Building notes, projects, and ocasional rants


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So, leaving for FOSDEM 2008 later today, I need a checklist: Passport: check;Plane ticket: check (Pedro tells me a plain ticket will not fly...);Laptop hard drive: update clone at the office - still to do;Send phone number to one or two persons going to be there: still to do done;Clothes: still to pack;Clean up non-essencial stuff from backpack: still to do done.I'll drive to Lisbon around 1PM and catch the plane at 7PM.

Castro steps down

This will be all over the news, but Fidel Castro is stepping down after, what, 30 49 years (corrected by Pedro) as President of Cuba. Its the end of an era, for sure. Now, two choices: Cuba becomes the live action series Miami, the Next Generations Vices;a civil war erupts between a tired population and a elite trying to keep the same control that Fidel had.Time will tell.

Working with Wikipedia data

The good people at Freebase launched WEX, a Wikipedia Extraction tool, and made their exported data downloadable. This allows you to use our usual text, XML or even SQL processing tools to analyze Wikipedia entries. I mention this because the FreeBase project is one of the most interesting thing happening in the online knowledge space. If you haven't noticed, this project is building a huge structure data repository, open and extremely linked, with strong meta-data.


In the past I toyed with the idea of sending HTML pages, including forms, via email, as the basis of a workflow system. I never did anything with it because the target people all use Outlook and HTML support was always spotty, and with the latest version seems to be even worse. Today I found out about Snap. Snap delivers HTML forms for workflow purposes, but using RSS feeds. Your news reader becomes your task inbox.

Android, XMPP and EXI

Last week there was some chatter about Google decision to rename the XMPP API in Android to GTalk API, and dropping the XML-based wire protocol for something binary. The reason that the Android team gave for this was: XML is too verbose. First, let me state that I agree that the API should be changed to GTalkAPI if its no longer a compatible XMPP API. This leaves the name open for a future real XMPP API, so in this limited way, it makes total sense to rename it.

iPod Touch and NewsGator Mobile

So the wife bought a iPod Touch a couple of days ago, and I helped her set it up and make it play nice with the Vista laptop she uses. I tried the interface and it really is very cool. But it wasn't until last night that it really hit me how good it is. I was playing around with this and I remembered that NetNewsWire syncs with NewsGator and that they have a online mobile interface.

ezmlm survival guide

Every time I have to do something with ezmlm-idx, I end up reading a lot of documentation. It really tells you something about the quality of ezmlm. The need to tweak it is rare, so I forget how it all works. Anyway, this time I wrote a couple of notes, a small survival guide if you will. ezmlm survival guide This survival guide covers ezmlm-idx version 0.440. Most of the information was obtained from the http://ezmlm.

Software patents

An interesting article about software patents by Philip Greenspun. Two quotes stand out to me. The opening shot (which you get to read it yourself), and further down this one: I was asked "Why didn't you patent this yourself, if you developed it first?" My reply was "It only took me an hour to build; if I went down to the patent office after every hour of programming, I wouldn't get very much done.


In Private equity firm pours $100 million into SCO money pit: "We saw a tremendous investment opportunity in SCO and its vast range of products and services, including many new innovations ready or soon to be ready to be released into the marketplace," Norris said in a statement. I want a big pile of the same stuff SNCP is smoking.