Here’s some stuff I’ve been either working with or reading up on lately, cool stuff that I’ve heard about in passing but isn’t in general usage yet:
It’s kinda a slow news day overall. Maybe everyone is all wrapped up in this whole city underwater thing. Not my style. So instead I’m catching up a bit on the geekier side of the reading I have sitting untouched in my aggie. Posts from LTU are always good for some geekin, and the post about Context Oriented Programming in particular caught my attention. I started reading the paper, and right about the end of the first page had a pretty decent mental image of what was up so I stopped. Nice idea. And then there’s the comment in LTU saying that it sounds like AOP (that’s Aspect Oriented Programming for those of you who don’t have the kind of m4d cred that me and my dawg Ehud Lamm do). Sure does. Not hard to figure out, AOP is listed as related work at the end of the paper. Also not that it means anything of course. You can write object oriented programs in imperitive languages and declarative programs in functional languages and do all sorts of nutty stuff in C. It all comes down to what stuff the tools make it easy to do. Is the context oriented model new? No, probably not. Sounds exactly like the kind of abstraction that exists in protocol design. However bringing the model up to the level of the implementation of classes, and making the basic level of granularity for the programmer activation and deactivation of layers of functionality is somewhat interesting. Reminds me of the move to get busses abstracted in the Linux kernel. There was a proliferation of devices at one point, and suddenly a device that used to exist as PCI now all of a sudden had a PCMCIA version and a USB version. So the busses were made “objects” in their own right so that the actual device code could be factored out from the bus manipulation code. If you take the view from the kernel end the bus is delegating to individual device objects, but if you take a look at the system overall it’s very close to context oriented composition of the device model.
Apparently mammals can regenerate too. And injecting fetal liver cells is enough to get an existing organism regenerating. No retrovirus needed or anything, how cool is that? Good news for all of us aspiring to superherohood (or supervillianhood). Now I just have to figure out how to graft adamantium and I’ll be all set.
Here’s a much more verbose version of what I was trying to drive at the other day. Having a closed off IM system makes as much sense as a closed off email system. At least I think that’s what it says. I didn’t read that whole thing, I just skimmed it, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it says.
Can I just take a quick break to mention how much ass it sucks that I have to do things like this to even consider trying to play DVDs under Linux. I was all psyched to get some movies that I’ve been waiting on, but I don’t have the time to deal with shit like that. And the audio and video codecs are all over the place too. Get one DVD working and the others may or may not also play. And don’t even get me started on region encodings. Funny thing is, if I were to Bittorrent the stuff it would 99% of the time come in a format that I can play with an open source program (even though mplayer is open source, it depends on codecs which are not). Hmm. Pay money to people to get this sliver of coated plastic representing something I already own in magnetic tape format - which may or may not work on my beloved Linux system. Or download something that almost certainly will work. I don’t even need to flip a coin to figure this one out.
Interesting post over at Terra Nova about The Pathos of Nintendogs. I’ve spoken with Russ about the game before, and the overall appeal still escapes me. However, I really groove to this line: “From a games AI perspective, would it be easier - and would easier first steps encourage more sure-footed second steps - to design virtual game worlds which are in some sense more needy than confrontational?” Nice question, and certainly a great framework in which to ask it. We’ve seen a couple of steps in this direction in terms of AI overall. A move from the “digital office assistant” mindset to a “clippy” mindset. From a general assistive piece of software that can predict your activities and present options and solutions, to software that looks over your shoulder and attempts to tune its operation based on your past behavior. Is there a logical extension of the idea of neediness into areas besides games? There have been gimmicky attempts at this sort of thing before, but I don’t think they’ve ever explicitly focused on the neediness of the AI being a solid component.
The Webzine tickets are on sale now. What is webzine? Here’s a schedule, check it out for yourself. I’ve heard about it mostly from Scott at Laughing Squid, which is more than enough of an endorsement for me to plunk down a measly $20 on a two day event.
This was linked off Slashdot, so I’m sure everyone and their grandmother has already seen it, but here’s a story about some folks tracking down a cell phone theif. Besides liking the final bit:
Jeff has posted the presentation and some extra info from his Barcamp presentation: Session on Venture Capital Concepts. Fantastic stuff. Jeff is an excellent example of what happens when entrepreneurship and venture work out the way they should. I would tell you to talk to him if you don’t already know him, but it seems like he already knows everyone already.
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