I recently mentioned XmlHttpRequest to a collegue as possible solution to his problem and found that he didn't know about it despite the fact that many DHTML apps are simply impossible to do without it. As I mentioned before, people tend to stop looking around when they are busy. Well, even meercats know better…
FYI, XmlHttpRequest allows you to make HTTP requests and process responses from within a webpage. It was first implemented by Microsoft as an ActiveX object. The shocker is that it's now considered nearly ubiquitous because other browsers support the feature as well. For more info, here are some useful links to get you started:
If a god appeared and said sacrificing one million Iraqis at his altar will turn Iraq into a peaceful democratic nation overnight, would you be willing? How about hundred thousand? Ten thousand?
I've been revisting my positions on the price we are willing to pay for whatever it is we are doing over at Iraq and I am finding our notion of acceptable to be rather disturbing. How is civilian casualties expected in wars different from ritualistic sacrifices?
How about genocide? Is there anything that we value so much that we would be willing to commit genocide? Democracy? Freedom? National Security? Oil?
Is it the bloodshed and sufferings that makes us squirmish? What if there was a button that could instantly send all followers of Islam to some other place without killing them? Would you press the button? What if the buttoned worked the other way by leaving earth to the Islams and sent rest of the planet elsewhere?
If I am told that every single keystorke I made in my life destroyed a planet in some remote galaxy, am I supposed to be horrified? What if I am the last man on earth? Is compassion still useful?
More I examine the substance of morals, more it unravels until there is nothing left to hold.
Do you want to feel bad this Friday? Read this.
There was an incident with one of the cars. We shot an individual with his hands up. He got out of the car. He was badly shot. We lit him up. I don't know who started shooting first. One of the Marines came running over to where we were and said: "You all just shot a guy with his hands up." Man, I forgot about this.
To top it off, read this report about the health of Mother Earth.
I have been thinking about popular P2P networks and how slow and frustrating they can be when the file you want is large or rare. My conclusion is that current P2P networks cannot be scaled to share large resources in timely fashion without some fundamental changes in the way they work.
One such change is P2P2P (Pay to P2P). This idea is to use money to make P2P Wishlist more compelling. If I want something, I share that 'wish' along with 'bid' price on P2P networks. People with files others are interested in, finds the 'wishes' they can fill at the price they want.
In reality, all this takes place automatically and the prices are not price of the goods but price of time. If you want it 'now', it will cost you more than if you wanted it sometime between next 36 hours. Quality of goods also matters but that is taken care of by a rating system.
The neat thing about P2P2P can support streaming such as movies-on-demand or live video of concerts easily where current P2P systems can't. It could encourage enterprising individuals to become TSP (Timely Service Providers) by setting up a few servers and hustle to serve valuable files and streams to people who are willing to pay for time.
A: You want to see a movie?
B: What's available?
A: Fred's On-Demand has Bambi for $5 at 7PM, $3 at 9PM, and $1 after midnight. Hmm. Some guy named Chuck is offering to stream Bambi off his laptop for a dollar at 7:24PM.
According to a recent report from International Institute of Strategic Studies, thinktank,
Iraq has become the new magnet of Al-Qaeda's war against the United States … The US-led war in Iraq has increased the risk to Western interests in Arab countries.
I didn't enjoy reading the editorial, but I found myself nodding my head. Urgh.
While more than 90% of email I receive is spam — one of the downside of being a blogger — 83% reported by MessageLabs seems too high. I think the real number is somewhere around 60%. It's still bad, of course. The article also noted that porn spams are declining steeply and financial spams are on the rise.
When I woke up yesterday — I am waking up yesterday and going to sleep tomorrow these days — I had this funny mix of DEMO conference and flea market in my head. What if a DEMO conference could be held every month? The ideal place for it is in Palo Alto near the Sandhill Road. Stanford will work as well. More informal setting would be the little shopping mall on Sandhill there (I forget the name) or Buck's parking lot.
The idea is to let people just come and show/see demos fresh off the oven. Free for all, fun for all, and maybe a golden opportunity for some. Quality-wise, I am more in favor of no control because people like seeing crappy stuff along-side the good stuff. Unpredictability is what makes flea markets interesting. Anyway, I am just musing along at this point but I think it could be fun for everyone, including the VCs.
Re comments about DEMO, I like the core concept but execution must be different given that time and resource constraints are vastly different. We used to have monthly events in the Silicon Valley where people could just show up and demonstrate what they have been worked on. Over time, those events were replaced by so called 'networking' meetings. Well, I like 'walking the walk' instead of 'talking the talk'.
To run Tomcat as is on Windows Server 2003, you had to run IIS 6.0 in IIS 5.0 Compability Mode which disables all the goodies IIS 6.0 brings to the table. Running Tomcat on another port has many downsides and replacing IIS 6.0 with Apache is not a choice either if you need to do ASP.NET tinkering as well as JSP and java servlet stuff like I do.
Behind the scene, neither Apache Foundation nor Microsoft seem to be interested in fixing the problem even though there are more Tomcats running on Windows platforms than any other platforms. That sucks for developers like me. So I started writing an ISAPI Extension a few months back that runs Tomcat in IIS 6.0 application pools. As it goes, a crash project dropped on my lap and I had to drop it after spending only a weekend on it.
Now it looks like there is a solution called JspISAPI. I can't touch my server just now, but I am going to give it a spin next weekend. It costs $50 bucks but that's far cheaper than my spending additional 20 hours needed to debug and test my ISAPI extension. Besides, I was planning to give mine away which would have left the authors of JspISAPI without much of a market. As a commercial developer, I want to support other commercial developers by buying their product instead of driving them into the ground to satisfy my hippie ideals.
If you are not using a news aggregator, you might want to give Bloglines, a server-based news aggregator, a try. While at it, subscribe to my blog. You won't see my face next to the posts any more, but maybe you'll like that. 😉
Looks like Marc Fleury, JBoss boss and a world class bacon (?!?), is on the grill again. He is being accused of praising JBoss and trashing competitors anonymously at well known Java websites like TheServerSide. What a character he is. I wouldn't be surprised if he makes an appearance in the next Tarantino movie.
Revisit Funnyside of Open Source for a classic taste of Fleury.
BileBlog had all the juicy bits on this story which surfaced when TheServerSide forum added a feature that lookups posts by IP address. Ouch! It looks like rest of the JBoss gang is into masquerading as well. I even recognize some of the supposedly bogus characters (underlined):
… Marc Fleury. Who else does the slimy little fleury have hidden away in this too-large-for-one-person personality of his? Why, none other than our friend Arun Patel! Arun, for those of you unfamiliar with TSS, posts incredibly offensive polemics that happen to exactly mirror the unspoken thoughts of a certain JBoss cult. …
So, who else posts from that IP? Well, we have James Hardy. James' posts are often of the 'I'm sane but lets face it, JBoss rule' variety, as opposed to another on that list of deranged psychopaths, Chip Tyler. Chippie here will eagerly pipe in in any number of threads to say how much CDN suck, as well as how every move JBoss makes is intelligent and wise. There are literally dozens of other accounts that show how widespread this behaviour is. The only thing they have in common is a surprising love and admiration for all things JBossy, and disdain and abuse for all things non-JBossy.
Needless to say, Ben Sabrin and the majority of the JBoss folks are all on the trail too. So while it's impossible to actually draw lines between the fakes and their puppetmasters, it's very very easy to spot the group of nefarious rumprangers who have embarked on this laughably incompetent marketing exercise. Having said that, some of the linkages are very clear and easy to follow to individuals who happen to not work in the same turdfactory as the fleurys do. Bill Burke has the highly dubious honour of also being Joe Murray, famous for making noises to the effect of 'Mike Spille doesn't exist!'. Let's see you uuhmm and err your way out of this one Billy! Marc'll have you back in that gimp suit pretty sharpish if you keep being this sloppy.
The saddest part about all this is that the most likely outcome is for these posters to now ensure they use a different IP when posting, to disguise the trail more effectively. I'm sure the very notion of 'gosh, maybe we should let our software do the talking instead of using underhanded tactics like these' is heretical in that camp.