit how much music I bought - I just didn't have that much money. Now? money so, so isn't the problem. DRM walls? There's the problem. While they all chase after a limited pile of dollars, they leave the much larger pool on the table. Actually, they make sure to stop next to the table and pee on it...
Technorati Tags: stupidity
Wired has a not terribly clever writer who posted the following, thinking it clever: "NSFW is for Babies"
Yeah, getting surprised by a site you might find offensive, or worse, getting slapped with a "hostile workplace" lawsuit - that would be so, so much simpler and better.
Support has a patch available for current and older versions of VW - and Alan Lovejoy has helpfully posted a comprehensive answer as well, which I quote nearly in full here:
One way to make the necessary change is to evaluate the following "do it" (which is correct for Pacific Time):
TimeZone setDefaultTimeZone: (TimeZone timeDifference: -8 "Pacific Time" DST: 1 at: 2 from: 73 "Second Sunday of March" to: 311 "First Sunday of November" startDay: #Sunday).
Instead of the "timeDifference: -8" which is correct for Pacific Time, Mountain Time has a time difference of -7 hours, Central Time has a time difference of -6 hours, and Eastern Time has a time difference of -5 hours. Arizona is the big exception, since it does not observe daylight saving time (but Navajo reservations in Arizona do observe DST!) The Arizona rules haven't changed.
Another way to get the correct rules is to install the TimeZone-External Repository-Olson TZDB package, which can be downloaded from the Chronos web site, or simply by clicking on the following link: TimeZone-External Repository-Olson TZDB (read and follow the installation instructions.)
Once the TimeZone-External Repository-Olson TZDB package has been installed (according to the instructions,) evaluating one of the following "do its" will update "Core.TimeZone default" with the correct rules:
(TimeZone at: 'America/New_York') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Indiana/Indianapolis') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Chicago') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Denver') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Boise') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Phoenix') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Los_Angeles') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Nome') beReference (TimeZone at: 'America/Adak') beReference (TimeZone at: 'Pacific/Honolulu') beReference
Yet another way to get the correct time zone rules is to install Chronos.
Seems that people are finally starting to notice that corporately funded OSS development isn't all about being altruistic:
IBM founded the Eclipse Consortium in late 2001 and later spun it out as an independent entity known as the Eclipse Foundation in 2004. And despite the organization being a broad-based entity made up of more than 115 members, IBM employees have continued to make up the lion's share of the organization's developers on the core platform initiative.
Indeed, as some in the industry have knocked Sun Microsystems for its heavy representation and influence over the JCP (Java Community Process), others have criticized Eclipse as being too IBM-centric.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse, in an interview with eWEEK, said he has moved to eliminate this.
However, some observers as well as Eclipse members expressed concern about how the foundation might manage its transition away from being so IBM-heavy.
One source said he is concerned that while IBM is moving to take some of its staff off the Eclipse Platform Project, the foundation is asking strategic developers to add bodies of their own to the project--bodies that take away from development on other projects.
And a source who requested anonymity joked that, in perhaps the most cynical view of the situation, one might assume "IBM used Eclipse to run its competitors out of the market and now it's on to the next thing."
Wow, you think? I'm not opposed to open source, mind you - I ship open source software myself. I'm just skeptical about the angelic intentions of vendors in certain circumstances. Say Microsoft had open sourced IE back in 1997 instead of just making it free - how many people would have viewed that as an act of unconstrained goodness?
Maybe I'm just not the target audience, but Twitter just confuses me. If I want to let someone know what I'm doing "right now", I can use IM, IRC, or skype - and with skype, they don't need to be there right now. Heck, I could also toss up a quick blog post. I really don't get the excitement surrounding a website with pseudo-IRC style commentary...
I love this:
Meanwhile, back at my day job, I couldn't consider Seaside. We have billions of dollars worth of data and information stored in SQL Server, Oracle and DB2. That's a big, brick wall to hit. I need tools like JDBC, ODBC, JPA, Hibernate, iBatis, multi-threaded connection pools, drivers for each RDBMS (plus MySQL and Postgres would be nice) etc. Yes, I know there's GLORP but please ...
I also need scalability to tens of thousands of simultaneous users. That's also one of the reasons we can't use Ruby/Rails, either. When we need hundreds of servers to run a single application supporting thousands of users, cost of manageability becomes a very important factor. At this level, programmer productivity really counts for nothing. I'm far more interested in lowest cost of operation rather than cost of development. If it takes a dev a month or two longer to code something robust and manageable in Java or .Net, and the application is going to be in production for years, guess what wins? Just add more hardware is no longer a viable strategy when datacenters have been maxed out for both space and power consumption.
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Andres Valloud has announced the imminent start of the Smalltalk Solutions Coding Contest:
The Smalltalk Industry Council Announces the Third Annual Smalltalk Solutions Coding Contest The Smalltalk Industry Council (STIC) is pleased to announce the third annual Smalltalk Solutions Coding Contest. The Smalltalk Solutions Technical Conference being held in Toronto Canada April 29-May 2, 2007 will serve as the home for the coding competition finale. Smalltalk Solutions is the premier forum for bringing together Smalltalk users, developers, vendors, and enthusiasts.
Coding contest prizes include:
- 1st Place - iPod Nano
- 2nd Place - iPod Nano
- 3rd Place - iPod Shuffle
Each of the finalists will also receive a complimentary individual membership to the STIC. The Smalltalk Solutions Coding Competition is broken into 2 phases of competition. The first phase begins on April 13 and ends on April 22, running for 10 days. Registration is open until the contest begins on April 13. Participants must register for the competition at email@example.com. Confirmed registrants will receive the requirements for the first phase online.
All coding must be done in Smalltalk. Conference registration is not required to participate in the first phase of the competition.
The first phase of the competition will be judged by means of an objective score based on the performance the submission. A total of three (3) winners will be selected to compete onsite at Smalltalk Solutions 2007 in Toronto, Canada. The winners of the first phase will be announced on April 25 on the Smalltalk Industry Council web site. The Second and final phase of the competition will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2007 onsite at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during Smalltalk Solutions pre-registration. The details of the second phase of the competition will not be released to the finalists until the competition begins. Prize winners will be announced during the conference. Feel free to contact us regarding the contest at the following addresses:
See you in Toronto!
My friend Mike took this shot while I was making my way around the ice, periodically annoying his children :)
In the "small world" category, behind me is my friend Mark, who I met back in 7th grade in NY State.
My daughter had to rush from one skating rink to another today - a lesson followed by a birthday party. At the latter event, I decided to put on a pair of skates myself, and see how well I remembered the whole thing - I think I've been on skates 2-3 times since I was a kid.
Well, it's apparently like riding a bike - the muscle memory all came back (except for the stopping bit - a little girl who insisted on flying back and forth in front of people, including me, tripped me up at one point) - watch out for the old guy on skates :)
All in all, it was pretty enjoyable - I might actually skate at some of the open sessions my daughter attends. Victoria took the picture above while she skated backwards in front of me - showoff :)
I just finished "The Ghost Map", a book that covers a Cholera outbreak in 1854 London - and more importantly, the forensic footwork by Dr. John Snow and Rev. Henry Whitehead that traced the outbreak to a contaminated pump on Broad Street.
There's an interesting little epilogue as well, that catalogs the rise of urbanization in the world. Right now, roughly 50% of the world's population lives in urban areas, and if current trends continue, that will likely be 80% by the middle of this century. That's an unabashedly good thing, so far as the author is concerned, based on the fact that urban areas make many problems (transit, public health, sewage, etc) easier to deal with. He also lays out a few possible threats to that trend - a new plague of 1918 (or greater) proportions, nuclear terrorism - things of that nature. The epilogue is probably worthy of a whole separate book. In any case, I'd highly recommend this book - if nothing else, you'll learn how far urban health has come in the last century and a half.
This is too funny:
Register Hardware reader Matt Kyte sent us a pic he took of a PC World catalogue page. On offer, a Packard Bell desktop and a Toshiba notebook. Both machines' screens clearly shown with Mac OS X browser Safari - ironically being used to display Microsoft's Windows Vista website.
Of course, it's understandable :)
Updated numbers for BottomFeeder downloads: I had a typo in my date scan range, so the numbers are normal, as opposed to what I pushed up earlier. It was still a very respectable 284 per day, which is above average:
Off to the HTML Page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
The raw traffic numbers are about the same as always, but the totals for IE have gained relative to Firefox. Also - why am I getting so much traffic from the MSN and Planet Smalltalk Bots? Off to the RSS page access
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||4.6%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||3.4%|
Planet Smalltalk is still being a bad robot...
Doc Searls links to a guy arguing that internet broadcasters should just use pod-safe music (and cut themselves off from the RIAA's madness). That madness is detailed here, in Doc's Linux Journal column:
In a move that recalls the Vogons' decision to destroy Earth to clear the way for a highway bypass through space (a thankfully fictional premise of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), the judges comprising the Copyright Royalty Board have decided to destroy the Internet radio industry so the Recording Industry won't be inconvenienced by something it doesn't know, like or understand.
This whole thing is amazingly stupid. The recording industry clearly doesn't understand the internet; it doesn't stop at the waterline. This is going to go the same way the spammers went (and it wouldn't surprise me to see the same people involved): overseas, to low regulation areas. The music industry has two choices: they can charge the money they want (but won't ever collect), or they can charge a reasonable rate based on the changed market. Not having a close relationship with reality, they are trying the first path.
New Mexico's legislature expands its jurisdiction, mulling whether to return the slighted celestial body to its planetary status every time it passes overhead.
Precision Systems has sent along their weekly jobs report:
Ontario, Canada Smalltalk Developer (12+ month contract)
Northern New Jersey – multiple projects, various cities Senior Smalltalk Developer (permanent, 6 month contract-to-hire and 12+ month contract)
Omaha, NE Smalltalk Developer (permanent or contract)
New York, NY – multiple projects Smalltalk Developer, Smalltalk Team Lead, and Smalltalk/Java Developer (contract and permanent)
Ohio – multiple projects Smalltalk Developer (permanent)
Texas – multiple projects in different cities Smalltalk Developer (contract or 6 month contract-to-hire)
Smalltalk Developer (permanent)
.Net Developer, Smalltalk a plus (permanent)
Milwaukee, WI Senior Smalltalk Developer and Junior Programmer/Analyst (permanent)
Don’t forget to pass along your co-workers and friends; for any new and successful referral to Precision we will pay you $1,000!
I look forward to speaking with you!
Smalltalk Staffing Group – Precision Systems
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
So our week of Product Planning is coming to a close - we think we have some good momentum going forward, and I'll be publishing a revised roadmap shortly. Here we all are, gathered together to wrap it up:
After lunch, we had cake - it's Andreas Hiltner's birthday - he's the guy in the center here, talking to Pete Hatch and Andres Valloud.
Lukas Renggli announced his talk in Cracow awhile ago, but this morning brings more interesting news: you can watch the talk live, in the comfort of your own home or office:
I just learned that the Seaside presentation I am giving tomorrow will also be streamed live. Check it out ( UDP, TCP ) if you happen to be online between 18:10 and 19:40 GMT+1.
I'll have to see if I have time to watch it - but I sure hope it can be downloaded afterwards. I've just spent a week here in Cincinnati, so I probably won't jump into my office to isolate myself further :)
Technorati Tags: seaside
Here's a topic that doesn't come up much, but can be pretty important - how do you mark things as deprecated in a way that not only makes sense, but allows end users of the system to know that they are using code that has been deprecated? That includes tools that help out there, and that's what we are discussing right now. Here's Travis leading that discussion:
This is what debugging the VM looks like:
Later: This is what a VM level heisenbug looks like :)
Obviously, we disagree. Protection for software patents and other intellectual property is essential to maintaining the incentives that encourage and underwrite technological breakthroughs. In every industry, patents provide the legal foundation for innovation. The ensuing legal disputes may be messy, but protection is no less necessary, even so.
This from the outfit that thought they invented code inspectors. When Microsoft can spell prior art, maybe I'll count their opinion as something I need to pay attention to.
Technorati Tags: stupidity
One of our biggest issues in Cincom Smalltalk is C connectivity - it's harder than it should be to connect to C libraries. This morning, we continued our planning sessions with a conversation on how to deal with that issue:
The meetings plow forward - this afternoon we are talking about the future of the CST GUI:
Later: We had to move to a bigger room, since this conversation included a lot of people:
"We have a wonderful ability here to choose the right tool for the job. We have components that are written in Java, in C++, in Python, and Ruby and Perl. [Python is] definitely viewed internally here by some of the best computer scientists in the world, people from MIT's AI [artificial intelligence] and CS [computer science] labs, as enterprise worthy," he said.
The summary from Bill Barr is also worth pondering:
There is also a great quote about line-coders vs. problem solvers, but I'll leave it up to readers to find that gem. I also have to add that from personal experience, it's a whole lot easier to teach a bunch of mainframe and COBOL programmers Python than it is Java or C#. In fact, it was really just a matter of pointing them in the direction of Python, asking them to use pyUnit and let them run wild. On the other hand, teaching them Java drained tens of thousands of dollars from my operating budget!
Swap Smalltalk in for Python, and it's the same thing - I'll toot my own horn a bit and point beginners to my screencast series as a good place to get started.
I did a podcast with Alan Knight and Michael Lucas-Smith today - we talked about GLORP, a project Alan's been working on for awhile now. Michael asked most of the questions - I spend most of my time avoiding databases :)
I plan to post this over the weekend. I'll be doing at least one other session here in Cincinnati - I'll be talking to the ObjectStudio 8 team sometime before Friday - and I'll likely hold that one for release after the one we did today.