I just got back from the latest Potter flick - "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phenix". I loved it - good pacing, and the story line with the Ministry of Magic's "head in the sand" reaction was perfect. My wife and daughter both that the woman who played "The Trunchbull" in "Mathilda" would have made a better weasel than the actress who played that role, but I thought she was quite good.
Anyway - well worth seeing.
I'll be offline for a bit, as I'm headed out to see the new Potter flick with the family. I'll have more to say after I see it :)
Looks like Microsoft understands that Nintendo has hit the sweet spot with the Wii - check out their stance at E3:
As Microsoft executives played down the impact of an extensive repair program for defective Xbox 360 game machines, they announced several efforts to broaden the appeal of their machine to families.
As I posted last week, it sounds to me like they're on top of the defect problem. With this, it sounds like they know where they have to go to broaden their appeal: which means that the next generation XBox will probably be a very interesting piece of equipment.
Scoble explains why he stopped using ICQ:
Why? Everytime I start it up I get a flurry of messages. Unlike Twitter IM has an expectation that you’ll answer it sometime soon. But that’s my problem and I’m an outlier. So why did everyone else stop using ICQ? It got too cluttered and stopped being developed. In 1996 it seemed like there was a new feature every few days. At some point after 2001 it stopped seeing radical improvements.
That really wasn't my problem. My problem was a lot simpler: spam requests for chat. As I recall things, ICQ got flooded with that kind of thing - I'd bring up the client, and I'd get tons of pr0n messages fired at me. I get one or two a month like that on skype, and virtually none on AIM. That's the thing that drove me off ICQ.
PR Differently has a good post up on corporate attire. Now, I'm kind of an odd one to be agreeing with him - I spent much of my career raging against "proper" attire. There comes a point where you have to decide something simple though:
Do you want to tilt at windmills, or do you want to be taken seriously?
I figured that being taken seriously made a lot more sense. It seems that this is a lesson that many people have to learn for themselves, though. From USA Today, a woman who was yanked from a meeting for dressing too casually said:
"Each generation seems to have a different idea of what is acceptable in the workplace, and in this situation I was highly offended," says Cohen, who works at a marketing firm in Philadelphia. "I was actually not allowed to attend a meeting because my attire was deemed 'inappropriate.' People my age are taught to express themselves, and saying something negative about someone's fashion is saying something negative about them."
Well, yes - it is a negative comment on you, just like it was a negative comment on me when I dressed down for meetings. You can imagine that it's a "rugged demonstration of individuality" all you want, but everyone else in the meeting is thinking "what a moron". It took me way too long to figure that out.
The latest dev build has been stable for a couple of weeks now, so I'm releasing it as BottomFeeder 4.4. What's new? With some advice from Michael Lucas-Smith, and a ton of help from Rich Demers (including updated Doc), here's a summary:
Changes from version 4.3
- Eliminated Feedlists folder. Importing a feedlist now adds feeds directly to your subscription list
- Eliminated the separate "Searches" folder. Search feeds are now part of your subscription list, and are marked with a new icon
- Tabs now open empty, and remember their previous state
- Newspaper view is now a mode, not a feed setting
- Simplified the context menus for the item and HTML panes
- Added an item level toolbar with common item functions
- Simplified the main toolbar and menu
- Simplified the context menus for feeds and folders
- Feeds that redirect on initial add (i.e., FeedBurner) now follow the redirect on initial add
- The Enclosure Manager is now shipped as a standard plugin
- An updated Pongo (MSN) client is included with this build
- Simplified settings. The text file can still be edited by advanced users
- "Subscriptions" folder is now renamed "My Feeds"
- Filters can be built to either filter in matches, or filter out matches
- Many other bug fixes
I'm sure there will be updates along the way, but things look good for now.
After yesterday's excitement, this sort of thing just upsets me more: you too can make the world just a little worse for just $19.99. Via Darren Rowse (I won't link to the SEO twerps directly), we find this:
Blog comments help your site rank better in the SERPs. We hired a few people who go through a list of blogs in a database we set up and pick out blogs that are in your niche. They then read through blog posts and leave a comment that has to do with the blog post they read, that way it wont get deleted. Your backlink will then be on a targeted blog, giving you more weight in the search engines.
This is how you end up with "related" comments that say "great site, thanks for the information" - and then link over to pharmaceuticals. I think Glenn Reynolds has the proper level of contempt for these guys.
Eric Bowers takes us back to the dawn of OO:
Well, I finally got several gigs of the smalltalk/xerox alto disk image archives uploaded to my host. It will be a few days before I get the links posted to my site.
I really like the new MacBook, but there are a couple of things that are bothersome - and interestingly enough, they both involve the power. First: yes, the magsafe power adaptor is cool. However, it's not compatible with anything else, so I had to buy a new plane adaptor. My old iGo supply is just a brick now. Second: Why does the plug have to be on the brick itself? Was there some odd desire to take up as much space as possible in the power strip?
Update: Doh! As pointed out in the comments, the 2 prong plug comes off, and the three prong plug slides in. I had just ignored that piece when I unpacked the box :)
We had some confusion this afternoon - the IS security folks for a bank found some phishing files that had been uploaded to the Wiki (meaning - not in a terribly dangerous spot). They looked bad though, so they contacted our IT folks. In a nice comedy of errors, we had never properly recorded the contact info for this server, and it was after hours. That resulted in the box being taken off the net until we could get that straightened out. The contact info is all straightened out now, so here's hoping we don't have that problem again :)
And it's all topped off by a height-adjustable stand and optional integrated speakers. With the Samsung 225BW, it's not hard to imagine.
However, as Ed Foster notes, those speakers don't exist:
As I write this, more than a week after the reader complained to Samsung, the description of the 225BW monitor on Samsung's webpage remains unchanged. And a quick perusal of the online retailers that have the monitor for sale finds several that echo Samsung's description of the optional integrated speakers, but I can't find any that actually offer the option for sale.
It takes a special kind of stupid to make an offer that you can't fulfill. There's no upside to it, only negatives. What were they thinking?
Technorati Tags: advertising
From my point of view, I prefer to develop cross platform apps. Dolphin is Windows only at the moment. Dolphin is an affordable Smalltalk. Price is, I admit, a sticking point with Cincom’s Smalltalk.,,the price is simply not available in the open, and I suspect it will be expensive for a one person developer who wishes to sell applications.
That's a natural conclusion to come to, but it's not really the case in that circumstance. Cincom as a corporate entity doesn't make prices public (for any product), and I have no real ability to change that policy. However, I can tell you to point your browser here, where I've detailed the basic VAR program. The terms listed there are the "no one negotiated anything" terms (meaning - you can always negotiate with Cincom sales).
Blaine Buxton riffs on what Smalltalk needs to do, and he's mostly on the ball:
Now, that being said, I think a better looking Squeak, VisualWorks, and VisualAge is a must. I think they should all look at Dolphin. Dolphin is everything a modern Smalltalk should be. It's gorgeous. The key bindings are consistent, tools are easy to understand, and it's a pleasure to work with. They are also constantly adding new tools to help productivity (IdeaSpace) as well. In fact, I usually show developers Dolphin first to get them interested.
He makes a lot of other good points as well. The thing is, Blaine's right - and we are working on many of the things he brings up. One of the things I'm committed to is "no 10 year plans". We'll be making continuous improvements in the product, and not deferring things off into the hazy future - because our customers need progress now, not later.
One thing is a constant about our parties: we always buy more food than we need. I have a bunch of burgers and hot dogs in the freezer, lots of deli meats, and more potato salad than I know what to do with. Witness my fridge:
My friend Mike brought his Wii over for our party yesterday, and he brought along the new Tiger Woods golf game - which is amazingly good. It's also hilarious - as you play, the announcers get very snarky about your game. Anyway, that success is contrasted by this Wikipedia article that Andres pointed out to me - apparently, Sony isn't the only console vendor with a few issues:
In the early months after the console launch Microsoft claimed in the press that failure rate was in industry average 3-5%. However, the company have not released any official statistics on the failure rate of the console since its launch, and the company's policy is not to do so, instead focusing on a prompt solution of any technical problems arising. Despite Microsoft's reticence, some retailers have reported abnormally high failure rates, with one ex-employee of a retailer estimating the rate to be between 30-33%. FOX News reported 2.5 million consoles broken in the world.
You can follow the link for the citations - there are links to various sources in the original text I've quoted here. I haven't heard about these issues cropping up with the Wii, but Nintendo also didn't reach very far into the "bleeding edge" for their technology.
Update: Boris Popov reports that a lot of companies could go to school on the customer service offered by Microsoft on this. Rather than obfuscation and denial, it looks like they have stepped up and taken ownership of the problems.
Technorati Tags: xbox 360
Dave Buck and I discussed Smalltalk application deployment Friday night - this is coming to you on Sunday for two reasons: first, Audacity crashed while we were recording, so I had to go to my PowerGramo backup. Second, we had a big cookout yesterday - so I didn't get to all the editing before today.
We covered deploying client apps and server apps, and how those differ - including a stroll through "the bad old days" and how hard it used to be to prepare a runtime application. I have to make a tip of the hat to listener Peter Fraser for the topic suggestion - he sent us a huge list of ideas recently, and they'll be fodder for many, many shows.
Well, it was a holiday week - BottomFeeder downloads went at a rate of 132/day. The details:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
meanwhile, even as IE use seems to be dropping on the pure HTML side, it's rising on the syndication front:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Net News Wire||4%|
|Google Feed Fetcher||3.6%|
Last night Dave Buck and I had a conversation about deployment issues, and that's going to be posted as a podcast soon. However, I have a cookout party to attend to first - so posting will be light today, and I don't expect to get the podcast up until later this evening or tomorrow. Have a great weekend!
Boris Popov has posted a starting summary of changes from Seaside 2.7 to 2.8 - read the whole thing for migration tips:
I did a quick run-through today to see what it would take to move our application from the most recent version of Seaside 2.7 to the brand-spanking-new 2.8 snapshot Michel published this morning . Here are some notes about the changes I had to make and a few rewrite snippets to give you a starting point if you run into the same issues (you may not though).
Technorati Tags: seaside
I've been migrating things over to the Mac all day - I spent some of that time composing a document we needed for the business plan. I'm still waiting for the XP CD from corporate, too - I have Parallels, but need a version of Windows to go with it.
In the meantime, I'm liking the machine - it's solid, fast, and a pleasure to use. The screen is gorgeous, and the adjustable backlighting is great.
Microsoft is rejecting GPL3 out of hand, claiming that it is not now - nor will it be in the future - bound by any of it:
While there have been some claims that Microsoft’s distribution of certificates for Novell support services, under our interoperability collaboration with Novell, constitutes acceptance of the GPLv3 license, we do not believe that such claims have a valid legal basis under contract, intellectual property, or any other law. In fact, we do not believe that Microsoft needs a license under GPL to carry out any aspect of its collaboration with Novell, including its distribution of support certificates, even if Novell chooses to distribute GPLv3 code in the future. Furthermore, Microsoft does not grant any implied or express patent rights under or as a result of GPLv3, and GPLv3 licensors have no authority to represent or bind Microsoft in any way.
I don't even resemble a lawyer, so I have no idea how this will play out. I would guess that this will mean a fairly quick court test of the new GPL (as opposed to the old GPL, which went untested for eons). At the very least, that will be worth some popcorn :)
The Groklaw folks don't think much of MS' claims :)
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we build a simple aggregator example using a listbox with RSS Items (from the Smalltalk syndication library), and the IE ActiveX control for display. This is ObjectStudio 8, of course - and a tip of the hat to Andreas Hiltner for his help with the example.
Cincom Smalltalk customer MetaCase has just shipped support for the Mac for their Industry eading product, MetaEdit+:
MetaCase has announced the release of MetaEdit+ 4.5, a complete domain-specific modeling (DSM) environment, for Mac OS X operating systems. DSM with MetaEdit+ offers companies a superior approach for effective software development, significantly increasing overall productivity. This release follows the November 2006 launch of MetaEdit+ 4.5 for Windows.
That's the power of Cincom Smalltalk - and of course the excellent work of the MetaCase flks.
Technorati Tags: DSM
Troy came across this today in his development environment, but I think this qualifies as universal "developer words to live by":
I'm slowly starting to get stuff moved over to the Mac; I'll be getting Parallels installed as soon as the XP install disks arrive (Vista? You must be joking). In the meantime, I'm seeing some of the instability that customers have been complaining about - and I can happily report that the VM team is working on the problem. Anyway - here I am!
The MacBook Pro just arrived:
It's still installing updates; there's a lot to do to get things rolling :)
So I missed the FedEx tuck with my MacBook Pro the other day - they are supposed to come back by today. Fortunately, my wife is home, because I have to head out to pick my daughter up from camp soon. It would be too painful to come home to find "strike two" stuck to the door!
We drove down to a friend's house for a small barbecue and fireworks thing today - the fireworks were mostly of the "shooting stars" variety, but we did have a few rockets and Roman Candles (predictably, those got fired first). I snapped a few photos; here's Brian (our host) mixing some drinks before the fireworks:
And one of the Long Island Ice teas being consumed:
Fortified with appropriate beverages, we headed out to set things on fire :)
We had a fun evening - hope your fourth was enjoyable!
Technorati Tags: fireworks
Gordon Weakliem thinks that Google was redirecting his subscription to Jon Udell:
I suppose it had to happen - Google Reader seems to have gone insane and replaced my subscription to Jon Udell with an apparently random selection from various Wordpress blogs. It seems like a rule of server based aggregators that they become flaky as they scale up, and there's usually issues with feed identity and redirects right in the mix in every case I've seen.
I don't think this was a Google problem. Why? Well, I saw the same thing yesterday in BottomFeeder - which is a client side aggregator I wrote myself, so I was pretty sure that the problem wasn't on my end. Now that I've seen someone else mention it, I'm thinking that the service being used by Udell (and the random site that kept getting swapped in) had problems.