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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
 |application?

 Yes.

 |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.

link

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.

link

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.

link

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.

www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/jatAsYouWere.htm

ri bug in latest ruby 1.8.2 source   25 Sep 04
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James Britt came to rescue:
 I grabbed the latest 1.8.2 source.
 I ran the usual: autoconf, configure, make, make install.
 ri failed.
 I looked inside Makefile and see the target install-doc.
 I ran make install-doc.
 ri worked.

 Not the most obvious path for me, but there you go

Why are monster-movie zombies so horrifying and talking animals so fascinating?   25 Sep 04
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(Source: Dave Bryant) Japanese roboticist Doctor Masahiro Mori is not exactly a household name but, for the speculative fiction community at least, he could prove to be an important one. The reason why can be summed up in a simple, strangely elegant phrase that translates into English as the uncanny valley. Though originally intended to provide an insight into human psychological reaction to robotic design, the concept expressed by this phrase is equally applicable to interactions with nearly any nonhuman entity. Stated simply, the idea is that if one were to plot emotional response against similarity to human appearance and movement, the curve is not a sure, steady upward trend. Instead, there is a peak shortly before one reaches a completely human look . . . but then a deep chasm plunges below neutrality into a strongly negative response before rebounding to a second peak where resemblance to humanity is complete. This chasm the uncanny valley of Doctor Moris thesis represents the point at which a person observing the creature or object in question sees something that is nearly human, but just enough off-kilter to seem eerie or disquieting. The first peak, moreover, is where that same individual would see something that is human enough to arouse some empathy, yet at the same time is clearly enough not human to avoid the sense of wrongness. The slope leading up to this first peak is a province of relative emotional detachment affection, perhaps, but rarely more than that. [www.arclight.net/~pdb/glimpses/valley.html]

Completely Automatic Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart   25 Sep 04
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As the latest trend by spammers seems to be to spam wikis, one can setup the same sort of "enter the number in the image" process as network solutions, ebay, etc, do. CAPTCHA below is one possible solution.

A simple CAPTCHA ("Completely Automatic Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart") written in Ruby. This will dynamically create an image containing a key displayed on a noisy background, which the user must enter into a text box. link

Alternatively, as Ari has pointed out in ruby-talk:

 Alter the engine so that external URLs go to a non-indexed-by-
 search-engines "leaving the site" page. It effectively kills any
 pagerank that adding a link would add to the linkee. That's both good
 and bad, but it's a short-term solution.

 It may be that a simple HTTP redirect script would work, too, but I'm
 not sure.

 

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