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Archive for April, 2007

26 Apr 2007

by Noel

Y Not?

I haven’t been following Y Combinator, so it came as a surprise to hear aboutYEurope. The deal is pretty similar to the US offering, though you go to Vienna, not Boston. Note that the two aren’t actually affiliated!

Also interesting is Y Combinator Startup News, which is similar to Reddit in terms of interface but focuses solely on news of interest to startups. Of a smidgen more interest is that the site is made in MzScheme, as Anton uncovers after painstaking analysis. Note that Paul Graham wrote his own web server, which is why his URLs are nicer than ours. (Dave G, are you reading this? :-) ).

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19 Apr 2007

by Noel

Of Interest 19/04/2007

This is what’s caught my eye today:

  • Slideaware discuss their shift from Python to Ruby on Rails to Erlang. Tune in next time when they tell us if Erlang delived the goods.
  • I think everyone should know about Dirichlet processes. This should be a blog post of it’s own. I actually had a dream about such a post, so I guess it is destined to happen.
  • Publications from the Software Technology group at Radboud University Nijmegen are currently the only place I know where you’ll find ideas on how to capture web-based workflows in a high level manner. The basic observation is simple: given a data definition you should be able to generate most of a web site that allows you to interact with that data. The trick is making it general enough to be useful. Rails has scaffolding but it is quite limited in what it can do, so it tends to be used only for prototyping. We want to use it for production code. This area involves lots of PLT goodness: FRP, bidirectional programming, and metaprogramming all look like they’ll play a part.

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17 Apr 2007

by Noel

Of Interest 17/04/2007

  • The curious rotational memory of the Electron is sure fascinating, and makes me wish I had paid more attention in Physics 110. Read through the archives and impress your friends with the amazing Feynman plate trick!
  • If you read the archives like I suggested you are undoubtedly all excited about monads of probability, so go here and download some more reading goodness. My goodness!
  • Dave G today: “Snooze is a pro-testing library!”. Damn straight! Software has the right to testing, and that’s a right I’ll fight for. (Music, apparently, has the right to children. The implications of this are uncertain.)
  • Leo “Flapjax” Meyerovich drops by the comments to let us know he’s going to do the world’s funnest PhD (at Berkeley, no less). Maybe he can employ Ezra as a RA? This is actually worth a post on it’s own, but time is short. I’ll just say two things: servers and mixed synchronous/asynchronous signals. Might not mean much to you, dear reader, should be enough for me to remember what I want to talk about.

These quick posts are fun to write. This could be the start of something.

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16 Apr 2007

by Noel

Interesting Stuff 16/04/2007

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5 Apr 2007

by Noel

Bleep! iTunes

I’ve just received an iPod, and so the acquisition of digital music is suddenly much more interesting to me. I have the following requirements:

  • I want music
  • I want it cheap
  • I want it to work with my iPod
  • I preferrably want it without DRM

So I surely must prostrate myself before iTunes? They’re getting a lot of press following the announcement by EMI that they’re selling their entire digital catalog without DRM, and at a higher quality than was previously available. Actually, a bit of searching shows that there is some respectable competition out there:

  • 7digital offers EMI’s catalog as 320kbps MP3s (probably better than iTunes 256kbps AAC), and are cheaper than iTunes.
  • eMusic offers DRM-free 192kbps VBR MP3s on a subscription based plan that works out much less than iTunes’ per track cost. Now their selection is limited, but if you like good music (i.e. the music I like) you’ll be well covered. Catalog search and FAQ here
  • Bleep sells DRM-free 192kbps VBR MP3s. Like eMusic their selection is limited to “good music”. Individual tracks cost more than iTunes, but albums are less.

None of the above options offer the range of iTunes, but all are certainly worth considering before hitting iTunes. My main problem with eMusic is the subscription model; while 40 tracks a month is great, my monthly music budget is a less, on average, than their subscription fee. 7digital’s site is just a mess, which makes it distinctly less appealing. So it looks like Bleep is going to be my first port of call for digital music, followed by 7digital or iTunes.

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