19 Jan 2012

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Mon intervention lors de l’inauguration du Retour à la Terre Rive Gauche

En attendant la publication des photos et vidéos sur le site du Retour à la Terre , voici le texte que j’avais préparé pour mon intervention lors de l’inauguration officielle du magasin de la Rive Gauche le 18 janvier. Catherine est inquiète parce qu’elle ne sait pas ce que je veux vous dire ce soir… Elle me connaît pourtant bien puisque cela fait plus de trente ans que nous vivons ensemble ! Nous avons la chance d’avoir étudié dans une grande école (l’École Centrale) où nous nous sommes rencontrés mais avons toujours eu du mal à nous intégrer au monde des ...

19 Jan 2012 12:59pm GMT

Yak shaving

If your brain works the way mine does, you often find yourself doing a variety of related but not necessary tasks along the way to fulfilling a larger goal. For some reason, the history of which I’m not entirely sure, this is called “yak shaving.” Some of my finest work has been done that way, so I’m happy to embrace it, even if I do add hours to the job at hand. This week’s yak shaving has neared epic proportions, but proved eminently satisfying. I’ve been working on collecting together an overview of big data products. It’s early days yet ...

19 Jan 2012 12:13am GMT

18 Jan 2012

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HttpURLConnection’s Dark Secrets

If you’re programming in the Java language and want to talk to a Web server, there are several libraries you can choose from. HttpURLConnection is one popular choice, and for Android programming, the engineering team has now officially suggested that you use it where possible. Since there are irritating orthographical and Web-Architecture issues with the name “HttpURLConnection”, let’s just say HUC. HUC is reasonably well documented, if by “reasonably well” you mean “omits any discussion of the relationship between method calls and underlying HTTP traffic”. Let me fill that in. Who knows, maybe some JavaDocs maintainer somewhere will feel inspired ...

18 Jan 2012 11:17pm GMT

XMLHttpRequest Level 2 Draft Published

The Web Applications Working Group has published a Working Draft of XMLHttpRequest Level 2 . The XMLHttpRequest specification defines an API that provides scripted client functionality for transferring data between a client and a server. Learn more about the Rich Web Client Activity .

18 Jan 2012 9:30pm GMT

Not Piracy

Sites all over the Internet are going dark to show that they object to legislation currently before the US Congress. I’m not American but these words are coming at you from a server in LA, so I guess I can weigh in. I’ll limit my discussion to one word, “Piracy”; what the “P” stands for in SOPA. Piracy is when people use violence, or the threat of it, to transfer your possessions to themselves (after which you no longer have them), place you in captivity in pursuit of a ransom, and in many cases inflict death on you as a ...

18 Jan 2012 4:18pm GMT

Workshop Report: Linked Enterprise Data Workshop

W3C today published the final report of the Linked Enterprise Data Workshop , hosted by W3C on the 6-7 December in Cambridge, MA, USA. This workshop provided a way for the community to meet and discuss some of the challenges when deploying application relying on the principles of Linked Data . The presentations covered many different topics, ranging from the benefits a set of additional conventions would bring to specific technical issues such as the challenges of dealing with the reality that URLs do change sometimes, as well as the need for a more robust security model, and specific gaps ...

18 Jan 2012 2:15pm GMT

W3C Invites Implementations of Navigation Timing

The Web Performance Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of Navigation Timing . User latency is an important quality benchmark for Web Applications. While JavaScript-based mechanisms can provide comprehensive instrumentation for user latency measurements within an application, in many cases, they are unable to provide a complete end-to-end latency picture. To address the need for complete information on user experience, this document introduces the PerformanceTiming interfaces. This interface allows JavaScript mechanisms to provide complete client-side latency measurements within applications. Learn more about the Rich Web Client Activity .

18 Jan 2012 8:34am GMT

Last Call: CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 3 (CSS3 UI)

The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft of CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 3 (CSS3 UI) . The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. It uses various selectors, properties and values to style basic user interface elements in a document. This specification describes those user interface related selectors, properties and values that are proposed for CSS level 3 to style HTML and XML (including XHTML and XForms). It includes and extends user interface related features ...

18 Jan 2012 8:12am GMT

17 Jan 2012

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Report: Social Business - Next Steps after the Jam

W3C today published the final report of the Social Business Jam . The report authors recommended starting a W3C Social Business Community Group to evolve social standards around customer-driven use-cases. Participants in the the event, which took place last November using IBM's Collaboration Jam platform, explored how standards around social networking, such as those developed by the Federated Social Web XG , could lead to increased innovation throughout the business cycle. Over 1000 participants discussed topics such as identity management, mobile, attention, business processes, integration, and metrics. W3C invites people to join the Social Business Community Group .

17 Jan 2012 3:59pm GMT

16 Jan 2012

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Goodbye; see you elsewhere

With BlogHarbor closing, I've transferred all blog posts to a new location at http://dev.saxonica.com/blog/mike I haven't posted here for a while because I had no idea whether the articles would survive; but I will now resume writing at the new location. Comments didn't transfer automatically, unfortunately, so some of your gems will have been lost. I've transferred some "by hand" but it was too laborious to do it for everything. If anyone wants advice on mioving from BlogHarbor to MovableType: this is how I did it. Standard export from BlogHarbor; custom XSLT stylesheet to convert into WordPress WXR format (a ...

16 Jan 2012 6:36pm GMT

The short-form week of 9–15 Jan 2012

The week in review, 140 characters at a time.

16 Jan 2012 1:50pm GMT

Grey and Red

The grey is one of Vancouver’s rare snowy evenings. The red is the new illuminated circumference of BC Place, our venue for football and big-name rockers and the Home/Boat show. Its new look, with illumination and slanted retaining piers, has definitely added to the visual appeal downtown. Photogeeks may have already noticed that part of the grey is grey-as-in-grain, the result of pushing the Canon S90 to ISO1600, which is arguably outside the reach of its design goals. But in this case it degraded gracefully.

16 Jan 2012 6:17am GMT

15 Jan 2012

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The ultimate breakfast smoothie

I’ve used this same recipe for three things: weight loss, after-exercise protein, and sore-teeth liquid diet. It’s great. 1 cup 2% milk 1 cup Dannon Fit & Light vanilla yogurt 1 scoop Syntha-6 protein powder (banana is great) Mix. This yields 450 calories with a whopping 39g of protein, 48g of carb (but only 30g of that simple sugars), 11g of fat, and 5g of fiber. You could live off 3 or 4 of these a day. (and I have)

15 Jan 2012 7:09pm GMT

Five iOS keyboard tips you probably didn’t know

Check out these tips . The article talks about iPad, but they work on iPhone too, even an old 3G. One one hand, it shows the intense amount of careful thought Apple puts into the user experience. But on the other hand, it highlights the discovery problem. I know people who have been using iOS since before it was called iOS, and still didn’t know about these. How do you put these kinds of finishing touches into a product and make sure the target audience can find out about them? -m

15 Jan 2012 5:21pm GMT

14 Jan 2012

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Call a Spade a Spade

A cautionary tale of language from Ted Nelson: We might call a common or garden spade– A personalized earth-moving equipment module A mineralogical mini-transport A personalized strategic tellurian command and control module An air-to-ground interface contour adjustment probe A leveraged tactile-feedback geomass delivery system A man-machine energy-to-structure converter A one-to-one individualized geophysical restructurizer A portable unitized earth-work synthesis system An entrenching tool A zero-sum dirt level adjuster A feedback-oriented contour management probe and digging system A gradient disequilibrator A mass distribution negentroprizer (hey!) a dig-it-all system An extra terrestrial transport mechanism Spades, not words, should be used for shoveling. But ...

14 Jan 2012 8:45pm GMT


I bought it for the houseguests over Christmas, got mildly hooked, took a character to level 17, but that’s it, I’m bored. Tech & production The achievement is stupendous. The world is vast, open, and visually compelling in a way not remotely equaled by anything I’ve seen. In Skyrim you’ll regularly find yourself pausing just to admire a view. The combat graphics are believable and fun; watching the slo-mo of your character leaping onto a dragon’s head to plant the two-handed axe has gotta make you smile. Also, the quests and dangers are (mostly) nicely scaled so that the ones ...

14 Jan 2012 8:35am GMT