ACTA is not considered a good thing.

For not wearing the ears of my listeners thin of this threat to the development countries I copy text from FSF.  They are way more knowing on the subject than I.  And they agree with my opinions.

If you're not in Europe, please help spread the word to people who are. Defeating it in Europe is the first step to ending it once and for all.

For a refresher on why ACTA threatens free softwarer

Thank you for speaking up against ACTA,

Matt, Josh and John

This news letter is sponsored by XKCD.  Fun for the geek three times a week.

This cccommunicate news letter can also be found here.




Compatibility inspector (win)

Check what happens with your site when your users upgrade their IE.

Caveat; the solution only works in IE10 which in turn requires Win8. On the other hand - Win8 is downloadable through your MSDN account and you run it in a virtual machine. Win8 should run on any machine that can run Win7.

- http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/01/20/ie10-compat-inspector.aspx        

HTML5 - what is supported where?

I stumbled upon a site with search capability for html(5) terms and it has a quite intelligent search result with red-yellow-green for what to avoid and what to use.

- http://html5please.us/        <- searchable with comments like caution, use with fallback and avoid.  just search for css and see the result as an example

- http://mobilehtml5.org/        <- a table for html5 support in mobile browsers

Postsharp - aspect oriented programming getting started video

In an hour postsharp is explained for beginners (win)

It is a web cast.  Not everyone likes to learn through video but many do.  Hence my linking.

AOP (aspect oriented programming) is - in short and not totally correct - a way to insert code in the beginning and end of methods.  Think like this: when you log or profile you have to write code in every method you want to trace.  That is a lot of copy-paste.

With aop this is done automatically.

Postsharp is probably the best known AOP framework for the dotnet world.  It is not free if you intend to make money out of it but testing, trying, labing, playing and learning is.

And when you have recognised its value it is well worth the €.

- http://www.sharpcrafters.com/blog/post/Webinar-How-to-Stay-DRY-with-AOP-and-PostSharp-with-Video-and-QA!.aspx        

Why have MSDN subscription as a developer on Windows

You are guaranteed an answer on the Microsoft forums within 1 (2?) week(s).

You get X calls per year to Microsoft support.

You get 1 or 2 (depending on license level) machines running in the Microsoft cloud Azure.

You get downloads and x, y and z licenses for different applications.  The licenses are totally inunderstandable by man kind.

So if you are a professional developer on the Microsoft platform and want to be more than a code monkey you should pay the "Microsoft tax" and have an MSDN license.

- http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/msdn-benefits/        


Why is Your estimate of development time wrong?

We all know it is hard to estimate development.  Below is linked an explanation for the layman.

- http://www.quora.com/Why-are-software-development-task-estimations-regularly-off-by-a-factor-of-2-3/answer/Michael-Wolfe?srid=kw        


Vi har alla pratat om teknisk skuld, det som vi önskar vi hade gjort tidigare.  D.v.s. genvägar, hacks, fulkod och det vi inte hunnit med att göra perfekt.

KKauppi skriver om Verksamhetsskuld.

En sund observation att inte bara tekniska lösningar utan också organisationer har lösningar som inte borde vara där; en verksamhetsskuld.  T.ex. om en beställning av en dator renderar i en leveranstid på 6 veckor har man en verksamhetsskuld.  Bristen är uppenbar, man kan gå till butik och få den samma dag eller beställa på postorder och få den nästa.  Är det en specialbyggd maskin tar det 1 vecka.

Verksamhetsskuld är inte samma sak som Byråkrati.

Byråkrati är ofta en verksamhetsskuld men behöver inte vara det.  Om byråkratin beror på dåliga beslutsvägar, chefer som bara tror de delegerar ansvar är verksamhetsskulden egentligen beslutsvägarna respektive osäkra chefer.  Om byråkratin däremot är sin egen raison d'être är den verksamhetsskulden.

Vi kan återföra verksamhetsskulden i den tekniska.

Om ett projekt drar över tiden kan delar ibland skyllas administration och projektledning.  Jag menar inte att de nödvändigtvis är dåliga utan att teknik, adminstration och ledning inte kommunicerar.  I agila projektmetoder har kommunikationen dem emellan högre prioritet än i t.ex. vattenfall.  I Scrum har man sina dagliga standups där man säger vad som ger friktion och i Kanban ser man på tavlan var processen blir köer istället för att gå vidare.

- http://kauppi.levasunt.nu/post/Vad-ar-verksamhetsskuld.aspx        


Impress.js - a javascript/css lib for presentations

Beats Powerpoint and Prezi by pure source coolness.

- http://bartaz.github.com/impress.js/        

Pingalytics - check your number of hits and and response time in the same graph

Slow response times reduces the number of visitors.  With pingalytics you can combine the figures from Googleanalytics and Pingdom in the same graph.

I haven't tried it myself.

- http://pingalytics.com/        

New user interface (ubuntu, android)

There are new user interfaces on the way.  Of course.

Ever since we inherited the wierd noun-verb-mix from Xerox for the drop down menus we have been pressed down by them.  What I mean is that the first menu choice is File, which is a noun, and the second is Edit which is a verb.  If I wan to edit a file, should I go to File or to Edit?  It depends - and you learn through clicking and reading and see whar is positioned where.

When discussing this I might point out that the noun-verb-mix is a good thing, but that is not applicable for this article.

Microsoft changed the menus to the bettter in the Office suite some years ago.  People complained they didn't find what they were looking for; and so did I.  Even though I at the same time said the new menu system was better.  It was finally something thought through, contrary to the old menu which just was a bucket with stuff.  Especially the Tools menu which was the bucket of buckets.

Android is catching up with Apple's Ipxxyy-seriex fast and everyone, but apple fanboys of course, believe they will pass before short; both functionality and usability wise.  Ok - maybe not the latter (since it is easier to create an easy to use interface for a tablet with less functionality <insert-matching-smiley/>)

Back to subject.

Ubuntu, one of the leading gnu-linux distributions might come with a new menu system.  Linked below is an article and scroll down to see the youtube clip with examples.  I was not impressed really.  But I was happy at least something was done.  Don't think of it as the new-and-shiny-menu-for-the-future but more as a first-step-among-many.

Which reminds me of my own stab att creating a new menu system where the menu is gone and everyting is centered around a context menu.  Hmm... this article is getting long enough as it is already.

Below is also linked to the guidelines for android4 which I have written about before.

- http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/939        <- coming ubuntu

- http://developer.android.com/design/index.html        <- android 4

Unicode 6.1.0 - release

I didn't even know unicode was updated.  But of course - as languages evolve, so should the unicode specification.

New this time is for instance Emoji.  That was news for me.

- http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode6.1.0/        

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji        <- what emoji is

Lua 5.4

Lua is a Brazilian language probably most known for being the scripting language of WoW.  I have also found it in Corona and just now as templating language in Wikipedia.

- http://www.lua.org/        

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2012-01-30/Technology_report        <- wikipedia lua announcement

- http://developer.anscamobile.com/content/basic-functions        <- corona api example

- http://www.wowwiki.com/Lua        <- wow and lua if you are too lazy to bing

Kinect for Windows

Kinect is a nice piece of hardware for Xbox that recognises your movements.  The very hardware doesn't have much more intelligence than giving you a huge load of depth information.  The software on the other hand takes this and returns a human skeleton.  Dogs and camels are not recognised.  Biped, dual tentacled aliens are.

After the protocol was reverse engineered Microsoft decided to open the protocol instead of harassing the curious guys.  Which led to an explosion of nice hacks.

The API is gratis.  The Kinect for the Xbox isn't very expensive but it lacks (or used to lack?) an extra wire to connect it to your PC.  Which existed but costed some extra €.

Now Microsof has released a Kinect (is it version 2?) with the possibility to use at close distance too, 40cm.  The old one really wanted to have a full view of you.  The new one can be used closer so you don't have to rise and jump around to test your application.

I am looking forward for cool implementations.

Now, if you want to do stuff on Xbox with it you are back to square 1 and Microsofts license jungle.  People have been seen to enter but seldom to come out again.

Now again, Microsoft hands out the too usual "do as we want you to do or you'll void the warrant".  Probably not valid in Sweden, due to stronger consumer laws.  But compare it with sellers in Sweden blaiming Apple's warranty for not replacing broken Swedish phones in Sweden.

If you want to hack - check out dnrtv, they have some casts about kinect and voice recognition.

- http://blogs.msdn.com/b/kinectforwindows/archive/2012/01/09/kinect-for-windows-commercial-program-announced.aspx        <- lots of complains, some probably valid

- http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/01/ces-2012-kinect-for-windows-doesnt-mean-youll-be-playing-games-on-your-pc.html        

Firefox 10


- http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/10.0/releasenotes/buglist.html        <- bug fixes

Console2 - a better console (win)

Just as Notepad is a sub par editor so is the bat language and so is the console.

First.  Switch Notepad to Notepad2, Notetab or the third I can't recall the name of.  They are all gratis and can replace Notepad so much that they start instead of Notepad.  No drawbacks.

Secondly.  If you feel like the *nix world has the upper hand regarding the command line and scripting think again.  Windows has had Powershell for years now and it rocks.  It is even better than bash or the others since it doesn't rely on text output but on real dotnet objects.

Thirdly.  Replace the usual cmd.exe with Console2.  It doesn't replace as nicely as Notepad does but good enough.  A "real" console finally.

- http://sourceforge.net/projects/console/        

- http://www.hanselman.com/blog/Console2ABetterWindowsCommandPrompt.aspx        <- how to set up, if someone grasps how to get powershell to autostart please tell me

Zenithink C71 - öppen surfplatta

Ipaden är stängd som en blöjtunna.  Androidplattorna är öppna men vissa tillverkare hindrar rootning och alla bloatar med egen ware.

Därför har någon skapat en öppen platta.  Det anses bra.

- http://mobil.idg.se/2.1085/1.430484        


About storing users' passwords - in short: don't

I am as guilty as the next guy; I have stored passwords, both as clear text and encrypted. But I don't any more.

Storing the password in the database is Nono. Nono as in "you are a bad developer and a worse human being".

What one does instead is store the hash. Now, hashes can't be reversed but they can be brute forced and a popular hash like MD5 can be broken at high speed. The solution is simple; use another hash algorithm.

This is described at a greater length in the link below.

I haven't found a dotnet implementation. Someone?

- http://codahale.com/how-to-safely-store-a-password/        

- http://plaintextoffenders.com/        <- hall of shame, sites that store passwords, encrypted or not, are hung out here

Taking your own photo and getting sued for copyright infringement - in EU

You take a photo of a rainly London (is there any other London).  Then you get sued for copyright infringement.  Note: not theft of idea, layout, graphics or anything but a very Copyright.  This means that you don't own your own stuff.

In Sweden we have automatic copyright on everything we do but a sentence in UK echoes in the EU which we Sweden is apart of.  And with ACTA it is going even further.

- http://falkvinge.net/2012/01/26/,copyright-monopoly-goes-insane-non-copy-judged-as-infringing/        

- http://consumerist.com/2012/01/hm-thinks-inspired-by-artwork-is-different-from-copied-it-exactly.html#.TyIVVPBnsig.twitter        <- same same but the opposite

Tapsure - tap your password with rhythm (android)

Writing your long and secure password on a mobile device is a pain.  For Firefox mobile there is a plugin that lets you tap the password in a rythm instead.

I haven't checked out other security implications but I really like the idea.

- http://www.chrisfinke.com/addons/tapsure/        

US laws extend beyond the borders - beware cloud fanboys, or any connection with US really

I am not saying cloud is bad.  I even had a solution in the cloud for a while.

What I am referring to is that the US believes their laws extend beyond their borders, as long as their long distance rockets fly I suppose.

Here is more evidence that if you have a US connection in your company you are under US legislation.  This for instance means you might have to hand over all your company data to the US government.  I do not know how extradiction or fines are affected.  Anyone?

It also means the Swedish government, or any government, must be careful with how they handle US companies.  More insightful comments about this is linked below.

With Sweden as the 51st state of USA I doubt there is a problem - just the question of how far to bend over.

- http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/cloud/what-will-you-do-when-the-us-comes-for-you-20120125-1qhc1.html        <- the US can force you to send them your data

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003        <- note the lack of balance, UK is required to send people to the US but not the other way around

What Google knows about you

Last news letter I wrote about Facebook tracking you even though you are logged out.  I also mentioned Google probably doing the same.  I have to confess that is only conspiracy theories and disbelief in Big Corporations.

The fact is that Google, even though they try to gather all data they can about you, has A Lot Better understanding of privacy than Facebook.  Linked below are some circumstantials.

- www.dataliberation.org/        <- "central location for information on how to move your data in and out of Google products" whereas Facebook calls it "trade secrets"

- www.google.com/goodtoknow/        <- good to know, no shit sherlock

- http://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/        <- opt in and out of google ads

- http://google.com/dashboard        <- what google says they know about you

- http://www.google.com/policies/        <- recent change of policies to make it simpler

- http://searchengineland.com/two-weeks-in-google-search-plus-your-world-109527        <- interview with the search-algorithm-know-it-all of google


LarsFj, JSandén

EFF is seeking information of legal users of Megaupload

Like when USA talked to the Swedish government and got them (ordered?) to take down The pirate bay lots of lawful material got kidnapped too.  There were whole servers, belonging to other companies, that were taken away.  They had nothing to do with TPB.

There is a similarity with Megaupload.  Yes, they did host the very files and they most certainly knew that they were doing things against the law.  But there were other, lawfull, stuff too.

Everything was taken away.

Now EFF wants to know if you, as a law abiding citizen, lost data due to FBI grabbing everything, lawful or not.

Valid only for US citizens since that is where all this takes place.

I wrote about it here because of the similarity with the TPB takedown.

- http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/02/01/1649222/eff-seeking-information-of-legal-users-of-megaupload        <- i link to slashdot due to some good comments


Webcoast - en unconference i Götet

- http://webcoast.se/        

Zombie training - RUN! (iphone, android)

Running is boring but good for the health.

If you are surrounded by zombies it is even more good for your health to run.

There are a bunch of boring training assistants out there tracking your run distance and whatnot.  This app puts the fun back into running by overlaying your mandatory headphone music with zombie sounds and calls from people in need.  To make it more fun you can help these people in need by picking up weapons, food and stuff.

Another thing is how the app is developed, moneywise.  The originators presented their ideas on a site for crowd sourced funding.  People liked the idea and invested a few euros.

If you have a good idea but not the money - follow the link and from there find the crowd sourcing site.  (I have presented such sites in an earlier letter.)

- https://www.zombiesrungame.com/        

Food from Macdonald's never go old

Unsold hamburgers at our favourite hate object Macdonald's are thrown after a few minutes.  A waste in a world where 1 in 7 doesn't have enough food.

Someone put one of said burgers away and let it stay there for over a year.  Check out the photolink below.  (no login needed)

Maybe the picture is a lie, I haven't checked the level of truth for the story.

But I do remember bread you bought in stores in Sweden in the 70s (80s?) the never got mold.  There was a lot of writing about that and now bread in Sweden get mold, like they should.

Talking of which: I was at a presentation by HansBjelke and DeborahShapiro and they told us they had eggs for 400(!) days.  They took them fresh.  They never cooled them.  They wrapped their carrots in newspaper for them to stay fresh longer.  They have more tricks, guaranteed.

- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151214065660565&set=a.10150729455665565.720153.518885564&type=1&theater        

Html5 games - several of them

Html5 is coming heavily as a gaming platform, not only as proof as concept. Below is linked some examples with comments.

- http://m.netmagazine.com/features/top-20-html5-games        

Telepresence robot @ kickstarter

Make your old laptop top a true mobile computer, remote controlled, with a stand worth wheels.

A low WIF but maybe I can keep it in the cellar.

The product still doesn't exist and that is where Kickstarter comes in. It is a way to crowdsource your idea for money.

- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/289767902/oculus-telepresence-robot        

The making of a 3D printer

We can't foretell today how much impact 3D printers will have.  Manufacturers who outsource to cheap countries will be as the record and movie recording&distributing industry in a few year.  "what happened? why can't we use our old techniques for rooling the manufacturing industry? people are stealing from us when they can create stuff by themselves!"

- http://mobile.pcmag.com/device2/article.php?section_name=&CALL_URL=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399527,00.asp