December 2009 Archives

Can you believe it? 2009 is over! Where does the time go? Are you satisfied with your photography this year? Do you have photographic plans for 2010? Lightroom is an excellent program but it still needs you to feed it images. If you find yourself in a creative slump or the shooting doldrums don't despair! Leave all that in 2009 and look to the new year with fresh eyes! Here are ten suggestions to help you rekindle that passion for photography!
William Stanek here, talking about a scripting/programming bug that is driving me absolutely bonkers. The code bug is this: Often when you visit web sites and are using Internet Explorer 8 on 64-bit Windows 7, you are redirected to a...
The idea that you own your music is a MYTH, promulgated by the record companies to ensure their continued profitability! But soon, all that's going to change, because Cloud services will dramatically change the way you listen to music.
I'm tired of wasting brain cycles figuring out whether a given vendor requires you to sign your query before or after you URL encode your parameters and I am fed up with vendors who insist on using interactive user credentials to authenticate API calls. Here's a set of standards that I think should be in place for any REST authentication scheme.
Microsoft has lost its appeal on the Custom XML feature in Word 2007! To prevent confusion, the removal only applies to one feature in Word 200x that no-one would be using casually on homemade or general office documents. [UPDATE: MS'...
In 'The Meaning of Open,' Google's SVP, Product Management, Jonathan Rosenberg, simultaneously acknowledges the fuzziness of what exactly "being open" means and owns up to the fact that Google isn't all the way there. At the same time, my simplified net out on this one is that Google's real credo (in practice) is "be open where commoditization is the goal, be closed where proprietary differentiation is the goal," a somewhat self-serving definition of the world.

Robot Knocking

By Kyle Dent
December 18, 2009 | Comments: 0

Yesterday we had a visit from some good folks from Willow Garage. They brought along one of their Personal Robot 2 machines (this one is named Froto), which is a research platform for creating devices to help humans perform their everyday tasks in environments like the home or office.
'Twas a night during the holidays, when all through the house
Everyone was connecting and using their mouse.
The screens were alight and holding their stares,
While holiday music from iTunes loudly blared.

The children were chatting and texting their friends,
Searching for YouTube clips they just had to send;
And Daddy with his iPhone and I with my RIM
Were synching our calendars to meet at the gym.
Monty Widenius wants his to have his cake, and dual license it, too.
Last Monday night, I was watching the Ravens playing the Packers at Green Bay. Mostly, I was watching penalties. This game featured an astounding number of penalty calls: 23 calls, 310 yards. I wondered whether penalties really affect the outcome of football games. Here's what I figured out in 15 minutes, with a little help from R.
Michael Kay has posted on his blog a letter to his MP Patents: an Open Letter to my MP. Why are patents in the software business bad? * Firstly, they reward failure and penalise success......

How do you handle rejection? Rejected images, that is. When you import new images into Lightroom you are faced with the initial task of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. If you haven't had a chance to read my previous article on using the flags, Do You PUX?, I recommend you jump over there and read that first.

I love a celebration (who doesn't like cake) - especially for those who really deserve to be recognized. The Internet, as you probably know, turned 40 this month. Maybe it's the mother in me, but I would like to take a moment and reflect on how far it has come since its infancy. It's hit quite a few milestones!
Want to learn the fundamentals of electronics in a fun, hands-on way? Author Charles Platt (@charlesplatt) has created a book in which you will explore all of the key components and essential principles through a series of fascinating experiments. I asked him a few questions about Make: Electronics earlier this week so I could understand a little bit more about electronics (and why he wrote this book) for myself.
This article is about developing requirements for agile projects. I've used a number of different techniques and have recently happened upon one that's been the best of the bunch for me - hopefully it will prove useful to you as well. Along the way, I'll sketch out a couple of other techniques for comparison.
William Stanek here, delivering a new installment in my "Inside the E-book Wars" series. As I let you know in earlier posts, Barnes & Noble began shipping the Nook and Sony began shipping the Reader Daily Edition (PRS-900) in time for the 2009 holiday season. Both readers have wireless, touchscreen and expansion capabilities. Demand for the readers has been very high, so high that shipping dates rapidly pushed into the new year. On December 11, 2009, Sony delivered/delivers new salvos in the ebook wars--a series of one-two punches to the competition.
Averaging data from a monsoonal tropical coastal town near the Timor and Arafura Seas, a town in the middle of one of the driest deserts, and a fishing village 3,000km away on the Pacific with a famously equitable climate (or perhaps the South Australian grape-growing town) and then saying it looks nothing like the IPCC graph for Darwin leaves me a little baffled about what point is being made.
So the Atari 2600 debuted in 1977 and remained the world's most popular video game system through 1984. I bought one around 1978 and happily shelled out pretty big bucks for the privilege of having popular arcade games available for...
Based on a cryptic twitter from Dr Murata, it looks like the Japanese standard for ODF has been released. Congratulations to all involved, it is a good step forward to enable competition, substitution and industry in this area.
What is interesting to me is that each of these positions have pretty clear policy ramifications: if you are Know-Nothing, the appropriate policy is Do-Nothing: invest in more studies perhaps, but don't base any policy on it. If you think CO2 is by far the most important thing, then carbon schemes are the only game in town.
The list of invited speakers for PyCon 2010 has been announced, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of them.
Even those who support and advocate for Linux on the desktop largely believed that Microsoft would retain market dominance. Here we are six months later and the promised ARM powered netbooks have not arrived in any quantity as of yet. Despite this ABI Research published some new data last month and the results may surprise you. They place the 2009 market share for Linux on netbooks at 32% with 11 million units preloaded with Linux shipping this year.
William here. On 12/3, Business Week picked the Kindle 2 International Edition as the Best Gadget of 2009 because of it's "inclusion of free, high-speed wireless access that lets users download books on the go." But is it really the...
One interesting artifact to come out of the stolen Climategate material is an epic file HARRY_READ_ME.txt. It seems to be a year long log by a programmer (Harry?) who has to port old data and various old FORTRAN (and MATLAB?)...
William Stanek here, completing the 5-part in-depth look at the Nook e-reader from Barnes & Noble. Anyone who's been watching the e-reader and e-book market knows, the Nook is the latest entry in this highly competitive space where Sony, Amazon...
NIST continues to ponder cloud computing. Its definition of cloud computing is now up to version #15, and its presentation on Effectively and Securely Using the Cloud Computing Paradigm is now up to version #26. No word on when either...
William here, talking about my new book Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant. This book is designed to be a concise and compulsively usable resource for Exchange Server 2010 administrators. Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant covers everything you need to perform the core administrative tasks for Exchange Server 2010, whether your servers are running on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 Release 2. Because the focus is on giving you maximum value in a pocket-sized guide, you don't have to wade through hundreds of pages of extraneous information to find what you're looking for. Instead, you'll find exactly what you need to get the job done. In short, the book is designed to be the one resource you turn to whenever you have questions regarding Exchange Server 2010 administration.
William here, talking about the new Microsoft Press / O'Reilly partnership that launched officially today and it's pretty cool. You can learn more about the possibilities this new partnership brings at the new Microsoft Press site pictured in the figure...
I had missed the big news last month, with the publication in Science of Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Updated: see Mouse hanging by thread Two quite good non-technical news...

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