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Hack the Planet Archives: May 1999

Sunday, May 16, 1999

I am on vacation in New Orleans, so Hack The Planet won't be updated until June.

Saturday, May 15, 1999

Emilé is a new Mac XML editor.

ZDNet looks at The Sims. I'm still waiting for SimCity 3000 to come out for some platform that I have...

They also have an article about Factpoint's Web-page-signing software. I'm not sure why it costs $100,000; any Java programmer could write it in a weeked.

Now that WWDC is over, you can get notes on many of the sessions at StepWise. I wish he had gone to the security and networking talks, though. :-)

I found this great micro-manifesto in the old RScheme documentation: "We think threads will be especially important for graphics programming. Eventually we intend to have a full-fledged GUI programming system that combines callbacks for reactive programming with threads for ongoing and background computations. We believe that this is the Right Thing--callbacks are very convenient and intuitive for writing simple reactive GUI's, but threads are indispensable for tasks that are conceptually concurrent."

Friday, May 14, 1999

Need more sleep...

Extreme Geeks. Go Jobs!

"sourceXchange is an Open Source code exchange, a new way to leverage the expertise of Open Source developers worldwide on behalf of project sponsors with well-defined software development needs. It's a dynamic, wide-open marketplace of software projects where buyers with highly specialized demands meet suppliers of highly skilled services."

Or as Liz Phair says, "It's nice to be liked, but it's better by far to get paid."

Bob Metcalfe is predicting another Net gigalapse next year and is similarly pessimistic on Open Source. If Open Source is too idealistic, where does that leave the pay-as-you-go-Internet? It benefits router companies, ISPs, and hard-core users, but probably few others. (Of course, those "others" make up the vast majority of Net users.)

Thursday, May 13, 1999

Oh wow, it's every piece of XML-related software under the sun.

Dan made my day by pointing to Wear a Leatherman.

Wednesday, May 12, 1999

I don't know if it's the lack of sleep, but I haven't seen much interesting yet today.

IBM's DAV4J includes a WebDAV client and server in Java.

A lot of people on Slashdot are saying that they don't want or need their computers to have globally-reachable IP addresses, usually for security reasons. I think firewalls and NATs are only addressing the symptoms; integrated security like IPSec solves the actual security problem. They're also ignoring the benefits of end-to-end transparency.

Tuesday, May 11, 1999

After watching all two hours of the Steve, Avie, and Phil Show, my GNOME desktop looks kind of boring. Where's the keychain?

What do you get when you Carbonate Mozilla? Fizzilla.

Stephan Somogyi is dissatisfied with the Darwin 0.2 binary release. "Telling potential open-source developers -- especially students, who typically have way more enthusiasm than capital-equipment budget -- that hard drives are cheap isn't helpful. It is, in fact, more than a little arrogant." I'll say this again: Where can I get a narrow SCSI drive for my Mac?

Apple's "new" Quartz imaging layer sounds interesting -- I remember when it was called QuickDraw GX.

Will crash servers for food?

Monday, May 10, 1999

I'd like to say hello to any new readers coming from TBTF.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference starts today, with the usual amount of new stuff to drool about. First up: New PowerBooks. I don't see much exciting there. MacOS 8.6 is also out (for real this time). So far MacInTouch has the best keynote coverage I've found. StepWise has some NeXT-centric coverage, but not much new. You can watch the keynote on ZDTV.

David K. Emery has written some essays on the advantages of forked files, strongly typed files, and file naming. The only disappointing part is that he didn't mention how BeOS implements most of those concepts better than MacOS. "Users don't care what type a file is -- the file should know what it is... On UNIX you don't move files and expect things to still work."

I see that Sun finally rewrote javac to clean up all the accumulated cruft.

E-commerce is facing a delivery dillema. This problem has happened to me several times. Not only am I not home during the day, but I don't have an office either. Usually I have to go pick up my packages from the shipping company; that's definitely not an acceptable long-term solution.

Compaq is claiming that their new 466MHz-Alpha-powered DS10 is the fastest single-processor RISC system, and it's only $3500.

InfoWorld notes the release of PGP 6.5, but I couldn't find any mention of it on NAI's Web site. I sense a problem here... (Update: Tomalak located the PGP VPN Suite.)

Jamie Zawinski has updated his Web site, but there's still no information on what his next hack will be. Inquiring minds want to know...

Sunday, May 09, 1999

Jaron Lanier debunks the music industry. "Piracy is a phony issue that record labels are hyping to rip off artists."

I'm hacking away on my encrypted multicast client today; maybe there will be more updates later.

Friday, May 07, 1999

You have to love the incompetent reporters at NEWS.COM: "'Clean room' refers to Java-like software that stems from Sun's source code, but is marketed as a separate product." Wrong, but thanks for playing. (They have corrected the story, but I think they shouldn't have made that error in the first place.)

Today was the last class day of the semester. Too bad I'm not close to being finished...

Thursday, May 06, 1999

The state of Texas's Web site is so bad it won an award. Ouch!

Dan Kegel has a fascinating page about the C10K problem.

FirePower has some wild-looking 1394 hard drives.

Mozilla milestone 5 is here. I hope it's faster than the last one.

If you have a Mac, iCab 1.5 is also out. The authors remind you to let iCab smile by writing correct HTML.

Rhino is a new JavaScript interpreter written in Java from mozilla.org. Apparently this is the same interpreter used in Sun's new HotJava 3.0.

KDE has a roadmap for '99; it looks like they're going to be quite a bit behind GNOME.

"There's rich, there's filthy rich -- and then there's Woodside." Hi Dave!

Wednesday, May 05, 1999

Sorry for the lack of updates; I'm buried under work as the semester's end nears. At least my presentation on transcoding Web proxies went over well in my networks class today.

Mark Weiser dead at 46. He was on the right track.

May's CACM has some great articles about persuasive technology. I was disappointed that they didn't mention the current flood of so-called copy protection software and hardware, or software that disables its competition, or Web services whose purpose is more to generate advertising revenue than to increase the productivity of users. What do we do when software comes with an agenda, especially an agenda that you don't like?

Project Oxygen's oceanic cable means ocean of change.

Spread is a toolkit and daemon that provide multicast and group communications support to applications across local and wide area networks.

OK, time for someone to port Linux to the new IBM WorkPad z50. 16 hours battery life!

Mandrake has a huge screenshot of Xinerama (multihead XFree86) in action.

Tuesday, May 04, 1999

I found a page of interesting fragments of information on using DVDs under Linux. I'm just waiting for someone to announce a crack for CSS.

Monday, May 03, 1999

New Media interviews John Brockman. "You're dealing with very intelligent, well-educated people who have no concern for interesting ideas or sophisticated content. They are interested in money." Not on this site!

Dan Lyke points out that comprehensive shopping sites are helpful for people who know exactly what they're looking for. We have that for books and music, but why not for everything?

CineGX is an open-source resolution-independent compositing, editing and special effects system for Linux.

RealNetworks is finally cashing in on MP3s with RealJukebox.

Rebel.com is a new Linux hardware company, but I don't understand their focus. They sell Intel systems, ARM-powered NetWinders, UltraSPARC systems, proprietary NetApp file servers, network equipment, and NT software. I don't really see the added value...

Intel has a little information about their upcoming SA-2. Why use a power-hungry x86 CPU when you could use a StrongARM?

Better than flowers? Maybe not.

Sunday, May 02, 1999

Mozilla's Sidebar Flash Panel is a central place for various user notifications. The name sounds a bit silly, but maybe I'll get used to it.

According to the JavaLobby, Sun will release the source code to HotSpot in a few months. Vroom...

Tonight's X-Files was great; I think the Lone Gunmen should get their own show so that all the episodes could be that cool.

Saturday, May 01, 1999

InfoWorld: First WebDAV products see the light of day.

I hit that beginning-of-the-month bug again today. I really can't wait for school to be over so that I can get some work done.


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