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Archive for February, 2013

The first paragraph of a TechRadar article called “The world of patents explained: how they affect what you buy. A complete guide to patent laws and effects” made me chuckle:

The world of men is broken. They file and get patents for unimaginably trivial things in the name of driving innovation. The time of the Elves is ending. Or so we imagine Lord Elrond might react to the way things are now.

That was good enough to continue reading… and that turned out to be an excellent idea. Having written and opined about patents in the past, I must admit that I did not know the exact definitions nor the subtle differences between European and US patents. I have learned a lot from this text – and now I’m even more convinced that the patent wars of the last decennium are an enormous waste of time and resources for all concerned (except the lawyers, of course).

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I just finished upgrading my Samsung Galaxy S Plus (SGS+) to ivendor‘s latest version of CyanogenMod 10 for this machine. And by latest I mean really latest: the beta 2 was published only yesterday ;-)

You may know that this phone is no longer in daily use (there’s a SGS3 for that), but the SGS+ is still very usable. I hope to prove that by using it for a bit of application testing, screenshots for courses, etc. Android 4.1.2, in the form of ivendor‘s CyanogenMod 10, should help me keep up with essential apps on a more or less bare smartphone (at least compared to the Samsung TouchWiz environment on the SGS3).

CyanogenMod 10 on the Samsung Galaxy S Plus


CyanogenMod 10 on the Samsung Galaxy S Plus

For my own use, I’ll just add that I have to use the combination of the power key and the volume-down key to capture what’s on the screen – CM10 writes the PNG file into the Pictures/Screenshots folder on the internal memory card.

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Martin Fowler writes:

Metrics have a purpose and a place in organizations and teams. They cannot be used as a substitute for thinking. Nor can organizations think management by numbers is enough for effective software delivery.

Source: Appropriate Use of Metrics

As a team manager, you should read this post multiple times. Are you using good metrics?

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It’s all here: “Python trademark at risk in Europe: We need your help!“. I have no materials to submit, but I can tell you that my first mention of Python (actually, it was JPython) on this very blog dates back to November 2000

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The Raspberry Pi turns out to be a big commercial hit since it’s introduction, and a lot has been written about it. If you’re just familiarizing yourself with this computer, also have look at TechRadar’s Tutorial: Supercharge your Raspberry Pi. And then amaze the world – or just your friends – with your own appliance. Need inspiration? Read about a few more or less outlandish ideas on the Wired website:

And there are many more Pi projects to be found all over the Web, of course – this is just a tiny sample.

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Man is the only animal that… tells stories“, writes Jon Udell. And sometimes we need multiple tries to get the story right, if we want to tell something close to the historical truth. But hey,

We’re all invested in stories, and in the assumptions that flow from them. Check your assumptions. It’s a hard thing to do. But it can lead you to better stories.

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There’s already a lot of code available on the Internet, but a museum “publishing” a significant code base is a significant event. Program code becomes a object for study by historians: “Computer History Museum shares original Adobe Photoshop source code“.

I’m not sure, though, that this is effectively the first such case…

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The colours of this bike match so perfectly with the colours of the autumn trees that I had to show this picture in my list.

This R1100S belongs to 'ckcarr', who lives (and possibly photographs) in Utah...

This R1100S belongs to ‘ckcarr’, who lives (and possibly photographs) in Utah…

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We all know that being a good photographer has little to do with the price of the camera or the number of big lenses being carried. As proof, I offer the Mobile Photography Awards, as mentioned by the Digital Photography review web site. Here smartphones are the only tool allowed. Let those pictures inspire you!

Mobile Photography Awards 2013

Mobile Photography Awards 2013

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Garmin does not like the Mac. The core application, Basecamp, isn’t very good on a Mac – in fact, it’s a complicated, user-unfriendly tool that mainly helps me  lose my temper. Do they do this on purpose? I don’t know, but the signs are bad.

And two months ago they did it again.

They released new versions of MapInstall and MapManager for the Mac, Ver. 4.0.2 – and forgot to tell the installer that it has to check for the correct architecture. So now a have a brandnew Intel-version of the software on my PowerPC Mac OS 10.5.8. All in all, more than useless – because there is no simple way to go back to the old version…

I did not have such problems with TomTom. Did I make an error when buying the Zumo 660 for use on my bike?

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There are two interesting sides to this experiment: Coding project aims to deepen the experience of streaming classical music (Ars Technica). I like listening to classical music, but I often wonder: is what we hear today really what the composer intended? Or: why did the composer use those instruments? Having a running commentary while listening to a piece could be quite illuminating, if and when some of my favourites were to belong to the selection.

On the other hand, this project is a nice illustration of some of the powers of HTML5. Food for techies and music fans at the same time!

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A Good Start For Solar

Even though I have a cold, the sun did its best during the past month. If you need evidence, just look at our Solar Energy Production numbers for January.

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