Archive for the ‘blog’ category

BOTD: Good Math, Bad Math


Today’s BOTD (Blog of the Day) is “Good Math, Bad math”.

What it is about is summarized in its subtitle:

Finding the fun in good math. Squashing the bad math and the fools who promote it.

There is no need to add anything to this.

Only maybe an URL:

BOTD: Railscast


Today’s blog of the day is not really a blog, but a screencast. Dedicated to Ruby on Rails, the Railscast offers (as of today) 46 episodes of short, targeted practical advice on various aspects of Rails development.

Unlike some other screencasts who try to record the screen action as MPEG movie, this one is perfectly legible. In addition to the Rails enlightenment, you can also enjoy the speed and aesthetics of using TextMate  – with many great Ruby editing shortcuts and beautiful OS-X typography.

Available as subscription in iTunes – search for Railscast.

BOTD: Strange Maps


Today’s Blog Of The Day is named Strange Maps, which strangely accurate name. If you have are into maps, or information visualization – or combination of both, do NOT visit this link, because you risk sticking there for few hours :-).

Some ideas presented are quite original and wonderful: for example the map of the USA, having instead of names of the states name of the countries with same GDP as the state. You will find out that Canada == Texas, France == California and Hungary == New Mexico. Or a transposition of the map of Europe and map of Middle Earth – this places Rohan to southern Germany (not a bad match), Isengard is Hamburg. The Mordor ended up in Transylvania with Mount Doom in Romania, Minas Morgul in Hungary and Minas Tirith approximately in Austria.

Highly recommended.

Why blogging is important


Joel Oleson is suffering if you do not blog ! Sounds strange ? Read the article Join the SharePoint Blogging Revolution!

He makes several very good points – which have very little to do with Sharepoint – but I think the best one is helping the “organic indexing” of the Web space and helping the search engines out there better rank content. I wrote about this while ago.

BOTD (blog of the day): Frans Bouma's Blog


A brief look at my Google Reader subscription list made me aware that I have added to my reading list a loooot of blogs, newslist and so on. Unfortunately, they are not organized very well and should be properly placed into folders. In a process of doing that, I will put some of the interesting blogs here.

For today, it is Frans Bouma’s blog – focusing on .NET and Microsoft technology platforms. From the most recent good articles, look at why API’s should not be designed by scientists – discussing and comparing various ways how the database level paging is handled in various databases (MySQL, PostgreSql, DB2, Oracle, SS2005), or read Frans’ comments on Entity Framework being cut from .NET 3.5 – which is sad, but IMHO fairly accurate summary of the recent development. See for yourself.

You should write blogs


YOU should write blogs.

Even if nobody reads them, you should write them. It’s become pretty clear to me that blogging is a source of both innovation and clarity. I have many of my best ideas and insights while blogging. Struggling to express things that you’re thinking or feeling helps you understand them better.


Blogs of the week (9-Feb)


1) Bruce Schneier

Bruce is author of several excellent books on cryptography, from very easy, thriller like read to a classic work Applied Cryptograhy (highly recommended). The blog goes back to 2004 and is fascinating read.

2) Paul Thurrott

Paul is the Windows guy from Windows Weekly podcast (recommended) who also runs the Winsupersite . He is one of the few people who focus on Microsoft technology and still keep balanced, fair view of the affairs. Paul is certainly not a Microsoft fanboy – and obviously not a Microsoft hater. He seems to share the same balanced approach in case of Apple and OS-X – he appreciates his strengths without being an Apple zealot.

3) Cedrik’s Weblog

Google engineer, creator of the TestNG framework, writing mostly on Java and test driven development. I was fairly deep involved recently in unit testing (mostly in .NET world) and discovered there is a lot of interesting tools and frameworks available beyond the JUnit/NUnit boundaries. But that is topic for the other time.

Repetition is the mother of … the Web


I had a discussion few days ago with a friend of mine on blogging. The topic was that as soon as something happens on the Net, thousands and sometimes even more people are writing, posting, discussing and blogging about the very same topic. A sort of information tidal wave that spreads across the cyberspace. Which was according to my friend huge waste of time and energy. Generally, he meant, from a whole community perspective, it makes no sense to write about something unless there is reasonable chance you will be saying something very unique that nobody else will likely say – otherwise it adds no value, just clutters the content by repeating and rephrasing the already said. At first it sounded reasonably sound ;-), but the longer I was thinking about it, the more I was convinced it may be quite the opposite.

So why is the repetition actually a good thing ? Because of Google. Think for a second about how the web search works: Google (or any other search engine) indexes the text of the retrieved Web pages and ranks them using the number of back-links (roughly said). It has no understanding of the content whatsoever, it does not classify or categorize Web pages – all it does is index the words and evaluates the links between pages. The people who are trying to search the Web, are using search phrases and get results from matching pages for the words from their search phrase, sorted by the ranking algortihm. What happens when many people are posting webpages or blogs about the same topic is that they will inevitably use different words and thus allow more search phrases return results. Because people who search will also use different variations of words, by adding new pages dealing with same topics you are actually increasing the chances that the searchers will find what they are looking for and making the search better. If the content creators also post links to similar pages, or their information sources, they are also helping the ranking algorithm to work better and are sort of “promoting” the pages they liked. This is very interesting voting mechanism from which we all benefit daily.

Therefore, do not be shy to write your own opinion, valuation of event, technology, news or any ideas and do not worry about brazilions of other people doing the same. Even if very few people will actually read your stuff, the omniviscent Google will, and after scanning and indexing your page, your little bit will contribute to the shared pool of knowledge. And even if not, there will be always future you that will care what were you thinking about X.Y.Z. few years from now.

Whenever you use some source, be nice and mention the reference – put the URL or backlink, and when quoting, make sure you say so. And remember that using copy and paste without proper attribution is cyber-plagiarism and it is worse for the well being of your cyber-identity than the supersized hamburger with boston cream donut is for your waistline: everything posted on the web stays cached for eternity and thanks to Google it is trivial to find out who used exactly the same words than you did 🙂

And do not worry, series of tubes that Internet is built from are not going to be clogged up just because you (and thousands people like you) will add one more page about iPhone 🙂

Statistics are fun


I have discovered recently the nice feature of WordPress – Dashboard which shows number of visits, but also shows incoming links and search phrases the people used to land on my blog. Sometimes, they provide really interesting and surprising insights. Of course, I do not see who they are or where the visitors are coming from – so no privacy concerns.

Because of my first name (which is btw abreviated form of Miroslav), I am getting some visits from the people interested in the works of Joan Miró – spanish/catalan artist. Must be quite a disappointment for them, sorry. Nothing to do with visual arts here – unless you count art of coding ;-).

Here are few examples:

books about miró – see above.
Linkify Firefox extension
mac open .cdr image
fedex memphis ottawa apple – looks like somebody else from Ottawa is expecting Mac delivery
weird spreadsheets – how did I got to this one ?
ready for a new day event – maybe marketing department is checking feedback
C# 3.0 versus Java – I plan to get back to C# vs Java
firefox linkify – surprisingly, Linkify extension get’s a lot of searches.
undocumented Miro – what the heck is this ?
c# ORM Dynamic Method – good idea for an entry
c# mixing compiled and dynamic code – I’d look at IronPython first, folks,
business objects c# 3.0 – after my project is over, I’ll do a summary of “Doing business objects with CSLA – lessons learned”
miro’s world – I like this one, somebody who knows what to search for 🙂

Podcast du jour


This is for Gabo, Derek, Steve and others who talked to me about podcasts and about which podcasts are worth listening to.

Since I bought Nano2, I spend lot’s of time listening to podcasts. Pretty much all driving time, walking time and time in the gym is spend listening to wide selection of topics and to people producing them.

Here is my current list plus some additional recommendations:

1) TWIT and all around Leo Laporte.

This is classic. Go to and choose from over 10 various podcasts. I am listening to This Week in Tech (Leo with John C. Dvorak and Wil Harris are great), Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrot, and definitely Security Now with Paul Gibson. Paul has amazing talent to explain complicated things in very understandable way. When I listen to this podcast, there are only two options: I either learn something new I did not know before, or I found better way how to explain something I knew before to somebody who does not.

For Mac users, you want to try iLifeZone and videocast MacBreak. The This Week in media is not bad either, but I find commercial breaks in this podcast pretty annoying. To subscribe to any of them, click on iTunes tab on the website.
2) NOVA Science now

Less “geekish” than TWIT, but very interesting, targeting science in wider range. Highly recommend the Twin Prime Conjecture episode.

3) BBC Podcasts

I always liked BBC for two reasons: their balanced, mostly objective news presentation (meaning both balanced point of view as well as understanding that North America affairs do not equal 90% of newsworthy world news) and for really cool British accent. The web newscast offers you the first benefit, but to enjoy the second, you need podcast. From the website you can subscribe to variety of podcasts – or listen in browser.

These three sources give me much more content than I have available time. But if you look into more variety, here are few more tips: try 43 folders podcast, Steve Pavlina podcast for for personal development, or Zencast if you are curious about meditation and Zen buddhism. Or just open iTunes, click on iTunes store (requires account at iTunes store), click on Podcasts and select from hundreds of free podcasts available. Happy listening.