When
· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · June
· · · · 04 (3 entries)

Go Visit Phobos · Hey, I see that Roberto has pushed some actual software bits to the Phobos site. Phobos is a server-side scripting framework that runs on the Java platform. Right at the moment, it’s all JavaScript, but the hooks are there to wire in other languages. I’ve been a major Phobos cheerleader for a year or more inside Sun, but my only actual contribution is the astronomical logo. There were people here who were considerably ambivalent about showing Phobos to the world, and for good reason; they asked “What is Phobos, actually?” and wondered about its relationship to the rest of GlassFish. I’m not 100% sure what Phobos is myself, but it’s interesting as a thought experiment, showing that you can do the kind of lightweight zero-deployment things that people don’t think Java does. The Reddit/Dojo mashup demo is seriously cool. Finally, while the server-side JavaScript notion is pretty weird, go have a look at the code; writing an AJAX app all in one language is seductive on the face of it.
 
Seventeen Years Later · June 4th is the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Go search YouTube for Tienanmen, lots of good stuff including several versions of the famous guy-and-the-tank footage. The best book I’ve ever read about the spring of 1989 in China is Jan Wong’s Red China Blues. It still seems to me that China’s current political structure is flimsy, teetering, and ready to implode.
 
The Toronto Bombers · This story has Canadians shaking their heads. It turns out that it was a sting, the police supplied the 3 tons of ammonium nitrate that you could use to make a McVeigh-style bomb, only bigger. The Toronto Star has a story (it’ll probably vanish behind the paywall) that introduces each of the people charged. They turn out to be mostly suburban, mostly Canadian; two of them are actually in jail after pleading guilty last October to sneaking a couple of guns across the border. For a moment I wondered if the cops were going overboard, encouraging a bunch of wannabe-jihadi wankers; but then I realized that these are demographically an awful lot like the bunch that blew up the London Underground; so it’s probably an example of good policing. Even if we manage to stop the bleeding in the Middle East, some ethnic group somewhere in the world is always going to be oppressed and getting beat up; let’s hope the future bombers living among us are as clueless as this bunch.
 
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