Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Owning a Kindle tablet

I recently acquired a Kindle Fire tablet. It's been less than a week that I've had it, but I'm already annoyed by the amount of vendor tie-in that comes with the device. I'll be turning this tablet computer into the kind of device that I like over the next few weeks. I've started by looking over a few videos that advise on "rooting" or "jailbreaking" a Kindle Fire. For now, I'm distrustful of these and I'll be sticking to the use of official Android developer tools and a few others that seem useful.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lately, I was trying to resolve an issue with an xsl:import statement looking for a document in from the Tomcat servers base directory (/var/lib/tomcat7). Naturally, you have to tell the transformer how to resolve the the URI -- how would it know otherise?
The API provides a way for URIs referenced from within the stylesheet instructions or within the transformation to be resolved by the calling application. This can be done by creating a class that implements the URIResolver interface, with its one method, URIResolver.resolve(java.lang.String, java.lang.String), and use this class to set the URI resolution for the transformation instructions or transformation with TransformerFactory.setURIResolver(javax.xml.transform.URIResolver) or Transformer.setURIResolver(javax.xml.transform.URIResolver). The URIResolver.resolve method takes two String arguments, the URI found in the stylesheet instructions or built as part of the transformation process, and the base URI against which the first argument will be made absolute if the absolute URI is required. The returned Source object must be usable by the transformer, as specified in its implemented features.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Essie Mae Washington-Williams

From Wikipedia (with edits):

Essie Mae Washington-Williams (October 12, 1925 – February 4, 2013) was an American teacher and writer. She is best known as the oldest natural child of Strom Thurmond, Governor of South Carolina and longtime United States Senator, known for his pro-racial segregation policies. Of mixed race, she was born to Carrie Butler, a 16-year-old black girl who worked as a household servant for Thurmond's parents, and Thurmond, then 22 and unmarried. Washington-Williams grew up in the family of one of her mother's sisters, not learning of her biological parents until 1938 when her mother came for a visit and informed Essie Mae she was her mother. She graduated from college, earned a master's degree, married and had a family, and had a 30-year professional career in education.

Washington-Williams did not reveal her biological father's identity until she was 78 years old, after Thurmond's death in 2003. He had paid for her college education, and took an interest in her and her family all his life. In 2004 she joined the Daughters of the American Revolution and United Daughters of the Confederacy through Thurmond's ancestral lines. She encouraged other African Americans to join such lineage societies, to enlarge the histories they represent. In 2005, she published her autobiography, which was nominated for the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

It's not so easy, I think, to not be acknowledged as your father's offspring for years. I'm rather impressed by Mrs. Washington-Williams take on the historical importance of her heritage and the importance for blacks to join in our nation's complex and sometimes unsavory history.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I just discovered this site genius.com. Haven't explored it, but it looks nice at least.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Python3 or Bust

I decided to transition my library, Yarom (Yet another rdf-object mapper), to Python3. I've resisted using Python3 at all to avoid dealing with the transition/rewrite tools (six, 2to3) and the still un-ported packages. What made me reconsider is the unicode support. Although I don't code in a language that requires special characters, I understand that other people do. Making it more comfortable for them to write code is worth the trouble, I think. Besides that, new core Python development should be happening in Python 3, making it more secure to go with the latest version

In the future, I might post about how the Python 2/3 issues, as well as Ubuntu release cycles and the current Haiku OS discussion on a non-alpha release, have affected my thoughts on software versions.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

I just remembered that I once chatted regularly (maybe once a week) with a guy from China. It was early in college. He was a pretty cool dude. He even introduced me to his friend once.

I don't remember his name though :(
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Night Witches

Here's an article about the "night witches", Soviet bomber pilots from WWII, and a blogpost with links to a little more.
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