REST-*

REST-*.org arrived today. I think the name is highly unfortunate, immediately evoking bad impressions from WS-*.

REST Star

In their defense, they are doing many things right. These bullets come from their site:

  • Specifications may not require any field of use restrictions or fees to get access to a certification testsuite or to pass certification.
  • All source code for certification tests must be open sourced under the ASL 2.0 license.
  • Specifications must be discussed in the open on a public mailing list.
  • All drafts, source code, and any issue tracking system must be made available for anyone to read.
  • Specifications, source code, and certification efforts must be licensed under ASL 2.0.
  • etc…basically, don’t be like Sun and the JCP. (my take)

A big chunk of the fledgling web site is devoted to explaining how REST-* is different than WS-*. I do hope someone re-thinks the name.

Kindle Drawing Books

If you want to learn how to draw, Kindle isn’t looking so hot:

In this category, you’ll find 6,197 printed books and only 16 Kindle books. I just bought Drawing for the Absolute Beginner — in paperback.

I assumed I’d find more Kindle books in other categories, such as Science Fiction and Fantasy. Instead, that category shows 33,619 printed books and 155 Kindle editions.

Notebook Computer with Secondary Display

Would you be interested in an 11 pound notebook? That is a LOT of weight to lug around.

Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t someone manufacture a cheap, super-thin, lightweight mobile 15″ LCD display? You can buy a 17″ LCD for $99 on NewEgg. Why aren’t companies manufacturing cheap, thin, “mobile LCDs” that you can easily slide into a notebook bag to take on the road?

A normal notebook plus a mobile secondary display would offer these benefits over the Lenovo computer:

  • Cheaper
  • Lighter
  • Gives you the option to travel with or without the secondary display
  • You could choose a big or small secondary display

This seems like a completely untapped market.

OpenID is Only Good in Theory

I got myself a shiny new OpenID account from Yahoo, and so far it only worked on 1 out of 3 sites:

  • Pragmatic Bookshelf – yep, worked
  • DZone – nope, does not work
  • Blogger – nope, does not work

Perhaps one day the whole world will come together and agree to implement the spec in a consistent way so OpenID accounts work everywhere. But so far, I’m not even marginally impressed.

New DirecTV PPV Rules

This isn’t really “new” news, but I just noticed this on my DirecTV DVR:

Effective April 15, 2008, DVR recordings of PPV movies will be available for 24 hours of unlimited viewing after purchase. Major movie studios have required that satellite and cable providers alike may no longer allow their customers to view these recordings for longer than 24 hours. During the 24 hour viewing period, you will continue to enjoy all of your DVR features such as pause and rewind.

What a pile of rubbish. You can find their FAQ at this URL:

“http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=P4540022″

To me, that looks like a URL that will break. So I won’t link to it.

What year is this? Even with old school hand coded Servlets and JSPs, clean public URLs are a piece of cake. Does some programmer really think “contentPage.jsp?assetId=P4540022″ is a good URL? Why not something ending in “ppv/faq/”?

Movies, like music, should be DRM free. And URLs should not expose implementation details.

Picasa Best Practices?

I’d like to devise a strategy for organizing photos. Up until now, I’ve manually organized pictures into a directory tree. At the top level, I have a year, then folders for each month, then a bunch of pictures. For example:

2008  |  +--01_Jan  +--02_Feb  +--etc...

The number prefix keeps things properly sorted. But I’m losing out on searching, tagging, etc, and would like to simply move to Picasa.

I’m curious how other people organize their photos, using Picasa. It would be nice if there was a “best practices” guide or perhaps even a “common organization patterns” guide, that listed a few different strategies for organizing photos on the hard drive. Then I could choose the strategy that works best for me.

How do you organize your photos?

XM + The Little Doggie Company

I’ve been through this before. I was a PrimeStar customer several years ago, until one fateful day when we received a letter describing how WONDERFUL it was that DirecTV acquired PrimeStar. This was, of course, in my best interest as a consumer, and I would soon receive many new benefits.

The migration from PrimeStar to DirecTV took quite some time due to incompatible equipment. They gradually rolled out service across the nation, and once the final customers were switched over…BANG! Rates went up.

Fast forward a few years, and the XM and Sirius merger is approved. Oh, wonderful. I cannot wait for the benefits. Here are my predictions:

  • Opie and Anthony will be fired from their XM show sometime in 2008.
  • Rates will go up in January, 2009, just after the holiday season.
  • Existing subscribers won’t receive any additional channels. (Aren’t they already at bandwidth capacity?) We’ll basically have the same overall number of stations, but content will be simulcast across both Sirius and XM satellites to save production costs. So if U-Pop is your favorite station on XM, it may go away and be replaced with something roughly equivalent from Sirius.
  • Advertisements will continue to increase. All of you non-satellite radio people might be surprised to hear that MANY satellite radio stations now include significant numbers of commercials. The number continues increasing, particularly with a larger audience and ad revenue these owners cannot refuse.
  • In 2009 we’ll see a “next generation” receiver that uses some new format. While current subscribers can continue using their existing equipment, new channels will only be available to people buying the new equipment.

Those are my cynical predictions. I REALLY enjoy Opie and Anthony and will stay with XM until they are fired in late 2008. Then I’ll cancel my subscription and will listen to Java Posse podcasts while driving to/from work.

Ouch…Malaysian Post

I just bought some electronics components and received the following confirmation email:

Comments : Your order was shipped by Malaysian Post. Normal shipping time is 1-2 weeks. We thank you for your patience.

Yikes. I’m used to Newegg, where I receive the package almost as fast as the email confirmation.