Archive for July, 2008

Due to a power outage in Godaming today the server has been down for a few hours, and it’s email database is currently being rebuilt.

Automatic testing and release management is one of my Holy Grails – so I really do wonder if this works as advertised? I may have to investigate this soon :

Cruise is a continuous integration and release management system that enables software teams to go live with new, tested features quickly and repeatably. By lowering the effort and risk associated with releasing complex applications, Cruise leaves your team free to focus on the stuff that really matters: delivering value through innovation.

Cruise draws from the extensive continuous integration experience of ThoughtWorks, the creators of the original CruiseControl.

[From Cruise – Continuous Integration and Release Management System – From the Creators of CruiseControl ]

As others have reported, it looks like the MacBook Air has the ability to shut down one core when it gets too hot :

200807282036.jpg

UPDATE : This seems to happen at 66 degrees Celsius on my MacBook Air

Another interesting application enables you to track your laptop (even with photos) if it gets mislaid….

Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go — there’s no need to rely on a single third party. What’s more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner’s choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.

[From Adeona: A Free, Open Source System for Helping Track and Recover Lost and Stolen Laptops]

Neal Stephenson is one of my favourite writers – so this looks good:

Alexander Rose writes “Neal Stephenson’s new novel, ANATHEM, germinated in 01999 when Danny Hillis asked him and several other contributors to sketch out their ideas of what the Millennium Clock might look like. Stephenson tossed off a quick sketch and promptly forgot about it. Five years later however, when he was between projects, the idea came back to him, and he began to explore the possibility of building a novel around it. ANATHEM is the result, and will be released on September 9th, 02008.” Read Rose’s complete posting for more information about the release of the book, which he describes as set “in a genre bending alt-future-retro world where mechani-punk technology meets space opera in a blend of the best of Snow Crash and the Baroque Cycle.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[From Neal Stephenson’s “Anathem” Due In September]

I had no idea that the US embargo of Cuba included access to the Web….

An anonymous reader writes “Seems like Cuba is working around the US internet embargo by teaming up with Venezuela: A confidential contract released yesterday on Wikileaks reveals Cuba’s plan to receive internet upstream via an undersea cable to Venezuela, thus circumventing the enduring embargo of the US, denying Cuba access to nearby American undersea cables and overcoming the current limits of satellite-only connectivity. The connection, to be delivered by CVG Telecom of Venezuela, is to be completed by 2010 and will provide data, video as well as voice service for both the public and governmental services.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[From Cuba Getting Internet Upstream Via Venezuela]

Hm! This is interesting – I suspect that they use a variation on the Skype conference call facility to do this….not difficult…

An anonymous reader writes “According to reports, there may be a back door built into Skype, which allows connections to be bugged. The company has declined to expressly deny the allegations. At a meeting with representatives of ISPs and the Austrian regulator on lawful interception of IP based services held on 25th June, high-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry revealed that it is not a problem for them to listen in on Skype conversations.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[From More Skype Back Door Speculation.]

These guys have made a “Leduino” with some extra features added to a standard Arduino – this seems quite interesting

Buffered I2C bus for longer cable runs and higher bus current operation. So we added an IES5501 bidirectional driver.

We play a lot with designs for model railway layouts. Already we use a lot of DCC, so we figured that a standard DCC decoder input, complete with basic acknowledge facility. So we added that with full galvanic isolation both ways for convenience.

In a number of situations we use CAN Bus. Several developing or proposed model railway layout control busses use CAN, so we figured we could be compatible and give ourselves a simple development platform for that too. CAN is also used in a variety of other fields where we have some professional involvement.

So why the name LEDuino?
Well, one of our engineers develops a lot of LED based technology for architectural, visual effects and signage, he often wants to talk to serial interface devices like the TLC5940 from TI. So we added an entirely custom connector on the bottom edge of the photo, it has a serial interface that is designed to mate with some of our other products. As time goes on some of these products will be added to this range of products.
So this is it, the beginnings of a new range of Arduino inspired technology which is in fact already well proven, well used, and well liked.

[From The errant engineer: Arduino]

I have to say that I am really, really happy to say that NetNewsWire 1.07 for the iPhone/iPd Touch works very well! What a improvement!

I was so happy last night when NetNewsWire 1.0.7 appeared on the App Store. I was actually out with some local Mac/iPhone developers, and folks were downloading it right away, as we sat at the table. Fun for me. 😉

There is still plenty of work to do, of course — but here are the changes in 1.0.7 (since 1.0):

– Fixed several crashing bugs.

– Performance is much improved.

– Memory use is much improved, and some memory leaks have been fixed.

– You can unsubscribe from feeds or just remove them from the iPhone. Click the Edit button to start. Click the circle button, then the Delete button. An action sheet will pop up asking you what you want to do. (Don’t Show in iPhone or Unsubscribe Everywhere. Or Cancel.)

– It now shows unread items only, and lists only feeds with unread items.

– You can now send a link via email — click the action menu and choose Email Link.

– The application icon on the home screen now gets the unread count badge.

– Total unread count appears at bottom-left of Feeds page (except during refresh/sync).

– When downloading feeds, the status message says the name of the feed.

– When you open a web page inline, it opens in a new view (it slides over, etc.) You can then go back to the news item view.

– Add to Clippings now works for web pages.

– On the news items list view, the Mark All as Read button now does not appear if all items are read.

– Worked around feeds without titles — pulls the title from the first words in the description. (Instapundit’s feed, for instance.)

– Worked around feeds that forget to put an “http://” at the beginning of their home page link.

– Tightened up metadata display on news item view: categories now appear at the bottom. There’s now a space rather than a line break before the author name. Decreased the size of the title.

– Settings are now in the main Settings.app, rather than in NetNewsWire. The Account button is gone.

– Fixed a caching bug where new news items sometimes wouldn’t get displayed.

– After tapping Mark All as Unread, it goes back to Feeds view.

[From NetNewsWire 1.0.7]

This company has made a number of programs available on a memory-stick you can plug into your AppleTV, and it really seems to promise to liberate it – I may have to get one…

aTV Flash – Ver. 3.2 – Apple Core, LLC The 3.2 version of Apple Core’s patchstick for the AppleTV is out. And it’s pretty amazing. If you’ve never heard of the aTV, I’ll point you to the product page for all the feature details that turn your AppleTV into a tricked-out media center that runs an assload of codecs without PitA transcoding. And, yes, you will need to read the detailed instructions on how to make this work — there’s a lot of them and it’s not for the impatient or the feint of heart. For now, I just want to highlight why this particular release of this particular product has scratched such an itch for me. New GUI installer – UNIX doofuses like me no longer have to fling their key drives against a wall in frustration; the product now ships with a relatively simple wizard for installing the aTV software on your 1GB or smaller USB drive. Much easier now. If you’re even wimpier than me they also offer several options that get you the software pre-installed on an AppleTV. Vanilla FTP access – I’m with stevenf in general on SFTP, but this latest release of aTV removes the requirement to force SSH1 (and, consequently use of the shell or [ugh] Fugu) in order to SFTP onto the AppleTV. With the introduction of old-school FTP I can use Trasmit for file transfer (yay!). Plus this has enabled me to create basic Automator folder actions for uploading files to the AppleTV automatically (here’s what my Movie uploader looks like). Love this — Transmit is such a nice friend. USB Drive suport – Using the included NitoTV (and after a quick update with the 10.4.9 Combo Installer and a restart) your AppleTV can now see and access attached USB devices [howto]. Like, say, a Drobo. Yep. Just point Sapphire at your collection, and you suddenly have a pretty rich way to enjoy your legal backups of movies and TV shows. “Boom,” as the introducer of the AppleTV might say [From aTV Update Gives AppleTV FTP and USB Drive Support]

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