johnk's blog

Another Lame Patent War: Phone Number Tapping

Apple busted HTC on a patent for a tech called "data tapping".

Making the Tumblr "Well" Layouts with CSS

So I was puzzling over how to make the "Well" style layout in Tumblr without Javascript.

Haskell Name Game

Main> nameGame "alonzo"
"alonzo, alonzo bo blonzo bonana fanna fo flonzo fee fy mo mlonzo, alonzo"
Main> nameGame "haskell"
"haskell, haskell bo baskell bonana fanna fo faskell fee fy mo maskell, haskell"
LOLz. Here's some real beginner-level source code for a version of the "Name Game". The Name Game was a song from way back. It's silly.
Sources after the jump.

Reused a Variable Name

I accidentally reused the variable name $count twice in a function.

Strike Network Postmortem

I'm publishing this to help other software developers who write applications to support community actions. The article was originally written on November 2, 2011.

iPhone Cable Pin Colors

I bought a cheap iPhone cable, and it broke, as expected. The soldering in the connector wasn't secured, so a wire snapped. The order of the wires is red, blue, white, green.

All Your Parsers Are Belong to Us

Getting Started with Exploratory Parsing. Describes a system where you can write your parser by analyzing huge bodies of text. In short, a system for writing all the parsers required to analyze the text on the internet. (In English.) (Ward Cunningam invented the idea of the Wiki.)

Learning the Facebook API

For the past few months I've been working on web apps. The first was a mobile site based on jQuery Mobile. While it was "cool", it quickly dawned on me that it wouldn't get any significant usership. For one, it was like a clone of 4square and Scvngr - and who really uses that? I'd peer into the lists of checkins, and it wasn't looking too encouraging. People use it when they're bored and alone, and my scenario didn't involve either of those situations.

Javascript Module Pattern

Javascript Module Pattern In Depth at Adequately Good is a very good article about how to make JS modules that don't pollute the global namespace.

A Million Monkeys, a Million Typewriters, Could Create the Works of Shakespeare

If you had 100 trillion monkeys, sitting at the controls of very simple machines, networked together, and could take input from the real world, they could eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.

That network would be called "William Shakespeare." The monkeys would be cells, and the cell walls would be the simple machines; electrochemical signals would be the network. The input from the real world would be light, chemicals, temperature, touch, and sound.

Technologically speaking, the internet is nearly 2 billion people. So we're 1/500th the way toward being like a single human being. The entire population of Earth will have died several times over by the time that moment is realized.

Broadband Constituency: Seniors?

I know the Net Neutrality people on either side don't consider older folks part of the information revolution (despite the fact that all the early inventors of it are now of retirement age), but seniors are directly impacted by high prices for wireless, landlines, and DSL. A bits-is-bits model would help make telecom cheaper for seniors. With these cuts to Medicare and Social Security the Republicans want...

One of the Best Bits in Tron (1982)

This is one of my favorite parts of Tron, when Ram and Flynn are in jail and talking about their past lives before they were turned into computer-world gladiators.

Type and Social Context (Eric Gill's "Gill Sans")

I just read a long ass post about why graphic artists shouldn't stretch type or slant a face. "no duh" as we used to say in school.

Arial vs. Helvetica Test

Ironic Sans has a fun quiz where you try to identify which font is Arial, and which one is Helvetica.

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