And so it ends …

So, going on a little over a year later, it turns out that blogging without a pseudonym is just too frustrating.  Who could’a guessed?  But if you find, in the next six months, a new, fresh, cogent and mercilessly truthful blog about the tech industry published by a total unknown … I wonder who he might be?

The Real Dan Lyons bails on blogging | The Industry Standard

A frustrated Dan Lyons told me this afternoon that he is hanging up his personal blog at after his Newsweek bosses made him yank a blog post where Lyons (rightfully) called Yahoo’s PR staff “lying sacks of shit.”

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sun Lays off 18% of Workforce

Not good.  I have not seen any suggestions about Apple scarfing up Sun, yet, but you have to wonder what Apple might do with the keys to ZFS, Java, MySQl, and Sun’s new Storage.  Would it think about a serious assault on the Enterprise?

Sun Microsystems cutting up to 6,000 jobs – San Jose Mercury News

Sun said Friday that it will lay off 5,000 to 6,000 workers, more than 15 percent of its global workforce, over the next year. Sun also will reorganize its software business and merge some divisions into other operations. Rich Green, who has been Sun’s executive vice president for software since 2006, will leave the company.

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

NASA using Bugzilla

Tracking problem reports just got easier. 

NASA turns to open-source problem-tracking databases | Gaming and Culture – CNET News

And, like a related database system known as Items for Investigation (IFI) that is used for tracking International Space Station issues, the new PRACA was written using open-source Bugzilla tools that will save NASA considerable amounts of time and money.

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just say NO to void …

This little tip showed up at dzone, and its like one of those “I coulda hadda V8” moments.  Brilliant.

Command chaining « Reflections of a computer linguist

It’s easy. Put return this; before the end of each method in your class. Just say no to void!

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another GMail Notifer for Mac

The author of the software gives a few good reasons for taking a second swipe at a GMail Notifier, below. 

From the Scotsman’s point of view, it was easy to duplicate the app and change the icon colors to create uniquely identifiable pop-up notifiers for multiple GMail accounts.  The app.icns and the mail.tiff files in the Resources directory (inside the package contents) are all that need to be re-colorized.  This is especially simple if you have the Mac OS X icon composer available. 

To have the notification messages come up with the appropriate colors, you need to change the default Growl registration name in the GNGrowlController.rb file in the same directory.  Just change the “Gmail Notifr” string in that file to something descriptive.  (Note:  If you want multiple notifiers to start at login and automatically connect to the correct accounts, you still have to modify the Info.plist in the top level package contents to point to separate preferences files, just like you do for the Google Notifier)

I downloaded the source and it looks like the code uses an SSL connection to Google by default, so it should be secure out of the box, although the documentation doesn’t trumpet that fact (and my Ruby skills are far exceeded by almost every other skill I posses, so you might want to check that out yourself and post a comment to let me know if I’m wrong).  Also on the security front, it seemed that this notifier did not log nearly as much message content in the Console log as the Google version did.  Possibly because it uses Growl for its pop-up alert, and possibly because the drop down menu of this notifier does not summarize the most recent messages, as does the Google version.

Be aware that this  version does not do calendars,  just mail.  But since it is now possible to sync Apple’s iCal with your Google calendar,  the calendar side of notifier is not as useful a feature as it once was.

The Growl messages carry the subject lines of all new messages in the inbox, rather than a message digest in a pop-up for each new message since the last check.   This means you need to keep your inbox empty or you’ll get a new pop-up every polling interval.  This is a markedly different strategy than used for Growl notifications in the Google version with Google+Growl, or in Thunderbird with the Growl plugin.  Its very annoying if your inbox is not empty.

For info on getting the Google version of Notifier running with multiple GMail accounts, look at our older post here.

Project: Gmail Notifr |

Why Another Gmail Notifier?

There’s an official Google Notifier for Mac out there. For two reasons I don’t like Google Notifier very much

  • You cannot configure it to check mail every N minutes. Whenever a new message is received, it will notify you. That disturbs.
  • It installs and runs several daemon processes (Google Updater for
    example) without asking you. What’s even worse, these processes remain
    after uninstalling Google Notifier.

When I started learning RubyCocoa recently, an idea came out: why not write a Gmail Notifier in RubyCocoa?

So here comes Gmail Notifr.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 10:19 pm  Comments (3)  

Video chat available from GMail

I’m not sure if these new video chat sessions from GMail will be better than Skype, but its going to be a contender, especially since Skype is behind on its Mac OS X ports.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

USB 3.0 to be Announced

Transfer a 25GB HD movie in about a minute.  If you have a hard drive that fast, anyway.

USB 3.0 to be Formally Unveiled Next Monday

Almost 14 months after Intel announced USB 3.0, the final protocol specification will be formally announced next Monday at the first SuperSpeed USB Developer Conference in San Jose, CA. The specs will then be handed over to early adopters that plan to design products around USB 3.0.

Hopefully, USB 3.0 is worth the wait with speed boost to 4.8Gbps, the use of optical cabling, and new power management.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Install Boxee on your Apple TV (for fun and profit)

Yes, this is the way an Apple TV ought to work.  The article gives a nod to one of our favorite competing products which looks less enticing once Boxee is installed on ATV.  The only thing still lacking is 1080p resolution.

How To: Max Out Apple TV’s Potential With Boxee

This is a guide that, if followed, will unchain your Apple TV from its cruel iTunes tether, turning it into the useful living room conduit of music, video and web-based content it should have been all along via the media center software Boxee. Boxee can be installed fairly easily via the ATV’s USB port to bring Hulu and Comedy Central streaming, playback of any video or music file anywhere on your network in virtually any file type imagineable, and a bevy of internet A/V sources like Flickr,, NPR and BBC podcasts and tons of others—all upping the usefulness and fun of Apple’s notoriously underachieving box by a factor of 10, easily. If you have an ATV, Boxee is a must-install, and it’s 100% free. Let’s get started.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Watch CNN Live Stream with VLC

Well this is pretty handy.  Thanks to Lifehacker for making a generic post out of the gHacks original.  The URL is:


Streaming Television: Watch CNN Live and Full-screen with VLC

But users on any platform can use free, open-source VLC to play the stream. Download and install VLC, then select File > Open Network. Select HTTP/FTP/MMS/RTSP from the list of protocols on the left, and paste the rtsp:// URL from gHacks in the text area at the top. Now you can watch CNN live, full-screen and commercial free

Published in: on November 6, 2008 at 6:06 pm  Comments (75)