• Hear music and discover new music

    If you are a music fan, the internet gives you so many possibilities to listen to great music. Beside last.fm and jango.com and pandora.com I found another insteresting site to listen to music. It’s called musicovery.com and it has nice feartures like playing music from defined decades, genres and mood.

    Give it a try.

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  • Scratching the surface of Ruby – Variables and methods

    In my sparetime I am learning Ruby on Rails right now and I want to start a little series about some things that helped me understand that programming language. So lets start with the first episode.

    You are new to Ruby ( on Rails ) and wonder what those different looking symbols for variables and methods in Ruby mean?

    @name,  name,  self.name

    or

    def self.foo,  def foo

    What’s the difference and why does it seem like no one else is being confused by this stuff. That stuff doesn’t seem to be explained well anywhere: So here I wanna try to explain it from all I figured out so far from so many different websites.

    def self.foo is a class method. For example like:

    class User …
    def self.login(…)
    login = User.login(…)
    end

    whereas
    def foo is an instance method named foo.

    @foo is used inside a class definition to mean “foo variable”
    self.foo means “calling foo method” of this object.
    The confusion may come from the fact that instance variables and getter methods have the same name.
    Remember that an instance variable is always prefixed by ‘@’. Anything else is a method call.
    Another subtle place to get confused is a local variable. Suppose we have:

    def foo
    cow = 1
    end

    What is cow? It is a local variable. cow will exist until foo returns. Actually… that gets confusing too. Because Ruby has closures. Lets not think about that just yet.
    An instance variable @foo will live as long as the object does. A local variable foo lives as long as the function does.

    That’s pretty much it for the first episode.

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  • Windows 7 License Agreement News

    A leaked Windows 7 build that’s around the Internet gives some hints to the upcoming ( new ) windows operating version. No one actually knows,  whether this code is the same as the beta due to be officially released in early January, but it looks like a real thing.

    Not just testing the Windows 7 version is interesting, the included license agreement also should get some attetion. Here are some special points I found.

    • You can install as many copies as you want. The agreement specifically waives any restriction on the number of copies you can install:

      You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your premises to design, develop and test your programs for use with the software.

      As good as this sounds, I think this will change in the next official releases.

    • Don’t use it in a production environment. I expected that in a beta release and it’s a good advice for any product with a beta label on it.

      You may not use the software in a live operating environment unless Microsoft permits you to do so under another agreement.

    • The software expires on August 1, 2009. Their are other date mentioned on the internet t0o,but I had a copy with that date. The “Time-Sensitive Software” clause that reads in part:

    The software will stop running on August 1, 2009. You may not receive any other notice.”

    That timeout date adds further credence to the notion that the final release will be ready in May or June.

    • Installation in a virtual machine is posssible. The license agreement for the original release of Windows Vista includes some truly opaque wording about installing in a virtualized environment. This wording was significantly cleaned up for the Vista SP1 license agreement, and this same language appears in the Windows 7 EULA. The “Use with Virtualization Technologies” section is straightforward:

    Instead of using the software directly on the licensed device, you may install and use the software within only one virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system on the licensed device.

    • You’ll need to take a few extra steps to lock down your privacy. In section 4, the license agreement specifically notes that some features that normally require you to opt in are instead turned on by default:

    Because this software is a pre-release version, we have turned on some internet-based features by default to obtain feedback about them […] You may switch off these features or not use them.

    Most of the services on the list are fairly benign and involve little risk of divulging personally identifiable information. However, if you work with sensitive data files you might want to turn off the Customer Experience Improvement Program and automatic error reporting options.

    • Activation and validation are alive and well. Anyone who was hoping that Microsoft would back off from its hard-line antipiracy initiatives might be disappointed. The license agreement specifically describes activation and links to a privacy statement that says activation is required for Windows 7. The lengthy section on validation is identical to the one in Vista SP, including the bold-faced warning:

    You are not permitted to circumvent validation.

    • Benchmarking not allowed. Microsoft prohibition on speed tests is included in the license agreement, as in previous beta releases of Microsoft operating systems:

    You may not disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft’s prior written approval.

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  • Can Java FX compete against Flash and Silverlight

    Java FX — it is geared to make it easier to build rich web apps with the Java way and make them look like desktop applications — is ready to compete against Adobe Systems’ Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight software, if you ask Sun.

    Java is already used on the servers that power many Internet sites and on the devices people use to tap into those systems, and businesses need that connection. But on the client side it is slow and hard to write code for small and handy web apps.  Especially for webdesigners it just takes such a long time — it requires professional coding techniques and a very deep understanding.

    On Suns opinion this shall change with the new Java FX. Programs run using standard Java software, but it employs a scripting language to try to make writing Java applications easier. That approach  is going to bring Java FX to creative professionals, maybe. Sure it’s now no longer the only domain of object-oriented programmers.

    If Java FX will really be much faster than the old Java applets and features like drag and drop a Java FX app on the desktop, it can stand a chance in the rich internet applications world today.

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