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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-25

  • The Register says that F# was “sneaked into” VS2010 in a “stealth” launch. Uh… #
  • Hey, United Airlines! You should turn off DEBUG in your ua2go ASP.Net site. (PS: You have a bug in getFileName() ) #
  • Commodore 64 and Amiga emulators for the iPhone If these get approved w/o significant clarification… #
  • RED SOX!!!!!!! WOWWWW!!!!!! #
  • Adobe throws in towel on Flash-to-iPhone #
  • Red Sox are beginning to look like the Red Sox! #
  • Photographers: Do 5+ megapixel phonecams make any sense? Don’t tiny lenses fundamentally limit images to snapshot quality? #
  • Link for that cautionary tale about s/w entrepreneurship that ends with “he forgot that 1% wasn’t the smallest marketshare”? #
  • “Find Your Sole Heir — Billionaire Edition.” #apps_I_should_write #

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Legal Contracts Written in Code

The SEC is considering mandating that Python be used to express certain financial contracts, allowing the potential buyer to ‘programmatically input the user’s own assumptions regarding the future performance and cash flows from the pool assets, including but not limited to assumptions about future interest rates, default rates, prepayment speeds, loss-given-default rates, and any other necessary assumptions.’

I love this idea!

Contract disputes, which unfortunately crop up every once in a while when you’re a consultant, are horrifically expensive to adjudicate, because both sides invariably interpret some definitions in different ways and dispute which clauses have precedence.

Oh how I’d love to have a contract whose appendix was the behavior-driven steps of the various Cucumber-defined clauses!

Feature: Automated Resolution

In order to avoid expensive litigation

As a contract signatory

I want to resolve disputes using a mechanical method

Scenario: Invoice dispute over unsatisfactory work

Given contractor submits an invoice in the amount of $100

And Contractee finds that work is unsatisfactory

When Contractee disputes invoice

Then the dispute shall be resolved by The Contract Program

Not that this would magically make contract disputes go away, but I can imagine it helping. At least until someone builds a recursive clause-defining clause and makes a Turing-complete Contract Program and then defines a non-computable contract.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-18

  • Thought Experiment: All songs sold on the iTunes store must be originally composed on a piano, organ, or guitar. #
  • “Tiberius Cologne” Set odor on stunning! #
  • Facebook now lets you @-dress tag someone and then emails you the comments to that post. Spam countdown: 10, 9, 8, 7… #
  • “I’m 21…the ‘books’ that come to define my generation will be impossible to print. This is great.” #
  • Short sharp EQ felt in Kalaoa #
  • Wow. #
  • I was going to do the same thing with “Aguirre: The Wrath of God” #
  • Getting depressed listening to Red Sox game… #
  • Those with a view of the Sunset tonight should look for a beautiful crescent moon nestled above Mercury and near Venus. #
  • I love writing, but it’s absolutely amazing how rebellious my mind is about settling in and getting to work. Oh! Recycling needs sorting! #
  • Moon and the Pleiades last night were absolutely GORGEOUS. Hope you had a chance to see them… #
  • STL ties game 1-1 in bottom of 19th inning! 20th inning coming up! #
  • If you live in the Midwest, go out of your way to see the Shuttle re-enter tomorrow AM. It’s an astonishing sight and few chances left… #
  • My fantasy baseball team is absolutely imploding. Oh yeah, and the Red Sox, too. #

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eBook Annotations Should Be Optional

Having just finished Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” — a book which in two typical pages produces the words: “squailed,” “vadose,” “bated” (not in it’s normal sense), “terra damnata,” “carreta,” “monocline,” “sleared,” “rebozos,” “fusil,” and “clackdish” — I have an opinion on this post from O’Reilly on eBook Annotations

The only thing worse than having no annotations in a difficult text is having annotations: I hated those overly-footnoted texts of Shakespeare and the classics that combined actually interesting footnotes with constant vocabulary (the meaning of “terra damnata” is obvious and if “fusil” reminds you of “fusilier”…).

On the other hand, I wouldn’t at all mind some kind of annotation and analysis to accompany a challenging work like this. eBooks actually have the opportunity to have the finest user experience possible: allowing a spectrum of annotations (from vocabulary to book-summing essays) to be shown, or not, wholly under the user’s control.

If you just show all the links at all times, then the reader never knows the difference between “Footnote 538: A type of flower” and “Footnote 539: This is considered the central passage of the text…”