Archive for March 2008

Google Calendar Spam

Oh great. The spammers have figured out how to abuse Google Calendar. I think they just add your email to their “Google Calendar” and Google helpfully reminds you.

Aloha Airlines Shuts Down, Strands Passengers

Aloha Airlines, one of the more important carriers to Hawai’i, entered bankruptcy a few weeks ago and this morning announced the grounding of their passenger fleet effective tomorrow.

We have a friend in town who’s stranded. We love having her, but she appears a little stressed. She doesn’t drink, either, so I can’t ease her mind with a mai tai.

Time for a reset…

OK, time to reset:

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Attention is a finite resource…

I Hope You’ll Forgive Me For Speaking Plainviewly

At a party Saturday night, I carried on while doing an impersonation of Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Hopefully, no amount of alcohol will ever drown the shame and this will never ever happen again.

Django Taking Flight On IronPython

At PyCon, Microsoft demoed Django running on IronPython. This blog post detailing the code says “not quite complete but … [good enough to] get Django’s tutorial running.” From a language geek standpoint, I prefer Ruby (those object-oriented grooves run deep), but IronPython is very clearly on the cusp of adulthood.

In other DLR news, Dermot Hogan has begun a series on writing a DLR language using ANTLR, the compiler-construction tool that I prefer.

Personally, I’m trying to figure out a way to get someone to pay me to write a DLR generator for ANTLR. ANTLR generates abstract syntax trees and this function works fine and is very flexible, allowing you to plug in your own tree-generators. All that needs to happen is the creation of new templates that create DLR expression trees.

My first-quarter project is coming to an end and although it’s been overtime to make our deadline, it’s beginning to look like we’ll deploy next Friday, right on schedule. I’d dearly love to be able to get back to something that had technical and not personnel challenges.

You May Live In Hawai’i If…

You see what looks like a bag of trash near your driveway and it turns out that someone pulled in, dressed the boar they’d caught, and left the carcass for you to haul to the dump. In a bag, at least.

Microsoft’s StartKey: Computer Environment on a USB Stick. I’ve Experienced This Before and It’s Awesome

StartKey will be a technology that allows you to carry your Windows logon around on a USB keychain. Early reaction is mixed as to the value of this, but I loved something similar when I worked for a company developing software for Sun JavaStation network computers.

With JavaStation’s, you had a smartcard that you plugged in and, after 10 seconds or so, up would come your desktop. Since most of the time you work at your desk, most of the time this was not particularly valuable. But let me tell you — it was fantastic for meetings and presentations. No messing around with cables and display settings, no hand-waving when trying to describe an issue you were talking about when you happened to be on the other side of the office.

The difference is that the JavaStations were uniform hardware, too, and all your software lived on the server (which, it turned out at 7AM the morning of a major trade show, is a single point of failure). While you might have a good experience assuming that a random machine has Office on it (a smile creeps across Microsoft’s face), there would presumably have to be a solution for specialist software such as Visual Studio or Photoshop that could not be assumed to be local.

I would think the problem with that is that although memory sticks are probably getting capacious enough, the bus connection between the memory sticks and the main computer are going to be bottlenecks.

Fool Me For The Nth Time, Shame ^Nth on Me

Unbe-freakin’-lievable. The client who screwed me back in October called and, sure enough, gave me an assignment for an article that, just as I predicted, they now needed ASAP. Because I was hopeful that this would allow my context-sensitive image-resizing code to see the light of day, I agreed, working 12 hour days and through last weekend in order to clear out the time to write the thing. And then… yep, they delayed the article.

Well, fool me once, etc.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be freelance writers.

If you like science fiction, join tor.com

Tor.com is giving away eBooks of apparently-well-known authors. It’s been a long time since I’ve followed SF, but “free eBook + Kindle” is too good to pass up. So far, I’ve received:

  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi — I’m reading this now; it’s kind of like an updated Starship Troopers with a sense of humor.
  • Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
  • The Outstretched Shadow by Merces Lackey and James Mallory

Ted Leung, Python-ista, joins Sun

Ted Leung has joined Sun to help support Python “in a similar fashion” to the JRuby project.

This is not just about Python on on the JVM. Sun will try to make its platforms, OpenSolaris and the JVM, the best place to develop and deploy Python applications.

But it’s mostly about Python on the JVM. With IronPython approaching “fully baked” status, Python book sales up 31% over last year (http://radar.oreilly.com/Language_all.jpg), and applications like ResolverOne, Python is stealing some of the dynamic language thunder from Ruby.

The relative pace of Jython/JRuby and IronPython / IronRuby ought to provide plenty of ammunition for undoubtedly-overly-broad conclusions about the technical merits of the managed platforms and corporate cultures.

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