Spoiled Spouse

I like to think I have a pretty nice setup at home. I have my computers, routers, and TiVos all on batter backup (UPS).

So when the power was out last night, my wife wasn't surprised at all that the internet continued to work from her laptop. "Doesn't everybody's?" she asked.

Laptops also make a pretty good flashlight in a pinch.

Back to Java

I've played with Ruby on Rails quite a bit in the last year or so. Over that time, I've been both excited and frustrated with it.

I think RoR is a great tool, and it can be leveraged for a lot of web applications that are traditionally written in Java or .Net. A lot of developers and companies would be well suited to add it to their toolbox.

However, what I've personally found is that I am unable to devote the time I need to become proficient. It is pretty easy to write a quick application in RoR. The syntax is easy to pick up, and the documentation is good enough that I can muddle my way through. However, without having it as part of my day job, my one-off projects aren't enough to for my personal knowledge to reach critical mass.

The triggering event of this decision was a recent effort to build a small application recently. It is based on an implementation of a public spec, and there were several RoR and Java libraries that provided the functionality I needed. After digging into the RoR libraries, I got frustrated and found it difficult to find the hooks I needed to build what I wanted. The usage just wasn't natural enough. I gave up and went back to the warm comfort of the Java libraries.

So, while I believe that I *COULD* be more productive in RoR, I *AM* more productive in Java. Based on the total time I've spent with RoR, I've decided to give up and refocus on Java. It is hard enough keeping up with everything going on in Java and .Net, I just can't spare the time to track RoR too.

Apple, EMI, and DRM

Apple announced they are selling EMI music DRM free, for a mere $0.30 premium.

First, I'm excited to see mass market adoption legitimate of DRM free content. That is good news, period.

However, I find Steve's position on DRM a bit, well, convenient. See, for a couple of reasons Steve wants Apple to sell music without DRM. However, he's also on Disney's board, hence the following question during the Q&A:

Q: I take it then that you are going to advocate taking the DRM off of the videos you sell on iTunes. Any particular [inaudible] you could do that with the Disney company?
A: You know, video, uh... I knew I'd get that question today. Video is pretty different than music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free; never has, and so I think they are in a pretty different situation and so I wouldn't hold the two in parallel at all.

Ya, sure Steve, they are totally different. I don't think any one can seriously argue that Steve really BELIEVES that DRM-free content is better. I'm also not sure it matters.

The deal is convenient for everyone. The labels get to sell music at a premium ($1.29 instead of $0.99), Apple gets to look good in the face of the EU anti-trust case, and consumers get DRM free music.

Not a perfect deal, but it's better than many of the alternatives. Just don't believe that this deal was done for any altruistic or idealistic reasons.

The Shield

Season 6 of The Shield started today on FX. The Shield has consistently been an amazing show, and season 6 appears to be no exception. At the end of the (extended) season premier, I found myself wanting more, more, more.

Anyone who isn't watching this show really should go back and enjoy the entire run. Find the DVDs and enjoy. This show demonstrates what TV should be. Unfortunately shows of this quality only seems to be found on HBO, FX, and a few other examples (Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi).