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Play with the Machine
- NetKernel Home Monitoring Case Study
1060 NetKernel / "Tony has published a case study for his home monitoring system - it uses NetKernel as an integration server for sampling, data processing and presenting the ambient weather conditions for his home. It's running on a steam powered laptop and connected to the internet with damp string and two plastic cups - but the results are really cool." NetKernel as an integration server for data acquisition. Read the case study.
- Language Innovation and Postmodern Computing
Language Innovation and Postmodern Computing / Short get-you-thinking piece from Patrick, "I don't want to go too far toward making some classically stupid prediction. But frankly I am not looking for much change in our current programming languages." And my favorite quote, "Face it, programmers are today's telephone operators and we are simply in the way." He ends with a pointer to the The Feyerabend Project or here.
- Laszlo LZX Flash Compiler integrated with NetKernel
Laszlo LZX Flash Compiler integrated with NetKernel / "As an experimental proof-of-concept we have integrated the Laszlo Presentation Server as a NetKernel accessor. It can be used to compile Laszlo's LZX semi-declarative XML code to Flash web-applications. It is quite powerful to use NetKernel processes to dynamically generate the LZX. [...] It has been considerably optimized: down to 7.5MB from the LPS 110MB distribution, and seems to run happily in a 64MB JVM. Whilst not comprehensive this quick experiment seems to provide reasonable coverage of the LPS features and can be used for dynamic generation of Flash content. Release notes and installation instructions are provided in the zip." Thanks for the pointer manAmplified.org. This is encouraging; one of my early issues with Laszlo & resources is seemingly fixed! Must investigate further. Almost don't believe the 64MB claim....
- Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
Doug Hilsinger & Caroleen Beatty: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) / "Concurrent with Virgin's Eno reissues, Bay Area multi-instrumentalist Doug Hilsinger-- on either whim or dare-- cut a full-album cover of Taking Tiger Mountain, enlisting his friend Caroleen Beatty to take the vocal duties. The disc was never intended to see retail daylight, but at Brian Eno's lecture appearance at The Long Now Foundation in San Francisco, the duo slipped him a CDR copy of their secret love letter. And when the man responded with the realization that "they aren't bad songs after all," the album found its way out. [...] The most immediately striking thing about this homage is how this so-called Maoist opera is significantly warmer and more of an even keel than the original. This is due largely to Hilsinger's insistence on playing everything on the album with a conscientious shunning of drum machines and keyboards of any sort. Still, all the guitar noises mimic the Eno treatments to a tee, which frees up the lyrics themselves to shine under Beatty's reading. Having worked with The Mekons' Jon Langford in the past, it's not too surprising that Beatty's voice evokes Sally Timms' radiance; she deftly replaces Eno's adenoidal, androgynous nasal delivery with a throatier resonance." The only thing I've had playing for the last few weeks.
NailGun: Insanely Fast Java / "The idea is simple: Run all your Java apps in the same JVM, the NailGun server, which only needs to start once. Run a very thin client, written in C for speed, that sends your environment variables, command line, and a few other items to the NailGun server using TCP. Once connected, send the client's stdin to the server, and send the server's stdout and stderr to the client's stdout and stderr. Of course, not all Java apps can be run that way. Those that call System.exit() are good examples of applications that wouldn't play nicely with others inside the NailGun server. But simple, text-based programs are perfect for NailGun - in fact, they end up running nearly as fast as their C counterparts. GUI programs work with NailGun as well, although it can be confusing if the client and server are not on the same physical machine."
- Behind The Seen
Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple's Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema, First Edition / "As the first software-only desktop nonlinear editing system, Final Cut Pro sat the film industry on its ear when it debuted back in 1999. Now it's shaking things up again as editor Walter Murch, director Anthony Minghella, and a long list of Hollywood heavy-hitters are proving that this under-$1,000 software can (and should) be used to edit a multi-million dollar motion picture! This book tells the story of that endeavor: the decision to use Final Cut Pro, the relationship between the technology and art (and craft) of movie-making, how Final Cut Pro was set up and configured for Cold Mountain, how the software's use affected the work flow, and its implications for the future of filmmaking." Another must-have book. The chapter detailing the conversation between Murch and Steve Jobs & Apple is pretty exciting. Will it happen?! Can they do it?! Murch again proves his genius.
- AIGA Gain Conference 2004 PDFs
AIGA Gain Conference 2004 - Resources / Presentations from the 2004 conference. Steven Heller, Paula Scher, etc. Business, design research, innovation. See what Milton Glaser suggests for your reading list.
- Moleskine point of purchase
Leftloft Graphic Design / Leftloft redesigns Moleskine's retail point of purchase display. Short slideshow, little environmental study, practical simple tweaks. Everything a good solution should have.
Clustra / "Four years ago, while I was running my own internet bubble startup IP23, I visited the people who invented CLUSTRA, the unbreakable database, in Norway. These guys were so smart! It ran on cheap boxes as well as high end servers, it was totally distributed with transparent failover and it was fast." Lispmeister reminds me of a company and technology I had high hopes for way back when. I was at a bubble startup too (Driveway.com) when we drove to Santa Clara to chat with the Clustra folks. Really amazing stuff. Sad that Sun did nothing with the technology after acquiring them.
grash / "'If everything in Unix is a file and everything in Java is an Object, wouldn't it be nice if you could explore your Objects in the JVM with the same powerful mechanisms you use in Unix.' My line of thought a couple of weeks ago has led to a small implementation of a shell for the JVM, which I have named grash. The name is derived from the fact that it is based in part on the externally observed behaviour of the bash shell, and that it is written in and exposes to the user the Groovy programming language. Hence 'GRoovy-Again SHell'" The M in JVM stands for "machine." Yet the JVM is always used as a specific-purpose tool, not something generic. Java 1.5 provides some tools to help "generify" the machine (JVMTI stuff) and now we also get cool tools like grash.
- Pychinko: Rete-based RDF friendly rule engine
Pychinko / "Pychinko is a Python implementation of the classic Rete algorithm. Rete (and its since improved variants) has shown to be, in many cases, the most efficient way to apply rules to a set of facts--the basic functionality of an expert system. Pychinko employs an optimized implemention of the algorithm to handle facts, expressed as triples, and process them using a set of N3 rules. We've tried to closely mimic the features available in CWM, as it is one of the most widely used rule engines in the RDF community. Several benchmarks have shown our Rete-based Pychinko to be upto 5x faster than the naive rule application used in CWM (see presentation below for preliminary results.) A typical use case for Pychinko might be applying the RDFS inference rules, available in N3, to a document. Similar rules are available for XSD and a dialect of OWL." The Rete algorithm has always fascinated me; this should provide some fun. Thanks Bijan, Kendall and Yarden.
- Serverless Laszlo
Coming soon: Laszlo (presentation server optional) / "With Laszlo's new business model built on top of an open-source platform, we are now in a position to make the presentation server an optional component of a Laszlo deployment. Sometime over the next few months, we'll release a build that allows you to compile LZX files on a developer's machine, and post the resulting SWF to a Web server. The SWF in the browser will communicate with XML and media sources directly, with no intervening presentation (proxy) server. For many Laszlo applications, this will mean no need to install Java on the server, no need to deal with new servlets or test presentation server scalability." Now it gets interesting! One of my big complaints was the heavy runtime resource requirements Laszlo had; but now, "over the next few months," that goes away.
- Laszlo goes open source
- Notes On Book Design
Notes On Book Design / "A lavishly illustrated and instructive volume on book design by one of the giants in the field. In a career spanning more than forty years, Derek Birdsall has achieved renown as a leading book designer in Britain. This practical and inspirational book distils a lifetime's professional experience. It presents and discusses nearly fifty books he has designed, showing 360 spreads and covers, all in full color and to scale. The designs range from Penguin paperback covers in the 1960s to a recent complete redesign of The Church of England's book of Common Worship. Among Birdsall's projects are award-winning art catalogues, catalogues raisonnÚ on such major artists as Mark Rothko and Georgia O'Keeffe, and books on wine, chess, astronomy, architecture, and fine paper. Birdsall discusses and illustrates the process of book design, from brief to deadline (which he calls the designer's muse)."
- Alph code released into the wild
Alph code released into the wild / "Alph is a Ruby/Java/Flash (I know...I am insane) that bridges the Ruby and Flash runtimes (and Java too...but that is to solve the cross-platform projector problem that Macromedia will not solve.) With Alph and Ruby (>= 1.8.1) you can create Flash user interfaces (forms, etc) that are fully coded in, and controlled by Ruby. No Actionscript required, no Flash IDE required, just Ruby (and those dependent runtimes)." To oversimplify, you've now got the same sort of "immediate" development cycle that Flex/Laszo/etc allow. One of those Ruby on Rails cheerleaders should put together some sort of demo.
re: autodiscovery... some of the blo.gs entries actually already have the rss link included... and I'm currently thinking about using a AmpetaDesk like bookmarklet to add geeds to my list
re: sorting of feeds:
The reader itself 'remembers' the feeds I've viewed and ranks them after the last time I accessed/viewed them. It's a very simple form of interst filtering. Feeds I don't view go down, the ones I'm really interested in go up.
alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors