ENTRIES TAGGED "nitty gritty tech"

Pycon Wrapup on onlamp.com

There seemed to be quite a lot of interest in my previous post, Pycon a "hiring fest", so readers may be interested in the ONlamp.com Pycon Wrapup. Jeremy Jones gives an overview of some of the Python projects to watch, and a summary of the new features in Python 3000, with Guido's top five migration suggestions, based on an…

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ETech Preview: Super Ninja Privacy Techniques for Web App Developers

I'll be speaking at ETech this year on "Super Ninja Privacy Techniques for Web App Developers," about the various techniques we use at Wesabe to keep people's data private. Since we deal with very sensitive information (your money, how you spend it, and how you can get more out of it), we've tried to come up with as many new…

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Spamonomics 101

The biggest thing I've wondered about spam is: Why do the spammers even bother? They spend an enormous amount of effort, time, and (I expect) money to deliver huge quantities of mail to my inbox, which I then spend an enormous amount of effort, time, and (for some people) money to delete unseen and unread. How is this profitable for…

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Java SE 6 Released

Today Sun announced the release of Java SE version 6. Last week I spoke with Danny Coward (Java SE Platform Lead) about the features and significance of the new release. From my perspective, the most interesting feature is the built-in support for what they're calling "script engines", that is, pluggable alternate syntaxes that run in an interpreted environment on top…

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Completely human free shopping

The "Get & Go Express" convenience stores aren't stores so much as giant vending machines – only done smarter with new technology. All shopping takes place on the outer surface of the box like stores (roughly the foot print of two 40ft shipping containers) from an array of smaller vending machines. The store takes up less space because it doesn't…

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Question about GMail referers

When I get referers from GMail messages on my new blog, they often contain a query string parameter labeled 'cat' with a cleartext, meaningful value in it. I've often been able to determine, from the 'cat' value, exactly who is talking about my site in email, and in one case, exactly what they thought of what we're doing! (Fortunately, the…

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Treemap on Rails

Andy Bruno, who developed the treemap code that we use for our Bookscan data visualizations, has created a new Rails implementation called acts_as_treemap, according to a report by Rob Orsini, author of The Rails Cookbook, who blogs on Rails-related topics at tupleshop.com. If you're a fan of data visualization, as I am, you'll be excited both about getting your hands…

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Metaprogramming in Ruby and Java

Metaprogramming is modifying your programming language to make it fit your problem domain. Lisp started it, Perl's source filters did something along those lines, but Ruby's got it in spades (caution: Why The Lucky Stiff content behind that last link). In the last few weeks I've been pounding through Ruby like Rush Limbaugh through an Everest of Viagra, and I…

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Vacuum Lines, Belt Tensioners, and Electric Motors

My friend Adam sent me this interesting note today: I remember my dad talking about how the windshield wipers in his first car were driven by vacuum lines. The speed of the wipers varied with the load on the engine — the wipers would come to complete stop if you were climbing a steep enough hill. Apparently this is how…

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Intel OS X Boxes to Dual Boot Windows XP

Apple yesterday announced "Boot Camp", a system that lets you dual boot Windows XP and OS X on the Intel-based Macs. It's software to make the partitioning and installation easy. "Dual booting" is, for those of you who haven't struggled with your own Linux boxes, when you install both operating systems on a single hard disk and decide each time…

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