25 September 2008

Apple Adds NDA to App Store Rejection Notices

Can you say heavy hand?

I'm not claiming to understand the entire situation, but this certainly seems dodgy.

Thanks to Jonathan Bosmans for pointing this out.

24 September 2008

gPhone or iPhone?

It's time for me to finally replace my trusty Sony Ericsson t610 and these are the two options I'm considering.

I've put off getting an iPhone because I was waiting for the 3G but even now that it's out my fears of switching to at&t still stand. I've heard from friends how awful at&t is in so many ways so I'm reluctant to switch. And then, along comes the G1 from T-Mobile - my wireless carrier!

I see that Crazy Bob has a gPhone already. The quality of the photos from the camera looks great, but the camera is not a major concern for me.

I'm curious to hear any opinions one way or the other.

Update: Is it just me, or are these statements about Google products not competing with Apple products a bit ridiculous? How else are these products to be viewed?

Just as with Google's Chrome browser, the G1 phone press releases state that it's not being positioned to compete with Apple products. I find this statement ludicrous. How can these items not compete with Apple products? This is like saying I have created a new car that gets 100mpg but the car is not competing with GM or Ford. Perception is reality. Just as I'm looking for a new phone, many people are looking for a new car and most logical people will compare and contrast some vehicles just as I'm comparing and contrasting the iPhone with the G1.

To date, the iPhone is one of the few mobile devices that touts Google services. Also, offering the Amazon music store app is in direct competition with Apple's iTunes integration for the iPhone. Additionally, the Android Market is a direct point of competition with Apple's App Store.

Wayne has pointed out a good comparison of the G1 with the iPhone if you're interested. I've read much about the G1 lately and I must say that the iPhone still has many small advantages over it, though I'm sure in time the playing field will be leveled further. After all, this is the first generation for the very first Android-based mobile phone.

Update 2: As much as I am a fan of Apple products and have been since 1990, the evictions of competing applications from the App Store is disconcerting to say the least. When I first heard that Apple was actively going after enterprise customers, I began to wonder if this the beginning of the end for the Apple we know and love. Going so far as to tell owners of rejected apps that the rejection itself is under NDA is definitely stepping over the line. Leave it to the corporate lawyers to fuck up everything. I've gotta say that this has left a very bad taste in my mouth.

20 September 2008

Comparing Mobile Voicemail Solutions

After using CallWave for about a year, the free beta test of its service is ending, so I'm reviewing other competing services.

CallWave handles mobile voicemail so that instead of leaving a message on my mobile carrier's provided voicemail, callers unknowingly are leaving their message with CallWave instead. I simply keyed in a simple code to tell my mobile carrier to use CallWave's voicemail instead. I started using this solution because I was missing too many calls from being out of range of mobile service. Not only does CallWave notify me via email and SMS when I get a voicemail, but it also handles voice-to-text (although not very well) and lets me listen to the message online via the CallWave website. To upgrade to a non-beta account is $5/month which isn't much but I'm also already paying $10/month for CallWave's fax to PDF service.

Grand Central offers a similar set of features and it's free but it makes you get a new phone number. I've had this same phone number for eight years and too many folks know it. I'm not getting a new phone number just for unified messaging. Grand Central should be able to use my existing phone number. Can anyone confirm that this is not a requirement?

Spinvox seems to be one alternative, but it seems to be focused on the voice-to-text conversion but I'm not so keen on that feature really. What I need is mainly voicemail notification.

Voicenation requires you to get a new number (or so it seems) and is much more about providing a PBX service. Again, not something I need.

Just recently I signed up with YouMail because it seems to focus on exactly what I need and it's basic service is free (and they claim it will remain free). I just keyed in a special code to tell my mobile carrier to use YouMail's voicemail instead of the carrier's provided voicemail and voila. I'm just starting to get used to it but it seems to provide what I need so far. YouMail offers pre-recorded messages that you can buy to use for your various greetings are funny. My favorite is titled, 'No one wants to buy your shit (for solicitors).'

18 September 2008

Camels and Llamas at JavaZone in Norway

Yesterday I spoke about Apache Camel at the JavaZone conference here in Oslo, Norway and I was able to sneek some more funny images into my presentation. As Dan Diephouse, Jason van Zyl, Kirk Pepperdine, Geert Bevin, John Davies and I were working on our slides for our talks, we got some good laughs from the images we found including the llama car shown here. We all especially liked the bungy cord holding all five llamas onto the roof.

We also found a camel in a truck, three camels in a truck among many more images that I really shouldn't show here.

I was in Denmark a couple years ago speaking at another conference and I'm finding the weather here in Norway is very similar to Denmark (big surprise). I wish I wasn't flying out so soon so that I had time to go sight-seeing and do some exploration.

11 September 2008

JavaPolis >> Javoxx >> Devoxx

In yet another bitter twist of irony from the machine that is Sun, it has bitten the hand that feeds yet again by forcing BeJUG to rebrand its wildly successful European Java conference for the second time!

First Sun said JavaPolis had to change its name so it rebranded itself as Javoxx. Now Sun has decided that Javoxx must change its name so it has been rebranded Devoxx. What's truly ironic about this whole episode is that Sun is a platinum sponsor of the conference! Demonstrating yet again that Sun is an interloper.

I'm very happy to see the conference continue and not let this trip up anything. Stephan and his group have definitely taken these hits with class. Rock on BeJUG!

09 September 2008

Nexus Not Finding Artifacts After Adding a Repository?

In my last post about Nexus, I provided some steps to get started quickly using Nexus. After adding some additional repositories, I found that Nexus doesn't always immediately handle the indexes as it should causing some builds to not be able to locate certain artifacts, so I took the following measures to rectify the situation.

After adding some repositories, sometimes I had to clear the cache for the public groups and reindex them using the following steps:

  1. Under the Views section, click on Browse Repositories

  2. Right-click on the Public Repositories group and select Clear Cache

  3. Right-click on the Public Repositories group and select Reindex

  4. Right-click on the Public Snapshot Repositories group and select Clear Cache

  5. Right-click on the Public Snapshot Repositories group and select Reindex

After following the steps above, Nexus happily reindexed the repositories I added and artifacts were located successfully.

At one point, I also had to manually publish the indexes for the public groups using the following steps:

  1. Under the Administration section, click Scheduled Tasks

  2. Click the Add button

  3. Give the task a name

  4. Task Type is Publish Indexes

  5. Repository/Group is Public Repositories (Group)

  6. Recurrance is Once

Upon doing this manual step, Nexus again started humming along.

Badger Badger Badger

Every once in a great while my youngest daughter requests that we watch 'the badger snake cartoon on your computer'. I haven't gotten this request in a quite a long time but this morning was one of those times. Although I'm sure most folks have seen it, I just had to blog about it.

I remember playing this in the Netscape browser from the command line on someone's Linux machine as a prank at a past company. I seem to recall an option to the command that tells the UI not to come up, so the song would drive them nuts and the only way to stop it is to find the process and kill it :-).

05 September 2008

Sprayed By a Skunk... Again!

In my family, we have two dogs. Each one is three years old, each one is a mutt that we got from a puppy rescue for my kids' birthdays, each one is about 100lbs, but one of them aims to please and is relatively smart while the other one is just a big, dumb teddy bear.

Over the last year, we moved house and discovered that there are many wild animals around the property. Luckily we have an invisible fence to keep the dogs from leaving the yard. Most of these animals have learned to simply stay away when the dogs are out, but the foxes like to taunt the dogs by staying just out of reach (hence the phrase, crazy like a fox). But one of the animals doesn't stay away, quite possibly due to arrogance - skunks.

So far, the two dogs have been sprayed by skunks together on two occasions. However, over the last month, the big, dumb teddy bear has been sprayed two more times on his own - what an idiot! I'm hoping that after being sprayed four times he'll learn. Fat chance I figure.

The first time it happened I googled all over looking for a remedy to clean the stink and found way too many answers and claims. So I contacted my friend Jeff who has had experience with this issue with his dogs. Jeff lives in the mountains and his dogs had been sprayed by skunks a few times, too, so I figured he had a solution that worked. Luckily he was able to recommend a recipe of baking soda, vinegar and Dawn dish washing liquid. I can tell you to this day it works like a charm - as long as you can stomach the stench for a bit while you're scrubbing!

A Decade of the Dude

For a movie that bombed at the box office, The Big Lebowski has done astoundingly well on DVD raking in $40 million as well as generating a cult following like no other from its generation. And with a 10th anniversary, limited-edition of the DVD due out this month, fans of the Dude proclaim, 'Far out, man.'

I can't believe that the Dude turns 10 this year because it sure doesn't seem to have been that long. A Decade of the Dude briefly recounts the Dude's escapades and the phenomenon that is the Dude in a manner that serves all the actors in the movie well. An interview with Bridges even caused the Dude's sweater to come out of hiding for a moment. For fans of the Dude, this article is well worth the 10 minute read.

I remember seeing The Big Lebowski in the theatre with my wife when it first came out and I thought it was hilarious; she thought it was goofy and kind shrugged it off. For my close friends and I, this movie unites us. We see it at the Boulder Theatre twice a year and anytime we talk with one another at least two or three quotes from Lebowski make it into the conversation.

The Dude represents everything that our uptight society needs today and it couldn't have been said better than Philip Seymour Hoffman, the brilliant actor who played Brandt, the wealthy Lebowski's obsequious personal assistant:

'The Dude abides, and I think that's something people really yearn for, to be able to live their life like that. You can see why young people would enjoy that.'

Ah, fuck it, Dude. Let's go bowlin.