Forget what you know

The first single from the new Gorillaz, Feel Good is sooo badass. Funky. Cool. Check it out.

WoW Status

WoW Status is a Mac OS X menu bar addition that allows you to see if your WoW server is currently up. Seeing as how they are up and down a lot these days, it's handy to know this before launching the game.

I gots my PSP

I went and picked up my Playstation Portable this morning on my way to work. I posted a Flickr set of me taking the thing out of the box. I am now in that time period between the time you take an electronic out of the box, and the time you get to start using it after it is charged up. There should be a name for that time period, it is frustrating. I will put more up later after I have had a chance to use it, so check back.

Update to WoW patch post

Well the patch to World of Warcraft, or WoW, that I previously blogged about got applied to the servers yesterday. What a mess. Blizzard must not have an effective test methodology for patches and patch rollouts. It took hours for them to get the servers back up, and there were other issues that caused them to have to reboot servers after they brought them back up. On the realms that did come back up, one could see hundreds of new characters from everyone who was displaced because their realms were still down. Once I got back in, the new features were nice, espeically the new toolbars. The general feeling among the community is that Blizzard does not care about our horrible in game experiences and server experiences. I think, if they were to put their money where their mouths are, they would refund everyone playing some percentage of their monthly fee for the downtime and frustration.

All your Spring is belong to M.I.A.

While the official Web site for M.I.A. is M.I.A, this CD will be the music of this Spring. No doubt end of story, see you at Coachella. (Without a photo pass so far.)

smash's world: Sony PSP Survival Guide

With midnight marking the official release, smash's world has posted a solid Sony PSP Survival Guide. I highly recommend reading it, even if you have already ordered a PSP. (I did.)

Leonard looks at his time use

I'm frightened at what the results will be when I try to do what Leonard did. Should be interesting to see. I have definitely been taking a closer look at my work habits and work methodology this year, and have already made some improvements.

Book versus Blog

SBJ's Newest book is off to the printer. He explains in this post why he doesn't discuss in progress books on his B-L-O-G.

I attended a group called Bloggers and Beer last Tuesday night, you may have seen the pictures in my Flickr feed to the right. I meant to post about it last week. I had a great time. Blogging attracts interesting people with diverse interests. If course, I already knew Bobafred, he's a mainstay of my crew here in the ATL. I had also previously met Scott and his blogless wife Lisa. I hadn't however, met Lady Crumpet, who, it turns out, lives right down the street from me. I also met Titus and HollisMb for the first time. Everyone was pleasant and interesting, and we teamed up to win at trivia, much to the chagrin of the regular patrons. I'm looking forward to attending these events on a regular basis, and hopefully we can continue to grow this little community.

Sadly Lori, who normally organizes this monthly get together, couldn't be with us, as her dog was quite sick. Even more sadly, her pup passed away. My sympathies go out to her. Losing a beloved pet is a traumatic experience.

Mad Tagger at work

The Mad Tagger was here.

Ender's Game and Britney Spears

News about Ender's Game: The Movie Interesting, as this book is one of the best ever in the Science Fiction genre. At least, I know for sure, it would be in my top five, and probably in my top ten favorite books I have ever read. I have probably turned ten or fifteen people onto that one book, and have never gotten a single bad response from the person. Almost everyone has gone on the read the entire series.

I got into an extended discussion about books Saturday night with a couple of friends. They were talking about the Harry Potter books, and I couldn't help but think those books are overrated. I hear people compare them to the Lord of the Rings books, and it turns my stomach. I have to fight hard to keep back the book snob in me in conversations like this. I was told that the series gets a lot better in the third book, and that the quality of her writing really improved at that point. Since I have only read the first two, I guess I need to pick up the third one and read it to really be able to take part in this discussion actively. My initial impression was that they were good guilty pleasure books, but I wouldn't put them up in the Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, L'Engle, Robert Jordan, territory. I guess, also, that I have probably read more fantasy genre stuff than the people making these claims, and so I have already formed an emotional attachment to other works. (I live here, and you are just visiting.) Finally, it's art, and in my opinion, it should come down to what you enjoy, but making absolute claims requires perspective.

The conversation continued, with one of my friends offering up Tom Clancy as a "great" author because of his attention to detail, especially in the military realm. I've read almost all of Clancy's books, but I cannot claim that he is a great author. I really enjoyed all of them, but they tend to be formulaic despite their attention to detail. I would however, buy any new book he writes. It reminded me, however, of another conversation during bloggers and beer earlier in the week where a friend claimed that the Beastie Boys section of the Kleptones night at the Hip Opera was superior to any of the Beastie Boys works because Queen's music was sonically superior to anything that the Dust Brothers may have done on Paul's Boutique. While it may be academically superior in a purely mathematical sort of way, that criteria seems, at least to me, a very narrow way of looking at music, which for me is all about the emotional reaction to the work. The innovation of Paul's Boutique paved the way for the mashup culture we are now enjoying, and that should have some value beyond the sum of it's sonic parts.

This has made me think more about books and music. The works I enjoy don't always tend to be the most popular, but I stand by them from a quality perspective. Are these two areas of art analogous? Is Britney Spears the equivalent of J.K. Rowling? I tend to believe that I look for some level of innovation in the works that I enjoy. Not necessarily from an academic perspective, but from an "original" way of thinking perspective. It's difficult for me to restrain my opinions, but they, at times, make me feel like a big snob, whether I have read more books or listened to more music or not.

Sci-fi and fantasy author Norton dies

Andre Norton passed away. As a kid, I read her books. and probably read fifty or sixty of the guilty pleasure science fiction ones over the course of a couple of years. She definitely broke ground as a woman writing in a genre dominated by men at the time.

It's that great time of year

I love March Madness. This afternoon the whole thing kicks off, and I am ready, bracket in hand. This year, my bracket is very different from the ones that my co-workers have filled out. This makes me a little nervous, but I am also here in the heart of ACC Basketball fandom. Being a New England boy at heart, I tend to favor the Big East. It always feels to me like the media overvalues the big name ACC teams. My final four includes Florida, Louisville, Oklahoma St. and Syracuse. I am probably less confident with these picks than any in the last five or six years, but I also feel like parity in the NCAA has made it much harder to make the picks. I also have not followed hoops as faithfully as I have in year's past. Finally, go UCONN!!

Stock Market for Tech

Yahoo Labs has released their Buzz Game where you trade tech properties in a virtual stock market. My portfolio includes Firefox, World of Warcraft, Flickr, the PSP, and other tech that I love. You should check it out, you could win a Mac Mini in the process.

Always on the lookout for the next extension

Via Meg, I discovered my next favorite Firefox extension, flickrfox. If you use Flickr and Firefox, which you should, then you should try this out. Warning: you may become even more addicted to Flickr after installing this extension.

Sterling on SXSW

Bruce Sterling talks SXSW. I wish I was there. It's been since 2002, and I would love to re-make the acquaintance of the old friends and meet some of the newer folks. It's hard to believe that it has been five years since that crazy first bloggers meet at SXSW experience.

Flickr upload from MMORPGs

I heart this idea from Make Magazine, which I just subscribed to. Flickr upload from MMORPGs. I wish now that I had spent some time with the docs on creating World of Warcraft add-ons. I'm sure someone would beat me to this, considering the learning curve on my part required to create it.

Online CF group, CFMX 7 Multiserver Configuration and Query of Queries

Last night, I attended the Online ColdFusion Meetup Group. The subject was "CFMX on Unix and Linux" and you can view the archived preso here. Big ups to Stephen Erat from Macromedia for putting this together, it was informative and well done. It's very convenient to be able to head home and attend this meeting without having to drive somewhere. It also allows me to open my mail and do other things while listening to the preso. Breeze presentations work well for this type of thing. Stephen's presentation covered a nice combination of beginner and advanced material, and I will definitely attend these meetings in the future.

This week, I have been configuring a new app server, which will be dedicated to running our scoring and syndication efforts. It is also the first server in our farm that is running CFMX 7. So I had just gone through three days of server work on this exact topic prior to the meeting. For a variety of reasons, I had decided that, in addition to going with CFMX 7 for application specific reasons, which I will get into later in this post, we would be better off with the Multiserver configuration of ColdFusion. This will allow us to sandbox apps in various CF instances, which makes good sense in the environment that we are in. The install went pretty well, although the documentation from Macromedia, which I read thoroughly before doing anything, is not very good in my opinion. I found mistakes, which I plan on documenting and getting to Macromedia, and much of the docs assume you are installing the single server configuration. The MultiServer specific documentation is sparse. I'm guessing that I am supposed to consult the JRun documentation for some of this information, but the CFMX documentation should point me in that direction, not assume that I know where to look.

The installer is pretty well written though, and doing the actual installation went very smoothly. In fact, the documentation inside of the installer does a great job of walking you through things. However, once you have installed the Multiserver version, gotten it configured to use whichever Web server you are running, and gotten it running from the command line, you realize that something which is in every other version of ColdFusion is missing if you install with this option. Macromedia supplies no scripts to start JRun and ColdFusion automatically at system startup. I thought to myself yesterday, no problem, there has to be documentation of the best practice way to do this on MM's site. After about an hour of searching I realized that this was not the case. I made a comment on Stephen Erat's site, and he pointed me to Greg Stewart's experimental scripts for doing this. In my opinion, this is not a solution to the problem, I want the vendor to tell me what they recommend. I know I can write my own shell script to start this configuration, but I find the fact that Macromedia didn't think to supply one of their own, or any guidance for that matter, bothersome. At the very least, there should be a technote. After all, they supply a method of doing this for every other version of their product. I very much would like to see that oversight fixed.

My single biggest issue with CFMX 6.1 has been Query of Queries, and our team had great hopes that the typing issues we had constantly run into with Query of Queries would be fixed in CFMX 7. It seems, based on our testing, that the typing engine itself has not changed, which is to say that if you do not specifically type a column (which is new functionality in CFMX 7), it arbitrarily assigns a type to each column based on some data inspection. This data inspection is not documented anywhere, as far as I can tell. So the Macromedia solution to the issue was not to fix the typing engine, but rather to add the ability to type columns upon query creation. I'm not sure that this is the right solution to the issue. In addition, we have seen behavior where the typing engine assigns a type of "null" to a column. This makes operations involving that column problematic. I would think that the default type would be some sort of string, like a varchar, but this does not seem to be the case. This ends up making Q of Q not nearly as useful as it could be. I know, of course, that there are other, alternate, complex data types that I could use for these operations, but I attempt to map data that fits into query objects to queries.

Even so, we are looking forward to using CFMX 7 moving forward. There is a bunch of new functionality that is a good fit for us in there, and we plan on exploiting it. I figured that I would document the two things I have run into so far for Google and others who might run into them.

Find Nate

My buddy Nathan is doing a pretty cool promotion to make more contacts at SXSW. Find Nathan Steiner, win free music. Nathan and Arturo do great work, so you should want to talk to him anyway.

Ars Technica Reviews World of Warcraft

Ars Technica has a solid review of World of Warcraft today.

Z*TRIP Album Preview

Z*TRIP is one of my favorite DJ's, without a doubt. He is very innovative, and is a solid live performer every time I have seen him. His major label release is due to come out April 26th, but there are three preview tracks up on the Web now. In addition, I learned on his site that he will be playing Coachella. Sweet.

New Ian MacKaye material

The Evens is Ian MacKaye, from Fugazi and Minor Threat, and Amy Farina. If this review is any indication, I'm going to really enjoy this when it comes out.

big WoW patch

Massive World of Warcraft patch released. They've edited all the classes, and made a ton of adjustments that should make the game more enjoyable.

Gridface Desktops

Gridface has some lovely photographic desktops for your wallpapering pleasure.

NIN Tour Dates

Nine Inch Nails tour dates announced. Two Atlanta shows in May. New CD to be released May 3rd. I'm trying to trim my expectations back a bit, they are quite high.

Some Lovely Desktops

Veer: Capture Personality.

Atlanta Flickr Meetup tonight

The March Atlanta Flickr Meetup is tonight. Fellini's on Ponce at 7pm.

MyintrotoletUknow

As a beta-tester of his intial podcast practice, I can recommend Scott's entry into the podcast fray. Good tracklist.

Standards Compliant Bling Bling

PimpZilla (Theme for Firefox)

Why is it doing that?

Liz Foreman over at Lost Remote has a post about the noise her television makes when her next door neighbor synchs his Blackberry. This issue is not limited to Blackberries, but seems to happen with any phone that does data. In my case, both my Color Sidekick and my Motorola Razr cause the problem. I go into a conference room for a meeting with my phone in my pocket, and the speakerphone in the room makes the noise, much to everyone's chagrin. I am at my desk listening to music from my laptop, and it makes the noise. I get in my car, and the speakers make the noise. I'm surprised I haven't heard more people commenting about this, it's really annoying. It's gotten to the point that I no longer bring my phone to meetings because I don't want to hear the noise anymore.

Airport Express just got useful

Rogue Amoeba's Airfoil lets you stream the output from applications other than iTunes to your Airport Express. Honestly, I don't know why Apple didn't just include this in the Airport Express, it makes sense, but it's nice to finally have a solution for this. I haven't used it yet, but will be testing it out this evening.