From pen & paper to Web 2.0

Posted on 25 February 2007 - 16:36

What is Web 2.0, and how we moved there from pen & paper in 15 years? Watch this brilliant video by Michael Welsh, assistant professor of cultural anthropology (wow!).

Via Andrea

Joost on the Mac!

Posted on 18 February 2007 - 0:55

Hey Mac users! With the latest 0.8 beta, Joost is now available on your (and my) preferred platform! It is really similar to the Windows version because they share most of their code base, helped in that by the great Mozilla platform.

The only differences are those little things that only belong to the Mac and make life so easier. No installer, just drag and drop the application somewhere on your disk and you can start watching!

Version 0.8 also adds a bunch of new channels with interesting content, including independent movies from IndieFlix and great documentaries from National Geographic.

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Map-reduce for dummies

Posted on 31 January 2007 - 11:24

While browsing around, I incidentally found an article by Joel Spolsky where he introduces very simply and progressively the principles of the map-reduce pattern that underlies a big part of Google's infrastructure. A must read!

We use map-reduce at Joost to process usage data (roughly equivalent to the log files on a web server) and extract lots of useful information about the usage of the platform. This is built on Apache Hadoop, an open source implementation of map-reduce.

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Posted on 19 January 2007 - 10:57

Yes, today I'm leaving my 30's behind. What does it change to be 40? Feeling old? Not really, even if I sometimes play the old wise man with my younger colleagues. Age is in your mind, the body only knows the continuous flow of time and doesn't care about those mathematical boundaries set by the decimal numbering. Sure, I have more white hair than 20 years ago, but not more than yesterday!

So what changes? Well, just like any other birthday. One more year, and a little gift. Except that this time was the opportunity for a not-so-little gift! I've been playing pool when I was a student, and my wife is hooked everytime we approach a pool table. Shipping is a bit late though and it should be there next week. Eagerly waiting for my new toy :-)

Bye-bye 30's, welcome 40's!

FUSE on the Mac!

Posted on 17 January 2007 - 15:41

One of the few cool features that as a Mac user I've been envying to Linux people is FUSE, aka filesystem in userspace. It allows to implement a new filesystem with a simple API in practically whatever language you want, and without requiring kernel privileges. FUSE has allowed the development of an amazing list of fancy real or virtual filesystems.

Thanks to Google, FUSE is now available on the Mac! Checkout MacFUSE, which comes bundled with sshfs, allowing to mount as a network drive any machine you have ssh access to. Awesome!

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Joost in the Radar

Posted on 17 January 2007 - 11:54

O'Reilly Radar publishes an article titled "Joost is the iPhone of TV" that says that "Joost is the Firefox or iPhone of TV" because it is based on the "the Mozilla XUL platform, which enables the rapid and simple creation of plugins, already known to a hoard of Firefox extension developers".

The comparison with Firefox is very accurate, since Joost will allow people to write extensions to their TV. But that's unfortunately not the case of the iPhone which appears to be clearly locked down.

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The Venice Project is now Joost

Posted on 16 January 2007 - 11:04

Today, The Venice Project is no more. We switch from the project's code name to the real brand: Joost™. It is to be pronounced like "juiced". Joost is juicy TV!

This is the same software and the same team, working hard to bring it to version 1.0. Expect lots of new content and lots of new feature to come very soon. As Sander notes, for us developers this little change saves time. Joost is 11 character shorter than our previous name,  which makes a difference when you type it all day long :-)

iPhone: gorgeous, but...

Posted on 12 January 2007 - 0:38

So Apple finally announced the long awaited iPhone. This is a gorgeous phone with very innovative and clever user interface features. Every other mobile phone now looks a bit old-fashioned compared to this one, even the upcoming Nokia N95 I was considering to buy.

I'm really impressed by the iPhone and like it a lot. But after the excitement while watching the presentation, some important concerns regarding several aspects of the thing have emerged. Here they are, in no particular order.

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Dojo Offline Toolkit

Posted on 03 January 2007 - 11:59

Brad Neuberg annouces the Dojo Offline Toolkit, that aims to allow web applications to work offline.

The solution is truly brillant: it's based on a local HTTP proxy and the Proxy Auto Configuration. A web application wanting to enter offline mode instructs the local proxy to add its domain to the PAC, thereby triggering caching of its resources. The application also has to make use of the Dojo storage API to keep its working data while offline.

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Posted on 02 January 2007 - 12:48

2007Happy new year 2007!

Having watched the latest James Bond last week made me realize this new year brings some interesting scenario opportunities: "2*007 - Double Bond". The synopsis would be "Using genetic manipulations, the evils have created a perfect clone of James Bond to protect their world-domination plans from the real agent of her Royal Majesty. Which Bond will defeat the other? How can we distinguish them? Will the genetic twins team up for good or evil? 2*007 - Double Bond, in theatres now."

Anyway, best wishes to all of you, known and unknown readers!
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