A guy gets caught doing inside trading at the stock exchange. His explanation? He is from the future, and "was caught in the moment".
Well, time-travel is certainly theoretically possible... :-)
(Thanks to Mike for the link.)
So we move into summer time, or Daylight Savings Time, as some people call it.
And what do we get this morning? Snow.
Gotta love this country.
You know... the people who designed the Java security model should probably be taught a lesson or two. There are two incompatible (and not to mention incomprehensible) security architectures in JDK 1.4. Both attempt to be as general as possible, but still they are loaded with the all sorts of odd assumptions which make them generally unsuitable for any web service work.
It's no wonder anyone building a webapp framework always implements their own permission/security scheme. And even these are totally incompatible.
Grr. The integration of ebu's auth code into JSPWiki may take a while - I just would like to use as much as possible of existing JDK code, but it seems too difficult.
Note to self: When doing load testing, make damned sure that there is someone with physical access to the machine, when it finally locks up.
Apologies to anyone who tried to access any services on this server.
(On a more positive note, a very nice guy named Paul is willing to sponsor us jspwiki.org for the JSPWiki engine. Thanks heaps!)
Hm. Found a very nice little tool called Jakarta JMeter for stress testing a website. In case this site seems a bit slow, it's probably because I am mercilessly pounding on it :-).
Well, it's Friday, and you're going out to have a hangover in the morning. Don't forget to check out this perfect little Flash game, since it is ideally suited for those mornings when you just want to stare at something inoffensive. A sound card highly recommended.
(Thanks to Mikael for this link.)
If you are a fiercely patriotic American, you just cannot pass this opportunity to give the Statue of Liberty back to the French.
There are just so many layers of irony here, it's damn near art. Actually, I think that USA should give the Lady Liberty back to the French - that would be so symbolic of them giving up their liberty, day by day, inch by inch.
I mean, how transparent can you get?
- Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who just happens to represent the corner of California where Qualcomm's headquarters is located, believes that company's technology must be used in Iraq's post-war cell phone system. And Qualcomm just happens to be one of Issa's top 10 corporate donors in the last election.
- Issa introduced a bill this week to bar Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)--a cellular technology used in many European nations and to a lesser extent in the United States--from being considered in the rebuilding of Iraq.
I went to Oulu yesterday. You know, work-related stuff. On the flight there, they served a (very) small meal, a little bun with tiniest slices of salami you've ever seen, a miniature can of orange juice and so on. You've all eaten airline meals, you know what I'm talking about.
A bright ray of the sun was peeking curiously into the aircraft, as I ripped open the bag and sank my teeth into the bun. I guess the bread was a bit dry, because suddenly a large cloud of flour and breadcrumbs appeared in front of my face.
Then the air circulation kicked in.
The entire cloud landed squarely on the lap of the person sitting next to me.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I - much more carefully this time - took another bite, and observed.
Again the cloud flew towards my hapless fellow being. I have no idea whether she noticed what had happened. I didn't dare to look that way. I bent over the tray and tried to consume the rest of the bun so that most of the dust cloud would land on myself or the tray, trying to look inconspicious, but it probably looked like I was trying to throw up into my coffee cup.
We didn't talk the rest of the journey.
(And think about it: the only reason I noticed the cloud was because of the bright sunlight. Think about it next time when you eat something, or the person next to you is eating something - you could be surrounded by a cloud of his leftovers, and you would never know...)
Through ~InfoAnarchy: Revolution is not an AOL keyword.
As Merten noticed the sound quality in these new, copy-protected CD's is crap, if you play it on a computer.
I also bought a new CD last week - a tune got stuck in my head, and I figured, I might as well test these new copy protection systems and rip them to ogg vorbis, my choice of digital audio. Well, it turns out, that
- a copy protection does not prevent ripping the disk at all, and
- the sound quality is better, if you rip it.
No, I have no explanation for the better sound quality. Perhaps CDParanoia (the ripping software I use) can correct the errors or something. So, here we have a copy protection system that encourages people to make copies of the disks, because that way they sound better. Isn't that sort of the opposite what the record companies were aiming for?
Managed to beat today the two strongest players in Finland (with handicap, of course), and got an upgrade to 5 kyu. Whee!
Let that be my barber-story for today.
But I did it anyway, and now JSPWiki 2.0 stable has been released! Rejoice!
I did the conscious decision to keep new features out, and mostly even bugfixes, and concentrate on writing documentation. It's still not pretty, but it's better than what it used to be.
Now, I can concentrate on all the cool stuff people have been sending my way - with the priority towards authentication.
I am not much in the mood for blogging today. The war seems to spread everywhere: there are heated discussions all around; live and in IRC, street and home. Depressing times these are.
One thing is for certain: The biggest loser in this war will be the USA - their reputation has been already, irrevocably tarnished, regardless of the outcome of the war. Even if the Coalition forces found clear evidence of forbidden weapons, people would just say that US troops planted them there. It is just a question of how big their loss will be.
The fine students at University of Virginia have taken all the fun out of the "Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon" -game.
In fact, it seems that I am hard-pressed to find any link longer than 3... Who can find the longest link?
Update: Please put your findings on this page. It's a Wiki, so you can just go there and edit the page.
Business 2.0 has collected the most stupid (albeit very US-centric) mistakes of the year 2002. Some of these are quite fun:
Here's an excerpt:
Panic in the heartland, part 1: The crisis begins.
- Outside a Wal-Mart (WMT) in the small town of Geneseo, Ill., a 73-year-old woman buys a newspaper and suddenly finds herself trapped when the door of the news rack slips closed and catches her coat. Unable to wriggle out, she solicits a bystander to enter the Wal-Mart and ask for help. A Wal-Mart employee comes out to explain that she can't assist, citing a policy against tampering with the news rack.
Panic in the heartland, part 2: The tense negotiation.
- After going back inside for a moment, the Wal-Mart employee comes out and tells the trapped woman that she'll call the newspaper and have a representative come to release her. The woman suggests an alternative solution: Somebody could simply put two quarters in the machine and open the damn door. The Wal-Mart employee rejects this out of hand, explaining that the store can't pay refunds for the news rack.
Happened to catch this live on BBC World. Robin Cook resigns from the British government after one of the best speeches I have ever heard.
From SnipSnap: I've been programming for more than 20 years from machine code (A0 FF) to Prolog, from line editing to CASE tools. The only thing that really change my relationship with software development are unit tests. It changed the way I think about my programms, I'm much more confident in what I do.
Rigorous Unit Testing has really increased both my productivity, and my confidence in the code I write. I can now refactor stuff that previously I would've not dared to touch without fearing that everything will break.
Someone sends in a bug report - I write a Unit Test to test for it, and I don't have to worry about that bug ever surfacing again. I think of a new feature - I write a Unit Test to check its correctness before even I start writing the code.
Unit Tests also function as a sort of a development log: you see what kind of problems you typically have, and what kind of things you tend to test the most, which reveals interesting things about your coding habits and weak points.
Remember skirts painted to be see-through? Well, you can do it with t-shirts, too.
(Via forge, through IRC.)
Here's a nice panorama:
The Onion misses often, but this old article from 2001 borders on precognition:
(Thanks to Back to Iraq 2.0 for the link.)
Another tournament over, and a happy feeling: no losses (three wins, one draw). Unfortunately, I had to be elsewhere for the last two rounds, so I was not able to see whether I could have done any better. But still, 14th place with only four games against everyone else's six games is not a bad result. I am satisfied.
The moment of enlightenment I mentioned earlier seems to have been for real, and not just a temporary chemical imbalance in the brain :-).
Waking up early in the morning during springtime, walking outside sniffing the cool morning air (and it is cool over here, 2 degrees C), the sun barely above the horizon making the shadows long... I always get a deja-vu to the time I was in the army. For the first few months, the first item of the day was always a run around something. Usually something far away.
Anyway, this is perhaps why I have a love-hate relationship towards mornings: I like the quiet and stillness before the morning rush, but I always feel like I am back on the small island somewhere in the Baltic Sea.
(Another go tournament starting today. This time, I get to play. Yay!)
From BBC: Water 'flows' on Mars
Where there is liquid water, and heat, life may emerge. Did you know that the estimated price tag for a trip to Mars is roughly $20 billion? This is about 100 times less than the price tag of the Iraq war. Even with NASA running the show, they could not overrun the budget that badly...
For those of my visitors who are following it: Lately, I've been mostly involved writing documentation for JSPWiki, so that I can release a stable version. If you are interested in using JSPWiki, download the latest CVS version, since it is very near complete. Its documentation is getting better all the time =).
We have been having some problems with the stability of Tomcat, mod_jk and Apache on this server. Apologies for any inconviniences. We're trying to fix things as much as we can, but we frankly have little idea as to what is really going on: The Java Virtual Machine just dies at irregular intervals with signal 11.
More information at JSPWiki:NativeCodeThreadError.
I may have actually understood something yesterday about what is wrong with my go. I shall need to ponder upon this. Strange feeling... Usually, understanding is such a gradual process that you may not realize it until later on. But a sudden flash of intuition and deeper understanding comes so rarely, that it is difficult to recognize it as one.
(BTW, I have voted. Do the same. And please stop shoving these advertisements for the candidates at my face. You can't influence me anymore, nyah.)
(I seem to have quitely passed the 20,000 hit limit in a tad over three months, of which around 11,000 are genuine page requests. Thank you, my readers, and everyone coming in from Google, searching for "butt ugly faces" or "butt ugly people" :-). BTW, I am ninth on the Google search for ugly but interesting.)
Many of the blogs I read have started to show signs of tiredness lately. Blog entries are becoming shorter, or erratic. Especially with those blogs that are closer to personal diaries, the content seems to grow thinner day by day.
However, blogs more at the weblogging end of the scale seem to be doing well. Witness the coolest thing in a while: Mobitopia. Technology is maturing, and new innovations seem to be built on the basic roadblocks that have already been around for a while: RSS, XML-RPC, etc. For example, there is now the Roogle RSS search engine for searching RSS feeds. Google news is another shining example on the power of weblogging (being a kind of meta-weblog itself).
Of course, personal diaries are not going away, far from it. People have a need for self-expression. But their usefulness is limited, and I don't see much potential for growth and innovation there. This mirrors the situation in the early days of the Web, when everyone just had to have their own personal web page, but it never really got any further than that. Personal content kickstarted the Web, but all of the really interesting innovation happened afterwards. Perhaps the same thing is happening now: personal content is driving weblogs, but soon all of the innovation will come elsewhere.
Who knows. Interesting times these are.
Sharp's new ultralite notebooks certainly seem to be targeted at the mobile traveller. Actius MM10 - weighing about a kilo - and RD-10 - at 1.4 kilos - sound very tempting. My previous laptop is a Sharp as well, and unfortunately their after-sales support is dismal. But the machines are good. If I could buy a Mac with this spec, I would not hesitate.
It was good to have someone in the house, even for a while.
...but they're bloody difficult to do these days, since all you need to do is to access Google to check who is correct.
What will happen when Google is available to every cell phone, and you can check the slightest trivia with a few key taps? You have just started a nice argument around the table, and then the party geek suddenly kills all conversation by quoting some obscure study directly off the net.
We'll lose so much... :-)
But then again, maybe we can start working on producing new information and new things instead of arguing over things that have already been investigated. On the other hand, even with all this new technology, people seem to be still keen on repeating history.
- Myers-Briggs would say that you are an ISTP (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, Perceiver). In Star Trek language, you share a basic personality configuration with Odo and Wesley Crusher.
- People like you are generally extremely logical and pragmatic, to the point of being somewhat aloof. When you need to be, you can function in a highly objective and unemotional manner, but you also tend to be impulsive and incredibly curious about the world around you. You love to explore, to find out how things work, and you believe you have the abilities needed to deal with what you find.
- You don't feel the need to tell others about your abilities. You like your work to show your stuff for you, so you tend to be quiet and unassuming in your manner. You are also flexible and resourceful. You do your best work when left alone. You're highly self-reliant, and may have some trouble working as a member of a team. You cannot stand people who nag or who demand to know what you're feeling when you don't feel like "sharing" right now.
- Your primary goal in life is being granted the freedom to act independently and follow your impulses. Your reward is to be appreciated for your ability to solve problems and to have others go along with your impulses and have fun with you.
- Good careers for your type include being a computer programmer, police officer, commercial pilot, commercial artist, private investigator, and animal trainer.
Two things about the date (even though the date is gone): First of all, I was trying to configure a new software, and it was using some sort of a strange US date format. So, I go to Preferences, and try to set it to our normal dd/mm/yy. I am presented with these options:
Please choose your date format
Um. Err. Do I actually have to wait for a frigging day to figure out which one of these is the day and a whole month to figure out which one is the month? This kind of a configuration might have been useful in the last century, but certainly not now... Well, at least I can choose whether I want to have a dash or a slash as the separator :-).
The other thing: when my (probably never-to-appear) grandchildren ask what I did on this grand day, at 3:03, I can tell them that I was sitting on the toilet. Hooray for magic dates.
A business trip can really sap your strength; so no blogging yesterday. Had good fun on Monday evening though...
But it's a good thing that there are still people who have too much time, and the Internet which allows you to publish the fruits of your creativity. Meet Dancing Paul.
USB toothbrush, straight from Japan:
Whee! My sister is now happily married :-). Spent most of yesterday in a coma-like state talking to relatives. I had to excuse myself early, after the cake had been cut so that I could get to the hotel and grab some sleep.
On the other hand, it wasn't that bad. Some of the conversations I had were not very pleasant (most of them were, but some of them weren't). I had to bite my tongue a couple of times so that I wouldn't have hurt anyone's feelings too badly. With relatives, anger can quickly grow out of proportion.
You know, getting an email like this always makes you feel a bit better about life and stuff:
Dear Janne Jalkanen, thanks for building this JSP-Wiki. It really changed my life! Greast Job!!! Keep on and kind regards from Germany
Mails like these come rarely, but when they do, they really do light up your day :-).
BTW, I am changing the JSPWiki license to the Lesser GPL, so that people can more easily embed JSPWiki code into their own things. It's a sort of a compromise between the forced sharing of GPL, and the free-for-all attitude of the Apache License - I want JSPWiki to be useful to people, but I also do feel that the Free Software Foundation does have the right idea. Yes, this is very wishy-washy :-).
Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.
|"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.