I forget how I ended up there, but I was reading Michael Sippey’s post about keeping a timeline of major events for the year. There’s an example at his site. I like it. There should be tools to handle these formats for the Palm platform. Open source tools. When I run across an iCal file online I should be able to add it DIRECTLY to my Palm, not just setup a desktop app that can sync it over. Ditto for RSS and Atom feeds. There should be an open source datebook app that supports calendar layering. And a feed reader. At the minimum. There should be a full Atom interface application, but a feed reader would be a nice start.
The Feature has an article about location based services being deployed and experimented with today. It includes a pointer to an article in The Guardian with information about Urban Tapestries and Near Field Communication. I had heard that NFC was a combined project to form an open platform for location based services, but I didn’t know much detail. This is from the article in The Guardian:
I’ve finally gotten around to reading Small Pieces Loosely Joined as a whole. It’s one of those books that I’ve heard so much about and read so many quotes from that I felt like I would already have a good feel for what it was really about. But once I started reading it I realized it’s not something that’s good just because it’s insightful, but because everyone sees issues relevant to their own point of view. So of course now I feel like a wonk for not having read it sooner. I should have known I was in for something different when the book started going into a description of all kinds of mapping efforts for the Internet. I’m sitting in my home office, the walls covered with the poster versions of the Cheswick maps from three years and with a copy of the Atlas of Cyberspace sitting on my table, and I’m reading a book that starts out with a description of space as applied to the Internet. It gave me this sense of personal connection with the material, but I’m pretty sure that just about everyone who reads it and has spent time on the Internet will see something of themselves in some part of it. That’s probably why David Weinberger did such a great job of pulling together a unified theory of the Internet. He seems to inherently understand the duality of mass communication and personal address. The book comes off excellently, and to the other people out there who might be thinking “Oh yea, I’ve heard about that book a thousand times, I know what it’s all about.” I encourage you to go pick up a copy anyway. Even if you do know all the major subject topics, there’s a lot to be learned from the nuance and presentation as well.
Edd Dumbill posted his take on the next steps for GNOME. There’s been a debate going on about the future direction for the project, I posted a few links a little while ago myself. I have some points that I want to throw in myself, cause I somewhat disagree with Edd. I agree with his points in general - that better documentation and IDEs will go a long way to getting the Linux desktop adopted as a platform of choice. But I think that the techniques proposed would also go a long way toward destroying the platform. I want to address this issue right off:
As Lessig points out in a recent entry, there are lots of different formats of his new book Free Culture out there on the Internet now. There’s also a Plucker version out there as well. Plucker is an open source document reader for Palm handhelds. The book kicks much ass, go read it.
blogNation has a post about how to use Vagablog with their service, and Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine called it “my precious Vagablog”. Tehehehehe. Vagablog is a Palm based blog posting tool I wrote a while ago. It hasn’t made me money, but it’s been really cool to see all the places that it pops up.
I just registered for Gnomedex. Yea, I’m a loser, I’ve never been to one before. Certainly sounds kick ass, and it’s in Tahoe, and there’s a three day open bar, and people all over the place with computers and network access. See, I’m getting excited already and the conf is still six months off. Pre-reg ends in just a few days however.. although I’m not sure what that means exactly. What happens after pre-reg ends? Hard to say, so I just registered. Probably not the smartest way to handle it. But then again spending three days at an open bar with a bunch of geeks isn’t exactly a safe diversion either.
Textually.com reports on a new interactive billboard installed by Yahoo! to promote their reworked auto site. The full article is at AdWeek, but it does little to answer my main question. The sign looks like a pretty cool idea. It’ll certainly attract some attention, and it’s novel enough that people might visit it just to see how it comes off. But there are mentions of RFIB in both the excerpt and in the longer article. How is RFIB being used for the Yahoo! application? I get the impression it isn’t being used at all. It seems like it’s just something that the sign maker wants to pimp:
I ran across two computer programming books with their full text available online: Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days and Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. I’ve only skimmed through each of them very briefly, but I personally am going to start on the teach yourself Scheme book. While I am a pretty hard core geek, I do know that I’m pretty far behind the curve in terms of the Scheme style of programming. Unfortunately there are a lot of programmers who never realize when they’re in similar situations. Learning new techniques shouldn’t stop when you get your degree or certification. So if you’re a professional programmer I urge you to at least take a look over this stuff, especially if you’re not familiar with functional programming. I know most will look over at the books and say something like “this is dumb, my language can do all of this stuff much more easily.” Resist that urge. For those of us who come from an imperitive or object oriented background (C, C++, Pascal, Java, etc) there is a bunch to be learned from the style. What got me to go back and look at the stuff was an article by Paul Graham about using Lisp for web programming. In the article he quotes Eric Raymond:
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