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Archive for May 2009

Google Wave at I/O

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For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the video from Google’s Wave demo at its I/O conference.  Given what is already known about HTML 5’s capabilities, this is even better news for web developers.  

Written by @chrisfinazzo

May 29, 2009 at 6:54 pm

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Myst for iPhone

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I first played this (and the follow-up, Riven) on a Gateway 2000 some 15 years ago.  After all that time, I’m still hooked.  Cyan has a great opportunity now to bring the other 2 titles in the series to the iPhone platform.  $6 on the App Store.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

May 25, 2009 at 3:07 am

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The Holy Software Trinity: Torvalds, Jobs and Gates

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Interesting take on the “mythology” of the software industry.  At least Ballmer doesn’t occupy the Microsoft place of honor, Gates is a much better choice.  

(via Gizmodo)

Written by @chrisfinazzo

May 21, 2009 at 9:23 pm

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Wired.com Interview with Zoe Keating

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Even though I haven’t picked up my violin in a while, I still have a “thing” for classical music (I played for 10 years during school).  The addition of electronic elements to this kind of music has always fascinated me and allows for almost limitless creative possibilities.  The deep, earthy sound of Zoe Keating’s cello is the perfect blend of art and technology.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

May 17, 2009 at 1:34 am

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CIS 330 – The Database Experiment

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While not on the level of 6.001 at MIT (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs) or CS 323 at Yale, my last elective course for the Computer Information Systems minor, CIS 330 (Database Management) gave me some experience with “traditional” programming, a skill I had previously lacked. Although many people do not consider XHTML and its related languages as programming, I always approached it like that as a way of problem solving. I should mention in addition to this that the usual prerequisite for the course (CIS 200 – Intro to Programming) was waived in order so that I could enroll in a section of 330, one of only two potential CIS courses offered for the Spring ’09 semester. That course’s emphasis on high level programming concepts (Taught in Visual Basic) serves to provide a basic understanding that is built upon in order to create and manipulate databases. Although I probably won’t be writing correlated subqueries for Oracle anytime soon, a “B” in the course makes me feel as though I’ve accomplished something and had the opportunity to work at almost all levels that would be involved in web production – something I look forward to continuing in the future.

For those who may not know, my comparison to 6.001 and CS 323 gives at least some indication to the challenge that this course represented for me: stepping outside of my comfort zone into an area that I was completely unfamiliar with. The relative difficulty of 6.001 and CS 323 has been described by some (Joel Spolsky in particular) as “astonishing” and they are widely recognized as some of the most difficult programming-intensive CS courses on the planet. The other major difference that comes to mind from those courses and my experience is the context in which they are taught. At MIT, the focus of CS curriculum is clearly engineering-based, Rider approaches it as a way to support business processes. Both approaches are valid, although it usually needs to clarified during job interviews to make sure that all those involved understand the type of coursework that was done.

By sheer luck, my attempts to return the textbook for 330 (The 10th edition of Kroenke’s Database Processing) were unsuccessful and it now serves as a subtle reminder of how I spent many Monday nights during my Spring ’09 semester.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

May 16, 2009 at 3:26 am

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Amazon’s Kindle DX arrives – with caveats

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Amazon’s new Kindle DX gets announced, people over the age of 40 get excited, until they hear it will sell for $490 when it goes on sale this summer.  Almost $500 for a BOOK READER?? (Considering that reading  books and newspapers are the only things the Kindle does well).  While it may have some fans, Amazon’s pricing for the Kindle is seriously out of whack, especially given the current environment.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

May 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm

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