Planet Struts

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-17

Henri YandellAnother update

A week since my last update. Life continues to be busy.

The new job role has turned up the heat - I’m going from looking for things to juggle to juggling lots of things - especially with the old job role still intended to fill my time.  Each day at 4pm I tend to be exhausted - not due to lack of sleep (tonight’s late night not withstanding) as I get lots of sleep, but due to having nearly all my time outside of work and sleep being filled with Nathan.

I’ve managed to do a little coding. Commons Collections is getting closer to the next bugfix release - real close, and Codec too. I’ve started moving towards Lang 3.0 - including such wonderful things as removing deprecations! Maybe… depending what the opinions are etc.  It continues to be what I call dim sum coding - coding that works well with a high amount of context switching. Tonight’s late night comes from committing an extra hour or two to breaking the back of a painful serialization issue [mostly just in terms of figuring out why it didn’t like the test framework, and then once I had real tests why it wasn’t working in the first place].

Levi’s growing happily along. A fair bit of work as any new baby is, but still being remarkably chilled. Nathan’s also a delight and we’re starting to get a weekend routine, him and I. Must repeat this weekend despite relatives being here.

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-16

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-15

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-14

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-13

Alex PopescuOnline video content search engines

In the previous post Video Content Everywhere I was mentioning a couple of concerns related to video based content. Today, I am listing two some of the existing video content search engines. People are now looking for the videos in search. It’s gone from serendipitously finding videos or someone forwarding it to you, to actively going out and searching for it. (Bill Tancer) After looking at a

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-12

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-11

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-10

  • “Did you receive a call but the caller did not leave a message and the Caller ID says “Unavailable”? Type the phone number in the box below and click “Get Details” to find out who is using this phone number.”

Henri YandellQuartz 1.6.1 RC1 out

Just realized that I should have pointed out that James put out a Quartz 1.6.1 release candidate. I got involved with Quartz while at SourceLabs and have since kept a bit involved.

Anyway, consider yourself informed :)

Alex PopescuVideo content everywhere

In a market clearly dominated by YouTube (including Google Video), new products seem to come out every day. Companies don't seem to be worried by the YouTube market share and they are launching new video related products every day. Not so long ago, we have heard from Seesmic about video-based comments that comes in the form of a Wordpress plugin and their plans to provide similar plugins for

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-09

Henri YandellLevi’s Birth

Reading my wife’s blog, I realized I hadn’t followed up on the original post here for Levi with more details on the post. Carrie has most of them in her birth story entry.

The main thing that will stay in the memory for me is actually watching Levi come out - largely due to being a part of the process [I got to hold a leg - Carrie’s not Levi’s] rather than relegated to hand holding as I was for Nathan. It’s a pretty amazing thing to watch - the head is this flat pancake at first, then seems to inflate. Purple face, no sound, the obvious worry from the expectant mother as to whether things are good - to which of course the expectant father says things are fine (like I have any clue… he’s a purple pancake honey, couldn’t be better eh?) and then a wriggle of the shoulders and out shoots a baby. Literally.

More worry for the expectant mother as he’s not yet made much of a sound beyond a “*gurglegargle* Hey this is breathing” type of thing. Compounding her realization that the doctor, while deftly unwinding the cord in a sleight of hand moment to make a Vegas magician proud, had commented on the cord being looped twice. Then finally some crying and the expectant father’s job of dishing out liberal doses of optimism and calm is done. Now to focus on the baby, record some video footage of those first moments, cut the cord (wooop! didn’t get to do that last time either… damn chewy things they are) and be impressed that the doctor seems to have bleeding etc well in hand. Last time it sounded a little bit like we’d be off to surgery any moment, this time it was focus and efficiency.

Then it all calms down, accept the congratulations of the meconium team, and take newly cleaned baby over to his mother for some relaxing and shock that he seems to get the boob thing. Finish off with phone calls to the newly minted grandparents (from the room! You mean I don’t have to head out to the car park to phone this time?) and of course the lad who has just become a brother and the birth was over and it was time to get Levi through his first few days, many poops, guzzling of milk and some surprisingly long naps.

He spent his first 8 hours feeding and crapping like he was born to do it (err….) and then slept for 5 hours. Lad was full.

Henri YandellAgonizing over e-books

Slashdot are having a thread about e-books. For me the biggest problem with e-books is the same problem as with mp3s (e-music??): the product loses its resale value.

Up until now, most of the music and books we consumers have bought maintain some level of resale value. It’s minor, but it makes these items an asset. Unlike say a computer (unless it’s computer books), they are unlikely to become valueless, and in some rare cases they may increase in value as they become - well rare. I imagine I’m a rare person in North America with a complete original set of Hugh Cook’s Chronicles of an Age of Darkness. Of course - not the most well known author so I doubt it amounts to much :)

We all (well lots of people) worry about our books and CDs somewhat - our home contents insurance is expected to foot the bill of replacing them. Most likely it won’t buy much back, but there’s some insured value. We also pass the books down as heirlooms - my dad has a cool Anglo Saxon Reader from 100+ years ago passed down from his grandparents. I expect my parents library to fold into mine some day (minus whatever my sister and I agree she wants), and for my books to be passed on down. They’re physical - they have value.

What about e-books? Or digital music? If something happens to me, do the various companies have methods by which the inheritor acquires the digital ownership? Is iTunes better than the ‘5 computers and you’re out’ it started with? Of course music has got around that problem largely by reinventing the wheel every 10 years. Vinyl, false path into eight track, cassettes, CDs…. then they got a bit stuck. Will my CDs be of inheritable value or resellable value in 30 years time? So far the CD is hanging on as a medium, though whether any of my CDs will play in 30 years is another question [and I’m sure the vinyl will still be working then in custom made record players]. DVD jumps to mind, Blue Ray… All the bollocks about changing the medium yet again so the consumer can be bled for yet more money for products they already own.

The curse of digital, from the legal point of view, appears to be that it has a resale value of zero because resale is equivalent to copying. Much like the huge loss you make as soon as you walk off the lot with a new car, the book you just bought is now worthless to anyone else but you. Suddenly the insurance (backups… real insurance - are my digital music/books covered by my home contents insurance?) starts to feel more expensive because it’s being spent on a product with zero value. That awareness of zero value makes me far more likely to dispose of the book - or want to resell it - than before, and yet now I no longer have space constraints on how many books I can own. What an ugly cycle.

That is the plus side - I can have a bajillion books and not be constrained by the wallspace I have available. And not find my choice of house constrained by - “which room will the library be?”. The plus sides are really all about space. I can be reading one book on the bus, and switch to another without having to mess with my bag, or wish I was back home.

That raises other questions. Will an e-book fit in my coat? If so then that bag can be a laptop accessory (once I start buying lunch for the month from Fresh :) They upped the limit to beyond my weekly lunch shop; must be reading my blog the dastardly crew). Does an e-book have authentication so when it’s nicked it’s only an insured reader which is grabbed and not my actual books (plus notes).

How do I share the book I bought with my wife. Digital doesn’t seem to understand families the way physical did. Do I have to wait for my son to have an income before he can read his own copies of my books? What happens to second hand bookshops (or first hand). Let’s be blunt here - browsing for books in a bookstore is much more productive than a website (even if you end up buying at the website etc etc). Once books are digital, byebye bookstore hello hard to browse world. Bye bye browsing in a second hand book store for gems (and lots of overpriced junk… someone needs to tell that shop in Broadstairs that charing half price for an 80s computer book is a good way to guarantee space doesn’t get filled).

Oddly - that’s the biggest one for me. Family and books. The digital fork in the family book relationship. Ignoring that once that e-book collection is large enough my son will have to pay inheritence tax at full price because there is no second hand market; and that I’m sure someone out there thinks it’s evil that my wife and I read the same copy of the latest Terry Pratchett book, and that my parents watched a movie while at my house one day.

Henri YandellOpen Source trademarks

Copyright and Open Source work well together. Patents and Open Source appear to often be diametrically opposed. Trademarks…. these are fun.

The trend in Open Source with trademarks, including the Apache one, appears to be to emulate how companies handle their trademarks. That is - to keep them, you have to protect them. Protect is automatically interpreted as “hold close to your chest”. I’ve seen suggestion on the foundations@ mailing list that this is too much, and I heartily agree. What we need are trademark licenses.

“This is a license to use the Xxxx trademark for non-profit activities, provided they do not imply that the Foo Xxxx Foundation [or committers to the Xxxx project] endorse the activity in any way. For for-profit activities, please contact foo@example.com. ”

Obviously the actual text will need some thinking. I don’t give a crap if someone sets up a user group for Apache, that benefits everyone, but I do care if someone gains value from my trademark at detriment to myself. So if someone uses apache.net (no idea what is there) to set up the Apache Net Foundation, supplying open source software as a non-profit etc; well I’m going to care.

So how to be open about our trademarks, without being ripped off?

Henri YandellHow it’s going….

Update on life….

New job role… busy. I came back a week early and had 1 day of slack before the new role filled all my time :)

Levi - doing superbly.  Putting on the pounds one ounce at a time, sleeping moderately well and a big fan of music. Pretty much anything with a melody will make him happy, though he does not like the concept that one track ends and another starts.  He also screams blue murder when those little yellow stains are working their way into his nappy.

Open Source - I’ve managed to find a few moments to work on the odd patch; and am getting closer on being able to turn off the OSJava JIRA and have a static version that sends people over to code.google. I also created some infrastructure over at Atlassian’s developer site so I can start working towards my JIRA plugins being supported by Atlassian. Given how simple they are, seems an easy win for Mike and his aussies. Two more Apache board meetings to go as a board member, and then I get to try and find time to regularly attend as a member.

Other… This year is about my family; much more so than Open Source. I want to do more with my sons in my evenings rather than hacking on code and letting them play with themselves. Once Levi understands night and day, I’ll get some evening time back, but in the meantime I need to get Nathan to football lessons, to the park for kite flying, t-ball and bicycle riding, to start learning his letters and to improve his Mario Kart Wii skills. Lego Mindstorms too - after being addicted to playing with the designed Lego spaceships, Nathan made his first original the other day by using two discarded tie-fighter wings to create a flying wing.

Lots to do - never enough time.

Alex PopescuWhat would you say about .ro users?

I have written this entry a couple of days before the eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri. It was quite interesting to find out that quite a few players on the .ro market are having similar feelings and so I have decided to update the entry and post it. There cannot be an online business discussion without covering the demographics topic. At eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri this topic has occurred over and over

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-08

Alex PopescuCraiglists for every niche

Do you know the barter section of Craiglist? If not and you have some old stuff around your house that you'd like to trade out go check it in your area. Even if there is not very much in this Craiglist section maybe you'll got the chance to at least get rid of those old and not so useful things. But what if you are a student in a campus? Then Bubblevine may help you: Bubblevine is the place for

Alex PopescuThe last two presentations of the eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri meet-up

This is the second and last part of the eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri meet-up coverage. In the first part I have covered the presentations of Mircea Scarlatescu and Emi Gal. This entry is featuring the presentations of Vladimir Oane and Florin Grozea Yesterday I have promised you a surprise and thanks to Vladimir and Florin you will now have the chance to get full access to their presentation

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-07

Alex PopescuThe Last Two Presentations at eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri meet-up

This is the second and last part of the eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri meet-up coverage. In the first part I have covered the presentations of Mircea Scarlatescu and Emi Gal. This entry is featuring the presentations of Vladimir Oane and Florin Grozea Yesterday I have promised you a surprise and thanks to Vladimir and Florin you will now have the chance to get full access to their presentation

Alex PopescuOffline from eBusinessIntro/DaAfaceri Meet-up

I was planning to blog about this reunion live. Unfortunately the venue was lacking any forms of connectivity and so the content is published after the meet-up has ended. The meet-up was organized by the DaAfaceri college organization and was meant to offer the college people the opportunity to get in contact with a couple of local online entrepreneurs. There have been around 50 people and 4

Joe GermuskWNUR “Jazz” Show, 2008-05-06

Well, it seems like the audio engineering (that is, splitting up my show into manageably sized chunks) is delaying things a bit. I think I just need to add some RAM to the machine I’m trying to use.  But the archiving does continue this week, although the show was a little sloppy…

  • Segment A (Start through “Malagueña”) (40 MB, 43 min)
  • Segment B (“The checkerboard laughed…” through “South Street Exit”) (30 MB, 33 min)
  • Segment C (”The Time Has Come” through “Tastalun”) (31 MB, 34 min)
  • Segment D (”This Little Light of Mine” through end) (30 MB, 33 min)

artist: “track” - album   (label)

« begin archive segment a »
David Holland: “Conference of the Birds” - Conference of the Birds (ECM)
Old and New Dreams: “Togo” - A Tribute to Blackwell (Black Saint)
Don Cherry and Edward Blackwell: “Roland Alphonso” - El Corazón (ECM)
Roy Campbell Pyramid Trio: “Tazz’s Dilemna” - Ethnic Stew and Brew (Delmark)
Julius Hemphill Sextet: “Floppy” - Fat Man and the Hard Blues (Black Saint)
Pete La Roca: “Malagueña” - Basra (Blue Note)
« begin archive segment b »
Gerry Hemingway: “The checkerboard laughed and eluded everyone” - The Marmalade King (hat Art)
Kent Carter String Trio: “Hungarian Fantasy” - The Willisau Suites (Emanem)
Django Reinhardt: “Swing 49” - The Best of Django Reinhardt III (Everest)
De De Pierce’s New Orleans Stompers: “Cocoanut Island” - De De Pierce’s New Orleans Stompers (Center/Biograph)
Baden Powell: “Som Do Carnaval” - Tristeza on Guitar (PAUSA)
Ivo Perelman: “Tom’s Diner” - Children of Ibeji (Enja)
Chico Hamilton: “South Street Exit” - My Panamanian Friend (Soul Note)
« begin archive segment c »
Ernest Dawkins’ New Horizons Ensemble: “The Time Has Come” - Chicago Now! Thirty Years of Great Black Music, Vol. 1 (Silkheart)
The Harlem Experiment: “Harlem River Drive” - The Harlem Experiment (Ropeadope)
Reptet: “After Before” - Reptet (Monktail Creative Music Concern)
Leo Smith: “Tastalun” - Divine Love (ECM)
« begin archive segment d »
Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio: “This Little Light of Mine” - Ooh Live! (Katalyst Entertainment)
Fredi Luescher, Cécile Olshausen and Nathanael Su: “Sing Me Softly of the Blues” - Dear C. - the Music of Carla Bley (Altrisuoni)
Orchestra Baobab: “Jin Ma Jin Ma” - A Night at Club Baobab (Oriki Music)
Melvin Jackson: “Say What” - Funky Skull (Dusty Groove America)

Alex PopescuMission Statement, Tagline, Sale pitch

Welcome to the first post on the rebranded blog. Almost all new businesses are starting by having a tagline or at least stating their mission. Or if you want, making their initial sale pitch. Why is this so important? I don't have any major in this field, so I'll just tell you what I think. Understanding the value of a new business is very complex and may take a lot of time. Your prospective

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-06

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-05

  • “It is possible that the old and honorable notion of “standing with” a candidate like Obama simply didn’t occur to his famous supporters this week. Everyone has become used to watching celebrity stars and athletes take it in the neck on their own.”

Alex PopescuRebranding

I think it is that part of the year when you are doing a major change. Mine is to rebrand this old blog. But what exactly do I mean by rebranding? Firstly, I have picked a new, not very shiny but breathy template. This will allow natural text flow and hopefully will make it really legible. Secondly, I will post on this blog entries related to online business, research and anything that may fit

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-04

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-03

Patrick LightbodyTwitter Said To Be Abandoning Ruby on Rails

This is dumb. Don't get me wrong - I love to RoR tossed under the bus, since the Rails fans can sometimes irritate me. But scalability almost rarely ever has to do with your web framework and usually everything to do with the back-end and middle tier and how you store and fetch your data. I highly doubt simply replacing the rails front-end with some other front-end can help. Now, if they are doing an entire product rewrite, that's another thing... but I imagine that might be a pretty complex undertaking!

Twitter Said To Be Abandoning Ruby on Rails

    We’re hearing this from multiple sources: After nearly two years of high profile scaling problems, Twitter is planning to abandon Ruby on Rails as their web framework and start from scratch with PHP or Java (another solution is to stick with the Ruby language and move away from the Rails framework).

    Former Chief Architect Blaine Cook famously said scaling Rails was “easy” in April 2007 (see image to right), but problems persisted after Cook claimed to have conquered the problem. The service most recently had a three day outage affecting their largest users.

    Other massive Rails sites include Scribd , Hulu , and the popular Facebook app Friends for Sale . CrunchBase , our tech company database, is also built on Rails.

    Switching off Rails may not solve all of Twitter’s problems. They have nearly two years of infrastructure built up and would face many more growing pains if they switched frameworks or rolled their own. As Twitter considers moving away from Rails, some companies are doing the opposite: last year, Yellowpages.com scrapped Java for Rails, and is now second on the unofficial Rails 100 wiki .

    Rails has always bred controversy. Developers have argued that it is fundamentally flawed and unscalable; others have argued back saying the opposite (see here , here , and here ). Earlier this year, one of the core community members and creator of the popular Rails web server Mongrel abandoned rails and trashed the community .

    CrunchBase Information Twitter Information provided by CrunchBase

    Crunch Network : CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-05-01

Alex PopescuGet your writing style to the next level

Many people may already know about these, but I thought I should share them with the rest: Copyblogger: copywriting tips for online marketing success.The blog contains tones of information about how to improve your writing style, your presentation skills, etc.Presentation Zen: a blog on issues related to professional presentation designCreating Passionate Users (the blog title says it all). I

Henri YandellWhat would a monkey do?

I’m struck with a newborn about the monkeyness of it all. He’s currently shedding his birth layer of skin, it’s a light covering of small body hairs, including hair on his ears. A ‘down’ would be the correct word, though you have to look closely to see it. Apparently it’s sometimes very noticeable. Very monkey-like.

Babies come out with the instinct to grasp things, especially hair. It’s almost as if they’re expecting to hang onto their mother’s belly as she swings through the trees. They like swinging motions too, have agile toes and parents are always impressed at the strength of their newborn. I wonder how well a human newborn could do the monkey thing if their parents just had the genetic grace to still have copious body hair. I wonder when newborn monkeys are able to hang on on their own.

There are two very human things [I think] that strike me about newborns. The first is ’shhh’. I’ve read that this works so well because it’s similar to the sound of a mother’s heart while the baby is in the womb. Many cultures have the word ’shhh’, and it’s because in this case, the sound came first. We say “SHHH” in cinemas not because that’s a word that evolved, but because it’s the first sound we heard. I wonder if any monkey’s say shh, and I wonder if that was our first word.

The second thing is melodies. I also recall reading that for premature babies, babies born before the hunger reflex exists, researches have found that playing melodies is a sufficient reward structure. That is - we like hearing melodies before we know to feel hungry. Levi definitely likes melodies, I swayed monkey-like to Pink Floyd’s Division Bell earlier this morning and he happily fell asleep in the sling [his first Daddy sling wearing, and his subsequent first walk out into the cold to post some bills]. That begs the question - do monkeys like melodies, is it a human trait. If a human trait, it seems an early one. I seem to recall some memory that ape mothers will sit and croon to their baby, but whether that is a shhh, a melody or another noise I’ve no clue.

Must search the internet, for it will not lie to me.

As to the title of this post… I pondered earlier while Levi cried; “What would a monkey do?”. Pick fleas was my answer, so I sat and rubbed and picked at the hair on his head. He quietened up and fell asleep in my arms.

Joe GermuskWNUR “Jazz” Show, 2008-04-29

Whoops, didn’t manage to get this posted before skipping town, but here we go a bit late…

I believe I am settling in to using “Conference of the Birds” as the name of the show, although as I mentioned on air, it still feels a little bit like a costume.  Speaking of “on air,” this week I finally set up Audio Hijack to archive the show, and I am happy to offer it here for your enjoyment.  (Thanks to Andy A. for getting me off my butt to do it!)  Not sure what the best way to share this is, so here are two ways. The segments are not thematic, but simply split the show up into roughly equal size chunks based on announcement breaks.

  • complete program (144 MB, 2 hrs 37 min)
  • Segment A (Start through “Into the Air”) (40 MB, 44 min)
  • Segment B (”Improvisations and Tukras” through “Astawesalèhu”) (40 MB, 43 min)
  • Segment C (”Blood Count” through “That’s True, That’s True”) (34 MB, 37 min)
  • Segment D (”Gatur Bait” through end) (31 MB, 33 min)

Finally, as race is resuming a place in the national conversation, I thought this epigraph from Vijay Iyer’s new album Tragicomic was worth sharing:

Cornel West decodes the blues aesthetic as a tragicomic sensibility stemming from a sustained encounter with arguably history’s greatest, cruelest absurdity—the kind in which “even ultimate purpose and objective order are called into question,” the kind that cannot be survived “unless we are buffered by ritual, cushioned by community or sustained by art.”* In our perilous moment of global transition, we have everything to learn from this sensibility.  A tragicomic outlook can ease our pains of metamorphosis and help us dream the next phase into being. That’s how and why this music was made. Thanks for listening.” —Vijay Iyer

artist: “track” - album   (label)

« begin archive segment a »
David Holland: “Conference of the Birds” - Conference of the Birds (ECM)
Wayne Horvitz Gravitas Quartet: “A Fond Farewell (for Nica)”** - One Dance Alone (Songlines)
Marty Ehrlich/Myra Melford: “Night” - Spark! (Palmetto)
Johnny Dyani/Mal Waldron duo: “Safari” - Some Jive Ass Boer (Jazz Unité)
Jimmy Giuffre/André Jaume: “Jeux Libres” - River Station (CELP)
Jimmy Giuffre: “Dichotomy” - Free Fall (Columbia)
Free Fall: “Into the Air (for Eric Dolphy)” - Furnace (Wobbly Rail)
« begin archive segment b »
Eric Dolphy: “Improvisations and Tukras” - Other Aspects (Blue Note)
Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble: “Adrenalin” - Xenogenesis Suite: A tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12)
Vijay Iyer: “Macaca Please” - Tragicomic (Sunnyside)
Sean Bergin and M.O.B.: “Thoko’s Tune” - Kids Mysteries (Nimbus)
Sun Ra and his Arkestra: “State Street” - The Singles (Evidence)
Lèmma Dèmissèw: “Astawesalèhu” - Éthiopiques 8: Swinging Addis (Buda Musique)
« begin archive segment c »
John Tchcai/Charlie Kohlhase Quintet: “Blood Count” - Life Overflowing (Nada Music)
Jimmy Giuffre and Lee Konitz: “Blues in the Closet” - IAI Festival (Improvising Artists, Inc.)
Steelwool Trio: “Dime Store Novel (dedicated to Kent Kessler)” - International Front (Okkadisk)
Eric Dolphy Quartet: “Hypochristmutreefuzz” - Last Date (Fontana)
Jimmy Giuffre 3: “Scootin’ About” - 1961: Fusion (ECM)
Jimmy Giuffre 3: “That’s True, That’s True” - 1961: Thesis (ECM)
« begin archive segment d »
The Gaturs: “Gatur Bait” - Wasted (Tuff City)
Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby: “Groovy Gravy” - The Original Jam Sessions 1969 (Concord)
Herbie Hancock: “Hang Up Your Hang Ups” - Man-child (Columbia)
Dyke and the Blazers: “We Got More Soul” - We Got More Soul (Beat Goes Public)
The Engines: “Jet Lag” - The Engines (Okkadisk)

*from “Black Strivings in a Twilight Civilization,” in The Cornel West Reader, p. 89-90
**Elliott Smith cover (thanks to Andrew A for the pointer!)

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-28

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-27

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-26

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-25

Joe GermuskBlogMeme: Page 123

Levi has called me out:

1 Pick up the nearest book.
2 Open to page 123.
3
Find the fifth sentence.
4
Post the next three sentences.
5 Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever followed through with one of these things.  Years ago Enrique tagged me with something about my music collection on a blog I don’t think he even has any more.  I set out to participate in that one, but never finished posting it.  But the idea that Levi, of all people, would participate in such internettery—well, I just don’t know what to make of it.  I guess I just have to play along.

So, the selected book is Programming Collective Intelligence.  I’m not entirely sure how to count code samples for this exercise, but since they would not be very interesting if they were sentences of themselves, and since they follow colons, I’m going to count them as part of the sentence that introduces them.  So we are left with:

However, it’s possible that you might have better background information than that, even on a completely untrained classifier. For example, one person who begins training a spam filter can use probabilities from other people’s already-trained spam filters as the assumed probabilities. The user still gets a spam filter personalized for him, but the filter is better able to handle words that it has come across very infrequently.

Curiously, I left off on page 124 when I de-trained on my way home tonight. This is a great tech book, by the way. It has a lot of practical examples, and they are all written in Python, with which I’m kind of smitten of late.

So I guess I’m obliged to tag some other people. I feel so out of the bloggy loop!

Don’t break the chain!

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-24

Henri YandellHousing market fun

BBC says:

“The US Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to 2.25% in recent months to try to stimulate the housing market and consumer spending.

and yet the mortgage interest rate continues to slowly climb. So I guess we’re using ’stimulate’ in the needle-in-the-heart sense.

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-22

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-21

  • “Your source for interesting, top-quality food in the Chicago metro area. We sift through the abundant world of Chicagoland food to hunt down distinctive gems. We look for what’s authentic over what’s trendy—freshness and excellence above all.”
    (tags: chicago food blog)
  • “When migrating from languages such as Java to dynamic languages such as Python it’s easy to forget to reassess the value of XML as a little language. There is much less need for separate little languages in the case of a dynamic language.”

Henri YandellMy son, Levi

More of a pre-announcement than an announcement. Pictures aren’t up, movies haven’t been edited, the middle name is not 100% decided upon, but Levi was born yesterday evening (Friday 18th). Carrie’s doing well, and Nathan adores his baby brother. Levi’s taken to feeding and filling his nappy with equal talent, and we’re looking forward to when he stops being nocturnal. Carrie’s tired, but it was a relatively quick delivery so she’s doing very well. We’re extremely glad to have Carrie’s mother here - taking care of Levi, Nathan and trying to catch up on sleep would be a losing battle with only the two of us. He was a 8 lb 12 oz baby; 20 inches long. More details, picture and story once we are a bit more recovered.

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-19

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-18

Henri YandellShell history meme

An actual fun blog meme, so I’ll take part. ’sup’ is svn update, and ’ss’ is svn status. I use tabbing a lot, and tabbing and history files do not work together, however there’s no reason to suggest the %age breakdown below would be wrong. ‘open’, is an OS X command to do the equivalent of double clicking a file.

124 vi
82 cd
79 ls
47 svn
30 grep
27 ss
20 more
15 mvn
10 sup
9 open

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-16

Joe GermuskWNUR “Jazz” Show, 2008-04-15

I had a lot of fun with today’s show.  I’ll be off next week, but tune in again on the 29th. Actually, tune in next week, because Andy will probably do a pretty great show.

artist: “track” - album (label)

David Holland: “Conference of the Birds” - Conference of the Birds (ECM)
Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake: “For Brother Thompson” - From the River to the Ocean (Thrill Jockey)
Kahil El’Zabar’s The Ritual: “Day of the Celestials” - Kahil El’Zabar’s The Ritual (Sound Aspects)
Nicole Mitchell Indigo Trio: “Stand Strong” - Live in Montreal (Greenleaf Records)
DKV Trio: “Elephantasy” - Trigonometry (Okkadisk)
David Holland: “Four Winds” - Conference of the Birds (ECM)
Jimmy Smith: “Back at the Chicken Shack” - Back at the Chicken Shack (Blue Note)
Leo Smith: “Who Killed David Walker?” - Procession of the Great Ancestry (Chief)
Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble: “Malcolm Little” - The Malcolm X Memorial (Katalyst)
His Name is Alive: “Juba Lee Brown” - Sweet Earth Flower: a Tribute to Marion Brown (High Two)
Popular Cooper and his All Beats Band: “Arraino” - Nigeria Special (Soundway)
Bholen et l’Orchestre Negro Success: “Pacha-Pachanga” - Congo Fiesta Compilation (Sea Never Dry)
Sam Rivers Rivbea Orchestra: “Spots” - Aurora (Rivbea Sound Company)
Roscoe Mitchell: “You Wastin’ My Tyme” - and the Sound and Space Ensemble (Black Saint)
Roy Campbell Ensemble: “Pharoah’s Revenge Part 1” - Akhenaten Suite (AUM Fidelity)
Rabih Abou-Khalil: “Morton’s Foot” - Morton’s Foot (Enja)
Ernest Dawkins’ New Horizons Ensemble: “Fat City” - After the Dawn Has Risen (Open Minds)
Paul Steinbeck: “Miss MS” - Three Fifths (Engine)
Muhal Richard Abrams Orchestra: “Bloodline (dedicated to Fletcher Henderson - Don Redman - Benny Carter)” - Rejoicing with the Light (Black Saint)

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-15

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-13

Henri YandellFootball and Bog Roll

First - there’s an advert that points out that kids usually take too much, especially toilet paper. Then they go on to explain how their new lavvy roll is ultra soft and you can take less off.

I throw my hands up in despair - apparently the plan behind the advert is to state the bleeding obvious, and then make a claim that is utterly unrelated. “Oh.. I’ll just explain that to my child and I’m sure he’ll take less off. Now he knows it’s nice and soft, we won’t find a toilet bowl full of paper when it’s time to flush”. I guess as long as the name sticks in your head (and maybe some idiot blogs about it) then they think it’s good advertising. Don’t make people believe your product is good - just make them remember the name. Brand advertising is so irritating.

Now over to Football. The Welsh sports minister has pointed out that he’d like to see the Welsh national anthem played at Wembley before the FA Cup Final, given that Cardiff have qualified. They won in 1927, which was the only time a non-English team have won, and the last time one was in the final (Cardiff were also runners up in 1925, and Queen’s Park of Scotland were runners up in 1884 and 1885).

My first thought - “Too right”. My second thought - “Hang on, what about the English national anthem?”. In those short moments I feel I’ve pretty much described the UK national question from an English point of view. “Sure”, and “What about us?”. Currently every game starts with the British anthem of God Save the Queen.

The various options listed over at Wikipedia are interesting. Cricket have been using “Jerusalem” since 2004. Rugby used “Land of Hope and Glory” for a while and then reverted back to “God Save the Queen” (though the fans seem to like “Swing Low Sweet Chariots”, or at least used to). The page also suggests “I Vow to Thee, My Country” and “Rule, Britannia!”. Interesting page to read - I think I edge in favour of “Land of Hope and Glory” with “Jerusalem” in second place. The Commonwealth games plays “Land of Hope and Glory” for England, so that one seems to be the closest to a national anthem, and the tune is definitely something that we’re used to.

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-12

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-11

Henri YandellLearning to let it lie

I like giving my opinion. I can be quite logical at times, but often am happy to let my gut take over and make instinctive leaps. Both modes are fun and can assist in flow. I also tend to talk in trees, hoping to return back to the branch point and continue on.

Something I’ve had to learn over the last few years is to do that less. Due to the parallelization abilities of email such a habit lends itself to being the maintainer of long threads. Nowadays it has to be - less is more. Is that statement really valuable? Just because someone has pointed out that the proposed Commons J2ME should have a different name, would there be any value in my saying “Hey, Commons Mini!”. Often the answer is no. For a while this lead to enormous amounts of time spent writing emails; 90% of which was a hidden iceberg of text that was never sent. Not because I didn’t want people to know I’d written that text, but because I kept refining the focus of my text.

I don’t claim to be good at that yet btw. Screwing that up is still a regular offence, but I’m trying.

Part of learning to let it lie is at the heart of delegation. Trust others to have expertise in the area; chances are they have more expertise than you anyway. Figure out where your focus is most effective. An equivalent OSS part is delegating to a community of people - you know that the group are going to come up with the ‘right enough’ answer. It won’t be the one you personally wanted, but it will be one that after a discussion you’d have accepted as a compromise. So here the aim is to choose your discussions.

One other thing I seem to have a knack for is starting huge threads. I’m not sure if that’s because I have a social inability to understand that there is a white elephant in the room, or if it’s because I don’t do a good enough job building the foundation for a focused discussion.

On a related topic - something I need to start figuring out how to do is weaning myself of my achievement addiction. It might be okay, just once, to have an evening in which all I achieve is relaxation without feeling guilty.

Henri YandellFailing your kids

Frustratingly Nathan didn’t get into the preschool that he’s been top of the waiting list for for the last year. Everything was seeming like it would happen until the last minute when the rug and carpet vanished. Very frustrating, and leaving us feeling that the poor blighter’s parents have failed him.

We’d heard about how hard it is to get your kids into daycare/preschool/school of your choice and how, back in KY, parents were signing up before their kids were born. Sadly that was something we could never do as our location is still very fluid - we knew we were leaving KY, and we know we’re not going to be in our rented apartment close to downtown Seattle indefinitely. Given that it costs money to be on waiting lists, the strategy of whoring yourself out does not work well (well, literally it does work well as that’ll pay for the lists, but you know what I mean). With N top of the list for the very nearby preschool, it seemed silly to find other lists to be lower down on. Who’d expect no one to leave eh?

The downside of that is that N enjoys the company of older kids hugely. If he does goto this preschool in a year, it sounds like he might be the oldest kid if all the other kids are the same age and leaving for school. That’ll suck.

So we’re left with a young boy whose life is about to have a younger sibling sucking up his parent’s time, and who isn’t going to get a regular involvement with other kids unless we pull our tired arses into gear and come up with some ideas. Of course he’s old enough to have a measured opinion now, so we also need to talk with him about what he wants to be doing.

Swimming classes are one idea I’ve had; though the easy to get to nearby pool has one on one training, not classes. So a good idea as swimming is a good thing to get early (like riding a bicycle… which Daddy needs to adjust and then make taking N and bike somewhere a regular event), but not a useful idea for the other-kids need.

Soccer class is another. I need to look into the tiny tots classes and see if there are any I can take N to. It looks like Lil Kickers over at Arena Sports has a Saturday schedule. The lad calls it baseball for some reason, but otherwise seems to enjoy kicking a ball around.

Lastly there’s the need for education - he wanted to write his name this morning so I was a bit late getting in to work after an effort to give him some help. Need to make sure we don’t slack on being there for those urges.

Anyone else been in this spot and had ideas work out?

Joe Germusklinks for 2008-04-10

Henri YandellChildren of Men

Watched Children of Men tonight - very good. Oddly, the first movie I try to compare it to is 28 Weeks Later, which we saw the other week. Not because they’re at all similar in feel, but because it’s one a recent epidemic of “it’s all gone pear shaped” movies set in the UK future. This one has some nice touches and a good story line.

Oddly it was one that both Carrie and I wanted to watch. I was going through sci-fi award winners and adding to our netflix list, and she’d already added this having heard it was good (but no idea what it was about). Anyway - very recommended if you’ve not seen it already.

Footnotes