Flaky Internet at 8:21pm

I seem to recall my internet going down, and then coming back up, at around the same time every night.

Tonight it flaked at 8:21pm.

Dr Seuss

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What's Open Flaws

First thing I did when looking at a new site: What'sOpen.com.au (although, I think the apostrophe isn’t there in the domain name!), search for some results.

Geez, I’d be pissed if I were the first hit in the list.

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It’s a bit scaled, but on Safari, the first item is almost totally obscured by the header graphic.

Oops.

Pragmatic Programmers website is broken.

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Stack Overflow and asking questions.

I have only asked on question on Stack Overflow, and I really only did that to ensure I got the Beta badge.

Most of the questions that are on there can be solved by googling other sites. I find that that is a better way of solving problems for me, rather than asking a question.

I’m not trying to say I know the answers to everything, it is just that (with Google), one doesn’t need to ask that many questions. One just needs to search. And search clearly.

Whoa, Google. Not sure I like that.

Searching for some info about iSoftPhone today, I noticed something odd in the Google results page:

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The two sites I had previously visited via Google are shown in the list, and the date I last visited.

Now, this is getting a little spooky, since this information isn’t stored on my computer. The fact the links are purple is enough of a reminder for me.

Oh, and I thought of another thing. Those dates are actually wrong. I’m located “in the future” according to Google. I actually visited those sites on Nov 10.

Twitter

I registered for Twitter ages ago, but only recently started actually using it all of the time.

http://twitter.com/schinckel

That's New: Google Music

Hmm. That is new. Google Music.

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I’m guessing it will now be better to use Google Music to check for artwork and so on than Amazon.com.

(One reason) why J2EE sucks dog balls.

I really don’t respect or like Java as a language. I’m not going to go into reasons why here, but I am going to bitch about J2EE and Enterprise Java app development under NetBeans.

Now, I’m not just a clueless student annoyed with stuff that doesn’t work because I’m a gumby. I write enterprise applications in python, apache and SQL Alchemy for my day job. It shouldn’t be as hard as it is to develop in NetBeans.

For starters, if I deploy my code and it fails, I shouldn’t be able to redeploy it again and it works. Same goes for building. I have found instances where I can build and it fails, and then an immediate re-build succeeds. And I’m not talking “Clean Build”, just a regular ordinary build.

More to the point, if I do an “Undeploy and Deploy”, and I get a whole load of exceptions, I kind of expect that the deployment has failed. But if I then do a build, it works.

And, it appears that if I build without a fresh redeployment, it fails.

This is just build and deployment issues. I’ve also had instances where code has failed, when I was pretty fucking sure it should have worked. I was throwing exceptions all over the joint (or, more correctly, the JVM or some other bit of technology was), and they were meaningless. A redeployment and the associated re-build, and it worked.

Developing a similar application in python+SQL Alchemy is faster, doesn’t appear to run much slower, and is much, much easier to read later. Yet, it is not taken seriously, because it isn’t Java.

Ugh.

Daring Fireball Linked List: May 2008

John Gruber is well worth keeping in your feed list. Not only is the stuff he writes generally entertaining, on the ball and well written, but he finds other good stuff too.

Take, for example, his recent comment on How Apple is Changing DRM. Which, let’s face it, I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.

The flip side, though, is that DRM rules the day for paid video content.

From Daring Fireball Linked List: May 2008

I think that (tech-savvy) people are more accepting to have DRM applied to video content for a couple of reasons. First, you are less likely to keep watching the same movie over and over again. You are likely to listen to a piece of music over and over again. People will rent movies, either on DVD or from an online source, for this exact reason. By definition, rented movies must have DRM, else you have effectively bought them.

The second, and I think more important reason is to do with viewing modes of video. Most video is watched on a single device – at this stage still the device it was bought with. If you purchase a video on your computer, it’s probably to watch it there. Or, you have purchased/rented something as part of a system and plan to watch it on, say, an Apple TV, which uses the same DRM system as iTunes on your computer.

Perhaps in the future, as people have more video devices that can view the data they buy or rent, we will find less of an acceptance of DRM.

A third reason that just struck me is that traditionally, music was sold without DRM, even whilst in a digital format. Digital video has never really been sold without DRM. Even if it’s trivial to disable the DRM in DVDs and make copies, say to use on a device that doesn’t have a DVD drive.