Daily links for 02/28/2011

Open Source iPad Apps

Other news

  • “The domain name was recently acquired by Linux Fund from the City of Salem, Oregon for an undisclosed amount. Salem’s public library was using the domain for a kids-to-Internet program entitled the Oregon Public Education Network. The Linux Fund purchased the domain at public auction.”

    tags: Open Source

  • ​”The Village lost a life-long partisan and a true voice last Friday, with the passing of Susan Rotolo after a long illness, at home in her Noho loft and the arms of her husband of 40 years, Enzo Bartoccioli. Suze Rotolo was a talented artist (the maker of artist books and delicate book-like objects), as well as an illustrator, a sometime activist, an erstwhile East Village Other slum goddess, a devoted wife, a proud mother, a poet’s muse, a good comrade, and late in her too-short life, a published author. She was intensely private but as the radiant young woman on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, she became a legendary figure and even a generational icon. Just writing that I can hear her annoyed chortle–although she did humorously allow, after years of dodging rabid Dylanologists, that she was some sort of “artifact.””

    tags: rotolo dylan

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

POSSCON: My talk has a name and is scheduled

logoAs I previously announced, I’ll be speaking at POSSCON 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina on March 23. I’ll be on the panel “The Future of Open Source” from 10 to 10:45 am and then I’ll be giving the talk “Landmines for Open Source in the Mobile Space” from 1:10 to 1:35 pm. Here’s the abstract for the talk:

With all the progress open source software has made in the last few years, especially Linux, things don’t seem quite so certain in the area of software for mobile devices. In this talk I’ll discuss some of the problems developers are facing as they try to build applications for the hottest platforms and the choices they have available to reach the maximum number of users.

As I prepare the talk over the next few weeks I’ll put some links up here to relevant sites that support some of the points I’ll be making or provide more information.

Sailing: Start of the 2011 season

It was October 10th of last year when I published my final blog entry on my very abbreviated 2010 sailing season. We bought a used 1988 Catalina 22 sailboat in July, got it into Lake Ontario in August, and then pulled it out in early October.

The pull-out date was a bit early because of a shredded forestay, the cable that goes from the top of the mast to the front of the boat and on which you raise the jib. To refresh your memory, this is what it looked like:

broken headstay

This happened as were lowering the jib at the dock, it was not something I sailed with. It did indicate that the standing rigging, all those cables coming down to the front, back, and sides of the boat, also needed replacement. I have no idea when if ever they were replaced last. Since 10 years is a good lifespan for them, I was really pushing it on a 22 year old sailboat if indeed they were original.

Sailboat rigging, from Wikipedia

So as I looked out the window here in northwest New York at the snow covering the ground, I performed my first specific action to kick off the 2011 sailing season: I spent money.

The boat will not go into the water again until late April, but I had to do something to replace that old rigging. Catalina Direct is a good source of replacement parts and so today I ordered a new forestay (16), a backstay (15), and shrouds. Then I popped over to CatalinaOwners.com and ordered a new mainsail halyard and headsail halyard. These are the ropes that raise and lower the mainsail and front sail, or jib, respectively. I also ordered a new mainsheet, the rope that controls the mainsail swinging left and right.

In the blog entry from October I considered the possibility of ordering a furling jib sail and the hardware for it. As I thought about it this winter, I decided that it could wait at least another year, and the $78 investment in the new forestay would be fine with my current jib.

Furling jibs make it much easier to manage the boat solo or in bad weather, but I figured that if people made due for thousands of years with non-furling versions, I could wait another season. It’s still in the “it would be nice” category, even for this size of boat. For a much bigger boat I would consider it a necessity.

That’s probably it for right now, though I’m considering getting cockpit cushions and a solar panel to charge the battery. Those can both wait for a few more days or weeks if I want then at the beginning of the real in-the-water season.

Update: When I ordered the set of new shrouds, I couldn’t tell whether a forestay was included in the package, so I went ahead and ordered one independently. Thanks for Catalina Direct for calling me to tell me that one was already included, and they were removing the extra item from my order. $78 saved.

Daily links for 02/27/2011

  • “So what will we see on March 2nd? We’re hearing it’s most likely a thinner, spec-bumped variation of the original iPad with a screen size and resolution identical to the current model. More RAM (512MB) and a more powerful CPU (the A5) are expected as well. It’s also a pretty safe bet the tablet will be sporting at least one camera up front — though if some of those case mockups we’ve seen tell us anything, expect a shooter around back too.”

    tags: iPad apple

  • “With the 83rd annual Academy Awards quickly approaching, media junkies will be hurrying to see this year’s latest nominees, while catching up on the latest buzz and predictions. Just in time for the Oscars, we’ve rounded up five apps designed to fill your insatiable hunger for Hollywood’s most important awards show.”

    tags: apps oscars iphone iPad

  • “Of course, literally thousands of sites and forums provide news and information about open source software. To narrow things done, we focused on sites that provide a lot of links of open source applications – the top places to download open source software.”

    tags: Open Source

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/25/2011

  • “Apart from the new iPad, that means one thing: speculation. I’m not immune, so here’s my list of things I think will make it into an already capable machine. I have stuck to features, rather than things like CPU speed, as the internal specifics matter less than what they actually enable you to do.”

    tags: iPad

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/24/2011

  • “Just days after an apparently offhand comment from Nathan Fillion, who played Capt. Malcolm Reynolds on the short-lived Fox series, the Web has once again lit up with efforts to revive the sci-fi franchise. Last week, Fillion, who now stars in ABC’s “Castle,” told Entertainment Weekly he’d love to play Mal again. Then, he ratcheted things up a notch.”

    tags: firefly internet

  • “Virtual functions allow polymorphism on a single argument; however, sometimes there is a need for multi-argument polymorphism. Double dispatch, commonly used in C++ to implement multi-methods, does not lend easily extensible code. Solutions based on function tables are difficult to implement and prevent repeated derivation. This article focuses on two new techniques based on templates and Run Time Type Identification (RTTI). The first is faster but less flexible, the second is slower, but allows new classes to be added without any need to change existing ones.”

    tags: c++ dispatch

  • “On February 23, 2011, WordPress Version 3.1 “Reinhardt”, named in honor of the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, was released to the public. For more information on this enhancement and bug release, read the WordPress Blog, and see the Changelog for 3.1.”

    tags: wordpress

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Almost trout season

Battenkill River in Vermont in FebruaryYesterday my family and I drove through southern Vermont on our way home from a visit to my in-laws in New Hampshire. Whenever possible, I try to drive through Arlington, a small town nestled in the Green Mountains south of Manchester. A key feature for me as well is that the Battenkill River, one of the best trout fishing streams in the world, also flows through Arlington.

A wonderful place to stay in the area is the West Mountain Inn. We’ve been there several times and shared a great trip there with friends several years ago to celebrate my 40th birthday. (Ok, perhaps more than several.)

Years ago I did a lot of fly fishing but it’s fallen off as I’ve picked up other activities in my spare time. This year I’ve pledged to do more again, though not from my sailboat as my wife suggested I should do to combine hobbies efficiently.

The Battenkill is a lovely stream, though in the height of summer your fishing might be interrupted by teenagers tubing down the river. Also, for those of you more accustomed to fishing in southern and western streams, you need to be able keep your backcast low to avoid snagging your fly in a tree. As a guide once told me when I asked him how many flies I needed: “One for you, one for the fish, and one for the tree behind you.”

Trout season opens in Vermont this year on April 9 and you can buy your license here. The Battenkill flows into New York and you can get a jump on Vermont because the season opens in my home state on April 1. You can get a New York fishing license here.

Daily links for 02/23/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/22/2011

  • “Based on a Celeron M low-power processor running at 1.3GHz and with 250GB of storage for movies and music, the Navisurfer is an impressive device in its own right – but the addition of a GPS receiver and 3G HSDPA mobile broadband modem make it feel like something from Knight Rider. Using the mobile broadband connection and the GPS receiver, it’s possible to browse the Internet while in your car, download traffic updates for the in-built navigation software, and even access services such as Google Maps and Facebook Places without needing a separate device.”

    tags: ubuntu navisurfer car

  • “It’s not that uncommon to come across brave plans for GNU/Linux-based computer systems, ranging from games to netbooks to desktops, but they often turn out to be vaporware that never makes it to market. One thing that’s exciting about the Open-PC project is that it actually has hardware in stock now — so if you think you’re actually in the market for a low-cost “nettop” computer with GNU/Linux/KDE branding and a totally-configured operating system pre-configured for newbies (maybe for a gift?), then do read on, this is the real deal.”

    tags: openpc linux gnu

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/21/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/18/2011

  • “This was to be an away game for humanity, I realized as I walked onto the slightly-smaller-than-regulation Jeopardy! set that had been mocked up in the building’s main auditorium. In the middle of the floor was a huge image of Watson’s on-camera avatar, a glowing blue ball crisscrossed by “threads” of thought—42 threads, to be precise, an in-joke for Douglas Adams fans. The stands were full of hopeful IBM programmers and executives, whispering excitedly and pumping their fists every time their digital darling nailed a question. A Watson loss would be invigorating for Luddites and computer-phobes everywhere, but bad news for IBM shareholders.”

    tags: jeopardy watson ibm

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/17/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Photo: The Melting

Today the temperature reached 45 degrees F here in northwest NY but we still have quite a bit of snow on the ground. So while we are getting some melting, I would say that the mounds of snow are more slumping than disappearing.

I had a break from business calls after 5:00 so I took a walk outside to get some air. The photo below shows a puddle formed from melting snow with a reflection of the 200+ year old black walnut tree that is directly above it.

Puddle in February

Daily links for 02/16/2011

IBM and Jeopardy

Browsers

Open Source

  • “The Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software (RCOS) was established with the goal of providing an environment where students can learn about open source software while sharing knowledge, experience, and insight with each other. Students can work on existing open source projects or start their own, honing their technical programming skills in an environment that allows them to work on real-world sized and styled projects while surrounding themselves with other students in many programming disciplines. They can share knowledge, share skills, and learn from others’ strengths and weaknesses.”

    tags: rpi education Open Source

  • “Everyone and their brother seems to be coming out with some kind of Android powered doohickey. This is generating a fair amount of fatigue in consumers, as well as developers, as they grapple with the differing features in each vendor’s Android product. The Linux Foundation hopes to help remedy some of this with their upcoming Android Builders Summit, April 13-14 in San Francisco. This isn’t some Android Users Group potluck, but rather “an intimate forum for collaboration at the systems level and discussion of core issues and opportunities when designing Android devices.””

    tags: linux foundation android

  • “We’ve collected 53 different open source projects that can make your desktop environment faster, prettier, easier to use or just a little different. They run the gamut from small utilities that do just one thing to open source operating systems that can replace Windows. We’ve included a number of tools for Linux users that can help you customize your desktop to meet your unique needs and tastes.”

    tags: open Open Source linux desktop

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Math and AI

Not many people know this, but I was briefly involved with artificial intelligence research in the early 1980’s. In fact, I had to miss my first wedding anniversary because I was at an AI conference in Austin, something I’m still living down almost 27 years later.

I didn’t quit doing AI, it was more that the field with which was involved was kicked out of the club.

I worked in the area of symbolic mathematical computation. Whereas in a spreadsheet you might have rows and columns of decimals that you add or multiply or compute net present value or standard deviations, in symbolic computation you might have an equation like x2 – 1 = 0 and you want to solve for x. (The answer is that x can be 1 or -1.)

In practice you have much bigger polynomials with more variables, elaborate functions, matrices, integrals, differential equations, and so forth, and you want to compute with them. So the field is not focused on strictly numeric computation as in a spreadsheet but also on more advanced mathematical objects that might include symbols or variables such as the x above.

In practice, representing these kinds of objects in computer systems is not trivial but not necessarily that hard because people have been doing it since at least the 1970s at MIT and elsewhere. An example is representing integers that can get arbitrarily large. The number 21000 is too big to fit in a computer’s hardware registers:

1071508607186267320948425049060001810561404811705533607443750
3883703510511249361224931983788156958581275946729175531468251
8714528569231404359845775746985748039345677748242309854210746
0506237114187795418215304647498358194126739876755916554394607
7062914571196477686542167660429831652624386837205668069376

but you can implement it in software.

You store the number as chunks of smaller numbers, do the arithmetic on the smaller chunks, and then carry or borrow among the chunks. Think about how you would do regular addition or multiplication by lining up the numbers in rows and then working on the columns. For example

  123
+  48
-----
  171

where you carry a 1 from the sum in the rightmost column to the column to the left of it. In practice, you don’t deal with single digits in each column but larger numbers when you implement so-called “big integers” or “bignums” in software.

I digress, but my point is that going from the math you do by hand to building software that can handle it is real work, sometimes maddeningly tricky to get right, but is it artificial intelligence?

Doing addition, subtraction, and multiplication as above is very straightforward and algorithmic, but often people get snagged when they need to implement division. This is often true in real life when children are learning how to do long division because it involves some guessing and back tracking. Maybe this guessing, when implemented in a computer, is AI?

One of my favorite quotes is from Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming: Seminumerical Algorithms where he talks about this problem with division:

Here the ordinary pencil-and-paper method involves a certain amount of guesswork and ingenuity on the part of the person doing the division; we must either eliminate this guesswork from the algorithm or develop some theory to explain it more carefully.

Extending this to much more difficult mathematics such as symbolic integration is the crux of the difference between the field being AI or just being computation computer science. At what point do you know how to do enough algorithmically so that the guesswork and perhaps many of the heuristics are explained away?

By the mid-1980s, the powers that be pretty much decided that this was no longer part of AI, but also the whole notion of what is or is not artificial intelligence has changed through the years. Symbolic computation is not a less important field for not being AI per se, and significant theoretical work and important algorithm development and tuning continues to this day.

What might still be AI is understanding a problem given in natural language and then knowing what mathematical techniques should be used to solve it, expressing the result in the same terms originally given. For example, in school you might have had to solve word problems about trains or coins or ages. The answer had to be given in time, or some currency, or years, and you had to learn the algebraic methods to get to that answer. Extended to much more difficult physics or engineering problems might get you closer to real AI in action.

Aside regarding that AI conference in Austin: One evening several of us sat in a hot tub discussing what we thought about the conference and what had happened that day. There was one man we didn’t know, but he was an active member of the conversation. After 20 minutes the rest of us realized that he was not at the AI conference but instead one about lawn mowers. It changed my views about AI because it took us so long to figure that out.

Daily links for 02/15/2011

Linux

  • “The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced a new initiative to promote Linux training within colleges and universities in Malaysia. This initiative by LPI affiliate, LPI-Asia Pacific (LPI-APAC: http://www.lpi-apac.org/), will enable post-secondary academic programs in Malaysia to adopt LPI training as part of their regular IT curriculum. LPI-APAC is working with the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia (http://www.mohe.gov.my) in introducing this program to both private and public educational institutions within Malaysia.”

    tags: linux Malaysia

  • “September 8th 2008 was one of the worst days ever for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and high-end Windows server-based applications. That was the day that the LSE came to a crashing stop. What happened? While the LSE has never come clean on the whole story, my sources told me that the LSE’s Windows-based .NET TradElec stock exchange had crashed. What we do know is that the CEO who had brought Windows and TradElec in was fired, TradElec was dumped, and a Novell SUSE Linux-based platform was brought in to replace it.”

    tags: london linux

IBM and Jeopardy

  • “Watson is an effort by I.B.M. researchers to advance a set of techniques used to process human language. It provides striking evidence that computing systems will no longer be limited to responding to simple commands. Machines will increasingly be able to pick apart jargon, nuance and even riddles. In attacking the problem of the ambiguity of human language, computer science is now closing in on what researchers refer to as the “Paris Hilton problem” — the ability, for example, to determine whether a query is being made by someone who is trying to reserve a hotel in France, or simply to pass time surfing the Internet.”

    tags: watson ai jeopardy

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/13/2011

Open Source

  • “Friday morning at the Tech@State event at the State Department, the White House’s New Media Director Macon Phillips announced the White House’s second code release to the open source community that powers the Drupal content management system.”

    tags: whitehouse drupal Open Source

  • “Looking for a ready-to-go desktop environment brimming with free and open source multimedia production and publishing tools? Try the Design Suite, a Fedora Spin created by designers, for designers.  The Design Suite includes the favorite tools of the Fedora Design Team. These are the same programs we use to create all the artwork that you see within the Fedora Project, from desktop backgrounds to CD sleeves, web page designs, application interfaces, flyers, posters and more. From document publication to vector and bitmap editing or 3D modeling to photo management, the Design Suite has an application for you — and you can install thousands more from the Fedora universe of packages.”

    tags: design fedora linux

  • “So you may have heard of the Women in free software caucus organized by the Free Software Foundation last year. One of the major goals of the womens’ caucus is to bring free software to girls and young women. Deb Nicholson and I have been planning a program to do just that over the past few months with Red Hat and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.”

    tags: digital girl Open Source

  • “In this Roundup, we’ve included a real mix of software, including native Linux clients, ones that run on cross-platform frameworks, standard desktop apps and browser extensions. Of the names you might have expected to see, most omissions were made because the software’s now horribly dated. If you think we’ve omitted a client that should have been here, drop us a line. Or rant about it on your blog.”

    tags: linux blogging

Baseball

  • “The first big report from Spring Training is this: Sunday is the reporting date for pitchers and catchers for Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Diego, Arizona, Boston, Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore, the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago Cubs. It’s going to be a big week. The first full-squad workouts for 15 clubs start on Saturday. By Feb. 23, all players are expected in camp in Arizona and Florida.”

    tags: baseball

Steampunk

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/12/2011

  • “The cell phone market has been undergoing massive changes over the past few years as Apple‘s iPhone and Google‘s Android platform are each competing to become the future of mobile devices. The winner of this mobile race will come down to a mixture of technical, community, and business factors.  I think there are five key areas where there are significant differences, and I’ll be watching for the next few years to see who will win this fight.”

    tags: ipad android

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/11/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tablet wars: Those with the most and best apps win

I just linked to an article over on PCMag.com called “Top Tablet Comparison: iPad vs. Xoom vs. TouchPad vs. PlayBook” that compares the in-the-market iPad with 3 possible contenders that have yet to be sold. The article very correctly discusses which of the tablets are likely to get the most applications (“apps”) built for them.

Personally, I think the market will end up supporting two top contenders: the iPad and the best tablet that runs Android 3+. Then there will be a strong #3, but with far less marketshare than the top two. Though it is really too early to make a fact-based prediction, I would not be surprised if that #3 eventually was a WebOS tablet from HP.

Samsung may be #4, but after that all other contenders will have share lost in the error term. That is, something, but so small that the top contenders’ share and revenue will dwarf it. Put yet another way, share so small that executives at the companies will ask themselves why exactly they are in the market at all. I think Microsoft will not be a significant player here.

I also believe that the dominant tablets will end up being in the 10 inch form factor and not the smaller 7 inch one. I’m not looking for a bigger smartphone, I want something that has decent real estate with which to work and read.

Aside from the variations in hardware, the quantity and quality of the apps will differentiate the contenders. I think some of the vendors are now saying “Well Apple has 15,000 apps [or whatever] but we have 15 REALLY GOOD ONES.” Pretty dumb.

Recommendations and ratings help separate the wheat from the chaff when deciding which one of the one hundred similar apps for a given activity is really the best, but I really think recommenders should be required to state how closely they are related to the app developer. (I’m joking, but some of the 5-star recommendations are really content free.)

It is not easy to write apps for these devices, so the quality of the developer programs will also help determine which hardware gets the most and best apps. This does not obviate the need for developers to support the most popular devices in order to support themselves. However, a bad developer program creates a lot of frustration and bad will. Apple has a very good one and Google appears to have a decent one, but less warm and fuzzy for people starting out.

An important factor is how much code can be shared across implementations on the different devices. For example, if you stick with Objective-C from Apple, it won’t help you with Android. Conversely, Java for Android won’t give you Objective-C. Cross platform kits like Appcelerator Titanium may help you, but I have no personal experience with it.

My philosophy would be to factor the app into a UI front end written in the main language for the device, then have most of the core logic in an engine written in C++. The advantage to this is that you may be able to put a simplified front end on the backend that is then used to drive a test suite on a desktop or server where it is easier to automate such things.

Devices that make it too hard to get high quality cross-platform apps written for them will die off unless they already have massive marketshare or can get it because of successful linkage to other very strong products. Developers will follow the money as well as the platforms with elegant and productive development tools and programs.

Daily links for 02/08/2011

  • “Kenneth Olsen, the MIT engineer who co-founded Digital Equipment Corp., has died at the age of 84, according to local sources. … The company, the world’s second-largest computer manufacturer at its peak, helped put the Rte. 128 corridor west of Boston on the map as one of America’s premier high-tech centers.”

    tags: dec founder

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

POSSCON 2011 – I’m speaking

logoI’m slated to speak this year at POSSCON 2011, the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference in Columbia, South Carolina, from March 23 to March 25. From the conference website:

The Palmetto Open Source Software Conference brings a world-class lineup of IT thought leaders to the Southeast for three days to discuss the latest issues for developers, executives, government leaders and educators.

Open source software continues to be one of the hottest and most relevant topics in information technology as organizations strive to meet the increasing demand for innovation with shrinking budgets. That’s why the goal of the organizers is to provide affordable access to quality open source education.

In 2010, more than 350 people from 14 states, 20 colleges and universities and about 100 business and government organizations attended.

In 2011, POSSCON will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center for all three days and will feature an executive forum, hands-on workshops, and social and networking events. Programming tracks will be offered in the areas of Technical, Educations, Healthcare and Leadership

Update: The video of my keynote is now available.
.

Tips on scraping painted windows

I spent a few hours this weekend scraping the four windows in our bedoom after I finished painting them. These are older wooden sash windows, with 6 panes over 6 panes. For those of you counting, that’s 12 panes per window, or 48 panes total. It gets rather boring to scrape that many windows.

windowI tried using masking tape years ago but was never that happy with the results. So I just paint the wood and later scrape off any paint that gets on the glass panes.

Here are some tips, many of which I actually follow when I am preparing to paint the windows and then when I am finishing the job.

  • If the previous person did not do a good job of scraping the old paint off the glass panes, you should do that before you paint the window. Fill in any gaps between the glass and window with caulk, then let it dry.
  • Clean the glass as well as the other parts of the window before you paint.
  • As you paint, try not to get too much paint on the glass, but you do want the paint to seal between the wood and the glass.
  • Let the paint dry at least 8 hours and preferably closer to 24 before you scrape it. Otherwise the bits you scrape off may paint-glue themselves to your nicely painted wooden sill.
  • Before you scrape, take a sharp knife such as a box cutter and score through the paint where the glass meets the wood. Even if you do use masking tape, don’t forget this step.
  • Presuming you are using a razor blade to scrape, make sure it is sharp, which probably means that is it new. Don’t use the same blade for more than one or two windows, depending on how large they are and how many panes they each contain. Buy extra blades before starting the job.
  • Use a razor blade holder. Your local home center probably has several models. It’s worth paying a bit more for one that is sturdy, holds the blade securely, doesn’t slip, and fits your hand. Scraping is tedious, don’t make it more so by using a tool that will cramp your hand and make the job last longer.
  • Use a stiff non-metallic brush after you scrape off the paint to get the remaining little paint bits out of the corners between the wood and the glass.
  • If you vacuum the window, don’t ruin your new paint job by scraping the vacuum nozzle on the window itself.
  • After the paint has dried for a few days, clean the panes again with a good household window cleaner.

Daily links for 02/07/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/06/2011

  • “The DreamPlug is built with a Marvell Sheeva 1.2GHz CPU coupled with 512MB of DDR2 RAM. It runs on Linux and offers an astounding number of must-have PC features for a device that fits in the palm of your hand: 2MB of Flash, an integrated 1GB microSD card, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, an SD card slot, audio in/out, optical out, WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. All this in a 110mm x 69.5mm x 48.5 mm package.”

    tags: linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/04/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Gardening 2011: First seed purchases

It’s February 3, six to eight inches of snow cover the ground here in northwest New York, climate zone 5b, and it is 10 degrees F. Just to tempt me, our local Wegmans supermarket is now selling gardening seeds at 25% off.

Even though I can’t get the plants in the ground until the end of May and therefore will be starting seeds at the beginning of April, I gave in.

This year I’ve decided to go only with strictly organic seeds. This is what I picked up this morning:

High Mowing Organic Seeds catalog coverI’ll probably purchase my remaining seeds online either from Seeds of Change or High Mowing Organic Seeds. I had good luck with the latter last summer, wild foraging animals notwithstanding.

Last year I started my seeds in the basement on April 2 and while I had enough light, the seeds just weren’t warm enough to germinate quickly. This year I ordered two warming mats to go under the flats. Once the seeds are uncovered I’ll use a small fan to improve air circulation around the seedlings.

But all that is two months away. For now I’ll just collect seeds and get ready for spring.

The Gardening 2011 series

Daily links for 02/02/2011

  • “The big data marketplace has contracted a bit, as Yahoo is ceasing development of its Yahoo Distribution of Hadoop and will be folding it back into the Apache Hadoop project. The company announced the decision in a blog post yesterday, citing a goal “to make Apache Hadoop THE open source platform for big data” as a driving force behind its new strategy. It’s probably a wise idea, because having three free competing distributions — Yahoo, Apache and Cloudera — unnecessarily compartmentalized features and development efforts, and possibly left new Hadoop users with a tough decision in terms of which distribution to download and get to working on.”

    tags: hadoop yahoo cloudera

  • “The WebKit-powered browsers were the big winners: Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer was the big loser. Internet Explorer reached a new all-time low of 56 percent, down 1.08 percentage points from last month. Though Internet Explorer 8 continues to perform well—up 1.15 points from December—defections from Internet Explorer 6 and 7 to other browsers continue to dominate, with those versions losing 1.63 and 0.47 points respectively. The beta of Internet Explorer 9 made minor gains, rising to 0.50 percent share.”

    tags: chrome firefox ie

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.