Showing posts from October, 2010

Convergence on HTML5 for user facing software development

News this morning on ZDNet about Microsoft moving away from Silverlight towards using HTML5 is more good news. I expect (hope!) to see more iPhone and Android development to be based on HTML5 rather than native apps. As we see improvements in device independence (i.e., getting to read email, tweet, watch video, video teleconference, etc. on our smart phones, netbooks, laptops, Google TV, Wii, XBox, etc.) I hope to see real improvements in development platforms for universal applications.

Java support on the Mac

Long term, this is a big issue for me: I spend a lot of my time developing Java, Clojure, and Scala code using IntelliJ so I need support for desktop Java apps like IntelliJ. For now, my customer (CompassLabs) is a Clojure shop (at least the work I do) and Emacs+swank+Clojure is a sweet combination, so Clojure development will not really be impacted because this does not require Swing desktop app support. But I am pretty much addicted to IntelliJ for Java and Scala coding. I would be interested in an official statement from JetBrains how they will handle this issue, long term. An easy solution is to just use my i5 Windows+Ubuntu laptop in the future.

review of new Hulu Plus service

I got a beta preview invite today, and so far it looks really good: HD, no opening commercials (at least for what I chose to watch during my lunch break), and additional material. Hulu Plus is $10/month so I may not use it permanently but I will give it a try for several months. Just my opinion, but Hulu Plus at a reduced rate of $5 or $6/month would make it more compelling since for $15/month I get 2 Netflix blu-ray movie checkouts (at the same time) and their very good streaming service. My wife and I are also Directv customers and although we really like the service, it is expensive. Directv must be worried about competition from direct Internet viewing options because they called up several nights ago and offered a small reduction in my monthly rate and a free 6 month promotion for all their channels (except for pay per view). Directv is a good user experience. If you are like me, you use movies and a few TV shows for something to do while either bored or too tired at the end o

Future society: an optimum strategy for flourishing

I just watched this interview with Tim Wu . He nails it re: the tendency of information industries to move from open to closed systems. I just pre-ordered his new book: The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires There is little doubt in my mind how our society is going to evolve in an era of consolidated corporate power and ubiquitous information systems. Although I don't subscribe to the idea that history repeats itself, I do believe that history does inform us about human nature and how powerful people fight to consolidate power and influence. This tendency is firmly stapled into our DNA. There will almost certainly be strife between what used to be the middle class and financial and political elites. I read yesterday that one of the international rating agencies predicted a loss of "social cohesion" in the USA. Right now, there are large strikes in France over raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. It is interesting that here in the USA, the wa

Social network based authentication done right

Although there are valid privacy concerns using social networks like Facebook, and to a lessor degree Twitter (because almost all tweets are intended to be public), for most of us the value proposition of shared user identity between web sites provides advantages of consistent login/authentication without multiple accounts and also enabling web sites to potentially show you more things that are interesting based on your online behavior. I have been an occasional user since they went beta. Today I was looking at their login/authentication scheme that uses either Twitter or Facebook authentication. I tried using both Twitter and Facebook for authentication and liked that Hunch recognized that my previous Hunch account, my Facebook account, and my Twitter account belonged to the same person and immediately offered to merge the accounts. Giving a site like Hunch the ability to access some Twitter and Facebook data on users opens up even more opportunities for using machine l

Nice: Clojure results now in Computer Language Benchmarks Game

Examples: Clojure vs. Ruby 1.9 : median results 8 times faster Clojure vs. Java 6 server : median results 4 times slower Clojure vs. Python 3 : median results 10 times faster

My travel journal notes for my Siberia, Japan, and China trip

Here are my rough notes that I was emailing to my family and friends. As I edit them I will post a few of my best pictures here on my public Picasa web alblum - just look for recent photo albums with "2010" in the title. I did not make notes for the first week as we were going north west through the Aleutian Islands and into the Bering Sea. Fun excursion: 1.25 hour drive Petropavlovsk to Indigenous village We went way off the beaten track today, but had a lot of fun. Except for a lot of driving on very bad roads, most of the day was spent inside an Indian style lodge similar to what a large family would live in during the long winter. Entrance was a long very low tunnel. The lodge had a small hole in the ceiling directly above the fire pit. Three women sang and danced inside the lodge, one spoke a little English and told stories and legends, etc. They also cooked us a meal that was pretty good. I have some fantastic video of the singing and dancing (similar to Southw

I am back home after a 4 week vacation: blog comments are now enabled

I did not want to deal with blog comment SPAM while travelling so I had temporarily turned off comments. I will post my travel log when I get a chance.