Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Technology (Page 2 of 9)

CFEclipse Article on IBM developerWorks

Hey, I work across the hall from this guy! He’s got a window, but since he’s published I won’t begrudge him that. 😉

The article is a good tutorial on the CFEclipse plugin for the Eclipse IDE, which I use for ColdFusion coding at work. (Eclipse and I have come to a pause in our struggle and are trying to normalize relations to avoid future conflict.) I had been ignoring the snippet feature for a while, since I didn’t see a lot of time savings with it, but Jim’s article convinced me to use it again.

Anyway, if you want more about ColdFusion, check out

Not one Gphone, but many

Rumors have been swirling for quite a long time that Google was coming up with a hardware competitor for Apple’s iPhone. Apparently not. They’ve just announced Android, a collection of OS, UI, and applications for mobile devices that is meant to run across various hardware supplied by major mobile device makers. They’re planning to release an SDK for developers in November, with phones based on the platform showing up later in 2008.

So, software for mobile phones that allows third-party applications? Sounds like a direct shot at OS X on the iPhone. I wonder if Apple will get their SDK out there a little earlier now? (Too bad they didn’t work together. That would have been interesting.)

Link courtesy of Planet Intertwingly.

Cat-like Typing Detected

LOLCats has given birth to LOLCode, which I’m pretty sure is the programming language of the future. Consider:

I HAS A <var> ITZ …

Declare a variable. Note the following:

  • Every variable is an array.
  • ITZ … has been reserved for future usage and should not be used (except possibly for initialization of single-element arrays)
  • At present, all arrays are heterogeneous (they can have different types of values in them). This may change in the future!

All values are typed, and the types are:

  • NUMBAR (signed integer, at least 32 bits wide)
  • YARN (string)
  • ARRAY (contains NUMBARs and/or YARNs and/or ARRAYs)

Currently the interpreter and/or compiler does type checking at compile and/or runtime. This may get nailed down to one or the other in future recommendations.

There is also a .NET compiler.

I’m going to be lucky if I can get through the day without typing CAN HAS or KTHXBYE into my code.

Update: Good examples of code.

Link courtesy of Boing Boing. Title courtesy of PawSense.


Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD

And this is how you win a format war: Target Bets It All on Blu-ray.

It’s not about consumer choice or minor technology advantages. It is about marketing and business development with content providers, electronics suppliers, and retailers. Microsoft hasn’t gone all out in supporting HD-DVD — leaving it out of the XBox 360 except as an add-on — even though they were among those who backed the format. Sony, on the other hand, is making sure when we see a HD disc or player, it’s Blu-ray. Blockbuster has dropped HD-DVD from its stores for now, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see others follow suit.

In Europe, according to the article, HD-DVD players are outselling Blu-ray 3 to 1. Will Toshiba and Microsoft be able to take that advantage in hardware sales and convince stateside retailers there’s an advantage to working with their format? Will Europe end up getting stuck with a bunch of Betamax players, or will that market be strong enough to decide what happens in the U.S.? (Or, even more likely, will we just end up seeing a basic format difference between Europe and the U.S., much like with PAL and NTSC?)

I am technologically useful

Starting at Year 0, could you help advance civilization? I like to think my Civ IV skills would help, but somehow I have a feeling I would die pretty quickly as a result of a smelter accident…or maybe just looking at someone the wrong way. This quiz thinks I might be useful, though.

Quite good. Starting from the year 0, you might be able to advance civilization to the 17th or even 19th century. You are technologically useful.

Must have been all those “science” books I read as a kid. I wonder if they still have books just about Science? 🙂

Link courtesy of The Tom Kyte Blog.

Free Market Rules!

Yeah, it’s great how the free market and competition has a good chance of sorting out any problems we have with net neutrality and Internet access. Or, at least, that’s what the Federal Trade Commission says.

This report recommends that policy makers proceed with caution in the evolving, dynamic industry of broadband Internet access, which generally is moving toward more — not less — competition. In the absence of significant market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area.

Heck, we could even benefit from this competitive marketplace!

As the report notes, certain conduct and business arrangements that broadband providers may pursue, including data prioritization, exclusive deals, and vertical integration into online content and applications, can benefit consumers.

I know I certainly benefit from the competition between getting my broadband access from the one cable provider permitted to run cable to my house, whichever DSL provider is willing to work with the only telephone provider permitted to serve my address, and two…count them…TWO satellite providers that, uh, use the same DSL or satellite Internet services.

It sure is great living in this free market made up of tiny monopoly contracts all across the country. I can’t see any problems occurring as soon as the providers are allowed to do whatever they want with network traffic. To get a different selection of providers, all we need to do is move, possibly to another state!

Seriously, we might be entering a time when there is slightly more competition in broadband — maybe wireless — but as long as we have exclusive infrastructures we need to keep them as open as possible. The promise of high-speed data transfer is the possibility of greater choice, not just faster delivery of what Time-Warner, Comcast, or AT&T want us to see. We got that back in the Eighties, one exclusive municipal cable contract after another.

Link courtesy of GigaOM.

Google Folders

Google’s new interface is nice, and it seems like it even works a bit faster. However, I’ve seen a few blogs mentioning they replaced tags with folders — the blog I linked to isn’t one of them — and it appears they just renamed the tags as folders and put a little folder icon next to them.

Google Folders

As I said, the new interface works great, but is there really a large part of the Internet populace that can’t be comfortable with tags unless they have a folder icon next to them? 🙂

The Ohio Backup Plan

You know that Ohio state government data storage device, containing the personal information of hundreds of thousands of people, that was stolen from an intern’s car? You ever wonder why that kind of information would be in an intern’s car? Well, the Associated Press explains:

Under protocol in place since 2002, a first backup storage device is kept at a temporary work site for a state office along with the computer system that holds all the employee information, and a second backup device is given to employees on a rotating basis to take home for safekeeping, officials said.

That reminds me: I need to go and put my backup drives in their customary location in the old hollow tree out back.

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