Weekly Digest, 4-12-09

Trevor’s Links


I’ve heard there’s a big migration of ruby people to scala, and so the first thing I would say to the ruby people is that this is no panacea. It’s not ruby on a JVM; it’s an entirely new langauge, with much stronger java roots than any other language, so familiarity with java is probably more helpful than python or ruby. On the other hand, if ruby whetted your appetite for functional programming, scala has more of that than ruby and python combined, and seems to live up to its promise of exposing the wonders of java’s scalability and rock-solid virtual machine and garbage collector.

20 Rails Development No-No’s

Rails programmers: what’s an example of one thing you find in other people’s Rails code that you (almost) always consider to be wrong?

github’s jquery-relatize_date

jQuery version of technoweenie’s relative date js library.

PragDave: Twitter Should Move Away from Ruby

Oh dear. The chattering classes are at it, talking about how the Twitter folks are dissing Ruby by announcing the replacement of some Ruby code with Scala code. [Don’t miss the comments!]

Building Sites Around Social Objects

Define Your Object. Define Your Verbs. Make the Objects Shareable. [I like the first 3 of these 5 principles.]


A personalized feeds of new and upcoming music releases. [Amazing!]

Behind the scenes of EveryBlock.com

Adrian Holovaty, co-author of the Django web framework, takes you under the hood of EveryBlock.com, a Knight Foundation News Challenge startup which rounds up local news and information, and is powered 100% by Python and Django.

Posterous Co-Founder Sachin Agarwal

Garry and I both went to Stanford and majored in Computer Science. When I graduated, I worked at Apple on Final Cut Pro for 6 years which was all the way up to starting Posterous. I was building the real-time playback engine and effects architecture. That didn’t have a direct impact on the formation of Posterous, except that we’re definitely Apple people at heart, and we want to be the Apple of blogging. We want to make the simplest, most beautiful site out there, and make it accessible to the masses.

iPhone on Rails and ObjectiveResource

ObjectiveResource is an Objective-C port of Ruby on Rails’ ActiveResource. It provides a way to serialize objects to and from Rails’ standard RESTful web-services (via XML or JSON) and handles much of the complexity involved with invoking web-services of any language from the iPhone.

Slicehost iPhone App

A simple tool for managing your Slicehost account.


auto_html is a Rails plugin that let users embed HTML by providing URL of links, images, youtube, vimeo, deezer,…

ricardochimal’s taps at master

A simple database agnostic import/export app to transfer data to/from a remote database.

Timothy’s Links

War (1/3) | ncomment blogspam

This is awesome.

Fox News Boycott –

This is mostly a solidarity bookmarking, but the site is actually useful, insofar as it contains a list of corporate sponsors of Fox News.

Dealing with impossible crises

Generally speaking, I skim life advice links from Reddit, chuckle to myself about how such a self-absorbed community of self-declared geniuses, free-thinkers and savants consistently manages to recommend self help 101 articles about basic life skills as if they were the original wise sayings of the Lord Buddha and move on. But this one’s got two cherry pieces of advice and a fun anecdote about how you can +1 your fast talk skill: 1.) stay calm and polite, 2.) go into all conflicts assuming that you have already lost. Resolving oneself to failure and thus resetting the criteria for success according to your own rules is the original life skill.

How To Set Up A Postfix Autoresponder With Autoresponse | HowtoForge – Linux Howtos and Tutorials

This is a sweet little CLI autoresponder app for use with postfix that you can set up for all users on your box and modify at the line or via email. Effin’ sweet.

Android tethering apps pulled from Market

While totally unsurprising, this is still mildly infuriating. The only thing that makes it less than intolerably annoying is the fact that Google is kind of on the level about it: T-mobile’s TOS (which I agreed to obey at some point, I’m sure) forbid certain kinds of tethering, so Google had to pull the app. But the tether developer makes a good point: does this effect the whole market place? Or is market place going to be restricted by service provider in the future?

Associated Press Seeks More Control of Content on Web

Well, I guess that’s it for the AP, then. It’s probably for the best: they were really making a nuisance of themselves lately anyway (with that whole "Hope" poster biz) and we’ll certainly be better off without them.

AdFreak: Viagra always has such wonderful gift ideas

There’s nothing I love more than when Madison Avenue just straight goes for broke on a Mega Corp account and puts out an ad so utterly inane and puerile that you want to tell everyone you know about it. Call it a consciousness hack. And consider my private system exploited.

Schneier on Security: Who Should be in Charge of U.S. Cybersecurity?

This, for the record, is the ultimate talking point on Internet security: it’s a network everyone uses that depends on an infrastructure managed and maintained by everyone and it is therefore everyone’s responsibility to improve the quality and security of the network and its users. And this is why BS says the NSA shouldn’t be Obama’s go-to agency for "cybersecurity". They keep secrets. Secrets ruin the Internet. Don’t believe me? Consider Microsoft’s legacy of pissing in the pool in misguided and stupid attempts to deliver security through obscurity.


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Trevor Turk

A chess-playing machine of the late 18th century, promoted as an automaton but later proved a hoax.