Monday, October 15, 2012
This is not OLPC... this is One Tablet per Couch, and I think that's a really important distinction, until the tablet supports local development, which I don't think it ever will.
I like the portrait-centred form factor, and I am frustrated by applications that flop around when I lay the tablet flat. I've talked about this before; when I look at the tablet I see a perfect place to prototype and play board games, for which you need to lay the tablet flat. A Monopoly board doesn't have portrait or landscape orientation. People sit around it and interact with it equally. This should also be true of a table when it is laid flat, and it can never be true of a mouse-driven device. Never. That's the power of touch.
At this point, I see the tablet having 3 basic modes, and I hope application design moves in this direction: portrait mode is for typical operation, like reading books or web pages, etc; certain types of content (video, text annotation, high quality images) break out into landscape automatically - I'll re-orient the device and share with the people around me when this happens; and laid flat, any other orientation is inconsequential - it's a free for all.
Please comment... this makes absolute sense to me, but maybe differs from other people's tablet experience.
My other quibble at this point, coming from a board game lover: SVG support in Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean is good, but not great. I would love to see an Android OS that provides better support for SVG filters and SVG DOM manipulation using WG XPath - but that's a subject for another day.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Not entirely sure I agree with that, since I see evidence suggesting this has not happened; however, for new initiatives like FHIR to gain traction on smaller local projects, and in particular in the growing area of mobile health, any such impediments need to be lowered.
I love working with HL7 and I love working with the members of both HL7 International and HL7 Canada/ Canada Health Infoway, and I have to say, this is truly fantastic news.
Keith Boone's post
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Great intro to key web technologies
Best Uses: Intermediate
Describe Yourself: Developer
The design patterns book was also a very good read, though, I used it more of a refresher of design patterns in general - the patterns in this book were for the most part based on the standard Java design patterns, covering some of the nuances of classical vs. prototypal inheritance.
But really, as long as you put separate statements on separate lines, there are virtually no situations where semicolons are essential. And in fact, I found the example code in Robin Nixon's book Much easier to read than the example code in Osmani's book. I may just have been converted to the darkside.
I highly recommend both of these books.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Would you have to write all 4 concurrently, though?
Monday, July 23, 2012
FHIR for v3 and CDA implementers
FHIR for v2 implementers
One thing I am still trying to understand is the issue of aggregation, which is accomplished using Atom feeds, which in itself makes a lot of sense, and may have all sorts of side benefits, though it is a little frustrating if your browser (ie Opera) tries to handle the aggregation as though it were a blog feed... but there are two kinds of aggregation we must consider here one when we aggregate a number of like resources, for instance as the result of a non-deterministic search, and the other when multiple types of resource are aggregation into a Message (for v3) or Document (for CDA) Resource.
I find this confusing because it appears that position is used within the Atom syndication to determine which Resource to use as the transport wrapper. Still trying to wrap my head around this. Should prove to get interesting very quickly.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Bringing Web Programming to Mobile Devices
Pros: Well-written, Easy to understand
Best Uses: Intermediate
Describe Yourself: Developer
At some point, you just need to stick your paddle in the water and see which way the current takes you. And Kosmaczewski's book is a good starting point.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
3,001 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW!!! - 1) The moon smells like gunpowder. 2) The creator of the Nike Swoosh symbol (Caroline Davidson) was paid only $35 for the design. 3) You can't create a folder called "Con" in Microsoft Windows. 4) The formula for Coca-Cola has never been patented. 5) Al Capone once said, I am like any other man, all I do is supply a demand. 6) There are five states in United States with no sales tax. They are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. 7) Calcium in bones absorbs X-Rays the most, so bones look white on the radiograph. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look gray. 8) Bruce Lee was the Hong Kong 'cha cha' dance champion in 1958. 9) Erotica is sexually oriented material that is not considered "pornographic" to the viewer. 10) Elvis Presley was a black belt in karate. 11) Amphetamines are similar to cocaine, the main difference being that they are synthetic, longer acting, and cheaper to buy. 12) A DVD has an about 100 year life span. 13) Every person, including identical twins, has a unique eye and tongue print along with their finger print. 14) It takes six months to build a Rolls Royce, and 13 hours to build a Toyota. 15) The words "naked" and "nude" are not the same thing. Naked implies unprotected. Nude means unclothed. 16) James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, was a real spy for the British Navy during the World War II. 17) You're born with 300 bones, but when you get to be an adult, you only have 206, why? Because they fusion one to another. 18) A shrimp's heart is in its head. 19) All the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666. 20) A lump of pure gold, the size of a matchbox, can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court. 21) Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a novel with over 50,000 words, none of which containing the letter "E". 22) Birds are largely unaffected by spicy things, like chilies, as they are not sensitive to capsaicin, the hot stuff in chilies. 23) The Bible devotes some 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but over 2000 verses on money and possessions. 24) Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. 25) Americans, on average, eat 18 acres of pizza every day. 26) The White House has 35 bathrooms, 3 elevators, 132 rooms, and 412 doors in it. 27) The ashes of the average cremated person weigh 9 pounds. 28) Identify a fake: The second hand on an authentic Rolex watch doesn't tick, it moves smoothly. 29) Pluto is no longer considered a planet, it is now known as a 'Dwarf Planet'. 30) Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a "Friday the 13th." 31) The Leaning Tower of Pisa has never been straight. 32) Alcohol can be detected in the blood as quickly as 40 minutes after your 1st drink. 33) The Olympic gold medal must contain at least six grams of gold. 34) Breasts contain no muscle tissue, so there's no exercise that can change their shape. 35) A Boeing 747 airliner contains 6,000,000 parts. 36) U.S. bills are 2.61 inches wide, 6.14 inches long, and are .0043 inches thick and weigh 1 gram. 37) The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. 38) Apples are more effective at keeping people awake in the morning than caffeine. 39) Believe it or not but during the average human life, you will consume 70 assorted bugs as well as 10 spiders as you sleep. 40) Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer. 41) Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deepest layer of your skin. 42) Warm up before exercise. Cold, stiff muscles and ligaments are more susceptible to injury. 43) Footprints of the astronauts who landed on the moon should last at least 10 million years since the moon has no atmosphere. 44) Alfred Hitchcock had no belly button as it was eliminated during surgery. 45) The Titanic was the first ship to use the S.O.S signal. 46) It cost $7 million dollars to build the Titanic, and $200 million to make a film about it. 47) Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die. 48) In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die. 49) Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. 50) Jewelers Tiffany & Co., based in New York, is responsible for making the Super Bowl trophy. 51) The first credit card was issued by American Express in 1951. 52) Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane as a precaution. 53) Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. 54) The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. It was the fashion in Renaissance Florence to shave them off. 55) It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times. 56) One ragweed plant can release as many as one billion grains of pollen. 57) Heavy marijuana use lowers men's testosterone levels and sperm count and quality. Pot could decrease libido and fertility in some heavy smoking men. 58) Dogs...
Friday, February 17, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
"Siri accounts for about a quarter of the queries fielded by Wolfram Alpha"-Steve LohrView or comment on Piers Hollott's post »
Mindwheel was an impressive interactive fiction created by Synapse/Broderbund back in 1984, authored by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. I am currently reading Pinsky's translation of Dante's Inferno, and it is interesting how lyrical, and yet claustrophobic and in places even creepy Mindwheel can be, much like Pinsky's Inferno.
This download is a Windows port, and what's really cool is it has been made available by Steve Hales, the lead developer for the project, and apparently also designed the audio sub-system in the ultra cool T-Mobile SideKick. From his about page:
"If anyone remembers: Fort Apocalypse , Slime, Dimension X, I coded and designed them with Ihor Wolosenko. I also coded and co-designed Mindwheel with Robert Pinksy, the famed poet and author. Working with Robert changed the way I read and write words forever. He was writing History of my Heart during the development of Mindwheel, so they have familiar themes. You can even get a deeper meaning behind Mindwheel, by reading this book. Although, he claims, they are not connected."
Monday, February 06, 2012
Great story from Ken Holman, quoted for coolness and also for #refrigerator...
So I'm standing here at my desk preparing my UBL 2.1 PRD3 D1 package and I have two very long XSLT transformations to run. One takes 98 minutes and the other takes 124 minutes, running in Java in BSD on my Unibody MacBook 2.66GHz I7 (dual core; quad process). Input file 10Mb; output files total 183Mb.
I used to run these two tasks sequentially, but I today checked out "Activity Monitor" and discovered that while each transformation starts off using about 250% CPU time (sharing processors while building the memory structures), they quickly become single processor 100% (±2%) only (while traversing the memory structures).
So I decided to run them simultaneously instead of sequentially, saving me (theoretically) close to 98 minutes since most of the time appears to be at 100% and when they are both running Activity Monitor says they are both running at 100%.
So far so good ... but within minutes the fans on my machine get too noisy to talk over! I check the status bar and, sure enough, both fans are running >6000rpm. My fans so very rarely make any noise, so this is very noticeable and annoying.
My very wise wife suggests I go to the kitchen and get the flat-bottomed aluminum frying pan to place under my machine, upside down so the flat part of the pan is full on the bottom of the Mac. Maybe two minutes later the fans are running <4000rpm and we can talk without raising my voice over the fan.
Well, now as I'm typing this Google+ post the frying pan is getting hot! The fans are up to 4800rpm again and slowly rising.
So, I've just gone to the kitchen, brought out a second aluminum frying pan, put that one under the Mac, and put the first frying pan into the refrigerator to cool down for the next swap. Within a minute the fan is back down <4000rpm.
My review and editing of the above takes five or 10 minutes. Already this pan is heating up as it isn't as substantial as the first pan ... fan speed up to 4400rpm ... but the first pan will be cold by the time I need to swap again.
Such a simple improvement! Wish I'd thought of it.View or comment on Piers Hollott's post »
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
See, this is why I respect Tim Bray's opinions so much; because he is a tireless member of my post-SGML/functional programming tribe. For instance, see this post on static vs. dynamic typing, and why it's not such a big deal with mobile Java for Android. I particularly like this comment, though:
"From: Tim Converse (Dec 29 2011, at 10:32)
"The Java language in particular suffers from excessive ceremony and boilerplate. Also it lacks important constructs such as closures, first-class functions, and functional-programming support."
This is a very concise version of the case for Scala over Java."
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Embassytown is a fully achieved work of art." High praise from Ursula LeGuin (in her Guardian review), one of the writers who have really driven the potential for Science Fiction as artform. Best book I have read so far this year, for what that's worth, Embassytown is a maverick read, setting out a subtle but profound agenda, and then carrying it through to a stunning conclusion, much like Suzette Haden-Elgin's Native Tongue or Anthony Burgess's Clockwork Orange. If you have read it already, read the first few chapters again - it's amazing the detail employed to carefully inch the story forward, play it backward, then when all the pieces are in place, unleash it.
Miéville is known for his disapproval of the high fantasy genre, and this is the complete opposite of that, dealing with language not as a way of identifying class and race, but undermining this notion, as in the works of Burgess, Burroughs or Lessing, demonstrating how language creates class, language creates race, language creates culture, and then, going on to demonstrate, quite graphically, how language is also, to quote Burroughs, "a virus sent from space" - a destructive addiction.
China Miéville has always been a deep and deeply intelligent writer. Embassytown shows that he is, simply, a great writer who should not be ignored.
View all my reviews
Embassytown by China Miéville – review
Monday, January 09, 2012
XML Prague 2012 conference sessions: