Friday, October 29, 2004

President Edwards? A mathematical possibility

Stephen Marmon's article paints the scenario in which we could have John Edwards in the Oval office come Jan 2005. Interesting, if not anything.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Google your desktop -- Sweet!

The new Google Desktop Search is really a nice extrapolation (or is it really an intrapolation) of what Google does for the Internet.

You can now just as easily search the contents of your desktop -- including Outlook-based emails. Even nicer, when you search the web using Google, it prefaces the search results with hits on your local machine!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

JSF & Struts to co-exist?

Craig McClanahan, the creator of Struts and one of the leaders in the JSF 1.0 spec sees a world where JSF is a souped up presentation layer for a Struts-controlled application. He writes at length about this in his blog.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Continuous Integration Tools' Feature Matrix

Found an interesting feature matrix comparing various CI tools.

Aside: I got to this point from some article referring to Damage Control. I looked high and low at the site to see what is Damage Control. I could only infer that it is a tool in the same genre as CruiseControl. Sure could use better introductory docco. There is a lot of information if you already know what it is and what you need.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

AOP popularity inhibitors

Dion Almaer writes about the growing interest in aspect oriented programming. There are, however, several hurdles to large scale adoption of AOP as one of the tricks of the trade.

  • Using AOP requires not only a recognition of the cross-cutting concerns but also a paradigm shift programming practices. Conversely once you get into it, everthing starts looking like a cross-cutting concern. It is easy to confuse a candidate for method extraction refactoring with a concern
  • Another inhibitor is tooling support. For better or for worse we are only as good as our IDE will let us be. It is hard to decipher logic that has been advised without proper in-place annotations. Eclipse's AJDT goes a long way. However if you use Spring's AOP, you are SOL. So you find that AOP is not applied unless the pain (of not using it) is unbearable
  • Using AOP doesn't -- in most cases -- allow you to do something you couldn't do without it. It just makes it easier, nay logical. If on the other hand if it opened new avenues, it would have taken off gangbusters
  • Arcane terminology is also a barrier to acceptance

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Customize passwords by application

With Nic Wolff's nifty script you can now manage the passwords for all the countless sites that need one without having to remember countless different ones. Simply remember a master key, provide the domain you are accessing and it generate a nasty looking one. Very cool!

Surely, you aren't using the same one everywhere...Yeah! Right!

Attribute: Jon Udell's blog

Hey NASA! There's got to be a better way

NASA is going to use Hollywood stunt helicopter pilots to snag a space capsule from mid-air. Now if I had suggested some such escapade I would have been laughed off the lot. How about a splashdown in the ocean? The Russians have been doing hard earth landings -- with astronauts, nyet cosmonauts on board -- since the sixties....

Oh! And if I am looking for some mid-air snagging, I don't know about going with a company called Vertigo!

All jokes aside....good luck NASA. I hope you pull it off.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

System tray notification for CruiseControl

You can now get feedback for your CruiseControl builds right on your Windows' system tray. Checkout pragmatic automation for instructions.

Eclipse annoyances...

For all the wonderful things it does, Eclipse is aggravating about other things. . For example

Code completion not really helpful
Code completion is nice if it is a little intelligent about it. For example, if I type

Monkey m = (M

Pressing CTRL+SPACE should automatically populate Monkey as the default for a cast operation instead of giving me a list of gazillion things that it knows about starting with M.

Paste doesn't work if you have a code segmet folded
Say, you have a block of text in the clipboard buffer. You want to paste it thusly

-- Desired paste location ---

--- Next line is the beginning of a folded section ---

It won't work! The first paste operation (CTRL+V: on Windows) unfolds the folded section. (Pray Why?). A second paste operation will then actually paste it.

Aaaargh! Wherefore art thou IDEA?

The aliens are coming....The aliens are coming!

For the last year or so, the SETI project has been following some unusual radio signals from a sector of space detected by the Arecibo observatory. Lately, while most of those signals have disappeared, one of them has become more pronounced.

Now, apparently there is a universal "Ahoy! mate" signal. Scientists poring over the SETI logs have matched the frequency of the signals to the aforementioned greeting. They feel that it is highly unusual for a natural phenomenon to repeatedly send such a signal.

Read more about SHGbo2+14a (now isn't that a cute name) at the Guardian.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Broadband (VoIP) Phone Rocks!

I have just had my broadband phone service from AT&T for a week and so far it's been outstanding!

After having agonized over it for months researching the technology and comparing offerings from various I settled on AT&T cecause (a) They claimed their differentiator was call quality and (b) because I had a 30-day risk free trial and so I had nothing to lose. An added incentive was $19.99 per month offer during the current promotion.

So far, I have been quite pleased. The call quality has been very good. In fact my international calls have been perceptibly clearer than my original land-line service.

  • Great price
  • Lot of features
    • Voice mail -- Can check online, can receive email notification of voice mail
    • Call forwarding, waiting, caller id etc etc
    • Can set up multiple phones to ring at the same time to locate you!
Down Side
  • When you lose power you'll lose phone service -- Since I lose power maybe once a year, I can live with that
  • You have to dial 10 digits even to call your neighbor -- I think in some bigger locales people already have to do that even with their land-lines
  • You may not be able to keep your existing phone number. This is dependent on whether or not the provider has coverage in my area. If I had gone with Vonage, for example, I could not have kept my existing number. This was a very important for me
Remember to disconnect from your land-line service before hooking the VOIP adapter to your wall outlets.
If you are hesitating because the phone adapter that hooks to the cable/DSL modem has only one phone outlet, don't worry. You simply connect that to the traditional phone wall outlet. Since phone lines are wired in parallel all of them will go live!

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