Thursday, January 30, 2014

Windows 8.1 tablets price reductions

Microsoft slashes prices on Windows 8.1 tablets, achieves near-parity with Android devices | ExtremeTech:

"significant slashes to prices on multiple devices in the Microsoft Store:

32GB Dell Venue Pro has dropped from $299 to $229,

32GB Lenovo Miix 2 and Toshiba Encore (also 32GB tablets) have fallen to $249, from $299."

head-to-head against the $229 Google Nexus 7 (16GB)

Mobile OS %s

Android climbed to 79 percent of smartphone market share in 2013, but its growth has slowed:

Smartphone market share in both Q4 and all of 2013

Google: very expensive patents

Revenue and Profit Rise at Google, but Mobile Is a Persistent Challenge -

"Google announced that it would sell Motorola Mobility, which it bought less than two years ago for $12.5 billion, to Lenovo for $2.91 billion."

Google sold Motorola Home, the portion of the business that made set-top boxes, to Arris in 2012 for $2.35 billion. Motorola also had $2.9 billion cash on hand when Google bought it.
“(Google) makes their money from people watching YouTube ads and doing searches...They don’t necessarily need to be the hardware maker.”

Still, Google will retain about 15,000 of the 17,000 patents it acquired as part of its original deal for Motorola, and will grant Lenovo a license to use certain ones.

...last week Lenovo paid $2.3 billion for a big part of the computer server business of IBM.

So, after all, it was $(12.5 - 2.91 - 2.35 - 2.9) =  $ 4.34 B for patents for Android...
That is $ 289 333 for each patent! 

At the same time Microsoft is making $1 B or more per year on licensing its patents to manufacturers of Android, and even considering Nokia phones that run Android... And even Samsung makes huge money on Android powered phones and tablets, and is filing many patents itself...

Patents are big and not quite fair business....

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mobile Chrome Apps with Apache Cordova

Chromium Blog: Run Chrome Apps on mobile using Apache Cordova:

Developers can run Chrome apps on Android and iOS with Apache Cordova - SD Times: Software Development News

Google launched Chrome apps for Android and iOS, available to mobile developers using the Apache Cordova tool chain.

It is interesting that they are providing this solution even for iOS,
where Chrome browser is (or was?) using Apple's WebView (Safari) engine
based on license restrictions...

Most Valued Start-ups (Bubble?)

The 36 Most Valuable Start-ups on Earth | LinkedIn: Interest-Based Ads, Configurable Preferences Interest-Based Ads:

"On both Amazon-owned and operated sites and unaffiliated sites, Amazon displays interest-based advertising using information you make available to us when you interact with our sites, content, or services...

Amazon offers you choices about receiving interest-based ads from us. You can choose not to receive interest-based ads from Amazon. You will still see ads but they will not be personalized. Please visit your Advertising Preferences page to learn how to set this preference.

View or edit your browsing history

REST API sample (Sun Cloud API)

The APIs for the Sun Cloud: Wiki: HelloCloud — Project Kenai:.
This walk-through uses the pure REST version of the API exclusively

All the resources in the Virtual Data Center (machines, clusters, networks, storage volumes) are "Resources" in the Web sense: that is to say, they are identified by URIs, and operated on by HTTP requests, chiefly GET and POST. Whenever you GET one of these resources, you receive a representation encoded using JSON.

lorempixel - placeholder images for every case

lorempixel - placeholder images for every case:
"Placeholder Images for every case. Webdesign or Print. It's simple and absolutely free! Just put the custom url in your code like this:
<img src="" />
to get your FPO / dummy image."

color or grayscale;
abstract, animals, business, cats,
city, food, nightlife, fashion, people, 
nature, sports, technics, transport

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pebble Smartwatch

Pebble Grows Up With Its Second-Gen 'Steel' Smartwatch | Gadget Lab |

The First Smartwatch Worth Wearing | Product Reviews | ?

$250 Pebble Smartwatch for iPhone and Android (Black): Electronics


" is a global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts who are working together to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it."

Facebook, Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm... 
but not Google (yet)...

Android PCs

Android PCs and other Windows-alternative desktops are for real | ZDNet:

Acer Android PC

In fact the only "app" needed on most personal devices is a good web browser...

with secured JavaScript APIs for sensors and isolated storage.

Open Android => Closed Apps

Is Android Moving to a Closed Source Model?: @ InfoQ

"after Android became dominant, Google stopped actively developing a few parts of AOSP, including apps like Search, Music, and Calendar. The Ars Technica piece goes into details describing how those open source apps came to a development standstill after Google rebranded them, enhanced them, and made them available as closed source apps in Play Store. "

Visual F# Tools

Visual F# Tools 3.1.1 Adds Visual Studio Express 2013 Desktop and Web Versions: "Visual F# Tools 3.1.1 has been released with support for both desktop and web versions of Visual Studio Express 2013 Express. It also provides support for installation in a system which doesn't have Visual Studio. In such a case, the compiler, runtime and F# interactive will be automatically deployed without IDE tooling."

Martin Fowler: Workflows of Refactoring

Nice web slides navigation (and useful information!)

Workflows of Refactoring  by Martin Fowler

TDD "red-green-refactor cycle"
  • Red: Add a Test
  • Green: Make it work: 
  • Refactor: Make it Clean
The metaphor of Two Hats ("You can only wear one hat at a time")

  • Adding code
  • Refactoring
Litter-Pickup Refactoring

This is often referred to as the boy-scout rule.
Always leave the code better than when you found it.

Comprehension Refactoring

clear code, like clear writing, is hard to do

"People should be always on the look-out for substandard code. Often as a team learns, code written a few months ago can now seem lacking, and should be fixed."

Preparatory Refactoring
A common analogy for this is prep work before painting.

Planned Refactoring
schedule refactoring as part of their planned work,

Long-Term Refactoring
large-scale restructuring

Martin Fowler Presented Workflows of Refactoring: @ InfoQ

AngularUI for AngularJS

AngularUI for AngularJS:

"The companion suite(s) to the AngularJS framework."

with Bootstrap look and feel

IE11 F12 Developer Tools Overview

Rachel Appel - Internet Explorer F12 Developer Tools Overview:

The F12 Developer Tools found in IE 11 are rebuilt from the ground up to enable the best experience for developers while debugging and producing websites. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

patents: Intellectual Ventures vs. Google

Google set to face Intellectual Ventures in landmark patent trial | Reuters:

patent litigation before a jury of non-expert citizens is akin to a lottery

The trial takes place amid an unfolding debate in Congress over patent reform, in which Intellectual Ventures and Google are on opposite sides. Google is backing attempts to curb software patents and make it easier to fight lawsuits, while IV has warned that Congress should not act too rashly to weaken patent owners' rights.

Since its founding in 2000,  Intellectual Ventures has raised about $6 billion (3.6 billion pounds) from investors and has bought tens of thousands of intellectual property assets from a variety of sources. Google was an investor in IV's first patent acquisition fund, but did not join later vehicles.

site: Flipboard


use Flipboard to read and collect the news they care about, curating their favorite stories into their own magazines.

Web pages packaged to a "page turning" "magazine".


The AngularJS Magazine - Flipboard (by Dan Wahlin)

JavaScript - King? - JavaScript is Dead. Long Live JavaScript!:

A detailed summary of good and bad features of JavaScript language...

AngularJS Fundamentals In 60-ish Minutes - YouTube

AngularJS Fundamentals In 60-ish Minutes - YouTube by Dan Wahlin

The AngularJS Magazine - Flipboard by Dan Wahlin

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Open source smart thermostats

What Google can really do with Nest, or really, Nest’s data

Open source smart thermostats rise to compete with Nest after Google acquisition | Ars Technica:

 "open source version of a smart thermostat using their own Spark Core, an Arduino-compatible Wi-Fi development board. They added in a humidity and temperature sensor, IR motion detector, and some LEDs and LED matrices to put together and mount inside a custom wood and acrylic enclosure."


In all, the team completed its open source version in less than 20 hours for “about $70,” including their $39 Spark Core. The thermostat is still in the experimental stage and lacks much of the sophistication and “smartness" of the Nest, but it still constitutes a networked and remotely controllable thermostat that has a memory of its own work.

free ebooks from O'Reilly

The Web Platform: Building a Solid Stack of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Big Data Now: 2012 Edition eBook: O'Reilly Media Inc.: Kindle Store What Is Data Science? eBook: Mike Loukides: Kindle Store Planning for Big Data eBook: Edd Dumbill: Kindle Store

LXC - Linux Containers

LXC - Linux Containers:
"LXC is a userspace interface for the Linux kernel containment features.
Through a powerful API and simple tools, it lets Linux users easily create and manage system or application containers."

LXC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
LXC provides operating system-level virtualization not via a virtual machine, but rather provides a virtual environment that has its own process and network space. LXC relies on the Linux kernel cgroups functionality that was released in version 2.6.24. It also relies on other kinds of namespace-isolation functionality, which were developed and integrated into the mainline Linux kernel. 

LXC is similar to other OS-level virtualization technologies on Linux such as OpenVZ and Linux-VServer, as well as those on other operating systems such as FreeBSD jails, AIX Workload Partitions and Solaris Containers.

a project automating deployment of applications inside software containers

Friday, January 24, 2014

JavaScript most popular on GitHub & StackOverflow

The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2014 – tecosystems:

  • JavaScript (+1)

  • Java (-1)

  • PHP

  • C# (+2)

  • Python (-1)

  • C++ (+1)

  • Ruby (-2)

  • C

  • Objective-C

  • CSS (new)

  • Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Target Security Breach

    The Target Security Breach And Our Vulnerable Data | On Point with Tom Ashbrook:

    "Credit and debit card data on 40 million Americans, stolen at the height of the holiday shopping season.  Then Friday, Target let it be known that that number was in fact as high as 110 million Americans’ data stolen, out there, at risk.  A third of the country. "

    Maybe Target should consider changing name...

    And credit cards must get "smarter"...

    IBM $1 Billion Watson supercomputer investment

    IBM Invests $1 Billion to Grow Watson Supercomputer's Struggling Business - IEEE Spectrum:

    The IBM Watson business unit has generated less than $100 million so far. But the slow start has not stopped IBM from aggressively investing in Watson as a cornerstone of its future business. The company recently announced it is investing more than $1 billion in its Watson business unit and setting up a $100-million venture capital fund to encourage apps built on Watson's technology.
    ...(with) target of having Watson generate $10 billion in annual revenue within 10 years...

    Top-10 supercomputers in the world, November 2013:
    Tianhe-2 Remains the Biggest of Computing’s Big Iron - IEEE Spectrum
    #1. Tianhe-2 (“Milky Way 2”) supercomputer developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology.
    It is almost twice as powerful as the next runner up, the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

    IBM $1 Billion Watson investment

    IBM Invests $1 Billion to Grow Watson Supercomputer's Struggling Business - IEEE Spectrum:

    The IBM Watson business unit has generated less than $100 million so far. But the slow start has not stopped IBM from aggressively investing in Watson as a cornerstone of its future business. The company recently announced it is investing more than $1 billion in its Watson business unit and setting up a $100-million venture capital fund to encourage apps built on Watson's technology.

    ...(with) target of having Watson generate $10 billion in annual revenue within 10 years...

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    ideas: Liquid Cooling for Data Centers

    Is There a Liquid Fix for the Cloud’s Heavy Energy Footprint? - IEEE Spectrum: "Because liquids are denser than gases, they are a more efficient medium to transport and remove unwanted heat.

    Yet direct liquid cooling is a rarity in the corporate data centers that run bank transactions and the cloud facilities that serve data to smartphones. Data centers consume more than 1 percent of the world’s electricity and about 2 percent of the electricity in the United States. A third or more of that expenditure is for cooling."

    example: Asicminer’s 500-kilowatt computing system uses 97 percent less energy on cooling than if it employed a conventional method.

    Paxos protocols

    Paxos (computer science) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    Paxos is a family of protocols for solving consensus in a network of unreliable processors. Consensus is the process of agreeing on one result among a group of participants. This problem becomes difficult when the participants or their communication medium may experience failures.[1]

    Consensus protocols are the basis for the state machine approach to distributed computing, as suggested by Leslie Lamport[2]and surveyed by Fred Schneider.[3] The state machine approach is a technique for converting an algorithm into a fault-tolerant, distributed implementation. Ad-hoc techniques may leave important cases of failures unresolved. The principled approach proposed by Lamport et al. ensures all cases are handled safely.


    Another (ugly) acronym:

    HATEOAS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    HATEOAS, an abbreviation for Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State, is a constraint of the REST application architecture that distinguishes it from most other network application architectures. The principle is that a client interacts with a network application entirely through hypermedia provided dynamically by application servers. A REST client needs no prior knowledge about how to interact with any particular application or server beyond a generic understanding of hypermedia. In aservice-oriented architecture (SOA), clients and servers interact through a fixed interface shared through documentation or aninterface description language (IDL).

    RESTful service can be described as well to be available for the client code-generation, RSDL (RESTful Service Description Language) using dynamic metadata collection to achieve this goal.

    The HATEOAS constraint serves to decouple client and server in a way that allows the server to evolve functionality independently.

    REST APIs must be hypertext-driven » Untangled
    (by inventor of REST, and co-author of HTTP)

    if the engine of application state (and hence the API) is not being driven by hypertext, then it cannot be RESTful and cannot be a REST API. Period. 

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    HTML5 Media Player Framework

    HTML5 Player Framework by Microsoft (open source) 

    "The Player Framework for HTML5 is intended for use in browser-based applications. The framework has been tested in the latest versions of both desktop and mobile browsers that support the HTML5 video tag. It should be noted that the W3C does not currently have a standard for adaptive bitrate streaming so most browsers only support simple progressive download playback at this time. Microsoft, along with ninety other technology and media companies, is driving a standard called MPEG DASH that promises to become the industry-wide standard for adaptive streaming in the future. "

    Original Silverlight & Win8/WinPhone player:

    Player Framework by Microsoft - Home

    Kickstarter: "Brain Computer Interface" (BCI)

    EMOTIV INSIGHT: Optimize your brain fitness & performance by Tan Le — Kickstarter
    "A sleek, multi-channel, wireless headset that monitors your brain activity and translates EEG into meaningful data you can understand."

    Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves @ TED

    Extraordinary story of the person behind this innovation:
    Tan Le: My immigration story | Video on
    Other projects:
    Tan Le — Kickstarter
    Tan Le, Innovator and Entrepreneur Information, Facts, News, Photos -- National Geographic
    Emotiv Insight (company web site)
    Register for Insight

    Another Kickstarter project for "Brain Computer Interface":

    OpenBCI: An Open Source Brain-Computer Interface For Makers by Joel Murphy & Conor Russomanno — Kickstarter

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    virtual reality weather in China

    Smog So Bad in Beijing They Have to Rely on Video for Sunrises -

    The smog was so thick on January 16, 2014 the sunrise was not visible.
     Instead, the country showed a video of a sunrise on the LED screen
    in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

    This came on the same day Beijing’s air quality registered
    more than two dozen times the level considered safe.

    Next step: pick your own desired weather and location. Nice. 

    And then, build huge domes to separate "people" from "factories". 

    There is already a script for that, from movie "Truman Show"

    ideas: Onewheel (Kickstarter, CES)

    The Best Of CES 2014 | TechCrunch

    Onewheel :: The Self-Balancing Electric Skateboard by Future Motion — 

    Linked Open Data

    ERCIM News 96:

    In 2014 we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the birth of the idea that became the World Wide Web. In March 1989, while working at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee wrote a document entitled “Information Management – a Proposal” which described his ideas for creating a hypertext system that worked over the internet to enable physicists and other researchers around the world to easily exchange documents [1]. I first heard about his ideas at the European Hypertext Conference (ECHT’90) in November 1990, where we presented our first paper on the Microcosm “open hypermedia system” that we had been developing at Southampton since 1989 [2]. I first saw Tim and his colleague Robert Cailliau demonstrate the system they had by then called the World Wide Web at the ACM Hypertext conference (HT’91) in December 1991. This was the conference that famously rejected their paper about the WWW but it also marked the beginning of the revolution that the Web has brought to all our lives – the killer application for the Internet, the disruptive technology that has changed the way we communicate and manage information forever.Image ERCIM News 96 cover page

    Linked Data - Design Issues Tim Berners-Lee, 2006
    The Semantic Web isn't just about putting data on the web. It is about making links, so that a person or machine can explore the web of data. With linked data, when you have some of it, you can find other, related, data.

    Like the web of hypertext, the web of data is constructed with documents on the web. However, unlike the web of hypertext, where links are relationships anchors in hypertext documents written inHTML, for data they links between arbitrary things described by RDF,. The URIs identify any kind of object or concept. But for HTML or RDF, the same expectations apply to make the web grow:
    1. Use URIs as names for things
    2. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names.
    3. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF*, SPARQL)
    4. Include links to other URIs. so that they can discover more things.
    Simple. In fact, though, a surprising amount of data isn't linked in 2006, because of problems with one or more of the steps. This article discusses solutions to these problems, details of implementation, and factors affecting choices about how you publish your data.

    Even 7 years later, linked data is not a web feature (yet).
    And there is a simple reason why it is not: the proposed specs are not simple.
    Instead of RDF syntax, HTML should get a few simple extensions, and provide a few clever JavaScript scripts to provide useful functionality to pages that have that...

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    maps: OpenStreetMap

    "OpenStreetMap powers map data on hundreds of web sites, mobile apps, and hardware devices
    OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world."

    story: Brad Stone On What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Amazon's Jeff Bezos

    Brad Stone On What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Amazon's Jeff Bezos - Keen On | TechCrunch TV:

    lesson: "never stop innovating" 

    patents: Amazon “Anticipatory” Shipping

    Amazon Patents “Anticipatory” Shipping — To Start Sending Stuff Before You’ve Bought It | TechCrunch:
    "Amazon has filed a patent for a shipping system designed to cut delivery times by predicting what buyers are going to buy before they buy it — and shipping products in their general direction, or even right to their door, before the sales click even (or ever) falls."

    Anticipating Your Needs: The Benevolent Algorithm | LinkedIn

    patents: Twitter "Innovator’s Patent Agreement"

    Introducing the Innovator’s Patent Agreement | Twitter Blogs:
    "The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended."

    Saturday, January 18, 2014


    "a fast and fully-featured autocomplete library"

    a complementary tool to bootstrap 3, also from Twitter
    (it used to be integrated in bootstrap 2, now is a separate tool)

    typeahead.js – examples

    modes (can be combined!)
    • local
    • prefetch 
    • remote

    CSS3: Text shadows

    Mastering CSS3: Text shadows @ MSDN
    text-shadow: 0 0 2px 3px yellow,
                 0 0 2px 6px orange,
                 0 0 2px 9px red,
                 0 0 2px 12px lime,
                 0 0 2px 15px blue,
                 0 0 2px 18px violet;

    12 Fun CSS Text Shadows You Can Copy and Paste | Design Shack

    ideas: Tribes Leadership

    Seth Godin: The tribes we lead | Video on

    Can Ordinary People Become Leaders? : NPR

    Seth Godin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Seth Godin's TEDTalk

    So three questions I'd offer you. 
    • The first one is, who exactly are you upsetting? Because if you're not upsetting anyone, you're not changing the status quo. 
    • The second question is, who are you connecting? Because for a lot of people, that's what they're in it for: the connections that are being made, one to the other. 
    • And the third one is, who are you leading? Because focusing on that part of it -- not the mechanics of what you're building,but the who, and the leading part -- is where change comes.

    What would happen if, when you're using your Kindle, you could see the comments and quotes and notes from all the other people reading the same book as you in that moment. Or from your book group. Or from your friends, or from the circle you want. What would happen if authors, or people with ideas could use version two, which comes out on Monday, and use it to organize people who want to talk about something.

    Discourse - Buy:
    it is so far deployed on 2 web sites....

    podcast interview: Discourse and The Art of Discussion with Jeff Atwood on the Hanselminutes

    Salman Khan - Harvard Business Review

    Salman Khan - Harvard Business Review:
    "In the traditional academic model, you’re passive. You sit in a chair, and the teacher tries to project knowledge at you; some of it sticks, some of it doesn’t. That’s not an effective way to learn. Worse, it creates a mind-set of “you need to teach me,” so when you’re on your own, you think, “I can’t learn.” Anyone in any industry will tell you there’s new stuff to learn every week these days. So you have to say, “What information and people do I have at my disposal? What questions do I need to ask? How do I gauge whether I’ve really understood it?”"

    podcast interview: Salman Khan on the Online Learning Revolution - HBR IdeaCast - Harvard Business Review

    Silicon Valley Culture & Power

    How Silicon Valley Became The Man - Justin Fox - Harvard Business Review:
    interview with Fred Turner a professor of communications at Stanford, is the author of a book: From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism.

    MCL - a cluster algorithm for graphs

    MCL - a cluster algorithm for graphs:
    Four iterands of MCL visualized

    Map projections illustrated with a face

    Map projections illustrated with a face:
    Map projection with a face

    Global Connectivity Statistics, January 2014

    Social, Digital & Mobile Around The World (January 2014)

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    Moore's new law: "big data leads to big science"

    Gordon Moore Giving Big to Big Data Scientists - IEEE Spectrum:
    "Moore’s new law is that big data will lead to big science. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation plans to give US$1.5 million grants (in $200 000 to $300 000 yearly installments) to 15 worthy interdisciplinary scientists who can develop and use new algorithms, machine learning techniques, and other data-intensive science tricks to turn huge volumes of data into amazing scientific discoveries. "

    course: Introduction to Genetics - Udacity

    Not only computing MOOCs anymore... is it all "big data" anyway...

    Tales from the Genome, Introduction to Genetics - Udacity:
    "This course is a journey into the biology of the human genome and will highlight the scientific, social, and personal perspectives of people living with a variety of traits"

    23andMe and Udacity Launch ‘Massive Online Open Course’ in Human Genetics | Dark Daily

    Neo4j - Online Training Course

    Neo4j - The World's Leading Graph Database - Online Course:
    (free) 4 hours of interactive, engaging learning to get familiar with Neo4j. With this online course you can control your progress at your own leisure and pause and resume at any time.

    IBM DB2 NoSQL Graph Store

    IBM DB2 NoSQL Support:

    NoSQL Graph Store
    Graph data is becoming more commonplace thanks to developments like the adoption of the W3C's Resource Description Framework (RDF). There are many challenges associated with the traditional way graph data is mapped to a relation table, including the need for a significant number of self-joins and poor performance.

    The NoSQL Graph Store feature addresses these challenges by providing you with an optimized way to store graph triples inside DB2, and is available for all editions of DB2.


    It is interesting that while Neo4j declares RDF to be impractical, both IBM and Oracle have support for such "triple stores" in their mainstream databases.

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

    JavaScript "Promises'

    "A promise represents the eventual result of an asynchronous operation. The primary way of interacting with a promise is through its then method, which registers callbacks to receive either a promise’s eventual value or the reason why the promise cannot be fulfilled"

    What’s so great about JavaScript Promises? | Parse Blog

    JavascriptPromise by Martin Fowler
    Promise - JavaScript @ Mozila Developer Network

    JavaScript Promises: There and back again - HTML5 Rocks

    An Overview of JavaScript Promises - SitePoint

    ClojureScript vs JavaScript, Clojure code.async

    Himera Synonym:
    side-by-side examples in ClojureScript and "native" JavaSctipt.
    (ClojureScript is Clojure complied to JavaScript)

    clojure/clojurescript @ GitHub

    Clojure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Core.async - Communicating Sequential Processes using Channels, in Clojure @ InfoQ
    "Rich Hickey presents the motivation, design and use of the Clojure core.async library, the reasons for choosing the CSP approach and how it helps to structure applications"
    Clojure core.async @ InfoQ

    Instead of "syntactic sugar" like async/await in C# and similar concepts in Scala,
    Clojure is being extended by macros for adding dedicated queuing of requests.
    He claims that greatly simplifies code compared to typical "callback" based async handling.

    ClojureScript 101

    core.async/examples/walkthrough.clj at master · clojure/core.async @ GiHub

    Chrome: new tab icons, browser-desktop

    Chrome’s Windows 8 Chrome OS-lookalike gets a stable release | Ars Technica: "Chrome now has a trio of icons to help out. If a tab is making a noise, Chrome will put a little speaker in the tab itself. This gives instant, at-a-glance detection of noisy tabs. The other two icons are less important, but still useful. If one tab is accessing your webcam, it'll be adorned with a little red recording icon. A tab that's being cast to your TV with a Chromecast will show a little TV icon."

    Chrome OS-like Metro mode browser... a Chrome "desktop." Along the bottom of the screen is a taskbar of sorts, used for launching Web apps of your choosing. Populating the main area of the screen are one or more browser windows.

    “next-gen” filesystems

    Bitrot and atomic COWs: Inside “next-gen” filesystems | Ars Technica:
    ZFS and btrfs

    "bitrot," the silent corruption of data on disk or tape. One at a time, year by year, a random bit here or there gets flipped. If you have a malfunctioning drive or controller—or a loose/faulty cable—a lot of bits might get flipped. Bitrot is a real thing, and it affects you more than you probably realize.

    Contrary to popular belief, conventional RAID won't help with bitrot, either. "But my raid5 array has parity and can reconstruct the missing data!" you might say. That only works if a drive completely and cleanly fails. If the drive instead starts spewing corrupted data, the array may or may not notice the corruption (most arrays don't check parity by default on every read). Even if it does notice... all the array knows is that something in the stripe is bad; it has no way of knowing which drive returned bad data—and therefore which one to rebuild from parity (or whether the parity block itself was corrupt)...

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    End of Net Neutrality? Start public internet.

    Net Neutrality Quashing Will Mean New Pricing Schemes, Throttling, and Business Models | MIT Technology Review:
    "Accepting much of a challenge by Verizon, the court killed the FCC’s policies that aimed to prevent data-discrimination or data blocking. But the ruling does require carriers to disclose when they block, slow, or expedite various kinds of traffic in the future."

    It is time for "public" internet.
    Same as there are public and paid roads,
    there should be limited reasonable free internet for all,
    and "premium" networks that are paid per usage, same as roads are.

    There should be a easy way to use multiple networks in parallel,
    both for wired and wireless connections.

    In fact, public internet should focus on the roads first,
    enabling internet connections for all vehicles to increase safety.

    course: Mobile Website Development and Design @ Udacity

    Mobile Website Development and Design Course - Udacity:
    • Chris Wilson is an Open Web Platform Developer Advocate at Google working on Chrome. He began working on web browsers in 1993 when he co-authored the original Windows version of NCSA Mosaic, went on to Microsoft to work on Internet Explorer for fifteen years, and joined Google in 2010
    • Peter Lubbers is a Program Manager at Google in the Chrome Developer Relations team and lives and breathes HTML5, co-author of Pro HTML5 Programming (Apress) and the founder of the San Francisco HTML5 User Group, the largest HTML5 User Group in the world.
    So they is likely a real experts for web!

    Interesting, they are teaching "mobile web," not "web based mobile apps."
    The second could be created by "wrapping" web app to PhoneGap shell, but it is not the same approach to APIs, etc. 

    Graph != Chart

    Many people confuse terms "graph" for charts.

    A chart is a graphical representation of data, but it is not a graph.
    Alternative term for chart is "graphic"

    Graph (mathematics) - Wikipedia
    a graph is a representation of a set of objects where some pairs of objects are connected by links
    A drawing of a labeled graph on 6 vertices and 7 edges.
    Chart - Wikipedia
    Four of the most common charts are:

    MSCD 3-for-1

    MSCD 3-for-1
    "When you schedule and pay for the first exam using your personal voucher code, you’ll get the next 2 exams for free, valid on exams for any of the following certifications:
    MCSD Windows Store Apps-HTML5
    MCSD Web Applications
    MCSD SharePoint Applications
    MCSD Windows Store Apps-C#
    MCSD Application Lifecycle Management"

    The MCSD ‘3-for-1’ offer is available until May 31st, 2014*.
    All exams must be scheduled and completed by May 31st, 2014.

    event: Windows Azure Deep Dive

    Windows Azure Deep Dive:
    Windows Azure Week: Deep Dive Live!
    In-depth training from the experts who built Azure:
    January 27-31

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Sinclair QL: 30 years

    Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old • The Register:

    Sinclair micros

    Some nice memories about this device...

    Google to Acquire Nest

    Google to Acquire Nest – Investor Relations – Google:
    "Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash."

    For Google, a Toehold Into Goods for a Home - 
    "Nest, which was started in 2010 by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, members of the teams that built the iPhone and iPod at Apple, will continue to operate independently under its own brand and expand its portfolio of connected versions of what it calls “unloved but important devices in the home.
    Mr. Fadell, Nest’s chief executive, will report to Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive of Google."

    Getting even harder for Microsoft to compete in "Devices" space... 
    And even more motivation to do so... 

    ideas: Learning Technology

    Learning Technology in the Information Age - Online Training Course for Developers: by Dan Appleman @ pluralsight

    Dan Appleman: Kibitzing and Commentary » Blog Archive » The Most Common Question
    Beginner’s don’t need learning resources – they need learning strategies.

    very interesting and provocative class / presentation.
    It is almost a blueprint how to arrange an online school,
    including training sites such as pluralsight itself!

    It is introducing idea that due to "Information Revolution" (internet technology):
    anyone can communicate with any other number of other people, 
    and get access to all human knowledge, for free and instantly.

    And the result is:
    • Knowledge is "free" ("fundamentals", just search for it?)
    • Information is "free" ("specific technologies", just search for it)
    • Skills (ability to solve problems effectively) is NOT free (yet)
    • Innovation is based on expertise, in Knowledge, Information and Skills
    The presentation author has a specific, and useful view on technology:
    where it is practical to invest time in learning, since technology gets obsolete,
    and as mentioned information and "knowledge" is free or cheap?

    He also introduces learning "branches"
    • Technology
    • Business and Finance
    • Leadership and Management

    In the "information age," usual problem is not availability of information, but filtering relevant information, and that is where training can help.

    According to the author, the traditional schools provide "one stop shop" for:
    • Fundamentals
    • Information 
    • Skills (labs, equipment)
    • Curation (pre-selecting curriculum)
    • Support (teachers, student study groups, exams as deadlines, etc)
    • Certification (diploma)
    • Expertise
    While there are alternatives for each of mentioned aspects of school, most people don't take them in account when trying to learn something. And that is a problem. 
    • Books may be considered a "curation" of relevant information about a subject: what to learn, in what order, what to exclude. Good curation can drastically reduce time and cost of learning. 
    • Online classes are almost a video representation of a book. 
    • Web, blogs, search, product documentation, may be good sources of specific information, but is very unreliable for complete picture of a technology. 
    • Schools are good for teaching fundamentals and not so good for up-to-date product information. They could be very expensive.
    • New technology is best learned from experts (i.e. conferences, classes etc.)
    Learning requires practice to gain skills, the most useful result of learning, by using the information.
    • Learn by solving real problems. 
    • If you can't find problems, solve somebody else's problems found on online forums. 
    • Open source projects are great way to practice and learn
    Gaining "expertise" is not most efficient way to get usable skills, but it also could be effective by focusing the knowledge by solving tough problems

    Certificates could be a measure of competence, if done right. Its value greatly depends on who issues it. Requirements of certifications could also be a source of curation info (what is relevant to know in the domain)


    Windows 9 is coming

    Windows 9 is coming: Feels like Windows Phone all over again | ZDNet:
    codename 'Threshold'
    "Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment."
    "It's not the post-PC era that Microsoft needs to be concerned with, it's the post-Windows era."

    "Threshold" to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015 | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows

    Thurrott speculates that a windowed version of Metro will run on the desktop

    That should have been from the start, and with same OS for phone and tablets.
    Add an Android VM to the mix, and this would make a nice package.

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    ideas: MIT's Visionary Founder

    William Barton Rogers, 1869

    William Barton Rogers: MIT's Visionary Founder: Exhibits: Institute Archives & Special Collections:MIT Libraries:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws"

    This idea worked very well for MIT and industry.
    Now that MOOCs and online videos are used to re-invent education,
    it is important to leverage sound principles.
    And this is harder today than it was in the years past, because "quick money" is often an objective for both investors and entrepreneurs. 

    "In 1861 William Barton Rogers founded MIT as a place to "respect the dignity of useful work...
    MIT remained supportive of entrepreneurship, but did little to actively foster it. Stanford, on the other hand, did. It created a licensing office that was a marketer, not just a straight patent office. The office actively pursued discoveries, then marketed them to interested companies and collected royalties."

    SemanticMerge (source control tool)

    SemanticMerge - The diff and merge tool that understands C# and Java:
    What int does?

    podcast: Herding Code 183: Semantic Merge with Pablo Santos

    Plastic SCM

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

    CSS Semi-Transparency

    CSS Transparency for IE and Mozilla, Firebird and Firefox (-moz-opacity and filter: alpha) - DoMedia:
    A working solution for transparency in web standards browser
    Here's the CSS syntax:
    p {color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.5);}

    50% Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh eui

    #bgNew2 {
      width: 400px;
      height: 300px;
      background: url( repeat;
      border: 2px solid black;
      padding: 40px;
    #bgNew2 #bgNew2p {
      padding: 40px;
      font-size: 18px;
      font-weight: bold;
      background: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.5);

    Grunt: The JavaScript Task Runner

    Grunt: The JavaScript Task Runner:
    Web server side automation based on node.js and npm

    YourLanguageSucks (Programming Languages)

    YourLanguageSucks - Wiki:

    A nice list of features to avoid in popular programming languages.

    Mono CSharp Compiler as a Service

    CSharp Compiler - Mono:
    Starting with Mono 2.2 it supports a Compiler Service that applications can consume.

    Microsoft is now re-writing C# compiler in C#, as a major (5 years) project Roslyn,
    that enables using C# "compiler as a service"

    Same (or similar) functionality is available in Mono (.NET clone) for a few years already... 

    Maps: Projections

    Map projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Equirectangular projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
    "The equirectangular projection (also called the equidistant cylindrical projection,

    The equirectangular projection with Tissot's indicatrix of deformation

    File:USA location map.svg - Wikimedia Commons

    File:Blank US Map.svg - Wikimedia Commons

    Netflix: Big Movies Taxonomy

    How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic:
    "Netflix possesses a stockpile of data about Hollywood entertainment that is absolutely unprecedented"
    Netflix possesses 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    online book: Distributed systems

    Distributed systems for fun and profit:
    text that would bring together the ideas behind many of the more recent distributed systems - systems such as Amazon's Dynamo, Google's BigTable and MapReduce, Apache's Hadoop and so on.

    Software in 2014

    ongoing by Tim Bray · Software in 2014:
    "We’re at an in­flec­tion point in the prac­tice of con­struct­ing soft­ware. Our tools are good, our server de­vel­op­ers are happy, but when it comes to build­ing client-side soft­ware, we re­ally don’t know where we’re going or how to get there."

    The client-side mess · Things are bad. You have to build everything three times: Web, iOS, Android. (No Windows?)

    JavaScript is horrible.
    > [5, 10, 1].sort();
    [ 1, 10, 5 ]

    IBM: Watson Big Business?

    IBM Struggles to Turn Watson Computer Into Big Business - " hopes 
    Watson will generate $10 billion in annual revenue within 10 years,
    But Watson had total revenue of less than $100 million as of late October

    Online Collaborative LaTeX Editor

    writeLaTeX: Online Collaborative LaTeX Editor with Integrated Rapid Preview:

    writeLaTeX on a laptop

    Wednesday, January 08, 2014

    Seagate Tablet with 500 GB HD

    Seagate Crams 500 GB of Storage into Prototype Tablet - IEEE Spectrum:
    Seagate's solution in this prototype was to hybridize the storage with the addition of 8GB of flash memory. The vast majority of the time, the tablet is just running on flash, and the magnetic drive is powered off. If you want to play a movie, though, the drive will spin up, swap the movie onto the flash memory through a fast 6 gb/s SATA interface, and then spin down again. The upshot of this is that you have 500GB that you can access whenever you want, but you're not paying for it in battery life, because it's almost never running.

    The hard drive in question is Seagate's impressively skinny "Ultra Mobile HDD," a five-millimeter-thick single system with 500GB of storage, robust power management, and drop protection

    Tuesday, January 07, 2014

    OWIN Self Host

    NuGet Gallery | Microsoft ASP.NET Web API 2 OWIN Self Host 5.0.0:
    "This package allows you to host ASP.NET Web API within your own process using the OWIN HttpListener server. ASP.NET Web API is a framework that makes it easy to build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients, including browsers and mobile devices. ASP.NET Web API is an ideal platform for building RESTful applications on the .NET Framework."

    C# code generation and Roslyn @ .NET Rocks!

    Audi Self-Driving Cars @ CES

    Audi Shows Off Self-Driving Cars, Lasers at CES | News & Opinion |
    A7 drove itself onto the stage 
    Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept, which combines a 110-kilowatt electric engine with a V8 engine to go more than 90 miles on a single gallon of gas.

    Android: Open Automotive Alliance

    Google launches the Android-based Open Automotive Alliance with Audi, Honda, GM, and more | The Verge:
    "Google and a number of automakers are planning to bring Android to cars with the launch of a new group called the Open Automotive Alliance. The alliance consists of Google, GM, Honda, Audi, Hyundai, and chipmaker Nvidia, and will focus on bringing the successful mobile operating system to in-car entertainment systems "in a way that is purpose built for cars." The first cars with Android integration are planned for launch by the end of 2014."

    Monday, January 06, 2014

    Bing Image Archive

    Bing search has some beautiful images changed each day on the first page.
    Here is a link to collection of those images (they are different for most countries)
    Some are also packaged as "themes" for Windows.

    Bing Image Archive:

    Still, could not find this one:

    Windows 8.1 : How to use Near-Field Proximity API without NFC hardware - Stéphanie Hertrich - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

    Encog: Machine Learning Framework

    Encog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
    "Encog is a machine learning framework available for Java, .Net, and C++. Encog supports different learning algorithms such as Bayesian Networks, Hidden Markov Models and Support Vector Machines. However, its main strength lay in its neural network algorithms."
    Encog Machine Learning Framework | Heaton Research

    Introduction to Machine Learning with ENCOG 3 - Online Training Course for Developers @ pluralsight

    Advanced Machine Learning With ENCOG - Online Training Course for Developers @ pluralsight

    encog (Encog Machine Learning Framework)

    NuGet Gallery | Encog Machine Learning Framework 3.0.0