Code and Life

Programming, electronics and other cool tech stuff

Nokia acquires Trolltech!

Just a short note on this Slashdot newsbit that almost got me falling off my chair: Nokia is acquiring Trolltech, the makers of QT graphics library behind the popular Linux window manager (/platform) KDE.

I mean, if I had been asked a month ago the top three companies making money with open source software, I would’ve replied RedHat, MySQL and Trolltech. And since MySQL has already been acquired, I really wonder what is next.

Also, it is interesting that Nokia decided to acquire Trolltech, even though their Maemo platform is based on GTK and Gnome, not QT and KDE. Well, let’s just hope they don’t stop providing a GPL version of QT in the future.

Anyone want to bet who is the next open source shop being acquired by some big players? My bet is RedHat being acquired by Google or Microsoft, because, well, that would just be surprising, wouldn’t it?

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Darkest material yet created using nanotubes

Just a short interesting headline that got my attention on Slashdot:

Nanotubes Form The Darkest Material Yet Created

Picture of this 99.9% light-absorbing monster material can be found from news.com.au coverage. Now as many slashdotters pointed out, this opens up obvious possibilities for solar panels, but once these really get cheap, I’d propose a couple of additional ones:

  • Limiting the light scatter in open areas where adequate lightning (e.g. for safety) and darkness are simultaneously preferred. Theaters, nighttime transportation (ever tried to sleep in a well-lit train?) spring up to mind
  • Ninja clothing. Of course the problem is, that once you actually become darker than the night, you may be more easily spotted.
  • Striking interior decoration. Doors that look like black holes? Check. Really black borders for your home theater projector canvas? Check. Sofa that just doesn’t seem to be there? Check!

And of course there is my absolute favourite: MacBook Night Air, as shown below.

MacBook Night Air

Like Nigel Tufnel says in the movie This Is Spinal Tap: It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

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Nice hosting for Django and Rails nuts

Just thought to post a brief and shamelessly positive note on my current hosting provider, WebFaction. It was actually their one-click WordPress installation procedure that got me playing around with blogging, which then lead to founding this blog. I ran into it when searching for suitable site to host Django-powered software, which lead me to this comparison of Django-friendly web hosts.

Now this probably wouldn’t be worth noting otherwise, but WebFaction is the only provider so far (leave a comment if you find others), that fulfilled all my stringent requirements for a hosting provider:

  1. Support for PHP, Ruby on Rails and Django (this alone is hard without virtual servers)
  2. Support for MySQL and PostgreSQL (to suit the daily mood)
  3. No arbitary limits on subdomains and domains within plans (it’s not like they cost anything to the provider)
  4. Starting cost must be below $10 a month (I’d rather scale up when I actually have traffic, not beforehand)

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Widget-ready WordPress sidebars without headlines

A lot of people are asking me (of course I have to make this stuff up because I don’t have any readers) how I’ve done the menu bar (the horizontal thing containing static pages and categories, just below the name of this blog). This is a good question, because the menu bar is actually widget-ready, so I don’t have to change it when I add new categories. “But how have you avoided the widget headers and still remained strictly XHTML compliant?”, I hear some of my imaginary readers say. Well, I’ll tell you how.

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Theme being updated, sorry for inconvenience

I was struck by the brilliant idea of designing and implementing my own design for this page. Because the page has been up for like two days and I have around one point three faithful readers, I decided to scrap the needless testing platform and go straight to production.

So bear with me for some hours while I stylize the posts and sidebar on line. For the random viewer, it may even be an interesting interactive event. Or then not. Anyways, sorry if your eyes hurt when reading!

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Paramount ditching HD-DVD and switching to Blu-ray?

Financial Times seems is suggesting that the recent “HD-DVD only” agreement made by Paramount (for which they got paid a huge amount of cash) may containt a clause that allows Paramount to rethink in case Warner Bros switches to Blu-ray (which just recently happened). If Paramount actually follows Warner, it would likely mark the end of the high definition format war.

In other news, I won’t be switching yet, as stand-alone Blu-ray players cost about $900 (600€) here where I live. And while PC drives for my media PC in both HD-DVD and Blu-ray have decreased sharply and can be had for around $200, I think charging $100 for playback software (with forums full of compatibility and playback problems) is absolute robbery.

Having said that, expect to hear first-hand account on these issues the second I can have both the drive and software for less than $200. :)

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