This is interesting - it makes it far easier for individuals to clear checks into a business account (and safer too, as there's no run to the bank with a bundle of money):
Last week we told you about the upcoming check capture feature in the iPhone PayPal app. This new feature uses your device’s camera to capture checks so they can be deposited into your PayPal account. This feature is similar to the Chase banking app and snaps the front and back of the check you want to deposit.
You wouldn't want to use your iPhone to process a huge number of checks, but this would work for small scale stuff.
Joachim reports on a cool Apache module for Seaside apps (Pharo only at the moment):
How does this actually work? There are two Apache modules involved. mod_advertise sends UDP broadcasts about Apache's location, you might have several on different hosts in the network. mod_cluster_manager allows remote configuration of Apache. Seaside will connect to the advertised Apache instances and tell them where it is (host, port, protocol, urls).
Joachim has an overview of what's been done; the listserv posting by Phillippe Marschall has far more details. Very cool stuff. Setting up a simple round robin load balancer with session affinity has been possible for Smalltalk aps for quite some time, of course - this just goes up to the next level.
Today's Smalltalk Daily looks at one of the cool things about the Smalltalk image - you can save your current state completely - including debugging sessions. Have a hard problem to debug, and you don't want to stay late? Just save the image and come back to it later. . If you can't see the embedded video directly, you can go directly to YouTube for it. To watch now, click on the viewer below:
We usually think of "cyberspace" as its own thing, but it helps to remember that it's run by physical devices in real places. Ben Metcalfe just found that out the hard way - one of the domains they use in the .ly space (Libya) got shut down for political/religious reasons:
The domain was seized by the Libyan domain registry for reasons which seemed to be kept obscure until we escalated the issue. We eventually discovered that the domain has been seized because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.
It also looks like it's easy to be ignorant of the law/rules in some places around the world:
An additional concern is that the clause being used here pertains to Libyan Islamic Law which appears impossible to find listed in English.
Just remember that your site or domain is running on real hardware somewhere, and if that somewhere isn't under the same legal regime that you live under, you could be in for some unpleasant surprises.
Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple. The new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T Inc. but would be based on an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon, these people said.
Supposedly coming in 2011 - I still have doubts. CDMA doesn't allow for simultaneous voice and data (which would make a Verizon iPhone a downgrade from the current model). Then there's Verizon's VCast store, and their desire to brand everything on their network.
I could be wrong - maybe they've done a deal. If so, I'll bet that it doesn't involve CDMA (at least not exclusively). This story tells us that Verizon is rolling out LTE by the end of 2010 - which would line up nicely with a 2011 rollout.
Torsten reports on some interesting work from John Maloney, highlighted by Eliot Miranda in the Squeak mailing list:
if size matters and you feel like you have to dig into bootstrapping an own Smalltalk system based on Squeak you should have a look at this post from Eliot. There you will find code that will produces a headless 57k image with a few basic classes as a proof of concept. Interesting!
I think the small kernel approach is the way to go.
Today's Smalltalk Daily looks at the Counter example in Seaside 3.0 - as an example of how to get started with Seaside. If you can't see the embedded video directly, you can go directly to YouTube for it. To watch now, click on the viewer below:
Here's a video from ESUG 2010, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, the week of September 13, 2010. In this presentation, Cincom's Martin Kobetic talks about the Xtreams library - a modern take on streaming in Smalltalk. You can watch using the embedded player below, or follow the download links at the bottom of the post.
Ever since Twitter went to OAuth it's been nothing but massive irritation (why they couldn't have kept using Basic Auth behind HTTPS is beyond me; I guess the simplest solution was too easy, or something).
Anyway, here's my issue with their service: it's not reliable. I'll send an API request from my code, with the proper credentials, and it'll work. I'll pick the same code up a different day, and it gives me back 401 (Unauthorized) errors. This is maddening.
At this point, I wish Google would acquire Twitter. Authenticated calls to their services never fail, so maybe the injection of some competent systems people into the Twitter service would help.
Today's Smalltalk Daily takes a more detailed look at the Counter example in Seaside. If you can't see the embedded video directly, you can go directly to YouTube for it. To watch now, click on the viewer below:
The good news? You can drop out of groups easily, after which you can't be added back to that group. The bad news? It's up to you to ensure that you haven't been added to some unsavory group. Why should you care? Well, employers (and potential employers) are now scouring things like Facebook to get a glimpse beyond what shows up in an interview. Membership in some groups could paint a picture you would rather not have painted - especially if being in that group wasn't your choice.
It wouldn't be so hard for Facebook to move this one level back, and just allow people to invite you to groups instead of slamming you into them.
The Yankees are up 2-0 in the best of 5 series against the Twins - so much for the Twins home field advantage. Of course, keeping the 2004 debacle in mind, it's not time for them to get cocky. Still:
Pettitte turned in a vintage performance with seven smooth innings and Lance Berkman had two big hits in a 5-2 victory by the Yankees over their favorite postseason punching bag on Thursday evening for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five division series.
Sabathia looked a bit shaky on Wednesday, so I hope he has his good stuff back on Saturday. Wrapping this up in 3 would be a good thing.
"I think there are fringe cases where something like that could be important," Mr. Higgins said. "For a vast majority of customers, I don't think it's a terribly important use case."
Sure - the fact that I use this all the time screams edge case to me. This all comes in the context of the supposed CDMA iPhone, which I'm still not sure is real. There's another issue (albeit, not for everyone) with a CDMA iPhone - it would be a brick outside the US....
The Yankees just took the Twins apart this year -tonight's final score was 6-1. If Giradi weren't obsessed with pitch count, it likely would have been a shutout. Hughes was mowing batters down, but when he hit that "magic number" - out he came, and the next guy loaded the bases.
It's not that pitch count is irrelevant; it's just that it's only one factor, not the only one. If your pitcher is cruising, here's a hot tip: leave him in. If all you're going to do is go on auto-pilot with pitch count, you might as well put a laptop with a webcam in charge.
The update to the Ubuntu server makes it easier to run the AMI as a Micro (t1.micro) instance type. This is currently the smallest and cheapest EC2 image type. The image type is very well suited for running Seaside web applications. When your application becomes more popular you can scale by using a bigger instance type or by running multiple instances.
Follow the link to get the particulars, such as the AMI instance id.
This week's podcast is Arden Thomas presenting the Cincom Smalltalk road map at ESUG on September 15, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. He spoke about ObjectStudio, VisualWorks, and WebVelocity, and took a few questions at the end of the talk. You can see the slides he used here.
To listen now, you can either download the mp3 edition, or the AAC edition. The AAC edition comes with chapter markers. You can subscribe to either edition of the podcast directly in iTunes; just search for Smalltalk and look in the Podcast results. You can subscribe to the mp3 edition directly using this feed, or the AAC edition using this feed using any podcatching software. You can also download the podcast in ogg format.
To listen immediately, use the player below:
If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Effortless for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!
Today's Smalltalk Daily looks at interfacing to a simple COM api in Windows - specifically, the speech API. The code to get the dispatch driver is a little involved, so the #setupDriver method in the video is included below - to skip to the video, click here. If you can't see the embedded video directly, you can go directly to YouTube for it.
"set up the COM driver"
| ref descs ifc guid refs |
refs := COMRegistryInterface extTypeLibraryIDMap select: [:each | each name notNil].
ref := refs
detect: [:each | 'Microsoft Speech Object Library*' match: each name]
ref ifNil: [^nil].
descs := ref containedTypeDescriptions.
ifc := descs
detect: [:each | 'SpVoice' match: each name]
ifc ifNil: [^nil].
guid := ifc guid.
driver := AdvancedDispatchDriver
It's been a bad few days in terms of irritating device failures. First, the handle broke off our over the stove microwave oven, rendering it mostly unusable. Then, my wife's old PC (the one with all her photos) stopped booting. The latter thing turns out to be a problem with the heat sink, so it's fixable - just annoying.
Users can get the Galaxy Tab without a contract, but with the price expected to be $650, it doesn't offer a very compelling challenge to the $499 16GB iPad, or even the contract-free 3G iPad at $629
It's cheaper with the contract, but unlike the 3g iPad, you have to sign a contract for 2 years. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that will limit the appeal. Here's the real takeawy quote from the PC World piece:
People expect Apple products to cost a premium and it is just assumed that non-Apple products should be cheaper.
We're about to get a real world test of two very different approaches to phone OS use - Google's "throw it over the wall approach", and Microsoft's "create a standard" approach:
Each device must feature three standard hardware buttons, for example, and before they can ship with Windows Phone 7, they have to pass a series of tests directed by Microsoft. (As I mentioned in a feature story about Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has created new lab facilities containing robots and automated programs to test each handset to ensure that features work properly and consistently across multiple devices.)
The iPhone has had the consistency thing going for it all along; Microsoft is trying to create something similar across a broad range of hardware vendors. It might help them take the slot Google is in right now, or at least split it with them.
Looks to me like Google will have to do a lot more of the heavy lifting on the underlying Andrloid platform - it's based on Harmony, something that IBM had been supporting until now. InfoWorld reports:
The core of the IBM-Oracle deal is that those employees will now switch their attention to OpenJDK, Oracle's in-house open source Java implementation. The move completely sucks the wind out of Harmony's sails, with Tim Ellison, one of Harmony's senior developers, essentially conceding the project will probably fold in short order.
At the very least, Google will have to start throwing resources at the project - resources that they have been putting elsewhere. The Google/Oracle lawsuit will drag on for eons before anything happens - this, on the other hand, will have a pretty immediate impact.
The jQuery section of the online Seaside book has been updated - here's the summary for that section:
jQuery and jQuery UI are both well integrated into Seaside 3.0. This allows you to access all aspects of the library from Smalltalk by writing Smalltalk code only. The Smalltalk side of the integration is automatically built from the excellent jQuery documentation, so you can be sure that the integration is up-to-date and feature-complete.
This should be interesting - Twitter is going to introduce an "Event" feature - something you would use instead of the ubiquitous hashtag. The hashtag has gone into general use though; I wonder how much adoption of this there's going to be? Not from a "we don't need it" standpoint so much as from a sheer inertia of common practice standpoint. Anyway:
"I think we're finally going to have the Events feature," Stone said, in a brief interview. "It's something we've been talking about forever... and now that Ev's back on products, I think that's something that's going to be coming up soon.
IMHO, they'll have to make it pretty darn useful in order to override the very, very easy (and extremely widespread) hashtag usage.
Yeah, as if there wasn't any prior art. It's gotten to the point that patents are actively harmful; I'm not sure that even having them is useful any longer. Especially when trolls can set their settlement fees lower than the cost of litigation, and get away with free money leeched from the system. Follow the link for more details; here's a great summation though:
As Winston & Strawn attorneys Gene Schaerr and Jacob Loshin argued rather convincingly in a September 22 Washington Legal Foundation Web Seminar, the risk-benefit analysis on litigating vs. settling more often comes out on the side of fighting patent trolls. This should especially hold true in situations where a patent is as glaringly weak as the Sharing Sound patent.
Apple must be feeling that Android heat - they have been opening things up a bit for app developers, and now it looks like Google Voice is cleared. TechCrunch reports:
we’ve gotten word that the official Google Voice application is on its way to the iPhone in the next few weeks. In fact, we’ve heard from a source close to Google that it’s already been approved — Google just needs to revamp the application to work with the iPhone 4 and iOS’s multitasking capabilities.
I bailed on Google voice because it didn't really work with the iPhone; I'll have to take another look if this pans out.