Archive for January, 2013

January

17

by Kaj Kandler

I read today about an interesting service (in form of a phone app) called Twist that helps communicate to your friends, family or business partners, when you’ll arrive at a meeting/destination. It’s supposed to track your position on a map and update the expected arrival time.

As so often with Phone apps there is lots of marketing and little information of how it is supposed to work. it’s all exploring the abilities. I downloaded it and tried to understand it. After 15 min. here is my list of questions:
* How is it going to communicate with my other party? According to the support FAQ (one liners at best), the other party does not need the app, only an e-mail address or an SMS capable phone. Still how often does Twist update the other party?
* Does the app integrate with my contacts? According to the FAQ, yes! But when I create a Twist, then it can’t find my other party not by phone nor by name or e-mail address.
* How does it integrate with navigation? Does it integrate with Waze, my favorite navigation app. when I start a twist I’m shown a map, at it seems to integrate some directions too. But I don’t see any choice of navigation app. I have three different navigation apps on my phone and I don’t want to substitute my preferred app with the one the Twist does provide for me. And I don’t want to have to run both apps for battery drain reasons?

January

04

by Kaj Kandler

This confession on Google+ reminds me of my experience on Sept 11th 2001.

As my personal blog still struggles with the load caused by the not-expected #1 Hacker News promotion this morning, you might want to read on over at Gizmodo.

More then a decade ago I was huddled with my colleagues at work, around some computers to get the latest (shocking) news around highjacked airplanes flying into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Besides the emotions I remember vividly, how the power houses of news, CNN.com, NY Times.com, Washington Post.com and Boston Globe.com were all unable to deliver their web pages before timeout. The solution was the Rhein-Zeitung a small town news-paper in Mainz, Germany.

How could this provincial news paper withstand the onslaught of requests, when the best financed news organizations of the world could not? The answer was mart performance degradation. Someone at the www.rhein-zeitung.de website had the smarts to switch off all non essential styling and deliver the raw text w/o images, masthead, or advertisement.

January

03

by Kaj Kandler

I run TracksApp on an older version of Ubuntu and upgrading from 2.1 to 2.1.1 failed at the bundle install step with:
Installing mysql (2.9.0) with native extensions
Gem::Installer::ExtensionBuildError: ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

/usr/bin/ruby1.8 extconf.rb
...
*** extconf.rb failed ***
Could not create Makefile due to some reason, probably lack of
necessary libraries and/or headers. Check the mkmf.log file for more
details. You may need configuration options.
...
Gem files will remain installed in /home/conficio/.bundler/tmp/2409/gems/mysql-2.9.0 for inspection.
Results logged to /home/conficio/.bundler/tmp/2409/gems/mysql-2.9.0/ext/mysql_api/gem_make.out
An error occurred while installing mysql (2.9.0), and Bundler cannot continue.
Make sure that `gem install mysql -v '2.9.0'` succeeds before bundling.

The cause is an added dependency on libmysqlclient-dev, which is easily solved by
$ sudo sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev