August 2007 Archives

links for 2007-08-31

Skype violates GPL

Interesting article which seemed to slip in under the radar..

Skype Violates GPL

I wonder how many other instances of this infraction have gone unpublished or discussed? The forthcoming final draft of GPLv3 should begin to shed light on these issues. I would imagine that the FUD credits that Redmond wooly mammoth has been doling out will come to a screeching halt.

Challenge of Growth


As I prepare for the opportunity to test for 3rd Dan, I have begun to intensify my training. Our school has reduced its training days to once per week, so quality training opportunities are limited. So, I visited another school which has its roots Moo Duk Kwan. I have a great deal of respect for the head instructor, as he really stresses application and purpose for every technique.

Interestingly, he has no problem asking me, "Why do you choose to stay at school X"? My response is typically, "It is what I know" or "I love my family". He insists that there will come a time that I will choose what is best for my training and growth.

I am conflicted to some extent, as I clearly honor and respect the teachings of my instructor. However, I know that there comes a time that everyone must choose a path of continued growth. This is a challenge because I do have a great deal of loyalty for my current dojang. I have learned a great deal and progressed as a person and martial artist. Nearly nine years of education and I certainly could never repay the gratitude and patience of all the senior instructors. This is why I remain.

In truth, I do relish the role of visiting practitioner. Especially, when the host school has its foundation in Tang Soo Do. The host instructor of note, has never asked me for a nickel to train. He only requests that what I am shown stays at the host school. Nonetheless, he has always had an open door for other members of my home dojang.

Road greys

I've always sported my road jersey, regardless of the city. Sitting amongst Tigger fans and watching very poor Yankee starting pitching is inexcusable. Mussina's career is done in Pinstripes. There really is no place on the Yankee roster for a soft-toss, back of the rotation, veteran starter. Clearly, Mussina will not reach 300 victories in a Yankee uniform or any other uniform for that matter.

You must be able to challenge MLB players with your best pitch. If you can throw that pitch for a strike, your days should be numbered. I fully expect Moose to either be placed on the DL or demoted to the bullpen. Though AAA should be a real possibility, Torre probably would not suggest it simply because Mussina has earned the right to remain in the majors. Tonight his fastball topped at 84mph, which is basically the velocity you get in the average batting cage. It was awful to watch that performance. Certainly glad that I didn't come out of pocket.

If the Bx Bombers are to remain in contention for a post-season birth, they must quickly address Mussina. Luckily they didn't really burn up their bullpen tonight.

Sean Henn sucked up enough innings that only Brian Bruney was used after the eighth inning.

The next 10-12 games will decide if one of the longest post-season streaks in MLB remains intact. BoSox and Mariners loom. Gotta stay close.



Everyone has a vision which orchestrates their future success. KRS is arguably prophetic in both hip-hop culture and human achievement.

links for 2007-08-22

Licensing in the Web 2.0 Era

Eben Moglen, Director Software Freedom Law Center, attempts to educate Tim O'Reilly on the importance of Freedom.
From the O'Reilly Radar Executive Briefing, Tuesday, July 24 at the O'Reilly Media Open Source Convention.

SMS as a tool for observing social networks

I have been fascinated with the proliferation of SMS as a tool for communication. Just the other day, someone in my peer group suggested that SMS was a teenage thing. I sometimes forget that I traverse a different world than most, so I was a little taken aback by that response. How many people have the same opinion about text messaging? How many people know anything about smartphones?
More on this later.. The premise of this post, is the idea that SMS can be used as means to observe social behavior of disparate networks. Studies would suggest that you can actually link these disparate groups via the common activities of their SMS traffic.

Researchers have begun to study this behavior on the continent of Africa. What I find most interesting is the idea that assumptions and analogies can be drawn from traffic shaping. The by-product of these assumptions can be quite surprising.

As I have stated previously, the mobile device is often the first computing device used by people in developing nations. So it is not hard to imagine GSM cell phones being available at little or no cost. If you can divorce yourself from the US wireless carrier billing model, and the current wireless carrier silo (vendor lock-in) model. It would not be difficult to imagine that a SIM card is often free in other countries. Here in the US there is a cost to use the SIM card (regardless if the device is locked or unlocked). I do not believe that we have a pre-paid SIM model. If I am wrong someone please correct me.

The EPROM project is an example of the ongoing research in the mobile phone space. I'm not surprised that Africa was chosen for this research, as it seems that everyone has always wanted to study Africa. To his credit, EPROM head, Nathan Eagle used Harvard undergrad students as guinea pigs before taking the research to the continent of Africa.

Product features lost in the translation..

Recently a friend in my LinkedIn professional network quizzed me about spurious messages which landed in his LinkedIn inbox. The natural reaction to spurious, unsolicited mail is to treat it as spam. I explained to my friend (with great detail) that these messages were not spam, but instead a new feature offered by LinkedIn called Answers. Unfortunately, this confusion could have been mitigated if LinkedIn marketing or product team would have advised its users of new features in the pipeline.

I am not picking on LinkedIn, as many companies are challenged to provide clear communication, especially in the social networking community. Features seem to be added each day (ie Facebook), and if you do not use the application regularly, it is easy to miss something. Having said this, what recommendations could be offered to prevent this problem in the future?

Well it appears that LinkedIn has a product blog and the LinkedIn application does make use of RSS feeds. Perhaps there could be a method to push down news to its end-users? This sort of strategy is common in Open Source space. For instance,, 6-Apart, and Facebook offer inline widgets that include upcoming product feature enhancements. This information would clue people into the new changes coming on the horizon. Maybe the end-user could be given the chance to opt-out if they did not wish to participate?

I happen to like the Answer feature because it allows me to leverage my network to resolve concerns or technical problems. It essentially gives you access to subject matter experts within your network or outside your immediate network. I suppose if you did not know about the feature, one could easily misconstrue the information as spam. Dunno... Perhaps the message collection design should not be named 'inbox' as it immediately reminds people of email. These are good use cases for LinkedIn developers to explore. Hopefully they re-evaluate these issues before they go public with their forthcoming IPO.

Bottom line, though it is commonplace for end-users to discover new features on their own. Methinks companies should bear the burden of educating and informing the user community about feature enhancements and possible repercussions. It may not be advantageous for people to discover by accident. Especially if their first introduction to an application is not a favorable one. Not sure but it is possible, that my friend may never appreciate the LinkedIn Answers utility due his first impression.

Perhaps the broader question is how many other people in my LinkedIn network thought I was sending out unsolicited spam??

Wonders of NTP (revisited)

As I described in a previous entry, NTP is a quite useful tool to address drifting PC hardware clock. So, during the past few weeks I noticed that my workstation clock was roughly 6min slower than expected. I immediately checked my setclock script and realized that two of the public pool servers had gone off line. Simple fix, right.. Well not exactly, it seems that many of the chrono servers do not communicate on the UDP port.

I spent the next 20 minutes searching for servers which accepted UDP packets. UDP is not the most reliable means of transferring packets, so it makes sense that folks would avoid it. Hence most of the primary or StratumOne servers did not accept respond to UDP requests.

Nonetheless, I am a creature of habit and didn't really want to revise my script. While conducting my search I found several inactive servers too. Luckily they offer a means to report unresponsive chrono servers. I ran nslookup against the desired server and then pinged the IP address.
Once I was convinced the server was alive, I then added the desired chrono server to my script. Now I'll have to make sure my cronjob is running and I'm done.

Rarities in NYC

Yeah, I know I'm late.. Oddities have beset Gotham. Tornado touched down in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. You thought Al Gore was just a politician. Holy Cow, Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto will no longer be heard on Yankee broadcasts. Scooter passed away earlier this week. He will be missed.

The Bx Bombers are in the midst of a big series against the Tiggers.

links for 2007-08-15

links for 2007-08-14

If at first you don't succeed...


I attempted to break two boards with a step over sidekick. My previous attempt at this feat was as a 6th Gup, nearly six years ago. Unfortunately, as Dan member the results were similar. I did not bounce off the boards, but I did not strike them in the center either. After two attempts, I decided one board was plenty. Yes it is true, martial arts can be very humbling. The value in the lesson is simple, use the challenge as a means of growth and motivation.

It seems that practice is in order here, I am clear that I should be able to break two boards at once. Especially with a kicking technique. Perhaps I'll use an eedan yap-chagi next time?

Alternative Prime Mover

In keeping with an earlier theme of alternative fuels and strategies to reduce dependencies on internal combustion engines.. It appears that a French company has released a compressed air B-Series auto. The MDI Air Car. Obviously, the vehicle will have serious viability challenges. Much like the CNG. Obviously, a single energy compressed air engine can only be useful on finite routes, which are strategically placed near replenishing stations.

It seems that MDI thought ahead and have also developed Dual energy compressed air plus fuel engines. Taken from the MDI website...

The duel energy engine, on the other hand, has been conceived as much for the city as the open road and will be available in all MDI vehicles. The engines will work exclusively with compressed air while it is running under 50 km/h in urban areas. But when the car is used outside urban areas at speeds over 50 km/h, the engines will switch to fuel mode. The engine will be able to use gasoline, gas oil, bio diesel, gas, liquidized gas, ecological fuel, alcohol, etc.

Do not expect to use the vehicle for high torque applications, as this is not the purpose. Simple metro transport, fairly short distances. Interesting concept.

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