. .

smalltalk

Remember ElastoLab?

November 27, 2010 10:10:05.490

A question came up on the VWNC list recently about teaching some simple physics modeling. Of course there's always EToys to look at as an example, but something else came to mind: ElastoLab, from Dave Buck:

ElastoLab is a fun program for kids that lets them play with sound, images and motion in a simulated physics environment. ElastoLab

It's a really cool simulator that lets you play with all sorts of variations on motion.

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

copyright

Copyright Enforcement Gone Mad (Updated)

November 27, 2010 10:18:09.140

Update 4: Now there's confirmation - it looks like it is a government operation, with Immix doing the work. I'll return to my original question: how the heck is this the business of DHS?

“ICE office of Homeland Security Investigations executed court-ordered seizure warrants against a number of domain names,” said Cori W. Bassett, a spokeswoman for ICE, in a statement. “As this is an ongoing investigation, there are no additional details available at this time.”

Update 3: This may be the missing piece of the puzzle. Go back to this story from May 18, where we find out what Immix is up to:

DHS has selected immixGroup Inc. to provide software applications, network and cybersecurity systems support services. Virginia's information technology solutions provider immixGroup received the award to support the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center, or C3, including agency's Child Exploitation, Cyber Crimes, Computer Forensics and Cyber Training divisions. UPI reports ImmixGroup says its Information Technology Solutions unit will be expected to provide C3's software applications, network and cybersecurity systems with operational support and maintenance among other requirements.

So.... it looks like it's a federally backed operation, but run by the "cyber security" people at Immix Group. The only question is, how high up in DHS/ICE did the OK for this go? Did they have a bunch of pre-ok'd warrants about that they acted on, or did some kind of legal action take place late Friday? At this point, I'd like to see some real reporting done on this.

Update 2: - A look at the registrar information turns up a immixGroup IT Solutions - and it looks like they do a lot of work for the government. So.... is this some kind of pseudo government operation that jumped the gun? That would explain the ability to get the DNS redirected (the sites in question are being redirected via seizedservers.com DNS services), while also explaining the lack of any PR push. If you go to the whois lookup for seizedservers, you can get all of that info. Curiouser and curiouser...

Update: Ok, this now looks more interesting. Have a look at the source of one of the sites that's been taken down, like torrent-finder.com. The source doesn't have any of the "official government" stuff you would expect - and there's a script being loaded from 74.81.170.107 - which is located in North Carolina, and doesn't look at all like a government run operation. Or, if it is government, it's some kind of second hand contract sort of thing that could be denied. Since I'm not really in the conspiracy business, let's take the more obvious tack: it's likely that the RIAA or the MPAA (or possibly both) are paying someone else to do the dirty work that they couldn't get the government to do for them through the proposed COICA law. Or heck, it could be a set of pranksters out having a good time - right now, there's no telling. I think Drudge needs to dig a little deeper on this one.

Another thing - there are no press releases out from DHS or ICE. Typically, when a government agency does something like this, they announce it with great fanfare as an example of "protecting the country". Since there's none of that here, it makes me really wonder.

Hat tip to Michael, for prodding me on this and doing a bunch of the research.


Why any of this is an issue for the DHS is beyond me:

The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

So what happens when the slower class at DHS figures out that domains can be set up beyond their jurisdiction? Does the US build its own version of the "Great Firewall of China", with the DHS acting as the muscle for the RIAA and MPAA?

It doesn't seem to matter who's in the Oval Office or the Congress; on copyright matters, the stupid never stops. Oh, and if you don't think this kind of siezure isn't open to easy abuse - you're not thinking hard enough. Just imagine that (insert partisan forces you distrust here) is in power, and apply the rhetoric you usually use on other issues...

Technorati Tags:

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

More on PetitParser

November 27, 2010 16:22:47.000

Lukas has another highly descriptive post up on using his PetitParser:

In a previous post I described the basic principles of PetitParser and gave some introductory examples. In this blog post I am going to present a way to define more complicated grammars. We continue where we left off the last time, with the expression grammar.

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

copyright

The Domain Seizures: Time Wasted

November 28, 2010 8:55:10.000

As I said earlier, the slow learners over at DHS apparently aren't aware that they don't have jurisdiction over the entire internet. Market Ticker is quoted by TechCrunch:

That’s a lot of staff attorney time and trouble to get a big fat nothing out of it, which is exactly what they get going down this road. Why? Because all they can do is redirect the domain pointers which will do exactly nothing when the sites re-register under a top-level domain not under the US Government’s jurisdiction and there are lots of them.

Now we just have to wait for the coming justification for the "Great Firewall of the DHS". I'm sure that it will be "for the children"

Technorati Tags:

 Share Tweet This

podcast

Independent Misinterpretations 7: Redline Smalltalk

November 28, 2010 10:04:16.568

Welcome to episode 7 of Independent Misinterpretations - a new Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith>, and David Buck. This week I spoke to James Ladd about Redline Smalltalk - a new Smalltalk implementation with two goals:.

  • Compatibility with Pharo
  • Running on the JVM

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or any other podcatching software) using this feed directly or in iTunes with this one.

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.

If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Troublemaker for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!

If you have feedback, send it to jarober@gmail.com - or visit us on Facebook - you can subscribe in iTunes using this iTunes enabled feed.. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Enclosures:
[im7.mp3 ( Size: 15833158 )]

 Share Tweet This

podcastAAC

Independent Misinterpretations 7: Redline Smalltalk (AAC)

November 28, 2010 10:04:51.328

Welcome to episode 7 of Independent Misinterpretations - a new Smalltalk and dynamic language oriented podcast with James Robertson, Michael Lucas-Smith>, and David Buck. This week I spoke to James Ladd about Redline Smalltalk - a new Smalltalk implementation with two goals:.

  • Compatibility with Pharo
  • Running on the JVM

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (or any other podcatching software) using this feed directly or in iTunes with this one.

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.

If you like the music we use, please visit Josh Woodward's site. We use the song Troublemaker for our intro/outro music. I'm sure he'd appreciate your support!

If you have feedback, send it to jarober@gmail.com - or visit us on Facebook - you can subscribe in iTunes using this iTunes enabled feed.. If you enjoy the podcast, pass the word - we would love to have more people hear about Smalltalk!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Enclosures:
[im7.m4a ( Size: 21944411 )]

 Share Tweet This

Macintosh

Weird Parallels Behavior

November 28, 2010 10:42:36.338

When I fired up my Windows VM (Parallels) yesterday, here's what I saw as it booted - it stayed like this while it was in windowed mode:

I ended up shutting the VM down completely (rather than suspending it), and that made the issue go away. But what the heck was happening?

 Share Tweet This

games

Last Night's Game

November 28, 2010 14:51:22.000

We finally got back to board gaming last night - my friend Mike got me the game "Founding Fathers", and we sat down to a game - my brother in law was visiting, so it's nice that it handles 5 players. The game has you at the (US) Constitutional Convention, voting on the various articles for the document - and you end up working with the four main factions - big states, small states, federalists, anti-federalists. It's all pretty fluid, and your options change as you get your hand replenished with new delegates.

It played pretty well, and, once we got going, it was a simple game. The rules only look long because they include bios of all the convention attendees :) If you like strategy games that take 90-120 minutes to play, this one is pretty cool.

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

The Power of Smalltalk

November 28, 2010 16:32:05.000

Magaloma explains

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

Smaller Pharo Deployment Images

November 28, 2010 18:02:14.342

 Share Tweet This

copyright

How Dare You Educate People

November 28, 2010 19:29:32.000

The copyright kings don't want you to know just how bogus their claims are - a lawyer who sells a $20 package of "FYI" documents, telling you how to defend against one of the fishing expeditions, is now being sued:

On November 22, Syfert received another email from attorney Jeff Weaver informing him that he had made a formal request for sanctions against him on behalf of the production company behind The Hurt Locker, one of the driving forces behind the USCG lawsuits. Weaver is apparently claiming that the 19 cases filed using the self-help package have cost his firm $5000 and he wants Syfert to pay.

How dare people find an inexensive way to deal with a bunch of overpaid lawyers with way too much time on their hands...

 Share Tweet This

st4u

Smalltalk 4 U 19: Unary Messages

November 29, 2010 6:26:11.907

Today's Smalltalk 4 You continues with "ProfStef", which is part of the "one click" Pharo download. Today we we get started with message sending syntax - specifically, unary messages (message sends with no arguments). If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, use the viewer below:

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Enclosures:
[st4u19-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 4973790 )]

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

Smalltalk Server Misconceptions

November 29, 2010 6:34:29.000

I've seen this complaint about running Smalltalk app servers before, and I'm sure I'll see it again:

Running headless is a bear. Updating (e.g., loading the latest version of the web server or fixing a security vulnerability) a headless image on a remote server is very difficult (one has to either have a VNC session running in the image or save the image, copy it to a local machine, update it, copy it back, start it up again.)

Well.... not so much. I run a headless server here, and it's pretty easy - I have an image that loads what it needs when it starts up, and I can kill and restart anytime I want. For patching, I simply have a patch directory, and an interface that lets me "poke" the system and load whatever it finds in the patch directory. Since it will only load from there, and only when I tell it too (i.e., there's no code being loaded from an input field), it's secure enough for what I do.

I could automate that more if I felt like it; having a process periodically scan the patch dir, load whatever is there and then delete it would remove a manual step, for instance. The larger point is, patching a running server is easy, and it's one of the truly cool things about running a Smalltalk server.

Those patches vn be very invasive as well - some of the patches I loaded in the past (on the blog I ran at Cincom, which is an ancestor of this one) changed the shape of objects in the image on the fly.

So no, you don't need VNC, or a headful image. All you need is a little planning :)

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

A Full Day

November 29, 2010 19:44:12.258

You probably noticed the lack of posting since early this morning - I've been busy teaching an Intro to VisualWorks class via webcast. I'll be doing it all week, so posting is going to be intermittant the whole week.

It's actually working better than I expected - we're using Adobe Connect Pro to deliver the live presentation/demo to people - I have a second monitor up so that I can broadcast the demo screen, and keep the meeting chat room up on the second screen. The quality has been pretty good, and we've been using skype for two way conversations as needed (we haven't been able to get that to work in the Adobe tool).

The screen sharing has worked quite well - while it's not as good as being there, it's pretty good. I think this is the future of training that I'm seeing this week :)

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

itNews

The "Huh, What?" Files

November 29, 2010 20:56:53.913

Update: - It's become clear that Comcast wants to charge Level 3 for customer requests for video (et. al.) that are not based on their XFinity system - so if a Comcast customer uses NetFlix, or streams from iTunes (etc), then Comcast wants to toss a tollbooth on that content. This is understandable, even if it is incredibly stupid.

Let's say that Level 3 told Comcast to go fish, and Comcast then broke all non-XFinity services on their network. Exactly who do they think would take the PR hit for the services that their customers pay for and wouldn't be able to receive? Here's a hint - none of their customers have even heard of Level 3, and Level 3 isn't the one with the phone lines that would start lighting up when this happened...

Original post below


I'm sure this makes sense to someone at Comcast, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out:

  • Comcast offers on-demand movies via cable and net streaming (via their xfinity service)
  • Now Comcast says that the backbone provider delivering the video, Level 3, needs to pay them
  • Huh?


Comcast has demanded that broadband backbone provider Level 3 Communications pay it a recurring fee for delivering video traffic to Comcast customers, Level 3 said Monday.


So... do they want people to use this new service, or not? Why do they even bother offering it? Here's what they have to say about the fee:

Comcast said it would cut off its own customers' access to the movies and other Web traffic unless Level 3 paid the fee, Level 3 said in a press release.

I think Level 3 should just call their bluff, and say "sure, go ahead. Make our day".

Update: Comcast, masters of PR that they are, have followed up on their major east coast outage with a release calling Level 3 liars. I still say that Level 3 should just drop the traffic on the floor and let Comcast take the blame.

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

js4u

Javascript 4 U 11: The Switch Statement

November 30, 2010 5:56:26.470

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at the switch statement in Javascript. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, use the viewer below:

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Enclosures:
[js4u11-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 2628223 )]

 Share Tweet This

general

Screencast Service Changes

November 30, 2010 8:19:07.584

I've just had a look at the Amazon data transfer charges for November, and there's a good news/bad news aspect to it. The good news is that the videos and podcasts seem to be popular. The bad news is that popularity isn't free :)

So, starting tomorrow I'm going to kill the iTunes enabled video feeds for the Smalltalk and Javascript screencasts. The existing content will stay where it is, but I won't be tossing more into those feeds. I'll still be pushing content, but it'll all go to YouTube and Facebook - it'll all be available, and I'll keep updating the index pages, but the iTunes feeds will stop updating.

The bill is small now, but the trendline shows me what will happen if I keep pushing video there :) So thanks for watching, and you can keep watching - just look for it on the blog proper instead in the iTunes feed.

Technorati Tags: , ,

 Share Tweet This

itNews

Doesn't the EU Have Bigger Problems?

November 30, 2010 15:53:47.672

The EU is taking time out from its bank problems to launch an investigation of Google. As Danny Sullivan says:

I did a search at Google today for “cars” and was shocked. Rather than list links allowing me to search for “cars” on Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Voila, Naver and Yandex, Google instead favored its own search results. I’m glad the EU will be investigating whether this favoritism violates anti-trust laws.

Oh, the humanity. Next they'll tell me that media sites favor their own content, and that newspapers favor their own stories. It's just terrible; how are we poor end users supposed to handle it all? I mean, typing "bing.com" in the address bar instead of "google.com" is such a chore...

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

podcasting

Second Update on Videos

November 30, 2010 16:39:44.359

I may have found a way to host the video for the screencasts in an iTunes compatible way that won't break me; hat tip to Randal for that. I'll see how it works out in the morning.

 Share Tweet This

st4u

Smalltalk 4 U 20: Keyword Messages

December 1, 2010 6:03:38.070

Today's Smalltalk 4 You continues with "ProfStef", which is part of the "one click" Pharo download. Today we we get started with message sending syntax - specifically, keyword messages (message sends with arguments). If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

Keyword Messages

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

Technorati Tags: , ,

Enclosures:
[st4u20-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 2246214 )]

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

The Power of Smalltalk

December 1, 2010 12:59:31.000

Eliot Miranda explains how awesome Smalltalk is for dealing with hard problems - nothing beats a live execution environment.

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

Smalltalk in NYC

December 1, 2010 13:00:24.992

The NYSTUG meeting scheduled for tonight (December 1) has been moved to December 8 - check the website for details.

Technorati Tags:

 Share Tweet This

fnvdiary

That Podcast 12: Just Dance

December 1, 2010 23:27:44.639

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 12 of "That Podcast: An FNV Diary" - a podcast where Michael Lucas-Smith and I document our trials and tribulations in Fallout: New Vegas.

On today's podcast, Michael and James talk about the dreaded Vault 34 (Brrrrr), working for Caesar, a few mods you can get for the PC version of the game and - believe it or not - Lady Gaga. To see what we mean about that last one, follow the link to the YouTube video.

You can subscribe in iTunes (or any podcatcher) using this feed, or this one for the AAC edition. You can get to the podcast directly in iTunes via this link. You can also go to the iTunes store and leave a comment, or join the Facebook Group and discuss the podcast.

If you want to download the podcast directly, I've provided it in three formats:

Got feedback? Send it to James. We'd really appreciate it if you head on over to iTunes and leave a comment - enjoy the podcast, and we'll see you in the wastelands!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Enclosures:
[fnvdiary12.mp3 ( Size: 15172384 )]

 Share Tweet This

fnvdiaryAAC

That Podcast 12: Just Dance (AAC)

December 1, 2010 23:27:48.609

That Podcast: FNV Diary

Welcome to episode 12 of "That Podcast: An FNV Diary" - a podcast where Michael Lucas-Smith and I document our trials and tribulations in Fallout: New Vegas.

On today's podcast, Michael and James talk about the dreaded Vault 34 (Brrrrr), working for Caesar, a few mods you can get for the PC version of the game and - believe it or not - Lady Gaga. To see what we mean about that last one, follow the link to the YouTube video.

You can subscribe in iTunes (or any podcatcher) using this feed, or this one for the AAC edition. You can get to the podcast directly in iTunes via this link. You can also go to the iTunes store and leave a comment, or join the Facebook Group and discuss the podcast.

If you want to download the podcast directly, I've provided it in three formats:

Got feedback? Send it to James. We'd really appreciate it if you head on over to iTunes and leave a comment - enjoy the podcast, and we'll see you in the wastelands!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Enclosures:
[fnvdiary12.m4a ( Size: 20803122 )]

 Share Tweet This

js4u

Javascript 4 U 12: Prompters

December 2, 2010 6:16:37.982

Javascript 4 U

Today's Javascript 4 You. Today we look at the built in prompters (dialogs) in Javascript. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube.

Join the Facebook Group to discuss the tutorials. You can view the archives here.

To watch now, click on the image below:

Prompters

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Enclosures:
[js4u12-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 5514258 )]

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

ESUG 2011: Edinburgh

December 2, 2010 6:29:55.892

ESUG 2011 will be held August 22-August 26 in Edinburgh, Scotland - the announcement just went up on the ESUG site.

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This

esug2010

The Reef Project at ESUG 2010

December 2, 2010 14:36:04.924

Here's another video from ESUG 2010, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, the week of September 13, 2010. In this presentation, Esteban Lorenzano talks about Reef - a JQuery Model/View project for Seaside. You can watch using the embedded player below, or follow this link to Vimeo.

Reef for Seaside from James Robertson on Vimeo.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

 Share Tweet This

social media

Quitting Facebook is Not a Sign of Courage

December 2, 2010 21:00:23.265

I love the level of self importance from some people. There are the types who are "proud" that they don't watch TV, the types who are "proud" that they don't play video games - and, apparently, the types who are proud that they quit using Twitter and Facebook:

The last week or so has been difficult, I feel disconnected from the hive mind, but I won’t be back until there’s an open, interoperable protocol for real-time publishing I can run on my own server.

Right. Here's the thing: Either a tool has value to you (and you use it) or it doesn't (and you don't). It's not some kind of epic moral issue.

Technorati Tags:

 Share Tweet This

st4u

ST 4 U 21: Message Sending Precedence

December 3, 2010 7:42:38.970

Today's Smalltalk 4 You continues with "ProfStef", which is part of the "one click" Pharo download. Today we we look at message sending precedence within a Smalltalk statement. If you have trouble viewing it here in the browser, you can also navigate directly to YouTube. To watch now, click on the image below:

Message Precedence

If you have trouble viewing that directly, you can click here to download the video directly. If you need the video in a Windows Media format, then download that here.

You can also watch it on YouTube:

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Enclosures:
[st4u21-iPhone.m4v ( Size: 4375862 )]

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

UI Tools for Squeak and Pharo

December 3, 2010 13:51:34.281

Squeak and Pharo now have modern UI building tools:

Beside the Polymorph based UI Buidler for Pharo there is now also a Morphic based one for Squeak.

The open source tools are catching up to the expensive commercial ones quickly.

Technorati Tags: , ,

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

Plugging Seaside and Apache Together

December 3, 2010 17:34:21.968

Phillippe Marschall has just announced a new Seaside/Apache adaptor that makes Smalltalk plug in better:

The AJP adatpor is a server adaptor dedicated to connecting Seaside to Apache. You can't use it without Apache because it doesn't understand HTTP. Instead it uses the binary AJPv13 protocol which is more efficient and simpler to parse. The result is a lightweight adaptor without any external dependencies but Grease/Seaside. In the multipart parser special attention has been paid to avoid unnecessary copy operations. Streaming however is currently not supported.

Technorati Tags: , ,

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

VA Smalltalk and Seaside

December 4, 2010 10:17:38.200

Need to mix together VA Smalltalk, Seaside, and then deploy it all as a Windows Service?Louis La Brunda has the answers for you. Follow the link and download the instructions from there.

Technorati Tags: , ,

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

November Smalltalk Archives

December 4, 2010 10:22:43.970

 Share Tweet This

smalltalk

Debugger Driven Development

December 4, 2010 12:18:57.665

Spotted in seandenigris.com:

An amazing feature of Smalltalk is that you can create methods right from the debugger.  This fits nicely with “write the code you wish you had.”

VisualWorks has been able to do that for awhile - it's nice to see the capability out in the OSS world. As I said the other day, the open source Smalltalks are catching up - the various commercial vendors are going to need to start paying serious attention soon.

Technorati Tags: ,

 Share Tweet This