Programming Links for February 22, 2009

Kimberly Blessing: The Seventh Grade: So when I keep hearing about this crucial sixth/seventh grade time period for young girls, I can’t help but think back to my own experience around these grades. I didn’t lose interest in computers (or science or math) in seventh grade, but I was certainly separated from them. As time went on, I had less time to pursue those interests myself, and in some cases I was discouraged from pursuing them.

codeartisan: Websites are also RESTFul Web Services: if you design a RESTful web site it is also a RESTful web API.

code zen: Announcing EspressoReader (alpha): A desktop client for Google Reader: I am excited to finally announce the alpha release of EspressoReader. EspressoReader, in its current incarnation, is a desktop app for Google Reader.

Props to my co-workers in the first three reads (and a download – go forth and try out EspressoReader!), now on with more…

defmacro: The Nature of Lisp (absolutely a must read – this piece has influenced me on a project and will probably have a growing effect on my work down the line).

Code Monkeyism: Scrum is not about engineering practices: Scrum is not about engineering practices, it’s about management.

zack’s home page blog: One month with Emacs and counting – Part 1 – the Debian Vim package maintainer moves to.. Emacs!

The Daily WTF: Programming Sucks! Or At Least, It Ought To:Obviously, a lot of us – me included – enjoy writing code. But should we?

Honda: The Power of Dreams – Failure: The Secret of Success – a terrific must see video.

The Fishbowl: The DOM Stigma: Java is a strongly and statically typed language with a Smalltalk-style object model. Javascript is a loosely and dynamically typed language with a prototype-based object model. Force them to share an apartment and you’ve got an instant sitcom.

pyDanny: Naming conventions thoughts for Pinax and Django (they are using Django at NASA!)

Adam Bien: A Good Architecture Is All About Probability – Or It Is Sufficient To Be Good Enough: Many J2EE architectures were entirely exaggereted. The were intended for all, even very uncertain, cases. The result were many, dead, layers with lot of transformations and indirections. This introduced additional complexity and obfuscated the actual business logic and missed the point. The problem were generic, stereotypical architectures, which were developed once and applied to every possible use case. Even a guestbook was developed with at least 15 layers :-). So keep it small, keep it simple, and focus on the essential cabatilities of your application.

Aaron Swartz: Non-Hierarchical Management: Most guides on management are written for big bosses at big companies, not people starting something new who want their team to be as effective as possible. (Hi, startup founders!) So herewith, a guide to effective non-hierarchical management.

Fast Company: They Write the Right Stuff: And that’s the point: the shuttle process is so extreme, the drive for perfection is so focused, that it reveals what’s required to achieve relentless execution. The most important things the shuttle group does — carefully planning the software in advance, writing no code until the design is complete, making no changes without supporting blueprints, keeping a completely accurate record of the code — are not expensive. The process isn’t even rocket science. Its standard practice in almost every engineering discipline except software engineering. Plastered on a conference room wall, an informal slogan of the on-board shuttle group captures the essence of keeping focused on the process: “The sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to catch up.” Fun With HTTP Headers

Morethanseven: Example of using XMPP on App Engine (via IMified)

digital inspiration: Single Google Query uses 1000 Machines in 0.2 seconds

Tech President: Why the White House’s Embrace of Drupal Matters

Emma tells jokes

And this won’t surprise my friends – she tells them better than me!

“Why did the chicken cross the playground?

To get to the other slide!”

“Why is six afraid of seven?

Because seven ate nine!”

“Whats black and white and red all over?

The newspaper!”

Her timing is great.

Her knock knock jokes need some work, she lets you ask “who’s there” but answers the whole thing with someone’s name and a smile and laugh. Then again – that’s just awesome.

There’s a paradox at work – Social Software and Media links for Thursday

Clay Shirky: Help, the Price of Information Has Fallen, and It Can’t Get Up

The interesting thing about this piece, written way back in 1995, is that it leaves wide open the concept of information.

Just what is information? People instinctively grasp for “facts” as their definition. But in computing, we think otherwise. Can music be described as information – sure can. Opinions? Yep. Visual arts? Certainly. Video. Yes, even video. Anything that can be described in ones and zeroes can be thought of as information that can be transmitted and shared on a network.

Well, what about advertising? Yes, that too.

Jeneane Sussum: The Value of Words: These. People. Are. Lying. To. You. And. Themselves.

There is a paradox at work here. As the cost of generating and transmitting information decreases, more of it becomes available, thus increasing the need for better filters.

Advertising, Newspapers, and Libraries were the premier filters of the pre-Internet age.

So were the ‘big 3’ TV stations, radio conglomerates, record companies, book stores and magazine stands for that matter.

Search engines, blogs, social networks, and smart aggregators are those of the now.

How the practices of the old evolve in the infrastructure of the new, how new disciplines arise to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, will determine how informed, or how uninformed, we will be as a society.

Other interesting links for today:

P’unk Avenue Window: What should a modern library be?

reddit: Young Deer hit by google map VAN. Caught on street view. A Brief History of Hyperlocal News
Social Media “Experts” are the Cancer of Twitter (and Must Be Stopped)

MediaPost: Yelp Reviews Spawn At Least Five Lawsuits

Epicenter: eMusic Says Data Supports Long Tail Theory

Epicenter: Want Proof OpenID Can Succeed? Just Scroll Down

ComputerWorld: What the Web knows about you

Thought provokers, a link dump for Thursday morning

Psychology Today: The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment

ScientificAmerican: The Serious Need for Play

defmacro: Taming Perfectionism

NYTimes Book Review: Reality Intrudes on an Undercover Mental Patient

Cognitive Daily: Would we still obey? The first replication of Milgram’s work in over 30 years

The Frontal Cortex :Kandel on Psychotherapy

NewScientist: Our world may be a giant hologram

Wired: Clive Thompson on How More Info Leads to Less Knowledge

More reading on the ongoing crash

slacktivist: Some folks’ world – predatory rent increases in trailer parks.

Daniel Rubin: Daniel Rubin: The bailouts passed him by

Aaron Swartz’s Raw Thought: How Depressions Work

NYTimes: Welfare Aid Isn’t Growing as Economy Drops Off

Suburban Guerrilla: Welfare Rolls Are Not Going Up. Why?

Yahoo!: Folding dealers shock car buyers with unpaid liens

NYTimes: Caring for the Caregivers

The Big Picture: Reinhart & Rogoff: Expect a prolonged slump

Dave Rogers: Market for Destruction: We are not consumers, we are the consumed.

Music links related to class

YouTube: Son House – Preachin’ the Blues

YouTube: Son House – Levee Camp Blues

YouTube: Blind Willie McTell – “Boll Weevil”

IMEEM: Muddy Watters – I Be’s Troubled

YouTube: Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit

YouTube: Ma Rainey – Booze And Blues

YouTube: Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon – Will the Circle Be Unbroken

YouTube: Bessie Smith – You Gotta Gimmie Some

YouTube: Precious Lord Take My Hand, covered by Rain Boy!

YouTube: Go Tell It On A Mountain, covered by Peter , Paul & Mary

YouTube: Son House – Death Letter

Give the money to us

Jon Stewart challenges Lawrence Lindsey and asks Lindsey about the viability of Stewart’s own plan – giving the bailout money to the people of the United States to pay of their debts, which in turn, brings liquidity back to the banks.

CNN Money Summit: Your questions answered “Why can’t we split the money among taxpayers?” – the answer is dismissive – that we would simply save the money and not spend it.

In what universe does that occur? Not America. It would get spent one way or another – and very, very quick.

Thanks to dangerousmeta for the common sense.

While something approaching libertarianism (letting the free market rule without reasoned oversight) got us into this – it just maybe something approaching libertarianism that gets us out.

As John Stewart and Garret say, “Give us the cash, let it trickle up.”