When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · March
· · · · 24 (5 entries)

Billmon · This is the pseudonym of the au­thor of Whiskey Bar, which would be just an­oth­er pro­gres­sive po­lit­i­cal blog if it weren’t so very well-written. Bill­mon burned out part­way through last fall’s elec­tion and signed of­f. Then, in Jan­uary, he was back (pro­voked by a news sto­ry that made my blood run cold, too) but his posts con­sist­ed en­tire­ly of carefully-attributed quo­ta­tions from con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal pub­lic fig­ures, plus ma­li­cious­ly and amus­ing­ly doc­tored pho­tograph­s. If you are a be­liev­er in the in­tegri­ty or in­tel­li­gence of the cur­rent U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion you will prob­a­bly find them ir­ri­tat­ing, but may nonethe­less ad­mit that they are well-done. To­day, for the first time in month­s, he gave us a few para­graphs in his own voice, which I think well-worth a vis­it.
 
Mind Expansion by Mikael · The Rails (& Ruby) hype is be­com­ing deaf­en­ing to the point that I can’t ig­nore it; while pok­ing around I came across the home of one Mikael Brock­man, yet an­oth­er pre­co­cious Scan­di­na­vian hack­er (what’s go­ing on up there?). Any­how, I’d al­ways vague­ly un­der­stood con­tin­u­a­tions and knew that smart peo­ple thought they were great, but I looked at the code from his es­say Con­tin­u­a­tions on the Web [Sigh, that link is dead. It’s in the archive] and thought “I can’t be­lieve that does what he says”, but it turns out that OS X comes with Ru­by and yes, it does what he says. But I had to spend a long time look­ing at it to see why. Will this kind of id­iom ev­er en­ter the main­stream? I’m not sure, but in­ter­nal­iz­ing it will make you a lit­tle smarter.
 
What’s a Gigabyte? · 109 is, of course 1,000,000,000. One mil­lion K is 1,024,000,000. One thou­sand megabytes is 1,048,576,000. 230 is 1,073,741,824. And on my new V20z box­es, a “gigabyte” is 1,073,238,016 bytes. Fur­ther dis­cus­sion at the Wikipedia.
 
Java, the Grid, and Rio · I’m think­ing about how you’d run a big dis­tribut­ed Ja­va sys­tem as a ser­vice across a whole lot of net­worked com­put­er­s, spread­ing out on­to new pro­ces­sors as re­quired, and ex­chang­ing high mes­sage vol­umes. Sounds kind of like a “grid”, doesn’t it? Pok­ing around for APIs first turns up DRMAA, but it seems to be ori­ent­ed to­wards batch jobs that run for a while then stop and don’t talk to each oth­er much. Daniel Tem­ple­ton point­ed me at the Rio Frame­work (from Jini-land), which looks like more or less ex­act­ly what you’d wan­t. Ac­tu­al­ly, Daniel just gave me the name “Rio Framework”, which turns out al­so to be the name of an alternative-policy treaty, and then search­ing for “Java Rio” gives us Peter del Rio as well as var­i­ous sum­mits and JUGs in Brazil, so it was re­al work to find the soft­ware. This frag­ment is a con­scious at­tempt to give it a lit­tle Google-juice; I’ll re­port back on whether it work­s.
 
Calling all Canadians · Ra­dio guy Tod Maf­fin just wrote up an im­pend­ing re­draft of Cana­di­an copy­right law. If this turns in­to a fu­tile at­tempt to shore up failed busi­ness mod­els by forc­ing the de­vel­op­ment of user-unfriendly tech­nol­o­gy, I’m not go­ing to take it ly­ing down. Other places to look are Michael Geist’s site and the Cana­di­an In­ter­net Pol­i­cy and Public In­ter­est Clin­ic, which he found­ed. Cana­di­an­s, please take note and get in the loop. With a mi­nor­i­ty gov­ern­ment in Ot­tawa, we may even get some lever­age. [Up­date: If you read Michael Geist’s cov­er­age, it ap­pears that the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion is a lot less bad than it might have been. We should still be vig­i­lan­t, be­cause the oth­er side will be try­ing to tilt the ta­ble their way.] [Up­date: Ray­mond Lutz wrote me to point out Dig­i­tal Copy­right Cana­da, an­oth­er ad­vo­ca­cy site.]
 
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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