August 30, 2002

Min storebror Holger driver en grafisk tegnestue, men når han holder fri maler han akvareller. Nu venter vi bare på Træt af pis T-shirten.

Det er det nydelige åbne galleri Wooloo der stiller linket til rådighed.

(Spørgsmål til flere: Hvornår lærer de det dog: Når et site ikke selv stiller pæne navigerbare links til rådighed, så kommer deres site til at se grimt ud når man hacker en URL frem fra under overfladen.)

Posted by Claus at 09:30 PM
August 26, 2002
Ever wanted what a pornographic New York Times would look like?

Now you can see, with the use of Pornolize - a new webserivce that will turn even the most conservative media into smut. The New Porn Times is hilarious - if you have bad taste. Oh and by the way , since is one of the only classy.* domains that isn't porn. It's nice to know what would happen if it was.

Posted by Claus at 12:39 PM

While I DO realize that Perl is not the right tool for everything, I DO think it can be used for anything. In particular Object persistence can be as simple as SPOPS -- Simple Perl Object Persistence with Security

In short, you can do more with less code. Some of the 'stiffer' languages simple cannot express conveniently the same ideas as the flexible langugages like perl. The downside (in the case of perl 5 it is obvious) is the rather contorted design. Each chapter of Programming Perl basically has to mention one or more arcane exceptions to the rule, to make the language just a little bit more malleable.

This detracts from the language from a maintenance point of view, since the behaviour of program text becomes extremely dependent on the local situation it is presented in.

The great thing about Perl 6 from this point of view is that Larry Wall is trying to find an overall behavioural chararteristic of the language with fewer exceptions. This new look of the language even manages to add even more abilities within the same better managed functionality.

In particular OO will look better as will a lot of the rather happenstance functional programming features in P5

The danger in the rewrite is that the unfashionable (but to my mind - and every other perl mind around -very practical) idea that program code is often more readable when brief, will be abandoned in favor of the cleaner behaviour.

The common practice seems to be that the benefits of explicit design outweigh the disadvantages implied by this - namely verbose code. J2EE is an extreme case of this principle. All the thoughts are explicitly there at every moment. Personally I think it hurts.

Posted by Claus at 11:07 AM
August 22, 2002
Derfor er wienerbr?det så dårligt

Hvis din bager er dårlig til at lave spandauere, så er det fordi han kun har l?st på Brunsviger: dybt link til Berlingske Tidende.

Posted by Claus at 03:19 PM
JBoss 3.0

I'm still not using it, and the J2EE SIG at my company died for lack of time and interest, but the pace and scope of JBoss >JBOSS development is admirable.

Version 3.0 includes everything you need - including Apache Axis plugin SOAP implementation

Posted by Claus at 09:58 AM
August 20, 2002
What not to do

Found a nice article on The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Developers. An anti-patterns route to good development habits. Most of them may be implied from good practice guides like my very own favourite The pragmatic programmer, but sometimes it is nice to see the bad thing you are about to do discouraged rather than seeing some good idea you didn't think of recommended.

Posted by Claus at 01:13 PM
August 19, 2002

Urgh. Carsten Graff - futuristen der blev stenaldermand - er med til at laveet tankeshow. Af en eller anden grund er dette foredrag med indbygget middag noget helt nyt. Det ser nu ikke så nyt ud. Snarere lidt pisseirriterende.

På sitet kan man downloade et kapitel fra arrang?rernes f?lles bogudgivelse. En fantastisk nyskabende bog med nogen helt nye almindeligheder fra konsulent håndbogen, som f.eks. ?Mener du at mennesker generelt set ser for mange forhindringer frem for muligheder??. Der står gud?demig også at man skal leve i nuet. Truly groundbreaking.

Jeg tror jeg vil gribe nuet og bruge det til at gå i en stor bue uden om denne gang Lotte Heise for men

Posted by Claus at 10:07 PM
August 17, 2002
Further notes on insane privacy invading legislation

As previously reported, an absurd proposed legislation would allow invasion of privacy to interfere with P2P sharing of copyrighted data.Bruce Schneier has the quote: They're trying to invent a new crime: interference with a business model

This quote could also be applied to the ridiculously broad patents (btw. Software Patents : Just say no) on business models being issued during the Boom era (I'm guessing the failure of companies like priceline has tempered the pace of this particularly absurdity). Making first mover advantage a law is not a good idea.

Posted by Claus at 02:04 AM
August 13, 2002
Bummer! I am now a spamming idiot

Yesterday when I got home from work and actually went into my kitchen I could hear a faint noise. I thought for a while that the steady hum was from the refrigerator, but no it was in fact Fusijama - the server. I logged on the server and found to my horror that the server was acting as an open relay! For those not in the know, that means that ANYBODY can log on to my mailserver and forward mail from an essentially anonymous address to anybody else in the world. In short a spam machine. And horror no 2 was that some evil spammer had found out about it. I was, when I stopped the mailserver, infested with 500 MB of spam (that's more than 100000 offers for cheap loans, free porn, low interest rates, and fast university diplomas).

The error of my ways: I had upgraded my XMail mailserver and it had kindly updated my smtprelay setting to the default - which is to run as an open relay. I generally like the Unix philosophy that the user should be in full control and should know what he's doing. I like the mailserver a lot, but NOT the decision to leave it up to the user to discover the correct setting of (the file should be completely empty to disable all relaying), and certainly not this behaviour during upgrade. For the casual user, that ends up being a lot of work. (OK, so I was using an RPM to upgrade and maybe I shouldn't expect application specific sound upgrade policies from a general purpose package manager, although I think RPM does allow for stuff like that) (OK2, I know full well that Windows installation routinely violates your privacy and turns on crappy features - including some with security issues attached to them - by default)

The good news with this bad news was that I discovered how efficient the Open Relay databases are. I immediately logged onto ORDB to
check that my server was indeed a relay. They had gotten the first report of the harmful nature of my server configuration by someone other than me at 4AM the same morning. I fixed the problem, and asked for a retest, and within a couple of hours the server was unblocked again. I haven't really been around the net to check other relay databases although I should.

Why haven't I checked. Well it appears that no one in my immediate vicinity use the relay blockers. I was never blocked when forwarding from my own server to my company server. And the few mailing lists I operate seemed to function appropriately.

It's a pity really. I can live with a short mail outage after a bad config, if I get a responsive spam-free network in return. The email-server "honors system" of the open relay databases works and should be used.

Posted by Claus at 09:56 AM
August 12, 2002
Michael Mathiesen som p?lsemand?

I Amerika - home of the brave - tager folk der mister deres arbejde meget kontant fat
for arbejde må man jo have. Man kommer til at tænke på Rasmus Trads, avisbuddet, og på ostehandleren Klaus Riskær.

Posted by Claus at 12:53 PM
August 07, 2002
Teraflop on a chip

Yes, there are many speed-posts but IBM now plans a TeraFlop on a chip for multimedia processing. That will be something to see. Presumeably a chip like that would operate almost exclusively on cache memory to accomplish these speeds.

Posted by Claus at 05:20 PM
My favorite supercomputer

My favorite supercomputer of course the Google cluster...

The Google cluster could very well be the largest commodity cluster, and the story above (as well as this one) has some interesting data on the kind of things you need to do to manage thousands of commodity servers in a clustered environment (as discussed previously).

Posted by Claus at 10:15 AM
August 02, 2002
Open OpenCola ?

The rapid adoption of weblogs as a primary publication medium must be a challenge to would be vendors of peer to peer information accumulators and a boon to proponents of the semantic web as adressed (indirectly) here.

The characteristics of the web log:

  • Pure text

  • Short focused message bursts

  • Reliance on essentially nothing but hyperlink as metadata provider

  • Open directory standards (of sorts - aggregators can tap into RSS as a publish subscribe directory builder)

has proven to be enough to make it an efficient builder of semantic structure, when combined with large scale indexing like Google. This only goes to show how efficient natural language is as a knowledge interface.

It is interesting that this technique, which is essentially statistical, is looking more and more as a viable competitor to more classical "linguistic" approaches to knowledge representation - at least according to the linked article.

This is completely in sync with the experiences reported on natural language processing round and about the net. The more deterministic techniques based on grammars and linguistic structure are loosing to statistical, information theoretic techniques.

The classic guess as to why should be that the process of interpretation has no known condensation point. Without semantic hints, there is simply too much room for interpretation for language processign to be practical.

The interesting thing is that the semantic hints turn out to be efficient almost on their own, in providing a useful interpretation.

This observation makes it an open guestion to me at least whether more explicit schemes for accumulating semantics on the web, like the soon to be available OpenCola, offer any real advantage over the extremely lightweight (for the client anyway) Google.

Needless to say, there are plenty of advances to be made in the space between more formal interpretation of knowledge, like relationally stored business data, and the weakly organized semantic web, but it sounds implausible to me, that an explicit semantic application could beat the simplicity of hypertext, when hypertext is augmented with something like Google.

Some background : In formal logic, i.e. the study of formal languages, there is a notion of a model theory which is basically the idea that language utterances can be mapped - throug a well-defined mapping - to assertions about a reality through the act of interpretation.

In the theory of signs, while the notion of interpretation remains, so that the essential understanding of what language does remains, the idea of a well-defined comprehensible mapping fails for all practical purposes, because the model of language is enhanced with information about intent (as evidenced by Peirce's famous sentence that "a sign is something that stands for something (else) in some respect or other for somebody") The problem with the mapping is that, the act of interpretation itself, can be construed as an utterance to be interpreted, and there is no natural stopping point. The process of interpretation is endless, an idea known as infinite semiosis.

This idea is also present in formal logic, where it appears in the form of meta languages. Without getting too technical, it appears as a conflict between utterances in a formal language and utterances about a formal language, in what is called a meta language. What happens is that assertions that cannot be proven true in the formal language can, through an act of interpretation in the meta language be proven correct. But of course there is then the question of a meta meta language of utterances about the meta language and so on. (and incidentally this is all related to the famous and celebrated type theory of Russell and Whitehead and the famous incompleteness theorem of G?del).

These abstract notions become very concrete when attempting to map concrete utterances to a model.

The beauty of natural language is that it is a closed, if imperfect, system. In this system hypertext become weakly typed semantic assertions, and this turns out to be enough to condence the web semantically.

Posted by Claus at 11:39 PM
August 01, 2002
5K of E-learning

Take a look at : entries : Scale Model of the Solar System. Relative planet sizes are (supposedly) representative, and then a very large scrollbar depth is used to indicate the enormous interplanetary distances. Usual models are never scale accurate. This one is...

Posted by Claus at 04:46 PM
Slang of the day:

What do you call a fake grassroots movement?
AstroTurf of course!

This term is being applied to new unintrusive advertising ploys, hooking into standard niternet communityware using fake postings to newsgroups (posing as personal recommendations) and fake personal websites touting products (which became very popular after the Mahir phenomenon)

Posted by Claus at 03:00 PM
Indiansk livsvisdom

I morges i TV morgen TV kunne man h?re Therese Damsholt, som vi blevet fascineret af nordamerikanske indianeres livsvisdom og havde importeret et par l?remestre i den til Danmark, komme med f?lgende fabelagtige udtalelse:

Indianerne har et flot udtryk, 'Walk the talk'

Hvor clueless har man lov til at v?re! Udtrukket, og det andre afarter er fuldst?ndig g?ngs slang.

Det minder mig om den kronik i Informeren for år tilbage, hvor Kitte Fennestad sagde om et bes?g til caribien "Det er et voldeligt sted. 2. juledag kaldes for 'Boxing Day'"

Posted by Claus at 12:32 PM
The subversive prime that computes

Somewhat related to the last post on the magical coincidences engineered by Just another perl hackers, if you take the number
4856... Lots of digits removed, see the MORE section for all of them ...9443

you will notice some interesting facts.

  • It is prime

  • In hexadecimal, this is a legal gzip'ed file

  • When gunzipped, the file is the C code of DeCSS the infamous CSS code remover

Coincidence? I think not!

Not satisfied? Don't have a a C-compiler? Then take another prime, say

4931... Even more digits removed, see the MORE section for all of them ...3537

Given the same treatment, this is an actual linux executable, that RUNS DeCSS !!!

The full gzip prime


The full executable prime


Posted by Claus at 12:05 AM