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Archive for April, 2012

With the ever rising popularity of smartphones and tablets, the question pops up frequently: if you want to develop an application for those devices, should you make it an native app or is a web app prefereable? Ars Technica has a good summary of the answers to this question in the article “Ask Stack: Should you develop native apps or web apps?“.

Let’s call it a strategic discussion, since there is no mention of specific platforms. Not every argument is mentioned, of course, but the article contains links to other discussion about the same subject, so there is enough subject matter there to ponder on this rainy sunday ;-)

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Through Stumbleupon, I stumbled upon this photo story: America’s poorest county: Proud Appalachians who live without running water or power in region where 40% fall below poverty line. Fantastic pictures on a harsh reality…

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We went to cheer on the runners of the Antwerp 10 Miles this afternoon, and we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere: a big crowd shouting the odd 21.000 runners on through the streets of Antwerp. I have left a few pictures on Flickr:

Antwerp 10 Miles: An Impression

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This is the best blog post about SharePoint I have read in months: “Why you shouldn’t use Team Sites in SharePoint 2010“.  The author clearly explains that SharePoint isn’t an easy solution for every problem,  but requires careful analysis of the business requirements before a good solution can be implemented. In the case of SharePoint, this analysis must be based on the information architecture of the business concerned – indeed, that information architecture will dictate everything.

By extension, many of the site templates in a standard SharePoint installation are just examples for the information architects and solution developers, but shouldn’t be used “as is” in the real world. You really have to understand the business processes before attempting to (partly) automate them with SharePoint, otherwise you’re just throwing money out of the window!

In the words of author Michal Pisarek: “What you should never do however is provide an out of the box Team Site and hope that it will be sufficient to the many business problems your users will face“. Building a good solution for a specific business problem requires work, not just a click on a button to install a copy of a site template. Perhaps that rule should be a prominent part of your SharePoint governance plan?

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Creative Note-Taking

Reading about “8 Ways to Use Evernote to Rock Your Career” rminded me of the fact that tools like Evernote can do so much more than just taking notes. In several ways the Evernotes of this age are more powerful than Google Docs or Office365: searching through pictures to recognize written or typed words is such feature that can be priceless for any road-warrior ;-)

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It’s a bold move on behalf of Canon, but I can’t help wondering if this is really a good idea: “Canon announces EOS-1D C 4K DSLR with 8-bit 4:2:2 1080p HDMI output“(DP Review). I love the ability of my Nikon D7000 to record movie fragments, but I use my camera first and foremost for still pictures. For me, being able to record movies is a nice touch, but if I were a video fan, not a photographer, then I would have bought another type of camera, not a DSLR. Without extra paraphernalia, a DSLR isn’t really practical to make serious movies!

So why is Canon building a photo camera were movies are so prominent? Actually, I’m not even sure the thing can take pictures! Yes, the technology is great, with a sensitive sensor and a fine collection of lenses. But can’t they package that in body that is more suited for cinematographers? What am I missing to explain this announcement?

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Big Bang, No Theory!

It must be Friday the Thirteenth, otherwise there’s no explanation for the “explosion” of the glass cover of our gas cook top while my dear wife was frying burgers and potatoes! No one was harmed, luckily, but we had to do with a slice of bread. No fun, after such a frightening experience.

Big Bang!

The cook top is 9 years old, but I thought that glass had more resistance to heat than this. We’ll see what the company that installed it thinks of the situation…

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Remember the OS X trojan I wrote about on April 4th? Kaspersky Labs has created a tool to remove the Flashback trojan, should you have been infected. And don’t hold your breath, but rumor has it that even Apple Inc. is working on a similar program…

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If you recognised the phrase I used as a title for this post, then that means that you are getting old… or that you are a reader of a Python blog called “Let’s discuss the matter further“. I mention this blog post not because I am/was a fan of the game in the 1980’s, but because Brandon Rhodes marvelously explains how a rewrite of an older program can throw a few surprises at you on one hand and teach you something new at the same time ;-)

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Google is closing down their Wave, but that doesn’t mean that the clever technology behind this collaboration platform will be lost forever. On the contrary: “The main sub project of Apache Wave is ‘Wave in a Box’, a stand alone wave server and rich web client that can serve as a Wave reference implementation.”

There is a Wave-in-a-box demo at this address: http://waveinabox.net/auth/signin?r=/. Alternatively, you could try and run Apache Wave  yourself – on Google app Engine with Walkaround.

Remember: there are still a few weeks left to retrieve your Google Waves and put them in your local Wave-in-a-box ;-)

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It’s better to be safe than sorry, so go and read Mac Flashback trojan exploits unpatched Java vulnerability, no password needed (on ars technica). This article explains a possibly dangerous trojan on Mac OSX (yes, they do exist, even if there are just a few of them), “exploiting a critical Java vulnerability classified as CVE-2012-0507″…

The article on Ars has pointers to procedures to disable Java on your machine and in Safari, and to a rather technical article explaining how to check your machine for infection. In short (and for Safari only): start a Terminal session, and launch this command:

defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

If the return of the function ends with “does not exist”, then your browser isn’t infected.

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I am very fond of my Nikon D7000 camera: it’s the best and most versatile digital camera I have owned until today. The professional cameras in the Nikon range have never tempted me, even when their higher resolution or fantastic low-light capabilities could have come in handy. But now there’s the D800, and I must admit that I would be lusting after that machine if it weren’t for the 3000-plus Euro price tag! Whence the lust? Well, the D800 still has the built-in flash and video capabilities that an amateur like me needs, in combination with the new 36 megapixel full-frame sensor that appears to offer more than just good quality, if I can believe what DP Review writes in its first impressions of the beast. It accepts even pretty old lenses and crops its sensor to 15 megapixels when you put a DX lens on it (my D7000 has barely more pixels at all).

Nikon D800 (photo by DP Review)

DP Review writes: “The D800 offers a combination of versatility and sheer image quality which is worthy of serious respect“. I can’t wait to see their full review. You wouldn’t happen to have next weeks lottery numbers, no?

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The Numbers Are In

The solar electricity numbers are in, and they say that March 2012 was a relatively dark mornth, compared to the two previous years. Let’s hope for better (sunnier!) weather in the next weeks and months!

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