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Choice Bits

Overheard on the Intertubes

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  Wading into the chatterstream in hip boots, we wield the Axiom of Choice with gleeful abandon.  

What’s Hot

Top-Ten lists are passé—ours goes to 11. These are the top titles that folks are interested in currently, along with their rank from last month. This is based solely on direct sales from our online store.

1^NEWExpressionEngine 2.0
2^9Web Design for Developers
3v1Agile Web Development with Rails, Third Edition
4v3Pomodoro Technique Illustrated
5v2The RSpec Book
6^8Language Implementation Patterns
7^NEWSecurity on Rails
8v6Programming Ruby 1.9
9v4iPhone SDK Development
10^NEWBuilding a Dynamic Website with ExpressionEngine
11^NEWProgramming Clojure

The January Guessing Game, iSlate Version

Santa Claus arrived early for Apple Inc. shareholders: The stock on Thursday surged $6.94, or 3.4 percent, to close at a record high of $209.04.... The buzz continues to build about the company’s widely anticipated (albeit unconfirmed) tablet computer. — Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times

Nothing is official, but the evidence is pretty conclusive that Apple owns [domain names for] iSlate. It does not mean that Apple will use this name for the Apple Tablet, but honestly it would not fit to anything else. — I4U

Apparently, [Apple] registered the domain through brand protection firm Mark Monitor to conceal the fact that the domain name is theirs, as usual, but was briefly listed as the owner at some point in the past nonetheless. TechCrunch

Personally, I’m voting for "Humongous iPod" as the name, or better yet, “GinormousPod.” — Alexander Wolfe, InformationWeek

The size of this “very soon” tablet will be 7-inch (100% sure). — Pinyotutorial

The screen size is said to be 10-inches for the rumored device. — Arnold Kim, MacRumors

Innolux, the panel-making subsidiary of the Foxconn Group, will be the initial supplier of touch panels for Apple's tablet PC, with Wintek standing a change of becoming a second supplier at a later time — Susie Pan, Digitimes

The company has rented a stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for several days in late January.... — David Gelles, Financial Times

Apple (AAPL) appears to be gearing up to build as many as 1 million tablet computers per month. — Phillip Elmer-DeWitt, CNN

One possibility—increasingly likely, we think—is that this is the first of several tablets Apple will announce over the coming months. — Dan Frommer, Silicon Alley Insider

It is designed to expand the iPhone and iPod touch media concept to its next potential level: as a slate-like replacement for books and magazines, plus all of the media, gaming, app, and web functionality of the iPhone and iPod touch. — Jeremy Horowitz, iLounge

A person close to a VP in textbook publishing mentioned to me in July that McGraw Hill and Oberlin Press are working with Apple to move textbooks to iTunes. — Gizmodo

I’m hoping we can get the newsroom more actively involved in the challenge of delivering our best journalism in the form of Times Reader, iPhone apps, WAP, or the impending Apple slate.... — Bill Keller, New York Times

Clearly, Apple sees a gaping hole—the publishing industry’s lack of vision for a working digital model—and a touchscreen tablet, combined with the App Store and this new in-app sales model, would seek to fill it. — Brian X. Chen, Wired

Apple’s forthcoming tablet could employ a dynamic surface that gives users tactile feedback when typing in order to identify individual keys, according to a new patent application revealed this week. — Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

By this time next year, we may have a whole new genre of computing. It’s an undiscovered country. — MG Siegler, TechCrunch

Reflections on Publishing in 2009

Newspapers have become deadweight commodities linked to other media commodities in chains that are coupled or uncoupled by accountants and lawyers and executive vice presidents and boards of directors in offices thousands of miles from where the man bit the dog and drew ink. — Richard Rodriguez, Harper’s

When I talk to groups of journalists these days about the state of our business, I feel like a motivational speaker in a hospice. — Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times

We’re going to have no paper, no printing plants, no unions. It’s going to be great. — Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp.

There’s no doubt in my mind that when it finally realigns, we’re actually gonna see a kind of golden age of journalism. — Tina Brown, The Daily Beast

The same companies that spent decades telling lawmakers that they were explicitly not the guardians of the morality of the young—that they couldn’t be held accountable for sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, for gangsta rap, for drug-fuelled dance-parties—did a complete reversal and began to beat their chests about the corrupting influence of downloading on the poor kiddies. — Cory Doctorow

Every time DRM prevents legitimate playback, a pirate gets his wings. — Nathan Bowers

Reflections on Software Development in 2009

TDD is not my religion, it is one of my disciplines. It’s like dual entry bookkeeping for accountants, or sterile procedure for surgeons. — Bob Martin

I can honestly say if someone had shown me the Programming Scala book by by Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon & Bill Venners back in 2003 I’d probably have never created Groovy. — James Strachan

I do believe I have post-traumatic Java syndrome. — Renae Blair

This is the Python 3K blindness: it’s harder for old-timers to appreciate how broken things are because they’ve got a good feel for where the dangerous swamps are, and ready-made duckboards for the areas they can’t avoid. And aren’t you supposed to get a bit wet anyway? — elliott hughes

From what I’ve seen of it, PHP isn’t so much a language as a random collection of arbitrary stuff, a virtual explosion at the keyword and function factory. — Jeff Atwood

There should be a half-life on software so old software just melts away over 10 or 15 years. — Alan Kay

Not all code needs to be a factory, some of it can just be origami. — _why

Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live. — Martin Golding

On the internet, no-one knows you’re 14 year old or a raccoon. Until they use your software. — elliott hughes

The best way to market yourself is to be remarkable. — Chad Fowler

Surely There’s an App for That

Dog unwrapped and carefully ate Grandma’s Christmas present. Cat drank all the Christmas tree water. — Pragmaticandy

Sheldon: Everyone at the university knows I eat breakfast at 8:00 and move my bowels at 8:20.

Leonard: Yes, how did we live before Twitter? — The Big Bang Theory

You know, there are certain days that remind me of why I ran for this office. And then there are moments like this—where I pardon a turkey and send it to Disneyland. — President Barack Obama

I now have the liver of a mid-twenties person. — Steve Jobs