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Decentralization, again…

Remember when the Berlin wall came down and the Soviet Union ended up breaking up? People talked about the power of decentralizaiton, about how simple faxes were used by individual Soviet citizens to tell the world what was going on and topple the ultimate centralized power?

Or the impact of the television coverage of the Vietnam war had such an effect on the way things turned out? Or Tiananmen Square? Or the impact of consumer camcorders on the impact of the Rodney King trial and subsequent riots in L.A.?

The shameful and shocking scandal of prisoner abuse and torture follows the same pattern. Who can imagine what was going through the minds of these people as they were committing these acts? Who, further can imagine what they were thinking as they were taking snapshots of this?

But see where it’s leading: who would have thought that these people wandering around with their pocket Canon’s and Nikons will have had a profound, long-term, global impact on this country and this war. Ultimate decentralization, again.


[GEEK] Bootclasspath

In order to debug a hairy problem, I need to step into some Java system
classes ( HashMap.class is to be found in rt.jar, part of the
standard Java distribution (1.4.2_04) but it does NOT have debug info
compiled in.

So what to do? I think I did a pretty exhaustive set of steps but I was still stumped:

  • I can’t locate an rt.jar with debug info
  • From what I read, you can’t easily rebuild it from the java system sources because some stuff does not compile
  • I tried recompiling with -g to get debug info and putting the resulting .class files into a .jar and placing that jar at what I believe is the front of the classpath. I did this in Eclipse by adding it as a library in the project properties, and then moving it “up” to the front. Didn’t seem to do it.
  • I tried taking the same built .jar file and putting into the jre spec in Eclipse, at the top, and that didn’t do the trick either

I’ve posted to newsgroups and emailed friends and still have not found the problem.

Bootclasspath to the rescue? From reading around, I have a new angle. It would seem from the above article that in fact, java does not look for the system class jar (rt.jar) where you would expect it to. In fact it looks for it (on Windows) in c:Program FilesjavaJ2SDK1.4 etc. Secondly it looks like before any other class path is searched, the Bootclasspath picks up rt.jar and that is probably why my previous attempts at diagnosis have failed.

Java -X command lists some additional switches to the Sun Java VM, including -Xbootclasspath/p: which that allows you to pre-pend a directory or jar to the bootclasspath.

Programming Esoterica

As I delve into programming esoterica, in the past I’ve written down little handy items of information that I discover through a lot of work, for possible future reference. 6 months later, the details will have escaped me, and so I have my written notes to refer back to. Well, I thought, why not use my blog as a handy place for these  notes?

It’s just one fewer place to look, and who knows someone else might benefit from it. The downside, it will be a jarring bit of geekdom to throw in the middle of my other random ramblings and for many people it would be patently meaningless.

So forgive me ahead of time, this is just another foray into my experimenting with blogs and what they mean and what they are good for. And here we go…

The “dark” side of LinkedIn

Well, not really dark: This is in reference to Shel Isreal’s recent bit about LinkedIn. Shel notes that LinkedIn is actually good for recruiting. He cites some examples of folks who assembled a team using LinkedIn to locate candidates.

Think about the other side: You’re the CEO of a company. You’ve discovered LinkedIn. It’s kind of cool. You introduce some of your team to it. Before long everyone is on LinkedIn.

I remember a recuriter friend cautioning me that we shouldn’t have people supply both their first and last names in the their voice mail greetings in our brand new startup. It would make it too easy for the best people to be poached by other recruiters just dialing through the directory.

LinkedIn is an order of magnitude worse/better/more.

New version of iTunes

Good evening sportsfans. There’s a new version (4.5) of iTunes for Windows. All I can see after a quick look-over is a new feature called “Party Shuffle” that appears to create a quasi-random mix, based on a few parameters. Suitable for parties, I guess 🙂

A new kind of EVIL Spyware

One of my computers has gone totally haywire with spyware, popups popping all over the place, and more. Here’s the new spin, which I hadn’t seen before.

When surfing the web, arbitrary words on web pages are turned into links, and when you innocently click them, you are sent off the deep end with ads, popups, software installing itself or claiming to do so. It’s really ugly. I had never seen that before.

Anyway, my usual medicine for thar problem was Ad-Aware. It’s free, and it has been very effective in the past. In this case, it didn’t successfully clean the machine. In fact it seemed to have no noticable effect!

I checked, where an app called Spy Sweeper was said to have been the PC Magazine Editors Choice. I ran that and it was far more successful. At least with the regular spyware. The word highlighting one is still there. More later.