XML Editor and XSLT Debugger

<oXygen/> looks like a nice tool for dealing with XML files:

<oXygen/> is a complete cross platform XML editor providing the tools for XML authoring, XML conversion, XML Schema, DTD, Relax NG and Schematron development, XPath, XSLT, XQuery debugging, SOAP and WSDL testing.

The integration with the XML document repositories is made through the WebDAV, Subversion and S/FTP protocols. <oXygen/> also supports browsing, managing and querying native XML and relational databases.

The world’s best XML Editor is available as an Eclipse IDE plugin, bringing unique XML development features to this widely used Java IDE.

If only it were not so expensive, ouch!

Document Palette

I have been looking for a tool like this for the Mac for a while. Something which allows me to create a new document somewhere on the file system based on a template of some sort.

This capability has been in Windows for a while, and which I first ran into when I tried out HP NewWave.

iPhone 3GS Review

Great review of the iPhone 3GS by Robert Mons on MacInTouch. I have the original iPhone, which has been dropped a few times and the glass is slightly broken in a corner, so I am due for an upgrade. The case for an upgrade is hard to make for current iPhone 3G owners and the review reflects that, but it is easier for original iPhone owners such as myself:

For original iPhone owners, this is a good time to update: the new phone is faster, has a compass-assisted GPS, has up to four times as much storage for your music, has much better voice call quality and a louder speakerphone, and offers compelling new features like video recording, autofocus and Voice Control.

A few things are holding me back, ATT, lack of MMS, lack of tethering, the fact that my monthly cost would go up by $10.

Recharge Sockets

Nice to see that the Europeans have adopted a standard for phone recharge sockets (in French on Le Monde).

I wonder when this is going to happen here in the US? Perhaps the fact that Europe is going that way will tip the balance in the US automatically.

Personally I would like to see a wireless charging standard for these devices, including iPods. My $80 toothbrush can do it (and I don’t need to pay extra for the charger,) so why can’t my $200 cell phone/iPod/whatever… do it too.

To equals() or not to equals()

“How to Write an Equality Method in Java” from Artima:

Class java.lang.Object defines an equals method, which subclasses may override. Unfortunately, it turns out that writing a correct equality method is surprisingly difficult in object-oriented languages. In fact, after studying a large body of Java code, the authors of a 2007 paper concluded that almost all implementations of equals methods are faulty.

The article goes into some depth on how to write a good equals method, and on the pitfalls that surround such a method. The article also makes a reference to “Effective Java Second Edition” by Josh Bloch which I am currently reading:

In Item 8 of Effective Java1, Josh Bloch describes the difficulty of preserving the equals contract when subclassing as a “fundamental problem of equivalence relations in object-oriented languages.” Bloch writes:

There is no way to extend an instantiable class and add a value component while preserving the equals contract, unless you are willing to forgo the benefits of object-oriented abstraction.

VMware Fusion Beta

I was invited by VMware to participated in a private beta for the next version of VMware Fusion which sounded like fun, they even created a new password for me to download the beta with. So I installed it and it ran my various images with no issues, until I rebooted the Windows 7 Beta image. Now maybe I was at fault for running beta software on top of beta software but it disabled my secondary graphics card and then the mac refused to come back once it went into the screen saver, needing a reboot.

So I uninstalled the software.

NOSQL Conference Videos

I was not able to attend the NOSQL Conference on June 11th, 2009 in San Francisco, but the Braindump blog posted links to the presentations and videos.

Why You Can’t See The Great Pacific Garbage Patch On Google Earth

From Google Ocean product manager Steve Miller, via Search Engine Land:

Regarding the availability of satellite imagery of the oceans: Unfortunately we haven’t found great sources of data for most of the open ocean because most imagery providers focus their efforts on the land. Where we do have satellite imagery for the ocean surface, we’ve preserved it in the most recent version of Google Earth and the satellite view in Maps. For example you can still see trawling vessels in southeast Asia. There are a number of potential applications for such imagery, from amateur interest in finding ships to looking at off-shore oil platforms to locating illegal fishing vessels, so it’s certainly worth exploring how we could track down data for the rest of the ocean.

Regarding the gyre: the trash gyre presents its own set of challenges. Even if we had satellite imagery, the gyre likely wouldn’t appear in it. Most of the plastic is particulate and/or a bit under the surface so you can’t see it in the imagery. A number of groups are starting to focus on collecting more data about the gyre via expeditions and sampling – we’d love to see one or more of them produce maps that could be viewed in Google Earth.

There are also links to Wikipedia and a TED conference video by Captain Charles Moore.

Apple In-Ear Headphones

I bought the Apple In-Ear Headphones a while back, I am a fan of in-ear headphones because they cancel out most of the outside noises letting you focus on the music. usually use in-ear headphones at the gym because (a) I don’t want to hear the music they are playing, I rather hear my own music/podcasts and (b) I don’t want to hear other people working out.

I really like the response on these headphones, the music is clean and the sound seems well balanced. I had a really hard time with the last Apple in-ear headphones because they were a poor fit and kept falling out of my ears (I have small ear canals so I need to use the smallest ear buds, they are also of different sizes but that is another story,) but these fit much better.

However having the control on the cable is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it makes volume and track adjustments very easy when you are running, you don’t have to reach for your iPod. A curse because the sweat runs down the cable into the controls which start to function in random order, so about 25 minutes into my run the iPod will start, stop and skip songs in a random fashion which us a real pain.

Hadoop and Project Voldemort

Great article in two parts (part 1, part 2) co-authored by Elias Torres (a colleague and friend) on using Hadoop and Project Voldemort for managing very large datasets.

It was interesting to read about the deployment issues they had to deal with as I dealt with some of the same issues with the indices for the search engine at Feedster (the update cycle there was 10 minutes), and the issue with key lookup as I had to engineer that for the search engine.

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