Month: July 2002

  • Do you visit the weblogs you read? Mac Net Journal asks the question, and my comments are here.

  • Ford does something intelligent: They will be discontinuing the Excursion soccer assault vehicle in 2004.

  • No Staroffice for OSX?  It seems so.  Sun is denying any involvement in an OSX port:

    “There is a port of OpenOffice in development that is coming along quite well, but there is no development of a StarOffice port at this time,” Nancy Lee, group product marketing manager, office productivity at Sun, told MacCentral.

  • Web Services Architecture Usage Scenarios: A working draft by the w3c illustrating how web services can make life easier.

  • Amtrak derailment update: These pictures were taken locally with an APS camera.

  • The Web Services DevCon is mighty tempting.  Now all I have to do is justify it in my mind and my bank account.

  • Too Easy to Collaborate?  Michael Helfrich recalls some past experience with collabaration:

    The IT guy concluded that, “You guys are making it way too easy to share with others.” And then he dropped the bomb: “Listen, our business users are stupid, we have to help protect them from themselves.” Yea, and if you allow them to share and work securely with others this company JUST might keep up with the demands of the street, because human interaction is the rocket fuel that propels innovation.

  • Windows 2000 Service Pack 3: The Register is reporting that SP3 is available now.  Grab it here [125MB].

  • [H]ard|OCP releases an RSS feed: Good stuff.

  • Algorithm::Evolutionary: It is a perl library designed to make evolutionary algorithms easier and available to more people.  Here is what the freshmeat description has to say about the 0.5 release:

    Algorithm::Evolutionary is a flexible set of classes for doing evolutionary computation in Perl, integrated with XML for evolutionary algorithm description. So far, it contains classes for doing string, tree, and vector array-based evolutionary computation, several variation operators, and simple population-level algorithms. It has been distributed algorithms using SOAP, and integrated with the DBI and HTML::Mason libraries. It contains an XML dialect for definition of evolutionary algorithms, called EvoSpec; experiments defined using Algorithm::Evolutionary can be completely serialized/deserialized using this language.

  • The Shifted Librarian agrees:

    More format choices = bad, although when you get beyond 128 MB, there’s some incentive. Smaller memory cards worry me because I have a difficult enough time keeping track of my Sony memory sticks. Anything smaller (the xD-Picture Card is about the size of a penny) and I might accidentally eat it thinking I’m grabbing a breath mint out of my bag.

    Besides, the user interface for tracking 8 GB worth of pictures would be unreal. I have problems organizing the 6 GB on my Archos Jukebox MP3 player, so 8 GB of anything that I’d have to wade through on  a small device would probably make my head explode. The industry needs some serious usability testing and implementation before introducing this much memory in a package that small.

  • Fuji and Olympus announced a new digital storage format today called “xD-Picture Card .”  Here’s a press release from Fuji.  Olympus also released an identical document.  I have been working in the photo retail business for over five years now, and I’d like to think that I’m qualified to weigh in on this new format.

    This new format cannot be “a good thing.”  Basically, there are already too many film formats.  Consumers must choose among compact flash, smartmedia, Sony’s memory stick, secure digital (SD) or multimedia cards (MMC).  Compact flash cards are by far the most popular, due in part to their close resemblance to PCMCIA cards. Fuji and Olympus are the only major manufacturers still using smartmedia, a format that the two companies invented to challange compact flash.  Smartmedia currently ranks the third most popular storage format, though sales of smartmedia have been extremely slow lately, while CF and SD/MMC have been selling like hotcakes.

    The new format will initially be available in 16MB-128MB sizes.  There’s nothing particularly special here.  You can purchase a compact flash card in stores that has a 512MB capacity.  You can even achieve more storage if you use a microdrive, a spinning hard drive the size of a compact flash card.  Fuji and Olympus claim that the new format will be able to read and write at 3MB/s, a good speed, but one that is currently possible with compact flash cards.

    The new format will supposedly scale to 8GB.  That’s all fine and dandy, but considering you can order a 1gig solid state compact flash card today, who’s to say that it won’t scale to 8GB and beyone either?  The only other thing that could save this new card format is price, but according to the press release, “Pricing for xD-Picture Cards and accessories will be similar to SmartMedia.”

    The new format does have one thing going for it: its size.  The card is slightly larger than a penny.  Size is the reason that many people have switched from compact flash over to secure digital and multimedia cards, though both are larger than xD.

    To summarize, I think that yet another digital storage format is not the answer.  This new format may cause financial trouble for Fuji and Olympus.

  • microVNC: A really tiny VNC server.  Is my toast done?  Slashdot discussion is here.

  • Salon Blogs has been great for the radio community and the weblogging community as a whole.  Since the Salong blogs went live, I’ve seen several new weblogs worth reading, and also a spike in useful radio tools, tips, and tricks.  Rock on.

  • RadioExpress: A radio hack that allows you to use bookmarklets for easy blogging. [via Radio Free Blogistan.]

  • w.bloggar: A very cool looking ‘blogging interface.

  • PHP XML-RPC implementations from my morning web stumbling:

    So far I have only downloaded the phpRPC implementation, and it looks pretty complete.  I’ll post more as I play with it.

  • Andre Malraux: “The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.”

  • Choosing Data Structures: It may seem trivial at times, but perhaps the right datastructure for the job will simplify things.

  • There’s something surreal about a helicopter hovering 50 feet above your head.