Java Gets New Garbage Collector, But Only If You Buy Support

May 30, 2009

Fucking ell oh ell, Java users worldwide. The story from Slashdot:

An anonymous reader writes “The monetization of Java has begun. Sun released the Java 1.6.0_14 JDK and JRE today which include a cool new garbage collector called G1. There is just one catch. Even though it is included in the distribution, the release notes state ‘Although G1 is available for use in this release, note that production use of G1 is only permitted where a Java support contract has been purchased.’ So the Oracle touch is already taking effect. Will OpenJDK be doomed to a feature-castrated backwater while all the good stuff goes into the new Java SE for Business commercial version?”

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Empirical Study Shows DRM Encourages Infringers

May 29, 2009

Haven’t read the paper yet (and Slashdot tends to sensationalize), but if so, that would be totally awesome. The story on Slashdot:

Hucko writes “Ars Technica has a story about a study by Cambridge law professor Patricia Akester that suggests (declares?) that DRM and its ilk does persuade citizens to infringe copyright and circumvent authors’ protections. The name of the study is ‘Technological accommodation of conflicts between freedom of expression and DRM: the first empirical assessment.’” The study itself is available for download (PDF); there’s also a distillation here.

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Where does our Information come from?

May 28, 2009

InformationSourcesExpI’m not sure if this is “our information now about 1800 all comes from folklore” or “in 1800 all our information came from folklore”, but I do think it’s a wonderful image. The post on Language Log:

A graphical answer, courtesy of Blake Stacey:

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Polaroid Lovers Try to Revive Its Instant Film

May 26, 2009

A fascinating volley in the “old arts die out” discussion.

Maximum Prophet nods a NY Times piece on a Dutch group living the retro dream: they are trying to bring back Polaroid film. This group has the machinery to make the film packs, but needs to recreate the chemicals. Polaroid Inc. stopping making the specialized chemicals years ago, after having stockpiled what they would need for their last production runs. “They want to recast an outdated production process in an abandoned Polaroid factory for an age that has fallen for digital pictures because they think people still have room in their hearts for retro photography that eschews airbrushing or Photoshop. ‘This project is about building a very interesting business to last for at least another decade,’ said Florian Kaps, the Austrian entrepreneur behind the effort [in Enschede, The Netherlands]. ‘It is about the importance of analog aspects in a more and more digital world. … If everyone runs in one direction [i.e. digital photography], it creates a niche market in the other.’”

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Kid keeping a lending library in his locker

May 26, 2009

Heartwarming story, except that the kid has already internalized that sharing is wrong. Thanks Adam! The article on Boingboing.

Javier sez, “A teenager asks Yahoo! Questions whether maintaining a lending library in his school locker is illegal (as opposed of merely in contravention of school regulations). A school friend asked to borrow off him The Catcher in the Rye, one of the books in the banned list, and one thing led to another…”

Anyway, I now operate a little mini-library that no one has access to but myself. Practically a real library, because I keep an inventory log and give people due dates and everything. I would be in so much trouble if I got caught, but I think it’s the right thing to do because before I started, almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading! Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, but go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on. So I’m doing a good thing, right?

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May 13, 2009

Amazing! Thanks Adam, Meredith! CANSTRUCTION: Canned Food Sculptures for Charity.

Have you heard about Canstruction yet? Architects and engineers get together, create giant works of sculptural art made entirely out of canned foods, and later donate all the food to charity. There are over 130 different Canstruction locations throughout the US & Canada, and some of the creations are amazing.canstruction-5

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The Manga Guide to Databases

May 4, 2009
Tags: ,

W.R.T. the link Adam posted a few days ago about how Computer Science would be more attractive if it focused on social ills comes this Slashdot review of the Manga Guide to Databases.

Princess Ruruna, of the Kingdom of Kod, has a problem. Her parents, the King and Queen, have left to travel abroad. Ruruna has been left to manage the nations fruit business. Much is at stake, Kod is known as “The Country of Fruit.” Ruruna is not happy though, as she is swamped by paperwork and information overload. A mysterious book, sent by her father, contains Tico the fairy. Tico, and the supernatural book are going to help Princess Ruruna solve her problems with the power of the database. This is the setting for all that takes place in The Manga Guide to Databases. If you are like me and learned things like normalization and set operations from a rather dry text book, you may be quite entertained by the contents of this book. If you would like to teach others about creating and using relational databases and you want it to be fun, this book may be exactly what you need.

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Simon McVittie: Implementing D-Bus clients with telepathy-glib (and telepathy-qt4)

May 1, 2009

I think this picture is so wonderful. The technical details are, uh, very detailed, so you might want to skip those. More than you ever wanted to know about D-Bus and GLib.

Again, while telepathy-glib is intended for Telepathy implementors, I think TpProxy’s ideas are generically useful, particularly for “large” D-Bus APIs.

Some background: dbus-glib and libtelepathy

GObject-CRITICAL: Assertion failed: proxy->convenient
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