Jan 18

VisualStudio vs. Eclipse vs. IDEA

Tech 4 Comments »

Derek has explained why he prefers Eclipse to VS:

So why do I prefer Eclipse?

In the course of talking about it, I came up with my answer. Eclipse if built by top developers for themselves. VisualStudio is built by top developers for some other developers. Both IDEs were built by teams of some very smart developers, but Eclipse developers seem more focused on building a product that they themselves would want to use. Microsoft has a strong internal culture that says that their primary target developer isn’t as good a developer as most Microsoft developers. Which do you think will result in a ‘better’ product?

But what if you don’t want any bloat, and instead really like intelligent tools?.

Jan 18

The Anti-CAPTCHA: Make the bots do the work

Tech 13 Comments »

Now this is creative thinking… Negative CAPTCHA is the idea of having an email field that is hidden via CSS.

The bots will fill out the email and send it, but the humans won’t even know it is there. Smart.

One issue is that a real user could have CSS in a way that does show this (disabled, some kind of reader, etc).

The bigger issue is that these guys are smart, and already have gotten around this (which is why I will stick with the logic captcha with unique questions).

Jan 18

Cable Companies Suck

Tech No Comments »

You have to love it when you call a main number such as 1-888-GET-CHARTER and all you get is:

“Sorry, all agents are busy. Call over”

Really? That is it? In a depressed voice too? Do you *want* me to get DSL and Satellite TV? You don’t even say that you reached Charter?

Oh well, let’s try the live chat:


Jan 17

Caught by a bug with Fast user switching and Display Calibrating

Apple, Tech No Comments »

I was just caught out by an apparant long standing bug with apple display calibration and fast user switching.

On a new laptop the colors looks all bleached and crappy. I went into the Display prefs and generic RGB was selected instead of the usual ‘Color LCD’.

I hope they fix this one. Painful.

Jan 17

To migrate, or not to migrate?

Apple, Tech 1 Comment »

The migration assistant that comes with OS X is too good. It makes life so tempting when you get a new machine. Hmm, “I could be right back where I was if I just migrate everything”.

The .app applications and plist files make life easy for that application to do its work of course. No registry fluff to try to merge here.

There are items that you will miss though. Did you tweak /etc/hosts on your machine? Change the lookupd order?

There are many little things like this that you will find over time.

I used to look forward to getting a new computer as a forced spring cleaning. It would take me awhile to custom migrate applications over, but it felt like life was cleaner because of it.

So, to migrate or not to migrate….

Jan 16

ZFS, can you index file info?

Tech 1 Comment »

There is a lot of talk on ZFS the open source file system created originally by Sun (they do have good techies!).

WinFS never made it to Vista, but the ideas of metadata are smart (just like putting metadata via Spotlight). Why isn’t this in the file systems themselves?

We have locate and need to updatedb to generate an index to query. Why doesn’t the file system do the indexing, and have locate run against the fs itself.

Jan 16

In 2007 can we get richer HTTP support?

Tech 3 Comments »

Don Box has written about GData and INVOKE and how HTTP headers are used to get across the meaning of DELETE, PUT, etc.

This isn’t the only way it can work, but in fact is a degradation if a firewall is blocking DELETE and friends.

Rails is getting simply restful, and is doing its own pragmatic hacks to get across various methods on clicks.

Maybe 2007 is time for browsers to support all of the HTTP methods in a nice way. Maybe we can have a standard way to <a href=”….” method=”delete”>>nuke it</a>

Jan 15

Skitched Up

Apple, Tech 1 Comment »

As someone who has to take screenshots for blogs all the time, I have often wondered if there was a better solution to do the simple tweaks to the images that I do.

The Mac makes it trivial to grab the shots themselves, but Photoshop is too heavy for most ot the tweaks, GraphicConverter doesn’t quite do enough, so I think that Skitch may have the right combination.

Small, simple, does something you need a little better.

Jan 12

Bridging companies: Free Stock Quotes at Google

Tech 1 Comment »


I was really pleased to read that with SEC approval we will see real-time stock quote information for free on Google properties.

This is a nice bridge between my last job and my new one.

We wanted to show good quote information, and QuoteMedia were great to work with.

Being able to have real-time, last-sale prices on the Google properties is going to be great.

Jan 12

CellSwapper.com: Get out of your mobile contract

Tech 10 Comments »

CellSwapper is a social network to help you get out of your mobile service contract.

You post your details, and someone else takes it on.

This is especially interesting given the number of people saying “man, I really want to switch to cingular now for the iPhone”.

According to the US Public Interest Research Group, nearly half of all US cellular phone customers would switch, or consider switching, their current service carrier if they did not have to pay an early termination penalty of up to $240.

CellSwapper.com transfers the remainder of a contract to another interested party. It is a win-win situation, as unsatisfied customer gets out of their unwanted contact and the assuming party gets a free, short-term contract – as low as 1 month – without having to pay the hefty activation fee usually incurred with a new service plan.