O'Reilly Announces Make Magazine

Finally! The magazine I’ve been waiting for all my life.

Announced as OSCON in Portland, Make magazine: “filled with fun projects and hardware hacks involving technology” and “5-minute tips you can use to improve your gadgets, networks, and computers, as well as much longer projects that might take several days (or weeks) to complete.”


Mitch Ratcliffe's Scathing Commentary on the 9/11 Commission Report

I had a chance to read a little of the 911 Commission Report very early this morning and was struck immediately by its studied ignorance of embarrassing facts. It seems to seek ways around identifying the United States’ (and, by extension, the administrations of presidents since 1980) in creating the monster that attacked us on September 11, 2001.



Physical Computing

I just discovered the term “physical computing,” which is used to describe the design and implementation of the hardware interface between man and machine. Tom Igoe teaches Physical Computing as part of the Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. From his blog: What is physical computing? It’s an approach to learning how humans communicate through computers that starts by considering how humans express themselves physically. A lot of beginning computer interface design instruction takes the computer hardware for given – namely, that there is a keyboard, a screen, perhaps speakers, and a mouse – and concentrates on teaching the software necessary to design within those boundaries.

The Green Web

Here’s a great idea: Sascha Brawer is responsible for finding hosting for his local green party’s website and realized that he should find a solution that uses renewable energy. He’s doing this in Switzerland, but I would hope there’s options here in the States, too.


Java Threads Under Solaris

Here’s an interesting article on how java threads map onto the OS level threads under Solaris. Currently trying to diagnose and improve some performance problems on a production application server. This is some very cool stuff. I love getting this low level. Someday soon I’ve got to learn more about the VM.


Defining "Projects"

Ever since I met Nicole one of the many, many things I’ve admired about her is the clear sense of the projects, goals and to-do list type items she has to take care of. Of course, she’s a keep of lists, something I’ve never been very good at. Recently, I’ve decided to try and start making this an element of my organizational strategy (if you can call it that). I asked Nicole for advice and she suggested that I start with a list of my projects.

Hurray for YAGNI!

Ted Neward defends the principle of YAGNI (You Aren’t Gonna Need It):

But YAGNI isn’t something to cite to users, it’s a chant you murmur to yourself as you wipe out four layers of indirection against your database, because You Ain’t Gonna Need It.


Off to Oz

This sort of thing makes me really wonder why we’re not packing our bags for Australia this very moment. Tim is a very lucky man.


Urban Effects on Climate

Here’s one to think about – it even seems obivous in retrospect. Researchers have determined that our cities are built on the most fertile lands, which is impacting the climate since that land is critical in the overall cycle of the ecosystem. It appears that our yearly 1.8 percent gain in NPP (Net Primary Productivity – a measure of plant growth based on the rate of carbon absorption) is being offset by a 1.