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Mon, 20 Oct 2003
Mail aggregators versus blog aggregators versus human aggregators
It seems that Dave Winer had a chat with the human aggregator (Scoble) and came away understanding why you'd like to integrate an aggregator with e-mail. Dave's two takeways were:
  1. Since it's integrated with email he can easily forward an item to people he works with via email.
  2. He has a folder where he drags items he wants to write about later.
Dave prefers Radio's blog like aggregator, which I've never used, but I understand that it puts all the aggregated stuff into a single HTML page, so that you can read it fast. I like that. That's why I use FeedDemon. It gives me that big HTML page so I can do the fast scan, and it takes care of takeaway #2 because I can create a news bin (or bins) to use as holding pens for items. Takeaway #1 would be a small matter of programming to implement, and I suppose that getting it really integrated to the mailer would be difficult.

I'm of the opinion that aggregated RSS data is a little different from mail or Usenet news, and so I want a different user interface for it. Certain kinds of e-mail integration is nice, but I also want integration with the rest of my PIM-space, which is possible with something like Newsgator. I'm pretty sure that Greg is hard at work on this -- too bad I hate Outlook.

Actually, I think it would be interesting to see a blog style style aggregator with a UI like this one. There's room for all kinds of stuff. The old PARC Perspective Wall or Cone Trees are some examples that easily come to mind as food for aggregator UI's. UI's are so stuck in the mud.

[22:37] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
.Net, Functional Programming, and Python
Erik Meijer is showing the relationship between C#/Java iterators and functional constructs such as fold and list comprehensions. He then points out that Python has already demonstrated how to incorporate fold and list comprehensions into an imperative langauge. I'm a fan of fold and list comprehensions, which is why I was happy to find them in Python. Meijer is right when he says
Most importantly many list transformers, including map and filter can be defined as both catamorphisms and anamorphisms, and list comprehensions are ultra sweet, but very thin syntactic sugar on top of the base language. In principle there is nothing that prevents special list transformers and comprehensions from being introduced into imperative languages as well. We know how to do it. In fact, as is the case for many other features, Python has already taken the lead in this.
When one of the designers of Haskell98 writes:
Pure functional programmers, your days are numbered. The grim reaper is knocking at your door.
somebody better pay attention.
[22:20] | [computers/programming/python] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Systems Software Research is Irrelevant - or is it?
John Lam has linked to Rob Pike's talk, Systems Software Research is Irrelevant. This is a presentation that is well worth a read. Pike correctly points out that systems researchers have had little or no influence on industrial systems since at least 1990. I personally believe that it may even be earlier than that, but whatever. There are two key points in his conclusion slide:
  1. The community must accept and explore unorthodox ideas. It is extremely difficult for industrial computer science to accept or explore unorthodox ideas. It may be impossible to do new hardware architecture research, and it may or may not be impossible to do an entirely new OS. But there are sizable software assets in the open source community that could be used by the research community as test beds and distribution channels for unorthodox ideas. The opportunity to do systems research in the context of an entire system is there.
  2. The community must separate research from market capitalization. -- Obviously this happens in universities. It doesn't happen in what's left of corporate research. But there is another way to get this to happen. If we take a page from what the biologists are doing, we may see a way for research in the software arena to go forward. The non-profit/charity/foundation model could be used to separate research from market cap. The only foundation that is doing this today is OSAF -- depending on how you look at Chandler, it is as much research project as PIM application. Surely there must be some people who still have .com money left that want to do something good for the world...
There's plenty of room for systems software research, but the systems research community needs to be brave enough to look at a different organizational and funding model.
[22:10] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Bluetooth and Nokia 6310i
I've used a Nokia 6310i for the past 10 months, and I really like it. The phone is a good size for my hands, the radio reception is good, and the battery life is excellent. I'm using ATT Wireless which has good coverage for the places that I go to on Bainbridge Island.

The one problem is that I can't sync my telephone using Bluetooth. I can make GPRS calls, but the Nokia Outlook sync package needs a newer version of the firmware for the 6310i, v5.50. This is well documented on ATT Wireless support forums and all over the internet. It turns out that there is one Nokia Service Center in the entire Pacific Northwest, Kester Communications in Woodinville (on the other side of the water). It also turns out that they don't do software/firmware upgrades. So my only recourse is to send the handset to Nokia for 7-10 business days. I'm going to be travelling quite a bit in November, to the LA area and to Las Vegas for ApacheCon. Surely there is one Nokia Service center in these metro areas that can do a flash upgrade for me...

[15:53] | [gadgets] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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