Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

Technology, Politics, Food, Finance, etc.

11/08/2005 King County, Washington, USA Elections

I never got a voter pamphlet but thankfully King County has a really nice service that lets you enter your name and address and get back a customized listing of what will show up on your ballot.

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How Should An Exactly Once SOA Reliable Messaging System Be Designed?

So my guess is that one can design a really nice exactly once reliable messaging protocol using exactly two headers (a message ID and a time stamp) along with a few standard error responses. For bonus points I can throw in a header giving an idea of how long the system remembers message IDs. Below I explain how I reached the conclusion that this is all that's needed.

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When re-using someone else's service it's nice to know if that service is actually still running. Thankfully whole armies of people are out boiling the world's oceans to come up with mind boggling sophisticated systems to solve this difficult problem. But until all the water has boiled off and their universe saving contraptions are available might I suggest a simpler interim approach? Why not use SOA-Ping?

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Enterprise SOA Priorities

In thinking about the management challenges of utility computing (how do you manage 10,000 virtual machines anyway?) it was obvious that the right high level abstraction for management is the composite application. A composite application represents the collection of services (ala SOA) that are being brought together to perform some action. This then got me thinking about SOA in general and has led to a new project I'm working on in parallel to the utility computing work called SOA Lifecycle (SOAL). But, as with my utility computing priorities article, I like to know what my priorities are before I dive into a project. So below I explore what I believe the priorities are for SOA in the enterprise.

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Working Around iTunes Problems

I really like iTunes. In general it is easy to use. Unfortunately it does have some short comings and my experience with Magnatune showed some of them. Specifically, iTunes handles m3u play lists badly and it can't handle FLAC files. But thankfully there are somewhat reasonable work arounds.

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I was reading the economist and ran across a mention of Magnatune, a record label that sells exclusively on-line. Although you can buy a CD from them they also sell all their music in a variety of formats without any DRM. This includes, btw, WAV and FLAC formats which are completely lossless. They also make all of their music available as MP3s for free so you can try before you buy, no strings attached, no memberships, no log-ins, nothing. Before finding Magnatune I had spent exactly $1.07 on music this year and that was for a song I downloaded from iTunes. The reason I don't buy much music is that I don't find much music to like. Maybe it's just me but radio is a waste land filed with the same music I've heard for years. What is great about Magnatune is that it allows me to try out lots of music and decide what I like. Although a lot of their music is 'out there' (they intentionally specialize in genres that they feel mainstream labels do a bad job with) I was generally impressed with both the quality of the talent as well as the production quality of the music. Magnatune seems to perform the job that I think a good label should do – quality control.

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