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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Friday, October 31, 2003

How to get to BoingBoing -

How to get to BoingBoing - "How to get to BoingBoing
posted October 31, 2003 at 11:09 AM

If you're a fan of BoingBoing, perhaps you've noticed the site's been MIA for the past few days. There have been some hosting 'issues' and BoingBoing is now in the process of moving to a new host. In the meantime, you can access the site at Xeni says that, ''' will work again in a day or two.'"

Starting a Business: Advice from the Trenches: A List Apart

Starting a Business: Advice from the Trenches: A List Apart. Some things to think about, in a connected fashion...

Thursday, October 30, 2003

What Is Lotus Notes?

What Is Lotus Notes?

What is Notes -- the Manager version

Lotus Notes is an application suite that includes the following components:

* e-mail
* calendaring and scheduling
* address book
* database
* web server
* programming

Unlike other application suites (like Microsoft Office) that split these pieces of functionality into separate products (like Outlook, Access, Front Page, etc.), Lotus Notes presents all of these components using a single front-end.

Why tables for layout is stupid: problems defined, solutions offered

Why tables for layout is stupid: problems defined, solutions offered

A Plan for Ham, Company News Done Right.

InfoWorld TechWatch: Taking RSS for granted suggests using RSS News Reader as a cheaper alternate to expensive news clipping services, combined with Blog postings.

I've been thinking of this as a possible solution for sometime, although I doubt it could remove the need to have a company news editor to build the daily news summary. Posted the resulting items to a Blog (with-in a company intranet portal or not) is a win-win on a couple of fronts : less emails in the in-box; older items are available to everyone (including the new hire) ; less clutter in email folders as people no longer have to guess which one might be important to them.

High Quality RSS news feeds are the biggest fly-in-the-ointment : does the description tag content the full text, and if not, could the text be retrieve auto-Magically from the link url (given the state of html this is hard),

Keyword filtering of incoming RSS items might help but a trained Bayesian approach, the reverse of a Spam Filter (see Paul Graham's 'A Plan for Spam', in this case a Ham Catcher , would aid finding relevant articles.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Google definitions

Google Search: define: blog via The Google blog

One day I hope to break the 100,000 level

BlogStreet : Most Important 100 Blogs

Junit Testing in the real world

Using Mock Objects in Java

A indepth look at using Mock Objects, in order to build meaningful unit tests, beyond the trivial examples usually shown. Also mentions (and links to ) a StrutsTestCase used to simulate the Struts servlet environment and a MockMaker, a Framework for staring to build your mock Objects.

Intro to XML and processing XML in Java

Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), Getting Started

A well write overview of XML (tags, elements, contents and elements, Valid , well formed, etc) and beginning to use the Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), DOM and SAX.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Top 10 Reasons to Learn CSS

Nick also linked to Christopher Schmitt's 10 reasons to learn CSS

  1. Build from the ground up to replace traditional Web design methods.
  2. Faster download times. (No more FONT tags )
  3. Shorter development time. (No more FONT tags, cleaner pages, easier to change when the !@%! client decides they what blue no red no green text)
  4. Greater control over the typography in a Web page. (About as good as its going to get on the web)
  5. It's easy to write. (No more FONT tags)
  6. Improvements in accessibility.
  7. Print designs as well as Web page designs
  8. Better control over the placement of elements in Web page. (About as good as its going to get on the web)
  9. The design of Web pages is separated from the content. (No more FONT tags)
  10. Better search engine rankings.

Optimizing your RSS feed , minimizing your readers pain.

Nick ansers in relation to his Feed News Reader, but it is good advice for any and all feeds you acutal what someone to use/read. (He just gets more questions than me!)

Nick Bradbury: "Optimizing your RSS feed for FeedDemon

  1. Include each item's publication date, either with <pubDate> or with <dc:date>.A large number of feeds don't include the publication date of each news item, which means that News Readers can only show when an item was received (downloaded).
  2. Use a short, descriptive <title> for each news item. If you don't have useful titles, readers may not know whether they want to read what you have to say.
  3. Don't skip the <description>. Some feeds contain only titles, forcing people to visit their sites if they want to read an item. This also hampers
    offline reading, which is a major annoyance for some people.
  4. Avoid excessive HTML formatting in your descriptions. If you want people to see your design skills, point them to your site rather than unnecessarily bloating your RSS feed.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Experiments in the UnWired Future

VentureBlog: Ubiquity Breeds Utility

In the late 1980s, Dartmouth College was the most wired campus on the planet, running 10GB Ethernet into every dorm room. Today, Dartmouth is the most unwired campus on the planet, with 560 access points covering 200 acres....If you wanted to know where wired communications were headed in the late 1980s, all you had to do was go to the Dartmouth campus and look at their homegrown email application, Blitzmail. As any regular user of Blitzmail will tell you, it included a server-side address book and remote private and public folders before almost any other email application. Watching a regular user of Blitzmail, you could have predicted the rise of LDAP, IMAP, and most importantly Instant Messenger

So what is the future of unWired look like ? They have gained wireless ubiquity, and are completely re-thinking how they use cellphones, PDAs, computers, newspapers, instant messenger, printers, power outlets, and most importantly, their time. Here a summary with breif commets :

  • Instant Messenger for voice (Think a Star Trek like com badge); Portable & Connected devices dominate ( "Daddy, what's a desktop computer?")
  • Voice is just an app (VOIP); Location based services emerge (Calendar applications that alert them of their next appointment based on their current location and estimated travel time; "Print" means print at the nearest printer)
  • What is the Value Add for Newspapers (Laptop + Wifi + Goggle News + Blogs; Does professional news reporting surive without adversiting?)
  • Low battery life becomes a real drag (Allways connected means allways on batttery, the last wire is the power cord!)
  • People power (wi-fi adoption to date has been dominantly in the home, which bodes poorly for most of the recent crop of wi-fi startups, who are all aimed at the enterprise.)
  • People can multi-task too (Students check email and have analytical conversations about live news while playing frisbee!)
  • Prepare to be Googled! (With wireless PDAs people will Google-scan each other in realtime, as they meet them. Not only your corporate Bio's and blog postings, but everthing you every posted to usenet groups.)
  • Bandwidth matters! (People have allways found ways to fill up the available bandwidth. just wait for TV over IP. )

They say " "The Future is here, but unevenly distributed" and now I know where my share is going.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Red Hat Takes Another Step Toward The Data Center

Enterprise Linux 3 improves the operating system's performance when running apps with multiple threads operating at once.

(Eweek has a review as well :,4149,1228480,00.asp
although it seems to mostly focus on it as a Desktop OS not as a Server OS [ Stupid Rabbit!]

CRN has a review of the Server OS side of things

Enterprise Linux 3 offers enhanced scalability and performance characteristics that narrow the gap between the company's Linux operating system and rival Unix operating system..

Addtional Links : and the The Big Hat themseleves Here


By Larry Greenemeier, InformationWeek
Oct. 22, 2003

Now that Linux is comfortably entrenched in clustered high-performance computing environments and along the periphery of enterprise systems, running Web as well as file and print servers, the world's leading Linux distributor wants to take the operating system to the next level. Red Hat Inc. took another step further into the data center Wednesday with the release of its Enterprise Linux 3 open-source operating system.

Red Hat's stated goals through next year are to continue improving its enterprise operating system to run on high-end servers and to consolidate its operating systems onto a consistent architecture. Enterprise Linux 3 includes Native Posix Threading Library, which improves the operating system's performance when running applications with multiple threads operating at once. It also features scalability improvements, including support for larger symmetric multiprocessing memory and input/output configurations. These improvements take into account the fact that many Linux systems are run as part of clusters, says Brian Stevens, Red Hat's VP of operating system development. "This requires improved management, since you may have more systems once you move to a Linux cluster."

Enterprise Linux 3 is also written to a single code base, which improves code stability, maintainability, and security, Stevens says. The new version also supports a wider variety of hardware platforms, including those running Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s 64-bit-compatible Opteron processor and IBM's iSeries, pSeries, zSeries, and S/390 servers. Enterprise Linux continues to support Intel x86 and Itanium platforms as well.

With Enterprise Linux 3, Red Hat has also expanded its basic operating-system offerings to include file-clustering software and developer tools. The file-clustering software supplements the basic clustering capabilities already built into Linux.

Red Hat is doing a lot to remove things that have been an impediment to Linux in the past, IDC research director Al Gillen says. "Customers are going to want off-the-shelf applications that are commercially supported," he says. "And it's really nice to get these from the same company that you get the operating-system software."

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 is available now as part of an annual subscription that includes Red Hat Network and services. Current Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers can upgrade now via Red Hat Network, while customers buying through Red Hat partners will be able to get version 3 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS, ES, or WS on preconfigured hardware platforms before year's end. AS is designed for servers with more than two processors and that run databases or large enterprise apps. ES is tuned for single- or dual-processor configurations running Web or file and print servers. WS is the operating system for single- or dual-processor workstations.

Pricing for Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS starts at $1,499 annually on an x86 platform and runs as high as $18,000 annually on an IBM mainframe. Pricing for ES and WS on an x86 platform starts at $349 and $179, respectively. Standard pricing for WS on an Itanium-based or AMD Opteron-based workstation is $792.

Red Hat is doing what it needs to do in order to expand relationships with customers and find new ways to generate revenue. "The pieces are falling into place," Gillen says. That's not to say Linux is ready to replace the existing critical systems in which companies already have a large investment. Adds Gillen, "We don't see Linux being used as a high-end replacement for large Unix servers."

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

podLob and Dynamic Drive : DHTML to go

Travis Beckham's podLob features 56 experiments in Flash and 19 in Javascript/DHTML. Go to it!

also Dynamic Drive : DHTML scripts for the real world

Friday, October 17, 2003

Graphical Poetry

Just finished reading Small Stories - Same Difference (via Joey :Accordion Guy), a wonderfully realized story. Looking forward to reading more of Derek's stuff.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepherd welcome Yang Liwei

China launches crewed spacecraft Oct 14 2003. A Safe and Happy landing to Yang.

  • AP: Chinese astronaut lands safely. China's first astronaut in space returned safely to Earth on Thursday when his craft touched down on time and as planned after 21 hours in orbit, the government said. China's mission control declared the country's landmark debut flight ``a success.''

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2003

    Y4D, the easy way

    To my Mom, sister Linda, brother Duncan (plus his wife Tracy and Eric, Penny and Colin) and Most of all my darling Wife Elicia! Thanks for help getting past the big 4 00000 this holiday ThanksIangiving day.

    InfoWorld: MySQL buys high-availability vendor Alzato: October 14, 2003: By Paul Krill: Platforms

    Not you mothers Open Source Company!

    InfoWorld: MySQL buys high-availability vendor Alzato.
    MySQL plans to integrate high-availability clustering technology into its open source database through the acquisition of Alzato, announced on Tuesday.
    Alzato, a venture company started by Ericsson in 2000, has developed and marketed NDB Cluster, a high-availability data management system designed for telecom/IP environments, according to MySQL. The technology will provide a high-availability clustering data management engine for systems that require maximum uptime and real-time performance, such as in telecom, network applications, and heavy-load Web sites, MySQL said. Alzato's technology will be offered in a version of the MySQL database planned for release in 2004 and tentatively called MySQL Cluster.

    Alzato technology expands existing high-availability capabilities in the MySQL database and also provides for fast recovery, said Marten Mickos, CEO at MySQL.

    "We can offer high-availability at a totally new scale," he said.

    MySQL customers in areas such as network equipment manufacturing and telecom have growing demands for high-availability functionality, Mickos said.

    The company would not reveal the cost of the Alzato acquisition, which actually closed a month ago.

    A "open source" company acquiring another company? Egads, the world is spinning of it's axis!

    Also, its interesting to note we now have 3 major brands in the open source world, which are growing their product line in various ways.

    MySql is quickly become a brand name in the world of Relational Database Systems (RDBM's) competes against the likes of Oracle , IBM's DB2 and MS Sql Server. It's acquiring functional via Alzato and SapDB (SAP existing database product).

    The JBoss brand competes in the world of web application servers verus BEA's Weblogic, IBM's WebSphere and (in part) MS's .Net platform (or at least the ASP past of it). They are acquiring functionary by bunding parts various Apache projects and hiring open source developers.

    And the Red Hat Brand is in the Operating System game competing againts Microsoft family of Windows servers. As a publicly traded company it continues to bunding and intergrate the lastest in Linux kennerals and software.

    These are not the only brands of the open source community, but are the major commercial open source ones. Apache, Mozzilla are non profit in nature. Netscape (based on Mozilla) was a major brand but it's owner AOL Time Warner are unwilling, (unable, un-thinking) to support it.

    PostgreSQL can't seem to get any visibility outside of the bit head community

    There are other flavours of Linux (and more popular ones in Europe or Asia ), plus BDS Flavours (like: Free BSD, Open BSD and NetBsd).

    Open Office has potential as a brand but they competing (again) against MS Office which has a 150 % lock on the market.

    Right now (as of 2003) the 3 Brand that are able to make the Major Brand react are Red Hat on the Server, MySQL as the Database and JBoss as the Application Server. These are the Brands that also gaining awareness in the CTO level, in that they deliver functionality at a fraction of the cost.

    Friday, October 10, 2003

    JSP Insider - Online resource for JavaServer Pages (JSP), Servlets, and J2EE

    JSP Insider - Online resource for JavaServer Pages (JSP), Servlets, and J2EE

    Coding Smart: People vs.Tools

    Coding Smart: People vs.Tools

    Thursday, October 09, 2003

    What is a False Positive

    False Positive?

    Definition: When a test incorrectly gives a positive result. Frequently used in the context of testing for drugs (banded substance's, doping ), disease, email spam or email Ham.

    Also another concise defination.


    Tuesday, October 07, 2003

    To mess up your Windows box, you just need to work on it.

    Via : Linux vs. Windows Viruses : To mess up a Linux box, you need to work at it; to mess up your Windows box, you just need to work on it."

    First, look at the two factors that cause email viruses and worms to propagate: social engineering, and poorly designed software.

    Social engineering is the art of conning someone into doing something they shouldn't do, or revealing something that should be kept secret. Virus writers use social engineering to convince people to do stupid things, like open attachments that carry viruses and worms.

    Poorly designed software makes it easier for social engineering to take place, but such software can also subvert the efforts of a knowledgable, security-minded individual or organization.

    Together, the two factors can turn a single virus incident into a widespread disaster.

    Saturday, October 04, 2003

    Padulo Integrated to Handle Launch and Rollout of Marketing Technology


    by Gail Chiasson
    Oct 01, 2003
    Toronto-based CentrSource Corp., developers of the patents-pending CentrSource marketing technology, has appointed Padulo Integrated as its Agency of Record with responsibility for its launch, its marketing communications, and the sales rollout of and its B2B technology platform,

    In development since 2000 and involving an investment of more than $6 million, CentrSource turns every medium into a permission-driven direct response vehicle, by providing an Internet facility where consumers can respond to advertising messages in which they’re interested, and receive value-added offers from the advertisers. And it essentially makes every medium measurable.

    Advertisers place the CentrSource identifier on ads, commercials, signs, and even packaging, directing consumers to the Web site. At the Web site, consumers can, within three clicks, find the ad or commercial they were interested in and then choose from a variety of offers, tailored by the advertiser to meet their specific sales and marketing needs. Consumers can get more information, print a coupon, get a sample, enter a contest, request a phone call, request a test drive or product demonstration, purchase the product, and fill out a research survey.

    With its ability to show all the commercials on any given day, the system also has the potential to become a catalogue of ads.

    There is no cost to either the consumer or the advertiser – the advertiser pays only for the names of the consumers who have responded. And with the agency and media commissioned by CentrSource, they participate in the revenue stream.

    CentrSource will launch in one Canadian city - yet to be announced - in November/03, and roll out across Canada next spring. The technology is geared for both the French and English markets, and has been developed to go global, says Bob Westrope, president and CEO of CentrSource. U.S. patents are pending.

    The concept for CentrSource originated at the eStrategies Group of BearingPoint Canada (formerly KPMG Consulting), of which Westrope was a founding principal. Westrope, a direct marketer whose background includes Maclean Hunter, where he created the Laser Response group, Southam Graphics Group and several new media initiatives, is the largest shareholder in CentreSource. The company has several investors, including Landmark Global Financial.

    Senior staff, in addition to Westrope, include Marty Rothstein, executive vice-president and COO, former president and CEO of MacLaren McCann Canada Inc.; Sue Jaffe, senior vice-president marketing, former managing director of SMW and then with Publicis; Chuck Truax, chief technical officer;' and Gord Macilquham, senior vice-president operations.

    "CentrSource is both a conceptual and operational breakthrough," says Richard Padulo, president of Padulo Integrated. "For the first time, advertisers can follow through with direct response offers from every piece of marketing communications – and do it at no risk. They can carry out much more sophisticated tests of creative and value-added offers, while building consumer relationships. And the CentrSource model destroys conventional worries about percentage response rates, since the advertiser pays nothing for using the service, but pays only for names actually received.

    "This is the most exciting system I have ever seen, to leverage technology to further sales and marketing objectives. It speaks to all the urgent issues of today – the need to drive down costs, the need to build permission-based one-to-one relationships with consumers, the need to validate marketing communications spending through actual measurable results."

    Padulo is now developing a number of market tests, in which both broadcast and print media will promote the CentrSource system to their advertisers, and also provide time or space to inform their audience about the concept, and motivate them to go to CentrSource to respond to selected ads and commercials.

    The system isn't limited to the traditional medium however.

    "It's media agnostic, and can involve everything from advertising on packaging to advertising on a blimp," says Westrope, who says that a wide variety of senior, experienced advertising and direct marketing professionals were consulted throughout development of the offering.

    The fine folk at Padulo can be found at

    Thursday, October 02, 2003

    Lore-Brand Comics Via Boing Boing! : Lore Sjoberg, the Internet-comedy genius responsible for the Brunching Shuttlecocks, has collected his Lore-Brand Comics comic-strips on the Web here : Good stuff!

    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada From
    Andrew Forward's Blog: An American perspective on Canada, this after getting the cover editorial on the Economist - a heady week!