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Current Topic: Technology

The doors to mobile app development just got blown wide open | Purple Raincloud
Topic: Technology 4:20 am EDT, Sep 29, 2009

And boy, does it ever. How so? It abstracts the functionality of native iPhone and Android development through a Javascript API. So instead of using Objective-C or Java to create your app, you create the functionality with Javascript (including your favorite JS libraries like YUI or jQuery) and lay it out with CSS. In other words, if you’re comfortable developing a dynamic web page, you are 90% of the way there — you are about a day away from launching your first iPhone or Android app.

I can't wait to get Acidus' reaction to this.

The doors to mobile app development just got blown wide open | Purple Raincloud

Ruby on Rails suggestions
Topic: Technology 9:53 am EDT, Oct 14, 2008

I know there are a lot of developer jockeys on this site. I'm working on a project where I'd like to use RoR. My background has been in Java development and I've been doing web stuff since the CGI was coined. But I've not set up a dev environment for RoR and I want to know what people use and what they find productive and efficient. I'll be doing this on Mac OSX, so any approaches on that platform are especially appreciated.

What editors are you using? How do you have your terms set up for optimal effectiveness? Are you using Mongrel or the OSX Apache? What's promotion from dev to production like? Do I have to install the whole XCode framework? Using MacPorts or is it a waste of time? Any other frameworks or tools that you find indispensable?

Also, is anyone using Spaces to keep the clutter from your dev environ separate from your "work" environ (email, irc, etc)? I'd almost like to boot into an image that was just for developing, do my thing, and then switch out. Just to keep those two worlds apart.

Comcast Caps Highlight Lack of Broadband Competition
Topic: Technology 3:52 pm EDT, Sep  2, 2008

Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, has announced that it will impose a monthly cap of 250 GB on its customers' Internet usage.

This has been mentioned a lot but the real deal here is that Comcast is holding this cap in place as an extortion to the FCC and the incoming administration. They'll want tax incentives, increases to their monopoly standing, less regulatory oversight, and higher prices in an effort to increase profits without actually providing agreed upon service or upgrades to service. This is the game that the telecom industry has been playing for 50+ years, to the detriment of US economic development, education, health care, and productivity.

Essentially, it's monopoly business that controls a key element of core infrastructure holding the American people hostage. "Increase my profits and I'll give you more bandwidth." This is NOT the "market" deciding.

Comcast Caps Highlight Lack of Broadband Competition

Davidson College Instrumentation Specialist - NEETS
Topic: Technology 12:28 am EDT, Jun 21, 2008

The Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series (NEETS) was developed for use by personnel in many electrical and electronic related Navy ratings. Written by, and with the advice of, senior technicians in these ratings, this series provides beginners with fundamental electrical and electronic concepts through self-study. The presentation of this series is not oriented to any specific rating structure, but is divided into modules containing related information organized into traditional paths of instruction.

Complete electronics curriculum.

Davidson College Instrumentation Specialist - NEETS

Minding the Planet: Web 3.0 Roundup: Radar Networks, Powerset, Metaweb and Others...
Topic: Technology 4:55 pm EST, Feb 22, 2007

First of all, we at Radar Networks are NOT building a new search engine to compete with Google, like Powerset and TextDigger are doing -- so we're not competing with them. Companies like Powerset and TextDigger are working on natural language search. Natural language search is not equivalent to the Semantic Web, although the Semantic Web can certainly help that process.

Companies working specifically on natural language search are making use of semantics, but at the word-level only. They use networks of words that are linked to synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and other variations. These are sometimes called semantic networks. Based on these networks of word meanings, they can understand the meaning of various words and expressions.

Interesting to see where they are going. Also a good overview of what the Semantic Web is and isn't vis a vis Web 2.0 (already hate that designation, but...)

Minding the Planet: Web 3.0 Roundup: Radar Networks, Powerset, Metaweb and Others...

Woz details 'Apple in the garage'
Topic: Technology 12:56 pm EST, Nov  6, 2006

Apple put software on cassettes in its early days, but lacked automated tape duplication machines which required Apple employees to conjure up a system with a rack of Panasonic tape machines linked together with an Apple II. The team had to simultaneously press play and record on all the tape machines and hit the return key on the Apple II to begin the process of duplicating as many tapes at a time as possible. "Any time someone would come in and talk about something like a $25 million Bank of America credit line," Espinosa recalled, one Apple employee might have to "stop the meeting and go over and switch out the cassettes and put in new ones and then come back and say, 'So what were we talking about?' That's the kind of place it was."

Garage days revisited. =)

Woz details 'Apple in the garage'

TiVo Series 3 - Yes, It has Dual HDTV Tuners - Gizmodo
Topic: Technology 11:49 am EST, Jan  6, 2006

Apparently TiVo has been giving up some details about the Series 3 today—no official announcements, but the writer at Megazone has somehow gotten the scoop. It’s an HDTV unit with two CableCARD slots in back, and a window that shows what you are watching/recording while it’s at work.

Finally! Of course, I'll believe it when it's sitting in my living room, since they've been 'announcing' HD Tivo for 3 years now.

TiVo Series 3 - Yes, It has Dual HDTV Tuners - Gizmodo

MathWorld News: RSA-640 Factored
Topic: Technology 11:36 am EST, Dec 24, 2005

I was so busy with my book, I completely missed this news as it went by . . .

November 8, 2005--A team at the German Federal Agency for Information Technology Security (BSI) recently announced the factorization of the 193-digit number

310 7418240490 0437213507 5003588856 7930037346 0228427275 4572016194 8823206440 5180815045 5634682967 1723286782 4379162728 3803341547 1073108501 9195485290 0733772482 2783525742 3864540146 9173660247 7652346609
known as RSA-640 (Franke 2005). The team responsible for this factorization is the same one that previously factored the 174-digit number known as RSA-576 (MathWorld headline news, December 5, 2003) and the 200-digit number known as RSA-200 (MathWorld headline news, May 10, 2005).

RSA numbers are composite numbers having exactly two prime factors (i.e., so-called semiprimes) that have been listed in the Factoring Challenge of RSA Security®.

While composite numbers are defined as numbers that can be written as a product of smaller numbers known as factors (for example, 6 = 2 x 3 is composite with factors 2 and 3), prime numbers have no such decomposition (for example, 7 does not have any factors other than 1 and itself). Prime factors therefore represent a fundamental (and unique) decomposition of a given positive integer. RSA numbers are special types of composite numbers particularly chosen to be difficult to factor, and they are identified by the number of digits they contain.

While RSA-640 is a much smaller number than the 7,816,230-digit monster Mersenne prime known as M42 (which is the largest prime number known), its factorization is significant because of the curious property that proving or disproving a number to be prime ("primality testing") seems to be much easier than actually identifying the factors of a number ("prime factorization"). Thus, while it is trivial to multiply two large numbers p and q together, it can be extremely difficult to determine the factors if only their product pq is given. With some ingenuity, this property can be used to create practical and efficient encryption systems for electronic data.

Gotta go update my "Unsolved Codes" webpage . . .


MathWorld News: RSA-640 Factored

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: The Internet Is Broken
Topic: Technology 11:45 am EST, Dec 21, 2005

Today, Clark believes the elephants are upon us. Yes, the Internet has wrought wonders: e-commerce has flourished, and e-mail has become a ubiquitous means of communication. Almost one billion people now use the Internet, and critical industries like banking increasingly rely on it.

At the same time, the Internet's shortcomings have resulted in plunging security and a decreased ability to accommodate new technologies. "We are at an inflection point, a revolution point," Clark now argues. And he delivers a strikingly pessimistic assessment of where the Internet will end up without dramatic intervention. "We might just be at the point where the utility of the Internet stalls -- and perhaps turns downward."

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: The Internet Is Broken

Telecoms want their products to travel on a faster Internet
Topic: Technology 3:15 pm EST, Dec 13, 2005

AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp. are lobbying Capitol Hill for the right to create a two-tiered Internet, where the telecom carriers' own Internet services would be transmitted faster and more efficiently than those of their competitors.

First open salvo in this war.

Telecoms want their products to travel on a faster Internet

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