Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

February 18, 2008  1:13 PM

Overheard: Using nestable hashmaps instead of ORM

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
moon.jpg I have never been over the moon with ORM. It solves the need to write SQL in your code, and to iterate through database results sets to form data structures, but it never really addressed the mismatch between true Objects and Data in my opinion.

Paul, Is ORM a Dead End?

So why not forget about objects and data encapsulation and use exposed mutable data types instead? Well functional languages have been using this approach for years, an hashmap (Dictionary) with name/value pairs is a mutable data type. You can represent any data type you like by nesting hashmaps. Accepting that all data will be exposed, and that data types are likely to change is a much better fit for database applications where users want to store, navigate and query data.

February 15, 2008  4:40 PM

Overheard: Speedcabling, the sport of champions

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
clarkboyd.jpg The first “speedcabling” competition took place in an art gallery in Los Angeles and was won by LA-based web developer Matthew Howell.

Clark Boyd, Close to the wire – the joys of speedcabling

Speedcabling is a competitive sport created by Steven Schkolne, in which contestants race to unravel a bundle of tangled Ethernet cables. Steven has graciously permitted me to reprint his speedcabling glossary so we can all speak about this highly-competitive sport in an intelligent manner.

You can find the rules for hosting your own competition on the official Speedcabling Web site. If you do have a competition, let me know and I’ll promote it!

bundle – one or more cables that are knotted according to official regulations

cable – to separate a bundle of loosely knotted rope or wire

hunt – speedcabling technique in which the course of a single cable through a bundle is traced

set- the collection of cables used in a speedcabling competition

spot – the locale, typically a laundromat, where cables can be uniformly tangled in a dryer

thrash- speedcabling technique in which a knot is loosened via shaking and rapid fingerwork

February 15, 2008  1:02 PM

Overheard: The multiple implementations of Python

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
rtylerbalance.jpg First a little background to help explain some of the terms, etc. “Python” is a language, similar to how “Java” is a language; unlike Java wherein the language is also relatively synonymous with the actual implementation of that language, Python has multiple implementations. If you’ve run python(1) from the command line, you’re most likely running the CPython implementation of the Python language, in effect, Python implemented in C. Other implementations of Python exist, like Jython (implemented on top of the Java virtual machine), PyPy (Python implemented in Python), and IronPython (Python implemented on top of the .NET CLR).

R. Tyler Ballance, Comparing IronPython and CPython

February 12, 2008  5:48 PM

Quiz: What the heck are they talking about?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

DIRECTIONS: These are real statements from real people discussing real technology in the blogosphere. I’ve removed one word from each quote. Can you still figure out what they’re talking about? Click on the link to see if you’re right!

1. Microsoft has warned corporate administrators that it will push a new version of __________ their way February 12th, and it has posted guidelines on how to ward off the automatic update.
What are they talking about?

2. In China, the ___________ movement is having a harder time gaining traction because of widespread software piracy.
What are they talking about?

3. Amazon __________ services continue to grow. The bandwidth utilized by these services in Q4 2007 was greater than all of Amazon.com’s global websites combined.
What are they talking about?

4. American companies can send their __________ abroad legally because Congress hasn’t ratified the Basel Convention. The results are clearly visible on the streets of Guiyu, China.
What are they talking about?

5. __________ is a major switch if you’re a hardware company. (No pun intended.) It means charging for a subscription to a service, rather than for big iron.
What are they talking about?

6. For a company like HP, which makes the bulk of its revenue from selling __________, the move to Web-based applications and the slackening demand for heavyweight computers doesn’t seem like a reason to celebrate.
What are they talking about?

7. I’m close to being convinced that Oracle wanted to buy __________ to kill the product, but knew it couldn’t pull off the stunt itself. So it sent in a stooge (Sun Microsystems) to do the job.
What are they talking about?

8. But when I think about what killed most of the startups in the e-commerce business back in the 90s, it was bad __________.
What are they talking about?

9. Where should the PMO exist and report to? Since most companies have a lot of projects located in the ______________ area, this becomes a natural place to locate the PMO.
What are they talking about?

10. A US Department of Homeland Security bug-fixing scheme has uncovered an average of one security glitch per 1,000 lines of code in 180 widely-used _______________ software projects.
What are they talking about?

February 12, 2008  10:04 AM

Overheard: Domain kiting is dead

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
icann-flags.gif Domain kiting is now dead. There is no longer any way to register and drop a domain without incurring a fee. Tasting operations now have a higher cost to operate, but they have not been stopped.Google And ICANN Did Not Kill Domain Tasting; Domain Kiting and NSI Front Running DOA

Domain tasting operations register bulk batches of domain names and keep the domain name that they believe will make them a return and delete the rest. Often times the taster will use a search company to place ads on the domain for that 5 day period in order to assess whether a domain name is worth keeping. Currently if the domain is deleted within the 5 day window there is no fee involved. This led to the abusive practice known as domain kiting. The kiter would register a bulk list of domains and keep them for the 5 day period and then delete and re-register the domain for another 5 day period, never paying for the domain or a fee. The practice does tie up large sums of money, as the registry requires registrars to prepay for registering domains.

According to an ICANN report, 94% of all .com registrations in January 2007 were deleted.

February 11, 2008  11:20 PM

Overheard: How to keep your IT job during a recession

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Aleksandra Todorova recommends Four Ways to Keep Your Job in a Slowing Job Market

1. Make yourself indispensable
If your manager has to cut 10% of the staff, you certainly don’t want to be at the top of her list.

2. Don’t be high-maintenance
Even if you’re among your company’s top-performing employees, that won’t matter much if you’re a pain in the neck.

3. Stay busy
Now is not the time to take a three-week vacation or shop online at work.

4. Do damage control
Workers between 45 and 60 years old who get the pink slip should consider negotiating with the company to stay at a lower salary.

February 11, 2008  7:47 PM

Overheard: Silverlight demo by Forrest Key (Microsoft)

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/Q-dM4fGJ6Rw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

February 11, 2008  7:41 PM

Overheard: Linux developers dancing in the Moonlight

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
miguel_de_icaza.png We are formalizing a collaboration between Microsoft and Novell with the explicit purpose of bringing Silverlight to Linux and do this in a fully supported way.

This is an historical collaboration between an open source project and Microsoft. They have collaborated with other folks on the server space (Xen and PHP) but this is their first direct contribution to the open source desktop.

Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft/Novell Collaboration on Silverlight.

February 11, 2008  7:15 PM

Overheard: FedEx Kinko commercial — fill in (employee’s name) here

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/ZHEbB7qh72M" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

I love this commercial. We should make a list of other things you can count on:

Peggy, can I count on one of your dogs to bark during the conference call? Woof!

February 11, 2008  6:39 PM

Overheard: Jake Kuramoto explains why I have too many meetings

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
jake_kuramoto.png Before technologies like conference calling bridges, VoIP, and online conferences, meetings were constrained by the physical scarcity of conference rooms and offices. The assumption here is that due to physical scarcity, only the most important (think blockbuster) meetings were held.

Technology has again removed the scarcity constraint and allowed “consumers” access to the Long Tail of meetings. So now, meetings of all levels of importance (blockbusters, indies, B-movies, classics, etc.) can be held.

Jake Kuramoto, The Long Tail of Meetings

One key component of the Long Tail model is that it allows consumers access to more content that was previously unavailable due to scarcity. This is a good thing for the consumer. When applied to meetings, however, I think the conclusion is that maybe it has become too easy to hold a meeting.

Jake is a brilliant observer. I feel SO much better knowing there’s a scientific reason for my messed-up calendar.

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