This is about writing applications in Excel.
is providing an API to allow you to access their content
Kids, never do this at home: how to
implement a decimal
adder in DOS batch files
How to calculate the true
replacement cost of software
and the bad of summer internships
free enterprise management software in a box
suggestions from decks of cards to help think through difficult
problems (implemented in Python)
planner, a resource planner that takes CSV files as input and can
produce Gantt charts as output (in HTML pages)
Faces is another
project magement tool in Python.
the black arts of management
a project management system written in Python. Includes version
control, documentation system, scheduling and bug tracking integrated
into a wiki environment. More on using
Switching to subversion
to reduce project maintenance effort.
Slashdot asks the question, "What
coding practices do you use?", or perhaps you'll be adopting the
joy of writing
Construction of high
integrity code, discussed in the article: Correctness by Construction: A Manifesto
for High-Integrity Software
some computer science
students are out-sourcing
their homework, using sites such as Rent-A-Coder
Reports on problems
Oh that overbearing
Joel on Software,
has some books that may be of interest to software developers: Joel on
Software and User Interface
Design for Programmers.
The hidden cost of outsourcing might be loss
of customer satisfaction and then loss of customers, discussed
on Slashdot. After spending more than 2 hours on the phone one Saturday
with Norton's support centre (obviously based in India) trying to fix
my Norton Antivirus 2005 I gave up and removed it from all my computers
and switched to a competitor.
Slashdot discusses version
control systems for non-programmers
crossing programming environments with the old MUD paradigm
Slashdot book review of: Micro-ISV:
from Vision to Reality, by Bob Walsh, ISBN 1590596013.
All about starting a small software company.
Slashdot book review of: SQL
Cookbook, by Anthony Molinaro, ISBN: 0596009763.
The Organization of
Software Vendors, was started in June'06, one of the charter
sponsors is Lunarpages,
which is my web host. Discussed
here on Slashdot.
Slashdot discusses the end
of native code, are machines fast enough now to run everything we
need in an interpreted or just-in-time environment?
Project Management, techniques for coping with short schedules. Discussed here
In July'06 the tide
started to turn on outsourcing to other countries.
The theory of the "free
electron" programmer. I fully agree with this article, these people
exist, they are pretty rare and they can be difficult to direct and
apply to specific tasks, but once they are engaged on something you
will get more out of them in a few days than you can get from most
programmers in a month. When interviewing new candidates you should try
to see if any of these get caught in your net, look for evidence of
self-motivation in computer projects at an early age, look for people
who've written their own libraries, engines or toolkits. Once you have
one on staff your problem will be keeping them amused and preventing
other project managers from press-ganging them and putting them to
"good use" just fixing bugs.
In Sept'06 talk of a reverse-migration
effect within the Indian off-shoring market, apparently rates have
risen so much in India that some Westerners are finding them attractive
and moving there to work. Given India's immigration policies (you have
to get a visa just to visit India on a business trip) I would guess
that these people are actually Indian expatriots returning to work in
Interface Guidelines for Microsoft Vista have been published
How Google does development
A story about outsourcing
product development to China
mistakes that enterpreneurs make
Quake3's fast InvSqrt() function
is one strange piece of C code. Discussed here
on Slashdot. Its even made it to a paper.
A Slashdot book review of: MySQL
Cookbook, by Paul DuBois, ISBN: 059652708X.
Design by contract gets discussed
Intel has released a threading
library for C++
steps to remarkable customer service, this includes some sharp
observations on why outsourcing your software support for 1/5th the
per-call cost will probably end up cosint you more than doing it
ways to write more comprehensible code talks about the joy of
Architects, specialize in development and validation of algorithims
for scientific software
Cloud makes some enterprise build tools, including ElectricAccelerator
which can distribute builds of large projects over a number of machines
to speed up the process. Since this is "price-on-request" software its
probably something only a large company could afford.
approach to writing documentation in a presentation-independent way.
is Hard, a discussion of money, motivation and what good people
can't achieve when they have too much of one and not enough of the
other. It might not be the software that is hard, but the process of
figuring out what you actually want to do.
 The possibility of using ray tracing for interactive game graphics is discussed here. This is something I have been expecting for some time, it appears that once computer speeds get to the 100G flops point this should be achievable (for scenes of some degree of complexity).  CorrectPhoto 3.0 from PictoColor is a colour correction package, a free trial version is available.   The seam carving technology that appeared in 2007 has been commercialized and should be available for purchase in early 2008. This is now (almost - April'08) available. The VSO Seam Carving software was released Oct'09.   Using La Fonera router and the Fon Network to share an internet connection.   The FON Google map based locater application works well, hidden in it is the ability to download POIS (points of interest) files which can then be loaded into your GPS. These contain the current list of fonspots for a single country which you select. The official way to get at this data is from the FON maps page, then go to the "Tools" link in the "Menu" box on the left side of the page. Under "Tools" you will find "download to navigation gizmo", click on this and you get to a small form that allows you to pick the country of interest and the file format you want. This only worked for me from the Mozilla Seamonkey browser, both Firefox and MSIE failed to download the file.
You can get this to work by directly entering a URL like this one for Canada. It has a format that looks like: The FCC is going to do a second test of prototypes that transmit wireless internet in the unused portions of the television spectrum. The first round of tests failed due to interference with the neighboring TV signals. Discussed here on Engadget with more links to the previous failed trial. Google claims the FCC rigged the tests to make sure they would fail.  In a fit of hubris a lawyer has trademarked the term cyberlaw. Interesting fall out to follow. Groklaw thinks this application will not get approved because the term is well used already, so should be considered generic.  Slashdot discusses the CIA's claims that cyber attacks have blacked out cities, including one in the US. While this sounds pretty far-fetched, the claimed approach of attacking the SCADA system (which is the brain and nerves of the whole system) is plausible, especially when coupled with lax security practices (like installing WiFi on the internal LAN). Additional coverage on Engadget too.   Using Python's new documentation tool (Sphinx) for other things.  SmallNetBuilder has a number of articles on WEP and WPA wireless encryption security, worth a read if you are setting up a WiFi network.  A new genome mapping project has started to try to map 1000 different people, the aim of this is to help identify and study genetic diseases.  The HP Photosmart Pro B8850 gets reviewed here, it is capable of printing 13 inch wide media in panoramic lengths (i.e. exceeding the 19 inch maximum of the Canon 9900 printer).  pysmug is a Python client library for the SmugMug API.  Slipper allows you to host a web site composed of static pages directly from a Mercurial repository (for version control) using reStructuredText for the markup.  The HP MediaSmart TV series is an interesting fusion of media player and TV. Its sort of into its second generation now, and probably needs a another generation to get the product sorted out.  A liver transplant patient has taken on the blood type (and immune system) of her donor.  Could Python have been the cause of the failure of the Chandler project? From some of the other stories about Chandler it seems more likely that it suffered in a major way from the lack of constraints and control at the project/product architecture level. This gets further discussed by Phillip Eby in this article. Chandler finally reached version 1.0 in Aug'08. Chandler provides a combination of note taking, calendar and task management in a shared environment.  A file contents caching system that appears as a dictionary where setting new values into the dictionary cause them to be written to disk file storage and reading values from the dictionary cause them to be loaded from the dictionary unless the key is not present, in which case they are fetched from disk.   MagickPy a Python interface to ImageMagick. readmagick uses ImageMagick to read and write images.  Lumiram makes the ECOLUME full-spectrum fluorescent lights. These have a 5000K colour temperature, which is in the natural daylight range (these might be available at some Canadian Tire Stores). GE makes a similar product which has a 6500K temperature (unfortunately GE's web site is not well suited to linking, so this will not work, instead you'll need to search their products for "GE Daylight Energy Smart" or a product number like 85394 or 89095)which I have found at both Canadian Tire and Walmart in Calgary.  A set of Python Win32 howto articles from Tim Golden. This includes an example of how to check user credentials.  Let the law suits begin: a company has patented the idea of combining mobile entertainment and communications into one device. How hard can it be for the patent office to look in their pockets and say - hey that covers my cell phone.  Travel Photographer of the Year offer photography courses which can include travel to foreign locations.  The Seattle Flickr Strobists get to use an aircraft hanger as a makeshift studio to practice flash strobe light photography. Apparently they have been known to use underground parking garages as cheap studio space too.  The Maha MH-C9000 WizardOne is an intelligent AA/AAA battery charger. This has four independent charging circuits, so different sizes and capacities can be charged at the same time. It also has a number of special cycles, including a discharge, a refresh (combined top-up, discharge, recharge) and a break-in cycle (for batteries that have lost their full capacity). It is reviewed here and here. In Calgary it is available at MemoryExpress.   The tabletop monopod from Sharpics mounts your camera on a small boom that is clamped to the working table for stability - probably somewhat easier to work with than a tripod when taking closeups of small objects (such as for EBay).  This article on SmallNetBuilder looks at the speeds of 8 port switches (and has internal pictures).
 Canadian songwriters are looking to cut out the middle man (i.e. record companies) altogether and just want $5/month from all high speed internet subscribers to fully legalize file sharing without financial gain.  The Windows XP retail cut off date is currently 30-June-2008, beyond that point in time the only way a consumer can get a new license would be to buy a new PC with Vista from a major vendor (probably Dell) who offers a downgrade option.  This PMP/Game handheld from Chinavision has a built in solar charger that is quite nicely done. Personally I would have thought it would make more sense to put the controls and screen on the inside (like a Nintendo DS) and put the solar cells on the outside (i.e. on the top and bottom surfaces) then the cells would be capturing energy all the time, even when you are using the device.  MSI is getting set to enter the Eee PC market, probably in Q3 2008.  Implementation of some .NET libraries for CPython.  Fabric a remote deployment tool designed to upload files to and run shell commands on a number of servers in parallel. Some notes on using this.  The ICANN has voted to eliminate the free trial (domain tasting) period that many scams are being built on. The have also discussed Network Solutions' front running practice (registering domain names automatically under their name whenever someone does a whois search for the name), but have not taken any action on it. An ICANN committee has determined that domain name tasting may be causing problems (probably because of Google's pressure) but that there is nothing wrong with the practice of front running.  Slashdot discusses best practices for process documentation. I particularly liked this comment on the power of combining sticky notes and a large white board - I've done this a couple of times when planning out a new project and it works quite well.  Sony is going to be producing some photo frames (DPF-V900 and DPF-V700) that have HDMI outputs. This means that you could hook up a photo frame to your large screen HDTV and have a classic slide show evening.  The Digi Connect WAN 3G is a router that will allow a local network to share an HSDPA or EV-DO wireless link for internet connectivity. Now if only cell phone data plans would get sensible data rates in North America...  How to implement truly transparent text (useful for watermarks) with PIL.  Sony's GPS-CS1KASP device (picture on Engadget) can log GPS coordinates every 15 seconds for geo-tagging purposes.   The nuvifone from Garmin combines GPS navigator, phone, PMP, web browser, WiFi and BlueTooth into one sleek touch screen controlled device. Start saving now for a Q3 2008 release. Since it does WiFi one would presume that when a WiFi link is available you can browse the web through it. Does this have any PDA functionality? If it did then it might be a reason for Palm owners to switch. Is the platform open enough to allow 3rd party developers to write applications for it?  Peggy is a LED pegboard display kit from the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Its a 12x15 inch circuit board that, if fully populated, will hold 625 LEDs in a 25x25 matrix. The intent of this is to use it to build custom LED signs. The design also allows one to save time and materials by only installing the LEDs that are needed for a specific sign.  The E-Lead Noahpad is taking some innovative steps (but probably not popular) in the keyboard and mouse controller design area. They have combined the two functions by enlarging the touchpad and then placing "keys" on it. It looks like the surface of the touchpad is still smooth, so this could be a problem for touch typing. They have also revived the idea of a larger virtual display (1024x768) that the user pans the physical display (800x480) across. Since the act of panning has always been problematic they have set up a second touch pad (which has the left half of the keyboard on it) which is dedicated to moving the display. I'm still thinking a better solution would have been to have installed a 10 inch (1024x768) display instead of the little 7 inch display. It looks like the Noahpad might be getting revised, it was shown at Computex in June'08 with a somewhat larger keyboard.  Thomas Guest's Python suggested reading list and some additional suggestions from Jesse Noller. One really good book that is missing from these lists is "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz and David Ascher, see my Python Books page for this and a few more.  RDFLib is a Python library for working with RDF, a simple and powerful language for representing information. hypercode is another package for working with RDF. RDF gets more coverage on Slashdot.  Using nano-antennas to convert infra-red radiation to electricity. Essentially this is just the logical extension of how all radio antennas work as infra-red (and indeed other wave lengths of light) are just (much, much) higher frequency radio waves.  In Finland stem cells have been used to create a replacement jaw for a patient, discussed here on Slashdot.  Using a USB interface to drive traditional analog dial gauges from a PC.   JSONStore, a simple database for JSON documents. The Rest API for this.  Gutmann sound wave therapy, the strange tale of the Dutch proximity card billing system and how $2G was spent to produce an insecure system.   The RIAA wants songwriter royalties to be reduced.
Time-Warner who controls a lot of cable internet service is looking at charging for bandwidth used, though this looks a lot like a pre-emptive strike against Apple's attempts to distribute high-definition media (which would eat into their DVD type sales).
 Linus figures that Microsoft is only bluffing about using its patents against Linux.  The has been some progress made in making HIV patients non-infectious.  PicApp is looking at a program that will provide free images for bloggers to use to illustrate their articles - probably in the hope that these images lead to further image sales. They entered beta with this service in March'08.  The SmartParts SP8PRT is a photoframe with a built in printer.  PyXML, XML Parsers and API for Python, the project home page is here.   Phatch is a photo batch processor (home page) with a wxPython frontend, useful for resizing, rotating, applying watermarks...    The ultimate, monster, super-sized webpad, or just a hoax? I'm guessing a hoax.
Some videos of the new Garmin nuvifone in action, including one showing the email and web browsers.  Ian Bicking writes about what he would like to see in a simple content management system (CMS).  The Lightscoop is an attachment for bouncing or tinting your popup on-camera flash. It is a mirror that is positioned in front of your flash to cause the light to be bounced off the ceiling.  The trade off between coding time and testing time.  Magicdate is a module to allow user entry of dates such as "a week and 2 days ago".  pylabrad is a Python interface to LabRAD, a system for building distributed instrument control and data analysis applications.  plasTeX (home page) is a LaTeX document processing framework written in Python.  Panasonic is working on a sensor that will facilitate high dynamic range (HDR) photography, they do this by getting the sensor to take a sequence of three photographs with three greatly different exposure times and then combining the data. They have been able to expand the dynamic range from 60dB to 140dB with this technique, note that dB scales are logarithmic so this is not a simple factor of 2.3 increase, with each 3dB the linear range is doubled (i.e. an f-stop or factor of 2 change in shutter speed) so that's an exposure range increase of 26 f-stops (or changing from , with this you could probably set up a manual shutter speed and f-stop indoors and then go outside into sunlight and shoot without changing anything and still get a usable photograph. If you hold your f-stop fixed this range is equivalent to changing your shutter speed from 1/8000th of a second to over 8000 seconds. Of course their test sensor is only 177x144 pixels, but there's no reason this sort of technique could not be applied to a modern sensor pretty soon.  Build your own motion activated home event recorder camera.  How to use pygame in a headless mode, which you might want to do to use some of its features for something like a web server.   pyOSC is a Python implementation of the Open Sound Control specification for communication between computers and musical instruments (something like MIDI). Also here on PyPi.  Yahoo is breaking from the heard and offering an all-you-can-eat storage and bandwidth hosting package for $12/month. Discussed here on Slashdot. With Microsoft's recent offer to buy them I guess it doesn't matter how much this actually costs to provide, there will still be money left over. There us some fine print, they reserve the right to limit the amount of content you can add per month and state that you cannot use this as a off-site data warehouse.  The Thor Shield is a form of body armor designed to stop Taser bolts, I guess the idea is to prevent the bolt from reaching the skin and, probably, to short it out. A layer or two of corrugated cardboard covered in tin foil might do the trick as well.  The DreamBook is another hopeful contender to the ASUS Eee, but it looks like it has the same limitations and is bigger and costs more.  While not NAS in the traditional sense, the idea of distributing a file system across spare space on a number of PCs on a LAN has been implemented in a number of ways:
http://maps.fon.com/main/downloadPois?country_code=ca&format=csv, you can select the different file formats by changing the "csv" at the end (I picked CSV because I wanted to search for all the fonspots in one city) and you can change the country by replacing the "ca" with the country code you are interested in. A note of interest, as of 20-Jan-2008 Canada now has 850 FONspots listed and Calgary has 27. 
The main problems with such system are what to do about nodes that are off-line, fail or are frequently unavailable. Clearly a useful system must include redundancy, perhaps multi-way, to compensate for this, even if you are using a relatively reliable set of machines (like a number of servers that have had an extra IDE drive installed for spare storage). Such systems would be quite useful for applications like a backup storage pool.
 roundup is an issue-tracking system with command line, web and email interfaces written in Python.  Editra is a multi-platform text editor written in Python using wxPython for the interface. Here on the cheese shop.  Unibind and Kodak have partnered to offer photobooks and calendars.  Slashdot discusses DKIM - Domain Key Identified Mail - an attempt to reduce email fraud.  Project Dakota, discussed here on Slashdot, is an attempt to put all the post service pack 2 fixes for Windows XP onto a single bootable CD.  Using simulated annealing to solve a problem in vocabulary learning. The idea is to learn the more common words first to maximize the number of sentences that can be understood at an earlier time. An additional presentation on this approach.   While not a true photo frame the Cowon A3 PMP has slide show capabilities as well as component video output so it could be used as a portable presentation tool for showing slides on a large screen TV instead of using a laptop computer.   Python's BaseHTTPServer class makes it pretty trivial to build little custom web servers to perform dedicated functions, here is an example to add a web interface to command line tools or scripts.  The utimate 56-inch LCD display, with 4K x 2K resolution, one of these days this will be affordable.  Some thoughts on how to document functions and classes. The Linux kernel coding style guide.  Texas Instruments will be shipping an Android development platform this spring. Talk about the ultimate geek cell phone (though not exactly pocket sized)!  This article about Creating Excel spread sheets from Python programs discusses the simple approach of just writing a CSV formatted ASCII file as well as a more sophisticated approach using the pyExcelerator module to create a full XLS file. One could also use the win32com package to create XLS files by Office Automation techniques, but this requires that Excel is installed on the machine you run the Python script on. There is some more information on using pyExcelerator here. The xlwt module (a fork of the pyExcelerator project) can be user to create XLS spreadsheet files without requiring Excel being present.   Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the waters, the SCO patent zombie has been resurrected by The Carlyle Group with a $100M business plan to pursue SCO's legal claims.  Using CompactFlash in an SATA adapter as a replacement for a regular laptop hard drive instead of using a dedicated SSD device. This article gives some speed comparisons based on running Windows XP off a few different compact flash cards, and found that by using a faster compact flash card one could out perform a low end SSD drive.  Advances in understanding cell reprogramming, with the potential of being able to regress an adult cell back to an embryonic stem cell like state.  A patent troll is now attacking cable and digital TV standards  In a rather strange computer crime an investor hacked into a computer at IMS Health from which he stole a future earnings announcement, then he took a gamble and bought short expiry put options (which would have been virtually worthless at the time) in the company's stock. Once the earning announcement went public the following day the options grew in value by a factor of 5 and he sold them. The SEC figured that this must have been insider trading so halted his account and investigated. Now a judge has decided that while it was a crime to steal the earnings announcement it was not a crime under current US law to make money off the trade.  The IDC is finding that IT departments that build projects around open-source solutions are much more successful in successfully completing them. Perhaps this is a case of just reducing the work from a full design and programming effort to a much simpler implement and tweak type task? For example, an IT department might want to build an issue-tracking system, if it designed and built this from scratch this might consume a few man years of effort and result in an unusable monstrosity that, while completed, never gets used. However, there are lots of free, open source, issue trackers that can be configured and put into use in a matter of hours to days (or weeks if the department works hard at it).  Google's power consumption is large enough that placement of their data centers near cheap sources of power is a significant concern.  The $200 laptop returns, this time from Elonex in England. This is thought to be the Chinese "Simple PC". Just for fun it moves all the heavy electronics and batteries from under the keyboard to behind the display, which makes it look rather unbalanced. The Register has a press release and says it should ship June'08, they also say it's going to be based on a 300MHz processor with 128MB of RAM (so should be slower than the Eee) and only has a 1GB SSD and has a removable keyboard. Pretty much the same info from The Inquirer. Here is a video of it in action - this shows the removable keyboard function, by removing the keyboard you turn the device into a webpad tablet (though not touch screen) which you control using a couple of mouse buttons and a thumb stick that are built into the back of the screen unit. This tablet conversion idea looks like it might work. In the video you can also see that the "unbalanced" nature of the device (when in keyboard attached mode) is addressed by a little pop-out stand behind the display. Now lets hope they make a version with a larger display and a faster CPU and more RAM... ITWire looks at this here and Slashdot discusses here.  The 2.5 inch Easy Nova Data Box PRO-25UE RFID portable encrypted drive turns out to be pretty insecure (discussed here on Slashdot), seems the manufacturer only implemented an XOR algorithm instead of the claimed AES.   Someone managed to patent the idea of scanning checks and storing the images rather than the originals, now they want billions from the banks in the USA.
One of the key software patent court cases in the US may be revisited.  Rumors of the HP UMPC 2133 look pretty good, it is roughtly the same size as the ASUS Eee but it corrects the greatest problem with the Eee, the screen size. The HP has an 8.9 inch display running at 1366x766 resolution. Unknown price and availability at this point, but maybe this will stir ASUS into bringing out a 9 or 10 inch version of the Eee at a reasonable price. According to Engadget this is to go on sale 7-Apr-08 for prices from $549 to $749. The lowest price model comes with Linux, while for $600 and up versions of Vista are included. This might put some more downwards pressure on the new ASUS Eee 9 inch model's price. The Mini-Note has now been released, the HP press release is here and Engadget has a collection of reviews here. Discussed here on Slashdot.  UQDS, Ultimate Quality Development System might be too heavy weight for some, so an alternative, XQDS, Xtremely Quick Development System is proposed. One suggestion I would make would be to switch from using Subversion to using a more modern distributed version control system (such as Mercurial) to support this type of work flow.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the pkgutil module, this contains a function that is used to modify the search path for modules.   Some detailed notes about how finalizers are called and work in Python.  Microsoft has released documentation on their binary file formats for Office. Joel On Software has a good discussion of how the complexity of these formats developed and what one might do to work around it.  The Software Freedom Law Center's (SFLC) Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects gets discussed on Slashdot.  A gravity driven floor lamp, this is so much like an old grandfather clock that one wonders how it could possibly get patented.
- GNU's Gluster package includes GluserFS a clustered file store.
- OpenAFS has some Windows support.
- The Network Block Device for Linux could be used to do this, though for redundancy you would have to make a RAID array out of a number of NBD devices.
- dCache is a system that has been used in the nuclear physics labs to help store their large data sets.
- Wuala appears to be a commercial service that is building a distributed storage grid out of space on individual participating PCs.
Of course there is just the slight problem that this light must be violating the laws of physics. Consider the claim that it provides about 4W of light via the LEDs for 4 hours per "charge up". This means that the energy used would be 4W * 4 hr * 3600s/hr = 57600J. Now since the formula for potential energy is just mass*gravity*height, and the height of the device is roughly 1m this means 57600 = mass * 9.81 * 1m so the mass required is 5871kg. Of course, the mass will need to be larger than this to overcome conversion efficiencies, friction etc. Looking at the design pictures it appears that the mass they are intending to use is probably in the range of about 25kg (it cannot be much larger for practical health reasons - not to mention the risk of tipping the light over when the mass is near the top), so someone has made a serious error as a mass of that size would only produce 4W of power for about 60 seconds.
And this won second prize in a contest and they (a university by the looks of it) are patenting it! So much for peer review.   The Linutop 2 mini PC is another entry into the small Linux based green computing platform - though its more expensive than some of the competition like the Koolu.  Microsoft has announced a new strategy to embrace the open source world - and smother it to death under 30000 pages of useful documentation! Plus they are going to let people use their patents for reasonable fees (or even nil if its being used in a non-commercial way). One response to this calls it: don't compete and Microsoft won't sue and points out that it is unclear what is meant by "non-commercial distribution".   pydkim is a library that implements the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) protocol for email signing and verification.  Modern DRAM chips can actually hold their data for a long time, and if they have been cooled this could even be in the range of minutes. This represents a potential security threat. One of the main reasons this attack works as well as it does is that current operating systems do not clear memory that is no longer in use (though Windows 2000 and up appear to clear it before allocating it to another process for use). Because of this it also is possible to boot a system from another drive (such as a USB drive) and then read the contents of memory left over from the last run.  The 2pad Online Gallery is a photo sharing site that emphasizes user control of who has access to your photos.  Panasonic is getting into the electric bicycle business, their Titanium Flat Road EB looks pretty close to a normal bike (though the electric range is rather small).  The ohloh project is an idea that HR and management types might want to apply to monitor the progress of a company's staff and internal projects.  A startup company Solazyme is working on developing a process to use algae to produce fuel, this is discussed here on Engadget. The interesting thing about their approach is that they are growing algae in the dark, having found that this gets the algae to produce more oils. They can feed the algae with sugars and even cellulose which has the potential to improve the overall yield of the biofuel synthesis cycle by reducing the amount of wasted plant material.  munkres.py is an implementation of the Munkres algorithm (also known as Kuhn-Munkres or the Hungarian algorithm) which is used to solve the Assignment Problem. The assignment problem is used to determine the best way to use n workers to do n jobs at least cost when the cost to complete a particular job depends on which worker does it. pyLAPJV is another approach to this problem, this implements the Jonker-Volgenant algorithm.   This recipe uses PEP 263 to extend the syntax of the Python language.   CommandLineApp is a module for parsing command line arguments and a base class for command line applications.  The Popcorn hour networked media player is now shipping in limited quantities at $179. This supports up to 1080p (both component and HDMI) as well as composite and S-video. It also has two USB ports for adding devices as well it supports an IDE internal drive for more storage. It supports a pretty wide set of CODECS. There's more information on this on the Networked Media Tank support wiki. In May'08 this started to ship in volume, comments from early adopters are pretty positive. A very good review of the Popcorn Hour with some internal pictures, this review has been updated a number of times as the author has worked with different firmware versions. Engadget asks its readers how they would change the Popcorn Hour. The next generation of this (the A-110) went on pre-order in Aug'08 and they are also making a mini-ITX motherboard called the B-110 for home theater applications. CNet takes a look at the A-110.   Green Freedom is a project to extract CO2 from the air and turn it back into fuel. They don't say where they are getting the energy from that will be needed to turn the CO2 (along with water) back into hydrocarbons, but as their press release is liberally sprinkled with the word "nuclear" and this is a team that is headed by Los Alamos National Laboratory it's a safe bet they are planning to use electricity from nuclear power plants - so this is really no different from the typical "hydrogen economy" babble.  Simple infra red head lamps could foil common security camera systems. Or at least mark the wearer as a person of significance (and quickly lead to a close encounter with a tac team).   This article proposes a new automatic focusing mode setting be added to digital cameras which would put the lens in hyperfocal distance mode. When active the camera would not auto focus on elements of the scene, rather it would check its current f-stop and focal length and then adjust the focus setting so that infinity is always just in focus (at one end of the depth of field). This means that the distance to the nearest point of focus will vary (getting shorter) as the f-stop gets bigger and the focal length gets shorter (lens gets wider). This ability is most useful for the wide to short telephoto ranges, but can also be used to good effect on distant telephoto shots where you are "shooting through" obstructions (such as a wire fence, some foreground branches or the bars in a cage at the zoo) which you do not want to attract the focus. This mode can also be used to improve focus speed, since it only depends on the current aperture and focal lengths, which can be measured directly.
An additional feature that could be used with this would be for the camera's normal autofocus system to pick its typical targets and identify those of them that will be in the hyperfocus zone with circle outlines and those of them that will be out of focus (because they are too close) with X's. This way the photographer can see if the hyperfocus coverage includes the significant features, and if not he can either increase the f-stop, reduce the zoom or switch over to one of the conventional modes.
Another variation on this is for you to enter the maximum and minimum focus distances and then allow the camera to control the f-stop to meet your requirements as you zoom the lens. In this mode the camera would control the exposure by adjusting the shutter speed. The point of this is for fast point and shoot candid work (say high school year book photography) as it eliminates the shutter lag due to focusing.  Samsung talks about flash reliability in SSD drives, they figure that due to the wear leveling technology a 100K write cycle flash will make it virtually impossible to wear out an SSD drive. For a rough approximation consider that your computer writes continually at a 1MB/s rate, then with an 32GB drive it would take 32K seconds to write once to all the cells. This would then need repeating 100K times, so its 32K x 100K or 3200M seconds, which is about 106 years. If you drop the drive size to only 4GB then you are still looking at 13 years (which is more than a mechanical drive is going to last). Increasing the write rate will also decrease the time, so if you bring it up to the maximum speed that such a drive can sustain, which is around 32MB/s then the ultimate life of a 32GB drive would drop by a factor of 32 to about 3.3 years. So you're not going to be able to wear out one of these drives within a 3 year warranty!
This sort of calculation also means that if a device like a compact flash drive is used in a computer as a system disk (so it's getting log files updated and the swap partition is on the drive) then so long as the device is large enough and the average write rate is acceptable then it will have a long life - and the easiest way to assure this is to just oversize the drive a bit. So instead of using a 512MB drive for your disk-less server, installing a 2GB unit will make it last 4 times as long.  The Palm has been emulated on an iPhone, what a way to upgrade your Palm. This sort of approach might make sense for the Palm company - just sell a Palm OS emulation package that runs on different hardware packages, leaving the low-margin high-risk hardware development and manufacturing to other companies.  The haptic input device, this is a "braille-like" touch pad that is located on the back of a hand-held device (like a PDA). You can then use it to operate the device one-handed by touching this pad with a finger from the hand that is holding it. A rather interesting idea, I've always found the few direct access buttons that Palm devices have to be a quick way of doing a few things, and by virtue of them being near the edge of the device they can be used one-handed (though it is a bit awkward). The Sony Clie Palm devices had a scroll wheel and a button that were situated on the side at the top left allowing one to control some functions with the thumb if you were holding it in the left hand. This worked quite well, except support for the scroll wheel was rather limited. I would think that a row of small buttons down one side would also work well.   Brick Fetish is a site that documents the early history of Lego, including the early sets and catalogs.  Phun is a 2D physics simulator, it gets some mention here including some YouTube references.   A new version of the Compact Flash memory card format is being worked on, for introduction in late 2009 to 2010 time frame. This is to replace the IDE conection with an SATA type connection allowing data rates to hit 375MB/s. The specification (see the CompactFlash Association)for this is due to be published in May'08.  openxmllib is a module for working with OpenXML documents.   TuxFighter is an implementation of the classic Astroids game in Python using the pygame module.  Ars Technica looks at building a green PC, discussed here on Slashdot. They build a lower power (say under 150W) box for game playing and then try to build an extreme green box which uses something in the range of 20-30W. On the extreme box they went overboard on the hard drive and used a 32GB SSD unit which cost $725, they would have done better to have selected a 2.5 inch laptop drive for about $100 (which would have used almost the same power) or found a way to use a 1.8 inch drive (or the kind intended for PMP devices), or use a 16GB CF card mounted in an IDE adapter (they talk about doing this later).  Arizona is going to get a 280MW solar power plant.  USB flash drives built into basic Lego-style bricks.   The Patent Troll Tracker blog.  The Celrun is a networked media player and recorder with HDMI and component output.  One Eee user has hacked it by upgrading the processor to a Pentium-M.   In Feb'08 MediaGate announced their MG-450HD media player, which updates the MG-350HD to add HDMI output, should be available for $249. This started shipping in late April'08, along with a price drop to $229. 
The SmartStrip is a power bar which watches the current being used by one socket (the control socket) which you typically plug your computer or monitor into, then when the power used by that socket drops it turns off the other sockets (which you would have the various peripherals plugged into).  Geohash is an algorithm used to encode into a simple string a latitude and longitude coordinate pair to arbitrary precision. It is intended for single URL encoding of lat/long data. The key to this is treating the coordinates as binary numbers and then interleaving their bits so that the odd bits are the latitude and the even bits are the longitude. In this way the encoded string can be simply truncated to reduce the precision. Another system for doing this is the 10:10 code.  picurl is an application (written in Python) that attempts to unify a set of separate photo storage sites (including disks, removable media and web based photo sharing sites) with the goal of making photo storage, query and access uniform.   A project to build your own geotagger for a Nikon D200, this is based on a SiRF Star III GPS module. This is a seemingly simple project because the Nikon's firmware already includes the ability to read GPS NMEA formatted data from the camera's external interface port and embed it into the EXIF data area of the photos.   Yet another Python ORM system is being developed.  OOoPy is a module for modifying OpenOffice documents from with Python.  Discussion of the enter key and how to override its
default functionality (of OK-ing the dialog) as well this
mentions that the tab key order is the same as z-order for a dialog
and has discussion of PreTranslateMessage() which can be used to
implement accelerator keys in a dialog.
Buddy buttons, a small button or control that gets embedded within the space of an edit control.
Setting focus to controls in a dialog can be troublesome
The CWnd class has the necessary functions for traversal of the child/parent/sibling window lists (and since CDialog inherits
from CWnd it has all these too). Traversal in TAB key order (within dialogs) gets more complex because there
are sub windows that do not have TABSTOP set on them, so they get skipped. Plus the tabbing
logic knows to skip any windows that are disabled. The tab logic will always descend into
dialog windows that have the WS_EX_CONTROLPARENT set (this might happen even if there are no windows in them that have tabstop set, which can make for a tab traversal that seems to stop and catch the tab).
Getting out of a sub dialog, by hitting the tab can be done by trapping the tab key
and putting in some code to manually move the focus out of the dialog to another window. If you really want this behavior the best thing to do would be to override CDialog::PreTranslateMsg() to handle the tab key and then use that version of CDialog as your base class for dialogs.
Using the Spy++ tool can help understand the window tabbing order because the tabbing order is the order that
windows appear in its view (i.e. the order they are constructed and chained together).
The win32 function ::GetWindow(HWND, UINT) can be used to find the first child
window of a given window when UINT == GW_CHILD. It can also be used to find the first (among several) sibling windows when UINT == GW_HWNDFIRST. There is a CWnd::GetWindow() equivalent function.
Creating a CListBox with user-editable contents: CEditableListBox and Listbox Tutorial.
Trapping ENTER in a dialog and rebinding it to tab to the next control gets discussed in this DJJ article  More calls for the abolition of software patents, discussed here on Slashdot.
This patent, for a handheld device with sliding keyboard, proves that the patent examiners are kept on a prison island and denied all access to modern technology and news.  Mitsubishi's corrosion-resistant DVD-R disks promise about twice the lifespan of conventional DVD-R disks.  excrement to energy, a biogas producing digester for the third world (or maybe your Manhattan roof-top loft).  National Geographic have launched their My Shot site, a photo sharing site that allows you to submit photos to National Geographic's Your Shot feature.  A preview of the new WorldWideTelescope that one of Microsoft's research labs has been working on. This project takes images from telescopes all over the world and stitches them together to produce a full view of the night sky that can be explored interactively. Discussed here on Slashdot. Now this will be a great way to use a home theater system driven by a good sized PC. This has now been launched. In March'09 a web interface to this (see it here) was added.  This recipe allows you to create a restricted python function from a string, the intent being to allow an application to be safely scripted by user written functions in a controlled fashion. A cautionary follow-up to this which mentions that the rexec function is known to have security issues and is being removed from Python.   Akamai has won a lawsuit to protect its obvious web content delivery patent.  Microsoft's StartKey (which might appear in late 2008) is an attempt to allow users to carry their Windows environment with them from computer to computer on a flash device. Perhaps a better approach would be to boot and run the whole thing from the flash device?   So you're happily coding away on some dialogs and have some special need to use SetFocus() and TABSTOP to get the tab key sequencing through the controls in exactly the right fashion. But sometimes you notice that the focus rectangle is not getting drawn on the control that has the keyboard focus and you think this is a problem in your code and you start to tear out the few remaining hairs on your head.
If you are using Windows XP or Vista this might not be a problem with your code, it appears that some UI designer (who's brain was obviously too big and has a full head of hair) at Microsoft decided that the keyboard focus indicator was too distracting and ordered it turned off by default. But to make life more confusing the focus box will get drawn when signs of keyboard activity are sensed (such as when you press an ALT key or perhaps the left or right arrow keys - but NOT the TAB key). Then, just to make matters even worse, the Vista team rearranged the way this option is hidden in the Windows preferences system, so even if you found the instructions on how to re-enable this behavior under XP you'll never find the control for it under Vista - this article has a good guide to where to find the setting under both Vista and XP. In short for Vista you need to:
for Windows XP you need to:
- right click on the desktop,
- select the "Personalize" menu item,
- then click on the "Ease of access" link,
- then click on "Make keyboard easier to use",
- then check the "Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys" option
- and (finally!) hit the "Save" button.
 An example of an owner-drawn list control in MFC.  ComputerWorld takes a look at 7 secure USB drives, this is discussed here on Slashdot.  There will be a 9 inch version of the ASUS Eee PC, full details are to be release 5-Mar-08. This new screen will have a 1024x600 resolution which will make using the Eee a bit easier. It looks like there will be a Windows XP version of the 9-inch Eee, perhaps because Vista would be too slow. More details on this from the ASUS CEO, it will have an SSD drive (rather than straight flash) and be using the newer Intel Atom chip set, priced at US$499 at launch (in May).  A virus that attacks an aggressive form of human brain cancer in mice has been found. The possibility of using viruses to attack specific cancer cells is very appealing, especially (as is the case with brain tumors) when it is next to impossible to operate and difficult to treat with radiation without causing significant collateral damage.  While not really a webpad size device, the VA1500V laptop from Everex is the same price as an ASUS Eee and brings you a 15 inch screen at the cost of about 3 pounds more weight. Clearly the $399 price point is becoming significant.  Iomega's Rev Disk system is finally getting a capacity boost (from 70GB to 120GB). But given that the price of the individual cartridges are currently about $1/GB while a normal bare IDE hard drive is $0.25/GB and a 120GB laptop drive in a USB-powered case can be had for $0.83/GB, one really has to ask why are they still selling these?. In Apr'08 the 120GB drives and cartridges started shipping, the external USB interfaced drive (including a cartridge) costs $499 and a 5-pack of cartridges costs $325. So for the cartridges alone the price is $0.54/GB. At this time I can buy a 500GB IDE drive and an external USB case for less than $160 at our local computer shop which works out at $0.32/GB, so I still have to ask why anyone would bother with this REV stuff?  The Altos easyStore NAS from Acer, is a 4 drive RAID unit that can currently hold up to 3GB. Engadget spots one at CeBIT'09.  Konarka Technologies have developed a solar cell that can be manufactured by inkjet printing techniques all without the expensive requirement for a clean room. As they don't ever mention efficiency one must presume that these are rather low efficiency devices, but if they are inexpensive enough then that's often not a problem.  The Devil Framework (from DLevel Software Design) is a framework for configuration, management (data collection, monitoring and control) of a distributed network of systems. This may be applicable to the SCADA system problem, how to collect, process and display a series of events being received from PLCs.   JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments is a YouTube for bio-science.  Beautiful Code, by Andy Oram, Greg Wilson, ISBN: 978-0596510046. is a book on software development.  The ECS GIL10IL is an 11-inch sub notebook (additional pictures) that might compete against the Eee, but because the specs are somewhat higher I'd expect a higher price too. This update says it will come in 8.2 or 10.2 inch versions. This got a hands-on review at Computex in June'08. This is now expected to be available in Sept'08 and starting at $399. Here is a brief look at one.  The Bilski case may put an end to business methods patents.  The Wizplat NAS-20 is a 2-drive, gigabit NAS box from Sarotech. It has built in iTunes, NitTorrent and print servers and its case looks like one of the OLPC designers paid them a visit - perhaps this would get some attention at a LAN party?  Sarotech makes (or OEMs) a number of multimedia player units, the DVP-570s (abigs Multimedia Player) takes a 3.5 inch SATA drive, has LAN and USB interfaces, and outputs to composite, S-video, component and HDMI video. Their DVP-260 takes a 2.5-inch drive and outputs composite and component video and is aimed at in-car entertainment.  The USA's Government Accountability Office's report on the state of advanced energy technology gets discussed on Slashdot  The MSI Wind is another competitor to the ASUS Eee - this will have a 10 inch display at 1024x768 resolution and sell in the UKP299 to UKP699 range. Now MSI is talking about June'08 for first shipment of the 8.9 and 10 inch Wind devices, for prices in the range of $470-1099. MSI has posted its official specifications for the Wind, the 8.9 and 10 inch displays will be 1024x600 and be LED-backlit, so battery life may be better than a similar sized Eee. Engadget reports that this is to be $610 for a 10-inch screen, 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB RAM and XP. MSI has finally announced that the price for the 10 inch version will be $399 (with Linux) and $549 (with Windows XP). At $399 it really under cuts the 9-inch Eee and provides more features than the 7 inch Eee (which is also about $399) so ASUS will have to rethink their pricing a bit - isn't competition great! A Chilean gets to review an early version of the Wind and quite likes it. The UK site Mobile Computer reviews the Wind and Slashdot discusses it here. CNET takes a hands-on look here with followup on Engadget here. Another pre-release preview here. LaptopMag reviews the MSI Wind, and likes it. More reviews of the Wind and questions about why the Advent 4211 (which is the same machine under a different label) is less expensive.  GrassyKnoll is a search engine written in Python, the Cheeseshop has it here. It is planned to address the needs of web site, intranet and desktop searching.    The IronPython Cookbook is a wiki that contains recipes for use with IronPython.  How to stop Google Indexing Your Site a look at some simple errors that could prevent Google's bots from indexing your site.  The TeX Users Group has lots of information about TeX, LaTeX and related type setting packages. There has even been an attempt to make TeX usable from within a Python program: PyTex.  A training program for 5 and 10km runners, has a lot of good editorial content.  How to build The Electronic Post-It Note out of a microcontroller, trackpad and an LCD module. Though for abut 30% more one could buy a Nokia N800 instead, put that wouldn't give you as many experience points.  DyBase is an embedded object oriented database that can be used with Python.  The KORG DS-10 synth meets the Nintendo DS - result: cool music device.   A discussion of how to update the state of controls within MFC programs, including enabling and disabling menu items, by using the ON_UPDATE_COMMAND_UI messages.  The Photograph: Composition & Color Design by Harald Mante, ISBN: 9781933952260, is a book that focuses on the theory of design, color, shape and composition in photographs.  The FRLN from Frontier is a 12.1 inch ultra portable laptop that weighs in at 2.7 pounds (only about half a pound more than an Eee). At $1260 it's a lot more than an Eee, but that's also a lot less than other similar laptops. One flaw is that it's using an 800MHz A110 processor, so it will not be super fast - however this probably helps reduce its power requirements, and so probably helps keep its battery weight down.  Virgin Mobile, inexpensive cell phones and sassy adverts pay tribute to the Spitzer scandal.  At last, a photo frame that crosses over into TV and other spaces from Pandigital. I wonder if they include the under the cabinet mounting hardware in the $399 proce - or is that a $99 option? For this sort of functionality the thing must have a computer embedded in it, I wonder when it will get hacked?  This study confirms my own experiences that productivity increases with monitor space. Of course as this is a paid-for-by-industry type study you should take it with a grain of salt, but consider what happens if you are using Microsoft's Visual Studio to do some C++ work. It likes to do everything in one window broken up into a number of panels (for organizational and navigational purposes). This often leaves me with a coding window of about 1000x600 pixels out of a 1680x1050 (20 inch wide screen) resolution monitor. If I need to look at two files side by side, that drops to 500x600 for each, which is pretty small. With a second monitor this is much easier to do. Also, when you start running the application in debug mode (especially when working on a GUI problem) you have to fight with the two applications to get them to share the screen space and yet still have enough room to see your local variables, call stack and source code windows. If you have a second monitor, or one wider than 1680 pixels (though I doubt 1920 is really that much wider) then you can give each application (Visual Studio and the one being debugged) its own monitor and work in a much easier fashion.   A look at some of the tools (and processes) that Google uses internally.   A number of USB flash drives that feature built in "finger print scanners" for access control have been examined and found to be very insecure. Your best bet, if you want security, is to install TrueCrypt. Apparently the Corsair Flash Padlock USB drive (which has a keypad on it through which you enter the passcode) has a physical flaw as well - just disassemble it and short out one jumper to disable the access control and the thing is then wide open.   pyLinkage implements linked lists for Python, not that you really need these with the built in Python list class.  RFID based access control cards may be very insecure.  Using small USB flash drives to distribute working copies of software to potential users at trade shows.  Saving and restoring the window size and position of the CMainFrame in an MFC application to the registry is explained here. An older approach is here.  NorhTech is planning a sub $300 laptop to join the competition with the Eee. This first laptop was not a success, too expensive for what you got, they are looking at a second attempt with a 8.9-inch screen and a $200 price point, which if realized would be a good seller. They appear to have achieved this with their Gecko EduBook which is $199 F.O.B. Thailand. This uses the Xcore86 CPU at 1GHz (only using 1.2W, so it has no fan), has an 8.9 inch 1024x600 screen, has a replaceable CPU module and is also powered by eight AA batteries (either NiMH or lithium) for 4-6 hours. It also has an internal USB socket intended to be used by OEMs to customize the Gecko for particular applications (allowing telcos to add a particular radio system). Here is a look at one showing the AA based battery pack, the SD card boot disk and the CPU module.  Calorie-Count.com has a very good food browser with nutritional break downs for many foods.  A presentation from the 2008 PyCon titled: Unicode in Python, Completely Demystified.  Research into a way to slow the growth of cancer cells.  This lightning talk: Python Concurrency from PyCon 2008 by Jesse Noller gives an overview of the four major packages that are currently available for multi-processing from within Python.  Consistent hashing is a method to use a hash function to distribute load across a group of non-uniform servers. This can be very useful in combination with a memory caching system. This idea can also be used for other sorts of problems too. hash-ring is a Python module that implements consistent hashing.   The BBC's Yes, Minister and the followup Yes, Prime Minister are some of the best political satires every to appear on the small screen. Notable quotes from these can be found here, including my favorite about the minutes of meetings:
- right click on the desktop,
- select the "Properties" menu item,
- then click on the "Appearance" tab,
- then click on "Effects..." button,
- remove the check from the "Hide underlined letters for keyboard navigation until I press the Alt key" option
- and (finally!) hit the "OK" button.
It is characteristic of all committee discussions and decisions that every member has a vivid recollection of them, and that every member's recollection of them differs violently from every other member's recollection; consequently we accept the convention that the official decisions are those and only those which have been officially recorded in the minutes by the officials; from which it emerges with elegant inevitability, that any decision which has been officially reached would have been officially recorded in the minutes by the officials, and any decision which is not recorded in the minutes has not been officially reached, even if one or more members believe they can recollect it; so in this particular case, if the decision would have been officially reached, it would have been recorded in the minutes by the officials and it isn't, so it wasn't.
 There has been some talk that Intel might enter the Eee competition with something called the Netbook, here are some possible pictures of this. And some more views of it, where it's being called the Eco PC. It has appeared in Malaysia where it will be called the SmartBook and is made by FTEC and there is about a $40 difference in price between the 7 and 9 inch screens. It is also going to be made by CTL and will be called the 2go PC.  Sony is introducing two stand alone photo printers with built in displays and HDMI output ports so they can be used for showing slide shows on large screen TVs.   This article reviews four of the current electric energy usage monitors for the home.  A study of scientists in the Czech Republic found that scientific work output (papers) was inversely proportional to beer input (drinking). This has been analyzed by another scientist and found to be severely flawed.   Introspecting call arguments, a recipe that implements in Python the algorithm the interpreter uses for passing and assembling the arguments to functions.   Erasure Codes can be used to transform N blocks of data into N+M blocks of data for redundancy purposes allowing the original N blocks to be recreated from some of the N+M blocks in the event of data corruption or loss. zfec is an implementation of a fast erasure codec that can be used with Python (it is part of the AllMyData project).    The Google Visualization API has a lot of different chart and table types.  Ovolab's Geophoto 2 is a photo-geotagging application.   The MYKA TorrentTV is a small media player with built in hard drive that it fills via BitTorrent downloading. It supports HDMI, Component, S-Video and composite video for play back. Prices start at $299 depending on how much hard drive space you put in it. This has reached production, so possibly shipping around the start of March 2009.  WiMax has been called a disaster, an Australian implementation had trouble getting beyond 2km range.  Quantum computing (if it ever becomes feasible) may not be as big a threat to current encryption as some are saying today.  Sphinx (here at the cheeseshop) is a Python tool to build documentation, typically from source code. A screencast that demonstrates using Sphinx and Doctests. Here is a note on it with some samples. Here is another example of how this is being put to use (including with Latex). Another recommendation for sphinx with sample of the setup.  Clone Digger is a tool that finds code duplications within a set of source code files. This helps point the way to places to refactor.  Using the Lumex Graphic LCD, a black and white 128x64 pixel LCD based on the KS108 controller chip.  The (Lack of) Testing Death Spiral discusses reasons why you should have some form of automated testing in your software development process. This is based on a talk given at PyCon 2008 on testing and the OLPC project  Slashdot discusses the Amazon EC2 service which has recently added static IP addresses so that it can be used as a publicly accessible web hosting platform. It is still rather expensive though - typically it seems to be more expensive than a similar VPS solution.
  Kodak adds Quick Touch borders to its photo frames, allowing for easier interactive use.  1366 Technologies is looking to commercialize a process for high efficiency multicrystalline silicon solar cells that should initially cost about $2.10/watt and drop to $1.30/watt with some planned improvements. Their eventual target is to hit the $1/watt price point.  Adobe has put a free version of Photoshop Express on the web. This allows you to do some photo editing and sharing through your browser and get enticed into buying more from Adobe. It's probably also a way for Adobe to test the waters of software rentals and see what features are really used. The first version of the license agreement for this granted Adobe rights to your photos, because of complaints this may be revised. The license agreement has been revised, the new terms start 10-April-2008.   All 44 Blackboard patent claims have been invalidated, as usual this is not final and probably will be contested, but it is a start.  University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist (who really should be our next Prime Minister) is behind the IOptOut.ca site (discussed here on Slashdot) that is trying to get a start at a Canadian do not call registry before the federal government's version finally launches.  CNet's list of 10 most obsolete computer interface ports. It includes a reference to the Red Dwarf robot Kryton too. Most of this makes sense except, perhaps, for the inclusion of FireWire. Discussed here on Slashdot.  FireWire will be getting a speed boost to 3.2Gbps, hopefully this will happen before USB3 gets to market. Intel has released the specifications for USB3 which calls for speeds of up to 5Gb/s. More information about USB 3.0 from MaximumPC.  Not that we want nuclear batteries in every household, but a new material to is being developed that promises to increase the efficiency of this by 20 times over what the current thermo-electric technique does. With such a large increase (which might mean an overall efficiency of 20% instead of the current 1% or so that thermo-electric based modules have) it might make a new type of nuclear power station feasible - perhaps one that uses a fuel with less problematic waste products.  Nokia has let slip that a new version of their N810 is just around the corner (which would explain the recent price drop of the current N810) and this will include WiMax. The N810 WiMAX Edition gets official.  A short article discussing approaches to project hosting. And the final outcome was to use Google code and groups behind a small web site front end.  A software engineering course has student teams build a project in stages, at the end of the first stage they review the work of the other teams and then must select one of the other team's work to continue. An interesting idea, perhaps this could be used in a company which can afford to take a "multiple implementation, select the best of breed" approach to software development. While this sounds wasteful it might be a good way to get higher quality and/or meet tighter schedules.  Slashdot discusses on-demand book printing and Amazon's use of it.  Ned Batchelder's Aptus is a Mandelbrot set graphics creator written in Python. He ran into problems with display redraw flickering on Windows (but not on the Mac) and discusses a solution using double buffering for wxPython here. It is written in Python with a C extension for speed and uses the wxPython, Numpy and PIL packages.  PyOoHtml is a module that provides an Object Oriented approach to HTML.  StarScream is a tool for writing presentations in reStructuredText, the slides and handouts it produces are DHTML. Home page on Google Code.   AstroGrid is a virtual observatory system funded by the UK. There is a Python interface to this called astrogrid.   WWAOW.com is a low-cost self-publishing service. They price this using a royalty model with an upfront setup fee, the setup fee is the price of 5 copies of your book and after you have paid that they will print and sell the book at the agreed price paying you the agreed royalty without further fees.  ControlThink is in the Z-Wave business, and have USB adapters that are firmware upgradeable.  Using GStreamer to write a video player in wxPython. Another article talking about implementing a video player for wxPython with Gstreamer.   Looking at the performance of various HTML parsers for Python (lxml, BeautifulSoup, html5lib, ElementTree, cElementTree, HTMLParser, htmlfill, Genshi, xml.dom.minidom).   The PyMOTW takes a look at the urllib which is used for the client side of access to HTTP resources.   Slashdot discusses April Fool's Day pranks.  The Sony HDR-SR12 is a hard-drive based hi-def camcorder (reviewed here) with a 5M pixel CMOS sensor which is supposed to bring a significant improvement to low-light noise levels.  Rambus has won its patent case, which means that it will now go on to attack a number of other memory manufacturers.  Buffalo's LinkTheater HD is an hi-def media streamer for use with a wired ethernet, supposed to be about $199 and had HDMI and component video outputs.  Slashdot discusses what to do with your new patentable idea if you just want to release it to the world at large.  Using X-ray Radiography to Reveal Ancient Insects that are trapped in amber.  The PanTouch series of photo frames by Pandigital will feature touch sensitive screen mattes for control. This is like these Kodak QuickTouch screens, so should help to keep the display free of finger prints.  A JSON RPC client and server pair. Ian Bicking thinks that doing this with WebOb makes more sense and provides a tutorial here.   Loose weight and gain speed, perhaps on a 10km distance you can get about 12 seconds faster for every pound you loose.  Another reason to drink coffee, caffeine may help prevent dementia - at least in a study on rabbits.  The Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II gets reviewed here, this is a USB/Firewire/eSATA attached drive system that can contain 2 drives in a RAID-0 or RAID-1 configuration.  The SONY HDR-TG1 Handycam (which will be the HDR-TG3E in Europe) is a very compact full 1920x1080 HD camcorder that writes to memory stick flash media (needing about 4Gig/hour in LP mode). It can also act as a 4M pixel still camera. Discussed here on Engadget. An unboxing and quick look at it in video form are here. Engadget starts to take a look at one.  One s3fs to rule them all a quick note on interfaces to the Amazon S3 storage service, two of which are implemented in Python.  Automate CATIA V5 with Python and Pywin32 is a simple example of the win32com.client module.  
book machine , combines both printing and binding of books into one
machine, bits in books out. If the speed and cost are right this could
be the end of the publishing industry.
power consumption computer for 3rd world countries
htDig is a search engine
for html documentation, available under GPL
has a pretty nice city mapping capability, just enter your postal code
How to ski
downhill all day long
How a 17th
century law might be used to fight spammers in Australia
of the World is now on-line
an implementation of the ECMA Common Language Infrastructure proposed
to slow them down
 This site has a number of free maps, typically
in a black and white outline format, that can be useful for a variety
of purposes. The EPS format ones will load into Microsoft Publisher,
then you can pick a big page size and print a map that covers multiple
pages. The maps
at the CIA's World Factbook are of better quality, but they are in
PDF format which limits the tools you can use to manipulate them. This blog note talks about various sources for free vector maps of the world.
Internet Success Story, and how
not to make money on the net.
The Hobo Language and WarChalking,
how to publically identify wireless LANs. Reminds me a bit of the
symbol set used by the Hash House
(an international group of drinkers with a running problem) in which an
"H" in chalk or a dot of flour marks a trail, a circle marks a branch
in the trail and a circle with an X in it marks the end of a false trail.Nokia
does not like this practice, I wonder why? Perhaps they have not
secured their own wireless LANs?
Dan Bricklin's web
has an interesting software
history links page
solved using throw away "coins"
a site specializing in home improvement information (The Home Discovery Show
by Sell Busey on radio in Western Canada) (ICF is insulated concrete form)
a new Internet
Book List, rather like the concept of the Internet
Movie Database project
How to build
a house that will last for centuries
WierdStuff.com sells new
and used computer equipment.
with printing capability too... I wonder if the ink is waterproof?
Turning the tables on big government, now you can find out all
there is to know about them. Little
brother is watching you.
cancer scanner looks a lot like it uses one of the scanning wands
used in airport security checks. It may offer a fast, inexpensive, way of
screening for presence of any cancer in your doctor's office. If this is fast,
cheap and efficient it'll never be welcomed by the medical community, they'll
claim something like "it has too many false-negatives to be safe to
- Sir Humphrey, Man Overboard (Yes, Prime Minister)
Of course the cancer scanning that is currently carried out on all
patients on their regular doctors visits is running about 100% false negatives
right now... That is to say practically everyone who visits a doctor for an
annual medical leaves his office with a false feeling that they are healthy
(i.e. cancer free).
Slashdot discusses electrical
power blackouts, and also here,
the past and present (Aug 2003 in North America)
Police have now given up on their face recognition camera experiment
The Spanish embrace
big brother, allowing them to drink and leave their money at home.
The Japanese are about to track
their children with RFID implants.
may interfere with iris scanners
clock gives you an up to the minute count of the number of people
in the USA and the World
attempting to create a free
get one step closer. Small payments are still a ways off, though now they are getting called nanopayments - there seems to be some acceptance of these in China and Korea though.
park near a US naval base, you might not be able to get back into
your car if it has a key-less entry system
printing is now possible
flow simulations, including the rather scarey "reservation mode"
intersection, which allows streams of traffic to interweave through an
intersection without the aid of traffic lights.
The Sony Navitus
remote control, I wonder why it doesn't have a built in web browser?
Could black boxes in cars lead to cheaper
insurance rates? I think they are missing the point here, while
where you drive is a factor in the risk you undertake, its probably
less important than the distance you drive (i.e. time behind the
wheel). In fact insurance companies could get this information very
easily by insisting that people report the odometer readings of their
insured vehicles once a year and then just adjust the rates for the
next year based on the previous years distances.
The British has embraced Big Brother, apparently they are the heaviest
users of surveillance systems to monitor the public
SeatGuru is a web site
that specializes in documenting the seat layout, features and comfort
factors of the planes of various airlines, with the objective of
helping you select the best seat.
light sticks, make for
trendy garden decoration?
Poker Bots becoming a problem? The referenced article
mentions a more "real" threat: that of players working as a team, which
even if you were to insist that all participants computers were somehow
isolated from the rest of the net would just be defeated by a simple
In the USA a database of DNA fingerprints is steadily
growing (discussed here)
and is being used in some interesting ways. For example if a
"near-match" to crime scene DNA is found, then the police start to
suspect relatives of the person who had the close match DNA.
camera snooping device
 CTL's 2go PC is an implementation of the Intel Classmate PC, this will be available through Amazon and priced in the $300-500 range. There is a review of it here. CTL also makes the IL1PC which is a direct competitor to the ASUS 7-inch Eee, discussed here on Engadget.  Buffalo's DriveStation Combo4 external hard drive will have USB, Firewire (400 and 800) and eSATA interfaces. 
Flights at YYC
The Calgary Science
Centre (and Planetarium)
Danny Wai, a local Re/Max
real estate agent who deals in the Brentwood/Triwood area of Calgary
Alberta Registry Agent
web site where you can renew your vehicle registration online
The annual electronics
recycling (E-cycle) event in Calgary. The 2004 event was very well
organized and handled the long stream of cars at a remarkable rate.
Double Choco Latte, a problem and enhancement tracking system
Comments on a revision
control system for documentation
XML for online documentation
A web based version of the GNATS
bug tracking software, and QM
Test, a testing tool, also the Software
Carpentry project is attempting to organize the development of more
coding and testing tools.
Joel on Software
and project management and the City Desk publishing package
of programming, or why quality counts (or maybe "bugs that kill")
Slashdot on comments
is a source code management system
CVS is another source
code management system, and introduction is here,
and there is an O-Reilly pocket
reference book too.
Google are now (15-Jun-02) selling a "google
in a box" system for your intranet searching needs.
management for programmers on Slashdot
what you have learnt elsewhere
for the development palnning process of new LRT
City of Calgary Tax
Assesment property valuation web site.
 New Alberta Canada
taxes, this may be clever propaganda and blatant mass purchase of votes, but that's
a big part of democracy ain't it?
The Public Service
Integrity Office (aka the whistle
blowing department) of Canada.
 Microsoft is now going to keep supplying Windows XP (sounds like the Home version) until at least 2010 for devices like the ASUS Eee.   pyoai is a Python implementation of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting client and server.  The development of Windows
The world's first man-made
synthetic virus, when will it escape?
TVs made of glowing plastic. I wonder why all the emphasis on
making these things roll up (before releasing the technology in to the
market)? Sounds like a smoke screen to hide the fact that there
still something else that needs addressing before these can be
Otherwise why not mount them behind a conventional rigid protective
(such as glass) and then sell them as "hand on the wall" flat screen
(which there is a demand for right now, if the price is right).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Jef Raskin's Humane
Environment for computing
uVNC - running
the VNC server
on very small machines, such as 8 bit microcontrollers (or even the
Audio Books for Free,
available in MP3 format and sponsored by advertisements
IAEA - The
lawnmower, but more significantly this team's next project will be
Looks like the Greeks have overturned
their recent law that banned all computer based games
is a Windows tool to manipulate the data stream from your DVD drive
There may be life
on Venus after all (sorta sounds like something from Hal Clement)
on capacitors and how they work
set-top boxes can do more than just decode lots of channels. They
can be controlled from afar...
How computers are really
explains why some of the fittings are so hard to get a tool into).  Forgent Networks claims
to own a patent that covers the JPEG (and probably other related
schemes such as MPEG and MJPEG/DV) compression system. From the
scan I did of their patent I would guess that their basis of claim will
be applied to any compression scheme that can be considered
"lossy". Can we say "overly broad"?
is it possible to file your own patents at a reasonable
cost? Could this be used as a for of protest against all the
obvious and trivial patents that companies are filing these days?
 Slashdot debates source code version
control system, is nearing its first production release.
 Could taking lecture notes be considered an infringement of copyright?  The Datto Backup NAS is a NAS that includes software to pipe a copy of the data to an offsite storage service (which you need to pay an additional annual fee to use). An interesting concept, but perhaps a better idea would be to sell a simple remote backup server in-a-box that could be placed at another site (say in the CFO or CTO's basement) and that would be the destination for the offsite storage. But then the vendor won't have a nice recurring revenue stream in his business plan...  The classic picture of how not to do software development.   A white board illustration of the classic technology start up company process (which includes the hockey stick curve). The "crash of ineptitude" is an interesting feature, though I contend that it happens sometime after the "acquisition of liquidity".   Slashdot discusses the end of life date for Windows XP, it's still June 30, 2008. The question is, since Microsoft will allow "system builders, the small shops that assemble machines for customers" to put XP on the PCs they sell until 31-Jan-2009 will you be able to pick up a copy of the OEM XP Pro at your local computer store (who builds machines) until then?  shove is a common object storage front end, this allows you to store Python objects to a variety of different database or file-system backends (even things like Amazon S3) using a single API.   The Everex MyMiniPC is a small (Mac Mini like) PC with a 1.86GHz Pentium and DVI output, running the gOS flavor of Linux.  Using Bazaar to hack on Twisted, talks about using a DVCS (distributed version control system) to coordinate work in an off-line environment for a project that is normally tracked by a conventional centralized version control system. The discussion here is for using Bazaar to work on a project in Subversion, but the same approach could be used with other DVCS systems like Mercurial.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the operator module. This module contains functions that provide the same functions as many built in operators, allowing you to use this operators in places that call for a function object.   springpython (here on the cheese shop) is an implementation of the Java Spring Framework for Python 
Xlibiris is a
print on-demand publishing house
The Canadian Government is planning to issue
a digital certificate to every Canadian (I wonder if they will
issue the same excess number of these as they did with our Social Insurance
Numbers where there are something like 27 million SINs issued to those of
working age, while the Canadian Census thinks there are only 22 million people
in this demographic)
flashlights, I got mine from the Calgary MEC
store. These work well off NiHM rechargeable batteries too.
warming is affecting the highest point in Africa
Roomba, at long last an auto-vac
(or as the British would call it: a Noo-Noo)
an internet success story?
Different types of voting
systems for national elections, of course in Canada if you live in
the West, your vote never elects the national government. This is
because about 70% of the population lives in the East and the polls
close at the same local time across the country. So by the time the
polls have closed in the East the ruling party has been selected - without a
single vote from the West being counted. We should really have the
polls close across the country simultaneously to eliminate this odd fact.
supposedly this will trick the dialing computers that telemarketers use
into thinking your phone is disconnected, but does it really work? I
must admit the idea of paying one fee, only once, to get rid of these calls
is appealing (it sure beats having to pay "protection money" to the
phone companies on a monthly basis for caller ID, a service that costs them
absolutely nothing to provide and on 90% of my telemarketers identifies them as
Mr. "Out of Area" because they are calling from another province) but I
can't help thinking that a few software tweaks to the computers that do this
calling and they will no longer be fooled, and you'll have to buy a new
zapper. 27-Feb-03: it looks like the telezapper may actually have been
for-real; however, its days are numbered by software
from Castel that will allow call centers to ignore the tones the
zapper produces. And best yet, Castel's software will allow the call
center to transmit any caller ID information they care to choose - you can bet
they'll be choosing some misleading names like "visa" or just taking
your last name and putting a different, random, initial in front of it.
make a Deal, Microsoft style. If you're a third world country or a
large company then the way to get discounts from Microsoft is to start
looking like you might switch some machines to Linux
Drinking Vodka from the Freezer, does
anyone remember Simon
F's "Gun" album? In fact does anyone sell it any more?
for motocyclists... making the transformation into Michelen Man.
Later in 2003 Sharp
expects to have a true-3D LCD computer monitor on the market (they
have just released one for phones - Dec 02), this is based on the
"parallax viewer principle" (which is how old stereo photographs work) and so
does not need any special glasses. The restriction is that you need to view
the monitor from one distance (about 40cm in the current design) and
moving nearer or further will cause the two images to appear. I would
guess that off-angle viewing would also not work. Apparently they have a two
LCD sandwich along with a mask of some type that causes the two images
to be projected separately to the viewer's eyes.
reports on the industry's recent grief, sounds like it might just be
self-inflicted due to miss-management
jet pack, home built, but will he ever have the nerve to fly it?
phones to monitor road traffic congestion. All that's needed is a
bit of GSM and some phones that are turned on (they don't have to be in
This has some interesting possibilities: it could be used to determine
approximate traffic volume (based on the simple statistics of the
of people who have cell phones) in real time (which would be far more
than other car counting techniques used today). It could also be used
to determine how fast the traffic is going, of course they cannot use this
to issue you a speeding ticket as they don't know that you are the
but it would be useful for planning enforcement activities (even on a
personal nature - if someone does some serious speeding on a regular basis the
police could stake him out and follow him to catch him in violation). Ok,
maybe that's not a particularly good way to spend a limited policing
resource, but how about monitoring phones that leave bars at closing time and
then take a "drive along the back roads" in an attempt to avoid check stops,
this might save some lives? This sort of location ability might be useful
for tracking down potential witnesses to crimes (imagine the police serving
you a summons on the basis that you were "in the vicinity" of a
as well as gathering a list of potential suspects (better have that
turned off when you go to do evil - or better yet, leave it on, in some
other part of town, to establish your alibi).
More progress being made on vegitarian-friendly
meat products. Yes lab-grown fish and beef steaks, grown in a petri
 Battery adapters that allow one to use a AA sized battery in a
device that only takes C
cell or D
cell sized batteries. American Science and Surplus also has a
set. Here is one that takes two AA cells and makes them into a D-cell.
Send a FAX by
(for free) to a lot of places around the world. An overview article on free and
commercial services for this. Ourfax
seems to be a add-supported service.
amazing stuff, take your paper
folding into the galaxy
Which Sci-Fi character are you?
Time travel spam, in case you ever wondered what
was the point behind these spam emails
Combining a tomato
with tobacco, I wonder what other sort of "pot"ted plants may be
made this way?
machines have been contracting windows viruses
is a new international carrier operating out of Canada.
apparently gathers feedback about various online merchants.
resource that includes a web applet for calculation of the Easter
dates and algorithms for doing it yourself.
Blackjack, a look at some of the devices used in the past
Aquadisplay, rendering images in a water fall
PC World's 20 Things
They Don't Want You to Know, (discussed here)
includes unlocking cell phones
A cross platform 3d scanning
solution, called Splinescan,
its now being reimplemented in Python
How about a hydrofoil
Make a garbage can or 55-gallon drum into a supersized cyclonic
dust collector for your shop vac, just add the Veritas
weeding device, this sort of thing could be a great way of reducing
the amount of chemicals used in modern farming, plus it should be
possible to make a robotic insect hunter to keep some pests under
Part car, part motorcycle, this 3 wheeled
vehicle allows the passenger compartment to tilt in the curves
Tracking the movement
of cars by scanning their license plates
ZipCar is a new car
rental service in the USA that is entirely self service and also offers
 Big Brother is setting up to watch
the Texas border, supposedly to keep Mexicans out, but I bet the
Texans really want to use it to keep the Americans out. The neat thing
about this is they are going to try to exploit the bored web surfers of
the world to report the infractions. This project still appears to be alive, though with only 21 cameras its hard to see how this covers much of a boarder.
is Big Brother's first name, in Sept'06 it was announced that
Disney World will soon be taking finger prints of all patrons. Big
steps for the the land of the ACLU.
The European Space Agency
is putting current
satellite pictures on the web, the MODIS
Rapid Response System from NASA is a similar thing
makes your mountain bike into a half-track,
it puts a ski on the front and a short caterpillar tread extension on
the back. Obviously this does not give enough floatation to ride on
unpacked snow, but it appears to work on something like a ski slope.
In 2007 a vending
machine that can print and bind books on demand will be installed
in a number of US libraries, when with Amazon.com start using this to
print books on demand, if they thought about this they could offer you
a choice of a used book, a new (from the publisher) book or a
printed-on-demand book. In fact many low volume titles (like technical
books) would be best done entirely with the print on demand
system. The print on demand system has another potential benefit
for an Amazon, they could set up offices with these machines in major
centres (perhaps partnering with some local retailler) and print and
ship them from a location close to the person who is placing the order,
thus further reducing (or even eliminating - if the purchaser just picks
it up) the shipping costs.
to build houses out of a mix of concrete and gypsum. The
technique is roughly to erect a massive frame at the site and then run
a robotic concrete delivery system on it and "spray" the house into
existence. The plan is to build a house this way in the spring of 2007
in about a day. More on this including a video of a small
is now watching your toilet, some tests have been made to monitor the
drug usage of entire neighborhoods by taking samples from the sewage
and analyzing them. Obviously only a matter of time before the samples
are taken at the end of a particular street and then on a
house-by-house basis. While this is being applied to look for users of
drugs, this should also be very effective in finding drug labs or grow
opps as these are bound to flush some identifiable waste products down
the drain from time to time.
Sony is helping Big
Brother build a gigapixel imaging system that would be capable of
watching car movements through an entire city at once.
to build a high performance web server
FlatStack is a
very small embedded web server intended to allow for remote (via the internet)
control of devices, mentioned here
 Portelligent sells
tear-down and reverse engineering reports on various consumer electronic devices
hits its first hurdle, trips and falls... in San Francisco.
for prototypes and limited production runs
 More on micro
radio controlled cars
TurtleBeach makes the AudioTron,
a home stereo component that can play MP3 files from your computer's
 The ASUS 8.9 inch Eee may not wait for the Intel Atom to ship.  The Ray Flash Ring Flash Adapter attaches to a regular flash unit (currently only supports the Canon 580EX and Nikon SB800 units) to convert it into a ring flash. At $299 its not a cheap accessory - and the question is why is this so expensive when all it is is a light guide (it contains no electronics and all the light is produced by the flash it is attached to). It should also be possible to do this sort of thing with other source flash units.  On 8-Apr-08 Google started to preview their Google App Engine, discussed here on Slashdot.
Their overall design goals:
- make it easy to use
- make it easy to scale
- free to start (small apps)
What Google will do for you:
- Run the web applications
- provide the full life cycle, logs, status, updating, database...
- provide access to Google's scalable infrastructure, google accounts, big table, Google FS
To do this the application stack they provide has:
- Scalable serving infrastructure
- Python runtime
- Web based administration console
- Datastore (based on big Table)
Their environment does allow you to run a local test server, so you can do your application development on your own private machine.
They provide a basic Django template module.
Seems to follow the Python wsgiref module.
An initial presentation of this is in these videos.
One of the things this does is to get you to build things using Google tools which may result in an implementation that is difficult to move to some other service provider without doing a complete rewrite. Whereas if you were using Amazon's EC2 you are writing for a more standard LAMP style environment so you should be able to take whatever you develop and run it somewhere else. Of course, if you keep this all in mind it might not be a big issue, use the Google tools to develop a prototype and test the waters before investing in a full scale project.
With Google's use of Python as the first application language to be supported by this system it has caused an unprecedented stir in the Python community, see:
  Alligator blood my be a source of new antibiotics, it seems that several hundred million years of evolution have given the gators the ability to defend against microorganisms that they have not been previously exposed to. Of course this could just be a case of them having DNA that already contains a large arsenal of previously tried and true solutions, or it could be they recognize their own cells and attack everything else by default.  IOGEAR is introducing a new Portable Media Player which comes with a remote and various TV outputs (no built-in display) including component video to 720p. Although at $350 they are up against a number of less expensive, similar, solutions.  Using SQLAlchemy with Grok with some mention of Storm.  What a DVCS gives me discusses the benefits of using a distributed version control system.  The Twisted web server modules (web, nevow and web2) are going to be combined into an updated version of the twisted.web module.  A note on how the CDocument::DoSave() function set works.  Dell may be entering the 9 inch laptop market. With HP (Compaq) already there and Dell entering the waters in June (along with several other smaller fish) ASUS is going to either have to innovate or reduce prices to keep its market.  The Pico USB drives from Super-Talent will be pretty small (only 31.3mm from end to end and 12.4mm wide and 3.4mm thick) flash drives. They look to be a bit smaller than the OCZ mini-Kart drives were (which actually were a rather nice size). Imation have also announced some similar-sized thumb drives.  The Yamaha Tenori-on could be described as Lite Brite meets a music synthesizer. I'm sure kids of all ages will love it. These finally went on sale in the US in June'08 for $1200, guess I'll wait for someone to do this in software on a PSP or dual screen.   Some thoughts on replacing conventional file storage with an object database type system. Some more consideration of this idea here.  The Iomega ScreenPlay HD 500GB multimedia drive has HDMI output (as well as composite and component video) and run at 720p or 1080i resolutions for $219.  The ASUS Essentio CS5110 is a small form factor box with plenty of capability, it would make an excellent PVR box if it had room for a TV tuner card - you could probably use a USB attached tuner instead.  pyOOP a library of object oriented programming structures for Python.  Using GPS trackers to keep track of posessions, pets and probably children and spouse.  The AgfaPhoto DV-5000Z 720P HD flash video camera looks a lot like some of the Sanyo models.  Network Solutions is playing nasty tricks too, they are putting up advertisements on your not-in-use subdomains.  Delving into the Python bytecode could be useful in testing code coverage. It makes sense for the capabilities to support this to be in place already becasue they would be required by the Python debugger.  FixedPoint is a pure Python module for manipulating fixed point numbers of essentially arbitrary precision. This includes both basic and transcendental functions.   The Dr. Project team writes a bit about some of the other project management systems on the market.  What is the business case for the App Engine? Could this be a massive recruitment system - build a pool of developers who know some of your APIs, collect all there work in one central (easy to review) place and then set your recruiter team to work skimming the cream off the pot?  Niall Kennedy takes a first look at the App Engine, this mentions some of the unknowns about what Google will charge for scaling up the service once this goes commercial.
PyRSS2Gen an RSS feed generator module.  How Calgarians caught a car thief by working as a group via the internet (and without GPS tracking too!). The cloud has eyes and they are watching you!   A feature list for project management systems.  The EvitMadScientist takes to the kitchen to make fractal cookies - Sierpinski Carpet designs.  Ultra is suing a number of power supply manufactures over making power supplies with detachable cables. This is a good example of a patent that should never have been granted because it was "obvious to a practitioner of the art". The only reason people were not building "modular" supplies would have been cost - the cost of two extra connectors per cable would have made the supplies more expensive and thus less competitive in a very cut-throat market. In fact, for many years all power supplies did already have one such