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  1. Hate that Apple Podcasts App in iOS 6?

    Rob Bazinet

    Oct 04, 2012

    2012 10 03 16 19 56

    I installed the Apple Podcasts app on my iPhone 4 to try it out when it was first released but it didn’t resonate with me so I kept accessing my podcasts in the Music app.

    After upgrading to iOS 6 I noticed podcasts were no longer accessible from the Music app, I was forced to use the Podcasts app.  Frankly, the app is lousy with two icons for each podcast I listen to and it’s hard to determine how much time is left in the current episode.

    Thanks to a good friend on Twitter, I don’t have to keep that lousy app and I can go back to the way it used to me.  Follow these three easy steps:

    1. Delete the Podcasts App on the iPhone (be sure you don’t sync it back to the phone on the next sync).
    2. If you are running the Music app, close it.
    3. Now reopen the Music app and voila..podcasts are now back under the More button.

    I really hate Apple pulling stuff like this.

    Thanks Kevin for the tip.

    by Rob Bazinet at Oct 04, 2012

  2. Functional Programming Battle

    Rob Bazinet

    Oct 03, 2012

    2012 10 03 09 09 21

    I’ve been spending some quality time with Scala lately and ran into this research paper comparing Scala, Haskell and F# titled Haskell vs. F# vs. Scala: A High-level Language Features and Parallelism Support Comparison.  It’s a great read and well-worth the time.

    This paper provides a performance and programmability comparison of high-level parallel programming support in Haskell, F# and Scala. Developing several parallel versions, we employ skeleton-based, semi-explicit and explicit approaches to parallelism. We focus on advanced language features for separating computational and coordination aspects of the code and tuning performance. We also assess the impact of functional purity and multi-paradigm design of the languages on program development and performance.

    It’s interesting to see the three languages compared for their abilities in parallel applications.  It should be noted that the paper is from the Glasgow Parallel Haskell web site so there may be some bias but nothing outstanding.

    I like the fact that the comparison is based on a Java VM language, Scala, a .NET language, F#, and a native language of Haskell.  Running on a rich runtime such as the JVM or .NET gives the developer a library of which to draw from, it also adds some overhead.  The results are pretty much what I expected with Scala doing better than I would have envisioned.  The JVM seems to be well-tuned. 

    You can download a PDF version of the paper here.   The code used in the benchmarks are also available.

    by Rob Bazinet at Oct 03, 2012

  3. Looking for an UltraBook

    Mark Levison

    Sep 20, 2012

    For the past few months I’ve been keeping my eye for a good UltraBook to allow to carry less weight while traveling. In the past few hours this has gone from an idea to a necessity as my wife’s laptop video card died.

    My current laptop a 15inch Dell XPS L501X feels like the anti-thesis of what I need this days. Big, heavy and barely adequate battery life ~2hrs. Luckily in the past few years a new category has been born the Ultrabook.

    My needs – a laptop to do a lot of writing on:

    • Lightweight – I want to be happy carrying this thing when I got out for coffee.
    • Thin – less space in my backpack would be good
    • Kick butt battery life – at least 5hrs. I’m often flying from Ottawa –> San Francisco and unlike Air Canada, United doesn’t have power outlets. I need to get much of a days work done on a plane.
    • Great keyboard and trackpad – did I mention that I will be writing a book or two on this thing?
    • Good Screen – I need to be able to display two windows with only a little overlap – for note taking when I’m reading or summarizing sources.
    • Decent RAM – I’ve been using 8 GB for the past two years dropping back to 4 seems painful
    • Must be able to hookup to an external display – my projector, external screen etc.
    • Performance: Has to be at least as fast as this XPS L501X. I do sometimes edit photos (Lightroom) on this beast. Its successor has to be able to do that too.

    Here’s what I’ve found so far:

    As you can see the meagre options seem to point in the direction of either Carbon X1 or the MacBook Air. Anyone got a good option that I missed? Or am I headed down the path of becoming a Mac user – with semi-annual OS upgrades?

    by Mark Levison at Sep 20, 2012

  4. Agile Voices Finally

    Mark Levison

    Sep 15, 2012

    Nearly 6 months ago I saw another Top 20 list of Agile people. I was troubled. As a result I started anti top 100 list: (from Looking for 100 Agile Voices we should hear more from)

    In the past few years a number of Agile people I respect have published Top 100 or even Top 200 lists. While I, like many others appreciate the attention they’ve brought, the whole idea seems very anti-Agile. Agile promotes a democratic meritocracy. These lists do the opposite; they create “hero’s” – people whose ideas are more important than others. Instead of this I think we should be widely read in the Agile community, often reaching outside our immediate realm. To that end I’m asking for your help in creating a list of voices that we should hear more from. My goal is find 100; this limit being more from my lack of time and energy than from the lack of the number of people we could possibly find.

    I naively assumed that once this went “live” I would be flooded with names. The first few came in rapidly, and they’ve trickled in on and off ever since. Well, the list has now reached 70 people; I’ve long since had my minimum viable product, but summer and family time intervened.

    As a reminder – my simple rules for inclusion are:

    • Nominees have to have a track record of doing something Agile for at least a year
    • Not be in the Top 100 of any previous list
    • The list isn’t sorted – no one is more important than anyone else
    • I’m most interested in people who write about their experiences, either good or bad
    • Please don’t suggest yourself

    There is no order to this list.

    Name Blog Twitter ID
    Ted Young!/jitterted
    Chris Matts    
    Kent McDonald    
    Alexis Hu
    Marlena Compton  
    David Koontz!/davidakoontz
    Jeff Langr
    Tim Ottinger!/tottinge
    Alan Dayley
    Marcian Floryan
    Pierre Neis
    Web Craftsman
    Lanette Creamer
    David Hussman
    Mike Burrows
    Jeff Anderson
    Rowan Bunning    
    Craig Brown
    Geoff Burns
    Ed Wong
    David Joyce
    Renee Troughton
    Craig Smith
    Ilan Goldstein
    Martin Kearns
    Alex Viggio
    Brad Swanson
    Catia Oliveira
    Cain Hopwood
    Andrew Fuqua
    Benjamin Mitchell
    Clarke Ching
    Troy Tuttle
    Stephanie Stewart
    Sandy Mamoli
    Tony Ponton
    Jan Beaver
    Alan Atlas
     Tathagat Varma
    Bryan Beecham
    Mike Bowler
    Todd Little  
    Olav Massen
    Angela Harms
    Portia Tung
    Dan Mezick
    Bonnie Aumann
    Mike Sutton
    Jamie Dobson
    Ainsley Nies
    Martin Olesen
    Dan Wiebe
    Adam Yuret
    Kurt Haeusler
    Wouter Lagerweij
    Maurce le Rutte
    James Scrimshire
    Nigel Baker
    Geoff Watts
    Jeff Morgan
    Cathy Carleton  
    Agustin Villena
    Liza Wood
    Dan Woodward
    Mind the Product (Group Blog)
    Pascal Pink
    Jeremy Lightsmith

    I know that the table formatting is a bit of an issue – I will fix this when I have a chance.

    Just for fun I created a simple button if you want to post in your sidebar:
    Agile Voices

    I know several people don’t have blogs or Twitter ID’s listed, so I can’t find them; I’m hoping this post will encourage them to come out of the woodwork.

    As I find new names and new blogs I will update the list periodically. Thanks to the many people who helped make this happen.

    by Mark Levison at Sep 15, 2012