Approximity blog home
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Blogs from the US Rubyconf   02 Oct 04
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OneStepBack Bucklogs

ruby for commercial applications   02 Oct 04
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This common thread appeared today in the ruby-ML and matz answered
 |Can we use ruby for commercial


 |Do we need to distribte our application with sources?

 No.  If you're using regex.c comes with 1.8.2, you have to allow
 re-linking the binary (via supplying object files or dynamic linking),
 because it's LGPL.  If you are using Oniguruma new regex engine, you
 have no such restriction.

 Gabriele Renzi added:
  IIRC 1.9 in the cvs already has oniguruma as the standard regex lib.

BugMeNot   02 Oct 04
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Bypass compulsory web registration via Firefox’s right-click context menu. Compatibile with Mozilla and current Firefox releases that use the new extension manager. Visit bugmenot for full details of their service.

Free voice recognition software   29 Sep 04
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Sphinx is a speaker-independent large vocabulary continuous speech recognizer under Berkeley’s style license. It is also a collection of open source tools and resources that allows researchers and developers to build speech recognition system.


Try a System

If you’d like to have a chance to try out an application that uses CMU Sphinx, try the Communicator, an experimental system that helps you plan air travel. You can reach it at the toll-free number 1-877-CMU-PLAN (1-877-268-7526) or at +1 412 268 1084.. The system will provide real flight information. The system may be sensitive to loud background noises, especially over cell phones.

What the bubble got right   29 Sep 04
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Enjoy reading the latest essay by Paul Graham and you will understand why I continue to fight against wearing ties :-).

(Source: Paul Graham) I had a front row seat for the Internet Bubble, because I worked at Yahoo during 1998 and 1999. One day, when the stock was trading around $200, I sat down and calculated what I thought the price should be. The answer I got was $12. I went to the next cubicle and told my friend Trevor. "Twelve!" he said. He tried to sound indignant, but he didn’t quite manage it. He knew as well as I did that our valuation was crazy.

Yahoo was a special case. It was not just our price to earnings ratio that was bogus. Half our earnings were too. Not in the Enron way, of course. The finance guys seemed scrupulous about reporting earnings. What made our earnings bogus was that Yahoo was, in effect, the center of a pyramid scheme. Investors looked at Yahoo’s earnings and said to themselves, here is proof that Internet companies can make money. So they invested in new startups that promised to be the next Yahoo. And as soon as these startups got the money, what did they do with it? Buy millions of dollars worth of advertising on Yahoo to promote their brand. Result: a capital investment in a startup this quarter shows up as Yahoo earnings next quarter— stimulating another round of investments in startups.


I especially like this part: Nerds don’t just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.

[ANN] Rubydium 0.1 - Tech Preview   27 Sep 04
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Alexander Kellett posted this to the ruby-ML
 Whoa, say what?
 Rubydium is aiming to become an optimising reimplementation
 of the Ruby 1.8 interpreter, currently its as good as vapourware
 however the key mechanism has been prototyped, thusly before
 commencing a major rewrite I thought i'd release the
 current state of the art.


Ruby Forum   25 Sep 04
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Alexey Verkhovsky saids, `Ruby Forum is a newly created bulletin board for discussing Ruby. Unlike ruby-talk mailing list, it allows anonymous posting and implements more understandable interface for searching. Intended target audience of this forum is newcomers to Ruby that are not committed enough to subscribe to a 100+ posts/day mailing list.’ RubyForum

[XP] OT: Regarding the Subjunctive Mood, if you happen to be in one ...   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Ron Jeffries) It’s important to take grammar seriously, even if she has been dead for years.

Natural Language vs. Computer Language   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Toivo Deutsch, xp-ML) This is exactly what David Ungar’s talk at Oopsla 2003 was about. (See for some notes)

One thing I found interesting about his talk that I managed to relate to XP was when he talked about how humans have "normal" level to categorize things. For example he showed a picture of a tree. Whenever people see a picture of a tree and you ask them what it is, they say "tree", not "maple" or "plant". There seems to be a "middle" category that the mind tends toward.

Traditional software development takes either a top-down or bottom-up approach to categorizing things. That is we don’t start at the natural middle abstraction and work our way up or down the hierarchy.

I was wondering if when we take a TDD approach to design, we can manage to start at the natural middle level and then refactor to generalize or specialize as we need to.

Open Source Risk Management Insurance   25 Sep 04
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Not sure what to think of this. I would really like to know how they worked out the yearly membership costs. They are the same group that think that the current linux kernel as to worry about 283 patents, where about two thirds of them are held by Linux non-friendly companies like Microsoft.
 Potential Corporate SCO Defendants

 For those organizations threatened with legal action by SCO, the Legal
 Defense Center is the one, central source for objective information
 regarding common issues faced by all potential SCO defendants. Based
 in Washington DC and comprised of a carefully-selected Panel of
 highly-specialized Intellectual Property legal experts fully-briefed
 on the intricacies of the case, the Legal Defense Center provides
 unmatched legal and defense resources. Membership in the program is
 $100,000 annually and provides resources to its members that
 would cost in the millions if developed independently.

 Linux Kernel Developers

 Individual contributors to the Linux kernel gain access to the
 full resources of the Open Source Legal Defense Fund including
 guidance on how to best protect and defend their own intellectual
 property rights. They also receive $25,000 in legal protection
 from OSRM if they are named in future lawsuits involving their
 contributions to the Linux kernel. Membership for individuals
 is $250 annually.


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