2016-01-03 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

feeds | grep links > Another Social Browser, Possible Future of Location Apps, Thousands of Stored Body Scans and More

  • Yet another social browser
    Not being a particular fan of Flock, I was going to refrain from comment on RockMelt, a me-too social focused browser-remix. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to link to Glenn Fleishman’s discussion at BoingBoing of the new offering backed by Marc Andreessen of Netscape fame, among others. The over the top opening paragraph alone is worth reading Glenn’s post. He also works in mentions of Freedom, a tool designed to deprive you of network access to encourage real work, if that helps you understand from where his remarks are coming.
  • Possible future for location based apps from PARC
    Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb discusses a prototype app that better fits what I discussed as the potential of location applications in the latest podcast. It isn’t surprising that this example of ubiquitous computing comes from PARC, responsible for so many other innovations in the field of computing.
  • Feds admit to storing tens of thousands of body scan images
    Xeni at BoingBoing was one of several folks to link to this story. The CNet article freely mixes and matches information from different sources, exaggerating the situation somewhat. Given the cited releases, this story is also not exactly breaking news though perhaps not common knowledge. It does correctly identify the key concern throughout that the scanners can store and transmit scans opening the door for all kinds of problems beyond the scope of their immediate security applications.
  • Yet another spawn of Java trying to fix its ills is released, Slashdot
  • Self repair manifesto, BoingBoing
  • Crowdsourcing surveillance, Schneier on Security

Following Up for the Week Ending 11/7/2010

Following Up for the Week Ending 10/31/2010

Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 10/24/2010

Apple Deprecates Their JVM

Back when OS X launched, Apple made a big fuss over handling their own port of the Java programming language and runtime to their freshly minted OS. Despite grandiose claims about making Java a first class citizen for developing applications for the Mac, the reality unfolded otherwise. The Java Virtual Machine, or JVM, has consistently lagged behind the official versions for Linux and Windows and for a server developer, such as myself, has always utterly lacked key elements of the runtime useful to long running services.

Slashdot, among others, is reporting that a just released patch from Apple for their port of the JVM also contains a curious note, that the JVM is now “deprecated”. It isn’t entirely clear what this means though the implication, especially from instructions in the release note on setting up alternate JVM’s, is that in the near future, the JVM from Apple will simply go away.

The submitter of the story at Slashdot seems to think Oracle, which acquired the rights to Java when it purchased Sun recently, will step into the gap. I wouldn’t be too sure about that. It might be possible for those Java developers who have cozened up to Apple to make use of the OpenJDK port for BSD. Now might be an excellent time to look into that.

Apple Deprecates Their JVM, Slashdot

Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 10/17/2010

feeds | grep links > IBM-Oracle Java Pact, Interactive HTTP Tool, Future of the Cell Processor, and More

CodeSounding, Sonification of Source Code Structure

So much for only posting some links tonight.

I saw this project via Hacker News, which reminded me of two other recent stories. One I shared a while back was video of sonification of various sorting algorithms. The first sample at the CodeSounding project page sounds similar which is surprising to me. A sort algorithm only has a few dimensions of interest, mostly time and relative magnitude of elements being sorted.

The reason I am surprised by the similarity between some of the samples and the very simple sonic space produced from sorting is due to the other recent story, Jonathan Berger’s lecture (mp3 link) on TVO’s Big Ideas about the social ethics of music. In that lecture, he specifically presents sonification of data sets that have a deep social dimension, for instance the spread of the oil plume in the gulf. Berger is a composer so perhaps his work, which uses similar techniques, shows more of his hand as a maker. His finished work definitely is meant to be as evocative in the result as the original input.

However one of the things he said that stuck with me is how music, and sound more generally, is better than visualization for representing multidimensional data. I would expect code to open up much more fully using sonification than the CodeSounding samples represent. Maybe it just wants for a hacker/musician to do a better job mapping the interesting dimensional elements of source code into the sound scape.

Word of warning, I could not find any license information so I suspect it is all rights reserved. That and the fact it takes in Java class and jar files, being written itself in Java, may be a turn off. Or an inspiration for an open source project to do one better.

CodeSounding: computer generated music sounds from a source code structure