TurboPower components

January 20th, 2003 § Comments Off on TurboPower components § permalink

As many possibly know, TurboPower has recently exited the retail market for Delphi components after many years making history in the Delphi and Turbo Pascal communites.

Anyway, what some may not know is that TurboPower decided to release some of its component suites as open source projects on SourceForge, including Orpheus (which features more than 120 GUI components) and Internet Professional (components handling some of the most widely used Internet protocols). Other suites can be found searching SourceForge for TurboPower.


January 19th, 2003 § Comments Off on Recursiveness § permalink

This thing is just plain weird. My head is hurting now :)

(via Simon Willison)

Congress patently lost

January 19th, 2003 § 2 comments § permalink

In an ironic turn of events, the USA Congress finds itself in a delicate position regarding patents. Over the past year, its members and key staff have become reliant on Blackberry, a wireless mobile device that handles e-mail. Now, the Canadian company that produces the device was found to be violating a patent held by a USA company, and the House is trying to get both companies to settle their differences in a way that allows it to preserve the $6 million investiment in the technology.

Well, I hope the Congress can learn from this, and apply the lesson when the time comes to pass new legislation on patents.

Copyright Tax

January 18th, 2003 § Comments Off on Copyright Tax § permalink

Lawrence Lessig has a new proposal for copyrights. Fifty years after a work has been published, its copyright owner would be required to pay a small tax to keep it under copyright protection. If the tax is not paid for three years, the work is forfeit to public domain. He describes the idea and his motivations in more details in a The New York Times article and an entry in his blog. There’s also a FAQ.

It’s a nice idea that could hold some appeal to corporations. It doesn’t give us everything, as Lessig points, but it’s a good start.

On the other hand…

January 18th, 2003 § Comments Off on On the other hand… § permalink

James Robertson called my attention to a positive side of the Eldred decision. Jack M. Balkin, who is a professor of constitutional law and the first amendment at Yale, posted an entry in his blog talking about the possibility of the DMCA being unconstitutional under Eldred v. Ashcroft (via Gojomo).

This is a really interesting thought, and may yet prove itself a great argument in the fight against the DMCA. Read Balkin’s post and judge yourself.


January 17th, 2003 § Comments Off on Syndirella § permalink

Syndirella is a new Windows news aggregator by Dmitry Jemerov. It’s a real desktop application, not browser-based. The feature list is nice, including RSS auto-discovery, support to a lot of RSS extensions, and the possibility to screen-scrape sites that do not support RSS feeds. And as it’s GPL-license, you can extend and modify it as needed.

A problem, however, is that it’s based on the .NET platform, which implies a huge download if you don’t have the run-time. As the run-time is only commonly found in developers’ computers, this can make Syndirella less appealing to common users.

Spamtrap Race

January 17th, 2003 § Comments Off on Spamtrap Race § permalink

Never thought of spam as something good? Well, the Linux Jornal is about to change that. Create a new e-mail address and try to accumulate as much spam as you can on it in the course of one week. The winner — that is, the most spammed person — will get a Lego Mindstorm Robotics Invention System.

Idiotic popup

January 17th, 2003 § Comments Off on Idiotic popup § permalink

Aquarionics writes about an moronic message displayed in a message box for visitors of a site. I can’t decide if I laugh or cry. The message is:

Welcome to The Buffy Network. It has come to our attention recently that a lot of visitors to this website do not have the correct setting on their computer when they try and access the site. For example, 0.82% of visitors are using Netscape — which does not support the kind of html coding we use. 2.10% of visitors dont have Java installed and/or turned on, Java is essential for some of the pop up windows we use. And 40.76% of vistors are using the wrong screen resoloution. Anything larger than 800 x 600 is too large, and the pages do not diosplay properly. Please try and use the right settings on your computer before entering the site, in order to make it look on your screen, how we intened it to look on ours. Thank you for visiting The Buffy Network. Please click ‘Ok’ to close this window.

And they even try to get visitors to install an ActiveX in their computers after the message is displayed.

The Man in the High Castle

January 16th, 2003 § Comments Off on The Man in the High Castle § permalink

The Man in the High Castle is one of the best books written by Philip K. Dick (the same author of Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report). Some even consider it his masterpiece. Regardless of one’s opinion, this book is one of the most impressive science fiction books ever written. Although it has become somewhat dated with the technological advances in the last decades — a common problem in older science fiction books — no one would be able to say the book lost its strength and ability to surprise.

The book is set in a parallel universe where the United States lost World War II, and the world was then split between the Japanese and German, with the latter getting most of the territories. In an America divided in two regions by the conquerors, a forbidden book — written by the man in the High Castle — takes people’s imagination describing another reality where the war was not lost, and everything went differently. In this context, the lives of a group of persons will intertwine in a patchwork of events sewn together by the I Ching, the immemorial Chinese oracle, whose accurate readings of reality seem to defy natural order. Those events lead to a startling ending that shows Dick’s genius.

I’m a fan of Dick’s writing ever since I saw and afterward read Blade Runner, and none of his books has disappointed me so far. Even his older books, in which the technological vision has become dated, his mastery of the narrative is more than sufficient to suspend my disbelief. Also, his characterizations of the human nature are always impressive. In short, another recommended reading.


January 16th, 2003 § Comments Off on Vellum § permalink

Cool! Stuart Langridge just released the code to Vellum, his own weblogging tool. It’s written in Python, and features funky caching, a plug-in system, and the possibility to write real Python code in the weblog templates.

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