Jan 10, 2007

So, if the only valid thing left for modern art to do is hold up a mirror to the viewer, does that make people who spend a lot of time looking at and talking about modern art narcissists?

Bonus: The heuristic works!

(Proximate trigger: This quality art "criticism".)

Jan 07, 2007

Well, that was fast.

UPDATE: So far the big announcement is that new Bravia TVs will stream HD content via the Internet, in partnership with Yahoo, AOL, and Grouper. The "Bravia Internet Video Link" will be a small module that will fit to the back of the TV, and connect directly to the Internet without a PC. And the service is free. - Instapundit

Not even two weeks have gone by since I predicted set top boxes would do just that. (It may be quasi-integrated into the TV but it's probably basically a set-top box inside; I can't think of any technical reason why such a box wouldn't work on other televisions. It must be a branding thing.)

The difference between putting a Microsoft computer at the center of your home entertainment system and a dedicated, locked-down customized set-top box moves ever closer to merely cost, and nothing more.

Something's rotten in the state of [web] Devmark...
Jan 03, 2007

I've got a Django review in the pipe, and it's generally positive. It's still cooking both so I can gather more experience, and while some fact-checking occurs.

But there's something still missing that I can't put my finger on. I think cutting away even more of the general cruft of making web apps is bringing it out. I've been programming on the web for nearly ten years now, and something's not right. Despite the fact that I have gotten generally good at programming, and I keep refactoring and refactoring, I keep writing the same web page over and over again: I've got a tree of heterogeneous objects that I need to render, which itself a view of a graph-like structure, I allow the user to manipulate it somehow, and I have to propagate those changes back to the database. And for some damn reason, no matter what I do, there's always something super-special about this form that requires special treatment and requires further extension of the frameworks or libraries I'm using.

(Note this programming post meanders a lot; part of the point is that I don't entirely know where I'm going with this.)

Read the rest...

Practical Closures
Jan 02, 2007

The problem I see with most introduction to closures is they choose examples that can be done easily with a standard for loop, or some other standard construct, leading a student to ask (with great justification!) what the point is and why (s)he should bother. In my opinion, the best place to start understanding them practically is to look at their ability to decouple logic, because there they have benefits that are difficult or even impossible to replicate without them.

So despite the huge amount of verbiage on the net about closures, I thought I'd take another crack at explaining it with examples that actually do something that is much harder to do without closures.

Read the rest...

Dec 28, 2006

After a bit more thought about my previous post, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a disaster for Microsoft.

Microsoft has two goals here:

  1. Become the dominant distributor of video content, and probably eventually leverage that into dethroning iTunes and becoming the dominant distributor of content, period. By that I mean they will own the platform, not necessarily the stores themselves.
  2. Destroy open source by making it borderline illegal, if not actually illegal, to have drivers that open source software can use.

I wouldn't even care to guess which is more important to them. I'm sure they really, really want #1, but if they had to choose only one I wouldn't be surprised they'd rather have #2.

But this entire plan is predicated on two very strong assumptions:

If either of these fail, Microsoft loses, and both are highly questionable.

Read the rest...

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